While the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has claimed that the proposed Keystone XL pipeline would create 250,000 jobs, labor researchers say the jobs figures have been vastly distorted. We speak to Sean Sweeney, director and founder of the Global Labor Institute at Cornell University, and Bruce Hamilton, vice president of Amalgamated Transit Union.
For the first time ever, delegates at the U.N. Climate Change Conference are talking about entirely phasing out fossil fuels by 2050, setting up a showdown with the energy industry that profits from their extraction. We speak to Jamie Henn of 350.org about the state of the U.N. talks, the world’s growing divestment movement, and President Obama’s comments casting doubt on the Keystone XL this week on "The Colbert Report."
We speak with youth activist Alyssa Johnson-Kurts of the group SustainUS about rules at the United Nations Climate Change Conference that require protesters to submit banners and slogans for approval. She says the regulations bar mention of specific names, officials and projects. "We tried to submit a banner that would have an arrow with Keystone XL in one direction and a liveable future in the other direction, and they rejected that proposal," Johnson-Kurts says. Civil society faces increasing separation from what takes place inside the conference. "The irony of course is that very few restrictions are placed on the fossil fuel companies that come here," notes our guest Jamie Henn, co-founder and communications director of the climate group 350.org.
With an impassioned plea for climate action on Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry is the highest-ranking U.S. official to attend the annual U.N. Climate Change Conference since President Obama took part in the 2009 Copenhagen talks. While Kerry spoke for 30 minutes, he never addressed an issue on the minds of many: the proposed Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline. Kerry must make a final recommendation to Obama about whether the $8 billion pipeline should be approved. Amy Goodman speaks to former Vice President Al Gore, who attended Kerry’s speech, about why he wants Obama to reject the Keystone XL. She then tries to raise the issue with Kerry and top U.S. climate negotiator Todd Stern, but both refuse to answer.
"We are on a Course Leading to Tragedy": At U.N. Talks, Kerry Delivers Urgent Plea on Climate Change
The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, has entered its final day of scheduled talks. Deep divisions remain between wealthy and developing nations on emission cuts and over how much the world’s largest polluters should help poorer nations address climate change. On Thursday, Secretary of State John Kerry flew into Lima and made an impassioned plea for all nations to work for an ambitious U.N. climate deal next year in Paris. Kerry said time is running out to reverse "a course leading to tragedy."
- CIA Director Defends Torture Program, Rejects Senate Claims
- Brennan: No Guarantee the CIA Won't Torture Again
- African-American Congressional Staffers Stage "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" Walkout
- House Approves Controversial Spending Bill Gutting Financial Reform
- National Marches Against Police Brutality, Racial Profiling Set for Saturday
- Thousands Attend Cabinet Minister's Funeral as Palestinians, Israelis Differ on Cause of Death
- Hong Kong Police Clear Pro-Democracy Encampment After More Than 2 Months
- As Rainstorm Pummels West Coast, Kerry Links Extreme Weather to Climate Change
- Former Model Joins List of Accusers as Bill Cosby Faces Lawsuits, LAPD Probe
The United Nations Climate Conference is being held in Peru, which is now the world’s fourth most dangerous country for environmental defenders. Four were killed in September alone. In a brutal incident in a remote region of Peru’s Amazon rainforest, leading indigenous activist Edwin Chota was ambushed as he traveled to neighboring Brazil for a meeting on how to address the region’s illegal logging crisis. Illegal loggers allegedly killed and dismembered Chota along with his colleagues Jorge Ríos, Francisco Pinedo and Leoncio Quinticima. Chota is among at least 57 environmental activists who have been assassinated in Peru since 2002. The Peruvian government has recently passed legislation that rolls back forest protections, which has increased the pace of such murders. We are joined by Chris Moye, the environmental governance campaigner for Global Witness and author of their new report, "Peru’s Deadly Environment."
Peruvian Protester: My Brother Was Disappeared in 1993 at El Pentagonito, the Site of Climate Summit
The U.N. climate summit in Lima is being held at the Peruvian army headquarters, known as "El Pentagonito." It is a site with a dark history, built in 1975 by the dictator Juan Velasco Alvarado. The army, under President Alberto Fujimori, later used the base to torture and interrogate political prisoners. We speak with Marly Anzualdo Castro, whose brother, Kenneth Anzualdo Castro, was disappeared in 1993 during Fujimori’s reign. Last year, the Inter-American Court of Human Rights determined the state was responsible for Kenneth’s forced disappearance. To this date, his whereabouts remain unknown. Anzualdo Castro joined Wednesday’s climate march in Lima holding a sign reading "No Olvidamos," which means "We don’t forget." Anzualdo Castro says her brother was committed to student activism. "I join young people today [at the climate protest] because my brother had that spirit," Anzualdo Castro says. "So for me it is a way to see him alive now."
In Peru, thousands marched in Lima on Wednesday calling on world leaders at the United Nations climate summit to do more to tackle climate change. After the main march, hundreds headed across town in a spontaneous action against a corporate meeting called the World Climate Summit. Democracy Now! producer Renée Feltz files a report from the streets.
On Wednesday, climate justice activists from around world marched in Lima at the people’s climate march. We hear voices from Uganda, Mozambique, Australia, Canada, Peru, Nigeria and more. "We the people have come together to stand up against injustice. We are saying enough is enough," says Godwin Uyi Ojo, executive director of Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria. "In the COP, negotiations are taking place. The developed countries are putting profit before people. And we say, ’No, you need to put people first, before profit."
"We Are Like the Walking Dead": Latin American Indigenous Groups Decry Corporate Destruction of Land
As the United Nations Climate Conference in Peru enters its final phase, thousands of people marched in downtown Lima on Wednesday to call for action on global warming. We hear from some of the voices who took to the streets: frontline indigenous and rural communities from across Latin America who are among the most impacted by both the industrial practices that fuel climate change and the impacts of global warming.
- White House Faces Calls to Prosecute, Fire CIA Officials for Torture
- U.N. Human Rights Commissioner: U.S. Has Obligation to Prosecute Torturers
- U.S. Hands over Control of Afghanistan's Bagram Prison After Torture Findings Released
- White House, Justice Dept. Reject Calls for Torture Prosecutions
- Psychologist Who Helped Devise Torture Methods Defends CIA Program
- APA: Hold Psychologists Accountable for Creating Torture Program
- Threat of Gov't Shutdown Renewed as Dems Oppose Wall St. Deregulation Added to Spending Bill
- Medical Students, Activists Stage Nationwide "Die-Ins" over Eric Garner Decision
- Hip-Hop Artists Nas, Common, Q-Tip Present Demands for Justice in Garner Case
- Obama Admin Given Deadline to Decide on Whether to Jail NYT Reporter in Leak Case
As the U.N. climate summit continues, protesters are gathering in downtown Lima for what organizers hope will be the largest climate march in the history of South America. Democracy Now! visits Casa de Convergencia TierrActiva, a house that has become a key organizing hub ahead of the march, to see how demonstrators are preparing.
The controversial carbon trading scheme known as REDD, or Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation, has set off protests not only in Africa, but also in South America, especially in the Amazon region. We speak to Chief Ninawa Huni Kui, president of the Federation of the Huni Kui, an indigenous group in Brazil. He has traveled to the U.N. climate summit in Lima to voice his opposition to REDD.
We are broadcasting from the United Nations climate summit in Lima, Peru, where high-level talks have just gotten under way. On Tuesday, Bolivian President Evo Morales called on delegates to include the wisdom of indigenous people in the global agreement to address climate change and criticized the summit for failing to address capitalism as the root of the crisis. We discuss the state of the climate talks with Nnimmo Bassey, a Nigerian environmental activist, director of Health of Mother Earth Foundation, and author of "To Cook a Continent: Destructive Extraction and the Climate Crisis in Africa." Bassey says the carbon trading included in the draft agreement could increase deforestation, displace farmers and contribute to the food crisis in Africa.
Graphic new details of the post-9/11 U.S. torture program came to light Tuesday when the Senate Intelligence Committee released a 500-page summary of its investigation into the CIA with key parts redacted. The report concludes that the intelligence agency failed to disrupt a single plot despite torturing al-Qaeda and other captives in secret prisons worldwide between 2002 and 2006, and details a list of torture methods used on prisoners, including waterboarding, sexual threats with broomsticks, and medically unnecessary "rectal feeding." The report also confirms the CIA ran black sites in Afghanistan, Lithuania, Romania, Poland, Thailand, and a secret site on the Guantánamo Naval Base known as Strawberry Fields. So far no one involved in the CIA interrogation program has been charged with a crime except the whistleblower John Kiriakou. In 2007, he became the first person with direct knowledge of the program to publicly reveal its existence. He is now serving a 30-month sentence. We speak with Reed Brody, counsel and spokesperson for Human Rights Watch, who has written several reports on prisoner mistreatment in the war on terror, including a 2011 report which called for a criminal investigation of senior Bush administration officials.
- Senate Findings Detail CIA Abuses Under Torture Program
- Obama: Findings Show Why Torture Program was Stopped, But Prosecution Not on Table
- Lawmakers Agree on $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill to Avoid Gov't Shutdown
- New York City Protests Continue over Eric Garner Decision; "Millions March" Planned for Saturday
- NYPD Commissioner Vows Officer Retraining, Repairing Ties
- Report: 1 Conviction in 179 NYPD Killings Since 1999
- Phoenix Demonstrators Protest Police Killing of Unarmed African-American Man
- U.N. Obtains Pledges to Resettle 100,000 Syrian Refugees; Food Aid to Resume
- Iraq Seeks More U.S. Airstrikes, Weaponry; Admin Seeks Broad Congressional Authorization for Anti-ISIS Campaign
- Israeli Troops Kill Palestinian Minister at West Bank Protest
- Georgia Executes Death Row Prisoner Who Had Drunken Lawyer, Disability Issues
- Obama Admin Tightens Racial Profiling Guidelines But Leaves Controversial Tactics in Place
- Ex-Head of Company Behind West Virginia Chemical Spill Indicted on Fraud Charges
- Malala Yousafzai, Kailash Satyarthi Awarded Nobel Peace Prize in Oslo
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.
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.