In the last few days, storms of world leaders, organizations, and activists gathered in Glasgow's misty weather to figure out the billion-dollar question: how are we going to save this planet? *SPOILER ALERT*: so far, they don't seem to have their act together.
In this newsletter learn about the struggle for our future undergoing at COP26, check out why U.S. Officials are concerned about China's new missile capabilities, and see what's happening in the already forgotten Afghanistan.
LAUNCHING HYPERSONIC MISSILE, SEIZING TAIWAN… IS CHINA'S COMMUNIST REGIME A GLOBAL THREAT?
If you believe in democracy and individual rights, the short answer is yes. In just a few months, the People's Republic of China has wholly crushed any hope for freedom in Hong Kong, although an international agreement with the United Kingdom stated that until 2047 the territory would have continued to be self-ruled. It clamped down on Australia when the country demanded an investigation into the origin of COVID-19. It threatened to seize Taiwan and sent 150 warplanes over the island, a 24-million enclave that separated from the mainland in 1949 but that China sees as a breakaway province. Lastly, a few weeks back, China tested a hypersonic, nuclear-capable rocket able to escape defense systems that took by surprise U.S. officials.
Are Chinese people to blame? Surely not, as the propaganda and complete lack of information and freedoms do not allow the vast majority of citizens to have any say in the country's direction. Is the Chinese government an enemy state for those believing in liberal democracy? I feel compelled to say yes, and not only for the long list presented before that one could read as "typical superpower behavior," but because of the vastly documented concentration camps detaining more than a million Uyghurs, a Muslim minority.
As we can all agree that in the 1930s, it was wrong and immoral to engage in any way with Nazi Germany because of its crimes against humanity, today's China deserves the same judgment.
- Ways to contribute: share Colombe's protest speech on this, join Atlas Democracy team, donate to this Uyghurs charity
- Interesting sources: BBC deep-dive on China & Taiwan divide, the full transcript of Xi's speech for the 100 years of the CCP
SHOULD YOU STOP PRETENDING YOU CARE ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE AND CONFRONT THE TRUTH?
While many might think that COP26 (and the climate crisis overall) is just another political annoyance in today's public discourse or something to keep in the back of your head, I suggest you start changing your view. A recent report analyzed more than 40 sectors of society, from construction to meat consumption and energy production, and found that in none of them, humankind is taking the necessary steps to avoid raising global temperatures above 1.5°. This means that continuing on this track will surely bring upon us and the next generations more and more devastating climate events, such as droughts, heatwaves, floods, torrential rains, etc.
The good news is that we are in time to avert all of this - or at least the worse consequences of climate change. The so-and-so news is that governments are not doing enough to change course. The bad news is that it largely depends on people like you and me to push our leaders to do so, and clearly, we are failing.
Hence, here is the pun: start worrying about climate change. Worry about it as you worry about other disasters/tragedies/urgent issues. Remember how you felt when you saw bodies floating in the Mediterranean, the attack at Kabul airport, or Texan officers whipping migrants at the U.S. border: the rage, the urge for action, the cry to demand better from your leaders. Now you need to do the same and ask for more and more green policies, or in 20 years, your kids (or similar) will wonder why we did not try harder.
- Ways to contribute: share this post about fossil fuels, sign this campaign to ban subsidies to this dirty industry, check out thisGreenpeace initiative
- Interesting sources: BBC on nations lobbying a critical climate report, Alexandria Villasenor's thread on COP26 lack of inclusivity
I am always surprised by how attention fades too fast. Two months ago, NATO's pullout from Afghanistan was literally the only thing politics and society were concerned about; today, only a few NGOs are still reporting on the situation. In the meantime, the Taliban barred girls from going to school. The opposition is fading away. Hospitals are getting bombed. Countries and international organizations are shamefully leaving female colleagues out of any negotiations with the government.
Bottom line: huge failure and complete laissez-faire from western powers. The best hope we have for the Taliban regime to change course is A) not recognizing the government on the international stage and B) linking any trade/diplomatic opening/support of all kinds to the advancement of human (and especially womenìs) rights in the country. It's a dim hope, though.
- Ways to contribute: sign this petition to ask NATO to protect women's rights activists, share this report on the lack of female representation at negotiations
- Interesting sources: Heather Barr's tweets
THE EQUITIST CORNER
We do what we do, and we say what we say because we fundamentally believe in the idea that to maximize peoples' well-being, society must ensure equitable rights and opportunities for all. That's why we are called Equitists. More about our philosophy here.
In our quest to create an equitable society, we produce this daily newsletter, soon a weekly podcast, and every month together with our 20,000+ members we launch campaigns to turn words into action. Do you want to support us or be part of this quest?
The world will not be changed by those who smile and carry on but by those standing tall and acting in the face of adversities. For Equity.
Andrea Venzon (he/him)
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