Dr. Jill Stein on Capitalism, the most important question of the climate struggle, and just how long we have before the planet will no longer support civilization.
Days before the Earth Day to May Day Global Climate Convergence kicked off, Dr. Jill Stein talked with Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV in a wide-ranging conversation about her hopes for the Convergence, a first response to ShowTime’s new series Years of Living Dangerously, and why the Climate Justice movement is all about jobs.
Dennis talks with Dr. Jill Stein, President of the Green Shadow Cabinet about the recently published U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) fifth assessment on climate change. The findings, combined with the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community, paint a picture of humanity committing a collective genocide and ecocide. The end of civilization scenarios, once projected for your grandchildren’s grandchildren are now a reality for anyone ho plans to be alive in 2050.
“The IPCC has finally stepped up to the plate in saying what we are up against,” says Dr. Stein, “but they have not begin to step up to the plate, in fact they are really not qualified to say how we fix this. The IPCC is not calling for radical transformation. They have yelled, ‘fire!’ and come out with a squirt gun. What they are calling for is not what we need.”
In the second half of the show, Dennis sits down with Dr. Margret Flowers.
Recently, Dr. Flowers initiated an online petition declaring herself a conscientious objector to the Affordable Care Act and asking others to send a message to President Obama that the ACA is a scam.
“The most important conversation we should be having right now in the United States is not how many people are insured,” says Dr. Flowers “knowing that insurance is not protective, it’s: do we want to continue to treat healthcare as a commodity where people only get what they can afford, or do we want to join the rest of the industrialized nations in the world and treat healthcare as a public good and create a system where people can get what they need.”
Bios: Dr. Jill Stein (@DrJillStein) is a mother, physician, longtime teacher of internal medicine, and pioneering environmental-health advocate. She was the 2012 Green Party presidential nominee and current president of the Green Shadow Cabinet. She is also an initiator behind the Global Climate Convergence, which is an education and direct action campaign running from Mother Earth Day to May Day. It seeks to build collaboration across national borders and fronts of struggle to harness the transformative power we already possess as a thousand separate movements springing up across the planet.
Dr. Margaret Flowers (MFlowers8)is a pediatrician from Baltimore who is an organizer at PopularResistance.org,co-directs ItsOurEconomy.us and co-hosts Clearing the FOG on We Act Radio. She is adviser to the board of Physicians for a National Health Program and is on the steering committee of the Maryland Health Care is a Human Right campaign.
Cheri Honkala of the Poor Peoples Economic Campaign and Vice President of the Green Shadow Cabinet joins the host Dennis Trainor, Jr. and the Resistance Report panel (Nicole Carty (The Other 98%), Julianna Forlano (Absurdity Today) and Joel Northam (Acronym TV Contributor) – to discuss the jobs crisis in the United States, the perpetually underemployed, and the impact of a raise in the minimum wage versus a policy that guaranteed an income for all.
Only hours before Paul Ryan and Patty Murray announced that they reached a two year budget agreement (The BiPartisan Budget Act of 2013), representatives from a broad coalition demanding a budget that would cut military expenditures in order to increase funding for a wide range of domestic programs called on Congressional leaders to craft a budget for people, peace and the planet.
Now, because this broad coalition included over a hundred peace, anti-hunger, anti-poverty, environmental and community groups it is almost universally ignored within the walls of Congress. That is one reason why part of that call came in the form of an unscheduled visit to the office of Paul Ryan and Patty Murray.
David Swanson, writing at War is a Crime points out, the Murray Ryan Budget deal, which sets aside more than 50% of the 2014 budget for the military budget is an unbelievable outrage to churn out on International Human Rights Day while numerous members of Congress were off in South Africa claiming to support the use of nonviolence to effect change in the world. At a press conference before the office visits, speakers representing a Budget for People, Peace and the planet spoke to the media.
Speakers at the news conference included the following: Jill Stein, Green Shadow Cabinet; Cheri Honkala, Liz Ortiz, and Glen Davis of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign; David Swanson, Roots Action; Mark Dunlea, Hunger Action Network of New York State; Dr. David Schwartzman, Professor Emeritus Howard University and community activist.
In what should be another colossal embarrassment for the United States- recently leaked internal documents show how little our government is prepared to take responsibility for the damage done by climate change, the negative effects of which are caused by our hyper capitalist culture of consumption without consequence.
“In an internal briefing paper prepared for its diplomats across the world ahead of the Warsaw climate negotiations, which The Hindu has accessed, the U.S. has opposed the setting up of a separate process on ‘loss and damage’, pushed primarily for the role of private investments and finance in providing the promised money to the poor countries to adapt to climate change and have a 2015 climate agreement where no country is forced to take higher emission reduction pledges than the ones they initially volunteer. It also informed its diplomats to keep pushing the line with other countries that the U.S. was doing enough domestically on the climate change front and these were priorities for President Barack Obama and John Kerry.”
There are two things at play here. One is setting limits and playing a chess game over who will pay for the climate change damage that will come – and disproportionally affect less developed countries that have not the means to defend themselves from human induced climate change or contribute to the conditions that will harm or kill them The other thing at play, the Giant Pink Elephant in the room that our world leaders can’t seem to deal with is the reality, as outlined in a study by the Global Carbon Project, of a 4 or 6 degree Celsius increase in global temperatures that could mark a significant and perhaps final chapter in the story of our species.
The hear no evil see no evil attitude of mainstream media outlets here in the United States about the ongoing crisis at the Fukushima nuclear facility in Japan does not obscure the fact that, in the attempt to mitigate future catastrophic damage, the global community is faced with challenges unique in the history of humankind. Members of the Green Shadow Cabinet traveled to the UN on Thursday to deliver a petition signed by 150,000 citizens of the world demanding that the government of Japan transfer responsibility for the Fukushima reactor site to an international engineering firm overseen by a civil society panel and an international group of nuclear experts. Additionally, the petition demanded that the global media be permitted around-the-clock access to accurate information throughout the entire process of removal of the spent fuel rods so that the international community can be informed of any risks to its health.
Also covered in this week’s episode of the Resistance Report:
Abortion Providers Are Heroes (segment starts at 8:01) – An Interview with Sunsara Taylor of StopPatriarchy.org, who just returned from Jackson, Mississippi where the last abortion clinic in that state was under siege from the anti-choice group Operation Save America, described by StopPatriarchy.org as an “extreme, violence inciting, women-hating Christian fascist organization.”
Lessons From Occupying Hurricane Sandy (segment starts at 17:05) Pamela Brown’s report on those who had spent time occupying Zuccotti park as part of the Occupy Wall Street and then turned their energy towards providing mutual aid to those affected by Hurricane Sandy.
A Grassroots Effort to Make Grass Legal in Maine (segment starts at 23:05) Asher Platts, known to many of you through his work as the Punk Patriot, joins the Resistance Report team to give us the story behind the story of how grassroots – no pun – organizing helped bring legalized Marijuana to Maine.
What Is The Main Obstacle To Change? (segment starts at 26:19) Lee Camp, inspired by Tarak Kauff, breaks down what is perhaps the largest obstacle to systemic change.
An interview with Jill Stein, President of the Green Shadow Cabinet.
The Green Shadow Cabinet calls on President Obama to pardon Bradley Manning for his courageous work exposing U.S. war crimes and State Department deception. Thanks to Manning’s revelations of Iraqi deaths and human rights abuses by the American military, Iraq refused to renew immunity for U.S. soldiers, forcing President Obama to pull out at the end of 2011. Thus, Manning deserves much of the credit for ending the immoral, devastating, multi-trillion dollar U.S. occupation of Iraq.
In your recently published blog post 90 Million Are Planning Not to Vote – Your Mission: Take Just One of Them to the Polls, you wisely ignore the myth of the undecided voter and aim for a voting block that can truly affect the outcome of this election. When you write:
“I want you—yes, YOU, the person reading this right now—to get ONE of your fellow Americans who would not otherwise vote to show up at the polls and support Obama.
Here’s the math: there are upwards of five million of you seeing this, via email, on my website, here on the Huffington Post and all over the Internet. There are 1.2 million following me on Twitter. I’ve got almost 700,000 Facebook friends.
I want just one million of you to convince just ONE person each—one person who’s planning NOT to vote—to go to the polls and vote for Barack Obama. That’s it. And those million extra votes could make all the difference in what will be a very tight election—and it will save us from a tragic return to the Bush years.” (Emphasis mine)
Michael, I want you, yes YOU, the real Michael Moore—not your assistant, cousin or barber—to know that you can count me among your 1.2 million twitter followers, and of 700,000 facebook friends. I just know I am one of your bestest of friends.
On top of that, I am a fan of your documentaries. Fahrenheit 9/11, Capitalism: a Love Story, and Bowling for Columbine made me weep like a menopausal hairdresser curled up on her couch with a gaggle of cats watching a double feature of Sophie’s Choice and Terms of Endearment. You are a big part of the reason I set out to make a documentary of my own. Did you know that a glowing review of my documentary on the Occupy movement, American Autumn is even published on your website. Have you seen the movie? You are in it you know—making grand pronouncements about the Wall Street criminals and praising the revolutionaries in the streets.
In the fall of 2011, Michael, you were among the highest of profiles pointing out that the Occupy movement is, again, in your own words, a “movement against the greed of corporate America and its banks—and the money that now controls most of our democratic institutions.” And that “the majority of Americans now agree that a nation where 400 billionaires have more wealth than 160 million Americans combined is not the country they want America to be. The 99% are rising up against the 1%—and now there is no turning back.”
Michael, I am sure it will come as no surprise to you that a statistically significant number (I dare say an overwhelming majority) of those who chanted at one time or another ,“We are unstoppable, another world is possible” or even, “We are the 99%!” do not see voting for Obama as part of their “rising up.” Can we agree on that much?
Now don’t get me wrong. I am not going to make a case that there is no difference between Romney and Obama. While dying peacefully in one’s sleep is more appealing than having one’s limbs torn off by flesh eating zombies, it does not make the former something devoutly to be wished for. Speaking of the politics of fear, the 90 million voters who will sit out this election are just as much a part of the corporate agenda as the selection and election of a lesser of two evils, as Chris Hedges recently made clear in his endorsement of Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Hedges also articulates the importance of aligning with third parties for those of us interested when he writes:
“All the major correctives to American democracy have come through movements and third parties that have operated outside the mainstream. Few achieved formal positions of power. These movements built enough momentum and popular support, always in the face of fierce opposition, to force the power elite to respond to their concerns. Such developments, along with the courage to defy the political charade in the voting booth, offer the only hope of saving us from Wall Street predators, the assault on the ecosystem by the fossil fuel industry, the rise of the security and surveillance state and the dramatic erosion of our civil liberties.”
In comparing a potential Romney victory to a third Bush term, you ignore some inconvenient truths about President Obama’s administration. In this, you are not alone.
Many Obama supporters do not know or willfully block out the facts that Obama has expanded the USA PATRIOT Act, claimed the legal authority to indefinitely detain US citizens without charge or trial, maintains a “kill list,” and has expanded the drone war well beyond the Bush regime. Given Obama’s history of trampling on the Constitution, the irony is that the most compelling argument I have heard to vote for him is that he will install three Supreme Court Justices. Do we really want someone who rubber-stamped the NDAA selecting the next three Supreme Court justices?
Also: Michael, the engineers of the Wall Street corporate greed that you say have hijacked our democracy have a place to occupy after they retire from Wall Street, and that place is at the highest levels of Obama’s Cabinet. The same Obama that you would have others and me try to sell to the 90 million people who are not voting this Tuesday.
Why not, in the spirit of the 99% rising up against the 1%, tell your millions of followers to convince the 90 million non-voting Americans to support Jill Stein, a candidate who has said, quite correctly:
“If public opinion really mattered in this race, we [her presidential ticket] would win. We have majority support in poll after poll on nearly all of the key issues, from downsizing the military budget and bringing the troops home, to taxing the rich, to stopping the Wall Street bailouts, to breaking up the banks, to ending the off-shoring of jobs, to supporting workers’ rights, to increasing the minimum wage, to health care as a human right, through Medicare for all. These are the solutions a majority of Americans are clamoring for.”
In addition to that, Michael, she has been so brazen as to do what Obama failed to do in any of the debates when she uttered not one, but two “C” words, coming hard upon each other: Climate Change.
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