Audio: Wikileaks and the Cancun Summit

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The US embassy cables released by the whistleblower organization WikiLeaks have rattled diplomats across the globe, revealing an unvarnished look at US foreign policy on a number of issues, from Iran’s nuclear program to relations with China.

But what about climate change?

Just as the United Nations conference on greenhouse gas emissions wraps up in Cancun, new cables have been released that suggest the US may have strong-armed developing countries, such as the Maldives and Saudi Arabia, into signing last year’s climate change accord in Copenhagen. The memos also reveal an astonishing amount of pessimism on the part of some world leaders, such as European Union President Herman Van Rompuy, regarding the chances of success at Copenhagen and Cancun.

The WikiLeaks revelations have prompted charges of “bribery” and “secrecy” at the Cancun conference. To get a sense of how the cables may complicate the negotiations, guest host Sal Gentile spoke with Lisa Friedman, deputy editor of ClimateWire, an online energy publication that covers climate change issues. Friedman has written about the cables, and joined Need to Know by phone from Cancun, where she’s covering the UN conference.

This podcast was produced by Need to Know for the Climate Desk collaboration.

More MotherJones reporting on Climate Desk

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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