Could Climate Change Fuel the Rise of Right-Wing Nationalism?

Could Climate Change Fuel the Rise of Right-Wing Nationalism?

By Joshua Conrad Jackson, Doctoral Student, Department of Psychology and Neuroscience, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Michele Gelfand, Distinguished University Professor, Department of Psychology, University of Maryland. First published on The Conversation.

Two trends have defined the past decade and both have been on display at this year’s session of the United Nations General Assembly.

One has been the escalating effects of climate change, which were the focus of the United Nations’ Climate Action SummitForest firesfloods and hurricanes are all rising in their frequency and severity. Eight of the last 10 years have been the warmest on record. Marine biologists warned that coral reefs in the U.S. could disappear entirely by the 2040s.

The other trend has been the surge of right-wing nationalist politics across Western nations, which includes Donald Trump’s election in the U.S., and the rise of nationalist political parties around the world.

Indeed, the first four speeches of the United Nations general debate were given by Brazilian right-wing populist Jair Bolsonaro, Trump, Egyptian dictator Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and far-right Turkish President Recep Erdogan.

Can GirlForward's Superior Program Structure For Refugee Girls Be Applied To American Girls?

Austin Girl Forward for refugee girls.jpg

Can GirlForward's Superior Program Structure For Refugee Girls Be Applied To American Girls?

The Austin, Texas branch of Girl Forward, a nonprofit founded in Chicago in 2011, is run exclusively by millennial women for high-school age refugee girls. Politico profiled the group in November 2018, landing in Austin. because Texas is second only to California in its refugee population.

GirlForward is predicated on the notion that refugee girls face particular hardships due not only to the tumultuous circumstances of their upbringing and relocation but also their gender. “Oftentimes, our girls haven’t been able to pursue education in the same way their brothers have,” Shannon Elder, 24, GirlForward’s Austin development manager, observes. “In countries of conflict, girls’ access to education can be much more limited than it is for boys,” said Arielle Levin, who runs the mentorship program. GirlForward recruits refugees through Austin nonprofits, schools, and word of mouth. It tries specifically to recruit the oldest daughter in a family, reasoning that they are usually shouldered with the heaviest burdens. “A lot of my family don’t speak English,” said Storai Rana, an 18-year-old refugee from Afghanistan, “so there was so many responsibilities of things I had to do. Like I had go to the bank, to the market,” she said.

Girl Forward attempts to help its girls lead lead full and rich lives, moving behind tangible tools like opening a checking account or learning how to use the local library.

Fatima Mirzakhail, an 18-year-old refugee, told Politico’s Ethan Epstein that her initial optimism on arriving in America and leaving her war-torn country of Afghanistan soon evaporated. “In Afghanistan I felt like I was in a box, and I couldn’t fly anywhere.” Fatima explained. Her expectations that life in America would be so different soon evaporated. Before becoming part of Girl Forward, “I was crying all the time, hating myself,” she said.  Now Fatima is blossoming “planning on attending a local community college next year before transferring to UT. “

Pregnant Russians Flock To Trump's Russian Enclave In Florida To Birth US Citizens, Says Daily Beast


How interesting that as Trump rails against babies born as US citizens of undocumented immigrants, his Florida properties owned as condos, rent apartments to pregnant Russian families wanting to give birth in the US. 

The Trump Organization doesn't directly profit from the subleases but the nearby Trump International Beach Resort plays constant host to these pregnant Russian families and their friends, writes The Daily Beast

Many of the companies that cater to Russian birth tourists advertise their services openly and warn no one will get in trouble as long as they don’t lie on immigration paperwork.

Once again, Trump seems to say "do as I say, not as I do."

London's Evening Standard drills down even further on Russians being born as US citizens by renting condos at The Trump International Beach Resort. 

Updated Encouraging News :Nominated For Nobel Peace Prize, Syria's White Helmets MAY Arrive For Oscars

"They are not yet on US soil, and we await their arrival with tense anticipation," said the filmmakers of Raed Saleh and Khaled Khateeb. "In these uncertain times, their story is one of the most moving of our generation. We stand ready to welcome them."

On Wednesday, the outlook was grim that the key figures in the Netflix film 'The White Helmets' would obtain the necessary paperwork to gain US visas in time for the Oscars. In 48 hours since Hollywood Reporter and websites far and wide rallied around the issue, the situation has improved dramatically. 

“We are eagerly looking forward to coming to the Oscars," said Saleh in a statement. "It will give us an important platform for the voices of Syrian children and women trapped under the rubble as a result of the airstrikes and artillery shelling, and for the voices of thousands of displaced Syrians who have been forced from their homes.”

“It is so important that people see the film. It is important that people understand that Syria has people who want the same things they want: peace, jobs, family and to live without the fear of bombs," added Khateeb. "If we win this award, it will show people across Syria that people around the world support them. It will give courage to every volunteer who wakes up every morning to run towards bombs."

Previously Wed. Feb. 15, 2017: There is deep concern in Hollywood that key international talents will not be present for the Academy Awards due to President Trump's executive order banning Syrians and others from seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. 

Director Orlando von Einsiedel and producer Joanna Natasegara's  Netflix film 'The White Helmets' is nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary Short. But it appears that the real heroes of the documentary will not be present at the Oscars. 

Every day in Syria, a group of ordinary, unarmed civilian volunteers known as the White Helmets risk their lives to help rescue men, women, and children injured by the incessant air raids destroying the country. Nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2016, the apolitical White Helmets are credited with saving more than 75,000 people since 2012. 

Now it appears unlikely that Raed Saleh, the leader of the White Helmets, and Khaled Khateeb, the photographer who filmed all of the documentary's footage inside Aleppo, will get the necessary travel documents to attend the Oscars. Vogue interviews Einsiedel and Natasegara about their relationship with the White Helmets, and why we must watch their documentary in today's political climate. 

New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Next Act

New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Next Act

New York Magazine profiles Michael Bloomberg in-depth, as the New York major prepares for a new life out of political office. The centrist operating in a world where moderates almost have no place is determined that in his new role, money and expertise will constitute a “truly massive influence”.

Chicago mayor Rob Emmanuel — who is himself the beneficiary of a Bloomberg-financed swat team dedicated to streamlining city government bureaucracies — says of the mayor who knows best “He has passions on gun control, immigration, and climate change.”

We learn that Bloomberg was quietly offered a job as head of the World Bank, as Robert Zoellick prepared to step down.  In March, a journalist asked the mayor:

“How likely is it that you’d buy the New York Times?”

“It’s not for sale,” Bloomberg shot back. “And why would I want to buy the Times?”