Scholars’ Circle – plastics-in-ocean-/-democracy-in-Hong Kong-/-Ban Ki-Moon-speech- Sept. 7th, 2014

First, tons of discarded plastic are choking off the ocean, killing wildlife, and building islands of garbage. How bad has it become and what can be done? [ dur: 21 mins. ]

  • Captain Charles Moore is an environmental researcher, an internationally recognized pollution expert and activist, and founder of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. He is the co-author of, Plastic Ocean: How a Sea Captain’s Chance Discovery Launched a Determined Quest to Save the Oceans.

Then, occupy central a group of pro-democracy advocates in Hong Kong,  have vowed to shut down Hong Kong’s financial district should China change its freedom to nominate candidates democratically. What does this mean for democratization in Hong Kong and for the region? [ dur: 21 min. ]

  • Jeffrey Wasserstrom is the Chancellor’s Professor of the History department at University California Irvine. He is the author of, China in the 21st Century: What Everyone Needs to Know, Global Shanghai, 1850-2010, and China’s Brave New World–And Other Tales for Global Times.
  • Stephen Noakes is a Lecturer in the Department of Politics & International Relations and Chinese Politics at the University of Auckland. He is the author of, Intellectuals and Authoritarian Resilience: The Role of Political Science in China.

Finally, highlights from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s speech, delivered at the University of Auckland last week. [ dur: 15 mins. ]

  • Ban Ki-moon is the eighth Secretary-General of the United Nations. His priorities have been to mobilize world leaders around a set of new global challenges, from climate change and economic upheaval to pandemics and increasing pressures involving food, energy and water. He has sought to be a bridge-builder, to give voice to the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people, and to strengthen the Organization itself.

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