GOOD

Why Climate Talks Matter in the Age of Terrorism (UPDATED)

A successful climate conference will result in a safer world.

The French president minced no words in the wake of Friday’s attacks: “Terrorism will not destroy the French Republic because it is the Republic that will destroy it.” Image via Instagram user @fhollande.

On November 13, the world watched as terrorists systematically attacked Paris, killing at least 130 people and wounding several hundred more. In the face of unimaginable tragedy, the City of Light knew all too well that it needed to show resolve. President Francois Hollande pulled out of the G20 summit this week in Turkey in order to address his nation, controversially declaring that France was “at war” with ISIS. In a key move, he also stated that the COP21 Paris climate talks would go on as scheduled in just two weeks.


President Obama declared climate change a matter of national security back in May, and there have been rumblings that Friday’s acts of terrorism proved him right. By refusing to postpone the summit, negotiators have sent a powerful message: Climate change is important to the safety of our world and it will not be ignored. The question now is, how are the attacks going to affect the negotiations?

At Monday’s U.N. Security Council meeting, as members observed a moment of silence for the victims of the terrorist attacks in Beirut and Paris. Image via United Nations.

France has long been the seat of revolution, and many observers of the climate talks want it to stay that way. Before the attacks, several side events and at least one large-scale protest and march through the city center had been planned. Doubts arose over the weekend about whether it’s safe to hold such activities, given the guerrilla and random nature of the attacks. The prime minister of France, Manuel Valls, said it’s likely that COP21 will be “reduced to the negotiation” with associated “festive events” called off, and hinted earlier this week that the demonstration would be canceled. This afternoon, the prefecture of police of Paris stated that because of the heightened security situation, the government will not allow the Global Climate March planned in Paris for November 29 and the mobilizations planned for December 12.*

Yet preventing attendees in Paris from joining in with dozens of protests already being planned in cities all over the world does not reflect the spirit of COP21 or the city. Climate Action Network International, Avaaz, and 350.org all announced that they are in talks with French law enforcement authorities to see what can be done to keep people safe, while also allowing them to be heard.

In 2014, the Climate March in Paris stretched for 1.5 km (nearly a mile). Image by Karl Mathiesen via Flickr user Oxfam International (cc).

No matter what happens with the protest, security measures are set to increase around COP21’s Le Bourget venue, though the site was initially selected for security reasons. Presumably, the heightened tension will shift the attention of 40,000 delegates and hundreds of heads of state to matters of safekeeping and global conflict. It shouldn’t, however, because the distinction is a false one. Reducing our carbon emissions will reduce our dependence on a product too often linked to acts of cruelty. According to the Financial Times, Oil is the black gold that funds ISIS’s black flag.” The Islamic State is said to rely on donations from a variety of wealthy sources who have cornered the market on the fossil fuel every country at COP21 needs—earning up to $1.5 million a day from their territories’ production of crude oil.

As monuments like the Freedom Tower in New York and the Chhatrapati Shivaji Terminus in Mumbai—where eerily similar attacks took place in 2008—lit up in the colors of the French flag over the weekend, the world was reminded that the countries at COP21 don’t operate in bubbles, and the environment isn’t a stand-alone issue. Climate change is approaching an urgent and catastrophic tipping point, and already threatens our supplies of food, water, shelter, and energy. Global warming is inseparable from public health, national security, economic development, and financial equality—in short, things the Islamic State aims to destroy.

Christiana Figueres, head of the the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has been clear about why it’s important for all of us, not only the dignitaries set to attend the talks in Paris, to go on as planned with COP21—because a successful climate conference will result in a safer world.

Via Twitter user @CFigueres.

*This line has been updated to reflect the news about the demonstration.

Articles
via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

If you are totally ready to move on from Donald Trump, you're not alone. According to a report last April from the Wason Center National Survey of 2020 Voters, "President Trump will be the least popular president to run for reelection in the history of polling."

Yes, you read that right, "history of polling."

Keep Reading Show less
Politics
via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

RELATED: Joe Namath Says Colin Kaepernick And Eric Reid Should Be Playing In The NFL

"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

RELATED: Video of an Oakland train employee saving a man's life is so insane, it looks like CGI

Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.

Culture

In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

Keep Reading Show less

Between Alexa, Siri, and Google, artificial intelligence is quickly changing us and the way we live. We no longer have to get up to turn on the lights or set the thermostat, we can find the fastest route to work with a click, and, most importantly, tag our friends in pictures. But interacting with the world isn't the only thing AI is making easier – now we can use it save the world, too.

Keep Reading Show less
Good News