tv Democracy Now WHUT July 3, 2012 6:00pm-7:00pm EDT
07/03/12 07/03/12 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] >> from pacifica, this is "democracy now!" >> the high today in indianapolis, a sizzling 103 degrees. that broke a 78-year old record. >> nashville broke its all-time record, 109 degrees. what's the worst forest fires in colorado ever, deadly storms in the mid-atlantic region kill at least 23 people and lead over 4 million without power. the midwest suffers some of its hottest days since the dust bowl. the war than 2000 heat records have been broken in the past week alone. as the words extreme weather flash across tv screens across the country, what about another two words? global warming. we will speak with meteorologist jeff masters of the weather
underground, environmental reporter suzanne goldenberg, and christian parenti, author of, "tropic of chaos: climate change and the new geography of violence." we will look at why bananas are more regulated than arms. >> trade in both bananas and dinosaur bones have treaties to regulate them, but not guns. anyone can sell guns to those who regularly use the arms to kill their own people. >> how many guns had he got on you? >> 43. >> how many bananas? only to that, because that is regulated. >> justin brand. we'll speak with amnesty usa executive director suzanne nossel. all of that and more coming up. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
at least 25 people have been killed and more than 50 wounded in a car bombing in the iraqi city of diwaania. crowdedack targeted a crowd o market. with sectarian attacks on the rise, at least 237 people were killed in iraq last month, making june 1 of the bloodiest since u.s. forces withdrew late last year. syrian president bashar al-assad has expressed regret for the downing of a turkish air jet that stoked tensions with neighboring turkey last month. speaking to a turkish newspaper, al-assad said he will not allow the incident to escalate into combat between the two countries. in other syria news, dozens of members of syria's opposition met in cairo on monday to formulate a new transition from al-assad's rule. syrian rebels boycotted the gathering, calling it a potential front for foreign intervention. syrian forces meanwhile continue
to bombard the damascus suburb of douma with heavy shelling. at the united nations, navi pillay said the arming of both sides of the syrian conflict is creating a dangerous situation. >> there is a risk of escalation with provision of arms to the civilian government and to its opponents, fueling the violence. any further militarization of the conflict must be avoided at all cost. >> and other syria news, human rights watch has released a report accusing the assad regime of widespread torture. human rights watch researcher said interviews with syrian torture victims pointed to a network of torture centers across syria. >> what is absolutely clear from this report is that torture is widespread and systematic. the amount of information that we have collected shows or indicates a clear state policy
and a clear tolerance of the use of torture. really, the syrian authorities is running a network of torture centers, and network of torture chambers gathered across syria. the widespread and systematic nature of this network makes it clear that it constitutes a crime against humanity. >> in mexico, students to to the streets monday to protest the election of pri candidates enrique peña nieto and called for an investigation of voter fraud. his main opponent, obrador, is still refusing to concede the race, leaving open the possibility of a court challenge. in remarks monday, enrique peña nieto pledged to continue the crackdown against drug cartels in a drug war that has seen tens of thousands of deaths. enrique peña nieto has tapped the former head of colombia's
national police to be his security adviser, signaling he will likely continue u.s.-backed drug war in the same vein as his predecessor president felipe calderón. a u.s.-backed crackdown against cocaine track down and climate that led to the demise of drug lord pablo escobar. more than 47,000 people have died since calderón took power in 2006 and announced a crackdown on drug cartels. speaking in washington, state department's spokesperson victoria nuland congratulated enrique peña nieto for his apparent victory and said the u.s. expects continued drug or cooperation from the mexican government. >> we're not going to get ahead of a formal seating of a new government and predict changes in policy one way or the other, but we are committed to working in partnership with mexico to meet the evolving challenges posed by transnational criminal organizations and expect that our cooperation is going to continue with the enrique peña
nieto the ministration went it is seated. >> in afghanistan, at least three british soldiers have been killed in a shooting by an afghan police officer. it was the latest in a wave of attacks by the members of the afghan forces against foreign troops with the u.s.-led nato occupation. pharmaceutical company glaxosmithkline has agreed to a $3 billion fine and a guilty plea on criminal charges in what is been described as the biggest case of healthcare fraud in u.s. history. the justice department-led probe found the company promoted antidepressants paxil and wellbutrin for unapproved uses including marketing paxil to children when it was only approved for adults. prosecutors say glaxosmithkline promoted the drugs by distributing a misleading journal article and giving doctors perks that amounted to illegal kickbacks. prosecutors also contend the company fell to give the food and drug administration safety data about the diabetes drug
avandia, which has been linked to heart risks. the deputy general james cole unveiled the settlement on monday. >> this action constitutes the largest healthcare settlement in the united states history. we're determined to stop practices that jeopardize patient's health, harm taxpayers, and violate the public trust. >> consumer advocacy group public citizen said the $3 billion settlement does not go far enough because the fines pale in comparison to the drug companies' profits. in a statement, public citizen said -- a new york judge has ordered the social media site twitter to hand over the account details and message history of and occupy wall street protester. a new york state court has
called on twitter to hand over tweets written by malcolm harris, a protester who was arrested with hundreds of others using -- during the occupied march across the brooklyn bridge on october 1. twitter had sought to avoid the order, saying it constitutes an undue burden and a violation of freedom of speech. in a statement, the aclu criticized the ruling saying -- twitter has revealed u.s. law enforcement agencies account for the vast majority of requests for its users private information. of around 850 government requests for user information worldwide, 80% came from the united states. less than a week after the supreme court upheld key parts of president obama's health care law, florida governor rick scott said his it will take advantage of the court's ruling that states can opt out of the laws
medicaid expansion. the court said in its landmark decision last week that states could choose not to expand medicaid to cover low income people, and that the federal government could not punish states by withholding medicaid funds. florida is the largest day so far to firmly declare it will take advantage of that ruling. florida governor scott also said the state would decline to set up a health insurance exchange under the new law, opting not to provide a regulated market where people can purchase insurance. more than one-fifth of florida residents currently lack health insurance. three peace activists are appearing in court today following their arrest last week outside the hancock field air national guard base near syracuse, new york. the three were among 15 people jailed for protesting u.s. drone attacks on thursday, but they remain behind bars for noncompliance with their sentencing requirements under a conviction for previous anti drone protest earlier this year. during thursday's action, the
protesters displayed images of young victims of u.s. drone strikes is a blocked the base's main entrance. nearly 40 protesters have been arrested in vermont at the gates of vermont yankee nuclear power plant. vermont lawmakers have tried to shutter the plant, but it is still in operation after its parent company, entergy corporation, won an extension from the nuclear regulatory commission and a subsequent court battle. the vermont yankee facility is one of the oldest in the country and has had a series of radioactive tritium leaks. on sunday, anti-nuclear activists approached the yankee plant with a 600-pound, handmade trojan california filled renewable energy devices. organizers said they plan to launch a flotilla next month to raise awareness about the plant's polluting of the connecticut river. the oil giant shell has obtained what critics are calling a pro protest-free zone around a
drilling vessel set to begin operations off alaska's arctic coast later this month. the u.s. coast guard has granted shell's's noda discover vessel a 500-meter safety zone that no demonstrators will be allowed to enter. shell's bid to begin exploratory drilling in the arctic was approved last month over the objections of indigenous and environmental groups. a singapore physician and peace activist who is been working in afghanistan has been denied permission to enter the united states. doctor wee teck young of the afghan peace volunteers has been invited to speak on an anti-war caravan across the u.s. beginning in september, but last week u.s. consular officials in singapore denied his request of a visa. the group voices for. of nonviolence is urging supporters to protest the move. a psychiatrist and gay rights advocate dr. richard isay has died at the age of 77. he came out as a gay man, as a married father in his 40's and
one on to lead a pivotal effort to stop his profession and the american psychiatric association from treating homosexuality as a disease. those are some of the headlines. this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. >> welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. we begin today's show with a look at the extreme weather effecting large areas of the united states. as a forest fires, heat waves and droughts are devastating much of the country. this comes as a week after tropical storm debby flooded florida. and it's the news coverage of the extreme weather, we rarely hear two other words -- global warming. this is just a sampling of recent news reports. >> the heat wave is making the rockies and great plans, now spreading east. 130 million americans are in the excessive heat advisories down, or than one-third of the entire
u.s. population. >> the high today in indianapolis, a sizzling 103 degrees, that broke a 78-year old record. >> nashville broke its all-time record, hitting 109 degrees. authorities urged people to stay indoors and canceled out or even as this weekend. from atlanta, -- >> it is nothing out here. >> u.s. national guard is helping police in colorado, springs in the wake of the most destructive wildfires in the state's history. both fires have forced thousands of people to flee their homes. >> the fast-moving fires in colorado have destroyed hundreds of homes and threatening thousands more. the fires have grown so large, you can see it from space. take a look at this video from the international space station showing the various scorched by flames and the western states so far. >> it is getting dangerous for people very old and very young,
especially. excessive heat watch, basically the official way of telling you what we have been saying for a long time, lots and lots of excessive heat for the rest of the week. >> plenty of extreme weather coverage, but no mention of the role played by climate change and global warming. this comes as a relentless heat wave is gripping the eastern united states for fit straight day. more than 2000 heat records have been broken in the past week. thousands more were set in june read it a more striking, the first of july broke records for the highest ever recorded tempters on any date at spots in georgia, kentucky, north carolina and south carolina. >> meanwhile, a violent thunderstorm known as a derecho has left more than 700-mile tour of destruction across the midwest and mid-atlantic on friday, cutting power to millions and killing at least 18 people. all of this comes as firefighters in colorado grapple with the two most destructive wildfires in the state's history. the fire's spread a haze of smoke over urban areas and
displaced tens of thousands of people. they left behind vast swaths of blackened forest and burned to the ground more than 600 homes. this is 76-year-old colorado springs resident damon bowlin after seeing the remains of his house. >> it is just heart wrenching. other sickening -- rahter sickening. i do not think we had a fear of being harmed by the fire, but when you all of this and realize you have lost -- all of this sudden you realize you have lost everything you have been working for all your life and the beauty and tranquillity that we had been experiencing for the past several years, and realize now there is no house, there is no place to call home. >> for more, we're joined by the guardians newspaper
environmental correspondent, suzanne goldenberg, who is just returned from reporting on the fires in colorado. she joins us from washington, d.c., where her own home is back with our after losing it on friday's storm. also joined in ann arbor, michigan, by jeff masters we're joined by christian parenti, author of several books, most recently, "tropic of chaos: climate change and the new geography of violence." suzanne goldenberg, describe what is happening in colorado. >> it is just huge destruction on a scale they have not seen before in colorado. what makes this wildfire different from other wildfires we have seen really is the number of houses burned and the fact they burned within city limits. these are not forest, far right, remote from people. these are city limits and within city limits and lots of people were affected.
this particular fire also was described by firefighters across the board as extremely unpredictable. there was a moment in the middle of last week with the city's mayor was giving a press conference, talking about how they thought they had things under control. as he spoke on camera right behind them, this huge ball of fire burst out and came racing down the mountain toward them. this was a fire of the ferocity that has not been seen before. >> is this what your it characterized as what some people are calling supersized fires? >> that is a bit hard to say, exactly. when you talk to forced scientists and fire scientists, they have a number of criteria in terms of the number of acres burned, damage caused, and how severe the burning was. they have not got into the area to know how severe the damage was, whether things were burned
to the ground in the forest. they certainly were in homes. picture after picture of homes burned down to the cement foundation. in terms of area, it is not in the hundreds of thousands of acres we have seen in the other fires. in terms of it's a fact, it is certainly devastating enough to rank as a super fire, but i do not know if it checks of all the boxes. >> suzanne goldenberg, the relationship between the fires in colorado, the drenching rain in florida, the massive heat wave piercing across the country, often things do not look like they are connecting. the issue of global warming -- start in colorado. >> absolutely climate change is a big factor. we have a tenure are more drought across the west. yet not had brain. we have had rain, it has not been at the right time or quantity. you have had mild winters.
there's not the big snowpack in the mountains with gradual runoff that would sort of feed the forest and fields, get people the water you need. what you have a lot of the southwest is the situation where in the tiny spark from a cigarette, from a chain saw, from a car parked too close to high grass -- any tiny spark is % of a up to possibly 100 fo fire starting. >> i would ask jeff masters, can you explain what you think accounts for the record heat and violent storms that we're witnessing now? >> you have two things to think about. one is the fact the atmosphere has natural ups and downs. this year happens to be one of those years when we're getting a one in 20-year type of heat wave, talking about once every 20 years. on top of that, yet the
background pattern of global warming. now have increased the odds of getting one in 20-type here he waves and the expectation is by the end of the century, this kind of heat wave will occur every two years. no surprise here, a warming climate, higher probability of hot summers like we see this year. >> we will take a break and come back to this discussion. i will play a clip of colorado governor hickenlooper who is at the summit in copenhagen. with a chance to interview him. we will discuss what is happening not only in the united states, but around the world as we put together the two words -- extremeweather with global warming. we will be back in a moment. ♪ [music break]
as we talk about climate change today, i want to play a comment from colorado governor john hickenlooper. i interviewed him in 2009, he was the mayor of denver at the time, and attending the u.n. climate change conference in copenhagen. >> the whole question about extreme climate change is in the direct result of greenhouse gases. the argument that continually gets put back is look at the dust bowl. that was before we get any of these types of co2 buildups. howdy to which dramatic climate changes are the result of co2 emissions and greenhouse gases and which ones are not? of -- it is hardl work. there's a lot of noise on ed. i think what the real key is, we know the climate change is occurring. we know it. we know mankind -- the vast
majority of it is the result of our actions. we need to address it and move quickly. >> that was colorado governor john hickenlooper, at the time was the mayor of denver, was in copenhagen for the climate change summit. jeff masters, you are a meteorologist with weather underground just bought by the weather channel, which many think of dr. heidi cohen, who got tremendous fire as a meteorologist at the weather channel when she said, meteorologists should not be certified unless they know about climate change or something to that effect. can you talk about the significance of what hickenlooper is saying, now the governor of colorado, we hear him everywhere but journalists are not asking him about global warming, though they are asking him to talk about the fires. >> yes, it is difficult to talk about whether a specific event is tied to global warming or not without doing a detailed study, which takes many months, typically, with a computer model
to see just exactly what the influences might be. but we do know that if you have a warming climate, this sort of heat is more likely. back in the 1930's, we do not know exactly what was going on. yes, a lot of that heat we experienced them was due to natural causes, but it was also due to the fact we basically turn the midwest into a giant parking lot for generating extreme heat through very poor farming practices. so component of that heat wave was not natural. this past june's weather was the most extreme since the dust bowl era as far as june temperatures go and extreme records. we're back to what we saw in the 1930's, and that should give us all some concern that we're getting dust ball-type weather. >> suzanne goldenberg, i want to turn to the work of the heartland institute which you have written about, especially
about the recent exposé on their work. can you explain who they are, what they have to do with climate deniers, and what the exposé reveals? >> it is an organization that is based in chicago and has been in operation for about 25 years. they are an extreme ultraconservative libertarian think tank. over the last number of years, they made it among their mission to discredit the sign to it -- signs of climate change in many ways and sort of set themselves up to be a hub for people who did not believe that climate change was man-made. they began having annual conferences. they put out a bunch of experts who claim to be scientists who did not believe was mainstream science-with mainstream signs that climate change was happening.
what they were doing on a broader scale -- where they fit in was the mission really was to create doubt about the fact climate change was occurring. when there is doubt, it is hard to put policy and play. there were one of a number of groups during this, but among the most prominent and previously had links to exxonmobil and the koch brothers as well as other mainstream corporations. in february of this year, the water scientist obtained through deception, basically pretended to be a member of the board of heartland, and he obtained a number of confidential documents that were prepared for a board meeting. these documents really shone a light on the inner workings. there were important for two reasons. one, they contain a donor list.
we got to know exactly who was giving money to this organization, which is something they had never disclosed. there were some surprises because there were some mainstream corporations like general motors foundation, which has a corporate policy believing in climate change and having sustainable business practices. the second thing it revealed, that i think was interesting, was their project to discredit climate change was really laied bare. there is a project they wanted to set up the with specifically target school children from kindergarten age and basically indoctrinate these children so they did not believe in the science there were being taught in schools. those were the two most striking things that came out of that exposé. >> what happened as a result once the exposé was revealed? what happened to the heartland institute? >> basically, it is imploding.
don't get me wrong, there has been a lot of backlash against peter glick, but her and has been done a lot of damage. once exposed, a lot of the mainstream donors decided they did not want to fund the organization anymore. heartland compounded the damage because they took out a billboard comparing people who believed in climate change to the unabomber and that to started a whole new flight of other donors. they put themselves beyond the pale. they have made themselves seem very extreme right-wing organization or before they had adopted this posture of being sort of skeptical, probing the science, tried it the most rational policy. all of that posture is gone. >> but tv meteorologist was been criticized for failing to connect extreme weather patterns
to global warming has been cnn's rob marciano. i want to play a 2007 cnn report covering a story about a british judge was considering banning al gore kospi "in inconvenient truths" from schools in england. >> schools may have to issue a warning before the show students the controversial movie about global warming. >> finally. finally. >> so you do not agree? >> the oscars giving out awards for fiction as well. the biggest problem i have is that the implication that katrina was caused by global warming. the jury is still out. global warming does not conclusively cause a stronger hurricanes like we have seen. >> that was rob marciano. jeff masters, your response? you are a meteorologist with weather underground critic. >> he did write a good book and
make a good movie. was it perfect? no, there were some inaccuracies. should it be shown in schools? i think individual schools have to make that decision. we do have a lot of resources out there by people who are not politicians come on climate change and science, and a service to be bringing those to more people's attention. >> what about the issue that across the tv networks there is more and more attention devoted to the weather, as it should be, i mean, 2000 records last month. it is astounding. and every day, a record is broken after the day before the record was broken. but that there is no discussion of climate change by these meteorologists. >> i think it is in port for the public to hear what we're seeing now is the future. -- i think it is important for the public to hear what we're
seeing now is the future. we better prepare for it. we better educate people with what is going on. i think we're missing a big opportunity. our tv meteorologists are, to educate and tell the population what is happening. this is just the beginning. >> i want to bring in christian parenti, author of, "tropic of chaos: climate change and the new geography of violence." you have talked a lot about the effects of global warming and climate change in the rest of the world, especially in the south. one of the arguments made wine in the u.s. there's so much science the nile is populations are relatively isolated from the worst effects. as we see more and more extreme weather events like we have witnessed, how like you think that is to continue? more and more people are being affected. >> i don't know whether people's minds will change if there is
continual for rosh of misinformation, but it is becoming a reality. i think it calls to question the role of government. the real difference between the global south and north is facing this problem that in the global south, governments, a public sector has been systematically dismantled on the orders of the imf and world bank to structural adjustment programs, state assets and states have been privatized. so people fall back in the face of extreme weather on their own devices, which is in places like kenya and afghanistan are cheap ak-47's return to the drug trade. but there is still -- there still is a public sector here. another thing missing from these discussions, the public sector. who is fighting these
fires? the public sector. public schools are being privatized in philadelphia. this assault on the public sector must be linked to climate change. in the face of extreme weather, i think there really is -- we have to embrace the fact u.s. capitalism essentially is a mixed economy already, 35% of gdp -- this is a right-wing talking point and many on the left do not discuss it, but it is a tool we can use. >> vermont is a perfect example. >> yes, last year we had hurricane irene dumped a lot rain on vermont read people came together on a voluntary basis, but the state government was there with lots of speed. levels that outstrip others by factors of 3, 4, 5. we have to recognize in these moments we're connected and one
of the most important institutions for managing these types of crises is the public sector and we cannot fire public workers or dismantle the state. it is not always inefficient and corrupt. it actually does lots of valuable things. what will happen in the summer, fema will come under attack. the right wing turned on fema and said there were spending too much. they are because disasters have doubled in the last 20 years. there were 99 last year. the gop is trying to strip their budget. why do they hate fema so much? it works. it is a public agency that helps redistribute wealth to people in need. it does all sorts of things that are essential to those affected by the disaster and regional areas that need to recover from disaster. >> the power exerted by the oil
companies, the wealthiest in the world, in terms of advertisements and the corporate media, i want to bring up a tweet of bill mckibben. this is on the issue of the topic of fossil fuel subsidies at the rio plus 20 summit. he tweeted -- christian parenti? >> wish to reduce all those subsidies and allow the epa to do what it is mandated to do, which is imposed a defacto carbon tax. with the kyoto protocol, signed by clinton in the mid-1990s and not ratified by the senate, states and reorganizations sued sing epa should be regulating greenhouse gases. it was just reaffirmed recently. the epa is responsible for issuing rules that would raise
the cost of burning fossil fuels. if that happens, there be a shift of investment from these dirty and subsidized industries toward clean industries. these laws exist. this is to happen. the government to lead the way by saying, all of our news vehicles will be electric. we will set out a schedule for buying clean power for all of our buildings. the federal government is the largest single consumer of power in the economy. the private sector has -- it is sitting on more and invested cash. i'm not talking about bonuses or profits paid out, but many in the short term. if the government allow the epa to do with it must do, raise the price of burning fossil fuels, that would help direct private money into renewable energy and not put people back to work.
in the face of this crisis, we a to think seriously and maturely and creatively about the role of government. the only place you can get flood insurance is basically the federal government. it rights 95% of flood insurance. it is never discussed. it would underwrite the recovery. >> what about climate change globally? paint as a picture and what it means. >> it is kicking in all over the world. i was just in vietnam and they take a very serious there. the debate there is, do we protect the heart of the vietnamese economy, the top prize exporter -- rice exporter for many years, or do we treat 1
kilometer and to treat the mangoes? they're having a sophisticated discussion. it means people do not have institutions like fema to fall back on. if the farmers get hit, they lose their land, agreed to the cities. -- migrate to the cities. people with the violence going on, they fall into drug economies in cities or rural rating or religious and ethnic fanaticism. these become the solutions. they pick up a gun. that is what "topic of chaos" is all about. this often happens in very stimulated ways. the arab spring, some extent, many positive aspects but it is also associated with three wars. libya, syria, yemen. part of what triggered that was, i think, climate change in green-freezing areas. the u.s. and canada hit by
floods. australia had a drought. which caused aia, you ca ban on wheat exports. egypt. food prices were running at over 20% inflation a year. if you go back and look, the first demands for about the rising cost of living with food being at the center. to some extent you could say that was the expression of climate change impacting agriculture and other places, showing up as suffering and political crisis and end violence in the middle east. >> i want to ask suzanne goldenberg one of the points christian perinde raised which has to do it public-sector cuts, something of spoken about in your reporting for the guardian is the amount of funding cuts,
congressional budget cuts for preventing and putting out wildfires. $500 million have been cut since 2010, almost 15% of the budget. kinney said a little about the significance of that and the impact it has had since the fires have broken out? >> it is a huge impact. every prediction says wild fires are going to be increasing over the next 10 years. and yet we have a congress that is -- republican controlled congress and the house that is opposed to spending money on things that are protect people. or any kind of public projects. you have the forest service saying, we need this money -- not just to fight fires, the take the steps necessary to ensure when fires to occur that they will not be so devastating. that they will not burn for weeks and weeks and of our hundreds of thousands of acres
of forest. those are programs where you manage the materials in the forest. you may send out the forest, develop a space between the forest and people's homes of the homes do not burn down like we have seen in colorado springs. those programs as well as a program for putting out fires when they do occur have both been cut this year. that will have a pretty devastating attack. there are many people really worried about that. >> christian parenti, you spoke about the effects of rising wheat prices. one of the affects of the fires in the heat wave in the floods in the u.s. is likely to be a dramatic increase in the price of corn, wheat, and soybean. what do you think will be the global consequences of the increase in these commodities will be? >> it will probably be compounded by speculation.
in situations like this people increase the price even further -- 9 >> explained. >> the second largest commodity trading company in the world. they are involved in mining and buying and selling agricultural commodities like wheat and soybean. what that will mean in the global south is that people such as egyptians who pay 40% of their wages in food will be pressed to the wall. we will see, as we saw in 2008 and to some extent last year, probably more food riots, more protests. at first it will not look like it is about climate change. it will be about some quick to credit president, some christians and muslims fighting each other in northern nigeria. it is not to say these conflicts are reducible to climate change, but they are exacerbated by climate change. the frightening thing, one of
the only institutions that seems to think about this in the u.s. is the pentagon. their job is to fight wars and prepare for worse, so the see this coming and are preparing for open-ended and counterinsurgency on a global scale and definitely. to their credit they also say, ultimately, we cannot handle this if there is inappropriate policy from civilian leaders, who knows how civilization will cope in the next century and climate change kicking in? the right now, the preparations are for policing this crisis. that is not one to help at all. that will exacerbate it. >> i want to go to jeff masters, university of michigan ann arbor, a climatologist with -- a meteorologist with the weather underground. can you protect what is going to happen this summer? and sticking with this issue, the way people understand the world is so often to the media, through experience going outside with the extreme weather, then
watching on television, is a discussion among climatologists to start raising this issue? is there a push of underground weathermen to talk about this? >> right now, we have got moderate to severe to extreme drought over a large portion of the grain producing area of the u.s. from kansas into missouri, illinois, indiana. it is only the early part of july. the forecast is for continued hot weather least for the next two weeks. i would not be surprised to see a sharp reduction in the american grain harvest because of drought this year. we're looking at a similar situation to 1988, $70 billion disaster in the u.s. because of the drought. if you look back to the 1930's, it reminds me a lot of what we saw in some of those dust bowl years. the big concern, dropped one ford will be a huge issue in the u.s. and will impact food prices, i think as far as your
second question, can you ask that again? >> is there a discussion among meteorologists to start talking about climate change? >> it has been an ongoing discussion for a long time, sure. i am on the board of advisers for a couple of groups that talk about climate change and we're certainly trying to get the word out. we have a lot of people giving talks at the local level and are trying to get as much media exposure as we can. it is an uphill struggle because there is a lot of misinformation being put out by companies whose profits are hurt by climate change awareness, so it remains to be seen. the weather we see now is ultimately what will change people's minds when they see in their own experience that, hey, we're seeing a prison in its source of heat and drought and maybe -- unprecedented amounts of heat and drought. >> could it be advertisers?
>> absolutely. the oil companies have to protect profits by law, so of course the will to challenge any science that says there's global warming. >> to tv climatologists fill the direct pressure, being told not to raise these issues? stick to the records and record- breaking, but don't talk about what is behind at all? >> an pretends on the particular station and meteorologist, but, yes, there's a lot of pressure. you get a lot of blowback when you start talking about these issues, a lot of angry people write-in you. sometimes it may be an astronaut turf type issue where there are people out there writing letters and pressuring people not to talk about climate change, but there's a lot of genuine confusion among people and a lot of people felt passionately that climate change is not an issue. they are being swayed by some of these powerful media campaigns
being waged by the oil companies. >> thank you all for being with us, jeff masters, who is with the weather underground, suzanne goldenberg is the u.s. and garment correspondent of "the guardian" that just came back from colorado. thank you, christian parenti, whose latest book is just coming out in paperback this week, "tropic of chaos: climate change and the new geography of violence." this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. when we come back, just down the road from us here in new york, the u.n. is debating a new international arms treaty. how is it that bananas, bottled water, is more regulated than international arms? we will speak with the new head of amnesty usa. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
>> this is "democracy now!," democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. we want to go to a clip from the amnesty international secret policeman's ball of russell brand. >> trade and but bananas and dinosaur bones of international treaties to regulate, but not guns. anyone can sell guns and bullets to dictators who regularly use these arms to kill their own people. >> how many guns have you got on you? >> 43. how many bananas quest wreck only two, because it is regulated. >> delegates from 190, hundreds the bush in monday on yor gathered on monday in new york. one person dies every minute as a result of armed violence around the world. the global weapons market is by
that more than $60 billion a year and critics argue a binding treaty is necessary to prevent guns from flooding into conflict zones and fueling wars and human rights violations. the u.n.-sponsored meeting is taking place in the wake of mounting atrocities in syria. speaking monday, the u.n. human rights chief navi pillay said weapons are pouring into the country, leading to worsening violence in the 16-month conflict that is already claimed more than 10,000 lives. >> there is a risk of escalation, the provision of arms to the civilian government, and to its opponents, is feeling the violence. any further militarization of conflict must be avoided at all costs. >> the united states is by far the world's largest producer, importer, an exporter of armaments. the u.s. produces almost 35% of all weapons globally. russia is second at almost 15%, followed by germany, britain, china, and france.
the u.s., china, and russia have all raised objections to different aspects of the agreement under discussion while britain is one of the co- sponsors of the treaty. to find out more about the significance of the treaty, we're joined now by the executive director of amnesty international usa, suzanne nossel. prior to amnesty international, she served as deputy assistant secretary of state under hillary clinton. talk about his arms trading going on at the united nations. >> this is a landmark discussion and negotiation just getting under way at the united nations to try to put the finishing touches on the treaty efforts that has been underway for about a duck -- decade, for the first time forcefully regulate the transfer of arms. as you heard in the clip, bananas and bottled water are regulated more stringently than conventional weapons. these are weapons that are killing 1500 people every day, up to 750,000 a year. these are the real weapons of
mass destruction. they are killing year in and year out, person by person, family by family, village by village. this effort of countries coming together to negotiate a treaty that will impose obligations of states, require them to do their due diligence to make sure weapons are not being transferred under circumstances where they will be used to perpetrate atrocities and human rights abuses, making sure they're keeping records of the transfers are documented and you can trace the paper trail and figure or the weapons are coming from, making human security council's and imposing embargoes to stop the transfer of weapons are being enforced. this is a critical factor. the position that countries take, their willingness to support a strong treaty -- >> how is it that it is regulated less than bottled water? stopping this
regulation? >> all five permanent members of the u.n. security council make the list with the u.s. at the top. these are hundreds of billion dollar industries around the world. there are security interests that fuel this, profits. it is not surprising there has been resistance to conventional arms control regime. there are some weak regulations that have been put in place but have not been enforced. >> the fact there are the five permanent members who are the largest producers, what effect is that like the the have on a binding -- likely affect is that to have on a binding treaty? >> their critical power brokers in the discussion. the u.k. is a strong proponent of the treaty, despite being on the list. the united states, the obama
administration says it will support the treaty. the bush administration was against it. the treaty was pretty much stalled during those years. the obama administration shift has made it possible to move the discussion for the, but we still have serious concerns. they have been reticent about ammunition in the scope of the treaty. we think it is important. regulated and controlled, they will find their way into weapons and be utilized, these bullets. their concerns about the position of russia and china. russia at the top of the list, funneling weapons into syria for the use of the al-assad regime and its onslaught against its own people. this is high-stakes negotiations. >> republican senator jerry moran of kansas is at the forefront of opposition to the arms trade agreement on capitol
hill. last year he led 44 senators in expressing concern about the dangers posed by the treaty to private gun ownership. he discussed the treaty during a speech last month at the heritage foundation. >> am concerned this tree will infringe upon the second amendment right. first, while the draft paper nominally applies only to " international arms transfers," it to find such transfers as including transport across national territory, requires the signatories to monitor and control arms in transit, and to enforce domestically the obligations of the treaty by prohibiting the unauthorized transfer of arms from any location. this implies an expansion of federal firearms control the would be unacceptable on second amendment grounds. >> senator moran went on to say that to protect second amorites, the tradition not apply to certain weapons. >> we should not include
manufacturing, assembly, possession or purchase of small arms like weapons, ammunition or related materials that are defined under domestic law as legal for private ownership in the u.s., nor should it contain any open in the obligations that could imply any need to impose controls that would have any domestic a fact and any or all of these items. >> that was kansas senator ran. suzanne, how active is the master rifle association? >> they're talking about a second amendment rights, the right to private individuals to have access to funds for personal use in the u.s. industry is about the international transfer of weapons to fuel conflicts around the world. it is apples to oranges argument they are making. the point is raising is really not an issue that will be in any way threatened or and hinged
upon this treaty. it is false. it should not be distracted by the effort to sort of mix these issues together. this is about international arms trade, not second amendment rights in the united states. >> amnesty has been pushing to have the treaty be legally binding. who would enforce such a treaty? >> it will create reporting obligations that would be carried out through international monitoring system, so countries will come forward and report on their transfers. that will create the ability of the u.n. security council and other u.n. bodies, navi pillay, rights groups, to call attention to the transfers that are fueling conflicts that are putting arms in the hands of those perpetrating human-rights atrocities. it will create more transparency and a series of tools that can be used to apply pressure to prevent transfers. >> do you expect to see much in
this election year when weapons manufacturer in the u.s., for example, are very powerful? both the obama administration and you were in the state department, and the republicans are fighting for dollars and weapons manufacturers have a lot of them. >> the thing to recognize here is u.s. regulations and laws already impose obligations preventing the transfer of arms in situations where those arms could be used to perpetrate human rights abuses. with that screening already taking place under our law, the real thrust of this treaty is to impose obligations globally said the u.s. is not the only one tearing out the due diligence that other governments have to. given the concern about now 16- month conflict in syria, this is something people can agree on both sides of the aisle. >> suzanne nossel, thank you. [captioning made possible by democracy now!] democracy now!]
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