Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory presents Seven Big Ideas – 8 new episodes from the popular Science at the Theater series.
The first episode, Seven Big Ideas, features seven Berkeley lab scientists who have eight minutes each to introduce their revolutionary projects to the audience.
Meet Blake Simmons, who has been working on a plan to replace a barrel of oil with plants and microbes. But not just one barrel of oil, he says, his idea is intended to replace all the barrels of oil that keep countries all over the world moving.
He explains that oil produces many products for our carbon economy, such as gasoline, diesel, polymers and more. In order to undo our reliance on oil we have to find substitutes for all of these different products that the oil produces.
Watch “Seven Big Ideas” to hear about his plan to make replacing oil affordable and sustainable, as well as other game changing ideas from Aindrila Mukhopadhyay, Bill Jagust, and more!
Countries that are rich in petroleum have less democracy, less economic stability, and more frequent civil wars than countries without oil. In the latest installment of UCTV Prime Cuts, Michael L. Ross, Professor of Political Science and and Director of the Center for Southeast Asian Studies at UCLA, looks at how developing nations are shaped by their mineral wealth — and how they can turn oil from a curse into a blessing.
Professor Ross’ new book, “The Oil Curse,” shows why oil wealth typically creates less economic growth than it should; why it produces jobs for men but not women; and why it creates more problems in poor states than in rich ones. It also warns that the global thirst for petroleum is causing companies to drill in increasingly poor nations, which could further spread the oil curse.
Unfortunately, not every anniversary is worth celebrating and today, April 20th, is one of them — the one-year anniversary of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. A massive crisis like this impacts everything from the environment to public policy and even the global economy. Which is why, in the aftermath, research universities like the University of California quickly become vital knowledge centers where researchers, policymakers and thought leaders from many different disciplines can come together to discuss solutions for the immediate and distant future.
Over the last year we’ve presented several programs, three from UC Berkeley and a fourth from UC Santa Barbara, that examine different aspects of the oil spill and its impact, and all are available for online viewing and podcast downloading at the links below. And tune in next month for the premiere of a new UC Berkeley program featuring Senator Bob Graham, Co-Chair of the National Commission on the BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill and Offshore Drilling.
Conversations With History: The BP Disaster – Lessons from the Niger Delta UC Berkeley’s Harry Kreisler welcomes human rights lawyer Oronto Douglas, advisor to the President of Nigeria, to discuss the impact of major oil companies on the ecology and politics of Nigeria. Drawing on his experience as a native of the Niger Delta and a leader of the environmental movement there, Douglas traces the struggle for environmental justice in his homeland and analyzes the problems facing the new President of Nigeria. He also analyzes the BP disaster in the American Gulf Coast and the impact it has had on global consciousness.