Archive for November, 2010

Cancun Conundrums and Canadians Undercut US Climate Laws

November 30th, 2010

Documents have come to light that show that Canadian diplomats have been working in DC to try to kill or limit laws that enact clean fuels standards that would restrict the sale of oil from dirty Canadian tar sands flowing into the US. The diplomats quietly asked companies like Exxon Mobil and BP to help them crush clean energy reforms. Joining us in our Washington, DC studios is Danielle Droitsch, the US Policy Director for the environmental think-tank Pembina who discusses the disturbing attempts by these diplomats to “debunk” the toxic effects of tar sands exploration on First Nations peoples.

And, in what’s been called a major breakthrough – over 400 companies around the world have agreed to start using climate-friendly refrigeration techniques. Amy Larkin, Greenpeace’s Solutions Director, helped to put together the agreement that will cut the amount of climate-killing HFCs released into our atmosphere.

Then we hear from representatives who joined nearly 200 nations gathered in Cancun, Mexico this week for the next round of United Nations-sponsored climate negotiations. Joining host Daphne Wysham from the meeting are Ann Peterman, the executive director of the Global Justice Ecology Project to discuss the UN plans for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) and its effects on indigenous peoples. Janet Redman of the Institute for Policy Studies and Kristen Hite, an attorney for the Climate Change Program at the Center for International Environmental Law also join us to discuss climate finance and REDD.

A recent lawsuit filed on behalf of Ecuador essentially sues the oil company BP on behalf of Mother Nature for the disaster that occurred this summer along America’s Gulf Coast. Nnimmo Bassey of the Friends of the Earth International joins us from Cancun to discuss the meeting the intent of the lawsuit.

Image by Oxfam, used under a Creative Commons license via Flickr.

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Disrupting Oil Auctions, A Republican on Climate Change & The Electric Car Revolution

November 23rd, 2010

In 2008, a University of Utah economics student created chaos when he took part in an auction of oil and gas drilling leases in the state. Tim De Christopher bid up parcels of land by hundreds of thousands of dollars – ultimately halting the auction. Tim won the bidding on 13 parcels and drove up the prices on several other pieces of land. Before the bogus bids were discovered, the thousands of acres of oil and gas leases were purchased for $7-point-2 (M) million dollars. Of course Tim did not have the money to pay for his bids – and never had the intention paying. His goal, which he achieved, was to disrupt the entire process. Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham interviewed Tim De Christopher while attending the “Pricing Carbon Conference” held at Wesleyan University. We spoke about the auction and his pending criminal charges, as well as his new target – America’s Tar Sands.

South Carolina Representative Bob Inglis was one of the many legislators replaced by upstart candidates during the 2010 Midterm Election. But what sets Inglis apart is that he’s one of the few Republicans who support action against climate change. Daphne met up with Bob at the recent “Pricing Carbon Conference” – and asked him about his being the rare Republican who supports action on climate change.

Shai Agassi
stunned the software industry in 2007 by resigning from the software world and decided to focus his vision on breaking the world’s fossil fuel habit. At a recent TED Conference, Shai explained exactly how he’s hoping to solve the puzzle of electric automobiles.

Music in this episode of Earthbeat is ‘Joe Hill’ by the album Fellow Workers by Ani DiFranco and Utah Phillips

Image by Slack pics – used under the Creative Commons license.

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Sudan’s Surprisingly Rich Wetlands; Oil Insider on the BP Gulf Disaster & A Transportation Revolution

November 19th, 2010

Sudan is the largest country in Africa and its climate spans vast deserts and massive wetlands. Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham discusses Sudan’s future with the head of Southern Sudan’s Anti-Corruption Commission, Pauline Riak.

Families along the Gulf of Mexico are still reeling from the BP Oil Disaster this summer, and now a 20-year oil company veteran says there are similar problems lurking in even deeper waters. Arthur Berman spent 20 years with Amoco Oil as a specialty geologist; he discussed deep water drilling at the recent conference here in Washington, DC by the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas.

A transportation revolution is on its way thanks to high gas prices and climate change, that’s according to author Anthony Perl. Perl’s the coauthor of the new book Transport Revolutions: Moving People and Freight Without Oil.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes the song ‘Al Itshitit’ from the album Songs of the Sudan by Mustafa Al Sunni & Abd Al Hafiz Karar and the song ‘Hurricane Season’ from the album Backatown by Trombone Shorty.

Image of Southern Sudan children by Arsenie Coseac via Flickr, subject to a creative commons license.

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

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Election Review, Big Wins Against Geoengineering & Giving Kids Their Say

November 10th, 2010

President Obama called the midterm elections a ‘shellacking’ for Democrats. The leader of the Friends of the Earth, Erich Pica joins host Daphne Wysham for a discussion on how the new Congress will lean on climate change and environmental protections.

In a landmark consensus decision, the UN Convention on Biological Diversity agreed on a moratorium on geoengineering. The agreement asks governments to ensure that no geoengineering projects go forward until risks to the environment and biodiversity, as well as social, cultural and economic impacts are considered. Pat Mooney, the executive director of the ETC Group joins us to discuss the moratorium and to address recent actions by some corporations to push forward ‘terminator seeds’ – genetically engineered seeds with a built in expiration date.

Then, we look at climate change through the eyes of children. Renowned author Lynne Cherry joins us to discuss her latest book, ‘How We Know, What We Know About Our Changing Climate,” the basis for her film series, “Young Voices on Climate Change” about children around the world making a difference.

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Bolivian & Venezuelan Views on the World’s Green Challenge

November 2nd, 2010

The Washington, DC Green Festival brought together hundreds of activists, artists, craftspeople and families. Today on Earthbeat we bring you three of the most compelling speakers from the event.

The Reverend Lennox Yearwood is the director of the Hip Hop Caucus. He rallied the crowd around what he calls the “lunch counter moment” of our lifetimes: acting on climate change for the sake of future generations.

Bolivian Ambassador to the UN, Pablo Solon Romero, spoke about why the agenda that emerged from the Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia is critical of “market mechanisms” such as carbon trading, and warned people to be wary of “greenwashing” and other claims of climate action that are insufficient to stave off the climate crisis.

Then we hear from Venezuelan Presidential Climate Change Envoy Claudia Salerno Caldera, and why she spoke out against the so-called “Copenhagen Accord,” and what she calls the “elephant in the room” of climate negotiations: capitalism.

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