Friday, September 28, 2007

Ecosocialism - North & South

What is "Eco-Socialism?" Does Capitalism have to fall in order to save the planet? And what can replace it?

These are the big questions as the Ecosocialism panel in Vancouver September 21st, recorded by Radio Ecoshock, and presented by SevenOaks online magazine.

The two main speakers are authors Joel Kovel and Hugo Blanco.

Kovel is author of "The Enemy of Nature" (subtitle The End of Capitalism or the End of the World.) Hugo Blanco is a Peruvian indeginous leader, once condemned to death, and author of "Land or Death."

The program begins with an interview with Joel Kovel, plus a key ten minute portion of his speech. The full speech by Joel can be downloaded from the Radio Ecoshock website here.

The second half of the show is the complete speech, with a running English translation by Alicia Barsallo, of Hugo Blanco. It is a fiery and unique vision of environmentalism by peasants, adhering to the Andes Inco vision, before the arrival of the Spanish. You may never hear such a clear explanation of this alternative worldview from the South.

Also available as a separate download is a speech by Canadian Six Nation Indigenous activist Lindsay Blomberry. It's is a passion speech about recent protests and violence at Caledonia, Ontario, Canada.

This show is our first exploration into Ecosocialism. Can Marx be updated with new green clothes? Do we have any alternative than more community building, and government for the common good, facing climate change, peak oil, and a population larger than the food supply?

For rebroadcasters, there is a music bed break between 28:51 and 29:51 to insert you station ID or announcements. As usual you can cut end music if more time needed. The last music is by JoyAAA, a Canadian group, from their album "Too Late to Pray." The song is "Slippin' in Time."

Next week we go to the depths of green despair: all the scientists and pundits who say it is too late to avert climate change. To the bunkers!

Radio Ecoshock

Thursday, September 20, 2007

PLANET WATCH. (Ecoshock Show 070921)

Another packed show, with 3 interviews.

We start out talking with Alan Weisman, author of the NYT Best Seller "The World Without Us." Alan's been everywhere - even on The Today Show, with John Stewart. But I zoomed in on his portrayal of strong climate change in the coming years, decades, and centuries, due to our greenhouse gases. The kind of questions generic radio stations don't ask.

Incidentally, I also recorded Alan's full one hour speech in Vancouver. He generously gave his permission for replay on non-profit college and community radio stations - ONLY. I can't post it on the Net, but if you write me, (radio [at] from your station call letter box, I'll get a copy to you. It is 57 minutes long, with an introduction, all ready for radio.

Then we turn to the problem of security, in a world destabilized by climate change, and other ecological pressures. I was lucky to get an interview with Richard Power. He started out as a tech security Guru, and author of "
Tangled web: Tales of Digital Crime from the Shadows of Cyberspace." His well known blog is at
Find his web site at

Richard and I chat about our sleepy descent into climate refugees, flooded cities, and Hurricane Alley.

Our third guest is New York State Senator Liz Krueger. She has a Bill forward to (finally!) ban styrofoam from the Great State of New York. Oakland and many other cities have done it. Even MacDonalds got rid of Styrofoam, for crying out loud!

All through the show, are short clips - funny and sad - for World Car Free Day.

There are natural openings for station ID's at: 14:40, 39:26, and 52:27
And/Or cut the three minute song from the end, to create more time for your own station announcements.
Or just burn it and play it - the show runs 59 minutes, 27 seconds.


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Carbon Credits: Planktos II The Intervention

Planktos Corp has generated a lot of publicity about it's plans to capture carbon dioxide - by feeding iron to plankton in the Pacific Ocean. Will this technique work? Why are international environment groups set against the project? Can we trust these venture capitalists?

Last week, on Radio Ecoshock, we featured a show-long interview with Planktos CEO Russell George. This week, I interview 3 critics of the company: Dr. David Santillo of the Greenpeace International Science Unit, newspaper stock columnist David Baines, and Pat Mooney of the Ottawa-based group ETC.

My own investigations into the company show a fascinating cast of characters, company name changes, hidden investors - as well as some bright ideas that just might work. This show is packed with strange connections - even to 911 (!) and nuclear fusion.

This version contains no local station ID. You can fit your in at 28 min, 37 sec. And gain an extra 30 seconds by cutting the last half minute from the program. Otherwise, it's all action from start to finish.

Since going to air, Planktos has announced a $2 million dollar mystery investor, who bought in at twice the recent share price. Questions abound.

Alex Smith
Radio Ecoshock

Saturday, September 8, 2007


Are carbon off-sets the way to go? When we buy them, or big polluting companies announce they are "carbon neutral" - is it true?

This week we begin a look at one of the best-known "green" carbon offset companies, Planktos. Their CEO, Russell George, is a genius at getting world attention for his projects. Recently, the Vatican announced they were accepting a donation of offsets from Planktos. The Chicago Green Festival also told attendees that carbon created by motoring there was taken care of, by Planktos.

But so far, the company has not saved any carbon from the atmosphere. Their two projects, to plant trees in Hungary, and to dump iron into the Pacific, to "grow" plankton, have not yet begun.

The most controversial project, giving the company it's name, is to stimulate plankton blooms by adding iron. Theoretically, the plankton will use up carbon dioxide from the air, and some of it will settle to the ocean bottom, as these tiny lifeforms, or the things that eat them, die. So far, it's still a theory, but Planktos want's the opportunity to prove it works. They've purchased a former US Research Vessel, the Weatherbird II, to ferry the iron filings, and the scientists, past the Galapagos Islands in the South Pacific.

In this first of two programs on the company, CEO Russ George is interviewed by Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock. We hear about the sad state of the oceans, which George claims are in crisis at the bottom of the food chain. In fact, you can learn a lot from Russ George.

We ask some tough questions, posed by his critics, including major environmental groups.

This show has a one minute music break at the 29 minute mark. Re-broadcasters with a live operator can pull down the music to insert their own Station ID. Also, the end music of 2 minutes can be cut to allow more time for local announcements. There is no other station ID in the show.

Those with automated systems can just play the one hour show straight through.

Look for the second part of this series, Planktos II, next week. We'll interview stock watcher David Baines, Pat Mooney of the ETC Group, and more.

Alex Smith
Radio Ecoshock

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Peak Oil/Climate Panel - 070831

On August 15th, there was a special screening of Gregory Greene's new movie "Escape from Suburbia." After the show, the packed house heard a panel of 6 very different experts on the related problems of Peak Oil and climate change.

That panel takes up this whole Radio Ecoshock show for August 31st, 2007.

As usual, there is music at the end that can be deleted to make room for your station announcements. There are no other station ID's in this program.

Alex Smith
Radio Ecoshock