When it comes to important topics, food is an absolute necessity. We literally cannot live without it. For those of us fortunate to be alive today, it’s also overwhelmingly easy to forget its importance. Never in human history have we had such a wide variety of cuisines to choose between, so many places to buy it from or number of ways to prepare it. But that luxury of choice can breed negligence, especially when it comes to knowing where our food comes from and the impact it has before it arrives on our plates.
I recently watched the activist documentary Cowspiracy and was shocked by the claims that agricultural emissions were the number one cause of climate change. The take home message was that changing your diet will have a a bigger impact on the planet than cutting out all of your fossil fuel use.
It is a powerful message and indeed was partially responsible for my transition to a primarily vegetarian diet. But as a journalist I rarely take things at face value and keeping in mind this was a documentary with a specific agenda I felt obliged to investigate further.
30 September 2014
Sitting at home in our ivory towers it’s hard to comprehend the reality of climate change. But when your country is vanishing due to rising sea levels it hits home pretty hard.
I had the privilege of interviewing the President of Kiribati, Anote Tong, two weekends ago. He was late to our studio so I talked to him in his ear and we recorded his questions, putting them together into this segment the next morning.
One of the questions I asked was: “Mr President, I can only imagine how incredibly frustrating and angry you must feel at having to deal with the consequences of actions that are not your own, while those who caused those consequences refuse to accept them. How does that make you feel?”
He never gave me a direct answer (I guess being a president means he has to watch his words), but through the entire interview I got the sense of an immense calmness and control. Yes he was angry but throwing his arms in the air wouldn’t achieve anything. Instead he directed that energy into authority, into patience and into trying to save other people from the mistakes they are still making.
Watch for yourself.
14 September 2014
We interviewed Arianna Huffington last week.
I didn’t know much about her before I started researching, but hers was a fascinating story to learn. To me the most interesting aspect of her journey was the switch from a conservative to a liberal understanding of the world. (Andrew O’Keefe was also fascinated by this transition.) In the interview she explains what caused this shift and why it’s important for people to change their viewpoints. Amen.
P.S. You can blame me for the climate change and Greek god questions, both topics I find fascinating. As I pointed out to Andrew and he repeated to Huffington, it’s rare to find aspects of divine failure in our monotheistic religions these days.