FROM Tom Unterman
Will Plummeting Oil Prices Cause a Clean-Energy Meltdown? Both John McCain and Barack Obama say America needs renewable energy—wind, solar, nuclear and "clean coal" as opposed to oil and natural gas. When the price of oil was rising, those alternative technologies were attracting needed investment. But oil now costs half what it did just a few weeks ago. Added to that, the credit crisis is drying up capital and green-energy projects that looked promising are being put on hold. What about energy independence and global warming? Does government have the resources to take up the slack? Are renewables really the answer to the world's energy problems?
Climate Change: International Challenge and Business Opportunity Receiving the Nobel Prize today, Al Gore warned that failure to act against global warming will mean "mutually assured destruction." He had strong words for the US and China, two of the 190 nations meeting in Bali to hash out guidelines for a new treaty for reducing greenhouse gases. With a turnabout by Australia's newly elected prime minister, the United States is the only industrialized nation opposed to setting mandatory reductions of greenhouse gases. The Bush Administration backs private sector initiatives for energy savings and alternative energy sources. In Los Angeles, there's a meeting of entrepreneurs, manufacturers and investors who see climate change not just as a challenge, but an opportunity. What are they doing to reverse climate change and cope with a process that's already well under way? Can LA and other cities cash in on a new international industry created by global warming?
Replacing Obamacare: Now you see it… now you don’t As the Senate deliberates replacing Obmacare, health coverage for millions of people is at stake. There've been no public hearings, and a draft measure won't be made public. Is the House version so unpopular that that Senate is hiding a version that looks much the same?
Human Rights in the era of Donald Trump President Trump’s UN Ambassador, Nikki Haley, said today the US might pull out of the United Nations’ Human Rights Council. Serious violators of human rights are members of the Council itself–and a US resignation could make things worse. Later on today’s show, now that he’s into his second term, comedian turned US Senator Al Franken is telling jokes again.
Who's to blame for the opioid crisis? Some of the lawyers who took on Big Tobacco are now going after Big Pharma. It’s all about the deadly epidemic of opioid use. Are the drug companies to blame? What about the users? Later, on today’s Talking Point: making sense of Britain’s upset election.