Today’s UpTake: Climate Change Brings Lawsuits; Vets for Peace Arrested at White House

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Today and this week we’re taking a look at whether the extreme weather that has hit Minnesota in recent months is a result of global climate change. University of Minnesota Environmental Law Professor Hari Osofsky walks us through several lawsuits filed as a result of environmental pollution and climate change. Speaking of extreme weather, the nasty (and early) winter storm that hit the Twin Cities last weekend will force the Minnesota Vikings to play in U-M’s TCF Bank Stadium today. Video footage of the Metrodome’s interior last Thursday was a sight for sore eyes. Prior to the Vikings-Bears game, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell will meet with Governor-elect Mark Dayton. This is the big news out of a relatively quiet few days for Dayton, who on Friday named his chief council.

On the national scene, former FBI agent Coleen Rowley, Pentagon Papers leak Daniel Ellsberg, and over 130 peace activists were arrested at the White House gates on Thursday for protesting the Afghan War and for standing up for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The mainstream media paid almost no attention to this important story, which is why The UpTake has paid attention, and why it’s important to breath life into all forms of independent media, such as community radio stations, whose numbers Congress agreed to increase. Another story that drew little attention in the mainstream media was that of Mustafa, an Iraqi boy who lost his leg in Najaf as a result of the ongoing war, but will get a new leg thanks to the kindness of Minnesotans.

Inside the halls of government, President Obama signed the tax-cut bill on Friday. This week he’ll likely sign a repeal of ‘Don’t Ask Don’t Tell’, which barred gays from openly serving in the U.S. military. His next order of business will be to build Congressional support to ratify the new START treaty with Russia, to which Obama devoted his Saturday “fireside chat”.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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