What We're Reading

"What a Trump America Can Learn from a Berlusconi Italy" New York Times

"The Black Swan President" Politico Magazine

"Teaching 1984 in 2016" The Atlantic

"Zadie Smith on the Politics of Fiction" The Atlantic

"Out Of The Gate And Into The Fire" Hoover Institution


@jpianyu

As the World Heats, McKibben Weeps

As the World Heats, McKibben Weeps

Photo: Hongkiat

Photo: Hongkiat

We are a generation of record-breakers and trendsetters. In its press release last week, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) confirmed that 2014 was the hottest year in history. According to WMO Secretary-General Michel Jarraud, fourteen of the fifteen hottest years have all been in this century.

“We expect global warming to continue, given that rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere and the increasing heat content of the oceans are committing us to a warmer future,” said Jarraud. “ In 2014, record-breaking heat combined with torrential rainfall and floods in many countries and drought in some others consistent with scientist’s expectations of the effects of a changing climate.”

We have entered into age in which humans are dominating nature unlike ever before. The word nature itself originates from the Latin word natura, which in essence, means birth. Phrases like, “the birth of all life” and “Mother Nature,” which echo the original use of the term, no longer make sense. Natural phenomena like temperature and rain have now lost their mystery and fantasy – over the past several centuries, mankind has established themselves as the drivers of these things. Not only this, but humanity has more established themselves as Mother Nature than nature itself.

In his 1989 book, The End of Nature, Bill McKibben mourns the loss of nature’s independence as a separate force detached from human influence. He depicts a scene in which the sound of a chainsaw spoils the serenity and pureness of the remote forest he inhabits. He writes, “The sound of the chain saw does not blot out all the sound of the forest or drive all the animals away, but does drive away the feeling that you are in another, separate, timeless, wild sphere.” Although, McKibben may not be saying that nature is ending, he is saying that our conception of it is. With record-breaking heat and the onset of other human induced changes to our climate, the notion of us living in a world beyond us sadly seems to be fading away. 

- Konstantine Tettonis

Keystone: Can we move on?

Keystone: Can we move on?

Foreign Media in Rival Nations Capitalize on Brown and Garner Fallout

Foreign Media in Rival Nations Capitalize on Brown and Garner Fallout