Call the COPs | Crooked Media
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November 18, 2022
Call the COPs

In This Episode

Amy and Mary break down this year’s COP27 in Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, and explore the history of U.N. climate conferences beginning with the first summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. They also discuss the unseemly presence of fossil fuel companies at the meeting, loss and damages, climate debt, and more

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Mary Annaise Heglar [AD]


Amy Westervelt Welcome to Hot Take. I’m Amy Westervelt.


Mary Annaise Heglar And I’m Mary Annaise Heglar. So the midterm results have continued to roll in, and they’ve changed the math a little bit. Arizona and Nevada have now both been called for the Democrats, which gives them control of the Senate. Georgia is, as expected, going to a runoff election, and I really need that to go the right way. I can’t say Senator Herschel Walker, Amy. I can’t do it.


Amy Westervelt I know. I know. Brutal. Georgia, why you got to put us through it every time. Why?


Mary Annaise Heglar Oh, but no, that’s too that’s too hard on Georgia, because Georgia used to be a lock for Republicans. And now look.


Amy Westervelt That’s true.


Mary Annaise Heglar So you’re doing amazing, Georgia. So proud of you.


Amy Westervelt Keep it up, sweetie.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yes, yes. Love it.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. The house still looks like it’s going to go to the Republicans but definitely by much fewer seats than anyone was projecting. The Lauren Boebert race has still not been called. But it’s looking like she might eke that one out.


Mary Annaise Heglar We are recording on Wednesday morning. By the time you hear this on Friday, maybe you have different news. Maybe you have better news. I don’t know.


Amy Westervelt That’s true. It’s true. Yeah. Yeah, maybe I.


Mary Annaise Heglar I know the Wisconsin race hadn’t been called when we taped last week either, but it went to Ron Johnson. Over between that and retaining control of the Senate, the Democrats are actually in good shape coming out of the midterms. Is that possible?


Amy Westervelt Yeah, it’s it’s kind of wild that like the the red wave definitely did. Not materialize, which we know we talked about last time. But like even more even more than than we thought it did not materialize and a really important thing to keep in mind is that the secretaries of state in both Arizona and Nevada went to the Democrats. Which is great news for Election integrity in 2020 for both of the people that were running for that on the GOP ticket were hard core Election deniers. And the secretary of state, you know, is like the person in the state who decides whether or not they’re going to accept election results. So that’s good. Especially because guess who’s back, Mary?


Mary Annaise Heglar I know the answer and I don’t want to ask because I don’t want to hear you say it.


Amy Westervelt I know, it’s terrible. Trump did announce last night at Mar a Lago that he is once again running for president, which, by the way, is a lot of faith in an election system that he still claims is rigged.


Mary Annaise Heglar I mean, that’s true, right? That’s part of how, you know, the big lie is the lie. I didn’t watch the announcement. Did he come down a golden escalator again this time?


Amy Westervelt I also did not watch it. But apparently the song Rocket Man was involved.


Mary Annaise Heglar We live on the dumbest place at the dumbest time. I.


Amy Westervelt Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar I I’m just thinking back to like if he had been actually impeached after he, I don’t know, had some, you know, had an insurrection he wouldn’t be able to run.


Amy Westervelt Well I know, that’s the thing. I’m also like, why like the DOJ or whatever that that FBI raid happened months ago and I’m assuming they found some shit. And I know that like, they’re trying to be very careful and get all their ducks in a row before they do anything, like indicting Trump or, or whatever. But like, I don’t know.


Mary Annaise Heglar I feel like,.


Amy Westervelt Like he shouldn’t be allowed to run.


Mary Annaise Heglar I feel like putting us in a position where he can run for president again is anything but careful is the definition of careless.


Amy Westervelt I agree.


Mary Annaise Heglar You know, like we especially after everything we saw in the in the Hill hearings about the insurrection like he was he was.


Amy Westervelt It was even worse.


Mary Annaise Heglar More involved than I thought. And it was really bad with what we saw with our naked eye on the day of he should not be able to run for president again. And yet here we the fuck are. I just I don’t know. I’m sure we’ll talk more about this going on for the rest of our goddamn lives. Amy So in other news, a lot of state legislators went to the Democrats, too, and some important ballot initiative was passed, too. So in New York, Proposition one, the Clean Water, Clean Air and Green Jobs Environmental Bond Act passed that authorizes $4.2 billion for projects dealing with climate change resiliency. In El Paso, Texas. They passed Prop C, helping to fund the city’s climate action plan. Wayne County, Michigan, the county Detroit is in. Pass a big public transit measure by a landslide. Colorado passed a universal free lunch program for schools, and there are lots of others. So it’ll be interesting to, you know, to see what happens in the next couple of years.


Amy Westervelt Yeah, I thought like those that like the El Paso Climate Action Plan funding. And the Wayne County Public Transit funding seemed really, really like a big deal. Well, the New York funding, too. Like, that’s it. That’s basically like a lot of money. New York’s Green New Deal thing.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt So, yeah, but especially El Paso, Texas, like, you know, passing funding for a full on climate action plan. You know, given how much Texas really just did not go the Dems way in any other way.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Election was interesting. Was interesting. Is the the other thing that actually I thought was really interesting is in exit polls. So in the polls going into the election everyone was saying climate is just not something people care about right now. Right.


Mary Annaise Heglar Mmhmm.


Amy Westervelt Gas prices, inflation, blah, blah, blah. In the exit polls. Climate was the number two tied with abortion.


Mary Annaise Heglar Wow.


Amy Westervelt Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar Wow. So.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. And before crime. Before crime. This is according to the AP poll. Yeah. So, like, that’s a pretty big deal.


Mary Annaise Heglar Well, as I learn from you, climate change is a crime. So technically.


Amy Westervelt Mmmhmm mmmhmm


Mary Annaise Heglar But so yeah, I do remember folks saying that climate isn’t a top concern. Candidates shouldn’t talk about climate. That’s not what the voters care about. What was that data based on or what was that assumption based on?


Amy Westervelt That was like early polling data again. But see, this is why I just feel like those. Things are not they’re just not as reliable as they’ve been made out to be. Right. I think.


Mary Annaise Heglar Seriously. How do you get the data? You have to call, right?


Amy Westervelt You have to call people and like.


Mary Annaise Heglar Girl, ain’t nobody answering the phone.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. And also, like, if they’re talking like what? How is the question being asked and who? I don’t know. I just feel like it’s really hard to pin down. So anyway, I mean, you know, the exit poll’s a poll too, but I feel like at that point people have already voted. So it’s a little easier for them to tell you like what was, you know.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt What they were thinking about plus I think that’s a big indicator of how big the Gen-Z turnout was.


Mary Annaise Heglar Can I ask a dumb question, isn’t it? Aren’t exit polls done like as you’re walking out of your poll, out of your voting site?


Amy Westervelt Yeah, usually, yeah. Yeah. Right.


Mary Annaise Heglar So you don’t have to like get somebody to answer the phone. So we actually talk to someone under 50.


Amy Westervelt That’s right. And they’re already like like they’re and they’re they’re they’re they just voted. They dedicated some time to voting. They’re not, you know, like it’s sort of. So anyway, to me I’m like, oh this is very, very interesting. Mhm. Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Anyway the other thing that we’re going to talk about today, we’re going to spend the rest of the episode talking about is the other kind of developing story we mentioned last time which is the 27th Conference of the Parties or COP happening in Egypt. Right now.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah, 27. That means that a Saturn is returning, Amy, but Saturn is returning on cap. The Oh yeah, there’s a lot to talk about. So it’s time, Amy.


Amy Westervelt It’s time to talk about climate.


Amy Westervelt Okay.


Mary Annaise Heglar Okay.


Amy Westervelt All right, let’s get into it.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah, let’s cover some basics. So COP stands for Conference of the Parties is the big international climate talks that happen every year. And in a different country, like probably the most famous one is Paris at this point, the one that took place in 2016. But it’s been going on for for quite a while. You’ve been following it for a while. So tell us some of the good stuff.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. So the the the parties are the signatories to the United Nations Framework Convention On Climate Change. So that the UNF Triple C was drafted and signed on to by a bunch of countries in 1992 in Rio at the Rio Earth Summit. This is like a really pivotal point in, in sort of climate policy history because it was sort of the first big international climate summit. And George Bush senior in the lead up to it was like all for, you know, tackling climate change. And then suddenly he gets to Rio and his tune has changed dramatically. And he’s saying, well, you know, we can’t act on this problem at the at the risk of hurting the economy, like, yes, we want to do something, but we’re not going to do anything that impacts the economy or American’s way of life.


Mary Annaise Heglar That’s so funny to hear because in 1992, dog like herding, you really could have solved climate change without much economic impact.


Amy Westervelt You really go, I know. Well, yeah, because they could have started. So if they started so early, they could have done this like slow process that they want to start now, right. And so and yeah. So but the other big thing I think to know is that the fossil fuel industry was at Rio in force. Yeah. The the Global Climate Coalition, which was this sort of trade group that brought together not just oil companies, but like automotive manufacturers, other kinds of manufacturing, pretty much everybody that would be impacted by regulation on emissions. And they were there, I mean, in pretty major numbers and very much like, you know, kind of saw this coming and were very well prepared for it and got out in front of it, suggesting a lot of like voluntary actions by industry and really made it made it into a business friendly conference and a business friendly framework. So, you know, the UN F triple C is non-binding. It is all kind of self self-regulating when it comes to industry and emissions and all of that stuff. And you know, I just I feel like it’s important for people to understand that that like that was baked into this process from jump. That’s not a new thing. And, you know, and it’s also again like to me, I’m like, okay, the fossil fuel industry has had a quote unquote seat at the table for 30 years. And like, look where we’re at. Surely it’s time to kick them out.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. So were fossil fuel companies sponsors of the first UN conference? Like is there money involved between the two?


They didn’t. You know, they didn’t really have sponsors at that one. It was like more of like a typical kind of heads of state meeting type thing. But the industry did have large delegations of people and they were hosting like side events the whole the whole way through. There’s a guy that I’ve covered a bit named E Bruce Harrison, who was like a legendary PR guy who really helped to kind of like craft the industry’s approach to this and and really like is kind of he’s known as the father of greenwashing. So one of the things I know and he really he really more than anyone, I think, came up with this idea of like of companies kind of doing like being able to sort of announce initiatives that sound good but aren’t really doing much, you know. Right. So he really was like, Oh, well, if we talk about how we’re all going to, you know voluntarily reduce the emissions associated with refining oil then they will get off our backs on any kind of like actual regulation. And it worked.


Mary Annaise Heglar Hmm.


Amy Westervelt So, Mary, now these have been going on for a long time. What was the first year that you remember. Kind of first tuning into this or like paying attention to it?


Mary Annaise Heglar First time I really paid attention was in 2015 with the big cop in Paris. They gave us the Paris Agreement. Technically, I’d heard of the cop before that, but I didn’t know it had a name because I was volunteering at this newspaper in the sky and older journalist was retired but still volunteer there had gone to the gone to cop and came back and was like, you guys are fucked. Your future is a wrap and wild lot. And I was like, I can’t handle this. I’m 22 and I like, sounds like there’s nothing I can do about this. I’m just going to move on. But yeah, by 2015, I was already, you know, had been working in the environmental movement in earnest since 2014. And that was right around the time that I was learning that the Earth had already warmed by a degree. I didn’t I had not yet internalized the fact that the globe had warmed and that global warming was not something we can stop. So I was going through like a pretty profound moment with my climate grief at that point, and then seeing the Paris agreement pass and like everybody around me was celebrating, these people have been working on climate change much longer, were, I thought, more steeped in the science and everything. But I was watching them celebrate this agreement that said, make best efforts to keep it at 1.5, but definitely keep it at two degrees. And knowing what I knew about how much the earth had already warmed, I was like, that doesn’t one that doesn’t seem achievable from what you’ve outlined. And two, that doesn’t seem like a great goal.


Amy Westervelt Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. So I was very befuddled by that.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. I mean, I think, I think that’s like an important thing to kind of mention. Is just especially because the whole like 1.5 target is like coming up a lot right now in terms of, you know, have we blown past it? Is it going to get chucked out as a target even? All of that stuff and like, I think that it’s like important for folks to understand that it was absolutely a political compromise. This wasn’t scientists saying, oh, you know, 1.5. seems like it would be safe. I think we can all look around at, you know like one degree plus does not look so good. So I can’t you know, I can’t imagine that any any scientists were like, sure, that’s a good offer.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Oh, no, I was just going to say so. Yeah, there’s that. And then also like, um. Again, Paris was nonbinding, although, like, we’re going to talk in a little bit about some of the ways that it still was used to kind of hold countries to commitments.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah. Amy, what about you? I know you’ve been, you know, covering the climate beat for quite some time. What’s the first cop that you paid attention to?


Amy Westervelt I mean, I kind of, you know, they were like you. Like it was sort of happening in the periphery. And I would sort of tune in and tune out. But the one that I. Vividly. Remember, I don’t know, it’s sort of closely paying attention to is was 2009 in Copenhagen. So this was like when Obama was president, Democrats had control of the government and there was actually quite a bit of momentum again behind actually doing. Something on climate. One of the many times where we thought maybe this will be the one and, and, and actually like in a kind of similar. Way to two other big inflection points, there was a lot of money and effort going into trying to derail those talks. And so. First of all, it’s the it’s the first cop I remember there. Being like a really significant and noticeable amount of protest and also coverage of that protest. So the media coverage of it. Like the the 350 folks were really like making a splash at that conference. And also a lot of the island nations were there talking about how they were going to be underwater in, you know, a decade or or to this is like the cop that the the president of the Maldives did this like know some well-known like underwater cabinet meeting, you know. So it was really like there was quite a bit of of protest happening from particularly global south country use and youth activist. There was like this is also the first time I remember seeing like really large numbers of youth climate activists.


Mary Annaise Heglar And how how would those youth activists be right now.


Amy Westervelt Like in their forties yeah yeah yeah yeah yeah. It’s funny because I like I have seen some coverage of today’s youth climate movement kind of act like that’s a new thing.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Really. Like even at the very first real earth, the real Earth Summit in 1992, a significant amount of the media coverage, if you look back at like archival news, is teenagers giving impassioned speeches at the fucking Rio Earth Summit in 1992. So like, yeah, young people have been concerned about this issue for a long, long time.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.  It also makes me think about how, you know, folks see Gen Z protesting and, you know, crying their hearts out about climate change, you know, like the kids are all right, like they’re going to solve this and it’s like, well, they might get older and and ain’t solved.


Amy Westervelt And also like, yeah, well yeah, it’s so much to put on them and they’ve. Been trying and like, you know, the reality is like no one without a significant amount of power is going to be able to. Solve it, you know. Yeah. So yeah. Yeah. The other, the other thing that happened at the Copenhagen. Cop was climate – gate. This was like a big scandal at the time.


Mary Annaise Heglar Oh, my gosh. Yeah, I completely missed this in the news when it happens. But I, I, it kind of like hangs over the environmental movement as this kind of like, this ether, the thing that’s kind of whispered about. So yeah. Please break it down for me. Well, what was Climate Gate?


Amy Westervelt Yeah, it was wild. So basically, a bunch of you know, kind of right wing operatives working on behalf of the fossil fuel industry got hold of some emails that climate scientists were exchanging and pieced together like pieces of those emails to make it look like the climate scientists were colluding to make climate change seem worse than it was. And they went to the press with this and there were a few stories and then it was very quickly debunked. But they had done they did this thing. And this came up in in like a climate disinformation guide that came out ahead of this cop that’s happening in Egypt this year. Climate Gate was like an example that was used because what happened was like a bunch of of media outlets in their debunking coverage kept referring to Climate Gate, which was like the name that the right wing had given. And so it had the effect of sort of like fanning the flames and making it seem like it was something that had actually happened when it was completely, you know, it like almost immediately tossed out. But but yeah, this is like also when you start to see the fossil fuel industry really going after climate scientists. So they start to really go after particularly this guy named Ben Santer, Michael Mann. Who people might know today, is still still out there going on the news and stuff like they this is when they really kind of started to do these personal attacks on climate scientists, which was not a thing really before and before the Copenhagen thing there’s also like there’s some research on on what the fossil fuel lobby has spent and when. And this the Copenhagen conference is like one of the times that they spent the most on kind of counter advertising. So. So yeah, it was like really it’s burned in my brain. There was a bunch of stuff happening.


Mary Annaise Heglar I mean, honestly, that sounds like a story that would definitely like you’re the disinformation queen.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. Oh, my God. What happened here? Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar Do you think that do you think that that was like a moment that really set climate journalism back, right? Because I feel like that’s when you got to really see how you can weaponize even just the tiniest bit of misinformation about science. And it’s, like, really difficult to pull it back so deep there. Like, that was a moment where climate journalists were like, became a lot more reticent to put anything out there that wasn’t. Kind of just like scientific jargon, like not even try to interpret it.


Amy Westervelt I do think that happened a little bit, but I also think that because of that, because of climate gate and because of all the stuff that had happened around climate denial in the nineties, too, that climate journalist actually experienced like the massive disinformation strategy that every other type of journalist is experiencing. now.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Ten, 15 years early.


Mary Annaise Heglar And it never stops.


Amy Westervelt It never stops. So I it’s weird because it’s like, yes, people were definitely sort of caught off guard by it then.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt But I feel like it’s, it’s made the climate journalists who are working today kind of a lot more, a lot better at being more discerning about sources and how to present things and and a lot more, like, concerned about not accidentally spreading disinformation. Yeah. Yeah. So, yeah, I mean, I feel like actually it was a big moment for fact checking. Yeah. So it was sort of like oh, wow. Like, we really need to be much more careful about fact checking this stuff but you know, it like despite the fact that it was quite clownish and that it was almost immediately, you know, revealed to be a complete farce I think it had somewhat its desired effect. Like it definitely, you know, put a seed of doubt in people’s minds about climate scientists and whether they can be trusted and whether they had, like, you know, agendas and whatever.


Mary Annaise Heglar So, yeah. Yeah. So to our listeners, we’re definitely going to get around to talking about the cop that’s happening right now in Egypt. But we want to talk a little bit more about the history of COP. So let’s talk about Kyoto. That was the last binding treaty and the U.S. signed on, but then famously failed to ratify the treaty. What happened there, Amy?


Amy Westervelt Yeah. That this one really is like such a gut punch. So 37 industrialized nations, including the US this was at the COP in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. They came together came up with this agreement, accepted that it was a binding target and said, okay, between 2008 and 2012, we’re going to reduce our emissions to 5% below 1990 levels and one thing to note is that even though the commitment was binding, there was no enforcement mechanism written into this treaty.


Mary Annaise Heglar I mean, the UN does not have an army.


Amy Westervelt Yeah, exactly but it was binding. Right. And then right after this, in the U.S., you had the Bush Gore election. Right.


Mary Annaise Heglar So Clinton was the one who did Kyoto.


Amy Westervelt That’s right. And so so you had at that point, Bush was the most oil funded. Presidential candidate ever. Today it’s Trump. Trump preceded him.


Mary Annaise Heglar Oh, wow.


Amy Westervelt But yeah, you had Bush. But more importantly, you had his Vice President Cheney, who was like a long time oil and gas guy. And they were absolutely determined to not let like it was sort of like, we cannot let Al Gore become president and find a way to ratify this treaty. So the Republican Party was really like all hands on deck with that election. And big, weird coincidence. Who was running the RNC at that time? The wife of Bruce Harrison, the guy who crafted the whole, like, pro-corporate approach to to international climate policy back in the nineties so she was there. I’m sure he was there helping out. And so we have this very shaky election you know, that that ends up being given to Bush, but only after, like a lot of debate about how votes were counted. And I don’t know, I still look back on that and I’m like, oh, man, what a moment in history, you know, like. Yeah, but anyway, so, yeah. Then Bush becomes president. One of the first things he does is you know, orchestrate to have a vote on Kyoto, and the idea is to not ratify it, which is successful in doing. And now the U. The U.S. is not a party to Kyoto, which actually has come back up in this year’s COP, because there are still various aspects to the Kyoto Protocol that the countries that signed on to it are doing and one of them is something that the US has started to do as well. And so the US was trying to get into the meetings about it and they were like they were told to beat it because you’ve heard of Kyoto. Well.


Mary Annaise Heglar And there’s no way to go back and get and be part of Kyoto, is there?


Amy Westervelt I don’t think so. I mean, I guess the Congress could move to ratify that treaty now. But they missed the window. I mean, it was 2008 to 2012 that they would have been, you know, trying to hit those targets. So it’s a moot point at this point. But again it’s like God imagine if they had actually done that. There’s so many of these points throughout the history of the the COPs that are just sort of like near misses.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. I feel like, you know, acting on climate is like going to the dentist. The need to go doesn’t get less with time. Like waiting. Gets , makes it severely,.


Amy Westervelt Definitely gets worse.


Mary Annaise Heglar Like, oh you needed a filling. Now you need a root canal. Oh, shit. Now you lost the tooth. Well.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Exactly.


Mary Annaise Heglar Okay. Yes. And we’ve already talked about the Paris agreement that everybody’s, you know, talking about. And reminder, that’s also not binding. So at this point is cop just a nation state level PR conference?


Amy Westervelt I mean, there is definitely an air of that. You know, I’m not going to claim otherwise. Like, it’s bizarre. There’s, you know, there’s like a convention hall where all of the oil companies and related industries get to have, like, tradeshow booths and shit you know, it’s bizarre. And, you know, like at this at this cop, you have Saudi Arabia just greenwashing its ass off. But I will say, like even with Paris, we just talked about how it was non-binding. That is true. However, it has been used in court cases actually successfully to kind of force governments to do more. So there’s a pretty well-known case called agenda that happened in the Netherlands. There’s a case in France. There was one in Ireland. There’s been quite a few where citizens have said, look, you signed on to this commitment and you’re doing the opposite, like you’re actually funding more fossil fuel development and you can’t do that. And those arguments have been successful in court. So even though the the agreement itself is non binding, people still take it seriously when governments sign on to an agreement or a pact or whatever. And it does have some some implications for climate policy. The other big thing that happens at COP is a lot of discussion around finance. We’re going to talk about that in a little more detail in a minute. But but that also has a big impact. You know, like if there are decisions that are made at cop around, you know debt or funding climate adaptation or things like that, that sends a big signal to world markets around, you know, what can and can’t get funded. So those are like the two big things. I do not think that it needs to be this like weird trade show. I think that, like, the negotiators can meet in person and nobody else really needs to be there, with the exception of maybe like protesters.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. I was just going to say, I the biggest value I see of COP is creating an environment where activists and others from the global south and from vulnerable communities can directly confront the powerful.


Amy Westervelt That’s right.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah, I think I think that’s important. But a lot of the other stuff.


Amy Westervelt And in a way that like gets media coverage.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Usually too, you know so so that does seem important. But yeah, I don’t I don’t understand why they’re still allowing massive fossil fuel delegations. Which it’s even more this year than it was last year.


Mary Annaise Heglar Are you kidding?


Amy Westervelt No, it’s a 25% increase from last year.


Mary Annaise Heglar Wow.


Amy Westervelt And and that doesn’t even include like, it’s actually probably much more because it doesn’t include the delegates from oil states, you know, state run oil companies. It doesn’t include anyone who’s affiliated with the host country. So, like, you know, there’s a bunch of ways that people can kind of get around having to be listed as official participants. One really funny one. Well, funny slash sad is that apparently Bernard Looney, president of BP, who is listed as the as the negotiator for Mauritania.


Mary Annaise Heglar So we’ll we’ll talk more about, you know, everything going on at cop, including this bullshit and a little bit more about, you know, why are there so many corporations and lobbyists a cop. After the break.


Mary Annaise Heglar [AD]


Mary Annaise Heglar Okay. Amy, why are corporations and lobbyists such a big part of COP?


Amy Westervelt Well, like I said before, they have been there since the beginning. So it’s sort of like.


Mary Annaise Heglar This is time immemorial.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. So it’s sort of this thing where it’s kind of slowly grown year over year. I think there’s very much this sense. And you heard Christiana Figueres saying this last year at Glasgow, like, you know, we had we had a couple of episodes where we talked about this. But, you know, there was that moment where she had hosted this pre cop event and an activist got on stage, you know, in a panel with the shells. Yeah, yeah, yeah. And like like, let him have it, which was an amazing moment. But, you know, Christiana Figueres was very like, oh, you know, kind of the whole we need to compromise, we need to talk, we need to have everyone at the table, blah, blah, blah. She is one of the architects of the 1.5 deal and has been celebrated as as, you know, a negotiator and someone who’s able to get people to come to the table and compromise and all that, which is, you know, a skill. But I would just say that, like, again, I’m like a broken record on this. This is not. An issue where compromise is a positive outcome?


Mary Annaise Heglar Definitely not at this point.


Amy Westervelt Yeah, unfortunately like the atmosphere and the physics of our planet. Don’t give a shit about your political compromises.


Mary Annaise Heglar They seriously don’t


Amy Westervelt Or your diplomatic skills, you know, like, I’m sorry, but. Yeah. So anyway, unfortunately. Big corporations have always had a seat at the table when it comes to cop, and their seat has just gotten bigger every year. And it’s going to require the U.N. saying no to that for them to stop growing their delegation. But I don’t see that happening, especially when next year COP is being hosted by an oil state, the United Arab Emirates.


Mary Annaise Heglar So isn’t Egypt also a petro state?


Amy Westervelt They have five state owned oil companies. So, yeah, they’re, you know, the Ministry of Petroleum and Mineral Resources. Under which five state owned companies operate. So yeah. And apparently earlier this year, Egypt moved to increase its investments in state owned oil. So, yeah, Egypt is also a petro state. There we go. There we go. Uh, yeah. Anyway, so, yeah, like I said before, there are 25% more delegates from fossil fuel companies this year than there were last year. That gives them a total of 636 delegates. So just like last year, if the fossil fuel industry was a country, they would have by far the most delegates at COP.


Mary Annaise Heglar Wow.


Amy Westervelt Than any other country. And that does not include the like I said, the delegates from oil states. So there’s Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates. Actually, Russia’s climate envoy is there as well. Um.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah, yeah.


Amy Westervelt Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar That’s also reminding me about a lot of these petro states signed the Paris Agreement and have done shit to become not petro states.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. I mean, Saudi Arabia was really integral in the whole IPCC process this last round. So that’s the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change that puts out an assessment report every few years. Mostly it’s, you know scientists and academics who are drawing from the available research but at the very last, there’s a summary for policymakers and that is negotiated to death by people from various countries, including Saudi Arabia and the United States both of which were sort of actively pushing for less language on, you know, emissions reductions and more on carbon capture and all of those kinds of things. So so yeah, they’re definitely, you know. Lobbying on behalf of the fossil fuel industry. Also, I want to point out that Egypt, the host country this year, has its own PR team for COP and they are none other than Hill and Knowlton, the PR firm that not only created the whole science denial strategy for big tobacco, but actually really acted as a bridge between the tobacco and oil industries. So, oh, they were they were.epresenting tobacco and oil at the same time, kind of all along. They got the tobacco guys into the API, the American Petroleum Institute. That led to the tobacco and oil guys partnering up to create the cigaret filter. So yeah, these are not the guys for your climate conference today. They represent the the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative, which is a coalition of 12 of the world’s largest oil companies who are theoretically coming together to tackle climate change. But I don’t know, seems more like strategizing to avoid regulation.


Mary Annaise Heglar So they hired liars is what I’m hearing.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. Who have a major track record in working for the fossil fuel industry. Those guys are I mean they’re handling press briefings. They are really the comms arm for Egypt at this COP.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah. You know, it shows how guilty you are and who you hire to represent you.


Amy Westervelt Yeah, yeah, it’s true.


Mary Annaise Heglar But I guess this is a little bit of good news. At least this year’s cop is no longer being sponsored by Coca-Cola.


Amy Westervelt Apparently, they’re out as the official sponsor, although they’re still there as US sponsors. So it’s a little bit like funky. Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar Explain why Coca-Cola being a sponsor of cop is ridiculous.


Amy Westervelt Well, Coca-Cola is one of the world’s largest producers and users of single use disposable plastic. Which is made from petroleum.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


And, you know there’s there’s a whole bunch of reasons that that plastic is definitely a climate issue. It’s kind of it was dismissed for a long time as like, oh, that’s litter. That’s a separate issue. It’s not a separate issue. It’s literally made from petroleum or these days mostly a byproduct of the fracking process. So it requires the oil and gas industry to exist. All of the top companies that produce plastic are household oil and gas companies. Yeah. Yeah. And in a lot of cases, the revenue that they’re getting from plastic is what is enabling them to continue to develop new fossil fuel resources. So even if you look at it and you go, oh, well you know, plastic is only 5% of their emissions. That’s not the whole picture. So, yeah, it’s absolutely ridiculous that they would let Coca-Cola sponsor the whole thing. I mean yeah, again, I just feel like it’s way past time to stop doing this shit. And like, if you need Coca-Cola to be able to pay for this massive thing, then make it smaller and more focused and kick out the fucking trade show component. You know?


Mary Annaise Heglar Mm hmm. Mm hmm. Yeah. Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Anyway the other thing we kind of mentioned this but just like the the whole oil state thing has been really interesting at this cop. I think finally, people are starting to understand that, like, those are also oil companies. There’s been a thing for a long time where it’s like, we’ll talk about Exxon and Shell, but not about, you know, Saudi and UAE. I think Saudis like greenwashing tent the is drawing more attention to that so and Akshat Rathi who we had on on the podcast is there on the ground and he he had a very entertaining thread on Twitter about this and also has has written about it. But, you know, it’s it was hilarious like there, you know, it’s all the sort of, oh, here are the five actions that you individuals can take to deal with climate. And meanwhile, their entire goal there is to they’re like they’re fighting with India about a particular line in the final agreement. Which is currently you know, or was talking about the phase down of coal. And India is lobbying for it to be the phase down of fossil fuels entirely. So not just coal but like all fossil fuels, which yeah, they’re right. And Saudi is like no.


Mary Annaise Heglar Oh, wow.


Amy Westervelt So. So, yeah the contrast between what they’re actually doing at camp and what their messaging is is very stark. Yeah. Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar Well, let’s talk about the big, exciting thing happening at camp and something we’ve been alluding to on on the shows leading up to now is all this talk about debt. And if you did not listen to our episode about Barbados and global debt and climate colonialism, please go back and listen to that. It’s very instructive. So let’s talk about what the prime minister of Barbados, Mia Mottley, has been up to after the break.


Amy Westervelt [AD]


Amy Westervelt Yeah. So actually, I mean, this cop has been referred to as Africa’s COP and I think maybe more aptly, you should be referred to as like the Global South Cop, because you have really large blocs of global south countries. And and I think I mean, maybe this is this is just my own experience, but to me, it really seems like having more influence this year than I’ve seen them have in the past. So starting with me and Mottley, if she is suggesting something called the Bridgetown agenda, which is looking to reform the financial system. So that developing countries don’t have to choose between using their, you know, GDP or national budgets to repay these massive debt burdens or invest in energy transition and climate adaptation. So this is very much what Barbados did and what we talked about in an episode was, you know, came up with us with a plan that enabled them to pause their debt payments so that they could actually use the country’s money to prepare for the inevitable increasing hurricanes and sea level rise and all that stuff. Because they were in this position that a lot of global south countries are in where they’ve taken on debt from various development banks. And the International Monetary Fund, the IMF, and are now like I’m so strapped with debt, but like you know, I don’t know I don’t know if you’ve ever been in the position of like only being able to pay the interest on your credit card. Yeah, that’s basically. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think we can all relate. Yeah, I like I look at this and I’m like, oh my God, yeah. You know, so it’s like when you’re doing that and all your money is going to that, you don’t have the money to like, you know, fix the broken light in your house or like get your car running. That’s very much the position that a lot of global south countries are in where they’re just paying like the maintenance payments on their debt and they don’t have enough left over to do things like move people out of coastal areas that are eroding or strengthening roads in those areas.


Mary Annaise Heglar Right.


Amy Westervelt Or fund cleaner energy projects, any of that stuff. So.


Mary Annaise Heglar Right.


Amy Westervelt So that’s the big thing that she is coming to come up with and actually like the proposal is really gaining traction. So French President Emmanuel Macron is backing her proposal. That’s I think. I’m so impressed. The whole the EU the EU negotiator, Jacob Worksman, described it as a, quote, very powerful vision of what could be achieved and Germany and the U.S. are supportive of this idea. So I think it like it really has the potential to be a successful proposal. And there, again, like this is the kind of thing that okay, yeah, it’s not a, you know, a binding treaty necessarily. But if you’ve got like most of the global north countries and, you know, the World Bank and the IMF and all that kind of backing this, then it’s probably going to work. Yeah. Yeah. So yeah, it would open up some amount of of money to global south countries because, you know, part of this whole debt situation also means that they can’t access new money to do things like fund climate adaptation. So it would kind of fix that. It would increase the lending capacity of multilateral development banks. It would create a $500 billion fund that would potentially also have what are called special drawing rights. So it would enable global south countries to kind of access that in an emergency and it comes with an automatic declaration of loss and damage funding when an event costs more than 5% of a country’s GDP. That part is really huge because we’re seeing that right look at Pakistan. Now, like in Nigeria, look at Nigeria. Like, you know we’re we’re already seeing those things happening in in. Motley’s own neck of the woods. You know, you’ve had entire islands get wiped out by hurricanes.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Entire economies be wiped out. So also, she’s proposing this part I love the most a levy on fossil fuel producers, which would kick in as prices fall to avoid the effects of a fossil fuel price crisis and like increases for for citizens in these countries. So.


Mary Annaise Heglar Wait, I don’t know what a levy is.


Amy Westervelt Oh, it’s a tax. A fine.


Mary Annaise Heglar Oh, okay.


Amy Westervelt Money. They’re going to get money from fossil fuel companies which is good.


Mary Annaise Heglar I was like, Oh, they’re going to dam the river.


Amy Westervelt No, no, no. So, yeah. So that’s all really, really good. There’s a couple of other things that that like kind of groups of global south countries are doing at COP. There are a few countries that are proposing climate prosperity plans so Bangladesh, Ghana, the Maldives and Sri Lanka are proposing these plans that are basically you know, looking for investors in green energy transition, clean tech, all of that kind of stuff. So not really looking at things like roads and infrastructure adaptation, but really like fueling new technology for for cleaner energy. And then. South Africa has has put forth what it calls a just energy transition partnership.


Mary Annaise Heglar Mm hmm.


Amy Westervelt So this is like, okay, how can we maybe, you know, again, like this is this is a little bit like as we wait for everyone to figure out this whole loss and damages question, like aan we pair specific countries together to help each other out? Like, can we go, you know, country to country and say, okay, you, France and Germany are going to lend us South Africa money to adapt to climate change so that that kind of thing is starting to happen a little bit, which is is very interesting, too. And the other big thing that is being talked about right now is what’s called a global shield against climate risk. So this is kind of it’s basically like a large insurance policy. And and it would basically get money in from more developed countries to help when there are really large disasters. So money that can quickly be deployed when something like the Pakistan or Nigerian flooding happens and and it already has pledges from Germany, France, Ireland, Denmark, the US and Canada. And it has its first recipients already, which will be Bangladesh. Costa Rica, Fiji, Ghana, Pakistan, the Philippines and Senegal. So this is great. It has been criticized a little bit because some people think it sort of distracts from the loss of damages conversation. You know, it makes people think, oh, well, this is already taken care of. This is a separate thing. This is more of like an aid package. But because of the way that it’s been set up and the way that it’s talked about, it can kind of seem like, oh, well, this is already doing lots of damage.


Mary Annaise Heglar Right. And loss and damage is officially on the agenda. This COP, is that the first time?


Amy Westervelt It is the first time that the cop is like starting with loss and damages on the agenda. Yes. And that was like a pledge that Egypt made very early on when it was selected as the host country. And it definitely delivered like that happened day one. So that’s great. There’s a lot of debate still. A lot. I don’t know. It’s really it’s so we were talking before about this 1992 Rio Earth Summit and then Kyoto in 97. And it’s weird to me to see how much like a lot of fossil fuel industry is kind of narrative has not changed that much. Like it shifts slightly depending on what suits them.


Mary Annaise Heglar I mean if it ain’t broke, Amy.


Amy Westervelt I know it’s just wild like and so in the nineties their big thing was like, it’s not fair that global south countries aren’t required to reduce their emissions. Like, why should we have to do it if they don’t kind of thing.


Mary Annaise Heglar Right. Just because we broke it, why should we have to fix it?


Amy Westervelt Yeah. Yeah. And now today it’s a combination of things, right? One. Is we know well, we have our own problems to fix. So how could we possibly afford to fix yours, too? And the other is, it’s unfair to not allow global south countries the miracle of fast development to be a, quote unquote, cheap fossil fuel energy. So they’re they’re advocating for delaying the timeline for for global south countries to have to comply with emissions reductions. So it’s it’s weird. It’s like they’re almost they’re making actually almost the exact opposite argument now that they made in the nineties because now it benefits them to have global south countries hooked on fossil fuels, especially on fossil fuel development, which is another big thing that has come up in this cop, because not all global south countries are the same, right? They’re not a monolith and some of them are also oil countries.


Mary Annaise Heglar Right. Right. Like Egypt.


Amy Westervelt That complicates things. Like Egypt. Like Nigeria.


Mary Annaise Heglar Its, is Nigeria an oil state, though?


Amy Westervelt It’s a major oil producing country.


Mary Annaise Heglar It’s a major oil exploited company like it’s not.


Amy Westervelt Well, that’s the thing. I think that’s the really important thing. So actually, like the the president of Nigeria Muhammadu Buhari, wrote this op op ed in The Washington Post that I thought was really interesting because he he was trying to make this argument like, you know, don’t tell Africans that they can’t use their own resources. But Nigeria is not using that oil. They’re. They’re like it’s being it’s being extracted by us and European oil companies and then exported elsewhere.


Mary Annaise Heglar Right. They don’t have a state owning oil company like the U.S., like.


Amy Westervelt You know, like Russia, like. Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Like it’s not like just a self-sufficient oil and gas system. You know, like if that’s what we were we’re talking about, like allowing global south countries with fossil fuel reserves to use those fossil fuel reserves themselves until they’re able to transition that’s a different conversation than we need to allow these countries to, like, sell their oil to privately owned oil companies, which theoretically, like it’s always painted as, oh, that’s going to give them wealth. That’s going to lead to development. And that is actually what the Nigerian president is arguing for. He’s like, well, we should be able to continue to like you know, benefit financially from the situation. But I don’t know if you talk to a lot of citizens in Nigeria, they’re not feeling like they’re benefiting financially from it.


Mary Annaise Heglar No.


Amy Westervelt You know. This is always it’s always sold as like, oh, when oil comes to town, everybody gets rich. But that’s just not true. When oil comes to town, a small handful of people get very rich and everybody else gets cancer.


Mary Annaise Heglar Right.


Amy Westervelt You know?


Mary Annaise Heglar Right.


Mary Annaise Heglar And also, like. Yeah. Reminder that Nigeria is still underwater. Nigeria is still flooded. So you know.


Amy Westervelt That’s right. But then it’s it’s really, really interesting because he has made this very impassioned plea for loss and damages where he’s saying, you know, don’t tell us when we’re only responsible for you know, a few percent of emissions. And even if you know, we, even if our share of of like even if we used all of our natural gas, our share of emissions would only rise from 3% to 3.5%. We’re not the problem, yadda, yadda. Which is true. But like, there’s this other component to it that’s kind of like, you know, being ignored. So to me, I’m like, this is that. But like a really thorny question because in, you know, like the history of of oil gas exploitation is one of like American and European countries going in to countries and extracting their oil and then being sort of kicked out in waves over history and then let back in. You know, it’s like countries will nationalize their oil, kick the private companies out and then decide that they want the additional money that comes from letting private companies handle it and let them back in. So.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yikes.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. It’s like, you know, we can’t. It’s it’s it’s not straightforward. And it’s definitely very, very messy. My answer is always like, well, if you want fossil fuel money, how about we just take it from the fossil fuel companies to fund loss and damages?


Mary Annaise Heglar I feel like that’s a pretty solid solution, quite honestly.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. And well, and because again, like we were saying, you know, before about that, like, like the the planet, the atmosphere doesn’t care about your compromises, unfortunately, like that. That holds true here, too. Like no more new fossil fuel development means no more new fossil fuel development and it doesn’t matter where it is and.unfortunately it doesn’t matter whether that’s like quote unquote, fair or not. I had someone in Guyana actually counter this to me or she said, you know, I don’t get this idea that because you guys made a giant mistake, we should get to make that same mistake even though we know it’s a mistake. Yeah, I don’t understand why people are arguing for that, but there are a significant number of people who are arguing for that.


Mary Annaise Heglar I mean, I think it’s like an easy role to take in is also just like hella insulting to have the people who wreck the world tell you what to do. And like, especially when you’ve been in this position of watching the world get rich off of your resources, and then that very rich world tells you that you now that your resources are under your own control, you can’t benefit from them, you can’t profit from them. Like that is a morally bankrupt argument and it also makes total feel right. And it also makes me think about, you know, these countries being in so much debt when it’s their wealth that that the global north has gotten rich off of. So like.


Amy Westervelt That’s right. Exactly


Mary Annaise Heglar So these shouldn’t be these are actually very rich countries when it comes to like minerals and also cough, cough people like these, they’ve had their literal bodies extracted from them. And now, like they’re being saddled with all of this debt and being like positioned as like, oh, they don’t want to pay what they owe. Why the fuck do they owe you anything, if anything they are owed.


Amy Westervelt That’s right. That’s right. Yeah, that’s exactly right. The the one fly in the ointment there is that for the most part, these countries are not getting rich today off of this resource. They are still being extracted from by multinational oil companies.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt But they’re getting rich off this resource. So I’m like, okay if we want to say like hey, Nigeria should benefit from this which honestly, I think the industry absolutely owes Nigeria debt. Then, you know, it’s like, okay, help them actually use this resource themselves for some period of time as a transition and pay them for all the fucking damage that you caused. The end. You know, like, I don’t think it’s Nigeria’s responsibility to solve that. I think it is the companies that have benefited from the status quo for the last hundred years and the governments that have like, propped them up and also benefited from that. Um, so yeah. Um. Okay so the, the goal of every year is to generate an agreement among countries, a non-binding agreement, but still an agreement about how the world is going to move forward on climate. And there has been a lot of talk about previously agreed upon targets being weakened, mostly in the wake of the Russia Ukraine war and rising gas prices and also rising energy demand and all of these things coming out of this. So we’ll we’ll be keeping an eye on on what’s happening in those negotiations and kind of like who’s arguing for what and where it all nets out. But we won’t have that for at least another week. So, you know, we’ll see what happens. This week definitely seems to be more heavy on the the loss and damages front. So. Oh, and I just want to mention to by the way, that like all of the global north countries agreed ten years ago to loss and damages at a cost.


Mary Annaise Heglar Oh they did now?


Amy Westervelt They fucking agreed to it already. This is the thing that kills me is like in 2013, the negotiator from the Philippines, Yeb Sano, showed up and his country was dealing at the time with a super typhoon, so super typhoon Haiyan. And he made this very impassioned plea that the Global North needed to basically we needed to admit that the cops had not achieved what they set out to achieve, which was to stop this shit from happening in the first place. That it was happening and therefore the conference needed to shift to like, how are we going to address it? And part of that needs to be loss and damages and at that COP Global North countries agreed to create a loss and damages fund and to fund it with $100 billion a year by 2020. No one did. They know they did not do it. They did not do it. That’s why we’re still talking about it. I mean, that’s the thing that pisses me off is like people act like this is some new radical idea when actually you all already agreed to it in 2013. That was ten years ago. Come on. You know, like, I just. So, yeah, a lot of that’s why a lot of the the Global South negotiators are understandably really like losing patience on this because it’s like we already went through this, y’all already agreed to it and now John Kerry is like, who has that kind of money, you know?


Mary Annaise Heglar I mean, your Defense Department, for one.


Amy Westervelt Yeah, exactly. Exactly. Yeah. So. Oh, we should mention that, too, that John Kerry has suggested this, that we fund loss and damages through basically like a global carbon market.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt You know. Okay. Like, I’m not against putting a price on carbon. The biggest problem with that generally is that the price tag is never accurate. It’s always like way lower than it needs to be and again, I’m like, why do we need some other mechanism when you can just take it directly from the fossil fuel companies?


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt I agree. The private and, like, private industry should solve this problem by giving us their fucking money.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah, I mean, it’s also like it’s kind of crazy for John Kerry to be like, who has that kind of money when we’re expecting countries in the Global South to pay these big ballooning debts.


Amy Westervelt Yeah, exactly.


Mary Annaise Heglar And adapt to climate change. But what’s what’s really interesting, it sounds like with this year’s cop is that is way more about adaptation than it is about mitigation. It’s all about like, how are we going to weather the storm? How to fortify against the storm. All right. Are you hearing anything about talk about mitigating? Because we can adapt without mitigating. We still need to reduce greenhouse gases. And I’m not hearing anybody talk about that at this COP.


Amy Westervelt It’s it’s definitely way less. The one place I’m Hearing it is there is a push to get more people to sign on to. Well, there’s this argument that India is pushing for to to really big phasing out of fossil fuels into the overall agreement. So that’s huge It’s really it’s really huge that it’s India pushing it because they have not historically been. And, you know, it’s definitely possible that they’re pushing it just to fuck Saudi Arabia. But I like it. I don’t care. I like it. That’s a big thing. There’s also a push to get more countries to sign on to a proposal that Costa Rica made last year. Which was to get like all of the cop countries to sign, you know, fossil fuel nonproliferation pledge to say, like okay, we’re now getting on the path to actually get like getting off of fossil fuels, like to actually commit to that. Which only five countries did last time. But there’s a push to get more. So those are the two things that I’ve seen.


Mary Annaise Heglar Yeah.


Amy Westervelt Yeah. But definitely much more dominated by adaptation climate, quote unquote resilience, all that kind of stuff, for sure.


Mary Annaise Heglar And yeah, well, what’s also interesting and a little bit encouraging with this year’s cop is that Brazil’s back baby.


Amy Westervelt Yes. Lula in the house. Yeah.


Mary Annaise Heglar Bolsonaro was not a friend of the cops, not a friend of the Paris Agreement.


Amy Westervelt Bolsonaro, also like Trump, made this big pledge to pull out of the Paris Agreement if he was elected but then weirdly, like did not actually ever end up doing that. So Brazil has actually been signed on to the Paris Agreement all of this time. They’ve just been flouting it entirely. So, yeah, it’s interesting to have to have Lula there. And it also is like kind of a big test of some of the statements that he made on the campaign trail about how he’s really determined to turn the ship around on climate for for Brazil. So yeah, well, definitely like there is actually like there is a lot of interesting stuff happening. It’ll be it’ll be very, very interesting to see what comes of. I think the two things that are that are most interesting to me are, well, I guess three is like, will they end up with a phase out of fossil fuels in the in the agreement? And then will Myanmar proposal be successful? And will they come to some kind of agreement on loss of damages? Those are the the three things I’m really keeping an eye on. So, yeah, we’ll see. We’ll see. We’ll keep you posted.


Mary Annaise Heglar Hot Take is a Crooked Media production.


Amy Westervelt It’s produced by Ray Pang and mixed and edited by Jordan Kantor.


Mary Annaise Heglar Our music is by Vasilis Fotopoulos. Leo Duran is our senior producer.


Amy Westervelt And our executive producers are Mary Annaise Heglar, Michael Martinez and me Amy Westervelt.


Mary Annaise Heglar Special thanks to Sandy Girard, Ari Schwartz, Kyle Seglin and Charlotte Landes for production support and to Amelia Montooth for digital support.


Amy Westervelt You can follow the show on Twitter at Real Hot Take and subscribe to Crooked Media’s video channel at slash Crooked Media.