Foreign Policy Blogs

Great Decisions Series on PBS

Great Decisions Series on PBS

GDTV is back on the air with a series of eight programs that encapsulate the issues rolled out this year for the Foreign Policy Association’s annual Great Decisions discussions.  These discussions take place in the many and far-flung FPA groups and also in classrooms across the country.  There is a bonus TV program in the series this year too, on the New Global Economy.

In my area of inquiry, there are two subject areas and TV programs that pertain:  “Living Planet: State of the Seas” and “Energy and Geopolitics.”  I’ve screened these segments and can recommend them to you highly.  The programs center on a dialogue between the venerable GDTV host, CNN World Affairs Correspondent Ralph Begleiter, and two principal guests, with commentary cut in from a number of other experts in the field.



I found the program on the state of our world ocean particularly compelling.  The two experts in the studio, David Helvarg, President of the Blue Frontier Campaign, and Carl Safina, President & Founder of the Blue Ocean Institute, were articulate and vastly knowledgeable.  (I noted Safina’s strong voice here in talking about public interest and involvement in issues relative to climate change.)  Both of these men and their organizations are doing critical work.  (For more on the state of the world’s oceans, see this excellent, concise report from the Plymouth Marine Laboratory and its partners.)

As to the “Energy and Geopolitics” show, both David Goldwyn, head of Goldwyn Global Strategies, and Frank Verrastro, Director of the Energy and National Security Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, hit the key point, for my money, that we are in a necessary transition away from fossil fuels and that how we get there and how fast is critical to the health of the planet.

Paul Collier, a world-class economist and the author of The Plundered Planet, appears in both programs, and has any number of valuable observations to add to the discussion.

Here’s a trailer for the Energy and Geopolitics program.  All good stuff.  It’s worth it to have all nine programs, for yourself, your classroom and/or your discussion group.



Bill Hewitt

Bill Hewitt has been an environmental activist and professional for nearly 25 years. He was deeply involved in the battle to curtail acid rain, and was also a Sierra Club leader in New York City. He spent 11 years in public affairs for the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation, and worked on environmental issues for two NYC mayoral campaigns and a presidential campaign. He is a writer and editor and is the principal of Hewitt Communications. He has an M.S. in international affairs, has taught political science at Pace University, and has graduate and continuing education classes on climate change, sustainability, and energy and the environment at The Center for Global Affairs at NYU. His book, "A Newer World - Politics, Money, Technology, and What’s Really Being Done to Solve the Climate Crisis," will be out from the University Press of New England in December.

Areas of Focus:
the policy, politics, science and economics of environmental protection, sustainability, energy and climate change