Tag: war games

Background Briefing: September 12, 2018


Extreme Weather Now the New Normal

We begin with the huge hurricane bearing down on the Carolinas and analyze why increasingly destructive and costly floods, fires, droughts and hurricanes are happening with more frequency and intensity as extreme weather becomes the new normal. Michael Mann, the Director of the Earth Systems Science Center at Penn State University who shared the Nobel Peace Prize with others on the Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change and author of “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening Our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving Us Crazy”, joins us. We will discuss the disconnect between the reality facing us and the planet and the policies of the Trump Administration which go beyond denial to outright hostility to the modest efforts so far to deal with the worsening climate crisis. As global warming makes the Atlantic Ocean warmer, hurricanes are moving north from their usual trajectory of hitting the Caribbean to striking population centers on America’s East coast, meaning it will be only a matter of time before New York City is directly impacted by a super-storm. Meanwhile Trump and his cabinet in the pocket of the oil and gas lobby, are making it easier for oil and gas companies to pollute with impunity by releasing methane, a virulent global warming gas 100 times worse than CO2.


The EU Censures Hungary’s Victor Orban

Then we get an update on the censure vote today in the European Parliament to punish Hungary’s leader Victor Orban for breaches of the core values of the European Union and speak with R. Daniel Keleman, the Jean Monnet Chair and Director of the Center for European Studies at Rutgers University. He joins us to discuss whether the EU rule Article 7 could be triggered to suspend Hungary from the 28 member EU which is unlikely because Poland is likely to veto such a move.


Are China and Russia Becoming Allies?

Then finally, we examine what might be going on in terms of some kind of budding relationship between Russia and China as the countries two leaders met today in Vladivostok and made pancakes together on the waterfront at Russia’s Pacific port as a major military exercise involving 300,000 troops, 36,000 tanks and 1,000 aircraft got underway with Chinese troops drilling with Russian service members in the “Vostok 2018” war games.Gilbert Rozman, a Professor of Sociology at Princeton University who specializes in Russian and Chinese relations, joins us to assess whether these historical rivals are becoming allies.