Millennial Intel


Where The Fuck Is Turkey Going?

With a seemingly endless war going on in Syria, Arab states slowly coming apart, terrorist cells continuously operating and economic as well as military interests from countries like Russia and America, the Middle East has become a complicated and turbulent region.

While the role of the world’s greatest hegemonies inside the Middle East seems clear, there are regional powers whose presence is often underestimated or forgotten.

So, with a strained relationship with the Unites States and failed negotiations to form part of the European Union, what is Turkey’s international and regional role?

“Every decision Turkey makes, even the ones that affect the international sphere, are related to their domestic policies.” Agustín Berea a Middle East specialist said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “Everything Tayyip Erdoğan does is for his public and his public is the Turkish people.”

In a developing country where the society is divided between those in favor of business and liberalism and those who are much more conservative and traditionalist, Tayyip Erdoğan came in as a reformist, progressist and with strong ties with the conservative sectors of the Turkish society.

In the beginning of Erdoğan’s mandate, talks about joining the European Union were strong.


READ MORE: Why Turkey Should Be Removed From NATO

However, such discourses have gradually faded over time.

Historical issues, such as the occupation of Cyprus, and the recent violation of human rights, as well as the authoritarian government, have been enough to declare that Turkey does not reach the standards to form part of the union.

Although the Republic of Turkey was founded with the objective of having a legitimacy based on secularity and laicism, the Turkish society remains strongly attached to its religious basis.

“Demographically, there’s a lot more people who identify themselves with the East than with the West. Geographically, the part of Turkey located in Europe and the Mediterranean, although highly populated, represents a minority,” Berea said.

Not only that, but the agenda of Turkish president Tayyip Erdoğan does not tie with the agenda of other international actors such as Russia and the United States.

A market in Istanbul. Photo Credit: Pedro Szekely/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“His main goal is to solve internal conflicts,” Berea said.

The inability to tie Turkish interests with those of other countries has resulted in strained relationships with the American president Donald Trump and the Russian president Vladimir Putin.

Moreover, it has also resulted in the breaking of diplomatic relations with the Iranian president Hasán Rouhani.

While Erdoğan’s ability to project his influence at an international level is questionable, with one of the world’s largest and most powerful armies, Turkey’s regional power is undeniable.

“Turkey cannot reach just any part of the world. However, its mobility and ability to effectively achieve its goals within the Middle East are higher than the one of countries like Russia or even the United States,” Berea said.

These goals include neutralizing the threat of ISIS within Turkish borders, the liberation of the city of Raqqa, and toppling the Assad regime. However, this would require more time, planning, and manpower than the one Turkey currently has in Syria.

This year, as early as February, former prohibitions considered to be secularization measures, such as the banning of the of Islamic veil and religious demonstrations, have been lifted. This has led many to believe that Turkey is no longer the champion of secularism.

“Muslim sectors are much closer to the government and it would seem like Turkey’s regional allies are projects that align with the agenda of political Islam,” Berea said.

Turkey is not the only nation of the Middle East that seems to be going back to projects and governments based on the Muslim religion.

READ MORE: Kicking Turkey Out Of NATO Would Be A Massive Mistake

“Countries in the Middle East have experienced with secular governance models and it is the opinion of many that such projects have not worked so far,” Berea explained.

Iran, Syria and Egypt are some of the countries that have experienced with these secular governance models.

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The idea of going back to a caliphate comes from these failed projects of democratic nations and the people in the Middle East want to go back to a moment in which society and political structures worked better.

Could we expect Tayyip Erdoğan’s government to fail or to be toppled by a revolution in Turkey?

“The only way that there could be a successful coup against Erdoğan is if he openly spoke about religious structures within the state. This is unthinkable for the Turkish army,” Berea said.

Although political leaders have known how to handle their differences and act with moderation, the future of the Middle East is now more uncertain than ever.

With so many international actors involved in a small region, the situation seems to be bound to escalate to major proportions.

“My fear about Trump is that he may not know how to handle himself in moments of tension,” Berea said.

While conflict is possible, it doesn’t seem likely yet.

NOW WATCH: This Is The Oldest Building In The Western Hemisphere. We Bet You’ve Never Heard Of It 

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Charles Dunst/ RISE NEWS


Trumpcare Would Cause 23 Million People To Lose Health Insurance

The Congressional Budget Office says that President Donald Trump’s plan to get rid of Obamacare would lead to 23 million people losing their health insurance by 2026.

From Vice News:

“In its first analysis of the bill that Republicans the House of Representatives passed in early May, the CBO concluded that out of pocket costs for mental health and maternity care would increase by thousands of dollars a year in many states. The CBO predicted that the health bill would create savings of $119 billion over the next 10 years.”

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Racist Attack Targeted At American University Black Sorority

American University in Washington, D.C. is at the center of its second racially driven hate act in eight months.

According to a statement released by the university, bananas were left hanging from what was designed to look like nooses on three separate locations on campus.

The bananas were “marked with the letters AKA”, the letters of a predominantly black sorority.

Last September, similar incidents occurred at American including an episode when someone threw a rotten banana at a student..

Students took to social media to express their anger with the racially charged incident.


American’s student body president Taylor Dumpson (who happens to be the college’s first black woman SGA president) released a statement about the incident.

“It is disheartening and immensely frustrating that we are still dealing with this issue after recent conversations, dialogues, and town halls surrounding race relations on campus,” Dumpson said. “But this is exactly why we need to do more than just have conversations but move in a direction towards more tangible solutions to prevent incidents like these from occurring in the future.”

Cover Photo Credit: American University/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

This University President Just Smacked Down Trump In An Amazing Email

University administrators are often criticized for not speaking up about issues that their students care about. But that is certainly not the case at the University of Maryland, Baltimore (UMB).

There, university president Jay A. Perman has taken a forceful stance against President Donald Trump’s anti-science agenda.

In an email to the entire university community, Perman launched into the Trump administration’s “assault on science”.

UMB is a collection of graduate degree offering institutions including a world renowned School of Medicine.

Perman wrote the email in anticipation of the March for Science that will be taking place this weekend on April 22.

“The assault on science comes not only in the form of draconian budget cuts, but in ways meant to politicize science or intimidate those who undertake it,” Perman wrote. “The administration has issued gag orders on science agencies engaging in unsanctioned speech and sent letters to agency heads ordering that they identify scientists working on climate research. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump endorsed theories that have no basis in science — for instance, that vaccines are linked to autism or that climate change is a hoax.”

Maggie Davis, a law and policy analyst for the Center for Health and Homeland Security at UMB is supportive of Perman’s aggressive stance. 

I think it is an appropriate critique of budget priorities of the new administration, especially considering the hostility we have seen to researchers and scientists that work for agencies like NOAA and the EPA,” Davis said. “President Perman’s statement was clearly aimed at the policies promoted by the new administration and not President Trump as an individual, which I think is the best approach to have to build stronger support for robust funding of scientific research.” 

You really should read Perman’s entire letter. It is something else.

“To the UMB Community:

I know many of you are planning to join the hundreds of thousands of people expected to march this Saturday in Washington, D.C., to celebrate — and defend — science. I thank you for lending your voice and your advocacy to this movement because, without a doubt, science needs defending these days.

President Trump’s budget proposal cuts 31 percent from the Environmental Protection Agency, slashes the Department of Energy’s basic science research program, and zeros out a program that supports early-stage research into technologies that could reduce our national dependence on fossil fuels. The National Institutes of Health (NIH), which spends $32 billion a year on biomedical research — most of which goes to universities and medical schools across this country — would see a nearly 20 percent cut, bringing the agency’s budget to its lowest level in 15 years. By no means is it only science under attack: The president’s proposed budget eliminates the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The assault on science comes not only in the form of draconian budget cuts, but in ways meant to politicize science or intimidate those who undertake it. The administration has issued gag orders on science agencies engaging in unsanctioned speech and sent letters to agency heads ordering that they identify scientists working on climate research. As a presidential candidate, Mr. Trump endorsed theories that have no basis in science — for instance, that vaccines are linked to autism or that climate change is a hoax.

And so I stand with those who will march this weekend to defend science and the scientific method. It is the scientific method that teaches us how to ask questions, form hypotheses, and then — critically — test those hypotheses with rigorous and replicable experiments. It is this method that protects us against specious theories and unproved (and unprovable) “facts.”

As a physician, I know that it is because of science that diseases that were once widespread and incurable are now — within my own lifetime — eradicated or treatable. This is the science that some in Congress and in the White House want to cut, attempting to persuade the American people that the basic research undertaken in labs across this country doesn’t affect them. But it does, and powerfully. Every modern medical advancement that has saved patients in a physician’s care and relieved their loved ones of grief had its origins in the research lab.

U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price, himself a physician, defended President Trump’s proposed $6 billion cut to the NIH budget by suggesting that these cuts would be carved out of the overhead costs that universities like ours incur in doing research — costs such as operating and maintaining the facilities in which the research is conducted. However, as any businessperson knows, this overhead isn’t frivolous. It’s exactly what enables our people to keep doing the research that builds the science that ultimately saves and enriches lives. And I propose that it is precisely these kinds of efforts that many Americans want their tax dollars to support.

UMB is educating the next generation of health care practitioners, scientists, researchers, and policy experts, the people who will one day solve the greatest challenges of human health and well-being. I take this responsibility to train tomorrow’s problem-solvers seriously, and I support all of you in your fight to preserve smart and humane science policy and investment.

The budget priorities of this administration do not reflect the America I know, an America strengthened by its science and scientists, by investments made in research that protects its people, advances its interests, and enlarges global cooperation. The shortsightedness we’ve seen over the last three months undoubtedly threatens science, but science will prevail. It always does.


Jay A. Perman, MD


RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: University of Maryland, Baltimore/ Facebook

“In Venezuela We Don’t Live, We Survive.” A Millennial Fights For His Country While It Falls Apart

Ever since Nicolás Maduro’s rise to Venezuela’s presidency in 2013, the nation’s already unstable political and social situation has continued to deteriorate.

Insecurity, food shortage, a devastated economy and peaceful protests followed by violent repression are part of Venezuela’s daily life.

And millennials in the country are increasingly caught up in the unrest that threatens to tear apart the nation.

“Everyday, I see something that makes me think that we have to find a way out of this,” 19 year old student Juan Simón Ávila said in an interview with RISE NEWS. “There’s no day in Venezuela in which you’re happy or in which you can say that nothing happened in the country. It’s very hard.”

Ávila is a TRX fitness coach, and a musician.

Everyday, he leaves his house at 7 a.m. to go to work and everyday he see’s something dramatic in the streets of Valencia, the nation’s third largest city and the home of University of Carabobo, where Ávila goes to school.

“I see what’s going on,” Ávila said. “There’s people eating from the garbage and long lines of people outside of gas stations and food markets. People have left their jobs and they seek for any activity that may create more income to survive. In Venezuela we don’t live, we survive.”

In the past few years, Venezuela has suffered from a serious shortage not only in staple foods such as milk, chicken, coffee and rice, but also on staple products such as toilet paper and even medicines.

19 year old activist Juan Simón Ávila. Photo Credit: Submitted.

The Venezuelan economy is heavily reliant on global oil forces, and times have been tough in recent years as the price has been driven low.

This shortage of daily stable items is called by some Venezuelans, “Maduro’s Diet”.

“The amount of food has declined and people eat less,” Ávila said. “Not only that, but we’re also worried about not having enough food to get through the week and about insecurity. I go out and I worry about getting robbed, kidnapped or even killed. I want to walk through the streets without being afraid.”

Venezuela’s streets also witness the abusive and violent way in which the army and the police crush the citizens’ pacific protests.

They throw tear gas and shoot lead balls as well as real bullets to Venezuelans who attend protests with nothing but banners, whistles and tambourines.

As protests become a daily occurrence in Venezuela, the importance of the young generations cannot be overstated.

They are forming the core of protests and are pushing for rebuilding their country while forcing their voices to be heard.

“There are no reasons to stay at home, but there’s too many reasons to go out there and fight to recover our country,” Ávila said. “I want to finish my degree and I want to leave, but I want to come back and rebuild Venezuela. How could I come back if I didn´t fight until the last day I was here?”

Now in his third year as a student in the University of Carabobo, Ávila has seen how the country’s fragile economy and growing instability have taken a toll in the education sector.

“Universities are a mirror of Venezuela’s situation, or at least mine is,” Ávila said. “Everything is abandoned. The university is destroyed and my college is falling apart.”

The University of Carabobo, which runs on federal funds, is one of Venezuela’s five autonomous universities.

However, given the state of the country’s economy, the university has not received any federal aid to support itself for over six months.

With no money to maintain the facilities or pay the professors, university authorities are still deliberating whether to declare bankruptcy and suspend the institution’s activities.

“I wouldn’t go to class anyway,” Ávila said. “Venezuela comes first because if we don’t fight for it now, then we won’t do it ever. And how is it useful to me to go to college and attend classes if I won’t have a country to work in?”

With escalating street violence and a repressive and tyrannical government in charge, Venezuelans see no quick solution to the problem that afflicts their country.

“This government has to stop,” Ávila said. “Maduro has to leave. We’ve called for pacts and elections, but they have shown they don’t care about what anyone says. I don’t see any way of solving this conflict in the near future. Maybe we need a big rebellion or a foreign intervention because Venezuela’s situation will not be solved through democracy.”

Ávila said he looks forward to finishing his degree in Fiscal Science and going to Mexico with his sister Rosa María to play music.

“People out there have to know that there’s people here fighting for Venezuela,” Ávila said. “They have to know that Venezuelans’ human rights are being violated, but that we’re still here facing this government. They have to know that there’s people who believe that this country will get through this. Maybe not today or tomorrow, but we will get through this. People out there have to realize and talk about how there’s something going on in Venezuela.”

Read More: While America Closes Up Shop, Mexico Opens Its Arms To Syrian Students

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Photo Credits: Juan Simón Ávila/ Submitted

South Carolina Student Governments Stand Up To Governor Over Bond Bill

Three Student Governments in South Carolina have united to beg their Governor to change his mind regarding a bill that would raise taxes in order to pay for infrastructure improvements at universities in the state.

In a press release, the SGA presidents for Clemson University, University of South Carolina and College of Charleston asked Gov. Henry McMaster to change his opposition to House Bill 3722, which is better known as the “bond bill”.

The bill would raise around $250 million that could be spent by state universities to keep up with crumbling infrastructure and physical campus improvements.

McMaster has said that he opposes the bill and would rather spend the money on fixing roads in the state.

SGA presidents Ross Lordo (South Carolina), Killian McDonald (Clemson) and Michael Faikes (College of Charleston) issued a joint statement that tried to explain why they believe the bond is important to the state.

From the joint statement:

“The $250 million in funding that would be authorized by HB.3722 would allow fifteen public colleges and universities across the state to make critical renovations and repairs to facilities that simply cannot keep up with South Carolina’s rapid population growth. The last bond bill was passed over sixteen years ago. That timespan has allowed our state’s current students to graduate from their elementary schools and make it all the way to the colleges they attend today. Yet these past sixteen years have also taken a toll on the classrooms and buildings that have educated sixteen classes of graduates. Failing to make improvements to our schools now will only lead to larger, more extensive, and ultimately more expensive costs farther down the road. As governor, you have pointed out our state’s roads have suffered similar neglect and disregard, bringing the need for road repairs “from important to critical to urgent.” We should not allow the facilities at our state’s institutions of higher learning to suffer the same fate as our roads.”

Read the whole letter below:

Bond Bill Letter by Andrea Lashay on Scribd

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: Henry McMaster/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Millennial Travel Guide: A Day Trip To Northern Ireland

Another weekend in Ireland calls for another day trip!

My roommates and I decided to make the journey to Northern Ireland to see Belfast City, Giant’s Causeway, and Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge as a quick getaway from Dublin.

Not leaving the island, but being in a different country was another thing I could check off my bucket list after our excursion to the United Kingdom.

We left Dublin with our Paddywagon tour and headed North!

The luck of the Irish was with us again as we got nearly perfect weather for a day, according to Northern Ireland standards.

Everything’s just better when the weather cooperates.

Our first stop was particularly exciting for me, as a huge Game of Thrones fan.

We got to see THE Dark Hedges on the King’s Road.

This iconic destination was beautiful regardless if you watch the show or not, but definitely a bonus for those of us with an obsession.

Back on the bus we continued on to the Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge.

The bridge connects the mainland to Carrick Island.

It was originally built by fishermen so they could cast nets over the wide chasm; however, now it is purely a tourist attraction for the brave.

We watched as people crossed before us and the 100 feet drop didn’t seem to daunting.

The second I stepped on that bridge the 100 feet felt like 1000.

Once I got over initial fear of the height I was able to fully enjoy the views and they were spectacular.

Watering crashing below, cliffs on either side, and only wood and a few ropes under my feet is something I’ve never experienced.

Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge is a definite must-see of Northern Ireland.

The main attraction of our tour was Giant’s Causeway.

This place truly blew my mind.

There are over 40,000 basalt columns formed through volcanic burning and cooling.

The formations are reportedly 60 million years old and even have the legend of Finn McCool to try to explain the fanaticism of the site.

We hopped from rock to rock with the ocean in front of us and the mountains behind us.

It was a picturesque scene everywhere we looked.

This seems to be a common theme of my travels.

After two hours of climbing, sitting, and taking in the views we had to say goodbye to Giant’s Causeway.

Honestly still confused how volcanic rock can form into hexagons and be stacked so perfectly together.

We ended the day by getting a little time to explore Belfast City.

Steeped in history, we were overwhelmed by the city’s tumultuous past.

The effects of the Troubles are still seen today with conflict between the Protestants and Catholics of the city.

Regardless of the dangerous past of Belfast, the city center offered us a glimpse into the urban side of Northern Ireland.

It was a great ending to a great day. When you’re on an island as beautiful as I am, there’s no reason not to explore as much as possible.

Read More: Millennial Travel Guide: A Day Trip To Ireland’s Majestic Cliffs Of Moher

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Kids, Being An Astronaut Is Boring. You Should Want To Explore The Ocean

For more than a year, my best friend Erin and I have been the two opposing factors in a long-standing argument: Which is more important to explore, the ocean or outer space?

She is a firm believer that escapism is a relevant issue that should be on the forefront of scientists’ agendas, considering our planet is treated like dirt—ha, dirt—and will eventually become unlivable, therefore we must be prepared to leave. I, on the other hand, have faith in our great Earth.

I believe that we can find answers to escapists’ queries right below our feet.

The ocean covers more than 70 percent of our planet, housing and supporting many of our living organisms and life forms over the entire planet.

The ocean affects weather patterns, provides entertainment and impacts human activity in so many ways.

It is the anchor of our very existence, yet we are killing it off each day.

Humans need to be held accountable for their role in global demolition in some way, and righting the wrongs we’ve done by our ocean is a much better option than running off to the stars to kill them too.

Our ocean is depressingly neglected.

Less than 5 percent of the ocean has been explored, leaving 65 percent of our Earth unknown.

We prioritize mapping out completely uninhabitable celestial bodies like Venus and Mercury, but continue to keep our ocean as an afterthought.

According to Larry Mayer, director of the Center for Marine Science and Coastal Engineering at the University of New Hampshire, it is a commitment issue.

Get out of here moon! Photo Credit: Johannes Richter/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

“We could map the entire deep ocean for $3 billion—no more than a single Mars mission,” Mayer said in an interview with BBC.

The sea floor has technically been mapped out, but at a quarter of the resolution of other astronomical objects like Mars.

This information is hardly useful because it is neither detailed nor does it contain any information on the life that inhabits the deep sea.

Amitai Etzioni, a sociologist and director of the Institute for Communitarian Policy Studies at George Washington University, coined the ocean as the “Fruitful Frontier” in a contributing article for Issues in Science and Technology.

With this phrase, Etzioni makes a great point.

The ocean is home to organisms that will help increase medicinary advancements; it is a sink for carbon dioxide, which can be a viable solution to climate change; it is a viable catalyst for developing safer, cleaner energy.

These are only a few items that demonstrate what our ocean has to offer.

The ocean is brimming with potential, yet we refuse to acknowledge its power.

Space is a place for dreamers; the doers look toward the seas.

From Etzioni’s article:

“The ocean has absorbed almost one-third of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emitted since the advent of the industrial revolution and have the potential to continue absorbing a large share of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere. Researchers are exploring a variety of chemical, biological and physical geoengineering projects to increase the ocean’s capacity to absorb carbon.”

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) made a statement on their website that they are working to increase oceanic research.

However, as actions continue to speak louder than words, space still takes priority.

Whether it be because it seems more mystifying than the seas or because it is a way out of a dying planet, oceanic ignorance will ultimately be the downfall of humanity before anything else.

Mars is cool, we guess. Photo Credit: Kevin Gill/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

So, say this ignorance lasts forever and we eventually obtain the knowledge and technology to venture off to Mars.

Say we find a way to colonize the red planet and live full, healthy lives with little complication.

There is no doubt that we will eventually kill Mars just like we let Earth down.

We will take our vices and keep polluting planets until spaceships are our only options left, and have you seen “WALL-E”?

It does not work.

In no way should we just halt space exploration altogether; that would be ridiculous.

It is just so obvious that the government’s money should be allocated to more necessary and relevant projects.

Even if funding was cut from space exploration, The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) would not go out of business; corners would just have to be cut.

This means humans would most likely be cut from the big picture, for the moment.

But never fear, for we have robots!

Robots do not require the same accommodations like humans do: Food, radiation shields, armor against prolonged weightlessness and airlessness and—most importantly—a return ticket.

On the economic side of things as well, it costs much less money to send a robot into space than it costs to send a human.

Not to mention, it is much safer than throwing a human out into such uncharted territory; we can’t stand to have failed attempts when human lives are taken out of the picture.

Theoretical physicist and Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg, in an interview for CNN, said manned missions are “an incredible waste of money.”

Weinberg continued, “[F]or the cost of putting a few people on a very limited set of locations on Mars we could have dozens of unmanned, robotic missions roving all over Mars.”

A view of the Canary Islands from Space. Photo Credit: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

All in all, robots are disposable machines (sorry, “WALL-E”)  that we can (and do) use as guinea pigs to do the dirty work humans cannot yet do in space.

So it would not even be a big surprise or change; NASA will not lose much.

While NASA will not lose much as far as human exploration, they are losing federal funding that, while it may seem small, will cause a great deal of suffering, especially in the current political climate.

President Donald Trump’s proposed 2018 budget amendment, “America First: a Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again,” takes significant stabs at NASA’s agenda that is ultimately detrimental to the Earth.

Trump wants to allocate $19 billion to NASA, which is a 0.8 percent decrease from former president Barack Obama’s 2016 budget.

Trump wants to prioritize commercial flights and partnerships between private and public corporations to make this happen.

That sounds great and all, but the seemingly harmless decrease is where the problem lies.

The budget states, “The Budget terminates four Earth science missions (PACE, OCO-3, DSCOVR 241-916, Earth-viewing instruments, and CLARREO Pathfinder) and reduces funding for Earth science research grants.”

The budget will also completely defund the Office of Education, a program created by NASA to guide youth to STEM careers and make NASA a more prominent role in science and math education.

If the Office of Education cut is not bad enough, consider the Earth science missions that would die too.

DSCOVR 241-916 would work with the upkeep of solar wind monitoring capabilities, which is critical in detecting space weather alerts and creating forecasts.

According to NOAA, “[w]ithout timely and accurate warnings, space weather events like the geomagnetic storms caused by changes in solar wind have the potential to disrupt nearly every major public infrastructure system, including power grids, telecommunications, aviation and GPS.”

We literally know nothing about the sea floor. Photo Credit: Oregon State University/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

OCO-3 is an asset to the International Space Station that would detect levels of carbon dioxide with the sharpest precision NASA has crafted thus far, and it has been a great opportunity for partnership between NASA and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency.

The Earth-viewing instruments would give us more developed imaging of the Earth from space.

In addition to these, PACE “will provide unprecedented insight into Earth’s ocean and atmosphere, which impact our everyday lives by regulating climate and making our planet habitable.”

And finally CLARREO Pathfinder “will monitor the pulse of the Earth to better understand climate change.”

Trump wants to cut the few things that NASA has planned to monitor Earth and detect patterns, which means we will miss out on possible significant understandings of climate change and what affects it.

Not to mention, the one mission that solely has to do with oceanic exploration will be cut as well, making Americans (and ultimately all humans) more ignorant to climate change and what it will take to restore the damage done to our planet.

It’s kind of a big deal.

And on top of all that, the Environmental Protection Agency would get a 31 percent decrease if Trump’s budget ever gets enacted.

Aside from economics, pro-space explorers argue that colonizing other planets, and at the very least, gaining traction with getting more humans into space, will bring countries together to work for a common good.

This cannot be more wrong.

Let’s explore that shit! Photo Credit: Josias Caleb Pinedo Silva/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

Since the 1960s, getting people to the Moon became a manhood competition between the United States and Russia.

The Space Race tore countries’s relationships down more than they were built up.

Nowadays the United States has worked with Japan on efforts to improve the International Space Station, and in the movie The Martian, U.S. astrophysicists called on China to help bring Matt Damon home from Mars.

But we cannot rely on Hollywood and singular events to fuel hope for global harmony.

Neil deGrasse Tyson, lord of the cosmos, believes that astronauts are inspirations to children.

Many do agree with Tyson: There is at least one moment in every young child’s life that they wish to become an astronaut.

This is not a bad thing by any means; inspiring children to go into science and math fields provides a sense of hope for future generations.

However, the same thing can be done, and can be done more effectively, with ocean exploration.

With the little that we know about the ocean, it means we have so much to discover.

Children should be inspired by what is right here on Earth, rather than something they likely will never reach.

If that sounds insensitive, consider the required qualifications for astronauts, besides a relevant degree:

“[The] ability to pass a NASA space physical, which is similar to a military or civilian flight physical; … 20/20 or better uncorrected [vision], correctable to 20/20 [in] each eye; blood pressure [of] 140/90 measured in a sitting position; height between 58.5 and 76 inches.”

This is all on top of obtaining an impressive enough STEM degree and at least three years of continuing studies or professional experience.

Yet none of this matters at all if there is no money or technology to safely put a human in space.

Aeronautics may sound really cool, but it is not a field for which all our children should strive.

Quite literally, we should really stop teaching kids to shoot for the stars, because getting there can be nearly impossible.

Instead, direct them to the nearest beach and let them imagine all of those possibilities!

We need oceanographers more than ever, so the next generations of scientists should align their priorities properly as soon as they are in grade school.

Space enthusiasts and ocean lovers can agree: There is work to be done in all aspects of science, and it is up to future generations to answer all our questions.

They just need to see where the priorities lie.

Don’t get me wrong, NASA is an amazing program that has done so much for humanity and the advancement of technology.

NASA works as a two-way technology transfer; much of the discoveries NASA makes can be used in other scientific fields.

NASA helped give us personal computers and solar-powered refrigeration.

They even helped show us the beauty of Tang.

However, space should not be our first priority when it comes to scientific research.

There are so many answers in the ocean that are waiting to be found.

There is so much life to discover, so many materials to utilize.

We can make great progress for our entire planet if we just looked down instead of up.

Space may be the Final Frontier, but we should pay attention to the keyword “final.”

We cannot and should not give up on our ocean just because of heavenly possibilities.

We need to preserve and restore what we have and do our planet a service that is long overdue.

RISE NEWS is a grassroots journalism news organization that is working to change the way young people become informed and engaged in the world. You can write for us.

Cover Photo Credit: popofatticus/ Flickr (CC By 2.0)

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