While details of the future obviously remain unknowable, we canpredict that the next few decades will be profoundly affected by climate change, that unmanned weapons systems – drones – will come to play bigger and bigger roles in war and that changes in the populations of Japan and China will be a major factor in the destiny of East Asia and the Pacific Rim. In a “Forseeable Future” Edition of Truth Politics and Power, host Neal Conan holds in depth conversations with leading climatologist Michael Mann, Missy Cummings, an expert on the development of unmanned systems and Howard French, author of “Everything Under the Heavens.”
Mary “Missy” Cummings
Michael E. Mann
Mary “Missy” Cummings is the director of the Humans and Autonomy Laboratory and Duke Robotics where her research interests include human-unmanned vehicle interaction, human-autonomous system collaboration, human-systems engineering, public policy implications of unmanned vehicles, and the ethical and social impact of technology. Today, Cummings serves as the co-chair of the World Economic Forum’s Artificial Intelligence and Robotics Committee and is a member of the US Department of Transportation’s federal advisory committee on autonomous transportation as well as the Stimson Center’s 2017 Commission on US Drone Policy. A naval officer and military pilot from 1988-1999, she was one of the Navy’s first female fighter pilots
Howard W. French is an associate professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he has taught both journalism and photography since 2008.For many years, he was a Senior Writer for The New York Times, where he spent most of a nearly 23 year career as a foreign correspondent, working in and traveling to over 100 countries on five continents. He is the author of China’s Second Continent: How a Million Migrants are Building a New Empire in Africa, and most recently Everything Under the Heavens: Empire, Tribute and the Future of Chinese Power.
“Every footstep we take, every action has a consequence. We breathe in weather, but we breathe out CO2. We’re responsible for weather and for climate.”
Gretel Ehrlich is an American writer of novels, non-fiction, poetry, and essays. She studied at Bennington College and UCLA film school. She began to write full-time in 1978, living on a Wyoming ranch, after the death of a loved one. Ehrlich debuted in 1984 with The Solace of Open Spaces. She has since written several books of essays, travel experiences, poetry and novels. Three of her later books were written about the effects of Climate Change including This Cold Heaven: Seven Seasons in Greenland, The Future of Ice and The Empire of Ice. She has observed the effects of global warming on the 5,000 year old Inuit culture that is dependent on the ice fields to hunt for the animals that sustain them. When she arrived the ice was several feet thick and on subsequent visits the ice had shrunk to a few inches thick becoming more fragile and dangerous for the dog sleds required for hunting.
The photos below were taken during Gretel’s several visits to Greenland beginning in 1993.
Near the coast of Greenland a large ice berg is drifting out to sea due to the extreme melting.
Inuit hunter with his dogs on the melting ice sheet that is beginning to become more dangerous for both the dogs and hunters.
A large displacement of ice due to Greenland’s warming temperatures.
Ice bergs broken off of the Greenland ice sheet floating out to sea.
From the air ice bergs off from the mainland ice sheet melting into the ocean.
by Michael E. Mann
In its 2001 report on global climate, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change of the United Nations prominently featured the “Hockey Stick,” a chart showing global temperature data over the past one thousand years. The Hockey Stick demonstrated that temperature had risen with the increase in industrialization and use of fossil fuels, and became a central icon in the “climate wars,” and well-funded science deniers immediately attacked the chart and the scientists responsible for it. Yet the controversy has had little to do with the depicted temperature rise and much more with the perceived threat the graph posed to those who oppose governmental regulation and other restraints to protect our environment and planet. Michael E. Mann, lead author of the original paper in which the Hockey Stick first appeared, shares the real story of the science and politics behind this controversy.