All posts by Deborah Lagutaris

Get Lit hosts an evening at Dodger Stadium, Sunday November 17

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Get Lit hosts an evening at Dodger Stadium, Sunday November 17

PRESS CONTACT: Jeannine Jacobi, 310.857.6994 or jeannine@freshpr.net

GET LIT HOSTS EXTRAORDINARY EVENING OF PERFORMANCE AND POETRY WITH CHEECH MARIN, NED COLLETTI, AND THE GET LIT PLAYERS

Event Will Benefit Over 10,000 Teens By Supporting Literacy Programs at Inner City Los Angeles Schools Sunday, November 17

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – October 21, 2013 –

Get Lit, a leading non-profit presenter of literary performance, education, and poetry programs that affects the lives of over 15,000 teens each year, is hosting an extraordinary evening of poetry and performance to benefit literacy programs at underserved inner city high schools. The event will occur on Sunday, November 17, 2013 from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Stadium Club at Dodger Stadium, 1000 Elysian Park Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90012.

The exciting evening of entertainment and festivities will feature a special performance by Cheech Marin; a live auction conducted by Dodgers’ General Manager Ned Colletti with exclusive prizes including field level seats to a Dodgers game of choice, passes to the Prime Ticket Baseline Box Club for dinner, field visits during batting practice, and the opportunity to throw the first pitch of a game next season; and a slam poetry performance by award-winning teen poets, the Get Lit Players. Guests will also enjoy a grand buffet dinner created by executive chef Jason Tingley. Diane Lane started Get Lit in 2006. She was inspired by Chicano poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, who learned to read and write in maximum security prison and whom Lane played in a one person show (“Deep Sea Diving”) she wrote and performed. Lane eventually opened for Baca at detention centers, universities, and high schools across the American southwest.

After receiving tremendous response and requests from students and teachers alike, Lane put together the Get Lit curriculum and started the program at multiple high schools in Los Angeles. “This evening of entertainment is an awe-inspiring one as we honor Cheech Marin, a great supporter of the arts and a hero to the young people in Los Angeles whom we serve and who aspire to great things,” says Diane Luby Lane, founder of Get Lit. “There is no better way to enjoy outstanding performances, experience transformative poetry and literature, and to give back to the community at the same time,” she added.

General tickets to the event are $125 per person and $200 for VIP tickets, which include free parking, program recognition, and premiere seating. To learn more about the benefit event or Get Lit, please contact Jeannine Jacobi at (310) 857-6994 or jeannine@freshpr.net, call the ticket hotline at (310) 962-6696, or visit http://getlit.org.

About Get Lit – Words Ignite Founded in 2006 in Los Angeles,

Get Lit is a leading non-profit presenter of literary performance, education, and teen poetry programs. Get Lit uses the memorization and recitation of classic poetry as a launch pad for teen-created spoken word responses, fusing the two forms of expression into compelling performances, conducted by teens in school, after school, and through the organization’s own select group of Get Lit Players. These poet ambassadors from throughout Los Angeles perform both classic and spoken word poetry, inspiring fellow teens to read, write, participate in the arts, and be leaders in their community. Each year, Get Lit reaches over 15,000 at-risk teens in more than 45 high schools, turning students into motivated scholars inspired to stay in school and thrive. Learn more at http://getlit.org (http://getlit.org/) or check out video link http://www.youtube.com/user/glwordsignite?blend=1&ob=5.

http://us7.campaign-archive1.com/?u=6e49d094cce3022a65cbe3028&id=180f6cb087&e=4f9ed2a7d1 Ash Grove Music

Happy Columbus Day

Happy Columbus Day

Dahr Jamail and Jason Coppola
Portside: October 11, 2013

The Myth of “America”

Columbus sailed the ocean blue in Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two … May the spirit of adventure and discovery always be with you. Wishing you a great Columbus Day – Columbus Day greeting card To mark Columbus Day In 2004, the Medieval and Renaissance Center in UCLA published the final volume of a compendium of Columbus-era documents.

Its general editor, Geoffrey Symcox, leaves little room for ambivalence when he says, “This is not your grandfather’s Columbus…. While giving the brilliant mariner his due, the collection portrays Columbus as an unrelenting social climber and self-promoter who stopped at nothing – not even exploitation, slavery, or twisting biblical scripture – to advance his ambitions…. Many of the unflattering documents have been known for the last century or more, but nobody paid much attention to them until recently.

The fact that Columbus brought slavery, enormous exploitation or devastating diseases to the Americas used to be seen as a minor detail – if it was recognized at all – in light of his role as the great bringer of white man’s civilization to the benighted idolatrous American continent. But to historians today this information is very important. It changes our whole view of the enterprise.” But does it? ***

“They … brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks’ bells,” Christopher Columbus wrote in his logbook in 1495. “They willingly traded everything they owned…. They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features…. They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane…. They would make fine servants…. With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want. Let us in the name of the Holy Trinity go on sending all the slaves that can be sold.”

Catholic priest Bartolome de las Casas, in the multi-volume “History of the Indies” published in 1875, wrote, “… Slaves were the primary source of income for the Admiral (Columbus) with that income he intended to repay the money the Kings were spending in support of Spaniards on the Island. They provide profit and income to the Kings. (The Spaniards were driven by) insatiable greed … killing, terrorizing, afflicting, and torturing the native peoples … with the strangest and most varied new methods of cruelty.” This systematic violence was aimed at preventing “Indians from daring to think of themselves as human beings. (The Spaniards) thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades…. My eyes have seen these acts so foreign to human nature, and now I tremble as I write.”

Father Fray Antonio de Montesino, a Dominican preacher, in December 1511 said this in a sermon that implicated Christopher Columbus and the colonists in the genocide of the native peoples: “Tell me by what right of justice do you hold these Indians in such a cruel and horrible servitude? On what authority have you waged such detestable wars against these people who dealt quietly and peacefully on their own lands? Wars in which you have destroyed such an infinite number of them by homicides and slaughters never heard of before …”

In 1892, the National Council of Churches, the largest ecumenical body in the United States, is known to have exhorted Christians to refrain from celebrating the Columbus quincentennial, saying, “What represented newness of freedom, hope, and opportunity for some was the occasion for oppression, degradation and genocide for others.” Yet America continues to celebrate “Columbus Day.”

That Americans do so in the face of all evidence that there is little in the Columbian legacy that merits applause makes it easier for them to avoid taking responsibility for their own actions, or the actions of their government. Perhaps there is good reason. ***

In “Columbus Day: A Clash of Myth and History,” journalist and media critic Norman Solomon discusses how historians who deal with recorded evidence are frequently depicted as “politically correct” revisionists while the general populace is manipulated into holding onto myths that brazenly applaud inconceivable acts of violence of men against fellow humans. For those of us who are willing to ask how it becomes possible to manipulate the population of a country into accepting atrocity, the answer is not hard to find. It requires normalizing the inconceivable and drumming it in via the socio-cultural environment until it is internalized and embedded in the individual and collective consciousness. The combined or singular deployment of the media, the entertainment industry, mainstream education or any other agency, can achieve the desired result of convincing people that wars can be just, and strikes can be surgical, as long as it is the US that is doing it. Never has this process been as blatant and overt as in recent years when the time has come for America to legitimize the idea of global domination.

A Department of Defense report titled Joint Vision 2020 calls for the US military to be capable of “full spectrum dominance” of the entire planet. That means total domination and control of all land, sea, air, space and information. That’s a lot of control. How might this become accepted as “Policy” and remain unquestioned by almost an entire population? The one word key to that is: Myths. The explanation is that the myths the United States is built upon have paved the way for the perpetuation of all manner of violations. Among the first of these is that of Christopher Columbus. In school we were taught of his bravery, courage and perseverance. In a speech in 1989, George H.W. Bush proclaimed: “Christopher Columbus not only opened the door to a New World, but also set an example for us all by showing what monumental feats can be accomplished through perseverance and faith.” Never mind that the monumental feats mainly comprised part butchery, part exploitation and the largest part betrayal of host populations of the “New World.”

*** On their second arrival in Hispaniola, Haiti, Columbus’s crew took captive roughly two thousand local villagers who had arrived to greet them. Miguel Cuneo, a literate crew member, wrote, “When our caravels … were to leave for Spain, we gathered … one thousand six hundred male and female persons of those Indians, and these we embarked in our caravels on February 17, 1495…. For those who remained, we let it be known (to the Spaniards who manned the island’s fort) in the vicinity that anyone who wanted to take some of them could do so, to the amount desired, which was done.”

In 1500, Columbus wrote to a friend, “A hundred castellanoes (a Spanish coin) are as easily obtained for a woman as for a farm, and it is very general and there are plenty of dealers who go about looking for girls; those from nine to ten (years old) are now in demand.” Such original “monumental feats” as were accomplished by our nation’s heroes and role models were somewhat primitive. Local inhabitants who resisted Columbus and his crew had their ears or nose cut off, were attacked by dogs, skewered with pikes and shot. Reprisals were so severe that many of the natives committed mass suicide and women began practicing abortions in order not to leave children enslaved.

The population of Haiti at the time of Columbus’s arrival was between 1.5 million and 3 million. Sixty years later, every single native had been murdered. Today, “perseverance and faith” allow us to accomplish much more and with far greater impunity. The US continues to liberate Iraq and Afghanistan with 2,000-pound bombs in civilian areas and purge Pakistan via drone attacks on weddings. Neither case is of isolated whimsy. It was and remains policy. In “A People’s History of the United States,” celebrated historian Howard Zinn describes how Arawak men and women emerged from their villages to greet their guests with food, water and gifts when Columbus landed at the Bahamas. But Columbus wanted something else. “Gold is most excellent; gold constitutes treasure; and he who has it does all he wants in the world, and can even lift souls up to Paradise,” he wrote to the king and queen of Spain in 1503. Rather than gold, however, Columbus only found slaves when he arrived on his second visit with seventeen ships and over 1,200 men.

Ravaging various Caribbean islands, Columbus took natives as captives as he sailed. Of these he picked 500 of the best specimens and shipped them back to Spain. Two hundred of these died en route, while the survivors were put up for sale by the archdeacon of the town where they landed. Columbus needed more than mere slaves to sell, and Zinn’s account informs us, “… desperate to pay back dividends to those who had invested, (he) had to make good his promise to fill the ships with gold. In the province of Cicao on Haiti, where he and his men imagined huge gold fields to exist, they ordered all persons fourteen years or older to collect a certain quantity of gold every three months. When they brought it, they were given copper tokens to hang around their necks. Indians found without a copper token had their hands cut off and bled to death. “The Indians had been given an impossible task. The only gold around was bits of dust garnered from the streams. So they fled, were hunted down with dogs, and were killed.”

As a younger priest, the aforementioned De las Casas had participated in the conquest of Cuba and owned a plantation where natives worked as slaves before he found his conscience and gave it up. His first-person accounts reveal that the Spaniards “thought nothing of knifing Indians by tens and twenties and of cutting slices off them to test the sharpness of their blades. They forced their way into native settlements, slaughtering everyone they found there, including small children, old men, pregnant women, and even women who had just given birth. They hacked them to pieces, slicing open their bellies with their swords as though they were sheep herded into a pen. They even laid wagers on whether they could manage to slice a man in two at a stroke, or cut an individual’s head from his body, or disembowel him with a single blow of their axes. They grabbed suckling infants by the feet and, ripping them from their mothers’ breasts, dashed them headlong against the rocks. Others, laughing and joking all the while, threw them over their shoulders into a river, shouting: ‘Wriggle, you litle perisher.’ They slaughtered anyone on their path …”

*** Full Spectrum Dominance In a letter to the Spanish court dated February 15, 1492, Columbus presented his version of full spectrum dominance: “to conquer the world, spread the Christian faith and regain the Holy Land and the Temple Mount.” With this radical ideology, Las Casas records, “They spared no one, erecting especially wide gibbets on which they could string their victims up with their feet just off the ground and then burned them alive thirteen at a time, in honour of our Saviour and the twelve Apostles.” About incorporating these accounts in his book, Zinn explained to Truthout, “My point is not to grieve for the victims and denounce the executioners. Those tears, that anger, cast into the past, deplete our moral energy for the present … but I do remember a statement I once read: The cry of the poor is not always just, but if you don’t listen to it, you will never know what justice is.”

**** Author journalist Chris Hedges believes that glorification of (the atrocities of) Columbus is one of several myths that sustain the illusions that justify the imperial visions of the United States. In conversation with Truthout, he said, “It’s really easy to build a holocaust museum that condemns Germans. It’s another issue to build a museum that confronts our own genocide, the genocide that was perpetrated by our own ancestors towards Native Americans or towards African-Americans. I am all for documenting and remembering the [World War II] Holocaust, but the disparity between the reality of the [World War II] Holocaust or the reality of the genocide as illustrated in the [World War II] Holocaust museum and the utter historical amnesia in the Native American museum in Washington is really frightening and shows a complete inability in a public arena for us to examine who we are and what we’ve done.”

Noam Chomsky holds a similar view. “We have [World War II] Holocaust museums all over the place about what the Germans did,” Chomsky told Truthout. “Do we have one about what we did? I mean about slavery, about the Native American population? It’s not that the people involved didn’t know about it. John Quincy Adams, a great grand strategist, who had a major role in these atrocities, in his later years when he reflected on them, referred to that hapless race of North Americans, which we are exterminating with such insidious cruelty. They knew exactly what they were doing. But it doesn’t matter. It’s us.” Explaining how the mythology of a country becomes its historic reality, Chomsky stated, “If you are well-educated, you can internalize that and it. That’s part of what a good education is about, enabling people to live with those contradictions. And you see it very consistently. In the case of, say, the Iraq war, try to find somebody who had a principled objection. Actually you can, occasionally, but it’s suppressed.”

Historical revisionism and amnesia are critical for nation-building, opines Paul Woodward, the writer and author of the blog “War In Context”. He elaborates, “Every nation is subject to its own particular form of historical amnesia. Likewise, imperial powers have their own grandiose revisionist tendencies. Yet there is another form of historical denial particular to recently invented nations whose myth-making efforts are inextricably bound together with the process of the nation’s birth … “Whereas older nations are by and large populated by people whose ancestral roots penetrated that land well before it took on the clear definition of a nation state, the majority of the people in an invented nation – such as the United States or Israel – have ancestry that inevitably leads elsewhere. This exposes the ephemeral link between the peoples’ history and the nation’s history. Add to that the fact that such nations came into being through grotesque acts of dispossession and it is clear that a psychological drive to hold aloft an atemporal exceptionalism becomes an existential necessity. National security requires that the past be erased.”

Robert Jensen is an author and teaches media law, ethics and politics at the University of Texas. In an essay where he justifies his decision to not celebrate Thanksgiving as a holiday, he says, “Imagine that Germany won World War II and that a Nazi regime endured for some decades, eventually giving way to a more liberal state with a softer version of German-supremacist ideology. Imagine that a century later Germans celebrated a holiday offering a whitewashed version of German/Jewish history that ignored that holocaust and the deep anti-Semitism of the culture. Imagine that the holiday provided a welcomed time for families and friends to gather and enjoy food and conversation. Imagine that businesses, schools and government offices closed on this day. What would we say about such a holiday? Would we not question the distortions woven into such a celebration? Would we not demand a more accurate historical account? Would we not, in fact, denounce such a holiday as grotesque?” Of course we would. But our story is different, and once again this year, on October 12, we will once again “Hail Columbus.” ———

Bhaswati Sengupta contributed to this report. ” Dahr Jamail, an independent journalist, is the author of “The Will to Resist: Soldiers Who Refuse to Fight in Iraq and Afghanistan,” (Haymarket Books, 2009), and “Beyond the Green Zone: Dispatches From an Unembedded Journalist in Occupied Iraq,” (Haymarket Books, 2007). Jamail reported from occupied Iraq for nine months as well as from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and Turkey over the last five years. Jason Coppola is the director and producer of the documentary film “Justify My War,” which explores the rationalization of war in American culture, comparing the siege of Fallujah with the massacre at Wounded Knee. Coppola has worked in Iraq as well as on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. _____________________________________________

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Harmony for Humanity Concert October 10

The Ash Grove Harmony for Humanity Concert
For Immediate Release

October 10, 2013–Harmony for Humanity Concert:
It’s Time To Start Singing Again October 7, 2013 Hosted by Ross Altman Contact: Ross Altman The Santa Monica Synagogue (323) 931-9321 1448 18th Street
sgreygoosemusic@aol.com (mailto:sgreygoosemusic@aol.com) Santa Monica, CA. 90404 (310) 453-4276 FREE & OPEN TO THE PUBLIC

Program : Rabbi Jeff Marx Welcoming Remarks

Poem by Judea Pearl–read by Ross Altman

It’s Time to Start Singing Again: A Folk Music Concert Featuring the Songs of Woody Guthrie, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Fred Neil, Don McLean, Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) and Ken Graydon Participating Artists: Mika’ele McClellan Carol McArthur Paul Zollo Martha Stevens–Storyteller Neil Harburg April Halprin Wayland Bob McCallam Jill Fenimore Alex Alejandro Soschin Tom Graham At Home In the World by Daniel Pearl–Read by Ross Altman

On what would have been Daniel Pearl’s 50th birthday (October 10, 1963) we celebrate Harmony for Humanity, an evening of music from many walks of life and national origins, from America to Egypt. In keeping with the mandate of Daniel Pearl World Music Days we feature an evening of music that highlights efforts to build bridges across divisions of misunderstanding, to create links on the chain of our common humanity, and to forge a peaceful world.

The tragedy of Daniel Pearl’s murder in Pakistan on February 1, 2002 carries that challenge into the 21st Century and makes even more vivid the human spirit that must prevail if we are to avoid the ultimate catastrophe of obliterating what Pearl eloquently described as My Favorite Planet, an album adapted from his stories for the Wall Street Journal that carried him into the heart of darkness. As a light bringer he remains a steadfast symbol of hope and courage in the face of evil.

Daniel Pearl was a musician as well as a journalist and his violin–like his pen–will be remembered as mightier than the sword, for they have outlasted his shortened life. Join us for an evening of music, poetry and storytelling that welcomes a diverse audience of artists, veteran peace activists and organizers for social change to come together for an evening devoted to the ideal for which Daniel Pearl gave his life–Harmony for Humanity. (c) 2013 Grey Goose Music ### ### ### ### ### ###

The Ash Grove: Andy Borowitz: Millions Flee Obamacare

The New Yorker (http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/borowitzreport/2013/10/millions-flee-obamacare.html)

Millions of Tea Party loyalists flee the United States, seeking “the American dream of liberty from health care.” Joe Raedle/Getty (http://portside.org/) ,

UNITED STATES (The Borowitz Report)—Millions of Tea Party loyalists fled the United States in the early morning hours today, seeking what one of them called “the American dream of liberty from health care.” Harland Dorrinson, 47, a tire salesman from Lexington, Kentucky, packed up his family and whatever belongings he could fit into his Chevy Suburban just hours before the health-insurance exchanges opened, joining the Tea Party’s Freedom Caravan with one goal in mind: escape from Obamacare.

“My father didn’t have health care and neither did my father’s father before him,” he said. “I’ll be damned if I’m going to let my children have it.” But after driving over ten hours to the Canadian border,

Mr. Dorrinson was dismayed to learn that America’s northern neighbor had been in the iron grip of health care for decades. “The border guard was so calm when he told me, as if it was the most normal thing in the world,” he said. “It’s like he was brainwashed by health care.” Turning away from Canada, Mr. Dorrinson joined a procession of Tea Party cars heading south to Mexico, noting, “They may have drug cartels and narcoterrorism down there, but at least they’ve kept health care out.”

Mr. Dorrinson was halfway to the southern border before he heard through the Tea Party grapevine that Mexico, too, has public health care, as do Great Britain, Japan, Turkey, Spain, Belgium, New Zealand, Slovenia, and dozens of other countries to which he had considered fleeing. Undaunted, Mr. Dorrinson said he had begun looking into additional countries, like Chad and North Korea, but he expressed astonishment at a world seemingly overrun by health care. “It turns out that the United States is one of the last countries on earth to get it,” he said. “It makes me proud to be an American.”

Celebrate the Art of Resistance with the Center for Political Graphics, Sunday October 20!

The Center for the Study of Political Graphics is excited to invite you to

Celebrate the Art of Resistance at our 2013 Party Auction

————————————————————
Please join us as we recognize these outstanding honorees:

Activists/artists Cheri Gaulke and Sue Maberry will receive the Art is a Hammer Award.
Art is not a mirror held up to reality, but a hammer with which to shape it. -Vladimir Mayakovsky

Acclaimed teen poetry troupe Get Lit Players and their founder Diane Luby Lane will receive the Historian of the Lions Award.

Until the lions have their historians, tales of hunting will always glorify the hunter. -African Proverb

Activist Attorneys Sonia Mercado and Sam Paz will receive the Culture of Liberation Award.

Culture contains the seed of opposition becoming the flower of liberation. -Amílcar Cabral

Sunday, October 20, 3PM 3pm: Reception and Silent Auction
4:30pm: Awards Program and performance by the Get Lit Players

Professional Musicians Union Local 47 817 Vine Street Hollywood, LA 90038

There will be an elegant reception, a dynamic poster presentation, and a unique auction of vintage posters and original artworks. The formal program will begin at 4:30 pm and will include award presentations and a performance by the Get Lit Players.

Cheri Gaulke and Sue Maberry met at the Woman’s Building, a feminist art center, in 1976. Their work combines art, activism and education. In 1981, they co-founded the anti-nuclear performance group Sisters Of Survival. Cheri is Head of Visual Arts at Harvard-Westlake School and Sue is Director of the Library at Otis College of Art and Design.

Get Lit Players, founded by Diane Luby Lane, is an award-winning classic and spoken word teen poetry troupe comprised of teenagers from throughout Los Angeles County. The Get Lit Players perform for over 10,000 of their peers each year, inspiring them to read, write and participate in the arts and be leaders in their communities.

Diane’s literacy and poetry system is being taught at over 40 schools throughout Southern California and expanding.

Sonia Mercado and Sam Paz are activist civil rights attorneys with a long and successful history challenging police misconduct and supporting the constitutional rights of prisoners. Their work supporting the rights of the incarcerated to medical care, to be free from violence and brutality and to end illegal police spying against community and political organizations have led to important reforms. ============================================================

Help save the ‘Chain Reaction’ peace Sculpture

HELP SAVE THE CHAIN REACTION PEACE SCULPTURE!

Help save Chain Reaction, Paul Conrad’s iconic peace sculpture in Santa Monica! $400,000 needs to be raised by February 1, 2014 to save it; as the City of Santa Monica threatens to scrap this landmarked piece of public art and memorial by Pulitzer Prize winning L.A. Times cartoonist and sculptor Paul Conrad, for budgetary reasons.

If Chain Reaction disappears, we lose: –An irreplaceable work of public art –A monument to peace and nuclear disarmament –A Santa Monica landmark

See the recent article by Christopher Knight in the Los Angeles Times: http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-critics-notebook-paul-conrad-chain-reaction-20130919,0,1932722.story

You can make a difference! Please join the Chain Gang and BECOME A LINK in saving Chain Reaction by donating money, signing the petition and letting your friends know about this effort. DONATE: http://conradprojects.com/donate-now/ SIGN THE PETITION: http://conradprojects.com/how-you-can-help/ SPREAD THE WORD TO YOUR FRIENDS: www.savechainreaction.com

The End of the World, Part Two

The End of the World, Part Two Repeat Intro:

The Response to Tuesday’s Digest article “The Crisis at Fukushima’s Unit 4 Demands a Global Take-Over” has been strong; along the lines of a friend’s “Yikes!” People want to know what to do about it. Romi Elnagar, the woman who sent me the article also provided this answer:

Yes, there is a petition at Avaaz. Please pass this on, Ed. I’m delighted people are asking! https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/STOP_FUKUSHIMA_RADIATION_UN_ACTION_NEEDED/ (http://edpearl-ashgrove.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6e49d094cce3022a65cbe3028&id=37356d455a&e=5617d3d307)

I clicked it on and signed, taking maybe one minute to write my email address, country and zip code, and immediately saw my name and country at the top of a quickly rising list of sigs from around the world. I think I was in the 5,000 section. I urge you to do so after reading the great interview below. -Ed http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/26/as_ipcc_warns_of_climate_disaster (http://edpearl-ashgrove.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=6e49d094cce3022a65cbe3028&id=74f431d323&e=5617d3d307)

As IPCC Warns of Climate Disaster, Will Scientific Consensus Spark Action on Global Warming?

Guests: Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground.

Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] is set to issue, Friday, it’s strongest warning yet that climate change is caused by humans and will cause more heat waves, droughts, and floods unless governments take action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The IPCC releases their report every six years. It incorporates the key findings from thousands of articles published in scientific journals. The IPCC began meeting earlier this week in Stockholm ahead of the report’s release. PART TWO:

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask about what is happening in Ecuador. Last month, Ecuador dropped a plan to preserve swaths of Amazon rain forest from oil drilling by having wealthy countries pay them not to drill. President Rafael Correa said “The plan to save parts of Yasuni National Park had raised only a fraction of the money sought.” He said, “The world has failed us.” This week I had a chance to interview Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño over at the Ecuador mission to the United Nations about the Yasuni-ITT Initiative. He said, simply, that it failed to attract sufficient funding.

FOREIGN MINISTER RICARDO PATIÑO: [translated] All over the world, natural resources are being exploited without a great deal of concern about the impacts of that exploitation. And we appeal to the world and we said we are willing to sacrifice 50% of the income that could potentially be generated, but the world has to contribute and we said if the international community would cover the other 50%, we were willing to completely preserve the area of the Yasuni-ITT and not exploit the oil indefinitely. But, the world’s response was negative. We only got very few million of dollars. And we said if we don’t — if the world doesn’t respond to our appeal we are going to have to exploit this oil because we need these resources and the resulting income. After having done — appealed and appealed and appealed and not see and echo to our appeal, Ecuador decided to exploit the oil without affecting the surface of Yasuni.

AMY GOODMAN: That is Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño. President Correa didn’t come to the U.N. He didn’t think that the way it is set up, the speeches of countries like Ecuador have an impact. But, Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace International, what about what is going to happen to the Yasuni and how important it is?

KUMI NAIDOO: This is a tragedy. What was a innovative and creative way of ensuring that people and nature were actually protected has not been responded to by the international community. It is a reflection of a skewed sense of where we should be investing our global resources at the moment. If we look at the amount of taxpayer money that is going into fossil fuel subsidies, to the tune of $1,4 trillion [$1.4 trillion] a year annually. A tiny fraction of that money could have actually secured this very, very fragile part of the world. People need to realize, in the past when people talked about protecting forests, it was seen as about biodiversity, protecting certain species, and if you like nature. Today, people don’t understand that forests are the lungs of the planet, fundamentally connected to the challenge of climate change. Forests capture and store carbon safely. And the more we deplete our forests — and the rate we are depleting our forest as we speak is every two seconds a forest the size of a football field is disappearing. History will judge our political leaders, especially in rich countries who have not come up with the money, very, very harshly.

AMY GOODMAN: A group of leading environmentalists have sent a letter pleading with him not to move ahead, even if the international community failed him because indigenous people in the area are rising up saying, do not develop this, do not drill here. UNESCO designated the park as a world biosphere reserve. It contains 100,000 species of animal, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world.

KUMI NAIDOO: I think that underscores the disconnect with regard to getting our priorities right. And also, so long as the countries who historically built their economies on fossil fuels, the U.S. and most of the developed countries of the world, if they continue to say, we’re going to continue with further fossil fuel like the tar sands and fracking, and so on, it;s really difficult for organizations like Greenpeace to actually lobby with developing countries to say, you’re going to have to leave that coal in the ground and the oil in the soil. We are playing political poker with the future of the planet and the future of our children. And what you are seeing is a terrible case of cognitive dissonance. All of the facts are telling us we are running out of time, and our leaders continue as business as usual.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Jeff Masters, I think you’re supposed to be on a panel with Michael Bloomberg today on this issue. He certainly has sufficient funds in his own personal bank account to help Ecuador with saving the Yasuni. You may raise the issue to him when you’re on the panel. But, I would like to ask you a little bit more about the IPCC report — what we know about it, because, obviously, it won’t be released until tomorrow. What it says about droughts and the future prospects for the planet and specifically how it relates to some of the issues or the conflicts that we are seeing the world, even now, and also about the acidity in the oceans.

JEFF MASTERS: Drought is the number-one threat we face from climate change because it affects the two things we need to live, food and water. The future projections of drought are rather frightening. We see large areas of the world, particularly the ones that are already dry, are expected to get drier, and that’s going to greatly challenge our ability to grow food there and provide water for people. I was a little disappointed in the leaked draft that I’ve seen of the IPCC report. It doesn’t mention drought at all in the text. There is a mentioned of drought in a single table that they have there showing that, well, we are not really sure we’ve seen changes in drought due to human causes yet, but, we do think the dry air is going to get drier and this is going to be a problem in the future. So, yeah, a huge issue, drought. Really not addressed very well in the summary. I’m sure the main body of the report, that will be released Monday, will talk a lot about drought. The second issue you raised, the acidity of the oceans, yeah, that we’re sure we have seen an influence. There’s been a 26% increase in the acidity of the oceans since pre-industrial times and the pH has dropped by 0.1 units. That’s going to have severe impact on the marine communities we think and it’s only going to accelerate. They’re saying, pretty much with 99% certainty the oceans are going to get more acidic and it is due to human causes. AMY GOODMAN: On drought, can you talk about Syria? JEFF MASTERS: Yeah. In Syria, they’re having their worst drought in over 70 years. There have been climate model studies done showing that the drought in that region of the world in particular is very likely more probable due to human causes. If you run a climate model both with and without the human increase in greenhouse gases, you see a large perturbation in the drought conditions there in the Mediterranean region. So, we’re pretty sure that drought is a factor there. And in Syria in particular, I mean, people have migrated over a million people have had to leave their homes because of drought. They moved into the cities. They don’t have jobs there. It’s caused more unrest and directly contributed to the unrest there. AMY GOODMAN: That’s an interesting analysis. Kumi. KUMI NAIDOO: Absolutely. Others have actually pointed to the big trigger for the conflict in Syria as being climate impacts particularly drought. But, if you look at even Egypt and you look at all the countries that went through the so-called Arab spring — I say so-called because I don’t think the struggle for justice is a seasonal activity. But, the Arab resistance, you see in all of those countries there has been water stress as well. Some of us have been saying for more than a decade now, the future will not be fought over oil, but it will be fought over water if we don’t actually get it right. I mean, our political leaders must understand people cannot drink oil. I mean, if you look at fracking in the United States, the potential danger that has to water security because of the impact on the water table, it is really taking risks. And in South Africa, Shell has got a contract to stop fracking in the Karoo. An extremely water stressed area to start with. So, we really need our political leaders to connect the dots. Because, basically, what you see as a problem is a silo mentality to governance. Because we put environment and climate change here, and we put peace and security here, we put food and agriculture here. All of these things are connected and we need the is leaders who can think in an intersectoral way and understand the connections of the different global problems we face. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Jeff Masters, once this report is issued, what happens next in terms of there are further reports that will come out in early 2014? JEFF MASTERS: That’s right. This is only the first part of a big four-part series. This only talks about what has actually happened to the climate and what the models predict — project will happen. In March, there is going to be a whole other section which is going to talk about what are some of the impacts of this? And then there will be a further report, what can we do about it? How can we reduce the impacts? So, this is going to take over a year to play out.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeff Masters, skeptics are paying a lot of attention to a part of the leaked report. The IPCC said the rate of warming between ’98 and 2007 was about half the average rate since 1951. JEFF MASTERS: They like to put in a frame something which they can use to challenge the report. I look at that sort of incidents as a speed bump on kind of the highway of climate change. We expect natural variability to play a role here. We’ve got various cycles in the atmosphere, in ocean, El Niño and La Niña, the sun changes it’s brightness some. We expect to see these sorts of slowdowns, and we expect this accelerations as well. If you go back and look at the 15-year period ending in 2006, the rate of warming was almost double what it was the previous 15 years. Nobody paid attention to that.

AMY GOODMAN: Was Colorado climate change, the 1000 year flood?

JEFF MASTERS: We can say that those sorts of events become more common. You load the dice in favor of more extreme precipitation events. So, you role double sixes more often and maybe every now and then you can roll a 13.

AMY GOODMAN: Are meteorologist on television ever going to start flashing those words “climate change” as often as they flash the words “extreme weather” or “severe weather”?

JEFF MASTERS: Depends on what there producer says. They are beholden to what the producer says and some are on board and many are not.

KUMI NAIDOO: Amy, if I could just jump in, there’s a lesson from history in the United States that is helpful. If you look at when the scientific evidence around tobacco was clear and the consensus was clear that tobacco was bad for you, there was still a very powerful lobby of scientists funded by the tobacco industry to actually contaminate the public conversation, delay the policy changes that were necessary and so on. We are seeing a carbon copy of that same approach. And I would say to the leaders of the fossil fuel industry, here is something you need to learn from. When anti tobacco litigation started in the early days, the CEOs of tobacco companies were arrogant and said it will never succeed, they never took it seriously. Climate litigation is starting now and the fossil fuel companies are actually being dismissive. The biggest amount of money they have in their annual budgets is often in the legal department because of the scale of settlements. So, I think one expectation once the report is out is that the huge amount of money that goes into lobbying is going to do everything to actually rubbish this report and try and take selectively pieces of information. I think the American people in particular must interrogate the fact for every member of Congress there is between three and seven full-time lobbyists paid by the oil, coal, and gas sector. And they have actually held back the possibility of the U.S. being a global leader in renewable technology and that’s going to hurt the U.S. economy in the future.

AMY GOODMAN: Kumi Naidoo and Jeff Masters, thank you so much for being with us. Of course we’ll continue this conversation. Kumi Naidoo is the Executive Director of Greenpeace International. Jeff Masters, Director of Meteorology at Weather Underground. He will be hosting Weather Channel’s live coverage of the release of the IPCC’s report tomorrow. When we come back, Matt Taibbi is with us of Rolling Stone on “Looting the Pensions Funds.”

AMY GOODMAN: I wanted to ask about what is happening in Ecuador. Last month, Ecuador dropped a plan to preserve swaths of Amazon rain forest from oil drilling by having wealthy countries pay them not to drill. President Rafael Correa said “The plan to save parts of Yasuni National Park had raised only a fraction of the money sought.” He said, “The world has failed us.” This week I had a chance to interview Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño over at the Ecuador mission to the United Nations about the Yasuni-ITT Initiative. He said, simply, that it failed to attract sufficient funding.

FOREIGN MINISTER RICARDO PATIÑO: [translated] All over the world, natural resources are being exploited without a great deal of concern about the impacts of that exploitation. And we appeal to the world and we said we are willing to sacrifice 50% of the income that could potentially be generated, but the world has to contribute and we said if the international community would cover the other 50%, we were willing to completely preserve the area of the Yasuni-ITT and not exploit the oil indefinitely. But, the world’s response was negative. We only got very few million of dollars. And we said if we don’t — if the world doesn’t respond to our appeal we are going to have to exploit this oil because we need these resources and the resulting income. After having done — appealed and appealed and appealed and not see and echo to our appeal, Ecuador decided to exploit the oil without affecting the surface of Yasuni.

AMY GOODMAN: That is Ecuador’s Foreign Minister Ricardo Patiño. President Correa didn’t come to the U.N. He didn’t think that the way it is set up, the speeches of countries like Ecuador have an impact. But, Kumi Naidoo of Greenpeace International, what about what is going to happen to the Yasuni and how important it is?

KUMI NAIDOO: This is a tragedy that what was a innovative and creative way of ensuring that people and nature were actually protected has not been responded to by the international community. It is a reflection of a skewed sense of where we should be investing our global resources at the moment. If we look at the amount of money that is going into — taxpayer money — that is going into fossil fuel subsidies, to the tune of $1,4 trillion [$1.4 trillion] a year annually. A fraction of that money — tiny fraction of that money could have actually secured this very, very fragile part of the world. People need to realize, in the past when people talked about protecting forests, it was seen as it’s all about biodiversity, protecting certain species, and if you like nature. Today, people misunderstand that forests are the lungs of the planet. It is fundamentally connected to the challenge of climate change. Forests capture and store carbon safely. And the more we deplete our forests — and the rate we are depleting our force at the moment is every two seconds a forest the size of a football field is disappearing as we speak. So, our political leaders, but especially in rich countries who have not come up with the money I think history will judge them very, very harshly. AMY GOODMAN: A group of leading environmentalists have sent a letter pleading with him not to move ahead, even if the international community failed him because indigenous people in the area are rising up saying, do not develop this, do not drill here. UNESCO designated the park as a world biosphere reserve. It contains 100,000 species of animal, many of which are not found anywhere else in the world. KUMI NAIDOO: So, I mean, I think that underscores the disconnect with regard to getting our priorities right. And also, I think what you’re seeing, is that so long as the countries who historically built their economies on fossil fuels, the U.S. and most of the developed countries of the world, if they continue to be saying, we’re going to continue with further fossil fuel like the tar sands and fracking, and so on, it makes it really difficult for organizations like Greenpeace to actually lobby with developing countries to say, you’re going to have to leave that coal in the ground and the oil in the soil. When they say, but those folks are still continuing. So, we are playing political poker with the future of the planet and the future of our children. And what you are seeing is a terrible case of cognitive dissonance. All of the facts are telling us we are running out of time, and our leaders continue as business as usual.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Jeff Masters, I think you’re supposed to be on a panel with Michael Bloomberg today on this issue. He certainly has sufficient funds in his own personal bank account to help Ecuador with saving the Yasuni. You may raise the issue to him when you’re on the panel. But, I would like to ask you a little bit more about the IPCC report — what we know about it, because, obviously, it won’t be released until tomorrow. What it says about droughts and the future prospects for the planet and specifically how it relates to some of the issues or the conflicts that we are seeing the world, even now, and also about the acidity in the oceans. JEFF MASTERS: Drought is the number-one threat we face from climate change because it affects the two things we need to live, food and water. The future projections of drought are rather frightening. We see large areas of the world, particularly the ones that are already dry, are expected to get drier, and that’s going to greatly challenge our ability to grow food there and provide water for people. I was a little disappointed in the leaked draft that I’ve seen of the IPCC report. It doesn’t mention drought at all in the text. There is a mentioned of drought in a single table that they have there showing that, well, we are not really sure we’ve seen changes in drought due to human causes yet, but, we do think the dry air is going to get drier and this is going to be a problem in the future. So, yeah, a huge issue, drought. Really not addressed very well in the summary. I’m sure the main body of the report, that will be released Monday, will talk a lot about drought. The second issue you raised, the acidity of the oceans, yeah, that we’re sure we have seen an influence. There’s been a 26% increase in the acidity of the oceans since pre-industrial times and the pH has dropped by 0.1 units. That’s going to have severe impact on the marine communities we think and it’s only going to accelerate. They’re saying, pretty much with 99% certainty the oceans are going to get more acidic and it is due to human causes.

AMY GOODMAN: On drought, can you talk about Syria?

JEFF MASTERS: Yeah. In Syria, they’re having their worst drought in over 70 years. There have been climate model studies done showing that the drought in that region of the world in particular is very likely more probable due to human causes. If you run a climate model both with and without the human increase in greenhouse gases, you see a large perturbation in the drought conditions there in the Mediterranean region. So, we’re pretty sure that drought is a factor there. And in Syria in particular, I mean, people have migrated over a million people have had to leave their homes because of drought. They moved into the cities. They don’t have jobs there. It’s caused more unrest and directly contributed to the unrest there.

AMY GOODMAN: That’s an interesting analysis. Kumi.

KUMI NAIDOO: Absolutely. Others have actually pointed to the big trigger for the conflict in Syria as being climate impacts particularly drought. But, if you look at even Egypt and you look at all the countries that went through the so-called Arab spring — I say so-called because I don’t think the struggle for justice is a seasonal activity. But, the Arab resistance, you see in all of those countries there has been water stress as well. Some of us have been saying for more than a decade now, the future will not be fought over oil, but it will be fought over water if we don’t actually get it right. I mean, our political leaders must understand people cannot drink oil, that people need — I mean, if you look at fracking in the United States, right, the potential danger that has to water security because of the impact on the water table, it is really taking risks. And in South Africa, by the way, Shell has got a contract to stop fracking in the Karoo. And again, extremely water stressed area to start with. So, we really need our political leaders to connect the dots. Because, basically, what you see as a problem is a silo mentality to governance. Because we put environment and climate change here, and we put peace and security here, we put food and agriculture here. All of these things are connected and we need the leadership we need now is leaders who can think in an intersectoral way and understand the connections of the different global problems we face. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Jeff Masters, once this report is issued, what happens next in terms of there are further reports that will come out in early 2014? JEFF MASTERS: That’s right. This is only the first part of a big four-part series. This only talks about what has actually happened to the climate and what the models predict — project will happen. In March, there is going to be a whole other section which is going to talk about what are some of the impacts of this? And then there will be a further report, what can we do about it? How can we reduce the impacts? So, this is going to take over a year to play out.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeff Masters, skeptics are paying a lot of attention to a part of the leaked report. The IPCC said the rate of warming between ’98 and 2007 was about half the average rate since 1951. JEFF MASTERS: They like to put in a frame something which they can use to challenge the report. I look at that sort of incidents as a speed bump on kind of the highway of climate change. We expect natural variability to play a role here. We’ve got various cycles in the atmosphere, in ocean, El Niño and La Niña, the sun changes it’s brightness some. We expect to see these sorts of slowdowns, and we expect this accelerations as well. If you go back and look at the 15-year period ending in 2006, the rate of warming was almost double what it was the previous 15 years. Nobody paid attention to that.

AMY GOODMAN: Was Colorado climate change, the 1000 year flood?

JEFF MASTERS: We can say that those sorts of events become more common. You roll the dice — you load the dice in favor of more extreme precipitation events. So, you role double sixes more often and maybe every now and then you can roll a 13.

AMY GOODMAN: Are meteorologist on television ever going to start flashing those words “climate change” as often as they flash the words “extreme weather” or “severe weather”?

JEFF MASTERS: Depends on what there producer says. They are beholden to what the producer says and some are on board and many are not. KUMI NAIDOO: Amy, if I could just jump in, there’s a lesson from history in the United States here that is helpful. If you look at when the scientific evidence around tobacco was clear and the consensus was clear that tobacco was bad for you, there was still a very powerful lobby of scientists funded by the tobacco industry to actually contaminate the public conversation, delay the policy changes that were necessary and so one. We are seeing a carbon copy of that same approach. And I would say to the leaders of the fossil fuel industry, also there is another thing you need to learn from. When anti tobacco litigation started in the early days, the CEOs of tobacco companies were arrogant and said it will never succeed, they never took it seriously. Climate litigation is starting now and the fossil fuel companies are actually being dismissive. I say to the fossil fuel industry leaders, go and ask your CEOs of tobacco companies which is the biggest amount of money that they have to have in their annual budgets [unintelligible], because it has to be — it is often in the legal department because of the scale of settlements. So, I think one expectation once the report is out is that the huge amount of money that goes into lobbying is going to do everything to actually rubbish this report and try and take selectively pieces of information. I think the American people in particular must interrogate the fact for every member of Congress there is between three and seven full-time lobbyists paid by the oil, coal, and gas sector. And they have actually held back the possibility of the U.S. being a global leader in renewable technology and that’s going to hurt the U.S. economy in the future.

AMY GOODMAN: Kumi Naidoo and Jeff Masters, thank you so much for being with us. Of course we’ll continue this conversation. Kumi Naidoo is the Executive Director of Greenpeace International. Jeff Masters, Director of Meteorology at Weather Underground. He will be hosting Weather Channel’s live coverage of the release of the IPCC’s report tomorrow. When we come back, Matt Taibbi is with us of Rolling Stone on “Looting the Pensions Funds.”

The End of the World

The Ash Grove List The End of the World, in Two Parts

Hi. The Response to Tuesday’s Digest article “The Crisis at Fukushima’s Unit 4 Demands a Global Take-Over” has been strong; along the lines of a friend’s “Yikes!” People want to know what to do about it. Romi Elnagar, the woman who sent me the article also provided this answer:

Yes, there is a petition at Avaaz. Please pass this on, Ed. I’m delighted people are asking! https://secure.avaaz.org/en/petition/STOP_FUKUSHIMA_RADIATION_UN_ACTION_NEEDED/ I clicked it on and signed, taking maybe one minute to write my email address, country and zip code, and immediately saw my name and country at the top of a quickly rising list of sigs from around the world. I think I was in the 5,000 section. I urge you to do so after reading part 1 of the great interview below. Tomorrow, part 2 -Ed http://www.democracynow.org/2013/9/26/as_ipcc_warns_of_climate_disaster

As IPCC Warns of Climate Disaster, Will Scientific Consensus Spark Action on Global Warming? Guests: Jeff Masters, director of meteorology at the Weather Underground. Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change [IPCC] is set to issue, Friday, it’s strongest warning yet that climate change is caused by humans and will cause more heat waves, droughts, and floods unless governments take action to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The IPCC releases their report every six years. It incorporates the key findings from thousands of articles published in scientific journals. The IPCC began meeting earlier this week in Stockholm ahead of the report’s release. This is the IPCC Chairperson Rajendra Pachauri.

RAJENDRA PACHAURI: This working group one session will approve the summary of policymakers an acceptable report. This is happening at a time when the world is awaiting the outcome of this session with great expectation because of its obvious significance in respect of the current status of global negotiations, and the ongoing debate on actions to deal with the challenge of climate change. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: The IPCC report is expected to conclude with at least 95% certainty that human activities have caused most of earth’s temperature rise since 1950, and will continue to do so in the future. That is up from a confidence level of 90% in 2007 report, the last or the assessment came out. Meanwhile, the Heartland Institute released a report this week by group of climate change skeptics called a Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change or NIPCC. The 1200 page report disputes the reality of man-made climate change.

AMY GOODMAN: For more Greenpeace International’s Executive Director Kumi Naidoo remains with us and we’re joined by Jeff Masters, Director of Meteorology at The Weather Underground. On Friday, he’ll host the Weather Channel’s live coverage of the release of the IPCC’s report. He is joining us here in New York studio ahead of attending Climate Week in New York. Today he moderates a panel on innovative ways to combat climate change. We welcome you both to Democracy Now!. Jeff Masters, the significance of this report that is being released tomorrow.

JEFF MASTERS: It is huge because we only see one of these reports every six years, and it lays out a very authoritative and unarguable case, that climate change is happening, humans humans are mostly responsible, it’s going to accelerate and there are things we can do to slow down this sort of climate change upon us.

AMY GOODMAN: And this report of the nongovernmental panel, Heartland Institute?

JEFF MASTERS: It is what you’d expect from basically lobbyists who are working for the fossil fuel industry, whose profits are threatened by the scientific findings of the IPCC. You would expect this sort of blowback by the fossil fuel industry to dispute the science, to cast doubt, to play up some of the arguments against it, which really aren’t under dispute by scientists.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: And the conclusions are those, not just of the scientists, but also, isn’t there sovereign government involvement in the findings as well? Could you explain that for people who are not familiar with how the IPCC works.

JEFF MASTERS: The IPCC is kind of a unique hybrid because it is not just a scientific organization. All of its results have to be approved by government representatives. So, this week in Stockholm, the scientist have presented their information and each government — 195 in total — have to go line by line through the report and approve it. So, the politicians have a say in what is in the final report. As a result, the report is very conservative because everyone has to agree — it’s unanimous approval required.

AMY GOODMAN: Jeff, what needs to be done?

JEFF MASTERS: We have to do two things, we have to cut down our emissions of heat trapping gases like carbon dioxide and we have to adapt, we have to get prepared for the coming climate change storm as I call it. It is already here. We are already seeing the impacts, and we better get ready.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: In terms of what has been leaked about it so far, some of the conclusions may be a little bit surprising. For instance, on the relationship between climate change and hurricanes and typhoons, what do they say they’re?

JEFF MASTERS: They have reduced their amount of certainty that we’ve already seen changes in intense hurricanes due to human causes. So, that reflects kind of the going scientific work that has been happening which is not sure. There is a lot of variability in hurricanes naturally; hard to tell if they are actually changing now due to a changing climate. So, that is one positive maybe we can take out of the report. We’re not sure we’re actually seeing an impact on hurricanes and typhoons.

AMY GOODMAN: How does Colorado fit into this picture — the thousand year flood? And then in India in June, something like 5700 people died in floods.

JEFF MASTERS: One thing we are pretty sure of is that climate change is already causing an increase in extreme rainfall events, particularly in North America. These are the type of events that we saw this year in Colorado and again in Asia. We have seen an increasing number of very heavy precipitation events, the kind that are most likely to cause some of the extreme floods we’ve seen in recent years.

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: I wanted to bring Kumi back into the conversation. You’re here for the United Nations General Assembly and obviously President Obama spoke this week at the General Assembly. Your assessment of what he did or didn’t say about climate change?

KUMI NAIDOO: He hardly mentioned climate change. The thing about it is, even the CIA and Pentagon in 2003 in a report that was present even to President Bush, which he chose to bury it as somebody who was in effect an agent of the fossil fuel industry. That report suggests in the coming decades, the biggest threat to peace, security and stability will not come from conventional threats of terrorism and so on, but will come from the impacts of climate change. So, if any head of state, any political leader is concerned about peace, security, and stability, then they should be using the platforms at the United Nations now to talk about the biggest urgency this planet has ever faced. We are talking already of serious impacts, particularly in the developing world. We are seeing lives being lost. Darfur, I would argue, as the Secretary General of the United Nations argue, the genocide in Darfur, was certainly intensified, and exacerbated as a result of climate impacts. Lake Chad, one of the largest inland seas in the world that neighbors Darfur has largely, to use the words of the Secretary General of the U.N., shrunk to the size of a pond. And then, the Sahara Desert is marching from Senegal to the Sudan southwards at the rate of one mile a year. So, water scarcity, land scarcity and together food scarcity was the trigger. So, when you see all that happening, when heads of state are talking about all these sort of interventions around chemical weapons, all of which are important, but the biggest threat to peace and security is coming already from climate change and it is going to intensify. In that sense, I was deeply disappointed that President Obama didn’t make that connection.

AMY GOODMAN: What could the U.S. be doing right now?

KUMI NAIDOO: The U.S. needs to recognize, firstly, that they are compromising their economic future because the U.S. needs to forget about the arms race, space race, and so on. The only race that is going to matter in terms of which countries and companies will be competitive in the future is those countries and companies that get as far ahead of the green race as possible. The U.S. needs to take leadership. The world is hungry for U.S. leadership in climate negotiations and —

AMY GOODMAN: It’s interesting, President Obama, in his speech, was making the case for how the U.S. is exceptional.

KUMI NAIDOO: Yes, and the thing about it is, that case, speaking beyond climate change now, is an approach by the U.S. of do as we tell you to do, do as we say, not as we do. Because, the U.S., if you take on torture, they are signatories to the anti-torture conventions, but we’ve got waterboarding, we’ve got Guantanamo, we’ve got extraordinary rendition. On respecting human rights and not violating peoples privacy without their knowledge — people around the world are saying things like, we had so much optimism in Obama. President Obama was saying, yes we can, yes we can, but with all of this NSA spying, maybe he was saying, yes we scan, yes we scan, yes we scan. ============================================================

Ash Grove List: Alan Lomax Treasure Trove Of Early 20th Century Folk Music

Alan Lomax Treasure Trove Of Early 20th Century Folk Music Discovered

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/09/23/alan-lomax_n_3976852.html?utm_hp_ref=arts

Treasure Trove Of Early 20th Century Folk Music Unearthed In Michigan

By JEFF KAROUB 09/23/13 AP

In an undated photo provided by the Library of Congress, the Floriani family performs their folk music in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Michigan was fertile ground for folk music, brought to the region by a wave of immigrants in the early 20th Century and played in the camps and factory towns where they worked.

Legendary folklorist Alan Lomax discovered the music in 1938 when he visited the Midwest on his famous 10-year cross-country trek to document American folk music for the Library of Congress | AP

DETROIT — Detroit is famous for its music, from the Motown hits of the 1960s to the cutting-edge punk of Iggy Pop to the rap of Eminem. Little known, though, is that Michigan was also fertile ground for folk music, brought to the region by immigrants in the early 20th century and played in the logging camps, mines and factory towns where they worked. Legendary folklorist Alan Lomax discovered the music in 1938 when he visited the Midwest on his famous 10-year cross-country trek to document American folk music for the Library of Congress.

A trove of his Michigan recordings is now being publicly released for the first time by the library, coinciding with the 75th anniversary of Lomax’s trip. The release is causing a stir among folk music fanciers and history buffs. “It was a fantastic field trip – hardly anything has been published from it,” said Todd Harvey, the Lomax collection’s curator at the library in Washington. The Michigan batch contains about 900 tracks and represents a dozen ethnicities.

Lomax, son of famous musicologist John A. Lomax, spent three months in Michigan on his research, which also took him through Appalachia and the deep South. He drove through rural communities and recorded the work songs and folk tunes he heard on a large suitcase-sized disc recorder powered by his car’s battery. The trip was supposed to cover much of the Upper Midwest, but he found so much in Michigan that he made only a few recordings elsewhere in the region.

The collection includes acoustic blues from southern transplants, including Sampson Pittman and one-time Robert Johnson collaborator Calvin Frazier; a lumberjack ballad called “Michigan-I-O” sung solo by an old logger named Lester Wells; and a similar lament about life deep in the copper mines of the Upper Peninsula called “31st Level Blues,” performed by the Floriani family, who were of Croatian descent.

The 250 disc recordings of about 125 performers, along with eight reels of film footage and photographs, reflect the rich mixture of cultures in Depression-era Michigan, where immigrants fleeing poverty and persecution in Europe and the South came seeking jobs.

Natives of French-speaking Canada, Finland, Italy, Croatia, Germany, Poland, Ireland and Hungary perform the songs, which represent 10 languages. John and Alan Lomax’s archives at the library’s American Folklife Center encompass 10,000 sound recordings and 6,000 graphic images, documenting creative expression by cultural groups around the world. Most famous were the field recordings made in the South, including those of Leadbelly, Muddy Waters and Son House.

“This fills in a big chunk of the top half of the middle section of the country,” says Laurie Sommers, an ethnomusicologist who serves as Michigan’s program coordinator for the Lomax project. “Now you have the stories and the sounds of sailors, miners and lumberjacks, ethnic communities who came to work … and brought their traditions with them.”

One example is Exilia Bellaire, a woman from the Upper Peninsula community of Baraga who recorded “I Went to Marquette.” It’s sung in a mixture of French and English, and Harvey said the song is one of many that “captures (what) occurs when cultures interact with one another.”

Lomax’s Michigan research proved to be challenging. Thieves twice broke into his car and stole equipment and films, and performers would hound him for money or liquor in exchange for recording them. He frequently requested more money from headquarters, in part, he wrote, because “songs in (Michigan) absolutely require beer.”

The recordings weren’t released at the time, in part because the late 1930s were a time of growing suspicion of non-English speaking immigrants in the United States, said Sommers. Now, the library is releasing a podcast and an e-book, and the University of Wisconsin is releasing a multi-CD set.

A traveling exhibit with live concerts will begin Sept. 30 in Mount Pleasant, about 120 miles northwest of Detroit. Sampson Pittman Jr., 77, son of the blues artist Lomax recorded during his final Michigan session, said it’s fascinating for him to hear the collaborations between Frazier, whom he called “Uncle Calvin,” and the father he lost at 8 years old.

“I started out playing the kind of music I heard him playing,” said Pittman, who has carried the torch as a longtime blues guitarist. “They would tell these stories through the music.” ___ Follow Jeff Karoub on Twitter: . His work can be found at Links: http://twitter.com/jeffkaroub http://bigstory.ap.org/author/jeff-karoub ============================================================

Let’s discuss the [insert shooting tragedy here]

[R-G] [BillTottenWeblog] Let’s discuss the [insert shooting tragedyhere]

by Chris Andoe AMERICAblog (September 16 2013)

It’s time to have a somber national discussion about the [insert shooting tragedy here] tragedy. Before we get started, let’s go over a few basic ground rules.

1. In the wake of the __________ tragedy it’s time for us all to come together as a nation and not assign blame. This is not the time, for example, to talk about how it’s easier to purchase a gun in America than it is to vote (or buy French cheese)

{1}. And I quote White House spokesman Jay Carney, speaking about the murder in Connecticut of at least eighteen children

{2}: I’m sure [there] will be rather a day for discussion of the usual Washington policy debates, but I don’t think today is that day. Fortunately, the President’s subsequent statement was better

{3}. Child with gun via Shutterstock: http://americablog.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/shutterstock_83497078-e1356726327727.jpg

2. And we won’t tolerate any second guessing of the Second Amendment right to carry assault weapons, or questions about how the Framers could have possibly envisaged an assault rifle over 200 years ago, or why a “hunter” needs six thousand rounds of ammunition, or kevlar, or smoke grenades to kill a pheasant.

3. While the shooter may have been inspired by political fliers showing the victim in cross hairs, or may have come unhinged by inflammatory rhetoric about how said victim was coming for the shooter’s guns, discussing such motivation at this sensitive moment would be completely inappropriate. Not to mention, disrespectful to the __________ victims.

4. If the tragedy involved someone flying an aircraft into a government building, or for that matter blowing up a government building, now is not the time to discuss people like Rush Limbaugh or Sean Hannity (no names, please), or Republicans generally (no political parties, please), incessantly trying to convince their audience that the occupant of the White House, or any government official, agency, or entire branch of government is evil and/or “un-American” and/or out to get them or our country or our freedom.

5. And definitely don’t mention the Republican party’s frequent claim and/or insinuation, including suggestions from the GOP candidate himself, Mitt Romney, that the sitting Democratic President is a socialist, which in American parlance actually means “communist”, which actually means “Soviet”, which was America’s deadliest enemy out for our utter destruction.

Sure, it would be entirely understandable why someone would take up arms against a Soviet takeover of the United States, but a Democrat said something mean once about a Republican’s dog, or something, so aren’t both parties really to blame, thus making the charge moot?

6. Never, ever mention the NRA. Sure, they’ve proven themselves, time and again, incapable of passing laws that effectively keep guns out of the hands of crazy mass murderers, but that’s no reason to blame them for the _______ tragedy because it’s just too early to cast blame on anyone other than the shooter, who was obviously crazy, and thus this month’s anomaly. Now, let’s discuss for a moment the race of the shooter and the victims.

7. If the ______________ tragedy involved angry white men opening fire on brown people of faith, this is definitely not the time to replay clips of bombastic commentators and politicians getting white men in places like Kansas whipped into a frenzy over Manhattan’s zoning criteria for non-Christian houses of worship.

8. But feel free to discuss if all brown people, and thus the shooter, or his victims, were Muslims – sorry, I meant to say “radical Islamists”. And even if neither was a Muslim, make sure you discuss that point incessantly – Muslims, Muslims, Muslims, Muslims – so as to eventually sow suspicion in the public’s mind as to whether there really is a Muslim angle to this story.

9. Speaking of which, this is not the time to discuss the more general fear mongering around words like “Muslim”, including the ongoing, successful, attempt by Republicans to convince their base that our dark-skinned President is one. Okay, I think we’re ready now to discuss the ______________ tragedy.

First off, it is entirely acceptable for a Republican to opine that the tragedy could have been averted had the victims all been armed (please disregard previous tragedies where armed police officers themselves were injured by the shooter).

Second, poignant, but ultimately meaningless, gestures such as lighting tragedy candles at nighttime vigils, and posting anti-gun petitions on Change.org, are to be encouraged.

Finally, clutch your pearls, and all together now, ask the purely rhetorical question: “How could this happen?” Forty-eight hours later return to talking about the Olympics and the latest Kardashian wedding until the next shooting occurs, then refer to Point 1 above. Postscript: If the victims of the ___________ tragedy were black, ignore the above restrictions and take up a collection for the shooter’s defense fund. Links: {1} http://www.americablog.com/2012/07/is-it-easier-to-buy-gun-than-french.html {2} http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-politics/wp/2012/12/14/obama-briefed-on-newtown-school-shooting/ {3} http://americablog.com/2012/12/obama-statement-school-shooting.html

____ Chris Andoe is an Oakland based writer and seasoned activist. After meeting John Aravosis at a Chicago “StopDrLaura.com” protest in 2000, Chris was inspired to organize his own major demonstrations in Saint Louis, which drew national attention. Since then, his activism has revolved around LGBT, affordable housing, and mass transit issues. Always in the fray, Andoe’s been interviewed by NPR, CBS, and has been quoted from CNN to The Saint Louis Post Dispatch. He’s a regular contributor to AMERICAblog and covers the West Coast for the Vital Voice. http://americablog.com/2013/09/lets-discuss-the-insert-shooting-tragedy-here-tragedy.html TO POST A COMMENT, OR TO READ COMMENTS POSTED BY OTHERS, please click the appropriate link at the top or bottom of http://billtotten.wordpress.com/2013/09/17/lets-discuss-the-insert-shooting-tragedy-here/