Library U

Great Decisions at the Library  2024

Here's the schedule for Great Decisions at the Library 2024

March 3, 2024  |  2PM - 3:30PM  |  Large Meeting Room, Bainbridge Public Library  |  Free! Donations very welcome.

High Seas Treaty

with Laura Francis, marine biologist and educator

Areas of the seas beyond national jurisdiction comprise the high seas, which are facing a degradation of ecosystems due to climate change and the increase in human activities, such as shipping, overfishing, pollution, and deep-sea mining. The recently negotiated High Seas Treaty, also known as the Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction treaty, will attempt to address these issues. How difficult will it be to convince nations to participate? So far, 80 countries, including the U.S., have signed the treaty agreement, but each country must still ratify the treaty under its own domestic process. The treaty will come into force 120 days after 60 countries ratify it.

Laura Francis, marine biologist and educator will moderate the topic. A marine biologist and educator for the past 30 years, Laura has dedicated her professional career to ocean conservation. She worked at NOAA Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary for 27 years in education and outreach. More recently, she turned her focus to making a deeper impact through philanthropy and impact investing. To this end, she joined Toniic, a global action community for impact investors, and recently set up the collaborative multi-donor Sea Forward Ocean Health Fund at ImpactAssets, a 501(c)3 nonprofit. She leads ocean working groups at Toniic and Rachel's Network.

With the "High Seas Treaty" on biodiversity signed, what do we need to do next? UNESCO, October 26, 2023.
The Inside Story of the U.N. High Seas Treaty. A new global agreement protects marine life in parts of the ocean that laws have been unable to reach. By Jeffrey Marlow. The New Yorker, March 9, 2023
What we know about the new High Seas Treaty. By Kristin Deasy. npj Ocean Sustainability. June 30, 2023.
Ten Things You Should Know about the High Seas Treaty. The Nature Conservancy. April 11. 2023.

March 10, 2024  |  2PM - 3:30PM  |  Large Meeting Room, Bainbridge Public Library  |  Free! Donations very welcome.

Climate technology and competition

with Erik Smith, renewable energy technology executive

Will the United States and China, with other powerful countries following suit, approach current and future climate initiatives with an increased commitment to trade protectionism and nationalism, by various measures including trade restrictions? Or could a growing spirit of international accord develop to confront the "common enemy" of climate change?

April 7, 2024  |  2PM - 3:30PM  |  Large Meeting Room, Bainbridge Public Library  |  Free! Donations very welcome.

NATO's future

with John Koenig, retired Deputy Permanent Representative to the U.S. Mission at NATO

Since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has come under increased scrutiny, not because NATO troops are involved in the conflict, but because of its role in relations between Russia and its neighbors. Will expanding membership in NATO protect countries, or will it further provoke Russia?

April 21, 2024  |  2PM - 3:30PM  |  Large Meeting Room, Bainbridge Public Library  |  Free! Donations very welcome.

Understanding Indonesia

with Seattle-Surabaya (Inonesia) Sister City Association

Despite its large size, Indonesia remains virtually invisible to most Americans. But as one of the world's largest democracies, the world's largest Muslim-majority nation, and as an economic driver of ASEAN, why does it fly below the radar? What are current issues in U.S.- Indonesian relations, and what role can the country play in Asia?

April 28, 2024  |  2PM - 3:30PM  |  Large Meeting Room, Bainbridge Public Library  |  Free! Donations very welcome.

Economic Warfare

with David Rader, Senior Advisor in the Defense Innovation Unit of the Department of Defense.

The Oxford English dictionary defines economic warfare as involving "an economic strategy based on the use of measures (e.g. blockade) of which the primary effect is to weaken the economy of another state." Economic warfare can be of the ham-fisted variety, ala the sack of Carthage, where the fleet was burned, the city razed, the populace sold into slavery, and the ground sown with salt. Or, economic warfare can be less sanguinary, yet still debilitating to a nation�s economy, such as when an adversary gets a stranglehold on a crucial resource or technology. Economic warfare also includes theft of an adversary's intellectual property, economic sanctions, and subterfuges to evade economic sanctions. The United States Department of Defense, the various U.S. intelligence agencies, and other cabinet departments, defend our country from foreign economic threats, enforce economic sanctions as imposed by Congress and the President, and identify and counter emerging economic threats. Unlike the traditional uniformed services, who must always be ready to engage, those charged with the economic defense of the country are always at war.

Kathleen Thorne
Martha Bayley
Cindy Harrison
Ki Kilcher

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Library U is sponsored by the Bainbridge Public Library with funding support from the Bainbridge Island Friends of the Library and a generous donation in memory of Louise Brody Weissman.

Library U

Great Decisions is a nation-wide, non-partisan program of the Foreign Policy Association to broaden public involvement with the most important foreign policy issues facing the United States. While enjoying coffee and pastries, Great Decisions at the Library participants first view a 25-minute Foreign Policy Association film on the topic under consideration and then participate in a moderated discussion.

Copies of the Great Decisions Briefing Book can be purchased in hard copy or Kindle format from the Foreign Policy Association. A copy is available for reading at the Bainbridge Public Library Information Desk.