Former Secretary of Defense James Mattis on Wednesday castigated President Donald Trump as “the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people” in a forceful rebuke of his former boss as nationwide protests have intensified over the death of George Floyd.
“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us,” Mattis said in a statement obtained by CNN. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”
James Mattis, President Trump’s former and first secretary of defense, issued a searing condemnation of the president’s handling of protests over the killing of George Floyd. Meanwhile, Trump’s current defense secretary, Mark Esper, was also critical, prompting pushback from the president overnight. NBC’s Geoff Bennett reports for TODAY from the White House
A new study suggests COVID-19 cases may have been spreading in Wuhan earlier than previously thought. Released by researchers from Harvard and Boston University, the study examines a year-on-year rise in hospital parking lot usage at some Wuhan hospitals, starting in August 2019. But not everyone is convinced. Medical experts are already pointing out some holes in the research. Why has the study attracted so much attention? What exactly does it try to prove? And what kind of political motivation might be fueling its popularity?
Guests: Eric Ding, Epidemiologist, Harvard Chan School of Public Health; Victor Gao, Vice President, Center for China and Globalization
If we want to build a society that is resilient to climate change, then we can’t just have some of us being resilient. We need to be deliberate about looking at these issues by race, and bringing a racial equity lens to this work.”
Dr. Atyia Martin is a certified emergency manager with over 15 years of experience in the fields of public health, emergency management, intelligence and homeland security. She is also the founder and CEO of All Aces Inc., a consulting firm with a mission to further critical thinking in advancing personal and organizational resilience. Dr. Martin was appointed as the Chief Resilience Officer for the City of Boston, where she embedded racial equity into the City’s resilience planning in understanding the disproportionate burdens on communities of color as the city’s main resilience challenge.
On this week’s episode of the podcast, Dr. Martin talks to me about the importance of critical thinking and humility in approaching systemic issues such as racism and climate change, and finding our individual roles in perpetuating those systems. This, she believes, is a critical step in beginning to change those systems and organizations that we are a part of. Without approaching the work we do through a lens of equity, we run the risk of perpetuating the systems of oppression that impact the most vulnerable among us.
“Climate change is not an isolated phenomenon onto itself that we need to tackle, but something that is very much connected to our day to day lives. We can’t claim that we are working fully as our best selves and to our fullest capacity on climate change, if we are not embedding these other realities on the discussion. Otherwise what ends up happening is that we perpetuate racial inequities and other inequities that impact marginalized groups in our society. Obviously unintentionally, but that doesn’t absolve us from the responsibility of stepping up our level of thinking, in that the people who suffer the most – from disasters, from climate change, in everyday life – are all the same people, the most vulnerable groups among us who are already marginalized.”
Research has shown very clearly that the people who are most affected by disasters, and extreme weather events, are those who are already suffering – communities that have been underserved by public infrastructure such as transportation, or who are already marginalized. We therefore need to have more nuanced and sophisticated conversations about race and racism, as well as climate change, in understanding how the systems we have now, have underserved certain groups in our communities, in order to begin to change them.
Communication and specifically who we communicate with is also something that needs to be critically. “We have a tendency to want to make things less emotional, less personal. But these are emotional issues, and they are personal. And to try to take out the emotionality is to dehumanize those people who are on the receiving end of the burdens of both racism and climate change.”
Listen to the full interview here, and help us share this extraordinary message by sending this along with friends, neighbors, colleagues, and anyone you think would benefit from it.
Transportation has surpassed electricity to become the largest source of emissions in the U.S. While recent studies project that electric vehicles will become cheaper than gas and diesel cars in the coming decade, we currently lack the proper charging infrastructure and incentives to accelerate that transition away from internal combustion engine vehicles.
Our current transportation system is failing our climate; the average American spends 97 hours in congestion per year, with that time increasing year over year for our most congested cities. We have to reimagine how we move people and goods, and design our streetscapes to allow cars, bikers, public transit, and pedestrians to safely coexist in a way that improves the climate, health, and wellbeing of our communities.
In the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic, states are moving ahead with the Transportation and Climate Initiative, which will put a price on transportation-sector carbon emissions.
How can carbon pricing incentivize the transition to a decarbonized transportation system? Joining us to tackle this question and many more are three experts in this field: Beth Osborne, Executive Director of Transportation for America, Colin Murphy, the Deputy Director, UC Davis Policy Institute for Energy, Environment and the Economy; and Dan Gatti, the Director of Clean Transportation Policy at Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs.
Remarks by H.E. Mr. António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations, at the High-level Political Forum (HLPF) under the 74th Session of the General Assembly Accelerating the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
At the opening of the first-ever Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) Summit, today (24 Sep) at United Nations Headquarters, Secretary-General António Guterres said “the good news is that the 2030 Agenda is coming to life” but stressed that “we are far from where we need to be.”
Guterres said “governments, north and south, have begun integrating the Goals into national plans and strategies. The private sector is coming to understand that green business is good business. And cities, businesses, the international financial sector, civil society, young people and more are stepping up and taking action.”
He said, “extreme poverty and child mortality rates are falling. Access to energy and to decent work is rising. And we see from this Summit, the commitment to the 2030 Agenda is an unmistakable commitment.”
Nevertheless, the Secretary-General made clear that “we are off track” as “deadly conflicts, the climate crisis, gender-based violence, and persistent inequalities are undermining efforts to achieve the Goals.”
He said, “uneven growth, rising debt levels, heightened global trade tensions are creating new obstacles to implementation. Youth unemployment remains at alarming levels. And global hunger is unfortunately on the rise.”
Guterres emphasized that, with just over 10 years to go, the world is not on track to hit targets related to sustainable development.
He said, “at the current pace, almost 500 million people could remain in extreme poverty by 2030.”
The Secretary-General urged leaders to “step up our efforts” and to “do it now.”
He said, “we must regain the trust of the people and respond to perceptions and experiences of alienation and instability generated by the current model of globalization.”
The Summit adopted a Political Declaration of Heads of State and Government that provides political guidance how to step up the pace of implementation of the 2030 Agenda and SDGs, and a series of SDG acceleration actions.
In 2015, the Member States of the UN adopted the landmark 2030 Agenda, which provides a blueprint for the transition to a healthier planet and a more just world, for present and future generations.
The Agenda is broken down into 17 Sustainable Development Goals, concrete targets concrete targets, to end poverty and hunger; expand access to health, education, justice and jobs; promote inclusive and sustained economic growth; while protecting our planet from environmental degradation.
The SDG Summit, which will continue Wednesday (25 Sep), is one of the five important high-level summits and meetings taking place during the opening week of the latest session of the UN General Assembly. It will allow leaders from government, business and other sectors to identify specific actions that can help get the SDG response back on track, with a decade of action and delivery still in play, in the lead up to the 2030 deadline.
In his talk, Prof. Patrick Walsh discusses the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda as an agenda of the people, with the responsibility for implementation by the people, using their influence on Livelihoods, Civil Society, and Governance, to induce successful stakeholder partnership at local, national, regional and global levels. Patrick Paul Walsh is a Professor of International Development Studies in UCD, Ireland. He was a Senior Adviser to the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York during its input to the post 2015 Development Agenda, formally mandated by the UN General Secretary Ban Ki-moon. He also represented the UN Major Group for Science and Technology during the Inter-Governmental Negotiations that produced the UN 2030 Agenda Outcome Document in September 2015.
Where will the current powerful moral reckoning lead? Bill Moyers is a journalist and former White House press secretary to President Lyndon Johnson in the 1960s. He joins the program to give the long view on this historic moment. Originally aired on June 9, 2020.
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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