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By Mick Krever, CNN
An American default on its debt could do “nothing good” for the economy, either in the U.S. or abroad, Former Republican Senator Judd Gregg told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Monday.
Gregg spoke with Amanpour as the U.S. faced dual financial crises: An impeding government shutdown imposed by a congress unwilling to fund the government, which could come Monday night, and a possible default on the government’s debts, which would come in about three weeks.
It is that second problem, a default on America’s debts, that would be the much “bigger problem,” Gregg said.
“It would,” he told Amanpour, “obviously [have] significant ramifications for the country and for our fiscal policies.”
There are a group of Republicans in the House of Representatives who do not want President Obama’s healthcare reform – dubbed Obamacare – to go into effect, and are willing to do anything possible to block it.
Scientists are now 95% certain that humans are responsible for climate change, according to a major new study, and two prominent environmentalists told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that the time is now for a “groundswell” of changed thinking.
Amanpour spoke with Jane Goodall, a primatologist best known for her work with chimpanzees, and Doctor Vandana Shiva, an environmental activist who fights for changed agricultural practices, in an interview that aired Monday.
“I really believe the time has come for sanity, for responsibility,” Shiva told Amanpour, “for recognizing the rights of Mother Earth, for recognizing a deep science that works in accordance with the laws of Gaia” – the Greek personification of Earth – “not the shallow and irresponsible science that works only in the marketplace for profits and power.”
Goodall and Shiva spoke with Amanpour as they were attending the International Women’s Earth and Climate Change Summit in New York.
Goodall too emphasized the need for change.
“All my life I have loved being out in nature,” she said, “and I see nature shrinking and shrinking as human populations spread, as development takes over areas that once were so beautiful and so clean; forests, which protect the quality of the air and of the water, are being destroyed.”
For Shiva, a change in agricultural practices would have an impact of incredible scope.
“For every crisis we face today,” she said, “whether it be the economic crisis and the disappearance of wealth and jobs, or it be the ecological crisis with climate at the center, or it be the food crisis that a billion people are facing directly for lack of food and two billion for lack of good food, healthy food, and are suffering diseases of obesity, diabetes, etc. – all of these problems get solved by promoting ecological agriculture on the basis of a science of agroecology.”
“I think,” she said, “we need a groundswell across the world that creates another paradigm and another worldview.”
Goodall has focused much of her work of late on inspiring young people to do their part in keeping the planet healthy.
“It makes me so angry when I look at a small child today and I think how we’ve harmed this beautiful planet since I was that age,” Goodall said. “And it makes me so sad to my soul when young people, like in college, say, ‘Well, you know I feel depressed, or I feel angry, or I don’t care because you’ve compromised our future and there’s nothing we can do about it.’”
“And we have,” she said. “We have compromised their future.”
By Lucky Gold, CNN
In the midst of the Annual UNGA Madness here in New York – gridlock traffic, a glut of world leaders at the United Nations and the whole diplomatic in-crowd there – it's worth nothing that diplomacy can take other forms, and music is one of the most universal.
Last year, former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright beat the drums for jazz, diplomatically, at Washington's Kennedy Center.
It's a tradition that goes back half a century, to the remarkable journey of one of the world's great jazz composers and diplomats.
Imagine a world where you can "Take the A Train" all the way to Kabul.
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