3/16 What Is “ESG”?; Saudi Arabia & Iran Strike A Deal w/ Kate Aronoff & Trita Parsi

March 16, 2023

Emma hosts Kate Aronoff, climate reporter for The New Republic, to discuss her recent pieces regarding environmental social and corporate governing, or ESG. Then, she’s joined by Trita Parsi, Executive Vice President at the Quincy Institute, to discuss his recent piece in Foreign Affairs entitled “How China Became a Peacemaker in the Middle East”, co-authored with Khalid Eljabri. First, Emma runs through updates on the abortion pill ban, the bailout of Credit Suisse, the rising probability of a recession, smog regulations, a potential freight rail merger, and statistics on COVID’s impact on pregnancy deaths, before parsing through Ro Khanna’s relationship to Silicon Valley and squaring his progressive positioning with his David Sacks fundraising. Kate Aronoff dives right into the recent GOP push (passing through both the House and Senate) against “Woke” Environmental and Social Governance (ESG) policies, watching Kevin McCarthy attempt to paint these programs as authoritarian mandates forcing retirement funds to invest in a left-wing agenda. Next, Aronoff walks Emma through the relationship of this Right-Wing project to their greater agenda of dismantling the administrative state, before they step back to tackle the actual relationship between ESG and major corporations, like BlackRock and Vanguard, looking at how these policies provide a path for rehabilitation of public opinion alongside copious tax breaks, while executives lobby behind the scenes to ensure that the policy never evolves to actual corporate regulation. Wrapping up, Emma and Kate explore the impact of Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act, and the future of environmental incentivization and regulation. Trita Parsi then jumps into the revelatory role of China in brokering a normalization agreement between Saudi Arabia and Iran, completely changing their previous stance on foreign policy, and showing that they must be taken seriously on the international stage when it comes to diplomacy. Next, they tackle the particular failure of the US’ multi-decade disaster in the Middle East, setting ourselves up as an inflammatory and biased outside actor that bends over backward for our allies, before they wrap up the interview with an assessment of the US elite’s China hawkery and the role it continues to play in the US’ refusal to promote Middle Eastern autonomy.

And in the Fun Half: Emma is joined by Brandon Sutton and Matt Binder as they tackle the revelations of Ron DeSantis’ various policies, from utensils to Ukraine, talk with Adam from Manhattan about the corruption behind our current financial moment, and Matt Lech goes all out on the conservative exploitation of hunger and poverty. Expanding on this, the crew tackles Minnesota State Sen. Steve Brazkowski’s denouncement of a school hunger program, and Jason from Minnesota calls in to give his take on the issue. They also discuss Russell Brand’s amicable appearance on Tucker Carlson and how it differs from his other relationships with corporate media, plus, your calls and IMs!

Check out Kate’s work here: https://newrepublic.com/authors/kate-aronoff

Check out Trita’s piece here: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/china-became-peacemaker-middle-east?mc_cid=0290bd588d&mc_eid=fd0f822c80

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