Tag Archives: Robert Hunziker

Belief & Climate Change

Why are so many humans religious? Why do we daydream, imagine, and hope? Philosophers, theologians, social scientists, and historians have offered explanations for centuries, but their accounts often ignore or even avoid human evolution. Evolutionary scientists answer with proposals for why ritual, religion, and faith make sense as adaptations to past challenges or as by-products of our hyper-complex cognitive capacities. But what if the focus on religion is too narrow? Renowned anthropologist, Agustín Fuentes argues that the capacity to be religious is actually a small part of a larger and deeper human capacity to believe. Why believe in religion, economies, love? In his new book, Why We Believe – Evolution and the Human Way of Being, Agustín presents a fascinating observation on the most common misconceptions about human nature, his book employs evolutionary, neurobiological, and anthropological evidence to argue that belief—the ability to commit passionately and wholeheartedly to an idea—is central to the human way of being in the world.

Robert Hunziker a regular contributor to Life Elsewhere, writes about climate change, headlines from his articles of the past year suggest he is a forecaster of doom – Permafrost Hits a Grim Threshold; Climate Confusion, Angst, and Sleeplessness; Extinction Rebellion Sweeps the World; Earth 4C Hotter; The Coldest Spot on Earth Melting. Hunziker shrugs off the daunting moniker, ready to launch into a passionate monologue full of facts and alarming details. So, we asked Robert to give an overview of the crucial points on climate change during the past 12 months.

Show #352

Robert Hunziker. Anissa Gray. Clive Thompson.

Frequent contributor to Life Elsewhere, Robert Hunziker says global warming is a fact of life that haunts society with consequences that hit hard, exponentially, but where nobody lives. It is happening hyper fast, and it’s downright scary as major ecosystems of the planet turn upside down in nasty fashion. He goes on to say that none of the ecosystems has the punch of East Antartica adding, Its clout is humongous with a couple hundred feet of fresh water contained in ice. When it rumbles, scientists pay attention. America is fortunate to have a powerful fighting spirit in Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY). She has strong instincts about the dangers of global warming. She is beating the drums for a Green New Deal, which cannot come soon enough and, in fact, may not come soon enough to save most life on the planet. Meanwhile, Republicans belittle her as foolhardy, not in the spirit of America’s capitalistic enterprise. A socialist? We welcome Robert Hunziker back to the show to share his thoughts and answer questions.

The Care and Feeding of Ravenously Hungry Girls is the striking debut novel from Anissa Gray, a broadcast journalist at CNN Worldwide.  Her book is about mothers and daughters, identity and family, and how the relationships that sustain are also the ones that consume you. The Butler family has had their share of trials—as sisters Althea, Viola, and Lillian can attest—but nothing prepared them for the literal trial that will upend their lives. Althea, the eldest sister and substitute matriarch, is a force to be reckoned with and her younger sisters have alternately appreciated and chafed at her strong will. They are as stunned as the rest of the small community when she and her husband Proctor are arrested, and in a heartbeat, the family goes from one of the most respected in town to utter disgrace. The worst part is, not even her sisters are sure exactly what happened. As Althea awaits her fate, Lillian and Viola must come together in the house they grew up in to care for their sister’s teenage daughters. What unfolds is a stunning portrait of the heart and core of an American family in a story that is as page-turning as it is important. Anissa joins Norman B to discuss and explain the story behind the story.

Is Coding the new universal language, like Esperanto? Tech writer, Clive Thompson has answers. In his thoughtful and well-researched book, Coders, Thompson takes on a subject we often take for granted because Coders and Coding are an integral part of our everyday lives. He presents a brilliantly original anthropological reckoning with the most influential tribe in today’s world, interrogating who they are, how they think, what they value, what qualifies as greatness in their world, and what should give us pause. Clive Thompson takes us into the minds of coders, the most quietly influential people on the planet, in a journey into the heart of the machine – and the men and women who made it.

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Show #317

The Life Elsewhere Predictions Show

A Caricature For President was the title of our 16th of August, 2015 edition of Life Elsewhere. We were being smart-alecks, ironic perhaps. Our intent was to focus in on how crazy things had become in the world of politics and in turn, how talented caricaturists and political commentators like Steve Brodner were having a field day. Looking back now, we had no idea then just how loony-tunes our world as we knew it would become. Two and half years on and we face a new year. Perhaps we should add, with trepidation? Does the past determine the future? If that premise is correct, we are certainly in for a strange and unprecedented year ahead. How strange? How unprecedented? Even the most reliable crystal-ball wizard may have a hard time getting this one right. So, we have assembled a panel of our favorite contributors to Life Elsewhere from the past twelve months to offer their crack predictions. Environmental journalist, Robert Hunziker eagerly jumped at the task, with the caveat that he has one prediction he cannot reveal immediately, but will in good time. We pressured him on your behalf, but he only teased that we will soon learn what he means. Meanwhile, author and book critic, David Ulin has an alternate view on predictions which he articulates with gusto. Lucia Graves, the astute journalist with The Guardian, has intriguing ideas, including which movie will win an Oscar. While film and media critic Bob Ross has a disparaging view on award shows but offers up his predictions with a generous nod and a wink to his area of expertise. Washington Post, art and architecture critic, Philip Kennicott cannily takes us to alternate prediction domain. Articulate and engaging Rant News Deputy Managing Editor, Remy Carreiro wastes no time getting her ideas across. And, we had to call upon Steve Brodner to hear what the man who famously said about Trump, “He has a tiny mouth and it’s kind of vertical, I’m sorry Norman, it’s kind of vaginal.” As expected, Brodner does not hold back. Make sure you do not miss the Life Elsewhere Predictions Show.

Life Elsewhere is available at NPR One & iTunes

Sundays 12 noon ET at The Source WMNF HD3  
Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radion
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network
Fridays at 9.00pm GMT on Cornucopia Radio

If you miss any editions of Life Elsewhere, go here then go to the Listen On-Demand panel, choose the date of a show and click play.

Life Elsewhere Music airs:
Mondays at 6.00pm & Wednesdays at 3.00pm Pacific Time on NWCZ Radio
Fridays at 10.00am Eastern Time on IRN
Cornucopia Radio airs Life Elsewhere Music throughout each week

You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

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Show #254

A Bonkers Climate, Weird Politics & An Honest Memoir

“Never before in the history of the human species has climate set so many spine-chilling new records as last year, 2016.” The opening line from the latest commentary in Counterpunch by Robert Hunziker. The environmental journalist and frequent contributor to Life Elsewhere goes on to liken the Trump administration’s behavior and policies to America’s 19th century frontier mentality, which helped to shape democracy in the first place, has come back to overturn democracy and dictate climatic upheaval and destruction with its concomitant sharp turn away from democratic spirits in favor of a return to Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, circa 1881. Robert Hunziker returns to Life Elsewhere to once again to urge us to take very serious note of Record Setting Climate Going Bonkers.

From Lawmaker To Lawbreaker could be the alternate title of Trey Radel’s tell-all book, Democrazy: A True Story Of Weird Politics, Money, Madness, & Finger Food. The former Republican congressman, once a rising star of the GOP, resigned after being convicted of buying cocaine. “You may wonder how a sitting U.S. Congressman, husband, and father, ended up on the wrong side of a cocaine bust?” Radel writes. Make sure you don’t miss the next edition of Life Elsewhere to hear Trey Radel unravel his true, weird story of politics, money madness and yes, finger food.

Her advice column is read daily by millions, but Amy Dickinson truly was surprised when one of her unusually sardonic responses went viral. Amy uses the example of the much-discussed dialogue on a parent’s distress over their son’s homosexuality to explain how she wants to be herself with her column. And, being herself, is the rāzôn ˈdetre of her new book, Strangers Tend to Tell me Things: A Memoir Of Love, Loss, & Coming Home. Her writing is touching and honest and at times laugh-out-loud funny. Amy poignantly recounts serious moments: “Immediately after my mother’s death, my primary feeling was one of relief.” And, the lighter topics with equal dexterity: “Women of a certain age divide our definition of handsome men into two categories: Ed Harris or Sam Shepard.” Amy Dickinson chats with Norman B in the next edition Life Elsewhere.

STOP PRESS! As we were wrapping this edition of Life Elsewhere, we received the new single, Like I Used To. by the brilliant Oslo-based musician, Siv Jakobsen. With literally almost no time left to spare, we managed to squeeze in Siv’s emotively tender song. Make sure you do not miss Siv Jakobsen’s first release from her forthcoming album.

Life Elsewhere airs:
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Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
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Life Elsewhere Music airs:
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You can hear all the volumes over at Mixcloud

The Goldilocks Planet & The Trump Administration

goldielocks

“For over the past 10,000 years, Earth has been the Goldilocks planet, not too hot, not too cold, as the temperature has been steady, fluctuating by only about 1°C. So, everything the human species has done has been within a very narrow, and almost perfect temperature range (Source: Richard Alley, professor of geosciences, Penn State University, PBS Interview). In other words, civilization is like a spoiled child that has been protected and shielded from the reality of a rough and tumble world.” This is from a stirring article by frequent and popular Life Elsewhere contributor, Robert Hunziker. Suggesting civilization is like a spoiled child, is hardly coincidental for Hunziker, who has little time for what he considers to be the dangerous antics of an infantile Donald Trump. “The Artic is finally in a weakened stage enough so to cause humankind’s worst nightmare. Regrettably, that nightmare is already trump-tweet-global-warmingwarming up to the destructive task at hand, and Trump is not even in the White House yet!” Says Robert. The Los Angels-based, environmental journalist’s latest commentary for Counterpunch paints a frightening scenario, “Lamentably, on Election Day, the creepy Doomsday Clock got an enormous shot in the arm and now absorbs powerful testosterones, suggesting that the big ole clarion bells on ye olde public square should be ringing as loud as possible, alerting the townspeople to an impending storm!” Hunziker shouts in his piece titled, The Arctic Warms Up For Trump. In the next edition of Life Elsewhere, Robert Hunziker  will explain why he is so fearful of Donald Trump’s view on global warming, as illustrated in his Tweet on November 8, 2012, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.”

Life Elsewhere Show #197 airs:
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Mondays 5.00pm PT & Wednesdays 2.00pm PT at NWCZ Radio
Thursdays 6.00pm ET at Internet Radio Network

PS: News came in as this post was being published that President-elect Trump may rethink his views on Global Warming. No details were available. 

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