Thursday, March 26, 2009


Radio Ecoshock moves from Washington and Wall Street all the way to tent city. We’ll hear from the homeless – and from the new breed of independent citizen reporters who will replace the dying newspapers and gutted TV newsrooms.

The financial news is so depressing, I couldn’t make the program without coming up with “Four Solid Tips for Surviving Bad Times”. That’s in this program and blog as well.

This week we're going to take a quick cruise through the battered economy. Like economist Paul Krugman in the New York Times says, the latest news and government moves almost left me in utter despair. I didn't want to make this program - until I realized, as I waded through, there was another stream developing in the back of my mind. Things to learn, personal solutions that I could share with you. An antidote to the poison economy.

So you'll get all the desperation a mind can stand, but I've also got four solid tips for you, tiny ways out that might make you better prepared for the hard times to come. Stay tuned for that.

We have an interview - a new take on the "Will Work for Food" sign, and two radio reports from Independent journalists. George from California takes us on a tour of people living in their cars, while CKUT radio brings out powerful voices from a tent city in Nashville Tennessee. It's an example of how we get news without newspapers, in the digital democracy.

READ MORE with all the links to original articles...

Production Notes: Song "Everything Has A Price" by Remo Cino, unemployed Hamilton steel worker (Canadian content). Plus "Hey Paul Krugman" by Jonathan Mann at, bits of "Gamma Ray" by Beck, report on unrest in France from the Wayne Madsen Report, quick clip from Fox News Sacramento & CHCH TV Hamilton. Others too numerous to mention.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Progress and Denial

In last week's Radio Ecoshock Show, we talked with Professor Michael T. Klare, about the looming possibility of social instability or riots, even here in North America. Can't happen here? There was a riot in downtown Montreal, Canada on March 15th. The march to protest police brutality ended up with smashed store fronts, burned police cars, and over 200 arrests.

Meanwhile the European think tank called "LEAP/Europe 2020" says America is likely to have outbreaks and riots due to a lack of a social safety net, in these difficult times, plus the hundreds of millions of guns owned by citizens.

We could discount this as just another think-tank ploy, but LEAP also predicted the sub-prime real estate melt-down in the United States. This time, as Claire Gatinois reports on, quote:

""If your country or region is an area where firearms are in mass circulation" (among big countries, only the United States is in that situation) LEAP indicates, "then the best way to deal with the dislocation is to leave your region, if that's possible."

In any event, some Americans will "leave their region" simply because of hurricanes, droughts and recurring floods caused by climate change. In fact, that's already happening in the super-dry West, as well as Florida and the Louisiana coast. The first American climate refugees.

In this program we'll catch the latest wave. We interview one of the few independent environmental journalist still standing, Stephen Leahy. You'll hear what author and activist Bill McKibben told a business audience in Indiana on March 11th. And a scorching hot speech by Oakland activist Van Jones at the recent Powershift09 conference in Washington D.C. Right-wing radio nut Michael Savage calls Jones a thug. President Obama calls him his "Special Advisor on Green Jobs".

I've got lots of other audio goodies - and baddies - another roundup of Horrible Climate News, a laugh and a song. Radio Ecoshock.

Read More (and get more links)

Thursday, March 12, 2009


The economy, says billionaire Warren Buffet, has fallen off a cliff.

"The economy, ever since we talked in September, we talked about it being an economic Pearl Harbor, and how, what was happening in the financial world would move over to the real world very quickly. It's fallen off a cliff.

And, not only has the economy slowed down a lot, people have really changed their behavior, like nothing I've ever seen. Luxury goods, and that sort of thing, have just sort of stopped. And that's why Wal-Mart is doing well, and I won't name the ones that are doing poorly, but there's been a re-set in people's minds."

Well, finally. As the Earth is being poisoned and devoured by billions of humans, as people shopped the planet to death, there has been a re-set in people's minds. We all know that needed to happen. We just didn't know the banksters would loot the economy, like Baghdad after the invasion, at the multinational sunset.

The sudden crash has already cause riots in several European cities, including normally quiet Iceland. Are big riots inevitable in the United States? Will the kicked out and cheated suffer quietly without justice?

You are listening to Radio Ecoshock. I'm Alex Smith. We'll talk to Peace and Securities expert Professor Michael Klare. He says America should expect widespread unrest. I'll also interview Jason Bradford, the radio journalist and pioneer of relocalization. We'll talk about alternatives, including the possibility of a food-based currency. In beans we trust.

All that plus uppity women from Britain, a quick shot at the me generation, and yet another dose of horrible climate news.

Before we go further, here are some links from this week's show.

Our first guest, Michael T. Klare

Radio interviews by our second guest, Jason Bradford

Here you'll find the best guests Jason mentioned, including people like Bill McKibben, and Richard Heinberg. Jason also recommended the blog Casaubon's Book with Sharon Astyk

Gaming the Apocalypse from

Our featured artist is Joel Plaskett at

This Canadian artist just released a 3 CD special called, what else, "3". We hear "Through and through and through."

Read More...are there riots in our future?

Thursday, March 5, 2009


Welcome to Radio Ecoshock. I'm Alex Smith. In this program we'll explore the big black hole where your dreams of prosperity used to be. Like rescue dogs, we'll sniff around the wreckage for the corpses - and the survivors, the dead-ends and the new paths of living.

In past shows, we've presented top experts and authors. This time around, I just need to thrash this through with some intelligent people. What really is happening with the economy? Does the crash doom us to irreversible climate shift?

We have alternative economic commentator Mike Whitney back on Ecoshock, for a go round on the latest news. I'll tell you about the Global New Deal - or is it the New World Order just dressed up by the same old boys?

Then we'll try something completely different. You and I will chat with a long-time Radio Ecoshock listener about some better alternatives. We'll cover the triple threat from militarism, the collapsed economy, and the fragile climate. I'll ask her: does the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference really means anything? Or should we go for re-localization, and transition towns? All the issues swirling around in my mind, and likely in yours too.

We'll wrap up with another listener question: is laughter really appropriate in these serious times? I'll let a Somalian musician tell us.

Radio stew for an upset bailed out world, this is Ecoshock.

Read more (and get the follow-up links for this show)

Production Notes: to insert a station ID, cut in at 29:34, then reduce end music by same amount. Song: "Dreamer" by K'Naan, (Canadian artist) on new album "Troubadour".