Polar bear prof potentially punished for telling inconvenient truth
Susan Crockford, a zoologist and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Victoria, has essentially been fired after her renewal application was rejected with no explanation.
Dr. Crockford believes the university has chosen not to renew her adjunct position due to heightened social pressures and her strong assertion that polar bears are not only not facing a climate emergency but are actually thriving.
At least two U.S. churches are making a statement with their nativity scenes this year. One of them is the Claremont United Methodist Church in California and the other is St. Susanna Parish in Massachusetts. The Claremont church seems to be alluding to Trump’s immigration policies, while St. Susanna Parish is taking a stance on climate change.
In a tweet by American journalist, Anthony Breznican, you can see members of the holy family inside chain-link cages. Baby Jesus is in a cage of his own while Joseph and Mary stand on either side of him, also in cages.
The scene does not specifically include any mention of Trump, though many think that the message is implied.
The church has a congregation of about 300 members and there are mixed responses about the church taking a political stance. One Twitter user said, “This is sacrilegious and blasphemous. Politicizing a nativity scene for the of social justice should list high in a book ‘you just don’t do it.’ The priest that okayed this should be stripped of his title and disgraced.”
Rev. Karen Clark Ristine, of the church noted, “This is a sacred family to us. We hold this family dear. And part of our vision is that they’re standing in for all the nameless others. For us, this is theological, this is not political.”
St. Susanna Parish in Dedham, Massachusetts has also included a theme in their nativity scene. The theme they chose to touch on is climate change. The scene shows everybody standing knee-deep in trash-filled water while some surrounding animals are fully submerged. A baby Jesus can be seen floating amidst everyone. The scene is accompanied by a banner saying “God so loved the world… will we?”
Some controversy has arisen out of the nativity scene. Father Stephen Josoma, the church’s pastor, says he’s not sure adding the climate change theme is politicizing the scene.
Father Stephen told WCVB, “We’re just painting an accurate picture of what the world is like this day.”
He told Boston 25 News, “It’s not a future event that may or may not happen,” also noting, “I think we have to kind of gather people’s awareness to bring about a change of mind and heart.”
The response has been mixed for parishioners, including Pat Ferrone who said, “Jesus was born into the circumstances of his time,” he went on to say, “You can’t pick up the paper or magazine or whatever without learning something dire.”
Some people were for the statement, such as Maureen Adams who wrote in a Facebook post, “Good for them for taking an ethical stand for humanity and the state of the world. Isn’t that what Jesus would do?”
Another Facebook user disagreed posting, “Trying to make a point, each year, with the Nativity is horrible. Hopefully one day it will be realized that this is offensive to some. Trying to gain publicity over something so sacred is blasphemous.”
One woman who told WCVB that she has stopped attending the church due to the views held by the pastor. She said, “I think he’s a snowflake. There’s a lot of people that don’t want to go in that church anymore because they’re tired of hearing liberal views.”
This isn’t the first time Josoma has tried to send a message with his nativity scene. Last year the church-based their theme on the migrant crisis, showing Jesus and his family in cages. The year before, they displayed mass-shooting victims alongside the family.
Another community member, Mike Looby, told Boston 25 News, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to mix those two topics together. It’s in bad taste.”
Greta Thunberg has joined up with 15 more young climate activists. They have claimed that Canada and Norway are violating the rights of children throughout the world with their oil and gas production.
The activist’s claim that the higher output of fossil-fuel production violates the countries obligations in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Hausfeld LLP released a statement noting that the youths have sent letters to both Canada and Norway addressing the countries’ fossil-fuel production. The letter contrasted the plan with the two countries’ self-proclaimed titles of leaders in climate change.
In the letter to Trudeau dated Dec. 10, it says, “Canada must apply its international climate leadership to all domestic action,” the letter also says, “It must demonstrate how a major fossil fuels producer and exporter can transition away from these pollutants, blazing a trail for other fossil fuel-reliant economies to follow.”
The letter covers Canada’s Line 3 pipeline that stretches from Alberta to Wisconsin as well as the Trans Mountain pipeline. Canada’s oil production could be raised 10 percent by the addition of the Line 3 pipeline alone.
The letter also says that Canada “must end the development and export of new oil and gas reserves, and set a plan to quickly phase out existing production fields,” and adds, “It must stop prioritizing short-term economic gains over the future of its children and all children around the world.”
The letter requested that Trudeau deliver a response in the following two weeks. The request was sent to Jonathan Wilkinson who is the new environment minister for Trudeau.
Wilkinson’s spokesperson, Moira Kelly, wrote an email saying, “Young people and Canadians across the country are counting on us for accelerated action on climate change,” she added, “We hear them, and all of the Canadians who sent a clear message this election, that continuing to fight climate change needs to be a priority.”
“We know we need to make a transition to a cleaner economy and we know that this will not happen overnight,” said Kelly, “We are committed to taking thoughtful solutions with Canadians to ensure that the clean economy is affordable for everyone.”
In 2018, Canada pumped more oil than Iraq, OPEC’s second largest supplier, according to data from BP Plc. By 2040, crude output is projected to increase by close to 50 percent, according to Canada Energy Regulator.
Quebec politician says that you should be able to commit suicide if you're worried about climate change
Quebec politician Luc Ferrandez has suggested that euthanasia could be extended to those who wish not to be a burden on society.
Writing in a Facebook post, the former mayor of Plateau Mont-Royal said, “Could we, for environmental, social and economic reasons, decide that we want to receive help to die so as not to be a burden for our family and society in general?”
When confronted about his comments, Ferrandez stated that he merely intended to “deepen the discussion” on assisted dying, according to Journal Metro. “Is it immoral to ask a question,” he added indignantly.
Currently, for assisted dying to be permitted, a patient must be suffering, and their death must be imminent. Ferrandez appeared upset as the law does not consider the possibility that a patient may want to die for environmental or economic reasons.
In 2016, several advocates requested that the government expanded euthanasia legislation so to fit Ferrandez’s definition, however, the provincial government is not ready to rethink the legislation in the immediate future
A popular parody account has been suspended from Twitter following outrage by one of the largest media outlets in the world. The man behind Shaniqua O’Tool, an account that had over 15,000 followers at the time of suspension, says The Guardian forced Twitter to censor comedy.
He spoke to The Post Millennial to reveal details on the campaign waged by The Guardian against his satirical tweets. While his identity is known to The Post Millennial, it is being withheld for reasons of privacy.
Starting as a Godfrey Elfwick-styled account, the account owner says the Shaniqua O’Tool character was meant to “poke fun at both the far-left and the far-right.” He says the name was inspired by the 2003 single “Shaniqua don’t live here no more” by Little T and One Track Mike.
The account’s owner points out the existence of a Twitter account dedicated to compiling the Guardian’s most meme-able headlines, including one where Guardian columnist Abi Wilkinson suggests the “tears of joy emoji” mocks human suffering.
“Some of [The Guardian’s] headlines bordered on insanity, so I felt it was worthy of satire.” He says. In 2017, he began posting edited Guardian headlines with Shaniqua’s face photoshopped in as the columnist.
Some of Shaniqua’s antics were so indiscernible from authentic Guardian headlines that they attracted the attention of outraged media outlets. Gateway Pundit wrote an article decrying Shaniqua as an “ISIS sympathizer” for her headline on police needing to learn the importance of spotting a “fake suicide vest” before shooting. The Gateway Pundit article, which claimed to have read the non-existent Shaniqua column, was quickly deleted.
“I mocked [Gateway Pundit] for it,” the account owner says, “and when my headlines caught conservative commentator Katie Hopkins off guard, I mocked her for it too.” He says, asserting that his satire was bipartisan. However, he notes that there was a difference in how people of different political orientations handled being the target of his comedy.
“It is a consistent and recurring pattern over the last few years that if you poke fun at conservative or right-leaning people, they tend to just go with the joke or ignore you. If you poke fun at left-wing people, my experience is very different. They report you, verbally attack you, mobilize their followers to report and block, and ensure your name is added as a ‘Nazi’ to block lists.”
On November 29th, 2019, the account received a copyright strike notice from Twitter. The claim was apparently filed by Guardian editor Tom Stevens, who wrote that Shaniqua’s infringement was “pretending to be a Guardian writer. The tweets are fake and offensive.”
The claims were made through Twitter’s copyright system, which is intended to protect the rightful owners of intellectual property. Prior to completing a claim within this system, a complainant must acknowledge that they considered “Fair Use” laws, and accept responsibility for damages in the event they misrepresented fair use material as infringement.
Fair Use is a provision which states that copyrighted work can be utilized if the use is sufficiently transformative. According to the University of Minnesota, transformative content uses original work in a “completely new or unexpected way,” and lists parody as being the clearest example of “transformative content.”
In the case of Shaniqua, the account was not utilizing anything more than the template of Guardian headlines. The headlines themselves, lede, and photo were original.
In 2017, Buzzfeed called Twitter’s copyright system “hair-trigger,” and stated that “a copyright violation from a major media company is the surest way to lose access to one’s account.”
The Guardian filed two subsequent copyright claims on December 2nd, and the account was suspended the same day. In the claim, Guardian editor Tom Stevens writes “Becoming a serious problem now. Please take appropriate action.”
After the news of the Guardian‘s apparent campaign against Shaniqua surfaced, Twitter users began posting their own parodies of Guardian headlines using the hashtag #trollingtheguardian
Prior to getting suspended, the man behind Shaniqua attempted to open dialogue with Guardian media editor Jim Waterson, but his direct messages were not returned.
“He never replied, presumably, because he knew my days on Twitter were numbered.”
While appeals on copyright strikes are possible, the account owner says he was discouraged from doing so as it would mean providing consent for Twitter to share his personal information with The Guardian. Fearing harassment or a lawsuit, he did not appeal.
“It’s clear they don’t like being mocked,” he says, “I was followed en mass by Guardian journalists [the day of my suspension]. Being followed suddenly like that was deeply unnerving. It felt like they were letting me know they were watching me.”
The account owner has filed an appeal with Twitter over the account’s suspension but has not heard back as of publication.
The Post Millennial reached out to The Guardian but has not heard back by the time of publication.