Dyer shares wisdom with audience at The Wave

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

Gwynne Dyer

Colton Kaufman

"I HAVE A GRADUATE DEGREE FROM KING’S COLLEGE IN LONDON, AND THESE ARE THE QUESTIONS YOU HAVE FOR ME?" Canadian-born journalist Gwynne Dyer spoke on a number of topics to a captivated audience at The Wave yesterday afternoon. The University Students’ Council hosted Dyer’s speech.

Before The Wave had fully set up space for Gwynne Dyer’s most recent guest lecture at Western, Never Waste a Crisis: Can Obama Change The Game?, the seats had filled in front of the podium.

Dyer " a well-known Canadian journalist, author and military historian " began his lecture with a weighty discussion on the current economic situation, citing U.S. President Barack Obama’s stance towards the economy eight months prior to his election assumed the situation was an ordinary recession. Such recessions, Dyer assured, are “self-healing.”

However, Dyer said the current economic situation might possibly descend into a depression.

“If [a depression] is the case, we’re in a whole different ballgame " and we don’t know how to play it.”

Furthermore, Dyer noted many of the important domestic changes Obama promised while campaigning, such as restructuring the health care and education systems, would be impossible if the economy reaches further lows.

Dyer next focused on the issue of climate change. Prior to the outcome of the U.S. election, Dyer said he had decided upon five ideal staff members the next president ought to pick to initiate a real effort towards rectifying American impact on climate change.

“Obama hired all five of them,” Dyer said, adding the president now appears more knowledgeable and committed to climate change than he had originally seemed.

While Dyer was optimistic about Obama’s initial strides, he worried about his stance on the two wars in the Middle East. Although Dyer said Obama’s decision to withdraw from Iraq was positive he did not give the new president much credit for it, dismissing it as a seemingly obvious and overdue decision.

The lecture concluded with an attempt to answer the question posed in the title of Dyer’s lecture. Should the economic situation be at its worse, Dyer said many of Obama’s ambitions would necessarily be delayed.

Yet Dyer remained hopeful and repeatedly complimented Obama’s apparent intelligence and sensitivity to public demand and expressed faith in his favourable global reputation and his interest in bridging the gap between the developed and developing worlds.

Dyer noted much of what he said was “informed speculation” and with only 38 days of experience as the country’s leader, there was little reason to make any conclusions about the president one way or another.

Even so, the lecture provided much insight on a unique president with quite a great deal of ambition and international attention.

Share this article on:

Facebook | DiggDigg |

Copyright © 2008 The Gazette