Thursday, March 18, 2010

Surfing Waves of Trouble - Links and commentary

This is Radio Ecoshock - on the triple threat. Peak Oil, climate change, and the crumbling economy. How will you respond?


Time after time, Kurt Cobb gets those questions ahead of the curve. Kurt is an independent writer on energy and the environment. Find his features on Energy Bulletin or The Oil Drum, and more. Kurt is a founding member of the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas - USA. His work is published in Europe as well.

I've been running a series of interviews about collapse. Scientist Tim Garrett told us a massive economic breakdown might be the only way to save the climate. We've heard from Keith Farnish in the UK, and both Dmitry Orlov and John Michael Greer in the USA.

Last week, we used a gentle definition of collapse from Dennis Meadows. He said "'collapse' is a process where things go down, out of control." We get Kurt's take on collapse, and what to do about it.

Like Dmitry Orlov, Kurt looks at the example of the former Soviet Union, and Russia today. One sign of collapse, he says, is the breakdown of the public health system.

But is that just in Russia? Consider this: AIDS deaths in Russia are frightening. Americans think that's all in the past. Now we find out, the leading cause of death for African American women, aged 25 to 34, is HIV/AIDS. It's at epidemic levels in the nation's capital, running at about 3 percent. Few of those people have health care. Is it possible Americans could also experience a climbing death rate, as the economy deteriorates?

I think the current American pre-occupation with health care, and all the Obama capital tied up in it, could be a recognition of greater social difficulties, perhaps even of collapse.

Find Kurt Cobb's blog here.

We'll hear more from Kurt Cobb next week, on Radio Ecoshock.

In this week's program, I play a sample from the remarkable end-of-career conversion by Professor David Goodstein. He's the American physicist, until recently the Vice-provost of the California Institute of Technology. Out of the blue, in 2004, Goodstein produced the seminal book "Out of Gas: The End of the Age of Oil".

Two short sample clips of David Goodstein, recorded for the film "Crude Awakening, The Oil Crash" from Lava Pictures. Get your taste, at or on You tube.

Time to move on. I interview Carolyn Baker.


Our whole system is built on dwindling fossil energy, pollution, economic bubbles, and fraud. Now what are we supposed to do?

Looking for answers, we find Carolyn Baker. She's been a psychotherapist, and adjunct professor of psychology and history. Carolyn has been searching ahead since the 1990's. Her latest book is "Sacred Demise: Walking the Spiritual Path of Industrial Civilization’s Collapse."

Check out Carolyn Baker's blog here.

For one thing, we talk about an article posted in April, 2009 - titled "Economic Recovery - No Thank You".

I have to agree, with regrets. On our program, we recently had a scientist, Tim Garrett at the University of Utah, who explained we either collapse the fossil economy, or face deadly climate change. It's time for a new sustainable civilization to arise. The longer we wait, the greater the pain, and the less likely we will succeed in doing it.

Carolyn is offering a new online course, to help people prepare for rising energy prices, climate disruption, and economic hard times. It's called "Navigating the Coming Chaos of Unprecedented Transitions". That's something they don't teach in the Harvard Business School.... Find out more at

Carolyn's vision is much bigger and more real than digging a hole, and filling it full of food, guns, and gold. We talk about real-world skills, and building community.


This is Radio Ecoshock, trying hard to be a world-class English language show. Last week we heard from Australia, of course we do American, and listeners from the UK is our number three audience. Now it's Canada's turn - and what a black eye for the Beaver tails.

While his government was full of green promises, Prime Minister Stephen Harper has been caught slashing climate research funds, appointing climate deniers to key government funding positions, and ... just like in the dark old Bush days, scheming to muzzle the country's top climate scientists.

The best article on all this is by Stephen Leahy.

We run an exclusive interview by Stephen Leahy with Graham Saul of Climate Action Network.

Ugly stuff. Climate Action Network, as you heard, represents about 60 citizen groups and NGO's worried about our climate. Support Stephen Leahy as he brings us this great audio. Contribute at

Canwest ran a story saying climate coverage from government scientists was down 80% since Mr. Tar Sands went to work in the Canadian capital. And expensive reports get released at crazy hours, after the press has gone. Anything to sweep it all under the rug, while our North melts, while our species go under. The rest of the planet doesn't get to find out what is happening, in one of the largest and most heavily impacted parts of the globe.

That's it for me this week. We opened with a song from, "350 the People's Priority" by Daisy May and Seth Bernard. We'll go out with another, "350 Get Down" with May Erlewine.


No comments: