Cautionary Tales
Cautionary Tales
Jun 26, 2020
The Spreadsheet of Life and Death
Play episode · 27 min

Clive had a deadly form of cancer, but fortunately there was a new drug to treat it. Imagine his anger when he was told the treatment was too expensive. He’d entered a world where unique human lives are given a value in a mathematical formula. So how much should we spend to extend or save a life? And are some lives worth more than others?

Read more about Tim's work at http://timharford.com/

Tim's latest books 'Fifty Inventions That Shaped The Modern Economy' and 'The Next Fifty Things That Made The Modern Economy' are available now.

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How to Save a Planet
How to Save a Planet
Gimlet
Presenting: Drilled
Decades ago, the oil company Exxon made a decision that drastically changed our country’s response to climate change. At the time, the company’s scientists were warning about global warming and Exxon was investing in the research and development of renewable energy technologies. But instead of going down the path of pursuing renewables, a small group of powerful people decided to double down on fossil fuels. Today, we’re sharing the story of this inflection point, as told on the first season of the podcast Drilled. If you like what you hear, find Drilled in your favorite podcast app, or at drillednews.com. Want more?  Read this article in Scientific American: Exxon Knew about Climate Change almost 40 years ago, and see more reporting on the topic on Twitter with the hashtag #ExxonKnew  Listen to the rest of the first season of Drilled. Also, check out the current season of Drilled. In the latest season, reporter and host Amy Westervelt is telling the story of a decades-long case between Chevron and an Indigenous group in Ecuador. It's a wild story with a lot of twists and turns that ultimately highlights just how far oil companies are willing to go to avoid accountability. Our podcast now has a patron saint Allow us to introduce you to Eunice Newton Foote, the scientist who discovered that adding carbon dioxide to the atmosphere would cause planetary warming. And she discovered this in 1856!! Check out this paper she published 164 years ago. She tried to warn us! #VoteClimate And lastly, the election ends in just a few days. Besides voting, you can still get involved at a local level. We recommend checking out Lead Locally — an organization whose mission is electing community leaders who are dedicated to stopping big fossil fuel projects & protecting our climate. They have info on the slate of local candidates they are supporting this election and you can even sign up to phone or text bank for them.
40 min
Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios
Book Club Finale, Floating Nuclear Plants. Oct 30, 2020, Part 2
Pushing Boundaries In Fantastical Fiction The Science Friday Book Club has spent all of October immersed in short stories by Indigenous, Black, Chicanx and South Asian authors. But at the end of the day, where do these stories fit in the bigger picture of fiction writing in 2020? In the final conversation of this fall’s speculative fiction focus, SciFri’s Book Club joins writer and ‘New Suns’ editor Nisi Shawl in a conversation about the expanding footprint of writers of color in science fiction and fantasy, and the ways both science and science fiction can be re-imagined and redefined when you look outside of the perspectives of white, Western authors who have dominated these genres in the past. Shawl suggests broadening what stories we call science fiction. What happens when we think of writing, or even religion, as forms of technology? SciFri producer Christie Taylor and Journal of Science Fiction editor Aisha Matthews join Nisi Shawl in front of a live Zoom audience for this conversation about the diverse and dynamic future of science fiction. Shipping Nuclear Power Out To Sea When the Green New Deal was proposed last year, it called for the United States to become fully energy independent, moving to 100% renewable energy sources within the next decade. It specifically mentions solar and wind power as two alternatives the country should invest in. And it conspicuously leaves out nuclear power. But the nuclear industry is fighting to be part of the renewable conversation. While it’s been innovating at a slower pace, there is one old idea that engineers say still holds water: floating nuclear power plants. Ira talks to Nick Touran, a nuclear engineer and reactor physicist from Seattle, Washington about the advantages of shipping nuclear out to sea, as well as some newer technology keeping nuclear power in the renewable energy conversation.
48 min
Worldly
Worldly
Vox
France, Islam, and free speech
Jenn and Alex discuss the recent terror attacks in France that have occurred amid a national and international uproar about cartoons of the Prophet Muhammed and President Emmanuel Macron’s stance toward Islam in the country. They discuss what Macron’s push for an “Islam of France” really means, the complexities for Muslims to fully integrate into French society, and the ongoing debate about freedom of expression vs. respect for religion. They end by discussing the global response to what’s happening in France, especially the hypocrisy of certain Muslim leaders who are using a contentious issue to benefit themselves. References: Alex has two pieces about the situation in France. A McGill study shows the challenges Muslims have faced to fully integrate in France. A smart opinion piece in Politico argues Macron isn’t a hardliner against Islam. Marine Le Pen, Macron’s far-right challenger, is already calling what’s happening a “war.” Turkey’s leader is using this situation to distract from his economic problems at home. Hosts: Zack Beauchamp (@zackbeauchamp), senior correspondent, Vox Jennifer Williams (@jenn_ruth), senior foreign editor, Vox Alex Ward (@AlexWardVox), national security reporter, Vox   Consider contributing to Vox: If you value Worldly’s work, please consider making a contribution to Vox: bit.ly/givepodcasts   More to explore: Subscribe for free to Today, Explained, Vox’s daily podcast to help you understand the news, hosted by Sean Rameswaram.   About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines.   Follow Us: Vox.com  Newsletter: Vox Sentences  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
50 min
Future Perfect
Future Perfect
Vox
Can we raise better beef?
Beef cattle take a huge toll on the environment. In Brazil, a huge chunk of greenhouse gas emissions comes from ranching alone. And a California-sized chunk of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down to provide land for these cattle to graze on. But one man, living on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, has a potential solution. In a series of small pilot projects run in his own small town, he’s demonstrated that he can work with ranchers to make their land healthier and more sustainable, so they don’t have to slash and burn more forest. He’s also shown that, by making the land greener and the cows healthier, he can dramatically reduce emissions from ranching. Further listening and reading:  Christina Selby’s story about Vando Telles’s company can be found at Scientific American. Vox video has an in-depth explainer on deforestation in the Amazon and on the invasion of indigenous land in Brazil. Vox video also has an explainer on why eating beef speeds up climate change. Vox’s Umair Irfan traveled to Brazil last year to report on deforestation and climate change. We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com.  Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. This podcast is made possible thanks to support from Animal Charity Evaluators. They research and promote the most effective ways to help animals. Featuring: Christina Selby (@Christina Selby), freelance science reporter Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  More to explore: Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat. Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Follow Us: Vox.com Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
24 min
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