Thank you for reading the Observer. Links to each article are provided below, or you can read a PDF of the print issue.
After yet another disappointing U.N. climate conference, Angus Soderberg ’22 and Evan Wagner ’22 reflect on the many roadblocks and land mines in store for the global transition to renewables, should we decide to give it some genuine effort one of these days.
At the time of this writing, Russia’s clumsy and brutal invasion of Ukraine is giving the international order a thorough stress test. The U.S. works hard to maintain a worldwide perception that its supreme military makes its international priorities untouchable. Yet if Russian expands its aggression to NATO states, our bluff may be called. Is America still far and away the most powerful country in the world? For Alex Mormorunni ’25, that should not even be its goal. He dives into the 2021 defense budget increase, the political rhetoric used to justify it, and the economic cost of exorbitant defense spending.
From our Instagram feeds, it looks like all the juniors abroad in Europe are having a great time. Good for them! But who needs to go to Europe when we can write about Europe? Molly McLaughlin ’23 charts shifting winds in Northern Irish politics, as Brexit’s consequences unfold across the U.K. and voters find new reasons to reunify Ireland. Hayden Toftner ’22 checks in with our German pals and their colorful new governing coalition.
The issue closes with a sober reflection from Aaron Meuser ’22 on the Capitol riot of January 6th, 2021. America has now lived for one year having crossed the Rubicon of democratic backsliding with the desecration of the Capitol, its greatest living symbol. At the time, a lukewarm bipartisan consensus formed to condemn the riot and recognize that it was several steps outside of acceptable discourse. Sadly, as the riot has faded in the public imagination, more and more Republicans are legitimizing the event. Our republic remains on track to an illiberal future.
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Evan Wagner, Molly McLaughlin, and Matt LesStrang, editors