Democracy Now Earth Day Special April 22, 2011:
(Sorry, can't get the link to embed. Go to http://www.democracynow.org. View the April 22 show.)
In the shadow of the one-year anniversary of the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico and the unfolding nuclear catastrophe in Japan, this week the United Nations General Assembly hosted the "Harmony with Nature" conference to discuss the implementation of new international standards that grant nature equal rights to humans. Similar protocols have been adapted by over a dozen U.S. municipalities, as well as Bolivia and Ecuador. Renowned environmentalists Maude Barlow and Vandana Shiva join us after speaking at the conference. '’Most civilizations of the world, for most of human history, have seen the world in terms of relatedness and connection,” says Shiva. "And if there's one thing the rights of Mother Earth is waking us to, is: we are all connected." [includes rush transcript–partial]
More than 10,000 people converged in Washington, D.C., this past week to mobilize around the issue of climate change at the Power Shift 2011 Conference. Van Jones, a longtime environmental advocate and former green jobs advisor in the Obama White House, gave the keynote address. "We pull out of the ground death. We burn death in our power plants," Jones said. "Why do we get shocked when we get death in our sky as global warming, death in our oceans as oil spills, death in our children’s lungs as asthma and cancer?"
"Now Is Our Time To Take a Stand": Tim DeChristopher’s Message to Youth Climate Activists at Power Shift 2011
In March, a federal jury convicted environmental activist Tim DeChristopher of two felony counts for disrupting the auction of more than 100,000 acres of federal land for oil and gas drilling. He faces up to 10 years in prison. Last weekend he spoke at Power Shift 2011 conference and urged youth climate activists to make more sacrifices. "We hold the power right here to create our vision of a healthy and just world if we’re willing to make the sacrifices to make it happen," DeChristopher said. "Where is the point where our movement is going to say that stopping this injustice is more important than my career plans."
At this week’s Power Shift 2011 conference in Washington, D.C., longtime environmental activist Bill McKibben critiqued how the United States has failed to take steps to address climate change. He is the founder of the environmental organization 350.org—the name references the 350 parts per million many scientists say is the safe limit for carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. "Think about our own country, historically, the biggest source of carbon emissions. Last summer, the Senate refused to even take a vote on the tepid, moderate, tame, climate bill that was before it," says McKibben. "Last week, the House voted 248-174 to pass a resolution saying global warming was not real ... it was one of the most embarrassing votes Congress has ever taken."