Carbon has a bad rep, but did you know it's a building block of life? As atoms evolved, carbon trapped in CO2 was freed, giving way to the creation of complex molecules that use photosynthesis to convert carbon to food. Soon after, plants, herbivores, and carnivores began populating the earth and the cycle of life began.
Learn more about how carbon created life on Earth in the second episode of Eni's Story of CO2 series.
On September 23, GZERO Media — in partnership with Microsoft and Eurasia Group — gathered global experts to discuss global recovery from the coronavirus pandemic in a livestream panel. Our panel for the discussion Crisis Response & Recovery: Reimagining while Rebuilding, included:
- Brad Smith, President, Microsoft
- Ian Bremmer, President and Founder, Eurasia Group & GZERO Media
- Jeh Johnson, Partner, Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison, LLP and former Secretary of Homeland Security.
- John Frank, Vice President, UN Affairs at Microsoft
- Susan Glasser, staff writer and Washington columnist, The New Yorker (moderator)
Special appearances by UN Secretary-General António Guterres, European Central Bank chief Christine Lagarde, and comedian/host Trevor Noah.
<p><strong>Brad Smith</strong> on what global recovery from COVID-19 will look like:</p><blockquote><em>We're living through a period of time when certain things are being accelerated by this crisis. One of the most obvious is digital technology. In some ways, it makes certain investment decisions for a digital technology company perhaps even somewhat easier than before, especially if one focuses on the long term. As this acceleration continues, I think we're clearly heading towards a world where this will end, eventually. We'll use the opportunity to be back together in person, but [for instance] the future of medicine I think has been altered for good.</em></blockquote><p><strong>António Guterres</strong> on the post-pandemic ideological divide:</p><blockquote><em>[The pandemic] is exacerbating nationalism, populism, even xenophobia and racism in more extreme situations, and the denial of the needs of multilateral governments and institutions. The two things are now confronting each other. This will be a very important ideological battle in the months to come... I am not naïve and I know this is going to be a very tough ideological battle and it is not won. We might come out of it with the capacity to build back a world with more inclusive and sustainable perspectives, but we might come out of it with a world where chaos will become the main logic of international relations.</em></blockquote><p><strong>Jeh Johnson</strong> on the top global security risks in next six months:</p><blockquote><em>Long term, in my view, the biggest risk to our nation and our world is climate change. As Barack Obama used to say, it's a slow-motion emergency. Therefore, our leaders fail to put it on the top of their inbox to address. Short term, we're in an election season. Our democracy is under threat both by external actors, those who seek to push out misinformation and extremist views. Frankly, the way Americans receive their information has led to the increased political polarization that we see right now [and] that very much affects our democracy.</em></blockquote><p><strong>Ian Bremmer</strong> on Russian disinformation in the US:</p><blockquote><em>The Soviets historically did a lot more damage with disinformation than they did with their bomber jets. But the reason that we beat the Soviets is because ultimately, our ideas were better than theirs. Our values actually mattered more to their own people and to those that were behind the Berlin Wall. And that's what brought it down. Individual liberties, a free market that worked, and the ability to create opportunity both for those inside the country born and also those that tried so hard to get to the US. A lot of those ideas no longer feel as legitimate to the average American. The Russians are engaging in disinformation all over the world. But it's more effective in the US.</em></blockquote><p><strong>Christine Lagarde</strong> on the future of global governance in a post-pandemic world</p><blockquote><em>I hope that [the pandemic] triggers momentum. I can tell you that from Europe, it has certainly encouraged and supported a much more collective and better governed collective response, irrespective of noise on the line, if you will (there will be, it's inevitable). At a global level, I hope that international organizations like the World Health Organization, or my favorite former institution, the International Monetary Fund, will come out of that hopefully stronger than they were when they went into the crisis, but the jury is out.</em></blockquote><p><strong>John Frank</strong> on closing the global digital gap:</p><blockquote><em>[We hope that] the application of data science to medicine and the collaborations that are taking place will be sustained and change for the better, [as well as] the direction of therapies and the delivery of them to broad populations in the world. If people aren't connected you can't have telemedicine or online education. There's 4 billion people that aren't connected to the internet today, including 1.4 billion children who left the classroom. The needs are profound and that's not something one company can do [on its own], but by bringing in others and by raising these issues, we hope to see more progress.</em></blockquote><p><strong>Trevor Noah</strong> on whether we are better or worse after 75 years of the UN:</p><blockquote><em>I always think the world is better off. I know it may not feel like it in the moment, but I think we steadily move forward as human beings and as a species. We have setbacks, we have moments that we really shouldn't have had, we have moments that we really wish we could delete from history and time and just bridge the gap to the more progressive moments, or moments where society moved forward. But I think we always are doing better.</em></blockquote><p>This event was the second in a four-part livestream panel series about key issues facing the 75th United General Assembly. The next discussion, <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/unga/livestream/">Digital Inclusion: Activating Skills for the Next Billion Jobs</a>, will stream live on Wednesday, October 7, at 11 am ET.</p><p>See the schedule of upcoming events and <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/unga/livestream" target="_self">watch our livestream panels here</a>, and check out GZERO Media's <a href="https://www.gzeromedia.com/unga/" target="_self">special coverage</a> of the 2020 edition of the world's largest diplomatic gathering, and the first ever virtual UNGA.</p>
More Show less
Hard Numbers: Swiss borders, Thai anti-royal tweets, Nigerian air pollution, Vietnam recycles condoms
September 28, 2020
62: In a referendum over the weekend, nearly 62 percent of Swiss voters said they wanted to preserve freedom of movement between the European Union and Switzerland, which is not a member of the EU. The right-wing Swiss People's Party had proposed imposing migration quotas at the border, saying that the current frontier is basically a... (okay, they didn't actually say it's a "Swiss cheese" but still).
<p><strong>820,000:</strong> #RepublicOfThailand became the top trending Twitter hashtag in Thailand last Friday. Users <a href="https://www.reuters.com/article/thailand-protests/thai-republic-hashtag-trends-as-frustration-surges-among-protesters-idINKCN26G0GV" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">tweeted</a> it more than 820,000 times after parliament delayed plans to reform the Thai constitution, including curbs on royal power demanded by the youth-led protest movement challenging the monarchy.</p><p><strong>11,000:</strong> Air pollution in Lagos, Nigeria's most populous city, caused more than 11,000 premature deaths in 2018 alone, according to a recent World Bank <a href="https://www.worldbank.org/en/topic/environment/publication/the-cost-of-air-pollution-in-lagos" target="_blank">study</a>. Children under five accounted for a majority of those deaths.</p><p><strong>300,000:</strong> Vietnamese officials recently <a href="https://www.nytimes.com/2020/09/25/world/asia/vietnam-recycled-condoms.html" rel="noopener noreferrer" target="_blank">confiscated </a>more than 300,000 used condoms that had been boiled, dried, reshaped, and then… put up for sale again in the southern province of Binh Duong. A local woman who was in on the scheme said she was paid by the pound for recycling the goods.</p>
More Show less
Carl Bildt, former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Sweden, shares his perspective on the Navalny poisoning on Europe In 60 Seconds:
Can Europe get to the bottom of Russian opposition leader Navalny's poisoning? And if so, would it change anything?
One has got to the bottom of it, to certain extent. The evidence, there was a German laboratory confirming nerve agent, Novichok. They sent it to a French laboratory and the Swedish independent laboratory, they came to the exact same conclusions. I mean, it's dead certain. He was poisoned with an extremely poisonous nerve agent coming from the Russian state laboratories. Now, there is a discussion underway of what to do. I mean, the Russians are refusing any sort of serious discussions about it. Surprise, surprise. And we'll see what actions will be taken. There might be some sort of international investigation within the context of the OPCW, the international organization that is there, to safeguard the integrity of the international treaties to prevent chemical weapons. But we haven't seen the end of this story yet.
September 28, 2020
Watch as Nicholas Thompson, editor-in-chief of WIRED, explains what's going on in technology news:
Would Facebook actually leave Europe? What's the deal?
The deal is that Europe has told Facebook it can no longer transfer data back and forth between the United States and Europe, because it's not secure from US Intelligence agencies. Facebook has said, "If we can't transfer data back and forth, we can't operate in Europe." My instinct, this will get resolved. There's too much at stake for both sides and there are all kinds of possible compromises.
<p><strong>An Amazon home drone. Why would I need that and are you concerned about privacy? </strong></p><p>Amazon has just announced a new drone that flies with the camera room to room in your apartment, home, looking for disturbances. Why would you need it? If you're really worried about a burglar, worried about a raccoon. Why should you be scared about privacy? Because it will be filming all your stuff and maybe linking it to your Amazon account. My concern about it? Look, it's cool technology, but I'd much rather get a dog. </p>
More Show less