Thursday, May 29, 2008


Those are the choices.

Week of May 30th, 2008

Guest: Michael T. Klare (new book "Rising Powers, Shrinking World")
Listen to the Ecoshock Klare interview here.
Read his blog at

Space For Peace activist Bruce Gagnon
Listen to the Gagnon interview separately here.
His web site is

Dimitri Orlov on "Re-inventing Collapse. The Soviet Example and American Prospects";
I read the 5 steps of collapse from Orlov's blog at (look for "older posts" at bottom). Then a clip from Orlov talking with KMO on the C-Realm podcast (

Listen to that whole Orlov segment from the Ecoshock show here

Robert Kennedy Jr. on 5 men who run almost all U.S. media.

Is the American empire collapsing? Where are the $$ for new transpo & energy systems, or climate adaptation?

Download this Radio Ecoshock Show 1 hour here: CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)

I was in Berlin just after the Wall had fallen. A visit to East Berlin was quite instructive - they were living the low energy life - no bright street lights, no neon signs or advertising at all.

My West German hosts were still shaking their heads in disbelief. Their government discovered the only thing keeping Russian troops in East Germany was this: the Soviet government was so bankrupt, it could not afford to bring the soldiers home. There was no housing for the troops back home, soGerman workers went into the Soviet Union to build apartment buildings. Then the Russian bases were closed.

Is America headed toward the same state of bankruptcy? The United States has bases in over 100 countries. The government puts it all on Master Card, they borrow the whole cost from the countries, the ones who manufacture consumer goods, and provide the oil.

In an article titled "Portrait of an Oil-Addicted Former Superpower," Michael Klare writes: "Whether we know it or not, the energy Berlin Wall has already fallen - and the United States is an ex-superpower-in-the-making."

Michael T. Klare is a professor of Peace and World Security Studies for the Five Colleges, based in Massachusetts. He is a defense columnist for The Nation Magazine. His books "Resource Wars", and then "Blood and Oil" explained our times, just ahead of time. And his newest book is "Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy." It has just come out, published by Metropolitan Books.

We discuss how militarism, and endless war, threaten our ability to adapt and survive rapid climate change. Read more from Michael Klare at his blog:

Dimitri Orlov lived through the fall of the Soviet empire. He has a new book "Re-inventing Collapse. The Soviet Example and American Prospects." After some delay, that book is finally available. The publisher is New Society.

This book on collapse emerged from a series of articles titled "Post-Soviet Lessons For A Post-American Century" appearing on the web site "From the Wilderness" hosted by Michael C. Rupert. Rupert was a former cop who dedicated himself to investigating political cover-ups. In August of 2006, Rupert mysteriously disappeared, saying he no longer felt safe in the United States, after various threats and break-ins. His archive is still on the Net at

Anyway, Orlov outlines 5 stages or signs of collapse which I will read from his blog. Then we'll hear a short clip of Orlov, taken from the C-Realm podcast hosted by KMO.

In his blog, Orlov writes:

"Elizabeth Kübler-Ross defined the five stages of coming to terms with grief and tragedy as denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance, and applied it quite successfully to various forms of catastrophic personal loss, such as death of a loved one, sudden end to one's career, and so forth. Several thinkers, notably James Howard Kunstler and, more recently John Michael Greer, have pointed out that the Kübler-Ross model is also quite terrifyingly accurate in reflecting the process by which society as a whole (or at least the informed and thinking parts of it) is reconciling itself to the inevitability of a discontinuous future, with our institutions and life support systems undermined by a combination of resource depletion, catastrophic climate change, and political impotence....

Stage 1: Financial collapse. Faith in "business as usual" is lost. The future is no longer assumed resemble the past in any way that allows risk to be assessed and financial assets to be guaranteed. Financial institutions become insolvent; savings are wiped out, and access to capital is lost.

Stage 2: Commercial collapse. Faith that "the market shall provide" is lost. Money is devalued and/or becomes scarce, commodities are hoarded, import and retail chains break down, and widespread shortages of survival necessities become the norm.

Stage 3: Political collapse. Faith that "the government will take care of you" is lost. As official attempts to mitigate widespread loss of access to commercial sources of survival necessities fail to make a difference, the political establishment loses legitimacy and relevance.

Stage 4: Social collapse. Faith that "your people will take care of you" is lost, as local social institutions, be they charities or other groups that rush in to fill the power vacuum run out of resources or fail through internal conflict.

Stage 5: Cultural collapse. Faith in the goodness of humanity is lost. People lose their capacity for "kindness, generosity, consideration, affection, honesty, hospitality, compassion, charity" (Turnbull, The Mountain People). Families disband and compete as individuals for scarce resources. The new motto becomes "May you die today so that I die tomorrow" (Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago). There may even be some cannibalism."

Orlov doesn't predict cannibalism as a future for America - he just says some societies have reached terrible stages, and give examples in his book from the dislocated African tribe described in the book "The Mountain People" by Colin M. Turnbull.

Hopefully, by learning from previous cases of collapse, we can learn how to do better, as individual, and as a society. We shouldn't wait until things drop down to the bottom of the pit of collapse.

Find out more about Dimitri Orlov from his blog at - Orlov is spelled orlov.

Let's hear just a couple of minutes from KMO's C-Realm podcast, number 96 for May 14th, 2008. KMO and Orlov are discussing whether the people of the Soviet Union were actually better situated for collapse of their system.

Is anybody sorry the old Soviet Union is gone? They kept massive millions of their own people in prisons. Interrogators used torture. The press was censored and distorted to propaganda. You wouldn't want to live in a society like that.

I run a clip of Bobby Kennedy explaining how 5 corporations control almost all of the TV, radio and print that persuade Americans. Most of the investigative journalists have been fired. The right wing dominates it all. And Kennedy explains how Bush, in exchange for millions in donations, created a new wave of illness and pollution in the United States. The link for this powerful Youtube expose it posted above. Watch it and weep.

And that is why you need alternative media, underground radio, and people like our next guest, Bruce Gagnon.

People all over the world want the United States to take a leadership role in cleaning up fossil fuel emissions, before we lose a livable climate.

Our next guest, Bruce Gagnon says America has far different plans. Instead of converting the economy, the military industrial complex will war it's way to control of the world's energy, through domination of space.

Bruce Gagnon is a Senior Fellow at the Nuclear Policy Research Institute and Co-ordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space. Find that at

You must watch the video "Arsenal of Hypocracy" available from that site, and on Google Video. One hour of your time, one big enlightenment about the shiny new announcements from NASA, and the real reason America wants to dominate space.

We also discuss near-space as a threatened environment in its own right. Greens worry about protecting Antarctica, and the Amazon, without realizing that the space around the planet is so infested with space junk, we may not be able to get away from Earth - ever.

Maybe that would be a good thing for the rest of the universe, consider what we are doing down here.

Alex Smith
Radio Ecoshock

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