Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Transforming Power - Judy Rebick

Floods and extreme snowfall events, once in a hundred years, are almost every year. No matter what the season, we keep on pumping up more carbon into the Earth's thin atmosphere.

The actors on the scene, most voices and talking heads, learned and ignorant, are mostly white men, the silver-backs. What about women? And aboriginal people pushed to the fringes?

Welcome to Radio Ecoshock. I'm Alex Smith.

In the radio broadcast (click the title above) you hear a powerful speech by Judy Rebick, as she describes lessons from the women's movement, and the transition from anti-globalist protests - to climate action.

Rebick concludes that anti-globalist protests, like that in Seattle in 1999, were supressed in North America, in the anti-terrorist, super police binge following 911. But anti-trade, pro-job rallies continued in Europe.

Many of these activists have now recognized climate change as the supreme threat to the existence of humans and other species, much less our civilization.

Her background is interesting - and it's good to get a woman's point of view, after so many male scientists and experts. In our current failure to deal with the crisis, certainly we need other voices.

Judy Rebick is a Canadian feminist and broadcaster, now committed to save our climate for future generations. She rose to national attention as president of the National Action Committee on the Status of Women from 1990 to 1993. In the late 90's, Rebick co-hosted the prime-time debate program "Face Off" on Canadian Broadcasting, plus a women's talk show "Straight From the Hip".

Judy Rebick moved early into electronic broadcasting, as she helped found a multi-media discussion and distribution site for independent Canadian producers on the Net. It's called

Currently the Chair of Social Justice and Democracy at Ryerson University in Toronto, Rebick's latest book is "Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political."

This speech, "Transforming Power, Effective Action for the Planet," was recorded at the Spirit of Red Hill lecture series in Hamilton, Ontario on November 3rd, 2010. It was first broadcast by independent radio journalist Maggie Hughes, as part of her on-going programs called "the Other Side - of the News" on CFMU, McMaster Campus Radio in Hamilton, Canada.

I'll just add two closing comments.

I liked this speech, but don't agree with all of it.

I'm worried any trend returning to superstition when confronted with giant challenges like climate change. The worst case scenario, in my opinion, just happened when long-time "doomer" and operator of the Peak Oil news site "Life After the Oil Crash" - just quit to devote himself to Astrology. I'll stick to science, and modern knowledge, thank you.

Second, my thanks and appreciation to Maggie Hughes for keeping up the good fight. Maggie has specialized in finding a voice for the voiceless. She specializes in poverty and disability issues. Maggie also takes on the world, with climate change, and social justice. She's one of the best of independent, volunteer radio journalists. Find her web site at Thanks Maggie, for all that you do.

That's it for Radio Ecoshock this week. Find all our past programs, as free mp3 downloads, at And write me any time. The address is: radio [at]


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