This week Sandy LeonVest talks about the UN climate conference in Durban, South Africa, which most human rights and climate activists believe is destined for failure. The show features audio segments from Samson Malesi, human rights activist and coordinator of South Africa’s "Caravan of Hope" and Bongani Mthembu, campaigner with the South Durban Community Environmental Alliance. Bongani Mthembu is among those who believe the UN climate talks may have outgrown their usefulness, and that a new protocol needs to be established. He argues for closer examination of corporate influence and institutions like the World Bank in undermining meaningful efforts to mitigate climate change.
During the second half of the program, author and activist Harvey Wasserman talks to Sandy about decentralized energy, distributed generation of renewables and community ownership of clean energy sources or "energy democracy." In an odd twist of events, Harvey ends up interviewing Sandy about the takeover in Marin and San Francisco of those counties' clean energy programs (aka "Community Choice Aggregation" or CCA), which theoretically allows consumers to get out from under the thumb of corporate-controlled energy and choose their own sources of energy. Sandy explains to Harvey how, in Marin and San Francisco, the CCA movement -- and even "energy democracy" terminology has been all but co-opted by Shell Energy North America.
This week, two days before Thanksgiving, Political Analysis host Sandy LeonVest waxes thankful for the Occupy Wall Street movement. She includes in her Thanksgiving tribute, audio clips from the brilliant Occupy teach-in that took place this November in Los Angeles, former labor secretary and economist Robert Reich's magnificent speech there, and the organic emergence from the occupy movement of mature and courageous leadership, even as efforts by corporate lobbyists to marginalize and de-humanize the movement become evermore virulent. Sandy follows this "Thanksgiving segment" with an un-thankful segment, which includes audio of disparaging remarks about the occupiers made this last week by Republican presidential hopeful, Newt Gingrich (who thinks protesters don't bathe, pay taxes or work) and a not entirely convincing apology by UC Davis Chancellor Linda Katehi for her part in the campus tear-gassing "incident."
Political Analysis host Sandy LeonVest talks with Dr. Margaret Flowers at the top of the hour. Dr. Flowers updates listeners on Occupy Washington DC, and talks about (among other things) the so-called congressional super-committee, charged with proposing at least $1.5 trillion dollars in deficit reduction over ten years through spending cuts and/or revenue increases. Doctor Flowers is an organizer of Occupy Washington DC, and a longtime advocate of single-payer healthcare or Medicare for All. She has emerged in recent years as one of healthcare’s most inspiring advocates.
This week's "Political Analysis" features host Sandy LeonVest reading and ruminating during the first half of the show about the so-called "debt crisis," drawing parallels between Greece's fiscal catastrophe and current political and economic developments here in the US. The second half of the show features an interview with Dr. Costas Panayotakis, author of the new book “Remaking Scarcity: From Capitalist Inefficiency to Economic Democracy,” wherein he makes the case that economic democracy needs to replace the current financial system, which profits financial elites at the expense of ordinary citizens -- and that this "economic democracy" should be the new guiding principle for humanity. Dr. Panayotakis was formerly a Robert Gillece Fellow at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York.
Guests: Ian Angus, Dave Finnigan
Karyn Strickler guest hosts. As the planet’s human population is crossing the 7 billion threshold, we talk about climate change and human population. Some call the issue of overpopulation a myth. Others say it’s a fundamental driver of climate change. Is it the 7 billion people on planet Earth driving climate change, or is it just the wealthies 1%? Does population matter in the climate debate?
Ian Angus is an eco-socialist and environmental justice activist, educator, and author. His recent book is "Too Many People: Population, Immigration, and the Environmental Crisis." He edits the online journal ClimateAndCapitalism.com
Dave Finnigan worked as the Population and Family Planning Information, Education and Communication consultant to the governments of Korea, Taiwan and the Philippines, among others. He has worked w/ organizations including the Population Council and the United Nations Population Fund. Today he presents a program called, Climate Change is Elementary, to encourage kids and their families to take action on climate change.