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tv   Democracy Now  PBS  September 24, 2015 12:00pm-1:01pm PDT

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09/24/15 09/24/15 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> i am deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of all americans. immigrant, i am happy to be a guest in this country. amy: in his first trip ever to the united states, pope francis speaks at the white house about
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poverty, immigration, and climate change. today he heads to capitol hill, but the pope's visit to washington has not been without controversy. seven people were arrested wednesday after staging a die-in calling for the ordination of women. we will speak with one of the women priests who were arrested, as well as the granddaughter of dorothy day, founder of the catholic worker movement. then when exxon knew about climate change. newly uncovered documents show the company's own scientists confirmed global warming was occurring over three decades ago due to rising carbon emissions. then the company covered it up, spending millions campaigning to stop the world from taking any action. >> we found a trail of documents that go back to 1977. exxon new carbon dioxide was ,ncreasing in the atmosphere that the combustion of also feels was driving at, and this
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post a threat to exxon. amy: we will speak to a former exxon scientist and a reporter from inside climate news. all that and more coming up. welcome to democracy now,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. pope francis continues his first ever trip to the united states by heading to capitol hill today to become the first pope ever to address congress. he spoke at the white house wednesday about immigration, poverty and climate change. alsot seems clear to me is a problemchange we can no longer be left to future generations. [applause]
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when it comes to our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. amy: on wednesday, pope francis also canonized the 18th century spanish missionary junípero serra. the move has drawn strong protest from many indigenous groups. serra founded nine of the 21 missions in california. hundreds of thousands of people died after the missionaries arrived. seven activists have been arrested in a civil disobedience and washington, d.c. to call for , the pope to recognize the rights of women to be ordained. we will be joined later in the broadcast by one of the female priests who was arrested wednesday during the protest. meanwhile, a video of a little girl delivering a letter to pope francis during his papal procession down constitution avenue in washington, d.c. has , gone viral. five-year-old sophie cruz, a u.s.-born citizen whose parents are undocumented immigrants from mexico, slipped past the barricades and delivered a
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wednesday written plea to the pope asking him to help keep her , family together. she later read the letter to the guardian. citizen.n american i live in california. i parents are immigrants from mexico. i want to tell you my heart is sad and i would like to ask you to speak with the president and the congress and legalizing my parents because everyday i am scared of one day they will take them away from me. amy: we'll have more on pope francis' historic six-day visit after headlines with the granddaughter of catholic worker dorothy day and maryknoll publisher robert ellsberg. the chief executive of volkswagen, martin winterkorn, has resigned amid the growing emissions cheating scandal. his resignation comes as germany's transport minister says volkswagen has admitted using the same fake emissions
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test in europe as it used to falsify results in the united states. the justice department is reportedly conducting a criminal investigation into the reports volkswagen illegally installed devices in certain diesel cars in a deliberate bid to avoid epa emissions rules. congress says it will also conduct hearings into the matter. chinese president xi jinping is arriving in washington today ahead of friday's meeting with president obama. his arrival comes as the us -- u.s. office of personnel management has announced that hackers stole the fingerprints of 5.6 million federal employees, far more than previously thought. u.s. intelligence officials have blamed the attack on chinese hackers. earlier this week, president xi jinping met with technology executives in seattle, including amazon founder jeff bezos and apple ceo tim cook. democratic presidential candidate hillary clinton is facing a new round of scrutiny over her use of a personal email server while she was secretary
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of state. fbi investigators say they have recovered a slew of emails that had been deleted from her account. anonymous officials told bloomberg news the recovered emails are both personal and work-related. hillary clinton has apologized for using the private server. in saudi arabia, officials say at least 400 people have died in a stampede near mecca on the first day of eid al-adha, as millions of people were making their pilgrimage to the holy city for the holiday. the stampede occurred during the ritual known as the "stoning the devil" in a tent city about two miles outside mecca. the u.s. state department says it welcomes the announcement that saudi arabia will head a u.n. human rights council panel. the news comes amid a growing international outcry over the scheduled beheading and crucifixion of ali mohammed al-nimr, who was arrested at the age of 17 and convicted of encouraging pro-democracy protests in 2012 during the arab spring. al-nimr is the nephew of a
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prominent cleric, sheikh nimr baqr al-nimr, who has also received a death sentence following pro-democracy protests. u.s. state department spokesperson mark toner was questioned about al-nimr by associated press reporter matt lee tuesday. council and rights today i think they announced that they are about to be had a 21-year-old shia activist. are you aware of that? trial --t aware of the the verdict -- >> he was 17 years old and moved on and now he's been scheduled to be executed. >> i mean, we have, you know, talked about our concerns some of the capital punishment cases in saudi arabia in our human rights support, but i don't have anything more to add to it. amy: spokesperson mark toner went on to say the u.s. would welcome saudi arabia's position
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on the panel because "we're close allies." saudi arabia has executed more than 100 people already this year, mostly by beheading. in mexico, parents of the 43 missing students have set up a protest camp in the center of mexico city and are slated to launch a 43-hour hunger strike saturday, marking the first anniversary of the disappearance of their children. the students went missing in the state of guerrero after coming under attack by local police the night of september 26. an international group of experts have rejected the mexican government's accounts of events, saying the investigation was deeply flawed, and pointing to the role the federal police and military played in the students' disappearance. activists in chicago have announced they will also hold a 43-hour hunger strike over the weekend. in yemen, local officials say a u.s. drone strike has killed two people in marib province, east of the capital sana'a, on tuesday night. the officials are describing the victims as suspected members of al-qaeda. meanwhile, yemeni officials say at least 25 people have died in sana'a after a suicide bomber attacked a houthi-controlled
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mosque during prayers for the eid al-adha holiday thursday. the attack comes a year into the fighting between the houthis and the u.s.-backed saudi-led coalition forces, which has killed more than 4000 people. in burkina faso, president michel kafando has resumed control of the country following an attempted coup last week. kafano was briefly detained by the presidential guard, which is loyal to burkina faso's former longtime president, blaise compaoré. in news from europe, eu leaders have wrapped up a summit meeting addressing the influx of refugees fleeing violence in syria, iraq, afghanistan, somalia, nigeria and other countries. leaders agreed on a plan to resettle 120,000 refugees across the member states. this comes as tens of thousands of people are attempting to make their way across the continent amid continued border crackdowns. croatia and serbia have banned cargo trav between the two countries, as hungarian prime
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minister has mobilized soldiers and prisoners to work on the fence running along the border with croatia. hungary has also placed ads in jordanian media outlets warning refugees not to come to hungary, and that crossing is punishable by imprisonment. in the west bank, hundreds of people have gathered for the funeral of palestinian student hadeel al-hashlamun, who was killed by israeli soliders at a checkpoint in city of hebron tuesday. the israeli military claims the 19-year-old student had attempted to stab a soldier. but eyewitnesses say the soldiers had demanded to see the student's bag, but she had not understood hebrew, and had been unable to heed their directions. >> the number of soldiers became six, aiming their weapons at her and screaming at her. i told him, give me a minute tuesday to her, but they refused and one of the soldiers shot her left leg. so she fell on the ground and then he shot her right leg. then seconds later, he fired
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four bullets at her. amy: back in the united states in the city of charleston, south carolina, it has renamed part of the street in front of the historic emanuel ame church where nine african americans were killed when the accused shooter what supremacist dylann roof opened fire during bible study in june. on wednesday, residents gathered for the ceremony to rename part of calhoun street, named after vice president john calhoun one , of the most prominent pro-slavery figures in history. the new name of this two-block stretch is mother emanuel way memorial district. roof faces the death penalty on multiple counts of murder, as well as federal hate crime charges. and longtime civil rights attorney elizabeth fink has died at the age of 70. liz fink served as the lead attorney for the former attica prisoners after the 1971 prison uprising. the rebellion lasted from september 9 to september 13,
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1971, and ended after new york state troopers opened fire on the striking prisoners. 43 men died. more recently, liz fink represented the cyber activist jeremy hammond. this is elizabeth fink speaking about the crackdown by state troopers in the film the ghosts of attica. >> state troopers just took their clubs and beat them down the stairs. brooke people's legs, hit them on the tibia. on their back, on their head, in her genitals, on their front. you know, wherever they could hit them, that is where they beat them. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: welcome to all our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. pope francis heads to capitol hill today to become the first pope ever to address congress. on he spoke at the white house, wednesday, then addressed hundreds of u.s. bishops at the st. matthew's cathedral.
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he later canonized the controversial 18th-century missionary father junipero serra. abu protested by many indigenous groups. the pope also made a previously unannounced stop to see nuns at the little sisters of the poor which sued the federal , government over the birth control mandate in the affordable care act. at the white house pope francis spoke about immigration, climate climate change, and poverty. >> i'm deeply grateful for your welcome in the name of all americans. as the sun of an immigrant happy to the a guest in this country, which was built by such families. ies.
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and you're proposing an initiative for reducing air pollution. [applause] assessing -- accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me change is aimate leftem we can no longer be to a future generation. [applause] when it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. we still have time to make the changes needed to bring about a and integral
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development, for we know that things can change. [applause] such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them. our common home has been part of excluded whichhe cries out to heaven and which today powerfully strikes our homes, our cities, and our
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societies. of thea telling phrase reverend martin luther king, we can say that we have defaulted on a promissory note and now is the time to honor it. [applause] we know by faith that the creator does not abandon us. heev sakes his lovg of havingpents created us. humanity has the ability to work together in building our common home.
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inspired by this certainty, we wish to commit ourselves to the conscious and responsible care of our common home. nermeen: later in the day thousands lined constitution , avenue to see the papal parade. at one point, a five-year-old girl whose parents are undocumented immigrants from mexico, slipped through the police barriers. when pope francis saw her in the street he signaled to the secret , service to bring her to the popemobile. after he blessed her, she gave him a letter and t-shirt calling for an end to the deportation of parents of u.s. citizens. five-year-old sophie cruz had traveled to washington with the immigrant advocacy group hermandad mexicana transnacional. afterward cruz said, "i believe i have the right to live with my parents. i have the right to be happy."
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seven people were arrested wednesday outside st. matthew's cathedral, where pope francis met with u.s. bishops. they were protesting the church's refusal to ordain women as priests. amy: to talk more about the pope's visit to the united states we are joined by three , guests. janice sevre-duszynska is an ordained priest with the association of roman catholic women priests. she was one of the seven protesters arrested on -- arrested on wednesday. robert ellsberg is also with us. he is the editor and publisher of orbis books, the american imprint of the maryknoll order. he also edited and published the selected writings by dorothy day, founder of the catholic worker movement. he is the son of dan ellsberg. in the united states bishops' 2012, conference endorsed the canonization of dorothy day to be a saint. also with us here in new york is martha hennessy. she works at the maryhouse catholic worker in new york. she's been fasting and praying and holding a vigil at the united nations since tuesday evening.
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she is the granddaughter of dorothy day. we welcome you all to democracy now! let's begin with martha hennessy , your response to the pope's first-ever visit to the united states? there were a lot of first. the first time the pope will address a joint session of congress, happening today, then he comes to new york later today. he will be speaking at the 9/11 memorial. he will be addressing the world body, the united nations, as central part then he goes on to philadelphia. central park, then he goes on to philadelphia. >> he is the pope we have been waiting for. he is very much like dorothy and how he is eating about world issues. i think he is the most competent leader we have seen on the horizon now. i think he understands the problems and issues of structural sin. he talks about capitalism being the dome of the devil. and so i am very pleased that he
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is able to address the issues. he is not just simply talking about poverty and climate change and immigration as problems in and of themselves, but relating it to the structural problems that we have. and i think that war -- war is probably the most important thing to understand in terms of structural sins. we have an economy that has been warmakingo survive on . and i think that -- i love the way he talks where we have -- amy: the cyclical on the environment. >> yes, the joy of the gospel and climate. he speaks to the life we have been given. and do we want our planet to look like to huge garbage heap or do we want to take care of it
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and take care of ourselves and take care of each other? and he speaks honestly about with the difficulties are and he speaks clearly about what the solutions can be, and that is why i would consider him one of our competent leaders in this time. , could: robert ellsberg you comment on this first visit a pope francis to the united states? >> i think pope francis really is speaking a different kind of political language than we are accustomed to hearing, especially in this election season. he is speaking the politics of jesus, which is the politics of the profits. who look at the world a look at society from the -- particularly from the perspective of those in the margins and judges the health or security or the value of an economic system by how it treats those who are the weakest ourthe poorest, rather than
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context in which we put emphasis on wealth creators and those who are job builders and that sort of thing. so he is bringing a very different kind of perspective, and i think, is martha said, for someone like myself who has spent a great deal of my life inspired by the witness of dorothy day, i see him as the kind of answer of the catholic vision that she represented in this country. , youjanice sevre-duszynska protested the pope yesterday in washington. you were one of seven priests who got arrested. explain your position and what you want to see happen. you are an ordained priest with the association of roman catholic women priests. >> yes. we are calling for justice for women in the church and world, including women priests, and asking pope francis to make the connections between poverty,
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violence, and abuse of women in the world. and our second-class status as women in the church. could you explain what happened yesterday during the protest? where were you and how many people were involved in a protest? >> there were seven of us. three otherests and women priests besides myself and one former jesuit brother. , women priestsns are here, promisee of conscience, father roy how the sun "pope francis, ordain women priests." we eventually did a die-in because we otherwise would have been forced to go on the streets. as we lay down, we held our signs across our bodies. amy: and talk about where the
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ordination of women stands in the catholic church. well, we have been told by previous pope that it is a closed issue. and we don't accept that. it is a very serious issue. jesus in the gospels is changing the paradigm of domination, subordination, and calling us into a circle of equals, calls us to friendship. you know, the whole idea of marginalizing women from the priesthood is sexism and it is a sin, and it causes so much violence in the world. images ofe feminine god. in our liturgies, we use inclusive images of god who is, of course, beyond gender. we also say there is so much
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some aside in the world, killing of women, rape of women, abuse of women within families and also from warmongering. another domination subordination pattern. women we say that we need imaging the -- with our own sacred feminine bodies at the table. and finally, we need the gospels interpreted from women's living and dying, from our perspectives , to give a fullness to the world. nermeen: and what has pope francis's position been so far on the ordination of women in the catholic church? >> well, he has repeated, you know, it is a closed issue. well, we don't accept that. and, really, you know, we say to him, listen to your heart. we know you are with us. now we invite you to let it
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unfold. he has to address this issue. he would bean't -- contradicting all the good he is saying about changing the other systems of capitalism and warmongering -- i mean, he told some of the weapons manufacturers in milan not that long ago that he was going to excommunicate them. and he is against the harshness of capitalism, all which we support. we support his critique of capitalism. you know, this whole idea of rejecting women and us at the table as women priests, it does not fit in with the rest of his program. amy: janice sevre-duszynska, we're going to take a break and come back to this discussion. janice sevre-duszynska is a priest with the association of
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women's catholic women, one of four women priests who was arrested for staging a die-in on yesterday calling for the ordination of women. where also joined by robert ellsberg, publisher of orbis books. as well as martha hennessy, catholic worker. we will talk more about that, a volunteer at the maryhouse catholic worker in new york. granddaughter of dorothy day, who is in the first phase of beatification of the road to sainthood. we will be back in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "ordain a lady." this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. with nermeenan
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shaikh. our guest as we talk about this historic trip of the pope, his first ever, arginine -- argentinian pope francis. martha hennessy was arrested janice sevre-duszynska was arrested yesterday protesting. we're also joined by robert ellsberg, edited and published selected writings by dorothy day, as well as her diaries and letters. editor and publisher of orbis books. it is the american imprint of the maryknoll order. us,martha hennessy is with the granddaughter of dorothy day and volunteers at very house catholic worker in new york. she's been fasting and praying and holding a vigil at the united nations since tuesday evening. we welcome you all to democracy now! there was a very controversial
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canonization yesterday. i wanted robert ellsberg, if you could -- we address this , therday on democracy now! whole process by which junipero serra has become a saint and that happened yesterday, the first time ever this kind of ceremony happened on u.s. soil. i wanted to turn to dorothy day, who is in the beginning of the process a sainthood. if you could talk about her significance. >> i think the way to begin talking about dorothy day is to recognize that she herself spoke about the need for different kind of saint in our time. she came -- raised in new york, very active in radical, social, and political movements in the early part of the century. underwent a conversion in the 1920's to catholicism. then searched for some way to
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combine her commitment to social justice and the poor with her catholic faith at a time when most -- at least by her radical friends, catholics were regarded as a bulwark of the status quo. she said that, where were the saints to change the social order, not just to bind up the victims of slavery, but to do away with slavery? out of that she founded a movement called the catholic worker, were martha works now, which combined the works of mercy, living among the poor in new york and other cities, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, etc., of combining that with a radical social criticism of our economic and social system. and also combining that with a strong commitment to the peace message of jesus, for which she was repeatedly arrested during her life.
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and made her in some ways a very marginal figure in the catholic church in the 1950's and 60's, but i think now has emerged as a kind of radical conscience. and i would see her as somebody who paves the way for the vision that pope francis is delivering. and i think her significance -- the significance for her call for canonization is not just to honor her memory as an important american catholic, but because she kind of helps to calibrate the mission of the church in our time in the same way that pope francis is doing to focus on the needs of the world and the hungry and the wounded and victims of war. amy: it is so interesting she is going through this process, having had an abortion or self and was a convert. i want to go to an excerpt from a documentary called, "dorothy day: don't call me a saint." >> dorothy's work arose from the fact that she sacrificed the
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love of her life. if she embraced thcatholic faith, he would have nothing more to do with her. >> dorothy day had a radical analysis of the economics of society and what ought to be done about it. >> she was used to working to change the world, to make a difference. >> there was no separation between life and prayer and the ordinary activities of everyday life. it was a spiritual can template as much as it was to picketing at the white house or sitting in jail. nonviolence makes the world safer conflict. you can have conflict, but you don't go to the point of killing. and that is what dorothy taught. >> she had an enormous ability to enter other people's lives, to experience what they
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experienced, and to come out of it with a great longing that life shouldn't be so hard for so many people. >> if your brother is hungry, you feed him. you feed him. amy: that last voice was dorothy day from the documentary, "dorothy day: don't call me a saint." it was directed by claudia larson. robert ellsberg, she's on the road to sainthood. she was a layperson. talk about the significance of this and then if you could talk about her way and the way of pope francis. >> well, throughout the history of the church, the church has held out certain individuals who in some her roadway embodied -- heroic weight embodied and challenge the gospel is some
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time. thousands of saints have been canonized, added to the official list of saints, but the vast majority were amongst priests, bishops, members of the religious order and that pretty much reflected in support of the kind of idea that holiness is something set apart from the world, for special people who live in a kind of religious world. very few laypeople, except for some martyrs like thomas more, are ordain. excuse me, canonized. the significance of dorothy day, she was an unmarried mother and grandmother. she was the director of a lake community that asked for no authorization or permission from the hierarchy in order to carry out her mission. represented a kind of brand of social catholicism that was far in advance of the kind of typical teachings of the
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church of her day, but which now is much closer to the mainstream of catholic social teaching. i think it is quite significant that someone like this, and the fact she is a woman -- are also the vast majority of saints have been men -- i think as a woman, as a layperson, as somebody who experienced so many different dimensions of ordinary life and showed a way of living a heroic form of following christ within the context of the challenges of her time -- war, poverty, unemployment, social justice, -- a pointingce at a different kind of style of theunity as reflecting challenge of the gospel. i think in all those ways she represents a very significant kind of saint for our time. nermeen: martha hennessy, you are fasting today and you been holding a vigil outside the
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united nations. could you talk about why does you are fasting and what do you hope the pope will say during his address at the u.n.? >> i think fasting and vigilant and praying is -- we have a long tradition as catholics in using those methods as a way of bringing down the holy spirit and to help have things move in the direction that they need to move in, and we're hoping that pope francis is able to speak what he needs to say to the world leaders regarding the sustainable development issue that they are addressing at the u.n. we're hoping that he very clearly spells out that the business of war is not the business of the people, and that we need to change our ways. we need to change our addictive, compulsive behaviors around issues around the use of fossil fuels, around the issues of ,iolence that are so prevalent
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the militarism, violence, and racism that is in our society today. so i hope -- we are there just to give him courage to say what needs to be said in the situation with the u.n. gettingtha, you are married house, the dorothy day catholic worker hospitality house. for those who don't know what these hospitality houses are that were set up long ago by dorothy, can you explain? >> it is simply sharing or self. it is expanding the definition of family. you open a house of hospitality, you meet the immediate needs of those who are in dire straits. and she understood the sermon on the mount is something to be acted upon, like a practical manifesto and document that shows you simply answering the needs of people who are in such
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general conditions,, especially in our cities -- i'm a mother and a wife and also a grandmother. what i do at mary house is not a whole lot different than what i do in my own home. i have an extended definition of family. ,my: janice sevre-duszynska your first mass was in washington, d.c., at a very house catholic worker? there, and i was staying last night. i was invited by kathy boylan, who i witnessed with in front of -- at the shrine of the immaculate conception. she is the u.s. conference of catholic bishops, all 300 of them, for six or seven years before accepted ordination as a deacon on the boat in pittsburgh and then august 9, 2008, in lexington, kentucky. ,n igo finally, robert ellsberg
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as we witnessed this first ever ceremony for sainthood on u.s. soil, but it was the controversial junipero serra who indigenous people, many have expressed their poor that he was being raised elevated in this way given what happened in california with the indigenous people and the whole conversion process -- and you and i talking past oscar romero and his two beatification? >> oscar romero, the archbishop of san salvador was assassinated at the altar in 1980 by right-wing death squads and for many years, although he was claimed immediately as a martyr and a saint, there was hesitation and ambivalence about
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pursuing his cap to canonization in the church because there were conservatives who felt that would embolden leftist and radical elements in the divisive. there was also the question of why did he die? conservatives would say, well because he mixed himself up in politics, speaking out against the military and the government on the side of the poor. and if he had done that, he would not have gotten killed. amy: and this was in a salvador. >> in 1980, and an unraveling situation that turn into a full-scale civil war. many of romero's priest have been killed, four american church women the same year. in 1989, the whole jesuit community of el salvador was also assassinated. there were many other martyrs during that period. what was significant was for the vatican and pope francis finally romero was athat
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martyr, that is, that he had died in hatred -- what they call hatred of the faith, not because he got mixed up in politics, but that is witness was himself an expression of the gospel and the people who killed him, they may have call themselves catholics and believed they were defending , but they were enemies of the gospel and that is why he died. there always political aspects to canonization. you prefer to that in the controversies around junipero serra, very unpopular with native americans, very popular with u.s. hispanics, including the mexican born archbishop of los angeles who is been promoting that cause. they are kind of competing interpretations. the same thing would happen with dorothy day. as could be sibley held up old woman who serve the poor without regard for the radical prophetic social critique she brought. i think it is more likely in
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this era of princess, that the full picture will be honored and recognized because it speaks of much to the needs of our time. amy: this conversation will continue through the week. robert ellsberg, the editor and publisher of orbis books. and thank you to martha hennessy , volunteers at maryhouse catholic worker in new york. has been fasting and praying and holding a vigil at the united nations. she is the granddaughter of dorothy day. an janice sevre-duszynska , ordained priest with the association of roman catholic women priests. she is one of the four women priests who are arrested yesterday. as the pope talked about immigration, poverty, war and climate change, where going to talk about climate change in this next segment. an expose a by the inside climate news about what exxon
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knew about climate change and when they knew it. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!,, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with nermeen shaikh. nermeen: one major theme of pope francis's visit to the u.s. is climate change. since he issued his historic encyclical on the environment in june, pope francis has made his mark as a leading voice in the climate movement.
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he addressed the issue at the white house on wednesday. >> it seems clear to me also problemmate change is a we can no longer be left to our future generation. [applause] when it comes to our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. nermeen: long before pope francis started his assent to the ranks of the catholic church, there was another leader in the climate movement, and one you might least suspect -- exxon. now exxonmobil, the oil giant is recognized by the environmental community as one of the worst offenders on environmental issues. environmental disasters from the 2013 pegasus tar sands pipeline
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rupture to the 1989 valdez oil spill have made the company a leading target of environmentalists, as has its funding of, change deniers and backing of organizations including the american , enterprise institute and the american legislative exchange council, known for opposing the kyoto protocol and other environmental regulations. amy: but a new investigative series by the pulitzer prize-winning news organization has uncovered that decades ago, exxon was actually on the cutting edge of climate research. here is a clip from the pbs series frontline, which partnered with inside climate news on the project. >> we found a trail of documents that go back to 1977. exxon new carbon dioxide was increasing in the atmosphere, that combustion of fossil fuels was driving at, and that this posed a threat to exxon. at that time, exxon understood
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very quickly that governments would probably take action to reduce fossil fuel consumption. they are smart people, great scientist, and they saw the writing on the wall. >> one exxon research project feel -- fill the tanker to measure. ,> we were collecting data basically, every hour we would get several measurements. i called it a day to monster. -- data monster. >> we were doing some serious science. it was a significant budget. on the scale of $1 million he or. that was a lot of money in 1979. amy: that was ed garvey. from 1978 to 1983 he was a researcher at exxon, where he helped start the company's greenhouse gas research program.
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is now a technical vice president at the consulting firm louis berger, working in environmental cleanup. also with this is nermeen: a , washington-based reporter for inside climate news. welcome. tell us why you did this series and what exxon new and when they knew it. >> we started looking into early climate change research and became aware that oil companies, at least initially, it was bp, but that was later in the 1990's, had her own site is looking into this. americanound out from scientists, government scientists involved in climate research and the 1980's that exxon was involved. aat ended up happening was congressional hearing on climate change and try to see if someone was there. i found a german named henry
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shaw. he was ed's boss and the primary researcher with the tanker project. through him and papers he worked on, we found other names. we found documents and archives. and slowly, we amassed this picture of a company that was of the science, of research ane scientists were saying, that was largely driven by fossil fuel emissions. -- so toe smart enough deal with that, they decided to take a constructive role, and that is to do really good science so they would be taken your sleep in any future -- seriously in any future policy discussion. in 1977,rmeen: almost 40 years ago, exxon itself was aware of the climate
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impacts of fossil fuel. >> i was hired by henry shaw 1978 specifically to begin the taker studies. directly out of school, i was 22 years old, chemical engineer. i was to begin to engineer, if you would, and design a system that could work on an oil tanker to study oceanic levels of co2. the idea was to study what the ocean was doing in response to the atmosphere so we could figure out where co2 from also fuels was ending up. amy: what did you find out? >> we did not get that far along in data analysis. we estimated the amount of co2 was coming out of the oceans and the equator, might these his advisor at the time use that data along with others to estimate the amount of absorption in the polls in the degassing in the pictorial area and together he was able to estimate the carbon balance if you would, around the ocean
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fear. nermeen: why was exxon interested in doing this research? >> they sought as a leadership role in many respects. the goal was if -- given the importance of a problem, exxon what an to bat the table in terms of the discussion. the best way to be viable in terms of your opinion of the table was to be doing real research. we linked up with some of the best researchers in the world at the time regarding co2 in the global carbon cycle. amy: you are working with columbia university? >> yes. as well as others. amy: when did you start to feel a change in attitude? >> it can suddenly for the end of my career. it was gung ho for 3.5 years and then the bottom fell out of the oil market and it really changed host of basically, they dropped the project. we had collected a lot of data but had not processed it to the point of understanding the information. columbia went on a process the information after my work there.
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amy: neela banerjee, can you talk about when exxon stopped the study, what they started to understand, and how they tried to cover it up? >> well, with its project was dropped from the documents we , it was talking to ed mainly because of financial reasons. exxon did not stop its kind of research. after it started the taker project in 1978, 1979, 1980 at hired a lot of that additions to do climate modeling because models were primitive and they were relying on other people's models and they wanted to do that in-house. so even at the tanker project, which was relatively expensive, had ended, exxon continued very good, rigorous, peer-reviewed climate research mainly through modeling from 1980 onward. our documents go through 1986. one does not notice the kind of attitude shift that appeared in
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the 1990's a stalling action on climate change and so on in that period. to doing committed good science, it was just different. and then the first indication that i think all of us, not just inside climate news, but the exxon's attitude on climate change shifting, was a 1989 when a group called global climate coalition was formed. that was a group of fossil fuel companies, major manufacturers, americans largely, that wanted to stall action on climate change. they saw the u.n. was meeting and thinking about a policy response a country should adopt to cut emissions of carbon dioxide. so what happened in the 1986 to 1989 period, we don't know. we can't document a shift in
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thinking. there's some speculation about the attitudes of the people who are leadership then. they're different than people in leadership in the 1970's. what we have is not an example of a cover-up, it is quite the opposite. what we have is an example of a company that used its resources, one of the biggest energy copies in the world, to do really good research. aaron: can you say what exxon troll came to be and how it is impact of the kind of research that is done on climate change? it sounds very green. i'm rubber thinking, this must be a group of companies that action to support action on climate change, but it was led mainly by the oil and gas industry, but some of the of the members were coal companies, auto companies and so on.
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exxon was probably the leader in the oil industry working with the american petroleum institute . they did not take the approach that a lot of people who denied climate change did. in fact, in public circulation long before we do this project, there is a primer a scientist had written for members about how to talk about climate change. what he recommended was not to use the arguments that other climate deniers used such as sunspots are natural cycles, but instead, to focus on the uncertainty of the science and the models. just hammer away at that. indeed, people who met exxon representatives at you at conferences and other climate conferences did not see them as out and out deniers. instead, exxon focused on the uncertainty of the science and use that as a way to seed doubt about the process.
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so that affect public opinion but also exxon and others funded infrastructure of think tanks and scientists and others who created -- who issued reports and did studies that also spread doubt about climate change. and that provided the fodder for companies such as exxon and also for policymakers to say, look, here are these credible institutions issuing these reports. there is no consensus on climate change. oft is so unusual or sort stark about that now that we have these documents, exxon and the 1980's was talking about a consensus among scientists about climate change and also fuels. 10, 15, 20 years later there same exact opposite. amy: ed garvey, your thoughts as we wrap up? >> i think was an opportunity that was missed, having developed this knowledge in-house, exxon was in a position to lead the discussion
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of how to deal with the problem and instead they chose to deny the problem. i think it was a missed opportunity. amy: neela banerjee, the chief executives at exxon that became the climate deniers? >> we don't know with original thinking was, but we do know that lee raymond, who became chairman and ceo made seminal speeches denying climate change, was exposed to thinking about co2 and how it affected exxon's business projects, including the decision to delay action on a major gas field that exxon had picked up the rights to develop in the 1980's. so it wasn't that these men were ignorant of the science, but what their attitudes were when they were exposed to it, whether there was actually any kind of shift, whether as natural or calculated, we don't know. amy: we have to leave it there but we will continue this discussion, neela banerjee and ed garvey. we will link to your exposé at
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we will continue to cover the pope's trip through the united states. democracy now! is looking for feedback from people who appr
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rallo: on this episode of eat! drink! italy!, we're in new york city to make a classic sandwich. tony verdoni and i learn about a two-fisted wine. then we give you the basics of italian cheeses. and i make a knockout pasta with swordfish and eggplant. my name is vic rallo. i love to eat and drink italy. follow me and i'll prove it. eat! drink! italy! is brought to you by wine enthusiast magazine and catalogue, for wine storage, glassware, and accessories. citi, supporting the count basie theatre's national appetite festival, the atalanta corporation, importing authentic italian products and more for over 50 years.


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