Dr. Bjorn Lomborg is president of the Copenhagen Consensus Center, visiting fellow at the Hoover Institution, Stanford University, and visiting professor at Copenhagen Business School. He’s also been speaking and writing about climate science for almost 20 years. In this wide-ranging discussion with Peter Robinson, Lomborg analyzes the Biden administration’s plan to address climate change, lauds a slew of new clean energy technologies that are coming in the next decade, and discusses the upsides—and the downsides—of migrating the world from a carbon-based economy to one based on electricity generated by clean energy sources.
Recorded on March 4, 2021
Hoover research fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s new book is Prey: Immigration, Islam, and the Erosion of Women’s Rights. It examines the sharp rise in the number of sexual assaults in Western Europe that coincides with the sharp rise in illegal immigration from Muslim-majority countries. The book points out that almost three million people have arrived illegally in Europe since 2009, close to two million in 2015 alone. A majority have come from Muslim-majority countries. Two-thirds are male, and 80 percent of asylum applicants are under the age of 35. In this conversation, Peter Robinson and Hirsi Ali explore the cause-and-effect relationships occurring in these countries, and the responses from European governments, law enforcement, and most surprisingly, from feminists in both Europe and the United States who seem very eager to deflect attention away from illegal immigration, a point the book makes very strongly.
The second impeachment trial of Donald Trump begins on February 9, 2021, but a fierce debate as to the constitutionality of trying a former president in this manner has been ongoing in the legal community for weeks. To bring some possible clarity and resolution to the matter, we assembled three of best and most cogent legal minds we know: Professor John Yoo of Berkeley Law School, Professor Richard Epstein of the University of Chicago and New York University School of Law, and Andrew McCarthy, former federal prosecutor and a legal commentator for National Review and Fox News. Two of our guests argue that a former president of the United States can be tried; one guest takes the other side of the argument. We won’t reveal who takes what angle, but we can say that both points of view get a thorough airing. We leave it to our audience to determine the winning argument.
Recorded on February 8, 2021
To mark the first anniversary of the passing of Roger Scruton, Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson was asked by the Roger Scruton Legacy Foundation to participate in its Remembering Roger Scruton Memorial Event by interviewing the Right Honourable Michael Gove. Gove is a member of Parliament, a member of Britain’s Conservative Party, and the current chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for the Cabinet Office. Gove began reading Scruton’s work as a teenager, and it had a very strong influence on Gove’s intellectual journey toward becoming a Conservative. In this conversation, Gove describes his own relationship with Scruton, how Scruton influenced British politics while living and even after his death, and how Scruton’s fierce support of Brexit was both personally and politically helpful to Gove. He also discusses Scruton's warnings about— and his own experience fighting—“wokeness,” as well as what Scruton might have thought about lockdowns. Finally, Gove shares some thoughts about Scruton’s legacy and how history might remember him.
Recorded on January 12, 2021
In 1997, Margaret Thatcher asked Charles Moore (also known as Lord Baron Moore of Etchingham) to write her biography, under two conditions: that she would never read the manuscript and that the work would appear only after her death. Twenty-four years later, Moore has just published the third and final volume of Herself Alone: The Authorized Biography. In this conversation, Peter Robinson and Moore discuss Thatcher’s final years as prime minister and her life out of office. They delve into Thatcher’s relationships with the world leaders of her era, including Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev. They also discuss her image now, seven years after her passing, including her portrayal in Netflix’s The Crown. Moore points out that while the show gets many personal details about Thatcher correct, it takes massive liberties when depicting her relationship with Queen Elizabeth and her stewardship of many important events that occurred during her tenure as prime minister, including the Falklands War and the coal miners' strike.
Recorded on December 14, 2020
It’s our last show of 2020, and we decided to do something a little different: assemble a few of our favorite guests and take a look back at the year that was. Our panel: the Wall Street Journal’s Kim Strassel, author and columnist Douglas Murray, and Commentary Magazine editor and New York Post columnist John Podhoretz. They discuss the election, the coming Cold War with China, the future of the conservative movement in the United States and abroad, the pandemic, and the political class, and we get some recommendations from our panel members of their favorite shows, books, or movies they used to get through the lockdowns.
Thanks for all of the views, comments, emails, and tweets this past year. We are grateful to have such an engaged and thoughtful audience, and we wish all of you a happy and safe holiday season. We have some great shows planned for 2021 and are looking forward to getting back to our studio and on the road. See you then.
Recorded on December 10, 2020
A little over 18 months ago, we interviewed author and columnist Douglas Murray about his then new book The Madness of Crowds: Gender, Race and Identity. That show was one of our most-watched interviews of 2019, so we thought it was time to sit down with Douglas again and get an update on where things stand with regard to, as Douglas describes in his book, “the interpretation of the world through the lens of ‘social justice,’ ‘identity group politics’ and ‘intersectionalism’ . . . the most audacious and comprehensive effort since the end of the Cold War at creating a new ideology.” We also discuss European politics, examine Boris Johnson’s tenure as UK prime minister, and take a sobering look at American politics from the perspective of a very sharp observer.
Recorded on November 23, 2020
Hoover Fellows Ayaan Hirsi Ali and Peter Berkowitz discuss the final report recently issued by the US State Department’s Commission on Unalienable Rights, of which Berkowitz was the commission secretary. Together they discuss the findings of the report, why Secretary of State Pompeo felt the need for the commission and the report, and the controversy that surrounded both. They compare and contrast the report to the US Constitution, which also prominently mentions unalienable rights, as well as the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, adopted in 1948. Finally, they discuss how US foreign policy should employ our belief in human rights to improve the human condition.
Recorded on September 3, 2020
Larry Kudlow is the director of the National Economic Council, a position he has held since April 2018. As such, Mr. Kudlow was on the front lines of the COVID-19 crisis in its early days, trying to manage and maintain one of the strongest economies in US history and prevent it from falling into a catastrophic depression. Kudlow discusses in detail what those dark days were like for Kudlow and the rest of the Trump administration and, in addition, how it felt to be on the receiving end of withering and seemingly endless criticism from the media and the administration’s political opponents. Kudlow also discusses why he thinks the economy is well positioned for a strong rebound once the virus is under control and why he fears a Biden administration may reverse many of the economic policies Kudlow has championed, which led to the economic progress achieved before the pandemic struck.
Recorded on October 6, 2020