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(06 Mar) 170201 Wenonah Hauter - Smoke, Fumes and Big Oil

2016 will be the hottest year on Earth since data keeping began 136 years ago. Donald Trump says climate change is a hoax created by the Chinese. He says he will gut the Environmental Protection Agency and pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate change agreement. We can get out of this death spiral. There is an abundance of low-cost solar and wind renewable energy. Despite all the evidence that the planet is heating up, the corporado's addiction to fossil fuelishness continues. But there is push back. The resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline project by the Standing Rock Sioux in North Dakota has inspired indigenous people and their allies the world over. The needs of humanity and Mother Nature are much more important than the bottom lines of the fossil fuel industry.

Wenonah Hauter is the founder and Executive Director of Food & Water Watch. She has worked extensively on food, water, energy and environmental issues. She served as Director of Public Citizen's Energy and Environment Program. She is the author of Frackopoly: The Battle for the Future of Energy and the Environment.

(13 Mar) 170202 Simone Campbell - From a Nun on a Bus

B.B. King sings, "Nobody likes you but your mama and she may be jiving you too." A lot of poor people may feel that way. They are stigmatized and demonized. If they'd only go away. What's wrong with them? Can't they find a job or a place to live? The persistence of poverty in the U.S., perhaps the richest country in history, is a national disgrace, a shanda as they say in Yiddish. Neoliberal economic policies have produced huge inequality. Who suffers the most? Children. Almost 15 million children were poor in 2015, with more than two-thirds in working families who toil away in our low-growth, low-wage economy. A disproportionate number are Black, Latino and Native American. There's no money to alleviate poverty, we're told. Are you kidding? There's plenty of dough to enrich the imperial war machine.

Simone Campbell is a Catholic nun and an attorney who lobbies in Washington on issues of economic justice, immigration reform, and healthcare. She belongs to the Sister of Social Service and is the executive director of the NETWORK Lobby for Catholic Social Justice. Campbell's recent memoir is A Nun on the Bus.

(20 Mar) 170203 Noam Chomsky - Utopia

In the darkest of times we have to imagine that a world of equality and environmental and social justice is possible. Are we dreamers? Not practical? Out of touch with reality? Perhaps. But throughout history it has been small groups of visionary activists who ignite the flame and light up the darkness and show us the way forward. Progressive change happens when people rise up and struggle for it. In Howard Zinn's masterwork, A People's History of the United States, he closes with these lines from the poet Shelley which were recited by women garment workers to one another in New York sweatshops a century ago:
"Rise like Lions after slumber
In unvanquishable number!
Shake your chains to earth, like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you-
Ye are many; they are few!"

Noam Chomsky, by any measure, has led a most extraordinary life. In one index he is ranked as the eighth most cited person in history, right up there with Aristotle, Shakespeare, Marx, Plato and Freud. He has been a leading voice for peace and social justice for many decades. Chris Hedges says he is "America's greatest intellectual" who "makes the powerful, as well as their liberal apologists, deeply uncomfortable." At 88, he still gives lectures all over the world. He is the author of scores of books, including Propaganda and the Public Mind, How the World Works, and Power Systems with David Barsamian.

(27 Mar) 170204 Medea Benjamin - The Saudi - US Sinister Alliance

The Saudi-U.S. relationship takes crucial shape in 1945 when FDR meets with Abdul Aziz ibn Saud, the king of Saudi Arabia, on a U.S. destroyer in the Suez Canal. The essence of the get together was to insure Saudi's vast oil reserves would be the special preserve of U.S. oil companies. In return Washington would guarantee the security of the kingdom. The agreement has generated a windfall of profits for the oil cartel. Politically it has had sinister consequences. The U.S. has basically ignored the repressive and feudalistic order within the kingdom as well as for its support of Wahhabi extremist fundamentalists around the world. Saudi Arabia is a veritable gold mine for U.S. arms merchants and with those weapons Riyadh has committed major war crimes in neighboring Yemen. With friends like these, as the saying goes, who needs enemies?

Medea Benjamin is a renowned peace activist and social justice advocate. She travels around the world and documents human rights violations. She's co-founder of Global Exchange and CODEPINK. She is the recipient of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Peace Prize from the Fellowship of Reconciliation. She is the author of many books including Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control and Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S.-Saudi Connection.

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Alternative Radio (Aust.) PO Box 687 Cowes VIC 3922 Australia
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www.araustralia.org