tv Democracy Now LINKTV December 13, 2021 8:00am-9:01am PST
12/13/21 12/13/21 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from new york, this is democracy now! >> definition of hell on earth. people have lost everything. it is just terrible. amy: horrible. at least 100 people are feared dead after tornadoes devastated towns in eight states from kentucky to arkansas.
a thunderstorm that raged more than 200 miles, leaving behind scenes some compared to war zone. president biden has declared a major federal disaster and called for an investigation into the role climate change played in the storms. we will speak with climate scientist michael mann. then we look at the broader climate crisis, the bigger picture. >> we are in a disaster that is happening every day in different parts of the country. when i say that, i mean floods are ravaging different parts of kampala, different parts of uganda, and across the african continent. amy: we will speak with climate activist vanessa nakate, founder of the africa-based rise up movement. her new book is titled "a bigger picture: my fight to bring a new african voice to the climate crisis."
all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president biden has declared a major federal disaster in kentucky as communities across eight states are reeling from a deadly tornadoes that ripped across a swath of the southern and midwestern u.s. friday and saturday. around 100 people are feared dead with the highest death toll in kentucky, where at least 80 people were killed. this is kentucky governor andy beshear. >> it is like nothing he knew must've ever seen before even in a movie or on tv. it is that devastating. homes totally gone and the people inside them totally gone, too. the warnings were there. i don't fault anybody for that. one of our challenges is we are losing so many people in this,
our morgue is not big enough. coroners are coming om other states to help. amy: deaths were also confirmed in tennessee, illinois, and missouri. in edwardsville, illinois, an amazon warehouse partially collapsed friday night, killing at least six people. labor and rights advocated blasted amazon following the news. union leader stuart appelbaum said -- "requiring workers to work through such a major tornado warning event ashis was inexcusable." we'll have more on the devastating tornadoes after headlines with climate scientist michael mann. as u.s. covid-19 deaths approach 800,000, health officials are urging fully vaccinated people to get their booster as the delta winter surge continues and more omicron cases are identified. this is dr. anthony fauci. >> luminary data show when you get a booster, for example a third shot an mrna, it raises
the level of protection high enough that it then does do well against the omicron. amy: nearly two years into the pandemic, one-in-100 u.s. residents over the age of 65 have died from covid-19 according to official records. here in new york, governor kathy hochul ordered businesses to resume enforcing an indoor face mask requirement starting today unless they have implemented a vaccine requirement. covid hospitalizations in new york are up 86% over the last month. in michigan, republican election official william hartmann has died from covid-19. hartmann was one of two michigan republicans who at first refused to certify joe biden's 2020 win against donald trump in wayne county. he was also staunchly opposed to covid vaccinations. in international news, south african president cyril ramaphosa has tested positive for covid-19. he is receiving treatment and has shown mild symptoms. he reported feeling unwell after leaving a memorial service for in former president fw de klerk
in cape town sunday. ramaphosa's office said in a statement -- "vaccination remains the best protection against severe illness and hospitalization." the world bank and the world health organization said more than half a billion people around the world were pushed into extreme poverty last year due to healthcare costs. thpandemic disrupted health services and triggered the worst economic crisis since the 1930's. the who called on all governments to work towards a universal healthcare system. the supreme court ruled friday abortion providers in texas can challenge the state's near-total ban on abortions. but the law will remain in place while legal challenges play out. the court also limited lawsuits to just certain state licensing officials. chief justice john roberts said texas' ban undermined previous supreme court rulings, including roe v. wade. justice roberts wrote -- "the clear purpose and actual effect of s.b. 8 has been to nullify this court's rulings."
adding -- "it is the role of the supreme court in our constitutional system that is at stake." marc hearron from the center for reproductive rights, who argued on behalf of abortion before the -- abortion providers before the supreme court, spoke after friday's ruling. >> we need congress to pass the act that would stop these unconstitutional bands. amy: separately, supreme court justices on friday dismissed a challenge to the texas abortion ban brought by the justice department. meanwhile, in california, governor gavin newsom said he would model a similar law around the purchase of firearms on the texas abortion ban. newson tweeted -- "the supreme court is letting private citizens in texas sue to stop abortion?! if that's the precedent, then we'll let californians sue those who put ghost guns and assault weapons on our streets. if texas can ban abortion and endanger lives, california can ban deadly weapons of war and save lives."
a top secret u.s. military unit sidestepped safeguards and repeatedly ordered airstrikes that killed civilians as it worked to identify targets in the u.s. bombing campaign against the islamic state in syria. "the new york times" reports the unit of army delta force commandos, known as talon anvil, worked in three shts around the clock between 14 and 201 to selt buildis, vehicles, and owds of pele to atta. those struck included people who had no role under the conflict -- farmers harvesting their fields, children playing in the street, families fleeing fighting, and people sheltering in buildings. "the times" reports the civilian killings alarmed talon anvil's partners in the military and the cia, who complained to superiors up the chain of command, but their protests were reportedly ignored. israeli prime minister naftali bennett met today with emirati crown prince and de facto leader mohammed bin zayed at his private palace in abu dhabi after traveling to the united
arab emirates sunday. it's the first ever official visit by an israeli prime minister to the uae and comes after the two countries agreed last year to normalize relations. in ethiopia, tigrayan forces have recaptured the unesco world heritage town of lalibela from government fighters according to witnesses on the ground. this comes less than two weeks after the government said it took control of the historic site. on saturday, prime minister abiy ahmed said he had returned to the front lines of battle. meanwhile, a new human rights report found tigrayan rebels carried out dozens of civilian executions in august and september. the u.n. has said all parties to the conflict have committed violations of international human rights, some of which could amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity. the more-than-year-long conflict has killed thousands of civilians, displaced millions, and created a humanitarian disaster. in argentina, thousands of protesters filled the streets of buenos aires on saturday, rejecting a possible pact between their government and the international monetary fund.
protesters say any deal to have argentina repay $45 billion in loans to the imf would require austerity measures that would hurt working people. >> we are about to walk into to demand the debt not be paid. we must break with the imf, refused to pay the debt, and allocate those thousands of minds of dollars to solve the social any, problems that exist in our country. amy: voters in new caledonia overwhelmingly rejected becoming independent from france. but sunday's referendum, the third such over the past three years, was boycotted by pro-independence groups who pushed to postpone the vote and it's unclear whether they will accept the results. turnout was just over 40%. caledonia's current president, louis mapou, is pro-independence and said the pacific territory would continue to pursue the path of emancipation. the island territory was colonized by france in 1853. a world bank-administered trust
fund says it will transfer $280 million to the world food program and unicef in afghanistan, in an effort to ease a looming humanitarian catastrophe. the funds for food security and health care are a fraction of what afghanistan lost after the taliban seized power in august and the united states and other donors cut off financial aid. the united nations warns nearly 23 million people in afghanistan, more than half the population, face potentially life-threatening food shortages this winter, with nearly 9 million already on the brink of famine. the biden administration has levied new sanctions against dozens of people and entities tied to china, bangladesh, burma and north korea. the treasury department announced the sanctions on friday, international human rights day, in protest of burma's treatment of rohingya muslims and china's treatment of muslims from the uighur minority group, among other abuses. the united nations and human rights groups estimate over a million uighurs have been interned in camps in china's far-west xinjiang region.
treatment the biden administration has called genocide. china's foreign ministry rejected the u.s. sanctions and promised to strike back against what it called reckless u.s. actions. in minnesota, the manslaughter trial of former police officer kim potter continues. last week, jurors heard testimony from daunte wright's partner alayna albrecht-payton, who was in the car at the time of his killing. she described the harrowing moments after kim potter shot wright. >> i just remember trying to just get him up. [indiscernible] i was trying to help him. i was trying to push on his chest and call his name. he wasn't answering me. he was just gasping.
amy: prosecutors also showed the court bodycam footage of police handcuffing the distraught alayna albrecht-payton after the shooting. witnesses say police officers did not offer immediate medical assistance to wright after he was shot and waited four minutes to help him. voters in orleans parish, louisiana, have elected a new sheriff. first-time candidate susan hutson beat 17-year incumbent marlin gusman in a run-off election saturday to become the first black woman ever elected sheriff in louisiana. hutson is a former prosecutor. she spent a decade as new orleans' independent police monitor, a position established in a 2008 voter referendum aimed at rooting out corruption, racism, and brutality in the new orleans police department. a homeland security watchdog found a special unit within customs and border protection used government databases designed for tracking terror threats to investigate journalists. the report by the dhs inspector general triggered a backlash from media organizations, which
are demanding an explanation for the practice, which a quoted cbp agent in the report called "status quo." and in seattle, socialist city councilmember kshama sawant appears to have narrowly defeated a recall effort pushed by corporate interests. the election has not been officially called yet as a few hundred votes are still being challenged. voter turnout was 53% -- 10% higher than last month's general election. kshama sawant has been elected by seattle voters three times. she helped seattle become the first major city to adopt a $15 an minimum wage and successfully hour passed the amazon tax to build affordable housing in one of the country's most expensive cities. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. when we come back, nearly 100 people are feared dead after 30 deadly tornadoes raged through eight states. president biden has declared a major federal disaster and called for an investigation into the role climate change played
amy: john prine's "paradise" performed by sturgill simpson. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. recovery efforts are ongoing after an outbreak late friday night and early saturday morning of more than 30 deadly tornadoes that tore through towns in illinois, kentucky, missouri, mississippi, arkansas, and tennessee, ohio, and indiana. the tornadoes were part of a supercell thunderstorm that raged for more than 200 miles. it left behind scenes that some survivors compared to war zone. >> it is horrible. it is the definition of hell on
earth. people have lost everything. it is just terrible. amy: at least 100 people are feared dead with the highest death toll in kentucky, where at least 80 people were killed. this is kentucky governor andy beshear speaking on cnn. >> this is the deadliest tornado event we have ever had. i think will be the longest and deadliest tornado event in u.s. history. we know one of the tornadoes was on the ground over 227iles. i have cap towns that are gone. i mean, gone. my dad's hometown, half of it is not standing. it is hard to describe. amy: one of the horrific scenes unfolded for more than 100 workers on the night shift making candles f mayfield consumer products in mayfield, kentucky. a tornado hit their factory. >> we are trapped. please, get us some help. read the cable factory in
mayfield. please. please. amy: on sunday, the candle company said more than 90 workers have now been located, but eight or confirmed dead and eight more remain missing. six more workers were killed when a tornado struck an amazon facility in edwardsville, illinois, causing walls on both sides of the building to collapse inward and the roof to fall. alexander bird works at another amazon facility across the street from the warehouse. >> normally, before the shift starts, new time and natural disaster or bad weather situation goes down, they just tell us, take shelter over here. there are signs to let us know go here. i had a coworker who was sending me pictures when they were taking shelter in a bathroom come anywhere they could hide. people had to think on their feet quit. you have to think fast.
it is crazy. amy: this marks third time in half a year that amazon workers were in the path of weather that was forecast to be potentially deadly, including the record heat wave in the nortest and deadlylooding from hurricane ida in new york. the president of the retail, wholesale and department store union, which is organizing amazon workers in bessemer, alabama, said -- "time and time again amazon puts its bottom line above the lives of its employees. requiring workers to work through such a major tornado warning event as this was inexcusable." after the storms, nearly 90,000 homes and businesses were power -- without power across parts of kentucky and tennessee as people searched for survivors in freezing temperatures with limited cell phone service. president biden approved an emergency declaration for kentucky on saturday. during his remarks, he addressed the possible impact of climate change on the storms. pres. biden: the intensity of the weather across the board has some impact as a consequence of
the warming of the planet and climate change. the specific impact on these specific storms, i can't say this point. i'm going to be asking the epa and others to take a look at that. amy: on sunday, fema chief deanne criswell also drew a link between the tornados and the climate crisis on cnn. >> we do see tornadoes in december. that part is not unusual. but at this magnitude, i don't think we've ever seen one this late in the year but it is also historic. even the severity and the amount of time this tornado or these tornadoes spent on the ground is unprecedented. this is going to be our new normal. the effects we're seeing om climate change are the crisis of our generation. amy: for more, we're joined by michael mann, distinguished professor and director of the earth system science center, penn state university. his new book, "the new climate war: the fight to take back our planet." welcome back to democracy now!
could you explain what happened and its connections to climate change? >> it is good to be with you but it is unfortunate to be talking about this tragedy. we tend to call these things natural disasters, but this isn't a natural disaster. this is a disaster that was exacerbated by human have been caused climate change. let's look at the basic agreed it's for what happened. you have a very warm gulf of mexico right now, ocean temperatures are extremely warm and we know the oceans have been warming because of carn pollution, because of human -caused climate change. that warm air and all of the moisture that evaporates off the ocean has been making its way well into the united states. the southern half of the u.s. was seeing temperatures in the devotees and 80's in december. that is very unusual. that is a commendation of the
planet is warming, the cultist warming. you're going to have more of those extreme warm air outbreaks. but it was aided by what is knowns lending yeah, the flipside of the el nino event. it influences the northern hemisphere jetstream. he pushes it up so that helps move all that warm air up into the central united states but it also means that warm air collided with the jetstream because youeed two ingredients to generate these sorts of tornadoes. you need lots of warm, moist air that makes the atmosphere more turbulent so you can produce large thunderstorms, and you need it to come into contact, for example, with the jetstream, that puts spin into the atmosphere. when you have that waste energy and turbulence come you with rotation and you have the ingredients for these massive tornado outbreaks. make no mistake, we have been
seeing an increase in these massive tornado outbreaks that can be attributed to the warming of the planet. but what is going to happen, we going to continue to see that climate change is going to combine with natural factors like the la nina e that we are experiencing to produce ever more extreme examples of these sorts of phenomena stop amy: this term thunderstorm super cell, michael mann, explain. >> it is a very wide area of organized convection, we call it. there's a lot of turbulence in the atmosphere that produces these thunderstorms. they sort of form a very long line of thunderstorms that are located along the frontal boundaries, the boundaries between the cold air in the warm air that are associated with the
jetstream. so you tend to get the super cell thunderstorms under conditions like what we have right now. once you get the rotation, once you're able to combine that with some rotation in the atmosphere, again, you're going to see the sorts of tornado outbreaks that we saw here across six states, more than 30 tornadoes. and went tornado, by some measure, the one that struck mayfield, kentucky, by some measures was unprecedented. winds measured of more than 300 miles per hour. it was dupree that was found 30,000 feet in the atmosphere. he traveled nearly 200 miles, again, something we have never seen before. the stronger that storm, the more energy, the more likely it is to survive. in this one survived for nearly 200 miles doing ever more damage because of that. amy: can you respond tkentucky congressmember james kober? is that climate change denier.
he represents the area of mayfield where the candle factory just collapsed. he was questioned on cnn and said, we have had tornadoes that have been the same length as this tornado but we have never had what with the width of this tornado and was evasive when it came to do you now believe this is climate change, as opposed to the way climate deniers talk how you know, this is a weather situation. >> i believe is a democratic governor -- amy: republican. >> oh, i'm sorry. and fortune, this is prevalent in the republican party. they are the party is not of climate change denial, of climate change delay and dismissal. it is hard to deny climate change is happening. we are seeing these devastating impacts play out in real time. so politicians, mostly republicans, who see themselves as advocates not for the people
they represent but for the big polluters, the fossil fuel interests, will do anything they can to dance around this question about the role of climate change. they cannot deny climate change is happening, but they resort to various tactics in an effort to deflect attention. i talked about this quite a bit in "the new climate war." this is the new form of climate change denialism. the irony is that it is many of these red states that are seeing some of the worst consequences of climate change. and though states have governors and politicians who are denying the very source of the problem other people are facing. amy: i want to go to my people believe what they do. this is something you've been talking about. earlier this month, tweeted -- "hey, you, it is good you're taking down covid janelle videos. now it is time for you to remove climate denial because.
they pose a greater threat to community in the long term." explain. >> climate change, here was on nearly 100 people deny -- my from these unprecedented tornadoes. if you look at the total impact of climate change around the world, wildfires, droughts, floods, heatwaves, coastal inundation. climate change is already costing far more lives than covid-19. it is deadlier. so the denial of climate change is deadlier even than the denial of the basic science behind covid-19. but here's the difference. there isn't a huge global lobby, the world's most powerful industry, wealthiest and most powerful industry, the fossil fuel industry, that has a stake in the covid-19 debate. so it is fairly easy for the big tech companies to stop showing
covid denial come suppressing covid denial videos and posts. there's not a huge corporate interest that is going to get in their way. with climate change, it is a whole different story. we are talking about an effort by the world's largest most powerful industry, the fossil fuel industry, to prevent any meaningful action on climate and to a compass that in part by using social media to promote denialism and dismissal. here the social media companies are being complicit. why? well, many of them are getting a lot of advertising money from the fossil fuel industry so it is inconvenient to their business model to challenge that industry. i am afraid that is what we're seeing here. we have to take them to task because they are doing great harm. they're making profits by doing great harm to all of us.
amy: you have talked about climate models underestimating the frequency of these extreme weather events and the changes to the jetstream. can you talk about how this can be dealt with and what do you predict next? >> so the climate models capture the biggest the -- basic mechanisms behind the weather extremes. you evaporate more moisture off the ocean so you have the potential for larger flooding rainfall events like we've seen recently in the united states, like we've seen in pennsylvania earlier this fall. you warm up the ground in the summer, dried out and you get worst drought. you combine the drought with the heat and you get the sort of record wildfires that we've seen out west, for example. those ingredients are pretty basic. the climate models are able to capture them.
but there's something else going on as well. we alluded to this earlier in the conversation, the way the jetstream is changing. and the jetstream appears to be in the summer slowing down and becoming more wobbly. you see more of those big sort of north/south meanders as the jetstream crosses the country. and where the jetstream shows the larger meanders, yet deeper hi and low pressure systems underneath. those are associated with extreme weather evts. big high-pressure out west giving you the drought, wildfires. big low-pressure back east, for example, giving his record rainfall in recent summers. those jetstream patterns get stuck in place. so the same region is experiencing that tremendous heat and drought and wildfire day afteray or is experiencing that record rainfall day after day.
we are seeing a trained for those conditions -- trend toward those conditions. the models are unable to fully capture that mechanism. the models, if anything, are underestimating the impact climate change is happening on these extreme weather events and the tendency that we will see for even more extreme weather events we continue to burn fossil fuels. this really drives home the importance of bringing our carbon emissions down dramatically, as quickly as possible. amy: what would be the most effective way to deal with this now? >> it would be joe manchin to join with the other democrats and pass simple majority vote the build back better plan with the major climate provisions intact. that will allow joe biden to make good on the promises he has made to the rest of the world to bring our emissions down by patrick two within the next 10 years and when the united states
leads on this issue, we see the world comes together. that is what we need. maybe could you see any change, as a person who has worked on misleading climate scientist in the world for decades, i mean, you have the glasgow u.n. climate summit almost universally declared a failure, what gives you hope at this point that things will change? >> i think sometimes we are not nuanced enough about these developments. glasgow, the glasgow climate summit was neither a success nor a failure. it was somewhere in between. look at the commitment that were made, the ratcheting up of existing commitments, you total them up, we are now on a path to potentially keep forming below two degrees celsius, below 3.5 degrees fahrenheit or so. that is about half of the warming we were facing back in
2016 going into the paris accord. we actually cut the projected warming in ha. that is not enough. two degrees celsius, 3.5 fahrenheit, that is too much. we need to keep warming below 1.5 degrees celsius. that means we have to see a further ratcheting up of those commitments and we need to see governments making good on those commitments. it is one thing to make a pledge to bring diner carbon emissions, it is something else when you continue to improve you gas and oil pipelines and new coal mines. those sorts of actions are not consistent with keeping warming below dangerous levels. we need to see a greater commitment, but we are making some progress. carbon emissions have peaked. they're not going up anymore. that is a good sign. but we've got to brinthem down and do so quickly. amy: we're about to interview vanessa nakate, who was the cover of "time magazine", a
young ugandan climate activist. can you talk about what is happening in africa and the responsibility of the united states, historically the largest greenhouse gas emitter, to what is happening in the most vulnerable countries in the world? >> that's right. we're also proud of what she is doing. you asked earlier about what gives me optimism. it is the young folks, the youth climate movement, 40,000 children marching through the streets of glasgow to put pressure on policymakers. make no mistake, it is the developing world, it is africa and other developing regions that are seeing the worst consequences of climate change and yet they contributed the least to the problem. their carbon footprint is orders of magnitude larger than the carbon footprints that we have here in the industrial world. what that means is there needs
to be a commitment from the industrial world, the industrial countries to developing countries to help them develop clean energy infrastructure. we don't want them to go to the fossil will stage of economic development. we can't afford for that to happen, so we have to provide them with the financing and the resources to develop clean energy technology. and that means the united states, the e.u., and other industrial countries need to empty out. that is one of the problems in glasgow. part of my india was not very happy with thproceedings enter a bit of a monkeywrench into the works at the very late stages of the negotiations west because they were not getting the commitment from the best -- industrial world to provide the funding to the developing world so they can both increase the resilience in the face of the damaging impacts they're already facing and develop clean energy infrastructure.
amy: michael mann, thank you for being with us, distinguished professor and director of the earth system science center, penn state university. his new book, "the new climate war: the fight to take back our planet." when we come back, we go to uganda to speak with climate activist vanessa nakate, founder of the rise up movement. her new book, "a bigger picture: my fight to bring a new african voice to the climate crisis." stay with us. ♪♪ [music break]
amy: john luther adams' "the circle of winds." this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as we look at the impacts of the climate crisis in the u.s., we now turn to the continent of africa, region is 1.3 billion people are responsible for less than 4% of the world's carbon dioxide emissions but that is already suffering some of the most dire consequences of global warming from deadly drought and hotter temperatures to water shortages and food insecurity. recently, a locus plate hit portions of east africa. in october, the world meteorological organization warned the effects of the climate crisis in africa will likely worsen if immediate action is not taken. last year, the continent's land mass and waters warmed more rapidly than the world average .
this is the wmo. >> food insecure and under nourished by 45.6%. the predictions we have, the decade of production for the period of 2020-2024, indicating an increase in terms of warming with increased arming, we expect reduction in terms of food production. we also expect impacts in terms of disease and pests. important, we will have impacts generated by flooding on the infrastructure system for agriculture production, which is the main source of livelihoods and food security in the continent. so all indicates the continuing warming probably worsen the current 45 or 6% increase in terms of undernourished people we've seen from 20, 2012.
and because average greenhouse gas is just a fraction of those living in countries like the u.s., australia, and the u.k. african development bank estimates africa bears almost half the costs of adapting to the consequences of the climate crisis. meanwhile, a pledge from richer nations to grant developing countries $100 billion in financing per year to cope to with the climate crisis has been unfulfilled. this all comes as climate justice advocates from africa and other communities in the global south have denounced rich --u.n. cop summit a disaster failure. one of africa's loudest voices in the fight against the climate crisis is vanessa nakate. earlier this year, she was on the cover of "time."
now the ugandan climate justice advocate and founder of the rise of movement just released a new book called "a bigger picture: my fight to bring a new african voice to the climate crisis." part manifesto that builds a livable future for all and is inclusive of all. vanessa nakate says from ugan's capital. welcome back to democracy now! it is great to have you with us, vanessa. we played your speech when you are in milan leading up to the u.n. climate summit. that title of your book, "a bigger picture" referred to the picture that first motivated you to really fight against the climate crisis and represent the continent of africa. >> well, thank you so much.
i am happy to be here. first of all, i want to say i am one of the activists who are speaking up and organizing and mobilizing from the africacan continent. it isn't just one voice. i feel like when we put a face on a climate movement or faces on the climate bid, it is problematic in that it ends up erasing the voices of the rest of the activists who are speaking out. for example, i'm a have a clue about what is happening in kenya or south africa, but in activist from those countries, they understand where they have a bigger picture about what they are experiencing. i just want to first make that very clear. in a bigger picture, i really
talked about many things that people need to see beyond what society has showed us from the climate crisis to climate justice. many times climate change just in subbing statistics for people but the climate crisis is more than statistics, more than data ints. it is more than that zero targets. it is about the people and how their livelihoods are being compacted right now. it is about the dissection of climate crisis with other issues that pertain to our living, our survival education or poverty eradication or gender equality or having peace in our communities. all of these are connected to the climate crisis. it is like we are in one system. it is an interconnected system. if one part of the system crashes,hen the tire system
crashes. in one piece of the puzzle is missing, then the puzzle can never be completed. in a bigger picture, explain what the climate crisis means beyond statistics and how it impacts the lives of the people, especially the people on the front lines of the climate crisis. it also tells the stories of a number of different activists, especially from the african continent. because every activist has a story to tell and every story has a solution to give and every solution has a life to change. i think it is really important to have many voices listen to platforms and amplify if we are to have climate justice. amy: vanessa nakate, spoke out against racism after you were cropped out of a photo featuring yourself and other prominent climate activists in davos, switzerland, last year. the other youth activists were white. they included ready to breathe
-- they included greta thunberg. the associated press said the photographer cut you out of it because he thought the building behind you was distracting stop at the time you said the move "erased a continent." i want to go to a video you posted on social media. time in my life that i understood the definition of the white racism. africa is the least matter of carbon but we have the most affected by the climate crisis. amy: can you talk more about that photo and what it represented to you? but then howie he propelled you even further and you activism?
how you became a climate activist in uganda and now a global one, course? >> what i can say is as a result of the building being behind me -- in the end, it is something that ends up erasing someone's story or experience or summit solutions and what they're doing in their communities. i come from a country that is one of the least emitters of co2 emissions and a continent that is historically responsible for only 3% of global emissions, and yet many people are already suffering some of the worst effects of the climate crisis. so this is the horrible reality of the climate crisis. but those on the front lines of this crisis are not responsible
for the rise in the global temperatures. and the other horrible reality of the climate crisis is that while communities in africa or in the global south are on the front lines of the climate crisis, they are not on the front pages of the world's newspapers. many activists find themselves traveling to be platformed or to be listened -- any of us have been called missing voices, yet we are not missing. we are just unheard. these are some of the horrible realities of the coming crisis that are experienced not only by the people in the front lines, but the activists who are speaking out from the front lines. what i can say is we cannot have climate justice if the voices from the most affected communities are continuously being cropped out or
continuously being left out of conversations or not being amplified or are continuously being called missing. i experienced something while at the conference in glasgow commit myself being erased from pictures for being named. this is an experience that doesn't just erase my story or my experience, it is an experienced that just literally erases the existence of the challenges that i am seeing in my country and the problems that people are facing because of the climate crisis. what i can say is many activists from africa, from the global south, their facing challenges in having their voices heard and listened to. so this is a challenge for climate justice.
again, there won't be climate justice if specific groups of people are being left behind. we are facing -- we are in different boats. other poets are sinking. other boats are already on fire. it is time to pay attention to voices coming to people, to activists, to communities that are on the frontlines of the climate crisis. amy: vanessa nakate, speaking to us from uganda. for not only young activists, but all activist, first time activists, can you tell the story of what motivated you to move forward? it took a lot of courage, and what these first climate strikes were about. you and a small group of friends like your friend elton john other ugandan, activists like
yourself, what you face in the beginning, even worried about your family's reaction, though they ultimately, deeply supported you? >> i remember right very climate strike. and my siblings and cousins joining. it took me a while to do the very first climate strike as i was scared to go out and face the public face the people. fears of what my friends, no, what they would say. these are some of the challenges that i experienced most of when i started activism, i can say where challenges came with the reaction of people, with the fear of how my family would react. thank god my family has been very supportive from when i started activism, my parents have been very supportive.
they did not really understand what it climate strike ally meant. many people did not understand what a climate strike really meant, but they understood that i was advocating for environmental protection. i don't remember any point where my parents said, "no, you shouldn't do this." i am thankful they were supportive and the rest of my family was supportive. what i can say is in those following weeks and months, the main challenges assad, reactions coming from people, especially on social media, people saying some of the most terrible things on my tweets or my post. remembered some of the things were people said i was taking lead and taking to the streets and i was going to the streets
because i was looking for a husband so i wanted to be noticed well in the streets. and many more things. but what i can say is a lot of hope that really came at a time when i felt like i did not have the strength to do activism anymore, and i remember i was feeling frustrated about how we continue to strike every friday and leaders continue to not do anything. the climate disasters continue to happen and people continued to suffer. it was more a moment of depression and feeling like i did not have the strength to go out and do the strikes anymore. but i remember after speaking to my friend and fellow activist davis from uganda, i started to strike again, feeling more hopeful about the future.
and also feeling more hope with the activists who are organizing. it is good to know you are not doing activism just by yourself, but you are speaking up and mobilizing and organizing with millions of people from different parts of the world. and that is something that can surely give you hope to know that i can keep striking knowing i am not alone. and also know when i need to rest, if i don't have the strength to strength -- to strike this friday, someone else in another country is striking. that is one of the beautiful things about realizing that this is global private movement. amy: vanessa nakate, you retweeted greenpeace and we cannot adapt to starvation, we cannot adapt to extinction, we cannot adapt to lost cultures, lost traditions, lost histories,
and the climate crisis is taking all of these things away. you subscribe to the principle polluters pay. can you name the companies, the industries that you feel should be paying up or shutting down? >> we know that the global north countries are responsible for the climate crisis and that rise in global emissions. we know who is responsible for the climate crisis and we know who is not responsible and who is suffering the most right now. that is why in some of the things that i talk about his loss and damage in a separate fund for loss and damage. developing countries are facing a lot of pressure to transition to renewable energy, to transition to sustainability. you find pressure is coming from the global north countries
telling the developing counies, you have to do this, have to do this for e sake of the climate. we face these challenges when we are advocating for an end construction -- in a country like mine or another country. there have been challenges of people saying, you seem to be an enemy of economic progress because this pipeline is going to pull pple out of poverty. so there is a lot of pressure on developing countries to move to sustainability, first of all. and this is why there is a huge risk for stability of the global north to provide climate finance that will enable developing countries to easily transition to renewable energy, to easily transition to sustainable cities
or sustainable communities and countries without putting their people in extreme poverty. if you're going to have climate justice, climate justice should not lead people in extreme poverty. climate justice should not mean people are going to continue to suffer and suffer. that is why if we look at climate justice of it has to go beyond manufacturing of solar panels. it has to be about the people. we have to think about the solutions that are coming commit developing in communities that if the solution is being implemented, is it going to exacerbate inequality or is it going to increase poverty or is it going to increase the suffering of the people? climatetice has to have the heart of the people, the planet at the cter of these decisions. what i'm trying to say is we
need global north countries to act responsible and provide climate finance for developing countries because developing countries need easy transition to renewables. they need easy transition to more greener economies. and this can only be possible if there is a provision of climate finance. but we have seen the promise of $100 billion for developing countries. it has beedelayed i think to 2022. then we saw the climate conference, fundsut in place pearlescent damages -- for damages. many are experiencing loss and damage right now. the climate crisis is taking away people's cultures or lands were traditions. these are things we cannot adapt -- the climate crisis is pushing many communities to a point of
not being able to adapt. yes we want the climate finance for adaptation and mitigation, but we also want a separate fund for loss and damage because loss and damage here right now. because loss and damage is already affecting millions of people in different parts of the world. amy: vanessa, in your book you write about a nine-year-old girl , not in africa but in london, who died of a fatal asthma attack. you write -- u.k. court for the first time in british history had allowed air pollution to be recorded as the cause of someone's death. can you talk about the significance of this and how it relates to your activism on the continent? >> well, if i'm to talk about this case of ella, it talks
about the horrible realities of this climate crisis. with the continued banning of foil fuels, we are seeing more pollution or water pollution. we see the communities, the people in these residences, residences that are prone to air pollution or prone -- those are communities of black people, brown people, communities of people of color. they are the ones in areas filled with air pollution or incinerators. so i think this is one of the conversations about the environmental injustices when it comes to the climate issues. the climate crisis does not affect all of us equally. like i said, we may be facing
the same storm, but we are in different parts. it does not affect us equally. if we are seeing increasing levels of air pollution, there are communities experiencing more extreme levels of this air pollution because of where their housing is or because of where their schools are. recently, i've been reading about something called redlining. it talks about how residences of black and brown communities, there were marked red because they were high-risk for mortgages. so meaning that communities of black and brown people, they were not able historically -- they were not able to get housing that is safe for them or