Spencer Platt / Getty Images For more than a decade, researchers and journalists have tried to lay bare the PR machine employed by fossil fuel companies to delay climate action. Science historian Naomi Oreskes’ Merchants of Doubt detailed the critical role some scientists played in denying the soundness of climate science. Later, an investigation by InsideClimate News revealed that while Exxon denied climate change publicly, its own scientists were aware for decades of how fossil fuels warm the planet. Political leaders have long cited economic research on how taking action on climate change would be prohibitively expensive. President Donald Trump even used the findings as part of his reasoning to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. But who exactly is behind that economic research? Legal expert, physicist, and now science historian Benjamin Franta , of Stanford University, decided to take a deeper look. He recently published his findings in the journal Environmental Politics: Since the late 1980s, economists at private consulting firms, funded by the fossil fuel industry, have played a key role in shaping public discourse about climate policy in the U.S., hawking flawed research and spreading disinformation everywhere from newspapers to congressional testimonies.https://grist.org/accountability/economists-role-in-big-oil-pr-machine/
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GESDA, which brings together hundreds of scientists and policymakers worldwide, would serve as an “honest broker” that helps spread the benefits of science to countries rich and poor, he said. “What we are trying to achieve with GESDA is new, and hence, difficult: To link anticipation that looks far ahead, with action that is immediate is a major challenge in itself,” Cassis said. While conceived in 2019, GESDA has started to look prescient during the COVID-19 pandemic that caught many governments off guard, drew an uncertain or unclear response by health policy makers like the Geneva-based World Health Organization, and has exposed gaping inequality between the rich countries that have wide access to vaccines — and poor countries that don’t. Pandemic preparedness projects and monitoring bodies have popped up in places like Europe and the United States since the outbreak, and the Biden administration has shown interest in the GESDA project -– and its focus on anticipating future trends and developments. Alondra Nelson, deputy director for science and society for the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, noted U.S. President Joe Biden has spoken about today’s moment “of great peril and great promise,” and she said governments should be see page bold about both innovation and partnership. “I think that the Anticipator — anticipatory frame — is a fantastic possibility for working this through,” she said by videoconference from Washington on Thursday. “Anticipation is filled, of course, with both enthusiasm and yet unease.” Dr. Jeremy Farrar, the director of the Wellcome Trust charity and a key player in international health policy, has lined up with GESDA and told reporters on Thursday that while science has made great strides, action must be taken because otherwise “scientific advances will increasingly be available to a small elite in the world — and not to everybody.” Last week, GESDA and XPrize announced the creation of a prize for developments in quantum computing.https://www.seattletimes.com/business/swiss-backed-project-aims-to-avert-new-cold-war-in-science/
It is a choice that will define who we are: a people who believe that the world is what we make it, or as cynics who resign ourselves to forces we believe cannot be countered. That choice will be predicated on how we, the people and our government, decide how to deal the Chinese party-state that constitutes the greatest challenge of this century. J. Michael Cole is a Taipei-based senior fellow with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute and the Global Taiwan Institute. He is a former analyst with the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in Ottawa. Executive director and COO of the Canada China Business Council Canada’s relationship with China is damaged. Each detaining the other’s citizens has put bilateral relations in the deep freeze since late 2018. The stark difference in detainee conditions highlighted the vast difference in the two systems, which contributes to record-low public opinion of China. With the release of Michael Kovrig, Michael Spavor and Meng Wanzhou, a major barrier to resumption of the relationship is gone. This doesn’t mean a new normal will be quick and the old normal may never return.https://www.thestar.com/opinion/contributors/the-saturday-debate/2021/10/09/the-saturday-debate-has-canadas-relationship-with-china-become-too-damaged.html
She passed away less than an hour later,” Allen remembers. Her mother died at 11pm New Zealand time and Allen started looking for flights to attend the funeral the next morning. She found one and was allowed into the UK through a traffic light system. However, she couldn’t get a place in MIQ here. “... everything is geared towards people based overseas trying to get back to New Zealand, not those over here trying to go and come back.” She contacted her MP’s office and says she was told you can try these out by a staffer she wouldn’t be likely to get an MIQ spot this side of Christmas. Just before midnight on Wednesday Allen took part of a livestream funeral service for her mother. Allen’s is an example of how difficult and painful it can be for families separated by border closures. Others have suffered under the uncertainty of when they will gain the right to leave and return.https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/health/coronavirus/300422334/covid19-migrants-kept-in-nz-by-miq-lockout-considering-giving-up-on-kiwi-life