Peoples News issue No. 110 Date: 21 – 9 – 14 22:01 Oct 01 1 comments
Irish Water hiring mercenaries to attack protestors 03:28 Sep 21 3 comments
US using Ebola crisis to move more of it's military forces into Africa 23:08 Sep 17 2 comments
Special status to E. Ukraine regions, amnesty to combatants - parliament 13:14 Sep 16 5 commentsmore >>
For lefties too stubborn to quit
Increasing pay and productivity? 11:43 Thu Oct 30, 2014 | WorldbyStorm
Sinn Feins troubles ? Forcing The Civil War Parties into Coalition? 10:57 Thu Oct 30, 2014 | irishelectionliterature
Those ?rumours? about Irish Water 05:59 Thu Oct 30, 2014 | WorldbyStorm
A revealing aside? 21:16 Wed Oct 29, 2014 | WorldbyStorm
Who wants to put together a government in 2015/16? Harder than it was two weeks ago? 18:03 Wed Oct 29, 2014 | WorldbyStorm
Life should be full of strangeness, like a rich painting
EXISTENTIALIST STOCK BUSINESS PHOTOS 12:03 Wed Oct 29, 2014
Irish Labour Movement 1889-1924: Lecture Six - Syndicalism in Ireland 09:02 Fri Oct 24, 2014
Global Finance, Money & Power: Lecture Seven - Bonds and Money Markets 08:26 Thu Oct 23, 2014
Irish Labour movement 1889-1924: Lecture Five - 1913 Lockout 09:47 Fri Oct 17, 2014
Global Finance, Money and Power: Lecture Six - Tax Havens 07:09 Thu Oct 16, 2014
Joined up thinking for the Irish Left
Unrealistic Timelines: Water Charges and the Fiscal Deficit Tue Oct 28, 2014 15:14 | Michael Taft
That Day has Come Thu Oct 23, 2014 10:45 | Anne Irwin
The Changing Pattern of Foreign Investment in China Wed Oct 22, 2014 13:36 | John Ross
Welcome to the New Tax Avoidance Scheme, Same as the Old Tax Avoidance Scheme Mon Oct 20, 2014 16:26 | Michael Taft
Revealed: EU science chief promised to be ?flexible? towards Israel?s war crimes Thu Oct 16, 2014 15:21 | David Cronin
Farewell from NWL Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
Happy 70th Birthday, Michael Sun May 19, 2013 14:00 | namawinelake
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
Links to Alternative Media Podcasts
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Indy Media On Air - Tue, August 19, 2014 Mon Aug 18, 2014 23:00
en-ie Hosted by Tom O'Brien this podcast hopes to feature in-depth interviews with leading figures in the fields of Economics, Peak Oil, Democracy, Politics, Science, Mathematics, Philosophy, Complex Systems, Agnosticism, Permaculture, Collapse, and the Environment.
RSS Feed for 'From Alpha to Omega' podcast
#054 Councils Upon Councils Mon Sep 22, 2014 23:17 | Tom O'Brien
#053 What's Next? Part II Sat Aug 30, 2014 11:53 | Tom O'Brien
#052 What's Next? Sat Aug 16, 2014 22:40 | Tom O'Brien
#051 Cry Me A Volume Sun Jul 27, 2014 17:21 | Tom O'Brien
#050 The Matrix Fri Jun 27, 2014 23:00 | Tom O'Brien
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. Creative commons copyright. As heard on CFRO Vancouver, and over 85 college & community radio stations. Show blog published Wednesdays.
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AVOIDING THE WORST: FUKUSHIMA'S PLUME AND AMERICA'S MOST DANGEROUS REACTOR Wed Oct 29, 2014 22:33 | firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Smith)
Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds.org
EARTHQUAKE RISK OF STORAGE TANKS
Every week, TEPCO has to construct two new giant storage tanks to hold still more radioactive water pumped from the site. There is a vast tank farm on the hill above the former reactors. But, Gundersen warns, these temporary tanks are not "seismically qualified". That is, they are not intended to withstand a serious earthquake. If such a quake hits Fukushima, "they'll all fail and run down into the Pacific en masse, which would be an insult to the Pacific which has never occcured in the history of the world". But hey, what are the odds Fukushima will be hit by a major earthquake (again)!
ANOTHER UNTOLD PROBLEM
Arnie Gundersen is the only person I've heard raising yet anothe serious problem arising from this triple reactor melt-down. Major media have completely missed the fact that TEPCO is filtering out up to 90% of the major radioactive materials. Essentially, they are reconstituting nuclear cores in these filters. But what will they do with this brand new form of super-radioactive waste? Where will the filters be stored safely (for at least 300 years)? What place in Japan will have that dark honor? The filters contain not just cesium, but uranium and plutonium. They may need 250,000 years to be really safe.
When the water is filtered, with just 10% of the radiation left, the Japanese want to dump it, and probably already are dumping it, straight into the Pacific Ocean. As Gundersen says, they think 90% is good enough. If any other nation, in any other circumstance, was dumping even that 10% of radioactivity into the ocean (how much is it?) - there would be international outcry. Japan is using the Pacific as a nuclear waste dump.
Gundersen: "So by filtering the water, they've reduce the liquid problem, but they've created a huge solid radioactive waste problem that no one... you've got an exclusive here Alex. No one in the world is talking about where in the world are they going to store all of these filters for a quarter of a million years."
REMOVING THE OUTER SHELL OF REACTOR 1
TEPCO needed to reduce the continuing airborne emissions of highly radioactive materials floating out of the wreck of the Number One Reactor building. They constructed a fabric shell around the building (which also hid the wreckage from international photographers). Now that shell is absolutely loaded with radioactivity. The company is in the process of removing it. We discuss the dangers.
This week, an unexpectedly high gust of wind shook a crane removing the cover, and tore a large hole in it. It's a very risky operation. Gundersen says without the cover, more radioactivity will be carried away by the winds.
THE HUMAN HEALTH IMPACT: SECRECY IN JAPAN
Alex: In these first few years after the nuclear meltdowns in Fukushima, we've heard almost nothing about the impacts on people in that region. There are accounts of strange tumors, kids dying, pets dying. What have you heard, and can we ever expect an honest accounting from Japanese authorities?
Gundersen: That's a pretty good summary, frankly. We continue to get information from people who live there about cancer rates and illnesses in general. Not just cancer. You know we think of radiation as a cancer-causing thing, but it also causes many other ailments."
Arnie then tells us about a woman 30 miles from Fukushima who has grown and stored seeds for a very long time. Now three years after the accident, she is see "gargantuism" (a.k.a. gigantism) in plants. When plants (or animals) mutate to become abnormally large, or have certain organs or parts growing very large, this is a sure sign of genetic damage caused by radiation.
Gundersen: "We are also working with doctors in Japan. Some brave doctors are saying that they are being threatened, that their hospital rights have threatened. If you tell your patient 'this illness is radiation related' you will lose your right to practice, and things like that. So there's an enormous pressure on the medical community to tell the patients that what they are experiencing is not at all related to radiation."
They key, Gundersen says, is statistics. We haven't received real verifiable date on cancer rates and other illness from Japan, since the reactor accident. We're not likely to get it. It turns out that under a prior agreement, all the statistics and reports have to go first to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) who must approve them. "Article Two of the IAEA's Charter, is to promote nuclear power" Gundersen tells us.
WILL ANYONE BE PROSECUTED FOR THE ERRORS AND LIES OF FUKUSHIMA?
Reuters news service reports Japanese prosecutors are once again considering criminal charges against executives from the Tokyo Electric Power Company, TEPCO. Last year they said "no charges". But a special citizens' panel is forcing them to reconsider. The almost invincible insider reputation of TEPCO is legendary. Is there any chance those who allowed this disaster to happen will be exposed to justice?
Gundersen thinks it's unlikely under the Japanese system of authority that any charges of TEPCO executives will be successful. The charges, if any, would not be for allowing the accident to happen (e.g. they knew the sea-wall was too low...) - but for hiding the true risks after the accident (and thereby endangering people's health). Lawyers in Japan are progressive, Gundersen thinks, but the judicial system is legendary for its conservative nature.
Shortly after this interview, we received news that the Japanese prosecutors have delays their recommendation about charges for another three months. Don't hold your breath.
Gundersen has a chance to speak in depth with former Prime Minister of Japan Naoto Kan, who was in charge at the time of the accident. Kan said he got bad information from both TEPCO and MITI, the organization responsible for nuclear matters. TEPCO wanted to abandon the site, Kan told Gundersen, but the Prime Minister said "no".
IS TOKYO RADIOACTIVE? MOVE THE 2020 OLYMPICS?
We also talk about the move by former Japanese Ambasador Mitsuhei Murata to have the 2020 Olympics held somewhere other than Tokyo, due to the continuing health risks. I ask Arnie whether Tokyo is radioactive.
Gundersen: "Yes Tokyo is radioactive. I've spoken to Ambassdor Murata. My problem is we worry about the exposure to Olympic athletes who are going to be there for three weeks, what about the exposure to the people who live in Tokyo for the last ten years - nine years, from 2011 until the two thousand twenty Olympics. I'm afraid it's a little bit elitist to worry about visiting athletes who are going to be there for three weeks, when in fact 35 million people are exposed to this radiation for nine years.
Now I think the government of Japan should be aggressively cleaning up Tokyo. But to do so would spread fear, and that in turn would stop the Olympics, which would then crush nuclear revival that the [current Prime Minister] Abe regime is so desiring. It's so desirable to the Abe regime to get those nuclear plants running again."
WHY TOKYO IS RADIOACTIVE?
Why is Tokyo radioactive? You would need to scan back through my past Fukushima shows, and the special podcasts I sent out at the time to get the details. All of that is available at my web site at ecoshock.org. Just type "Fukushima" into the search box there.
In a nutshell here are just some of the pathways radioactivity took to get to Tokyo:
1. In the first days of the accident, most of the radiation was blown north and west, but there were some reversals of wind, where the radiation was carried south and bathed Tokyo with nuclear particles. These were measured around the metropolis at that time. Various Japanese corporations considered moving their head offices out of Tokyo (some did). It later came out the whole government considered moving out of Tokyo.
2. For weeks after the accident, and especially after three reactor buildings blew up, there was continuing air-borne radiation of Tokyo.
3. The hills around Tokyo, were also bathed in radioactivity. Each successive rainstorm brought more radiation into the city. Tokyo has a vast amount of undergound water. Some of the city is build out over what was the ocean. Radiation was measured in the underground water.
4. More difficult to quantify, large amounts of radioactive materials were dumped or burned after the accident. Some radioactive hot sewage sludge was trucked around the country. So was radioactive cement, which used that sludge. Some of all that arrived, as almost everything does, in the hub of Tokyo.
The point is this: radioactivity doesn't go away like yesterday's news. It lasts and lasts, for decades, even generations. Residents of Tokyo hosed down some hot spots, but the city never really admitted the magnitude of the problem. There was no massive clean up of Tokyo (which would help but couldn't get it all). Perhaps this was not done to avoid alarming the population, or to save the economy, which would have crashed in Tokyo was abandoned. So this giant metropolis remains radioactive, worse in some places than others. In my opinion, pregnant mothers should go to a less polluted area, and perhaps raise children to at least the age of 5 before returning.
THE SENDAI NUCLEAR PLANT AND VOLCANOES
The Japanese authorities released a report saying the Sendai nuclear plant would not experience a volcanic eruption for the next 30 years. That's convenient, because that would be the expected operating life of this reactor site, if it is restarted. How polite for the volcanoes to wait!
However, on September 27th, there was an unexpected major eruption by another volcano not so near to Sendai. And influential volcanologists in Japan said there is absolutely no way to predict when a volcano will go off, and certainly no 30 year guarantee. br>
Gundersen says the real risk to Sendai is not so much that a volcano would immediately destroy the nuclear plant. The problem is a volcano can dump twelve feet or more of ash on the site, and on all roadways leading to it. It could become impossible to keep cooling the reactor core. If that is not cooled, it blows up, just like Fukshima did. The cooling system has to be kept going at least 5 years without any pause, even after the reactor is shut down. That applies to the nuclear reactor near you! Not that it matters if there is a reactor near you. Fukushima blew radioactive particles around the Northern Hemisphere, and as we are about to find out, the radioactive plume from the leaking site is just now reaching North America.
FUKUSHIMA'S PLUME HITS NORTH AMERICA
This spring of 2014, a citizen found a sample of Cesium-134 in a park in British Columbia, Canada - inland from the ocean. What does that tell us? Unlike Cesium-137, which lasts a long time, Cesium-134 only lasts about two years. That means this particle arrived from Fukushima. I think it may be from continuing airborne radiation, but Gundersen suggests it came from the original blowout three years ago.
Gundersen told us in previous interviews that his company Fairewinds tested automobile air filters from Seattle Washington after the accident and found highly radioactive hot particles in those filters. We know from another Radio Ecoshock interview that radioactivity from Fukushima was found in seaweed, and in Vancouver, Canada. Similar Fukshima radiation was found in California, and in fact in many U.S. states including Pennsylvania, and those in New England.
Now we're looking at a new wave of radiation reaching the West Coast. The slowly moving ocean currents are finally bringing the first part of the radioactive plume to Canada and the United States.
A Canadian research scientist named John Smith just told the meeting of the American Geophysical Union that this group has measured a radioactive plume from Fukushima in Canadian waters. The blog Live Science reports: "Smith and his colleagues tracked rising levels of cesium-134 at several ocean monitoring stations west of Vancouver in the North Pacific beginning in 2011. By June 2013, the concentration reached 0.9 Becquerels per cubic meter, Smith said. All of the cesium-134 was concentrated in the upper 325 feet (100 m) of the ocean, he said. They are awaiting results from a February 2014 sampling trip."
There's a long list of proof and sightings.
Ken Buesseler, the senior scientist at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, had to arrange crowd-funding to measure this radioactivity in the Pacific. The American and Canadian governments don't appear to care. So far Buesseler says the radiation found is weak, and not yet dangerous. We're still in the early days. Buesseler set up this web site.
Gundersen says he receives a lot of worried calls and emails about the safety of West Coast beachs. This follows a couple of erroneous reports of high radioactivity on California beaches which turned out to be not from Fukushima, but left over from Cold War days. Yes, radioactivity from atmospheric atomic testing is still with us - which shows how long lasting any radioactivity is! Thanks to the Japanese experiment with nuclear power, the Pacific will still be more radioactive long after you and I are dead.
However, don't panic surfers! Gundersen says the risk is still very, very low for people swimming in the Pacific. Go for it, if you can stand the cold water. The fish living there are not so lucky. The bottom feeders especially will soak up radioactivity, and this will bio-concentrate as these are eaten by other predators. Is that why the local pod of killer whales (Orcas) in southern British Columbia did not have a baby in two years? The pod just had their first birth, but the baby died soon after. There may be many factors at work, but increased radioactivity in the Pacific is not good for marine mammals. Nobody disputes that.
Gundersen also suggests that fresh water fish in British Columbia, and likely the whole West Coast, may also be accumulating radioactivity. The place to test, if anyone cares, would be bottom-dwelling feeders like Catfish, who live in waters above a dam. The runoff from the surrounding mountains would accumulate in those dam lakes.
Arnie says he won't eat any fish from the Pacific until the government starts testing, and releases the actual data found, so he can make an informed decision about his own health.
THE NEXT FUKUSHIMA IN AMERICA
So what American nuclear plant will blow up? There's a too long list of possible candidates. All American plants were built at least 30 years ago, and many are operating on extentions granted by the NRC. All that concrete, all those pipes and equipment deteriorating.
NEW YORK CITY AT RISK
That doesn't even include known design flaws. Arnie and I were talking about earthquake risk and of course the last remaining California reactors at Diablo Canyon. Then he surprised me with this:
"By the way, we think of earthquakes as something that happens in California, but the plant with the highest what we call 'core damage frequency' is actually Indian Point. [38 miles from New York City - Alex] It's only a mile away from a Richter point 7 and a half earthquake fault that wasn't discovered until after it was built. So we could have an East Coast earthquake at Indian Point, which would be disastrous."
We talk about the unsafe storage of 1600 tons of nuclear waste at the now-closed San Onofre nuke plant in California. Gundersen says that waste needs to be put into casks right away. The nuke materials in casks at Fukushima were not damaged by the earthquake or the tsunami.
THE MOST DANGEROUS REACTOR IN AMERICA: DIABLO CANYON, CALIFORNIA
Now to America's biggest nuclear risk: the Diablo Canyon reactors half way between San Francisco and Los Angeles, right on the coast.
Gundersen: "Diablo Canyon is in my mind the most dangerous reactor in the United States. It was known when they built the plant that ground accelerations of .4 G - [which is] four tenths the acceleration of gravity - could hit the plant. And that's the way they built it.
Well, as they were building it, they discovered other earthquake faults that were much nearer to the plant that could double that, to .75 G. They didn't change the plant, they just changed the numberical analysis to make the plant fit an earthquake that was twice as severe."
The two reactors at the Diablo Canyon site. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.
INSTRUMENT CHATTER - THE EARTHQUAKE RISK NO ONE WANTS TO TALK ABOUT
Gundersen: Fairewinds just produced a report that we sent to the NRC. The big thing that they're ignoring is not the gross collapse of the [reactor] building in the event of a Richter .7 G earthquake. It's something called 'instrument chatter'.
It's really not spoken about very often in nuclear circles, but hopefully Fairewinds can bring it to the forefront. You know you have switches on the wall that turn the light on. Well they have switches in nuclear plants too. We call them 'relays'. And if the ground shakes, the relays turn on and off without any human intervention. Now we found an NRC report that shows that the NRC has said there's a hundred percent probability that in the event of an earthquake, some of those relays are going to end up in the wrong position. So if you want a pump to be 'on' the relay's going to be 'off'. If you want a pump to be 'off' the relay's going to be 'on', because this relay chatter will cause them to bounce back and forth, and at the end of the earthquake they won't be in the right position.
It's a really serious problem that has been un-analyzed at Diablo Canyon. In my opinion, Diablo Canyon should be shut down until they analyze that problem. But of course that would be a four or five year effort and they may as well throw in the towels. So they are choosing to ignore the problem rather than really analyze this relay chatter issue.
Alex: This is the first I've heard of this. I guess we can say we are breaking this on Radio Ecoshock.
Gundersen: You are. You are. You know it's in the deep bowels of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission's files, but they don't want to talk about it either. People who work with relays have seen them buzz. We'll be posting a video in the next couple of weeks about relay chatter. They routinely will buzz when they are not working right, when the springs are worn and tired, they'll sit there and go bzzzz.
Well, in the event of an earthquake that will happen anyway, even if it's a brand new relay, because they'll just bounce. The switches will turn on and off, on and off, and then when the earthquake ends there's no guarantee they'll be where you want them to be."
So what? If a series of pumps need to be on, to cool the reactor, and the quake leaves them off, the reactor could heat up and blow. These reactors are such complicated systems, that we are not talking about one or two switches that some human will reset. We are talking about a vast system of interdependent switches that will reset themselves in chaotic patterns. It may not be easy to recover... in time.
We go on to discuss a report by David Lochbaum, a nuclear expert working with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Lockbaum says Diablo Canyon has never met basic fire regulations, and the NRC doesn't make them meet the standards. Why can anyone operate a nuclear reactor with faulty fire protection? Arnie Gundersen says Diablo Canyon falls into Region Four of the NRC, which has a history of being lax about enforcing nuclear regulations.
The other trick, applied to dozens of American reactors which fail to meet safety standards, is to "grandfather" them. They are built, it's too expensive to fix (the operators say) and so they must be safe, even though they aren't. That's the kind of nuclear logic that led to the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan.
DIABLO CANYON VIOLATES FEDERAL LAW
Gundersen: "We published a ... I think it's about q 45 page expert report that was sent to the NRC about a week and a half ago, with a legal filing that was sponsored by Friends of the Earth. Basically we determined that Diablo Canyon never should have been allowed to run. Because it violated a federal law. It's called 10 CFR 50. That's a nuclear law and it's part 50-59, which basically says that when you know a plant has problems, and you change your analytical approach to solve that problem, the public has a right to know it.
That didn't happen at Diablo Canyon. The public was not informed that Pacific Gas and Electric, the owner of Diablo Canyon made gross changes in all of the assumptions in order to get Diablo Canyon qualified to a much larger earthquake. The argument should have been made in 1980 and now Friends of the Earth is taking forward the argument 35 years later."
HOW TO SHUT DOWN NUCLEAR - INSTALL SOLAR!
I asked Arnie Gundersen how can we finally shut down these aging dangerous reactors, before another Fukushima happens in America. His answer surprised me: install as much solar power as you can, personally, as a community, as a State.
It turns out nuclear plants actually lose money at night. They only make money supplying electricity during peak usage hours during the day. That's exactly when solar produces it's peak power. If enough solar power comes on line, nuclear plants will no longer make money. That's when they shut down.
You can also help concerned Californians trying to get the dangerous Diablo Canyon reactors closed forever. Contact Mothers For Peace, check out this article, or watch a video about it from EON here.
The Friends of the Earth document on Diablo Canyon is here. The Petition to the NRC just filed by Friends of Earth is here. Arnie recommend his latest video talk, given in San Francisco at the WAVE conference. Find it here, on his web site at Fairewinds.org
Please listen to this whole interview. There's more than I could capture in one blog.
Download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds.org in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
NO NOTES FOR NAOMI KLEIN
Speaking of limitation - apparently Blogger only allows posts of reasonable length, or it chokes. So I'm not going to include my notes on the Naomi Klein interview. She was brilliant as always, pointing out capitalism seems unable to do what is necessary to avoid a global climate disaster. It's a wide-ranging interview with Klein, and I hope more original than the generic Klein interviews now swamping the Net.
Learn which big green groups take money from fossil fuel companies, and which "green" billionaire isn't living up to his 3 billion dollar pledge. Find Naomi's new book "This Changes Everything, Capitalism Versus Climate Change" here. Everyone will be reading it, it's already a hot topic of discussion here and on many blogs around the Net.
Download or listen to my interview with Naomi Klein in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
This is Radio Ecoshock. Post your comments in this blog. If you have tips, or ideas for guests, contact me through our web site at ecoshock.org - or just write me. The address is radio //at/// ecoshock.org
That's it for this week. Find Radio Ecoshock on Facebook. Subscribe to @ecoshock on Twitter. Look for our popular Soundcloud page. Get all our past shows as free .mp3 downloads at the web site ecoshock.org.
I'm Alex Smith, saying thank you for listening, and caring about our world. And please don't forget to answer the call for our (hopefully short) fall fundraiser. Details here.
Talk in Twisted Times Thu Oct 23, 2014 02:06 | email@example.com (Alex Smith)
New England's Gail Zawacki is fed up. The Flood Wall Street protest never delivered on it's plan for civil disobedience arrests. It gave up and ate pizzas without ever reaching Wall Street. Zawacki covers a lot of ground in these times of despair and failure. She's also been on a one-woman campaign against the almost unknown threat posed by low-level ozone smog.
From Georgia to New England, leaves are blotchy, trees are dying. It's a sign of the same polluted air that puts up to 20% of our kids with inhalers in the classroom. Low-level ozone is a plague around the world. It weakens plants for a deluge of fungi, insects, and diseases. Yet hardly anyone knows about it. Gail does, and she tells all.
The blog is called Wit's End. So far, it's been read over 11 million times. The author - I want to say artist - is Gail Zawacki. She's edgy. She's on a campaign to save trees from air pollution. But mostly Gail's in a battle against the never-ending conceits humans use to pretend
LINKS FOR THE GAIL ZAWAKI INTERVIEW
We begin by talking about the Flood Wall Street protest. Gail's description of the way this degenerated into a happy pizza party is funny and sad. Revolution? Not!
Read that here.
I just love the photo Gail contributed this week. Gail's dog knows where Wall Street is on a map, why don't the protesters?
Gail talks about the book An Appalachian Tragedy. It detailed the on-going impacts of ozone pollution on America's forests, from Georgia to New England. Nobody in the EPA was interested, and in fact, one person Gail wrote snapped the only "tragedy" was that the book was written at all!
We also discussed the Jack Fishman lecture to celebrate scientist Paul Creutzen's 80th birthday. Fishman realized the threat of low-level ozone back in the early 1990's. View that presentation here.
After a few formalities for Creutzen, Fishman launches into a powerful case indicting ozone. The video is described as: "Tropospheric Ozone in the Anthropocene: Are We Creating a Toxic Atmosphere? Max-Planck-Institut für Chemie Published on Feb 19, 2014
"Talk of Jack Fishman Saint Louis University, USA at the Anthropocene Symposium, Mainz, 2 December 2013. The scientific symposium has been organized by the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in celebration of the 80th birthday of Paul Crutzen, winner of the Nobel Prize for Chemistry in 1995."
Get this. This scientist asks if we are "creating a toxic atmosphere". How many people are interested. When I checked, there were 238 views on You tube. Yawn. Toxic atmosphere... who cares?
You can find out about Jack Fishman's "Ozone Gardens" in St. Louis in a .pdf here. School kids get to learn which plants die fastest from our air pollution.
Excerpts from Jack Fishman's 1990 book "Global Alert" are reprinted in this Zawaki blog post (scroll down past the gory photos of plants and trees blighted by ozone...)
Gail talks about the BBC "Global Dimming" documentary (which shows how our dusty pollution is shading Earth enough to hide up to 1 degree C of the greenhouse gases we've actually put into the atmosphere.
Find a transcript of that program here.
Watch the documentary here.
The Radio Ecoshock special on global dimming (20 minutes, 18 MB) is available as a free .mp3 here.
A transcript of Radio Ecoshock special on global dimming, (broadcast Sept 8, 2006) is here.
We also talk about what can happen if the smog on the air stops suddenly, say due to an economic crash, a solar storm knocking out electric grids, or whatever. Will the Earth experience a sudden burst of warming? Probably.
The Radio program Gail recommends is from Radio Lab, "Dust of This Planet" broadcast September 8th. She also likes the following program on September 19th, called "Staring into the Abyss".
Gail mentions Mark Jacobson, a Professor at Stanford who published a plan to switch the world to renewable energy by 2030. Dr. Mark Jacobson will be my guest on Radio Ecoshock soon.
Gails' Wit's End blog often features paintings by the Medieval artist Hieronymus Bosch. Find out more in this Wiki entry.
You can view the complete works of Hieronymus Bosch here.
Gail mentioned the World Bank applauding China's effort to impose a carbon tax. Find that news article here.
The New York Time article by Justin Gillis about ozone damage to crops is here.
Gail says pollution-damaged crops produce less at harest time, but also have less nutrition. Find the Article in the journal Nature "Increasing CO2 threatens human nutrition" reference here. (Only the Abstract is available for free.)
Find the "Apocalypsi Libary at The End of the World" here.
For the Dead Trees - Dying Forests website, click here.
Find Gail's book "Pillage, Plunder & Pollute, LLC" as a free .pdf download on this page.
Or order the print version of the book here on Amazon. It's Gail's terrific summary of her almost one-woman campaign to wake us all up to the on-going damage caused by invisible ground-level ozone pollution. I recommend it.
And of course, don't miss her witty blog, here.
You can download or listen to the Radio Ecoshock interview with Gail Zawacki in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
Gail sailed through a lot of cutting edge material. All of it is backed up by recent papers and articles you will want. Follow the links for yourself.
COMING UP ON RADIO ECOSHOCK
Frank Rotering talked about Naomi Klein's new book "This Changes Everything". Naomi will be my guest on Radio Ecoshock two weeks from now. Gail Zawacki mentioned Stanford's Mark Jacobson, who worked out a path to a world powered by renewables by 2030. Mark will join us soon on the show.
But next week I want to dive into a great gaping sink-hole of mainstream media news coverage. No doubt you've seen fast clips about the two typhoons flooding Japan lately. They don't tell you what is happening at the Fukushima nuclear disaster site, where tons of radioactive water flow straight into the Pacific Ocean on a good day. It's time for a Fukushima update, with our best guide, nuclear engineer Arnie Gundersen. Plus, Arnie has been sending reports to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission about California's most dangerous reactor, Diablo Canyon. As we found out from Fukushima, a blow reactor anywhere in the world quickly becomes everybody's problem, no matter where you live. Stay tuned to Radio Ecoshock.
Our Soundcloud page went over 10,000 listens this week. Check that out. Get all our past programs as free mp3 downloads from the show web site at ecoshock.org. They are only free to all the world thanks to the people who donate to Radio Ecoshock. You can help here.
Donors and subscribers also fund my work on 87 non-profit radio stations. These stations do not pay me anything, and they forbid any program to fund-raise. So I'm counting on you, the podcast subscriber and blog reader, to keep on going.
I'm Alex Smith, saying thank you for listening, and thanks for supporting this show on your non-profit radio station.
I close out the show with a bit of my latest music.
Future Past Wed Oct 15, 2014 23:33 | firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Smith)
That's in the journal Nature Climate Change, a closed journal, but you can get the abstract and some of the charts in this article.
The more scientists look, the impacts of overpopulation are impossible. A new study from the University of Washington projects world population by the year 2100 will be 12 billion people, 3 billion higher than figures accepted by the United Nations.
Even if it's 9 billion people, a study out of Cambridge University calculates the greenhouse gases just to feed that population will swallow the entire budget for greenhouse gases. Even at our current 7 billion plus people, we are cutting into rich biological forests like the Amazon and Congolese rainforests, to grow more food, especially for meat production.
The Cambridge study predicts the world will lose yet another 10 percent of existing forests in the scramble to feed ourselves. Are you worried about losing half our wildlife in the last 40 years? Bojana tells us that agricultural deforestation is the Number One cause of loss of biodiversity.
These scientists tell us that by 2050, emissions from the food system will be 80% higher than they were in 2009 (when they were already at a record high amount).
I asked Bojana if their study also included a scenario where the world population went DOWN. That seems like a fair question in these days of Ebola. They did not consider this. She recommends the work of Dr. Hans Rosling on population predictions. Rosling offers many statistics on why we shouldn't panic on population. I disagree, but you can see his video "Don't Panic, the Truth About Population" here.
When we burn or cut forests, we lose carbon to the atmosphere twice. The trees themselves are made of carbon. That is released to the air. But forests also buffer some of our carbon pollution, and we lose that too.
ANOTHER POSITIVE FEEDBACK LOOP
We encounter rapid human population growth as yet another positive feedback mechanism. Bajzelj covered that in another paper, released this summer with Keith S. Richards. The title is "The Positive Feedback Loop between the Impacts of Climate Change and Agricultural Expansion and Relocation". I'll pass this one to Dr. Guy McPherson, in case he's missed this for his grand list of positive feedback loops. Find Guy's list here. Scroll down to "Self-Reinforcing Feedback Loops"
If the population does increase to 9 billion, we have to clear more land for agriculture. That deforestation creates more global warming. Climate change causes more damage to agriculture than benefits. So climate change means we would need to clear even more land for farming, especially given the current global trend toward inefficient meat consumption. We clear more land, raise more methane producing livestock, get more warming, get more climate damage, clear more land.... and that's the loop. The author of the study doesn't think it classifies as a major positive feedback loop, but it is definitely another one.
The really stunning thing is the need to do these two studies. Here we are with a population that keeps booming, and keeps demanding more meat. Both subjects are almost taboo with politicians who hope to get elected. There isn't a zero-population, veggie-promoting leader anywhere on the planet, that I know of. How the heck can we get a few billion people to take off the blinders, and see where this train is headed?
TRIMMING FARM EMISSIONS
Yes, this problem includes you, assuming you eat food, and don't grow it all yourself. So what can be done?
First of all, about half of all food grown in the world is simply wasted. Even in a hungry country like India, over half the crops grown are lost to pests, lack of refrigeration, poor transport, and uneven distribution. Here in the developed world, we also waste about half the food grown, but in a different place in the food chain: restaurants, grocery stores, and homes toss out mountains of food. We could greatly reduce the greenhouse gas emissions from agriculture by cutting out that waste.
The second big move is too obvious. We need to greatly reduce meat consumption in the developed world, and head off that ominous trend in the developing world. China has moved big-time "up" the food chain, eating billions of tons more chicken and pork. At least those animals produce less methane than cows do. Cows are the number one biggest emitters - personally as they give off methane, but also in the huge amounts of food required to produce a single pound of beef.
The relationship of vegetables to meat is something like 10 to 90. Growing vegetables producesabout 10 percent of the greenhouse gases versus 90% for the same amount of food power from meat. See my interview with Kip Anderson "Cowspiracy".
Personally, after talking with many scientists, I think any carbon budget for 2050 is not workable. By then, we must find a way to reverse our civilization, so that we are drawing carbon back out of the air, rather than adding any at all. Assuming we are going to continue eating, this study emphasizes the huge amount of carbon draw-down we'll require just to break even, just to take out as much carbon as agriculture requires.
WHEN OUTER SPACE HITS BACK: THE GREAT METEOR STRIKE
Humans seem set to trigger a climate change at amazing speed. We could experience a greenhouse world from just 150 years of fossil-fuelled civilization. It's likely one of the most rapid world-scale changes in nature in this planet's 4 billion year history.
We're going to journey back millions of years, to explore the fastest mass extinction event we know much about. Maybe we'll learn something about our future. Our tour-guide is Dr. Benjamin Blonder, from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, at the University of Arizona.
Blonder is the lead author of "Plant Ecological Strategies Shift Across the Cretaceous?Paleogene Boundary" It is published in the journal PLOS Biology, which is open to the public. Anyone can read the full paper here.
THE BIG BANG THAT ...
Seventy million years ago, Earth's climate was in flux, changing from ice-house worlds to greenhouse times. Then 66 million years ago, a chunk of rock 10 kilometers across hit the Earth. We think it landed on the Yucatan Peninsula of Mexico, creating a crater in the Gulf of Mexico. A kind of matter called "Iridium" spread all over the world. Iridium comes from outer space, so we know approximately when this disaster happened.
Immediately there was a giant tsunami, but also a great cloud of smoke and particles that went round the world. We don't know how long it was dark, but possibly for years. About half of all plant life on the planet died off. So did many animals, including most of the dinosaurs (except those which could fly, becoming our modern birds).
The event has been compared to a nuclear winter, but much bigger. It's thought the meteorite exploded with the force of 100 teratons of TNT. That's such a big number. I did a little math. The largest nuclear weapon ever tested, the 1960's Soviet "Tsar Bomba" - that was 58 megatons of TNT. It looks to me like this 100 teraton meteorite blast was the equivalent of about 2 million of the largest nuclear weapon ever made, all blown off at once. That's a big bang.
... SHAPED OUR WORLD.
One result of that meteor impact, and this was the major point of Blonder's paper, is the widespread deciduous plants we see today, in the Fall colors of North America, Europe and Russia. Prior to the impact, most of that region was clothed in slower-growing flowering evergreen plants. These survive today in things like ivy and mistletoe.
When the sky went dark, plants had several possible survival strategies. One was to drop their leaves, and wait for the next patch of sunlight. Evergreens couldn't do that, and died in great numbers. Plants also migrated, invasive species filled up the ecological holes, and so the Earth saw many of the responses we might see again with a rapid climate shift.
It's difficult to apply this meteor-strike science directly to modern times, because the research method cannot be more accurate than 10,000 years. That means they just don't know what happened in 100 years, for example.
The science involves the study of fossil leaves, which can tell us a lot about the ecology and biology of formerly living things. It's similar to the work explained by Dr. Robert Spicer to Radio Ecoshock listeners in our 2008 interview. Find that here.
My friend and correspondent Dr. Andrew Glikson in Australia made a time map and catalog of all the known meteor stikes during the last billion years or so of Earth's history. Things arrive from space from time to time. is there anything stopping another big comet or meteor showing up and hitting the Earth again? Not at all, says Blonder. His University of Arizona is a leader in tracking activity from outer space, (the "Space Watch program") - but surprises are always possible.
Personally, I don't worry about rocks from space. The most dangerous thing around here is a species that can't live up to it's name "homo sapiens". Dr. Blonder says there is no point in worrying about such a meteor strike, as there is absolutely nothing we can do to prepare for it, or survive it. There may be no big strike in the next 50 million years, or it may come next year. Nobody knows for sure.
GIANT SEA LEVEL RISE UP TO 5 METERS (16 FEET)
In a warming world, we picture sea level rise creeping up slowly, measured in inches or milLimeters. Maybe not. According to new science, at the end of the last five ice ages, the seas rose several meters per century, more than 10 feet. There was such a case about 14,600 years ago.
Eelco Rohling is a Professor of Ocean and Climate Change at the National Oceanography Centre at the University of Southampton, in Australia. He's the co-author of the paper "Sea-level variability over five glacial cycles." That was just published in the journal Nature Communications. As that is a closed journal, here is a good science-based article about this new study.
Dr. Eelco Rohling
We should stress that sea level rise comes from land-based ice, and not the more well-known melting of the sea ice cover at the North Pole. Right now, Rohling tells us, land ice is melting rapidly from Greenland, from West Antarctica, and almost anywhere glaciers are found. The recent NASA science showing that Antarctica is also losing ice mass was stunning. I covered that in my Rado Ecoshock show for May 21st, 2014. Listen to, or download that here. The show blog with links is here.
The scientists led by Rohling managed to date several major de-glaciations in the last hundred thousand years, and about 120 lesser melt periods. The largest amount of sea level rise was indeed over 5 meters in a single century (over 16 feet). BUT that record amount happened when Earth was covered by more than twice as much ice as today. North America, for example, was half buried in a glacier more than a mile deep. To look at what could happen today, Rohling says we need to look at the lesser melt events.
For example, there were similar size melts 240,000 years ago, and 330,000 years ago, Rohling tells us. These resulted in about 1.5 meters of sea level rise (almost 5 feet) in a single century. That's pretty close to what the IPCC is predicting as well.
Five feet is catastrophic on it's own. Just think of the amount of delta farming land lost, the major world cities that would need to relocate, the mega-changes to nature on the coasts. And that doesn't include the storm surges from climate-driven monster storms. Add another 20 feet or more for those.
Two more things stand our for me in this study.
1. We shouldn't even be talking about what happens in one century. Rising seas will continue for many centuries. In some case the greatest sea level rise happens 400 years after the melting begins.
2. Related to that, the past history of de-glaciation shows that once this melting process begins, it is "irreversible" (says Rohling). Past major melts were begun in part by changes in the Earth's orbit, slowly leading to warming on Earth. The current melt is being cause by human-induced climate change. It doesn't matter what triggers the melt. Once it's begun, it will continue to unfold - even if humans managed to cool things down, say with geo-engineering or quitting the carbon habit.
We're committed to ever-changing coastlines already. We are imposing a constantly rising sea, an ever-changing coast line, on all humans, animals and plants to come, for hundreds or even thousands of years.
It's hard to picture a civilization where the coast is always changing. I suppose cities now by the sea, and that's many of the world's largest metropolises, would have to be abandoned. Living by the sea will become more dangerous, especially during storm surges.
I also worry that the current melting may not follow the patterns of the past. We may heat things up so fast, that we get the 5 meters of sea level rise anyway, much sooner than anyone expects. Nobody knows for sure where this experiment with the atmosphere is leading.
Blogger Robert Scribbler has a good article, saying "Current sea level rise is faster than at any time in the last 6000 years."
I NEED YOUR SUPPORT
I hate bugging people for money. In my ideal world, science journalists and radio producers would live from some magical grant money. I don't get any grant money, don't run advertisements, and won't take corporate funding.
Right now I need your support to pay the bills, and keep on going. I may have to mount an official fund-raising drive. We'll see. If you can help, please either send a one-time donation, or sign up for the $10 a month membership. Both kinds of donors have kept this radio show going for the past year. Can you help? Visit this page for details.
Coming up: we'll talk about why Progressives (maybe you and I) are part of the problem, rather than the solution. I've got a special on new radioactive leaks into the Pacific from Fukushima coming up. You know, the big storms that hit Japan, and nobody mentions the already flooded reactor cores down there somewhere.... Later in the month, Naomi Klein joins us. Stay tuned.
That's our program for this week. Download all our past programs as free .mp3 files at our web site, ecoshock.org. I'm Alex Smith. Thanks for listening, and please share the news about Radio Ecoshock on social media. Once a week I Tweet out the show announcement. Follow @ecoshock.
HOT NEWS FROM AN OVERHEATED PLANET Mon Oct 13, 2014 06:30 | email@example.com (Alex Smith)
Why Lie to Ourselves About Methane? Wed Oct 01, 2014 21:47 | firstname.lastname@example.org (Alex Smith)
How methane erupts. Source: TerraDaily.com
Here is an interesting article about that "Arctic Seaved Methane Stores Destablizing and Venting" from TerraDaily.com.
THE "PERMAFROST" ISN'T PERMANENT
The second fearsome giant is more widespread, and possibly impossible to measure at this time. There is methane trapped below the permafrost, the permanently frozen cap covering the northern part of this planet. At least we thought it was permanent. Now with Arctic temperatures soaring 10 or even 20 degrees Fahrenheit above the previous normal, the permafrost is starting to melt. Check out this NASA factsheet on permafrost methane: "Is a Sleeping Climate Giant Stirring in the Arctic?" NASA is trying to monitor Arctic methane with a project called "Carve".
As I understand it, melting permafrost opens two great methane risks. The first is release of methane trapped in pockets below. This is thought to be the cause of at least two explosions and craters found recently in Siberia.
The second is more insidious. As the surface levels melt, there are plant materials that have been kept frozen for many thousands of years. These are already starting to melt, and then rot. Plant materials on the ground will release CO2. Those under the millions of shallow ponds in the Arctic will decay without oxygen, and release methane, clouds of methane.
HOW AMERICA CAN CHANGE THE METHANE MAP
For all these reasons, it is a dangerous fallacy to only count methane as "20", as though it comes up once in 100 years and then disappears. That is why a group of illustrious scientists have written the American government, asking for the higher scientific standard of 86 to be used, instead of the old number of 20.
If we use the new standard, the real risks of methane become apparent, and that adds heat to the government's responsibility and effort to limit methane emissions in every way we can. It certainly means new regulations to force gas drilling companies to stop venting methane, at drill and storage sites, and to repair leaking equipment and pipelines. It certainly means going further to capture methane from land-fill sites, and push an international effort to change agriculture to minimize methane emissions.
I ask Mickey Moritz why the standard hasn't changed already. After all, as she tells us, other standards for gases have been changed as new information comes along. We can guess the natural gas industry, with all its political donations, is against the change. But Mickey also says there is a problem with international reporting. Countries calculate their emissions using the old standard of 20. If America leads the way to the new methane standard, U.S. emissions will suddenly appear to go up. The scientists suggest America could use a double accounting standard for now: a value of 86 for domestic regulation, and a value of 20 for international reporting, until that can be changed by international agreement. That can easily be done, Moritz says.
For me, and I'm sure for the scientists involved, this urgent letter is more than about book-keeping. To get the kinds of action that have any hope of saving a habitable climate, we need to stop lying to ourselves about the power of methane. It's the second largest source of warming on the planet. Paul Beckwith tells me the "Present radiative forcing of methane is 1 W/m2 [Watts per square meter] compared to 1.7 W/m2 for CO2".
Be sure and listen to this interview with Anna "Mickey" Moritz, available in CD Quality, or Lo-Fi.
Among the 21 scientists who signed this letter are some names you may recognize from Radio Ecoshock. You can find their interviews or speeches by search our program archive at ecoshock.org
* Robert W. Howarth, * J. David Hughes, * Michael C. MacCracken, * Scot M. Miller, * Drew Shindell
The letter was addressed to letter to John Holdren, Gina McCarthy, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and Ernest Moniz, the Secretary of the Department of Energy, among others. That was a month and a half ago. So far there has been no reply, but Mickey thinks the wheels are turning.
When America leads on methane, we need to see the world community act in the 2015 Climate Summit in Paris. At the very least, we can stop lying to ourselves about methane.
CARBON SHOCK: THE WAY WE ALREADY PAY AND PAY TO SUBSIDIZE FOSSIL FUEL PROFITS
There are two kinds of climate denial running around: theirs and ours. Some people and politicians still say climate change isn't happening, even as extreme weather events pummel the globe. Others know global warming is coming on much too hard and too fast. That can become to a despair so deep we don't want to talk about the phoney solutions coming from business, national governments, and those failed international talks.
Despite all the green hype, carbon emissions are rising, and the increase is increasing. Face the facts: this is a human problem requiring human solutions. If you don't like the idea of new taxes on carbon, our next guest says we are already paying plenty for climate damage.
As an experienced journalist, Mark Schapiro tackles the whole messy climate problem. His new book is "Carbon Shock, A tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy". Schapiro has appeared everywhere intelligent reporting is allowed, from PBS specials, to features in magazines like Harpers and the Atlantic Monthly. As an award winning environmental journalist, one of his previous books was "Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products."
Here are some of the stories we talk about in this interview:
* the many ways the real cost of fossil fuels is hidden from us (direct subsidies to oil and gas companies, huge health care costs of carbon pollution, all those taxes going into roads, it's a big wild list!)
* the reasons for the California drought (one huge factor: the snow pack is now falling more as rain, and melting too fast and too early to be stored for summer crops)
* why cherries need some cold in the winter (and aren't getting it in recent years in the big California cherry orchards)
* the scandalous loop-hole in carbon accounting, where humans pretend air-planes are not a major source of emissions, and no-one has to take responsibility for aircraft greenhouse gas emissions (Schapiro alerts us to aircraft emissions as the first shot in an international trade war over climate change)
* a few hopes for the 2015 Climate talks in Paris
* some climate initiatives "breaking out all over the world" you may not have heard about
* why some "Conservatives" want to fight climate change with carbon taxes and clean energy (no, the climate movement is not just something that happens in New York or San Francisco).
* the thorny problem of China, verging on being the world's biggest polluter, and needing still more development
Mark Schapiro is now out on a large-scale book tour to promote "Carbon Shock". He'll be blogging all over the place. Keep track of Mark and his work via his Twitter feed: @schapiro.
You can download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with Mark Schapiro in CD Quality or Lo-Fi.
(I apologize for mis-spelling Mark's last name in the file name, but that can't be changed at this point)
Along with the book I received a fact sheet which says "Just ninety companies are responsible for two-thirds of greenhouse gase emissions". We all need to know who those biggest polluters are. It shows once again that real climate talks can't just be in New York, Lima or Paris. They need to happen in the Board Rooms of multinational corporations.
"Carbon Shock, A Tale of Risk and Calculus on the Front Lines of the Disrupted Global Economy" is just out from Chelsea Green books. Find it here.
A NEW CREATION STORY WITH ANDREW BEATH
When I consider the climate movement, it seems almost split into two camps. One is very science-oriented, fending off any suggestion of spirituality. The other is spiritual, where science is almost a side-line. While most of Radio Ecoshock is devoted to science, we all know there are deep movements within us that science can't really touch or fulfil.
I used to think if you gathered all the science-oriented people in one room, and all those concentrating on the spiritual approach in another, you would have more men in Room A, and more women in Room B. Is that sexist, or does there tend to be that difference between genders? But then, all those preachers, mullahs... old-time religion was not just created by men, to worship a man-God. It continues to promote sexism, including denying women leadership roles in the church. So it's little wonder some women are looking for spiritual alternatives.
While science has been dominated by men for a generation, there is a whole crop of really smart women scientists coming up now. It's a breath of fresh air for sure. Meanwhile more men are realizing just staying nailed to jobs and football, while avoiding our inner needs is harmful, if not fatal.
Our next guest has been a green activist for 30 years. He founded the environment group Earthways Foundation in California back in 1985. More recently, Andrew Beath has been considering our green needs for spirituality. For example, he's the author of the book "Consciousness in Action, The Power of Beauty, Love and Courage in A Violent Time." The Earthways Foundation is still going, with some helpful projects in Los Angeles, but also in Latin America. Beath was also instrumental in founding "Social and Environmental Entrepreneurs" which guides people into setting up non-profits for social change.
Beath has helped save Wetlands in L.A., and assisted in starting up Amazon Watch. He's got a long trail of organizations he helped birth.
Now Andrew is publishing a trilogy of books which look at a new story of creation, one based on the amazing discoveries of science, but also new ways of looking at the world. The Trilogy is called "The New Creation Story, Spirit, Eros, and Climate Chaos". Find out more here at the book web site.
Books One and Two are already on sale. Book Three will be released shortly. The new creation story goes right from The Big Bang to modern times, with illustrations of life in between.
Previous religions have begun with an act of God, followed by just a few thousand years of history. Then the bones of dinosaurs and the study of geology showed that timeline was flawed. Now we have amazing views into the galaxies, and with it, into deep time. We need new narrative about the beginnings of things, to know where we are.
We also discuss whether life on this planet has a consciousness, something we could call "Gaia".
We don't really know how human consciousness connects us, or why sudden waves of thought pop up all over the world. The psychiatrist Carl Jung called it "synchronicity". There are lots of people out there who hope, maybe even pray, that a wave of awareness could spread rapidly across the globe, driving us toward action not just on climate change, but in our whole relationship to nature. I ask Andrew if that is his hope, and are there any signs of it? Ever the realist, Beath says right now it looks more like we are going the wrong way. "Business as usual" is still in triumph.
But, in the end, Andrew Beath has not given up. He knows and feels the depths of our damage to the Earth. But Beath tells us: "the destruction we've caused is the catalyst for the next step in human consciousnesss".
You can listen to or download this Radio Ecoshock interview with Andrew Beath in CD Quality or Lo-Fi
RADIO ECOSHOCK NOW BROADCAST BY 87 STATIONS
Once again, we are totally out of time. Thanks for sticking with the program.
It's been a while since I updated our stations list, or counted them up. Good news! Radio Ecoshock is now broadcast on 87 non-profit radio stations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom (we can still say that), Australia, and now Paris, France.
You make it all happen, by passing on the Tweets, Facebook links, emails and word of mouth. Let's get the word out there.
My thanks to those who donated this past week, to keep Radio Ecoshock going. You covered the electric and internet bills for this month.
I'm Alex Smith, and let's get together again next week.
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