Rich Countries Hurt Poor Ones Some of the most popular stories on the Web.
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Rich Countries Hurt Poor Ones

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Rich Countries Hurt Poor Ones

Rich Countries Hurt Poor Ones

Rich Countries Hurt Poor Ones

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  • <iframe src="" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

Some of the most popular stories on the Web.


All right. So our staff was sticking around to ask questions about the economy. You're back in, guys. Sorry. Well, actually not that sorry. You do this every day. You knew it was coming. It's time for the most blogged, e-mailed, viewed, commented stories on the Web. It's when Toure and I kick back a little bit, let the producers take over the show. It's something we call The Most.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: Kelly Evans, gracefully exiting the studio.

Ian - you're going to go first, Ian, because you're the first one in. Headphones on.

TOURE, host:

Ian's here.

STEWART: Where is your most from?

IAN CHILLAG: This is the most popular from NBC 11 San Francisco. This is about a new UC Berkeley study that added up the economic impact of environmental damage caused by rich countries, things like agricultural expansion, deforestation, over fishing, ozone depletion, climate change. And they - using a bunch of different sources, they put economic - they put monetary values on these things, and figured out that the economic eco-footprint of rich countries is about $1.8 trillion, and that that exceeds the debt owed by the poor countries these impacts most effect, which is kind of crazy.

STEWART: That is kind of crazy.

CHILLAG: Yeah. I mean, it's things like climate change, you know, which increases severe weather and flooding, then that leads to the spread of infectious diseases, and that affects low-income countries more than high-income countries. Other things like deforestation leads to erosion and flooding. And agricultural expansion, that means more drinking water contamination, pollution, loss of biodiversity.

STEWART: Does this article offer any solutions, or are we just going to be bummed about this?

CHILLAG: Well, you know, they say that these things are really hard to calculate, and that the main purpose of this study is just to get people thinking about it.


CHILLAG: And on that note, I should say that if you have any kind of doubts about, you know, maybe the biases of the study, I did notice, you know, it's from UC Berkeley. It's something called the Pacific Ecoinformatics and Computational Ecology Lab, which if you look at - that's an acronym for PEACE.

TOURE: You make me feel guilty about thinking, well, if these countries would pay us back what they owe, maybe we'd get out of our recession.

CHILLAG: Well, I think, you know, the scientists behind the study are thinking the other way. You know, maybe we should be blamed that they're poor in the first place.

TOURE: Time will tell.

STEWART: Food for thought.

Dan Pashman.

DAN PASHMAN: Hey, guys. Long time.

(Soundbite of laughter)

PASHMAN: We've got most viewed here from the Los Angeles Times. Interesting story about a gentleman named Moshe Cotel. He was a very successful composer and a high-ranking conservatory professor in his mid-50s, a pianist and a composer. He decided to leave that life behind at age 50-something and become a rabbi. So he went to rabbinical school, and he got to the end of his studies and he, you know, at the end you have to write a rabbinical thesis. He didn't want to write one, though. He's been a little lazy. He said, hey, can I compose something instead?

He did, and he ended up with something called "Chronicles: A Jewish Life at the Classical Piano." And it's turned into this sensation that he's been performing 64 times before Jewish congregations and interfaith groups around the country, all over the place, in addition to keeping up a pretty busy schedule as a rabbi in Brooklyn. And I actually found a clip of it on YouTube. Sound quality is not ideal, but it works. We've got a little sample here of Moshe Cotel at the piano.

(Soundbite of composition, "Chronicles: A Jewish Life at the Classical Piano")

PASHMAN: So that's "Chronicles: A Jewish Life at the Classical Piano." And he says he never would have seen this coming, but God works in strange ways.

STEWART: There you go. I liked that you had a little example.

PASHMAN: There you go.

STEWART: Brought it home.

(Soundbite of laughter)

STEWART: Hey, Tricia, you're on the mic. Editor Tricia McKinney.

TRICIA McKINNEY: Yes, hello. I have one of the most read stories on And - well, okay. I'll just read you the headline. "Man Shoots Co-worker while Rescuing Him from Crocodile."

STEWART: I can understand why people wouldn't click on that and read that.

McKINNEY: I know.

(Soundbite of laughter)

McKINNEY: How could you not click on it?

STEWART: How could you…

PASHMAN: I think you just broke my brain.

(Soundbite of laughter)

McKINNEY: All right. So it's a story about two crocodile workers - crocodile farm workers from Australia. And one of them - they were collecting eggs from a crocodile, and one of them got bit on the arm. And so the other one, trying to rescue him, shot at the crocodile, making it let go of the guy's arm, but he's fired a second shot, hitting the guy, who was previously in the jaws of the crocodile, in the arm. Anyway, the guy's fine. The guy's fine.

STEWART: Everybody's fine.

McKINNEY: Everybody's fine.

STEWART: All right. That's the most…

McKINNEY: I think the crocodile might even be fine.

(Soundbite of laughter)

TOURE: I should hope so.

McKINNEY: You know, they don't actually say how the crocodile's doing, but I think it's fine.

TOURE: You know, that's not right. That's not right.

STEWART: Biased in reporting.

TOURE: Alison, do you have something for show and tell?

STEWART: I do have a Most. This one's actually kind of a serious one. It's most read and most e-mailed at the Philadelphia Inquirer. I'll read the headline. "After Leap Breaks Body, a Miracle Renews Spirit. A Talented Student Rebuilds His Life after Battling Depression and Falling Nine Floors." It's this - it's a 19-page story. It's really an incredible read about this kid - good athlete, just found out he was homecoming king, but he was depressed. And some of his friends kind of knew that he was depressed, but they weren't necessarily sure that it wasn't just him having a little bit of the blues.

Well, one day after sort of letting down his parents, he thought and talking to his mom and dad and just saying, you know, I'm kind of a bad person. I haven't really been living up to my potential. The kid jumped out of nine floors. Okay. Nine stories. He hit the ground at 50 miles per hour. No one thought he would live. He had been - he had to go through a series of tremendous surgeries. He had tracheotomy to help breathing, and he came out of it all.

And initially, he didn't even remember what had happened. You know, he said did somebody push me? Did I fall? And they weren't sure what to tell him. And slowly, as he began to reheal and recover, he started realizing how severely depressed he was, and he has just started to really understand that he loves his life. He appreciated - he saw how many people came out to support him. He's got a Facebook page with so many friends weighing in. He said, gosh, I just really wish I had thought about all of this before. So this is a like 19-page story about his journey.

And it's really a great read. And also, I just wanted to make sure that people knew. I want to give out a couple of hotline Web sites. If you have - know anybody who's feeling this way or you think you have somebody in your family, you can always go onto, or offers a lot of really good information on how to help people in your life. If you see somebody in your life and you think, oh, he's just kind of bummed out. Maybe investigate a little bit, is sort of the moral of the story, is to care about each other and be plugged into our families. So that's from The Philadelphia Inquirer.

(Soundbite of music)

STEWART: And you know what? I think that does it for The Most…

TOURE: Okay.

STEWART: …for today. Bye, guys.


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