The Environment 2020 Elections Inequality

President Trump’s four year long war on science needs to come to an end

The past four years have been irreversibly affected by efforts from the Trump administration to limit the use of science in policy making. During this administration’s tenure all of the progressive climate reforms made by its predecessors have been reversed – the United States removed itself from The Paris Agreement and the wildfires raging across the West Coast have doubled in size causing the forced evacuations of more than 90,000 residents. To make matters worse, these fires show no sign of slowing down as increased emissions from heat-trapping gases have led to warmer and drier conditions in the area. The flames which have torn across the West Coast thus far in 2020 indicate the most active fire season on record. As the climate warms, the wildfires will continue to grow larger and more frequent. Still, President Trump denies the enormity of the threat presented by climate change. Our nation cannot afford another four years of his environmental inaction.

Both presidential debates last month included questions regarding climate change, prompting the candidates to speak on their plans to rectify the situation. But here’s the thing—there is no rectifying it. Global warming has worsened with every passing year since at least 1950. The only viable option left—apart from laying in the grave which has been dug for all living beings—is to try to slow down the progress of global warming and not allow the earth to become entirely unlivable for the future generations. Perhaps this is a classic case of too little, too late.

Since taking office President Trump has invalidated the well-known fact that carbon dioxide emissions are caused by human activities, labeling it “alarmist.” Instead, he has held onto the American coal industry as well as domestic oil production for dear life, therefore accelerating fossil fuel development. On the debate stage a few Thursday’s ago, the president proudly stuck up his faux green thumb and proclaimed that his fervent solution to save the environment is to plant more trees.

On the other hand, Joe Biden’s plan is only a little less ashy. His campaign promises a strict reduction of net carbon emissions through the creation of new energy-efficient homes and electric vehicle charging stations—but there is a big discrepancy. The former vice president cites support of the promotion of clean energy while simultaneously assuring voters that the jobs associated with natural gas production will remain secure. So, he must be lying to someone. A real transition from fossil fuels toward renewable energy will inevitably result in the elimination of the oil and coal industries. At the rate in which the world is warming, this elimination might need to come sooner than we’d expect, leaving millions of working class Americans out of work. But, at least it’s a step away from immediate and total destruction of the earth.

The hottest year ever recorded was in 2016, with 2019 coming in a close second place by less than one-tenth of a degree Fahrenheit. Right now, there is an increased urgency to implement real change because doom is impending. Whoever winds up in the Oval Office next must plan for the economic pitfalls that will come along with such a change—but nonetheless ensure that the change happens, and fast. That is why it is imperative that all U.S. citizens who are eligible to vote do so today. In more ways than one, we hold the fate of the world in the palms of our hands. 


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Politics The World

I’m over Bernie Sanders and his so-called revolution

I’m over Bernie Sanders.

Bernie Sanders is the guy singing “We Shall Overcome” at campaign rallies and narrating a spoken word/folk album of the same name (I kid you not). The Sanders who thinks reparations are “divisive”, who believes social issues can be solved simply by economic means, and who required quite a bit of prodding to begin focusing on black Americans on the campaign trail. It’s a mistake to link Sanders, a white Jewish senator from Vermont, with the Civil Rights Movement. Yes, he did participate in the movement (please, tell us about it again), but Sanders using “We Shall Overcome” has little to do with the Civil Rights Movement and a lot to do with Bernie Sanders.

The Oakland rally was the moment that I decided I was over Bernie Sanders, but we’ve watched his campaign, in response to Hillary Clinton’s projected primary win, devolve into blustery complaints about the rules and regulations and the intricacies of choosing a party nominee. Some of these complaints (like the wonky system we use for selecting primary candidates) are valid, just as they’ve been whenever they get brought up, but their validity has been obscured by entitlement.

But Sanders, and the supporters who continue to turn out for him, think they’re part of something as substantial and world-changing as the Civil Rights movement. They aren’t. But they don’t blink at pretending they are before a very white crowd in the gentrifying black neighborhood of Oakland. On the plaza named officially for Frank H. Ogawa, a Japanese civil rights leader. The same plaza that is named (unofficially) for Oscar Grant, a black man shot in the back by a cop in 2009.  While Ogawa and Grant are both symbols of the oppression of communities of color, Bernie Sanders is a symbol of…Bernie Sanders. And what he’s asking us to overcome isn’t racial prejudice or police brutality but his dwindling primary campaign.

Having cast himself in the role of the political messiah sent to deliver us from the establishment, Sanders uses a Civil Rights Movement soundtrack to remind us that he’s more than just a presidential candidate. He’s our chance for progress, and to stand against him is like standing against the Civil Rights Movement, and you know what that says about you. But does Sanders know what it says about him? That his white male ego has finally expanded beyond hope of containment, that he’s now willing to do, say and imply whatever is necessary to win.

Co-opting the struggle of black Americans is only one of the tactics Sanders is willing to employ to beat Clinton. He also maintains that his lower delegate count is the result of a concerted effort to stunt progress and keep America under establishment influence rather than pro-Clinton voters turning out in greater number. Remember when Gloria Steinem said women were just backing Sanders because they wanted boyfriends? This is kind of like that. No one wins elections because they say things that appeal to people (for better or for worse) but because of hormones and/or because their votes are being manipulated. There’s that dropped lawsuit against the DNC, abandoned because someone must have realized how ridiculous it was to sue the party for holding Sanders’ campaign accountable for wrongdoing. There are demands for the removal of two pro-Clinton DNC co-chairs, an odd attack on two Democrats whose political opinions offend simply because they’re anti-Sanders.  There’s that never-gonna-happen-but-almost-did debate with Trump and Sanders’ reminder that the Democratic primary isn’t a monarchy while he simultaneously ignores Clinton’s majority of votes.

All with the goal of reassuring Sanders and his supporters that he isn’t actually losing.

Apparently this method of thinking is working too well. Sanders appears to be, if not convinced of his impending victory, at least convinced that he should be winning merely because he wants to be. One faction of Sanders’ supporters, that which has been most vocal and most unbearable, has also adopted this thinking. So when Sanders came up short in Nevada, things turned ugly as supporters became violent and later took their show on the road, doxxing the Nevada convention chairman and sending her grossly misogynistic and threatening messages. In order to be as disappointing as possible, Sanders responded that the Democratic party (and the woman on the other end of those threats) should “figure out a way to welcome people who have been energized and excited by his campaign”.

Unfortunately for Sanders, “energy” and “excitement” don’t work as synonyms for misogyny any better than Bernie Sanders works as a synonym for the Civil Rights Movement. Bernie Sanders is only synonymous with Bernie Sanders, and securing the presidency is all he cares about. Bernie Sanders is, first and foremost, a politician who wants to win. While the holds he has in the status quo may look a little different from those of Hillary Clinton or another establishment politician, they still exist.

It’s not revolutionary to avoid condemning racism and misogyny in those who support you (we’ve had this same conversation about Donald Trump many times). It’s not revolutionary to adopt the Civil Rights Movement to further your own cause or dismiss votes cast against you simply because you wish they didn’t count. These are not revolutionary. This is the status quo. If Sanders can’t shake it even in his primary campaign, I wouldn’t expect him to do so in the White House.

I don’t expect any other candidate to do it either, but Sanders is the only candidate promising revolutionary policies and a swift change in the status quo. Well not the only one. Donald Trump is doing the same, and we know what his idea of revolutionary is. I’d never suggest Sanders would sink to the depths of Trump (he’d have a looooong way to sink), but I would suggest he won’t rise to the heights he promises.

Hillary Clinton or Bernie Sanders, I’ll vote for whichever secures the nomination (it’ll likely be Clinton), but I’ll expect no more from one than I’d get from the other.

Politics The World

5 reasons why you should seriously vote Biden for President

Joe Biden is a potential Presidential candidate for the upcoming election, although things aren’t official just yet. In the meantime, we’ve done the work of figuring out why he needs to be elected. Here are 5 reasons why you need to vote for him.

1. He actually cares about sexual assault and tells *male* students that it’s their job to protect women.

In 1990 when Biden was Senator, he implemented the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), which completely reformed the way our country acted on sexual assault and violence. Since the passage of this act, domestic violence significantly decreased by over 50% due to the harsher penalties and stronger protection for victims. Twenty-five years later, Biden still pushes students to stand up against sexual violence, such as when he visited Ohio State University and the University of Illinois in Urbana to tell *male* students that it’s up to them to stand up against the victimization of young women.

We already know how horrible society’s rape culture is already, so imagine what more Biden can do to protect us women from becoming victimized in dealing with situations like these. He’s already done so much to protect us and has dramatically improved the way we deal with rape and sexual assault cases, so imagine what he can do as president. Come on, we NEED Biden.

2. Biden has gone through tragedy amongst tragedy, but he keeps moving forward.

Biden at a swearing in.

In 1972, Biden lost his first wife, Neilia Hunter, and infant Naomi in a horrible tractor accident. Brothers Beau and Hunter were seriously injured in the accident, and nearly 40 years later, Beau was diagnosed with brain cancer.

In 2012, Biden delivered a genuine speech mentioning the death of his previous wife and child. He spoke of the agony and crises of losing a loved one, and grief can sometimes dominate over everything else around you.

He also gave a speech at Yale University’s commencement ceremony in May where he addressed the close bond he has with his beloved children. Little did we know that behind his aviator sunglasses was the face of a man who was undergoing battle and hardship with his son’s fatal health.

There’s just something about Biden to me that screams trust. He knows what the common people go through, he understands what us as the common people need and strive for. Biden’s entire career in office goes to show how much he cares about his people, and that’s why we desperately need him in a time like this.

3. Biden has implemented many new policies into the federal education system to overcome the racial achieving gap and give teachers the pay they deserve.

In June of 2007, Biden created a plan to mend the racial achievement gap by implementing early education. This would literally change everything considering that this wide gap is already apparent well before a child starts Kindergarten. This would enable children of all races to get a head start on their classes, preparing them to be more successful throughout their school years.

He also advocated for performance- based pay for teachers in August of 2007, which would encourage teachers to perform at their best ability and get the pay they deserve for their hard work.

In addition to these, in August of 2007 he encouraged schools to hold proper sex education classes which included different prevention methods.

Biden has taken action to solve many of the problems we face daily with our public/ private education system throughout America.

4. His honesty and selflessness means he’d be a president of true character.

Biden is a man of true character. He is humble, kind, and shows selflessness. In his interview with Stephen Colbert on The Late Show, Biden became emotional when asked about his son Beau Biden who passed away earlier this year.

In the midst of him talking about a fond memory he had with Beau, Biden paused to apologize to the audience, “It’s a little embarrassing to speak about me, there are so many people, and maybe some people in the audience who have had losses as severe or worse than mine and didn’t have the incredible support I have. I have such an incredible family and so I feel self-conscious talking about this.”

Biden is also very involved and in tune with his Catholic faith, which has provided him with an “enormous sense of solace” throughout the loss of his family members.

In his interview, Biden showcased a subtle vulnerability to the audience. He showed us that he’s a real person too, and that he cares about other people and their stories.

5. He loves ice cream.

Just take a look at these hilarious tweet that makes Biden all the more lovable.