Uncommon Knowledge
The Heat Is On: Bjorn Lomborg on the Summer’s Record Heat

The Heat Is On: Bjorn Lomborg on the Summer’s Record Heat

September 23, 2022

The summer of 2022 saw record temperatures recorded all over the world. Bjorn Lomborg acknowledges that climate change is here, it’s real, and humans are largely responsible for it. He also says that it is survivable and manageable. In other words, climate change is not the extinction-level event it is often characterized as. Lomborg also discusses practical ways to lower our carbon footprint and emissions, pointing out why “carbon free by 2050” probably isn’t achievable and why we should make no massive changes to our economies or lifestyles to achieve it.

The De-Population Bomb

The De-Population Bomb

September 14, 2022

In 1970, Stanford professor Paul Ehrlich published a famous book, The Population Bomb, in which he described a disastrous future for humanity: “The battle to feed all of humanity is over. In the 1970s and 1980s hundreds of millions of people will starve to death in spite of any crash programs embarked upon now.” That prediction turned out to be very wrong, and in this interview American Enterprise Institute scholar Nicholas Eberstadt tells how we are in fact heading toward the opposite problem: not enough people. For decades now, many countries have been unable to sustain a population replacement birth rate, including in Western Europe, South Korea, Japan, and, most ominously, China. The societal and social impacts of this phenomenon are vast. We discuss those with Eberstadt as well as some strategies to avoid them.

Recorded on June 14 at the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.

The Antislavery Activist That Time Forgot: Historian Walter Stahr On Salmon P. Chase

The Antislavery Activist That Time Forgot: Historian Walter Stahr On Salmon P. Chase

September 1, 2022

Historical biographer Walter Stahr has given us definitive biographies of William H. Seward and Edwin Stanton, two of the ablest and most influential members of President Abraham Lincoln’s cabinet. Earlier this year, Stahr followed those books with the definitive biography of Salmon P. Chase, Treasury secretary under Lincoln and one of the country’s most important antislavery lawyers, one of the few who defended fugitive slaves against state and federal prosecutors. After his stint as a lawyer, Chase was elected to represent Ohio in the US Senate, where he was instrumental in helping to settle the slavery question in the United States. Chase also served as governor of Ohio and then as Treasury secretary, where he standardized the dozens of currencies then being issued by local banks and gave us a national currency and a system of national banks. Spend an hour learning about this man, who contributed greatly to the country but whom almost no one today remembers.

Recorded on April 15, 2022, at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.

The Wrath of Kan: A Soviet-Born Anthropologist on Stalin’s Gulag

The Wrath of Kan: A Soviet-Born Anthropologist on Stalin’s Gulag

August 23, 2022

Dartmouth College anthropology professor Sergei Kan was born in the Soviet Union just a few months after the death of Stalin. He came to the United States in 1974 at the age of 21 and received his undergraduate degree from Boston University and his doctorate in anthropology from the University of Chicago. He teaches courses at Dartmouth on the native peoples of Alaska, on the Jewish diaspora, and on Russia.

Next year—the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of The Gulag Archipelago—Dr. Kan will teach a course titled "Red Terror: The History and Culture of the Stalin Labor Camps." Dr. Kan has been kind enough to offer our viewers a preview of the seminar in advance.

Recorded on April 15, 2022, at Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire.

Do Not Defund: Roland Fryer and Rafael Mangual on Crime and Policing in the 21st Century

Do Not Defund: Roland Fryer and Rafael Mangual on Crime and Policing in the 21st Century

August 3, 2022

Roland Fryer is a professor of economics at Harvard University. Fryer's research combines economic theory, empirical evidence, and randomized experiments to help design more effective government policies. His work on education, inequality, and race has been widely cited in media outlets and congressional testimony. Rafael Mangual is a fellow at the Manhattan Institute and head of research for its Policing and Public Safety Initiative. He is also the author of a new book, Criminal (In)Justice: What the Push for Decarceration and Depolicing Gets Wrong and Who It Hurts Most. Together, Mangual and Fryer take a close look at what is and is not working in policing and law enforcement, in some cases citing statistics and research they have personally conducted. They also make the case that most people, regardless of race or economic status, want safe neighborhoods and cities and explain why the defund movement is not popular among them.

Recorded on May 13, 2022, in Dallas, Texas.

Not Buying It: Glenn Loury, Ian Rowe, and Robert Woodson Debunk Myths about the Black Experience in America

Not Buying It: Glenn Loury, Ian Rowe, and Robert Woodson Debunk Myths about the Black Experience in America

July 25, 2022

If there were a Mount Rushmore of American Black intellectuals, the three guests on this show would certainly be on it: Glenn Loury is a professor of the social sciences in the Department of economics at Brown, a visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, and the host of his wildly successful podcast, The Glenn Show. Ian Rowe is the cofounder of Vertex Partnership Academies and the author of the new book Agency: The Four Point Plan (F.R.E.E.) for ALL Children to Overcome the Victimhood Narrative and Discover Their Pathway to Power. Robert Woodson is the founder of the Woodson Center, an organization devoted to “empowering community-based leaders to promote solutions that reduce crime and violence, restore families, revitalize underserved communities, and assist in the creation of economic enterprise.” In this wide-ranging conversation, the three men debunk The 1619 Project, advocate for the restoration of the Black family and the Black church, describe their own very different upbringings and formative experiences, and discuss the many reasons why they are optimistic about the future of Black Americans, despite the narrative commonly expressed in the media.

Recorded on May 13, 2022, at the Old Parkland Conference in Dallas, Texas.

Nationalize or Not?: Matthew Continetti and Chris DeMuth Debate the Future of Conservatism

Nationalize or Not?: Matthew Continetti and Chris DeMuth Debate the Future of Conservatism

July 12, 2022

Matthew Continetti is the author of the new book The Right: The Hundred-Year War for American Conservatism, an extensively researched and reported history of the conservative movement in America. Chris DeMuth is a former president of the American Enterprise Institute and currently a fellow at the Hudson Institute. In this conversation, DeMuth states that national conservatives (or “NatCons”) “are conservatives who have been mugged by reality. We have come away with a sense of how to recover from the horrors taking America down.” Continetti counters —in a typically conservative argument— that there is no need for NatCons to break away from the traditional movement, since they’re all in the same boat and agree on most of the important issues of the day. The elephant in the room in this debate is former president Donald Trump. What he says and does in the next year or two will be crucial toward determining the future direction of the conservative movement. Continetti and DeMuth agree on that.

Recorded on May 14, 2022

Yoram Hazony Rediscovers Conservatism

Yoram Hazony Rediscovers Conservatism

June 23, 2022

Yoram Hazony is the chairman of the Edmund Burke Foundation and president of the Herzl Institute. His 2018 book, The Virtue of Nationalism, established Hazony as one of the leading proponents of a new kind of “national conservatism.” His new book, Conservatism: A Rediscovery, has set off a passionate debate among intellectuals on the Right to determine what “national conservatism” actually means and why conservatism needs to be rediscovered. We put those questions and many more to Hazony in this interview.

Recorded on May 17, 2022

More Than “One Damn Thing,” with Bill Barr

More Than “One Damn Thing,” with Bill Barr

June 7, 2022

William P. Barr is one of only two people to have served as attorney general of the United States under two presidents and the only one to have done it in two different centuries (under George H. W. Bush from 1991 to 1993 and under Donald Trump from 2019 to 2020). In his new book, One Damn Thing after Another: Memoirs of an Attorney General, Barr goes into great detail about the chaos, the troubles, and the triumph that occurred during the time of his service under President Trump. This wide-ranging interview covers Russiagate, the COVID outbreak, civil unrest, the impeachment, and the 2020 election fallout. Barr is very candid and forthcoming in his opinions on those events and his thoughts on his former boss.

Recorded on May 17, 2022

Harvey Mansfield Counts His Blessings

Harvey Mansfield Counts His Blessings

May 23, 2022

The political philosopher Harvey Mansfield first arrived at Harvard University in the fall of 1949. He has remained at that august institution of higher education and is still teaching at age 90. In this special edition of Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, recorded in the Baker Library at Dartmouth College, Dr. Mansfield answers five questions about America today from his perspective of observing and writing about the country for more than half a century.

Recorded on April 15, 2022

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