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Listen with Windows Player
High  Low
NOTE: We'll discontinue our Windows Media Audio in August 2015. Subscribers will still be able to listen to the show through our Coast Player in the link above.
Not a member? Become a Coast Insider and listen to the show 24/7
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Power & the Powerful

In the first half of the program, George Knapp welcomed nuclear power expert, Arnie Gundersen, who discussed how, more than four years after the triple meltdown at Fukushima, nuclear waste inside the reactors continues to bleed into the Pacific Ocean creating low concentrations of radioactivity that have already migrated across the Pacific to the west coast of North America. Steven Starr of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation briefly joined the conversation during the second hour.

In the latter half, former Nevada consumer advocate and public utility commissioner Timothy Hay addressed the attempt by power companies to crush rooftop solar energy by throwing up roadblocks to make it harder for homeowners to install, and how electric companies hate the idea of clean, plentiful solar taking away their business.

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Power & the Powerful

Show Archive
Date: Saturday - September 25, 2010
Host: Ian Punnett
Guests: Jeffrey Pfeffer

Ian Punnett was joined by author and professor Jeffrey Pfeffer for a discussion on power, which he defined simply as "the ability to get your way." According to Pfeffer, the powerful pay a substantial price for their power, often giving up autonomy over their own lives and becoming the subject of public scrutiny. Among the world's most powerful, Pfeffer identified investor Warren Buffett, Microsoft CEO Bill Gates, and Google's Larry Page and Sergey Brin -- all billionaires. Money correlates with power, he added. American presidents did not fare so well in Pfeffer's assessment, as very few have successfully influenced the direction of the country, he noted.

Many people rise to powerful positions through deception, Pfeffer continued, pointing out the ubiquitous practice of embellishing one's resume to get a job. As an example, he cited the case of Notre Dame football coach George O'Leary, who was found to have lied about his academic and athletic background.Regardless of how they got there, the longer a person stays in power the harder it is to unseat them, Pfeffer explained. The powerful tend to live longer as well, as (unlike most people) they usually have a great deal of control over their high level positions, he said. Pfeffer also commented on CEO pay, the addictive nature of power, and characteristics shared by powerful people.

Related Articles

Video: Shatner Stole Nimoy's Bike

Ian Punnett stumbled upon some funny convention footage of Leonard Nimoy explaining about how William Shatner used to steal and hide his bicycle during their Star Trek years. View at YouTube.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Saturday September 25, 2010

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