Page 1

Jill Tarter: SEARCH FOR LIFE pg 13

Yoo vs. Wills: THE CONSTITUTION pgs 22 & 24

Steve Poizner: THE RIGHT’S CHOICE? pg 50

Dr. Gloria Duffy on SHOULDER SEASON pg 58

Commonwealth The


June/July 2010

Science or Science Fiction: Can Geoengineering Prevent Catastrophic Climate Change?

$2.00; free for members

Contents Vo lu m e 104, NO . 04

j u n e / j u ly 2010

16 The Science of Liberty “Science incited the Enlightenment – caused is perhaps not too strong a word – which in turn, everyone agrees, led to the democratic revolution.” –Timothy Ferris

Photo by Beth Byrne






29 Program Information 30 Eight Weeks Calendar

10 Game Changers Mark Halperin and John Heilemann on the 2008 election

13 Searching for

Our Neighbors SETI’s Jill Tarter explores

22 Presidential Authority John Yoo on flexible power

24 Restoring the

Constitutional Presidency Garry Wills chronicles the national security state’s growth

27 The FDA Commissioner Speaks

Editor’s Note Public Science to the Rescue?


Events from May 30 to July 24, 2010

The Commons Joseph Stiglitz on the Freefall

32 33 47 51

48 Climate One Idle Capital

52 Annual Report Highlights of your Club

58 InSight

About Our Cover: Is this our future? Geoengineering offers controversial ideas for countering climate change. Cover by Steven Fromtling. Photos by Peter Batty, vgm8383 & Frank Kehren / Flickr

Dr. Gloria C. Duffy Shoulder Season in McCloud


Programs by Region Program Listings Late-breaking Events Language Classes


Margaret Hamburg’s mission

50 Plans for California Candidate Steve Poizner’s ideas

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Photo by Sonya Abrams

An expert panel examines this controversial option

Photo by Sonya Abrams


Commonwealth The


Editor’s Note


Sonya Abrams

John Zipperer


Vice President, Media & Editorial

Editorial Interns

s controversies go, arguments over geoengineering might be most uniquely suited for science-fiction fans. Briefly, geoengineering is the intentional altering of the after bali environment on a large scale. It’s a concept that is it too late to stop has been used in countless books and movies, such climate change? as Aliens, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, etc. Now it’s being bandied about as a potential solution to climate change here on Earth. But outside of those science-fiction audiences, the concept of making large-scale changes to a planet to make it more like what we want was relatively unknown. Until the authors of SuperFreakonomics included it in their book, and then big controversy ensued, much of it centered around scientist Ken Caldeira, who was heavily cited in that book. The authors discussed the controversy when they came to The Club last fall. This month, we hear from Caldeira himself (see page 8). It turns out that other scientists have been thinking about this, too. They have held conferences and discussed various schemes to cool the planet, such as manmade trees to soak up CO2, or reflectors in space to redirect sunlight. But those ideas have largely stayed within professional scientist venues, where they remain as foreign to the general populace as, well, an alien. To deal with that chasm, New Scientist magazine recently urged scientists to be more open with the public about the entire concept, otherwise “public objections have the power to halt a technology in its tracks, however irrational those concerns may appear. If that were to happen with geoengineering, our escape route would turn into a roadblock.” Caldeira came to The Club to discuss this controversial idea and its implications. We’ll see if his openness changes public opinion to favor the concept of geoengineering. A note of caution: If you’ve watched Aliens or The Wrath of Khan, then you know that both experiments ended ... badly.

Steven Fromtling Heather Mack

Allison Vale


William F. Adams Camille Koué

Beth Byrne

follow us online


Special Survey: What Chinese and Americans Think About Each Other Plus: William F. Buckley Jr., Deborah Rodriguez, Iran’s Nukes, & More Dr. Gloria Duffy on Leadership Material


MAy 2008

The Commonwealth (ISSN 0010-3349) is published bimonthly (6 times a year) by The Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2805. PERIODICALS POSTAGE PAID at San Francisco, CA. Subscription rate $34 per year included in annual membership dues. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to The Commonwealth, The Commonwealth Club of California, 595 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94105-2805. Printed on recycled paper using soy-based ink. Copyright © 2010 The Commonwealth Club of California. Tel: (415) 597-6700 Fax: (415) 597-6729 E-mail: EDITORIAL POLICY FOR PROGRAM TRANSCRIPTS: The Commonwealth magazine seeks to cover a range of programs in each issue. Program transcripts and question and answer sessions are routinely condensed due to space limitations. Hear full-length recordings of events online at or contact Club offices to order a compact disc.

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we have one more intersection between science and science fiction in this issue. Until his death in 1996, astronomer Carl Sagan was for years a public scientist who reveled in popularizing scientific ideas and engaging the public in finding solutions to problems. A good example of that was his 1985 speech to The Commonwealth Club, in which he explored the idea of a “nuclear winter” descending on the planet after a war. He also tried his hand at fiction with the 1985 novel Contact. Jodie Foster starred in the movie version of the book in 1997. Foster’s character was based on Jill Tarter, a very real person and head of the SETI Institute, which searches the skies for signs of intelligent life on other planets. You can see what Tarter has to say on page 13 of this issue. The science-fiction fans among us will be pleased to learn that she knows her Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.

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Illustration by Howard Cruse

Public Science to the Rescue?

John Zipperer

Commons The

Talk of the Club

Photo by Camille Koué

New Offices for The Club in Silicon Valley New Milpitas home extends Club presence in Valley

O’Neill skips the wetsuit, but not the attitude


urfing is one of California’s iconic activities, and its popularity owes a lot to Jack O’Neill, inventor of the wetsuit and successful entrepreneur of surfer fashions. That’s why The Club honored O’Neill at its annual dinner in April. Accepting his award, O’Neill made some sartorial concessions – but not enough to give up his comfortable flip-flops.

Photo courtesy of the Sobrato Center for Nonprofits

California Stylin’


hanks to the generosity of the Sobrato Foundation, The Club’s Silicon Valley headquarters are now located in the 105,000-square-foot multi-tenant Sobrato Center for Nonprofits in Milpitas. Diane Parnes, executive director of the Sobrato Foundation, worked with The Club to secure a new South Bay home for Club staff. “Our Foundation is so pleased to support the educational mission of your Club by awarding a five-year, in-kind lease valued at $40,000,” she said. “We know that being able to redeploy former rent expenses toward increasing program costs will directly impact your community programming. Thank you for the wonderful work that you do throughout the Bay Area!” For more than a decade, The Club’s Silicon Valley office has focused on events of both national (such as President George W. Bush and Janet Napolitano) and local (transportation policy, immigration, bicycle safety) significance. It even has a popular radio presence, broadcasting locally on KLIV (1590 AM) every Thursday at 7:00 and 10:00 p.m. Come check us out!

The Near Afar Visiting wine heaven in Mendocino and Anderson Valley


tasting their Apple Balsamic Vinegar.) “It was possible to make a great Pinot Noir blindfolded in 2007,” said Mary Elke, president of the Anderson Valley Wine Growers Association, explaining the region’s famous Pinots. During this three-day trip, the group tried several other varietals, from Saracina, Handley, Elke, Londer, Breggo, Navarro and Foursight. Favorites: Saracina Vineyards’ Atrea The Choir 2008, a unique and dry Viognier and Rousson; Londer Vineyard’s Dry Gewürztraminer 2007;

and Foursight Wines’ 2006 Charles Vineyard Pinot Noir, to name a few. During a food and wine pairing workshop, food consultant Dory Kwan suggested using Vietnamese and Sumatran cinnamon, which is“much more flavorful than our usual cinnamon.” Johnny Schmidt, chef/owner of the Boonville Hotel, prepared an exquisite final meal for the group. The snap pea and mint soup was a favorite! Check out trip photos on The Club’s Facebook Page. Photos by Kristina Nemeth

ot every trip organized by The Club involves flights to far-off continents. This spring, Club members met with owners of the wineries, farms and restaurants of Mendocino and Anderson Valley during the Club’s Bay Gourmet Get-Away, led by Cathy Curtis, chair of our Bay Gourmet forum. Tim Bates, owner of the Philo Apple Farm, introduced the group to the farm’s most flavorful varieties such as the King David, Wickson and Pink Pearl apples. (Everyone loved



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First Word

What went wrong in California and how can we fix it?

Joseph Stiglitz Author, Freefall; Winner, 2001 Nobel Prize for Economics; Former Chief Economist, World Bank February 22, 2010


Photo by Beth Byrne

his [housing] bubble was keeping the American economy going. People were taking money out of their house, people were living beyond their means. So the average household savings rate had fallen to zero. That’s obviously not sustainable. As one of my predecessors as the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors said, That which is not sustainable won’t be sustained. And it wasn’t. So, the bubble broke in the beginning of 2007. What we’ve had since then is almost a predictable consequence. It’s almost like a slow train wreck. You can see – I thought I could see – everything happening. [Ben] Bernanke and the Fed didn’t want to see it, because they didn’t want to believe that they had allowed this bubble to grow. So they kept saying, Don’t worry, we’ve got the problem contained. But the banks had made really bad lending, including moving a lot of [these loans] off-balance sheet, in a way to hide it from the regulators, from the investors, because they didn’t want them to know what was going on. But the irony was that they did such a good job of hiding it that they themselves didn’t know their own balance sheet. So they know they couldn’t know the balance sheet of anybody else. That’s why the trust broke down; no bank would be willing to lend to any [other bank] because they didn’t know who was bankrupt and who was not. The credit flows then paralyzed, and the whole economy would have frozen if it hadn’t been that the federal government came to the rescue, and governments in other countries came to the rescue. There have been lots of bubbles in history. But you have to ask, Why did these problems arise? The simple explanation is that the banks had incentives for bad lending; they had incentives for short-sighted behavior, for excessive risk-taking. The one thing economists agree on is that incentives matter. Ω

Remaking California Reclaiming the Public Good R. Jeffrey Lustig

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GEOENGINEERING a solution to climate change? 8


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What are the moral, technical, legal and political effects of intentionally changing our climate? Excerpt from Climate One’s “Geoengineering: Global Salvation or Ruin?” February 23, 2010. ken caldeira Professor, Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University albert lin Professor, UC Davis School of Law david whelan Chief Scientist, Boeing Integrated Defense Systems greg dalton Director, Climate One; Vice President, Commonwealth Club of California – Moderator Dalton: Let’s start by defining the terms. What are the classes of activities that constitute geoengineering? Caldeira: Geoengineering is generally regarded as intervention in the Earth’s functioning, intentionally, at large scale and, usually, to reverse effects of greenhouse gas emissions. There are two main categories of geoengineering strategies. Some of them try to reverse the cause of the problem, accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Another class of options seeks to cool the Earth by reflecting more sunlight back to space by putting particles in the stratosphere or making clouds over the ocean wider, and these options tend to be much more controversial.

Photo collage by Steven Fromtling, city photo by neilalderney123 / Flickr, sky by sharkbait / Flickr, water by aresauburn / Flickr

Dalton: David Whelan, how much of this is possible now and what’s the status of research into these things? Whelan: It’s all very immature research at this point. No one has really seriously looked at the full implications of doing any one of these approaches. The science is still emerging and coming along. The attention of industry is just starting to turn toward this. Internally at Boeing, for example, I have the charge of a small group that looks for future problems and future issues that face the country, and we’re just starting to try and understand the implications; understand what are the highestprobability-of-success approaches, what are the ones that have the best per-cost benefit, and what are the other metrics that we really haven’t thought through yet in terms of other environmental impacts and things like that, so what are the complications to those technologies? Though there are ways to accomplish, for example, getting SO2 up to a certain altitude, there are ways to try to pump moisture into the atmosphere to create enhanced clouds, I don’t think we’ve really thought through the system engineering aspects of that. Dalton: So it’s early days, and there are several different ways of doing this. Al Lin, who’s governing this? Lin: Right now there is essentially no governing structure in place. There are a number of tools which, arguably, could be used to try to govern geoengineering, but there are no treaties that directly address it. There are more general options such as the [United Nations] Framework Convention on Climate Change, which really is focused more on stabilizing greenhouse

gas concentrations to avoid anthropogenic interference with the climate system. You can certainly imagine that framework being expanded to cover geoengineering techniques. There are more specific treaties. For example, the London Convention and the London Protocol governed dumping of waste materials into the oceans, and that could be used to govern specific geoengineering techniques, such as ocean fertilization. Dalton: Let’s talk about some scenarios where this might be used, some of the risks and some of the benefits. Caldeira: Let me first give a little bit of a general perspective. We need to come to the realization that we can no longer use the atmosphere for a waste dump for our waste products like carbon dioxide and we need to stop emitting CO2 into the atmosphere. Under every plausible emission scenario for this century, temperatures continue to increase. Emissions reduction can reduce rates of warming this century, but there is no reasonable way in which emission reductions can actually cause the Earth to start cooling this century. What would we do if in year 2040 or 2060 there’s a severe climate crisis? The only plausible way in which we could start the Earth cooling this century is to directly intervene in the climate system, say, by putting particles in the stratosphere. This obviously raises all kinds of questions. It’s hugely risky; it will likely negatively impact some people, but we might find ourselves in a situation where those risks seem worth taking. Dalton: To clarify, even if we turned off all the power plants and stopped driving cars, the world would continue to get hotter and, at some point, that might be unbearable [and] we might consider these options? Caldeira: If we got to zero emissions, that would be enough to stop the Earth from warming, but as long as we’re emitting some carbon dioxide, there will be some warming and the inertia in both our energy system, our social system and in the climate system means that it’s very likely that the Earth will continue warming throughout this century, despite our best efforts to reduce emissions. Dalton: So we have to pursue this as some sort of insurance policy? (Continued on page 19) j u ne/j u ly 2010




Inside the Race of a Lifetime Inside one of the most remarkable presidential contests of modern times. Excerpt from “Mark Halperin and John Heilemann: Game Change,” March 15, 2010. Mark halperin Editor-at-large & Senior Political Analyst, Time; Co-author, Game Change: Obama and the

Bronstein: What’s with the infidelity theme? You’ve got the McCains, the Edwards, the Clintons. Does this say something about America today? Halperin: They’re coincidences, or God’s gift to Barack Obama, since everyone he ran against had to deal with this issue one way or another within the campaign and Obama did not. In every case, it was a really important plot development. We didn’t write about whether these people had affairs or why. What we wrote about is the fact that, for John Edwards, it was a central part of the incredible story of a guy continuing to pursue national office or the attorney generalship of the United States even after he was caught having an affair and even after his child was born out of wedlock. For the Clintons, history was changed because rumors



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of Bill Clinton’s infidelity in places like San Francisco and Boston and New York and Washington spooked a lot of prominent Democrats into thinking, We can’t have Hillary Clinton as our nominee. In the case of John McCain, there were two instances: one, when the campaign was very worried that allegations of an affair involving Cindy McCain was going to come out, and then later when The New York Times and others were working on stories about Senator McCain’s personal life; this was the dominant issue in their campaign. While this isn’t the only example, it is a prominent example of how these other campaigns who were trying to stop Barack Obama – the Edwardses, the Clintons and the McCains – all three of those couples had to deal and their campaign staffs had to deal with the possibility of the exposure of stories about extramarital affairs, and that’s an extraordinarily tax-

Illustration by Steven Fromtling

Clintons, McCain and Palin, and the Race of a Lifetime john heilemann National Political Correspondent & Columnist, New York magazine; Co-Author, Game Change Phil Bronstein Editor-at-large, Hearst Newspapers – Moderator

ing and difficult political problem. Obama did a great job of managing his campaign, but he also never had to deal with the turbulence that that caused the other three couples. Bronstein: You say that the story ended up as a love affair between Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton. You say it might always have been a love affair, and when I read that I thought, Really? This is some complicated love. It seems like a love story you’d find on “Keeping up with the Kardashians.” Halperin: The world saw their relationship during most of the time that the book covers through the prism of their contested fight for the Democratic nomination. When we get to the end, a lot of people were surprised that he wanted her to take the job and that she wanted to take the job. But if you see the early relationship, if you see the way Hillary Clinton goes to Chicago, determined to get there through bad weather when O’Hare was filled with delays, she’s determined to fly there and do a fundraiser for Barack Obama before he’s even elected to the Senate. She has him to Washington to do a fundraiser in her home and comes back from one of the Chicago events and announces to her staff about Obama, There’s a superstar in Chicago. Obama comes to Washington, doesn’t like the Senate much, is a bit of a loner, and faces this extraordinary problem of how do you be a worldwide celebrity with hundreds of requests a month to speak publicly, to be on talk shows, to pose for magazine covers and get ahead in the Senate when seniority is really what matters? The person he turned to for advice, more than anyone else, was Hillary Clinton. So you can easily see that if Obama had decided not to run for president, that she might have made him her running mate. So the aberration is not him picking her as secretary of state; the aberration is that intermediate period where they do have a pretty rough relationship. Heilemann: One of the nicest details, though, is that they were so close when he first came to the Senate that Obama gave to Hillary Clinton a photograph of him and Michelle and their two daughters. She prominently displays it on her desk from the time that he gives it to her all the way up until the day that she leaves the Senate to take the job as secretary of state. Now, for some months of 2008 it was facedown on the desk, but at some point she was able to flip it back up, and there it was. Bronstein: A lot of questions from the audience are about Barack Obama now. You have him in the book being peevish and whiny that his book The Audacity of Hope got bumped off the best-seller list by a John Grisham book. This is not the sense of Barack Obama that a lot of people have gotten during the course of the campaign or the presidency. In one debate, you said he presented himself as caustic, sarcastic and thin-skinned. You also say that Joe Biden discovered Obama’s policies were awfully thin, not terribly specific, more rhetoric than substance. Do you ascribe some of the problems he’s

having to both personality and lack of policy that Biden’s talking about? Heilemann: The period you’re talking about, when he’s peevish – one of the things that people forget is just what a bad candidate Barack Obama was in 2007. He was a guy who had been told by David Axelrod, one of his chief advisors, that he wasn’t sure that Obama had what it took to run for president. Axelrod had worked for Hillary Clinton, had worked for John Edwards, and knew just how extreme they were in their intensity of how much they wanted this office and what they would do to get it. Axelrod’s comment to Obama was, I don’t know if you want it badly enough; you kind of have to be crazy to run in the way that these two people are going to run. Obama’s attitude was he wanted to live in a country where you could be sane and still run for president. He thought with his competitiveness, he would be able to get it up for the race, but you see him through much of 2007 really unhappy with the demands placed on him by audiences, all of which wanted him to give the 2004 convention speech again; they all wanted to walk out of the room in tears. You couldn’t give that speech five times a day, seven days a week, so he was frustrated by that. He was extremely frustrated by the debates, which he thought were set up in a totally phony way. It didn’t allow you to give real answers, to conduct a real adult conversation with the American people, and he was losing. He was just actually very bad at it. Hillary Clinton, if you remember, wiped the floor with Barack Obama throughout much of 2007. Every time they debated, she was sharp, she was on message, she was strong. He was professorial and prolix and all over the place. Obama was unhappy on the road, missed his wife and daughters a huge amount. As we say in the book,

“The aberration is not [Obama] picking [Clinton] as secretary of state; the aberration is that intermediate period where they do have a pretty rough relationship.” –Halperin about halfway through 2007, Axelrod and David Plouffe, some of people who had urged him to run, were wondering whether they had made a mistake and dragged him into a race that he wasn’t actually suited to run. A lot of the more peevish, thin-skinned, slightly neurotic qualities of Obama come out at that time. As you know, obviously, in the end, he does eventually change his game and rise to the occasion, but you see all of that stuff. We could talk more about some of the other things I said, but certainly you see a number of things that have played out in the White House: Obama’s insistence on taking advice from only a very small coterie of people – very true throughout 2008. For all his talk about bottom-up democracy, he really only wanted to listen to three people in his campaign. Most political candidates like to talk to their j u ne/j u ly 2010



media consultant, they like to talk to their pollsters. Obama had no interest in talking to those people. He wanted to talk to Robert Gibbs, David Axelrod and David Plouffe. He’s in the White House now, which, as big as the Obama campaign was, is a much bigger thing to run even than a campaign that cost almost a billion dollars to run. He still has only three people he wants to talk to in the White House, and two of them are the same people – David Axelrod and Robert Gibbs – and he’s swapped out David Plouffe for Rahm Emanuel. There are real questions about whether that approach to taking advice – which worked really well in the campaign, because he was able to exercise such tight control and discipline – to whether you can actually only take advice from three people and run a successful White House. What he didn’t do as well was something that Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton did extremely well, which was to take

“They put Sarah Palin on the ticket having not thought about it until roughly five days before she was named.” –Heilemann their policies and their inspirational rhetoric and knit them together into a kind of coherent theory of the case; to be able to say, This is what I want to do, this is why it’s important that we do it, but this is how it meets in the middle; this is my coherent vision of America, where I want to take the country, what this moment in history is and how my solutions meet this moment in an incredible way. Bill Clinton [was] incredibly good with his theory of the case, his narrative of the country and his role in changing it. Ronald Reagan, too. Bronstein: You cite some McCain people as suggesting that [Sarah Palin is] mentally unstable. Do you have any thoughts about that? Heilemann: The picture that we portray in that moment is all really accurate in terms of how unprepared they were. They put Sarah Palin on the ticket having not thought about it – not only not thought about it seriously, but not thought about it at all – until roughly five days before the day she was named. On the question of her mental instability, I think it was a more momentary thing. She has just finished the Katie Couric interview, which she knew was a disaster, which they all knew was a disaster, which was starting to appear in a sequential way on the air and portray her in a very unflattering way – otherwise known as revealing the truth about her in terms of what were some of her limitations and what she knew about the world in terms of international policy. She was very upset about that. She was upset not just in a selfish way but in a way that she felt like she was letting down John McCain. She was very upset about that; she was very upset about being separated from her family. Now, she was put in this pressure cooker of having a week to prepare for this debate



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with Joe Biden. As we say, her substantive deficiencies were enormous. Not only did she not know as much as Joe Biden did about most matters of domestic and international policy, she didn’t know as much as the average governor knew; she was well below the mean and she was trying very hard to learn everything. Sarah Palin’s preferred means of study was to put all matters of facts on an index card; every pertinent piece of information about the Spanish Civil War or World War II or the Vietnam War, or any particular moment in either history or policy, she wanted it on an index card. By the time she got to her debate prep, she had hundreds of index cards stacked up around her. She was not sleeping with any regularity. They would often leave her in her room late at night with her index cards and come back the next morning at 6 o’clock; they’d open the door and she would still be in the same clothes with her index cards. Not sleeping, not eating really at all; it concerned her campaign enormously that she was eating no more than a couple of bites of steak every day. She was not drinking water; she would drink half a can of Diet Dr. Pepper every day. She was losing weight and in the process of her debate prep, she was, in many cases, for hours non-responsive. We would say to our sources, What does that mean, nonresponsive? They would say she would drop her chin to her chest and stare at the floor. That is not a good posture for someone who is preparing for a televised debate. You’re asked a question and you’re supposed to answer, and she would not say anything. So that was the circumstance with the debate a week away: This woman was behaving in a way that if she showed even 10 percent of the way she was behaving in private at that point and it came through on national television, it would have been a historic cataclysmic debacle and would have destroyed their campaign. It would have made it impossible for McCain to ever possibly win. So that prompts a phone call from one of her lead debate-preppers to McCain headquarters saying, I’m not worried about what she does or doesn’t know, I’m worried about her emotional state right now and whether she at this moment is in a state of mental or emotional instability that we have to really be concerned about whether she’s going to be able to hold up to this pressure of this debate that’s only a few days away. McCain hears the story and his immediate reaction was that Sarah Palin was taken from her debate prep location in Philadelphia. They decided at the last minute to move to McCain’s ranch in Arizona. The reason was because McCain said, Let’s get her out in the fresh air, let’s get her family with her, and we have a doctor friend who we can have on hand to observe her to see exactly how bad her state is. In fact, that ended up being the beginning of a solution to her problem; but it was that severe that the candidate himself was weighing in, hearing these concerns about her mental state, about her emotional state and taking direct action as a last-ditch effort to try to save this debate from being a huge disaster. Ω This program was made possible by the generous support of National Semiconductor.

Photo by Stephen Banafin / Flickr

SEARCHING for our NEIGHBORS A celebrated astronomer explains the technology and the thinking behind an ongoing search for alien intelligence. Excerpt from “JIll Tarter: The Future of SETI Research,” February 23, 2010. Jill Tarter Director, Center for SETI Research at the SETI Institute


ETI [the search for extraterrestrial intelligence], as an observational science, is 50 years old this year. The SETI Institute, where I work, is 25 years old. When we wanted to know whether we were alone in the universe, for millennia what we did is ask the priests and philosophers – or whoever else we thought was wise at the time – what we should believe. The difference between what we’re doing now with SETI as an observational exploration and what we used to do is that we’re trying to answer this old question experimentally, observationally. That idea, being alive in the first generation that could take on this question in a scientific way, is what got me hooked at SETI when I was just finished [with] grad school, and I’ve stayed involved ever since. The Allen Telescope Array [was] built in Northern California. It is a partnership between the University of California Berkeley Radio Astronomy Lab and the SETI Institute. The array is named Allen because Paul Allen gave us the funds for the technology development and its first phase of construction. Today the array consists of 42 – guess why – dishes; we hope to grow it to 350 in the near future. The nice thing about an array is that once you get it started, you can use it; you don’t have to wait until it is all done. So the Allen Telescope Array – the ATA 42 – is a very productive scientific instrument today and will continue to get better as we [expand it]. Any telescope is a shaped surface that tries to focus the rays – either optical, infrared, X-ray, radio, whatever – to a

particular place where you can put some kind of receiver to register that energy. The typical kind of telescope you have is a parabolic surface, and the thing about a parabola is, if you have electromagnetic waves of some frequency coming in from a distance, they come in parallel, and a parabola will focus all those rays to a point. In an optical telescope, [the] focal region is very broad, so you can ... get a large image. In the longer wave lengths, [with] a radio telescope, you can’t go very far from the focus and still have a good registration and be in-phase. What we do is build analog receivers and put them [there] to look at adjacent pieces of the sky. There are problems here; there are gaps. We try to do it now electronically with a circuit board, and this works over a small range of frequencies. But it’s not ideal and getting a big picture on the sky is hard to do at radio frequencies. So let me show you another approach. Let’s think about a big single dish. The last radio telescope that we built [is]the Green Bank Telescope. It’s slightly over 100 meters across. You’ll notice that that smooth surface is made up of individual panels. The cracks between the panels are short, compared to the centimeter-wavelength of radio frequency emission. So the radio waves don’t see the cracks. Suppose I take each of these segments – these panels – and curve them into individual parabolas. I’ve got the same amount of collecting area that I had originally, so I haven’t lost any sensitivity. But now each of these parabolas will focus j u ne/j u ly 2010



the incoming rays that it collects at its focal point. What could I do? I could put a receiver there and put the signal onto cables, some kind of guided transmission, and bring those cables to [a] focal point and then sum up the voltages from each of the collectors, square it, and I would have the same intensity that I would have had from a single dish. An interferometer [is] a telescope made up of individual dishes. There’s something very cool about an interferometer, as opposed to a very large dish. I’ve got the same collecting area, but I have a really nice property. When I have a single dish, the field of view of that dish is inversely proportional to the diameter. So a big telescope sees a little patch of the sky. A little telescope sees a lot of the sky. My ability to see fine

where there are a whole lot of stars in our beam. This is really exciting. This is the next couple of decades., and you can see we’re beginning to sample a piece of the galaxy that is significant.

Speak up


’ve talked about listening. Should we broadcast? If everybody’s listening, and nobody’s broadcasting, it isn’t going to work very well. We took this up at the SETI Institute. There are these awkward questions: Who should speak for Earth? What should we say? And that’s if we decide to broaccast, because there are some people who say, No, don’t do that; if you are in the jungle at night, don’t shout, because the tigers will come and eat you up. And there are some people “There are some people who worry that all extraterrestrials out who worry that all extraterrestrials out there might not be benign. The problem is, it’s too late. We’ve been broadcasting there might not be benign. The problem is, it’s too late. We’ve radio and television for some time now. been broadcasting radio and television for some time now.” So that horse is out of the barn. If you’re going to transmit and you structure on this sky – the so-called spatial resolution – for intend to make it have an effect, it’s got to be a long-term a single dish is also the wavelength divided by the diameter commitment. We don’t do really well on 10-year projects. of the dish – for a single dish. But for an interferometer, you Sometimes we can do two-year projects. But as a species, break that degeneracy. So the field of view is still set by the as humans, we are not really good at 10,000-year projects, size of the individual antennas. Small dishes see a lot of the 100,000-year projects. And we don’t have any global goversky, but now if I want to get fine spatial detail, all I have to nance, don’t really have any cooperative ability to speak for do is spread the antennas out. And the spatial resolution is the planet. inversely proportional to that spreading distance. So, at least at the SETI Institute, we’ve decided: Not yet; So an interferometer of small dishes can give you a large let’s grow up a while. We’re an emerging technology, we’re field of view on the sky and good spatial resolution at the same about the youngest technology in the galaxy that could have time. That’s why we’ve built the Allen Telescope Array. any chance of having an interstellar conversation. So let’s grow up and then begin to transmit. What we’re hoping is SETI’s mission that there are some grownups out there [in space]. ifty years of SETI is equivalent to trying to answer the question, “Are there any fish in the ocean?” by taking a Question and answer session with audience. single eight-ounce glass, dipping it in the ocean, and looking to see if there are any fish. Now, that is an experiment that Q: How is SETI funded? could succeed. There are fish that would fit in your eightounce glass, and you might catch one by dipping the glass Tarter: Privately, and in fact with difficulty. That’s the botin the ocean. tom line. SETI started as a NASA project in the mid-’70s. On the other hand, if you did that experiment, and you By 1992, we had an appropriately defined 10-year program, didn’t see any fish, I don’t think you’d be likely to conclude using the world’s largest radio telescopes, that had the nice there are no fish in the ocean. You might decide that you bell-shaped curve that NASA likes in terms of funding. One hadn’t sampled adequately enough. year into that project, Senator [Richard] Bryan from Nevada What I’m so excited about is that after 50 years, with tools eliminated the funding for NASA’s SETI program. So since like the Allen Telescope Array and … some others, we’re 1993, we’ve been privately funded. There have been some finally beginning to get sensors that are commensurate with very large donors whose names are well-known in the Valthe huge job of sampling this ocean. ley – Barney Oliver, Bill Hewlett, David Packard, Gordon In the last 10 years [at SETI], we’ve looked at 1,000 stars, Moore, Paul Allen and Nathan Myhrvold – and a lot of out to 150 light years. The Milky Way galaxy is 100,000 light small donors. years [across], so [we studied] 1 percent of the galaxy. [With It went well for a while, and then when we took on the our new telescopes and technologies], over the next couple of funding and the operation for the telescope, we’ve upped our decades, we can look at somewhere between 10- and 100-mil- annual expenses, and it’s been really hard in this economy to lion individual stars that are targeted, and we will also make come up with the ongoing funding. I suspect many of you surveys of special directions, such as toward the galactic center, know, it’s easier to raise money for bricks-and-mortar than




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it is for operations. The answer is, with difficulty. So I’m hoping that with the TED Wish and the exposure that we get, there will in fact result in resources to help us keep going. Q: At the beginning of your talk, you said that the ATA array was 42 telescopes, and you said, You can probably guess why. Well, I can’t. Tarter: You can’t? Oh, well, that’s Douglas Adams; that’s Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. Life, the universe and everything – the answer is 42. We had a little bit more money than 32, so we did 42.

Photo courtesy of Jill Tarter

Q: How are locations for search selected? And second, if tomorrow you go back and they’ve made the big discovery [of a possible intelligent transmission], and they then go through and find this keeps showing the earmarks – we’ve had success – what’s the next step? Is this announced publicly to the world? Is Barack Obama informed and then the rest of us wait for his determination? What’s the SETI strategy?

quarter of a million to a couple million stars. That’s what I’ll be looking at for the next decade or so. So that’s where we look. Now, what happens if we detect a signal? There used to be a different answer when we were a NASA project. There was a post-detection protocol for the NASA project, which did involve specifying which associate administrator informed the funding committees in Congress, which person – and it was the administrator – informed the executive branch of the government, and then the rest of the world. At the SETI Institute, we don’t have the NASA funding anymore, so our real concern is to make sure that it’s not a hoax. So we’re going to go to another telescope, quietly, and say, Would you take a look with equipment that we didn’t build, software we didn’t write, and see if you see the same thing that we do? That’s one of the reasons we don’t have a lot of sensitivity to a lot of transient sources, because we’d like the signal to be there long enough to be able to do this independent verification. Once we get that, we actually have a thought-out protocol. We first have, essentially, the fill-in-theblanks discovery paper written; we will fill in the blanks and send that off to a journal. We will use the International Astronomical Union telegram system – which of course is an Internet alert – that goes to all of the observatories in the world, and we would like them to know about this, because we don’t know how long a signal might last. We’d like them, if they choose, to use whatever equipment they have to look at this direction in different ways. Who knows what additional information might be there? We also then will hold a press conference and tell the world. We hope to be careful enough to be totally inclusive and to include everyone involved in the discovery in that discovery announcement. In the process of doing this, we will have some quiet phone calls with some of the individuals who were so generous in funding this. I have to stress, we will do that because we want

Tarter: Okay, let me do the first part first, which is, Where do we decide to look? We’re using the Allen Telescope Array now in two ways. We’re using it to do a survey of a strip that’s 20 square degrees along the galactic plane. In that direction, toward the galactic center, we cover that 20 square degrees, there’s somewhere between 4 and 10 billion stars. Now, they’re all very far away. Most of them are at the center of the galaxy. A transmitter there would have to be about 20,000 times as strong as the strongest transmitter we have on Earth. But we’re talking about advanced technologies, and we’ve never done that search. So we’re doing that. The other way we search is to select stellar targets. Some of our targets are, of course, all the known exo-planet systems, all the stars that we know about that have planetary systems. We’ve picked stars that are fairly sun-like; if they are much more massive than the “If [stars] are much more massive than the sun, they burn up sun, they burn up their fuel in hundreds of millions of years, and we don’t think you their fuel in hundreds of millions of years, and we don’t think can get evolution to a technology in that you can get evolution to a technology in that short time.” short time. If they’re much less massive than the sun, well, there’s some questions about whether these stars that live for a long time can actu- to, not because any of them has asked us to. There have been ally have a habitable zone. We didn’t used to include them no strings on anyone’s funding of this program. at all; now we are. So, we’ll tell the world, and what happens next? So we have a list, at the moment, of a quarter of a million Well, there’s a movie, but I don’t know if it got it right stars. There’s a European spacecraft called Gaia that’s supposed [laughter]. Ω to launch in 2012, and within five years after that they’ll give us a couple billion stars with enough precision about their This program was made possible by the generous support of actual distance that I’ll be able to increase my list from a Chevron. j u ne/j u ly 2010





LIBERTY Science created liberal democracy, and it still undercuts authoritarian regimes everywhere. Excerpt from “How Science Inspired Democracy in the Modern World,” March 8, 2010. timothy ferris Author, The Science of Liberty: Democracy, Reason, and the Laws of Nature; Former Editor, Rolling Stone; Professor Emeritus, UC Berkeley


cience and liberalism are symbiotic. There is only one kind of science worldwide. It’s the only genuinely international community we have. There is no right-wing or left-wing science, no Western or Eastern science. It’s either science or it’s not. That’s what I mean when I talk about science: this mechanism of having a hypothesis that’s tested through experiment, an experiment that has to be replicable by anybody else who can set up the same conditions, and is then either modified, discarded or conditionally adopted on that basis. Science hasn’t just discovered a lot of things and vastly enhanced the dimensions of human knowledge; it’s also established a new and considerably higher criterion for what constitutes a proof of something, and it’s been necessary for other fields of endeavor to try to find ways to respond to this. The essence of this approach, therefore, is that science is experimental. It’s not that it’s rational. You can reason your way into some pretty hideous conclusions, and unfortunately, a lot of people have. So the point of science is not just reason, it’s experiment. [When I speak of ] liberalism I mean the original liberalism, the one enshrined in the English Bill of Rights of 1689 and the U.S. Bill of Rights of 1789; the theory that citizens ought to have equal rights under the law, that people should be maximally free to pursue their own interests, and that we should be very concerned about any organization – and the government is the most threatening of these – that has the power to abridge human liberties. This is sometimes in the U.S. called “classical liberalism.” I would suggest that we just restore the words to what they mean: call liberalism by that name, and call the American Left by various names that the Left has itself come up with, such as progressive. I would also suggest that we stop thinking about politics in terms of a one-dimensional, Left-Right continuum. We’ve always had this kind of terrible rancor that is currently



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near one of its peaks about differing political positions, but we’ve also had a tradition of always being able to talk to one another politely despite those differences. The people who can do that, and who want everybody to be able to do that, are called liberals. Liberalism in action operates similarly to science. You have a theo r y, such as the idea that ordinary people should be maximally free. You conduct an experiment. The United States is such an experiment. The United States was named by Thomas Paine, who was a science writer, and conceived of as a scientific experiment. [Thomas] Jefferson particularly talked in these terms. If you look at Jefferson’s second inaugural address, he says, This experiment of ours with the free press has been sorely tested.

actually, in a sense, started to report science, of all things. They proved very popular in combination with coffee, which was just coming in from Turkey at that time. So you had a place to go, a coffeehouse, where you could read the papers and drink a cup of coffee and turn around and talk to your neighbors about what you read in the papers. This combination proved seditious in every jurisdiction in which it was established, and leaders from Cairo to London attempted, without success, to make coffeehouses illegal. In 1687, [Isaac] Newton published his Principia, which changed the world by beginning to show the tremendous predictive power of science. I would suggest that the Enlightenment, usually dated from the following year – the beginning of the Glorious Revolution, which established parliamentary authority in England – should instead be dated from the publication of the Principia. [After that], a lot of things happen, including Adam Smith’s The Wealth of Nations in 1776, which has had tremendous consequences, the American Declaration of Independence that same year, and the publication in 1859 of Darwin’s On the Origin of Species. The term liberal democracy means a democracy; people vote to elect their leaders. The liberal part is that, however, they are not free by simple majority vote to abridge anybody’s human rights. [Look at] the impact this combination of liberal democracy and science has had on the world since their inception back in the 1600s, 1700s. The first has been the spread of liberal democracy itself. Circa 1800, you had maybe three liberal democracies in the world, and that’s if you’re willing to put up with suffrage barriers that only allow a minority of people to vote. By 1850, there were five. By 1900, around 13. In 1950, there were 22 liberal democracies in the world. Today, there are 89. Forty-six percent of all human beings now live in liberal democracies, and it is the stated preference of the majority of the human species. A poll just released the other day of 2,000 Arab youths, aged 18 to 24, interviewed at length in nine Middle Eastern nations, showed that their top priority was living in a democracy. They didn’t want to give up their culture, they didn’t want to go someplace else, and they wanted to have democracy there. You get similar results when you poll anybody in the world who is not totally subjugated by a controlled press. I looked at the attainments of science and liberty in terms of three broad categories that everyone could agree are good things for people: health, wealth and happiness. Life expectancy at birth for all of humanity has doubled since the year 1800. World population has increased by a factor of 10 since 1700. Despite that increase, world food production has more than kept the pace with the rising population. Food production, just from 1961 to 2001, was up 52 percent per person worldwide, despite the rapidly increasing population. In terms of wealth, the world per-capita GDP in 1800 was a little under $700 a year; the growth rate was 1 percent. Today, that number is closer to $7,000 – another factor of 10 increase – and the growth rate, averaged over enough times that we’re not looking at the recent recession, is about 3 perj u ne/j u ly 2010



Photo by Jeff Henshaw / Flickr

Now, how is science symbiotic with liberalism? Both are antiauthoritarian. Science has always been antiauthoritarian, because experimental results have a tendency to disprove even great authorities, and that’s built into science. All scientists, even the greatest ones, are wrong about some things. One of the reasons citizens in liberal democracies are able to abide by terrible, traumatic election results – where their tribe loses even though they won the majority of the votes through a Supreme Court decision – is that they know that in the long run, it won’t matter that much. Both science and liberalism are selfcorrecting systems: liberalism through the methods I’ve been describing and science through the fact that as long as science is an ongoing enterprise, you have young scientists coming up, many of whom are eager to make a reputation by proving that their elders were wrong about something. They’re both powerful; they’re both social. Both liberalism and science require maximizing intellectual resources, which means public education. When John Locke was inventing liberalism, he wrote extensively about public education, and did so in terms that sound very modern today. It’s clear that science benefits this way, because we need, in science, maximum brainpower. Science, therefore, has certain liberal imperatives, such as not arbitrarily excluding people who can provide brainpower on irrelevant bases, such as whether they’re women. In liberalism you have a similar injunction to maximize intellectual resources, because people are going to vote and you would prefer that they be educated and have a better sense of what’s going on and be a little more invested in the country than that they be ignorant and alien. Science incited the Enlightenment – caused is perhaps not too strong a word – which in turn, everyone agrees, led to the democratic revolution. Around 1605, Francis Bacon began to glimpse the real power of induction and experiment and wrote influential books that this system would trump the highly reasoned philosophical systems that had preceded it. In 1609, Galileo published his telescopic observations, showing that just looking through the telescope could prove that ancient authorities, even Aristotle, were wrong about, at least, some things. The oldest surviving printed newspapers in Europe, which were started in Germany, started in 1609; they started because there was such public [controversy about] Galileo’s findings that people wanted to read more about science. Newspapers

Photo by Beth Byrne

“Even in the United States, the vast majority of Americans have no idea how science works, and consequently, rather fear it.” cent. There is a cynical tradition that has tried to wave these away. Another widely discussed myth is that it was achieved at the cost of great inequality, growing global inequality. The problem is, there isn’t such growing inequality. It is hard to measure happiness. One thing I did look at were literacy rates, because people all around the world agree that it is better to be able to read and write than not to be. They feel better off, they feel more engaged, it’s a doorway to many kinds of happiness. In 1970, 63 percent of the adults in the world were literate; that was already a big achievement. By 1985, that had gone from 63 to 73 percent, despite the growth in population, an increase in 10 percent overall in literacy. Today, over 80 percent of adults worldwide are literate. There is also a thing called the United Nations Subjective Well-Being Index, which shows that as you make more money, you tend to get happier – up to about $15,000 a year. After that, money doesn’t buy happiness. There have been some other accomplishments as well. One was the abolition of the African slave trade, which went back more than a thousand years. The growing sense of liberal demands for human rights and universal human rights showed up in things like the establishment in 1787 of the Society for the Abolition of the British Slave Trade in London. Other such organizations soon followed, in France and Holland, and it took less than a century for the African slave trade to be ended. The world is much more peaceful than it used to be. Among ancient peoples, the death rate was at least 50 times higher than it is today. More has been learned in the last century or so than in all prior human history combined about the origin and age of the Earth, the origin of species, the evolution of life, the age and evolution of the universe, the anatomy and function of the brain, how stars shine, what matter and energy are made of, and 10,000 other things. We also have some serious challenges to this ongoing enterprise, and I want to mention just three of them: population growth, ecological stress and the persistent popularity of



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dogma. Prior to the advent of science and liberalism, population bubbled along at very low levels. Then it took off quite steeply. It now appears that our population is going to stabilize probably somewhere around 9 billion, and the reason for that is urbanization. For the first time in history, the majority of humans now live in cities, and they live in cities by choice, for the same reason that people have all through history. When people have a chance to get off the farm and go to cities, they do it. The idea that farmwork is wonderful for everybody is primarily a literary invention. Jean-Jacques Rousseau wrote a completely imaginary version of human history, in which primitive man had had this wonderful life, always lots to eat, no need to worry about warfare, sexual jealousy, none of these problems; and everything had been ruined by civilization. It was one of the most pernicious ideas ever put down on paper by one of the most personally pernicious philosophers ever to afflict Western culture. It resulted in the terror of the French Revolution and was a great inspiration to people like Adolf Hitler. Fortunately, it’s not true. Fewer Americans today than just two years ago believe that the planet is getting warmer. It certainly is. Or that if it is, that human activity has anything to do with it. The basic mechanism of global warming is identified and studied by many different scientists often working independent of one another dating back to the 18th century. Dogma etymologically means a received opinion that seems good enough. We have today dogma from every quarter. Most people arrive at their politics the way they arrive at their religious opinions: They are inherited from their parents and not much examined thereafter. Those who have not later examined their views, or learned more, or modified them, tend to view politics as a kind of tribal matter. You yell about the bad people over on the other side, and they do the same. The folks who look at politics that way are trapped, really, by dogma. They see the world in Manichean terms that they are good and everything else is evil, and everything that’s bad in the world is bad because the evil side won’t let them fix it. Remember that though a lot of people are now living in liberal democracies, it’s still fewer than the majority of humanity. Liberal democracy as a realized form is still a minority condition. Science is even smaller. Even in a scientific powerhouse like the United States, the vast majority of Americans have no idea how science works, and consequently, rather fear it. They see it as a machine that’s powerful but that works in ways they don’t understand. Dogma tends to bifurcate the world, and science has found that it’s all one world. It didn’t have to: Science could have – if the laws of physics were different in Connecticut than they are here in California – physics would have found that out. Turns out, they’re the same all through the universe. It’s one universe; scientific laws are universally applicable. All humans belong to one species. There’s no empirical justification for racism, other discriminations, and all earthly life is kin. Ω This program was made possible by the generous support of Sierra Steel Trading.

Geoengineering (Continued from page 9) Caldeira: I see this as something like an evacuation plan. [For example], you build big dikes, maybe that’s the emissions reduction to try to keep the flood from wiping you out, but if that flood should come, you’d like a plan for what to do in the event of that catastrophe. I see these options more as a catastrophic response option and not as a way to reduce risk of everyday climate change. Dalton: Some people have called this planetary methadone. Is that apt? Whelan: If I give you an insurance policy, do you now go out and take more risks because you’re not as worried about some of the negative consequences? There is that human nature that you have to be careful of. Having said that, just like national defense has a hedge against consequences that we wouldn’t want to see – another country invading or attacking us – you have to be prepared. Understanding the science and the technology and the potential pros and cons and the costs and benefits of geoengineering is probably a prudent thing to do. It doesn’t mean that you’ll implement them, but it does mean that I have that, if you will, arrow in my quiver. Dalton: I heard recently that research in this area was about $10 million nationally. Is that right?

Dalton: How do we test that on something that, by definition, to test it you have to do it on a global scale? Whelan: Mother Nature has done this for us whether we liked it or not. When Mount Pinatubo erupted, it did spew SO2 into the atmosphere. [We] as a nation being prepared to, at a minimum, get ourselves prepared to do all the right instrumentation, all the right measurements, ask the right questions – that if Mother Nature does do another ‘experiment,’ we’re at least collecting all the right data, asking the right questions and taking the best advantage of whatever natural events occur. That’s sort of a minimum that we ought to be doing. Dalton: Should we mimic hurricanes? Caldeira: I don’t think we should do any of these things now; we need to learn more to understand what the risks are. The initial model simulations indicate that there’s the potential for risk reduction. From a purely environmental perspective, it’s likely that these approaches will reduce risk. The question comes when you introduce these into real social systems, whether it’s embedded in a sociopolitical system of an armed world, whether it will really reduce overall risk. We can imagine a situation in which the tropics are heat stressed from global warming and there is the threat of massive famines throughout the tropical world, so you deploy a system like this to make sure that the people living in the tropics can grow their food. Maybe as a result of this, you weaken the Indian monsoon, and as a result you cause the loss of life and famine in India, and India is a nuclear-armed nation, and now you’ve done an act that is threatening the livelihood and the wellbeing of a nuclear-armed nation. When you bring in all of those military and sociopolitical feedbacks, whether you can really reduce risk in the real world is a different question than whether you can reduce risks in a climate model.

Caldeira: Right now, there is no public program in this research area. There is some philanthropic money, there are some program managers, the [The National Science Foundation], who are allocating some money to research in this area, but there is really no program. So that $10 million is probably an exaggeration of how much money is actually going into this area. ... We should increase funding. I agree that there is a danger that if you think you have a good evacuation plan, you might Dalton: How can we test these things? They’re scenarioed, but not put enough effort into building a good dike. I don’t want how can these really be tested at a meaningful scale? to say that even a research program is riskfree, but the likelihood that we can reduce “I see this ... more as a catastrophic response option and not as environmental risks through these options a way to reduce risk of everyday climate change.” – Caldeira is real. In our climate modeling, we see that by putting aerosols at least in the models, we can offset most climate change in most places most of the Caldeira: You can test processes. You can test hardware of time. If we find that we’re in a situation where people are re- deployment. If you’re going to use artillery shells, you can ally suffering, we might decide that it’s worth taking the risks test artillery shells. If you are trying to test the effects on that these options entail. stratospheric chemistry, you might be able to conduct smallscale tests where you alter the chemistry of some piece of the Dalton: Some people advocate that it’s actually fast and cheap atmosphere and observe it closely. and that the technology exists today. It is true that you will never be able to really do a test to understand the global and regional climate consequences. Caldeira: If we wanted to, say, put sulfate aerosols into the What you can do is slowly ramp up a system and try to tipstratosphere some time in the next few years, we could do it. It toe your way into it. The problem, of course, is that if we’re might be cheap to actually do it, but it’s likely that some people faced with a catastrophe and that’s what’s influencing us to will be damaged by doing that and the damage could be many want to do this, then we don’t get the chance of tip-toeing hundreds of billions of dollars, potentially, and lives [lost]. into it. A real danger is that we don’t research these options. j u ne/j u ly 2010



Then a catastrophe happens and some political leader thinks these things will work [and] just deploys them without doing the research first.

one country starts experimenting without the others, that will collapse.

Caldeira: The Russians have already done a small test in the lower atmosphere. Apparently, they tested some kind of sprayer and produced a sulfur plume lower in the atmosphere and then measured how it affected the light going through the plume. It’s not a black-and-white issue; this is a small test within national “We don’t understand enough of the risk side of the equation. I’d boundaries that is not expected to argue that we’re not even sure what the benefit sides are.” – Whelan have any trans-boundary issues, but it was a test done toward developLin: There are several ways to go about trying to govern ing a geoengineering system. We can all agree that before research. One possibility is to go through a formal treaty anybody does anything in the stratosphere that would have mechanism. Another possibility would be to work more from trans-boundary, climatically detectable effects, we would like a bottom-up type of approach, relying more on the scientific to have some kind of governance and regulation in place research community to develop norms. It’s a little bit dangerous to rely too heavily on the bottom-up, Dalton: There is a question from the audience about whether scientific-community-norm approach alone, because these issues humanity is playing God by even contemplating these sorts aren’t just scientific issues; they are political issues, they are ethical of things. considerations. There needs to be some aspect of governance even at the research, beyond just the scientists involved. Caldeira: Whether we like it or not, we are already intervening in the Earth’s system at massive scales. We’re already Dalton: Who should be the cop on this? emitting sulfur into the lower atmosphere at a level that cools the Earth to an amount that’s equivalent to about half of the Lin: This is a global problem. This all has to be viewed within carbon dioxide that’s in the atmosphere. If we stopped our the context of a possible tool for dealing with climate change, current sulfur emissions to the atmosphere, the Earth would whether as a backup emergency option if we really needed to heat up quite rapidly. This is inadvertent through sulfur comdeal with a crisis or as a more systematic option among many ing out of power plants today. We’re talking about putting a for dealing with climate change. To me, it seems appropriate few percent of that sulfur in the stratosphere instead of the that we ought to have the international community involved in lower atmosphere. The difference is the sulfur and the carbon governance. Certainly, the framework convention on climate dioxide that we’re emitting, we know that we’re changing our change is a logical possibility for doing so. Earth’s climate, but it’s a by-product of other things that we’re seeking to do. What’s new about geoengineering is that sayWhelan: You have to get all countries to buy into those ing that we’re not just going to change climate inadvertently constraints, much like the above-ground test treaty ban. If and knowingly, because we all know that we’re changing

Seven Ways to Geoengineer a Greener Future 1 Orbital Mirrors Orbiting mirrors deflect sun’s rays

2 Stratospheric Aerosols


Particles released in the stratosphere reflect sun’s rays

2 3

3 Carbon Sequestration & Burial Carbon waste is captured and buried


4 Artificial Trees


CO2 sucked from air and stored underground


5 Forestation Trees absorb CO2 as they photosynthesize

6 Oceanic Fertilization 6

Iron filings stimulate CO2-eating plankton

7 Cloud Seeding Atomizing seawater creates clouds, reflecting sun’s rays



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Illustration by Steven Fromtling, based on data from

Dalton: Al Lin, do you agree that we should start doing research now before waiting for a regime of rules to guide or govern the research?

climate when we drive home tonight and CO2 comes out of our tailpipe, but it’s a very different thing if you’re driving home with the intent that, I’m going to drive so I’m going to heat up the climate. What’s new here is the intention to alter climate, but we’re all doing things every day that we know affect climate. Whelan: Let me emphasize what Ken said. He says that right now, there is a certain amount of pollution in our cities and China and around the world. The particulate matter actually has a net cooling effect of about one degree Fahrenheit. If we start to improve and clean up our cities, we’re going to make the global warming that much worse. In balance, you have this equilibrium, and as you start to clean up the air, it’s going to put even more pressure on the warming that’s due to the carbon, so you’re going to work even harder to get the carbon out to mitigate this additional effect.

leverage value position before it breaks up. Carbon is the same way: go grab it at the source. Make clean coal, if possible, or switch to natural gas and clean that as much as possible. Don’t wait to let it get out and then try to sweep it up. Dalton: There’s another class of activities: mirrors, bubbles in space – there’s all sorts of other things that don’t involve sulfur dioxide. How viable are those? Whelan: Unaffordable. Caldeira: You would need to build a square kilometer of satellite every half hour or so just to keep up with the rate of greenhouse gas increase in the atmosphere, so those are pretty much science-fiction, futuristic ideas. There is the idea of whitening clouds over the ocean by making a fine spray of seawater; that would only work in certain locations, but it appears feasible.

Lin: Let me add a couple of points on this. That question highlights the fact that this ultimately becomes an ethical issue. Dalton: To summarize, what’s most promising and most worI agree, no matter what we do, we are already engineering the risome about geoengineering? Earth, intentionally or not. In criminal law, intent is critical to deciding whether or not to be convicted of murder or some Lin: What’s promising to me is the variety of ideas that I’ve lesser offense. Intent is critical here in figuring out what exactly do we ‘No matter what we do, we are already engineering the Earth.” – Lin want. This relates to some of the unintended consequences as a result from the acts that we do. seen. I don’t think there’s a shortage of creativity even though, Ultimately – if there is an issue here related to hubris – do we admittedly, some of these ideas may seem farfetched. have the hubris to do these sorts of things? What’s worrisome – go back to situating this in the overall picture: we’ve made so little progress in reducing emissions Dalton: What about the less risky capture of CO2? and geoengineering can so easily be situated as an easy out. Our discussion here has indicated that we don’t know enough Caldeira: There are many different options for sucking carbon about these [potential solutions] to put them into play, and dioxide out of the atmosphere. The simplest one is to grow they all carry their own risks and problems. a tree, and most people would think that’s very benign and something we should probably do. [At] the other end of the Caldeira: Geoengineering options have the potential to greatly spectrum are industrialized facilities to use chemical engineer- reduce suffering and environmental damage. On the other ing approaches to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. hand, they have the potential to contribute to really screwing These approaches seem technically feasible but costly, and if up the planet. There’s a really wide spectrum but as long as the costs can be brought down enough, that it’s something we there’s potential, then we need to do more to learn about that should do. I would be willing to pay for this today. It’s thought potential. I’m not convinced that these things can really reduce that with current technology, it would cost about two dollars risk, but they might be able to. to remove the carbon dioxide emitted by burning each gallon of gasoline. I’d be willing to spend two dollars a gallon more Whelan: It’s reassuring to know that nature does have a to make a carbon-neutral car. way to cool the planet in ways like emitting SO2 from volcanoes. The consequences and the complexities of the Whelan: From an engineering perspective, any time you do environment make it so we don’t know all the ramifications. this analysis, we’ve looked at removing debris from satellites It does make it something of an instrument of last resort. running into each other. They break up and they spread debris Our knowledge state is very immature on all the different around the orbit, then that creates a hazard for our space sta- ways that we might be able to do this, and we need to start tion; it could be a life-threatening hazard. For other satellites, thinking that through and moving down that path. There’s it could terminate the life of the satellite. Whenever you do a lot of inertia in the system; there are a lot of societal presthe calculation about the costs of trying to remove the debris, sures that will make it very difficult to come to agreements you find the best answer is to go grab the satellite before it has to manage this, and as the temperatures rise, what are we the collision and take the dead satellites and de-orbit them going to do? And do we have any hedge bets that will save quickly and in a controlled way, because that’s the highest us? It’s worth investigating. Ω


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Yoo discusses the limits to presidential authority, arguing that Congress should use its powers to check the presidency. Excerpt from the Q&A for “Crisis and Command,” January 27, 2010. John yoo Law Professor, UC Berkeley; Author, Crisis and Command: A History of Executive Power from George Wasington to George W. Bush allen weiner Senior Lecturer in Law and Co-director of the International Law Program, Stanford University

– Moderator

Weiner: Your basic thesis in the book seems to be that our greatest presidents are those who, number one, faced a major crisis of some kind and, number two, who made the “broadest reach of their constitutional powers.” There seems to be, perhaps, a false syllogism here. The fact that presidents who exercise power were successful does not necessarily mean that all exercises of power are good. There are also bad exercises of power. What is the purpose of a democracy if any president doesn’t have to follow the Constitution?

of presidential power is good or bad, it’s that you are going to have [the question of ] how do we know, at the time that the president is acting, that it is wrong? That’s why I try to place more importance on the fact that the Constitution gives the Congress and the Supreme Court great powers, and that they should and have used them to great effect when they think a president has acted improperly. One example is James Polk, who makes the list of top 10 presidents, but most Americans probably have not heard of Polk. He’s probably our most successful one-term president. If it weren’t for Polk, we would not be sitting, having “I think the framers expected impeachment to be used this entertaining conversation with all the displays, in California – because of the War of 1848, the much more regularly than it has been.” United States expanded all the way to the Pacific Ocean. Polk deliberately sparked the war with Yoo: First, let me say that I don’t try to say all exercises of Mexico, and then, I think it’s fair to say, gave a fairly incompresidential power are good, and I actually felt that I identified plete description to Congress about how the conflict started; times when even these great presidents did make mistakes, it was essentially a border skirmish along the Texan border. like the Japanese-American internment, or Andrew Jackson’s treatment of the Indians, which I think are both terrible deci- Weiner: You are critical of Nixon in the book and in these sions by presidents. I do want to say that the Constitution remarks because he exercised power for personal ends, but does not prevent people from making poor decisions. The Thomas Jefferson wrote, “Let us hear no more of confidence Constitution is not some device that creates perfection. in men but bind them with the chains of the Constitution.” There are going to be situations where presidents did Are you saying that when presidents push an expansive view use their powers in very aggressive ways to the harm of the of the Constitution, that they are violating the Constitution, country. The clearest example is of Nixon. Another example and then later we will simply deal with that as a political or that I talk about in the book is actually Andrew Johnson, the legal matter ex post? Or, are you saying that, No, anything president right after Lincoln. I think in part, particularly with that the president does, in good faith, is in fact constitutionNixon, the problem with his exercise in presidential power was ally permissible? If it’s the latter, then why aren’t you agreeing that it was designed to protect him as a person. The excesses with Nixon’s maxim that if the president did it, it’s legal? were that he used presidential power to actually pursue his political enemies. It was not really done for the protection of Yoo: I think you could have a Constitution which took Jefthe country. The problem as I see it is not that every exercise ferson’s view to the extreme and really tried to bind down



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Photo by Sonya Abrams

the president or the executive branch and really tried to give leaders, several of them very prominent in the organization. Congress the primary job of deciding on foreign affairs and These were people who were high up in the organization; national security. I might add that Jefferson himself, when he they were people of such standing it was as if al-Qaida had was president, did not quite follow the idea that the Constitu- captured Condoleezza Rice or Donald Rumsfeld. I will also tion and Congress really were binding on him. be the first to admit that there is a great division in our soI think the reason for this is that it expresses this trade-off ciety over whether the 9/11 attacks were the start of a war you have to have; you do want to have a certain amount of or whether they were a large crime, and whether we should predictability, stability and restraint on government, but you appropriately use a criminal justice system or a military don’t want to so handicap the government that it cannot actu- paradigm to fight it. ally respond to an emergency when you need quick action. The reason why I think it was so hard and difficult, at least The second part of your question is, Does that mean that for those of us who were in the government at the time, is that everything that a president does during that time is per se we were not fighting a traditional enemy. We did not have an legal? I certainly don’t think that. Certainly, Nixon claimed enemy territory to locate, enemy cities, enemy population, a lot of what he did was for national-security purposes, even enemy armed forces wearing uniforms in the field. That is the though it had the real purpose of trying to suppress domes- fundamental difference about this war. That’s why the need tic political dissent. The thing I want to argue against is for intelligence was so great – much greater in this conflict the notion that the courts are the ones who are going to sit there and decide “[Y]ou don’t want to so handicap the government that it cannot during the crisis where those lines are. Historically, they have not done that. If actually respond to an emergency when you need quick action.” you look at the position of the Supreme Court during the Civil War or World War II, they generally than in previous conflicts – because there are really very few were deferential to the president and Congress, and if some- other ways to figure out and stop what the enemy is going one was going to restrain the president, it was going to be to do. Based on that need, that is why the government had Congress. I think that’s really the body that has the powers to answer that question. easily at its disposal to check the president. The Congress, People in the government did not want to commit torture. like the Supreme Court and president, has the right to in- What they wanted to do was find out what they were allowed terpret the Constitution for itself, and if it feels a president to do and not violate the law, but they did not want to be is acting unconstitutionally, it has a number of measures at restrained by the idea that one had to just read them its disposal. Not just funding, but impeachment. Actually, I their Miranda rights and give them a think the framers expected impeachment to be used much lawyer, either. So the job more regularly than it has been. that we had to do in the department was to figWeiner: I’m of the view that waterboarding is torture. As you ure out what was that know well, torture committed outside the United States by space that you could U.S. persons is a crime. If your legal position is wrong, the do and go beyond position in the August 2002 memo – the so-called “Torture Miranda warnings but Memo” – it’s instructive or at least interesting to know that not violate the law, that memo was subsequently withdrawn by the Justice De- prohibiting torture. partment and replaced by a different definition. Should you be People like yourself criminally accountable for torture? Are you a war criminal? disagree with the line that we drew. We had Yoo: Like any government official, I’m certainly accountable to draw a line, and I to the criminal laws. It’s up to this current administration to do think it would have decide who it wants to prosecute and make its case before a been irresponsible, as some jury. If it wants to do that, I’m not going to up and leave for people would suggest, to Canada or something like that. just draw no line, and not Obviously, this is a difficult issue. Nobody goes into the answer the quesgovernment wanting to answer it. I certainly would be the tion. Ω first person to say that I did not go into the government to work on these questions or answer them. I will say, however, that the 9/11 attacks did force us to have to think about these questions for the first time. This was a question that was brought to the Justice Department by the CIA because they were confronted with this problem, just a few months after the 9/11 attacks. We were beginning to capture al-Qaida

Restoring the Constitutional


The Pulitzer Prize-winning historian explores the vast expansion of American presidential power. Excerpt from “Garry Wills: The Extra-Constitutional Executive,” February 11, 2010. GaRry wills Author, Bomb Power: The Modern Presidency and the National Security State; Professor Emeritus


he Manhattan Project was miraculous: many of the people involved in it doubted that an atomic bomb could be built, and especially built in the short time that the president of the United States was asking them to build it. In order to do it, extraordinary powers were given to those in charge of the project; illegal powers throughout. It was entirely outside the cognizance of Congress; the money was not authorized by Congress, it was channeled through fake conduits, through money laundering. The chain of command of the military was bypassed. Major General Leslie Groves, who was in charge of it, his superiors in the military didn’t even know what he was doing. It was so secret that most of the people at Los Alamos in that tight little community – severely guarded and spied upon by the director – didn’t know what they were doing. There were three concentric circles patrolled by jeep and horseback 24 hours a day. In the inner-most circle, only the top physicists could go inside, and they had to speak in code so that when they went outside, they wouldn’t tell what they were talking about. They never used the word “bomb”; they used the word “gadget.” They never called themselves “physicists.” They had come there under pseudonyms. They were told if they came from the same university campus to go to different cities to make their flight arrangements so nobody would know that there was this influx of physicists from one



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place. They could not get driver’s licenses. They could not vote, because they had fake names. Senator Truman, who was running a very energetic investigation of federal expenditures when he was in the Senate, didn’t know. When he became vice president, he didn’t know. When he became president, for several days he didn’t know! Only then was he informed. It was that controlled and secret. The director, Major General Groves, had almost dictatorial power. He spied on everybody within the organization and he spied on people outside the project. He spied on foreigners. He sent a man to assassinate Werner Heisenberg in Europe because he thought he had atomic information that the Germans could use. He had his own private air force; he took planes off the production line. All of this was done through various ruses and trained pilots. Now, all of that was illegal; normally in a wartime situation, you get illegal operations. After World War II, there was no attempt to repudiate all of the illegalities of the Manhattan Project, because we were happy that it had worked. President Truman called it the greatest thing in history, and we were determined to imitate its methods, its secrecy – even its attempt to assassinate foreign leaders – and the dictatorial control that Leslie Groves had over the project. After the war, we went into an emergency of a new kind: the Cold War. We didn’t relax, we didn’t demobilize, we didn’t re-convert as after most wars. We went

Illustration by Steven Fromtling

of History, Northwestern University

from one emergency to another, from World War II to the Holloway: Hasn’t the imperial presidency, or hasn’t the Cold War, and then, eventually, to the war on terror. extension of presidential powers, actually been quite sucThere was a certain rationale for that at the outset, but when cessful if you look back at the Cold War and the efforts to President Truman decided to go into the Korean War, Secretary defend the United States? You may criticize what has hapof State Dean Acheson said to him, This is not a nuclear war, pened and deplore it, but hasn’t it actually been successful so your sole prerogative to initiate war is not technically an is- in achieving what it aimed to do: to provide for the defense sue, but we do not want your sole prerogative to be challenged of the United States? in any way, so go into Korea on your own initiative and don’t consult Congress in any way. And he did. Wills: Could it have been done without the deceptions and From that time on, there has been no congressional dec- the evasions of the Constitution? You would have to prove laration of war. that to me for me to say it doesn’t matter. The questioner is When the Constitution was drawn up, we were very proud saying, in effect, All right, we scrapped the Constitution; who of the fact that there was civilian control of the military, that cares? It worked. In a sense, that makes my point. That was we were not going to have a man on horseback, somebody like the defense of the Manhattan Project, and now that’s being the people in Latin America who were generals and also rulers extended to the whole thing. Could we not have prevailed of the country. Now, more and more, we’ve begun to think against the Soviet Union without the national security state? of the president as our commander in chief. “Commander With all this secrecy and classification and everything? I don’t in chief ” was initially a rather modest title. The president think that that’s proved. After all, other countries did not set is not even the commander in chief of the National Guard, up a national security state. the descendent of the militias, unless it is federalized. He’s certainly not the commander in chief of civilians. Holloway: [UC Berkeley law professor and former Bush Now, not only is he our commander in chief, when the administration legal advisor] John Yoo spoke here recently president now gets off the helicopter or Air Force One, he and argued that the Constitution does permit the expansion is saluted by Marines and he salutes back. Why is that? The of presidential authority and condone or allow enhanced military procedure is that you salute the uniform. A general interrogation techniques. What is your view of John Yoo’s out of uniform is not saluted. You only salute an officer supe- theory of the Constitution? rior to you who is in uniform. The president’s not in uniform; why do they salute him? Well, he’s our commander in chief, Wills: It is so laughable that the fact that Cheney ... adopted but he’s not a military officer. it and told the president to adopt it is a national disgrace. He When the attack occurred on the Twin Towers, [Vice said that the president cannot only initiate war – remember President] Dick Cheney was [in the White House] and the the Atomic Energy Act allowed him to initiate nuclear war – president was flying around somewhere. Cheney was informed then he went on to initiate other wars which were not even by intelligence agencies that there were other terrorist planes in the Atomic Energy Act. He [Yoo] says not only can the up there with new targets besides the Twin Towers. He thought president initiate war, only the president can. The obvious “planes,” plural. He authorized the scrambling of jets to shoot objection is that the Constitution says Congress shall declare them down without asking the president. His attitude was, war. He said, Well, we know what declare means. We found We’ve got to stop them before they reach the target, I don’t out from Samuel Johnson and his 18th century dictionary: have time even to ask the president. Scooter Libby, standing at It means “publicize.” his elbow, said that he did not hesitate more than a batter hesitates when he sees the pitch coming toward him. He “The president is not even the commander in chief said that to praise his decisiveness. The 9/11 Commission verified that though he called the president right after he of the National Guard ... unless it is federalized. He’s gave the order, he didn’t talk to him before he gave it. It certainly not the commander in chief of civilians.” was what he had been trained to do in those exercises to respond to nuclear war. Of course, this was not a nuclear attack, it was a bad attack, but it was not a nuclear attack. Holloway: How far has subverting of the Constitution gone? So, he acted outside the Constitution, outside the Congress, outside the military chain of command, outside the president! Wills: It’s very difficult. We know that certain presidents, That’s how far we’ve gone in our institutionalization of the to a certain degree, have tried to reverse this. Jimmy Carter same procedures that were used in the Manhattan Project for did; President Clinton, for instance, starting a massive dea very contained purpose and now has spread out throughout classification program which Bush immediately reversed and the executive. It’s quite scary. re-classified at a greater degree than before. President Obama came in promising that he was going Question & answer session with David Holloway, to be against many of these things – against extraordinary professor of history and political science, Stanford rendition or military tribunals or holding prisoners without University, moderator. legal representation or signing statements or a whole series of j u ne/j u ly 2010



Photo by Sonya Abrams

said, “It’s not protecting us at all, it’s endangering us. We should get rid of it.” President Eisenhower tried to restrict the use of the atom. President Kennedy restricted testing. There have been various efforts and they are commendable and should be extended. When one problem disappears, [such as] the Soviet Union, – it didn’t disappear, but it’s less menacing – others arise, obviously: nuclear proliferation and the problem of policing that or restraining that. The effort to continue reducing the nuclear risk is always worth doing; it’s always difficult and it gets more difficult as more people get the bomb.

“We can limp on with a crippled Constitution for a very long time; ... the Constitution is surviving very well in things like domestic human rights. Probably what we have to fear more is economic failure.” things. But he has backed off on almost all of them. Holloway: How, then, could this shift in the balance of power toward the executive be redressed? Wills: I’d say the odds are against us, but fighting against the odds is what makes us human. I quote Cyrano: “One doesn’t fight only to win.” It will be hard; there are certain developments – the end of the Cold War and the fact that we have bungled so badly in the Iraq and Afghanistan war – that make it possible to see some sort of redress. The only immediate step I can think of is to go to the few people in Congress who have shown spine and celebrate them and support them and promote them in an attempt to shame others. Holloway: In your book, you present the Manhattan Project as a kind of original sin. President Obama has embraced the idea of ridding the world of nuclear weapons, admittedly not probably in his lifetime. Do you think the elimination of nuclear weapons would, as it were, remove the consequences that followed from the Manhattan Project, or are those much more widespread now? Wills: They certainly are entrenched and it would be very hard. That would be the beginning, obviously. It would break the tyranny of secrecy. The big secret was the bomb, and the big secret that was kept out through these agencies was always connected with the bomb. It may be utopian to say that the way to get rid of bomb power is to get rid of the bomb, but I should remind you that Paul Nitze, who was a champion of the bomb all his life, toward the end of his life



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Holloway: Given the influence of the military-industrial complex of the national security state in the United States, can that actually lead to the U.S. becoming a failed state, in that it so undermines the Constitution? Wills: We can limp on with a crippled Constitution for a very long time, and the proof of that is that the Constitution is surviving very well in things like domestic human rights. Probably what we have to fear more is economic failure; that we are spending foolishly around the world and neglecting the fact that our dependence on oil is crippling, our use of our military is backfiring. Consider: President Obama said, “I’m not against war, I’m against dumb war.” Well, Afghanistan is a very, very dumb war. We’re throwing all that manpower, money, womanpower and material into a country that is unstable and corrupt and based on a narcotic economy. Holloway: The context of your book is periods since World War II and the impact of bomb power on the Constitution. How do you view this in terms of the whole history of the Constitution? Wills: More interdependence, more globalization, more technology, all of those certainly do affect the position of the executive in the world and at home. There have been swings back and forth in presidential power before World War II. You’ve had weak presidents and strong presidents, but we have never had a systematic denial of the right of the Congress to declare war, for instance. We’ve had no declaration of war since the 1940s; We had had many before that: 1812, Mexico, Civil War, World War I, World War II, they were all declarations of war, and the presidents – even the strong presidents – didn’t try to deny that constitutional situation. We went from commonplace declaration of war to no declaration of war, from some varying degree of executive secrecy to constantly growing, never-reversed executive secrecy over the last half century. People say, Oh, there are presidents who have grasped at power before, why is this different? Boy, is it different. Ω This program was made possible by the generous support of the Charles Geschke Family.




The FDA chief on the challenges to safe food and medicine in an age of globalization. Excerpt from “Margaret Hamburg: Protecting Public Health Through the FDA,” February 28, 2010.


t’s estimated that up to 20 percent of all foods now consumed in the U.S. originate outside our borders, about 75 percent of the seafood we eat comes from foreign waters, and about 35 percent of fresh fruit and produce comes from other countries. Up to 40 percent of the drugs Americans take are imported, and about 80 percent of the active pharmaceutical ingredients that are contained in those drugs come from foreign sources. I found it almost as surprising to learn that 75 percent of the aspirin that we take here in America actually comes from China. The rise of imports has brought clear benefits to the American people. We can eat all types of delicious products from around the world, we can enjoy a huge variety of fruits and vegetables that are way out of season because we’re importing them, we can benefit from medical innovation that occurs across the globe, and we can get certain products far more cheaply than we might have without importation. Yet this tremendous shift in the global market for food and medical products has also brought important and often difficult new challenges. In addition to the sheer volume of imports in foreign facilities, there’s been an increase in the variety and complexity of imported products, and a large expansion in the number of countries involved in producing these products, including many with less sophisticated regulatory systems than our own. Simultaneously, the supply chain – from manufacturer to consumer – has become more and more complex, involving a web of re-packagers and redistributors, making oversight significantly more difficult. This all adds up for an enormous task for the FDA. There are very real concerns here. For example, in early 2007, melamine-containing products manufactured in China made their way into the United States in pet foods and animal-feed products. It caused illness and

death among household pets and serious illness in livestock across the country. The incident also had major economic consequences, including the recall of hundreds of brands of pet foods, and state quarantines or voluntary holds on livestock that had consumed suspect feed. Soon after the melamine incident, the highly poisonous industrial chemical diethylene-glycol [DEG] was found in toothpastes imported from China. Thankfully, FDA was able to issue import alerts and support the voluntary recall of the contaminated products before they brought harm to U.S. consumers. Other countries were not so lucky; DEGcontaminated products led to scores of deaths elsewhere. And the year before last, you may recall the tragedy that occurred when contaminated heparin, a blood-thinning drug, came from China and caused deaths and hundreds of allergic reactions here at home. These episodes were particularly disturbing, because they represented economically motivated adulteration, truly despicable acts seeking profit and putting lives at risk. We see this also in the worldwide market for counterfeit drugs, and sadly, in our modern times, it’s not only the dark motive of profit that we have to grapple with, but we also know that we’re very vulnerable to potential attacks on our food and drug supply by potential terrorists determined to do harm. So while these kinds of cases and potential scenarios are the most dramatic, we also must note that there have been other significant and perhaps less intentional episodes associated with contaminated and adulterated imported food products and drugs and medical devices. Every day, FDA rejects imports at the border for a range of problems, including illegal drug residues, bacterial contamination, unapproved food additives, pesticides, heavy metals and just plain filth. Together these incidents reflect a new reality: Globalization j u ne/j u ly 2010



Photo courtesy of the Food and Drug Administration

margaret hamburg M.D., Commissioner, Food and Drug Administration

has fundamentally altered the markets for food and medical products, and FDA needs to change in order to keep up. Back in the days when Teddy Roosevelt created the agency that would become the FDA, more than a century ago, imports were not particularly significant. But Congress did authorize FDA to examine an imported food or drug when it arrived at a port. In the late 1930s, another Roosevelt administration and Congress reworked our nation’s food and drug laws to create the modern FDA. In this process, the only provision from the 1906 act that was carried over with

regulators, manufacturers and suppliers in places as far afield as Bangladesh and Tunisia. We’re working with these countries and others to help ensure oversight and regulatory capacity. There’s also much work to be done with our allies who already have well-developed regulatory systems. For example, FDA and our partners in the European Union and Australia are jointly planning inspections of facilities in countries that manufacture the starting materials for many of our drugs. FDA has more than 30 additional agreements with foreign counterpart agencies to share inspection reports and other non-public information that can help us “In today’s world, FDA faces a Sisyphean task if inspections at ports of make better decisions about the safety of foreign products. We’re also piloting the conentry remain our main strategy for ... stopping harmful products.” cept of third-party inspection, very little change was the one covering imports, because there which can stretch our resources and provide new assurances had been so little change in the volume and nature of what of safety. And we continue to engage in bilateral and multiwas being imported into the United States. Today, however, lateral international standards development and harmonizathe world has changed dramatically, and this approach is no tion efforts. longer adequate to meet our needs. These programs are promising, and all of them make one It’s easy to see that in today’s world, FDA faces a Sisyphean thing clear: To address import safety, we cannot go it alone. task if inspections at ports of entry remain our main strategy A second key element of our strategy is to hold importing for identifying and stopping harmful products. In fiscal year companies responsible for their supply chain. Some compa2009, approximately 18 million shipments of FDA-regulated nies already do a terrific job in keeping tabs on where and products came to our borders, but we had fewer than 500 how their products are made and the path taken to reach our inspectors to ensure their safety. No matter how hard these shores. These best practices need to spread around the indusemployees work, no matter how dedicated they are, they will try, and FDA will work with the industry to set standards examine less than 1 percent of these products before entry for technologies and other approaches that can help them into the United States. strengthen their supply chains. On the other hand, companies Similarly, FDA cannot alone conduct a sufficient number that sell contaminated products because of loose supply chain of inspections at foreign manufacturing facilities to help oversight need to face serious penalties. ensure product safety. The Government Accountability OfThird, we’re going to deploy our agency’s resources strategifice estimates that FDA inspects only about eight percent cally. This is essential, as our mandate keeps expanding, and of foreign drug manufacturing establishments each year. At sadly, our resources are not keeping pace. Even though Presithis rate, it would take us more than 13 years to inspect all dent Obama, from the very first day when he announced my registered foreign drug facilities. So, it is simply not possible appointment, also signaled his commitment to strengthening for FDA to inspect our way to safety. To assure the safety of the FDA in many ways, and especially in the realm of food imported products, and fulfill our public-health mission in safety – these are very economically challenging times. a global age, the FDA must adopt a modern approach – an We’re moving from a system that places most of the reguapproach that will address product safety by preventing latory burden on the FDA’s modest inspection force to one problems at every point along the supply chain, from the raw that creates greater oversight at points further back along the ingredients through production and distribution all the way production chain. To succeed, we will need more resources, to U.S. consumers. This idea is embodied in the food safety such as those that are provided in the food safety bill that we’re legislation now moving through Congress, which would, for hoping will eventually be passed in Congress. And we’ll need the first time, allow FDA to establish basic preventive controls to be very smart about what we do with them. We also need, over food production. of course, to take a very serious, concerted look at drug and FDA is starting to make this shift, and I’d like to share medical device import safety and our needs there. three key elements of our strategy: I can assure you that addressing the problem of global supply First, we’re seeking better controls at the point of produc- chain safety and shifting the existing paradigm from reaction tion. This is a shared responsibility among manufacturers, to prevention is one of my highest priorities for the FDA. who have the primary responsibility for the quality and safety Refining our understanding of the problem, and exploring of their products; national regulatory agencies, which we’re and assessing possible solutions, will be a major focus of our supporting through collaboration and technical assistance; work this upcoming year and well into the future. Ω and the global regulatory community, which must come This program was made possible by the generous support of together as never before. We’re moving into a phase at FDA where we work with the California HealthCare Foundation.



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The Commonwealth Club organizes more than 450 events every year – on politics, the arts, media, literature, business and sports. Programs are held throughout the Bay Area.

Prepayment is required. Unless otherwise indicated, all Club programs – including “Members Free” events – require tickets. Programs often sell out, so we strongly encourage you to purchase tickets in advance. Tickets are available at will call. Due to heavy call volume, we urge you to purchase tickets online at; or call (415) 597-6705. Please note: All ticket sales are final. Please arrive at least 10 minutes prior to any program. If a program is sold out and your tickets are not claimed at our box office by the program start time, they will be released to our stand-by list. Select events include premium seating; premium refers to the first several rows of seating.

STANDARD PROGRAMS Typically one hour long, these speeches cover a variety of topics and are followed by a question and answer session. Most evening programs include a wine and cheese reception.

PROGRAM SERIES FOOD LIT showcases pre-eminent chefs and cookbook authors and often includes a mouth-watering meal or tasting. GOOD LIT features both established literary luminaries and upand-coming writers in conversation.

RADIO, Video and podcasts

INFORUM is for and by people in their 20s and 30s, although events are open to people of all ages.

Hear Club programs on about 200 public and commercial radio stations throughout the United States. For the latest schedule, visit In the San Francisco Bay Area, tune in to:

MEMBER–LED FORUMS (MLF) Volunteer-driven programs focus on particular fields. Most evening programs include a wine reception.

KQED (88.5 FM) Fridays at 8 p.m. and Saturdays at 2 a.m.

Member-Led Forums Chair

KALW (91.7 FM) Inforum programs on select Tuesdays at 7 p.m.

Dr. Carol Fleming carol.fleming@speechtraining com

KLIV (1590 AM) Thursdays at 7 p.m.

FORUM CHAIRS 2009 ARTS Anne W. Smith Lynn Curtis ASIA–PACIFIC AFFAIRS Cynthia Miyashita BAY GOURMET Cathy Curtis SF BOOK DISCUSSION Howard Crane BUSINESS & LEADERSHIP Kevin O’Malley ENVIRONMENT & NATURAL RESOURCES Kerry Curtis Marcia Sitcoske GROWNUPS John Milford

KOIT (96.5 FM and 1260 AM) Sundays at 6 a.m. KSAN (107.7 FM) Sundays at 5 a.m. Health & Medicine William B. Grant HUMANITIES George C. Hammond INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Norma Walden LGBT Stephen Seewer Julian Chang MIDDLE EAST Celia Menczel PERSONAL GROWTH Dr. David K Olkkola PSYCHOLOGY Patrick O’Reilly science & technology Chisako Ress

KNBR (680 and 1050 AM) Sundays at 5 a.m. KFOG (104.5 and 97.7 FM) Sundays at 5 a.m.

Watch Club programs on KGO-DT Plus channel 7.2 or Comcast 194 from 4 – 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Visit for the latest schedule. View streaming video of Club programs at

Subscribe to our free podcasting service to automatically download a new program recording to your personal computer each week:

HARD OF HEARING? To request an assistive listening device, please e-mail Ricardo Esway at or call (415) 869-5911 seven working days before the event. j u ne/j u ly 2010



Eight Weeks Calendar May 31 – July 25 M on


May 31

June 01

Memorial Day


02 6.00 p.m. Myths and the U.S. Intelligence Community

Club offices closed




6.00 p.m. Epicurus FM 6:30 p.m. Governing Accord. to Garamendi

6:00 p.m. Walking Tamalpais

Noon Expanded and Contracted 6:00 p.m. An Evening in Transition 7:30 p.m. David Breashears




6:00 p.m. Moth Spray Controversy FM 6:30 p.m. Make it: How to DIY

6:00 p.m. Chinatown: A People’s History 6:00 p.m. Bret Easton Ellis 7:00 p.m. Homebrew Health

Noon Future of Fin. Services Industry 6:00 p.m. California Education in Peril




5:30 p.m. Conchy Bretos

Noon How to Breathe Easier in California 5:15 p.m. The Great Debate 6:00 p.m. The Facebook Effect 7:30 p.m. What’s the Internet Doing to Our Brains?

6:00 p.m. Design Imperatives FM 6:00 p.m. Iran Beneath the Veil FM



Independence Day (observed)



6:00 p.m. Lessons in Living Green from Japan

6:00 p.m. Peripheral Artery Disease 6:30 p.m. Eating Locally on a Budget



6:00 p.m. Globalizing the Culture Wars

5:15 p.m. Craig Nathanson

Club offices closed




6:00 p.m. How to Rein in Medical Costs FM

6:00 p.m. California’s Economic Future

6:00 p.m. Madeleine Albright and George Shultz




Noon Why Muslim Women Must Re-Interpret the Quran FM 5:15 p.m. Investigating Cults FM

6:00 p.m. Menopause Demystified



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San Francisco


Free program for members

East Bay


Free program for everyone

Silicon Valley


Members–only program



S at






6:00 p.m. 79th Annual California Book Awards

Noon Miracle Cures FM









6:00 p.m. Middle East Peacemaking

17 6:00 p.m. Framing the ‘60s 6:30 p.m. Tony Hsieh 7:00 p.m. Ian Ayres



Noon Christoper Hitchens 6:30 p.m. America’s Climate War

9:00 a.m. Transportation Funding in the Next 25 Years FE

July 01








6:00 p.m. Kevin Starr: The Golden Gate Bridge

Noon Hot, Wet and Uncertain FM








Noon Visions of Cuba FM

4:30 p.m. The Green Fairy


27 5:30 p.m. Christoper Hitchens

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Index By Region


June 01 –July 31

Free program for members Free program for everyone Members–only program

San Francisco June WED 02 6:00 p.m.

Myths and U.S. Intelligence

THU 03 6:00 p.m.

79th Annual California Book Award

Fri 04 Noon

FM Miracle Cures

MON 07 6:00 p.m.

FM Epicurus

Tue 08 6:00 p.m.

Walking Tamalpais

WED 09 Noon 6:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

Expanded and Contracted An Evening in Transition David Brashears

Mon 14 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

FM Moth Spray Controversy Make It: How to DIY Chinatown: A People’s History Bret Easton Ellis

WED 16 Noon John Stumpf 6:00 p.m. California Education in Peril Framing the ‘60s Tony Hsieh

MOn 21 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

FM Design Imperatives FM Iran Beneath the Veil

WED 23 Noon 5:15 p.m. 6:00 p.m. 7:30 p.m.

How to Breathe Easier in California The Great Debate The Facebook Effect What’s the Internet Doing to Our Brains?

THU 24 Noon 6:30 p.m.

Christopher Hitchens America’s Climate War

9:00 a.m. Transportation Funding in the Next 25 Years

Middle East Peacemaking

THU 17 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Conchy Bretos

FRI 25

THU 10 6:00 p.m.

TUE 15 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

TUE 22 5:30 p.m.

tue 29 6:00 p.m.

Lessons in Living Green

wed 30 6:00 p.m. 6:30 p.m.

Peripheral Artery Disease Eating Locally on a Budget

July Tue 06 6:00 p.m.

Globalizing the Culture Wars

WEd 07 5:15 p.m.

How to Find the Right Work

Kevin Starr

FRI 09 Noon

FM Hot, Wet and Uncertain

MON 12 6:00 p.m. FM How to Rein in Medical Costs TUE 13 6:00 p.m.

MON 19 Noon 5:15 p.m.

FM Re-Interpret the Quran FM Investigating Cults

tue 20 6:00 p.m.

Menopause Demystified

thu 22 6:15 p.m. Juxtapositions fri 23 Noon

FM Visions of Cuba

sat 24 4:30 p.m.

The Green Fairy: Absinthe

Tue 27 6:00 p.m. 6:00 p.m.

Homeless LGBTQ Youth Sally Osberg

Thu 29 6:00 p.m.

The Arts: A Medium for Peace

Silicon Valley June

THU 08 6:00 p.m.

WED 14 6:00 p.m. Albright and Shultz

TUE 15 7:00 p.m.

Homebrew Health

THU 17 7:00 p.m.

Ian Ayres

SUN 27 5:30 p.m.

Christopher Hitchens

California’s Economic Future

East Bay

Foreign Language Groups Free for members. Location: San Francisco Club Office FRENCH, Intermediate Class Thursdays, noon Pierrette Spetz, Graziella Danieli, FRENCH, Advanced Conversation Tuesdays, noon Gary Lawrence, (925) 932-2458 GERMAN, Int./Advanced Conversation Wednesdays, noon Uta Wagner, (650) 697-3004 ITALIAN, Intermediate Class Mondays, noon Ebe Sapone, (415) 564-6789 RUSSIAN, Int./Advanced Conversation Mondays, 2 p.m. Rita Sobolev, (925) 376-7889 SPANISH, Intermediate Conversation Tuesdays, noon Isabel Heredia, SPANISH, Advanced (fluent only) Thursdays, noon Luis Salvago-Toledo (925) 376-7830



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June MON 07 6:30 p.m.

Governing According to Garamendi

June 02–07 W E D 02 | San Francisco

T hu 0 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

F R I 04 | San Francisco

Myths and the U.S. Intelligence Community

The 79th Annual California Book Awards

Miracle Cures: Saints, Pilgrimage and the Healing Powers of Belief

Paul Clarke, Educator; Air Force Intelligence Officer (retired)

Jane Ganahl, Author; Co-director, Litquake – Master of Ceremonies

The 9/11 attacks, the assessment of Iraqi WMD and the failed Christmas Day attack have shaken confidence in the intelligence services, while the scope of intelligence has expanded to include new issues. To meet these new challenges, the intelligence bureaucracy has been reorganized and expanded. But are we any safer? Clarke will analyze U.S. intelligence agencies and address the many myths that color our understanding of the intelligence process.

Since 1931, the California Book Awards have been honoring literary excellence among authors in the Golden State. We will bestow gold and silver medals in several categories, including Fiction, Nonfiction, First Fiction, Poetry, Young Adult, Juvenile, Californiana and Contribution to Publishing. See Club web site for winners. This is your chance to hear from some literary giants and amazing writers.

Robert A. Scott, Associate Director, Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences; Author, The Gothic Enterprise and Miracle Cures

From Chaucer’s time to today’s pilgrimage to Lourdes, people have traveled great distances to pray to saints for healing. Using insights from present-day research on the effects of belief, hope, emotion and context on illness, Scott investigates how appeals to saints, sacred journeying and the emotionally charged atmosphere of saints’ shrines might have immediate and long-lasting benefits for a person’s health.

MLF: INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Paul Clarke

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:15 p.m. pre-event reception, 6 p.m. awards ceremony, 7:30 p.m. book signing Cost: $15 members, $20 non-members Also know: Special thanks to Dr. Martha Cox and Ambassador Bill Lane for their generous endowment. Sponsored by Bank of the West.

MLF: HUMANITIES Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: George Hammond

M O N 07 | San Francisco

MON 07 | East Bay

M O N 07 | San Francisco

The Things They Carried

Governing According to Garamendi

Epicurus: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Times

The Things They Carried, by Tim O’Brien, is a combination memoir, novel and short story collection. It has become a widely taught textbook not just on the Vietnam War, but on storytelling itself, and is an incredibly moving piece of text. Note that this is a book discussion group; the author will not be present. MLF: Book Discussion Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Howard Crane

John Garamendi, Member of Congress, California’s 10th Congressional District

Tom Merle, Founder, The Epicurus Society

Garamendi is new to Congress, entering at one of the most contentious times in history. A supporter of the public option and a single-payer health-care plan, he is happy about the passage of health-care reform, but he wants more. He believes in keeping off-shore drilling out of California waters and safeguarding our environment. He will discuss the political climate in our nation’s capital. Location: Lafayette Veterans Memorial Hall, 3780 Mt. Diablo Blvd., Lafayette Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $22 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Monday Night Philosophy explores the enduring relevance of this eminent Greek philosopher. Merle will explain why he believes Epicurean principles that go well beyond “wine, women and song” provide a superior framework for a happy life. He will discuss the Epicurean emphasis on frugality, friendship and opting out of the fray in the pursuit of tranquility. The talk will be followed by a Socratic dialogue and an open exchange with the audience. MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: George Hammond

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June 08–15 T ue 0 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 0 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Walking Tamalpais: The Mountain in the Bay Area’s Cultural History

David Breashears: Rowell Memorial Lecture Adventurer; Mountaineer; Filmmaker Doug McConnell, Host, “Open Road TV” – Master of Ceremonies

Tom Killion, Co-author, Tamalpais Walking

Killion, who together with Gary Snyder co-authored Tamalpais Walking, will give an illustrated lecture on the history and poetry of Marin County’s Mt. Tamalpais, from the mid-19th century through the 1960s. The book contains more than 60 of Killion’s Japanese-style woodcut prints and cultural history, as well as Snyder’s poems and essays. It recently won the Northern California Independent Booksellers award for best regional book of the year.

Breashears is a filmmaker, adventurer, author, mountaineer and professional speaker. Since 1978, he has combined his skills in climbing and filmmaking to complete more than 40 film projects. In 1983, Breashears transmitted the first live TV pictures from the summit of Mount Everest, and in 1985 became the first American to reach the summit of Everest twice. Join us for a reception and program with the mountaineer and renowned filmmaker as he pays tribute to the spirit of the late photographer/adventurers Galen and Barbara Rowell and discusses his work in filmmaking, mountaineering and climate change. The program will also feature the presentation of the 2009 Rowell Award for the Art of Adventure to wilderness explorer and writer Craig Childs. The award honors that adventurer whose artistic passion illuminates the wild places of the world, and whose accomplishments significantly benefit both the environment and the peoples who inhabit these lands and regions. Please visit for more information.

MLF: Arts Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Lynn Curtis

Location: Mark Hopkins Intercontinental Hotel, Peacock Court, 1 Nob Hill Circle Time: 5:30 p.m. VIP reception, 6:45 p.m. check-in, 7:30-9 p.m. program Cost: $25 members, $35 non-members. Premium (includes VIP wine and hors d’oeuvres reception with Breashears and preferred program seating) $150 members, $150 non-members Also know: In association with the Rowell Legacy Committee and NatureBridge

W E D 09 | San Francisco

W E D 09 | San Francisco

Expanded and Contracted States of Consciousness

An Evening in Transition

Ralph Metzner, Psychotherapist; Professor Emeritus, CA Institute of Integral Studies

States of consciousness, including waking, sleeping and day-dreaming, have their own subjective mind-space and time-stream, says Metzner. Expansive states, including those associated with psychedelics, may lead to heightened creative inspiration, healing and spiritual understanding. He says recent research has supported the controversial notion that psychedelic substances can be applied in the treatment of alcoholism, drug addiction and obsessivecompulsive disorders. MLF: Health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Bill Grant



Jennifer “Raven” Gray, President, Transition U.S. Dave Room, Bay Localize Ania Moniuszko, TransitionSF Michael Poremba, TransitionSF

A Transition Town is an organized effort by people in a community to respond to the challenges of peak oil, climate change and economic dislocation. Beginning in England in 2005, the movement has grown rapidly, with 60 official U.S. initiatives. Join Gray, a pioneer of the transition movement, and a panel of local transition leaders for a lively introduction to transition – locally, across the U.S. and worldwide. MLF: Environment & Natural Resources Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Bud Smith

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Write Us Pleased at what you see in these pages? Outraged? Send a letter to the editor! We welcome your thoughts and suggestions. Letters The Commonwealth Club 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94105

T hu 1 0 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Middle East Peacemaking, the Iranian Crisis, U.S.-Israel Relations Akiva Tor, Consul General for Israel, Pacific Northwest Region John Diaz, Editorial Page Editor, San Francisco Chronicle – Moderator

M on 1 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Podcasting Subscribe to our podcasts! Receive a new program recording each week. It’s free! For more information, visit

Make It: How to DIY Mark Frauenfelder, Editor, Make Magazine In conversation with Adam Savage, Host, “Mythbusters”

Consul General Tor will discuss steps required for the achievement of an Israeli and Palestinian peace agreement and peace treaties between Israel and other Arab states, how the threat of a rapidly nuclearizing Iran plays into this dynamic, and how the United States-Israel relationship can advance regional peace.

You know that guy or girl who can make or fix anything? You can now compete with these handy heroes. People want to fix and create useful and awesome gadgets from scratch. Make magazine leads this “yes I can” attitude with tips for new selfsufficiency. Find out where Frauenfelder plans to lead this DIY movement.

MLF: Middle East Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Celia Menczel Also know: In assn. with The Jewish Community Relations Council’s Middle East Project

Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. networking/mini Makers Faire Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: See Club web site for details on the mini Makers Faire after the program

M on 1 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T U E 15 | San Francisco

Moth Spray Controversy Update: Business, Farmers and Consumers in Partnership

Chinatown: A People’s History

Thomas Keller, Chef and Owner, The French Laundry Jeff Rosendale, Owner, Santa Cruz Nursery; California Farm Bureau Federation Roy Upton, General Manager, Planetary Formulas; Author, LBAM Reclassification Petition Tracey Woodruff, Director of Reproductive Health and Environment, UCSF Christie Dames, CEO TechTalk / Studio – Moderator

Bonnie Tsui, Journalist, The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Atlantic, Mother Jones

The light brown apple moth has created public controversy as families, farmers and businesses work to keep our food safe – both from a potential threat and the toxic solutions being evaluated. Exploring health, food safety, environmental damage and farming issues, see how diverse communities are coming together to take leadership in issues affecting Northern California – and the new and compelling partnerships springing up around these issues. MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

Tsui takes an affectionate, attentive look at the Chinatown that has bewitched her since childhood, when she eagerly awaited her grandfather’s return from the fortune cookie factory. Tsui visits the country’s four most famous Chinatowns – San Francisco, New York, LA and Honolulu – before her final stop in Las Vegas. Tsui captures their stories, looking into what “Chinatown” means to its inhabitants. MLF: ASIA-PACIFIC AFFAIRS Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Paul Clarke

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June 15–21 T U E 15 | San Francisco

T U E 1 5 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

Wed 1 6 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Bret Easton Ellis: Less Than Zero, The Story Continues…

Homebrew Health

What’s Next? The Future of the Financial Services Industry

Author, American Psycho, Less Than Zero and Imperial Bedrooms In conversation with Tom Barbash, Author, The Last Good Chance

Since his best-selling novel Less Than Zero debuted to critical and commercial success, Ellis has become a cult icon. In his latest book, Imperial Bedrooms, he returns to the characters of his first novel and follows them into middle age, where they are forced to confront themselves. Come hear the master author lay it bare. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Underwriter: Bernard Osher Fdn.

Esther Dyson, Chairman, EDventure In conversation with Martine Paris, Editor, Content NOW

When famed venture capitalist Dyson starts exploring a new market, investors pay attention. In 1995, she wrote about the impact of the Internet on intellectual property and later invested in start-up companies sold to Symantec, Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! Her most recent adventure was spending six months training as a cosmonaut in Russia. Now she looks at how we can manage our own health using online tools and services. Location: Microsoft, Building 1, 1065 La Avenida, Mountain View Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members

John Stumpf, Chairman, President and CEO, Wells Fargo

Hear from the man at the helm of one of banking’s biggest powerhouses at a time of industry uncertainty. Stumpf became chairman of Wells Fargo in January. He was named CEO in June 2007, elected to Wells Fargo’s board of directors in June 2006, and has been president since August 2005. Stumpf will provide insight into where financial services are headed in the short and long term, and what you need to know to protect yourself and stay informed. Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:15 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Attendees subject to search

Wed 1 6 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Wed 1 6 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

California Education in Peril: The Future of Our Master Plan

Humanities West Book Discussion: An Italian Renaissance Sextet, by Lauro Martines

Charles Reed, Chancellor, California State University Jack Scott, Chancellor, California Community Colleges Mark Yudof, President, University of California

Has California’s beacon of educational hope burned out? 50 years ago, our state produced A Master Plan for Higher Education in California. This plan was to guide the state in successfully creating a public higher education system that was the envy of the world. But with budget crises, pay cuts, furlough days and more students than ever being denied acceptance into our UC, state and community college systems, what can we do to climb out of this dark hole and back to the top of the educational hierarchy? Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Our topic this session is the Florence of the Medicis, and the discussion will focus on the work of renowned Renaissance historian Martines. This piece offers a unique view of the subject, including a rare tale by Lorenzo the Magnificent. The lively translations by Murtha Baca bring Boccaccio’s Decameron to mind. The discussion will be moderated by Lynn Harris. MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: George Hammond



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thu 1 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

thu 1 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

thu 1 7 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

Framing the ’60s: The Use and Abuse of a Decade from Ronald Reagan to George W. Bush

Tony Hsieh

Ian Ayres

CEO, Zappos; Author, Delivering Happiness

Professor, Yale Law School and Yale School of Management; Co-author, The Lifecycle Investor

Bernard von Bothmer, Historian; Professor, USF and Dominican U. of California

In his insightful historical analysis of the 1960s, author von Bothmer interviewed more than 120 key figures such as James A. Baker, Edwin Meese, Michael Dukakis, Bill Bradley, Robert Bork, Arthur Schlesinger, Noam Chomsky, Bob Woodward and others to explore how that decade continues to shape presidential politics.

Meet the man who built a business based on happiness. Hsieh co-founded LinkExchange and sold it to Microsoft for $265 million. He then took Zappos from $1.6 million in 2000 to more than $1 billion in 2008. Hsieh has made his mark by focusing his business model on happiness. Hsieh now brings you his secret recipe for Zappos’ success. How did Hsieh make Zappos one of Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For”? Come find out!

Ayres says that by leveraging investment portfolios more when we’re young and less as we age, we can reduce risk and improve returns. Given the right tools, investors can outperform two of the most popular investment strategies by diversifying their portfolios over time. He discusses the research behind the lifecycle investor and how it might transform how we retire. Location: Silicon Valley Bank, 3005 Tasman Dr., Santa Clara Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing Cost: Advance: $15 members, $15 non-members. Door: $20 members, $20 non-members Also know: In assn. with the Yale Club of SV

MLF: International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Linda Calhoun

Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program, 7:30 p.m. networking reception/book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students. Premium: $45 members, $60 nonmembers (signed copy of Delivering Happiness, preferred seating, private reception with Hsieh):

M ay 1 0 – J une 1 8

M on 2 1 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

mon 2 1 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Walking Tamalpais: The Woodcut Prints of Tom Killion

Design Imperatives, from the Roman Empire to the NASA Space Program and Beyond

Iran Beneath the Veil: Could It Become America’s Partner?

K i l l i o n’s e x h i b i t i o n features Japanese-style woodcut prints of Mt. Tamalpais and its environs done over 40 years. Killion is a Marin County native who studied fine book making at UCSC and has collaborated with poet Gary Snyder on several books celebrating California’s landscape and cultural history. This exhibit includes original prints that are depicted in Tamalpais Walking (Heyday Books, 2009). Killion will speak at The Club on June 8th at 6 p.m. See page 34 for details.

Michael Meyer, CEO, Adaptive Path

Stephen Kinzer, Former Correspondent, The New York Times; Author, Reset

MLF: THE ARTS Location: SF Club Office Time: 10 a.m. May 10 – 5 p.m. June 24 Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Lynn Curtis

The world of design has become big business – and business is being revolutionized by “design thinking.” Using his own unique career path from Navy nuclear engineer to Harvard MBA to leadership roles at IDEO, Frog Design and Adaptive Path, Meyer will zero in on the lessons of breakdowns and innovations from the Roman spread of Western civilization to the NASA space program, and provide insight from his insider’s view of design. MLF: Business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Kevin O’Malley

Recently returned from a trip to Iran sponsored by The Club, Kinzer suggests that this ancient nation is not fated to be the United States’ enemy forever. He argues that Iran and Turkey are the most logical long-term partners for us in the Middle East. Using the history of the last century as his guide and enriching it with what he has learned in decades as a foreign correspondent, Kinzer re-imagines the Middle East and America’s role in it. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

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June 22–27 T ue 2 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

w ed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

w ed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Conchy Bretos

How to Breathe Easier in California

CEO, MIA Consulting; Ashoka Fellow

Charles D. Connor, National President and CEO, American Lung Association

The Great Debate: Should I Move to a Retirement Community or Stay in My Home?

In 1993 Bretos was appointed Florida secretary for aging and adult services, a position that allowed her to see the thousands of lowincome elders and disabled adults who were not getting the services they needed to stay in their homes. Bretos became the driving force behind the nation’s first public housing project to bring assisted living services to older adults who just need a little help to stay in their homes. Now she runs a consulting company that has helped 40 public housing projects nationwide bring assisted living services to their residents.

For more than 100 years, the American Lung Association has been fighting for healthy air and healthy lungs. Today, that fight is more important than ever, as air pollution, tobacco smoke and airborne diseases like H1N1 flu continue to attack our lungs and threaten our health. Connor will share his thoughts on the quality of our state’s air, the impact smoking and pollution have on California’s health and wealth, and what can be done – locally and nationally – to help us all breathe easier.

Linda Fodrini-Johnson, MA, MFT, CMC

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

MLF: Health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Bill Grant

Making plans for retirement as the economy has challenged savings and home values is a concern for many. Fodrini-Johnson will discuss the pros and cons of each choice in the dilemma over whether to make the big move. She will explain the options and costs and provide tips on how to make this decision based on individual values. MLF: Grownups Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking reception, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: John Milford

w ed 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Tech Night @ The Club Double Feature: The Facebook Effect’s David Kirkpatrick, and Is Google Making Us Stupid? with Nicholas Carr Kick back for the insider’s scoop on Facebook, then find out what the Internet is doing to our brains, for better or worse.

The Facebook Effect, with an Introduction by Marc Benioff, Founder and CEO, David Kirkpatrick, Journalist; Author, The Facebook Effect Michael Arrington, Founder and Editor, TechCrunch – Moderator

Kirkpatrick traces the story of the most powerful social networking tool of our day from its humble beginnings to its role as an international phenomenon. The Facebook Effect is the only book written with the full cooperation of Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. Started only six years ago, Facebook can now claim more than 400 million users and a potential valuation of $100 billion by 2015. Is an IPO forthcoming?

Is Google Making Us Stupid? Nicholas Carr, Author, The Shallows

Carr writes, “Once I was a scuba diver in the sea of words. Now I zip along the surface like a guy on a jet ski,” in his Atlantic cover story “Is Google Making Us Stupid?” He will share his theory on the Internet as the culprit against civilization’s progress, to make the case that the Internet has diminished our ability to think deeply. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. Kirkpatrick program, 7 p.m. Kirkpatrick book signing and VIP reception, 7:45 p.m. Carr program, 8:45 p.m. book signing Cost: Double feature: $20 members, $35 non-members, $14 students (with valid ID). Premium (priority seating and hosted VIP reception from 7-7:40 p.m.) $30 members, $45 non-members. To purchase tickets for individual events, please see Club web site.



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Join The Club Membership is open to all. Support for The Club’s work is derived principally from membership dues. For more information, visit

thu 2 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

thu 2 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Christopher Hitchens

America’s Climate War

Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; Author, Hitch 22: A Memoir In conversation with Lowell Bergman, Producer/Correspondent, PBS’“Frontline”

Hitchens is one of the most captivating (and sometimes controversial) literary journalists today. Upon turning 60, Hitchens traced his lineage and now offers an intimate glimpse into his fascinating life and friendships with writers Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan. Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: Regular: $15 members, $25 non-members. Premium (seating in first few rows): $35 members, $45 non-members Also know: Underwriter: Bernard Osher Fdn.

Eric Pooley, Deputy Editor, Bloomberg BusinessWeek

Why is the conversation about America’s energy future so polarized? Who are the true believers, power brokers and climatechange deniers working in Washington? The political story of global warming includes colorful characters such as activists who chain themselves to bulldozers, or lobbyists in the Obama’s administration. Pooley offers his take on the forces battling it out in the big climate change showdown. Join him for a conversation about villains, heroes and the fight to save the planet. Location: SF Club Office Time: 6 p.m. networking, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

F ri 2 5 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

sun 2 7 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

Transportation Funding in the Next 25 Years: What Are the Options?

Christopher Hitchens

John Horsley, Executive Director, American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials Asha Weinstein Agrawal, Ph.D., Director, Mineta Transportation Institute Finance Center David Crane, Special Advisor to Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (invited) Bill Millar, President, American Public Transportation Association – Moderator

Contributing Editor, Vanity Fair; Author, Hitch 22

In the next decade, California’s population is projected to increase by a whopping 20 percent, bringing greater challenges for funding our transportation infrastructure. What new or expanded revenue sources can we generate? What will be politically feasible? What do California residents think? Our panel of transportation experts representing viewpoints from the national and state level will offer possible solutions. Location: SF Club Office Time: 8:30 a.m. continental breakfast/check-in, 9-11 a.m. program Cost: FREE Also know: Underwritten by the Mineta Transportation Institute

Hitchens is one of the most captivating (and sometimes controversial) literary journalists today. Upon turning 60, Hitchens traced his lineage and now offers an intimate glimpse into his fascinating life and friendships with writers Martin Amis, Salman Rushdie and Ian McEwan. Location: Historic Hoover Theatre, 1635 Park Ave., San Jose Time: 5 p.m. check-in, 5:30 p.m. program, 6:30 p.m. book signing Cost: Regular $12 members, $20 non-members. Premium (seating in first few rows) $35 members, $45 non-members Also know: Underwriter: Bernard Osher Fdn.

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June 28 – July 09 mon 2 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

tue 2 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T ue 2 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Middle East Discussion Group

Just Enough: Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan

Van Jones: Inforum’s 21st Century Visionary Award

Azby Brown, Author; Architect; Professor; Director, KIT Future Design Institute, Tokyo

Founder, Ella Baker Center for Human Rights; Former Advisor to President Obama

A glimpse into Japan’s past teaches that “just enough” may be the key to going green. Brown takes us behind the scenes, revealing the complex and ingenious techniques that put Japanese traditional life in harmony with nature. Around 200 years ago, the Japanese confronted the same issues that our society faces now – energy, water, materials, food and population. The way they found to resolve these issues was to take “just enough” from the world.

Jones broke new ground with his proposal for a green-collar economy, stating that “the time has come to move beyond ecoelitism to eco-populism.” He fights for environmental justice and to create an economy that is both sustainable and that lifts up the poorest communities through green-collar jobs. Jones describes how the third wave of environmentalism – the investment wave – could solve inequality and catastrophe with a “Green New Deal” mindset. We award Van Jones a 21st Century Visionary Award for guiding our nation to ecological equality.

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the Middle East. Each month the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic drawn from recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a short planning meeting. MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

MLF: Asia-Pacific Affairs Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizers: Lillian Nakagawa and Cynthia Miyashita

Wed 3 0 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Location: TBA Time: TBA Cost: TBA

Wed 3 0 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Speeches on CDs

LGBT Planning Meeting The Commonwealth Club is a great place to discuss topics of importance to the LGBT community. Come discuss ideas for programming and meet other people who are engaged in everything from marriage equality to queer spirituality. We want to hear from you!

Did you miss a speech you really wanted to hear? Visit or call (415) 597-6700 to order an audio CD for only $15!

MLF: LGBT Location: Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Stephen Seewer

Eating Locally on a Budget Deborah Madison, Author, What We Eat When We Eat Alone Leda Meredith, Author, The Locavore’s Handbook Jessica Prentice, Co-author, Three Moon Feast Temra Costa, Author, Farmer Jane – Moderator

You really want to eat more locally – but you don’t have the time or budget to do it all the time. If this sounds familiar, you will benefit from the collected wisdom of our panel of experts who know how to eat locally year-round and not break the bank! MLF: Bay Gourmet Location: SF Ferry Building, 2nd floor Port Commission Hearing Room Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:30 p.m. program Cost: $15 members, $23 non-members Program Organizer: Cathy Curtis



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Wed 3 0 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T U E 06 | San Francisco

W E D 07 | San Francisco

Peripheral Artery Disease: The New Cardiovascular Epidemic

Globalizing the Culture Wars

How to Find the Right Work During Challenging Times : A New Approach to Life and Work After 40

Michael S. Conte, M.D., Professor and Chief of Vascular and Endovascular Surgery, UCSF

Kapya Kaoma, Project Director, Political Research Assoc.; Anglican Priest from Zambia Leading Churches in Episcopal Diocese of MA

Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) is a condition that results from blockage of arteries in the extremities, affecting between 8 and 12 million Americans and growing. Patients with PAD have 3 times the risk of a heart attack or stroke. Risk factors include hypertension, diabetes, smoking, age and menopause – 25 percent of women between the ages of 55 and 74 may have PAD and the rate is even higher for men. Find out what you need to know.

Kaoma asserts that Africa has become a key theater in the U.S. culture wars, that the cultivation of African clerics as proxies by the U.S. Right has linked the human rights struggles of sexual minorities in both regions. He recently spoke before a congressional hearing of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and appeared on the Rachel Maddow show to discuss the proposed “Anti Homosexuality Bill” now pending in the Ugandan parliament.

Craig Nathanson, Author; Vocational Coach

MLF: HEALTH & MEDICINE Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Bill Grant

MLF: international relations/LGBT Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Laurie Wagner

MLF: Grownups Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 p.m. networking, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 nonmembers Program Organizer: John Milford

T hu 0 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

F ri 0 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Kevin Starr: The Golden Gate Bridge

Hot, Wet and Uncertain

CA State Librarian Emeritus; Author, Golden Gate

It’s an iconic part of our local landscape, but what’s the real background and significance of the Golden Gate Bridge? Celebrated historian and California State Librarian Emeritus Starr takes a fresh look at this celebrated structure, presenting a lyrical account of the building and significance of the Golden Gate Bridge, the quintessential image of California’s breathtaking blend of nature and civilization. Hear from one of our state’s greatest storytellers. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program, 7 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

Join author and speaker Nathanson as he leads you through a step-by-step process to discover the work that you are passionate about – right away. In this inspirational, interactive talk, Nathanson will guide you in identifying the perfect occupation and how to obtain it, as well as what to steer clear of. Learn how to find the job for you and celebrate it.

Wieslaw Maslowski, Research Professor, Naval Post Graduate School Will Travis, Executive Director, Bay Area Conservation and Development Commission Peter Ward, Professor of Biology and Earth and Space Sciences, University of Washington, Author, The Flooded Earth

What do scientists predict the Earth will be like in a few decades? Though imperfect and complex, computer models using historic data and forward projections suggest deterioration of agricultural land, crumbling bridges and flooded roads, and population shifts away from low-lying cities such as Miami and Amsterdam. How fast will Arctic ice melt? What does that mean for the rest of the world? What are governments and businesses doing in the Bay Area and elsewhere to prepare for new water patterns that paradoxically may bring too much water at times in some areas and drought in others? Join experts for a discussion of what the past and present can tell us about our future. Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

j u ne/j u ly 2010



July 12–22 M O N 12 | San Francisco

tue 1 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

How to Rein in Medical Costs, Right Now

California’s Economic Future: Staying Competitive in a Flat World

George Lundberg, Editor-at-Large, MedPage Today; Editor-in-Chief, Cancer Commons

Laura Tyson, Economist; Member, President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board; Chair, Council of Economic Advisors for President Clinton; Professor and Former Dean, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley Paul Saffo, Futurist; Columnist,; Visiting Scholar, Stanford Media X Research Network Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner, DBL Investors Robert Klein, J.D., Chairman, Governing Board of CA Institute for Regenerative Medicine Robert Hertzberg, Former Speaker, California State Assembly; Partner, Mayer Brown LLP; Environmental Entrepreneur Sydnie Kohara, News Anchor, CBS 5 Television – Moderator

Monday Night Philosophy explores the ideas underlying the American health-care system, whose costs, compared to all other countries’, are out of control. Many people argue that our quality and safety of care and clinical outcomes do not justify these costs. Lundberg will describe the whats, the whys and the what-to-dos, followed by a Socratic dialogue with Hammond and an open discussion with the audience.

How can California remain economically competitive relative to the eager, talented and educated middle classes emerging in China, India and elsewhere? As the world becomes flat, globalization presents challenges. Will Californians innovate their way out? Prominent Californians discuss the issues challenging the state’s business environment and provide insight into what must be done to ensure economic success.

MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: George Hammond

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:15 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Also know: Part of The Chevron California Innovation Series. Exclusive print media sponsor: San Francisco Business Times.

J un 2 8 – S e p 0 9

Wed 1 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

“Juxtapositions: Here and There” Photographs by Hilda Chen

Madeleine Albright and George Shultz: A Conversation About War and Peacebuilding Former Secretaries of State

Hilda Chen’s photographs of San Francisco and Oakland offer a unique view of the historic buildings and contemporary urban planning in these two cities. Chen will speak about her work on July 22nd at the Club Office. See page 43 for more info. This exhibition will be on view until September 9. MLF: Arts Location: SF Club Office Time: 10 a.m. Jun 28 – 5 p.m. Sep 09 Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Lynn Curtis

Marvin Kalb, Former CBS/NBC News Correspondent; Edward R. Murrow Professor Emeritus, Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government – Moderator

At the halfway point between 2010 and 2011, the United States is facing numerous challenges, as well as opportunities. Wars are still raging in Iraq and Afghanistan. The Middle East peace process has stalled. Concerns about global terrorism, nuclear proliferation and climate change dominate the headlines, all against the backdrop of financial instabilities in many realms, including our own. Yet the promise of new technologies, the information revolution and engaged citizens hold out hopes for innovation and problem-solving. What should be the major priorities for the U.S. in the second half of 2010? Is it possible to create the political will for positive change? Albright and Shultz address the challenges. Location: Fairmont Hotel, Terrace Room, 950 Mason St. Time: 5:15 p.m. check-in, 6 p.m. program Cost: $20 members, $35 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID). Premium (seating in first few rows) $45 members, $65 non-members Also know: In association with the United States Institute of Peace and The Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics and Public Policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University



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M on 1 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 1 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Why Muslim Women Must Re-interpret the Quran

Investigating Cults

Nimat Hafez Barazangi, Ph.D., Islamic and Arabic Studies, Cornell University

Barazangi posits that it’s time for Muslim women to have a peaceful, silent revolution, firmly grounded in the Quran. Barazangi is a researcher for feminist, gender and sexuality studies at Cornell and has worked to improve attitudes and conditions for women in Islam. Hear from this dedicated educator, who helped draft the Iraqi constitution.

Learn about cults from a man who’s seen them from the inside. Professional investigator Sullivan describes the process of identifying and investigating cults, providing an overview of how cults recruit, convert and maintain control of their members through a variety of psychologically coercive techniques. A licensed private investigator for more than 19 years, Sullivan has worked in collaboration with leading authorities in the area of undue influence.

MLF: Middle East Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

MLF: Psychology Location: SF Club Office Time: 4:45 networking reception, 5:15 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Patrick O’Reilly


The Ascent of Woman

David Sullivan, Professional Cult Investigator

The evolving status of women in the world today will be explored at The Commonwealth Club throughout the month of August in the series “The Ascent of Woman.” Through speakers, panels, films and art, we will examine this transformational period in women’s history, this dramatic shift from the expectation of our mothers’ choices, to how we work and live today in ways that reach out through our families and communities to reverberate throughout the nation. “The Ascent of Woman” series will illuminate women’s lives today, where women are redefining what a “woman’s place” will be. See the August listings or go to, for complete series descriptions.

T ue 2 0 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T hu 2 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Menopause Demystified: Cutting-Edge Information for Making Informed Decisions

Juxtapositions: Here and There Hilda Chen, Artist; Photographer

Deborah Grady, M.D., Director, UCSF Women’s Health Clinical Research Center Marcia Stefanick, Ph.D., Professor (Research) of Medicine, Stanford Prevention Research Shiroko Sokitch, M.D., Marin County Doctor Nancy Milliken, M.D., Director, UCSF Women’s Health - Moderator

At menopause, women report a wide variety of symptoms, including hot flashes, night sweats, trouble sleeping, depression, anxiety, mood swings, vaginal symptoms, dry skin, hair loss, fatigue and thinning bones. Which of these symptoms are due to the changes in hormone levels that occur at menopause, and which are due to aging? Are there non-drug treatments that relieve these symptoms? Where is the current evidence on hormone therapy? What about bioidentical hormones, herbal therapies and dietary supplements? Present your questions to a panel of experts on menopause and learn more about what to expect and how to deal with it. MLF: Health & Medicine Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Bill Grant

Hilda Chen’s photographs of San Francisco and Oakland offer a unique view of historic buildings and contemporary urban planning in these two cities. Chen’s photographic exhibition is on view in The Club’s Gold Room until September 9. Renowned clothier Wilkes Bashford will introduce Chen at a special reception and artist’s talk about photography as a window for discussion about urban planning. MLF: Arts/Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6:15 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Anne W. Smith

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July 23 – August 03 F ri 2 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

S at 2 4 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

mon 2 6 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Visions of Cuba

The Green Fairy: Tasting and Demystifying Absinthe

Middle East Discussion Group

Bobbie Rabinowitz, Social Worker; Labor Activist

Get an inside look at a culturally rich but politically and economically struggling country. Rabinowitz will present a slide show with commentary about her most recent trip to Cuba last year. Rabinowitz has been to Cuba 10 times since 1974, as a volunteer and as part of health care, labor and cultural programs. Her intriguing photos offer an intimate look at Cuba and Cubans today. MLF: Arts/International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

Paul Owens, Author, The Little Green Book of Absinthe: An Essential Companion with Lore, Trivia and Classic Contemporary Cocktails

Absinthe: devil’s brew, or curative? Decide for yourself after Owens escorts you on a lively and instructive guided tasting of the now legal green fairy. Learn about its infamous past, mythology, trivia and current resurgence. You will be offered a selection of styles served neat and in a classic cocktail. Mexican tidbits will be provided. MLF: Bay Gourmet Location: Tortilla Heights, 1750 Divisadero St. (at Bush) Time: 4:15 p.m. check-in, 4:30-5:30 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Miriam Chall

Make your voice heard in an enriching, provocative and fun discussion with fellow Club members as you weigh in on events shaping the Middle East. Each month the Middle East Member-Led Forum hosts an informal roundtable discussion on a topic drawn from recent headlines. After a brief introduction, the floor will be open for discussion. All interested members are encouraged to attend. There will also be a short planning meeting. MLF: MIDDLE EAST Location: Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Celia Menczel

T ue 2 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

tue 2 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

tue 2 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Homeless LGBTQ Youth: Cause and Effect

Sally Osberg

Science & Technology Planning Meeting

Sherilyn Adams, LCSW, Executive Director, Larken Street Youth Services Toby Eastman, MSW, Chief of Programs, Larken Street Youth Services

President and CEO, The Skoll Foundation

Join fellow Club members with similar interests to plan upcoming programs. We explore visions for the future through science and technology. Be part of the planning committee to brainstorm, organize, chair and/or volunteer for programs.

Research suggests that a disproportionate number of homeless youth are LGBTQ. This talk examines the high incidence of homelessness among LGBTQ youth, how Larkin Street Youth Services and other organizations meet the needs of homeless LGBTQ youth, and how the community can better support LGBTQ youth. MLF: LGBT Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Also know: In association with Larken Street Youth Services Program Organizer: Tahl Milburn



Osberg leads the Skoll Foundation’s team in identifying and supporting innovators who are pioneering effective, sustainable solutions to global challenges. In this role, she not only has a front-row seat to the evolution of the field of social entrepreneurship, but is actively engaged in shaping how it evolves. She will share her vision on social entrepreneurship and the societal changes it seeks to bring about. Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID)

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MLF: Science & Technology Location: SF Club Office Time: 6:15 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Chisako Ress

Wed 2 8 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

T hu 2 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M on 0 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

LGBT Planning Meeting

The Arts: A Medium for Peace

The Commonwealth Club is a great place to discuss topics of importance to the LGBT community. Come discuss ideas for programming and meet other people who are engaged in everything from marriage equality to queer spirituality. We want to hear from you!

Jewelle Gomez, Poet; Novelist; Playwright Michael Morgan, Symphony Conductor Arisika Razak, Dancer/Choreographer; Chair, Women’s Spirituality Dept., CIIS Brad Erickson, Exec. Dir., Theatre Bay Area

The Origins of the Education of Women

MLF: LGBT Location: Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: Stephen Seewer

M on 0 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Population Aging as a Feminist Issue

As AfroSolo’s Arts Festival celebrates its 17th year with the theme “United in Peace: Artists, Statesmen and Community,” we’re reminded that the arts have always been in the forefront as a medium to envision, promote and celebrate peace. As this San Francisco-based festival begins, a distinguished panel of artists will examine the variety of arts for peace relationships.           

Monday Night Philosophy peers back in history, where not that many men were educated, and almost no women. How was that stifling cultural ideal challenged and changed, so that the ascent of woman could get started? The history of breaking this taboo, and who did it, is bound to surprise you.

MLF: Arts Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Also know: In assn. with the AfroSolo Festival Program Organizer: Anne W. Smith

MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking reception, 6 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: George Hammond

M on 0 2 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

Members-Only Events

Exploring Genes That Can Extend Life Span

Adele M. Hayutin, Senior Research Scholar and Director of the Global Aging Program, Stanford Center on Longevity

Cynthia Kenyon, Professor of Biochemistry and Biophysics, and Director, Hillblom Center for the Biology of Aging, UCSF

Older women face particular challenges due to gender differences in life expectancy, labor force participation and income levels. Hayutin will provide a global demographic framework for understanding historical changes in the status of women as well as future challenges and opportunities that older women face. She will highlight women’s living arrangements, care-giving responsibilities and potential social isolation.

Could it be possible for people to reset their internal clocks and live to 110? Scientists like Kenyon think so. Through her groundbreaking research with roundworms, she discovered disabling a single gene doubled the life span of the worm. This led to the realization that the rate of aging is subject to genetic control and not just “wear and tear,” as previously thought. Kenyon makes a compelling case.

Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:15 p.m. networking, 5:45 p.m. program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members Program Organizer: John Milford

Patricia Lundberg, Professor Emerita of English Language and Literature and Women’s Studies, Indiana University Northwest

…one more reason to join The Commonwealth Club

Enjoy exclusive opportunities to hear from and meet some of the world’s most interesting people. Members-only events have included Willie Brown, Gary Hart, Robert Reich and Tony La Russa.

Location: Historic Hoover Theatre, 1635 Park Ave., San Jose Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program Cost: $10 members, $15 non-members

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August 04–17 W E D 04 | San Francisco

W E D 04 | San Francisco

T H U 05 | San Francisco

A Life in Science

Yves Saint Laurent: Creating Power in Style for the Modern Woman

Kate Kendell

Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D., Nobel Laureate; Professor, Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics, UCSF In conversation with Susan DesmondHellmann, M.D., M.P.H., Chancellor, UCSF

Julia Geist, Docent Lecturer, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Executive Director, National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR)

The NCLR’s precedent-setting case victories have literally re-written the law, changing the legal landscape for LGBT individuals and families. Kendall stands at center stage in our nation’s discussion of civil rights and social justice. Topics explored will include the role of women in securing economic parity, marriage equality and parenting rights. Kendall will also share her views on domestic and international issues such as female circumcision, homophobia and bullying in our nation’s schools.

On October 5, Blackburn, a molecular biologist at UCSF, learned that she had been named to receive the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for her co-discovery of an enzyme that plays a key role in aging and cancer. Her reflections will inspire scientists and non-scientists alike.

In the 1960s, master couturier and fashion pioneer Saint Laurent radically changed the way women dressed. His pantsuits and tuxedos – traditional symbols of male power – conveyed elegance and chic. This illustrated lecture is a retrospective of his imaginative and sexy designs through 40 years.

MLF: Health & Medicine/ Science & Technology Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members, $7 student w/ valid ID Program Organizer: Chisako Ress

MLF: International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Norma Walden Also know: Part of the Ascent of Woman series

MLF: LGBT Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Julian Chang

M on 0 9 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

M O N 0 9 | S i l i co n Va l l e y

Wed 1 1 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

Saudi Arabia: Past and Present

Mary Roach

Humanities West Book Discussion: Venice

Author, Stiff and Packing for Mars: The Curious Science of Life in the Void

Hugh Renfro, Consultant; Retired Oil Executive

Former head of the Arabian Chevron Oil Company and a producer of Arabia, a 2010 IMAX film, Renfro spent more than 20 years in Saudi Arabia. He will discuss the fascinating Saudi culture, monarchy, the role of women in Saudi society, and Saudi Arabia’s leap into the 21st century. MLF: Middle East Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program Cost: MEMBERS FREE, $20 non-members, $7 students (with valid ID) Program Organizer: Celia Menczel



She took us into the world of cadavers and examined the anatomy, physiology and psychology behind sex. Now, Roach discovers the surreality and weirdness of space. For example, what happens when you’ve been in space for a year? And is it possible for a human body to survive a bailout at 17,000 miles per hour? From the space shuttle training toilet to NASA’s crash simulation tests, Roach explores the strange universe. Location: Historic Hoover Theatre, 1635 Park Ave., San Jose Time: 6:30 p.m. check-in, 7 p.m. program, 8 p.m. book signing Cost: $10 members, $15 non-members

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Join us for a discussion of Venice: The Hinge of Europe, 1081-1797. In this magisterial history, National Book Award winner William H. McNeill chronicles the interactions and disputes between Latin Christians and the Orthodox communities of Eastern Europe between 1081 and 1797. Concentrating on Venice as the hinge of European history in the late medieval and early modern period, McNeill explores the technological, economic and political bases of Venetian power and wealth, and the city’s unique status at the frontier between the papal and Orthodox Christian worlds. Lynn Harris will moderate the discussion. MLF: Humanities Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE Program Organizer: George Hammond

W E D 11 | San Francisco

T hu 1 2 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

F ri 1 3 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

The Leading Edge for Corporate Social Responsibility

A Thousand Sisters

Rosalynn Carter: Ending the Mental Health Crisis

Pamela Hawley, Founder and CEO, UniversalGiving

Winner of the Jefferson Award for Public Service, Hawley works to assist companies with their global corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurism programs in more than 30 countries. Her web-based marketplace for volunteers, donors and companies has been profiled in news outlets. This is a must-attend program for all who believe in social responsibility and corporate engagement.

Lisa Shannon, Author; Journalist

Former First Lady; Author

How can a single moment change your life and the lives of others? Shannon shares her transformation from lapsed idealist to leader of a mass movement for Congolese women. Moving from her first lone run in Portland to the war-shattered Congo, she tells us the harrowing but hopeful stories of the women she has helped and the relationships she has formed. Anchored by human bonds that terror cannot touch, Shannon explores the world’s deadliest war through the intimate lens of friendship.

Former First Lady Carter is an icon and an advocate for mental health, early childhood immunization, human rights and conflict resolution through her work at The Carter Center in Atlanta. Carter will discuss her decades working in the mental health field. Following the program, she will also sign copies of her new book, Within Our Reach: Ending the Mental Health Crisis.

MLF: business & Leadership Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizer: Ann Clark

MLF: International Relations Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. networking, 6 p.m. program Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members Program Organizers: Linda Calhoun and Gina Baleria

Location: Herbst Theatre, 401 Van Ness Ave. Time: 11 a.m. box office opens, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: $15 members, $30 non-members. Premium (preferred seating) $45 members, $65 non-members. Must register through City Box Office at (415) 392-4400 or Club members must use code CWC810.

M on 1 6 | S i l i c o n V a l l e y

T ue 1 7 | S a n F r a n c i s c o

J ust A dded ! M o n J u n e 2 8

Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless

Venezuelan Tasting Dinner at Pica Pica Maize Kitchen

Chef-Restaurateur; Cofounder, Frontera Farmer Foundation; Author, Fiesta at Rick’s

Chef-Restaurateur; Cofounder, Frontera Farmer Foundation; Author, Fiesta at Rick’s

Award-winning chef and TV personality Bayless has spent the last 30 years putting his own delicious twist on gourmet Mexican cuisine. Now, the first-season winner of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters shares his culinary philosophy and why supporting local sustainable farms is so important.

Award-winning chef and TV personality Bayless has spent the last 30 years putting his own delicious twist on gourmet Mexican cuisine. With successful restaurants around the country, he has cooked for everyone from Oprah Winfrey to President Obama. Now, the first-season winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef Masters” shares his unique culinary philosophy and why supporting local sustainable farms is so important to him.

Location: Reposado Restaurant, 236 Hamilton Ave., Palo Alto Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 7-9 p.m. reception and cooking demo by Chef Bayless Cost: $95 per person (one copy of book), $160 per couple (one copy of book) Also know: Seating limited; advance reservations required.

See Club web site for full details and to book a spot for this delicious evening!

Location: SF Club Office Time: 11:30 a.m. check-in, noon program, 1 p.m. book signing Cost: $12 members, $20 non-members

MLF: Bay gourmet Location: Pica Pica, 401 Valencia St. (at 15th) Time: 6 p.m. check-in, 6:15-7:30 p.m. dinner Cost: $37 members, $45 non-members

J ust A dded ! M o n J u l y 0 6

A Death in the Family We will discuss James Agee’s prose masterpiece about a family tragedy as experienced by a seven-year-old boy. MLF: Book Discussion Location: SF Club Office Time: 5:30 p.m. program Cost: FREE

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Climate One Idle Capital Greg Dalton

Photo by William F. Adams

Vice President, The Commonwealth Club; Founder, Climate One


s my dad used to always say, if you can fly it or float it, rent don’t buy. What has always been true for planes and boats is now increasingly true for cars. While my wife Lucia and I own a 10-year-old station wagon to chauffeur our two children to school, gymnastics classes and Little League games, we decided buying a second car in San Francisco is not worth the cost or hassle. For several years since my friend Billy Manning turned me on to City CarShare, its fleet of sporty little cars stashed around the city has been our family’s second car. My six-year-old daughter thinks it is very cool that some days I have a green car and sometimes I have a blue one. And then it disappears so she and her 10-year-old brother have room in the garage to ride their scooters. (We vowed not to buy another new car until we can get one that runs partially on electricity.) While car shares have been in San Francisco for nearly a decade, the notion of sharing cars, and other products and services, certainly got a boost from the recession. “The downturn in the economy has people thinking of buying less and sharing more,” Scott Griffith, chief executive of Zipcar, told The Washington Post in 2009. At a recent Fortune magazine conference on sustainability, I heard Griffith expound further on the numbers behind the trend. American households spend an average of 20 percent of their income on transportation, and automobiles are used about 10 percent of the time, he says, according to U.S. Census data. Those numbers made me even more convinced that it’s crazy to spend a bundle on a car that’s going to be idle capital. Zipcar is on a roll. It merged in 2007 with competitor Flexcar, which counted AOL founder Steve Case and former Chrysler CEO Lee Iacocca as investors. And in April Zipcar acquired Streetcar, the UK’s fastest growing car club. The combined companies now boast 400,000 members and are



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backed by venture capital firms Benchmark Capital and Greylock Partners. How big will car sharing get? It is still a niche but getting big enough that traditional rental companies are jumping into the game. I recently watched a European tourist rent a Smart Car for a few hours from Avis at Fisherman’s Wharf. Auto manufacturers clearly understand that changing climate and changing demographics are going to change the future of their industry. At the sustainability conference, auto scion Bill Ford said rather than being afraid that car sharing services could dent sales, automakers should “embrace” them. “The notion of shoving 2.2 cars into every garage in the world just isn’t going to work,” he said. This century there will be 40 cities in the world outside Europe or the United States with 10 million or more people. “We need different forms of mobility,” Ford said. GM is also aware that social media is changing teenage car lust. Though several generations of youth coveted the liberation and social interaction afforded by a set of wheels, kids these days interact differently. “My daughter sleeps with her iPhone in her hand,” Larry Burns, the former head of design at General Motors, told The New York Times. “At this point, is using a cell phone the distraction, or has driving become the distraction?” A growing number of college Photo by Qingwa / istockphoto campuses are getting hip to sharing cars rather than buying them. Santa Clara University this year brought car sharing on campus and Tulane University just hooked up with WeCar, a service of Enterprise RentA-Car. Soon, you also can rent your car by the hour and make some money off that depreciating asset in your garage. A bill introduced in the California legislature would allow individuals to rent their own cars and not jeopardize their insurance, which is the case now. All of these innovations add up to thinking about personal mobility as a service rather than an object to own. That’s an important step toward a more sustainable society. And it means the next generation of parents can tell their kids: When it comes to wheels, rent before you buy. Ω

social Entrepreneurship in America A Commonwealth Club special series featuring leading innovators and pioneers utilizing entrepreneurial passion and rigor to solve societal problems. MAY 24, 2010

Muhammad Yunus

Founder, Grameen Bank and Grameen America; Nobel Laureate

June 22, 2010

Conchy Bretos

CEO, MIA Consulting Group; Ashoka Fellow

July 27, 2010

Sally Osberg

President & CEO, The Skoll Foundation

October 7, 2010

Mary Houghton

President, ShoreBank Corporation

October 26, 2010

Bill Drayton

Matt Bannick

Managing Partner, Omidyar Network

February 23, 2011

Founder & Chairman, Ashoka

Jed Emerson

NoVember 17, 2010 William Foote*

March, 8 2011

Managing Partner, Root Capital; Ashoka Global Fellow

December 8, 2010 Premal Shah*

September 14, 2010

Co-Founder & President, Kiva

Director, Entrepreneurial Leadership Initiative, Duke University

January 12, 2011

Christopher Gergen

February 9, 2011

Jacqueline Novogratz CEO, The Acumen Fund

Author, Blended Value

Louise Burnham Packard

Executive Director, Trinity Boston Foundation

March 29, 2011

Kriss Deiglmeier

Executive Director, Center for Social Innovation, Stanford University

Series Director and Moderator: Dr. Ruth A. Shapiro; All events take place in San Francisco * Skoll Awardee Get tickets & information at: or listen to the programs online at: Program support by:

Poizner photo by Beth Byrne, Capitol by Anthony Ramos / Flickr

Plans for California From the Q&A with a gubernatorial hopeful about his plans for turning around the Golden State. Excerpt from “Steve Poizner,” March 18, 2010. steve poizner California Insurance Commissioner; Republican Candidate for Governor Josh Richman Political & Legal Affairs Reporter, The Oakland Tribune and Bay Area News Group, East Bay – Moderator

Richman: If being in Sacramento has crystallized your conservative beliefs somewhat, couldn’t the devil’s advocate say that you went to a hyper-partisan town, where the legislature is essentially locked in gridlock every year, and you in fact have gone far to one side? How will that work out as a governor dealing with a legislature that seems to be almost irreparably gridlocked and is controlled by Democrats? Poizner: I run for governor with a full appreciation of the level of difficulty. I have a three-part plan. The first part is to be very specific about what I believe, my core principles and my reform agenda, so that before anyone votes for me, they know what they’re getting in great detail. Then when they elect me, they’re sending me to Sacramento with a mandate. That will give me extra political capital. The second part of my plan is to utilize the power of the governor’s office like it’s never been utilized before. The governor on paper in California is very powerful: the appointments power, the line-item veto power,



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the statute veto power. I plan to use that authority in a very focused, concentrated way on my reform agenda. We’ve got to get the economy back on track, we’ve got to bring jobs back, and that’s going to be my focus. Finally, if the legislature does block all of my reform efforts, then we have no choice; we have to go directly to the people with single-issue, very specific, short-and-sweet ballot initiatives that will reform California no matter what. If we don’t fix California, we’re going to get steamrolled. One of the ballot initiatives that I will back, if I have to, includes converting the legislature from full time to part time. A part-time legislature would change the whole mix of people in the legislature; that’s a ballot initiative that would overhaul the way the whole town operates. Richman: Now, you’re not the first Republican governor to say, If I can’t get the legislature to work with me I’ll go straight to the people at the ballot box – and you know how that turned out. Do you believe that those voters will be there

for you when they were not there for the last special election that this current governor called?

Richman: Let’s do some rapid-fire word association here. Tea Party.

Poizner: When the governor got elected in the recall, things were pretty bleak, but the unemployment rate was half what it is today. You have to zero-in on the fact that we’re in a crisis of epic proportions. Republicans, Democrats and Independents alike have had it and are looking for big bold changes. The change is going to have to come from the people, like it has in some other states, and I really do think that we’ve got to take advantage of this crisis. I can promise you this. I will have the tenacity, and the backbone, and the will to not budge. Now, I’m not saying I’m going to be rigid, because you’ve got to get things done, but you can’t be compromising so quickly. Getting this state’s economy back on track is going to require some big, bold changes to our tax and regulatory system, and I’m going to get it done one way or the other. Now, the current governor just didn’t have the long-term passion for reform. He got beat pretty badly and moved on to other things. I think that was a mistake.

Poizner: Individual liberty, free markets, lower taxes; I like what the Tea Party movement is up to. They’re on the right track.

Richman: Is college education a right, or a privilege, and what are you going to do to make it more affordable? Poizner: [For] every dollar we invest in our higher education system, we get a four-times return. It’s a fantastic investment. Taxpayers highly subsidize our college system. Ninety percent of the cost of community colleges [is] paid for by taxpayers, about 50 percent of the state university system is paid for by taxpayers, about 40 percent of the UC system [is] paid for by taxpayers. Even though fees have gone up a lot, it’s still a great value, compared to other states. We should appreciate what taxpayers are doing here. I don’t support any more fee increases, because that would just make it unaffordable. One of the really fantastic things about California is that our higher education system is so affordable for so many people. But the bottom line is, as governor, you’ve got to set priorities. We have about $85 billion that comes into the state of California, even during the middle of this recession, so how are you going to spend it? How are you going to prioritize it? I mention my top priority is individual liberty, public safety, but right up there close to the top is my support for education in general and higher education in particular. Right now, we just don’t have the money to invest in higher education the way we’d like to. We don’t have the money to invest in K-12, to fix our water infrastructure, to fix our broken health-care system, so honestly, when people say we need more money here, there or whatever, well, have they checked? We’re bankrupt, effectively; we don’t have money. We’re out of cash. Worst credit rating in the country. So we’ve got to balance the budget once and for all and we’ve got to fix our economy so we can get California back on track. Then, when we have revenues coming in from a healthy economy, one of my top priorities will [be to] make sure that the higher education system gets fully funded.

Richman: Gun control. Poizner: Big believer in the Second Amendment. People have a right to bear arms; the Constitution is crystal clear about it. Richman: Water, or the lack there of. Poizner: Man-made crisis. Richman: A question from the audience: My insurance went up 34 percent recently with Anthem Blue Cross. As insurance commissioner, what are you doing about this? Poizner: [With] homeowners insurance and auto insurance, I have a lot of oversight over the ways they price their products. Health insurance, on the other hand, I can’t have as much impact there as I wish I had. One reason I want to run for governor is that I can have a bigger impact. The health insurance markets are broken up into two buckets. There are the HMOs, which is about 70 percent of the market in California, regulated by the governor. I oversee the remaining 30 percent of the individual markets. Now, the law in California doesn’t give [the commissioner] any control over their prices, not that I’d want them. They can price it any way they want. I do have one law, though, that I’m making sure they comply with. It says the insurance commissioner makes sure that insurance companies spend at least 70 cents on every dollar they collect in health insurance on actual health care. Anthem Blue Cross, largest health insurer in California, [has a] 57 percent market share in California in the individual markets. A couple months ago, they announced that they wanted to increase prices of every health insurance policy in California by an average of 25 percent, and up to 39 percent for some people. It [looked] like they’re taking advantage of these people. So I called up the management team, they flew to California, and I got them to suspend their rate increase. I mean zero, so they’re not changing their prices at all through May 1st, and they’ve agreed to hire outside experts who are going through their books right now with a fine-tooth comb. The only thing I can do, the only power I have, is to make sure that they’re complying with that 70-cents rule. Meaning that I’m going to make sure, you can count on this, that they’re spending at least 70 cents on every health insurance dollar on health care. Of course, the ultimate answer here is, we need more competition, which is why I support allowing health insurance companies to be able to sell health insurance across state boundaries. We get instantly a lot more competition that would drive down prices. Ω j u ne/j u ly 2010




ANNUAL REPORT FOR FISCAL YEAR 2008 - 2009 Dear Friends, Do you find yourself marveling at the relentless pace of change in today’s world? Here at The Commonwealth Club, we have reacted to the pace of change in two ways – the first is the continuation of our long, long history of hosting diverse speakers and convening important discussions for the Bay Area; the second is our embrace of all of the new technologies, including live Internet broadcasting, satellite radio, blogging and tweeting. Our members aren’t quite the same today as they were 107 years ago and The Club is not the same either. What is exactly the same is the commitment of our members to respectful discussion and innovative ways to cooperate for better public policy. We are proud of our legacy. This Annual Report indicates some of the ways we’ve served our members and the community during the last fiscal year. We remain committed to finding new, pioneering methods to continue our mission to uncover the truth and we welcome your thoughts on how we can continue to better serve our community. Thank you for your support for The Commonwealth Club. When you visit our web site at, you will learn so much more about all of our events and activities. You can participate in our online discussion at; our entire community benefits when many perspectives are shared. Together, we will continue to offer important and timely discussions – this is the way that we contribute to positive change.

Dr. Gloria C. Duffy President and CEO

Dr. Mary G. F. Bitterman Chair, Board of Governors

OUR ANNUAL ACHIEVEMENTS • Despite a global economic slowdown, The Club organized more than 400 public programs in the Bay Area, reorganizing staffing and other expenses to improve the efficiency of our operations. Speakers ranged from a series of U.S. intelligence officials to Dame Edna! • Held a fabulous August series, “How We Eat,” with 32 programs about food, from health aspects to agriculture to cooking traditions of many cultures. • Launched an online video channel broadcasting Club programs live from our San Francisco headquarters. 52


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• Climate One continued a very successful series of programs, including the debate between the leaders of Chevron and the Sierra Club • Expanded our radio network to 230 stations nationwide carrying the Club’s weekly broadcast. • Launched The Club’s blog, opening up the discussion of Club events to the entire world • Began our program series on The Constitution in the 21st Century, sponsored by the Geschke Family, with a discussion of the constitutionality of extreme interrogation techniques


Here is California, inspiring the rest of the world at the U.N., 190-some countries sitting there, and we are talking about what we’re doing in California. I was never more proud of our state. I was really a proud governor.

” –Arnold Schwarzenegger

Governor, California; September 26, 2008

Even though we have a real crisis right now, we’re living in an extraordinary era. One that could almost be characterized as a golden age, given all the limitations of human beings. The trouble with golden ages is that you don’t realize you’re in one until it’s over.

–Steve Forbes

We need African governments front and center on the agenda to reduce poverty and increase growth in the African continent. It’s not good enough to have an army of NGOs or Western donors opining on what they think needs to be done in Africa.

–Dambisa Moyo Economist, Goldman Sachs; Author, Dead Aid; June 5, 2009

If you live in a totalitarian society, you know there are guys watching. If you have aspirations for your kids and you want to play it really safe, you’re not going to invite the American film crew over to your house with the camera rolling and talk about how much you hate the Ayatollah. That would just be stupid.

–Rick Steves

Chairman/CEO, Forbes, Inc.; Editor, Forbes; August 7, 2008

Travel Host; January 26, 2009

We have to understand that food is something very precious. It’s not something that should come after the Nike shoes, the cell phones and the new cars, and whatever else we decide we’re going to spend our money on – it should be way up there. We either pay up front or we pay out back.

I write satire. It’s not easy writing satire in America today. You’re in a losing competition with USA Today. I would be hard-pressed to confect a hypothetical situation that could top any real situation that this country could provide.

–Alice Waters

–Christopher Buckley

Owner/Executive Chef, Chez Panisse; July 31, 2008

Author, Supreme Courtship; September 18, 2008

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THE TOP 10 PROGRAMS* OF 08/09 1. 2. 3. 4. 5.

6. Alice Waters 7. Jim Lehrer 8. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger 9. Nancy Pelosi *by attendance 10. Robert Reich

Greg Mortenson Chevron + Sierra Club T.Boone Pickens Eric Schmidt Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger


FY 09




FY 08 1,336,498


Membership Dues





Program Revenue





Special Event Revenue (Net)





Misc. Income





Donated Materials and Services





Gain/Loss on Investments











FY 09

Program Services


2009 Revenue

FY 08 85%








Management and General










2009 Expenses

LEADERSHIP OF THE COMMONWEALTH CLUB COMMONWEALTH CLUB OFFICERS Board Chair Mary B. Cranston Vice Chair Maryles Casto Secretary William F. Adams Treasurer Anna W. M. Mok President and CEO Dr. Gloria C. Duffy


BOARD OF GOVERNORS Massey J. Bambara Hon. Shirley Temple Black* J. Dennis Bonney* Helen A. Burt John Busterud* Michael Carr Hon. Ming Chin* Jack Cortis Mary B. Cranston** Dr. Kerry P. Curtis Evelyn S. Dilsaver


Timothy C. Draper Joseph I. Epstein* Rolando Esteverena Jeffrey A. Farber Dr. Joseph R. Fink* Dr. Carol A. Fleming, Ph.D. Karen C. Francis Lisa Frazier William German* Dr. Charles Geschke Rose Guilbault** Jacquelyn Hadley Edie G. Heilman

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Eugene Herson* Hon. James C. Hormel Mary Huss Claude B. Hutchison Jr.* Dr. Julius Krevans* Lata Krishnan Hon. L. W. Lane, Jr. Don J. McGrath Marcela C. Medina Richard Otter* Joseph Perrelli* Hon. Barbara Pivnicka Hon. Richard Pivnicka

Fr. Stephen A. Privett, S.J. Dan C. Quigley Toni Rembe* Victor Revenko* Skip Rhodes* Dr. Condoleezza Rice Fred A. Rodriguez RenĂŠe Rubin* Robert Saldich** Joseph W. Saunders Connie Shapiro* Charlotte Mailliard Shultz Valari D. Staab

ADVISORY BOARD Karin Helene Bauer Hon. William Bradley Dennise M. Carter Steven Falk Amy Gershoni Richard N. Goldman Heather M. Kitchen Amy McCombs Hon. William J. Perry Ray Taliaferro * Past President ** Past Chair Nancy Thompson

James Strother Hon. Tad Taube L. Jay Tenenbaum Charles Travers Thomas Vertin Robert Walker Nelson Weller* Judith Wilbur* Dr. Colleen B. Wilcox Dennis Wu* Russell M. Yarrow

08/09 DONOR HONOR ROLL Thank you to our generous supporters who made donations to The Club during our fiscal year, July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009 Individuals $50,000 & above

Athena & Timothy Blackburn Mr. J. Dennis Bonney Dr. Larry & Girija Brilliant John E. Cahill Mr. Steve Chess Gail & Jeff Clarke Helen & Tom Clausen $25,000 to 49,000 William & Jean Coblentz Phyllis & Bill Draper Diane & J. Robert Hoadley Charitable Coleman, Jr. Remainder Trust Susan & Jack Cortis Bill & Jean Lane Dr. Jaleh Daie Joan L. Danforth $10,000 to 24,999 Bill & Sonja Davidow Mona Geller Lois DeDomenico The Honorable Charles Ewald James C. Hormel Steven Falk & Michael P. Nguyen Lata Krishnan & Ajay Shah Tawna & John Farmer John Fisher Skip* & Frankie Rhodes Arthur & Toni Rembe Rock Mary Ellen & Michael Fox Leslie & Charles Garvin Dr. & Mrs. Charles Geschke $5,000 to 9,999 Mr. Anthony Giles Anonymous Rose Guilbault Mary G. F. Bitterman Elise & &y Hall Mary B. Cranston Kirk & Kathryn Hanson Lauren & Alan Dachs Lori Holman Evelyn & John Dilsaver Melissa & Timothy Draper Mr. John F. Hopkins Laddie* & Donald Hughes The Honorable Judith & Reverend &rew Johnson Mr. Joseph Epstein* Patti & Larry Kenyon Rol&o Esteverena Jeanne & Kun Sam Kim Karen C. Francis Robert S. LTD Edie G. Heilman Paul Marti & Julia Carpenter & Richard Weiss Nion T. McEvoy Judy Koch Don J. McGrath David S. Lee Marcela Medina Burt & DeeDee McMurtry Christine & Lenny Mendonca Mr. & Mrs. Bruce T. Mitchell* John P. Morgridge Barbara Z. Otto The Honorable & Mrs. Berniece Patterson William Perry Dan C. Quigley Kevin M. Pursglove Toni Rembe & Arthur Rock Judy & David Redo Kanwal Rekhi Mr. Walter Shorenstein* Victor & Magee Revenko The Honorable & Mrs. Brian Riley George P. Shultz Virginia & Robert Saldich Gretchen & Deborah G. Seymour L. Jay Tenenbaum Dr. & Mrs. James Shapiro Ruth Shapiro $2,500 to 4,999 & Michael Gallagher Douglas Adams Mrs. John Robert Shuman Anonymous Lucretia & John Sias John M. Bryan* Sher G. Singh Dennise & Peter S. Carter Ji Ing Soong Christine & Michael Carr Madeline & Isaac Stein Maryles Casto Mr. Stephen Suzman Dr. Kerry & Ms. Lynn Curtis Roselyne C. Swig Iftekhar Hai The Honorable Barbara & Mr. & Mrs. Jim Tanner The Honorable Richard Nancy Thompson & &y Kerr Pivnicka William F. Wilkinson Kate & George Rowe James Strother Wendy & Mason & Denise Mollen Willrich* Dr. Colleen Wilcox Mr. Stephen E. Wright King & Linda Won Kit & Russ Yarrow $1,000 to 2,499 S&ra & Jeff Adams $500-999 Massey J. Bambara Dr. Kathleen Alioto Karin H. Bauer Ms. Betsy Beaumon Dr. Natalie Berg & Mr. Marilyn & Allan Brown Peter Finnegan William K. Bowes, Jr. Nan & Chuck Geschke The Honorable & Mrs. Howard H. Leach

Joseph C. Bunker Barbara & Charles Bureker Mr. & Mrs. Thomas H. Burkhart John Busterud* June & Peter Cartwright Daniel Dargham Dr. & Mrs. John A. De Luca Linda & Jim DeMartini Howard Dickstein & Jeannine English Dr. Gloria C. Duffy & Honorable Rod Diridon, Sr. Penny Eardley & Ward Buelow Glen Galaich Joanne & Richard Goodrich Carol & Arthur Graham Jacquelyn Hadley Barbara Harley Mary Liz & Richard Harris Peter Hero Dr. Kathy Hull & William Gisvold George Hume John Iacopi Lise Jeantet Mr. Richard Jepsen & Ms. Cecelia Trost Katharine Johnson Susan & Michael Jordan Mr. Karl Keesling & Ms. Sally Carlson Shirley Ross & Maurice Kerner Heather M. Kitchen Robert Knourek Judy & Don Langley Mr. Stuart Leeb Billy Manning Fillmore C. Marks* Oona Marti & Sarah Diegnan Jo Martinoni Ms. Amy McCombs Lore Harp & Patrick McGovern William McIvor Marjorie & Marc McMorris Mr. Paul Mercadante Carole & Fred Middleton George A. Miller & Janet McKinley Susanne Monary-Wilson & John D. Wilson La Von & Dean Morton Professor Eva M. NashIsaac, Ph.D. Ms. Laura Oliphant Janet & George Pasha III* Paul F. Pelosi JaMel & Tom Perkins Ann Marie McBirney & Joseph Perrelli Louis J. Poletti Naomi Porat & Shilpa Sankaran William S. Price, III Ms. Harriet Meyer Quarré Damon Raike The Honorable & Mrs. William K. Reilly

Grant Reynolds Jean & R. Henry Richards Lois & John Rogers Allison & Robert Ruggles Dr. Harry Saal Paul Sack Mr. & Mrs. Alan Saldich Christian Strachwitz Katherine A. Strehl & Bill Dempsey Ms. Liz Sutherl& Mr. Bob Sutis Phyllis & Max Thelen, Jr. James A. Thomas Evelyn Tregoning Mr. John Vasconcellos Gail & Robert Walker Robert T. Weston Judith Wilhite Diane B. Wilsey Marcia & Paul Wythes* Deborah E. Weisinger Ms. Carol Zischke


Ms. Clarellen Adams Mr. & Mrs. Ronald Bachman Ms. Diana Baughman Mr. Timothy D. Bolling Mary Alice & Francis Bracken Ms. AnneMarie Burgoyne & Mr. Brad Roberts Mr. Michael R. Cabak Edward Cain John Cullison & Diana Kissil Diana Diamond The Honorable Rod Diridon, Jr. Thao & Jerome Dodson Mr. Patrick L. Edsell Mr. & Mrs. G. R. Hilbers Jerre & Nancy Hitz Mr. R. E. Hopper* Mr. & Mrs. Howard T. Hoover Mr. Arch W. Horst* Beverly & Charles Huss Ms. Megan S. Janis Mr. Thomas M. Jenkins III* Mr. Matt Levine Dennis Loo Lisa & Bruce Lovazzano Simone Marticke Vera & Ken Meislin Marcela Medina Ms. Joyce E. Miller Jeanette Morgan The Honorable Leslie C. Nichols Daniel Olmstead Dr. Sally R. Osberg Mr. George W. Parkerson Ms. Pamela Rafton Ms. Helen Railsback Mr. Dan Y. Rosenberg* Dr. Meredith Rudof-Weiss & Mr. Dan Weiss Mr. David A. S&retto Ms. Jean F. Schulz Mr. Stephen Seewer

Barbara Serafin Ms. Catherine J. Silva Mr. Richard Smith & Ms. Barbara McMillin Mr. Wayne Snyder & Ms. Kyung Yoon Mr. John Sommer Marianne & Reginald Steer* Ms. Susanne Stevens Mr. William A. Stone Mr. Myron G. Sugarman & Ms. Cynthia Woods Mr. Robert B. Suhr* Mr. Jay D. Thomas Mona & Thomas Vertin Mr. Raymond Thornson Virginia & Gregory Tusher Dr. John H. Urbanowicz Ms. Evelyn Wang Tim M. Whalen Ms. Alice Whitson Barbara H. Wilson & Manuel Medina Mr. Jacques S. Yeager, Sr. Frank Yoke III Mr. John B. Zipperer Mr. Walter G. Zimmerman, Jr.

Corporations & Foundations $250,000 & above Koret Foundation

Legacy Venture Kieve Foundation Casto, The Travel Company Santa Clara University The David & Lucile Packard Foundation Shenson Foundation The Tietz Family Foundation

Chez Panisse Restaurant & Cafe Jesse Cool Dick’s Bakery Elixir The Enchanted Garden Florist Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts Grey Advertising The Health Trust Heaven’s Dog Hewlett-Packard Company Intuit J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines Jeanne’s Fudge The Laugh Box Le Petit Trianon Left Bank Los Altos High School Magnificent Gifts NASA Ames National Semiconductor Corporation Richard Pivnicka Phuket Beer Portfolio Magazine Purogati Rocky Mountain Outfitters ROE Restaurant San Francisco Bike Coalition San Francisco Business Times Santa Clara University Sheppard Mullin Silicon Valley Bank Silicon Valley Business Journal Silicon Valley Community Foundation Silicon Valley Education Foundation Silver Mountain Vineyards San Francisco’s Own Skyy Spirits Snowden Vineyards Pat & Michael Splinter Spintronix Sundance Resort SVLG Tajima Creative Inc. Temple Virgin America Wall Street Journal Wizard Winery WMS media Inc. Yale Club of SV Youth Radio DJS



Dominican University of California National Semiconductor Corporation Dean & Margaret Lesher Foundation Microsoft Corporation Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP Warburg Pincus LLC Wells Fargo & Company

$5,000 to $9,999

Sierra Steel Trading, LLC Deloitte & Touche LLP Ann & Gordon Getty Foundation Brayton Wilbur Foundation Brunswick Group LLC Edwards Foundation Embassy of the Czech Republic Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co. LLP Hellman Family Foundation Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company SunPower Corporation U. S. Venture Partners William F. Adams Law Offices

$100,000 to $249,999 $2,500 to $4,999 The Travers Family Foundation California HealthCare Foundation Chevron The Bernard Osher Foundation Taube Foundation for Jewish Life & Culture

$50,000 to $99,999 Pacific Gas & Electric Company The Energy Foundation Richard & Rhoda Goldman Fund The Skoll Foundation

$25,000 to $49,999 Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP AAA of Northern California, Nevada & Utah Bank of America Bankof the West The California Wellness Foundation

$10,000 to $24,999 The Wallace Alex&er Gerbode Foundation BNY Mellon Wealth Management Draper Richards Foundation Silicon Valley Bank Brunswick Group LLC

The Draper Foundation BAE Systems Charles Schwab Foundation Dodge & Cox Forest City Development Paul Hastings, Janofsky & Walker Hewlett Packard San Francisco Business Times Sunset Development Company

$1,000 to $2,499

University of San Francisco Bitmover The BP Foundation Chevron In Kind Clorox Company 1st Act SV Google 7x7 Magazine Microsoft Absinthe Alex Sotelo Cellars *Members of the Golden The Ambassador Gavel Group – Club Bottlenotes members for 30 years Shannon Burkey and more. Cantina Casto, The Travel Company

Every effort has been made to list donors accurately. If your name or your organization’s name has been listed improperly in any way, or if you believe that a gift is missing from this list, please contact Oona Marti, director of development, at (415) 597-6714 or Tax-deductible contributions can be mailed to The Commonwealth Club of California at 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor, San Francisco, CA 94105, or you can make a secure donation online at Thank you to all our supporters.

J u ne/j u ly 2010



the minds of men Brizendine looks at the science of the makeup of the male mind and how that affects differences between the genders. Excerpt from “Louann Brizendine,” April 8, 2010. Louann brizendine M.D.; Founder, Women’s Mood and Hormone Clinic, UCSF; Author, The Female Brain and The Male Brain


ost scientists do believe that there is no unisex brain. There is a male brain and a female brain. We all start off at conception with what’s called female-type brain circuits until 8 weeks of gestation, when the tiny testicles start pumping out huge amounts of testosterone that marinate the brain, changing the circuits in combination with the Y chromosome’s contribution. After birth, from age one month to nine to twelve months old, in a stage of life that most of us don’t know much about called infantile puberty, little boys make huge amounts of testosterone up to that first nine or twelve months. Then the hormones go way down during a phase we call, from age one or two until nine or ten, the juvenile pause.



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Illustration by Steven Fromtling


The hormones at that stage are quite low. If you look at the way little boys and little girls play, little boys have much more rough-and-tumble play on average than little girls do. Little girls often do a type of play that’s called relationship role play. They’ll say “You be the daddy, and I’ll be the mommy.” Little boys do that a bit, but then they’ll be off and running. I can remember that lots of us women who were in the feminist movement in the 1970s at UC Berkeley, we all thought that when we had little boys, we were going to raise our children with gender-neutral toys, and we were going to raise sensitive husbands, and our future daughters-in-law would thank us for the sensitive men that we raised. When we had our own boys, lots of us learned a bit different. I can remember with my son, having him run around the house, just loving to play superhero and fighting off the enemies. Wanting to give him a gender-neutral toy as well as the things he had been asking for, one Christmas I wrapped him up his superhero, but also in a box was a Barbie doll. But he seized her out of the box by the torso and immediately was using her body and legs as a weapon to fight off the enemies. So much for my wishes. Honoring boys for what they are, and all the things that little boys do and their activity levels, is what I hope the takehome message is for parents and teachers. Researchers did a study where they had little boys and girls who were told in a room that they were not to touch a certain object. They were told by their parents, in a very stern voice, Don’t touch that! Of course, many more little boys grabbed it and had to be physically restrained. That brings up the point that throughout the world, in all cultures, little boys are punished much more than little girls. Little boys certainly get a lot of feedback through punishment for being more out of control. That is not necessarily great for their self-esteem, but, of course, we parents have to try to keep them out of harm’s way. In the classroom setting, do any of you know that the graduating class from college of 2010 is going to be 60 percent female, 40 percent male? I think that is a disaster. It starts in the grade-school levels. Really good teachers can teach any kid, male or female. They know all the tricks of the trade to get little boys interested. But I think sitting still, doing your work and turning your work in at the end of the day is much more something that little girls can do at an earlier age on average than little boys can. So I think we need to rethink education in the grade-school years and on up for boys. Then we get to that period where we’re coming out of the juvenile pause, and mothers sometimes realize this more by their nose than anything else: that thing called the boy smell. It’s not B.O., it’s the very early stages of the increase in testosterone stimulation of their sweat glands, and that pheromone. Between age 9 and 15 in boys, the testosterone level goes up 250 percent. His whole body and brain are being marinated in the stuff, and those circuits that have been formed in utero are now being run on that fuel. For example, an area in the male hypothalamus called the area for sexual pursuit is 2.5 times larger in the male brain than in the female. That stage of teenage boy brain then passes into the stage

of life about the mating male brain. One of the interesting parts of animal studies that come into human studies is a little animal called the vole. It’s how scientists have gotten a clue about monogamy. About 5 percent of mammals are monogamous. The prairie vole is very monogamous; he bonds for life, he takes care of the pups. Even if his mate dies, he will often never take on another mate, even when tempted with a fertile female. His cousin, the mountain vole, is very promiscuous. He doesn’t stick around for the pups or to bond. Scientists have discovered a gene in the prairie vole that causes monogamy. What really knocked scientists out was that in taking the gene out of the monogamous vole and putting it into the polygamous vole, he pair-bonded and became monogamous. This gene is also found in primates, and 17 different links have been found in human males. This is an area of active research. We happen to be a very monogamous species of animal. People have asked me what surprised me the most in my research. I find that the thing that was most surprising is the daddy brain. The pheromones given off by the sweat gland of a pregnant woman that waft over into the nose of her mate are thought to trigger changes in the male brain, leading to the daddy brain. Prolactin level goes up in the male by 20 or 30 percent, testosterone level goes down by 30 percent. Something I find even more fascinating happens. Before his wife is pregnant, his acoustical system doesn’t hear infant cries – and these [have been studied] in MRI scans. The crying of an infant doesn’t light his brain up nearly as much as it will nine months later, right before the baby is born. His ability to hear infant cries improves. By the time his baby is born, he is ready to take care of his baby. The other fascinating thing about dads is infant-parent synchrony, which is that kind of face-to-face [interaction] that parents do. Dads do that beautifully, but only if they have alone time with their baby. Under the gatekeeper vision of the mom, he does not behave in that kind of way with the baby. That speaks to letting dads have more alone time with their baby at a fairly early stage, which some dads get and some don’t. His hormone levels go back, by the way, to normal sometime between six weeks and six months after the baby is born. Germany passed a law giving men 14 months of paternity leave. Of course, a lot of the German women say, They don’t take it; they take a few months maybe at the most. But at least there’s the acknowledgment that this is a really important time for that father-child interaction. [In] the mature male brain, there’s, of course, changes in the hormones. Remember, the purpose of a hormone is to make a behavior more likely to happen. For example, testosterone in a male that hits his sexual-interest circuit, which by the way, is 10 to 15 times all his life what a female’s is, makes the chances and likelihood of his being sexually interested more prevalent. When females go through menopause, their ovaries go into retirement and their estrogen drops off a cliff. Males, however, have a stage of life called andropause, which lasts a lot longer, from 45, 50 into the 60s and 70s. His testosterone is going down a bit, and it’s driving his circuits a little bit less. Many men feel that finally they can take a breath of fresh air and enjoy that stage. And their amount of estrogen goes up a little bit. Some scientists believe that that might be why men become a little bit more interested in cuddling and less interested in, shall we say, always going for the sexual goal in life. They may have more patience and move more at the female pace. So women, you have a lot to look forward to with the mature male brain, when it comes in your life. That time of life, when men are starting to be grandfathers, can be a wonderful time for them to have that kind of reciprocity with their grandchildren that they may not even have had time to have with their children. Ω

Club Leadership OFFICERS of The Commonwealth Club of California Board Chair Dr. Mary G. F. Bitterman Vice Chair Maryles Casto Secretary William F. Adams Treasurer Anna W. M. Mok President and CEO Dr. Gloria C. Duffy BOARD OF GOVERNORS Massey J. Bambara Don J. McGrath Hon. Shirley Temple Black* Marcela C. Medina J. Dennis Bonney* Richard Otter* Helen A. Burt Joseph Perrelli* John Busterud* Hon. Barbara Pivnicka Michael Carr Hon. Richard Pivnicka Hon. Ming Chin* Fr. Stephen A. Privett, S.J. Jack Cortis Dan C. Quigley Mary B. Cranston** Toni Rembe* Dr. Kerry P. Curtis Victor Revenko* Evelyn S. Dilsaver Skip Rhodes* Timothy C. Draper Dr. Condoleezza Rice Joseph I. Epstein* Fred A. Rodriguez Rolando Esteverena Renée Rubin* Jeffrey A. Farber Robert Saldich** Dr. Joseph R. Fink* Joseph W. Saunders Dr. Carol A. Fleming, Ph.D. Connie Shapiro* Karen C. Francis Charlotte Mailliard Shultz Lisa Frazier Valari D. Staab William German* James Strother Dr. Charles Geschke Hon. Tad Taube Rose Guilbault** L. Jay Tenenbaum Jacquelyn Hadley Charles Travers Edie G. Heilman Thomas Vertin Eugene Herson* Robert Walker Hon. James C. Hormel Nelson Weller* Mary Huss Judith Wilbur* Claude B. Hutchison Jr.* Dr. Colleen B. Wilcox Dr. Julius Krevans* Dennis Wu* Lata Krishnan Russell M. Yarrow * Past President ** Past Chair Hon. L. W. Lane, Jr. ADVISORY BOARD Karin Helene Bauer Hon. William Bradley Dennise M. Carter Steven Falk Amy Gershoni Richard N. Goldman

Heather M. Kitchen Amy McCombs Hon. William J. Perry Ray Taliaferro Nancy Thompson

This program was made possible by the generous support of Bank of America. j u ne/j u ly 2010



InSight Shoulder Season in McCloud Dr. Gloria C. Duffy

Photo courtesy of Gloria Duffy

President and C.E.O.


ast year, we arrived tree saplings, until he fell out of a tree and was no longer able to at our house in the garden. mountains to find Then there was our dear friend Janet, the town’s bookseller, who a small painting of our lived in the former Episcopal Church, until she sadly passed away home, wrapped in Saran from cancer more than a year ago. In her memory, her son carved Wrap, propped on a table an archway in polished wood over her garden gate, with mystical on our front porch. There figures of a man and a woman stretching to meet one another at was no note or explana- the top of the arch. Since her death, a former Catholic priest who tion with it. I framed it and set it on the bedside table in one of lives in town, Father Joe, uses the house/church as a grief counselour bedrooms. ing center. The wonder of an artist who would pass through town and leave It’s “shoulder season” now in McCloud, that sparkling time bethe gift of a painting behind is an example of why my husband tween winter and spring when we cross-country ski on the mountain Rod and I like to spend time in a tiny town in Siskiyou County. in the morning and plant flowers in our garden in the afternoon. I Not only is the scenery beautiful, with conical, snow-covered Mt. should say that we actually not only plant flowers, but fortify the Shasta gleaming above the town, but things happen in McCloud at beds with slate liners and wrap the root balls of plants in chicken a different pace and in a different way than they do here in urban wire, in our annual war against the gophers. California. Despite the scenery and its idylLocals and tourists still gather in lic qualities, all is not well in this Things happen in McCloud at a the only café in town, now restored small town. To the relief of most different pace and in a different to its 1920s style with brass fans and residents, the Nestlé corporation way than they do here in urban faded red leather-covered stools at the has withdrawn its plan to build a counter, for breakfast in the mornmillion-square-foot water bottling California. ings. Our next door neighbor Jean plant in town, ensuring that the comes to the fence between our houses for a chat. A couple of years town’s water supply and the downstream water flowing into the ago, during one of these conversations, she convinced us to take Sacramento Delta are protected. home a stray cat from the neighborhood for the winter, who has But then Jeff Forbis, the owner of the Shasta Sunset Dinner become our household pet Tuxedo. We bring Jean and her husband Train, which served meals in Victorian dining cars while rolling Jim roses and citrus from our garden in Santa Clara, and they look along the base of the mountain, shut the train down in February, in on our house during the winter when we are away. forced in part by the recession’s negative impact on travel. Jeff is On our last visit, in April, the great room in the old mercantile trying to sell the railroad, while the town suffers the loss of the center in town was filled with two dozen women at long tables, tourists the train brought to its inns, shops and restaurants. If he each with a sewing machine and a miniature ironing board, and cannot sell the train, the rumor is that he will sell the dining cars each working to make a beautiful quilt. It was an updated version and locomotive, then pull up the tracks and liquidate them for the of a quilting bee, with the quilters consulting one another about value of the steel. sewing challenges, sharing their techniques and hanging the finished So jobs in McCloud are scarce. A group has formed, “McCloud quilts on the walls for display. Local First,” to try to boost the economy through organizing local The town abounds with characters. One of my favorites is industries. An example of the kind of business they are promoting “Arthur Einstein,” whose real name is Arthur Schuman. I first saw is Panexotic, a company that collects, processes and sells fresh and him pull into town 20 years ago, riding in a small cart pulled by a dried mushrooms, and makes truffle oil at its base in McCloud goat. A tiny man with a wispy white goatee who smells pleasantly from the mushrooms found in the surrounding forests. Panexotic of lemon balm, he set up shop as a gardener. We enjoyed Arthur’s is the largest “wild edibles” processing plant in the West, destroys running commentary on topics as varied as space travel and cancer no natural resources and exports its products worldwide. cures, despite his weed-whacking away the bark on Rod’s slim fruit Let us hope that more such ideas arise. Ω



ju ne/ju ly 2010

Join Commonwealth Club past president and former U.S. Ambassador James Rosenthal on this incredible adventure to the distinctly different countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos.

November 4-20, 2010

Led by James Rosenthal with an optional extention to Laos

• Immerse yourself in bustling Hanoi, • Travel by boat on the Mekong to • In Cambodia, marvel at the Khmer with its French colonial architecture experience the floating markets ruins at Angkor, one of the world’s and broad, tree-lined boulevards. and daily life on the water. most impressive temple complexes. Enjoy a cyclo ride and savor the • Wander the narrow streets of • Enjoy discussions with local experts country’s wonderful cuisine. and hear lectures from AmbassaHoi An with its bridges and dor Rosenthal, whose experience in • Take an overnight cruise through open markets. and knowledge of the region are a spectacular Halong Bay. • In Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) visit highlight of the journey. the Reunification Palace and the • Visit the impressive mausoleum • Optional 3-day/night extension to War Remnants Museum. complexes of Hue, the former imLaos. perial capital of Vietnam. Trip Leader James Rosenthal’s 34-year career with the U.S. State Department began in 1956 and includes serving as political officer at the U.S. Embassy in Saigon, 1961-1965; a member and deputy director of the Vietnam Working Group, 1967-1970; a member of the U.S. delegation to the peace talks on Vietnam in Paris, 1970-1972; and director of Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia affairs in Washington, D.C., 1975-1977. He served as chief of staff of the Woodcock Mission to Hanoi in 1977, which was sent to initiate negotiations on the key issue of Americans missing in action in Vietnam. He is a former executive director of The Commonwealth Club of California (1990-1996) and has taught political science and international relations at West Point. Trip Cost: $5,595, per person (Laos extension $1,445)

CST# 2096889-40


To request full travel itineraries, pricing, and terms and conditions,

The Commonwealth Club of California 595 Market Street, 2nd Floor San Francisco, CA 94105


call (415) 597-6720 or e-mail Purchase event tickets at or call (415) 597-6705 or (800) 847-7730

Inside Washington, D.C. October 17-22, 2010

During this exclusive program in our nation’s capital, Club members will participate in a series of private Commonwealth Club forums held at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Meet high-level representatives from within the presidential administration, Congress, the media, think tanks and other prestigious organizations.

4 highly-informative and intimate Commonwealth Club panel discussions on topics pertaining to the economy, energy and foreign affairs. Plus, additional guest speakers. • Private tours of the Capitol Building and the Supreme Court. • Special visits to unique sites such as Lincoln Cottage, Dumbarton Oaks, the Newseum and the Phillips Collection. (You can always extend a few days to return to your favorite spots or explore the city’s wealth of museums on your own.) • 5 nights in deluxe hotel accommodations near Dupont Circle.

CST# 2096889-40 Capitol photo by Pjcarillet /, sign by Lya_Cattel /

Get in the know with The Commonwealth Club in Washington, D.C.

This program is limited to 20 Commonwealth Club members. Call now to reserve your space! Price: $3,495, per person based on double occupancy, exclusive of airfare.

For more information: • (415) 597-6720

The Commonwealth June-July 2010  
The Commonwealth June-July 2010  

John Yoo vs. Garry Wills, SETI's Jill Tarter, geoengineering, Timothy Ferris, Mark Halperin & John Heilemann, and much more in this issue of...