The Secretary of State stopped short of linking climate change to human activity, when he signed the Fairbanks Document this week in Alaska. But Janet Redman of Oil Change International says the Trump Administration is still denying the urgency of the warming planet.
We are broadcasting all week from Warsaw, Poland, where the U.N. climate summit, known as COP 19, has just entered its second week. On Saturday, thousands of protesters marched in Warsaw calling for climate justice, culminating in a rally outside the National Stadium where the climate summit is being held. Speakers from all over the world addressed the crowd, urging world leaders to take action on global warming, including climate activists from the Philippine Movement for Climate Justice, the Pan African Climate Justice Alliance, and organizers of a chartered train that brought more than 700 people from Belgium, Britain and France to join the demonstration. Polish activists also spoke, including residents of the village of Zurawlow, where resistance to fracking is growing despite massive shale gas concessions. democracynow.org
The northern hemisphere summer has just peaked and though the torrid heat is now ebbing, it is evident the climate crisis is far more severe than most scientists had anticipated. The latest report of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change – a notoriously conservative research agency – will be debated in Stockholm next month, but no one can deny its projections:
Wealth and power is the single greatest force that will lead to our species annihilation. It seems there is little historical antidote to the pathology of this class power. When a plutocracy grows into a rapacious system of exploitation, environmental destruction closely follows. Almost every past civilization has fallen in this manner, and we are not exempt.
The world’s attention is increasingly focused on Syria and Iran as the region continues to move toward military confrontation. Less noticed, however, is that the pieces are being put into place for a truly global conflict, with military buildup taking place in every region and threatening to draw in all of the world’s major powers.
On January 19 and 20 British Prime Minister David Cameron hosted his counterparts from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, Sweden, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania at the first Nordic Baltic Summit to consolidate an “alliance of common interests.”
Cameron’s initiative followed by two months a two-day meeting of Nordic-Baltic defense ministers in Norway with the defense chiefs of the same nine nations that participated in the London gathering along with defense representatives from Germany and Poland.
The current century’s only and history’s largest military bloc will hold the latest of what have become annual summits in Lisbon, Portugal this November 19 and 20. Heads of state, defense chiefs and chiefs of general staff from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s 28 full members will be in attendance, as will be leaders from an unannounced number of the military alliance’s forty some odd partner states.
Starting last year a 12-member Group of Experts headed by former U.S. Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and ex-president and chief executive officer of Royal Dutch Shell Jeroen van der Veer toured Europe and North America to promote NATO’s new Strategic Concept, its first in the 21st century as the current version was adopted in 1999, the year of the bloc’s first expansion into Eastern Europe and its 78-day air war against Yugoslavia, the first military assault against a sovereign nation in Europe since World War II.
The government of Prime Minister Stephen Harper recently concluded the largest of a series of so-called Canadian sovereignty exercises in the Arctic, Operation Nanook, which ran from August 6-26.
Harper, Minister of National Defence Peter MacKay and Chief of the Defence Staff of the Canadian Forces General Walter Natynczyk visited the nation’s 900 troops participating in the “Canadian Forces’ largest annual demonstration of Canada’s sovereignty in the Arctic”  which included “Canada’s air force, navy, coast guard…testing their combat capabilities in the frigid cold.” 
Shortly, I’ll get to the latest scandals and horrors in the BP Gulf of Mexico blunder. But first, let’s go straight to an interview with scientist John Kessler, just back from a research mission at Ground Zero where the Deepwater Horizon drill ship sank. Continue reading →