Tag: arctic

Background Briefing: May 7, 2019


Pompeo Denies Global Warming but Praises Its Results

We begin with the embarrassing display of Trumpian diplomacy where the U.S. again was the bull in the China shop beating up on our NATO allies Canada, Norway and Denmark who along with Finland, Iceland, Sweden and Russia make up the Arctic Council at the just-concluded Arctic Council summit in Finland at which Secretary of State Pompeo expressed interest in exploiting oil and mineral resources made more accessible due to melting ice caused by global warming. But global warming was a subject the U.S. delegation was forbidden from mentioning and it was the elephant in the room that the U.S. tried to scrub from the final communique resulting in the first time the Arctic Council had failed to produce a declaration since 1996.  Joining us is Monica Medina, the founder and publisher of Our Daily Planet and the former senior director of ocean policy at the National Geographic Society and undersecretary of commerce for oceans and atmosphere at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration where she led efforts on Arctic conservation.


The Country’s Leading Authority on Russia

Then we speak with Angela Stent, the Director of the Center for Eurasian, Russian, and East European Affairs and a Professor of Government and Foreign Affairs at Georgetown University who served as National Intelligence Officer for Russia and Eurasia on the National Intelligence Council and in the Office of Policy Planning at the U.S. Department of State. She joins us to discuss her new book, just out, “Putin’s World: Russia Against the West and With the Rest” which helps us understand how and why the post-Cold War era has given way to a new more dangerous world in which Russia is challenging the U.S. and the subject of Russia itself has become a toxic and divisive subject in our politics.


 The Market Plunges as Trump Reignites a Trade War with China

Then finally with the stock market plunging yet again because of President Trump’s turbulent trade war with China which erupted just as it appeared the U.S. had reached a deal with China, we look into the Trump administration’s about face, claiming the Chinese reneged on the deal, and are now threatening to impose an extra $200 billion in tariffs on Chinese products.  Victor Shih, professor of Political Science in the 21st Century China Program at the School of Global Policy and Strategy at the University of California, San Diego, joins us to discuss Trump’s numerous misconceptions about trade, particularly how trade deficits are a bad thing meaning that we are losing and China is winning, and that tariffs hurt China when in fact they hurt American consumers who have to pay the extra tariffs in higher prices for Chinese goods. And although there are legitimate concerns about China’s economic espionage and theft of U.S. intellectual property, the markets appear concerned whether a trade deal with China is possible while a trade war is becoming increasingly likely.  However, considering China’s sophisticated AI-based surveillance, creeping authoritarianism, increases in debt, human rights violations, and its revamped Maoist propaganda campaign, and growing entrepreneurial dissatisfaction with State intervention with business, perhaps cracks are beginning to appear in their system.