Up | December 08, 2012
>>> in just a moment, a quick update on the story we've been following. i've commented about the unfolding drama in the new york state senate and my frustration with andrew cuomo 's unwillingness to help democrats get a majority in the body. despite a redistricting map, democrats won 31 seats and are expected to win two additional recounts which would give them a majority in the 63-seat body. one democrat announced immediately after the election he'd be caucusing the republicans and four members of the self-described independent democratic caucus who joined the republicans last time around will join them again aalong with a new member kroeting a dominated majority in the senate despite democrats gains at a ballot box . where 40% of residents are nonwhite this new majority is 90% white. governor cuomo tentatively endorsing the new coalition citing private he dysfunction and laying out a litmus test for a new body. some of these ideas are questionable but some are excellent progressive ideas that need to pass. i agree with governor co-he mow the issue is outcomes and not process. having given his blessing to the new arrangementses, the governor owns the outcomes it produces. progressives should judge him by the outcomes. do they raise the minimum wage and the frisk policy and most importantly does it pass an ambitious public financing law for campaigns? the governor asked voters and progressives to judge him on what his administration delivers, not how the senate majority came to be. we will be happy to oblige him. we'll be watching very closely. what do we know now we didn't last week? we we know more clearly who will suffer most severely from the effects of climate change , the source of much of the world's oil, northern africa and much of the middle east . it is not the region's oil bar rans that will pay the price. rising temperatures and reduced rainfall will have a devastating effect on the region's most vulnerable. household incomes will drop 7% in tunisia. malaria and malnutrition will be wild spread. while today's world leaders stand by and let it happen , the young people that will inherit this hostile planet are taking action. as bill discussed, his group is helping students to push their college to divest their endowments. union president wrote a letter saying, in the near future , the political tide will turn and the public will demand action on climate change . our students are already demanding action and we must not ignore them. he told "the new york times" the endowment is not to be invested for social purposes. we now know some institutions prefer not to see that they are linked to social purposes.
>>> as the gases put in the air by big korgss transfer our world to one more prone to weather-related disaster, we now know that other kormgss are working hard to block the changes we need to deal with the consequences. a new report details how cell phone carriers have waged a campaign that would require them to improve cell phone service during disaster, specifically after katrina. they fought off a rule that would require them to have 24 hours of backup power in reserve. in the first hours after sandy struck, at&t and sprint did not release details on where their service was down. we know the forces of the status quo and incumbent interests will have to be fought every step of the way if we want a sustainable future. i want to find out what my guests know now they did not know at the beginning of the week. kate?
>> mine is a dod piece and some good news. during the height of the election campaign , on a partisan move, the house took out dollars from dod 's budget for energy efficiency and renewable energy . post election, it is restored. that's important. dod is the biggest concern of energy. second, dod has become a great driver of innovation just like darpa did on the internet. the last one is something that dave touched on, the credibility of renewables. when you are talking security and dod cares, it brings in a whole different perspective in furtherance of renewables and efficiency.
>> there is a tremendous amount of research dollars in the world of the pentagon as we saw. a lot of times technologies that begin at military technology , gps, started as military and become broadly successful as the cost comes down.
>> last week, nasa released images from a satellite using high regulasolution, visible and infrared resolution to reveal the most detailed we have seen. it was another reminder of the reality in which we live where you have 1.5 billion people without power. you look at africa. it is basically a continent shrouded in darkness. that is something we keep needing to remind ourselves. for any of your viewers that want to know what they can do to help bring light and power.
>> to get to that $1 billion budget.
>> absolutely and hope to the poorest people in the world. i would like to welcome them to visit our website, self.org.
>> for full disclosure, i always give it every year. it is incredibly worthy to give to. folks should check that out.
>> i learned that rio tinto , the mining company , is using wind turbines for a diamond mind in northern canada , not for environmental reasons but because it is the only reliable source of fuel. in a lot of con text, renewables are the best source of electricity for people.
>> is that a situation where you can have power generation local and not have to be hooked up to the grid or extend lines out?
>> it is. it is important to point out, renewables can happen a lot of different ways, do what bob is doing and have solar panels on people's roof or you can have the big power projects that are big wind turbines like what my company has done and others and big solar projects. wind and solar can be either grid connected or stand-alone. it depends on the problem you are trying to solve.
>> it has been taken for grapted by politics watchers that at the federal level , climate politics is broken, nothing out of the federal government . it turns out not to be true. there is a provision of the clean air act that obama can use to reduce total u.s. carbon emissions 10% by 2020 with the stroke of his pen without permission from congress. he has no excuse now. if people are looking for a place to focus their energy on trying to make something actually happen here, this is a tool that is laying on the table. right now, the epa is very nervous about using it and could use some bucking up, i think.
>> the epa is in the midst of a process about what rules are going to come out. they have come out with some rules and others. the supreme court has authorized them to regulate carbon. . they have that legal authority . they have put out this report sketching out a way they could go about doing it in a plausible fashion that wouldn't be too much.
>> if you are interested in the details, i wrote it up at grist.org, which also deserving $1 billion.
>> my thanks to kathleen m mcginty, bob freeland, shalini, and dave roberts from grist.org. thanks for getting up. thank you for joining us today from