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Prepping for Rethink: Afghanistan & Wildfires

TEDxMileHigh: Rethink will be our first in-person event since before the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic verzuztv live stream free —and it’s taking place this Saturday, October 23rd! We’re so excited to share new ideas in science, activism, health, and art with you. To prepare for this event, we’ve put together a helpful review of current events that our speakers will be exploring. Keep reading to watch verzuztv live stream learn about the current situation in Afghanistan and the global wildfire crisis as preparation for TEDxMileHigh Rethink.

Don’t have your ticket yet? Get your tickets for TEDxMileHigh: Rethink.

Prepping for Rethink: Afghanistan

At the event, feminist political geographer Jennifer L. Fluri will discuss what will happen to Afghanistan’s female leaders after the U.S. evacuation. In order to get the most of her talk, we’ve put together a review of Afghanistan’s recent history. 

The Political State of Afghanistan

Following the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the U.S. government determined that al-Queda, an Islamist militant group, was responsible. At the time, al-Qaeda’s leader, Osama Bin Laden, was hiding in Afghanistan with the protection of the Taliban, an Islamic fundamentalist group. When the Taliban refused to turn Bin Laden over, the U.S. invaded Afghanistan. It did not take long to push the Taliban out of power and seize control of the country. The U.S. then aimed not only to eliminate future terrorist threats in Afghanistan but to support democracy and secure rights for Afghans, particularly women.

In April 2021, President Joe Biden announced that all U.S. military troops would be removed from Afghanistan by September 2021, 20 years after 9/11. As U.S. troops began to leave, the Taliban seized more and more territory across the country. By August 15, 2021, the Taliban entered the capital in Kabul and regained power, leading to the collapse of the Afghan government.

What Does a Taliban Rule Mean for Afghans? 

When the Taliban ruled Afghanistan from 1996 to 2001, they enforced a strict interpretation of Shariah law. The Taliban banned most musical instruments and television from use by the general public. They barred women from leaving the house without a male guardian or from working outside the home. Girls were not allowed to receive an education, and women that were accused of adultery were stoned to death.

The Taliban takeover could potentially be devastating for the feminist advances made in Afghanistan since 2001. While the Taliban have claimed that women will have rights during their new rule, many experts are not convinced. Already, many schools for girls and women clinics have been shut down.

Jennifer L. Fluri on the Future of Afghanistan’s Female Leaders

Jennifer Fluri has been studying and closely collaborating with women in Afghanistan for the last 20 years, carefully documenting what does and doesn’t work in advancing feminism in the nation. Now, all of that is up in the watch verzuztv live stream free air.

See Political Geographer Jennifer L. Fluri speak on the future of Afghanistan’s female leaders. Get your ticket.

Fluri is a political geographer, Fulbright Scholar, and Professor at the University of Colorado-Boulder. She has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and co-authored three books. Her current research project examines gender, security, and development in Afghanistan with a focus on Afghan women’s leadership.

Prepping for Rethink: Wildfires

At TEDxMH: Rethink, fire ecologist and former firefighter Camille Stevens-Rumann will be speaking about her post-fire recovery research. In order to get the most of her talk, we’ve put together a review of recent wildfire history. 

The Global Wildfire Crisis

Wildfires are uncontrolled fires that can take place anywhere. They exist mainly in environments that experience high temperatures, low humidity, and little rainfall. That, paired with fast winds and “fuel” in the form of dried shrubs, trees, and other vegetation, make the perfect environment for a disastrous wildfire to ignite. 

Research shows that as temperatures rise, these conditions will be more widespread across the globe, leading to a heightened risk of wildfires.

Once started, wildfires can be highly difficult to control and predict, spreading at a rate of up to 14.29 miles per hour (23 kph). That’s around a 4-minute mile pace, meaning they can easily outrun most humans, even the extremely fast ones.

On average, wildfires burn 5 million acres of land every year in the U.S., resulting in millions of dollars in damage. In 2020, this amount of acres doubled. 58,950 wildfires burned 10 million acres of land, resulting in billions of dollars in damages.

Australia Wildfires in 2020

In the 2019-2020 wildfire season in Australia, over 46 million acres of land burned

The wildfires, called “bushfires” in Australia, killed over 1 billion animals, 34 people, and destroyed at least 3,500 homes and thousands of other buildings.

Additionally, the Australian firefighters (“fireys”) were mainly volunteers and laid-off fire management staff, who were called to service without pay. Several firefighters were injured or killed in their attempts to extinguish the out-of-control flames. 

Colorado Wildfires in 2020

Colorado experienced its three largest fires in history in 2020: the Pine Gulch Fire, Cameron Peak Fire, and the East Troublesome Fire. These fires led to the evacuation and destruction of hundreds of homes and 400,000 burned acres. The Cameron Peak fire damaged 469 structures, caused more than $6 million in loss, and raged for 112 days before it was finally extinguished on Dec 2nd.

California Wildfires in 2020

California experienced six of the largest fires in California history, including the August Complex fire that burned 1.03 million acres in seven counties. Officials declared a state of emergency in Napa, California, in September. The Glass Fire in Sonoma and Napa counties destroyed 1,555 structures, forced 70,000 residents to evacuate, and led to $2.9 billion in insured losses.

Oregon Wildfires in 2020

During this same period, Oregon experienced record-breaking wildfire damage. The fires destroyed 4,009 homes, a significant increase from a total of 93 homes lost between 2015 and 2019. In previous years, wildfires in the state burned in mostly remote areas, but in 2020, they raged through towns and residential areas, endangering everyone in their path.

After such destruction, Australia and the U.S. need to execute post-fire recovery both in forests and residential areas. Recovery from fires of this magnitude can take years. how to watch verzuztv Once complete (if recovery is ever really complete), the next question becomes, when will the next wildfire ignite?

Camile Stevens-Rumann on Post-Fire Recovery

Between Colorado, California, and Australia, 2020 was one of the worst years on record for wildfire. Stevens-Rumann will be discussing how we can rebuild from these burns and prevent future ones.

See Camile Stevens-Rumann speak about post-fire recovery. Get your ticket.

Camille Stevens-Rumann is a fire ecologist and faculty member in the Forest and Rangeland Stewardship department at Colorado State University, as well as the Assistant Director of the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute. 

To learn about some of the recent technological innovations to solve the global wildfire crisis, click here how to watch verzuztv live.

Attend TEDxMileHigh Rethink

You’ve learned a bit about the current threat against women’s rights in Afghanistan and the danger of global wildfires. Now it’s time to take your learning to the next step by attending TEDxMileHigh Rethink (in-person or online!). Get your ticket to Rethink here. We can’t wait to see you there.

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