The Bill Walton Show

The Bill Walton Show
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Real conversations with leaders, creatives, and thinkers … freedom, innovation … what’s true

Episode 255: Surprising Facts About CO2 with Dr William Happer and Gregory Wrightstone

We’re inundated with reports from media, governments, think tanks, and "experts" saying that our climate is changing for the worse, and that it is our fault because of man-made CO2 emissions.  But despite apocalyptic predictions about climate, our earth, the planet is improving.

Why? And why aren’t we hearing about it?

It is possible that Co2 is not a pollutant?

Rather, that it’s a miracle, and not a curse?

In this episode of The Bill Walton Show Dr. William Happer, Co-Founder and Chair of the CO2 Coalition and Gregory Wrightstone, its Executive Director explain why they believe this to be true. 

The CO2 Coalition, an independent, non-profit organization, aims to provide scientific facts and data to counter the prevailing narrative on climate change and promote a more balanced understanding of the role of CO2 in the environment. Available scientific facts have persuaded Coalition members that additional CO2 will be a net benefit. 

  • First and foremost, CO2 is plant food. Green plants grow faster with more CO2. CO2 increase is enhancing corn production… a lot.

  • The 140-million-year trend is that the CO2 level is dangerously decreasing.

  • Observations show no significant change in extreme weather, tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, or droughts.

  • Rising sea levels and melting glaciers confirm modern warming predated increases of CO2.

  • We are living in one of the coldest periods ever. For most of Earth’s history, it was about 10°C (18°F) warmer than today.

  • Temperatures changed dramatically during the past 10,000 years. It wasn’t us. An “ideal” temperature is not that of 150 years ago.

  • IPCC models have overstated warming up to three times too much.

  • For human advancement, warmer is better than colder.

"The true horror will be when the next cold period comes. Because we look back over the last 5,000 years of human history, the warm periods have been hugely beneficial to humanity and the cold periods have been horrific." Greg Wrightstone.

Dr. Happer is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Physics at Princeton University, has published over 200 peer-reviewed scientific papers and served as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director of Emerging Technologies on the National Security Council.

Mr. Wrightstone, a geologist, is the bestselling author of Inconvenient Facts and has published more than 200 papers, publications and commentaries concerning climate change and energy.

Listen in to learn some of the surprising truths about CO2 that you won’t hear from the self-interested parties pushing “solutions” to a declared climate change crisis. 

Episode 254: A Global Reality Check with Stephen Bryen

In this candid and insightful episode of the "Bill Walton Show," Stephen Bryen, a seasoned expert with over half a century of experience in national security and arms trade, shares his incisive views on the current state of global geopolitics.

Stephen Bryen’s been called the Yoda of the arms trade. He was the Pentagon's top cop, the man whose job it was to ensure that sensitive technology would be kept from enemies, potential enemies and questionable allies. 

As both the wars for Ukraine and Gaza Strip have the potential to widen, even while Taiwan looms, Bryen warns about the United States' diminishing influence in global affairs that have led to a weakened strategic position, particularly in relation to China, Iran and even Russia.

Some excerpts: 

  • "We're not controlling events. Events are controlling us. And we're doing some things which are reckless."

  • “Yes, we're a nuclear power. We have a strong air force, a less strong army and an even less strong Navy, except for submarines, but we're being challenged by Russia. We're being challenged by China. We're being challenged by countries like Iran, and we're letting them get away with it.

  • “We’re emptying our arsenal to support Ukraine, leaving NATO exposed, very exposed, if the Russians really chose to be troublesome in Europe" 

  • “One of the amazing truths about the US and its NATO allies supplying millions of tons of ammunition and hardware to Ukraine is that the allies paid almost no attention to contingencies and freely raided stockpiles that were put there for US and NATO national security defense needs.” 

  •  We’re still sending billions of dollars to Iran, serving interests that are not our own. "Our national interest is not to allow Iran to conquer nearby countries. And to destabilize the Middle East because it's not in our interest, it's not in Europe's interest, it's not in the world's interest.”

  • ”Iran’s equation is different than ours. They think in terms of how they can destroy Israel, how they can take over that whole crescent of territory … Iraq, Lebanon, Syria.”

  • “In Asia, we're weak. There's no doubt about that. The Chinese have been building up and building up, and we have failed to set up any kind of defensive scheme or alliance that works to put pressure back on China. Taiwan has been simply left out of the equation. The only real hope against the China threat is that internally, it can't compete. China's biggest roadblock to global domination might just be itself.”

  • “It's got troubles, economic problems, political problems, internal clashes of interests. So maybe it'll implode, but if it doesn't, we're in for a hard time.” 

Tough words from a savvy and clear-eyed observer of global conflicts. 

These are not what you’re hearing from the national security state complex. All the more reason to listen in.

Episode 253: Growth, Innovation and Human Flourishing on an Infinitely Bountiful Planet w/Marian Tupy

You can’t fix what is wrong in the world if you don’t know what’s actually happening.

Polls show that most smart people tend to believe that the state of the world is getting worse. In the United States, almost 3/4 of Americans believe the world is getting worse and only 6% think it's getting better.

But according to Marian Tupy, our guest on this episode, “this dark view of the prospects for humanity, and the natural world is, in large part, badly mistaken.”

As a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity, coauthor of the Simon Abundance Index and editor of the website, he has produced compelling research on this topic.

Abundant evidence from individual scholars, academic institutions, and international organizations shows dramatic improvements in human well-being throughout much of the world. In recent decades, these improvements have been especially striking in developing countries where there’s been a significant decline in extreme poverty and improvements in child mortality rates. 

For thousands of years, the average income around the world was about $2 per person per day. Today, globally, it's $35. So the average inhabitant of the world adjusted for inflation is 18 times better off than he or she was 200 years ago. 

“These days, young people especially are freaked out about the environment. They think everything is bad,” observes Marian. “That is not true. The United States and the European Union have added 35% more new forests in recent decades. China, 15% more forests.”

Unfortunately, there is often a wide gap between the reality of human experience, which is characterized by incremental improvements, and public perception, which tends to be quite negative about the current state of the world and skeptical about humanity’s future prospects.

"Journalism is about things that happen, not things that don't happen,” explains Marian. “When a bunch of crazy fanatics fly an airplane into a building in New York, it ends up on all the front pages. But what is never covered is human progress, the things that are happening in the background every year, like how by quarter of a percent or half a percent, absolute poverty is declining and growth is increasing.”

Tupy emphasizes the importance of economic and political freedom in driving these positive changes, and that we do need to worry that these freedoms are under attack throughout the world. 

To innovate, people must be allowed to think, speak, publish, associate, and disagree. They must be allowed to save, invest, trade, and profit. In a word, they must be free.

Tupy brings abundant historical and real world evidence to support this assertion. We ignore these basics at our peril. 

Episode 252: Confronting Brute Force Economics with Rob Atkinson

The Chinese Communist Party sees technology innovation as the main battlefield of its industrial policy - and its ultimate weapon for achieving global dominance.

The United States and the Biden Administration needs to confront the reality of what has been called China’s “brute force economics” and abandon the possibility that competing on a level playing field with China’s is possible.

We have to face up to the fact that we are not simply in an economic competition with China. We’re in a war.

Joining the Bill Walton Show to explore this troubling reality is our returning guest: Robert D. Atkinson. Rob is the founder and president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, one of the world’s top think tanks for science and technology policy. 

China’s tactics are not merely an assortment of cutthroat moves made by individual actors. Rather, they are features of Beijing’s long-term strategy and are backed up by the full force of the country’s party-state system, creating a challenge that Washington cannot afford to ignore.

Beijing is intent on employing predatory and mercantilist practices to acquire leadership positions in virtually every emerging and advanced industry that matters. 

It’s doing this through market access restrictions, massive industrial subsidies that fuel overcapacity, technology transfer requirements for market access, preferential financing and procurement contracts for domestic firms, intellectual property theft, cyber- and human-enabled espionage, coercion and bullying, forced labor and other poor labor conditions, and other market-distorting policies.

They’ve already established dominance in industries including steel, solar panels, drones, shipbuilding, pharmaceutical ingredients, high-speed rail, and telecommunications equipment; and are making rapid progress in artificial intelligence (AI), aerospace, semiconductors, biotechnology, networking technologies, and electric vehicles and batteries, cloud computing, flat panel displays, advanced materials, autonomous systems, and LiDAR technology. 

Fortunately, as Rob explains, there are some straightforward and implementable actions the United States can take to push back against China’s agenda.

If you’ve been wondering about what the economic battle with China is all about, this conversation is a great place to understand its essentials.

Episode 251: A Conversation with the Extraordinary Winsome Earle-Sears

Winsome Earle-Sears sent shock waves across Virginia and the country at large when she pulled off her stunning upset victory in November 2021 and became the first lieutenant governor of Virginia who is a woman, the first naturalized female citizen, the first female veteran elected to statewide office and who also happens to be black. 

Not relying on identity politics, she earned intense national coverage because of her unwavering support for Second Amendment rights and her strong commitment to education opportunity for all students. 

A devout Christian, Winsome believes in the promise of the American Dream. Her father was approved to immigrate to the U.S.A. and left Jamaica, arriving in America on August 11, 1963, with only $1.75 in his pocket. Winsome joined him when she was just six years old, and ever since has been on a mission of service with dozens of community groups ranging from leading a men’s prison ministry and serving as director of a women’s homeless shelter for the Salvation Army to serving as a hard-charging vice president of the Virginia State Board of Education.

Her unyielding belief in the fundamental righteousness of America stands in stark opposition to the increasingly pervasive ideologies that are dividing the country.

Instead, Winsome encourages Americans to never stop fighting for their country and shows us how to chart a new path forward.

She concludes her recent memoir, How Sweet It Is, with this quote from  John L. Mason who once said, 

“You’re born an original. Don’t die a copy.” 

Definitely an original, Winsome has never ceased enthusiastically bucking conventions, defying expectations, and charging straight toward challenges.

Join in this episode for a revealing and inspiring conversation with Winsome Earle-Sears. You will be hearing from her in the years to come. 

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