July 7, 2010

Pt 1: Double-Dip Recession - After the worst financial crisis since the great depression, the global economy has been faring much better of late. But now more and more economists fear the recovery could be a temporary bounce on the way to a so-called "double-dip" recession. We open up that debate. (Read More)

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Pt 2: Year of the Flood - The Canadian prairies have been hit by severe rainstorms. There are epic floods in China, France, Romania and Brazil. And the American West has been hit by some of the worst flash-floods anyone there can remember. Some are calling this a "Pearl Harbour" moment for climate change. But not everyone is jumping on the bandwagon. (Read More)

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Whole Show Blow-by-Blow

It's Wednesday, July 7th.

Stephen Harper shared the stage with renowned physicist Stephen Hawking yesterday.

Currently, Hawking was forced to concede that yes, theoretically, a black hole could make Omar Khadr disappear.

This is The Current.

Double-Dip Recession - Panel

It's an all-too familiar phrase lately - a double-dip recession. It's basically one long recession that happens to be broken up by a brief period of economic growth. Increasingly, a lot of economists think that's what's happening now. But there's still widespread debate about it.

So for their thoughts on the question, we were joined by Andrew Pyle. He's a Wealth Advisor at Scotia McLeod. He was in Peterborough, Ontario. And Larry Berman is the Chief Investment Officer at ETF Capital Management. He's also the host of Berman's Call on the Business News Network. He was in Toronto.

Articles: Big Drop leaves TSX at low for year / Markets fall amid economic recovery worries / Why Paul Krugman, David Rosenberg fear a looming depression

Double-Dip Recession - Jim Flaherty

For a sense of what Canada is doing about the threat of a double-dip recession, we were joined by Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. He was in Ottawa.

Articles: G20 recognizes risk of double-dip recession: Canada / How Jim Flaherty scaled the summit / Flaherty calls bank tax 'a distraction' / Does Jim Flaherty have a Plan B?


Year of the Flood - James Wilson

We started this segment with the sound of a lightning strike in Saskatchewan last week. It was a pretty frightening thing to witness. But it was just a harbinger of the destruction that would come on Canada Day when intense thunderstorms roared across the province ... and some watched it all unfold from inside their cars.

One of the hardest hit cities was Yorkton in south-eastern Saskatchewan... where upwards of 100 millimeters of rain fell in a matter of hours. Basements were flooded with filthy water. And the city's streets were turned into rivers. In fact, the waters rose so fast that some residents had to be evacuated by canoe. The city declared a state of emergency.

James Wilson is the Mayor of Yorkton, Saskatchewan.

Year of the Flood - Dan Kulak

Yorkton wasn't the only city hit by severe weather. Saskatoon saw torrential rains and extensive flooding on Canada Day. In one incident, a manhole cover flew up from the street with such force that it went through the bottom of a moving bus. The next day, a powerful tornado hit the Kawacatoose First Nation. And those storms came on the heals of what had already been a very wet few weeks that left many prairie farmers unable to plant crops.

Dan Kulak has been keeping a close watch on the wet and wild weather that has hit the Canadian Prairies this spring and summer. He's a meteorologist with Environment Canada. He was in Edmonton.

Year of the Flood - Andrew Freedman

As bad as the flooding in the Canadian prairies has been, the amount of rain, damage and casualties have been relatively light, compared to recent floods in Brazil, France, Romania and China, where hundreds of people have been killed and millions evacuated.

In one region of China, 600 millimeters -- or about two feet of rain -- fell in a six-hour period last month. That's the heaviest rainfall in 500 years. And it has been an especially bad year in the United States, where torrential rains have led to devastating flash floods in Nashville, Oklahoma City and Arkansas.

We aired some stories of Arkansas residents interviewed on CNN, recounting last month's deadly flash floods.

This seemingly biblical run of floods has led Steve Valk -- the Communications Director for the Citizens Climate Lobby -- to argue that they amount to a Pearl Harbour moment for climate change. We aired a clip.

And it's true that climate scientists have been saying for years that one of the consequences of climate change would be more extreme weather ... droughts in some places and catastrophic storms in others. But even some people who have little doubt about the reality and the dangers of climate change, have concerns about making such a conclusive link between recent floods and global warming.

Andrew Freedman is an Editor with Climate Central and a blogger with the Capital Weather Gang at the Washington Post. He was in New York City.

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