Show Details for the week of November 25th, 2013

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This week’s show looks at Warsaw Climate Conference and the break through deal on Iran’s nuclear program.

  • Our first segment will feature two guests: Michael Dorsey and Evan Weber.
  • Our second segment will feature Sydney Levy from Jewish Voice for Peace.

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More about this week’s guests:

Evan Weber holds degrees in Economics and Environmental Studies from Wesleyan University. His undergraduate thesis focused on the social justice implications of U.S. climate policy. He has backgrounds in environmental law, data analysis, and environmental justice, and experience in environmental campaigning, environmental organizing, the electrical industry, and advocacy. Michael Dorsey is an Assistant Professor in Dartmouth College’s Faculty of Science in the Environmental Studies Program. He is also director of Dartmouth’s Climate Justice Research Project. Dorsey’s scholarship focuses on global environmental governance and sustainability, with an emphasis on climate and biodiversity policy and environmental justice.

Dorsey and Weber are co-authors of the recently released report: “The Plan: How the U.S. Can Help Stabilize the Climate and Create a Clean Energy Future,” available at: usclimateplan.org.

Michael Dorsey: “The 19th United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties or ‘COP’ meeting flirts dangerously close with being dubbed a ‘Conference of Polluters.’ The head honcho of the process, Christina Figueres [executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change], offered gentle fig leaves to coal industry CEOs. While she refused to address activists across the street from the conference venue, she told coal industry CEOs and representatives at the concurrent International Coal and Climate Summit in Warsaw that they had ‘the opportunity to be part of the worldwide climate solution.’ Figueres never once mentioned that social movement organizations especially in the U.S. and increasingly abroad, have actively stopped trying to collaborate with coal. Groups like the the Sierra Club, the United States’ largest environmental organization, shifted strategies almost a decade ago to completely shut the 20th century industry down. Working actively with a litany of activists, public health officials, lawyers and other experts, have closed more than 175 coal fired power plants in 10 years. While Figueres suggested to industry representatives that ‘low emission’ coal with Carbon Capture and Sequestration might be a significant part of a changing world, there are few proven examples of working CCS today, which is why even many industry representatives have stopped talking about it as a solution. Figueres’ remarks were also out of step with the state of ongoing vast political, economic, and legal sea changes — especially in coal financing.

Evan Weber: “We can’t rely on the same technologies that are driving us towards climate catastrophe to get us out of it. The clean and safe renewable technologies of the future exist today. We just need to create the political environment where they can flourish.”

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Sydney Levy is the Director of Advocacy of Jewish Voice for Peace. He has worked for over 15 years in nonprofits advocating for LGBT human rights organizing for media justice, and assisting in the preparation of death row appeals. He is the son of Egyptian Jews who immigrated to Venezuela, where he was born. Sydney lived in Jerusalem for seven years, where he received his Masters degree in Jewish History from the Hebrew University. Sydney has been working with JVP–first as a volunteer, then as a staff member–since 2000.

Quote from Rebecca Vilkomerson (executive director of Jewish Voice for Peace): “We strongly support continuing diplomatic efforts with Iran at this critical moment. We see calls to pass new sanctions or restrictive policy language that would undercut U.S. diplomatic efforts as counter-productive and dangerous. Jewish American institutions that are promoting these measures are not representative of the Jewish American community.”

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