Did manmade global warming cause the Syrian civil war and the rise of ISIS?
A new paper, Climate change in the Fertile Crescent and implications of the recent Syrian drought, PNAS, March 2, 2015, summarized its findings by saying, "the 2007-2010 drought contributed to the conflict in Syria. It was the worst drought in the instrumental record, causing widespread crop failure and a mass migration of farming families to urban centers."
It went on to say, "Century-long observed trends in precipitation, temperature, and sea-level pressure, supported by climate model results [emphasis added], strongly suggest that anthropogenic forcing has increased the probability of severe and persistent droughts in this region, and made the occurrence of a 3-year drought as severe as that of 2007-2010 2 to 3 times more likely than by natural variability alone." more >>
For many Americans Fred Rogers, famous for his character on PBS' long-running children's television series, "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood," was a nostalgic staple whose feel-good quotes continue to be propagated by those who grew up watching him on their living room TV sets as children.
According to one author, however, Mr. Rogers shouldn't just be considered a wholesome TV star from yesteryear, but also a radical counter-cultural figure.
Michael G. Long, associate professor of religious studies and peace and conflict studies at Elizabethtown College, has written a book titled Peaceful Neighbor: Discovering the Countercultural Mister Rogers. more >>
A controversy is brewing over a beautiful photograph of an infant cradled in the American flag while the parent, a uniformed Navy veteran holds their newborn.
Some argue that this photographer has "desecrated" the flag by capturing this image. Others, such as me, say that this photo represents the sacrifice that our service members make each and every day that are so often forgotten. Members of our military serve with dignity and honor and often their families have to take a selfless back seat to their service, uprooting their lives and living in worry. This picture captures what each and every service member fights for and puts their life on the line for—freedom. Military personnel realize that a free America means the preservation of freedom for future generations.
Considering that our men and women in uniform fight for others freedom of speech and the freedom to burn the American flag—I think they have the right to take photographs such as these. I grew up understanding the sacrifice that our service members make for our country as my grandfather and my uncle have both proudly served in the United States Air Force. Military service was never a question for my uncle or for my grandfather—who constantly had to move their families around the country and even internationally as part of their service. more >>
More than 159,000 people have signed a petition calling on the White House to file charges against 47 GOP senators who sent a letter to Iran stating that any nuclear agreement between the Obama administration and the Islamic Republic would be null and void without support from Congress.
Posted on the website "We the People" on Monday, the petition claims that the GOP senators violated federal law when they sent the letter to Iran.
"Forty-seven senators saw fit to issue a condescending letter to the Iranian government stating that any agreement brokered by our president would not be upheld once the president leaves office," reads the petition. more >>
The latest execution video posted by the Islamic State terrorist organization to Twitter on Tuesday evening purports to show a baby-faced boy, who looks no older than 12 years old, executing an Israeli counterterror spy.
The 13-minute video shows the prisoner identify himself as the 19-year-old Muhammad Said Ismail Musallem, who confessed that he was working for the Jewish counterterror agency Mossad.
Musallem, who believes his family members are also spies, called on his family to repent and declares that espionage attempts against ISIS are doomed to fail. more >>
As International Women's Day approaches, I can't help but think of the hashtag that set social media worldwide ablaze with protests. Last April, #BringBackOurGirls called the world's attention to the kidnapping of 276 school girls — taken from the Chibok Government Secondary School in northeast Nigeria by terrorist group Boko Haram.
Shocked and upset by the kidnappings, I participated in one of the real-life protests held in front of the Nigerian Embassy here in Washington, DC. Posting hashtags on twitter just wasn't enough; I needed to do more.
So I joined a frustrated but peaceful group of demonstrators comprised of people from all walks of life, who were rightfully outraged by this blatant attack on the lives of innocent young girls. more >>