tv Democracy Now PBS August 29, 2017 12:00pm-1:00pm PDT
08/29/17 08/29/17 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> our number one goal from corpus christi all the way to east of houston is still protecting and preserving life and rescuing every person that we can find. amy: climate chaos. another foot of rain is expected in texas which is already in the largest recorded rainstorm in u.s. history. we will speak to a reporter who cowrote a major investigation last year looking at how houston was particularly honorable --vulnerable to hurricane. then to the potential public
safety crisis facing houston's nearly 600,000 undocumented immigrants. as the city lies under water, president trump could announce as early as today he will end daca, the deferred action for childhood arrivals program, which provides legal status for some 85,000 houston residents. we'll speak with one of them, activist cesar espinosa of fiel. we will also look at massive flooding in south asia, nepal, india, and bangladesh where over 1200 people have died over the last few weeks. >> if our demands are not fulfilled, what should we do? we have to sleep on the side of the road. we have to die on the side of the road. we have no house, nothing de. everything was swept away by the floods. amy: plus, john nichols on "how donald trump and elaine chao sold off flood-control policy to the highest bidders." ,e has written a new book
"horsemen of the trumpocalypse: a field guide to the most dangerous people in america." all of that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. the death toll from hurricane harvey is rising as massive amounts of rain continue to flood houston and other parts of texas and louisiana. at least 14 people have died, including four children and their great-grandparents. the houston police and coast guard have rescued over 6000 people from their homes but many are still stranded. so much rain has already fallen that the national weather service has had to add two new colors to its maps to indicate rainfall levels. meteorologists forecast another foot of rain could fall on houston in the coming days. concern is also growing over the environmental impact of the storm. residents of houston's
industrial communities are reporting strong gas- and chemical-like smells coming from the many nearby refineries and chemical plants. texas senators ted cruz and john cornyn are both facing criticism for having voted against the $51 -- against the hurricane sandy aid package. more than 20 house republicans in texas also voted against the hurricane aid package. we will have more on climate change and hurricane harvey after headlines. meanile, in more climate-related news, torrential downpours are causing extreme flooding in mumbai, india, today. weather officials are calling it the worst flooding in mumbai in over a decade. in recent weeks, more than 1200 people have been killed across -- amidst torrential downpours. we will have more on climate change and flooding in south asia later in the broadcast. the guardian reports u.s. intelligence officials are facing pressure from the trump
administration to find any justification to declare iran in violation of the landmark 2015 nuclear deal. officials compared it to the situation in the lead-up to the 2003 invasion of iraq. former cia analyst ned price said intelligence officials "told me there was a sense of revulsion. there was a sense of deja vu. there was a sense of 'we've seen this movie before'." trump has repeatedly threatened to cancel the landmark nuclear deal, calling it the worst deal ever. north korea fired a ballistic missile test over japan early tuesday morning. it was north korea's second ballistic missile test in recent days. millions of japanese citizens were warned to take cover as the missile flew overhead. this is the japanese chief cabinet secretary yoshihide suga. >> we find these repeated threats by north korea unacceptable and have strongly protested to north korea in the strongest possible words.
we will deal with this through the united nations security council, and working closely in coronation with u.s. and south korea, to ensure the utmost is done for the safety of our people. a makeup president trump aiterated the u.s. might want strike against north korea saying the statement this morning, all options are on the table. the u.s. and south korea are currently conducting massive military exercises on the korean peninsula. in syria, local journalist monitoring group rocket is being slighted or -- slaughtered silently reports at least 10 civilians from the same family have been killed amid a barrage of more than 100 u.s.-led airstrikes over the last two days. a top-ranking commander of the u.s.-backed syrian democratic forces says the battle to seize control of raqqa from isis is expected to last up to another two months. back in the united states, the durham county sheriff's office in north carolina has issued three more arrest warrants for people allegedly involved in tearing down a confederate
soldiers monument in front of the old durham county courthouse on august 14. the three are facing charges of felony inciting a riot, as well as two additional misdemeanor charges. a total of 11 people have now been charged. the toppling of the statue in durham came amid massive nationwide protests following the deadly white supremacist violence in charlottesville, virginia, which left one person dead and dozens injured. white supremacists and far-right-wing activists have canceled dozens of rallies nationwide in response to the massive anti-racist protests, including two planned rallies in san francisco and berkeley , california, this past weekend. on saturday and sunday, thousands of people took to the streets to celebrate the cancellation of the white two supremacist rallies. in berkeley, thousands attended an antifa march at martin luther king jr. park. meanwhile, in ohio, 18-year-old
white supremacist daniel borden has been charged with malicious wounding for allegedly attacking african american anti-racist protester deandre harris during the white supremacist rally in charlottesville, virginia, earlier this month. photos and video show at least six white supremacists punching, kicking, and beating harris with large metal poles. police have issued an arrest warrant for another man, alex michael ramos, in connection to harris' attack. the police have faced criticism for failing to quickly investigate and arrest harris' attackers. president trump has also faced widespread condemnation, including from the united nations, for failing to quickly condemn the white supremacist violence. on sunday, secretary of state rex tillerson said trump speaks only for himself. this is tillerson speaking with fox news' chris wallace. >> when the president gets in the the controversy he does in the u.n. committee responds the
way it does, it seems to say they began to doubt whether we're living those values. >> i don't believe anyone doubts the americans people's values or the commitment of the american government or the government agencies to advancing those values and defending those values. >> and the president's values? >> the president speaks for himself, chris. amy: president trump is also facing criticism for tweeting an endorsement to minnesota sheriff david clarke's new book on sunday morning. as the floodwaters in houston continued to rise, trump tweeted -- "a great book by a great guy, highly recommended!" sheriff clarke has compared black lives matter to the ku klux klan. he and his employees are facing multiple lawsuits alleging they have abused and neglected prisoners at the milwaukee county jail, in cases that have led to the death of an infant and an adult prisoner, who died of dehydration after being denied access to water for a week.
meanwhile, president trump tumbled down on the decision of pardon sheriff joe arpaio during a news conference on monday. pres. trump: sheriff joe is a patriot. sheriff joe was our country. sheriff joe protected our borders. and the sheriff joe was very unfairly treated by the obama administration, especially right before an election. by my pardon of sheriff joe and i think the people of arizona who really know him best would agree with me. amy: there are reports that the trump administration could end the daca program as early as today, which provides 750,000 residents innts the united states. president trump is facing new
questions about his campaign's ties to russia amid revelations that a russian-born real estate developer boasted that a 2015 business deal to build trump tower in moscow would help get trump elected president of the united states. in an email to trump's lawyer, real estate developer felix sater wrote -- "our boy can become president of the usa and we can engineer it. i will get all of putins team to buy in on this, i will manage this process." at the time, the trump organization was pushing to build a massive trump tower in moscow. sater claimed to have secured financing for the project with vtb bank, a russian bank under u.s. sanctions. sater was also a former fbi informant who immigrated from russia as a child and grew up in brooklyn. the plans to build trump tower in moscow were abandoned at the end of january 2016, after the project failed to secure financing and government permits. trump is currently facing multiple investigations into his campaign ties to russia. philippines president rodrigo duterte has told police officers
to kill suspects if they try to resist arrest amongst his bloody so-called war on drugs. on monday, duterte told a local police chief -- "if he resists, and it is a violent one you are free to kill the idiots, that is my order to you." on saturday, more than 1000 faith leaders, residents, and children joined a funeral procession and protest march for 17-year-old kian loyd delos santos. he killed last week by police during anti-drug raid. witnesses say the student's final words before he was shot in the head were -- "please stop. please stop. i have a test tomorrow." duterte met with santos' family on monday amidst the growing pressure under the teenager's death. in chile, more than two dozen logging trucks were hijacked and burned southern chile monday, amid ongoing conflicts between the indigenous mapuche people and multi-million-dollar logging corporations that are encroaching on their lands. a mapuche group called the struggle in rebellious territory
claimed responsibility for the sabotage attack. the company reported $6 million in damages. kenya has passed the world's strictest ban against plastic bags in efforts to protect the environment and wildlife. under the new law, people producing, selling, or even using plastic bags could now face up to four years in prison. this is the kenyan environmental minister judi wakhungui. >> the challenge we have at the moment is most of these bags are just littered and you find them littering our landscapes. we also -- there also ingested by our livestock. the problem is now we are also ingesting this micro plastics and this is a danger to our health. so this is the reason why we decided to start a phase out of banning the plastic bags starting with the carrier bags. amy: more than 40 countries now
have some type of laws aimed at decreasing the use of plastic bags. and back in the united states in new york city, more than 100 residents and supporters rallied outside the holyrood episcopal church in washington heights for a candlelight vigil to support an undocumented woman who has taken sanctuary to avoid deportation to guatemala. 33-year-old amanda morales-guerra is the mother of three u.s.-born children -- dulce, daniela, and david. she's been living in the united states since 2004. she went into sanctuary earlier this month to defy the trump administration's order that she report to the immigrations and customs enforcement office with a one-way ticket back to guatemala. she's the first person to publicly take sanctuary in new york city since trump took office. immigration rights activists say about another dozen undocumented immigrants are quietly taking sanctuary in the tri-state area. and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman.
juan: welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. the death toll is rising as massive amounts of rain from hurricane harvey continue to flood houston and other parts of texas and louisiana. the houston police and coast guard have rescued over 6000 people from their homes, but many are stranded as the water keeps rising. meteorologists forecast another foot of rain could fall on houston in the coming days. harvey, which is now a tropical storm, is heading back to the gulf of mexico and is expected to make landfall again on wednesday. amy: so much rain has already fallen the national weather , service has had to add two new colors to its maps to indicate rainfall levels. parts of texas are expected to top 50 inches of rain. and the rivers keep rising. southwest of houston in richmond, the brazos river reached flood stage overnight at 45 feet, and the national weather service forecasts it
will peak at 5019 on and remain friday -- 59 feet on and remain friday over 50 feet through sunday. houston's khou described the epic amount of rain fall. what ant to show you meteorologist has done. it calculates by the end of wednesday, harvey will have saturated all of southeast texas with enough water to fill all of the nfl and college stadiums, all of those stadiums more than 100 times. think about that. more than 100 times. so so far, the meteorologists are saying 15 trillion gallons of rain has fallen on a large area and another 5 trillion or 6 trillion gallons forecast by the end of wednesday. juan: the official death toll is 14, but authorities warn it could rise dramatically once the floodwaters recede. six people from one family died after their van was swept away by floodwaters.
emergency shelters are approaching capacity. >> very crowded. getting 800 are more people. it is like, where they going to put us all you go what are we going to do in corpus. fema is here now, but the line is enormous. yesterday we were in line for three hours and could not see fema. we need everyone's help. juan: concern is also growing over the environmental impact of the storm. the houston area is home to more than a dozen oil refineries. the group air alliance houston is warning the shutdown of the petrochemical plants will send more than 1 million pounds of harmful pollution into air. residents of houston's industrial communities are already reporting unbearable chemical-like smells coming from the many plants nearby. according to an activist at the environmental justice group tejas --
the communities closest to these sites in houston are disproportionately low income and minority. on saturday, a massive fuel storage tank at kinder morgan's pasadena terminal began spilling after being toppled in the storm. the tank held 6.3 million gallons of gasoline but is unclear how much of that leaked. and in the city of laporte, residents were asked to go to the near shelter, close doors and windows after a chemical spill was reported last night. amy: while the national hurricane center is now calling the calling harvey the biggest rainstorm on record, it has not come as a complete surprise. scientists have been predicting for years climate change would -- could result in massive storms like harvey. climate scientist michael mann wrote this -- "harvey was almost certainly more intense than it would have been in the absence of human-caused warming, which means stronger winds, more wind damage and a larger storm surge."
we go now to houston to speak ash robert bullard, known the father of environmental justice, a distinguished professor at texas southern university. the former director of the environmental justice resource center at clark atlanta university. we are reaching him from his home in houston, which he needs to evacuate later this morning due to the rising brazos river. foressor bullard, thank you being with us. can you talk about the situation you are in and so many people in houston are in right now? scene for us. and then how you relate it to your life's work, to the issue of climate change and environmental justice. >> well, good morning, and thank you for having me. the aftermath, the flooding of houston and the -- this is areas, is nightmare. the images that you see on
television and you hear the voices of people who have been just totally destroyed. and this is a situation where i us we-- it is telling have to change. we have to change the way we do business and the way we as humans interact with our environment. this is basically the situation where this storm, this flooding of this city tells us that there is no place that is immune from devastation. i worked in new orleans in the flooding after katrina. new orleans was only 500,000 people. houston is 2.3 million people. you look at the surrounding 6eas, you're talking almost
million people. you talk about this devastation. it is his stork for board -- of his stork for portions. one go what do you think unchecked of elements by houston officials over the past several decades has created an even worse possibility for calamity when a natural disaster like this is? was a catastrophe waiting to happen. given the fact you have unrestrained capitalism, no , laissez-faire regulations when it comes to the industries that have created lots of problems when it comes to greenhouse gases and other industrial pollution. the impact that basically has been ignored for many years. the fact that, you know, it is a disaster, but it is a very
critical disaster. and those communities that historically have borne the burden of environmental pollution and contamination from the many industry come at the same time, are the very communities that are bearing disproportionally the burden of this flooding. so you get this pre-existing condition of inequality before the storm and this inequality in terms of how people are able to ofress this disaster because a vulnerability. i think what we have to do is not at lessons, well, learned of katrina in terms of the rebuilding and redevelopment and recovery. juan: there is been quite a bit of second-guessing of mayor turner's decision not to call for an evacuation of the city. i am wondering your take on that, especially given what happened with hurricane, was it
read up, couple of years ago when there wasn't an evacuation effort made that more people ended up dying, about 100 people in the gridlock that occurred as people tried to leave the city as large as houston? >> it is easy to second guess, but the fact that trying to people on.3 million these highways is almost a task that is impossible. there was anything you can say, well, why is it that the mayor and the county judge decided to go this way? when you look at the problems of logistics and trying to move this many people on these highways getting out of the city, that probably was not, you know, a good choice to make. so i think the decision to have people shelter in place -- and
no one could predict what happened afterwards. so i think the best that we can do now, instead of pointing fingers, is pointing to solutions and pointing to ways we can address the many problems and challenges that we face today. having to evacuate and leave your home and go out there and know what is ahead of you? you have your life -- and i am when you see those images, you can see that this is pain. i think all governmental officials and agencies and volunteers and city groups and faith groups, we have to come together and make sure that we do what is right, not what is politically expedient, but do
what is right and make sure we build a just and healthy and sustainable city when we rebuild , when we recover. amy: dr. bullard, i want to talk about the issue of justice. you live in the fourth-largest city in the country, houston, the most diverse city in the country, houston, and it is the cut from metro. the houston area is home to more than a dozen oil refineries. the group airlines houston morning the shutdown of the petrochemical plants will send more than one million pounds of harmful pollution into the air. residents of houston's industrial communities already reporting unbearable chemical-like smells coming from the many plants nearby. yesterday, we interviewed bryan parras with a group tejas who said fence line communities can't leave or evacuate so there literally getting gassed by these chemicals. this is an issue you have dealt with for a long time from baton rouge to new orleans to houston,
professor bullard. the community's closest to these chemical plants, generally low income and minority. saturday, a massive fuel storage tank spilling after being toppled in the storm. the tank held 6.3 million gallons of gasoline, but unclear how much gas leaked. can you talk about the significance of where the people live and they disproportionate impact of climate change on communities of color and poorer communities? >> the best predictor of health and well-being in our society, including houston, is zip code. you tell me your zip code, i can tell you how healthy you are. that is one of the particulars of environmental vulnerability is zip code and race. all communities are not created
equal. houston, people of color historically have borne the burden of environmental solution. and also the impact of flooding and other kinds of natural and man-made disasters. when we talk about the impact of sea level rise and we talk about change,cts of climate you're talking about a disproportional impact on communities of color, on poor people, on people who don't have health insurance, communities that don't have access to food and grocery stores. so you talk about mapping vulnerability and mapping this disaster and the impact, not just the loss of housing and loss of jobs, but also the impact of having pollution and these spills in the oil and ,hemicals going into the water
and who is living closest to these hazards yet cup historically, even before harvey, before this storm, before this flight, people having to live next to, surrounded by very dangerous chemicals. you talk about these chemical hotspots, these sacrificed zones. those are the committees that are people of color. the fourth-largest city, but the only city that does not have zoning. it has communities of color and poor communities have been unofficially zoned as compatible with pollution. we say that -- we have a name for it. we call that environmental injustice and environmental racism. it is that plain and simple. this flood in houston is exacerbating existing disparities, so that is why i
say we have to talk about when we talk about moving past the flooding part, the flood part and moving to clean up and recovery and rebuilding, we have l andild in environmenta economic justice into that formula. otherwise, we will be rebuilding on inequity. amy: your own situation now. you are being forced to move? >> i am being forced to move because of the rising brazos river. it is supposed to crest at 59 feet. i live in an area where we have been told we have to dr. robertu for being with us, father of environmental justice movement, talkingaffecting an undocumented immigrants as president trump heads to texas today, it is also said he is threatening to end daca imminently. 85,000 residents in houston are
democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. up for our to sign daily digest, our headlines, text democracynow to 66866. juan: we continue to look at the epic flooding in houston, texas, as we turn now to a potential public safety crisis facing the city's nearly 600,000 undocumented immigrants. as houston lies under water, some press reports are saying president trump could announce as early as today that he will end the deferred action for childhood arrivals program known as daca, which provides legal status for some 85,000 houston residents and nearly 800,000 people nationwide.
without the status, many residents will be unable to work and rebuild after the storm. this comes as texas attorney general ken paxton is spearheading a coalition of republican officials in 10 states who are threatening to sue president trump if he doesn't act by september 5. meanwhile, this friday, texas will officially outlaw sanctuary cities, threatening local police chiefs with jail time and city officials with losing their jobs if they help -- if they do not help deport immigrants. the law known as sb4 is being challenged in court but a federal judge has yet to rule on whether it can take effect. amy: this has prompted concern that many immigrants are not coming forward to seek help during the flooding because they fear being detained and deported. during a news conference monday, houston mayor sylvester turner said "there is absolutely no reason" why any individual shouldn't call for help. >> the first ones to stand up with you if you need help.
someone comes and they require help them for some reason somebody tries to deport them -- i will represent them myself, ok? stressfulre in a situation, i don't care who you are, i don't care what your status is, i do not want you losing your life or family member because you are concerned about sb4. mayor turner echoed claims by immigration and customs enforcement and the u.s. border patrol that agents will not be checking the legal status of those who seek help at evacuation sites, shelters or food banks. for more, we stay in houston, texas, where we are joined by cesar espinosa, the founder and executive director of fiel, a houston-based non-profit that helps young, undocumented members of the latino community. it is a spanish acronym for families of immigrants and students in the struggle. the group has more than registered members. 8000 cesar has lived in the united states for almost three
decades, but he is still undocumented and is a daca recipient. he joins us now via democracy now! video stream from his mother's house in the northwest houston metro area, where he evacuated and is currently there. ?re you flooded in right now at the convention center, there are more than 9000 people. can you talk about the concerns of the undocumented community, inwhich there are 10,000 houston, concerned if they might go to an official site, their papers could be checked, they can be detained, even though everyone come up to the governor, has said that won't be the case. >> the number one thing, thank you for having me. we have evacuated to the northwest part of town. we are flooded in so we're unable to leave, but we're monitoring the situation and
trying to make sure our community gets utmost correct information and we quell people's fears. there has been a lot of talk and , unfortunately, a lot of rumors and calls we are receiving since we are in a mobile office right of of people with concerns going to shelters. we find it troubling that sometimes people call our office instead of calling 911 for help because they don't trust the emergency services. they either hear from their family and friends that they should not trust or they hear it on social media. unfortunate, some cruel people have taken a social media saying, "don't go to shelters because you will be asked about your immigrations that is." just yesterday, with the border patrol volunteer boats to come into the houston area and the created a frenzy of calls of people saying, "should we accept the help? what should we do in
the border patrol shows up with her boats to our neighborhoods?" moving partsot of and concerns with our community. we are doing everything we can to make sure that people stay informed through social media, through conventional media to engage the media so they can talk about the issues of being undocumented and talk about the sad reality, that even after all of this, there may not be helped for the more than 575,000 undocumented immigrants who currently live in the greater houston area. juan: what are you hearing about the head of medication requirements people may ask identification requirements people may have to show or give if they go to seek shelter or assistance for food or other necessities? >> as of right now, we're hearing if you have an id, you can present one. but if you don't, they're not going to deny you shelter.
number one, that is an issue to begin with. if people go in with the notion they must provide id, they may not want to seek help. what we're telling folks on her website, we have launched a page specifically for the disaster relief effort, which we're what documents people should carry with them. we encourage people to carry some sort of photo id whether it be a passport or whatever it is, and hoping when they show up to one of these shelters, that will suffice or they will not be asked for anything. one of the things were also happy about right now is it seems the houston community is coming together. the mayor made the comment yesterday that people should not worry about status. we received a lot of support from the community and saying, yes, at this time we are all houstonians and immigration status should not matter. but we're yet to see what this will look like long.
last year there was a flood in an area called greenpoint that heavyvily low income -- low-income area. unfortunately, a lot of people we spoke to that were undocumented were not eligible for any type of help. that is something we're looking for two to figure out in the next couple of months and years. but at this time, we are in courage in people that if they need hp, regardless of their status, they should come forward and not be afraid. onortunately, the rumors social media, people taking to social media to spread rumors, do not help at all. juan: this comes just a few days before sb4 is set to take effect in texas. we mentioned that in the lead. basically, outlawing sanctuary cities throughout the state of texas. i'm wondering your take on what this could mean in view of this calamity as well that you are facing in houston? >> is seems like a lot of storms
are coming together, both physically and metaphorically speaking, in the sense that we have this natural disaster which we are living through and the political disaster which -- storm which we're dealing with. not only with the potential resending of daca, but with all of those undocumented who live here in texas and here in houston, who like everybody else, besides the having to worry about their status, now they're going to have to worry about rebuilding and looking for help -- which they may not be eligible for. there is concern withsb4. there have been rumors online that after friday, people are going to be starting to ask for papers when people seek shelter and things like that. once again, we have been trying myths so people can know it is safe for them to
go, but it does not help -- we fear that undocumented people will go into hiding and not want to come forward to report any damages or to help rebuild in the sense that they don't know they may be eligible for things. they may fear if they seek help, they will be persecuted. to a health and safety issue for our community. this could lead to a safety issue for a lot of these folks. and this is no way for a person to live. we are concerned about this. as an organization, we're going -- as soon as we're able to hit the ground, my team and i are ready to go and engage the undocumented community and once again show we are unafraid and we should be unafraid when facing all of these storms we have going on at the same time. amy: cesar espinosa, if people were to lose daca, you're talking some 85,000 people in houston? what does it mean for them in this devastated, ravaged city?
what does it mean for you? you are daca. the fight it means continues. i have been in this movement for the last 16 years, and we're going to continue to advocate. for many, it is devastating news. there were across -- relying on their deferred action so they can rebuild, go back to work and help their families rebuild their lives will stop unfortunate, if daca gets rescinded, these young men and women are going to be left with nothing. the rug will be swept from under their feet. who knows how long it will take them to rebuild. not to say they won't rebuild because our community is strong and resilient, but it may take us a lot longer in order to rebuild. once again, it comes at a very sad time since we are facing many things here in the state of texas. number one, the hurricane we just went through. number two, the enactment of sb4, which we believe the
governor could stop or a judge could stop it at any moment so we are asking them to take action immediately so our communities are safe. the third token, the resending could deal a devastating blow to more than 85,000 alone double -- eligible youth who currently reside in the houston area. we hope it does not happen. even though there is a storm happening, we are calling our elected officials to step forward and to say -- to call on the white house to not rescind this very important program. amy: cesar espinosa, they for being with us executive director , of fiel, a houston-based non-profit that helps young, undocumented members of the latino community. joining us from houston from his mother's house in cypress, in where he has relocated to. as a family now currently flooded in.
amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: while houston remained under after the is stork storm, we look at massive flooding across south asia and the flooding. more than 1200 people have died amid historic flooding in bangladesh, nepal, and india. this year's monsoon season has brought torrential downpours that have submerged wide swaths of south asia, destroying tens of thousands of homes, schools and hospitals and affecting up to 40 million people. >> is our domains are not
fulfilled, what should we do? we have to sleep on the side of the road. we have to die on the side of the road. we have no house. we don't have food to eat. by theing was swept away flood. amy: aid organizations are warning that this is one of the worst regional humanitarian crises in years, with millions of people facing severe food shortages and disease caused by polluted flood water. we go now to london to speak with asad rehman, executive director of war on want. he has worked on climate issues for over a decade. we usually see you at the u.n. climate summit. talk about -- let's take one country, bangladesh. one third of bangladesh is underwater? can you talk about how many people have died just in the last few weeks there and the significance of what is happening now in this region and its connection to to the boards you must never here -- i'm not only talking about fox, but
msnbc and cnn as they cover the devastation in houston, almost 24 hours a day. those two words "climate change" "climatete chaos" or destruction." >> when you look at the devastating pictures, what we've seen in the united states, the pictures are emerging from right across the region in nepal and area and bangladesh absolutely devastating. in bangladesh, one third of the country is underwater. many billion dust lanes of -- hundreds of people have lost our lives, but we're still waiting accurate count will be. i spoke to someone earlier who told me there are still communities cut off. similar stories that you heard in nepal. people without food, without access to fresh water. -- the flooding
means freshwater wells are polluted. people don't have access to fresh water. people are losing livelihoods and everyone of their valuables. 51% is below the poverty line. the per capita income of $1500.esh is about there is any qualities in the united states, but we're talking about some of the most poorest, honorabl vulnerable people. it is honorable to flooding because of its jogger fee. it is a low-lying basin. ist you heard continuously the monsoon rains are becoming more intense in a stronger, more devastating year upon year. this is for two reasons. one, as we see warming across the globe with the temperatures, the glaciers and the snowmelt,
swelling rivers as they come down through the himalayas, nepal, india, into bangladesh. at the same time, warming temperatures in the sea means there's more moisture in the atmosphere, which means more intense and heavier rains. this is not something new. climate scientists have predicted what would be happening, that these storms which used to happen every few hundred years would happen much more regularly and every decade, and now become literally an annual thing the problem is the ability of the government to respond. when you have these floods which wipe away infrastructure, schools, hospitals, roads, it is very hard to rebuild. these are countries which have had an do have flood systems. in the united states, a country $18.5 think about trillion global gdp, and bangladesh it is only about 220
billion dollars. the ability of these poor tontries v for mostulnerable continuously rebuild is severely limited. these impacts are not only going to be felt today, they're going to be felt tomorrow and the days and the weeks and the months after because for many of the farmers,eople who are rely on their crop to see their family and to be able to sell something to survive the year, most of them have lost their crops already. most of the food production in one of the most important basins is one of the bread baskets, food baskets of the region. they have both been impacted by climate impact and are predicted to get even worse in the coming years. the floods come weeks after researchers at the massachusetts institute of technology published a report saying soaring temperatures could make hearts of south asia too hot for human survival by 2100.
the m.i.t. researchers concluded as many as 1.5 billion people live in areas that could become uninhabitable during summer heat waves within only 83 years if climate change continues at its current pace. india, pakistan, and bangladesh would be the worst affected areas. in 2015, some 3500 people died in a heat wave that struck india and pakistan. as you look at the images of houston, the u.s.'s fourth-largest city and you look at your region in south asia, final thoughts on what you feel needs to happen as president two texas comese the leading climate denier in the united states who has pulled the u.s. out of the paris climate agreement? >> as you said, the m.i.t. reports simply builds on what climate scientists have already told us that south asia will be one of the most vulnerable
regions in the world. 1.5 billion people. at the 70% of the population will be directly impacted by climate impacts. the heat wave you talked about, that was at 49.5 degrees centigrade. earlier this year in may, 51istan recorded a level of degrees centigrade. for the majority of people who have to spend long hours out in the open as farmers, people cannot survive. the impact will be devastating. devastating now and likely to get much worse. the economic impact are also devastating for region which is one of the poorest in the world. i met scientists have said the impact on terms of gdp will be in the region of hundreds of billions of dollars. when i look at the pictures of houston, i hope that donald trump -- i understand he is going to texas. it would be better going to
paris, texas, and going there and recognizing that the culpability of him, of the fossil fuel industry that back in deliberately turning their backs on climate change and i'm taking action on climate change is not only culpable for the impact that are happening in houston, but all around the world. the when it closing. action is needed now. donald trump is to wake up and smell the roses. amy: asad rehman, thanks for being with us, executive director of "war on want." he has worked on climate change issues for over a decade. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. juan: two weeks ago today, president trump signed an executive order to revoke obama-era standards that required federal infrastructure projects like hospitals to factor in scientific projections for the effects of climate change, like increased flooding and rising sea levels. critics say the reversal exposes u.s. infrastructure to the kind of damage inflicted by hurricanes and super storms
including harvey, sandy, and katrina, and will put more lives in danger. amy: trump announced the roll back during the now infamous press conference in the lobby of trump tower that was largely overshadowed by his remarks defending the white supremacist protesters behind the violent rallies in charlottesville, virginia. well, for more, we're joined by john nichols, political writer for the nation. his new article headlined "how , donald trump and elaine chao sold off flood-control policy to the highest bidders." john's new book, "horsemen of the trumpocalypse: a field guide to the most dangerous people in america." explain the headline of your latest beats. >> everything we have talked about today comes together in this. we haver. bullard say, out-of-control development, no zoning, no planning for the future and then what we just heard, what we know is coming as justds, flood surges, not
on the ocean, but rivers across the country. this goes inland. president obama in 2015 did something logical. he was late to the game. but he issued an order for flood management or flood risk in richmond. it was a standard set that aside when we portray onions of dollars -- poor julian's of dollars into infrastructure, we might use to evacuate, hospitals, things we build, we ought to make sure that they are climate-resilient. i write about a lot of this in the book. ,he term means your building anticipating, tragically that you're going to have more flooding and more crises like this. on august 15, with virtually no trump went off
the rails on issues of race, on august 15 trump went off the rails on issues of, the reay were doing that day was gutting out and ending obama's order. the sierra club says this is climate denial at its most dangerous. secretary chao also happens to be the wife of the senate's most powerful person come in at a senate majority leader mitch mcconnell. and what this means as president trump now heads to texas? careful aboute this. what obama did and was trump has done, these are things to look into the future. a lot of the crises in houston have been in place for a long time. but what this says for a place like houston is, as money is poured in to rebuild, there's not going to be a federal standard that says it has to be climate resilient. there is not a standard that says the next stuff you build
has to be able to handle what we know is coming. i got onto this in writing the book because i looked a lot at elaine chao. she comes back whenever there is a republican president. she was at the department of labor years ago, got horrible marks for literally ruining programs were undermining them. now she is the person who is going to be overseeing a $1 trillion infrastructure program, which many democrats will probably enthusiastically support. what i say in the article and in of theseand all agencies, we have to look at what they're doing because if we downed, we're going to go through what should be a learning experience -- just happen in houston -- what we're hearing all over the country, not the only flooding in the country today. what should be a learning experience, we're not learning at all. we are literally going backward with donald trump. more portly, with people like elaine chao. juan: in your book, it is basically like a baseball card
summary of the administration. but the privateers, betsy devos, scott pruitt come all of these folks the administration has hired an you give snapshots of their privateering approach. the firstine chao is one on the list. our media does such a lousy job today of covering the whole of the presidency. it looks at the individual. we don't look at the people that are confident -- i may disagree with them. universal -- they're generally climate deniers. they're generally deeply tied to corporate industries, especially the fossil fuel industry. one simple fact together. on any given day, scott pruitt is undermining climate science, climate responses. ourtillerson is dismantling international response on this
issue related to some of the things we talked about. elaine chao comes out at the top of this list. be very central to building the future of ts country. literally, the promise of infrastructure that democrats and republicans agree on. if we don't do that with climate justice, if we don't do that structuralonal soundness, and if we don't do that with some economic commonsense -- in the article i wrote for the nation today, free-market think tanks. we are with obama on this issue. they were saying, yes, pour billions of dollars in the stuff, then you should make sure it will survive. this administration is rejecting it. amy: we will go through that deck of baseball cards and closed it at democracynow.org. who are the people in the administration, what do they represent? john nichols, his new book out today "horsemen of the , trumpocalypse: a field guide to the most dangerous people in ."