Wednesday, June 30, 2010

AFTER THE OIL RUSH

Go straight to Show transcript, with all the links.

Mainstream media carefully dances with the government, as they release the bad news in the Gulf of Mexico, one little bit at a time. For almost two months, we have heard the chorus: the only sure way to fix this oil volcano is through a relief well. All those other methods were really burning time, but no worries, the ultimate solution is coming in early to mid-August. Everything is going well, according to BP and all their talking heads.

Deep down in the blogosphere, a fellow writing as "dougR" at theoildrum.com, and as SHR at godlikeproductions.com - wrote a detailed explanation of why the relief wells may not work at all. His argument centered around tiny clips and insinuations that all was not as it seemed.

Several knowledgeable writers at theoildrum, some of them oil drillers themselves, didn't like dougR's theory, and noted his lack of solid data or sources.

But now, we find just a few mainstream news stations preparing us for this very scenario. The relief wells may not work. On June 28th, 2010 the New York Times published an article by Henry Fountain. The title "BP Discussing a Backup Strategy to Plug Well".

BP says they are just planning a backup, even if it is never needed. They would install some kind of undersea pipeline system, to divert the leaking oil to an existing oil platform, miles away.

The New York Times finds experts who acknowledge the lower well casing could be so damaged that the relief wells may not work. An anonymous technician working on the relief project says the lower pipe may have, quote "been enlarged by the high-pressure flow of oil over the past two months."

What a surprise! Exactly the theory proposed by dougR. In my Radio Ecoshock blog I have a link to a 2 hour long podcast conference with dougR, a.k.a. SHR done by Godlike Productions. Or just search theoildrum.com for dougR - and be prepared for a barrel load of controversy.

Yet the bad news of no relief keeps leaking out like the oil. Here is ex-President Bill Clinton talking with Wolf Blitzer on a CNN news program associated with Fortune magazine. Clinton suggests the well may have to be blown up, because the relief wells may not work. What does he know, that we don't?

But first, let's go straight to an interview with scientist John Kessler, just back from a research mission at Ground Zero where the Deepwater Horizon drill ship sank. Kessler is using this eruption of methane, thought to be 40% of what comes out of that BP pipe in the Gulf - as an example of what might have happened when the Earth went into a killer hot zone 55 million years ago. Will methane emissions from the Gulf disaster change our climate? We find out, from a scientist who knows.

READ LOTS MORE ABOUT THIS SHOW, WITH TONS OF USEFUL LINKS….

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

DANGER DEEP IN THE GULF

GO straight to the Full Transcript with links now.

Coast to Coast AM covers the Gulf:

RICHARD C. HOAGLAND: "Gas explosion, 50 miles off Louisiana, that you can imagine. Think Mount St. Helens, underwater. What that would do is create a cloud of incredible toxic material, which would then drift with the winds over the shore, where there are millions of people..."

GEORGE NOORY: "What about a tsunami?"

R. Hoagland: "The next step is you would get a tsunami."

Oh please. And some of this garbage went out over hundreds of stations on Coast to Coast AM. Other radio programs promised millions will die, when "the Gulf volcano" blows up.

It gets worse. I expect this to triumph on You tube. But the whole story, based on un-named geologists, inside government sources, and, wait for it, aliens, was reworked by DK Matai - and reposted on sites that should know better, like the Huffington Post.

Really. Listen to the Hoagland interview, and then read Matai - it looks like a paraphrase to me - and neither cites any sources we can check.

As far as I can tell, the original source for these Gulf terror stories is Richard C. Hoagland, who explained it all on the George Noory Show. The same theory was remade by Dr. Bill Deagle, on Bill Ryan's Project Avalon show. And what do all these people have in common?

DR. BILL DEAGLE: "This is being driven by trans-dimensional super-beings, the Gods of the ancient world, the same ones like Apollo, Appoleon - there's a whole list of the names. And I can actually give you the names. If people want to know they can go back to James Wier's Book of Demonology, 1535. They are sequestered in the Vatican Library if people are listening that know about this..."

- Dr. Bill Deagle, talking to Bill Ryan on the Project Avalon podcast June 16, 2010.

Deagle's explanation of the coming Gulf explosion and tsunami are so close to that given first by Richard Hoagland, that host Bill Ryan remarks on it. Deagle says he got it all from his own sources. The theory all sounds sort of possible, with lots of faux geology thrown in, but really, all of the above people, Hoagland, Deagle and Ryan, believe aliens run the show here on Earth, and probably caused this spill, for their own nefarious purposes.

Meanwhile, as we'll hear from Stephanie Mencimer, an investigative reporter for Mother Jones magazine - the far-right and some Tea Party movement agree the Gulf spill is a plot to move Dixie into horrible FEMA camps - while Obama kills off America with the dreaded carbon tax.

Have we lost our collective minds? Why do Americans love to terrorize themselves?

I'm going to make a bold prediction. The BP well is not going to cause the Gulf of Mexico to erupt into a world-ending volcano. Millions of people will not die because of this. There will be no tsunami.

Any of these so-called experts could find that out by simply asking a few sane scientists. That's what I did for this week's show.

We'll ask Dr. Samantha Joye, an expert on both oil and the deepwater Gulf about these viral fears. More important, Dr. Joye is just back from a research mission in the Gulf, to measure those underwater plumes of oil and gas. You'll get the latest.

Then we go to the Chief Scientist of the big conservation group Oceana, Dr. Michael Hirshfield, to investigate a REAL threat to the Gulf: masses of methane are accumulating under the sea - and leaking out into the atmosphere as potent climate changing gases. What does that mean for sea life, and for the oil industry?

I guess the point is: the Gulf gusher is so horrible, with so many real unknown consequences - we don't need crank radio to muddy the waters, and frighten people with goblins and ghouls.

Three interviews, and then I return to our deepest fears, looking at the cranksters who love to wind us up, with bed time stories. And I finish with one more rumor about geopolitics - why America needs BP to feed the war machine.

READ MORE with all the supporting links.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Dark Conspiracies of the Gulf

Around the camp fire, humans tell horror stories. About goblins, and dark conspiracies of death. Soon after the shock of the BP Oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the cranks rolled out new tales that tell us a lot about the human mind, and how we react to environmental tragedy.

While the deadly rig explosion, the oiled wild-life, and the lost jobs are no joke, I can't resist rating the wildest theories, coming from non-existent mystics, far-out blogs, right-wing radio, and even mainstream TV.

Radio Ecoshock rates the conspiracies that strain the mind - plus a few strange facts that may be too true.

FEATURE INTERVIEW: DR. JACK ALPERT

Then a rare radio interview with Dr. Jack Alpert. He helped bring us seat belts, was a corporate trainer in Silicon Valley, and founded his own research institute at Stanford.

Jack calls for radical population reduction. He explains why consumption could lead to more terrorism, and wonders if we are heading into a more violent age, as resources run out.

Most importantly, Jack Alpert discovered a type of blindness in the human brain - something even the brightest people can't compute. This may explain why we don't tackle problems like Peak Oil or climate change. A dynamic interview on key problems, including how to avoid a damaged future. In fact, Alpert says we can all have more "stuff" - if we think it through and act.

READ MORE, WITH TRANSCRIPT AND LOTS OF LINKS....

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

HEAT STROKE: When Heat Kills

While oil gushes out of the Gulf, and the economy staggers toward the exits, scientists continue to investigate our longer future.

For example, could it get so hot that large parts of the heavily inhabited Earth would have to be abandoned? And I ask two popular bloggers, why are most of the public blissfully unaware of how heat kills? Do you know the operating temperature of your skin? No, it is not 98.6, or 37 degrees C.

Scientists predict more extreme heat waves, as the planet warms. They are already happening, with more records set in the North America, Europe, Asia and Australia every year. Pakistan just set a new all-time record - over 53 degrees, or 129 Fahrenheit. Over a thousand people just died in India from heat stress.

Who goes first? If you guessed the elderly, you are only partly right. Babies and teenagers are on that list. And anyway, won't all of us be seniors someday, as the heat increased?

Never mind. You and I will have air conditioning. Until the power goes out, as it regularly does during heat waves.

And despite all the images on TV, heat kills more of us than tornados, hurricanes, or lightening, combined.

We'll thrash through that with John Cook, the Australian host of the Skeptical Science blog, and then with Stuart Staniford, a techie and energy specialist writing in the Early Warning blog. We investigate the new paper by two scientists who set out the limits of human endurance in the heat. We don't have far to go to reach those limits, in many of the most populated parts of the planet. Just keep burning fossil fuels, burning forests and raising cattle, and our grandkids could inherit a world too hot to live in.

Then, for something completely different, scientist Mark Moffett tells us how ants adapt to climate. When I hear these bugs have agriculture, including pesticides, I begin to wonder if ants are the next civilization, after us.

Listen to this week's program for our three interviews. And get all the links you need to follow up in our extended blog entry below.

Of course there are sensible things we can do, to stay alive in the coming heat waves, and stop cooking our grandkids. Like getting off fossil fuels very quickly. Changing over our cities from heat sinks to natural cooling centers. And using community planning to care for those most at risk. We'll have to save that for a future Radio Ecoshock program.

READ MORE (with links to find out more about heat stress, record heat waves, and the new science predicting an over-heated planet)

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

PAINT IT BLACK: Oil Activism

This program is really two tied together. It's about oil activism, with ideas you can use. Then a funny but serious speech on media activism, by Andy Bichlbaum of "The Yes Men".

In the first half hour, Radio Ecoshock covers the various anti-BP and Gulf Spill protests arising spontaneously around the United States, and abroad. This includes a couple of protest songs, including one by the Raging Grannies of South Florida, and another by Code Pink in Houston - that you can use. Plus more practical tips on using black plastic and signs to get your protest going. Go ahead, paint it black.

I also give an update on the four places where the next great spill threatens: the East Coast of both the United States and Canada (especially the Chevron super-deep drilling off Newfoundland); the Canadian Arctic (where the government is aggressively seeking bids, with no environmental assessment, and no hope of stopping a leak); the Alaska Arctic (where Shell has been told to half drilling plans); and the new tanker threat off Canada's West Coast.

If anything positive has come out of the Gulf disaster, these other places are at least getting a break, while authorities re-evaluate the risks.

THE YES MEN!

In the second half-hour, we switch to media activism as demonstrated by "The Yes Men". I recorded a speech by Andy Bichlbaum (university professor and professional hoaxman) at the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives in Vancouver. It includes multi-media clips from "The Yes Men Fix The World" DVD.

More ideas on how activists (that's you!) can use the media to get out the right message... finally. Have fun, and save the world at the same time.

READ MORE (with some helpful links)

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

IS HUMANITY UNSUSTAINABLE? - Resend

Who knows why the podcast attachment fails to make Itunes?

Anyway, for those who missed it, here it the talk by Dr. Bill Rees, who questions whether our archaic brains can cope with our present situation.

Alex Smith