Daily Archives: October 11, 2017

Live Q&A with Dr. Hayhoe | Hurricanes and Climate Change

Global Weirding with Katharine Hayhoe
Published on Oct 11, 2017

So what’s the deal with hurricanes? Find out from Katharine Hayhoe.

World-Renowned Artist Ai Weiwei on His Childhood in a Labor Camp, Art, Activism, Prison & Freedom

Democracy Now! Published on Oct 10, 2017

https://democracynow.org – Ai Weiwei has been called the most powerful artist in the world—and the most dangerous man in China. Born in 1957 in Beijing, he spent his childhood and youth in a hard labor camp in the Gobi Desert in remote northwest China. As a student at Beijing Film Academy, he first became involved in art and activism. He spent his twenties in New York City and then returned to China. In 2008, after a massive earthquake in Sichuan, China, Ai Weiwei launched a citizen investigation to collect the names of the more than 5,000 schoolchildren who died, partially as a result of the highly shoddy government construction of the schools. While his citizen investigation catapulted him to international fame, it also enraged Chinese government officials. In 2009, his popular blog was shut down. A few months later, police broke into his hotel room and attacked him, punching him in the face and causing cerebral hemorrhaging. In 2010, Ai Weiwei was placed under house arrest, after the Chinese government demolished his studio. Then, in 2011, he was arrested at the Beijing airport and held for 81 days, without any charges. Chinese authorities seized his passport and refused to return it until 2015. For more on the remarkable life of this world-renowned dissident and artist, we speak with Ai Weiwei.

As Deadly Wildfires Rage in California, a Look at How Global Warming Fuels Decades of Forest Fires

Democracy Now!

Published on Oct 11, 2017

https://democracynow.org – In California, powerful winds and bone-dry conditions are fueling massive wildfires. A state of emergency has been declared in northern areas as the fires have left at least 17 people dead, destroying whole neighborhoods and forcing 20,000 people to evacuate their homes. The wildfires come after the U.S. Forest Service warned last year that an unprecedented 5-year drought led to the deaths of more than 100 million trees in California, setting the stage for massive fires. Climate scientists believe human-caused global warming played a major role in the drought. We speak with Park Williams, bioclimatologist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and co-author of a 2016 report showing that global warming is responsible for nearly half of the forest area burned in the western United States over the past three decades.


Climate Change & Wildfires: Park Williams on Democracy Now (October 2017)

Understanding Climate Change
Published on Oct 11, 2017

Climate Change & Wildfires: Park Williams on Democracy Now (October 2017)

Morocco’s Noor-Ouarzazate Solar Complex: A Global Public Good

World Bank

Published on Sep 30, 2014

Morocco is investing in Concentrated Solar Power technology that will maximize the country’s natural resources to meet its growing energy demand.

To learn more: https://tinyurl.com/y7v8ggq7 Concentrated Solar Power, CSP, is huge in Morocco. Literally, it’s huge. Panels almost the size of tennis courts stretch across acres of desert at the 4 Noor plants in Ouarzazate, providing enough power to light up Marrakesh at night. Learn how it’s done, what it means to the Moroccan economy and how it can be an attractive option for other countries in the region.




Former Defense Secretary Ash Carter On The State Of The World | On Point

Defense Secretary Ash Carter calls on a reporter during a joint news conference Monday, Aug. 29, 2016. (Jacquelyn Martin/AP)

On the brink of who knows what with North Korea and Iran, we talk with Obama-era Defense Secretary Ash Carter about the U.S. military and the world.

In the week when Republican senator Bob Corker warns of a president putting us on the path to World War III, we wonder what Secretary of Defense James Mattis is thinking. He’s a little busy. But Ash Carter might have a decent idea. Carter served as Defense Secretary before Mattis, from 2015 to 2017. He saw all these challenges first hand: North Korea, Iran, Russia, China, ISIS. What’s he thinking now? We’ll ask. This hour, On Point: We talk with former US Secretary of Defense, Ash Carter. —Tom Ashbrook


Ash Carter, former Secretary of Defense during the Obama Administration (2015-2017). Professor of technology and global affairs. Director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard Kennedy School. Innovation Fellow at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Former Deputy Secretary and Chief Operating Officer in the Department of Defense.

* * * * *

This is a candid and very revealing,conversation with Ashton Carter, but it is severely limited.  As is often the case with prominent public figures in Tom Ashbrook’s On Point program, the conversation was only begun when it had to end.

There are many other questions which could have been asked — difficult ones that glided by without enough time for reflection.  For example, it seems apparent that Mr. Carter is proud of his “coercive diplomacy” approach toward North Korea and, perhaps, to the rest of Asia as well, but it is unclear that this has left the U.S. in a more secure situation today or that Ashton Carter’s role has moved the U.S. towards policies of peace.  In fact, as he admits in the interview he worked as early as 1994 on plans for a re-emptive strike on North Korean missile installations.

It is, perhaps, helpful to keep in mind that Ashton Carter has not served in as an active duty military soldier.  He was trained in nuclear science, and he has made a career ever since his days as a Rhodes Scholar by working on nuclear issues.  While he was an Undersecretary of Defense in the Obama administration one of his contributions was to develop plans for the “modernization” and expansion of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.

This pattern of advocacy and habitual thinking should give us pause to think about what is happening to our foreign policy — perhaps particularly in light of President Eisenhower’s seminal warning about the “military-industrial complex.   In the academic circles and among the military generals it may have become common parlance to talk of pre-emptive strikes and “coercive diplomacy,” but shouldn’t American citizens sit up and take notice of the dangers of “normalizing” this kind of vocabulary and the ensuing mindset that could all too easily lead the world to catastrophe — in seconds?

Some further items could be added to “Tom’s Reading List…” to extend the discussion including

Perhaps Tom Ashbrook could in the future interview a different former Defense Secretary to get an alternative view on our nuclear outlook.  After all, the British did:

The Mean World Syndrome – Media As Storytellers

Published on Feb 18, 2010
at http://www.mediaed.org

The Mean World Syndrome: Media Violence & the Cultivation of Fear

A new film based on the late George Gerbner’s groundbreaking analysis of media influence and media violence.

Featuring George Gerbner and Michael Morgan

1. Media as Storytellers: “Nothing to Tell but a lot to Sell” — Explores the significance of commercial media eclipsing religion and art as the great storyteller of our time. (7:32)

2. A Mean World Case Study: Child Abductions — Provides an in-depth look at how media coverage of child abductions has fed parental anxieties out of proportion with statistical reality. (4:17)

3. Further Effects of the Mean World Syndrome: Desensitization & Acceleration — Examines how heavy exposure to media violence normalizes violence, numbing some people to real-world violence even as it whets the appetite in others for ever-higher doses. (8:48)

For years, debates have raged among scholars, politicians, and concerned parents about the effects of media violence on viewers. Too often these debates have descended into simplistic battles between those who claim that media messages directly cause violence and those who argue that activists exaggerate the impact of media exposure altogether. The Mean World Syndrome, based on the groundbreaking work of media scholar George Gerbner, urges us to think about media effects in more nuanced ways. Ranging from Hollywood movies and prime-time dramas to reality programming and the local news, the film examines how media violence forms a pervasive cultural environment that cultivates in heavy viewers, especially, a heightened state of insecurity, exaggerated perceptions of risk and danger, and a fear-driven propensity for hard-line political solutions to social problems. A provocative and accessible introduction to cultivation analysis, media effects research, and the subject of media influence and media violence more generally.

Also includes three additional short features — ideal for classroom use — that take a closer look at Gerbner’s analysis and the Mean World Syndrome

Economics Nobel winner Thaler shed light on how real people behave

PBS NewsHour

Published on Oct 9, 2017

University of Chicago scholar Richard Thaler was honored with the 2017 Nobel Prize in economics for his work questioning traditional assumptions that markets act rationally, and for taking human nature into account. Economics correspondent Paul Solman helps explain Thaler’s theories, then Judy Woodruff speaks with Thaler about his honored work.

Van Jones on EPA Chief Announces Withdrawal from Clean Power Plan

Almutaz Bur News Network
Published on Oct 10, 2017

What revoking the Clean Power Plan means, from both sides

PBS NewsHour

Published on Oct 10, 2017

EPA administrator Scott Pruitt has begun the process to roll back the Obama-era rule aimed at cutting carbon emissions from the nation’s power plants. The move comes as part of President Trump’s pledge to unwind many of former President Obama’s signature policies. John Yang gets two views from former EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Bob Murray of Murray Energy

How Sinclair Broadcasting puts a partisan tilt on trusted local news

PBS NewsHour

Published on Oct 10, 2017

The country’s largest owner of local TV stations, the Sinclair Broadcast Group, which reaches over a third of homes across the nation, wants to get even bigger by merging with the Tribune Media Company. But Sinclair is raising concerns among media watchers because of its practice of combining news with partisan political opinion. William Brangham reports.