Skip to main content
Internet Archive's 25th Anniversary Logo

tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  February 11, 2014 8:00am-9:01am PST

8:00 am
02/11/14 02/11/14 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is democracy now! the fit extinction was extinction they did in the dinosaurs about 66 million years ago and that was caused by an asteroid impact now you often hear people say, i've heard scientists say, we are the asteroid, humans are the asteroids in the sixth extinction. >> elizabeth kolbert on, "the sixth extinction: an unnatural history."
8:01 am
and the link between climate change and the most devastating mass extinction in years. action --obal day of first, a global day of action. >> it will be a huge internet protest. it is going to be an opportunity for big websites like reddit and others. >> over 6000 websites are taking part in a day of action against the nsa and mass surveillance. we will speak to rainey reitman. all of that and more coming back. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. an anti-drone activist and journalist has gone missing in pakistan just days before he was due to travel to europe to speak with parliament members about the impact of the u.s. drone wars.
8:02 am
the legal charity reprieve says karim khan was seized in the early hours of february 5 by up to 20 men, some wearing police uniforms. yes not been seen since. his brother and son were both killed in a drone strike. he criticized u.s. drone wars in an interview with filmmaker madiha tahir. >> you ask me a question about terrorism. >> karim khan was also engaged in legal proceedings against the pakistani government for their failure to investigate the killings of his son and brother.
8:03 am
the executive director of reprieve said in a statement -- to see "wounds of waziristan," you can go to democracynow.org. a three-year-old girl in kabul has been done this with polio, marking the first case of the disease in the afghan capital since 2001 when u.s. invaded. the bbc reports the girl has been paralyzed by the disease. there were 14 polio cases reported in all of afghanistan last year. the afghan health ministry has launched a vaccination campaign in kabul. meanwhile, suicide barb -- our bomb attack on a convoy killed two nato contractors in kabul monday. seven afghan civilians were wounded. vinia isnd herzego
8:04 am
facing its largest antigovernment protest in nearly two decades. protest shut down the capital on monday. a university professor described to protest launch. >> what happened here is the people of the region finally said they had enough of the corrupt and unprofessional government. the government deficits has 20 years hasn't listened to the people and their anger. a government which does not see the people are hungry and unemployed, that they have no chance for future and what happened is people took matters into their own hands and stepped up to take part in creating their own future. that is what happened. >> bosnia's unemployment rate is estimated to be between one to seven percent and 40%. the political frustration stems at least in part from the u.s.-brokered peace accords in
8:05 am
the 1990's. state regulators in north carolina are facing claims they intentionally blocked lawsuits against duke energy, the company behind one of the worst coal ash spills in u.s. history. they did so in order to shield duke ottowa republican governor patrick rory work for 28 years. earlier this month, the duke coal ash pits build enough toxic sludge to fill more than 70 olympic summing polls. the associated press reports over the last year, following the election of the governor, north carolina's environmental agency blocked lawsuits over dukes pits three times, initially shielding all 31 pits from potential lawsuits. the agency proposed settlements for a fraction of duke's work that did not require duke to clean up the pits. beyond his work for duke, the governor's campaign and affiliated groups have received more than $1 million in recent years from duke and related groups and individuals. the state agency has also
8:06 am
admitted it wrongly declared arsenic levels in the dan river safe after the spill. arsenic is one sample was actually four times higher than maximum levels for prolonged content. virginia, theest company responsible for last month chemical spill that left 300,000 people without drinking water decided to skip the congressional hearing on the fallout monday. during the hearing, republican congress member shelley moore capito question the president of the water utility -- west virginia american water. >> is the water safe to drink? >> as a water company, we don't set say standards. we are in compliance with all the standards set by the agencies like the cdc, west virginia bureau of public health, and we have been since january 13. i recognize the customers fear associated with the smell of something in their water. >> the hearing in west virginia failed to definitively a
8:07 am
soundless whether the water is actually safe to drink. the state's highest health official said she believes the water is usable, but added "everybody has a different definition of safe." there are reports that water still smells like licorice, asigned of contamination -- sign of contamination. the obama administration is to lay new requirements for employers to provide health insurance to their workers under the new health care law. medium-sized employers will have until 2016 to comply, while larger employers will only need to cover 70% of full-time workers by next year. former government contractor whose case ignited a firestorm over the obama administration's targeting of journalists has pleaded guilty to leaking foxments on north korea to news. steven kim faces a likely sentence of 13 months in prison under the plea deal.
8:08 am
kim was charged under the espionage act, the nearly century-old law which was also used to classify fox news reporter james rosen as a co-conspirator in the case. outcry over the government's seizure of phone records from both rosen and the associated an unrelated case prompted a change in justice department guidelines last year. video shows u.s. forces abdting a terrorism suspect from outside his home in libya last year. al-libi was snatched from the streets of tripoli and interrogated for a week aboard a u.s. warship following his capture in october. he is accused of helping plan the 1998 bombings of u.s. embassies in africa and currently awaiting trial in new york. video from the closed-circuit camera obtained by "the washington post," shows men with guns jumping out of a van after trailing al-libi while another car locks his path. the video also shows the panic
8:09 am
through action of those in his home who rush into the streets after his capture. trial isrk, the underway from occupy wall street activist whose march 2012 arrest ignited allegations of police brutality. cecily mcmillan reportedly suffered a seizure when she was arrested during an attempt by protesters to reoccupy zucotti park six months after the start of occupy wall street. she appeared on democracy now! days later, she was suffering from bruised ribs and what appeared to be a hand shaped rooms over her right breast. ended a 40-something our stay in jail and ended up with all of these bruises. i have an open case so i can talk more about it. i'm sure you can tell it would be difficult for me to remember --ething, but i have these
8:10 am
>> cecily mcmillan now faces up to seven years in prison on charges of second-degree assault. police say she elbowed an officer in the head, but her attorney says she was reacting to someone grabbing her right dress from behind, not realizing it was a police officer. the attorney said in new jersey, state lawmakers investigating the closure of lanes on the george washington bridge by an ally of governor chris christie are issuing 18 new subpoenas in the case of including to governor christie's office. members of his inner circle and the state police unit overseeing his helicopter travel. christine fired a top aide last month after it emerged she order the lane closures in an apparent act of political retaliation. his former ally the port authority a bid wildstein has since claimed governor christie knew about the lane closures at the time, a claim christie has denied.
8:11 am
raisein illinois today to money for his republican colleagues. none of illinois republican candidates for governor are expected to attend the event. barclays bank is planning to cut up to 12,000 jobs this year while raising bonuses for its investment bankers, and says up to 90% of its workers may lose their jobs even if the bank raises bonuses at its investment bank by 13% for paying out nearly $4 billion last year. the cultural theorist stuart hall has died at the age of 82. dubbed the godfather of multiculturalism, hall was a jamaican born sociologist who lived and taught in britain for decades. he was the founding editor of "new left review" and a key figure of the development of cultural studies. thought it had to
8:12 am
have a political dimension. by that i mean you don't -- it doesn't have to be recruited to politicalular position. you're bound to question the boundaries of the hierarchies, the established views. that itself is a political party. the challenge to existing knowledge. >> that was stuart hall speaking in 2012. he died on monday at the age of 82. those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. next year will mark a decade since the bush administration's warrantless spying first came to light. the news the white house altered surveillance on americans without court approval shattered the secrecy around the national security agency. until then, many were either
8:13 am
unaware of the nsa or just saw it as another outpost of a bloated national security state. the exposure of its warrantless wiretapping was arguably the biggest scandal of the post-9/11 era -- until last year. edward snowden came for to reveal a mammoth spying apparatus that spans the globe from phone records to text messages to social media and e-mail from a from the internal communications of climate summits to those of foreign missions, and even individual heads of state. these revelations have sparked intense public scrutiny. today, advocates are holding one of the biggest online action so far. >> it is called "the day we fight back: against mass surveillance." more than 6000 websites are taking part including reddit, tumblre and mozilla. the websites will display a banner encouraging visitors to fight back against surveillance. internet users are encouraged to post memes and change their
8:14 am
social media avatars to reflect their demands. organizers announced the action on the eve of the debt of the anniversary of internet open access activist aaron swartz. over 8000 2012 websites went dark for 12 hours in protest of a pair of controversial bills that were being debated in congress -- the stop online percy act and the reject ip act. the bills died in committee in the wake of the protest. this clip from the new documentary "the internet's own boy: the story of aaron swartz" describes the successful campaign. >> wikipedia when black, craigslist web black, phone lines on capitol hill melted. members of congress were rushing to issue statements. it was for me to
8:15 am
believe after all of this, we had one. the thing everyone said was impossible, that some of the biggest companies in the world had written off as a pipe dream, had happened. we did it. we won. this is a historic week in internet politics. >> a thing we heard from people in washington, d.c. was they were receiving more e-mails and phone calls on the blackout date and they had received about anything. i think that was an extremely exciting moment. is easy sometimes to feel like you're powerless. you come out in the streets and march and yell and nobody hears you. i am here to tell you today, you are powerful. >> the film premiered at the sundance film festival in park
8:16 am
city, utah last month. aaron swartz inspired organizers to create today's, "the day we .ight back" protest >> we go to san francisco where we're joined by rainey reitman, the activist and director of the electronic frontier foundation. she is cofounder of the freedom of the press foundation. welcome to democracy now! talk about the significance of the state, and particularly what your target is. >> thank you so much for having me. today we fight back is a digital protest and over 6000 websites have gone on. we are pushing for a number of things. for those within the u.s., we are pushing people to contact their members of congress. we are at sort of a real interesting point in the nsa debate. we have obama acting a few key concessions toward reform. we have reviewed groups and congressionally appointed oversight board for civil
8:17 am
a fairly demanding extensive reform be made to nsa spying. we have polls of public opinion showing overwhelmingly the american people want reform. in this landscape, we have an opportunity to push for congressional action. that is what we're doing. we are asking people to call on congress to promote the usa freedom act which would help to rein in nsa surveillance and push for additional forms of that bill such as privacy protection for people overseas and ensuring internet standards are not undermined by the nsa. al defeating a bill known as the fisa improvement act which would actually attempt to codify into law mass surveillance, to legalize some of the worst mass surveillance we have seen from the nsa. >> talk about what visitors to websites will see today. what has the response been of
8:18 am
the major internet companies -- google, microsoft, apple -- who claim they want to see reforms as well? the visitors to websites all over the world on over 6000 websites will see a banner. within the united states, that banner will give them an opportunity to call their member of congress. it will have a script there. or you can e-mail a member of congress. if you're coming from overseas, that banner is going to show a global petition against mass surveillance that you can sign onto with others from around the world. the petition will be used to move forward policy debates around opposing mass surveillance. interestingly, we have seen a lot of these tech companies starting to stand with their users. this is something they were a little slow to the gates. in fact, become a slight bestook, google, microsoft
8:19 am
big companies like facebook, google, microsoft had pushed for the reform. there's a coalition website they put together. it is running a banner also. >> last month president obama unveiled his long-awaited review of the nsa surveillance programs after edward snowden expose them to global scrutiny. in a move denounced by privacy advocates, obama refused in the baltic collection of telephone metadata saying only he will modify it from how it currently exists. >> and therefore ordering a transition that will end the section 215 bulk metadata as it currently exists and preserve the capabilities we need without the government holding this bulk metadata. this will not be simple. >> the interview on a german channel ard commit edward snowden reacted to obama's
8:20 am
speech. >> it was clear from the president speech that he wanted to make minor changes to preserve authorities that we don't need. the president created a review board from officials our personal friends, from national security insiders, deputy of the cia -- people who had every incentive to be soft on these programs. but what they found is these programs have no value. they've never stopped a terrorist attack in the united states. they have marginal juliett us for other things. the only thing the section 215 phone metadata program, bulk collection which means mass surveillance, program was in stopping or detecting $8,500 wire transfer from a cab driver in california. is this kind of review where insiders go, we don't need these
8:21 am
programs. these programs don't make us safe. they take her terminus amount of resources to run. they offer us no value. the national security agency operates under the president's executive authority alone. he can and or modified or change the policies at any time. >> that is edward snowden reacting to president obama's speech asked month. rainey reitman, your group gave obama a score of 3.5 out of 12 points that you wanted to see him make in reforming nsa surveillance. where do you think you met the bar and where do you think he failed? when it came to obama's promises for nsa reform, i want to acknowledge he did do a couple of things. wasthing clearly did do he worked to reform the fisa court -- the secret court that
8:22 am
signs off on the nsa surveillance programs right now and has been heavily criticized by civil liberties groups including the electronic frontier foundation because it is so un-transparence and has been creating caselaw and not making it available to the public. obama put in individual into the fisa court who would champion civil liberties. that is really important first step and i don't -- i want to underscore that. he also insured the fisa court would have a certain amount of transparency, that once a year they would look to declassify some of the fisa court opinions. that was an important step. here and there we gave him credit for a few other things. however, one thing we were particularly looking for from obama was a promise that even as he transitioned out the telephone metadata program, the
8:23 am
program of collecting the telephone records of millions of americans who aren't suspected of a crime, and he has been under so much pressure for that is as is he is -- as he transitioning away from that, that he doesn't turn it into a tech mandate and mandate that technology companies like at&t serve as our technological big brother, forced by the government to maintain records and then tasking them to basically serve the same function the national security agency was serving, where they were collecting database of people's phone records and making it available to the government later. he did not make that promise. it is very much still on the table and something civil liberties advocates are pushing back against in every way imaginable. ofrainey reitman, this day action is opposing the fights improvement act. sanre speaking to us from
8:24 am
francisco. it is the state of california senator dianne feinstein who is the sponsor of this bill. can you explain exactly what your concerns are? >> well, amy, the concept of the fights improvement act -- fisa improvement act may appear as a reform bill at first. but what it does, it attempts to codify into law -- it attempts types of massthe surveillance that has so outraged people around the world . so the telephone metadata programs, something under the fights improvement act before past, the government could argue would be legal. it would give a green light and encourage the national security agency to engage in even more types of surveillance. for example, an internet metadata surveillance program could be seen as legal if the bill were to pass, a program the national security agency tried years ago in an abandoned because it was useless.
8:25 am
this is exactly what we don't want to see as a response to the recent revelations about our government surveillance program. we don't want to use this opportunity to reform on a basically what many people are calling a fixed bill. >> on the issue of bulk collection of phone records, to court so far have said it was legal, one thing it is not. inis speech, obama said these records are only queried if there is a specific lead. what is your problem with that? why should the government not be up to hold records when as they say, they're only looking at them if they have specific intelligence to go after criminal activity? >> i understand what the president is trying to say, and i do think their instinct is good. they're trying to protect the privacy of people, but it is important to remember that the thing here is the fourth amdment isn't about when you search records, it is about the
8:26 am
point of collection. it is very clear you cannot walk into people's houses and collect other papers and as long as you put them in a drawer and don't look at them, it doesn't actually count as being invasive to people's privacy. if we want to have a strict understanding of the constitutional protections that americans have, we really need to ensure we aren't engaged in dragnet surveillance programs that collect in formation on people who aren't suspected of any crime. in many ways that is the core complaint that people from both sides of the political spectrum have about this program. in addition to ongoing concerns it frankly has not proven to be useful in seven years. >> the usa patriot act was by senator sensenbrenner. now he joins with -- congressman sensenbrenner. yeah he is joining with leahy in introducing what is called the usa freedom act.
8:27 am
explain how the interest of conservatives come together with people across the political spectrum on this and what exactly the usa freedom act as. the bill is very much a bipartisan bill. it is extremely striking to see people who have been very far on either side of the political spectrum uniting in response to the nsa surveillance and pushing for a fairly extensive reform in the form of usa freedom act. this is a bill that is still in committee is still seeking cosponsors, but it seems to have a lot of momentum. the implication is this is a vehicle that my move forward and actually rein in national security agency abusers. the bill would do a variety of things. i would urge viewers to take some time to get to know it a little bit better. go through just a few of the things it would do, it would change the language of section
8:28 am
215 of the patriot act. that is the section of law the government is arguing that gives them the right to collect our telephone metadata, our call records. he was strengthen the language to make it more difficult for the government to sweep up the phone records of people not suspected of any crime. it would also make adjustments to additional parts of our surveillance law and it would increase the amount of transparency we have around national security letters. those are the secretive orders the fbi will send out to service providers such as e-mail service providers, requesting information on their users. and it will give additional authority to the privacy and civil liberties oversight board -- the board that is supposed to ensure the government isn't trampling on the civil liberties of americans and people worldwide. so i do think this bill does a
8:29 am
few substantive things, but civil liberties activist see this as a floor and on the ceiling, that the freedom act should be a moderate for step toward reforming nsa surveillance abuses. it should not be the end of the discussion. what we really want our additional protections, protections such as ensuring people all over the world are not subjected to mass surveillance by the national security agency and ensuring, for example, the nsa isn't undermining internet encryption standards which we all rely on to ensure communications are safe. >> rainey reitman, thank you for being with us, activism director at the electronic frontier foundation. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, you will find out what the sixth extinction is all about. we will speak with elizabeth kolbert.
8:30 am
stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:31 am
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. in the history of the planet, there have been five known mass extinction events. the last came 65 million years ago when an asteroid about half the size of manhattan collided with europe, wiping out the dinosaurs and bringing the cretaceous period to an end. we turn to a new book that explores what scientists call the sixth extinction, the mass of dying off of animal and plant life that is happening today. up to 50% of all living species are in danger of disappearing by the end of the century.
8:32 am
but the direct cause this time is us -- human driven climate change. visitslizabeth kolbert four continents to document the massive die offs became millions of years ago and those now unfolding before our eyes in, "the sixth extinction: an unnatural history." she explores how human activity threatens life forms of all kinds. the figures are staggering. she writes -- "it is estimated that one third of all reef building corals, a third of freshwater mollusks, a third of sharks and rays, a quarter of all mammals, a fit of all reptiles, the sixth of all birds are headed toward oblivion." is a staffolbert
8:33 am
writer for "the new yorker" and one of the country's leading science journalists. her previous book explored the science and politics of global warming. and now you take this a step further, elizabeth. welcome to democracy now! to say the least, a chilling title. take it forward. what does that mean exactly? >> as mentioned, there have been five previous -- i guess we call them major mass extinctions. it is sort of an oxymoron to have a minor extinction. but five majors we see in the most recent being the asteroid that killed off the dinosaurs. and now human impact on the planet -- burning fossil fuels, acidifying the ocean, cutting down the rain forest -- is living species around and has enormous affect.
8:34 am
we are moving so many species around the world, where reverse engineering the planet and in effect bringing all of the contents by together. all of these things have the unfortunate side effect of causing extinction. >> expand what you mean by spreading the species around the planet. for example, it is estimated 10,000 species are being moved around in ballast water. >> what is that gecko >> these huge tanks of water ballast to stabilize a ship. of creatures.ots some are very tiny and some are less tiny, but you are moving them around and that is moving from ocean to ocean. imagine pre-panama canal, pre-people, if you had evolved in the atlantic or the pacific, you evolved differently from different years. you bring these lineages together and it can impact
8:35 am
devastatingly. there's a very famous story of a brown tree snake, which has been told many times. it was brought from guam --i'm sorry, new guinea to the island of guam probably in the terry cargo in world war ii. guam only had one tiny native stake about the size of a worm. it had no enemies. it went crazy, multiplied by crazy. it ate just about everything that a possibly could. now a lot of the native birds very,ther gone or quickly endangered. that is what i mean. >> on the issue of the oceans, would you say it is an overlooked part of the global warming debate, the impact of carbon pollution on the oceans? what should people know about the dangers of humankind?
8:36 am
>> that is a really big issue. the head of noaa into recently has called ocean acidification equally evilg warning's twin. a lot of our carbon emissions is ending up quickly in the oceans absorbed by the oceans and when carbon dioxide dissolves in water, it has the unfortunate effect of coming out. we drink that asset. it is very weak acid. you drink it when you drink coke, but it is still acid. you put enough in the water and it changes the chemistry of the oceans. that is what we are doing. it has potentially enormous ramifications because if your creature whose only contact with the outside world is water, is a very big deal. >> tell us some stories that you
8:37 am
learned as you did this research from continent to continent that most alarmed you. >> one of the trips i took, i paradoxically in chronicling this to my got to go to some of the most amazing in chronicling this book, i got to go to some of the most amazing places. we started out about 12,000 feet on a mountain ridge in the andes and started hiking down the ridge. one of the scientist said to me, pick out a leaf that has an interesting shape and watch it. you're only going to see it as we go down this ridge for maybe 100 meters or so because that tree has a very, very narrow range. it only is adapted to this little band of altitude. i think what that lesson and what he was looking at, why we were in the andes and looking at topical species that tend to have a very narrow climatic range and the effect on these
8:38 am
species, and i think people are aware of the potential impact of climate change on arctic species. everyone has seen features of the polar bears as the sea ice shrinks. and where climate change but have an even more devastating impact is in the tropics -- both because most species live in the theses and also because species tend to have a very, very narrow tolerance to comment change. -- climate change. >> you identified some theories who were mocked but have been vindicated. could you talk about that father and son team and their findings? >> this is interesting history of science. ideae instance where an came and went and came again. naturalista great from the beginning of the 19th century.
8:39 am
right around 1800. he was the first person to really say organisms go extinct. to appreciate how important that was, when thomas jefferson sent lewis and clark to explore the northwest, he hoped they would find live mastodons roaming around. you could not believe, even though he was very interested in fossils and had a room at the white house for fossils, he could not believe these animals had gone extinct. it wasn't what the career had planned for him. george said, if they were out there, we would have seen them. they are gone. he then proceeded to start to uncover this lost world. a lot of the animal names that one to nameas the them. his theory was that animals only went extinct in these catastrophic ways. , themething happened
8:40 am
planet changed, otherwise, why would they go extinct? darwin's mentor came along and said, that is ridiculous. we never see these catastrophes. they don't happen. the only way it can happen is gradually. doctrineme sort of the for very long time, for over 100 came, until the alvarezes along and identify the asteroid impact had done in dinosaurs and many other creatures. the dinosaurs get top billing, alsoany other animals were extinct. it was proved. now the general theory is, yes, there are changes slowly except for these extra during moments. i see the whole point of running this book is we are in one of those moments right now. >> talk about the panamanian
8:41 am
golden frog. >> it is a very sad story. it is a beautiful frog. it is sort of taxicab yellow in color. it was considered a lucky symbol in panama. for many years you would see it on lottery tickets in panama. ins is the case of invasive species. through.ace people watched these frogs disappear -- many frogs disappeared. fortunately, they anticipated this. they took some of them out of the rain forest and are now in the conservation center. they can't leave or go outside, but they are in this little conservation center. >> i want to play for you a clip un ofngress member paul bro
8:42 am
georgia. speaking ino of him 2012 and liberty baptist church in hartwell, georgia. >> all that stuff i was taught about evolution, the big bang theory, all of that is lies. it is lies to try to keep me and all of those who were taught that from understanding they need saving. you see, there's a lot of scientific data that i found out that actually show this is really a young earth. aboutt think it is but 9000 years old. i think it was created in six days as we know it. that is what the bible says. >> that is republican thomas member from georgia denying
8:43 am
climate change exists. >> now we hear all of the time about global warming will stop with had a flat line temperature globally for the last eight years. scientists all over this world inducedidea of human global climate change is one of the greatest hoaxes perpetrated out of the scientific community. it is a hoax. >> those clips highlighted on bill moyers program on pbs. coppersmith paul broun is not only just a coppersmith from georgia, but charity oversight investigations for the house science space and technology committee. the significance of what he is saying, both on the issue of evolution and climate change, elizabeth kolbert? >> well, it is hard to overstate it. you have a situation where you really need to be taking serious
8:44 am
action on climate change. we are still having surreal, i guess i would use, of whether it is happening or not. speakinge really entirely different languages. we are not even speaking to each other. we are using english, but not speaking the same language, not looking at -- well, some are looking at scientific data and some are not, let me put it that way. it is very hard to carry on a alignment proposed conversation. >> what are the implications for this for policy? >> we all see the applications. there is no policy. up in this given congress of any meaningful -- the only hope of getting any further rests on the obama administration.
8:45 am
>> what needs to be done? >> massive things need to be done. we need to start transitioning our whole economy off fossil fuels. that is not a small thing. that is a big thing. and if you're going to ask policy experts what we should do, they would say, well, we need a price on carbon. that requires but is that of action. in the absence of that and in the absence of adding a price on it escaping the atmosphere, there are things that can be done. supposedly they are working on them -- power plant regulation that would reduce co2 emissions. but it is very difficult to get the kind of action we need gettingany hope of anything through congress. >> on the issue of action, in 2012, 1 of canada's leading environment list told democracy now! we need a radical shift in our economic system to save the planet. >> we need to shift that to a
8:46 am
better understanding come of that we are part of a vast web of interconnected species, that it is the biosphere where all that exists. it is a very thin layer around the planet. carl sagan told us if you shrink europe to the size of a basketball, the biosphere, air, water, land were all life exists, would be thinner than the layer of saran wrap. that is it. that is our home, but it is home to 10,000 to 30 million other species that keep the planet habitable. if we don't see that we are utterly embedded in the natural world independent on nature -- not technology, not economics, not science -- we are dependent on mother nature for our very well-being and survival. if we don't see that, then our priorities will continue to be driven by man-made constructs economies,,al borders, corporations,
8:47 am
markets. those are human created things. they should not dominate the way we live. it should be the biosphere. quick that is david suzuki speaking at the earth summit in 2012. the 20th anniversary of the first earth summit. your book leaves the issue of what to do largely -- i'm curious and you're speaking to sciences and in your research, speaking to those working with biodiversity, any thoughts on what our economic system is tenable, one that subordinates resources to profit, whether people feel we also need a fundamental shift in how we organize our time? ,> i think if you're out there you say something really big needs to change. if we continue on the same lines we are on, a lot of things, including potentially ourselves, are in deep trouble. scientists don't tend to get involved in whether we need to
8:48 am
reorganize our economy. frankly, when you're in the andes, that is not the topic they're discussing. what you do hear them say a lot is that we need -- we have already set so many changes in motion. climate change is occurring, whatever anyone in congress says. you can watch and scientists are watching for tracking species on the move all over the planet try to track the climate as a changes. to the extent we can preserve any parts of the planet that are not being chopped up or chopped down so we can allow species to move where they need to go to track climate change, that is one thing we can do even as climate change unfolds. unfortunately, climate change has been set in motion so, really, though we desperately need to reduce our carbon emissions, we are not stopping
8:49 am
the process anytime in the near future. we need to start thinking about a world in which everything is on the move and preserving corridors so things can migrate. >> one thing that might unite people is whether they disagree over the issue of evolution and climate change. i'm not talking about scientists here. the mass consensus of scientists around the world believes humans are causing climate change. but these issues like in west virginia and north carolina we have unregulated industry fossil fuel industries that are destroying these states. the factor was a major hearing yesterday and none of the officials in west virginia could say whether the water is safe. schoolsng closed out of one after another because the waterspouts like licorice. any of duke energy and north carolina in this terrible spill that has polluted so much of the land there. >> i also think another thing that can unite people like the
8:50 am
--p we just heard, we are these are our fellow creatures on the planet. the pope is working on the environment. he is a great quote from a couple of months ago where he always forgives. people occasionally forgives. but nature never forgives. you drive the creature extinct, it is not coming back. this is not me, this is the pope. i think there is the potential -- i do think people care. a sickly, it across a lot of different ideologies and groups about this planet. as david said, this is your home. if you don't care about that, what do you care about? >> elizabeth kolbert, when we come back from break, we're
8:51 am
going to switch gears because you also wrote an interesting piece in "the new yorker" on the port authority and governor chris christie. the latest is that of new jersey. many more subpoenas have been issued as the governor is on the run around the country. let's put it that way. republican of the governors association trying to raise money for the republican party. many is being raised, but not a lot of candidates are interested in having her picture taken with governor christie. quite a change from just a few months ago. our guest is elizabeth kolbert. her new book that was just published today is called, "the sixth extinction: an unnatural history." stay with us. ♪ [music break]
8:52 am
8:53 am
>> this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with aaron maté. >> we are speaking with elizabeth kolbert, as staff ,"iter with "the new yorker where she recently wrote about new jersey governor chris christie. the scandal continued to unfold monday as a panel investigating the scandal issued 18 more subpoenas from including one for the head of the state's police aviation unit is could offer details about whether kristi shared a helicopter with david wildstein on the same days wildstein oversaw the closures of traffic lanes heading to the george washington bridge for four days in september. a photograph taken on the third day of the lanes closure shows christie walking with wildstein and other close allies at the authority. christie has denied having any knowledge of the closures as they happen saying he only found out when the scandal broke open last month. last week wildstein said
8:54 am
evidence exists that christie was aware at the time, contrary to public statements. >> you have written this piece, elizabeth kolbert, that looks at both governor christie and the port authority. talk about the significance of this now new slew of subpoenas and what they mean. >> it is a really fascinating story to watch unfold. it seems to me to be interesting about this story is we really have two alternatives. one, governor christie was told directly that i approved of these risk closure or he had a bunch of people in their -- bridge closure or get a bunch of people in there without telling the governor that this was something good to do. either one does not reflect early well on the christie administration. >> and the significance of david wildstein, his childhood friend, a statement issued out of the christie administration saying
8:55 am
he hardly had seen him in years and then you've got this photograph from september 11 of them standing together. and then the subpoena going out to the helicopter aviation unit, the idea that he may have actually flown over the george washington bridge to survey the traffic jam when he says he really knew anything about it. >> i don't know if you read -- anyone can access the mass of documents that were released last month that sort of began this whole slew of news coverage, but there were huge portions -- or significant portions that were redacted. we would all like to know what were in those redacted portions. now you have a bunch of people pleading the fifth that was rejected yesterday, which was in the midst of issuing the subpoenas, they rejected the idea of i believe two people that could legitimately plead the fifth in this case.
8:56 am
there are lots of fascinating aspects to this that we haven't seen play out yet. >> it has come, call after wildstein came out saying he had evidence that christie and then christie's team can't with a press release saying that is a 16-year-old kid, he sued a local school board election, publicly accused by his high school social studies teacher of deceptive behavior. >> it doesn't get more than thed-y schoolyard. we are literally back in the schoolyard. it got really comical. when you're in politics, you don't necessarily want to be the butt of late-night jokes. >> and yethen you look at the gravity of what took lace and now the mayor of hoboken, the mayor of fort lee talking about the retaliation against them. i mean in the case of hoboken, trying to get funds for a city
8:57 am
that was so deeply affected by hurricane sandy that goes to the issue of climate change as well. but having to agree to local private development in order to get those funds and then fort lee, just being a democrat who was not supporting the governor. he wanted the news to be massive landslide with a lot of democratic support. but you talk about the port .uthority and governor christie the history of the port authority and its significance for those who may be listening well outside the range of the city? >> it is an interesting aspect of the story that the port authority itself has a long and established history that which controls the bridge, operates the bridge, runs the bridge, and which had ordered the lane closings. it also operates most of the hubs in the area. it was founded during the progressive area. interestingly, it was this belief we had to take certain functions away from albany and
8:58 am
training, which are known as sinkholes of corruption and always have been. and we are going to put it in a very professional agency and they are going to work in this different way. they actually did. they completed the george washington bridge below cost and ahead of schedule, something you can't really imagine right now. they were very professional agencies for quite a while. in recent years, they have increasingly become this place where people like chris christie put people they want to get jobs -- >> we will continue to follow this. , staff writerert at "the new yorker" and we will have a link to the latest article "red light" and her book is just out, "the sixth extinction: an unnatural history." democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who
8:59 am
appreciate the closed captioning. e-mail your comments to outreach@democracynow.org or mail them to democracy now! p.o. box 693 new york, new york 10013. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] democracy now!]
9:00 am
( stone being chipped )

108 Views

info Stream Only

Uploaded by TV Archive on