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VPM Forum

When Joe Biden ran for president, he pledged to make climate change a major priority. How will he make good on that promise and what are the consequences if he fails to act? On this week’s episode, we discuss climate policy with former California Governor Jerry Brown, oceanographer Sylvia Earle and former Colombian president Juan Manuel Santos, 2016 recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize. Then, we visit Paradise, California, the site of the deadliest and most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.
  • The national uprising ignited by the murder of George Floyd has cast a spotlight on the country’s embedded, institutional racism, including the fraught relationship between environmentalism and communities of color. Air pollution, severe weather and the economic upheaval brought on by climate change impacts black and minority communities first and worst, yet their voices are often left out of policy responses and market solutions.
  • Black Lives Matter might be the largest social movement in American history. Last month, an estimated 15-25 million people took to the streets to protest police violence, launching a national conversation about the role systemic racism plays in law enforcement. We hear from Jinho “The Piper” Ferreira, an artist whose past experiences with the police drove him to fight the system from the inside. Next, we look at how South Africa has grappled with its own history of police violence.
  • The Supreme Court narrowly rejected the Trump administration’s attempt to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program – meaning life for its nearly 700,000 participants remains in limbo. In this collaboration between Think and The Texas Newsroom, host Krys Boyd explores why Congress has been unwilling to create legislation that addresses DACA, shares the stories of DACA recipients as they go about their lives unable to plan for their futures, and talks to Janet Napolitano, who initiated the program as President Obama’s Homeland Security secretary.
  • Seventy-five years ago, delegates from 50 countries met in San Francisco to sign the UN Charter. Initially, the purpose of the United Nations was to maintain peace and security through international cooperation and to essentially prevent another world war. Today’s UN has 193 member countries and is facing a time of uncertainty and open disdain from U.S. President Donald Trump, who has cut funding to the world body and declared, “The future does not belong to globalists. The future belongs to patriots.”
  • How might coronavirus reshape geopolitics? For some, the answer is clear: China is on the rise. While Washington embraces “America First” and abdicates its global leadership role, they argue, Beijing is stepping up to fill the void.
  • Ideas of the European Enlightenment had a major impact on early American culture and the ways in which Americans pursued happiness in their new nation. On this program, we hear from Caroline Winterer, a professor of history and American studies at Stanford University, where she specializes in the scientific ideas and Enlightenment attitudes that shaped this country.
  • This week, we look at leadership during a global crisis. What does it take to avoid the worst of the pandemic and allow a country to return to some sense of normalcy? Producer Teresa Cotsirilos and Radio New Zealand’s Indira Stewart explain how Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern managed to nearly eradicate the virus from New Zealand.
  • When the novel coronavirus began to spread beyond China, we were told to stay home and flatten the curve. Many countries have been able to do that, to varying degrees, so what happens next? We look at how governments around the world are struggling to re-open their economies.
  • From Intelligence Squared U.S. - As health professionals and leaders around the nation rush to procure the supplies Americans need to combat coronavirus, we ask: Is the Defense Production Act being underutilized?
  • As the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the globe, the World Health Organization warns about an information epidemic or “infodemic.” Consumers of news are inundated with stats, graphs, press conferences, and think-pieces, as well as dubious data, miscredited quotations, and outright harmful claims.