By Maddy Art
Some Like it Hot
By Rose Gotlieb
This month, leaders from almost 200 countries are convening in Paris to attempt to slow global warming.
Back up. Did you just say Paris? Yes, I did. Despite the attacks in Paris on November 13, they are still going ahead with their initial plan… along with tons of extra security.
Has this ever been tried before? Actually, it has. In the 1990’s, nearly 200 countries agreed to a climate deal called the Kyoto protocol. But the U.S. didn’t like that it didn’t include developing countries like China, and was worried about the economy, so ended up not agreeing. Because the U.S. is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, the whole plan sort of fell through.
What changed? There’s been a debate for a while now: Is global warming real? And now, the U.S. seems to be saying “yes”. (Well, not everyone. *cough* Donald Trump *cough*). President Obama made climate change a big part of his campaign, and met with some of the leaders of the other biggest polluting countries in ‘09. They agreed to cut their pollution, but didn’t sign anything. So, that fell through the floor too.
So what’s happening in Paris? Luckily, everyone seems to be agreeing: the climate deal needs to happen. Leaders from all over have gathered - including Obama, Indian PM Narendra Modi, and Chinese president Xi Jinping. The main problem? Money. Developing countries don’t think they should have to help pay for the deal, considering the already developed countries polluted as much as they wanted when they were getting started. Developed countries are going to give some cash, too, though.
What are people saying? The Democratic presidential candidates are saying, “Yeah, I back that.” Some Republican candidates think that climate change is real; some don’t think humans are causing it; others, (*cough* Donald Trump *cough*) don’t believe in it at all. Pope Francis says “Amen”; he believes that humans are causing global warming.
A Stab in the Back
By Owen Tucker-Smith
On November 24th, Russian President Putin reported that Turkey had given Russia “a stab in the back.” Putin was referring to a Russian warplane that had been shot down by Turkey somewhere around the Syrian and Turkish border. With the Syrian Civil War going on and the recent Paris attacks, this was a continuation of some not-so-new tension between Russia and Turkey.
What happened? Why did Turkey shoot down the plane?1 Good question. Of the two pilots, one of them was killed, we don’t know what happened to the other, and a marine died trying to save the pilots. Why was the plane shot down? According to Turkey, the Russian plane was currently in their airspace. In addition, Turkey had given the plane ten warnings and the pilots had not listened. Seems pretty straightforward, right? Not so much. The problem is, Russia claims that the plane never actually crossed the border after all. Putin claimed that “[the plane] was flying 1 kilometer away from the Turkish border when it was attacked. In any case, neither our pilots nor our jet posed any threat to Turkey.” According to Putin, the airplane was heading to Northern Latakia to fight against ISIS. As you can see below, where the plane actually was flying is very complicated, but Turkey’s claimed path passes through Turkey and Russia’s claimed path does not.
What’s This Tension? What About Paris? For the past four years, the Syrian Civil War has been happening. ISIS seems to enjoy war struck places, as they are doing very well in Syria. Where do Turkey and Russia come into all this? Well, they’re on opposite sides of the war. Turkey is on the side of the rebels, and Russia is on the side of President Assad. So Turkey and Russia aren't so friendly these days. And here’s where Paris comes in. After the attacks, many of these countries have been trying to unite and go against ISIS. A “stab on the back” like this doesn’t really help countries unite. And Turkey doesn’t actually think that the plane was headed for ISIS, but a rebel group that Turkey’s friends with. Seems tense, huh? It is.
In a glance? After Turkey shot down the Russian plane, things got even worse between them than they were before. As for the US, President Obama claims that Turkey had the right to protect its airspace. This is also the first time a NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) has shot down a Russian plane in half a century, Perfect timing.
Reference 1: Melvin, Don, Michael Martinez, and Zeynep Bilginsoy. "Putin Calls Jet's Downing 'Stab in the Back'" CNN. N.p., 24 Nov. 2015. Web. 3 Dec. 2015.
An Update in the Polls
We haven’t really talked a lot about the elections a lot lately, with all this international stuff going on... But here are the current polls: (Source: HuffPost Pollster)
REPUBLICAN (top ten)
- Donald Trump 34.4%
- Marco Rubio 14.6%
- Ben Carson 13.9%
- Ted Cruz 13.4%
- Jeb Bush 5.5%
- Carly Fiorina 3.0%
- Chris Christie 2.9%
- John Kasich 2.9%
- Rand Paul 2.6%
- Mike Huckabee 1.8
- Hillary Clinton 58.3%
- Bernie Sanders 31.3%
- Martin O'Malley 3.6%