17-year-old Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg delivers a speech after a climate protest in Lausanne, Switzerland, Jan. 17, 2020 (Keystone photo by Gabriel Monnet via AP Images).

Once again, Greta Thunberg has addressed a high-profile international event, excoriating the world’s leaders and global elites for their inaction in the face of the climate crisis. Once again, the responses to her speech ranged from hero-worship to character assassination. Whether at the United Nations General Assembly in September or the World Economic Forum in Davos yesterday, the cycle has become a familiar one by now. Greta speaks. Greta is lauded and attacked. Wash, rinse, repeat. The sense of déjà-vu all over again is reinforced by the fact that neither Thunberg nor her admirers and critics ever stray far from […]

Workers disinfect a passing vehicle after the latest incident of African swine flu outbreak on the outskirts of Beijing, China, Nov. 23, 2018 (AP photo by Ng Han Guan).

Imagine this scenario: A viral disease emerges and spreads rapidly across borders. It has a nearly 100-percent fatality rate, with symptoms that include high fever, blotchy skin lesions, coughing, diarrhea, vomiting and hemorrhaging. There is no treatment or preventative vaccine for the disease, so it results in widespread loss of life and a staggering economic toll. The international system struggles to come together to stop it from spreading even further. This might sound like any of a number of infectious diseases among humans, including SARS, Ebola and H5N1 influenza, also known as bird flu. But it actually describes African swine […]

President Donald Trump takes the stage at the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit in West Palm Beach, Florida, Dec. 21, 2019 (AP photo by Andrew Harnik).

The most serious problems facing the world have been making headlines for years or even decades now, from climate change to nuclear proliferation. They defy easy solutions, and like it or not, they’ll still be hanging around in 2020. Will this finally be the year that things start to turn around? Or will the world just keep kicking the apocalypse can down the road? And what about other issues that have been pushed to the forefront as a result of Donald Trump’s chaotic presidency, like trade wars that threaten the global economy? For this week’s interview on Trend Lines, WPR’s […]