Unemployment, Spillover, Tree Gold
  • Apr 29, 2020 8:00 pm
  • 1:39:45 mins

Unemployment Claims Are Mindboggling. Where Will the Money Come From? (0:31) Guest: Heidi Shierholz, Director of Policy, Economic Policy Institute, Former Chief Economist, US Department of Labor More than 24 million Americans have filed for unemployment benefits since mid-March. That’s 20 times the number of people who were applying for unemployment before the pandemic hit. If every man, woman and child living in the state of Florida filed for unemployment over the last month, you still wouldn’t reach that 24 million number. And it’s getting bigger. Where is all the money to pay those unemployment benefits coming from – and how long will it last? When the Messenger Matters More Than the Message (16:22) Guest: Cindy Kam, Professor of Political Science at Vanderbilt University  When you read the news or scroll through your social media, how does the source of the information shape what you think about it? Cindy Kam has found that in some cases, the messenger matters even more than the message itself.  Why Some Aren’t Surprised by COVID-19 (30:19) Guest: David Quammen, a Science Writer and Author of "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic." For some people, the COVID-19 pandemic seemed to come out of nowhere. But with the increasing number of viruses starting in animals and moving to humans, other people saw this pandemic coming. David Quammen, and the scientists he interviewed, predicted a pandemic like this in his 2012 book called, “Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic.” There’s Gold in Them Trees: Leaves Show Where to Mine for Gold (50:40) Guest: Melvyn Lintern, Geochemist, Chief Technology Officer and Co-Founder of Portable PPB, Former Scientist CSIRO, Australia’s National Science Agency Money might actually grow on trees after all. Researchers in Australia found trace amounts of gold in the leaves of eucalyptus trees. A hundred feet below ground, under layers of dirt and clay and sand, they found – you guessed it – gold. So instead of drilling randomly to find new sources of the precious metal, could companies prospect for gold by examining tree leaves instead? Ramadan Is Often a Time of Outreach. During a Pandemic That Takes Creativity. (1:03:01) Guest: Mansoor Shams, U.S. Marine Veteran, Founder of MuslimMarine.org, Member on the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) The first Muslim prayer service I ever attended was during Ramadan many years ago. As you may know, Ramadan is a holy month of fasting from sunrise to sunset. It’s also a month of celebration and Muslim congregations across America often hold large feasts and handicraft markets when they gather to break their daily fast. Many communities also use these Ramadan celebrations as an opportunity to invite non-Muslim friends and dignitaries as a way of building bridges. Wall Street-To-Farm, Farm-To-Table (1:23:22) Guest: John Ubaldo, Owner, John Boys Farms COVID-19 outbreaks have forced numerous meat plants to shut and caused a drop-off in pork and beef supplies. Hoping to head off a meat shortage, President Trump signed an executive order Tuesday night declaring meat plants “essential infrastructure” and requiring them to stay open. Here again, the pandemic has revealed a weakness in the US economy – that so much of our food supply relies on large agribusiness to function smoothly. But John Boys Farm in upstate New York has plenty of pork, beef and chicken for its customers, because farmer John Ubaldo has insisted on staying small and staying local. He won’t even buy feed for his livestock from a commercial manufacturer like most farmers do. He makes it himself and teaches other small farmers how to function in a system that favors big.