Democracy Now! - December 8, 2015

Three months ago, Jeremy Corbyn shocked the world when he was elected head of the Labour Party in Britain, becoming the country’s opposition leader, vowing to return the Labour Party to its socialist roots, championing the renationalization of public transportation, free university tuition, rent control and a national maximum wage to cap the salaries of high earners. Corbyn has been a longtime antiwar activist who once chaired the Stop the War Coalition. Last week he voted against authorizing Prime Minister David Cameron to begin bombing Syria. A day before the vote, Cameron accused Corbyn of being a terrorist sympathizer for opposing airstrikes. At the U.N. climate summit in Paris, Amy Goodman sat down with Jeremy Corbyn in his first U.S. TV/radio interview since being elected Labour leader. He discusses why he opposed the bombing of Syria, his refusal to drop a nuclear bomb anywhere if he were prime minister, and his call to determine who is funding ISIL.

In his first U.S. TV/radio interview since being elected the U.K. Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn calls for the closure of Guantánamo Bay. "What on Earth are we doing in this world, where we lock people up for now 14 years in Guantánamo Bay, with no charge, no trial, no process, no habeas corpus? A legal black hole," Corbyn says. "It has got to be closed." He recently welcomed Shaker Aamer, the last British resident to be released from Guantánamo, to the British Parliament.

Jeremy Corbyn addresses the refugee crisis. "I think we’ve got to both open up and take in far more of the Syrian refugees, but also take in those people that are living in these desperate camps, because it is inhuman," Corbyn says. "We’re not going to secure the world’s future with razor wire and electronic surveillance of borders. You only secure the world’s future if you deal with the desperate levels of inequality in the world and deal with the disproportionate effects of environmental change around the world."

On Monday in Paris, British Labour Party Leader Jeremy Corbyn addressed the link between labor, trade unions and climate change. We also spoke to him about the connections between war, drilling for oil, and climate. "To some extent, the rush to develop frontier oil resources has reduced, but I’m sure it’s going to come back," says Corbyn. "And you look at the brutality of it, the brutality of the way in which oil drilling has been done in a number of countries, in Latin America, the thirst for oil all over the Middle East and the thirst for oil in other places. We need a sustainable planet. We need a sustainable future. We need sustainable energy sources. They don’t have to be like that."

Ahead of the U.N. climate change summit in Paris, France, more than 180 nations pledged to voluntarily reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but many climate justice groups say far more needs to be done to keep global warming in check. We speak with one of the world’s leading climate scientists who has come to the Paris talks with a shocking message: The climate crisis is more severe than even many scientists have acknowledged. Kevin Anderson is deputy director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research and professor of energy and climate change at the University of Manchester in Britain. He has said many scientists are self-censoring their work to downplay the severity of the climate crisis.

On Monday, the prime minister of Tuvalu, Enele Sopoaga, said world leaders must prevent the world from warming more than 1.5 degrees Celsius, or 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit. Many of the countries most impacted by climate change—but who did little to cause it—are also calling for the U.N. climate agreement to include compensation for adjusting to climate change, known as "Loss and Damage." But documents obtained by our guest reveal the United States is pushing these countries to forgo such rights. Nitin Sethi is senior associate editor at the Business Standard in India. His recent piece is called "US and EU want Loss and Damage as a toothless tiger in Paris agreement."

In India, catastrophic flooding in the southern city of Chennai has killed at least 269 people and cut off basic services for more than 3 million people as the army and air force continue rescue operations. The flooding is being described as the worst in more than a century. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has blamed the flooding on climate change. "That region has never seen this a volume of rainfall," says Nitin Sethi, senior associate editor at the Business Standard in India. "Certainly, we are clearly seeing a pattern where rainfall systems are changing and also cities are incapable of adjusting to these kinds of extreme events. That is why I think developing countries like India are saying we need finances and technology to build new cities better rather than making it worse."

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