Photo by Felipe Wernicke
By Isana Raja
The Amazon rainforest, home to over 3 million plant and animal species and over 120 Indigenous groups, has been and continues to be under threat. Deforestation by means of illegal logging, mining, and land clearance fires have surged at a rate of 55% since 2019. Not only do these practices endanger thousands of species and put Indigenous communities at risk, but they are also one of the greatest contributors to climate change. Much of these rapid changes to the world’s largest rainforest lies within the hands of Brazil’s government.
Continue reading “Rainforest in Ruin: Bolsonaro and the Amazon”
Photo by Chris LeBoutillier from Pexels
By Shawn Rostker
The Russian Federation has a history of using energy policy as a coercive tool of foreign policy. This practice dates back to the late 1980’s before the collapse of the Soviet Union. It continued through the early years of the newly formed Russian state as it sought to rebuild from economic ruin. Moscow, in its contemporary form, continues to exercise this practice as it seeks to capitalize on its natural abundance of oil and natural gas reserves. Currently, Russia boasts the world’s largest proven reserves of natural gas with roughly 48 trillion cubic meters. According to the Central Intelligence Agency’s most recent figures it is also the world’s number one annual exporter of natural gas at over 210 billion cubic meters. While the playbook may not be new, the Russian state is not the same player that the Soviet Union was. The Soviet Union struggled to implement these tactics effectively due to an incompetent central planning system, disjointed leadership structures, and their failure to adequately maintain technological progress due to a lack of incentive schemes. Over the course of the last twenty years, however, Russia has consolidated its energy industries under state purview, established a vertically-oriented ladder of leadership, provided incentive and opportunity for innovation, and strengthened its economic might through integration into global markets. These characteristics enable Russia to behave more subversively within bilateral partnerships.
Continue reading “Op-Ed: The Strategic Shifts Caused by Nord Stream 2 and What the United States Can Do Moving Forward”
An organized demonstration protesting the Chinese government’s treatment of Uyghur Muslims in San Francisco, CA.
Photo Courtesy of Creative Commons
By Gabriella Clinton
Last week, the U.S. State Department, under the guidance of U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, officially accused the Chinese government of committing genocide and other crimes against humanity against Uyghur Muslims and other religious and ethnic minority groups living in the Xinjiang region. This statement was released on the last full day of the Trump Administration—Tuesday, January 19th. The Chinese government has since denied the accusations; however, it is estimated that as many as 2 million Uyghur Muslims, as well as members of other minority Muslim groups, have been detained in internment camps located throughout the country’s northwestern region. This abuse of human rights and endorsement of ethnic cleansing by the government has occurred for several decades, but drastically intensified around March 2017.
Continue reading “Op-Ed: Genocide in Xinjiang?: The Complexities of the U.S. State Department’s Declaration”