Archive for the ‘Elections’ Category

Fracking Comes Under Fire, Oil Refineries Endanger Millions & The EPA’s Embattled History

March 4th, 2011

The EPA undertakes the first national study of fracking for natural gas – while communities near so-called fracking sites find radium in their water and scientists reveal that natural gas isn’t as climate-friendly as once thought. Joining host Daphne Wysham is Abrahm Lustgarten, the author of the ongoing investigation of fracking for the non-profit journalism group – ProPublica.

Decrepit oil refineries threaten the health of at least 16 million Americans – and safer chemicals alternatives that could be used are ignored by oil companies. Reporter Jim Morris investigated the records of more than 50 oil refineries across America for the investigative journalism group – The Center for Public Integrity.

To find out if your community is located near an oil refinery – check out this interactive map by CPI.

As the US federal budget debate continues, the EPA is once again on the chopping block. A look back at the history of the EPA and look forward to new ways to stimulate the economy with Bill Drayton and Brent Blackwelder. Bill was the deputy administrator in the EPA in the Carter Administration. He’s currently the CEO of the Ashoka Foundation. Brent is the president emeritus of The Friends of the Earth.

More at The Real News

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes Excuse Me Mr. by Ben Harper and Jump Start by Melissa Czarnik.

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‘Shock Doctrine’ in Effect; Activist Faces Prison for Disrupting Oil Auction; US House Slashes EPA & ‘Climate Cranks’

February 25th, 2011

Corporations are using the panic and disorientation of budget crises to crush unions and environmental protections, that’s according to Shock Doctrine author Naomi Klein. In a conversation with host Daphne Wysham, Klein tells us how those in Wisconsin and other places are pushing back to catch corporate tax dodgers.

US Uncut actions are occurring across America.

The federal government must pass a budget within days – or all government services will screech to a halt. But Republicans in the US House passed a budget bill that strips the EPA of its power. Anna Aurilio, the DC director of Environment America, says the shortfalls could be filled by stopping the ‘free pass’ oil companies get on deep-water drilling in the Gulf of Mexico. They’re not paying $5 billion dollars a year on these oil leases.

Climate activist Tim DeChristopher faces federal felony charges for interrupting a federal auction of oil and gas leases – an auction held in the last few days of the Bush Administration in 2008. We’ll hear from Tim – ‘bidder number 70′ – who managed to ‘win’ a number of the leases before the auction was halted. Interview courtesy of Solve Climate.

Then, Mark Hertsgaard takes on ‘climate cranks’ in his new book Hot and with Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham on The Real News Network.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes Bucky Halker’s songs, Union Fights the Battle of Freedom, and Democratic Blues.

Image used courtesy USUncut.

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Cancun Talks Put a Price on Soil Carbon, Capitol Hill Climate Battles & Greenpeace Sues Its Spies

December 7th, 2010

Soil carbon and genetically modified crops are now the latest hot commodity in carbon markets. Joining us from the the United Nations climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, is Deepak Rughani of Biofuel Watch. He’ll explain how this is driving up the price of land globally, with severe consequences for the poorest.

Then we hear from Joe Romm of the website Climate Progress who gives us his assessment of the state of play on Capitol Hill, where climate denialists will duke it out with regulators from the Environmental Protection Agency.

And we hear from Greenpeace senior researcher Charlie Cray and intelligence expert and investigative reporter Jim Bamford on a lawsuit filed by Greenpeace against public relations firms and former employees of the National Security Agency who engaged in corporate espionage on Greenpeace and other groups. More information on the lawsuit can be found at

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes “Willow Tree” by G Love and the Special Sauce and ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police. Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

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

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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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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.

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Money, Climate and the Midterm Elections

October 26th, 2010

It’s the final countdown to the midterm elections and already it’s been one for the record books. A record amount of corporate money is flooding into races around the country through secret organizations that hide their donors. Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen joins host Daphne Wysham to discuss the vast sums of corporate money that’s pushing this election season.

A look at how California voters’ decision on Prop 23 could undermine California’s climate change law – it’s a Proposition almost solely supported by three out-of-state oil companies.  Gabe Wisniewski, a climate campaigner with Greenpeace from their San Francisco office, joins the discussion with Danny Kennedy, the founder of the solar energy company Sungevity.

Then, we’ll shine as much light as possible on all the dark corners of this election season – from the US Chamber of Commerce, to the children’s publisher Scholastic with Pete Altman of the Natural Resources Defense Council.

To take action against Scholastic’s union with the Chamber of Commerce – go HERE!

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

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Spying on Greens, Japan Takes Green Energy Battle to WTO, & Canada Censors Its Scientists

September 21st, 2010


Even as the Federal Justice Department says the FBI was wrong to investigate on environmental activists – states are hiring private companies to do the spying for them.

Joining host Daphne Wysham is Mike German, a former FBI agent and now a policy counsel with the ACLU. Giving us a Pennsylvania perspective is Donald Gilliland, a reporter for Pennsylvania’s state capitol newspaper – the Harrisburg Patriot News, and Gene Stilp, a Pennsylvania activist and the creator of the “Pink Pig,” a massive 25-foot inflatable pig used in protests.

Japan threatens to use the World Trade Organization to stop governments from ‘buying local’ when it comes to green energy. Stuart Trew of the Council of Canadians discusses how the WTO threat could stop Ontario’s landmark feed-in tariff system in its tracks; and Arne Jungjohann of the Heinrich Boell Foundation speaks about how feed-in tariffs have brought jobs and dollars to Germany.

The conservative Canadian government is taking a page from ye ole Bush Administration – and demands climate scientists have their work reviewed by politicians. Rick Piltz, the director of Climate Science Watch discusses the issues – and tells us about how USA agencies drag their feet on President Obama’s call for protections for American scientists.

Music on this edition of Earthbeat is “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell and Nine Inch Nails’ “The Hand That Feeds.” Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2

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Attack of the Tea Partiers, Greening Immigration & ‘Frankenfish’

September 14th, 2010


Organized and well-funded groups are undermining climate news and science everywhere from Tea Parties to websites. Joining host Daphne Wysham to discuss the so-called Digg Patriots who go about the Internet ‘hiding’ climate science from the rest of us is Jared Keller, the social media editor for The And discussing the millions of dollars that the Koch Brothers spend on right-wing causes is Joe Smyth of Greenpeace. You can track the oil money influence on your local politician at the website – Dirty Energy Money.

Then, how anti-immigration groups are ‘painting themselves green’ by framing border concerns as an environmental issue. Rebecca Poswolsky discusses their efforts; she’s a field organizer for the Center for a New Community and discusses their expose The Green War on Immigrants. Joining us to discuss how the media portrays Hispanics in America is Raul Tovares, a Professor of Communications at Trinity University.

The fight against frankenfish goes to the FDA. The federal government is about to decide on whether or not they’ll approve a new, genetically-altered salmon for human consumption. Startlingly, the FDA doesn’t plan to classify these fish as a food, but instead, as a drug. Eric Hoffman of the Friends of the Earth discusses the human health implications of this decision. Mike Hudson, the president of the Small Boat Commercial Salmon Fishermen’s Association and the founder of Salmon Aid, discusses the potentially devastating effects of these altered states of salmon on wild salmon populations.

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