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  • BILL McKIBBEN-Time to Mobilize Boomers vs Climate Change

    Wildfires, droughts, heat waves, floods. Climate demands our attention. The next global meeting on the crisis, Cop26, opens October 31st in Glasgow, Scotland. This week I speak with BILL McKIBBEN, author, co-founder of the global climate campaign 350.org, and a frequent contributor to the New Yorker, where he recently announced a shift of focus back to organizing – specifically of Boomers and the Silent Generation. Young people are engaged with climate but those over 60 are not yet delivering what the crisis demands of them, and he’s co-founding an entity called Third Act dedicated to changing that.

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  • Facebook Doesn’t Care-SHERRY TURKLE(2011)-ALONE TOGETHER: Why We expect More from Technology, Less from Each other

    Frances Haugen, the Facebook whistleblower, could not have been clearer. “Time and again I saw conflicts of interest between what was good for the public and what was good for Facebook. Facebook, over and over again, chose to optimize for its own interests… if they change the algorithm to be safer, people will spend less time on the site, they’ll click on less ads, Facebook will make less money.” Sounds like a good time to listen to my 2011 conversation with Sherry Turkle, Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology at MIT, about her book ALONE TOGETHER Why We Expect More from Technology, Less from Each Other.

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  • Legal lightning rounds: ERWIN CHEMERINSKY – Supreme Court, abortion, voter suppression, Covid mandates, police accountability

    I turn to ERWIN CHEMERINSKY, Dean of Berkeley Law School, for commentary and analysis re justice, our legal system, and the courts – especially the Supreme Court. Here are two such conversations. In the first half hour, one newly recorded on current issues and his latest book PRESUMED GUILTY: How the Supreme Court Empowered the Police and Subverted Civil RIghts. In the second half, a 2018 conversation on the Trump White House and the book, WE THE PEOPLE: A Progressive Reading of the Constitution for the Twenty-First Century. You can learn more at law.berkeley.edu.

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  • Let’s listen to vets’ stories-PAULA CAPLAN (2011) WHEN JOHNNY & JANE COME MARCHING HOME

    This week’s conversation recorded in 2011 is both timely and untimely. Timely – as we exit from Afghanistan – because in her book When Johnny and Jane Come Marching Home, Paula Caplan asks why it’s a mental illness to be devastated by war and urges us to connect with veterans and listen to their stories, one-on-one. And untimely, because Paula died of cancer July 21st. She was both one of the warmest, most generous people I’ve known, and at the same time, a consistently fierce and passionate advocate for justice. Three words I believe often motivated Paula: “It’s not fair.” And those three words have seldom felt more true.

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  • A Clean Energy Jobs Plan for California-Economist ROBERT POLLIN & Union leader DAVE CAMPBELL

    Need some good news about climate? I’m excited to speak with economist ROBERT POLLIN and union leader DAVE CAMPBELL, Secretary-Treasurer of United Steelworkers Local 675 in Carson CA, about the California Climate Jobs Plan. Initiated and paid for by labor unions, written by Pollin and others, it pursues the state’s clean energy goals through 2030, by creating a million new jobs and offering a fair transition for those who will lose theirs. You can learn more at californiaclimatejobsplan.com

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  • JULIE BATTILANA-POWER FOR ALL-What is it? How do we obtain and use it to change the world?

    I’m excited to talk with JULIE BATTILANA, professor at Harvard Business School and the Harvard Kennedy School, and founder of its Social Innovation and Change Initiative, about her new book POWER FOR ALL. It’s nothing less than a call for individuals not only to understand and assert power in their own lives, but also to collectively use this power to remake society by rebalancing existing power relationships – including racial, gender, financial and political. To learn more, go to Powerforallbook.com

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  • GEORGE PACKER-Four naratives of America that divide us-LAST BEST HOPE

    In Last Best Hope, GEORGE PACKER explores four narratives that he says now dominate American (political) life: Free America, a nation of separate individuals that serves the interests of corporations and the wealthy; Smart America, the world view of Silicon Valley, the Clintons, and the professional elite; Real America, the white Christian nationalism of the heartland; and Just America, which sees citizens as members of identity groups who either inflict or suffer oppression. Though they may dominate, these narratives clearly do not speak for all, nor do any of them offer a viable path to restoring or sustaining a thriving democracy. What narrative might?

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  • The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science CHRIS MOONEY (2011) author, The Republican War on Science

    The UN’s latest report paints a frightening picture of the time we’ve wasted and the urgency with which we must act to avert the worst of climate change. The daily news tells us that the unvaccinated are welcome hosts for the deadly evolution of Covid19 – though they may not believe in either. Journalist and author CHRIS MOONEY has been tracking the costs of science denial for years – long before Trumps presidence. Here’s our 2011 conversation re his articles, THE SCIENCE OF WHY WE DON’T BELIEVE SCIENCE and THE REALITY GAP.

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  • DAVID KAISER-How predictable were today’s crises? What happens when we forget history?

    I talk with historian DAVID KAISER about two books. His own A LIFE IN HISTORY talks about how the study of history has changed. Fields like African-American History and Women’s History deal with evidence nobody had bothered to look at before. But as these focused areas have developed, Kaiser says we look less today at history’s broader sweep. Might this increase our tendency to repeat the past? THE FOURTH TURNING: An American Prophesy (Straus & Howe) holds that history is not linear, but cyclical, and that every 80 years or so, a crisis disrupts society, the old order crumbles, and a new order emerges. No surprise – we’re in the midst of such a crisis. Will we emerge broken or renewed?

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  • Can we dare to think humans are kind? RUTGER BREGMAN, HUMANKIND: A Hopeful History

    That human beings are by nature selfish and driven by self-interest is accepted by Western psychologists, philosophers, and historians. It drives our headlines as well as our laws. But what if it’s not true? RUTGER BREGMAN’s done the research: “Civilisation has become synonymous with peace and progress; wilderness with war and decline. In reality for most of human existence it was the other way around…It’s an idea that might just start a revolution…once you grasp what it really means…you’ll never look at the world the same again.”

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