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tv   [untitled]    March 16, 2011 4:00pm-4:30pm EDT

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these stunts on t.v. don't come. there's some very strict censorship which doesn't like doesn't just on the true picture and that's not helping. an accident in japan and assurances over radiation save in safety that are proving inaccurate. and disasters like this begs the question how can this be prevented put we're going to take it one step further reduce the heat for alternative energy plans that would prevent these issues from happening in the first place. regions don't want to ever be held accountable for their actions and especially in other countries and luckily for shover on the new york judge has saved them from their nine point five billion dollar fault in the
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amazon for now but that's pocket change so when the corporations look up their profit. the public. is wednesday march sixteenth four pm in washington d.c. and christine for is out there watching our team we're going to start off today with the worsening crisis in japan where throughout the day smoke could be seen billowing out of one of the nuclear reactors reactor number four seem a nuclear power plant after a fire there this in addition to an earlier fire at an explosion and high levels of radiation seeping out there is a bubbling undercurrent of anxiety and fear by the japanese people not knowing what to expect next we're bennett has more. this queue of people is a kilometer long trying to stockpile what food is left in sendai most shelves are
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empty now the people here are getting ready to hide fearing an invisible killer radiation explosions at the fukushima daiichi power plant could the country on the cusp of nuclear meltdown one damage to reactors out a casing and a final two reactors have now lost cooling capability to radiation levels near the plants at four hundred times the amount normally absorbed. there are fears it will spread across the country. it's the same information and footage being broadcast on every channel you have just a guess many things look for them in other places you can get them in the japanese sources there's some very strict censorship which doesn't lead to stand the truth and that's not helping. residents prepare to go to ground for news crews are fleeing this team from new zealand is heading for new gun point a flight from there to sucker in tokyo are already fully booked for the next two
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days the exodus has begun. next. we have to wait until morning to get the next flight harm our of what we have to wait outside but we will because we want the radiation. some though have nowhere to run to this was once a village those who lived here are returning to find there's simply nothing left the devastation just goes on and on. been half a million people have been left homeless their belongings swallowed up and starts out by the tsunami relief workers are searching for survivors all along japan's ravaged coast what's now a sea of daybreak fifteen thousand have already been rescued but over seven thousand are still missing and some parts haven't even been reached yet of a chill and a half thousand relief centers are still packed and will be for several weeks it's
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cold and uncomfortable but this is one of the few places these people can get food and shelter huge parts of the country have been completely wiped out but the threat of nuclear meltdown means they could still be more to come after bennett athey mcarthur japan. so here we have this country this devastated country still reeling from the earthquake from the tsunami and there is so much sadness and so much confusion as the people continue to search for friends and relatives and their government is telling them to stay inside to shelter in place to tape up their windows did you see what i just saw some of these pictures that have been coming from japan so that many of these people don't have windows to take and they certainly don't have shelters to shelter in place there are no homes you know i think back to friday when all of this happened you turn on most of the news stations here in this country or in japan and you hear this word over and over
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containment they will evacuate three thousand people just to be safe yes there's a problem but it's being contained at first no one was saying the other seaward chair noble now i can assure you i'm not a rocket scientists or a scientists of any sort but we knew on friday that at least three of the these reactors were under stress we knew of one of them the radiation levels were a thousand times what they normally are and yet we heard it's not that serious you need to be concerned it's being contained come on people this is an area where there are one hundred million people living in an area the size of california of course there's reason to be concerned why were the owners of this power plant or the government for that matter letting the people know it's because they weren't telling you the truth so can we ever trust corporations to look after public interest turns out once again not in this case so now two hundred thousand people
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have been evacuated and the risks of health issues have not gotten better it's gotten worse don't these people don't all people deserve better just saying. and i want to take a look now at the issue of trust within japan and how it's affecting the people there r.c. correspondent arena delusional reports. with reactors a different regime or a nuclear power plant having gone up in smoke fears about a possible meltdown loom large japanese authorities give assurances there is no imminent threat to tokyo residents but past evidence suggests they're not to be trusted completely over many years and you can the street and the regulators in japan but also in every society every country that operates nuclear power you find consistently that there's a lack of transparency a lack of will notice maybe just think i think arrogantly but that's too much information why should we provide that information so i think the situation in
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japan is absolutely critical in fact just five years ago the plant operator tokyo electric power company or tepco it's missa to falsifying temperature readings for cooling materials at fukushima as early as in one nine hundred eighty five and with the country now facing a major disaster the government will be careful in choosing its words. i think what is going to happen in the job is governments not only accountable of course for what they're trying to take care of but also their example to other countries and other nations the ball which starts in two thousand to the government disclosed that at least twenty nine cases of damage to the reactor had been swept under the carpet that incident led telcos presidents and some senior officials to quit in scandal in two thousand and three seventeen tepco operated plants ordered to be shut down again because the operator lied about what was happening at these sites
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so when the japanese officials put on a somber face but give assurances everything's fine not everyone's convinced particularly when the country's already got enough other problems to deal with if you don't have the emergency resources if your employer structure has been destroyed and the further you go away from the reactor the more difficult the more diverse the population settlements are the more difficult it is to back where you don't want to chronicle probably to get them to so for evacuate i may be on with him we put themselves in harm's way but when thousands of lives are on the line such a policy can easily be counterproductive there's a growing distrust among injured and the information that we're receiving is not informing us to the extent that we want my kids and when it doesn't reduce panic it just makes people all the more uncertain when he believe they can't trust for any information or being here as it stands apparent appears to be balancing on the
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brink of a nuclear meltdown and though the official version of the events implores everyone to stay calm history shows a lot of their words could be taken at face value in tokyo in a goes r.t. . so when catastrophes like this happen there are a few questions that always seem to come up first how could this have been prevented. what can we do moving forward to make sure it doesn't happen again with things now more than ever we are in need of some big ideas and big thinkers you know here in the us we've of course that's steve jobs of course but his big ideas make our lives easier more fun and interesting one of those ideas that will actually sustain life and give our future a better chance of well happening one of these ideas is a fusion of bonding of atoms at extremely high temperatures to create energy not only on that call i guess fusion to talk more about this i want to go out to marty harford in great neck new york he's a retired physicist from n.y.u.
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and also a senior fellow at the breakthrough. and i guess the ins and outs of fusion and why an idea like this would be beneficial to the future let me just quickly of course i'm going to answer you but let me just quickly respond to something you said before which is why did this happen and was it have to happen again i mean i believe that in the near term in the next ten to fifteen to twenty years we're going to really need to explore in the nuclear option a fission action before you get to fusion and i but we also and many other engineers and scientists believe there we can make fission power plants a lot safer than they are right now and so we want to be devoting significant resources to doing that as far as fusion fusion has been a promise since the early days when we realized we could make fusion weapons in the one nine hundred fifty s. the first nuclear reactor which was the one nine hundred forty three within ten
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years we had built a commercial nuclear reactor if the fermi's experiments that ten years earlier and yet it's been almost sixty years since the first hydrogen bomb and we still don't have. fusion everyone asks that question one has fusion ten or twenty years in the future and always is that fork in the future and the answer is it's a very tough problem but it's a problem and i think we're going to solve the venture way there is a program going on right now project in the south of france to build a commercial fusion and we're not to build a commercial fusion reactor to understand the science of whether we can get energy from seeing water by fusing hydrogen and you're talking about this project right the internet gets there are you clear experimental reactor and that's correct it's an international project it's going to cost between ten and twenty billion dollars
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and i don't think we're going to be able to count on any power realistically from fusion until twenty thirty we're beyond the problems we have an energy or our civilization runs on energy the way the roman empire ran on slavery it is inconceivable that we can run a civilization without a sustainable source of energy that is sufficiently long lived and safe and if you look at the if you look at the options that are available nuclear fission is in the picture so in the near term we've got to improve work on improving nuclear fission but the fundamental issue in the united states is that we're not committing enough financial resources to this problem the u.s. department of energy has a budget of about twenty five billion dollars for all forms of energy and most of that is coal and nuclear whereas the chinese have committed three times as much energy that the excuse me investment is going to be devoting of the order of
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seventy five billion dollars annually to develop renewable energy sources and it is actually paid off for them in a sense that china has. about fifty percent for sure marty i want to get in i want to interject here just a second because you made so many very interesting points here the difference between china and the u.s. in terms of their investment i want to talk about first of all this isn't how it's always been in the u.s. the u.s. has you know a few decades ago invested in things that they didn't understand that they didn't know where they were going to go. and so when you talk about that sort of the change in the attitude both public attitude investors and in political leaders that leaders who no matter what are not going to see you know the benefits reaped by these programs in their terms but they still went for it before also i want you to talk about. sort of why you know here we're in washington as you know and so i want
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you to talk about why. or oil i mean you talk about oil gas and coal so much being invested in these elements and not sort of the more unknown and how that could be really detrimental to the future. they may be surprised how i look at this obviously there is an enormous infrastructure in facile fuels and i believe that we're going to have to phase fossil fuels out within the next fifty years and that's the president's position as well if we're going to reduce c o two emissions by eighty percent by the middle of the century and most scientists who are familiar with climate change realize that that's a goal that we should be pursuing why are we not pursuing it with enough. they are why are we really investing what resources we have and the answer i have that may surprise you is that i think there are image of the future our vision of the future
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is dramatically different now than it was when i was growing up in an earlier geologic era which was right after world war two and in the one nine hundred fifty s. and sixty's when scientists had actually performed what seemed to be miracles of of technology development and when people were planning to go to the moon and colonize the solar system there was a basic aletha future was going to be a better place for our children and for of the senate so we were going to get there through science and technology we don't see science and technology like then anymore we don't have the best and the brightest there are young people in the united states at least studying science and technology and that's that's something that has to change party a theme that the best and the brightest at least in this country do one of two things they go to last three or they go if they stay in technology they're developing things you know like i pods and i pads and you computers things that make our lives you know more fulfilling and fun but not things as you say that's
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the same life but i think we've just seen what the effect of having this generation of people going and what you know aspiring to be enshrined manages rather than engineers and technologists work the thing that's made the united states great over the. hundred years has been a history of science and technology and take the wonderful innovation and i know this is your network is affiliated with russia formally the soviet union and i believe that many great things were invented in russia there was a time when there was a competition of who was inventing more but that's been the strong point of the us you're mentioning apple which is a place of my son actually worked there for seven years and knew steve jobs and i think that if the united states is going to be successful in emerging from this economic oles that we're involved in right now we're going to have to create into our new industries industries that were created similarly during world war two for
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example by f.d.r. when we were in the depths of the depression the ratio of debt to g.d.p. of the depression was about fifty percent about the same as it is right now and by the end of world war two it went up to about one hundred twenty percent which more than it is right now and that was because the american people weren't from their self from themselves to completely reinvest you was the united states by the end of the war the united states was the most economically powerful country in the world we had almost fifty percent of the world's g.d.p. if it's such a bad thing to spend money because the economy is in terrible shape how do the opponents of increased spending increased investment in alternative energy explain that. it's nonsense economically and that's the economic point other part which i mentioned before is the vision part how do we imagine the future
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everything that exists in this world had that exists first in the man made world and to exist first and somebody has mind and that's probably the most important resource already unfortunately we are out of time at some really really important questions that you raise that important to let. back and see how different it is now from just a few decades ago marty hoffert senior fellow at the breakthrough institute and retired and why you physicist thank you very much. so i have here at r t a dirty five between aqua door and chevron chris let's decision by a new york judge leave a crude impression about big corporations. plus an update on the cia contractor accused of killing two pakistanis and here's a hint blood money. let's not forget that we are in a park right here right now and. i
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think it's going to well. we never got the it says they're going to keep you safe get ready because. i want to talk now about playing by the rules and here's a question who has to and who doesn't have to well we have yet another example of a major corporation an oil giant in fact that has shown the world it intends to play by the rules only when it suits that shocking right but it's not just in this country that lobbyists and i dare say even members of the judicial branch hold the power sometimes us corporations take out power abroad artie's honest church going
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to take a look at a major scandal that has dragged on for years and includes one of america's biggest oil giants. a u.s. oil giant and tribal communities in a small country in a legal death grip for almost two decades is considered to be one of the largest environmental disasters in the world on record the defendant chevron the accuser am a victim of pollution south american ecuador country tinier and the u.s. state of nevada local tribes in these amazon forests are battling for compensation for damage caused by texaco a company scooped up by chevron billions of gallons of toxic waste dump onto ecuador soil and waters causing over fourteen hundred people have got cancer and thousands more have that of other illnesses this year and ecuadorian court ruled that chevron must pay nine and a half billion dollars in damages though it's certainly
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a large amount of money you would be this is actually something that could certainly be absorbed by chevron just is b.p. has been able to absorb the twenty billion or more. practically destroying the gulf of mexico but absorbing is what one new york judge chose not to do by stepping up for a share of iran and blocking the ecuadorian courts ruling from being enforced in the us or worldwide the judge cited harm to chevron's business that's just nonsense. so why would a new york judge meddle in a legal battle chevron initially insisted take place in ecuador obvious it's a us company they have huge interests here they're capable of very severe pressure as well against those that wish in any way to harm their interests and of course they have friends and a lot of high places while ecuador is tribal members certainly don't says greg pilaster investigative journalist and filmmaker greg says chevron has been calling
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all the shots in the case they said don't pry the case in the united states so they sent it down to ecuador they said now. we don't like the case in ecuador because we got a bad ruling so now try it in the united states now the multinational corporation is accusing ecuadorian villagers and farmers of trying to rob the company's pockets and we have been seeing this fraud go on for the last twenty years we continue to uncover it we will continue to. pursue several options both internationally and here in the u.s. courts but legal experts cite double standards dumping toxic waste on american soil is a crime that no company would be allowed to get away with corporations don't want to ever be held accountable for their actions and especially in other countries absolutely there's a double standard if ecuador won the case a legal precedent would be set chevrons and other oil giants biggest nightmare because they have to pay them back or they have to pay in mexico they're going to pay in nigeria they're going to pay in indonesia where ever they have gone to
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destroyed them to spoil the environment they want to kill this right now so there are comes up again anywhere the battle between the oil giants and ecuador looks to rejoin for many more years years some may not have ecuador's defense team says as many as ten thousand more people could get cancer and the damages are not taken care of immediately because this is hard to see. this case has been looked on by other well companies as a victory a sign that money trumps everything but so many others around the world see this as a sick joke in which people from other countries are not only worth less than people in america they're also worth less than the growing mountain of profit these companies keep making. as in our new york studio and he's the corner for clean up ecuador the queen of ecuador campaign at amazon watch hey there we just saw this report about exactly what's been going on over the last decade i guess you could
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say what's the big situation here what are you most concerned about. well what we're most concerned about is that after nearly eighteen years of litigation a case that's been. litigated more than any case in history probably i mean we're talking hundreds and thousands of pages of documents tens of thousands of samples that have been taken at sites that were operated by texaco which was chevron's predecessor company after all of this time and now ruling from ecuador's court after all this time chevron is continuing just a scorched earth legal political. and p.r. offensive to evade accountability what people in ecuador continue to get sick people and i continue to die of oil related illness cancer children they're still don't have clean drinking water eighteen years later it's just it's
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a travesty i must not forget it was chevron that asked for this case to be moved to ecuador perhaps they thought they could buy the people off of that to my benefit them obviously you know the case then moved to ecuador and it still rules against them and as you mentioned they're now on a p.r. blitz against what's happening there one of their main arguments that i want you to respond to is that chevron wasn't exactly responsible it was the oil company texaco which chevron later bought talked to me and tell our viewers that doesn't hold water. it's an argument that they've made in certain contexts but they haven't made in other contexts because from a legal standpoint they period they've been laughed out of court and they've tried to make this argument for chevron to say that they can take on all the assets that texaco represents but not take on the liabilities which they were very well aware of when they purchased and absorbed the company is just ridiculous my friend and
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colleague tosa soltani from amazon the which was actually at the two thousand and one chevron annual shareholder meeting to basically warn the company of the kind of liability they were about to take on by absorbing texaco they knew very well and the current c.e.o. of chevron. john watson was in fact the guy who really was that was the architect of the takeover of texaco so it's just a ludicrous argument what about this this judge in new york you know the city where you are making stepping in and making this decision how can this happen. well. it is kind of mind boggling and right now i think you know the case is is on appeal in ecuador and going through the proper process the verdict that came down from ecuador ecuadorian courts is one hundred eighty eight page ruling that relied mostly on chevron's own evidence on samples taken by the company over the course of
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this you know very long trial and now we've got a new york judge in the same chord that chevron argued ten years ago to get out of making this ruling that the judgment cannot be enforced can't be enforced here in the u.s. he's issued a preliminary injunction against that the verdict against the force and of the verdict but it's an extraordinary overreach and i think an abuse of power by a judge basically you know the job of deciding whether or not a particular company or even a sector of the economy deserves extraordinary legal protections is a matter for congress not for the courts and you know and as that as many people find it at let's be honest corporations responsibility is to the corporation to their bottom line people are shocked that the people in this case the people back would or would be put to the back burner but make the case for me if you can why
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it's not necessarily in chevron's best interests to only look after their profits. well i think you know chevron is trying to on one hand i think maybe some of your viewers will have seen their latest kind of publicity blitz their advertising talking about how boil companies need to to be good members of the community and take care of the communities where they operate you know there's showing themselves to be extraordinarily hypocritical and to face. you know i think actually increasingly we're going to see chevron shareholders telling management that it's time for them to put this horrific controversy behind them and step up to the plate take responsibility for the devastation in our door and pay up and actually provide some relief to the communities that have suffered so much to enrich the
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company and we will of course keep our eyes on this this is a really important story to keep on honzon coordinator of clean up ecuador campaign at amazon watch well it seems money can buy you anything for several minutes not having to pay for the mass at least right now cause in the amazon and for raymond davis the cia contractor charged with killing two pakistanis it's the blood money getting him out of jail raymond davis was released from a pakistani jail earlier today this thanks to a law in pakistan that allows murder suspects to pay blood money to victim's family davis is hearing his victims' families agreed to forgive him for the killings after accepting a nice large sum of money as compensation the u.s. wanted davis to receive diplomatic immunity but claim they have not paid anyone anything for the outcome of this case the resolution appears to have cut some growing tensions between the u.s. and pakistan however a lot of people protesting in the streets after this ruling came down.


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