In 2017 hundreds of thousands of Rohingya Muslims fled Myanmar as an consequence of ethnic cleansing, and today there are above 700.000 refugees in neighbouring Bangladesh. The army in Myanmar has formerly said that they were fighting militants and have never targeted civilians. In April 2017 did the military in Myanmar launch a brutal crackdown in a state called Rakhine. This led to thousands of deaths and more than 700.000 thousand refugees.
As UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said, are the Rohingyas “one of, if not the, most discriminated people in the world.” Myanmar has for decades had a religious and ethnic tension, but it was not until the access to internet it blew up unprecedented. According to the United Nations did Facebook have a “determining role” in spreading and intertwining hatred towards the minority in Myanmar.
Since the beginning of mass internet use in Myanmar, have new and alarming posts against the Rohingya people constantly appeared on Facebook. Of the 50 million people living in Myanmar, are approximately 18 million of them regular users on Facebook. A Reuters investigation four months after the military crackdown, found more than 1000 Burmese comments, pornographic images and posts attacking the Rohingyas and other muslims.
It was not only regular internet users who spread hatred, actually were many of the posts from Myanmar military personnel, who turned the social network into a tool. The military exploited Facebook’s power, and the company have later admitted that it was used to “incite offline violence”.
For several years did David Madden, a tech entrepreneur living in Myanmar, warn Facebook that Rohingyas were attacked and targeted with hatred. In the documentary “Facebook dilemma”, they discuss how little the company interfered when they knew users were encouraging to a genocide. Issues such as how the warning signs were present as far back as 2014 appeared, when a fake news story about a muslim man raping a buddhist woman had been spread. It was later proved wrong, but still a mob of 400 buddhists surrounded a tea shop shouting and throwing bricks. The incident led to two people dying, only because of a social media spreading fake news.
The Rohingyas situation is a exquisite example on how much power Facebook has, and how big of a threat it is to the security around the world. Even though the company later acknowledged their part in the mass extinction, their participating in spreading fake news and hateful comments, forced hundred of thousands to flee. Facebook’s answer when they first got questioned about the situation was “We’ll need to go away and dig into this and come back with something substantive”, but according to Madden they never came back with anything. As a channel spreading all kinds of posts, Facebook has a responsibility to avoid world security crises. Unfortunately for the Rohingyas, were the company “too slow”, and did not have the time to act before it was too late.
Ever since the 70’s people have been debating what to do with climate change. Politicians have for many years been too caught up in how the necessary measures affect the economy. They have not been willing enough to take measure. Today, people have had enough. The trend of school strike for the climate has taken the world by storm and a strong representative, Greta Turnberg, is influencing the world’s view on global warming. However, there are still people who do not believe the climate change is a problem and world-leaders not willing to take action.
Although some may disagree, most people understand the importance of this global issue. There are many rock hard evidence on this matter, where all of them are essential for solving the issues. First of all, the global temperature is rising every minute, day and year. Since the late 19th century the planet’s average surface temperature has risen approximately 0,9 degrees Celsius, driven by increased carbon dioxide and other substitutes into the atmosphere. Secondly the oceans are also warming, because they absorb much of the increased heat. Many animals, and plants suffer because of this and especially the coral reefs, which are the home to at least 25% of the marine animals. Another evidence is shrinking ice sheets and glacial retreat. This is also an outcome of global warming, and warming oceans. Shrinking ice levels, glacial retreats and also decreased snow cover will result in the sea level rising and destruction of entire ecosystems and the homes to thousands of animals.
On the other hand, there are several reasons why some people do not agree with the scientific evidence pointing towards man made global warming. Firstly, one of the main arguments that climate change-deniers use is that the temperature of the earth has always been changing. Such as the many ice ages. Secondly, many of the deniers believe that CO2 has a minor effect on the temperature and that it is not polluting the earth. This is not based on scientific research, but instead conspiracy theories and biased research. The mindset of these people always come back to ignorance and lack of knowledge.
On the news it is common to show debates about climate change. There are in many cases two people debating against each other, where one is a believer in man-made climate change and the other one is a denier. This is misleading because of the misrepresentation. It is only a minor percentage of people that does not believe in global warming. Presenting it like it is 50/50, then becomes misleading. Furthermore, this can lead people to believe that the debate is about whether or not climate change is real, not what we need to do about the issue.
An important figure representing the ones demanding a change is Greta Turnberg. She is the 16 year old girl who started the school-strike for the climate trend. During the last year she has accomplished great things like attending the UN´s 2019 Climate Action Summit and being nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2019. She is very clear about her message; humanity is facing an existential crisis due to climate change and that too little is being done about the situation. As an instrument to get people involved and to make her message clear, she strongly uses words like “me”, “them” and “us” in her speeches. “Them” is politicians and decision-makers, and “us” is the younger generations like herself.
Such an accomplished young girl with strong opinions and impact, is yet to be disliked. In her case, some of the ones disliking her is a few words leaders. For instance Donald Trump, the president of the United States, Putin, the President of Russia, and Erna Solberg, the Prime Minister of Norway have all been negative towards her. Trump attacked Turnbergs message in her speech at the UN´s 2019 Climate Action Summit by tweeting “She seems like a very happy young girl looking forward to a bright and wonderful future.” Turnberg´s main message was that politicians and leaders are stealing and ruining her future. However she clapped back by making this her twitter bio. Solberg expresses her view of Turnberg in her comment “she could still go to school and protest, no need to cut classes”. From these statements, it is clear these world leaders looks down on Turnberg and her accomplishments. They are speaking of her as a child that should know its place.
Regardless of that many world leaders are not impressed with Turnberg, she definitely has had a huge impact on how the world view climate change. From the 20th to the 27th September of 2019, a record of 7.6 million people took to the streets and striked for climate action. This is the biggest climate mobilisation in history. Peoples attention are now brought to the impact global warming has on not only future generations, but themselves as well. The goal of the strike is to force politicians to take action and treat this issue as what it is, a crisis.
To conclude, even though there is lots of trustworthy scientific evidence climate change is an issue and that humans are to blame, there are still people who does not believe climate change is real, or that it is a problem. However this is a small group of people and their significance have been exaggerated, for example through debates on the news. Politicians and leaders are still too caught up in money to take the necessary measures. However, today people are demanding action to be taken. School strikes are changing the world´s view on climate change. People understand that it is not only the future generations that are being affected, but themselves as well.
Something similar to what is happening now happened in the 80’s when scientists discovered a hole in the ozone layer caused by too much greenhouse gas emissions. Politicians all over the world treated this crisis with drastic measures. All the action taken paid off, and the ozone layer was fixed. Why can’t today’s politicians do like them and take the action that is necessary? We have to come together and find solutions, that doesn’t just satisfy the economy we love so dearly. In a few years, no matter which direction this goes, we are going to realize, we love the earth more.
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