Newscast for Tuesday, December 4, 2012
- Year: 2012
- Length: 29:01 minutes (26.57 MB)
- Format: MP3 Mono 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)
House Republicans are circulating a proposal this week explaining how they would solve the fiscal cliff crisis, the tax increases and spending cuts that will happen at the end of the month if no action is taken. Unlike the proposal President Obama announced last week, which allows the Bush Tax Cuts for the wealthy to expire and includes additional stimulus spending, the Republican plan relies on deep cuts to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps and programs for federal employees. With less than a month left to reach an agreement, both corporate lobbyists and grassroots activists are all over Capitol Hill, pushing for lawmakers to protect some interests, and sacrifice others. In Washington, D.C., FSRN’s Alice Ollstein has more.
World leaders are meeting in Auckland, New Zealand for the latest round of Trans Pacific Partnership or TPP negotiations. The partnership now involves eleven countries, including the US, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore and Vietnam and newly included Canada and Mexico. Watchdog groups are in Auckland to monitor the highly secretive negotiations. So far, the public has only learned about the trade deal through leaked copies of the proposals. For more spoke to Lori Wallach, Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch director who is in Auckland. This is an extended version of the interview we broadcast.
New research suggests the world may not be able to stop the planet from warming 2 degrees Celsius, the previous voluntary target agreed to in 2009 during international talks in Copenhagen. A new report published this week in the journal Nature Climate Change states: “A shift to a 2 °C pathway requires immediate significant and sustained global mitigation, with a probable reliance on net negative emissions in the longer term.”
This coincides with new data on carbon emissions from the Global Carbon Project. Researchers found CO2 emissions in 2011 were “the highest in human history and 54% higher than in 1990,” the base year used in the Kyoto Protocol. The largest emitters were China, the United States, the European Union and India. Speaking from the Climate Change talks in Doha, Qatar today, UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said the window of opportunity to avoid dangerous warming is closing:
“Governments have agreed to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 °C above pre-industrial levels. This is technically possible and it is financially viable.”
Ban Ki Moon said countries have a responsibility to reach an effective, universal and binding agreement by 2015. He called on world leaders to meet five goals:
“First, the adoption of a ratifiable second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol…”
Developing countries, many of which are already experiencing the impacts of global warming, are also pushing for stronger financial support to compensate for the damage caused by the emissions of rich countries. David Waskow manages climate change policy work with Oxfam. He said the US and President Obama is falling short at the Doha talks.
“The President needs to ensure that his negotiators here, the re-election message, and act to make it reality. Our children should not be threatened by the destructive power of a warmer planet…”
The Green Climate Fund, established following meetings in 2009 and 2010, was supposed to raise $100 billion a year by 2020. But advocates say rich countries are failing to make good on their pledges.
China's 1.3 billion people are facing multiple threats to their freshwater sources. Development and urbanization are causing thousands of natural lakes to shrink, and rivers are becoming more polluted threatening water security for farmers and city dwellers. Meanwhile, scientists trying to predict what impact melting glaciers and shifting monsoon patterns may have on China’s future generations. From Western China, Mike Ives reports.