Immigrants and descendants of immigrants should wholeheartedly and vocally support the movement for Black Lives.

I want to tell a story.

In the 18th century, Poland was partitioned and occupied by Russia, Prussia and Austria, and a general named Jan Henryk Dąbrowski (honored by the Polish national anthem) created the Polish Legions, a unit within the Napoleonic French army that fought for France in the hopes that Napoleon would then help them free their people.

In 1802, about 5,000 Polish legionnaires were sent to Haiti to put down a revolt they knew nothing about. As the story goes, the Polish troops arrived in Saint-Domingue and learned the truth of why they were sent there — to fight a slave revolt against an occupying power. Recognizing the similarities between what the Haitian revolutionaries were fighting for and the struggle for an independent Poland, most of the legionnaires defected, and joined the struggle against the French Empire. The revolutionaries eventually succeeded, and the Polish legionnaires were rewarded with Haitian citizenship, and settled in a town called Cazale, the “home of Zalewski” a popular Polish last name. …

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Among the daily terrifying news about coronavirus’ spread throughout the world, you may have missed something inconceivable happen to humanity’s favorite energy source. The price for a barrel of oil went negative, which means that oil producers will pay for someone to take their oil off their hands and store it. This is a result of the historic change in how humanity has lived in the past two months, putting transportation and oil consumption on pause as we shelter in our homes for the good of public health.

Fossil fuel divestment activists have long endorsed the theory of sunk cost, essentially that the way that humanity will have to change our pattern of behavior due to the crisis of climate change means 80% of fossil fuel reserves need to be left in the ground. Years of ignoring these warnings has left fossil fuel companies vastly overvalued. If humanity is to limit the warming of the planet to 1.5˚C, as the world agreed in Paris in 2016, then we will need to reduce greenhouse gas emission by approximately 7 percent per year. Coronavirus has given us a dress rehearsal of this theory in practice. Due to the rapid disruption in our lives due to the virus, projected global greenhouse gas emissions are down in 2020 by … 6 percent. As we have shifted our lives to contain the current crisis, let us cast an eye to the future and discuss what the collapse of oil prices should tell us about the efficacy of fossil fuels in a modern economy, one that is hopefully interested in preserving humanity. …

Unless you’ve been living under a rock in the Marianas trench, you’re probably aware that Amazon has announced the site of it’s new headquarters HQ2 (shoutout to these tech geniuses and their really original names for things!) The proposed sites for the space is the Crystal City in Arlington, VA, and Long Island City in Queens, New York.

The HQ2 sweepstakes were framed as a fun competition between cities to see who could throw the most money at the richest man in the world. After months of intrigue and extracting billions of dollars in concessions from politicians parched to do the bidding of a multibillion dollar corporation, Amazon surprised everyone by choosing 2 locations where they will be showered in tax breaks, reshape neighborhoods and get twice as many Senators to fight against antitrust laws. …

August 21 marked the beginning of a nationwide prison strike, with thousands of incarcerated people across the country sitting in, boycotting, and going on work and hunger strikes in order to demand more humane treatment from those that have imprisoned them. They are calling for (among several demands) the end of using prisoners as slave labor, an end to racial overcharging/oversentencing and the immediate improvement of conditions for all those imprisoned (To read their full list of demands go here).

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The case to support this strike is clear: those serving time should be treated as human beings. Even assuming everyone in prison is in there justly (which, let’s face it, is not true), incarcerated people are still people who deserve to be treated with dignity. …

My favorite thing about the US Womens Gymnastics team (y’know besides them absolutely outclassing anyone on the floor in Rio) is that each athlete fits some sort of prototype of a superhero in a super team. Now disclaimer, I know nothing about gymnastics but most people watching the Olympics don’t so let’s just have some fun with this! This is the vibe I’m getting from this team:

Aly Raisman: Leader of the pack, not the most naturally talented of the crew but she’s the captain, she’s respected and she packs a punch. Sometimes gets in second in commands way but they generally get along and run a damn good team. Who is she? Captain America in the Avengers. Superman in the Justice League. Mr. Fantastic (but not the movie version because lets not talk about that movie.) X-Men? …


Nikolas Michael

Cyprus, Climate Change and Peace

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