Server

I applied for a server position at this new restaurant in DC and I started my training yesterday. After the 4 hour training was over, my attitude towards working in restaurants was only reaffirmed. The skills acquired in food service are different than the skills that I would like to acquire and therefore, I have decided to find employment in another field.

This experience has made me realize that I need to be challenged intellectually in an academic way. I do not want to say that being a good server does not require intellect, but rather that the challenges involved with it are not academic. Although I understand that I need money to live, I am not to the extent where I am starving and so it is worth it for me to wait for a better opportunity.

I accept the possibility that I will not make as much money doing something else, but I would rather be poorer and do something academically challenging.

Climate Change and Conflict

Everyone is familiar with certain effects of climate change; we all know that the world is getting warmer, that extreme weather is becoming more frequent, and that sea levels are rising. These are all direct results from climate change and certainly pose a great threat to mankind, but the holistic understanding of climate change and its effects is not well known, especially by people in the West.

One aspect that I would like to focus on here is the role climate change plays in conflict. There is a book called Forecast by Stephan Faris that explains the consequences of climate change throughout the world, and in the first chapter, the author describes the conflict in Darfur.

The fighting in Darfur is usually described as racially motivated, pitting mounted Arabs against black rebels and civilians. But the distinction between “Arab” and “black African” in Darfur is defined more by lifestyle than by any physical difference: Arabs are generally herders, Africans typically farmers. The two groups are not racially distinct. Both are predominantly Muslim. The fault lines have their origins in another distinction, between settled farmers and nomadic herders fighting over failing lands.

Prior to reading this book, I thought the conflict in Darfur started because of religion, little did I know that it was due to forced migration. One would not think that climate change plays a significant role in conflict, but once a little information is known, it is very difficult not to see the connection. Climate change should not only be understood as rising temperatures, but also as forced migration, violence, and rape. I will leave off with an excerpt of Machiavelli's Discourses on Livy in which he explains two different types of war.

One is waged because of the ambitions of Princes or of a Republic that seek to extend their Empire, such as were the wars that Alexander the Great waged, and those that the Romans waged, and those which one power wages against another. While these wars are dangerous, they never drive all the inhabitants out of a province, but the obedience of the people is enough for the conqueror, and most of the time he leaves them to live with their laws, and always with their homes and possessions. The other kind of war is when an entire people with all their families are taken away from a place, necessitated either by famine or by war, and goes to seek a new seat in a new province, not in order to seek dominion over them as those others above, but to possess it absolutely; and to drive out or kill its old inhabitants. This kind of war is most cruel and most frightful.

Global Warming Conspiracy

Waiting in line for the senate hearing today, I overheard a conversation between two men about global warming. One was trying to convince the other that global warming was a hoax, meaning either that global warming was not anthropogenic or that there was no warming in general. Although, I personally support the expression of different ideas, I believe the global warming conspiracy is only distracting us from what we need to get done.

In order to catalyze imperative action, I would like to draw the conclusion that our efforts to mitigate climate change should not be altered even if global warming were a hoax. I shall explain how I reached this conclusion by drawing out the logic between universally accepted statements.

Before I can explain the logic, I need to make clear that there seems to be two aspects in regards to what actions the United States should take: one is transitioning to renewable energy and the other is giving reparations to developing countries that are suffering from climate change.

Regarding the first aspect, we all agree that burning fossil fuels is dirty; there is no debate that coal plants release other substances such as mercury and arsenic. No one wants these substances in their bodies, therefore, everyone should agree that the United States should transition to renewable energy. Furthermore, fossil fuels are limited so we have to transition to renewables sooner or later.

The second aspect should also not be affected. Even if we were not responsible for climate change, there is no doubt that developing countries are suffering from it. Do we not have the responsibility to help others in need? If I see someone drowning, shouldn't I help save this person even though I wasn't responsible for this person being in that situation? I think any reasonable person would agree that I should help. The same moral and logic applies for assisting developing countries adapt to climate change.

Therefore, in conclusion, whether you believe in global warming or not, you should be in favor of renewable energy and helping developing countries.

DC and Copenhagen

My current life in DC can only be described as unstable; I still have not found permanent accommodations nor another part-time job. And even though my life has been generally unstable for the past few years, it has never been so unsure as it is now. Hence, my mind is currently occupied with these everyday worries.

However cluttered my thoughts are and however frustrated I am about my life, my problems are insignificant in comparison to the global issues currently being addressed in Copenhagen. Maldives, a country threatened to be submerged under water, sent a 15 year old boy as its climate ambassador to remind all of us that climate change is a problem in the immediate future. This 15 year old ambassador represents both his country as well as our future generations who need our help. It depresses me to understand that the people who are suffering the most from climate change are the ones who contributed the least to it.

The developed world owes a debt to third world countries which it should pay back by reducing its pollution and by helping those suffering adapt to climate change. I can see no moral or logical argument against this conclusion.

Noam Chomsky

Since I have not dedicated a composition solely to express my respect for Noam Chomsky, my writings have been incomplete, and since today is his 81st birthday, I believe now would be a good time to write one.

I do not remember specifically when I was first introduced to Chomsky, but I assume it was during my high school years. I believe it was my sister who recommended one of his books to me, Manufacturing Consent if I remember correctly. Unfortunately, during that time, I was not too interested in learning and so I did not read the book.

I was re-introduced to Chomsky during my 2nd year of university by my politics professor, Michael Urban. It was then that I decided to start researching about him and reading his material. Soon after watching interviews of him on the internet, I became completely fascinated about his philosophies on politics and society. His logic and sense of morality enlightened me to the extent where I dedicate much of my mental development to him.

I thank Noam Chomsky for all that he as done and I hope in the future that I will have the opportunity to meet him.