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>
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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>
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September 25, 2020
Jon Lieber, who leads Eurasia Group's coverage of political and policy developments in Washington, offers insights on the Supreme Court vacancy:
Will Senate Republicans, who stopped a Supreme Court nomination in 2016, because it was too close to an election, pay a political price for the change in tactics this time around?
Not only do I think they won't pay a political price, I think in many cases, they're going to benefit. Changing the balance of power on the Supreme Court has been a career-long quest for many conservatives and many Republicans. And that's why you've seen so many of them fall in line behind the President's nomination before we even know who it is.
At this point, do Senate Democrats have any hope of stopping President Trump from filling the ninth seat on the Supreme Court?
<p>Well, there is an asteroid that's supposed to come by earth around Election Day and should it hit the earth and create a crater that kills all mankind, I think they probably have a shot, but short of that, it really seems like the Republicans are very motivated to get this done. They may have a change of heart after an election which they've lost the Senate, but I'd be really surprised. So I'd expect the seat to be filled this year.</p><p><strong>Why won't the President promise a peaceful transition of power?</strong></p><p>Well, I think the President won't promise a peaceful transition of power because he thinks he's going to win without mail ballots. And it's very obvious that his entire reelection campaign right now and strategy is based around getting Republicans to show up to vote on election day and then discrediting the mail ballots that come in after election day, which could favor Democrats by as much as two to one. So there's some evidence that the Department of Justice is in on this. They released an announcement this week that they found nine ballots in a trashcan in Pennsylvania. And this obviously won't affect the outcome of the election, it's only nine ballots, but what it will do is help to discredit mail balloting in the eyes of many Republicans who will then support the President as he attempts to de-legitimized every single one of these absentee ballots in the aftermath of the election.</p>
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