Daily Archives: April 10, 2019

How Climate Change Is Fuelling the U.S. Border Crisis | The New Yorker

In the western highlands of Guatemala, the question is no longer whether someone will leave but when.

By Jonathan Blitzer Photography by Mauricio Lima April 3, 2019

This is the first piece in a series on the forces driving migration from Guatemala. You can read the other installments here and here.

In the center of Climentoro, in the western highlands of Guatemala, a dozen large white houses rise above the village’s traditional wooden huts like giant monuments. The structures are made of concrete and fashioned with archways, colonnaded porches, and elaborate moldings. “Most of them are empty,” Feliciano Pérez, a local farmer, told me. Their owners, who live in the U.S., had sent money home to build American-inspired houses for when they returned, but they never did. Pérez gestured to a three-story house topped with a faux-brick chimney. “No one lives there,” he said. The family of twelve had migrated a few years ago, leaving the vacant construction behind. “Vecinos fantasmas,” Pérez called them—ghost neighbors.

Pérez, who is thirty-five, is short and lean, with dark, weathered skin and metal caps on his front teeth. He wore a baseball cap mottled in camouflage and emblazoned with the words “Proud Marine Dad.” “It was about six years ago that things started to change,” he said. Climentoro had always been poor. Residents depended on the few crops that could survive at an elevation of more than nine thousand feet, harvesting maize to feed their families and selling potatoes for a small profit. But, Pérez said, the changing climate was wiping out the region’s crops. “In the higher part of town, there have been more frosts than there used to be, and they kill an entire harvest in one fell swoop,” he said. “In the lower part of Climentoro, there’s been much less rain and new sorts of pests.” He added, “Farmers have been abandoning their land.”

…(read more).

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Climate Change Is Forcing Farmers In Guatemala To Leave Their Land For The U.S. : NPR

 

April 10, 20194:46 PM ET Heard on All Things Considered

NPR’s Ari Shapiro talks with Jonathan Blitzer of The New Yorker about how climate change is forcing farmers in Guatemala to leave their land and attempt to make it to the United States.

See:

 

The Shady Business of Private Prisons

Reports: Trump Defunds Obama-Era Conservation Program

Apr 09, 2019

In his latest attack on the environment, President Trump has reportedly slashed funding for an Obama-era conservation program that tackles issues such as climate change, flooding and species extinction. Scientists who work for the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, or LCCs, told The Guardian that over half of the 22 groups that form the conservation collective have been dissolved or put on indefinite hiatus—this despite Congress approving renewed funding for Landscape Conservation Cooperatives. One source told The Guardian, “I’d say there could be five to six years [of work] down the drain.”

Trump Exec. Orders Aim to Facilitate Approval on Pipeline Projects + Spring Temperatures in Alaska 20 Degrees Above Normal

Apr 10, 2019

President Trump is expected to sign two executive orders today to facilitate the approval of pipeline projects at a federal level, limiting states’ ability to regulate such projects. The move is intended in part to clear the way for permitting on the northeastern Constitution pipeline, which has stalled after New York invoked the Clean Water Act to reject the project on environmental grounds. 350.org Executive Director May Boeve said in a statement, “This is a massive abuse of power that does nothing other than line the pockets of Trump’s fossil fuel billionaire friends, all at the expense of our democracy and our safety. Trump can try to rewrite regulations in favor of Big Oil, but he can’t stop people power and our movement.”

Apr 10, 2019

In more environmental news, average temperatures across Alaska this spring are 20 degrees higher than normal, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Multiple scientific reports have found that climate change is warming the Arctic at roughly twice the speed as other regions.

Academic Freedom at Risk After Decades of Right-Wing Attacks and Cuts to Education

Democracy Now!

Published on Apr 10, 2019

As higher education faces an increasingly dire crisis of underfunding, we look at one of the consequences of this crisis: the growing threat to academic freedom. Academic and author Henry Reichman takes on this threat in a new book, out this week, titled “The Future of Academic Freedom.” In it, he writes, “Academic capitalism—or, as many term it, ’corporatization’—has greatly impacted academic work and the ability of the faculty to unite in defense of professional norms, including academic freedom.” Academic capitalism is just one of a number of topics Reichman tackles in the book, which starts by asking what academic freedom is, and expands to look at the loss of public funding for institutions of higher education and the harassment of faculty members for political speech.

2018 UA Conversation on Campus Free Speech

collegeofsbs

Published on Sep 13, 2018
On Sept. 5, 2018, the University of Arizona College of Social and Behavioral Sciences presented “The Haury Conversation on Campus Free Speech.”

The panel discussed the boundaries of free speech on campus, where there is often a tension between adhering to the legal guidelines of free speech and promoting a non-hostile learning environment.

The panelists included some of the most prominent voices in the country on the topic of free speech: Sigal Ben-Porath, author of “Free Speech on Campus”; Noam Chomsky, an outspoken advocate for free speech; and Nadine Strossen, lawyer and former president of the American Civil Liberties Union. The panel was moderated by famed First Amendment attorney, Bob Corn-Revere. Trevor Timm, the co-founder and executive director of the Freedom of the Press Foundation, also spoke.