Last week, planet earth reached a landmark! CO2 emissions exceeded 400 parts per million. So why aren’t scientists celebrating? Well, this is nothing to celebrate. Al Gore expressed a common sentiment among global warming sympathizers, tweeting that the event was “a sad milestone.” Action must be taken to reduce carbon emissions and the burning of fossil fuels.
The Mauna Loa Observatory in Hawaii has been monitoring CO2 emissions since 1958. On Thursday, May 10th, it released a report that stated a new, unprecedented level of CO2 had been recorded in the atmosphere. Carbon Dioxide is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in our atmosphere and has been linked to rising temperatures, ice melting and sea level rising.
I decided I will start off this gushy, loving article on Mother's Day with a depressing statistic (sorry): around the world, every two minutes a woman dies from preventable causes related to pregnancy. The real kicker? These deaths are 100% preventable.
There are several factors that play into this astonishing statistic. In some parts of the world, maternal health simply is not a priority. In Save the Children's mother index, you can see which countries are the best and worst places to be a mother. Can you guess how the United States ranks? The US came in 30th. 30th place. Wow.
The report explains that several factors are at play when it comes to a mother's health, including economic status, education level, and women's political status (to name a few). The Democratic Republic of Congo came in last place - the worst place to be a mother. Cultural practices play a role as well. For example, women who have undergone female genital mutilation (FGM) are twice as likely to die during childbirth and are more likely to give birth to a stillborn child than other women.
In the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings, Fox News guest commentator, Erik Rush, tweeted "Yes, they're evil. Let's kill them all," to his nearly 40,000 twitter followers. Rush was talking about Muslims, who he had immediately blamed for the bombing.
The shocking and unacceptable nature of his words, however, has much deeper consequences. In the United States, free speech is valued -- after all, it is the first right guaranteed under our constitution. Yet what Rush tweeted is not protected as free speech because it insights violence. If one just ignores his words or dismisses them as being intentionally controversial -- they run the risk of encouraging and promoting hateful ideology and perpetuating the cycle of violence in humanity.
Encouraging others to "kill" an entire certain group -- whether a religious, racial, or ethnic group -- is polarizing and dangerous. Rush might explain the scandal away by saying he was only being sarcastic, but hate speech isn't something that we should ignore or just explain away.
Rush has a global platform that most do not -- he is invited to speak on Fox News as an unpaid commentator. His hate inducing words are completely unacceptable. Fox News should drop Erik Rush from their program, or else they will be endorsing his hateful ideology. It's time to take a deep breath and stop the cycle of violence.
On January 21, 2013 we lost Harlan Smith, educator, world citizen, peace activist, friend and leader. Harlan Smith's legacy will continue to impact thousands of young people and instill in them the desire to become the builders of a better world. What more could one ask for?
Let me tell you about this wonderful man. Harlan was born in Johnstown, Pennsylvania in 1914. During his sophomore year in high school he won second place in a peace essay contest sponsored by the Daughters of the American Revolution. In the essay, entitled "Heroes of Peace," Harlan reached the conclusion that a world government would be desirable to bring peace to the world. It set him on a trajectory that would guide him for the rest of his life.
While attending the University of Chicago, Smith joined the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a religious pacifist group formed initially by pastors from both sides during World War I and took the Oxford Oath not to participate in war.
After Pearl Harbor he secured a position with the Bureau of Labor Statistics Postwar Division in order to finance an anticipated stay in a conscientious objector camp during the war. He obtained conscientious objector status in 1943 and entered a conscientious objector camp run by the American Friends Service Committee in Big Flats, New York.
2012 was the hottest year ever in the United States recorded since 1895. Global sea level rose approximately seventeen centimeters within the last century and we have experienced twenty of the warmest years since 1981. But that is not the only problem we are currently facing...
The United Nations made a report on the relationship between climate change and women's equality, stating that "women are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change than men -- primarily as they constitute the majority of the world's poor and more dependent for their livelihood on natural resources that are threatened by climate change."
Women make up 45-80% of all food producers in developing countries. Climate change has caused a wide array of inconsistent agricultural patterns, making traditional practices to be inadequate. This creates many problems for women, who may solely depend on agriculture for food and income.
It is important to understand the effects of climate change to citizens of developing countries. In places such as Africa and Asia, women and their families are very dependent on agricultural crops and resources. But due to climate change, the likelihood to gather these resources has decreased -- leading to a variety of issues for women and their families.