The state owned Saudi oil company, Aramco, is considered to be the most profitable business in the world. In the coming weeks it plans to raise billions by selling shares publicly for the first time. Despite the proliferation of green technologies and a rise in environmentalist movements which are calling for an end to fossil fuel dependency, the International Energy Agency believes that global consumption of oil will continue to grow for another twenty years. Analysts say this is mainly due to the continuing growth of the Asian economies. It's not just Saudi Arabia looking to cash in on the continuing demand for oil. Iran says it too is hoping to earn billions of dollars if it can extract oil from a newly discovered field close to its border with Iraq. So why is the world still so reliant on oil? What is driving the current growth in oil production and how long will it last? Can the countries that rely on oil as their main source of income move onto other things when demand begins to fall? Paul Henley and a panel of expert guests discuss the future of oil.
India's pollution problem
At one point this week air pollution in Delhi was so high that monitors could not record the toxicity because it was off the scale. Schools were closed, vehicles restricted, and people were advised to stay indoors. But the situation in Delhi is not the full picture. Fifteen of the world's twenty most polluted cities are in India. And air pollution is just one of several severe environmental challenges in the country. Fast paced industrialisation, poor waste management and badly managed mining projects are all contributing to environmental degradation. So why have India’s pollution problems been so hard to tackle? What are the steps authorities should be taking to improve the situation? And can the country find a path that will enhance people's lives without damaging nature? Join Pascale Harter and a panel of expert guests as they discuss India's environmental future.
Russia's new internet firewall
A law is coming into effect in Russia that will redefine the way internet is governed in the country. Russia says the law will allow internet providers to filter content to ‘protect’ its citizens. It wants Russian data to remain within its border and prevent outside forces from disrupting its internal internet infrastructure. Critics say, the law virtually allows the government to disconnect from the outside world and impose total control over the flow of information. They say it will stifle dissent and free speech. It is also argued that the law will put at risk sensitive information of foreign companies doing business there. So is Russia taking a step back from an integrated global internet system? Will its attempt to raise a digital wall inspire other nations to follow suit? How will the changes affect Russian economy, society, and freedom of expression? Will people find a way to undermine that system? And what are the lessons Moscow has learned from China’s ‘great firewall’? James Coomarasamy and guests discuss Russia and its internet.
Mass protests in Lebanon
This week millions of people were out on the streets of Lebanon demanding change. A lack of jobs, crumbling public services, rising living costs and rampant inequality had brought out people from all sections of the society. The proposed budget with more taxes, including one on WhatsApp, is seen as the straw that broke the camel’s back. Since the end of a fifteen year long civil war, Lebanon has relied on a unique set of arrangements to maintain peace and a balance of power among its various sects. But under the banner of 'everyone means everyone' the protesters are turning on the political class as a whole and uniting across sectarian divides. So is Lebanon in the midst of a revolution? Julian Worricker and guests discuss what this uprising means for Lebanon and the region.
Canada at a crossroads
Canada is a vast country with rich natural resources. For decades it has relied on global trade and a stable international order to prosper. As Canada heads to polls on the 21st of October, it finds itself with challenges at home and abroad that could bring significant changes to the idea of what Canada is. Its more powerful and influential neighbour to the south, the United States, is in turmoil with divisive politics and unpredictable changes to its foreign policy. Relations with Canada’s second biggest trading partner, China, have hit a low with the controversy involving the telecoms company Huawei. Meanwhile, at home, the country is trying to reconcile its relationship with the oil and gas industries with its leadership on the environment. Canada has been at the forefront of global humanitarian efforts, including accepting large numbers of refugees from Syria, but at the same time it faces discontent over immigration and integration. So what does this election mean for Canada? Do the debates over immigration and indigenous rights require a fresh look at the values that Canadians have taken for granted for decades? Is it time for Canada to redefine its foreign policy and trade priorities in light of a rising China? And what should its relations be with a changing United States? Julian Worricker and guests discuss Canada at a crossroads.