29 minutes | Jan 26, 2021

COVID-19 and Climate Change Part 2 (with Alicia Harley, Rob Paarlberg, and Troy Vettese)

COVID-19 radically reduced global productivity, but isn’t that just what we need to combat climate change? Is there such a thing as a silver lining in this pandemic? In Episode 5, we continue the conversation about the relationship between COVID-19 and climate change. Three Weatherhead Center scholars guide us through the complex environmental and political systems that constrain efforts for systemic change, and discuss what needs to be done today.The second episode of this two-part podcast series looks more closely at the politics of COVID-19 and climate change and other countries’ efforts to reduce fossil fuel use. As mentioned in part 1, the lynchpin of these two crises is land—how much of our planet’s surface area is dedicated to raising and growing food for animals. Troy Vettese stresses that scientists have known about the dangers of close human contact with animals since the1800s and many organizations have urged the reduction of meat consumption for public health reasons. Robert Paarlberg elaborates on the origin of the virus, and describes the pandemic’s impact on the African continent. Alicia Harley sees the pandemic as a wake up to advance grassroots momentum generated by the Green New Deal.Finally, our scholars debate the practicality and caveats of the Green New Deal, and what steps a new Biden Administration can take to address environmental needs from day one.Host:Kathleen Molony, Director, Weatherhead Scholars Program.Guests:Alicia Harley, Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Sustainability Science Program, Harvard Kennedy School. PhD, Public Policy, Harvard Kennedy School. Robert L. Paarlberg, Weatherhead Center Associate. Associate, Sustainability Science Program, Harvard Kennedy School; Betty F. Johnson ‘44 Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Department of Political Science, Wellesley College.Troy Vettese, Weatherhead Center William Lyon Mackenzie King Postdoctoral Fellow, Canada Program. PhD, Department of History, New York University.Related Links:"President Biden, Please Don't Get Into Carbon Farming" by Robert Paarlberg (Wired, January 2021)Resetting the Table: Straight Talk About the Food We Grow and Eat by Robert Paarlberg“Sustainability Science: Towards a Synthesis” by Alicia Harley and William C. Clark (Working Paper, 2019)“Debating Green Strategy” by Troy Vettese (New Left Review, May/June 2018)Half-Earth Socialism: A Manifesto to Save the Future by Troy Vettese and Drew Pendergrass (Verso Books, forthcoming 2022)“The Climate Crisis and COVID-19 Are Inseparable” by Troy Vettese and Drew Pendergrass (Jacobin, May 2020)“Covid-19, Food Systems, and Wild Animals” by Robert Paarlberg (Commentary, Center for Strategic and International Studies, October 21, 2020)Follow the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs:WCFIA WebsiteEpicenter WebsiteTwitterFacebookSimplecastSoundcloudVimeo
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