For Lefties too Stubborn to Quit
This Weekend I?ll Mostly Be Listening to? The Rain Parade 04:43 Sat May 18, 2013 | irishelectionliterature
A glancing blow? 03:36 Sat May 18, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Video/Film of Dublin City 1930?s, 1940?s, 1950?s 23:25 Fri May 17, 2013 | irishelectionliterature
The cost of austerity? wounding society 16:33 Fri May 17, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Protecting Frontline services? 12:45 Fri May 17, 2013 | WorldbyStorm
Cedar Lounge >>
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
In God?s Country 00:39 Mon May 13, 2013
Fishy Talks Galway, 13 May 2013 13:36 Sun May 12, 2013
The Indo: Think I Know The Choice I?d Make.. 17:22 Thu May 09, 2013
Alan Ahearne, Johnny Boy 13:24 Mon May 06, 2013
Who Benefits from Austerity? Mechanics Institute Limerick Summer School, 4 May 2013 23:59 Fri May 03, 2013
Dublin Opinion >>
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Framing ?The Gatekeepers? Fri May 17, 2013 17:46 | Raymond Deane
The May Issue of Socialist Voice is Out Now Fri May 17, 2013 17:14 | Communist Party of Ireland
Full-Sized Life Thu May 16, 2013 13:32 | Susan DuMars
Left MEPs to debate austerity and abortion rights in Dublin Wed May 15, 2013 13:53 | Irish Left Review
Action on X ? Protest May 18th Central Plaza, Dame St, Dublin 2, @ 4pm Tue May 14, 2013 17:59 | Irish Left Review
Irish Left Review >>
Of the Week? Sat May 18, 2013 00:02 | namawinelake
Noonan denies IBRC legal fees loan approval to Paddy McKillen was in breach of E... Fri May 17, 2013 14:23 | namawinelake
Gayle Killilea Dunne asks to be added as notice party in Sean Dunne?s bankruptcy Fri May 17, 2013 12:30 | namawinelake
NAMA sues Maria Byrne and Graham Byrne in Dublin?s High Court Fri May 17, 2013 11:39 | namawinelake
Johnny Ronan finally wins a court case Thu May 16, 2013 15:43 | namawinelake
NAMA Wine Lake >>
A shot at bias in the media
Separating the News from the Noise Thu Apr 04, 2013 21:14
Blessed with nothing but good intentions Fri Feb 22, 2013 18:04
The Household Charge - How They Failed to Shape Our Perspectives Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:48
The web's political rainbow Wed Dec 07, 2011 09:47
The Forgotten Constituency: The Majority and The Irish Economic Crisis Fri Mar 11, 2011 11:49
Links to Alternative Media Podcasts
en-us Indymedia On Air
RSS Feed for 'Indymedia on Air' from the LA Indymedia broadcast on LA KPFK
Indymedia On Air - Tue, May 14, 2013 Mon May 13, 2013 23:00
Indymedia On Air - Tue, May 7, 2013 Mon May 06, 2013 23:00
Indymedia On Air - Tue, April 30, 2013 Mon Apr 29, 2013 23:00
Indymedia On Air - Tue, April 23, 2013 Mon Apr 22, 2013 23:00
Indymedia On Air - Tue, April 16, 2013 Mon Apr 15, 2013 23:00
KPFK - Indymedia On Air >>
Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy.
RSS Feed for 'Gary Null' show on PRN
The Gary Null Show - 05/17/13 Fri May 17, 2013 18:00 | progressiveradionetwork
Call to action - petition White House for approval of licensing of self-sufficient clean energy generators such as those using cold fusion - with Bahram Maskanian
Bahram Maskanian is the founder and CEO of the Venus Project Foundation in New York City that is dedicated to the promotion of clean energy technologies to reduce the [...]
The Gary Null Show - 05/16/13 Thu May 16, 2013 20:47 | progressiveradionetwork
A look at modern neuroscience - what it can and what it can’t tell us about our brains and about ourselves - with Dr. Robert Burton
Dr. Robert Burton, MD is a physician, journalist and author writing about the new science of brain, mind, neuroscience and the philosophy of science. He [...]
The Gary Null Show - 05/15/13 Wed May 15, 2013 19:50 | progressiveradionetwork
How wise was Angelina Jolie’s decision to have a radical mastectomy? With Dr. Christiane Northrup.
Dr. Christiane Northrup is a board-certified OB/GYN physician and is regarded by many doctors, alternative physicians and women as a leading pioneer and visionary in women?s health and the biology and lifestyle associated with menopause. In 2013, Readers Digest listed her [...]
The Gary Null Show - 05/14/13 Tue May 14, 2013 20:54 | progressiveradionetwork
What are the changes of humanity seriously tackling climate change, the dire consequences of our failures to do so, and how do we deal with dire predictions of our future, with Dr. Guy McPherson.
Dr. Guy McPherson is a professor emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. He [...]
The Gary Null Show - 05/13/13 Mon May 13, 2013 20:47 | progressiveradionetwork
Discussion of the nuclear terror in the middle east. Also, now you can go to college to be a drone operator. Vermont passage of a GMO labeling bill in its House of Representatives - also, a new study links GMO food to leukemia. Information about the danger of cell phone use, plus the latest in [...]
The Gary Null Show >>
Analysis of the geopolitical headlines
RSS Feed for 'Stop Imperialism' podcast
The Reality Principle #13 on Boiling Frogs Thu Jan 17, 2013 04:50 | ericdraitser
The REAL Martin Luther King
with Professor Tony Monteiro
This week, as America marks the birthday of one of its greatest leaders, Dr. Martin Luther King, Eric sits down with Professor Tony Monteiro to discuss King’s life and legacy. Specifically, Eric and Tony examine who King really was by destroying the false narrative that has been [...]
Stop Imperialism - Episode 55 Tue Jan 15, 2013 06:17 | ericdraitser
1. Syria - Damascus?s suburbs now controlled by government
2. Mali - Rebels in Mali vow revenge at ?heart of France?
3. Egypt - Economic problems could decide Egypt elections
4. Around the Americas - Bolivia slams US over ?irrefutable evidence? of meddling
5. Wall St. Crimes - US banks agree an $8.5 billion foreclosure settlement
6. Under the Radar [...]
The Reality Principle #12 on Boiling Frogs Thu Jan 10, 2013 06:09 | ericdraitser
American Nightmare: Racism and the Prison-Industrial Complex
with Solomon Comissiong
In this week’s episode, Eric examines one of the most complex and misunderstood issues in America today: the prison-industrial complex and its relation to deeply rooted racism in this country. Eric touches on the various ways in which mass incarceration and the prison system is perpetuated [...]
The US and the Privatization of El Salvador Tue Jan 08, 2013 19:27 | ericdraitser
As much of Latin America braces itself for the possibility of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez’s death, observers around the world would do well to note the stark contrasts that exist within the region. On the one hand, there are the ALBA (Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas) countries, united by Chavez in their rejection of US [...]
Stop Imperialism - Episode 54 Fri Jan 04, 2013 07:33 | ericdraitser
In today’s Episode:
1) Fiscal Cliff - Your fiscal cliff deal cheat sheet
2) Syria - Taftanaz air base in Syria site of intense battles between regime and rebels
3) Iraq - Maliki and Sadr trade warning as 17 Iraqis are killed in Iraq
4) Egypt -Egypt opposition probe: Mohammed ElBaradei, Amr Moussa, Hamdeen Sabahi face treason [...]
Stop Imperialism >>
en Latest science, authors, issues - from climate change, oceans, forests, pollution, Peak Oil, the economy, and peace. Ready for re-broadcast, computer, IPOD, or mp3 player. No copyright. As heard on CFRO Vancouver, and over 56 college & community radio stations, WPFW Pacifica in D.C. plus KNEW 960 AM, San Francisco & Resonance FM London. Published Wednesdays.
RSS Feed for 'Eco Shock' podcast
Unburnable: Risky Fossil Fuel Investments Vs. Climate Crisis Thu May 16, 2013 01:31 | firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Smith)
Two new reports say climate change could cause the next financial crisis. From London, Bob Ward, LSE lead author of "Unburnable: Carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets." From Australia's Climate Institute, John Connor on coal's risky future. Plus Nancy LaPlaca: why does sunny Arizona burn so much coal? Radio Ecoshock 130515 1 hour.
Could climate change bring us the next financial crisis? Yes indeed, say two new reports. We'll go London to get the low-down on the new report from the Grantham Institute of the London School of Economics. Find out why big institutions like Citi Group, HSBC, the World Bank and the IMF agree: fossil fuel companies have developed a huge bubble based on carbon reserves they can never burn.
Pay attention. Your pension funds and banks are heavily invested in the next financial crash. Everybody is.
From the Canadian Tar Sands to Australian coal pits, energy companies are loading up with yesterday's fuel - until the climate crunch, which is already arriving. John Connor of the Climate Institute says the coal industry is ripe for financial implosion.
I'll wrap up with a quick answer to another bothersome question: why is the super sunshine state of Arizona still burning so much coal? With Nancy LaPlaca.
Remember the few people who tried to warn the world about the mortgage bubble. This is that show for you.
FREE MP3 DOWNLOADS FOR THIS SHOW
Listen to/download this Radio Ecoshock Show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)
Listen to/download the interview with Bob Ward, Grantham Institute of the London School of Economics (24 minutes) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Listen to/download my interview with John Connor, Executive Director of the Climate Institute in Australia (19 min) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Listen to/download the interview with Nancy LaPlaca on solar vs. coal in Arizona (12 minutes) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
LISTEN TO THIS RADIO ECOSHOCK SHOW RIGHT NOW (courtesy of archive.org)
Any intelligent observer can see we are on a collision course between increasing mega-projects to produce even more coal, oil and gas - and the developing disaster of climate change. Either we make adjustments to our energy system, or we risk trying to live through the planet's sixth great extinction event, without going extinct ourselves.
Why do so many investors, likely including your pension fund, bank, or government - keep pouring billions and billions of dollars or Euros into a fossil fuel industry which has no long-term future? Everybody's making big money - but is it a bubble?
No one doubted the strength of the American home mortgage market, before that fell apart in 2007. It almost took down the whole financial system. But can we really believe the most profitable companies in the world, the oil and coal industries, could collapse?
The climate threat to our financial markets and civilization is no longer a subject just for radical greens. There are ripples of concern right at the core of the largest trading systems, echoed by some of the world's biggest financial institutions. Some say the carbon bubble could bring on the next crash.
In January of 2012, a well-regarded list of power players wrote the British Governor of the Bank of England, warning the London exchange was at the top of a fossil fuel bubble that could break with disasterous consequences. Now Lord Stern and a team of analysts have released a new policy paper that explains the risk.
Bob Ward, Grantham Institute, LSE
In the spring of 2013 stock markets hit new highs. Leading the pack were the most profitable companies in the world, the big oil, gas, and coal companies.
At the same time, polls showed the majority of the public believe climate change is real. What happens when these two opposites collide? According to a new report from leading economists, the carbon bubble will pop, leading to another serious financial crisis.
To explain, I've reached a lead author of the report, "Unburnable Carbon 2013: Wasted capital and stranded assets." Bob Ward is Policy and Communications Director for the Grantham Institute, at the London School of Economics.
This new report is hard to believe. How could big money makers like Shell, Exxon/Mobil and the rest, lead us into the next economic crash?
We talk about this "carbon bubble". I ask how would it compare to the 2007 bubble of U.S. real estate prices, and all the securitization based on those mortgages? Ward says it is smaller than that bubble, because that 2007/2008 crisis involved all the banks, which are central to everything else in our economy.
Still, the over-valuation of these energy companies is not a small problem. Ward tells me the oil, gas, coal, and coal mining companies account for about 20% of the London Stock exchange, and similar numbers for other stock exchanges around the world.
If investors wake up all of a sudden and divest in a panic, say after more rounds of climate-driven violent weather, that could bring a very serious crisis. The Grantham Institute and Carbon Tracker hope their report will give the market time to make the necessary changes over time, rather than in a panic, and avoid a really serious crash.
The ratings company Standard and Poors is looking at how to re-evaluate the energy companies, given the claimed reserves can never be burned. The International Energy Agency (IEA) and the World Bank are now adamant that climate change is a real threat to the world economy, and are looking at action based on this new report. Even banks like HSBC and Citi agree this is a serious problem.
We are told the Bank of England was warned in January 2012 that big reserves claimed by the fossil fuel companies were a threat to the British economy, and the huge UK investment and banking industry.
Almost all of us are invested in fossil fuel companies one way or another. Certainly pension funds seek those big dividends and stock prices. Insurance companies, even our savings are loaned out by banks to big energy corporations. We are all at risk.
Naturally, I was sceptical that governments will act at all. Right now it looks like we'll just burn all the fossil fuels and to hell with coming generations. Literally. Bob Ward doesn't think so. For one thing, climate change is already interfering with the oil, gas, and coal business.
Consider rising seas and violent storms when it comes to offshore platforms and refineries. Think of the oil industry impacts of Hurricane Katrina for example. We also heard from Louisiana just the increased heat and changes in water flows are affecting pipeline operations. And we're just at the start of all that.
Add on the huge costs to government of storms like Hurricane Sandy ($60 billion on an already stressed United States) - and there is just no way our society and economy can go on with "business as usual" - especially if the global mean temperature goes over 2 degrees hotter. At some point, we don't know when, Ward says society will act to try to save what is left of the climate we need to survive. Taking action is not a "political" matter. It's physics and climate science that is based on what we emit. End of story. The fossil fuel companies might as well stop exploration to push up the supposed value of their reserves - because we can't even burn what we have already!
With Carbon Tracker, the Grantham Institute looked at the "carbon budget" - the amount of fossil fuels we could still burn and have at least a 50% chance of staying below the two degree danger zone. It's not much - and nothing like the reserves claimed by these big corporations.
I saved one last question from talking with Bob Ward from the London School of Economics. It's technical financially. I didn't really get it - until I heard John Connor say the same. Big pensions, insurance companies and banks are investing in the whole stock market, without being able to separate out the phony balance sheets of fossil fuel companies. That's a core risk which could shake the whole system. Regulators and analysts, even the ratings company Standard and Poors, are looking for a new metric, a new way to invest in a real future.
John Connor, Climate Institute, Australia
Naturally this affects oil, gas, and coal producers around the world. Australia is the world's largest exporter of climate-damaging coal. Australian mining companies recently announced even more grandiose projects to mine and ship still more.
From Australia, I've reached John Connor. He is the CEO of the Climate Institute in Sydney.
In the Guardian newspaper April 28th, John Connor told journalist Damian Carrington that Australia's coal industry is, quote, "ripe for financial implosion". We discuss how this carbon bubble could burst, and the impact on Australian economy, and the world economy. Find the Climate Institute "Unburnable" report on Australian coal here.
During the interview, John recommended these web sites to follow up:
The Vital Few - a site aimed at accidental climate change investors. That could be any of us, as our banks, pension funds (called superannuation funds in Australia), and insurance companies invest heavily in fossil fuel companies. Find out if your are involved and what to do here.
Connor also recommends the Asset Owners Disclosure web site and listings. It shows which investment companies are backing the energy sources that will wreck out climate. Check it out.
CAN INVINCIBLE OIL, GAS AND COAL COMPANIES REALLY CRASH?
The way I see it, Australia endures another few years of climate extremes, whether it's super fires, record heat and floods. Millions of people call for action, in time with an election cycle. That could bring a crash of coal company share-prices, or even a major bankruptcy for an Australian coal company. Impossible you say? Remember Bear Sterns and Lehman Brothers were invincible too.
Here in North America, the gas industry is frantically drilling more and more fracking wells, even though the price is lower than production costs. I assume it's a scam intended to generate more investment money. Is it possible the same is happening with Australian coal?
Not likely, says John Connor. Unfortunately, there is far too much real coal in the ground. As he says "the Stone Age didn't end because they ran out of stones." In the same vein, Australia won't run out of coal before the climate is absolutely wrecked.
The Australian government is subsidizing the coal boom with extra infrastructure, hoping to generate more jobs and tax money. The government, and the public, are addicted to coal revenues, especially in Queensland. It's pretty much the same picture in Canada with the Tar Sands operations.
The Climate Institute, along with Carbon Tracker, put out their own report on the impacts of Australian coal reserves, versus a change in market evaluation of companies. The big coal companies are quite aware that climate concerns may drive more demands for carbon limitations or carbon taxes. Perversely, this may drive them to get coal out of the ground even faster, to make more money before the market shifts against them. It's the coal rush, and Australian corporations have announced fantastic new plans for mega coal mines and a half dozen new coal shipping ports (some in the Great Barrier Reef!)
The Climate Institute report found two important developments. First of all, the majority of Australian coal companies are NOT owned and controlled by Australian companies. International investors, some from China, have taken over in many cases. This is also a risk: because international money can leave just as quickly as it came. That might happen because regulations in the home country of the capital means coal is no longer attractive. Or the money might move away for other reasons.
Secondly, the Australian coal expansion plans wrongly assume that China and other Asian countries will burn an infinite amount of coal. However, that leaves aside three key developments. China has put in a cap on coal use. China is investing heavily on alternative energy at the same time. Third, the Chinese public is demanding measures to clean up the air, and coal is the main pollutant. For all these reasons, Chinese importations of coal may slow down or even go into reverse. And that doesn't even include the growing awareness in China of the huge costs of climate change.
We are talking about Australia, but this applies to the multi-billion dollar expansion in the works for Canada's Tar Sands. Or the big money bet on Arctic drilling, or dangerous deep-sea drilling. If we look at the huge position of these fossil fuel companies on world stock exchanges - but these two reports say the whole world financial system is at risk, while we gamble on burning more and more fossil fuels.
Big financial institutions like Citi Bank and HSBC publicly admit we face a hidden risk with over-investment in a dead-end economy, based fossil fuels.
Honestly I feel some relief that people in the financial industry are finally talking about the danger investing in climate-killing fuels. When our wallets and bank accounts look as risky as Cyprus, maybe there will be a move out of the fossil catastrophe.
WHY IS THE SUNSHINE STATE OF ARIZONA USING SO MUCH COAL? NANCY LAPLACA
Nancy LaPlace energy activist, Arizona.
In the U.S. Southwest, the State of Arizona has more sunshine than anywhere. It should be the American capital of solar power. But instead big cities like Phoenix are powered by dirty coal. To explain this crazy situation, I've reached Nancy LaPlaca. Nancy was policy adviser to a state Power Commissioner, and now she's looking at taking a run for the Commission herself.
Last year about this time, I visited Page Arizona on the northern state border. I saw the Navajo Coal Power station belching out smoke. The EPA says it's a dirty plant, and needs new pollution control. There is a huge battle over the controls.
Complicating the problem, that Navajo plant contributes millions of dollars to the Navajo tribe. Lots of native Americans work either with the plant, or in the coal mines of Northern Arizona. Can we shut that dirty coal plant down, without tossing even more native Americans into poverty? LaPlaca says yes - because alternative energy produces three times the jobs compared to fossil fuels. There is plenty of sunshine - and wind - in Northern Arizona.
But "coal electrons" are dirt cheap right now. That's partly because of the economic slow down, leading to overcapacity of all kinds of energy. The neighboring state of Nevada is getting out of coal. That means they will purchase no power from the Navajo Coal Generating station.
At the same time, California is also cutting back on coal power. The Los Angeles Light and Power company will stop buying electricity from the Navajo station around 2015. Instead, they are signing contracts with solar power companies in Arizona.
California has a requirement to get about one third of it's energy from renewable sources by 2020. Arizona is far behind, going for lower requirements by 2025.
As always, the big power utilities have a monopoly, and don't want change or competition. Solar power can go up anywhere, and is closer to the user, so there are fewer transmissions costs and losses. Nancy says if the big box stores and commercial buildings start mounting solar panels, the Arizona utilities, which are mainly state-owned, would be in serious financial trouble. In my opinion, if they keep counting on coal, the energy source with no future, Arizona will be in big trouble.
Nancy LaPlaca has been going around Arizona giving presentation to explain the facts of climate and energy life. The Republican Party just issued a press statement calling her "an extremist" because she is calling for renewable energy. I ask you, who are the "extremists" who don't notice Arizona has warmed up over two degrees since 1950. The rains this past year were about one third of normal. The place is drying out and heating up - and coal is the way to go???
Check out Nancy's interview. It's a quick education on coal politics and the reality of new energy systems. Find Nancy's Facebook page, as she considers a run for the Arizona Energy Commision here.
I hope you got the big picture need for a financial reform that protects investors from the fossil fuel bubble. The balance sheets of big oil, coal and gas are swollen with supposed carbon reserves we will never burn. Because the planet will heat up beyond any capability for business as usual, long before the oil, fracked gas, and coal run out.
More exploration is pointless for these companies. Nature and the human enterprise demand a business plan to phase out the fossil fuel economy.
Thank you for supporting Radio Ecoshock, at our web site ecoshock.org. With the help of listener donations, I've created two new You tube videos, based on interviews from this show. Just search Radio Ecoshock on You tube, and select the filter "by upload date" - to get the latest. Feel free to pass those along to people who need to know.
The latest is this You tube video version of my interview with John Betts, on "The Age of Super Fires".
I'm Alex Smith. Let's do it again next week, as we meet the men who want to run the climate of the world.
We end this program with a tune from Political Songwriter, Folk Musician & Union Activist Smokey Dymny. It's called "Talking Global Warming."
Fracking: Sacrifice Zones of the American West Wed May 08, 2013 21:09 | email@example.com (Alex Smith)
Fracking: Sacrifice Zones of the American West. What can other countries expect? Four voices from the Bakken shale lands. Polluting oil & gas extraction impacts in Colorado, Wyoming, Montana & North Dakota. The dark side of the fracking boom. Radio Ecoshock 130508 1 hour http://tinyurl.com/cgkhq8s
INTRODUCTION: FRACKING HELL
Tonight and tomorrow, gas flares burn over the dry and dryer lands of the Western United States. There is a fracking boom exploding rock ten thousand feet down, and miles all around. In Colorado, North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming villages become overnight towns, big trucks fill small roads, gas floats over prairie and foothills. The last waters in great rivers, reservoirs, and aquifers are poisoned, 50,000 years worth in ten years, billions of gallons a day. The frack water kills the ground it touches, or disappears forever into subterranean Earth.
As climate change works against the browning landscape of the American West, crazed humans use all the water they can find to make still more methane and carbon dioxide, to make more money with oil and gas.
We go to those sacrifice zones. You hear four voices. The ranchers and a native American woman are part of an organization calling for regulations and safety protection. Instead they have the enabling state where fossil fuel companies control the capitol, selling the dream of wealth to the people, while their environment careens beyond reclamation. Farming may collapse, and without drinking water, communities will eventually leave too.
It's happening all over the world, the invasion of the well-drillers, coming as close as 500 feet to homes, like-it-or-not. Ask the disgusted people from Queensland Australia about the fracking blight, or coal seam gas, as they would say. Get ready Britain, where the government sees fracking as salvation. Eastern Europe will be conquered and fracked. People all over North America, and all over the world, need to listen to our speakers today. Because when it's gone, it's gone.
Listen to this Radio Ecoshock Show right now, courtesy of Archive.org
FREE MP3 DOWNLOADS THIS WEEK
Listen to/download this Radio Ecoshock Show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)
Free audio downloads: interviews with our guests -
Robert LeResche of Powder River Resource Council and the Western Organization of Resource Councils in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Bob Arrington, Chair of the Energy Committee of the Western Colorado Congress in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Pat Wilson, 4 generation rancher and member of the Northern Plains Resource Council in Montanna, CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Theodora Bird Bear, Fort Berthold Reservation & Dakota Resource Council in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
All music in this program is by the Desert Dwellers, from their new album "Far From Here" - courtesy of Black Swan Sounds. Find the band here.
ROBERT (BOB) LERESCHE
Bob LeResche is a biologist with lost of experience in Alaska. He twice held cabinet level positions, being in charge of natural resources, executive director of Alaska's Power Authority, and then the state's coordinator for the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Now Bob and his wife are operating a small ranch in Northern Wyoming.
Bob speaks both for the Powder River Basin Resource Council - an area famous for giant coal mines, but now being flooded with rigs for hydraulic fracturing of shale gas and oil ("fracking"). LeResche also spoke for the umbrella group WORC, the Western Organization of Resource Councils.
Parts of Wyoming have become like overnight boom towns as the fracking rigs move in. Bob tells us the previous coal bed methane operations have mostly shut down because of gas fracking. That coal bed methane is mostly in shallower ground, and tends to reduce water in Wyoming's vital aquifers - as does fracking. Since 1992, when the State ruled water use for fossil fuel development was a "beneficial use" - the companies have been pumping "unlimitted" amounts of groundwater, with no accounting or cost. Nobody knows how much has been taken out, or what remains.
From 1997 to 2012, LeResche says a MINIMUM of 309 billion gallons of water was pumped out. Most of that was dumped on to the ground, with little being reinjected. The waste water was generally contaminated with various toxic materials, plus the salt from underground. Even some radioactive materials. Such water dumping destroyed pastures, croplands, and nature zones.
Some of these reservoirs recharge at 0.15 inches a year. That means it would take over 50,000 years to recharge what was taken out in ten years by the Wyoming energy industry. Bob LaResche worries agriculture may be harmed due to lack of water in the future. Even some communities may run out of water and have to "disappear".
About 300 deep horizonal fracking wells were drilled in the Powder River Basin since 2010, with thousands more coming.
After it's all done, Wyoming has at least 100,000 unplugged bore holes, which can lead back to contamination of the underground water supplies. LeResche feels Wyoming is a "sacrifice zone" for the energy needs of the rest of the country, and big company profits.
WORC, the Western Organization of Resource Councils, has put out a report on the misuse of scarce water supplies called "Gone Good, Fracking and Water Loss in the West" Find that here.
Bob is a retired engineer living in Battlement Mesa. That's in Colorado, where up to 200 natural gas wells have been proposed in that one area alone. Bob is Chair of the Energy Committee of the Western Colorado Congress. He testified before the Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission. Bob champions the health impact assessments of oil and gas, has led local air monitoring efforts, and takes international media around the gas fields. Or find the Western Colorado Congress on Facebook here.
Each of these deep fracking wells can use from 3 to 6 million gallons for every "frack job" - when the explosives shatter the rock below. A single well may be fracked several times. Add this all up for tens of thousands of wells and you get an idea of the tremendous amount of water required by this industry.
In Colorado, the MacKenzie Report showed health impacts from bad air quality up to half a mile away from a fracking operation. But since most land-owners in the United States do NOT own the sub-surface rights, an energy company has the right to come very close to your home and set up a noisy, dangerous, and polluting fracking well. In Colorado they just got legislation requiring a 500 foot setback from homes. Five hundred feet away from your bedroom window!
Some fracking wells are even closer, if the homeowner agrees. Remember, the energy companies do not need your permission to drill those wells. You could be on a peacful ranch, farm, or country retreat and suddenly find yourself in industrial hell for a decade or two. Many people give up and try to sell out - but who would want to buy. There is no compensation for those lost dreams and homes.
Air quality tests of fracking operations in Colorado found lots of volatile organic compounds - like the poisons benzene and toluene, and carcinogens like xylene. The University of Colorado is planning a 3 year study, but that's way too slow and too late. A NOAA study has already showed benzene coming from fracking sites. Some of the fracked water turns out to be radioactive, and contains heavy metals plus salt. Some of it is just dumped on the ground, killing the vegetation. Some is trucked as dangerous cargo over America's highways. Accidents happen.
Doctors in Colorado were poorly trained to recognize health impacts from fracking, and industry-friendly legislation makes it illegal for them to share information about cases.
None of this counts the masses of methane billowing out of fracking wells. Methane isn't harmful to health, but sure hurts the global atmosphere, being at least 20 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide.
Colorado is drying out, with a recent record of super fires. It's also been hit with drought - even as the fracking industry drains it dry. The State of Kansas won a lawsuit against Colorado for withholding water. The Army Corps of Engineers has agreed to drain out some reservoirs to serve the energy industry.
P.S. Blogger Peggy Tibbetts has a few articles on the Parachute Creek spill and Bob Arrington here.
Next up is a long-time rancher along the Missouri River near Bainville Montana. Pat Wilson's family has been there for over a century. Pat can tell us about the oil and gas rush in the famous Bakken shale field, and draining huge volumes of water from the Missouri River. He is a member of the Northern Plains Resource Council.
Pat does get some money from oil wells right on his family land. But he still thinks the fracking boom is a danger to the community and the environment. He's particularly concerned that the State Legislature is allowing water allocated for agriculture to be used for fracking instead.
The oil-bearing shale in his area is about 9,000 feet (2700 meters) below the surface. You can't see the Bakken oil shale formations on the ground above. There are about 800 Bakken wells in Montana, and another 8,000 in North Dakota. Companies are proposing seven times more wells!
The region only gets ten to fourteen inches of rain annually, so water is scarce even without all this drilling. Even when the State of Montana found 13 illegal water depots, instead of leveling charges, they made it easier for energy companies to appropriate the water!
Pat tells us about the social impacts of having thousands of people showing up, many temporarily, in the area of his home village of Bainville - former population 300. Schools and sewer systems can't keep up. There are two "man camps" on either side of town. There is even talk of building a Marriot hotel there!
You can find a good film about the social impact in this film by the University of Montana.
Read more about plans for super-development of Bainville in the Billings Gazette here. (Plus there's a video of Pat Wilson)
Pat Wilson isn't sure if he is living in a dream or a nightmare.
THEODORA BIRD BEAR
Beyond the old-time ranchers, humans have been living in the American North West for more than ten thousand years.
Theodora Bird Bear is a lifetime resident of the Fort Berthold Reservation. She serves on the Board of Directors for the Dakota Resource Council.
This is a fascinating interview, for it's insight into how some Native Americans feel about the fracking boom. Theodora tells us some tribal leaders are also involved in businesses serving the fracking industry, so there may be a conflict of interest.
When she attends local meetings of concerned citizens, white people complain they feel like they are being "invaded". "Now they know how we feel" says Theodora, when a federal government is pushing a migration into the West.
We talk about the impact on wild animals. With all the noise, trucks, new roads - deer are hard to find. We don't know how many have been poisoned drinking dumped frack water. In fact, without telling local residents, one company was digging a big pit right near the town to dump oil drilling waste. That was stopped when word got out.
The Fort Berthold Reserve is under Federal Government administration, not State - but Theoroda tells us there is precious little regulation going on. Don't miss this interview! Plus - Theodora offers us some wisdom on how to cope with and get out of this fracking mess.
WHAT COULD BE CRAZIER THAN TAKING WATER FROM THE DROUGHT-STRICKEN WEST?
As the American West continues it's breath-taking drought, what could be crazier than draining away the rivers, reservoirs and aquifers to power the underground war of fracking. To poison the last of the fresh water, with the great rives of the Colorado and the Rio Grande already a dry gulch before they reach the sea. All to fill the sky with more oily carbon dioxide, and gigatonnes of methane, a more powerful agent of climate change.
This is also a human positive feedback effect. The West, which has a history of natural drying cycles, has been triggered into another event by global warming. At the same time, we remove billions of gallons of water from any human reach, and right out of the water table, by polluting it an injecting it deep underground. It's a suicidal reinforcement of the drought.
And of course the product is more and more fossil fuels to heat up the atmosphere even more. It's classic positive feedback cycle created by human industrial civilization Hell-bent on sefl-destruction.
WATCH OUT IN OTHER COUNTRIES: IT'S COMING TO YOU People in the UK, where Saint Maggie Thatcher saved the country with the "dash for gas' in the North Sea, are now being sold on the new miracle of fracked gas. Hopefully they'll hear about the American experience in time to avoid their own sacrifice zones. I'm asking my podcast and online listeners in Europe to pass this program around as well. We may even have some warnings for Canada and Australia, where fracking and coal bed seam gas capture are already well underway.
If you have oil or gas bearing shale deep beneath your country, act early to prevent this trans-generational tragedy. See the new film by Josh Fox, Gasland II. Organize your own groups. Find more info on industry push-back on this film, plus the trailer, here at DeSmog Bog.
Let your elected representatives feel the heat. Protect your water if you still can. Protect your climate. Stop this fracking madness.
I'm Alex Smith. Try out our library of files at ecoshock.org. They are all free. You can donate if you want to. Look for my interview with Robert Howarth - how fracked gas ends up emitting as much greenhouse warming power as burning coal. The Howarth interview and a speech he gave as ASPO (the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas) are both in my Radio Ecoshock Show for November 23, 2011 - found here.
It turns out "natural" gas as "clean fuel" is a bridge to the nowhere of extinction.
THANK YOU LISTENERS!
Thank you to the listeners who tune in each week, taking your chances on what you find. Opening your mind. I'm Alex Smith, and I am grateful you are there.
Plus a special thanks for those who donated or became a subscribing member for the show. (Find out about that here.) I've used a little of your money to get hardware and software to translate some Radio Ecoshock interviews and shows into Youtube videos - we'll reach a whole new audience.
Find my first-try video, Nicole Rycroft of Canopy on the Boreal Forest - right here.
Or if any problems, directly on Youtube.
The Age of Super Fires Thu May 02, 2013 04:29 | firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Smith)
The new age of super fires in N. America, Europe, Australia, Asia. Silviculturalist John Betts explains strange unstoppable forest fires. Then Nicole Rycroft, Exec Dir of enviro group "Canopy". Why they quit talks with industry, as logging ravages the Canadian Boreal forest. Plus MD Donald B. Louria says loss of faith in the future can kill. Radio Ecoshock 130501 1 hour.
Listen to/download this Radio Ecoshock Show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)
Listen to/Dowload the John Betts interview on super fires (24 minutes) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Listen to/Dowload the Nicole Rycroft interview (Canopy/Boreal forests) 22 minutes in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Listen to/Download Donald B. Louria on loss of faith in the future (11 minutes) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
In this program.... welcome to the new age of super fires. We talk with silviculturalist John Betts who explains the strange unstoppable forest fires rising up in the United States, Canada, Australia and even Europe.
Then we visit one of the last great intact forests on Earth - the Canadian Boreal. Loggers are chewing it up for paper, clothes, even cellulose in your ice cream. Now talks between industry and environmentalists appear to be breaking down. Nicole Rycroft from Canopy explains.
Top that off with Donald B. Louria, the medical doctor who says loss of faith in the future can kill. So think happy thoughts- or else! I'm Alex Smith, and this is Radio Ecoshock.
LISTEN TO THIS RADIO ECOSHOCK PROGRAM RIGHT NOW!
JOHN BETTS: THE AGE OF SUPER FIRES
Are we entering the age of super forest fires? Our guest is John Betts, Executive Director of the Western Silvicultural Contractors' Association in British Columbia, Canada. He's in the gorgeous lake-side town of Nelson British Columbia - right in the path of the dead pines forest fire threat.
As a leader in an industry devoted to "managing" our forests, often by removing excess undergrowth, John advocates removing "fuel" from the forests before a disaster strikes. In years past, environmentalists have insisted such decay is natural and the woods should be left to their own devices.
Now it's different. With global warming and warmer winters, the Rocky Mountain Pine Bark Beetle has killed off entire valleys of pine trees. They will eventually burn - and some surround communities in the interior of British Columbia, and soon in Alberta too.
The same problem exists in the United States west, due to other bugs and general drying with climate pressures. Just consider the big fires in Colorado in 2012. The fires in Australia also look climate-related.
Betts adds a further cause: namely our success in stopping forest firest, (he calls it "suppression"). Most of these forests, especially in Western North America, were adapted to cycles of fires. The coniferous seeds could withstand a fire and regrow.
We know from studying forest soils there have been periods of fire for many centuries. But now with water bombers and new techniques, we stop them from burning, in our parks, on private lands, and around cities. John Betts says this means an abnormal amount of dead brush builds up beneath the trees. That's a recipe for a "super fire" - one we can't put out, until it burns out, or gets rained out.
In British Columbia, the dead pines can build into a kind of pyramid structure, just like you might build in a fire pit. That burns so hot it kills off any seeds. In fact, it can sterilize the soil even of helpful fungii and bacteria. So the forest doesn't grow back, and the ecology has been damaged.
Australia may or may not be a special case, with the eucalyptus trees and their oil, which act like instant torches. Note the Eucalyptus has been planted in California, in the U.S. South East, and around the Mediterranean. That could be a big mistake.
But with long drought, and excessive heat, we've seen many parts of the world burn as we've never seen in recent centuries. Consider the 2010 great fires in Russia which claimed hundreds of lives. Just previous to that, Serbia had giant fires, as did Greece and Spain. It's an ominous trend, which John Betts says is no accident.
As global heating continues, and the weather systems are thrown out of whack, we can expect a new age of great fires. Now you know the news before it hits your TV screen or headline. Expect it.
Betts advises communities how to prepare. Things like removing brush, or even if necessary, creating fire breaks around towns. And we should stop our home-building invasion of the woods, particularly in fire-ready areas. Having people living there drives more efforts to put fires out, which leads to the danger cycle again. Or people stay and try to fight the impossible flames, and die as they did in Australia. The government there has changed its advice - now telling people to get out, rather than remaining home with garden hoses against the inferno.
We need a lot of discussion and preparation to make sure our communities are safe, and our forests can return to some kind of natural cycle again - if "natural" is still possible in a big climate shift! It's possible some forests will never return, changing over to grasslands. We don't know yet, as we gamble away the future of the biosphere on a small planet.
NICOLE RYCROFT FROM CANOPY
The non-profit green group "Canopy" doesn't aim for high-profile public attention. Instead, it's been working behind the scenes with over 700 major corporations and media outlets, offering strategies to depend less on paper from old-growth paper. You would recognize big names, like the greening of the Harry Potter series, and major newspaper which are part of their efforts.
Canopy was part of the Great Bear Rainforest deal, and also joined a big initiative trying to save large tracts of Canada's Boreal Forest. That's the giant belt of a Northern forest type stretching from the Yukon to Labrador, but also dipping down into the U.S. mid-west and even New England. The big provinces of Ontario and Quebec hold vast swathes of Boreal forest.
Map of World boreal forest
Map of Canadian Boreal Forest (courtesy borealcanada.ca)
This region is the last stop of serious forest growth before reaching the treeless tundra in the Arctic circle. The same eco-type known as the Boreal in North America is called the "Taiga" in Europe and Russia. It's a green belt of climate control and one of the biggest carbon sinks on the planet.
The Canadian boreal is one of only three great intact forests left in the world - the others being in Siberia and the Amazon. But it's being chewed up by dozens of forest companies doing clear-cut logging.
I asked Nicole, Executive Director and Founder of Canopy: if logging companies cut wood, and that gets sequestered as carbon into things like buildings, or even buried in land fills, that might actually reduce carbon emissions. Plus, we're told new trees growing during reforestation captures carbon. Couldn't logging in the Boreal be a good thing for the climate?
Her answer surprised me. I knew trees in the Boreal take a long time to grow back - as much as two or three hundred years to reach maturity. So the idea that new growth will capture anything like the carbon lost by logging is B.S.
But I did not know that trees change chemically when they are cut down. Living trees hold much more carbon than the lumber made from them.
Canopy has just withdrawn from the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement. That was a consortium of logging companies, environment groups, and foundations talking for the past three years, trying to protect significant amounts of this eco-system, home to the shy and iconic Woodland Caribou.
Industry suspended logging on almost 29 million hectares of Boreal Forest within their alloted areas, and most of that included caribou habitat.
But that "deferment" has expired, with no firm protection for any of it. The companies are talking (for three years!) while they log. Details of where they will log next are not forthcoming. Canopy decided it was time to go back to the paper market customers. Greenpeace made the same decision to withdraw several months ago. The process has lost a lot of claim to legitimacy, leaving Boreal forest protection stranded.
There's a lot more to all this, as covered in our interview. Your own climate could be at stake - give it a listen.
We did see a fairly successful agreement for the Great Bear Rainforest in British Columbia, but will this Boreal failure cool the whole idea of negotiating directly with polluters and resource companies? Will we see a return to more public activism?
DONALD B. LOURIA: LOSING FAITH IN THE FUTURE IS UNHEALTHY AND SELF-FULFILLING
If we lose faith in the future, can that help bring about the catastrophe we fear?
One speaker at the March 2013 conference on Fukushima in New York caught my attention with his off-topic introduction. Donald B. Louria, a medical MD and member of Physicians for Social Responsibility asked "Are we losing our faith in the future? If we do, what are the likely consequences?".
Donald B. Louria MD
Louria was leading in to his studies of the impacts of pessimism, and his book titled ?reThink: A Twenty-First Century Approach to Preventing Societal Catastrophes.?
First I play you four minutes from his comments at the "Symposium: The Medical and Ecological Consequences of the Fukushima Nuclear Accident". All the talks from that symposium are now online here.
I think Donald raises a deep problem for us all. To fill out his comments, I'm just going to read directly from Louria's explanation of his book "reThink", as published online in September 2010.
"In 2005 and in 2007, I and my colleagues carried out national studies to assess the perceptions of people about their own future, the future of their country, and the future of the world. The respondents were divided into four age groups ? 18 to 24 years, 25 to 44 years, 45 to 64 years, and over age 65. In every age group, more than 80 percent were optimistic about their own futures, but, in every age group, the majority were pessimistic about the future of the United States and the world. Importantly, the majority in each of the four age groupings believed we are not able to solve or significantly mitigate the major problems facing us (such as terrorism, global warming, the potential for nuclear or biologic warfare).
These studies suggested strongly that Americans of all ages are well on their way to losing faith in the future. Since our last survey, more than two years ago, a number of events have occurred that almost certainly will accelerate that loss of confidence in the future, reduce optimism about one?s own future, and increase the pessimism about the future of the United States and the world.
There has been a severe recession and, with it, a terrible toll in lost jobs and diminished confidence.
There is increasing distrust of a Congress that seems unable to deal effectively with our most serious problems. The cynicism about our political system is likely to be profoundly magnified as a result of the Supreme Court decision to allow unlimited and uncontrolled direct political advertising by corporations and unions (and others) in congressional and presidential elections.
The countries of the world, including the United States, appear unwilling to take the necessary actions to avoid catastrophic consequences of global climate change.
We are told that unless health care costs are contained, our healthcare system will eventually bankrupt the country. Yet, despite an extended and acrimonious debate, there is nothing to suggest our government has figured out a way to cope with or prevent this looming disaster.
I fear we are now in great danger of a large percentage of the public having their hopes for the future battered, being overwhelmed by feelings of hopelessness in regard to our ability to cope with the major problems facing the society. If that occurs, there are substantial societal and individual consequences.
* There will be a dramatic increase in the frequency and severity of anxiety and depression.
* There will be a much greater focus on hedonism with increased risk taking and pleasure seeking, including the use of mind-altering drugs, both legal and illegal (alcohol included).
* There will be little attention paid to preventing or mitigating future problems and threats; politicians, even more than now, will focus almost entirely on present issues, thereby making the future even more bleak.
* The depression epidemic will have physical and other consequences with increased incidence of suicide and heart attacks, marital discord, inability to function effectively, and overeating (a well known response to depression) that will exacerbate our obesity and diabetes epidemics.
Make no mistake about it. Loss of faith in the future is very serious business ? if widespread enough, it is society threatening.
There is, in my judgement, only one preventive: people, especially young adults, must be convinced that we as a society are still meliorist, that is able to solve the major problems facing us by the dint of our own efforts. That, in turn, means our politicians and leaders must give the perception they are approaching major issues in potentially effective fashion. To do so, they must know when to use and how to use what I have called societally-connected systems thinking. That is why I wrote the book ?reThink: A Twenty-First Century Approach to Preventing Societal Catastrophes.?
========== end quote from Donald B. Louria
So stay positive - or else!
In my opinion, Louria's book is not aimed at the popular reader, but at experts and decision-makers. Someone needs to go through it a popularize his main thesis. Any volunteers to write a comprehensive review of this book?
Find Radio Ecoshock on Facebook.com/radioecoshock. Our Twitter feed is @ecoshock.
Please support Radio Ecoshock by visiting our web site, at ecoshock.org. My heart-felt thanks to the people who donated or signed up for a membership this week. You are enabling new outreach projects and covering the monthly bills.
I'm Alex Smith, saying join us next week, as we thrash through the big questions and the small answers.
Burying the Future: Tars Sands, Pipelines, & Melting Arctic Fri Apr 26, 2013 06:55 | email@example.com (Alex Smith)
Canadian scientist Paul Beckwith explains how the Arctic warming emergency is changing your weather. But first, the story of an anti-pipeline media warrior, John Bolenbaugh in his own words. The leaks, scandals and deaths behind Tar Sands pipelines. Radio Ecoshock 130424 1 hour.
LISTEN TO/DOWNLOAD THIS RADIO ECOSHOCK SHOW in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)
Listen to/download the John Bolenbaugh interview (27 minutes) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Listen to/download the Paul Beckwith interview (28 minutes) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Feel free to pass on or share those links. For Net use, most people prefer the faster loading/downloading Lo-Fi version.
JOHN BOLENBAUGH - ANTI-PIPELINE MEDIA WARRIOR VS. BIG OIL LIES
John Bolenbaugh, anti-pipeline warrior.
Are you sick of hearing about Tar Sands pipelines, from the Gateway project to the Keystone XL? Maybe you should hear from the people who are sick and dying from a leaking pipeline.
Watch this short video of sick residents.
I'm calling up John Bolenbaugh. He's a decorated Navy vet now qualified with Federal Emergency Management Agency, trained to clean up spills. John was hired after the Enbridge pipeline in Kalamazoo, Michigan had the biggest inland spill in the United States. That was on July 25, 2010 - but the cleanup and the story are far from over.
At his web site, John writes:
"...he exposed the truth with video proof, the fact that the Enbridge Company never cleaned up the oil; how they covered it up instead. One year after the oil spill, Enbridge and the EPA said that your kids could swim in the river, and that it was clean enough for you to eat the fish.
Two years later, in 2013, the EPA ordered Enbridge to re-dredge the Kalamazoo river, which cost Enbridge $175,000,000 dollars and proved that both Enbridge AND the EPA lied about the clean-up: The OIL IS STILL THERE. This makes it clear that tarsands oil is nearly impossible to clean up. John is also responsible for proving that over 12 tarsands oil spill sites were still contaminated, needing to be re-dredged, after the EPA and Enbridge had already signed off on them as 100% cleared, cleaned and restored in 2010."
John tells us how he got NPR and the Canadian CTV network to follow him as he demonstrated the oil was still there. Under media pressure, the EPA recently ordered the company to clean up the river.
LISTEN TO THIS RADIO ECOSHOCK SHOW RIGHT NOW!
"NORMAL" LEAKAGE OF PIPELINES
At 5 min 38 seconds of this video, a Nebraska land-owner claims there is a 1.5% leakage allowed in these pipelines with no need to report on it...
John tells us he heard about that, but didn't see proof until he visited Keystone XL protesters in Nebraska. He was shown web pages from the site of Transcanada Pipeline saying they can't even detect a spill until the pipeline pressure drops at least 1.5%. So there can be lots of bitumen oozing out of faulty welds, nobody knows, nobody reports it, until it starts showing up in the land, water, or a major aquifer.
Transcanada is now controlled by a conglomerate of Chinese corporations. Forget the "Canada" part. Bolenbaugh wonders if China is also interested in gaining rights to the aquifer water (30% of America's fresh water supply by some accounts) via this Keystone XL deal.
Remember, tar sands bitumen is so sticky is doesn't flow like oil. If normal motor oil has a viscosity of 5 or 6, bitumen is at least 11 on the same scale. They heat the pipeline, they pressurize it with pumps, and the companies mix in many, many other chemicals, including toxic benzene, to keep it flowing. All that comes out in small leaks, and big spills.
Bolenbaugh says this mixture from the tar sands is like sandpaper, always wearing away at any weakness in the line. That's what makes the recent crazy to repurpose old pipelines, and natural gas pipelines, to move tar sands bitumen - so crazy! The big spill in Arkansas is a case in point.
THE ARKANSAS SPILL - MUCH LARGER THAN THEY SAID
In late March, a pipeline built in the 1940's and owned by Exxon broke open in Arkansas near the community of Mayflower. While initial estimates said 5,000 barrels spilled, State Attorney General Dustin McDaniel now says the leak was much larger.
At first Exxon tried to say it wasn't tar sands bitumen from Alberta. Then the truth came out.
EXXON: - WE WON'T PAY FOR THE CLEANUP!
Exxon, really Exxon/Mobil, is possibly the world's most profitable corporation, making as much as tens of billions of dollars profit every quarter. But this oil behemoth says it doesn't have to pay for the cleanup because technically it wasn't oil, but bitumen. Under U.S. law, all oil companies pay a certain amount per gallon into a spill cleanup fund. But the legislation technically refers to "oil" and Exxon says bitumen from the Alberta tar sands isn't "oil" - so the world's most profitable company is ducking the bill for this nasty spill. We'll see who ends up paying millions for this "cleanup".
Exxon also claims the oil has not reached the nearby lake, just the "cove" of the lake. Arkansas authorities point out the "cove" is part of the lake. The horror is: this bitumen does not float on top of water, as normal oil or gasoline does, but sinks to the bottom. The entire bottom of any affected river, lake, or presumably in the case of ocean tankers, the sea bed, has to be dug up. Imagine the ecological consequences, cost, and impossibility of really restoring natural habitat.
John Bolenbaugh notes Exxon claimed they shut off their pumping stations within half an hour of the Arkansas spill report. What the company doesn't say is the line will continue to gush out bitumen for a long time, as up to 50 miles of pipeline empties by gravity. It's hard to say how much really came out.
It takes a lot of heat and pressure, plus a toxic mix of poisonous chemicals just to make tar sands bitumen flow. So why are oil companies putting that combination in old, old pipelines? Because they can't get approval to build new ones? John says it works out economically better for these companies to keep pumping, even knowing a spill will happen eventually, since insurance will pay for the cleanup and any lost profits. I haven't confirmed that. Still, it sounds like the nuclear industry: push the the old pipelines until they break, rather than replace them.
HELP JOHN IN THIS FIGHT
John had a whistle-blower lawsuit against the smaller contractor that hired him for the cleanup, after he outed the Kalamazoo Michigan spill. Bolenbaugh tells us the suit was settled. He got some money, without having to keep quiet. John says he spent all that money, and sold the truck he bought to visit other pipeline sites, to pay for protest t-shirts and signs (which he gave away free), and to travel to support people in places like Nebraska.
Now he's broke, and is appealing for donations, in part to help him get to Arkansas to help those people.
I know John is not perfect. But based on what I've seen of John's activism, he should be helped. Bolenbaugh is playing a vital role, helping others defend themselves against spills and abuse by large corporations. He's the real deal.
You can donate at his web site.
Here are some select John Bolenbaugh You tube videos:
1. Testimony of a Police Officer and oil spill victim
2. Environmental inspector calls Enbridge a liar
3. One of many John Bolenbaugh video proofs of buried oil and attempts to stop him from filming
BURYING THE FUTURE SONG AND PROTEST
On March 11th, 2013, over 100 young people invaded the offices of Transcanada Pipeline in Westborough Massachutsetts to protest the Keystone XL Pipeline. They carried a coffin to symbolize the Tar Sands burying our future.
Watch and hear the "Digging Us A Hole song" in this You tube video.
More info here.
Music and lyrics by: Melodeego. Hear the whole song, with improved audio, in this Radio Ecoshock program.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR DONATIONS TO RADIO ECOSHOCK!
Listener support gives me a lot of encouragement to keep going, and expand the number of people we can reach with alternative eco news. My next project is to visit the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup Washington June 1st and 2nd. Meet me there is you can (just look for my mobile solar-powered studio).
Your support makes this possible - I hope to get a show or two's worth of handy how-to interviews at the Fair.
Plus I had a minor equipment failure this past week, and your donations helped me pay those costs. Please choose a montly subscription or a donation of your choice from this page. It's listener-supported radio and you can help.
PAUL BECKWITH AND THE ARCTIC EMERGENCY
U of Ottawa scientist Paul Beckwith.
While we were fed news about a new Pope, the economic breakdown on the little island of Cyprus, and two crazy bombers in Boston - a major event occurred unreported in the Arctic. It's a very bad sign.
Let's go back to Paul Beckwith. He's the PHD student and part-time professor of climatology and meteorology at the University of Ottawa, in Canada. Paul is also a member of AMEG, the Arctic Methane Emergency Group.
Paul sent me a disturbing video, of the Arctic ice north of Canada and Alaska during the part of winter which should be frozen solid. Instead, we see a mega-vortex of breaking ice, with large cracks of open water. Yes, cracks in the winter ice have happened before, but never on such a scale! The only explanation is that after the 2012 record breakdown of Arctic sea ice, the much thinner regrowth has become unstable.
See the NOAA video based on satellite imagery here.
You can also listen to this excellent interview with AMEG scientist and Cambridge polar specialist Peter Wadhams. Hear how much thinner ice is now, than in the 1970's or even the year 2,000. It's from the Alpha2Omega podcast. Great interview.
Paul Beckwith wrote about this incident in the Beaufort Sea, and what the disappearance of Arctic sea ice (in summer) really means for all of us, in this blog entry.
SEA-ICE COULD DISAPPEAR THIS YEAR?
Beckwith says it is possible the Arctic sea ice cover could disappear this summer, in 2013! Even NOAA, the U.S. government agency, now predicts the Arctic Ocean will be "nearly ice-free" possibly within the next 10 years. They say "nearly" because small bits of ice may hang around the protected Canadian archipeligo (islands) - even while the rest of the polar sea is wide open, and sucking up the Sun's heat.
Paul notes that if you take the same amount of solar energy it takes to melt one gram of ice, and apply that to that water, the water goes up about 80 degrees C!
It's a huge heating affect, which will change the "air-conditioner of the world". With less temperature difference between the Pole and the Equator, the Jet Stream winds that separate our weather systems slow down and become more wavy. Beckwith explains how that brought the recent record cold spring to the UK and parts of Eastern Europe. Is it coincidence, Beckwith wonders, that there was an excess mortality in the UK this spring of more than 5,000 people? The final figures aren't in, but it's possible we are already seeing climate-caused deaths in Britain.
Weather in the Eastern part of the U.S. and Canada also went wonky this year, with late snows and record flooding.
You get an in-depth interview where science begins to make sense for all of us. Paul Beckwith is a cutting edge scientist at the University of Ottawa in Canada. He's willing to speak out. For example, Beckwith wonders whether the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (the IPCC) will stick with models that show Arctic ice disappearing after 2050 - even if it breaks up this year or next? The models have fallen far short of reality, again.
WILL WE NEED GEOENGINEERING TO SAVE THE ARCTIC ICE CAP?
If the Arctic goes ice free, then a group of heavy duty scientists suggest we may have to spray sulfur aerosols into the Arctic, just to save the remaining ice cap - while humans figure out what to do! Yep, that's geoengineering, and I am against geoengineering. But I don't see any good choices here.
Check out this short video with top scientist Ken Caldiera. He too supports saving the Arctic ice with geoengineering.
Other scientists have severe doubts about this kind of geoengineering, saying it could have unforseen consequences. For example, Jim Haywood from the UK's Met Office Hadley Centre just wrote in the journal Nature Climate Change: such fine particles sprayed into the atmosphere could increase horrible droughts in the Sahel region of North Africa.
Even talking about spraying sulfur from airplanes will trigger another popular Internet meme: that governments have been secretly spraying materials into the atmosphere for years. It's the chemtrail conspiracy theory.
So a move to save the Arctic ice doesn't happen on a blank social canvass. A whole group of Net -connected people already suspect it is happening, and may whip up opposition, not understanding the science or consequences at all. Others think global warming is not caused by burning fossil fuels, but by a plot by world bankers through the US government HAARP radio transmitters in Alaska. So there is warming, they way, but we can just keep on driving our SUV's! Any form of denial will do.
My take on HAARP is the U.S. military (and the Russians have a similar project) would LIKE to be able to send storms against an adversay, but probably have not yet managed to do it. I totally doubt (my opinion) the HAARP project is seriously meddling with weather on a day-to-day basis, as claimed by some of the You tube posters. There is zero science to back that up.
By the way, governments ARE openly involved in some kinds of climate modification. Just look at the efforts by China to seed clouds during their drought in Northern China. Plus, the U.S. military HAS published documents about using weather as a weapon of war. Are we already modifying the weather?
Back in the real world, Beckwith points out the sulfur needed in the Arctic to shade that part of the planet a bit is far less than volcanoes emit, and even less than the many coal plants of the world emit every year. We are already geonengineering the planet by using fossil fuels. You decide - but listen to the interview!
I admit trouble comprehending what such a massive change on Earth really means. All through human history the northern Pole has been frozen solid year round. It's part of the story of early exploration, a taken-for-granted feature of Planet Earth. I'm just stunned that a new sea is opening up, even in summer. Are scientists as freaked out as I am? Apparently some are deeply worried.
Do you want to follow up on this? Here is a link to Paul Beckwith's blog on the Sierra Club of Canada site.
His bio says: "Paul Beckwith is a PhD student with the laboratory for paleoclimatology and climatology, department of geography, University of Ottawa. He teaches second year climatology/meteorology as a part-time professor. His thesis topic is ?Abrupt climate change in the past and present.? He holds an M.Sc. in laser physics and a B.Eng. in engineering physics and reached the rank of chess master in a previous life."
SUPPORT NON-PROFIT RADIO
Please support this program, and all our non-profit radio stations. Your help makes it all happen.
Find a list of the 67 stations broadcasting Radio Ecoshock at our web site, ecoshock.org.
Sign up for our world-wide weekly podcast by clicking the podcast symbol on that same page.
Please tell your friends about Radio Ecoshock while there's still time to make the big change. Find Radio Ecoshock on Facebook. Our Twitter feed is @ecoshock
Thank you for listening, and we'll try it again next week, assuming there is a next week. We finish the program with a slice from Venice Beat's version of "2525".
Coping: Climate Anxiety. Preparing: Dehydrating Food Wed Apr 17, 2013 07:07 | firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Smith)
How to cope with climate despair. UK psychotherapist & co-founder of Carbon Conversations, Rosemary Randall. Then a practical alternative to industrial food: learn to dehydrate in season with traditional cooking expert Wardeh Harmon. Radio Ecoshock 130417 1 hour.
Listen to/download this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)
Listen to/download my interview with Wardeh Harmon on food dehydration (23 min) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Listen to/download the Rosemary Randall interview on coping with climate change (29 min)
NEW MUSIC THIS WEEK
Our music this week is another tune from the Australian band Formidable Vegetable Sound System. From the album "Permaculture: A Rhymer's Manual" this is "Limits".
LISTEN TO THIS RADIO ECOSHOCK SHOW RIGHT NOW!
ROSEMARY RANDALL: COPING WITH AWFUL CLIMATE KNOWLEDGE
What if you woke up one morning and realized humans really have changed the world's climate? We show no signs of stopping this unfolding catastrophe. Maybe you already see it, and cannot bear knowing.
We need help. And a pioneering psychotherapist from Britain says we can help each other. Starting in 2005, Rosemary Randall was was part of a team founding a movement called "Carbon Conversations".
We have a conversation with her now on Radio Ecoshock. You can find "Ro" Randall's blog here.
The Carbon Conversations organization has become widespread. It links up people who want to talk about climate change, and puts them into six meet-ups which use the ideas from psychotherapy to talk through their fears and emotions. But it doesn't stop there. Each person develops their own plan to reduce their carbon emissions. It's a movement that needs to happen big-time in North America, and all over the world.
Rosemary Randall tells us about her pivotal paper "Loss and climate change: the cost of parallel narratives" found here.
The "parallel narratives" is best explained by Rosemary in our interview, but in a nutshell: media and scientists paint an awful picture of what will happen in the future due to climate change; meanwhile we try to live "normal" lives, ignoring the fact that climate change is not a future event, but is already happening now. This disconnection between our every day lives and the awful future actually reduces our motivation to make the large changes necessary (or at least fits in with our comfortable carbon lives?).
So when we focus on the Arctic melting by 2020, or the end of coral by 2050, that may also be a form of denial that cripples real action. Climate damage is happening right now!
Please listen to the interview to get a better explanation from Rosemary. It's important stuff and all too true.
I can't tell you how many times friends and listeners have fallen back on the model of coping with the ultimate loss of death, developed by Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. Does that work well for the end of a loved and stable climate? Randall says "no". the Kubler-Ross formula was developed for people who were dying. We need a way to handle the burden of knowing, while we keep on living. So Randall finds more help from a formula developed by William Worden, among others.
J. William Worden wrote the book "Grief Counselling and Grief Therapy" where he outlined "the four tasks of mourning".
Randall has adapted them for dealing with climate change, where we mourn disappearing species, changed places, lost stability of weather, sea level, and so on.
I'd like to pass on two things from that paper. First, we have this helpful table of four steps, each of which can go positive or negative, depending on our choices.
Table 1. The tasks of grief. Adapted from Worden (1983)
1. The task : Accepting the reality of the loss, first intellectually and then emotionally.
Possible negative responses
Denial of the:
- facts of the loss;
- meaning of the loss;
- irreversibility of the loss.
2 The task: Working through the painful emotions of grief (despair, fear, guilt, anger, shame, sadness, yearning, disorganisation).
Possible negative responses
Shutting off all emotion, idealising what is lost, bargaining, numbing the pain through alcohol, drugs or manic activity.
3 The task: Adjusting to the new environment/acquiring new skills /developing a new sense of self.
Possible negative responses
Not adapting, becoming helpless, bitter, angry, depressed, withdrawing.
4 The task: Reinvesting emotional energy.
Possible negative responses
Refusing to love, turning away from life.
A GLOBAL MEMORIAL FOR ALL THE LOST SPECIES
Then here is an example from the conclusion of that paper "Loss and climate change." Randall writes:
"My second example is from a public art project. The educational charity Memo is building a memorial on the Dorset coast, made from local Portland stone, to commemorate plants and animals known to have gone extinct in modern times. They describe it on their website:
'The memorial will be a stone monument bearing the images of all the species of plants and animals known to have gone extinct in modern times. It will incorporate a bell to be tolled for all extinct species, including the great many ?unknown? species which it is believed perish each year unseen by scientists. The bell will be tolled on the International Day of Biodiversity on 22nd May each year.'"
This memorial to the species project has not yet gone ahead, due to lack of funding. Find out more here, with glorious pictures.
The Independent newspaper in the UK published this powerful article about the Memo project (June 17, 2012)
In the end, Rosemary helps us to understand we are not alone in our anxiety about major changes to the climate, and thus the economy, food system, and the species we love. She offers a method and tips for coping with knowing how serious our situation is. This is already one of my favorite interviews of the year.
WARDEH ("Wardee") HARMON: FOOD DEHYDRATION AND "TRADITIONAL COOKING"
It's shocking so many city folk say they are not interested in cooking or preserving food. Don't they eat? Don't they read the headlines about toxic factory agriculture and fast-food restaurants? The awful wave of food-related diseases like diabetes, heart attacks, strokes, obesity, and colon cancer are the result.
Plus, we can save a lot of money, and tons of greenhouse gas emissions, when we grab food cheap when it's fresh, putting it away for times to come.
One of the easiest and best ways to store food is dehydrating. Humans have been doing it for thousands of years. You can too.
Our guest Wardee Harmon lives in rural Oregon. She serves up a wide variety of cooking and preserving courses online from the mysteriously named Gnowfglins.com. We're going to get some good tips from Wardee about drying food.
I can think of so many reasons to have good dried foods around. Someone may get sick, and need fast ready foods. We hope there won't be a big emergency like a power-outage from storms, but that is happening more these days. There really are too many advantages to list them all.
The importance of choosing organic whole foods is obvious. But the "grown locally in season" is so important too. A population who depends on fruit flown in from South America or New Zealand is in for some rude surprises, don't you think?
TRADITIONAL COOKING SCHOOL WITH WARDEE HARMON
I asked Wardee about the online traditional cooking courses she offers at traditionalcookingschool.com. That's the same as Gnowfglins.com site, but much easier to remember.
In Wardee's courses, you watch online videos, but also end up with print-it-yourself binders and logs. Knowing how fallible my own memory can be, especially after a year has gone by, keeping track really does seem important.
By the way, GNOWFGLINS stands for "God's natural, organic, whole foods, grown locally, in season".
Wardee let me try out her Gnowfglins course on dehydration, which is still in development. There are about 7 classes so far. Each one has at least one video, showing us how to do things (very helpful). That is accompanied by written documentation and worksheets which we can download and print, to create our own course binders. Other courses also have some audio as well.
Basically, you buy a monthly or annual membership to the Gnowfglins site, which lets you take all the courses plus get help from others in the members-only forums. There was some really good advice in those forums. Most of the participants are women.
I'm hoping more men will get involved in cooking and preserving food. The health statistics clearly show on average mens' diet leads to more health complications later in life, - and we die younger. Can we get more men back into the food dialog, and into the kitchen? If you want to be self-sufficient, it doesn't get any better than being able to prepare, cook, and store your own food.
MORE PREPPER RADIO RESOURCES
I want to thank my own source for this interview. I first heard Wardee Harmon on the "Get Real Get Prepared" radio show with Vikilynn Haycraft from realfoodliving.com. That was a great show Vikilynn. Listen to/download Vikilynn and Wardee Harmon talking dehydration here (Saturday March 13, 2013). The show description is here.
Wardee has own show on the Preparedness Broadcasting Network.
Here is an episode of "Know Your Food with Wardee" from April 12th, 2013. It features her meet-up with Gnowfglins folk in Arizona.
There is a prepper network in Canada too. It has handy how-to sensible advice, just as you would expect from Canadians.
The American version seems more prone to God, Guns, and a hidden food supply.
WHAT FOOD DEHYDRATOR SHOULD YOU USE?
Since we talk about the best food dehydrators in our Radio Ecoshock interview, I'm tossing in this You tube video of a comparison of food dehydrators from recent Radio Ecoshock guest John Kohler. Check that out before you get started.
Watch this You tube comparison of Excalibur and Sedona food dehydrators by John Kohler.
Many people start with the far cheaper plastic round dehydrators from places like Walmart. These do work, and may be a good place to try things out - BUT food tends to drip downward into the heater and fan (which you have to clean up), and they can't dry much at a time. Once you get hooked on food dehydration, you'll want a better machine. Many people say The Exalibur 3900 is the best. It's been around for over ten years, with good reviews. I've concluded city folk starting out should go with counter-top electric dehydrators, unless you are going to get bushels of fruit or veggies at a time. Many of us don't have room for an extra out-building to dry. But a solar food drier should be our ultimate goal if we have the right climate for it. It's natural and adds no greenhouse gases.
The food dehydrating and canning season starts right now. The aparagus and rhubarb are starting to come into the markets at seasonal low prices. In my area, rhubarb costs less than $2.50 cents a pound in the spring, compared to over $5 a pound in late fall and winter. It's a half price sale for anyone ready to preserve natural foods at their best.
LINKS AND RESOURCES FOR SALLY FALLON AND THE WESTON A. PRICE FOUNDATION
The new edition from Sally Fallon and Mary Enig is: "Nourishing Traditions" Revised Second Edition, October 2000.
Here is Part 1 or three from a DVD Video with Sally Fallon on You tube. She is a powerful speaker.
Dr. Joel Fuhrman, M.D. is very critical of the Fallon/Price diet recommendations for meat and fats, especially the Price Foundation suggestion that high cholesterol is good for us.
Here is a big long video (2 hours) of Sally Fallon on "The Oiling of America" re cholesterol and cholesterol lowering drugs.
For a shorter meal, try Sally Fallon on breakfast cereal (extreme cruelty to our grains andthe effects of eating extruded grains) 6 minutes
ALEX'S TAKE ON TRADITIONAL COOKING
I asked Wardee Harmon what she meant by "Traditional Cooking". There is more to it. Wardee credits Sally Fallon, co-author of the influential 1989 book "Nourishing Traditions: The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats".
Sally and co-author Mary G. Enig co-founded the Weston A. Price Foundation.
According to Wikipedia, Weston Price was, "a dentist from Cleveland, Ohio, whose 1939 book, 'Nutritional and Physical Degeneration', describes the fieldwork he did in the 1920s and 1930s among various world cultures, with the original goal of recording and studying the dental health and development of pre-industrial populations including tribal Africans and Pacific islanders, Inuit, North and South American natives, and Australian aborigines."
You can watch a You tube video of Sally Fallon explaining how Weston Price judged a person's general health by the condition of their teeth. He visited various pre-industrial people and concluded their diets were the main reason their teeth were generally better formed, with fewer cavities than people living in Western economies.
The science behind the writing comes from the other major player in the Weston A Price Foundation, nutritionist Mary G. Enig. She's the real deal, with a PHD in Nutritional Sciences, experience in research labs, and published scientific papers.
However Enig's theory of the benefits of fatty foods, including butter and coconut oil, and her contrarian views that cholesterol does not lead to heart disease, has earned her criticism from other scientists.
WARDEE HARMON'S NEW BOOK ON FERMENTING FOOD
Fallon and Enig also take up Weston Price's promotion of fermented foods used by many ancient cultures, as an aid to full digestion of both plant and animal products. You may think of sauerkraut, but there is a whole universe of fermented foods out there. Our guest Wardee Harmon has a new book out on it "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Fermenting Foods". I know little about this, and Wardee has promised to send me a copy. I'll let you know if I try out some of her recipes.
BACK TO SALLY FALLON AND "TRADITIONAL" FOOD - MILK OR NOT?
Sally Fallon has a devastating critique of soy products, especially soy milk. The Weston A. Price Foundation lobbies against the use of soy formula for infants. My opinion is: she is correct in this.
Both Fallon and Enig are major forces behind the push to legalize raw milk. They claim pasteurization kills off beneficial nutrients and reduces our immunity. Personally, I just don't know enough to judge those claims. It's my opinion, and nothing more than an opinion, that most mammals stop drinking milk as they mature, and probably we should too. Wardee says the Bible talks about milk drinking, which is an authority for her, and certainly proof that humans have been drinking milk for thousands of years.
From an environmental standpoint, the whole industrial milk system is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions and should be avoided on a mass scale, except for those few people who have pasture land to manage their own cows or goats organically and properly. As we know from Allan Savory, whose work was just featured on Real Time with Bill Maher, proper management of cattle or sheep is one of the few proven tools to take carbon out of the atmosphere, and return it to the soil.
Industrial milk animals are also abused in many ways, and injected with chemicals and antibiotics. I use very few milk-like products, and pour almond milk on my cereal. I don't trust big agribiz meat either, and don't eat it.
Now you have a general idea of what Wardee Harmon means by "Traditional Cooking". Do I endorse all her views? No. Can I learn a ton of things about canning, dehydrating, and organic food prep from her. You bet.
I learned how to graft fruit trees from a Catholic Nun. Simple You tube videos produced by Mormon women helped me prepare my food insurance and live cheaper. So far, I haven't become a Nun or a Mormon. Learn from everybody, that's my motto.
THANKS AND SUPPORT NON-PROFIT RADIO!
Thank you for listening to Radio Ecoshock. A special thanks to those who supported the broadcast this week. That will help me attend the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup Washington at the start of June, to get a lot of how-to interviews for you. Find out how you can contribute here.
I'm Alex Smith. Let's meet again next week.
The Radio Ecoshock Show >>
See also Videos page