BTS 5/28/10: BP Catastrophe in the Gulf; Pacifica Archives' Memorial Day Special

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Welcome to BTS on this Memorial Day Weekend eve. For listeners in or near Arizona, I can't think of a better way to spend Memorial Day Weekend than joining the protests against the onerous Arizona law signed by Governor Brewster, SB1070, that declares open season on people of color, sets the clock back on a generation of civil rights gains, mandates racial profiling, jeopardizes public safety and creates a wedge between law enforcement and ethnic communities. You can call it the Papers Please Immigration Law or you can call it the American version of South Africa's Pass laws -- or Germany's Nuremburg Laws. The march in Phoenix on Saturday, boosted by both the AFL-CIO and SEIU is predicted to attract at least 50,000 from all over the country, and some estimates are far higher. For more information on the National Day of Action against SB1070, check out http://www.altoarizona.com.

On our program tonight we begin with the ongoing ecological catastrophe unfolding in the Gulf of Mexico as a result of the Deepwater Horizon/BP (Transocean/ Halliburton) oil spill. For the first time in history, oil is pouring into the deep currents of a semi-enclosed sea, poisoning the water and depriving it of oxygen so that entire classes of marine species are at risk of annihilation. It is as if an underwater neutron bomb has struck the Gulf of Mexico, causing little apparent damage on the surface but destroying the living creatures below. Michael Klare writes in The Nation that while poor oversight and faulty equipment may have played a critical role in BP’s catastrophe in the Gulf, the ultimate source of the disaster is big oil’s compulsive drive to compensate for the decline in its conventional oil reserves by seeking supplies in inherently hazardous areas, no matter the risk. The oil spewing in the gulf may be one of the great ecological disasters of human history, but Klare sees it as prelude to a time of ever increasing reliance on problematic, hard-to-reach energy sources, a danger zone that risks the fate of the planet. He joins us to explain.

We'll end our show tonight with a treat, a special edition from the vault of the Pacifica Archives paying tribute to the war dead on this Memorial Day, including a stirring collection of testimony from the first Winter Soldier Hearings in 1971.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Michael T. Klare, The Nation's defense correspondent, is professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College. His latest book is Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy (Holt). Other books include: Resource Wars and Blood and Oil: The Dangers and Consequences of America's Growing Petroleum Dependency (Metropolitan). Klare also serves on the boards of directors of Human Rights Watch, and the Arms Control Association. He is a regular contributor to many publications including The Nation, TomDispatch, Mother Jones, and is a frequent columnist for Foreign Policy In Focus.