May 1, 2009

Pt 1: Global Deal - We started this segment with a clip including the voices of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper ... all calling for global cooperation on climate change. That kind of talk should be music to Nicholas Stern's ears.

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Pt 2: Sharing the Shelf - Sometime in the next two weeks, France is expected to lay an official claim to a larger portion of the continental shelf off the east coast of Canada. The part of the shelf in question could turn out to be rich in oil and natural gas reserves. And that would be a boon to the 6,500 people who live on St. Pierre and Miquelon, two tiny islands -- and French territories -- off the south coast of Newfoundland.

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Pt 3: Taliban in Pakistan - The Pakistani military has begun a new offensive against the Taliban ... one it hoped it would never have to fight. Pakistani forces are trying to push back Taliban fighters who seized control of the Buner region in the country's north-west about 100 kilometres outside the capital, Islamabad.

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Today's guest host was Nancy Wilson.

It's Friday May 1st.

The World Health Organization has said it will stop using the term `swine flu' to avoid confusion over the danger posed by hogs.

Currently, the virus will now be known as the Pandemic Influenza Germ ... or PIG flu.

This is the Current.

Part One: Global Deal

We started this segment with a clip including the voices of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon, U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Stephen Harper ... all calling for global cooperation on climate change. That kind of talk should be music to Nicholas Stern's ears.

Two-and-a-half years ago, he presented the world with a stark choice about global warming. He said we could either spend half-a-Trillion dollars now to fix the problem. Or we could spend up to seven Trillion dollars over the next 40 years to deal with the results.

Nicholas Stern is an economist by training and a former Chief Economist with the World Bank. When he issued that warning, it was part of a report commissioned by the British Government ... a report many people consider to be the most authoritative study of the economic costs of global warming ever conducted. And in a world ruled by the idea of rational choice, the one Lord Stern presented seemed like a no-brainer.

But despite all the talk about cooperation and commitment, he's still not convinced that the world really has a plan. So he has come up with one himself. The result is a new book. It's called The Global Deal: Climate Change and The Creation of a New Era of Progress and Prosperity. And Nicholas Stern was in our Toronto studio this morning.

Sharing the Shelf

Sometime in the next two weeks, France is expected to lay an official claim to a larger portion of the continental shelf off the east coast of Canada. The part of the shelf in question could turn out to be rich in oil and natural gas reserves. And that would be a boon to the 6,500 people who live on St. Pierre and Miquelon, two tiny islands -- and French territories -- off the south coast of Newfoundland. The fishing business there has gone bust. And the islands' residents hope that an expanded territorial claim might result in an offshore oil boom. France has until May 13th to make a claim, or else it will lose the right to do so forever.

The CBC's Marie Wadden prepared a documentary about the prelude to the dispute. It's called Sharing The Shelf.

And for a look at how Canada might respond to a claim from France, we were joined by Don McRae. He is the Hyman Soloway Professor of Law at the University of Ottawa. He's also the author of Canadian Oceans Policy: National Strategies and the New Law of the Sea. He was in Ottawa.

Taliban in Pakistan

The Pakistani military has begun a new offensive against the Taliban ... one it hoped it would never have to fight. Pakistani forces are trying to push back Taliban fighters who seized control of the Buner region in the country's north-west about 100 kilometres outside the capital, Islamabad.

The insurgents launched the attack from Pakistan's Swat Valley, an area President Asif Ali Zardari relinquished to the Taliban in February, in the hopes of staving off exactly this kind of an attack. This morning, the Buner region's main city of Daggar is back under the control of the Pakistani military. But the ease of the Taliban's advance has spooked a lot of people ... even in the streets of Islamabad.

Saba Gul Khattak has been tracking the Taliban's movements across Pakistan. She is the Executive Director of the Sustainable Development Policy Institute, an organization that advises the Pakistani Government on governance, women's rights, and refugee issues. Saba Gul Khattak was in Islamabad.

Taliban in Pakistan - Nawaz

The Taliban's advance into the Buner region has raised more than a few eyebrows in Washington too. Officially, the United States and Pakistan are partners in the fight against the Taliban and Al Qaeda. But unofficially, the United States has concerns about Pakistan's ability to fight that fight.

Shuja Nawaz has been monitoring the relationship between Pakistan and the United States. He's the Director of the South Asia Center with the Atlantic Council of the United States. He's also the author of Crossed Swords: Pakistan, Its Army and the Wars Within. Shuja Nawaz was in Washington.

Last Word - Raffi Sustainability

Earlier in the program we spoke with Nicholas Stern, the former Chief Economist of the World Bank and the author of The Global Deal: Climate Change and The Creation of a New Era of Progress and Prosperity. He argued that the international community has to cooperate in order to confront global warming. It's a message Raffi also tried to get across last week on Earth Day. Along with the organization Friends of The Earth, the Canadian singer and author released a song called SustainABILITY. We ended the program this week with that song.

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