Copenhagen in Texas: An Interview w/ Environmentalist Robin Schneider

Robin Schneider

This week the United Nations is holding it’s big conference in Copenhagen, Denmark called COP15. This is where the important issue of Climate change is being discussed. Thus far over 34 thousand delegates and press have descended to a convention that only seats 15 thousand. So many people are there that a lottery has been set up to allow people in. Many in attendance feel this is the last opportunity for the world to come together and reverse the lifestyle and business practices that spawn pollution and has led to severe Global Warming.

At the same time there is an alternative climate conference called Klimaforum2009. This bills itself as the forum devoid of the political mischief-making and political controversy that has plagued Cop15. Author Naomi Klein will be speaking at the opening of Klimaforum. President Obama will be touching down in Copenhagen next week toward the close of the conference.

While we focus on COP15 , we at Southern Shift wanted to bring attention to environmental and global issues closer to home. This week we will kick things off with a two-part interview with Robin Schneider who heads up Texas Campaign for the Environment. In pt1 she speaks to us about the challenge Texans face in recycling. What was suprising for us was to learn that many landfill companies have successfully lobbied the state and federal legislatures to allow them to fill their landfills with organic materials as oppose to composting and recycling it. These landfills giants claim that the organic material produces methane gas which is a renewable source of energy. Schneider vehemently disagrees. She points out that such claims are vastly exaggerated.

In pt2 of our interview, Schneider talks to us about the recent appointment of Dr Al Armendariz to Region 6 of the EPA which is located in Dallas. Armendariz who has a rich history in the environmental justice movement was the preferred choice over lobbyist John Hall who had pushed hard for that job. This was a big victory for environmentalist. Schneider explains what we need to do to make this an even better situation.

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