Thursday, July 10, 2008


Ecoshock Show 080711

We begin with a first hand report from climate front-line - the California fires, with Maria Gilardin. Maria is the host of the TUC radio program, originating from San Francisco. This time she is sending out last emails, from her straw bail house, surrounded by four major fires in Mendicino County, California.

Although Maria has produced some excellent programs on climate change, including interviews with scientists like James Hansen of NASA, perhaps she never expected to be threatened by drying forests, heat, and drought, so soon. We only got her story because she has a satellite uplink, using solar power. All other electricity in the area is down. Her story is very moving.

That is followed by a report from the aboriginal people in the Yukon's dying forests. Around Hay River, as in Alaska and even in Washington State, the Spruce Bark Beetle has killed off vast areas of trees. It was formerly controlled by cold winters, but no longer, thanks to climate change. Just another sign of how the North is heating up.

The First Nations people, as they prefer to be known, have always lived from and in the forest. The animals they hunted and knew are dying off. The elders report even the number of squirrels and ground hogs is way down. No wonder, with a dead gray forest all around. The trees look ghostly. As in California, the people must cut down trees around their homes, as they wait for the fires that will surely come.

A rare type of freshwater salmon is also affected, perhaps from the changing chemistry of all the dead needles washing into their prehistoric lake system. A young woman speaker describes the way the community is trying to monitor their changing ecosystem, and plans to evacuate. A front line story, recorded by Radio Ecoshock.

Then one of Canada's top climate scientists, Dr. Gordon McBean reports on rising CO2. Since 2000, we have increased emissions by 2 per cent per year, and the last count, for 2006, is 3 percent. Despite all the talk about controlling emissions, the greenhouse gases are pouring out of developed and developing countries, completely out of control. McBean, who was deeply involved in the IPCC, gives a good short account of our current situation.

In early July, McBean led a group of Canadian scientists writing an open letter to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, calling for immediate and concrete action to limit greenhouse gas emissions. The same thing is happening all over the world. Dr. Andrew Glikson, who spoke in our last Radio Ecoshock Show, has forwarded a letter sent by Australian scientists, warning that a climate shift may create a world where mammals may not survive. That's us, folks.

Leaving on a lighter note, sort of, we add to an on-going series of short features on how to feed yourself and your family, should it come to that. From the Sagebrush Variety Hour on community radio in Idaho, we interview Bucky Buckaw on raising backyard chickens.

1 hour program
CD Quality 56 MB or Lo-Fi 14 MB

Production Notes: 30 sec music bed for station ID at 30:38. Song "Fix It Or Stop Complaining" by Dan Berggren.

Please note, Alex is going on holidays - but has prepared new programs for a hot Summer series.
These will be podcast to you as a group - load up your computer, CD-Player or Ipod for summer listening.

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