Category: Briefings

Background Briefing: January 17, 2022

 

On MLK Day Rancor From African American Leaders at Senators Sinema and Manchin

We begin on this Martin Luther King Day with the rancor being expressed by African American leaders like MLK’s son and Congressman Clyburn directed at Democratic Senator Sinema for her stance on the filibuster and speak with Anthea Butler, the Geraldine R. Segal Professor in American Social Thought and Chair of Religious Studies at the University of Pennsylvania. Professor Butler’s latest book is, White Evangelical Racism: The Politics of Morality in America and we discuss whether Manchin and Sinema’s obstruction of voting rights reform make them throwbacks to the Dixiecrats who blocked Civil Rights or servants of their rich and powerful donors and corporate backers.

 

The World’s 10 Richest Men Double Their Wealth While 160 Million More Are Pushed Into Poverty

Then with the latest report from Oxfam released to coincide with the Davos Economic Forum, we speak with Sam Pizzigati, a veteran labor journalist, a fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies, and an editor at the online newsletter Inequality.org. His books include The Rich Don’t Always Win: The Forgotten Triumph over Plutocracy that Created the American Middle Class and most recently, The Case for a Maximum Wage and we discuss the Oxfam report’s finding that the world’s 10 richest men have more than doubled their collective wealth during the pandemic when 160 million more around the world have been pushed into poverty. 

 

With Tonga Covered in Ash, the Effects of Volcanic Eruptions on Climate

Then finally we look into the ongoing undersea volcanic explosions near the main island of Tonga and speak with Dr. Alan Robock, a Distinguished Professor of climatology in the Department of Environmental Sciences at Rutgers University who was the lead author of the latest report from the IPCC, the Intergovernmental Panel of Climate Change. His research interests include nuclear weapons, climate intervention, geoengineering, and the effects of volcanic eruptions on climate and we discuss how volcanic eruptions can cause temporary global cooling.