Thursday, February 19, 2009

Forget the Economy - Is It Too Late for Our Climate?

This is the Radio Ecoshock Show. I'm you're host and tormentor, Alex Smith.

Yes I know the economy is crashing around the world. Eastern Europe threatens to bring down the Austrian and Italian banking systems. Britain is in the tank, along with Spain, Greece and Ireland. Everybody is hoping the Germans have saved enough to bail out the European Union.

It's as bad or worse in Asia. Japan's exports have plummetted, the results so terrible the Japanese Finance Minister was dead drunk at his press conference. Singapore was stung badly by Wall Street scams. Dubai, the fabled playground of the Middle East rich, is tumbling. South Korea wants to jail bloggers who reveal how bad things are in that country.

Now the latest American scamster, Allan Stanford has ripped off billions from investors all over the world, especially in Latin America. ABC News is reporting the Texas big man, lately based in Antigua, is connected to money laundering for Mexico's most vicious drug gangs. And speaking of off-shore pirates, the giant Swiss bank UBS is paying up 780 million in taxes ripped off from the American government, as the Swiss advised the very rich how to avoid paying their share. Really, it's been a pirate economy all along - and the worst scams were run by the very best companies.

Against the backdrop of kicked out families, closed factories, and worried populations, our climate threatens changes worse than any all-our nuclear exchange. Scientists warn the coming changes are huge, irreversible, and likely fatal to most species we know. Including us.

In this program, I'll pass on some of the horrible climate news, hot off the scientific press. Then we'll ask: is it already too late? Major scientists, in the United States, Australia, and Germany say the world is loaded up for at least 2.4 degrees Celsius of warming - that's over 4 degrees Fahrenheit AVERAGE global change. Temperature increases over land, and especially over the Arctic, will be much higher. The only thing saving us so far is smog, which can dissolve in a matter of weeks.

These warnings come not from fringe scientists, but key advisers to governments in Western countries. I'll tell you who. This is major news: global warming has already taken place. Television and newspapers have not told the public, who are living in an illusion, a fairy tale, about their future. Things are not going back to normal. Not for thousands of years.

As we will hear, one of the co-Chairs of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change admits their reports greatly underestimated our real situation. We'll cover the latest news, and then work with reports from V. Ramanathan, of the Scripps Institution, and Joaquim Schnellenhuber, a science top adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

The music for this program is "Don't Let The World Swallow You" by Canadian artist Andre Ethier.

Read more from this Radio Ecoshock program.

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