Sunday, April 29, 2007


[This is a part script for the audio broadcast/podcast. To hear the real thing, click the title above]

What kind of greenhouse gas reduction begins by violating an international climate treaty, and then promising to emit even more carbon dioxide? That plan is called "Turning the Corner" - announced April 27th, by Canadian Environment Minister John Baird, of the Conservative Party.

Baird says Canadians are dumping 35% more greenhouse gases now, than in 1990. He blames all that not on Canadian energy gluttony, but on the previous government, under the Liberal Party. According to Baird, previous lack of progress makes reducing greenhouse gases now too expensive, too harmful for the growing Canadian economy. An echo chamber from the Bush White House.

If the Liberals aren't to blame, then obviously the environmentalists are, in the world according to John Baird:

[C7][those environmental "perfectionists" stopped progress...]

So, the atmosphere be damned, crank up the public relations machines. to blow more hot air. The next generations can suffer the ravages of climate change.

Minister Baird is a study in the power of persuasion. Here, he admits that greenhouse gases will increase under his plan:

[quick clip emissions will rise C3]

Canada's greenhouse pollution will increase for the next five years. That is the government's plan to tackle climate change.

Even as European countries, unlike Canada, make real cuts in their emissions, Baird claims he is doing the most:

[clip C1 More than any Other country]

One sticky point erupts from Canada's tar sands oil operations. The new Conservative Party was formed from a right-wing populist party from Province of Alberta, the nation's oil and gas giant. These oil buccaneers fought Kyoto all the way, denied that climate change was happening, and then denied that humans were responsible.

The Conservatives still count on big donations from the fossil fuel sector. So they shy away from any limit on Canadian greenhouse gas emissions. The new plan sets no limits at all. No cap - it's all flexible, and all up and off the charts.

The Tar Sands mining and refining alone is responsible for about ten percent of Canada's new emissions since 1990. That doesn't count the global warming impact of burning all the gasoline and oil produced from oil sands, burned by Americans. If we were tempted to count the real impact of the oil sands on the atmosphere, their footprint would be gigantic.

Production at Canada's tar sands is expected to at least triple, as the United States seeks a stable energy supply, from a friendly country. That makes Canada the carbon pusher for the world's biggest polluter. Minister Baird, knowing where his Party funding comes from, represents the fossil fuel industry as surely as President Bush or Vice-President Cheney.

So. the Tar Sands can go ahead and multiply production - especially since Baird has stolen a nifty dodge from the Bushies. Instead of measuring actual carbon pollution, his plan demands only so-called "intensity" targets.

[Clip C2][Baird]

Here is the way this scam works. If you produce a car engine, you must reduce the amount of greenhouse gases required to produce this motor by 20 percent by 2020 - 13 years from now! But, and this is a huge loophole, you can double or triple your production of engines. Each one will create 20 percent less pollution, and yet your overall pollution will more than double. It is a slight of hand that led Al Gore, who knows a little about these things, to say this at a Toronto Green Festival:

[Clip C22][Al Gore says plan is "complete fraud" "designed to mislead the Canadian people"]

Intensity targets are a gift to the oil and gas producers. They can increase their efficiency - especially since they have had practically no limits up until now - and still double or triple their actual greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, the politicians say they have cut emissions by 20%. It is a lie, and a vicious lie that will cause more deaths and suffering all over the world, to humanity, and to the animals and plants of this world.

That is not all. In order to permit new polluting industries to flourish in Canada - and Minister Baird mentions specifically a refinery for the billionaire Irving family of New Brunswick - all new operations will have a 3 year grace period, to permit as much as they want, before having to develop more efficiency, before looking at emissions reductions.

[Clip C4][Baird saying expansion of industry will go ahead, and emissions will go up...]

Wait, there is more. Are you a big polluter in a bind? Can't see a way to reduce your carbon? No problem - just show your need to pollute, and you get a total exemption from the program. This is a loophole big enough to drive through with one of the top carbon dioxide polluters in the country, the cement industry. They, and anyone else who claims they just can't get by without smokestacks full of carbon, get a free pass.

No loophole for you? You still don't have to actually reduce your greenhouse gases. Just make a donation to a "new technology" fund set up by the federal government. It's cheap, at just $15 a ton for carbon dioxide. Nobody knows where that money will actually go. Maybe some of it will be spent on advertising to make us feel green.

Of course there are other ways to get around your emissions problem. You can buy a carbon offset from anybody who the government qualifies as a carbon reducer. You can imagine the giant new bureaucracy required to measure the carbon, the reductions, the certification, the exchanges in this unique made-in-Canada trading system. Think of the gun control registry, that cost billions and still doesn't work, or the efficiency of the passport office.

This all Canadian carbon trading system, that exists only in the Minister's mind at the moment, and could be years away, doesn't connect with any other in the world, and so stands outside the existing European system, and the financial incentives from Wall Street. It sounds good and patriotic, we'll run everything ourselves, as if the atmosphere could be packaged up. We'll have a Canadian atmosphere, and there will be 186 other atmospheres, one for every country, and that will solve the problems of global climate change. In some story book land.

Meanwhile, John Baird chops up numbers in new ways that make old lies sound very convincing. For example, unlike the rest of the world, he measures greenhouse gas reductions starting in 2006. So a 20 percent Canadian cut by 2020, using Baird's in-house rules, means Canada will still be 11 percent ABOVE 1990 levels. Every other country in the world uses 1990 as their standard. Canada goes its own way, to the complete confusion of the voters and our international friends.

All of this sleight of hand and bluster hides another key point. Because the Conservatives don't have enough votes in Parliament to ram through this climate cover-up - they have dumped their own climate bill, by-passed the elected representatives completely, and intend to do it all by regulation. Instead of bringing the plan to a vote, where they would certainly be defeated, bureaucrats will just make new rules, and it shall be so.

Democracy is not the only thing being killed off as we "Turn the Corner." So is the international plan for climate change, the Kyoto Protocol. Weak as it is, only the United States and Australia have been outlaws in this international plan. Now Canada, which led the world in formulating a Kyoto and follow up international law, will break that law. We won't even try to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions in reality. Kyoto is dead in Canada.

What does this say to China, India, Brazil, and all the developing countries? A rich and technologically rich country, Canada, is choosing more dirty production over the future climate of the world. Future negotiations, for the after Kyoto period following 2012, may be seriously jeopardized by this grand plan to increase Canada's pollution of the atmosphere.

The whole problem is put most succinctly by the Liberal environment critic David McGinty in an interview with CTV News:

[C12][calls it a "shameful abandonment..."]

Louise Como of the Sage Foundation brings out another ramification to Canada ducking the carbon bullet: we'll be left behind in the new economy, with a fossil industry:

[C8 Louise Como]

Minister Baird disputes this, saying Canada is a leader in carbon capture and sequestration, and we have a pilot plant to create biofuels using the celluloid process. Great, but both are research projects, without a single commercial application anywhere. Listening to countless interviews, there was a loud absence of any solar, wind, or real renewable energy. It is a fossil fuel vision that Dick Cheney could love.

Respected Canadian Green spokespeople are horrified. The 70 year-old famous nature broadcaster David Suzuki expressed his disappointment, on camera, with Minister Baird:

[C20 & C21]

Here is John Bennet from the Climate Action Network:


Elizabeth May, leader of the Green Party, and past executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada, was outraged:

[C17 & C18][ calls it "Canada's Climate Disaster Plan" and a tragic day, explains why...]

And of course, we had Al Gore, who has awakened millions of people to the extreme dangers we face when the climate is destabilized by our pollution.

[shorter Al Gore quote, fraud]

These are the darkest of times for Canadians. Where we hoped to help the world, now our government is playing the carbon devil. We openly plan to become carbon terrorists to the atmosphere of the world. Our elected representatives, who negotiated a real climate plan called C-30, have been silenced.

Count Canada out. We have joined the parade of climate wreckers. That is our official policy, announced by John Baird, the most persuasive, active, almost charismatic young environment minister in our history. The silver tongue that sank the Canadian dream of helping, not harming, the world.

For more [real] information about your climate, visit our free website,
[end clip Elizabeth May]

Wednesday, April 25, 2007


A storm of public concern erupted after 50 dead Sea Lions were hauled up with nets in a single British Columbian salmon farm. Now, it turns out a wide range of marine mammals, including endangered species, are routinely shot or drowned by the Canadian fish farming industry. It's just another black eye for fish farms, which are already accused of killing off wild stocks and polluting the sea.

Let's investigate with the Living Oceans Society in Canada.

[for Audio Interview with Catherine Stewart - 11 minutes - click the title above.]

Saturday, April 21, 2007

CLIMATE SCAMS - 7 Roads to Hell on Earth


[opening clips]

Global Warming - It's the Sun! Cosmic Rays! the U.S. Military - anybody but us, the common car-driving, energy sucking, Western-style humanoid.

Welcome to the Radio Ecoshock guide to climate change scams - the wrong-headed ideas, and pork-barrel wrong turns, that stall, stall, stall, real solutions to rapid climate change.

Someone once said there are as many ideas, and excuses, as there are humans. We wouldn't want it any other way. But if you are about to drive off a cliff, new theories about our ability to fly, or survive a thousand foot plunge, aren't really helpful. Maybe we should take our foot off the accelerator instead. Try the brakes.

In another hour long special, we'll be examining real solutions to climate change. But right now, get ready for a quick count-down of quack theories and big business scams that guarantee your grandchildren will be migrating toward the poles, if they can.


Up in Alaska, the American military has been operating a secret project called HAARP - that's spelled with two A's, if you want to Google it. The boys with billion dollar toys have set up whole acres of high frequency radio transmitters with dubious aims. They claim to be developing a way to communicate with underwater submarines, and their forces around the world. But government documents also show an intent to control weather events for military or economic warfare.

This may be possible. The radio waves can disturb the upper layers of the atmosphere, the ionosphere, almost anywhere on Earth, using a kind of bouncing. One idea is to add power to a pre-existing hurricane or typhoon, over an enemy country, to make the storm much worse. The U.S. Military has declared they want to control weather as a weapon. They've been working on it for decades, and spent countless secret billions on the HAARP project.

But there is a big difference between weather and climate. You might boost a storm, but that doesn't change the climate on Earth, for thousands of years, the way our industrial pollution can. Plenty of reputable scientists have looked into the HAARP conspiracy claims, and they don't buy it as a cause for climate change. This theory builds on the justifiable distrust of the American government, and its stated aims of military domination of Earth - but just because a conspiracy is afoot doesn't make it real.

My apologies to the woman who calls my show every week every time climate change is mentioned, to tell me all about HAARP, and pass on the websites and authors specializing in this theory. Call me a fool, but I'm going to throw my belief toward the thousands of scientists, from all over the world, who are as close to certainty as anyone can be, that humans are triggering massive climate change. People, don't bother calling me about HAARP as a cause of climate change.


A whole chorus of media deniers are leaping on to a bandwagon started by just two scientists in Europe. The new story is that the whole solar system is melting, because of a storm of extra cosmic rays coming from the sun.

Like most corny ideas, this one is based on a kernel of truth. Yes, the climate has changed dramatically many times over the last billion years. It goes from steaming hot to glaciers, without any help from humans. We don't yet know why, for sure. The prevalent theory involves a slight shift in the axis of the Earth, over hundreds of thousands of years, perhaps acting in tandem with storms on the Sun, seen here on Earth as Sun Spots. Generally, these changes develop over long periods, much longer than homo-sapiens have been on Earth.

Now friends of the oil industry, or plain contrarians who like to see their names in the media, have come forward claiming that this very moment in history, the 21st century, just happens to be one of those swing times. Don't worry about your gas guzzling car, and turn on all the lights, because humans have nothing to do with it, they say.

Gosh, I feel better already. It's just an accident we are filling the sky with greenhouse gases, at the very time the Sun is getting cranky. And look, Mars is warming up too! It was 109 degrees below zero, and now it's a balmy 105 degrees, we think, based on very limited research. All the planets are hotting up, so relax and let the carbon party roll. Alleged science that makes us guilt free, I like that.

Based on the acres of newsprint given to this theory, in business-oriented newspapers like Canada's National Post, and on reactionary TV programs - you know, the ones with lots of ads for SUV's - you would think the cosmic ray theory is backed by the majority of scientists.

Not really. Let's tune in to a column by UK columnist George Monbiot, published March 13th, 2007 in the Guardian newspaper. He was answering this "the Sun is doing it" theory as promoted in a British Channel 4 alleged documentary called "The Great Global Warming Swindle."

Monbiot writes:

"The film's main contention is that the current increase in global temperatures is caused not by rising greenhouse gases, but by changes in the activity of the Sun. It is built around the discovery in 1991 by the Danish atmospheric physicist Dr Eigil Friis-Christensen that recent temperature variations on earth are in "strikingly good agreement" with the length of the cycle of sunspots - the shorter they are, the higher the temperature(2).

Unfortunately, he found nothing of the kind. A paper published in the journal Eos in 2004 reveals that the "agreement" was the result of "incorrect handling of the physical data"(3). The real data for recent years show the opposite: that temperatures have continued to rise as the length of the sunspot cycle has increased. When this error was exposed, Friis-Christensen and his co-author published a new paper, purporting to produce similar results(4). But this too turned out to be an artifact of mistakes they had made - in this case in their arithmetic(5).

So Friis-Christensen and another author developed yet another means of demonstrating that the Sun is responsible, claiming to have discovered a remarkable agreement between cosmic radiation influenced by the Sun and global cloud cover(6). This is the mechanism the film proposes for global warming. But, yet again, the method was exposed as faulty. They had been using satellite data which did not in fact measure global cloud cover. A paper in the Journal of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics shows that when the right data are used, a correlation is not found(7).

So the hypothesis changed again. Without acknowledging that his previous paper was wrong, Friis-Christensen's co-author, Henrik Svensmark, declared that there was in fact a correlation - not with total cloud cover but with "low cloud cover"(8). This too turned out to be incorrect(9). Then, last year, Svensmark published a paper purporting to show that cosmic rays could form tiny particles in the atmosphere(10). Accompanying it was a press release which went way beyond the findings reported in the paper, claiming it showed that both past and current climate events are the result of cosmic rays(11).

As Dr Gavin Schmidt of NASA has shown on, five missing steps would have to be taken to justify the wild claims in the press release. "We've often criticised press releases that we felt gave misleading impressions of the underlying work", Schmidt says, "but this example is by far the most blatant extrapolation-beyond-reasonableness that we've seen."(12) None of this seems to have troubled the programme makers, who report the cosmic ray theory as if it trounces all competing explanations."

Unlike the film's producer, Martin Durkin, who incidentally was already censured by the British TV authority for fudging facts on a previous alleged documentary - George Monbiot footnotes all the science for the claims he makes. And they lead to real research papers by real scientists.

Because there is a possibility that activity on the Sun is a minor factor in our current rapid warming, scientists do not discount this theory entirely. It is possible that, say 10 percent, or warming IS caused by changes in the Sun. So what. Those changes are being magnified many times over by the greenhouse gases we create - the atmospheric mirrors that hold and build heat, from whatever source, right here on Earth.

You and I are making the other 90%, or 95%, whatever the case may be. The Sun will do whatever it does, over hundreds of years, and hundreds of thousands of years, but your action, personally and politically, causes climate change. Sorry. That's the inconvenient truth.


Hey, I went to Bali in a monster carbon burning airplane last winter, but I don't worry. I paid ten bucks to plant a few trees somewhere. My house burns enough carbon to power ten villages in Pakistan, but that's all taken care of. My lifestyle is totally green - all with the magic of carbon offsets.

The Catholic Church has the same scam going in the Middle Ages. Sinners could just buy a piece of paper from the Vatican that absolved them from their wrong-doing. These scraps of paper were called "Indulgences" and they sold like hot-cakes. Presumably you showed them to Saint Peter, and got into heaven instead of Hell.

Dell computer donates two bucks from every laptop to offset carbon dioxide emissions from their computers.

Now some Hollywood celebrities are claiming a green lifestyle, showing off their scraps of paper for carbon offsets. But the way these schemes are working, or not working, will take their descendants straight to Hell, and our too.

The trouble is, most of these carbon offset firms claim to be saving carbon by planting trees. But scientists say that won't really save any carbon. First of all, most of the tree planting is conveniently close to home, in the temperate countries. In British Columbia, premier Gordon Campbell sees a whole new future for the dying forest industry - and I do mean dying forests, now that global warming has released the pine boring disaster - by planting new trees to offset other carbon emissions.

Young trees do absorb carbon dioxide. But, because they are darker than grasslands, they absorb more of the sun's heat. They change the Albedo effect, the reflection of Sun's rays. And that's even more true of evergreens that protrude from the snow in the winter, in Northern latitudes. So the warming influence cancels out the carbon storage.

Worse, the trees eventually die, releasing the carbon - and they may die on mass, as they are now doing in the Rocky Mountains, sending up clouds of carbon, generally in uncontrollable forest fires.

Planting trees in the tropics might be more workable. Not only do they store more carbon there, trees also send down roots that cause more water evaporation. In theory, this creates clouds that shade the Earth. But we aren't really sure of the total impact, because water vapor is also a global warming gas. In any event, for every tiny patch planted by guilty airplane passengers, a whole forest is being chopped down for biofuels, which is our next scam.


Scientists and planners talk about "wedges" - a series of part-solutions that can add up to salvation from climate disaster. A viable part of that big plan could be biofuels - burning plant material instead of oil from underground.

Plants take carbon out of the air, so when we burn them in our cars, as ethanol for example, we are just returning carbon that was already there. That's better than mining new concentrated carbon like coal or oil.

The theory sounds good. It is more or less working in Brazil, where sugar cane, which can grow almost untended, is used to produce ethanol, which fuels 85% of the cars of Brazil.

But when we blow this up to a global scheme, and apply it to the crazed and greedy world of mass humanity, something very bad happens. We end up creating much more carbon that we thought we saved. In fact, the whole plant world of Earth becomes just a big machine that feeds our gas pumps. Nothing left for the other species, and in fact, let's get rid of any plants that don't feed our cars and trucks.

That is exactly what is happening in the most critical areas of Earth, the lungs of the planet in the Amazon and Indonesia. Some scientists report that up to 20% of all the human-caused greenhouse gases emitted into the atmosphere in the last 5 years come from just one source: deforestation, especially of the rainforests.

[Clip from Deutche Welle's "Living Planet" - scientist explains that deforestation is the number two source of greenhouse gases - 20% - equal to the pollution of the United States. Indonesia is the third largest emitter of greenhouse gases - even though their industry and transpo are undeveloped. It comes from burning the rainforest.]

Those rainforests are very dense with vegetation. They hold countless tons of carbon, and they shelter a peat bog loaded with even more carbon, from decomposition. In the last few years, you may have noticed the occasional news article about smoke from Indonesia floating over Malaysia and Singapore, creating horrible health problems and irritation. In fact, the rainforests of Indonesia are being burned down to plant two crops: soybeans, for animal feed, and palm oil, for biofuels. These palm oil plantations, often financed by Chinese interests, are a blight on the rainforest, and may kill off well known species like the Oran Utan. They may also tip Earth's climate change out of control.

The palm oil ends up going to would-be green countries like the Netherlands, which brags about using this alternative fuel in their power stations, to save the environment!

Worldwide, the biofuel craze is spurring deforestation. According to Stephen Leahy, writing for InterPress on March 22nd, nearly 40,000 hectares of forest vanish every day, driven by the world's growing hunger for timber, paper, and biofuels. The Palm Oil craze has spread to Thailand, Malaysia and other countries in Africa. In Asia, it is now being called "Deforestation Diesel". And the natural forests are being replaced by a monoculture, stripped of species, so we can drive around. And these palm oil plantations hold a tiny fraction of the carbon sequestered by the previous dense jungle forests.

Add up the carbon costs of shipping the oil by tankers across the globe, processing it in energy hungry refineries, transporting it to a local station - and the carbon savings is where? In your imagination.

Some claim there is a small space for real biofuels made from waste, such as animal manure - but that should be going back to the land instead of oil-based fertilizers. Really there is no waste in Nature, and not enough biomass to spare to keep our SUV's rolling down oily asphalt highways.

Biofuels are developing into a scam that ruins the Earth, and may kill us anyway. But politicians love it - as a way to prop up ailing car industries with an allegedly "green" fuel.


You know there is something wrong when perennial Greenpeace founder and paid corporate spokesperson Patrick Moore endorses something. He's told us how good clear cuts are for mountain slopes, how vinyl is great for us, and fish farms too. This year, he was hired to trot out his Greenpeace Founder cash cow for the nuclear industry.

And that industry, which hasn't built a new reactor in the United States for 30 years, is already gushing with new green goodness. Yep, Chernobyl and Three Mile Island are behind us now - it's time to save the planet with more radioactive goo.

Look the French are doing it. They get 85 percent of their electricity from nuclear power. Of course, insider publications like Nucleonics Week are loaded with near misses in the French nuclear plants. It will only take one accident, at one reactor, to shut down the lights of France, and wreck their famous countryside. But hey, it's worth the risk just to keep on using tons of energy. Why turn out a light, just to keep your country from being soaked in radiation for a hundred thousand years? Doesn't make sense worrying, does it?

Lately You tube has been littered with videos from front groups receiving thinly veiled funding from the Nuclear Industry. One says that energy supply is more important than the environment. Is it? What good is an air-conditioner if the crops all wilt in the fields? Can we live without a habitable environment?

I won't run all the clips from nuke happy companies hoping to get the government to insure the un-insurable, to provide construction funding, and, oh yeah, to guarantee investors a healthy profit, no matter what happens. That is what they want, to make this new nuclear renaissance. Classic top-down capitalism, where the big corporations take away the cash, and you, the public swallow all the risk. And maybe a good dose of radiation for your kid's thyroids as well.

As climate solutions scams go, this is one of the most dangerous. Most nations have already turned away from nuclear energy, and proliferation of nuclear weapons, as an obvious wrong turn in technology. Now they want to bring it back from the Crypt, to save us from our own energy gluttony, from climate change. Don't buy it.


Would you buy a climate change solution from a guy who invented and made the most horrible weapon in the world? Yes, the father of the hydrogen bomb, the late Edward Teller, and his spawn at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, the cradle of weapons of mass destruction, have a plan to save you from yourselves.

All we have to do is block out the Sun! Remember in the cartoon series, the Simpsons, the evil nuclear plant owner Mr. Burns made a shade to stop the Sun, in order to sell more nuclear electricity. Now art becomes life, as the Lawrence Livermore bunch describe a massive project to launch millions of mirrors into outer space, to deflect the Sun.

Other scientists, some of them quite legitimately worried that humans are not going to change before disaster, are looking at last-ditch technologies to save us. For example, in Arizona Professor Roger Angel, who designed the world's largest telescope, is now working on the idea of a giant glass sunshade to be launched into space.

Professor Stephen Salter wants to send out 1,000 ships spraying droplets to generate more clouds. You don't mind it being cloudy all the time, do you?

Maybe you've heard Professor Jones' solution - to add Iron and other nutrients to the oceans, to cause plankton blooms. Plankton soak up serious amounts of CO2. But then these blooms can get out of hand, soaking up all the oxygen need by other life forms, and making vast dead zones. That has already happened in various parts of the world. It took millions of years of evolution for the ocean to find a balance. Maybe we shouldn't mess with it, since obviously, we don't know what we are doing.

Or, Cutch Professor Paul Crutzen, a Nobel Prize winner, suggests we might blast off hundreds of rockets loaded with tons of sulfur, to make a thin veil of pollution to ward off the sun. We'll bring back acid rain, and maybe damage the ozone layer, but that's better than a world suddenly four or five degrees hotter. But even he thinks the idea is crazy and crude.

We just got tons of sulphur out of the air, to stop acid rain. Now we're thinking of using pollution to stop pollution? As George Monbiot pointed out, when asked about geo-engineering - we have to stop emitting carbon, anyway, because it's being soaked up by the ocean, which is turning more acidic, threatening the ocean food chain. Even if we can block the sun, we are poisoning the ocean.

Couldn't we just take the bus instead? Or use a bicycle?

Never mind the fact that all the planet's life depend on the Sun, including our own agriculture. And who cares if the idea would cost zillions of dollars, using a technology nobody has ever tried. We can just go on polluting, knowing that there is an idea out there. That's all the counts. Surely, the Natural systems will let us off, eventually. I mean, we'll come up with a technical answer somehow. In the future.


As I said at the beginning, there are as many knuckle-headed solutions to climate change as there are fools on the Planet. And that's plenty. We could go on for hours, but I'll stop with the most pathetic and vicious lie out there: global warming is good for you.

[clip Canadians for global warming, New Yorkers for global warming]

Or how about this one - the carbon industry wants you to know that carbon dioxide is good for you.

[clip CO2 is good]

Do I need to tell you that human civilization as we know it goes to Hell if we allow rapid climate change to happen? And not just us, the whole world of animals and plants face hardship and massive extinctions. Billions of deaths and climate refugees await humanity while these mindless idiots tell us not to worry. It's the Dick Cheney school of Planet Management - grab the profits and run - but run where? To the arctic?

[James Lovelock clip, the last breeding pairs]

I'm Alex Smith, and you have been listening to the Radio Ecoshock 2007 countdown of climate change scams. Let's go for real solutions, like renewable energy and conservation. Then you can bypass Go, Collect the $200 in a new carbon-free economy, and go on playing in a world worth living in.

Find these programs, and a lot more, all free, at our website,

[end clips]

Friday, April 13, 2007


Welcome to Radio Ecoshock

[click title above to hear audio, 20 minutes, with clips]

First, I want to hit a couple of the highlights from last week's new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. This is the Second Working Group, looking at the impacts we are already feeling from global warming, and predicting who gets hurt in the future. That turns out to be up to 30 percent of all species going extinct, including coral reefs, and billions of humans running out of food and water.

I won't try to duplicate the whole report. You can find lots in the newspapers and on Google news. What they don't cover so well is the censorship and just plain government bumbling that watered down the results of thousands of scientific studies.

The scientists spend five years gathering 29,000 data sets, analyzing them all, and then in the last four days, a slew of government bureaucrats arrive to dump important results, in all night sessions of wrangling by representatives from big polluters like the United States and China. It's criminal really, what happens to the science.

Do we need a whole new system to watch over the progress of climate change, and human induced catastrophe? We'll hear from one man with a new idea.

First, let's hear a couple of minutes from the official press conference, from the co-chair of Working Group 2, Martin Perry.

[clip 1][describes the terrible impacts of climate change; up to 30 percent of all species extinct; disappearance of climate zones; dryer areas become desert-like; wet areas suffer floods; temporary benefits to agriculture in the Temperate regions - at a cost of famine closer to the Equator. And more]

Then, two reporters point out some of the material that is missing.

[clip2, 3][AP's Seth Bernstein, and another reporter, list out some of the casualties left out of the summary report for Working Group Two, as government reps hammered away during an all-night session (to determine the rate of deterioration of the world, they couldn't spare another few days...)]

The numbers of human lives to be wrecked is cut down like the casualty figures in Iraq. And an important map of what happens for every degree of climate change was just sliced out. Lack of time, they say. Five years in preparation, and things are dumped, because no one can stay awake any longer in an all night bargaining session? This is the way humans handle the most important crisis in all of our history? Sheer insanity.

Fortunately, with a little effort, you can get a good picture of what we can expect with each degree of global warming - from a new book coming out by British author Mark Lynas, titled Six Degrees. Just Google Mark Lynas, spelled Lynas. And listen to our interview with Mark on the Radio Ecoshock website, at

And, this being the age of Internet leaks, you can also download the original PDF report from the scientists, before the government hacks got their hands on it. If Google doesn't find it for you, I'll be posting it in the climate section of by this Sunday. Look for yourself, what the real science says.

Meanwhile, David Wasdell of the Meridian Project is proposing a brand new institution to keep us updated on global climate science. He was going to call it the new Manhattan Project, but we're not trying to build a weapon of mass destruction, but a weapon of mass salvation. So, he's calling it the Apollo Gaia project instead. You can Google that to find his video on YouTube - but I'll run it here for you now.

[clip Apollo Gaia][As one of many reviewers of the 1500 page main document, Wasdell comments on the impossible review conditions, the cuts, and the need to create a new body, a permanent project to study the impacts of climate change.]

Frankly, David Wasdell has proposed other giant projects in the past, which didn't amount to a lot. I don't see him as the agent which will create an alternative IPCC - especially since only government institutions, so far, have the money to fund all that scientific research, and the conferences. But he shows us the real weakness of the IPCC system, when it comes to judging our current situation. I'm sure others will call for reform in the IPCC process, to avoid censorship and last minute madness.

One final point: once the third report is released this May - that's it for another 5 years! Come on! New science is popping up practically every week - we're just beginning to understand how the world works. And many top scientists have warned we only have another 5 to ten years to act, to save our climate as we know it. We can hardly afford to wait another 5 years to get a new report on our situation.

Maybe, just maybe, since the planet is threatened with vast changes, most of them quite bad, we could have a full-time staff looking at the science, and bringing us updates every month, not every five years.

When it comes to climate change, the system isn't working, and if we can't change the way we study, report and act - we'll need our Derrick Jensen, to tell us how to dismantle the industrial-economic system, before it dismantles life on earth.

The former host of Green Monkey, Zoe Blunt, caught up with Derrick here in Vancouver, to capture his latest dark thoughts on our future, and the activism required to avoid the worst impacts of pollution, and climate change.

When it comes to Deep Ecology, Jensen is the philosopher of green despair and resistance. You can find this latest 30 minute interview with Derrick Jensen as a free mp3 download at our website, Just choose "Greens" from our audio on demand menu.

Personally, I hope it doesn't come to that. Will big governments, and big corporations, finally act to preserve the rest of the planet? Or, we humans might organize in brand new carbon-free ways. Of course, Jensen says such wild hopes are the last remaining barrier, the final stage of denial, before we face our real situation, here on the small blue planet.

For Radio Ecoshock, I'm Alex Smith - and I hope you are enjoying these podcasts. I try to boil down critical information, using audio to reach both sides of the brain.

Please feel free to pass them on, or tell your friends to find the Ecoshock News Podcast on Itunes, or on the main page of

Saturday, April 07, 2007


Hi there, this is Alex Smith from Radio Ecoshock.

OK, my last podcast was the most depressing ever - the latest news on new coal fired power plants all over the world - set to Chopin's funeral march. I suppose I was just trying use music, art, to convey the true horror of our situation - and not just for us, but for all the animals and plants, now that the carbon monster is out of the ground.

But art should heal as well as hurt. So this time round, I've gathered up the six best new songs about climate change. It's a mix ranging from neo-surfer through spiritual to rock. Let's start enjoying our endless summer.

["Endless Summer" - Ghostly Penguin Display, no website]

By the way, I've just recorded a different kind of California sensation: Terry Tamminen is a top advisor to California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, the Governator, and headed up the State's EPA. Now he's heading around the country, and the world, convincing state and regional governments to go climate friendly. Tamminen is also promoting his new book "Lives Per Gallon" - the true cost of oil addiction.

You can download his hard-hitting speech at our website,, in the climate section. Tamminen doesn't pull any punches. He says vehicle exhausts are killing hundreds of thousands of Americans, and millions around the world. And we have the transportation system we have, he says, due to outright political corruption and a cascade of lies similar to the tobacco industry campaign denying cancer. You can download that speech, plus another half hour of the Q and A that followed, free from the website. I think it's going to be one of the best climate speeches of 2007.

Find Tamminen's speech here (an exclusive to Radio Ecoshock, recorded by us on April 4th, 2007 at the Vancouver Museum book launch)


Here's two quick tunes in a row. Joel Zifkin reminds us of New Orleans, but really, it will be High Water Rising for people all over the world. Then Mike Delaney gets a little more humor in, with his song "Low Carb".

["High Water Rising" - Joel Zifkin,]

["Low Carb" - Mike Delaney,]

You can find these tunes, for a while, at Bill McKibben's Step It up 07 site, that's It's important to get that 07 into the web name, or you end up at a health food business. April 14th is coming up quickly, and I hope you have already planned your day off to show up in the streets, to show politicians in Washington that yes, we do care if the planet is wrecked, and we want action now.

April 14th: Arrange day care, take the kids, phone in sick, do what you have to do - but this really matters. There are laws pending that could make a big difference, but they won't go anywhere without a massive show of public support. And have fun at the same time. At the end of this podcast, I'll be playing a short message from Bill McKibben.

On with the music.

First, "Is That What It Will Take?" followed by a neat experiment with group signing arranged by long-time singer Linda Allen.

["Is That What It Will Take?" Bryan Wood,]

["We Are the Rainbow Sign" - Linda Allen et al,]

Here is that two minutes from Bill McKibben I promised you. After that, we're going to rock on out of here with Clatter, Singing "House of Trouble." You can find all this music on our website, in the Music section of our audio on demand menu.

[Bill McKibben clip explaining the campaign, and the novel "actions" planned. 2 min]

That's it from me, Alex Smith, of Radio Ecoshock.

["House of Trouble" Clatter,]

Sunday, April 01, 2007


[Click the title above to hear the Coal Dirge - 8 minutes long]

A new article in the Christian Science Monitor details how the world is building a whole new wave of dirty coal power plants - sure to tip the climate beyond recognition.

Somehow the facts don't seem enough - so I set this piece with the appropriate music - Chopin's famous funeral march. This IS what will kill off civilization and the species we know and love - unless investors, governments, and power companies wake up from the black nightmare.

And by the way - it isn't just China - look and listen to what America is doing to build a raft of new "global warming machines."

Here are some of the details:



from the March 22, 2007 edition -

A Monitor analysis shows the potential for an extra 1.2 billion tons of carbon released into the atmosphere per year.

By Mark Clayton | Staff writer of The Christian Science Monitor

Forget the documentary "An Inconvenient Truth." Disregard rising public concern over global warming. Ignore the Kyoto Protocol.

The world certainly is – at least when it comes to building new electric-power plants. In the past five years, it has been on a coal-fired binge, bringing new generators online at a rate of better than two per week. That has added some 1 billion tons of new carbon-dioxide emissions that humans pump into the atmosphere each year. Coal-fired power now accounts for nearly a third of human-generated global CO2 emissions.

So what does the future hold? An acceleration of the buildup, according to a Monitor analysis of power-industry data. Despite Kyoto limits on greenhouse gases, the analysis shows that nations will add enough coal-fired capacity in the next five years to create an extra 1.2 billion tons of CO2 per year.

Those accelerating the buildup are not the usual suspects.

Take China, which is widely blamed for the rapid rise in greenhouse-gas emissions. Indeed, China accounted for two-thirds of the more than 560 coal-fired power units built in 26 nations between 2002 and 2006. The Chinese plants boosted annual world CO2 emissions by 740 million tons (see chart). But in the next five years, China is slated \to slow its buildup by half, according to industry estimates, adding 333 million tons of new CO2 emissions every year. That's still the largest increase of any nation. But other nations appear intent on catching up.

"Really, it's been the story of what China is doing," says Steve Piper, managing director of power forecasting at Platts, the energy information division of McGraw-Hill that provided country-by-country power-plant data to the Monitor. "But it's also a story of unabated global growth in coal-fired power. We're seeing diversification away from pricier natural gas and crude oil. Coal looks cheap and attractive - and countries with coal resources see an opportunity that wasn't there before."

For example, the United States is accelerating its buildup dramatically. In the past five years it built 2.7 gigawatts of new coal-fired generating capacity. But in the next five years, it is slated to add 37.7 gigawatts of capacity, enough to produce 247.8 million tons of CO2 per year, according to Platts. That would vault the US to second place –just ahead of India – in adding new capacity.

Even nations that have pledged to reduce global warming under the Kyoto treat are slated to accelerate their buildup of coal-fired plants. For example, eight EU nations – Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic – plan to add nearly 13 gigawatts of new coal-fired capacity by 2012. That's up from about 2.5 gigawatts over the past five years.

New countries join coal-fired binge

In all, at least 37 nations plan to add coal-fired capacity in the next five years – up from the 26 nations that added capacity during the past five years. With Sri Lanka, Laos, and even oil-producing nations like Iran getting set to join the coal-power pack, the world faces the prospect five years from now of having 7,474 coal-fired power plants in 79 countries pumping out 9 billion tons of CO2 emissions annually – out of 31 billion tons from all sources in 2012.

"These numbers show how far in the wrong direction the world is poised to go and indicate a lot of private sector investors still don't get it in terms of global warming," says David Hawkins, climate center director of the Natural Resources Defense Council in Washington. "This rapid building of global-warming machines – which is what coal-power plants are – should be a wakeup call to politicians that we're driving ever faster toward the edge of the cliff."

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