Roundup: Weather, Water and Trump
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    The Hottest Year in History: How will it impact 2016?

    According to scientists from National Center for Atmospheric Research and NASA, 2015 was the hottest year in recorded history, breaking the record made in 1880. Researchers attribute the rising temps El Niño (a weather pattern that causes great surf and warm winters) and global warming.

    With climate change once again in front and center of the news, it is sure to be a popular topic in forthcoming Republican and Democratic debates. Let’s take a look at what some of the candidates have said about global warming in the past:

    Donald Trump: “I am not a believer, and I will, unless somebody can prove something to me, I believe there’s weather. I believe there’s change, and I believe it goes up and it goes down, and it goes up again. And it changes depending on years and centuries, but I am not a believer, and we have much bigger problems.” – September 2015 on a radio talk show

    Ted Cruz: “Climate change is the perfect pseudoscientific theory for a big-government politician who wants more power.” – December 2015 on NPR

    Marco Rubio: “We're not going to make America a harder place to create jobs in order to pursue policies that will do absolutely nothing, nothing to change our climate. America is a lot of things, the greatest country in the world, absolutely. But America is not a planet.” – September 2015 at a GOP debate

    Hillary Clinton: “You don’t have to be a sci­ent­ist to take on this ur­gent chal­lenge that threatens us all; you just have to be will­ing to act.” – July 2015

    Bernie Sanders: "This planet and its people are in trouble," he warned. "Unless we get our act together, we will see in years to come more droughts, more floods and more extreme weather disturbances. It is absolutely vital that we act boldly to move our energy system away from fossil fuels.” – January 2015

    The Flint Water Crisis

    The population of Flint, Michiga has been reeling from lead-poisoned water the past few months. However, it only recently entered the national news Jan. 5, when Gov. Rick Snyder declared a state of emergency in Flint. Obama signed an emergency declaration on Jan. 16 and ordered federal aid for Flint. Volunteers from across the country have donated water and money to the town, including NFL Lions player Ezekiel Ansah, who led efforts to donate 94,000 water bottles. Rock band Pearl Jam, rappers Big Sean and Meek Mill and singer Cher have also donated a combined $315,000 and 260,000 water bottles and counting to the cause.

    But how did the water in Flint become poisoned? In April 2014, Flint switched from the Detroit water supply to water from the Flint River to save money. However, the water from Detroit was treated with orthophosphate, a chemical that prevents the lead pipes from corroding into the water. The water from the Flint River was not only orthophosphate-free, but also contained eight times more chloride than Detroit’s water, an extremely corrosive chemical. In October 2015, the city switched back to the Detroit water supply, but the water was already filled with lead. This water has been especially damaging to the children of Flint.

    Sarah Palin endorsed … Donald Trump?

    What’s the news?

    Former 2008 vice presidential nominee turned Tea Party campaigner Sarah Palin announced her support for presidential candidate Donald Trump Jan. 19. Palin stood up at a Trump rally at Iowa State University and publicly endorsed him by echoing Trump’s famous call to action, “Are you ready for the leader to make America great again?” Palin’s support is the highest-profile backing of a Republican this election cycle, according to Alan Rappeport and Maggie Haberman of the New York Times .

    Why do people care?

    The news came just 13 days before the Iowa Caucus, potentially giving Trump a leg up over other Republican hopefuls, like Sen. Ted Cruz. Having been close to Trump in state polls, Cruz has to win Iowa to be a contender for the Republican nomination. The Iowa Caucus garners a lot of media attention during election years, as it is generally the first major electoral event of the cycle. Trump’s potential win in Iowa could be an indicator of winning the Republican nomination.

    How do students feel about it?

    On a college campus, students struggle with an endorsement that could help Trump’s presidential aspirations become a reality.

    “I see it as [Palin’s] pitch to be relevant, but at the same time, even if that’s true and it’s a selfish move on her part, it’s still so messed up because it would be terrible and embarrassing if he’s our president. He’s a caricature of what foreigners think Americans are and that’s terrifying,” Medill junior Katie Way said.

    How does this relate to recent Northwestern politics?

    Northwestern students probably cannot vote in the Iowa Caucus, unless they are an Iowa resident voting with an absentee ballot, so the upcoming election is out of your control. Fortunately, not every election is. Illinois has a mixed primary, which means voters do not have to be registered for the party they wish to vote on.


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