Tuesday, May 29, 2007

SMALLER FOOTPRINT - AND FEWER FEET!

Who cares if we all reduce our carbon footprint - if there are billions more of us. It still adds up to a greenhouse gas disaster.

For Dr. John Guillebaud, a UK population expert - controlling our numbers is a biological necessity - and one key factor in averting the worst of climate change.

Since his early days growing up in Africa, this medical doctor has devoted himself to family planning. Now he, and a team at Optimum Population, have calculated just how many air miles, or driving miles, each new member of the human race adds to the atmosphere.

For the average person in Britain, where people use almost half the energy of someone from California, deciding to have one less child reduces greenhouse gas equivalent to 620 flights from London to New York - or over 3 million miles in a Toyota Prius (the most efficient mass produced vehicle we have.)

One less child in an under-developed country still saves a million Prius miles.

Dr. John isn't any kind of fanatic. He doesn't want Mao-Tse Tung "one child" type laws. A practical family can have two kids (to replace the parents) - and maybe three if others don't have any.

Even in places like Africa, which Guillebaud knows intimately, women would like to have far less children - if only they had access to birth control we all take for granted. They don't get the family planning, the pill, the IUD, or much of anything - making the average family up to 10 kids each. Even with fears of old age, and high child mortality, most African women would love to stop at 5 or 6 at most. But they don't have that option, when they make love.

Population control is one issue the big green groups, and even the greenest politicians, won't talk about - for fear of alienating the religious, or being accused of racism. But if we are serious about saving a stable climate - we can't do it with 9 or 12 billion humans.

And not just the climate. Our numbers have already escalated beyond Earth's carrying capacity. Eventually, like all other species, our numbers will crash - and not in ways we can control. That won't be pretty.

For Guillebaud, family planning, women's choice, and contraception are part of the green toolbox we need to save the planet.

Listen to the full interview by clicking the title above - it's really worth your time.

And check out these organizations:

www.optimumpopulation.org

Optimum Population has a briefing paper on their website that explains the links between population and climate change. Since they published their short press release, they have been inundated by requests for media interviews. Radio Ecoshock was lucky to get in there for you, so give it a listen.

Dr. John Guillebuad is
Emeritus Professor of Family Planning and Reproductive Health, UCL (University College, London).

Sunday, May 20, 2007

GLENN BECK CNN's Climate Quisling

to hear the broacast, click the title above.

[Opening clips: Glenn Beck: "And I read this one part, about global warming, about how they got, what was the first they did, to get people to exterminate the Jews. Now, I'm not saying that anybody's going to - Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however."

Narrator: "Vidkun Quisling was the Norwegian Traitor, the self-styled Fuehrer for Hitler during World War Two..."

Strident CNN woman host: "Oh, you must drive an SUV - I mean, oh my gosh, it's like I need combat pay to work out here in L.A.!"]

Alex Smith:

The start of fire season in America has moved from August to May. In fact, it is becoming year-round. The Eastern half of the continent has already roasted in 90 degree weather, in the 30's celsius. It's been hotter-earlier, than in living memory.

Europe is basking in August holiday weather, instead of cool, damp spring. Australia continues its ten year drought. Water supplying half the country's food crops may be shut off, to feed the city of Adelaide.

What better time for CNN, the most trusted name in news, to hire an anti-scientific buffoon to deny climate change, in prime time. Who let radio host Glenn Beck out of the recovery meeting?

[GB11][Glenn Beck: "But what's the show about. Well, it's not exactly like we're inventing fire over here. It's just a stupid cable show, hosted, quite honestly, with a middle-aged, you know, recovering alcoholic, with absolutely no fashion sense." (Followed by Youtube commentator "Is CNN news or poison?"]

In Glenn Beck's deranged mind, Al Gore becomes Hitler, and mere facts threaten to dominate our lives.

[Woman's voice: "The intergovernmental panel predicts global warming will bring scarcity to over a billion people by 2080. At least 200 million will go hungry, and millions will be displaced by coastal flooding."

Man: "According to Christian aid, one in seven people on Earth may become environmental refugees."

Woman: "Other studies worry that hundreds of millions of people will die due to climate change."

Is this comedy? Glenn thinks so. He's promoting his upcoming cross-country entertainment extravaganza as "an inconvenient tour." Anything to make a name, and a buck, out of the coming climate catastrophe. His own starship fading to black, Beck hopes to ride along with Al Gore.

Ratings are a problem for the former news network. You remember, CNN, the international news service, with offices in dozens of countries? The service that introduced Americans to the invisible people outside their borders?

[GB9]["CNN, the most trusted name in news"]

When news couldn't bring even 300,000 sets of eyes to the screen, parent company Time Warner apparently thought they could cash in on the multi-million dollar liberal bashing industry. They hauled Glenn Beck out of the radio farm team - and turned him loose to bash African Americans, gays, and all foreigners, especially anyone from the Middle East. Like every patriotic American talk show host, Glenn loved the troops and spewed hatred in all directions.

He was plenty rough around the edges. Here is Glenn's first on camera exchange with CNN's visiting journalist for the show.

[GB12]Beck: "Now for the credible portion of the program, to look at some of the stories in the news, with an actual news person, every night we'll be joined by Erica Hill, the anchor of Prime News, on CNN Headline News, at 6 o'clock Eastern. Her show started tonight, just like this one." Hill: "That's right." Beck: "We're newbies!" Hill: "It's a big night all around." Beck: "You are looking hot in leather..... I'm wearing leather pants right now!"

Gorsh, just a down home sexist.

The show still stalled, even though it followed the endless child abduction stories by CNN host Nancy Grace. The Glenn Beck CNN slot is still way down in the talk show rating list.

So, like Rush Limbaugh before him, Glenn Beck has chosen the ever lucrative trade of denying any American role in global warming, and bashing Al Gore.

[Clip: Beck:"Ellen Goodman from the Boston Globe wrote, 'Let's just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.'

Guest: "Somebody says that whenever you get into Nazi references, connections, you've really jumped the shark (?)

Beck: "No Nazi references, but how would these people even form sentences? Even I got to jump into the World War Two of weather. Robert F. Kennedy called me 'CNN's chief corporate fascism advocate. When asked why, by the Washington Post, he recalled that I was voicing doubts about global warming a few weeks back..."

MSNBC pundit Keith Olbermann, who gets higher ratings, finds Beck's frothing sick and sad...

Olbermann: "Now who could top that? CNN's Glenn Beck, our winner. He'll see your Gerhring reference Lou, and raise you one Hitler reference. Quoting from his radio show, Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic however.

[still quoting Glenn Beck....]
The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax. The goal is the United Nations running the world. That is the goal. Back in the 1930's, the goal was get rid of all the Jews, and have one global government. You've got to have an enemy to fight, and when
you have an enemy to fight, you can unite the entire world behind you, and you seize power. That was Hitler's plan. His enemy the Jew. Al Gore's enemy, the U.N.'s enemy, global warming." [end of Beck quote from his radio show]

[Olbermann:

"So Al Gore is the Hitler of global warming? Trying for world domination by lowering carbon in car exhausts? I think Glenny has been inhaling those car exhausts again.

Glenn Beck, today's "Worst Person in the World!"]


Alex Smith:

But this is dangerous stuff. Even Beck wonders about himself.

[GB5]

But listen closely. He says global warming is kind of cyclical, happens every 30 years or so. First of all, science shows nothing of the sort. Beck is drawing from the admittedly distorted graph used in the British denier film "The Great Global Warming Swindle." Martin Durkin's doctored graph showed a significant cooling about 30 years ago, in the 1970s.

The reality is the warming slowed then. Science has since discovered why. The great cloud of particle pollution coming out of American and European factories and cars was blotting out part of the Sun's rays. Meanwhile, the greenhouse gases just kept piling up in the atmosphere.

Then, with the Clean Air Act in the United States, and similar anti-pollution legislation in Europe, the particle cloud was reduced. Starting in the late 1980's, the full power of the new levels of greenhouse gases started to be felt. The world temperature climbed, and continues to go up. Due to the lag-time involving the oceans, we are now just beginning to experience the warming from late-1980's greenhouse gas levels. And our climate gas pollution has gone, way, way up, since then. The record levels of the early 2000 period, the continuing American expansions of greenhouse gas dumping, plus the addition of record black industrialization in China, India and beyond - means the heat really hits around 2020. And grows evermore, in the following decades, and centuries.

So Glenn's plain-boy act is costing our children more than he can imagine. More humans will die from climate change than every perished in the Nazi Holocaust.

Of course it is dangerous to make these comparisons. Beck says he won't ["No Nazi references, but how would these people even form sentences?"] , then he does ["Al Gore's not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however."].

In Canada, the leader of the Green Party, Elizabeth May was roasted by the mainly pro-Israel media for even comparing climate change to the situation in Germany in the 1930's. May was only quoting the popular British journalist George Monbiot, on climate change problems.

But the largest single owners of Canadian media, which is highly concentrated, just helped fund a Holocaust Museum in Canada, along with millions of dollars in tax payers money. Enough said. In Canada, thou shalt not use the word Holocaust to mean anything other than Jewish deaths in the last century. And perhaps fair enough for a horror worthy of it's own particular name in history.

But that doesn't forbid us from discussing the precedent of history. What was the Holocaust, in part, but the application of modern industry and bureaucracy to mass murder? Today, modern industry and bureaucracy are leading us toward mass murder today. And they are cheered on by Glenn Beck, no matter how many lies, or lives, it takes.

Of course Beck doesn't own any license to shoot down Al Gore. The deep ecologists, like Derrick Jensen are starting to attack Gore as an establishment figure who doesn't go far enough.

[Derrick Jensen on Al Gore and Inconvenient Truth:

"I was talking to somebody a few weeks ago, and he hadn't thought about global warming at all, until he saw the movie. And, I agree that his movie can form a fine introduction to people who haven't thought about it at all. I don't have a problem with the movie at that level.

I do have a problem if it presents itself as anything more than the barest, briefest, tiniest introduction. If it presents itself as having solutions, I have big problems with it.

For one thing, if everybody in the United States did everything that Al Gore said, suggested in that movie, then that would reduce emissions by about 21 percent. And the consensus these days is that for further disaster to be averted, emissions need to be reduced by about 80 percent.

And of course, he doesn't even talk about reducing GNP [gross national product], and with the economy continuing to grow, then that 21 percent would disappear almost immediately.

Another thing Al Gore doesn't talk about is corporate power. It's all about what individual people can do. It has nothing to do with the fact that Exxon/Mobil, all by itself, accounts for 5 percent of all carbon emissions. It doesn't talk about the fact that the U.S. military uses fifty percent of the oil used in the United States. And those are really important things for him to somehow forget."

[clip announcer: "And that wraps up another edition of 'The End of the World As We Know It, and I Feel Fine.' It you want to hear our interview with Derrick Jensen go to our website and subscribe to our raw data podcast, and download it on mp3."]

That was from another Vancouver indie media man, the talented Franklin Lopez from submedia.tv. Grab their podcast, The End of Life as We Know It, as more than ten thousand Ipodders do - but expect the F-word. If the planet is heading for Hell, should we be polite?


There are plenty of Right Wingers and National Enquirers hoping to get a shot at Al. They paw through his personal life, electric bills, and count up his calories. The Republican Party wants to make sure the popularly elected Gore doesn't get another shot at the polls. Every no-name journalist smells 15 seconds of fame if they can shoot this messenger.

When tweedle dumb Glenn Beck plays the climate ignoramus, the fossil fuel lobby likes to play along too. Most of the guests on Beck's recent global warming denial special have received fossil fuel industry money, including Canada's contribution, the aging one-time scientist Dr. Tim Ball. This climate expert hasn't published a peer-reviewed paper, the sign of real research, in the last 20 years - that is, during the time that all major climate change science has fully developed.

Mr. Beck prefers the coal lobby. Here's a clip from his show wit his Church buddy David Neeleman, the CEO of Jet Blue airlines.

Neeleman: "I burn about 400 million gallons of gas this year, and about 500 million gallons next year, so every time a gallon goes up ten cents, it costs me 40 or 50 million dollars."

Beck: "And let me tell you something, and Al Gore weeps."

Well he was the CEO, until he was dumped a few weeks ago. Beck makes a forum for Neeleman to talks up a plan to use coal power fir American transportation.

[GB17][longer clip describing Neeleman's plan to get the government to finance at least 70 new coal to gas plants, for $500 billion, to make gas cost a dollar a gallon, and make fuel for the U.S. military. Someone approached General Electric to do it, but GE wanted price guarantees from the government, Neeleman says....then Beck goes into a Purina 1 commercial, saying it has cured his dog ....]

Hey, we can make all our own gasoline, and cheap jet fuel, from 70 new coal burning plants! And screw the Arabs at the same time! Now what could be wrong with that?

[Clip: Oh shit! The poles are melting! Screaming...]

Great news for the coal industry, should they want to slip him some extra cash, and no worries about climate change, because, Beck tells us, either it doesn't exist, or if it does, there is no point in trying to stop global warming...

Glenn Beck: "Here is my personal stance on global warming. It's clear that the globe is warming. It's up .7 degrees Celsius in the last hundred years. However, we've gone from global warming, to global cooling, to global warming - it seems to be a thirty year trend.

Maybe we're going to go into an extreme warming period, or an extreme cooling period - that is what happens.

The real question is are we causing it - and can we stop it? The Kyoto Treaty - we're going to spend billions and billions of dollars - and we're not going to stop global warming. They say, if its' fully implemented, and every piece of science is accurate, it will delay global warming another three years, in the next one hundred years. [laugh] That doesn't seem like a smart investment!"

Alex Smith:

That's great logic, if only it were even a little bit true. Never mind the recent Bangkok report of the IPCC, that the worst of climate change can be averted, using current technology, within a reasonable world budget. Where does Glenn get his fabulous "only delay it three years" hard scientific data? Out of his [beep]

And who pays the Time Warner corporation to air Glenn Beck's dangerous diatribes? Your friendly pet food maker, Ralston Purina.

[GB15 ad for Purina 1]

Hey Rover -[panting] there are going to be a lot more really hot dogs in the world. Many of the species you were born to hunt are already going extinct. Humans are wrecking the planet, and your dog food bowl is contributing.

How about ditching Purina 1, and going with a different, planet-friendly brand?

[Woof woof]

This is Alex Smith for Radio Ecoshock. Download a lot more green radio at www.ecoshock.org.

[clip: Glenn Beck talks about his alcoholism, his black outs, his cocaine abuse...]