For Veterans Day, we want to honor and thank all who serve and have served in the United States Armed Forces. One of the many service members is Navy Lt. Louis Sanchez, a true hometown hero serving his country, he is a 1989 Miami Killian Senior High School graduate and for the past 5 years, has served as a clinical social worker in the Navy. He is deployed right now on the USS Bataan, the flagship of the Bataan Amphibious Ready Group. The deployment is part of a regular rotation of forces to support maritime security operations, provide crisis response capability, increase theater security cooperation and forward naval presence in the U.S Navy’s 5th and 6th Fleet area of responsibility. As the only clinical social worker serving in the BATARG, Sanchez supports more than 4,200 Sailors and Marines.
Posts Tagged ‘politics’
(Image credit: Living Green)
Today, we took on the SCOTUS ruling that set the stage for unlimited political donations. As expected, Jordan opposed and Nicole agreed. Are corporations people? I’m inclined to say no. As for the “money-in-politics” question? I’m actually not too bothered by it; I’d support a flat-amount or a total cap, but that seems rather idealistic. As-is, as much as people complain about it, money in politics kind of keeps the whole game going. I digress; the other part of the show focused on the recent reveal of the “Cuban Twitter” launched by the U.S. I honestly don’t feel too strongly on the subject because the Castro regime isn’t exactly conducive to U.S. interests, nor to the interests of the people. That said, it was probably an over-reach and we probably shouldn’t be launching psy-ops quite so loosely– especially without presidential approval, as recent reports allege. Anyways, catch the re-cap after the break. Keep it locked.
In the latest edition of The Weekly Voice’s “Let’s Talk” segment, the topic of in-depth discussion is the ongoing diplomatic crisis between US/EU/Russia/Ukraine over Crimea.
Kamila Orlova is a student from Russia majoring in political science.
Dr. Roger Kanet is a International Studies professor and longtime academic focussing on all things related to Russia and Europe.
Hyan Freitas is the host of “The Weekly Voice” which airs Fridays at 10am on 90.5FM and online at WVUM.org
[Show originally aired March 21, 2014]
(Image credit: Operation World)
This week, we were luck enough to have Kamila Orlova, a student here at UM who hailed from Russia, to speak with us about the Ukrainian situation. Additionally, I let Jordan rant about his gripes with Florida Governor Rick Scott, and for the last few minutes of the show, we talked about the first season of House of Cards (we will talk about the second season in the near future). Discussion was good, as usual, even though we were missing our usual conservative commentators, but I thought I played a decent devil’s advocate to bridge the gap. Anyways, hit the jump below to listen to the show. Keep it locked.
(Photo credit: history.com)
This week, we discussed Hillary Clinton’s visit to UM (she did not announce, unfortunately), the Arizona governor’s veto of a broadly worded bill that some say would have legalized prejudice against homosexuals by business owners, and the precarious situation in Venezuela. Hit the jump for the audio–
In 2012 our nation witnessed history in the making when President Obama‘s Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was made law. Last june, the Supreme Court upheld the premise of Obamacare, which applied a penalty to people who do not purchase health insurance. Now with the law in place, the success of public health care rides on the enrollment of young adults under the age of 35 to offset the cost of health insurance for the elderly. How do University of Miami students feel about this? WVUM News reporter Chloe Herring finds out student opinions on this and some other key controversial issues regarding Obamacare.
Michael Grunwald is the Senior National Correspondent for TIME Magazine and the author of The New New Deal: The Hidden Story of Change in the Obama Era. It’s a book that has gotten a lot of praise for its descriptions of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, or as you may remember it, the stimulus package passed by President Barack Obama in 2009. He spoke to WVUM to preview his appearance at the Florida Book Awards Panel at the Miami Book Fair this Saturday at 4p.m.
Counterpoint's Meg McGee has "the last word" after every new edition of Counterpoint. After reading her latest recap, hear audio of the discussion she's referencing embedded below the post:
On Friday’s show, we covered a slue of topics, the smoking ban on campus, the Miami-Dade county’s decision to take funding out of libraries, Detroit’s bankruptcy, and the passing of a student loan deal in Congress.
Our entire panel agreed that the cost of college/university is skyrocketing and something should be done to change it. However, our topic grew into a larger discussion over if college is valuable in order to succeed. Matt De La Fe, our conservative contributor, argued that college degrees aren’t necessary for success and that there are plenty of jobs one can go into without a degree. While I think this argument is valid (to an extent), it is far from the reality we live in these days. Yes, there are celebrities, athletes, musicians, artists, and other innovative people in our society that make millions of dollars without having finished college. But the chances of that happening to an average Joe are not that high and if nothing else, a Bachelor’s degree is a safety net in case your multi-million dollar idea goes awry.
Everyone knows the economy and job market is bad, especially for young Americans and post-grads. So naturally, having a college degree gives you a slight advantage over someone who only has a high school diploma. The days of skipping out on college are over, there is no Woodstock, there are no protest movements, millennials have to get to work. We have to go to college and college is not cheap. So while there is no one putting a gun to our heads forcing us to take out enormous loans for college, our society leaves us with few other choices. For me, I have to go to school for what I want to do and not just undergrad but grad school and PhD. program. I think a lot of young Americans are taking huge risks by having $100k in loans but it certainly beats the alternative to working at McDonald’s with no degree. A college degree is the new high school diploma.
Until our country is able to get the costs of education down across the board, we will see more students not being able to go to a 4-year institution and instead having a high-unemployment rate for young adults. Though Congress passed this deal, there are still provisions in it to keep interest rates rising on student loans. I think student loan debt is a problem that Wall Street is cashing in on and once the “bubble” explodes, we could see another financial crisis affecting the next generation of Americans.
Below is audio of the discussion on student loans and the value of a college degree. Counterpoint airs live Fridays at 1p.m. EST
This post is part of a series aimed at providing one perspective to the broad topic of climate change. Overall, this series will include mention of the causes of climate change, how it affects us and personal ideas from the writer on approaches that can be taken to solve this complex and global issue. Facts are facts, but any personal views expressed throughout this series are those of the writer alone. For this particular post, it is important to note that the author, Jordan Lewis, is the former president of UM’s Young and College Democrats. His sources are disclosed below this post, however. —————————————————————————————————————————————————————–
The President’s Plan
Last month, the President unveiled his plan for addressing climate change. It sets us in the right direction but in my opinion does not come close to solving the problem adequately. It is, however, cognizant of the political divide and does not require any action from Congress, only Executive Orders.
- President Obama’s plan to direct the EPA to work with state and local governments to limit carbon pollution at power plants is a common-sense but still significant move.
- The President set a goal to double wind and solar energy by 2020.
- The FY 2014 budget will increase research by 30%.
- The President set a goal to have a performance equivalent of 54.5 MPG by 2025.
- The administration released plans to make rural utilities more sustainable, and to help make electricity generation more efficient.
- The administration will also develop fuel standards for heavy trucks in the future.
- The federal government will consume 20% of its electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
While these measures are positive, and show a commitment to fighting climate change, they aren’t aggressive enough to lower our footprint to responsible levels.
A Responsible Plan For Now and In the Future for the USA
We need to take aggressive steps to combat climate change. Here are some policy ideas to help mitigate climate change:
- Encourage automobile makers to enhance MPG standards, sooner. The technology exists to produce 40-MPG compact cars immediately, and President Obama’s proposal of 54.5 MPG could and should be met sooner. We can and should aim higher. Provide incentives that make electric vehicles, hybrids, and other efficient vehicles affordable on the marketplace.
- Provide more tax-incentives for energy-efficient appliances and machinery.
- Encourage sustainable agricultural practices, with a lessened reliance on fertilizers.
- Set higher efficiency standards for electricity generation (like the Obama plan at power plants).
Rebuild Our Country
America’s infrastructure is in need of repair. A stimulus package would create millions of jobs and make our country stronger and more energy-efficient.
Build efficient roads and bridges.
Invest in renewable energy projects. Solar and wind powered energy sources are available and are not being used to the extent in which they could be used. Allocate funds for research.
Invest in Mitigation Strategies
- Climate change will bring about many of the negative impacts as explained above. We need to invest in strategies that protect against some of these impacts.
- Explore building seawalls along our coasts to mitigate sea level rise.
- Explore crops that are more adept to warmer climates.
- Build irrigation systems that save water, including microirrigation (as used in Israel)
- Erect buildings that can sustain extreme winds and other forces of nature.
Engage in global pacts to reduce carbon emissions
- By not ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, it indicated that we were not willing to take significant steps to reduce climate change.
- By entering into international agreements, we will spread goodwill that will encourage other countries to limit their emissions.
Reduce our dependence on coal and oil
Coal and oil are dirty fuels that form a major part of carbon emissions. Carbon is the most utilized fossil fuel in the world but also the dirtiest. Oil is ubiquitous in American transportation and industrial production.
Reducing our dependence on oil saves consumers money, enhances national security, and will reduce air pollution in our cities.
We should make it a priority to phase off coal and oil use as soon as possible. In order to fill our energy needs, we can utilize natural gas. Natural gas is the cleanest burning fuel and is generally abundant in the United States. There are significant environmental hazards to natural gas extraction. Natural gas extraction involves a technique called hydraulic fracturing, in which chemicals, water, and sand are blasted into wells in order to draw gas to the surface. This has threatened our water supplies and allowed gas to seep out into homes. Americans must know what chemicals are used in these fracking techniques, and safeguards set in place to protect our water supply.
Finally, natural gas should be used as a transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources.
Avoid the production of wasteful synthetic fuels, including Keystone XL
Synthetic fuels, such as tar sands, require additional energy input, and present enormous environmental damages. Keystone XL is a tar sands project. Let’s discuss the Keystone XL Pipeline:
- Tar sands are a mixture of sand, clay, water, and a viscous oil-like substance called bitumen, which can then be refined to produce oil. These tar sands are abundant in Alberta, Canada.
- The tar sands project has caused massive deforestation and environmental degradation in Canada. In order to fully reach these tar sands, it will require the destruction of an area larger than Florida.
- Each barrel of tar sands produces three types the amount of greenhouse gases as regular oil.
- Tar sands are an environmental hazard, containing arsenic, mercury, lead and other carcinogens. It endangers aboriginal communities and the communities by which the Pipeline would pass by.
- The Keystone XL Pipeline would run across America’s Rockies and through areas vital to ensuring our food supply. The most critical area it would cross is the Ogallala Aquifer, which supplies 30% of the water used for irrigation for agriculture. A spill of this corrosive, toxic oil would threaten our nation’s breadbasket for a significant time to come. Early portions of the pipelines have already leaked, three times in South Dakota. There were 12 spills in this past year.
- The tar sands would be refined in America but shipped overseas. It would not reduce dependence on foreign oil.
- The tar sands project could actually cost Midwest farmers 20 cents per gallon in higher fuel costs.
- Major unions oppose this project because there are few decent, permanent jobs to oppose the pipeline. It will create 35 permanent jobs (according to the State Department) while creating 51 coal plants worth of carbon.
- Other nations are opposed to allow such a pipeline in their sovereign territory.
- NASA scientist James Hansen described the Keystone XL as “game over for the climate.”
- Simply put, President Obama’s plan to reduce the impact of climate change will be a mere paperweight if he approves the Keystone XL pipeline.
Enforce legislation to limit carbon emissions for industry
Despite efficiency increases and sustainable-use strategies, Congress should develop a plan to limit emissions from industry and factory groups. Cap and trade systems and carbon taxes are among the options that have been considered throughout the world. Cap and trade sets limits on carbon pollution and uses a market scheme where firms can purchase more credits on the open market. Such a proposal passed the House in 2009 but was not voted on in the Senate. A carbon tax scheme would place a tax on carbon emitters that could be offset by lowering other taxes on citizens. In terms of limiting carbon emissions, the carbon tax may have more might. Neither is politically feasible at the moment.
Utilize urban planning techniques and mass transportation
The government should emphasize sustainable urban planning strategies. The benefit of sustainable cities is that transportation costs are lower, for consumer products and transportation to work. Less land is required, allowing more land to be set aside for green space. Finally, the cities provide an opportunity to utilize effective mass transportation systems. Our systems should be made to run on renewable fuels and should be attractive for residents to travel on.
Research techniques to remove carbon from the atmosphere
We need to prepare for climate change getting worse in the future. Thus, we must invest in research to find sequestration methods that are effective. Sequestration removes carbon dioxide from power plants (carbon capture and storage) and the environment and stores it in the Earth or other place that will not contribute to climate change. Carbon capture technology is already being implemented, but other sequestration techniques are still under study.
Encourage contraception and population controlA way to fight climate change would be to provide low-cost contraception to developing countries. This would not only lower demand for fuels and climate footprint, but also improve standards of living and the status of women. It’s a win-win.
Engage in Reforestation practices in the United States and across the world
The United States should invest in setting aside land to allow native forest to regrow, adding to biodiversity and taking carbon out of the atmosphere. We should encourage other nations to protect their forests.
Encourage personal responsibility and the 3 R’s
As a society, the American people should look to make changes in our lifestyle to lower our carbon footprints. We should buy less, reduce, reuse, and recycle. We can reuse a lot of household items and keep them out of landfills. By recycling products, we save energy that would be used to make them. We could make one less trip on an airline this year. We should look to purchase goods that are recyclable and use paper instead of plastic and Styrofoam. We should look to kick our habit of buying plastic water bottles that are expensive, carbon intensive, and clog up landfills. American tap water is cheaper, cleaner, and healthier than most bottled water. Finally, we should look to eat less meat. Consumption of meat produces carbon dioxide at several levels. Land is cleared in many developing countries to raise cattle, removing carbon sinks, and with the burning of trees, releasing it into the atmosphere. Up to 45% of all of the land on the Earth is occupied with livestock grazing. Cattle also require larger grain (100 times more water) inputs than other crops. Finally, cattle belch methane, a potent greenhouse gas, into the environment.
Encourage the purchase of locally made products
We can also reduce our carbon footprint by buying locally, at farmers markets and mom-and-pop stores, rather than from overseas. Cargo ships account for 3% of carbon emissions, but that’s small compared to the footprint of a commercial airliner. Buying local helps the environment and local businesses. Everybody benefits and it puts people to work. With the trade deficit so starkly in favor of China, it’s time to put our resources to work to encourage the purchase of more American products, including enforcing the label “Made in x” for all products coming from overseas.
Climate change is a threat to us, our children, and our grandchildren. We need to fight for a future and press our leaders to limit emissions in order to have a liveable world for the next generations.