Waiting for blue skies over Mindanao, photo: monnaka/flickr
The horrific massacre in the south of the Philippines that targeted and killed 57 of the family members of mayoral candidate Esmael Magundadatu as well as 30 accompanying journalists, has unleashed tensions, heated debates and new political dynamics in the most restive corner of the country.
A region mostly known for its Islamic insurgency, highlighted in our blog in September, was, in one violent act, revealed as a hotbed of clan politics, powerful civilian militias and potentially devastating political alliances that have implicated the highest echelons of the Philippine political establishment, including President Arroyo herself.
Photo: Candie N/flickr
In his article, “Unsettling Climate Change,” ISN Security Watch correspondent Simon Roughneen details the controversy over the emails released by a hacker
that seem to hint at collusion in suppressing questions about global warming science.
Roughneen stresses that “while the emails do not automatically mean that Cassandra climate change scenarios are without foundation, they do add credence to the view that the science is far from ‘settled.’ The scientists implicated in the emails say as much themselves.”
The idea of global warming seems to have been settled, regardless of whether the science has. Indeed, it seems that anyone daring to raise any questions in an attempt to further educate themselves about a complex issue are branded “anti-environmentalist,” unconcerned about pressing climate and environmental issues. This is unfair.
Religious Symbol, Wikicommons
On Thursday 3rd of December, the Parliament of the World’s Religions opened the doors of its 5th parliamentary session in Melbourne, Australia. The first session took place on 1893 at the World Exposition of Chicago. The parliament waited 100 years to host its second parliamentary session and since 1993, the inter-religious body has met every 5 years.
At its first meeting, the assembly wanted to promote a better understanding of different cultures and already called for peaceful relations between all religions. They also called for a common understanding of faith, exemplified by Indian Hindu delegate Swami Vivekananda’s call: “if there is ever to be a universal religion, it must be one which will hold no location in place or time; which will be infinite, like the God it will preach; whose Son shines upon the followers of Krishna or Christ, saints or sinners, alike; which will not be the Brahman or Buddhist, Christian or Mohammedan [Muslim], but the sum total of all these”.
After 100 years of inactivity, the assembly has started to play a proactive role in what is called para- or indirect diplomacy; ensuring that different religions and populations exchange views and opinions on global affairs with a religious perspective; the final goal being peace. For example, in 1999 the assembly focused on HIV/AIDS. This year, the parliament will focus on the rights of indigenous people and on climate change. » More
Save the polar bears, photo: Cornelia Kopp/flickr
With tough weeks ahead for negotiators, experts and politicians in the picturesque Danish capital, the ISN takes a closer look at the political and geopolitical stakes of the global climate change game.
And please remember that last month’s Special Issue Newsletter on the topic can be found here.