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A Global Climate Deal is Within Reach, But Only Public Pressure Can Ensure It Meets Earth's Needs

Democracy Now - Tue 07 44 AM

As we broadcast from the U.N. Climate Conference in Lima, Peru, where delegates from around the world are meeting on a global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming, the first text of this year’s draft has been released. We are joined by Pablo Solón, Bolivia’s former ambassador to the United Nations and former chief negotiator on climate change. Now the executive director of Focus on the Global South, Solón was a presenter of the International Rights of Nature Tribunal, which also took place in Peru.

Indigenous Women: Earth Defenders Speak Out from the Front Lines of Climate Change

Democracy Now - Tue 07 35 AM

Today is "Gender Day" at the U.N. Climate Change Conference, a day that acknowledges the disproportionate impact of climate change on women, who make up 70 percent of the world’s poor. We hear from a panel of indigenous women from around the world who met off-site Monday to share their solutions to climate change. The event, hosted by the Women’s Earth and Climate Action Network, featured indigenous women leaders on the front lines of defending the Earth from exploitation by fossil fuel companies. Speakers included Patricia Gualinga, a Kichwa leader from Sarayaku, Ecuador, and her niece, Nina Gualinga. In 2012, the Sarayaku community won a case at the Inter-American Court of Human Rights against the Ecuadorean government after a foreign oil company was permitted to encroach on their land.

First Ever Climate Summit in Amazon Country Amidst Growing Threat to "Heart of the Planet"

Democracy Now - Tue 07 27 AM

This year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference in Peru marks the first time the talks have been held in an Amazon country. More than 70 percent of Peru’s national territory is within the Amazon Basin. The founder and executive director of Amazon Watch, Atossa Soltani, joins us to talk about the significance of the U.N. climate summit taking place in Peru amidst long-term threats to the Amazon. Soltani also addresses the challenges facing developing countries with lucrative, but carbon-intensive energy resources, and whether the United States is being a responsible environmental steward for future generations. "When we lose the Amazon, we not only create emissions, but we lose the climate stabilizing function of the forest," Soltani says. "We’re reaching a tipping point."

"Corporate Conquistadors": New Report Exposes How Multinationals Drive, Profit from Climate Change

Democracy Now - Tue 07 19 AM

As we broadcast from the United Nations Climate Summit in Lima, Peru, we speak with Pascoe Sabido of the Corporate Europe Observatory, which has just released a new report, "Corporate Conquistadors: The Many Ways Multinationals Both Drive and Profit from Climate Destruction." "This is COP 20. For 20 years we’ve been going without progressing to a fair and progressive climate deal that we need," Sabido says. "One of the big reasons is the aggressive lobbying of the fossil fuel industry both at the national level and here at the talks."

"They Have Destroyed Our Livelihood": Activists Protest Shell and Chevron at U.N. Climate Talks

Democracy Now - Tue 07 13 AM

At the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, protesters gathered inside Monday to protest the invitation of oil giants Shell and Chevron to speak on summit panels. Democracy Now! producer Mike Burke was there when scores of summit delegates attempted to walk into an event featuring Shell climate change adviser David Hone.

Widows of Peru's Murdered Indigenous Rainforest Defenders Demand Justice at U.N. Climate Summit

Democracy Now - Mon 07 50 AM

Peru, the host country of this year’s U.N. Climate Change Conference, is facing scrutiny because a new report by the group Global Witness finds it is the fourth most dangerous nation for environmental activists, including the indigenous people who live in the forests and work to protect it from deforestation. Since 2002, at least 57 environmental activists were assassinated in Peru, which recently passed legislation that rolls back forest protections in order to attract new investment and development. We speak with Julia Pérez and Ergilia Rengifo, the widows of activists Edwin Chota and Jorge Ríos, who were killed in September allegedly by illegal loggers they were trying to stop. Shortly before his death, Chota had called for greater protection from the government for communities such as his own, and described how his life had been threatened. Now his widows have traveled from the rainforest to Lima to call for justice.

The Laundering Machine: How U.S. Corporations Threaten Peru's Forests Through Illegal Logging

Democracy Now - Mon 07 43 AM

We are broadcasting from the United Nations Climate Conference in Lima, Peru, where more than half of the country is still covered by tropical rainforest, which plays a crucial role in absorbing carbon emissions that contribute to global warming. A new report reveals more than 20 U.S. companies have imported millions of dollars in illegal wood from the Peruvian Amazon since 2008. We speak to Julia Urrunaga, Peru programs director for the Environmental Investigation Agency and author of the new report, "The Laundering Machine: How Fraud and Corruption in Peru’s Concession System Are Destroying the Future of Its Forests."

At Lima Talks, Nations Worst Hit by Global Warming Say Climate Aid Isn't Charity, But Reparations

Democracy Now - Mon 07 25 AM

Convening in Lima, Peru, the annual United Nations Climate Change Conference is in its second and final week of talks. Negotiators from 190 nations are working on a global deal to limit climate change, due to be agreed on in Paris next year. Just last week the U.N.’s World Meteorological Organization said 2014 is on track to be the hottest on record, or at least among the very warmest. Including this year, 14 of the 15 hottest years on record will have been in the 21st century. Deep divisions remain between developed and developing nations on how much the world’s largest polluters should cut emissions and how much they should help poorer nations deal with climate change. We are joined by two guests: Lidy Nacpil of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, and Saleemul Huq, a Bangladeshi climate scientist who is advising the bloc of least developed countries in the climate negotiations.

As Typhoon Hagupit Wreaks Havoc, Leading Filipino Environmental Voice Silenced at U.N. Climate Talks

Democracy Now - Mon 07 13 AM

As we broadcast from the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, the Philippines is being hit by a deadly typhoon for the third year in a row. More than 90 people have been killed and more than one million evacuated from their homes. The Filipino delegation at the U.N. climate talks has drawn attention over the surprising absence of Yeb Saño, the country’s former lead climate negotiator. Saño made international headlines at both of the last two climate summits after he gave emotional speeches on the link between climate change and the deadly typhoons hitting his country. We are joined by Lidy Nacpil of the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice.

The Killing of Tamir Rice: Cleveland Police Criticized for Shooting 12-Year-Old Holding Toy Gun

Democracy Now - Fri 07 47 AM

More than 100 people packed a church in Cleveland, Ohio, for the memorial service of Tamir Rice, a 12-year-old African-American boy shot dead by police last month. Rice, who was in sixth grade, was killed after a 911 caller reported seeing the boy with what turned out to be a pellet gun, which the caller repeatedly said seemed fake. Video shows Cleveland police officer Timothy Loehmann fatally shooting Rice immediately after leaving his cruiser, from a distance of about 10 feet. On Thursday, Attorney General Eric Holder announced the Justice Department has found a pattern or practice of “unreasonable and unnecessary use of force” by the Cleveland Police Department. We speak with Democratic Ohio state Senator Nina Turner, whose district includes Cleveland.

We are also joined by three others in our studio: Graham Weatherspoon is a retired detective with the New York City Police Department; Mychal Denzel Smith is a contributing writer for The Nation; and Harry Siegel is a columnist at the New York Daily News.

A Racist and Unjust System? A Discussion on Policing in Wake of Michael Brown and Eric Garner Deaths

Democracy Now - Fri 07 28 AM

As Rev. Al Sharpton calls for a march on Washington next Saturday to demand action from the federal government on police brutality and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio orders the retraining of the city’s police force, we host a roundtable discussion on policing and race nationwide. We’re joined by three guests: Graham Weatherspoon is a retired detective with the New York City Police Department; Mychal Denzel Smith is a contributing writer for The Nation; and Harry Siegel is a columnist at the New York Daily News.

Did the NYPD Let Eric Garner Die? Video Shows Police Ignored Pleas to Help Him After Chokehold

Democracy Now - Fri 07 17 AM

While much of the nation has seen the cellphone video showing the New York City police officer’s chokehold that led to Eric Garner’s death, a second video shows what happened after Garner last gasped, "I can’t breathe." The video shows Garner lying unresponsive on the sidewalk as police and medics do nothing to help him. A bystander can be heard saying, "Why nobody do no CPR?" Eventually they lift his body onto a stretcher. New York Daily News columnist Harry Siegel writes about the video in his latest article, "The lonesome death of Eric Garner: When men are treated like pieces of meat by cops and medics, trust erodes."

Shutting Down the Streets: Thousands Protest Police Killings by Blocking Traffic & Staging Die-ins

Democracy Now - Fri 07 13 AM

For a second night, thousands of protesters swarmed the streets of New York City to protest a grand jury’s decision not to indict the white police officer who killed Eric Garner, an African-American father of six, after placing him in a banned chokehold. Protesters chanted, "I can’t breathe," as they blocked traffic, shutting down the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges, the West Side Highway and the Holland Tunnel. The police reported making more than 200 arrests, including many near Times Square. In Washington, D.C., hundreds staged a die-in near the Washington Monument. In Boston, protesters shut down the Massachusetts Turnpike and Interstate 93 as well as part of the city’s subway system. In Chicago, demonstrators shouted, "Hands up, don’t shoot!" while blocking Lake Shore Drive along Lake Michigan. In San Francisco, marchers shut down Market Street. Hundreds also marched in Oakland.

Pioneering Politician Herman Badillo, the First Puerto Rican Elected to Congress, Dies at 85

Democracy Now - Fri 07 11 AM

Herman Badillo, a trailblazing politician who became the first Puerto Rican-born member of Congress, has died at the age of 85. Badillo served as a powerful voice in New York City politics for decades. He started out as a civil rights attorney and went on to hold a range of city posts and serve four terms in Congress. Throughout his career he championed the rights of Latinos and the poor. Democracy Now! co-host Juan González highlights the legacy of Badillo in his New York Daily News column this week, "Few played as big a role in community as Herman Badillo."

Out Cheneying-Cheney: Obama's Likely Defense Pick Once Backed Pre-emptive Attack on North Korea

Democracy Now - Thu 07 52 AM

President Obama is reportedly preparing to nominate former Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to replace ousted Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel. A trained physicist, Carter has a long history at the Pentagon, where he once served as the chief arms buyer. In 2006, he made headlines when he backed a pre-emptive strike against North Korea if the country continued with plans to conduct a test launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile. He co-wrote a piece headlined "If Necessary, Strike and Destroy." We speak to Alice Slater, New York director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation and a member of the Abolition 2000 coordinating committee.

Vince Warren on How Police Officers Get Away with Killing from Ferguson to NYC

Democracy Now - Thu 07 29 AM

Just a week after a grand jury in Missouri cleared police officer Darren Wilson for the killing of Michael Brown, a New York grand jury cleared New York City police officer Daniel Pantaleo for the killing of Eric Garner, who died after being placed in a chokehold. Both officers were white. Both victims were African American. Thousands flooded the streets in New York City last night after the grand jury decision was announced. Democracy Now! was there and interviewed several people about why they were taking part in the protests. We speak with Vince Warren, executive director of the Center for Constitutional Rights, about how the grand jury system can be used to shield police officers from prosecution. We also hear from retired NYPD detective Carlton Berkley about department restrictions on the use of chokeholds.

"I Fear for the Lives of My Sons": Voices from NYC Protests over Eric Garner Grand Jury Ruling

Democracy Now - Thu 07 26 AM

In the wake of the grand jury’s decision not to indict a white New York City police officer in the chokehold killing of Eric Garner, more than 80 people were arrested as protesters shut down parts of New York City, including the Brooklyn Bridge, Lincoln Tunnel, West Side Highway and Sixth Avenue around Rockefeller Center. where the Christmas tree lighting ceremony was taking place. Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz and video producer Messiah Rhodes talked to a group of protesters in Times Square last night.