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Please Explain: How to Save the World—World Peace

Friday, February 24, 2012

This week's Please Explain is the final installment of our series How to Save the World. Jeffrey Sachs discusses whether it's possible to achieve world peace. He's Director of The Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. His most recent book is The Price of Civilization.

 

Guests:

Jeffrey Sachs

Comments [26]

Is catastrophic global warming,
like the millennium bug,
a mistake?

http://blogs.independent.co.uk/2012/02/22/is-catastrophic-global-warming-like-the-millenium-bug-a-mistake/

Feb. 25 2012 03:25 PM
EP from RI

Leonard, these "How to Save The World" segments are interesting, informative, scary and frustrating: What can we, the listening, viewing, caring public really do about/with any of this sad information? The powers (oil companies, etc.) that have harmed the world in the most profound ways are not going to cease what they're doing in meaningful ways unless they are forced to. They knew about the horrendous consequences long, long ago. Greed nailed humanity again, my friend.

Feb. 24 2012 05:43 PM
Faith S. from NYC

The U.S. has 5% of the world's population and uses 25% of the world's resources. America is indeed in a state of denial. Our whole society is
complacent and has been organized to continue in this path. For example, small towns without public transportation and residens cannot get along without autos. We demand (me too, to a lesser extent) our comforts as though it were our birthright and are encouraged to do so by the -- yes -- big corporations.
The use of technoology has become like the scorcerer's apprentice - we need faster and faster and we are impelled to keep up. The disasters that we have witnessed around the world and in our own country are warnings and they make headlines and good stories and then are forgotten and not connected with human activity. Our economic system is setup to shop so that we can create jobs, which at the same time is what's destroying our eco system. I don't know what the solution is. It's scary.

Feb. 24 2012 02:15 PM
John A.

Re: Mr Sachs' observation on America's unique politics.
I think America is afraid of change - period.
We have it (money,power,influence) and its weakening so hold on harder.
But that's not where the money,power and influence Came from, or will come from. So - erosion.

Feb. 24 2012 02:05 PM

Lenny,

Have you guys had these guys, William McDonough and Michael Braungart on?

http://www.ted.com/talks/william_mcdonough_on_cradle_to_cradle_design.html

http://www.amazon.com/Cradle-Remaking-Way-Make-Things/dp/0865475873

Feb. 24 2012 01:59 PM
Susan from Brooklyn

In The tragedy of the Commons (1968), Garrett Hardin says that there is no technological solution to the problems facing a finite planet, but instead calls for a moral solution in the form of "mutual coercion." What are Dr. Sachs thoughts on the implications of this notion.

Feb. 24 2012 01:58 PM
j from ellenville,ny

First the world does not need saving its humankind that is in trouble. The truth is as long as we have capitalism and nationalism as a means of organization no solution can be sustained. We can not have a repeative economic model worldwide. We need an Institute of Long Term Planing Home of a thousand year plan

Feb. 24 2012 01:54 PM
Laura from Brooklyn, New York

I completely agree that advanced technology exists to mitigate the effects of global warming and think the problem does have to do more with the lack of political will to shift over to clean energy sources. However, discussions I have with friends, colleagues, and students lead me to believe there is widespread concern about our impact on the environment, but there is a gap between the political will and popular will (especially considering the influence of lobbyists as you've been discussing). What are the best ways for people to push the political will in a direction that reflects the real concern held by many?

Feb. 24 2012 01:54 PM
Amy from Manhattan

A friend of mine likes to point out that while individuals should do all we can to keep from increasing environmental degradation, incl. global climate disruption, individual actions have far less impact than the behavior of large institutions. How can we get the latter to change their behavior?

Feb. 24 2012 01:52 PM
John A.

So, there is no public strategy for a US move from Oil. Care to recommend any private or foreign sources for such a strategy?

Feb. 24 2012 01:51 PM
antonio from bayside

Considering we are the major contributor to climate change; How much of an effect in reducing it would result if the united states installed smart transit and sidewalks in every municipality that don't have the aforementioned? i.e. light-rail, streetcars, bike-paths or lanes....

Feb. 24 2012 01:51 PM
Neil Holmes from NJ

The lack of intelligent leadership from politicians is not surprising considering that JFK was may be the last politician anyone can remember who even know who Archimedes was, much less quoting him.

Feb. 24 2012 01:47 PM
Ragnar Johnsen from Bedminster, NJ

Why aren't the politicians, including the Presidential candidates, challenged more by both the media and the scientists on these issues?

Feb. 24 2012 01:45 PM


The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

Climate scientist Richard Lindzen of MIT spoke before a public meeting of the House of Commons in Great Britain yesterday. You can read his entire speech here [see pdf]. Please do. He know his stuff.

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02148/RSL-HouseOfCommons_2148505a.pdf

The "secret sauce" of the argument:

None of the data so far shows any evidence of the positive feedback processes necessary for "catastrophic global climate change". Instead, the data from satellites suggests negative feedback, which would counteract the warming effects of CO2. (See pages 47-50 of his presentation.)

Rather than debate these facts honestly as good scientists should, the global warming activists in the science community have instead become power-hungry politicians, relying on name-calling and personal attacks while working hard to squelch and silence any opposing views. As Lindzen notes, “It is science in the service of politics.”

Feb. 24 2012 01:43 PM
Karen Brown from NJ

Why did Jeffrey Sachs only mention that we need improved technology in solar and wind energy? What about other sources, particularly improved nuclear energy technology?

Feb. 24 2012 01:43 PM

From: http://behindtheblack.com/behind-the-black/essays-and-commentaries/%E2%80%9Cscience-in-the-service-of-politics-%E2%80%9D

The arguments on which the catastrophic claims are made are extremely weak – and commonly acknowledged as such. They are sometimes overtly dishonest.

Climate scientist Richard Lindzen of MIT spoke before a public meeting of the House of Commons in Great Britain yesterday. You can read his entire speech here [see pdf]. Please do. He know his stuff.

http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02148/RSL-HouseOfCommons_2148505a.pdf

The "secret sauce" of the argument:

None of the data so far shows any evidence of the positive feedback processes necessary for "catastrophic global climate change". Instead, the data from satellites suggests negative feedback, which would counteract the warming effects of CO2. (See pages 47-50 of his presentation.)

Rather than debate these facts honestly as good scientists should, the global warming activists in the science community have instead become power-hungry politicians, relying on name-calling and personal attacks while working hard to squelch and silence any opposing views. As Lindzen notes, “It is science in the service of politics.”

Feb. 24 2012 01:41 PM
Amy from Manhattan

I agree completely with Jeffrey Sachs about what needs to be done. But how can we get there when we're starting in today's political & business climate? What can people who aren't in positions of power do to try to get those who are in such positions to do what's needed?

Feb. 24 2012 01:39 PM
Anthony from 10003, nyc

Good question John. Jeffrey, have you, we ever made any inroads to any religion anywhere, who is willing to talk to it's own about the topic of population. (besides growing their own numbers).

I keep on trying to bring it up. Personal acknowledgements, yes, but not public. Thank you. Thank you for the encouragement.
www.anthonydonovan.com

Feb. 24 2012 01:38 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Jeffrey Sachs is so boring, stuck in the Kennedy Era! That's so 50 years ago!
"Institutions" don't work. POWER works.

Feb. 24 2012 01:37 PM
Steve from Bay Ridge

This is a great segment. Jeffrey Sachs is articulating the global warming issues more eloquently than I've ever seen or heard..

Feb. 24 2012 01:36 PM
lg from Manhattan

"We are being pummeled by corporate propoganda." Indeed.

Feb. 24 2012 01:34 PM
Henry from Katonah

We are the only country in the world where global-warming-denial is a popular political belief? I always knew we were exceptional!

Feb. 24 2012 01:34 PM
DonnaK from Manhattan

Re: Geoffrey Sachs on Please Explain: Western culture doesn't want to "take the blame" for having disrupted nature, that's why American politics is so reluctant to own up to the truth about climate change.

Moreover, men -- as opposed to women -- are afraid of being blamed because western culture and the industrialized economy is largely a creation of men.

Feb. 24 2012 01:34 PM
ericf

Have there been any distinct trends in the duration or total death tolls of wars over the last century or so?

Feb. 24 2012 01:29 PM
chris

Had to turn it off. Laborious to listen to...

Feb. 24 2012 01:29 PM
John A.

A fair number of people contemplate world peace using religion as a tool.
Perhaps some mention perhaps of the practice of religion in Mr. Sachs' life?

Feb. 24 2012 01:25 PM

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