Confronting the Climate Catastrophe

Conversations with Paul Beckwith and Dahr Jamail. Research News Hour Episode 87

  “The Arctic is rapidly heading for meltdown.  As snow and sea ice retreat, exposing land and sea with lower albedo (i.e. less reflectiveness), more solar energy is absorbed, thus leading to further melting and retreat in a vicious cycle.  This cycle has been self-sustaining for many years – we are well past the tipping point.  There is no sign of any natural process to break the cycle.” -Statement from the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, December 4, 2014 [1]

“There’s well documented reports out on where gets its funding and, you know, Bill McKibbon and his ties with the mainstream Democratic Party, and you can look at Naomi Klein and who she writes for and who they’re funded by, and I’m talking about The Nation magazine….their perspective is always tempered… They’re always afraid to go too far out and put out really radical information…because they’re essentially by and large another arm of the Democratic Party and have deep ties to ’em.” -Dahr Jamail



Length: (59:30)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

Last Sunday December 14, the UN CLIMATE Conference  concluded with a climate plan that for the first time commits all countries to cuts in greenhouse gas emissions.

About 11,000 world leaders, civil society organizations, NGOs, and industry representatives from around the globe convened in Peru’s capital over a two week period.

Among the achievements of this conference: dozens of countries pledged over $10 billion to the Green Climate Fund to help countries prepare for climate impacts and make the transition to a low-carbon economy. [2]

But as we heard on last week’s program these and other initiatives may be too little too late to rescue the planet from the catastrophic impacts of greenhouse warming.

Media coverage of the COP20 conference (such as it was) largely ignored a critical press conference by the ARCTIC Methane Emergency Group (AMEG).

Presenters at that Press conference concluded the following:

The meltdown is accelerating and could become unstoppable as early as Sept 2015

• Immediate action must be taken to refreeze the Arctic to halt runaway melting
• Greenhouse gas emissions reduction, however drastic, cannot solve this problem
• Calculations show that powerful interventions are needed to cool the Arctic
• Any delay escalates the risk of failure
• Arctic meltdown is a catastrophic threat for civilization. [3]

One of those presenters was Paul Beckwith. He is A Climatologist & part-time professor at the University of Ottawa. He recently spoke to the Global Research News Hour about the extent of the climate predicament we face and whether there is hope that these or other initiatives hold any prospect of rescuing our world from an unprecedented crisis.

 Dahr Jamail follows Beckwith. Having established indymedia street creds a decade ago for his unembedded reporting on the US occupation of Iraq, Jamail addresses the inability of mainstream voices, including environmental groups, to fully cope with what the science is saying about the Climate threat. In this interview, Jamail also puts forward his impressions of the hazards of geo-engineering, and his top of mind concerns as the human race enters a new year.



Length: (59:30)

Click to download the audio (MP3 format)

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Articles by: Michael Welch and Dahr Jamail

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