Thursday, April 23, 2009


American cities in decay. Refugees not from New Orleans after Katrina. This is a different kind of Hurricane. A trifecta of climate change, high oil prices and the real estate bubble leaves abandoned holes from Detroit, Philadelphia, Phoenix and beyond.

I'm Alex Smith, this is Radio Ecoshock. We'll track the causes and the victims.

In our opening cuts, you heard video Blogger George4title in his You tube special called "Detroit Ground Zero for Economic Collapse". An amazing drive-by of abandoned and burned out homes looking like Baghdad in America. It's a 5 part series you won't want to miss.

Our other voice was Clive Doucet, author and Councilman for Canada's capital city, Ottawa. When I recorded his "Urban Meltdown" speech a year ago - I didn't believe it. Now the evidence is in. Cities all over North America are under stress, as they go into record deficits and collapsing tax collections. Municipal bonds may be the next big default line in the economy.

We'll interview Clive Doucet to get the update.

We are talking millions of foreclosures already, and millions more to go in the next two years. In fact, all the mortgage holding agencies, both government owned and private banks, have started a new wave of record foreclosures, after a brief Obama rest. Where are all these people ending up? Sure people some rent, but the latest stats show rentals are actually down. Some new Americans go back to their home country. Folks move back with their families, or share tiny spaces.

Too many become homeless - and our social system is in no way prepared for the homeless emergency now developing in almost every city. A friend just told me their neighbors in a relatively upscale neighborhood in Phoenix both lost their jobs. Professional people. Suddenly the bailiffs show up and grab both cars plus the house. A family with 5 kids now living in two tents on the desert outside of town, with no water or toilets. Just like that.

Could it happen to you? Are the homeless annoying you? In this program we'll get a clue. Our guest host Allart interviews Harold G. Joe. Harold experienced a fatal homeless tragedy in his community. He decided to try just three days and nights on the street. As a documentary film maker, Harold took his camera along. The result is the movie "Broken Down", and an interview that could move hearts of stone.

Let's get back to Clive Doucet, the person who opened my eyes, while I was day-dreaming in a still-functioning place, a city of refuge, so far, in the developing storm.

[Clive Doucet interview]

I also cover some important world news.

READ MORE....and find all the links to news stories, interviews and sources for this show.


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