There’s something sick about U.S. Military spending. It’s certainly not keeping anyone safe. This week, why we the public spend billions on bad technology and what happens to service people who speak up about it. Then, a peace economy – what might it look like? I’ll talk to Jodie Evans of Code Pink.
Pam Campos-Palma, Ex-Intelligence Analyst, US Air Force
Phyllis Bennis, Fellow, Institute for Policy Studies
Andrew Cockburn, Washington Editor, Harper’s Magazine
The Zika virus was discovered almost 60 years ago, but only recently has it caught the world’s attention by sweeping through South and Central America and causing devastating birth defects in infants born to infected mothers. Here’s a look at how the virus has spread, and where it could eventually go.
Americans are inherently a little crazy. But now the crazy is being enabled by politicians in the White House and by the internet. How exactly did it get so bad?
Americans have always been magical thinkers and passionate believers in the untrue. We were started by the Puritans in New England who wanted to create and did create a Christian utopia and theocracy as they waited for the eminent second coming of Christ and the end of days. And in the south by a bunch of people who were convinced, absolutely convinced that this place they’d never been was full of gold just to be plucked from the dirt in Virginia and they stayed there looking and hoping for gold for 20 years before they finally faced the facts and the evidence and decided that they weren’t going to get rich overnight there. So that was the beginning. And then we’ve had centuries of buyer-beware charlatanism to an extreme degree and medical quackery to an extreme degree and increasingly exotic extravagant implausible religions over and over again from Mormonism to Christian Science to Scientology in the last century.
And we’ve had this antiestablishment “I’m not going to trust the experts, I’m not going to trust the elite” from our character from the beginning. Now all those things came together and were super-charged in the 1960s when you were entitled to your own truth and your own reality. Then a generation later when the Internet came along, giving each of those realities, no matter how false or magical or nutty they are, their own kind of media infrastructure. We had entertainment, again for the last couple hundred years, but especially in the last 50 years permeating all the rest of life, including Presidential politics from John F. Kennedy through Ronald Ragan to Bill Clinton. So the thing was set up for Donald Trump to exploit all these various American threads and astonishingly become president, but then you look at this history and it’s like no we should have seen this coming.
The idea of America from the beginning was that you could come here, reinvent yourself, be anybody you want, live any way you wanted, believe any thing you wanted. For the first few hundred years, like everywhere else in the world, celebrity and fame were a result of some kind of accomplishment or achievement, sometimes not a great accomplishment or achievement, but you did something in the world to earn renown. America really was the key place that invented the modern celebrity culture, which was, beginning a century ago, more and more not necessarily about having won a war or led a people or written a great book or painted a great painting, but about being famous, fame for its own sake. We created that, we created Hollywood, we created the whole culture industry and that then became what I call the fantasy industrial complex where, certainly in the last few decades more than ever more than anybody thought possible before, fame itself, however you’ve got it, was a primary goal for people. And again, as so many of the things I talk about in Fantasyland, not uniquely to America but more here than anywhere. And then you get reality television, which was this unholy hybrid of the fictional and the real for the last now generation where that blur between what’s real and what’s not is pumped into our media stream willy-nilly. There are now more reality shows on television than there were shows on television 20 years ago. And that’s another way for nobodies to become famous overnight.
If you’re interested in licensing this or any other Big Think clip for commercial or private use, contact our licensing partner Executive Interviews: https://www.executiveinterviews.biz/r… This is what the world will be like if we do not act on climate change. – The best-case scenario of climate change is that world gets just 2°C hotter, which scientists call the “threshold of catastrophe”. – Why is that the good news? Because if humans don’t change course now, the planet is on a trajectory to reach 4°C at the end of this century, which would bring $600 trillion in global climate damages, double the warfare, and a refugee crisis 100x worse than the Syrian exodus. – David Wallace-Wells explains what would happen at an 8°C and even 13°C increase. These predictions are horrifying, but should not scare us into complacency. “It should make us focus on them more intently,” he says. David Wallace-Wells is a national fellow at the New America foundation and a columnist and deputy editor at New York magazine. He was previously the deputy editor of The Paris Review.
He lives in New York City. His latest book is The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming (https://goo.gl/ih35YX)
50 years after the first Moon landing, humanity is getting ready to go back. Countries and companies are planning dozens of lunar missions—for research, for resources and even for tourism, which begs the question: who, if anyone, owns the Moon?
The US celebrated its 50th anniversary of the first Moon landing last week. As the Trump administration promises more trips to the Moon and even humans on Mars, critics are left wondering whether we should have already be there by now. RT America’s Rachel Blevins reports. Then Roger Lanius, author, former chief historian at NASA and former associate director of Collections and Curatorial Affairs at the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum joins Steve Malzberg (in for Scottie Nell Hughes) to discuss the possibility of returning to the Moon, manned missions to Mars, and exploring and colonizing outer space.
President Trump has long had a contentious relationship with the nation’s intelligence community, publicly disagreeing over threats to U.S. national security such as Russia, Iran and North Korea. With Dan Coats stepping down as director of national intelligence, Trump is seeking a replacement who aligns more closely with his own views. William Brangham talks to The Washington Post’s Shane Harris.
Yellowstone National Park sits atop a massive supervolcano that’s considered one of the greatest volcano threats in the county. While experts estimate that a super-eruption might not happen for another few million years, NASA scientists performed a thought experiment to determine how we could prevent Yellowstone from ever erupting again. Their hypothetical idea involves cooling the volcano down by pumping cold water into a series of wells around its perimeter. If implemented, the scenario could potentially save Earth from a super-volcano apocalypse.
Welcome to Transition Studies. To prosper for very much longer on the changing Earth humankind will need to move beyond its current fossil-fueled civilization toward one that is sustained on recycled materials and renewable energy. This is not a trivial shift. It will require a major transition in all aspects of our lives.
This weblog explores the transition to a sustainable future on our finite planet. It provides links to current news, key documents from government sources and non-governmental organizations, as well as video documentaries about climate change, environmental ethics and environmental justice concerns.
The links are listed here to be used in whatever manner they may be helpful in public information campaigns, course preparation, teaching, letter-writing, lectures, class presentations, policy discussions, article writing, civic or Congressional hearings and citizen action campaigns, etc. For further information on this blog see: About this weblog. and How to use this weblog.
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