Aid and Development

Question: Is development at odds with environmentalism?

Stephen Walt: I think there’s an obvious tradeoff. We can’t have, you know, seven to eight billion people on the planet all of them living like Americans. So one of the problems we’re going to have to address as a society is how do you convince people in the most advanced societies who are consuming most of the resources to . . . to essentially a diminution I regard as not necessarily a diminution of their lifestyles, but a diminution of their ostentation. Or to put it in really crude terms, how do you get more Americans and Europeans to have a much, much smaller carbon footprint, right? Without thinking that that requires us all to live in tiny homes; that requires us all to ride bicycles to work or things like that; but rather can we be happy about a different lifestyle where maybe the 12,000 foot McMansion is not the American dream, and that we all accept that many more people are going to have to live in some parts of their lives in a much more constrained fashion. I actually regard that as a social and cultural problem that we are, again, just beginning to have to think about. And it’s not one that’s gonna sit well with many Americans. We tend to think, “We’re Americans. We’re entitled to whatever we can afford.”

Recorded on: 10/8/07

One of the problems Walt foresees is how to convince the most advanced societies that are consuming most of the resources to use less.

Supreme Court to hear 3 cases on LGBT workplace discrimination

In most states, LGBTQ Americans have no legal protections against discrimination in the workplace.

(Photo by Andres Pantoja/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • The Supreme Court will decide whether the Civil Rights Act of 1964 also applies to gay and transgender people.
  • The court, which currently has a probable conservative majority, will likely decide on the cases in 2020.
  • Only 21 states and the District of Columbia have passed laws effectively extending the Civil Rights of 1964 to gay and transgender people.
Keep reading Show less

Scientists discover how to trap mysterious dark matter

A new method promises to capture an elusive dark world particle.

Surprising Science
  • Scientists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) devised a method for trapping dark matter particles.
  • Dark matter is estimated to take up 26.8% of all matter in the Universe.
  • The researchers will be able to try their approach in 2021, when the LHC goes back online.
Keep reading Show less

Afghanistan is the most depressed country on Earth

No, depression is not just a type of "affluenza" — poor people in conflict zones are more likely candidates

Image: Our World in Data / CC BY
Strange Maps
  • Often seen as typical of rich societies, depression is actually more prevalent in poor, conflict-ridden countries
  • More than one in five Afghans is clinically depressed – a sad world record
  • But are North Koreans really the world's 'fourth least depressed' people?
Keep reading Show less