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Glacier Republic - Environmental Politics At The *Bottom Of The Earth*

A political and environmental coup de théatre by Greenpeace has drawn attention to the need to protect the melting glaciers in Chile's southern reaches.

Greenpeace activists planting the Glacier Republic flag
Greenpeace activists planting the Glacier Republic flag
Loreto Oda Marín

SANTIAGO — They were white, literally and metaphorically. Thanks to an omission in the Constitution, a practically forgotten area in southern Chile — at the ‘bottom of the earth’ — has become a place of possibilities. That place became an unofficial micro-nation on March 5, after Greenpeace founded its Glacier Republic there in a bid to save the millennial glaciers.

This “new country” is an act of protest over the legal vacuum that fails to recognize glaciers as one of Chile’s resources and part of its sovereignty. The founders of this 23,000-square-kilometer republic have chosen a flag and opened embassies in more than 40 cities, including Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires, Madrid, Amsterdam, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Berlin.

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Geopolitics

Our 'Emotional' Divide: How The Ukraine War Reveals A World Broken In Two

Russia's invasion has created a stark global divide: them and us. On one side are the countries refusing to condemn Moscow, with the West on the other. It's a dangerous split that could have repercussions far into the future.

Protesters against the war in Ukraine demonstrate in front of the Russian embassy in London

Dominique Moïsi

-Analysis-

PARIS — "The West and the Rest of Us." That's the title of a 1975 essay written by Nigerian essayist and critic Chinweizu Ibekwe. I've been thinking about his words as the war in Ukraine both reveals and accelerates divisions of the world that I believe are ultimately "emotional" in nature.

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With war returning to Europe and the risk of escalation, there is a gap between the Western view and that of the "others," a distinct "us and them." This gap cannot be explained in strictly geographical, political, and economic terms.

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Central to the tragic absurdity of this war is the question of language. Vladimir Putin has repeated that protecting ethnic Russians and the Russian-speaking populations of Ukraine was a driving motivation for his invasion.

Yet one month on, a quick look at the map shows that many of the worst-hit cities are those where Russian is the predominant language: Kharkiv, Odesa, Kherson.

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