Things That Matter

A Chilean Military Plane With 38 People On Board Crashed While On The Way To A Base In Antarctica

The search is on for clues after a Chilean military plane with 38 people on board crashed on its way to Antarctica on Monday afternoon. The plane, a Hercules C-130 transport, made the last contact at 6:13 p.m. which was around an hour and five minutes after it initially took off. It was 390 miles into its journey to the Base Presidente Eduardo Frei Montalva, a Chilean base on in the northern region of the frozen continent, according to a statement issued by the Chilean Air Force. Seven hours after the plane last made contact, the Chilean air force declared it lost, with no definitive reason as to why it had disappeared. 

According to the New York Times, the aircraft was carrying 17 crew members and 21 passengers, which included a university student and two Chilean civilians who worked for an engineering and construction firm that was contracted to do maintenance work on the Antarctic base.

“The chances are difficult but I think it would be profoundly wrong to lose heart at this moment when we are doing everything humanly possible and with all our energy and determination,” Defence Minister Alberto Espina told reporters. “The air force has provided a thorough investigation to clarify the facts with complete transparency.”

The Chilean military has deployed fighter jets in an expansion of its search. Uruguayan and Argentine air forces have also joined in on efforts.

Chilean officials are now conducting an all-out search for the plane and any clues that might lead them to why the military aircraft might have crashed. Officials said that the plane had taken off in favorable conditions Monday afternoon from the southern city of Punta Arenas, though the area is known for rapidly changing conditions that include freezing temperatures and chilly winds. According to a BBC report, Air Force General Eduardo Mosqueira told the local press that the plane didn’t activate its emergency signal and proposed the idea that the pilot might have tried to land on the frigid waters. 

The Chilean military is now in the midst of search and rescue efforts that include four ships and 10 planes. Joining this mission are the Uruguayan and Argentine air forces, who have each contributed a C-130 plane to help. The United States has also lent a hand by providing two satellite orbits to capture images over the South Pacific Ocean.

The plane is said to have crashed in Drake’s Passage, the sea in the middle of the southern tip of South America and Antarctica, which is known for its severe weather conditions. The area has been known to produce freezing temperatures and harsh storms that have caused other aircrafts to avoid flying through during these conditions. 

“The plane is presumed to have crashed, given that the amount of fuel and the plane’s autonomy had already run out,” said Chilean Air Force General Francisco Torres in a press conference, according to CNN.

South American leaders, including Chilean President Sebastian Piñera, have all expressed their condolences to those lost on the plane and their loved ones. 

This tragedy has prompted an immediate response from Chilean President Sebastián Piñera, who canceled a trip to Argentina, where he was expected to attend the swearing-in ceremony of President-elect Alberto Fernandez. Instead, Piñera headed to the Cerrillos airbase in Santiago, Chile where he joined rescue operations and families of the plane’s passengers gathered. He reiterated the message that the Chilean government would spare no effort to find the plane.

“My thoughts and prayers are with the families of the 38 crew members and passengers of the FACh (Air Force) C-130 plane,” Piñera wrote on Twitter. “With the help of many we are making every effort humanly possible in the search operation for the plane.”

Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro also tweeted words of support saying that his government is doing all that is possible to help with search efforts. “We offer Chile support for the search and rescue operations of the Chilean plane, which disappeared in the Drake Strait with 38 people on board. We have already spoken to President Piñera and ask God that all those involved will be successful in the rescue.”

The plane crash comes at a difficult time for Chile and President Piñera, who has overseen a country displeased with socioeconomic disparity, vast systemic corruption, and other government abuses. All of this has led to almost two months of riots in the capital city of Santiago. 

READ: This Kid Is Going Viral In Mexico For Using His $70 Peso Winning Lottery To Buy Tacos For A Man In Need

The US Killed A Leading Iranian Military Figure And Social Media Declared An Impending World War 3

Things That Matter

The US Killed A Leading Iranian Military Figure And Social Media Declared An Impending World War 3

realdonaldtrump / Instagram

Global powers expressed worry and concern about the state of world affairs following the United States’ airstrike near Baghdad’s airport Friday, which killed Iran Gen. Qassem Soleimani. The White House defended the strike in a tweet, saying Soleimani “was actively developing plans to attack American diplomats and service members in Iraq and throughout the region.”

The United States killed Iran’s top general Friday, which inspired a wealth of reaction on social media about the future of the world.

The killing of top Iranian commander Qassem Soleimani in a U.S. strike at Baghdad’s international airport and Tehran’s vow of “harsh retaliation” in response on Friday morning made Twitter and Instagram users nervous about the possible outbreak of conflict between Washington and Tehran culminating in what social media dubbed, World War III.

Meme creators did what they do best: post funny pictures and videos on social media and got #WWIII trending.

France’s deputy minister for foreign affairs, Amelie de Montchalin, said on a radio program: “We are waking up in a more dangerous world. Military escalation is always dangerous. When such actions, such operations, take place, we see that escalation is underway.” The term “World War 3” began trending online Friday after the airstrike. Instagram and Twitter users immediately jumped in on the discussion, posting memes, GIFs and jokes about a potential third World War. Here’s a collection of them.

Some lamented the poor start to the new year.

A lot of people woke up to news that the U.S. had launched a deadly attack on Iran’s top military official. The attack was panned by world leaders and political pundits are concerned that the attack could lead to a war between the U.S. and Iran.

Social media users turned to humor to try to make sense of the terrifying possibility of a war started by the U.S.

The airstrike led to protests throughout Iran and Iraq. Iranians were protesting because of the clear attack on their military capabilities. Iraqi citizens protested against the attack on their soil that some consider threatens their sovereignty.

Some joked about avoiding or refusing the draft.

There hasn’t been a draft since the Vietnam War. At the time, Americans protested the nation’s involvement in a war in southeast Asia. Many young men fled to Canada to avoid being drafted by the U.S. military to join the combat.

Many others simply detailed their strategies for avoiding a draft.

There has been no announcement regarding reinstating the draft, and the U.S. currently has an all-volunteer military. However, that doesn’t change the fact the Americans are concerned about a pending war and a draft.

Others made jokes about fake birth certificates and fleeing the country.

Tbh, this might not be a bad idea considering people do not support the attack.

Many mocked themselves and their response to the trending topic.

It is a terrifying moment to realize that something so disastrous and devastating might actually happen.

Some wondered if this was Trump’s way of getting revenge for his impeachment.

We are in uncharted territory and all eyes are on Iran after they threatened retaliation against the U.S.

READ: Here’s What You Can Expect Now That President Trump Has Been Impeached By The House Of Representatives

Chile’s Government Is Setting An Example For The World As They Fight Climate Change By Going Carbon Neutral By 2050

Things That Matter

Chile’s Government Is Setting An Example For The World As They Fight Climate Change By Going Carbon Neutral By 2050

Central Valley Tours

Philosophers and scientists might disagree in many things, but today they are both certain of something: climate change is real and it is bound to affect how people live and survive in the planet. As temperatures throughout the world go up and down and plants and animal species perish, governments have been slow to respond to what many believe is humanity’s biggest challenge. 

Climate change can be traced down to many factors, but chief among them (or at least very near to the top) is the use of non-renewable energies such as carbon. While the right-leaning governments of some of the most powerful countries in the world such as the United States and Australia remain sceptic and unfazed about the clear and present danger of climate change, other smaller nations such as Finland and now Chile are taking huge steps towards a carbon neutral future. They know that the time to act is now or there might never be another chance. 

So Chile plans to be carbon neutral by 2050: the clock is ticking.

Chile is now spearheading efforts coming from the developing world to relinquish the use of coal to generate power. Even is the South American country is still coal-dependent, it has set an ambitious goal for the next 30 years that would overhaul decades of non-renewable energies.

It might sound simple, but it is far from it. Becoming carbon neutral implies the refurbishing of enormous infrastructures, acquiring new equipment and rolling out a nationwide network of energy distribution and storage. But the Chilean government, even in the current climate of social unrest, is taking a big step in making carbon neutrality a national priority.

In a column written by Carlos Barría, Head of Prospective and Regulatory Impact Analysis, Ministry of Energy, the government states that Chile believes that Climate Change (CC) is real and that both private and public sectors need to work hand in hand to dramatically reduce emissions. Chilean president Sebastián Piñera can be blamed for many things, of course, but we gotta recognize that he has been a fierce advocate for actions that address climate change. 

The Chilean government is aware that climate change affects those that are the most vulnerable.

Chile’s capital Santiago is experiencing unprecedented levels of pollution and droughts in rural areas have affected farmers and communities. Climate change has exacerbated social inequality worldwide. It is clearly a matter of class and power: those with the economic means are often unwilling to change their business models, even if this means that literally the whole world will suffer.

This is why Chile’s 2050 objective is groundbreaking, particularly coming from a Global South country. Barría’s column continues: “We also know that CC is unfair and most vulnerable affects the most vulnerable, increasing inequalities. Chile is a country vulnerable to the CC, we know that. In addition, during the last few months we have been able to clearly show that economic development alone is not sufficient: it is required to be sustainable, that is, to consider the social, environmental and economic in a comprehensive way.”

We really hope that these are not only empty words and that changes in government do not shift public spending away from the many initiatives that will need to be put in place if 2050 brings a huge reason to celebrate. 

But how do they plan to achieve carbon neutrality? 

The government has set out to implement changes in five different areas, according to the column: “sustainable industry and mining, sustainable housing and public-commercial building, coal-mining plant removal and renewables penetration, electromobility mainly from the public system and methane capture in landfills, change of use of nitrogen fertilizers and capture of methane in animal aging.” Each one of these measures involves considerable investment. But can we put a price on the future? Chile is already leading the way in solar energy farms with enormous facilities in its desert. Only time will tell if the objectives are met. 

The announcement comes as Australia, another Southern Hemisphere country, is literally burning and many blame climate change.

As you read this, an area almost as large as the whole if Ireland is burning in Australia. The increased heat caused by climate change and strong winds have triggered bushfires that have already killed people and about half a billion animals. The federal government refuses to address this as a climate change issue and Prime Minister Scott Morrison has been blasted by the media and the public for his lack of leadership in a time of distress. Maybe Australia, a country that relies heavily on mining, can learn from Chile? We would certainly hope so.