September 22 2009 show notes

  • Show live from New York.
  • Guests:
    • James Roberts Research Fellow For Economic Freedom and Growth, Center for International Trade and Economics (CITE) at the Heritage Foundation.
    • Charles McCollister, retired professor of industrial and labor relations at Indiana University of Pennsylvania; author of "The Point of Pittsburgh: Production and Struggle at the Forks of the Ohio."
    • Kumi Naidoo, incoming head of Greenpeace International; current chair of the Tck Tck Tck Campaign.
    • Alex Epstein, Analyst, Ayn Rand Institute.
    • Author/philosopher Dr. Sam Keen.
  • Topics:
    • Are conservatives and trans-national corporations using the G-20 and the WTO to end the sovereignty of the United States?
    • Reasons to protest the G-20 in Pittsburgh.
    • Urgency of climate change.
    • When the founders said "right to life" in the Declaration of Independence and the "general well being" of the people in the Constitution, did they envision the possibility of a national health system?
    • The mythology of war and the economics of peace.
  • Today's newsletter has details of today's guests and links to the major stories and alerts that Thom covered in the show, plus lots more. If you haven't signed up for the free newsletter yet, please do. If you missed today's newsletter, it is in the archive.
  • Bumper Music:
  • Article: Rift with US clouds climate summit by Fiona Harvey, Joshua Chaffin, Edward Luce.
    "A growing rift between the US and Europe is overshadowing today's United Nations climate change summit in New York, further damping hopes for a breakthrough at the Copenhagen talks in December.

    Connie Hedegaard, the Danish environment minister, lowered expectations, saying: "Things are looking difficult and too slow, that is the fact."

    The downgrading of expectations comes as relations between the US and Europe, which started the year of talks as allies, near breakdown.

    In Brussels, European Union officials have grown increasingly frustrated at the US stance, saying it has fallen short on both its level of ambition to reduce emissions and on offering aid to developing nations.

    "So far, we thought the basic problem was the Chinese and the Indians. But now I think the problem appears to lie most clearly with the US," a European Commission official said. Talks were "not going well".

    European officials say the Obama administration lacks focus because its top talent is wrapped up in the all-consuming debate over healthcare.

    Prompted by remarks last week by Harry Reid, the US Senate majority leader, that cap and trade legislation might be pushed back to next year, John Bruton, the EU ambassador to the US, blamed the Senate for holding up the global agenda.

    "Sometimes in this country, the greatest deliberative body in the world [the Senate] acts as though it is the only deliberative body in the world and that we should all wait until it gets healthcare passed," he said.

    "There is a global timetable and the US Senate is fully aware of it . . . The world cannot wait on the Senate's timetable." "

  • Article: Rising sea levels hit Bangladesh livelihoods By Amy Kazmin.
    "Tropical island nations such as the Maldives, an Indian Ocean holiday paradise, have been well recognised for their extreme vulnerability to the effects of global warming, especially after Mohamed Nasheed, the Maldives' media-savvy president, vowed to set aside some of the archipelago's $1bn annual tourist revenues to purchase a new homeland for his country's 300,000 citizens.

    But the human dislocation that unchecked global warming could cause in the Maldives is dwarfed by the scale of the threat to Bangladesh, one of the world's most densely populated countries. Scientists see it as the nation that will be hardest hit by the consequences of climate change.

    A geologically fragile, low-lying delta region, Bangladesh, with 143m people, serves as the drainage system for south Asia's two most powerful rivers, the Ganges and the Brahmaputra, and has long been prone to flooding and coastal erosion.

    But Atiq Rahman, executive director of the Bangladesh Centre for Advance Studies, warns that rising sea levels and accelerated glacier melt from global warming could lead to about 17 per cent of Bangladesh's land area - home to about 35m people - being permanently submerged in the coming decades. That could trigger a migration of unprecedented magnitude - with explosive social consequences - in the Indian subcontinent and beyond.

    "Millions of people will be moving. No amount of nuclear submarines will be able to stop that," warns Mr Rahman, who was also a member of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which won the Nobel peace prize in 2007 for its work on climate change.

    In expectation of the human flood, many Bangladeshi academics and activists are already calling for UN protocols to facilitate the international migration of those displaced by the effects of global warming, which they blame largely on thedeveloped world. "I will demand a part of Texas and I will demand part of Florida as part of Bangladesh," said Mr Rahman. "It's your carbon that has displaced these people.""

  • Clip:

    "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    This world in arms is not spending money alone.

    It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.

    The cost of one modern heavy bomber is this: a modern brick school in more than 30 cities.

    It is two electric power plants, each serving a town of 60,000 population.

    It is two fine, fully equipped hospitals.

    It is some 50 miles of concrete highway.

    We pay for a single fighter plane with a half million bushels of wheat.

    We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people.

    This is, I repeat, is the best way of life to be found on the road the world has been taking.

    This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron."
    Dwight D. Eisenhower, April 16, 1953 "The Chance for Peace" speech (mp3).

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