Tuesday, October 30, 2012

  • Climate Change & Historic Superstorm Sandy: 70+ Dead, Streets Submerged, Millions Without Power


    Superstorm Sandy has pounded the East Coast, bringing massive flooding and damage that’s left at least 16 people dead in the United States, killed more than 60 in the Carribean, and left more than seven million without power from North Carolina to Massachusetts. Parts of New York City were submerged under water as high as 13 feet, flooding a number of subway stations and causing blackouts. Sandy made landfall in New Jersey Monday night near Atlantic City after being downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone. But it still brought hurricane-force winds and rain, making it one of the largest storms the United States has ever seen. A snowstorm swept inland dropping heaving snowfall across Appalachia and shutting down large sections of the interstate in West Virginia and Maryland. Estimates of the damage so far have reached as high as $20 billion. Democracy Now!'s Amy Goodman broadcasts from the road in Salt Lake City, working with our team in New York City, under blackout conditions, to bring you updates and analysis on the storm's damage, its potential risks for East Coast nuclear facilities, and its connection to global warming. We’re joined by Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground. [includes rush transcript]

  • Climate Change, Hurricanes and the Fate of America’s Coastal Cities


    Climate author and activists Mike Tidwell argues "we are all New Orleanians up and down the East Coast," as he relates the devastation wrought by Superstorm Sandy to the experience of those in the past of similar storms that hit the Gulf Coast. "The fingerprints of climate change are all over this storm" and others, says Tidwell as he joins us from Takoma, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, D.C., where the federal government has shut down and life has come to a complete stop as the nation’s capital faces power outages and flooding related to Superstorm Sandy. Tidwell is director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network and author of "The Ravaging Tide: Strange Weather, Future Katrinas, and the Coming Death of America’s Coastal Cities." [includes rush transcript]

  • Climate Activists Call on Presidential Candidates to Address Global Warming as Pres. Obama Declares NYC Disaster Area


    As President Obama declares federal disaster areas in New York and New Jersey before full damage assessments are completed, we speak with Henia Belalia of the group Peaceful Uprising in Salt Lake City, Utah. "To think that less than a week away from presidential elections there is a climate silence and a lack of initiative in terms of linking what’s happening with our climate to our human activity and to our inhumane addiction to oil is absurd and, at best, laughable," Henia says. [includes rush transcript]

  • Oyster Creek Nuclear Plant Declares Emergency in Face of Superstorm Sandy Tidal Surge


    We get an update from Arnie Gundersen, a former nuclear industry senior vice president who has coordinated projects at 70 nuclear power plants around the country, about safety conditions at Oyster Creek and Indian Point nuclear power plants. He says Oyster Creek was close to where the center of the storm crossed into New Jersey, and was forced to declare an emergency when the storm’s tidal surge came within six inches of flooding water pumps that cool its reactor. Gundersen says many of the plants have old designs that need to be re-evaluated, and could shut down in the coming days as electrical grids see power outages. [includes rush transcript]

  • Professor Confronts Climate Deniers in the West, Explores "Unconventional Fuels"


    As Democracy Now! host Amy Goodman broadcasts from Salt Lake City, Utah, on her 100-city "Silenced Majority Tour," we speak with Hans Ehrbar, a professor of economics at the University of Utah. He has been an outspoken proponent of confronting the climate deniers in both the United States, where there is a strong oil and coal lobby, and also in Europe, where he says "80 percent believe climate change is an issue" but "they’re not emotionally facing up to it." [includes rush transcript]

  • An Eyewitness Report on Flooding in Red Hook, Brooklyn, in the Shadow of Lady Liberty


    We get a live update from Red Hook, Brooklyn, a neighborhood near the New York City harbor where residents evacuated in the face of flooding — even though they live about 10 feet above sea level. "What we saw last night was that the surge swept in throughout basically the entire neighborhood," says Jessica Lee, social media coordinator for Democracy Now!, who lives in the area. She describes water levels of at least five feet that moved cars off the street and onto the sidewalk, and says many surfaces are covered with an oily sheen. [includes rush transcript]

  • Climate Change Impact Often Felt Most by the Poor and Migrants Displaced by Extreme Weather


    We speak further with Henia Belalia of the group Peaceful Uprising about the issue of climate change, which was not raised in any of the three presidential debates. "The reason that we always bring this back to being a social justice issue is that we’re looking at this infinite growth machine that is the U.S. economy, and in order to continue to grow on a planet that is comprised of finite resources, we are decimating what were once independent economies and having those people be forced to leave their homes and to migrate out of their homes." Belalia notes that once migrants get to the U.S. they are often treated as scapegoats by leaders who lack the political courage to address global warming. [includes rush transcript]

  • Bill McKibben on Resilience of New York City Residents Amidst Worst Storm Since 1821


    We briefly speak with longtime environmental activist Bill McKibben about his reaction to watching residents of New York City cope with flood waters that turned the Lower East Side neighborhood into an "extension of the East River." McKibben is the co-founder of 350.org. His latest piece for The Guardian is "Hurricane Sandy Has Drowned the New York I Love." Click here to see McKibben speak with Democracy Now! on Monday, before the storm, in which he argues, "If there was ever a wake-up call, this is it." [includes rush transcript]