The world has failed to achieve its 2020 biodiversity targets, according to a UN draft report. The virtual UN Summit on Biodiversity began in New York on September 30. What new commitments are countries making to improve the relationship between mankind and nature? What has China done to develop in an eco-friendly way?
Guest: LI BINBIN Assistant Professor of Environmental Science Duke Kunshan University
THOMAS GEHL Former U.S. Presidential Adviser on Environmental Issues
H.R. McMaster is one of the most celebrated modern military leaders in America. His achievements include serving as a captain during the Gulf War, being responsible for fighting the Iraqi insurgency during the war in Iraq, writing the widely-read book Dereliction of Duty, and most recently serving as national security advisor under President Donald Trump.
In his new book, Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World, McMaster argues that American foreign policy has been misconceived, inconsistent and poorly implemented since the end of the Cold War. He describes efforts to reassess and fundamentally shift policies while he was national security advisor. And he provides a clear pathway forward to improve strategic competence and prevail in complex competitions against our adversaries.
His book draws on McMaster’s long engagement with these issues, including 34 years of service in the U.S. Army with multiple tours of duty in battlegrounds overseas and his 13 months as national security advisor in the Trump White House.
Join us for a conversation with Lt. General H.R. McMaster as he calls for Americans and citizens of the free world to transcend the vitriol of partisan political discourse, better educate themselves about the most significant challenges to national and international security and work together to secure peace and prosperity for future generations.
NOTES Part of our Good Lit series, underwritten by the Bernard Osher Foundation
McMaster photo by Ray Kachatorian
SEPTEMBER 24, 2020
Lt. General H.R. McMaster U.S. Army (Retired); Former National Security Advisor; Fouad and Michelle Ajami Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution; Author, Battlegrounds: The Fight to Defend the Free World
In Conversation with Brian Fishman Twitter@brianfishman
Amazon bought Whole Foods one year ago. At the time of the deal, which came as the grocer was under pressure from activist investor Jana Partners, Whole Foods was struggling.
It had been first to the specialty and organic game, but as larger competitors also moved into the space, it was ceding ground. With scale and better infrastructure, these retailers could offer many of the same products at a better price. Whole Foods was behind its competitors in technology and developing a loyalty program.
Its challenges showed through in its finances. In 2017, before its sale to Amazon, same-store sales were declining 1.5 percent, according to regulatory filings. The previous year, they were declining 2.5 percent.
The deal between the two — which was at one point known as Project Athena — came together under intense secrecy, after Whole Foods CEO John Mackey reached out to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos through an industry consultant. Amazon told Whole Foods if word of the deal leaked, it would call it off.
Reason’s Nick Gillespie sits down with Whole Foods CEO John Mackey to discuss the Whole Foods merger with Amazon.
Reason is the planet’s leading source of news, politics, and culture from a libertarian perspective. Go to reason.com for a point of view you won’t get from legacy media and old left-right opinion magazines.
“We’re going to reinvent the supermarket business as we know it,” says John Mackey, CEO of Whole Foods, about his company’s recent, controversial merger with online retailer Amazon.
If that happens, it means that Mackey will have reinvented the supermarket business twice in his own lifetime, as no individual has done more to revolutionize how Americans shop for groceries than he has since co-founding Whole Foods in 1980. Gone are the days of dreary, heavily processed, and strictly limited choices when it came to bread, produce, meats, and service. If we demand variety, freshness, and a sense of morality when we go shopping for dinner these days, it’s in large part due to the triumph of Mackey’s explicitly libertarian re-imagining of the great American supermarket.
Reason’s Nick Gillespie caught up with him at LibertyCon, the annual conference of Students for Liberty, and talked with him about Whole Foods’ recent, controversial merger with the online retailer Amazon, his belief that young Americans are more “conscious” about life and morality than past generations were, and his take on Donald Trump’s presidency so far. “I will say that there are some things President Trump has done that I like and some things that I don’t,” says Mackey, the co-author of the 2013 best-seller Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business and last year’s The Whole Foods Diet: The Lifesaving Plan for Health and Longevity. “I’m not a huge optimist about government solving our problems.”
(Disclosure: Both Mackey and Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos are donors to Reason Foundation, the 501(c)3 nonprofit that publishes Reason.)
John Mackey: Photographer: Patrick T. Fallon/Bloomberg
John Mackey—the father of conscious capitalism—says the company’s emphasis on technology should prove transformative, even if he doesn’t love everything about the arrangement.
Wrenching events like the pandemic put a business’s commitment to its values to the test, says Whole Foods Market CEO John Mackey. But his company has stuck to its focus on healthy fare and small suppliers during the crisis.
Whole Foods has done a lot better than other businesses, because we weren’t shut down. We saw our sales go up, and our online sales went way up. But it’s been incredibly stressful on the company, make no mistake about that.
Was there a leadership lesson here?
A company is ultimately about relationships, about trust, and about partnership. And the hardest thing in Covid has been the difficulty, other than virtually, to connect with people. More people may work at home when this is over, but in reality, if you’re going to maintain a culture, you have to have people connecting with each other, and there’s no real substitute for doing that in person.
Description: Professor Economist Richard Wolff & Jacobin’s Bhaskar Sunkara debated WholeFoods Founder John Mackey and Reason’s Katherine Mangu-Ward on Capitalism. Mackey attempted to use silence Wolff for justifiably challenging his faux magnanimity of taking a $1 in salary and directing his stock options to philanthropy. Wolff reminded Mackey his behavior mimicked any typical capitalist as he sold his company to a monopoly.
The three largest meat processors globally have dramatically increased in size in recent years. Government subsidies have played a critical role in increasing their power.
JBS, headquartered in Brazil, benefitted from partial ownership from government-owned banks, and low-interest loans to acquire competitors in other countries. The founder, José Batista Sobrinho, and five of his children are now all billionaires.
A government investigation of bribes to allow the sale of tainted meat in Brazil led to two of the founder’s sons to offer testimony in exchange for immunity from prosecution in March 2017. They admitted to spending hundreds of millions of dollars bribing thousands of politicians, and said that if they hadn’t, “It wouldn’t have worked. It wouldn’t have been so fast.” The firm was ordered to pay a $3.16 billion corruption fine, and subsequently announced plans to sell billions in assets, including Five Rivers Cattle Feeding in North America and Moy Park in Europe.
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.
Calendar – Click on Date for links entered on that Day