Feel that clean air and voting are human rights? It’s partly on you

first_img A plea for mercy GAZETTE: What can individuals do to help prevent climate change?SIKKINK: We know that 50 percent of global carbon lifestyle emissions are produced by the 10 percent who are the wealthiest people in the world, and that includes not only businessmen who fly to London every week, but also myself and virtually all of my colleagues. According to certain sources, you need something like $100,000 of assets to be considered among the 10 percent wealthiest people in the world. Because privileged people create more emissions, and they have more responsibility in helping to reduce emissions. An excellent scientific study by Seth Wynes and Kimberly Nicholas tried to figure out the most effective actions people can take to reduce their carbon footprint. That study suggested that the first thing is to have one fewer child, but there is a big debate about that. The second thing is to live car-free. The third is to avoid one international airplane flight. The fourth thing is to sign up for green energy to make sure your energy comes from green sources. The fifth is to eat a plant-based diet. A fellow who was my colleague at the Radcliffe Institute, Gidon Eshel, a geophysicist who studies the climate impact of food choices, told me that for people like me who can’t give up meat completely yet, the one thing we can do is to give up beef because it has the worst impact on climate change. Personally, I’m working on that, but it’s quite hard. I’m also trying to reduce my travel by one international plane trip per year. We, at Harvard, need to think about the impact that our travel is having on global emissions.GAZETTE: Your book also argues that this approach can be applied to voting.SIKKINK: Here is an example: We know that eligible Harvard students often don’t vote. Instead of focusing on who’s to blame, there is a lot we can do together as a community to help our students vote. Harvard students and the administration have really stepped forward and worked together to take on this ethical and political responsibility. We have good data about student voting. In the midterm elections in 2014, approximately 22 percent of eligible Harvard students voted. In the 2018 midterm elections, almost 49 percent of eligible Harvard students voted. In political terms, that is a huge jump. Harvard added a voter-registration window into the mandatory online check-in for all students. When President Bacow first met with the freshman class two years ago, he said to them, “I’m going to give you your first homework assignment.” He said, “Register to vote,” and that was huge. The Harvard story is not unique; similar changes are happening in other institutions around the country, from community colleges to large public universities to private institutions.GAZETTE: This new politics of responsibilities can also be applied to areas such as digital privacy, freedom of speech, and others. Where does this framework come from? SIKKINK: I drew on the work of political theorist Iris Marion Young, especially her posthumous book, “Responsibility for Justice.” She calls for a “social-connection model of responsibility,” not a liability model, not who’s to blame. She says that “everyone who is socially connected to a structural injustice and able to act needs to step forward and act.” And that’s the argument I was making about climate change. It’s too late to just point your finger at who’s to blame. With climate change, all of us are socially connected to the problem and able to act, need to act in order to address this crisis. Same thing with the digital-privacy issue. After the Cambridge Analytica scandal, everyone was blaming Facebook but not thinking of the ways we make it easy for Facebook and other corporations to violate our privacy. In the business model of these corporations, our data is the product, and they will not change without concerted pressure from consumers and governments. In other words, the approach of ethics of responsibilities can be applied for every issue. You can start by asking what are the rights at stake and what do we have to do to take ethical and political responsibility.GAZETTE: You said you wrote this book for people who are willing to act but are too busy to do it. What do you hope your readers will gain from reading the book? What weighed on us in 2019? ‘Climate emergency’ Flight from reason In her new book, legal scholar Martha Minow advocates for the power of forgiveness Harvard faculty members consider the Oxford Dictionaries’ ‘word of the year’ center_img Related Thomas Patterson looks at the threat to Democracy in ‘How America Lost Its Mind’ SIKKINK: I know there will be lots of critiques to the book. I know that people will say, “This ignores the deep structural power that leads to some of the problems in the world today.” But the reason I wrote this book is that I’m a scholar of norms movements in the world. I study how new norms start and gain traction and where they succeed. I’ve written books and done research on everything from anti-slavery to women’s suffrage campaigns in the world to the anti-foot-binding campaigns in China to campaigns about female genital cutting and other human-rights issues. And what I can tell you is that all normative change in the world begins with a group of deeply committed individuals. If we’re going to start focusing on people taking seriously their individual responsibilities for climate change, that has to be a norm movement. It has to be people starting to think about their personal carbon footprint and the things they can do to reduce it. It has to start with a movement of what I call “norm entrepreneurs,” people who take their ethical responsibilities seriously to act to fulfill their rights.This interview has been edited and condensed for length and clarity. After years of writing about human rights, Kathryn Sikkink has decided to focus on responsibilities. It is what lies at the heart of her new book, “The Hidden Face of Rights: Toward a Politics of Responsibilities.” The Gazette sat down with the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School to talk about her call for a new “ethics of responsibilities” and the role of individuals in dealing with climate change, voting, digital privacy, and other pressing issues.Q&AKathryn SikkinkGAZETTE: You have written many books about human rights, but your new book focuses on obligations rather than rights. Why is there a need to talk about what you call “a politics and ethics of responsibilities,” and what does it involve?SIKKINK: The main point I want to underscore is that this book is about rights and responsibilities, not about responsibilities instead of rights. The important word here is “and.”Human rights are incredibly important, but to advance human rights and implement them, it’s just not enough for everyone to only talk about their rights. To implement rights, we have to talk about the responsibilities of many actors that make it possible for people to enjoy their rights. We, human-rights theorists and activists, have known for a long time that for every right there has to be an actor with a corresponding responsibility to make sure that right can be exercised. But sometimes, human-rights activists only want to talk about states’ responsibilities and not about the responsibilities of other actors. States’ responsibilities are incredibly important, but responsibility can’t only rest with the state.GAZETTE: Some people might think this approach of the “ethics of responsibilities” is naïve and overstates the impact individuals can have. What is necessary to make this more than a symbolic statement?SIKKINK: Many human-rights activists are lawyers, and they think about rights in terms of the liability model: Who’s to blame? Who can we sue? Who can we put in jail? That’s a good model for implementing some rights, but it doesn’t get far enough with most rights. I’ve written a book about responses to mass atrocities, and it’s all about how we need to prosecute state officials for mass atrocities. I believe in the liability model for some rights. But there are other rights such as the right to vote, in which actors’ responsibilities can really make a difference. In some parts of our country today, voter suppression by state actors is a conscious policy. Citizens can’t just wait for the state to do its job. We have to be conscious of what other actors can do to take responsibility to circumvent voter suppression and support voter turnout.GAZETTE: You talk in your book how the ethics of responsibilities can be applied to climate change. How so?SIKKINK: There’s been a move underway to talk about a right to a clean environment and a right to a stable climate. I’m not opposed to the idea, but in order to move ahead, we have to talk about the responsibilities of all actors, including the states. Now that our federal government has abdicated its responsibilities entirely with regard to climate change, we can’t just twiddle our thumbs and wait for another election in the hope it will bring a government to office that cares about climate change. There are many other actors that can step forward. They don’t have legal responsibility, but they do have an ethical and political responsibility. I’m talking about corporations that are interested in working on climate-change issues, but also about state and municipal governments. For example, Massachusetts offers subsidies for solar panels, and Cambridge has a terrific recycling program and a brand-new curbside composting program. “All normative change in the world begins with a group of deeply committed individuals.”last_img read more

Heisler: Lakers’ ongoing comedy shows organization built on nepotism, cronyism

first_imgAs if the league needs a new attraction with a boffo comedy going as Magic Johnson continued to bash the Lakers while pledging undying love to them?It was another crazy week with ESPN.com’s Baxter Holmes producing a 6,500-word opus on Johnson’s misbegotten era … while ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith melted down on the air, decrying his own company’s story.Smith is Magic’s guy at The Wide World of Sports. As Stephen A. actually noted, he was embarrassed to have Johnson coming in the same day Holmes’ piece ran, in which Magic was alleged to be an abusive boss who had several Lakers staffers resigning and/or taking anti-anxiety medication.Ranted Stephen A. in Johnson’s defense:“Oh my god! Let’s get the ax! Let’s take Magic Johnson to the guillotine!”Of course, with Johnson determined to keep going on the air to defend himself, these coincidences in timing are becoming common … like the week before when Magic went on to call GM Rob Pelinka a back-stabber, the same day the Lakers introduced Coach Frank Vogel in their first press conference since Johnson’s resignation 41 days before.In the part we didn’t know before, Holmes reported James’ agent, Rich Paul, waged a season-long campaign against Coach Luke Walton.This was confirmed by Silver, himself. In an early-season chance meeting, the commissioner said Paul told him something to the effect of, “Luke Walton is not the right guy to coach LeBron.”Assuming that Paul’s opinions followed James’, and Johnson’s followed LeBron’s, this explains why Magic went off on Walton at the seven-game mark, turning Luke into a lame duck.LeBron knows he’s held to the highest standards and has done this before, trying and failing to get Erik Spoelstra fired in Miami, succeeding in getting David Blatt fired in Cleveland.In this, James was joined by Johnson, feeling exposed after his controversial decisions to forego shooters and sign eccentrics such as JaVale McGee, Lance Stephenson and Michael Beasley.Not that Magic was supposed to take orders from James. With LeBron locked up for three seasons, it was the other way around.It was Johnson’s job to make James understand they might have to sacrifice this season to finish rebuilding after saving a maximum salary slot and bringing in so many veterans on one-year deals.What Magic wasn’t supposed to do was go off on Walton before Thanksgiving on LeBron’s behalf, undercutting what little stability they had.Of course, conveying that message meant realizing it, himself. By all accounts, Magic didn’t, talking of building for the future while challenging Golden State at the same time.A Lakers staffer told Holmes he didn’t know if Johnson had a plan. Actually, Magic did … or LeBron did … and it was a dilly: Trade for Anthony Davis, off-loading enough salary to save their max slot for another star free agent to put alongside James.Unfortunately for Magic, it proved impossible with New Orleans blaming the Lakers for their heavy-handed, obviously LeBron-driven, wooing of A.D.Worst of all for Johnson, he wasn’t working at the Lakers job full-time and couldn’t live it down when it got into the press.“And last but not least, lazy?” Magic told Stephen A. last week, re-framing the charge into one he could lampoon.“I have built a $600 million business. You can not be lazy going from basketball and winning five championships. … I wasn’t lazy as a player and I’m not lazy as a CEO and a business owner. That’s never going to happen.”Of course, no one said he was lazy. The charge was that he wasn’t often in the Lakers’ office, which he hasn’t addressed.Holmes, noting Johnson’s many business interests, suggests he was in their office “once a week or every two weeks.”Infrequent as that was, it could have been OK if Johnson had a smooth working relationship with an experienced No. 2 man who assigned all the detail work.Imagine if Jeanie Buss had kept GM Mitch Kupchak, who had all the qualifications, instead of lumping Mitch in with her brother, Jim, when she fired him.The No. 2 man became Pelinka, an agent, hired at the suggestion of his client, Kobe Bryant, neither of whom had front office experience.As for Johnson’s inconceivable charge of being stabbed in the back … still unspecified aside from citing “little things that bothered me” … he had more than two seasons with Pelinka. If loyalty was an issue, Magic should have been able to tell long before.Unfortunately for the Lakers and Jeanie, who kept Pelinka, Rob is now lumped in with Johnson in the press, as if he was Magic’s partner in crime … setting up Pelinka as the scapegoat for the next thing that goes wrong.Actually, Pelinka looks more like another of the staffers Magic ran roughshod over.Related Articles Lakers, Clippers schedules set for first round of NBA playoffs Trail Blazers, Grizzlies advance to NBA play-in game; Suns, Spurs see playoff dreams dashed Lakers practice early hoping to answer all questions How athletes protesting the national anthem has evolved over 17 years Trail Blazers beat Grizzlies in play-in, earn first-round series with the Lakers center_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersNor did Kawhi look too bouncy in Game 1, scoring 23 points and shooting 5 for 14 from the field.So, lead or no lead, good luck, Raptors!The matchup looked so one-sided, Warriors players were being asked before it started if Steph Curry would finally be the Finals MVP … based, of course, on the assumption that injured Kevin Durant won’t be a major factor and that wouldn’t matter to the team.Meanwhile, the New York Times’ Marc Stein introduced his plan for the anticipated walkover: multiple postseason tournaments like European soccer teams.Compounding the absurdity, Commissioner Adam Silver told Stein that a second “cup” was “in the conceptual phase.” Oh yeah, the Finals.The NBA season is supposed to lead dramatically to this point but was widely believed to be over before it started with the Warriors coming off three titles in four seasons … having lost the one in 2016 after leading the Cavaliers 3-1… with no LeBron James-led contender arising in the East to worry about.Instead, it’s the Toronto Raptors with their star/upcoming free agent, Kawhi Leonard, and trash-talking rapper/co-owner, Drake, representing the East and, in an upset, taking a 1-0 lead.Unfortunately, Leonard played hurt last series as his uncle/adviser, Dennis Robertson, told Yahoo’s Chris Haynes (“You could clearly see he was in pain.”) Pelinka, reported Holmes, survived with the avid support of Jeanie’s best friend and new Lakers power player, Linda Rambis.Now to see how long any of them, Rob and/or Linda, last.If there’s a silver lining for Lakers fans, it’s that the heat in the press is exposing an organization run on nepotism and cronyism, which Jeanie might finally be obliged to recognize and professionalize.Of course, that suggests more misadventures await in the meantime so buckle up.Mark Heisler has written an NBA column since 1991 and was honored with the Naismith Hall of Fame’s Curt Gowdy Award in 2006. His print column is published weekly on Sundays for the Southern California News Group. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img read more

Digicel Cup launched in style

first_imgThe event was attended by sponsors and the country’s rugby league community, including the PNG Rugby Football League, PNGNRL and Sports Minister Justin Tkatchenko.In receiving the Cup back from Agmark Gurias captain Nelson Daplen, PNGRNL chairman Sudhir Guru acknowledged Digicel PNG’s continuous support to the country’s premium rugby league competition.Digicel Play CEO Nico Meyer said Digicel PNG was happy to continue its partnership with the PNGNRL for the sixth consecutive year.A partnership that will continue to drive the game of rugby league forward, he added.“The Digicel Cup is a community embedded rugby league competition and we are thrilled to support this season again.“Digicel Play is committed to providing live and exclusive content and televise all Digicel Cup games on TVWAN,” said Meyer.Captains of the 11 franchise clubs then took to the stage to display their new home uniforms for this season.Round 1 of the Digicel Cup will kick off this Sunday in Port Moresby, Mt Hagen, Mendi, Chimbu and Kokopo.last_img read more