tv Consider This Al Jazeera October 16, 2014 10:00am-11:01am EDT
>> start with one issue ad guests on all sides of the debate. and a host willing to ask the tough questions and you'll get... the inside story ray suarez hosts inside story weekdays at 5pm et / 2pm pt only on al jazeera america >> devastating criticism of america's response to ebola from nurses, as a newly diagnosed nurse who treated thomas eric duncan was allowed to get on a plane. also the war against i.s.i.l, are we winning? the pentagon's main spokesman responds. i'm antonio mora, welcome to "consider this." those and other stories straight ahead. >> we have a second diagnosis of ebola. >> another health care worker at that same hospital. >> as soon as soabl is diagnosed with ebola we want a rapid response team from the
>> the islamic state of iraq and the levant continues to make territorial gains. >> the reason you are seeing more strength there is frankly more i.s.i.l. around kobani. >> the shocking new york times report. >> following 2003 invasion of iraq. >> the government suggests prevented soldiers from receiving proper medical year. >> one of their worst days in years. >> of all the things that can take hold uncertainly has a lot of it lately. >> stop allowing them to be great and allowing them to be good. >> job and expectations are just too high. >> we begin with the news that a second nurse from dallas health presbyterian hospital has contributed ebola while other nurses at that hospital issued a disturbing statement about major failures at the hospital after thomas eric duncan was admitted.
the latest nurse diagnosed with ebola amber vinson was among the 77 people who cared for duncan. wednesday afternoon she was flown to atlanta for treatment center. >> this is a heroic person, a person who dedicated her life and is dedicating her life to helping others. >> alarmingly vinson had flown to cleveland then back to dallas on monday a day before she was diagnosed with the disease. she had a low grade fever already. and al jazeera has confirmed she called the cdc and was told she could fly. before that news broke cdc director dr. thomas frieden said exposed people shouldn't travel on any public transportation and tried to allay the fears of those who flew wit with vinson. >> there is extremely low likelihood that anyone could be
exposed but we're putting in extreme measures of safety and that's why we're contacting everyone from that flight. >> i'm joined by jean ross, of the largest union in the country of nurses. released a statement through their union where they said that they were frustratewith the lack o --frustrated with the lack of training for personal protective equipment for ebola. your union co-president debra berger said were the protocols breached? the nurses say there were no protocols. how is that possible at a hospital like this? >> well, you know, it happened this time at the dallas hospital but truthfully it could have happened at any hospital in our country. when we look at the survey of the nurses who responded, the overwhelming response was, no,
there is no plan in place. there is no hands-on training. there isn't enough protective equipment. we have asked, we have been told to look at a website. look it up ourselves so to speak. so it isn't surprising. it's horrifying. you hope that at lefties one of the hospital -- that at least one of the hospitals has gotten its act together but this unfortunate nurse, now two nurses they had not. >> the statement was really disturbing on a lot of levels. a lot of nurses treated duncan for days without full protection. there was resistance to isolate him before he had been diagnosed with ebola. hazardous waste they said piled up to the ceiling and again this was supposed to be a top hospital. this is proof of what your union last been saying for around ten days that hospitals around the country are simply not ready. >> actually we were saying it longer ago than that. but it took our survey, in order for us to be able to say, you
know, this is what we suspected and indeed, it happens to be true. and it's very distressing. when we heard about the piled linens, the waste, the nurses repeatedlyasking for repeatedly asking for help, what should we do having to wrap yourself with adhesive or paper tape to cover yourself which won't do the trick at all but you know you can sense the desperation of how do i get in there and take care of this patient, and still protect myself? and that should not be the job of the rn. it's our job to speak up when it's not there. when it's not appropriate. but it is the job of the employer to safeguard its employees. >> talking about the employer, dr. daniel ga var
varga, had this to say. >> i think the biggest problem we have now is first and foremost, the screening of the patients in the community. >> the nurses seem to think otherwise. going back to this we keep being told that we have this robust health system that we are prepared, coming even from the president of the united states. why do you think there was this mistaken impression that hospitals were as prepared as they should be for something as contagious and deadly as ebola? >> traditionally, that is what our hospitals do. we've known that for years. it's sort of a facade. i always tell patients, visitors if they haven't figured it out for themselves most of them know. we are there 24-7. the nurses have your back. we will always protest if something is not right. when hospital he do run well
it's because of the staff they have. it's not necessarily that our hospitals are so top-notch. we have a lot of technology in this country that kind of thing and people look at what they consider a good hospital, they look at things like technology, state of the art. but truthfully you need people in place who really know what they're doing. so when we have sometimes been criticized for being panic mongers, what we are trying say is no. when you get pappic is when you can -- panic is when you cannot trust what people are telling you as the truth. >> it's a very important point. >> yes. what the nurses have been saying for some time is, we are not prepared. don't hide it, don't pretend. don't try to make things sound better than they are. get ready. >> what about the whole monitoring issue? we've been told that the health care workers that treated duncan are being monitored, amber vinson was being monitored yet
she stil still got on two planes, one is a temperature of 99.5. monitoring these people who have been exposed to thomas duncan? >> well, i probably have read the same types of things that you have. i don't know for sure. but what i do know is, what you're describing here is the same kind of inconsistency, the same kind of fragmented advice. and we're going to continue to get that in this country because of the health care system, if you want to call it that, that we have. it is very fragmented. you can't -- there needs to be a coordinated effort from the top that says, these are the guidelines you will adhere to. this is type of equipment and enough of it, there is number of staff, minute repl minimally the for one patient at a time. these are the standards that we need and quite frankly the
public needs keep them safe. >> president obama wednesday afternoon said that ebola would be dealt with and the monitoring would be dealt with in a more aggressive way. jean ross very good of you to join us. thank you. >> you're welcome. >> turning now to the war against i.s.i.l. this exclusive footage of i.s.i.l. fighters battling the iraqi military was captured in the saladin province in northern iraq. meanwhile, the campaign against kurdish fighters continued, losing more than half of it in previous days of fighting. for more i'm joined by pentagon press secretary rear admiral john kirby. 18 strikes against i.s.i.l. targets in just the past 24
hours and that follows a heavy day of bombing around kobani on tuesday also on monday. some reports are suggesting that these strikes are working that cubd kurdish forces are beginning to take back the town. what took so long for the intensity of that bombing campaign to grow? >> well, one of the reasons it's intensified antonio is there are more i.s.i.l. targets around kobani. i.s.i.l. very much wants that town and they have been flowing more resources to it therefore there are more targets, there are more opportunities to hit them. i will also remind you we have been targeting in and around kobani for quite some time, a week to ten days. it's just that the last couple of days we've had more opportunities to go after targets and we've taken opportunities. >> are you getting more help to fight i.s.i.l?
>> i won't comment on how we come upon information to target but i am confident we know what we're aiming at. >> susan rice announced on sunday that turkey had agreed to open up their air bases so that the u.s. could -- especially inerlikt in turkey. even today, general john allen the special presidential envoy to fight i.s.i.l. said the talks are ongoing. so where are we when it comes to using our military bases? >> well look the turks obviously said they are going to contribute to this coalition and we welcome whatever support they can give. they have already said they would help us with training and equipping with respect to opposition members and agreed to use of some facilities, that's absolutely true.
what ambassador rice said on sunday. the details are still being worked out, that is also true. there is a team from u.s. central command and european central command in ankara as we speak to hammer out the details. >> but we aren't conducting flights from inerlikt yet? >> we have lots of areas within the region we can conduct the strikes from. >> what about the meetings u.s. had with military leaders and coalition partners on tuesday? following meeting the joint chiefs issued a statement that while the coalition has strategic momentum, i.s.i.l. has the tactical momentum. what exactly does that mean? >> that means we need to take the long view, put simply. we know that we are having an effect on i.s.i.l.'s ability to maintain itself, to sustain
itself, to train, to equip, to finance, we are already hitting them strategically where it hurts. and we are definitely having an effect on them on the ground. they can't communicate the way they used to. they can't operate. they're disbursing more. -- dispersing more. we know we have an effec effect on then pull on a day-to-day basis, they still want infrastructure and they still have the capability to go out and take it and this gets to our question about kobani, we still see them very actively trying to take that ground. circulate. >> at least the pentagon is admitting on the ground, i.s.i.l. is making progress but josh earnest the white house spokesperson is clear, we are winning now. >> there is absolutely no grap between the white house and the -- gap between the white house and the pentagon here.
we execute the orders of the commander in chief. this is a long campaign and we have to be compared for that. i can tell you everybody at the pentagon heard the commander in chief loud and clear. there are days when we don't have the success that we want but you have to take the long view and that is what we're about here at the pentagon. >> how about anbar province and baghdad and its airport, how quickly can we push them back in that area? >> i think quite frankly some of the reports about the imminent threat to the airport in baghdad have been exaggerated. i'm not suggest and i'm not saying that i.s.i.l. units or forces or individuals are not still posing a threat to the capital city. we believe that they continue to want to pose a threat to the capital city and we've hit some targets there not too long ago but we do not assess that the capital city is under imminent threat of falling. the iraqi forces continue to
stiffen their resolve around the town and the city and we continue to see that as a above sign but there is no imminent threat to the airport or the city. >> let's talk about ebola. today general darryl williams said the lion's share of the 17 treatment units we are building there would be completed late november and early december. we're talking about 1700 beds. but the world health organization session there core 10,000 new cases -- could be 10,000 new case he each week. ow safe are our troops? >> we are committed to do whatever we can lending our capabilities to this very, very important fight against this deadly disease. the military have unique capabilities. we will there be as long as it's required to be there to help with logistics engineering and training. i think we should be mindful of the fact that it's very hard to get infrastructure established down there if in liberia.
firm it's rainy season, monsoon season, there are hours a day that our troops can't get to work because of the rain. there are also some places where we're putting these emergency treatment units in really remote locations. no roads, or roads that do exist are dirt and often mud. it's very, very hard to get things established. we know there's a clock ticking and we want to go as fast as we possibly can but there's a if the limit because of the area we're working in. >> finally i have to ask you about new york times report that says american troops that fought in iraq were injured after exposure to chemical weapons that had apparently been abandoned by saddam hussein during the iraq war. the times said the pentagon suppressed the findings of those weapons, isn't it what we were looking for, the weapons of mass drugs?
why keep it-- mass drugs? instruction, why kee diswruks, why keep it -- destruction why keep it a secret? >> we said in that hearing that there could very well be more and there turned out to be more and in keeping with the chemical weapons convention we detailed and disclosed as much as we could as soon as we could. for a while there there was a limit to how fast we could disclose because we were trying to protect intelligence and sources and we didn't want to make it more dangerous at the time. now that we have left iraq, iraq is in charge of filing these reports and they have done that, the government of iraq. there was no effort to keep secrets. in fact, nothing but. >> is there a danger that i.s.i.l. could get hold of some
that may remain in iraq? >> certainly there is a possibility. we don't rule that out. we have no indication that they have or they are trying to obtain. but i would make a couple of points, this is very old material, doesn't mean it would be not harmful or dangerous but difficult to weaponnize. >> thank you admiral. >> thank you. >> here are other stories from around the world. we begin with a bit of a scare on wall street. the dow plummeted at one point dropping more than 400 points nearly 2.5% before rebounding and finishing down 173 about 1%. the s&p 500 and the nasdaq also had rough rides but both rebounded ending down less than 1%. this raises concerns that the market may face a correction.
in which the market drops more than 10% from a peak. protesters screaming abuse. a new video appears to show plain clothes police officers, dragging a protester and dragging and kicking him. the incident is under investigation but after three weeks, tensions are still high. we end in bel belgrade whera european soccer qualifier between serbia and albania was cancelled because of a droab. serbian forces thousands of forces in 1998. a serbian player ripped down the flag, serbian media is reporting that the albanian prime minister's brother was arrested suspected of releasing the drone. and that's some of what's
happening around the world. coming up president obama's opinion numbers reaches new lows. christine todd whitman joins us to discuss it. and chemical weapons in iraq and the information that our social media producer, hermela aregawi, what's happening? >> forced to cancel a seat because even after she received death threats, police told her they couldn't stop attendees from bringing in guns. the details coming up. while you're watching join the conversation. tweet your comments or >> an american votes 2014 special report kansas >> in our state, government is broken >> a republican governor has made drastic changes >> the highlight of this is... eventually doing away with income taxes... >> the democratic challenger says, these policies aren't working >> we are trailing the states in our region
category the ones that he can do the least damage to. >> american economic greatness has never trickled down from the top. it grows from a risin rising thg middle class. >> i'm not on the ballot this fall but make no mistake, these policies are on the ballot. every single one of them. >> but the democratic party has faced dangerous head winds as the president's approval ratings have bottomed out. he's on the campaign trail as the races have made clear. >> obama is a zero. go down to the worst presidents. >> i'm give president obama a 6 or 7. >> policies according to barack obama are on the ballot, every single one of them. >> joining us here in new york
is christine todd whitman the first woman governor of new jersey, she served in the cabinet of george bush and the author of it is my party too, and she's currently co-chair of the republican leadership council and president of the whitman strategy group, a management consulting and strategic planning group in new york. >> good to be with you. >> the president talks about the economy as something that we should be focused on and almost immediately the stock market goes into a roller coaster. ebola has turned out to be more hard to get our hands around than the president thought and east. how much is this his fault? >> you can't blame him for all of this. there's enough blame to share,
we can't focus on placing blame but we should be focused on solutions. there are concrete things we can do to help constrain ebola and the spread of ebola. we ought to be doing those. issue. when the economy tanks it hurts everybody. we need to talk about coming back, the united states is doing better than europe, starting to come back, it's slow, not what we want. what do we do to make it better, how do we really deal with i.s.i.s. and i.s.i.l, can we do it from the air, can we do it from the ground? this is a time to have a substantive discussion of what you do and partisanship is overriding everything. >> i'll get to partisanship in a moment. let's get to the abc news poll, lowest approval ratings of the president's two terms. he's down at 40% approval. the democrats themselves as i
said, their approval rating is 39%. that's the worst it's been since the 1980s. so it's certainly not a picture that is very positive for them. and when presidents have had this kind of approval rating at this point in their presidencies there have been wave mid term elections for other party. do you see that happening? >> congress ratings are so bad people are saying, a pox on your house. when the president is a factor in the races i don't know he's going to be the overriding factor because tip o'neil said all politics is local when i.t. comes down to local things. we have seen races change dramatically based on a candidate's misstep, when it comes down to the october surprise, the last minute surprise. it looks better for the republicans than it did a little while ago, a few weeks ago but i
wouldn't necessarily bet on the outcome at this point. >> even though the rating of the democrats are worst than it has been in 30 years, republicans are worth. >> we're not doing well. >> republicans in the house are even less than the president plp. president. >> less are of evils -- lesser of evils is not a good thing. >> we saw what happened in kentucky when the democratic sen senatorial committee has pulled out, to unseat a republican from the senate. >> she could have made her mistakes. >> the mistake was about the president, her not being willing to admit she vote for him or not. then she talked about illegal immigrants as wet backs. she's made some of her own -- >> how does that happen that a
candidate makes a mistake and then doubles down on that mistake a few days later? >> in fairness to her it is supposed to be private, your vote and if you don't want to say you shouldn't have to say. >> true. >> i mean the idea that we sunlt are having this is a litmus test and you have to tell me who you voted for, this is a privacy of the ballot box and i don't have to tell you. >> 77% think we're not going the right direction. how big is that an issue? >> that is a big part of the vote, at the end of the day, it is the economy stupid. am i going to continue working continue to support my family, have health care, and even the health care part of it, when you add on what's happening the instability in the world and the lack of confidence people have in the administration's ability to deal with these issues or congress's ability, again not just the president and not just democrats but everybody, that
is -- that's troubling. that's really troubling whether people don't have hope. >> again this partisanship, the question is whether republicans really have an answer or just being negative to everything the president proposes. there's an interesting piece in the daily beast that this election, it suggests, is going to have all sorts of consequences.the argument it makes is the democrats who are likely to lose the elections in the mid terms in the senate are mostly moderate senators and the republicans that are going to win are mostly excessiv mostly conservative. do you think that's getting worse? >> my only hope is that, we've got to do something for the country. we elect people not to represent their parties but to represent us. and we elect them to solve problems and right now the problems are getting to the
point where you cannot ignore them. i mean you've got to start taking steps and again as i said earlier with things like ebola there are positive and proactive steps we can take to contain this, both in africa and in the united states. and we need to do it all. we can't just say we're not going to -- we're going to draw up the draw bridges and borders and close everything down. that's not the way the world works anymore. we've got to be more sensitive. it's got to be up to us the voters to let our elected representatives know. >> christine todd whitman, good to talk to you. >> thank you. >> military secrecy surrounding the recovery of saddam hussein's chemical weapons and the health problems suffered by some of the soldiers who found them. while active chemical nuclear and biological facilities were
never found, between 2004 and 2007 american workers recovered some 5,00 5,000 chemical weapons. mustard gas and serin gas. he's a member of secretary of state john kerry's security advisory board and member of the council on foreign relations. his latest book, nuclear nightmares, securing the world. in part, over iraqi mass destruction, american soldiers have reportedly found 5,000 chemical war heads and bombs. they were all at least a decade old but does that support in any way bush administration claims that adam wa saddam was still sn and could have used the world's deadliest weapons?
>> oh no, those claims were all completely disprofd an absolutely disproved. there were no plans to start their programs. we went into iraq looking for wmd. but as this story in the new york times describes, when the troops actually found these old shells, weapons from pre-1991, they weren't equipped to destroy them. they weren't equipped to handle them. and in fact, the government denied that these weapons were ever found. >> and the thing is that official secrecy around the discovery and the handling of the weapons it's so hard to understand. a couple of quotes from the new york times, former major jarrod lamphere is nothing of
significance what i was ordered to tell. oh, chemical weapons in iraq? there were plenty. between 2004 and 2011, even if the findings didn't come close to substantiating the exaggerated claims of the bush administration why the secrecy? >> so perplexing. this is a command failure starting at the highest levels. this is really something we should be asking former secretary of defense robert gates about whose tenure covers almost exactly this period, 2004 to 2011. it appears that officials were embarrassed by the discovery. that these were old shells, that they were often u.s -- there was u.s. equipment involved in the manufacturing of these shells. but it's really hard to explain. if they had just told the truth, if they had just been transparent about this, then maybe the troops would have been
prepared for discovery of these shells which continued during all of this time and they would have gotten the treatment that they deserved. these claims that we take care of our troops first and foremost just isn't the case. >> couldn't they have argued though that it was proof that saddam's folks knew thousand ramp up production, that if their claims weren't true that at least saddam posed a serious threat? >> the official government report acknowledges that there were hundreds of shells found. we now know from the new york times that there were more like 5,000. it doesn't really help you understand it. there apparently was some level of embarrassment, some level of not wanting to expose president bush to further criticism. but these are the kinds of questions we should be asking
the commanders at the time and secretary gates. >> and it's very upsetting to hear about the soldiers that were in contact with these chemical weapons, how they were treated when they reported their symptoms. staff sergeant james burns was exposed to serin. he has trouble speaking and holding thoughts. this was the results that this soldier exposed to must tar gas. >> i have a lot of trouble speaking, i've had a headache since 2008. sometimes it gets worse, sometimes it's not so bad. >> what's worse, they weren't trained, to something that was supposed to be there. some soldiers said they were denied receiving the purple heart, disposing of these chemical weapons. >> some instances sol are
engineers got the purple heart, awarded by the army secretary then days later the purple heart was taken away from them. this is inexcusable. we all remember the early days of the war where we saw well protected suited soldiers in chemical protective gear looking and searching for drums of material and nothing was found. the soldiers who actually did find these shells didn't have any of this dpeer an gear and iy instances, picking up these shells in their bare hands. joe, thank you for joining us. >> hermella. >> cancelled a speech at utah state university she said because security measures were inadequate. channelize the representation of women in popular video games. >> violence against women is essentially used as a set piece
to establish or puct punctuate the cdc. >> hated by a particular sect of gaming fans who don't like the focus of her criticism. the critic is a frequent target of threats so even after utah state administrators received threats against her and those who attend the event, she planned to give her talk. but on tuesday, sarkesian cancelled because she said police wouldn't monitor for hand weapons. school officials told her they couldn't prevent guests from bringing in weapons. she tweeted, i'm safe, i'll continue my work, i'll continue speaking out. the whole game industry must stand out against the harassment of women. if you have questions or comments about the story tweet us @ajconsiderthis.
question the scale of our ambitions . who insist that our system cannot tolerate big plans. the scale no longer apply. >> many historians argue that there have been very few great presidents but does that mean we should stop hoping for another one? joining us from washington, d.c. is aaron david miller, the vice president of new initiatives at the woodrow wilson center, he has served for democrat and republican heads of state and author of a new book the end of greatness why america can't have and doesn't want another great president. aaron great to have you with us. the two main points in your title, first why can't we have a great president? you talk about the three cs necessary for one, that they come to the presidency in a time of big crisis, that they need to
have the character and then the capacity to deal with that crisis. you don't see that as something that's achievable in the future? >> well, you know, it may be. it's just the trend lines antonio are running against. 12 presidents and down including barack obama since our last undeniably great one, franklin roosevelt, the alignment of capability, presidential greatness, simply have not come together three undeniably great ones. lincoln washington and roosevelt, all had it. i'm not talking about manageable crises, hot inescapable crisis and that's the reason we don't want another great one because
in our political system the founders even though they wanted an energetic powerful one, separated powers and the only thing that lib rates domesticates the process, leads to cooperate and creates a measure of acquiescence which gets the public to follow is a nation-encumbering process, creates an individual who has culture and capacity, i don't think that alignment has appeared and the truth is do we want it to appear, do we want another profound crisis? >> right because that's what you say, in order to have that rare great president we'd have to be in a situation that was so risky and dangerous we wouldn't want the circumstances to be there for that to happen. >> right. and i'm arguing that the frame of reference that we've created for our presidents, and the
presidents cannot help but create for themselves, always create a level of expectation that goes way beyond their capacity to achieve. take barack obama. i mean historic president perhaps he will be judged ultimately as a consequentl consequential one. but to be the first post-partisan president, to transform the steal mate in wash, i had a post on sunday called him the disappointer in chief. >> you call him the disappointer in chief that he created these great expectations. he can't claim the per so per st
persona of jfk or fdr that you talk about. but you heard that clip where he talked about the ground shaking underneath us. a lot of people got swept up by that home in change. you don't think he had at least the potential of being a great president? he certainly faced a number of crises, the great recession and two wars. >> it is true. and the sum total of that ultimately over time, our presidents age like good wines with time. it's going to take time to judge his effectiveness. who comes after him is going to be extremely important. what happens to the health care initiative? watch? there are numerous factors which are still in play that will speak volumes about how he will be remembered.
but i argue, that in essence, it's less the individual and more the nature of the office itself. i would go as far as to say that the greatest obstacle preventing greatness in the presidency is the nature of the office itself, given the constraints that the office has imposed on itself. given the circumstances. and the complexity, antonio, of the job itself. >> and i know you say we're obsessed with greatness in our leaders and i'm sure we'll be focused on the next possible great leader two years from now and actually given how long presidential campaigns are it's probably going to be a few months. you're a middle east expert before you go -- >> only too soon antonio. >> before you go i want to ask you about this new york times report about the chemical weapons exposure following the 2003 invasion of iraq and u.s.
troops found 5,000 chemical weapons and none of this was disclosed. what is your reaction as to why we didn't hear about it especially since wmds were the main focus of that war? >> yes, well i mulled this over. this article and this whole issue raises serious problems. first, let's start in the present. they found 4500 old chemical weapons and munitions, probably all created since before 1991. largely by saddam in response to his war with the iranians. but did they find them all? and if they didn't find them all, they clearly are in areas in which i.s.i.s. has control. and authority. that is concerning enough. second, why wasn't it publicized. you would think the bush administration might have because it would have validated claims that even though saddam didn't have active stock piles
he did have chemicals. or alternative tiflly, they all predated 1991 so it fundamentally didn't support their argument that saddam had chemical and biological weapons. the other thing concerning me is the liability issue with respect to our troops. maybe the reason they weren't disclosed is because it would have raised serious concerns about american troops operating in areas where, in fact, they were exposed to serin and mustard gas. it is a deeply troubling story and the secrecy and the unwillingness to disclose even to congress is even more troubling. but again, the past is the past. what worries me most is whether or not any of these chemical assets could, however aged they i.s.i.s.
that is a real, real concern. >> again the book is the end of greatness why america can't have and doesn't want another great president. aaron david miller it's always good to have you with us. coming up the devastating impact california's drought is having on the rest of the country and how nasa has been
ivory coast and ghana. fearing ebola, ivory coast shut down its borders with those countries weeks ago, that has sent chocolate prices soaring. fears that cocoa bean prices would soar, cocoa futures spiked to three and a half year highs last month because of the ebola fears. the chocolate industry is concerned and now the world's greatest chocolate companies have pledged a combined $600,000 to support care and prevention in west africa, that's something but only a drop in the bucket of what's needed. the industry is also raising manpower to support the affected
>> california's drought has dragged on for four years. los angeles mayor eric garcetti has put out an executive order to cut use by 40%. the al jazeera series "techknow" takes a greater look at this this week. >> with nearly 430,000 acres 11th unplanted -- left unplanted, the drought is costing california $2.2 billion. and for the nation, an increase in food prices for years to come. >> and if it's dry year it will be disaster that's never been seen before. >> what are you going to do gerry?
>> ists scary to dea >> it's scary to deal with it. >> phil, good to see you. >> good to see you antonio. >> it's really hurting all of us because california farmland is considered the world's food basket, it supplies half of the world's fruits nuts and vegetables. what you found is enormous amounts of farmland unused. >> enormous amounts. over 430,000 acres unused. and so you know one of the big issues is right now, the farmers can kind of hold out, hold onto their land and still produce something but give it a few years if this drought keeps up they're not going to be able to afford to hold onto that land so basically our supply is going to drop and the prices are going to go up. >> you also look at all sorts of other shocking examples of what the drought has wrow
wrought and there are a lot of them. >> it's a really big problem. and it's not just with the water that they're seeing there on the ground. it's also snow melt. and they're seeing that all over the place too. >> the snow pack is at its worse level since 1988 in the sierra nevadas i saw and you saw reservoirs that have been really decimated. >> absolutely. it's unbelievable. it is such a visual reminder. here in los angeles they are used to seeing water come out of the tap. but it's amazing, these lines where the water used to be for years and years not even close. >> and nasa has been brought in. exactly how is it helping? >> nasa ask doing a fantastic job. basically with any big problem like this, you can't deal with
it without understanding it. that's where they come in. they have one satellite and one that will launch soon and planes over the sierra nevadas. they have a huge amount of data, things from note melt to water-- from snow melt to water under the ground. once they get a huge amount of information, they'll hand that over to the water board. hand that over to the government and allow them to make the decisions about what to do with this water, how to help the farmers best. >> science is also making a huge difference when it comes to water filtration because water filtration is very energy-intensive. so it's not an easy solution but they are trying to use solar energy to make it more affordable and recycle groundwater. >> yes, absolutely. you know there's this company called water fx that's doing a great job of that. in the central valley of california that's where the
drought is really hitting hard. to the farmers these guys are able to use sunlight to purify award that's underground that normally has way too much salt in it, sel selenium in it. they're able to purify it. >> this causes the land to go down and that can affect the water we get from aquifers? >> yes. basically if there's no water from the farmers coming down from the mountains what they're doing is digging holes and going underneat. there are aquifers that have been there for a very long time, and we're taking water from them, feeding farms and the land is dropping. we're actually seeing it affect structures and the problem there is that once these aquifers drop a little bit they won't get
filled up to the same level they were before. so we're causing permanent damage to the area as far as water supply goes. >> it's a bad situation. the last wet season was drier than most dry seasons. you take a very interesting look at it, in "techknow," it's called dust bowl. phil good to have you with us as always. thanks. >> good to see you. >> that the it, for "consider this." next time, we'll have unprecedented exposure to senate races. that's it, we're on facebook and twitter @ajconsiderthis and you