Saturday, July 12, 2008

Coping with Climate Change

Ecoshock Show 080725

How can we face it? 2 interviews: Pulitzer prize winner Catherine Ellison, and climate/nuclear historian Spencer Weart.

Catherine Ellison is one of America's top reporters. She caught me attention again when she wrote about the difficulty of telling kids about climate change. What should we tell them? What should we tell ourselves. We discuss that, and also a bit on her earlier book "The Mommy Brain" - on how giving birth and raising children actually stimulated parts of the brain. A little on women, and how they handle the stress of climate change, too. Catherine is just a smart, stimulating, grounded person - I loved doing the interview with her.

Spencer Weart is someone who educated and tortured me, with his book "Nuclear Fear". I had a lot of resistance to the book. Partly it is because Weart is a nuclear physicist, in fact he's a top member of the nuclear scientists organization. In the book, he analyzed why we were so terrified of this new technology. The images of mad scientists, and other quasi-religious fears that have always been with us.

Ostensibly, Weart is trying to exorcise these demons, so we can all build new nuclear plants, or something. In fact though, the book turns out to be a kind of psychological cleanser for a lot of Cold War fears, built into our psyches. And Weart himself admits nuclear tech scares him too, at times. I recommend the book, even though I dislike (hate) nuclear weapons, and nuclear power.

But the real reason I called Spencer Weart: he is also an environmental historian. His book "The Discovery of Global Warming" explains how we rose to consciousness on this subject. It's also handy for the new generation of students, who know less about how we got here. How did our ideas about climate change develop? Weart knows.

That's why I though he would be a good interview, knowing how to cope with both nuclear fear, and with climate change. How does he do it? It was a good chat, with helpful info, and that's why I'm running it again, just as the news about possible complete extinction of our species looms closer to possibility. (See previous Ecoshock programs, like "Climate Criminals" on James Hansen, and "A Warning from the Past" with Dr. Andrew Glikson...)

This is an updated replay from our 2007 season. 1 hour
CD Quality 56 MB or Lo-Fi 14 MB Our one and only re-run of the year. Not because we don't have enough good audio, but because it's time to heal ourselves, somewhat. Many of our newer listeners would have missed this show.

Production Notes: 30 second music bed for station ID at 30:00 Music "Mother Earth" by Shane Philip (Canadian content)

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