All posts by swastij789

A UNiversal Deal

 

December 12th 2015 ; a historic landmark was reached in France that is an amalgamation of thousands of delegates and 195 countries efforts to solve the pressing issue of climate change.This unprecedented accord will commit to every country to lower greenhouse gas emissions to avert climate change in every possible way.Hence, this deal was no ordinary one, it was rather “a historic breakthrough on an issue that has foiled decades of international efforts to address climate change.”

Even President Obama praises this deal as a crucial segment of his presidency as he televised from the White House “This agreement sends a powerful signal that the world is fully committed to a low-carbon future.” This powerful statement showed that the UN and the world as a whole has the innate virtuosity to take on a challenge that might lead to some devastating effects. However, this deal alone won’t solve climate change even though it is the world’s last hope before it will succumb to global warming.

The scientists present in France, have analyzed this decision and said “this will cut greenhouse gas emissions by almost one half to reach a certain global temperature.”If this temperature is passed even by a margin it will result in an increase in sea levels,severe droughts and floods,food and water shortages across the globe,and even more devastating storms.

Despite the negative effects of climate change in accordance to the deal, there is an incentive to the world financially.There will be a necessary halt  in investing for coal,oil, and gas for energy sources, but a growth in the use of solar, wind,and nuclear power.This can become a reality depending on how seriously every country will follow through to it, looking back at Copenhagen where a similar consensus was reached and collapsed due to lack of cooperation within certain nations.The primary difference that makes this Paris accord more suitable to this day in age , is the transformation within “domestic policies,and bilateral relations between China, and the U.S, the world’s two largest polluters of greenhouse gas.”

In regard to this relation Xie Zhenhua , a Chinese climate change negotiator says this deal needing some additional improvement is still “fair comprehensive,balanced, highly ambitious,enduring,and effective.” President Obama also had a say on this by enacting the nation’s first climate change policy which will include, stringent regulations for EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) to stymie greenhouse gas pollution emanating from coal-fired power plants.

This does not only concern China ,and the U.S, but rather every countries national plans.These plans will greatly vary in terms of their requirements since there is no standard amount of cutting off greenhouse gases for each one.Hence, these countries will have to reconvene after 5 years to update their policies and plans using a universal account system, resulting in a hybrid legal structure as the crux of the accord.
The Paris accord is the framework for a world with limited greenhouse gas pollution that will depend on the global peer pressure, actions of future governments, and future leaders in upcoming elections. In response to this and the Paris attacks there are doubled efforts to show the nations goodwill towards France. EU commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete couldn’t have culminated the spirit of the conference any better and motivating than by saying “ today we celebrate, tomorrow we have to act that, this is what the world expects of us.”

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“The Social Network”

 

As citizens of a more evolving,digital,and connected world we must consider the technological opportunities that lay ahead for those who do not have them.In a recent issue published by The Economist called “The World in 2016,” there are countless insights on the new changes politically and economically, but also the advancements in science and technology. One in particular was about worldwide internet access. After further researching this topic I discovered that this lofty goal may be achievable after all.

During the dawn of the internet age the web had become an academic tool to satisfy the human brain, however at the internet’s ‘finest hour’ it has become omnipresent benefit to those who can afford it. In regard to this statement, we must acknowledge the 57 % of people in the world that are still ‘unplugged’ from this use of a global communication network (aka: the internet). Hence, four tech giants ; Google, Facebook,SpaceX,and OneWeb are venturing on an unprecedented endeavor to unleash the power of solar energy infused with low-flying satellites to literally change the future of countries without internet.

Recognizing the magnitude of rural areas in developing countries as well as the high density many of these countries are provided with,will make this task all the more impregnable.However to change these poor circumstances, Google has launched a project called Project  Loon . The mission is to have “balloon powered internet for everyone.”But how? The tech behemoth is going to grid the planet with helium balloons almost strewn to each other. These are not your average hot air balloons found at a festival nearby going up a few inches in the air. Each one of them will contain a solar powered transceiver and the balloon itself will act as Wi-Fi access points used as signals to people like you and me hundreds of miles away.Google has established several telecommunications partnerships in order to have a celluar spectrum that is directly connected from your LTE enabled devices, these signals will be sent back down to a ‘global internet’ on planet earth.

Facebook has also taken the challenge to this grandiose global goal and will do so through the use of similar solar powered networks in drones instead of balloons. However these drones can be steered in the air , and will be ready for a large -scale test upcoming in 2016. Working alongside many aerospace and communication experts Facebook will hope to test internet access in the world through this drone in a few months actually.The engineering director, Yael Maguire stated in a recent interview “the plane will operate between 60,000ft (18km) and 90,000ft (27km) – above the altitude of commercial airplanes – so it would not be affected by weather.It will climb to its maximum height during the day, before gliding slowly down to its lowest ebb at night, to conserve power when its solar panels are not receiving charge.”

The two rising companies SpaceX (rocket firm),and OneWeb (satellite company), are aspiring to change the game and use low-flying satellites to provide better service and internet signal in a world already using satellite internet.Through the launch of obviously thousands of satellites respectively for each remote area there will be internet connection provided. However , these ‘satellite missions’ have already been tested and have failed before , but this first occurred when internet was a luxury not a requisite utility. Thus proving that Google and Facebook are once again ahead of the global interconnectivity game.

All in all, the notion of an even more connected world has come to be an unimaginable one. Citizens living in developing nations will truly feel its profound impact daily and more considerably for future generations if companies like Facebook and Google pull off this perplexing yet groundbreaking rendition through the innate virtuosity of technology and science fused into a single most notion of connectivity.

Recap of ‘The Exodus’

Disintegrated clothing, trails of tears, turbulent childhoods- this is an everyday reality for the multiple Syrian refugees witnessing a war fought in front of their humble homes. The solution is escape. According to United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), over 3 million Syrians have fled to Syria’s neighbors Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq. However, the continent of Europe did not fully respond to this ‘exodus’ until the end of September, and many are beginning to question why.

Europe has closed its eyes far too long to the bloody civil war, and tried to keep the suffering of millions of Syrians outside of its iron doors. However, the forces of political and moral conscience suddenly knocked on these doors seeking for a response- a response to the 3-year old Kurd, whose life was claimed by the plight of this crisis. The image of this toddler reached the trenches of our hearts as it acted as a wake-up call to those who take freedom for granted. Nevertheless, Angela Merkel, the German chancellor, displayed her political role during this movement by setting aside a common fear of these migrants and replacing it with compassion and empathy. This was fulfilled when German crowds welcomed the resilient migrants with effervescent cheering and chanting. Hence, Germany, during this moment in history, remains an exemplar of hope and courage.

Although this triumphant moment is heart-warming, it raises serious economic and social problems within Europe. For example, Germans and other European nations will have their culture and traditions violently shaken by these ‘aliens’, and  have burdening economic outcomes, as well as sparks of dissonance within the populaces. However, there is heated debate on whether or not Europe should continue to build more barriers, or manage the pressure and risk of handling these migrants with hope for peace in society.The answer comes with a sense of a new perspective towards the migrants and their hosts.

Throughout history we can see that Syrians have “a well -founded fear of persecution”, and to help them is an evident moral duty Europe and the world must fulfill. Although Europe is enveloped by poverty and chaos across its borders, they must acknowledge the need for workers to pay and provide for the retirement of its citizens. The fundamental solution is the influx of migrants. However, to reach this grandiose goal of economic stability in a socialist society, Europeans need to start with the creation of a safe environment for the migrants. This means protected havens, funded UN agencies, and properly functioning education systems- not just roofs in the desert.

Regardless of the blurring social boundaries, the new dimension of morality Europe is witnessing everyday calls for significant changes in the world as a whole. However, this global reality cannot be achieved without adversity. Although many will say it has been more than a month since this crisis broke out, and the refugees are retreating back, we must not forget their profound suffering, their undeniable spirit, and their unconditional sadness leaving home. Along with the pain that is crushing, exquisite, and infinite, the pain causes them to tremble with fear. I deeply hope that when you look at another post of a Syrian refugee on “Humans of New York”, you will have the temerity to understand how it feels to be born in a different way than you are. One individual, European, African, or American can alter or even save a Syrian refugee’s life. Hence, we must acknowledge that human empathy fused with action can change lives in ways you can never imagine.

The Butterfly Effect

When gazing upon the title we seem to jump to the conclusion that what I am writing about is a complex scientific theory that you probably will never come across. In fact it is the exact opposite, it is a simple metaphor used in everyday life. This prevalent term essentially means a small change in one state of a determined system that can result in larger differences in a later state, or in other words an obvious challenge to what is predicted. Now think about a place where you face challenges almost everyday that confront your predictions? Well considering the time and place today we see that it is 1 day until the start of school. Yes, school. There are some beliefs, attitudes,and realizations that can be altered to welcome the challenges that have been countering your predictions for the past years. The widely used poem ” Dream Big” ends off by saying  “The start of something new brings the hope of something great.” This exultant quote goes hand in hand with how to immerse yourself with the aforementioned ideals.

A belief that must be grounded within yourself to start of the year right, is really the belief in yourself, this way your life can be a whole lot broader. You must acknowledge and internalize the fact that everything around you was produced by people that are no smarter than you. Most importantly you should assimilate this belief in everyday life , so that you as a person can change it , can influence it ,can envision something greater. As Steve Jobs boldly said “You need to shake off this erroneous notion that life is just there, and you’re just gonna live in it, versus embrace it. Change it, improve it. Make your mark upon it. And once you learn that, you’ll never be the same again.” In order to do so you have to look for the best in others, and also give the best you have by believing that you can.

An attitude that you can change is your perspective towards possessions or awards. For so many it is always about the prize that gives them satisfaction rather than the journey to achieve it. For so many it is the prize that gives purpose, not the renewed sense of purpose when learning. This normal attitude of desiring possessions can be refined to suit your reasoning behind it. For example, rather than being satisfied with the metallic award in your hand there can be a greater pleasure. The experience that lead to that achievement is the reason behind the award. The reason behind the experience however is truly greater; it is the joy in challenge, improvement upon each and every practice, and the satisfaction of learning. The ultimate truth is that your achievements are beautiful when knowing why you are doing so.

Lastly, the realization of your own meaning of success. You must realize that you have to forge your own path in the beginning.So really the only way u know how to do something new at the beginning is your own way.This means at the start you are going to be oblivious to your limitations , this may be seen as confidence among others. However, try not to be successful because of others, you must own your own meaning of success not have it determined by others.

If you learn to believe in yourself, change your desires for the purpose behind them , and realize that you’re the proud owner of the meaning behind your success, these small changes in your everyday life will result in greater differences. So  I encourage you to go make your future happen, because “the start of something new will bring the hope of something great.”

Happy Birthday Barack Obama!

This transforming Tuesday, we get to look at an aging president as well as what the future holds for the democratic party in the upcoming election. When looking back at how the 44th president looked at first compared to what the stress of everyday life has transformed him to the man he is today, we can see his age having more of an impact.However his birthday did not come with no celebrations this year. Last year, Obama marked his birthday with meetings and the first-ever U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit. But this year he started the celebrations early. “On Saturday he took his friends out golfing at Andrews Air Force and then went to Camp David in Maryland, where he’s also partied in previous years.” Also, we have to appreciate that in these past few years, there have been striking changes regarding White House advisory, Health Care Reform, gun policy, internet policies, as well as foreign policy in the war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and recently Iran. Although these changes and events have been a part of his terms, one can never forget the June of 2015 when the SCOTUS decision on same sex marriage. Now we can see the reward in celebrating today from the beginning of the election of 2008 ; now seeming a distant memory to August 4th 2015 – 461 days until his term comes to an end. In terms of looking forward to the 2016 election, there is some controversy about the vice president – Joe Biden running for the election as a presidential nomination. However, we must accept the fact after numerous interviews, countless lectures, and a multitude of campaigns strategies that the democrats seem pretty ready for Hillary Clinton. This can seem to be proven almost as a fact because “Many members of the Obama administration have gone to work for Clinton, including some close to Biden.” As for the Republican party there is the top choice leading a fractured team of other candidates- Donald Trump. Slightly behind him are Jeb Bush and Scott Walker. Something to look forward to amid all these runners is the debate on August 6th Fox News debate which will only invite the top 10 candidates based on recent national polls. While watching this heated debate, we must appreciate and recognize the new storm of changes in events coming, and reminisce on the cyclone of events that have occurred in these past few years.

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” -President Obama

Manguel’s Memoir of The Written Word

Curiosity. A nine letter word that may mean, a “strong hearted desire to know or learn something.” However, to Alberto Manguel,it is a word that enthralls him like no other, it gave him an effervescent sentiment that caused him to write a book on this matter itself. You might be ‘curious’ to know what the title was, but Manguel’s quirky mind pivoted towards a more simple approach.

Curiosity, yes that is what Manguel’s latest, all-encompassing book is entitled. This so called collection of “The cabinets of Curiosity,” sees the glory in every possibility, the very exhilarating adventures of fantasy , and the majestic wisdom of the mystical past, along with a twist of modernity.This influential yet common philosophical work might as well,transcend time itself. How so? According to Manguel, he finds the answers of life’s most greatest questions embedded inside the obscure glasses of history and time. He lucidly does so, by paying his homage to Dante Alighieri ,an Italian poet in the middle ages, also widely known as “The Father of the Italian Language.” His “Divine Comedy” is known to be a timeless masterpiece in literature, as it is read worldwide. Alberto Manguel does in an exquisite manner,pay his homage to the maestro of the written word ; Dante.

Despite, his obvious fantasized “Encounters with the dead in hell as their abode, and the purgatory in heaven, from the Divine Comedy,” he recites the immortal language defined by the greatest books of the world : Homer, Plato, Hebrew Talmud, Christian Gospels, Sanskrit Vedas. Upon, hearing the resonating names of these widely renowned books, one might ask if Manguel actually found the answers? Manguel, would say in response ,that questions like “What are we doing here,” “What is reason,” are the questions that scientists have been devoting a lifetime in answering. and Manguel who is 67 has prompted insights on the themes prevalent in these historical texts.However, he has done so, in a captivating way, that has reached back to more than 7 centuries of philosophical works, that he can grasp most of them (the authors) by his impregnable hand.

I have purposely, not meant to specifically tell what this provocative book is about, and the various passages that sparkle amongst the rest. But, I will leave off by telling some of the spellbinding notions, and events that altered the course of time, and hazed history,in an almost perplexing manner.These include illness, climate change, cultural frontiers, the horrifying nightmares of Auschwitz, Hiroshima,and Nagasaki, and of course, death.These may be, merely phrases that have nonetheless affected your life, but it is vital to understand its direct correlation in the mysterious realm of history.These events, and phrases , are philosophical gifts that Manguel is willing to question, but not promise any answers to.

“Then why should I read it?” Curiosity, conjures life’s greatest questions, it provides meaning to the meaningless, it is true guidance in a world embroidered with confusion. Alberto Manguel creates a multiverse in his very own book. I truly hope that this riveting read becomes assimilated into the readers world .

The Road Ahead for the Newly Elected Nigerian President

On, March 31st , an unprecedented feat occurred amid all the chaos that the populace of Nigeria was undergoing. It was the very first time, that an opposing party had defeated the current incumbent party in the democratic elections. The candidate who took four tries to win the presidency was a man named Muhammadu Buhari. Nigeria also held one of the most tumultuous campaign seasons, for this particular one had been extended by six weeks. This was mainly due to personal attacks as well as cross-party discrepancies. However, the result ended with Buhari winning by about 2.1 million more votes than his adversary Goodluck Jonathan.

Though the tight vote had sparked bitter dissonance between the two candidates and their supporters, the ultimate message that they both wanted to send to their hopeful citizens was to accept the outcomes of this fateful election. Goodluck Johnathan even said after the loss,”Nobody’s ambition is worth the blood of any Nigerian.”

Even though Buhari had evidently won the election, it was done through a great expense.This was something that was a pivotal phase in his career, and inflicted great wounds in terms of corruption , and his people. In 1985, Buhari was the military head of his northern state, and was overthrown in a violent coup that was lead by General Ibrahim Babangida, as well as a host of members of the Supreme Military Council (SMC). His detention lasted until 1988 in Benin city.

As a rejuvenated democrat, he pursued the presidency continuously in every election starting from 2003. This 72 year old man was, and still is campaigning to establish zero tolerance policies for corruption, and plans to decimate a supposedly volatile group of Boko Haram Islamists. This eminent group in the northern regions of Nigeria had killed and kidnapped thousands of citizens.

A clear-cut advantage that Buhari holds is that he has tremendous military experiences. Hence, he can fight the renegades of civil society. However, to confront the stagnant economic growth he said will be a much more strenuous task at hand. The plummeting oil prices,stimulated such growth , as well as the record lows that the Naira (Nigerian currency) had slumped to. The more impregnable problem that is most likely approaching, is the desire for the countries share of wealth in oil. Nevertheless, there is still a resolute belief in the nation’s democracy, as well as political maturity, which Buhari had evidenced in his victory speech on April 1st.

Mohammadu Buhari has undeniable faith in his people, and sees glory in every possibility despite his challenge of managing expectations. Nigeria is a country that is stricken with shock and overwhelming hope that a new leader has finally emerged to solve the conceivable issues facing this country’s pastors.