Putin Power? – Counterpoint – ABC Radio National

What is Putin really doing on the Ukraine border? Trying to start a war or a conversation? Mary Dejevsky says that we have ‘so disastrously misunderstood Putin. He does not, repeat not, see his mission as restoring either the Soviet Union or the Russian Empire’. As for Ukraine ‘contrary to what much of the West seems to think, Putin and Russia are on record as recognising Ukraine’s status as an independent, sovereign state. Yes, really’. So what does he want? ‘To restore international respect for Russia, for Russia not to be taken for granted, as he believes it was during the 1990s’.

Then (at 16 mins), do we think of inventors and entrepreneurs the same way those of the Victorian Era did? Professor Iwan Morus believes so. He says they ‘established a powerful paradigm that continues to haunt us: that the future is (or can be) a utopia, and inventors and entrepreneurs are the ones who know how to get there’. He reminds us of the work of Nickola Tesla and others and compares it how people like Elon Musk are treated today and argues that ‘with its focus on individual virtue, the Victorian vision of the future is an exclusive one. When we subscribe to this paradigm about how — and by whom — the future is made, we’re also relinquishing control over that future. We’re acknowledging that tomorrow belongs to them, not to us’.

Then, (at 30 mins) Amanda gets on her soapbox to rant about being stoic.

Also (at 31 mins), in their opposition to nuclear power, have environmentalists become a bigger threat to effective climate policy than deniers? Dr Maarten Boudry thinks so. He argues that ‘the main obstacle to effective climate action for the past two decades has not been the climate denialists who refuse to face the reality of the problem, but the environmentalists who incessantly demonized and sabotaged our most important source of concentrated, weather-independent , dispatchable, zero-carbon energy (which also happens to be the safest and least polluting one). That is nuclear energy. Hes that ‘environmentalists and climate argue deserve credit for raising awareness about global warming, but that does not exempt them from criticism. Precisely because they had the science on their side when it came to diagnosing the problem, environmentalists have been far too complacent about questioning their preferred solutions’.

Finally (at 42 mins), If you care about animals Like sheep, cattle and chickens, you should eat them. Or as Professor Nick Zangwill puts it ‘it is not just that you may do so, but you should do so. In fact, you owe it to animals to eat them. It is your duty. Why? Because eating animals benefits them and has benefitted them for a long time’. He argues that the existence of that animal, and animals of its kind, depends on human beings killing and eating animals of that kind. Domesticated animals exist in the numbers they do only because there is a practice of eating them. For example, the many millions of sheep in New Zealand would not begin to survive in the wild. They exist only because human beings eat them’. He explains who we should treat these animals well and not concentrate on their whole lives and not just their deaths. Another lamb chop?


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