Links to today’s show transcripts:
Experts: If We Don’t Stop Climate Change, CA Fires “Will Seem Mild In Comparison to What’s Coming”
The Mendocino Complex Fire in Northern California is now the largest wildfire ever recorded in California’s history. It started burning in July—the state’s hottest month on record. Of the 20 largest wildfires in California history, 15 have occurred since 2000. This year’s fires have already burned nearly three times as many acres as the same time last year. Experts say climate change has increased the length of fire season. Michael Brune is the director of the Sierra Club. Michael Mann is a distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University and author of “The Madhouse Effect: How Climate Change Denial is Threatening our Planet, Destroying Our Politics, and Driving us Crazy.”
$1 An Hour to Fight Largest Fire in CA History: Are Prison Firefighting Programs Slave Labor?
California relies on thousands of prisoners, including many women, to battle the wildfires burning statewide. Prisoner firefighters gain training and earn time off of their sentences for good behavior, typically two days off for each day served. But critics of the program say the state is exploiting prisoners’ eagerness to earn time for early release. While salaried firefighters earn an annual mean wage of $74,000 plus benefits, inmates earn just $2 per day with an additional $1 per hour when fighting an active fire. According to some estimates, California avoids spending about $80-$100 million a year by using prison labor to fight its biggest environmental problem. Romarilyn Ralston is a member of the California Coalition for Women Prisoners-LA Chapter, and the program coordinator for Project Rebound at Cal State University, Fullerton. Ralston was imprisoned for 23 years, during which time she worked as a fire camp trainer. Deirdre Wilson was imprisoned for three-and-a-half years, and worked as a landscaper at a women’s fire camp in San Diego.
73 Years After U.S. Dropped Atom Bomb on Nagasaki, Survivor Warns About Threat of Nuclear Warfare
Seventy-three years ago today, on August 9, 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Nagasaki, killing 74,000 people and forever changing the lives of those who survived the nuclear attack. The bombing came just three days after the U.S. dropped the world’s first atomic bomb on the Japanese city of Hiroshima, killing some 140,000 people. Terumi Kuramori is a hibakusha—that’s the Japanese word for a survivor of the atomic bomb—and Tatsuya Yoshioka is the co-founder and director of the Peace Boat.