BTS 7/28/08: End of the Planet; Torture and the APA; More Unequal

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On tonight’s BTS we begin with Mike Davis. In a striking report from the front lines of science, Mike "welcomes" the new geologic era we're officially entering, a period in which humanity may simply, and catastrophically, outrun history itself. Mike proclaims the end of the Holocene, maybe even the planet and he places a lot of blame on the "CEOs of fossil energy companies [who] know what they are doing and are aware of [the] long-term consequences of continued business as usual." He thinks they should "be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature.

We then turn to the deepening torture scandals with the news that our torturers borrowed a page from the methods used by Stalinist China and Korea in a 1957 handbook -- methods used to elicit false confessions, while our commander in chief and the torture promoters insist we need to torture to get vital intelligence – Not only that: the American Psychological Association is complicit, overwhelmingly defeating a measure that would have denied the right of its members to participate in interrogations of prisoners in US detention centers. The APA, says Richard Lichtman, has failed to denounce torture and to condemn the war, and have fallen short of the ethical principles of their own organization.

And finally, we talk to Michael Yates about his new book, More Unequal: Aspects of Class in the United States.

Read More for info on tonight's guests:

1. Mike Davis is the author of The Monster at our Door: The Global Threat of Avian Flu (New Press), Prisoners of the American Dream (Verso), Magical Urbanism, City of Quartz, Ecology of Fear, Late Victorian Holocausts, Dead Cities, Planet of Slums, and In Praise of Barbarians: Essays Against Empire. He is currently working on a book about cities, poverty, and global change.

2. Richard Lichtman is a professor at The Wright Institute in Berkeley, author of books on critical theory, (The Production of Desire), psychoanalysis and Marxist theory, and Dying in America. He is a founder of the journal Socialist Revolution. He is the Director of a new graduate degree program in critical theory at the Professional School of Psychology in Sacramento.

3. Michael D. Yates is associate editor of Monthly Review. He was professor of economics at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown. He is author of Longer Hours, Fewer Jobs: Employment and Unemployment in the United States (1994), Why Unions Matter (1998), and Naming the System: Inequality and Work in the Global System (2004), all published by Monthly Review Press.