Archive for April, 2010

Cochabamba Climate Conference

April 28th, 2010

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The People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth was a three-day conference that took place in Cochabamba, Bolivia and focused on giving a voice to indigenous people, environmental justice activists and others locked out of the United Nations’ previous Copenhagen Climate Conference.

Host Daphne Wysham’s reporting from Bolivia includes a conversation with Beverly Keene, the international coordinator of Jubilee South, a network of organizations that work on debt and development.

Plus, a discussion of how the world’s governments are giving cash and carbon credits for ending illegal activity – gas flaring – under the UN ‘clean development mechanism.’ Wysham speaks to Nnimmo Bassey, Nigeria’s executive director of Environmental Right Action / Friends of the Earth about these open air flames burning off natural gas and his impressions of the Bolivia conference.

Clayton Thomas Muller is a longstanding champion for environmental justice. He’s a member of the Cree Nation in Canada and he heads the Indigenous Environmental Network’s project on Tar Sands project. We hear from Clayton at one of the town hall-style meetings he’s been holding across Canada about his experience at the UN climate meeting in Copenhagen.

Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Image of dancers getting ready to go on stage at Univalle, Tiquipaya – by Daphne Wysham all rights reserved.

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NASA Scientist James Hansen

April 20th, 2010

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Earthbeat Host and IPS Fellow Daphne Wysham conducted a special one-hour interview with Dr. James Hansen, NASA’s top climate scientist, as an Earth Day 40th anniversary special.

In the interview, Dr. Hansen discusses the role of nuclear power in the climate crisis, the need for alternatives to cap and trade as a solution to climate change, and the possibilities that Earth will become like Venus due to fossil fuel consumption.

A video of the interview is available. Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail

Toxic Drywall From Coal Ash, The World Bank Funds Coal in South Africa & The History and Legacy of Earth Day

April 13th, 2010

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Adding insult to injury, residents all along the Gulf Coast are now having to gut their houses because they were rebuilt after Hurricanes Rita and Katrina with toxic drywall. The Chinese-made drywall releases gases so noxious it’s corroding pipes and electrical wiring. Jim Vallette of the Healthy Building Network’s Pharos Project joins us to explain how the drywall came to include toxic ash and other wastes left over from coal-fired power plants – and the connections between the German multi-national corporation Knauf and its manufacturing plants in China. The Health Building Network’s Pharos Project connects builders with sustainable materials.

The World Bank approved a loan that will create one of the world’s largest coal-fired power plants. The $3.75 billion dollar loan will result in a power plant that emits 23 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year. Desmond D’Sa of the Environmental Alliance of South Africa talks about how this loan will perpetuate many of the conditions in place under apartheid.

A new film tracks the history and the legacy of Earth Day. Host Daphne Wysham speaks to filmmaker Robert Stone. The film will air on PBS’s program ‘American Experience’ on April 19th.

Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Image by DavidaLan via Flickr – all rights reserved.

If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail

Obama Says ‘Drill Baby Drill,’ New Auto Emission Standards, and a Victory Against Mountaintop Removal Mining

April 6th, 2010

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President Obama joins in on the chorus of Drill, Baby, Drill. Joining us to discuss the decision is Tyson Slocum, the director of the energy program for the group Public Citizen – and on the telephone from Alaska is Caroline Cannon. Caroline is the president of the native village of Point Hope on Alaska’s North Slope. Their native hunting waters are directly affected by President Obama’s lifting of the offshore drilling ban.

For the first time, the federal Clean Air Act has been used to control carbon dioxide and other global warming pollutants. The new tailpipe rules for America’s cars require new vehicles to get 35-point-5 miles per gallon by the year 2016. But as our guest Vera Pardee explains, these new standards don’t go far enough. Pardee is a senior attorney with the Center for Biological Diversity.

Then, a victory in the fight against mountaintop removal mining. JW Randolph, the legislative associate for the group Appalachian Voices joins us to discuss the EPA’s new water quality guidelines and what it means for mountaintop removal. The blog JW mentions is by Ken Ward and called Coal Tattoo.

Photo by Matthew Potochick courtesy of Flickr, all rights reserved.

Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail