Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Radio Ecoshock Green Music Festival 2013

Talk, talk, talk about the end and new beginning. I'm Alex. This week we go for the best environmental songs, in our annual Radio Ecoshock green music festival.

You will hear folk, rock, rap, a bit of dance, a bit of humor. Support these artists who care about our world, and use these tunes to get the message out.

Slap on headphones if you can, or just enjoy as it comes.

1. We open with two Icelanders, Tina Dico & Helgi Jonsson, as recorded in the detektorfm Akustik-Session in Germany. The You tube version has 390,000 hits. It's called "No Time to Sleep."

2. We are off to Sydney Australia for a bit of serious live fun from the group Men With Day Jobs. The tune is "Denial Tango".

3. Next up one of two tunes from the Earth Amplified Mixtape Volume 1, mixed by DJ Sol Rising. This song, Global WarNing, stars Seasunz and J. Bless, with a feature by Stic.Man, from Dead Prez.

4. I heard Australian song-writer and musician Michael Everingham on Under the Pavement, as broadcast on ALL FM 96.9 Manchester UK. With backup from the band Darwager, the song is Coal Gas Man.

5. Hey isn't life great out in the oil patch? Not so much, according to signer-songwriter Kris Kitco. "Frack That Oil" can be found on You tube.

Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB). Naturally the CD Quality version is recommended for an all-music show like this. 6. The nuclear industry says "Please Take Our Poison" Yeah, nobody wants that radioactive garbage. The song was written by Donald Keesing of NIRS, Nuclear Information and Resource Service (lyrics here), and performed live by Tom Neilson. You can get more radiation protest songs from Tom's album "Dancin' Shoes" on CD Baby.

7. In early December 2013, Radio Ecoshock covered the proposed Polymet copper sulfide mine set to poison the pristine wilderness of Northern Minnsesota USA. Here is the full version of the song "Don't Poop In Your Own Pool Brother". It's performed by Mark Blom of the group The Arrowhead Story" Find their album "Industry.Peace.Environment" at bandcamp.com. It's a catchy piece which stuck in my mind too long. Now its your problem.

8. A good anti-fracking song: "You Can't Be Rich On Shattered Land" by Alex Hickey of Nova Scotia. Find it on You tube, complete with Lyrics, as recorded in her livingroom by the sea.

9. Small & Slow by Australian artist Formidable Vegetable - from his album "Permaculture- A Rhymer's Manual" This guy can take a Ukelele into rock music and get the crowd hopping. Check out the full album.

Ben Sollee

10. Ben Sollee American cellist, singer-songwriter, and composer, with an activist bent. He's been featured on PBS and NPR, being originally from Lexington Kentucky. There is something sadly touching about this song "Panning for Gold".

11. Not professionally recorded but still rocking, this is "Global Warming Day" from the band Breaking Laces.

12. Earlier we heard Global Warning from the Earth Amplifed CD. We're back, with a Remix of Beats Antique Seasunz, Seneca, Ambessa & Tbird doing the track "Runaway".

13. This next song just moved me. It's something you can listen to several times. Join over a million people who watched Maynard James Keenan playing as Pucifer. The song, "Humbling River" was also featured in the trailer for the video game "Transformers: Fall of Cybertron".

14. As featured in an earlier Radio Ecoshock show, we have Toronto artist and animal advocate Gaiaisi singing "Change the Earth" You have to watch the video that goes with it - with moving footage from supporting groups 350.org, Al Gore’s Climate Reality Project, Greenpeace, Rainforest Action Network and World Wildlife Fund. It just might be the best environmental video/song combination for 2013. Get that link in my weekly show blog at ecoshock.info. Change the Earth.

15. This last entry in the 2013 Green Music Festival is more a clip than a song. It's one of my first productions as I gear up to make the music this show needs. I am Alex Smith, and this is "Always Warming".

That's it for our annual Radio Ecoshock Green Music Festival. If you know good green tunes, or make music suitable for the program, just send me an email. The address is simple: radio at ecoshock.org. That's radio at ecoshock.org. I'm picky about what gets on the air, but I'll give anything a try. Send me your own entry, or point me to the green music.

Thanks for listening. Please support our struggling green musicians whenever you can. Sure it's free on You tube, but I buy the song for a buck anyway, just to keep them going. I hope you will too.

You can find all our past programs, as free mp3 downloads, at my web site, ecoshock.org. If you feel in the giving mood, you can support Radio Ecoshock as well. Details on the web site.

My special thanks to all the hard-working folk and volunteers at community radio stations around the world. Thank you for broadcasting Radio Ecoshock on more than 76 stations on 3 continents.

It's a message the whole world needs to hear.

Hello to all my loyal podcast supporters. Our new 2014 season of Radio Ecoshock is coming right up next week.

I'm Alex Smith, thank you for listening, and caring about your world.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Why Is The Weather So Crazy?

Climate scientist Paul Beckwith explains weather distortion & spurt of Arctic methane. NOAA's Dr. Richard Feely on the threat of ocean acidification.

Download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality or Lo-Fi


Download or listen to my 38 minute feature interview with Paul Beckwith in CD Quality or Lo-Fi

It takes a lot of nerve to talk about global warming just after a blast of Arctic weather in the Northern Hemisphere. But all our furnaces, cars, and factories churn out even more warming gases day in and day out. It's going to catch up to us. Scientists report big changes are already occuring, well ahead of previous predictions.

We're back with one of our go-to guys on the cutting edge. Paul Beckwith has two Masters Degrees and is working on his Doctorate in climate science at the University of Ottawa.

Download or listen to this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality or Lo-Fi

We start with the big methane debate going on among scientists right now. As part of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group, AMEG, Paul is tuned in to alarming developments around the polar sea, which could jolt global climate.

But already, we see the slower Jet Stream allowing Arctic cold and storms into the Northern Hemisphere. Beckwith explains the science of how that works. The interview is very revealing. Get even more in this Beckwith video.

The team of Natalia Shakhova, from the University of Alaska, and Russian scientists including Igor Semiletov, just released a paper on November 24th about methane emissions in the sea off East Siberia. We can also see increased blooms of methane, even in deep winter, on satellite tracking maps.

One thing puzzled me in the maps provided by Sam Carana of methanetracker.org, as published in the Arctic-News blog. Maps showed ribbons of methane rising right across what must be frozen seas in the winter. How can methane come up through the ice cover? Paul says the Arctic ice is not a fixed block, but has cracks and holes all through it.

A group of scientists led by David Archer and Gavin Schmidt at realclimate.org say Arctic methane is still a small part of global methane emissions. They say it doesn't matter yet compared to carbon dioxide emissions from industrial society, and may be a distraction from what really could drive us to extinction.

Read that methane discussion on their realclimate blog here - and take time to read the comments section as well.

Here is a link to my interview of David Archer in December 2012 on the relative importance of methane.

On the other side, here is my Radio Ecoshock interview with renowned polar ice scientist Dr. Peter Wadhams in the same program.

Beckwith replies it's almost a battle between climate modelers, like David Archer, and researchers with observations on the ground, like Shakhova and here Russian counterparts. While it's true methane is not YET tipping us toward a sudden change of climate - it has more than enough potential to do so. Some members of the Arctic Methane Emergency Group critize the IPCC for missing the methane boat, and want an emergency alert issued.

Meanwhile, Archer and others say we can't take our eye off the ball of our own carbon dioxide production. That's something that is known to be changing the climate right now, and something we can allegedly control. Once the methane bomb goes off in the Arctic, both undersea and from melting permafrost, nature takes over. It will be beyond our control. I think both groups are right.


Paul Beckwith is one of the few people I know, with a trained scientific eye, to plow through all 2016 pages of the latest Working Group One report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. I can already feel some listeners becoming impatient, ready to tune out, and that tells you a lot about how far public perception has fallen about these reports. Is the IPCC still relevant to the developing climate crisis?

We talk over what those limitations are, what the IPCC got right, and where they probably missed out, including the methane threat. Paul notes that ever edition of the IPCC reports keeps raising the global warming potential of methane.

Critics of the IPCC say they use out-dated science, and always low-ball the possibilities, to get approval from all those governments, including oil producing countries. Paul thinks we need more real-time analysis and a faster turn around from a massively funded team, versus today's tiny IPCC staff and guest volunteer editors.


Dr. James Hansen, recently retired NASA scientist, has just released another paper saying the warming limit assumed by all the climate negotiations and governments is far too dangerous. He says that 2 degrees Centigrade, I guess that's about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit, is already beyond tipping points that will wreck the world as we know it. Paul and I discuss what that means.

We already have scientific conferences called "4 degrees and beyond". Various business pundits assume carbon levels above 550 parts per million by 2100 as though that's just something our kids will adapt to. Let's be real. Is it likely we can hold warming to even 2 degrees mean global warming, the way things are going?

Whatever our prospects, I keep making radio programs, and Paul keeps studying and communicating about climate change. There must be some hope and will to survive at the bottom of that.

Keep in touch with Paul Beckwith's lively climate Facebook feed here.


Download or listen to this 15 minute interview with Dr. Richard Feely in CD Quality or Lo-Fi

No doubt you've heard that fossil fuel emissions are turning the world's oceans more acidic. Scientists are scrambling to find out what that means for our future.

There is a new report out, based on a meeting of 540 experts from 37 countries held in Monterey California in September 2012. It was the Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World.

"Ocean Acidification Summary for Policy-makers – Third Symposium on the Ocean in a High-CO2 World."

Radio Ecoshock is pleased to welcome one of America's top ocean scientists, Dr. Richard Feely. He's from NOAA's Pacific Marine Environmental Laboratory.

Reading through this report, I became alarmed for our own future, as much as small sea life. The Symposium agreed the oceans have been soaking up 24 million tonnes of CO2 a day - but that buffer, protecting us from worse climate change, may not keep working as well.

A couple of years ago, I interviewed David Archer about his book "The Long Thaw". He made it clear even if we stopped burning fossil fuels today, our impact will continue for centuries. It that true in the oceans as well? Dr. Feely says our oceans are reaching acidification levels not seen for many millions of years - and will stay in this changed state likely for at least hundreds of thousands of years, if not longer. We are changing the oceans for all coming ages.

I'll add this: during some times when the oceans became more acidic because of high carbon in the atmosphere - there was a huge mass extinction event.

When scientists talk about the rate of acidification, the numbers seem rather small. Why does a point 1 change in PH reflect a big change in chemistry? Richard Feely explains that one for us. Due to the logarithmic scale used, just like for earthquakes, a small-sounding change reflects a giant change in the sea.

We can't consider ocean acidification in a vacuum. How does a more acid ocean interact with things like warmer seas, or human encroachment such as overfishing or land-based run-off? It turns out all these impacts feed on one another.

You know ocean dead zones are popping up all over the world. Some people on the Internet are afraid the ocean is dying. Dr. Feely says that is not what there reports says at all. Yes some species important to feeding humans and other large sea mammals are in trouble, or may even die off. But other species, including squid and jellyfish, will thrive on more acidic seas. The ocean is not dying.

I've interviewed scientists who believe human geoengineering is needed to save the Arctic ice, say by spraying sulphur aerosols. How would that affect the problem of ocean acidification? Feely says geoengineering does not stop the uptake of carbon and acidification of the seas. In some cases, and he mentions seeding the oceans as Russ George and the Haida did, may even make acidification worse.

I worry humanity is not taking this issue seriously enough, because we don't live in the ocean, and can't visibly see the change. That's why I took the trouble to highlight this new report, and talk with Dr. Feely.


Coming up next week: I couldn't bare delivering more doom and gloom news during the holiday season. Instead, we're bringing it on in song. It's the annual Radio Ecoshock Green Music Festival - a full hour of environmental songs played in full.

You'll get some humor, so bleakness, lots of bounce, in some songs I guarantee you've never heard before, from artists all over the world. I'll publish a playlist in next week's blog.

We kick of the new year of 2014 with more nuclear scandals. I'm not talking about Japan this time. Even if there is no major nuclear disaster, both Britain and the United States are piling up radioactive wastes with no good answer in sight. Wait until you hear the zany things they are doing with it. Heaven help the generations that come after us.


I appreciate all the listeners who included Radio Ecoshock in our Christmas gift list. Some donations have come in and they all help. I've improved the studio (no more echo) and added some software tools to make the audio sound better. My mixer also had to be replaced, as the old cheapie was starting to leak sound between the channels. That was a big purchase.

If you can help me pay for the costs of producing and distributing Radio Ecoshock, that means so much. I can't afford to bear all the costs myself. Please consider either a one-time donation, or become one of our elite group of supporting members, donating just $10 a month.

The rules of non-profit radio stations mean I can't pitch for fund on air. (And besides, those stations need the money too). So I'm really counting on blog readers and podcast subscribers to help keep Radio Ecoshock on the air. Do it from this page.

Enjoy your holidays - but don't forget, the all-new Radio Ecoshock shows just keep on coming.

Alex Smith

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Ugly Times for Ugly Mines

Welcome to Radio Ecoshock. I'm your reporter, Alex Smith. Later in this program we will tackle a serious world-wide problem seldom discussed: the toxic and harsh environmental impacts of mining. We have a case study from the United States, the Polymet mine proposed for Northern Minnesota.

Our environmental correspondent Gerri Williams has been on the job, with original interviews from activists - local people really - trying to protect nature from yet another hack-job.

This isn't a story about Minnesota or even America. Giant mines are operating or being developed all over the world, to feed our consumer desires. They spew pollution, carve into wilderness, and leave behind heavy metal leaching into rivers and lakes for hundreds of years. It's Canada, Australia, Africa, Asia, and all the European companies carving giant holes into the crust of the Earth.

Before we get there, I need to alert you to yet another disgusting development coming from the world nuclear Mafia. It's a general go-ahead to dump hundreds of thousands of tons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean. Incredibly, everyone from the American head of the NRC, to the International Energy Agency, and Japanese authorities are giving a green light to empty those thousands of radioactive tanks at Fukushima right into the Pacific ocean.

Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock program in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)


Who gives anyone permission to make the seas more radioactive? Why can't the country that used dangerous nuclear power keep the inevitable mess to themselves? Let's dig in deeper to recent developments at the triple-melt down that is the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear catastrophe.

It's hardly worth mentioning this site has set a new all-time record for radioactive pollution.

From Arirang Korea TV News, December 2nd, 2013:

"Now media in Japan on this Tuesday are reporting that the level of radiation detected in an observation at the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant has soared to an all-time high. Prime operator TEPCO said that 1.1 million becquerels of Beta ray emitting radioactive had been detected per litre in water samples taken on November 28th.

The figure is 36,000 times higher than the normal level of 30 becquerels per litre, and is more than the previous record high 910,000 becquerels per litre detected on November 26th."

And people try to tell you this accident is over.

According to the nuclear industry, 1 million becquerels of radiation is equal to 1 kilogram of what they call low-level radioactive waste - here found in every single litre of water.


Water is now a huge issue at Fukushima Daiichi. Estimates of the amount of highly radioactive water being pumped each day are hard to get, or vary widely. The consensus seems to be about 600 tons a day needs to be stored, perhaps 300 tons being pumped into the ground buildings trying to cool the escaped hot reactor cores, and another 300 tons of ground water flowing down that hill into the site, and mixing with those cores. See these estimates in the Guardian newspaper for example.

Those numbers are too round and neat to be real, but they give you an idea.

All that is being pumped through a maze of make-shift hoses into over 1,000 tanks on the site. These tanks, we know from mainstream news reports, were shoddily made, bolted together without welding, by inexperienced workers dragged in from all over Japan.

On December 5th, Reuters reported the workers were brought in illegally, at time recruited by the Japanese gangs. Workers admit they assembled tanks in weather that did not permit proper sealing. There have been regular leaks of highly radioactive water from these tanks. The Japanese admit up to 300 tons a day of water is escaping already into the Pacific, a continual source of serious radioactivity.

The tanks were a make-do solution. They are only designed to last until 2016. A new report from the Japanese Ministry of Industry says the Fukushima site will run out of room to store radioactive water within two years.

What to do? Just dump it in the ocean! Here is the alarming news: a chorus of nuclear authorities inside and outside Japan are preparing you to accept this horrible plan. Here is a short list of "dump it all" boosters, as reported in Washington's blog:

"Juan Carlos Lentijo, head of IAEA’s mission to Fukushima Daiichi, Dec. 4, 2013:

'Controlled discharge is a regular practice in all the nuclear facilities in the world. And what we are trying to say here is to consider this as one of the options to contribute to a good balance of risks and to stabilize the facility for the long term.'

Shunichi Tanaka, chairman of Japan’s Nuclear Regulation Authority, Dec. 4, 2013:

'You cannot keep storing the water forever. We have to make choice comparing all risks involved.'"

The chair of the American Nuclear Regulatory Commission, Allison MacFarlane was in Japan on December 6th, when she said, at a press conference at the American Embassy, that the International Agency for Atomic Energy's recommendation to dump radioactive water into the Pacific was "appropriate".

Still not convinced they are all in on this? Listen to this brief clip from ABC Australia back on November 20th, under the headline "TEPCO clean-up boss says Fukushima's radioactive water will be dumped into Pacific Ocean" as reported by ABC's North Asia correspondent Mark Willacy.

Willacy: "He's the former chief watchdog in the United States. Now Dale Klein is overseeing TEPCO's efforts to stabilize and clean up the shattering Fukushima nuclear plant.

Klein: 'I think the best word to use with Fukushima is challenging.'

Willacy: Challenging on many fronts, but particularly when it comes to dealing with the growing volume of contaminated water stored at the plant. Dale Klein believes that after the water is treated and stripped of most radioactive elements, it's be safe to dump into the Pacific.

Klein: 'If at the end of the day, when the water is discharged, it will be released in a way when it is diluted so there is no risk to the public health and safety. But it is an emotional issue.'

Willacy: But it's not just contaminated water causing problems at Fukushima. Hastily and shoddily built systems at the nuclear plant have also triggered some anxious moments."

So, TEPCO and/or the Japanese government will decide when it is "safe" to dump their giant cache of nuclear tainted water into the Pacific. The rest of us will have to take their word for that safety - from a government and utility now famous for either lying or withholding the truth for long periods of time.

It's easy to picture the site running out of storage, and a "necessary" decision being made unilaterally by Japan to start dumping the still-radioactive water into the Pacific. Will they even tell us when it starts? Has it started already? With the new Japanese law against revealing any "secrets" denominated by the state, we may never know.

In the interest of truth, all these authorities say the water must first be cleaned up of major radioactive particles like plutonium and uranium. They realize Cesium will still be dumped into the Pacific, plus large amounts of Tritium. They always say Tritium is perfectly natural, go ahead and brush your teeth with it, but that's not at all true.

Then they blatantly say that all operating nuclear plants leak Tritium daily, which you seldom hear. Now they tell you, - to bless dumping Fukushima's problem into our common ocean.

The authorities act as though the technology to "clean up" this water is working. The filter machine on site, known as ALPS breaks down often, including this past December 1st. It has seldom if ever run at its stated capacity. Even if it could, ALPS does not remove Tritium, and has a backlog in those tanks of several years worth. Remember, the tanks will be full by 2016, and weren't designed to last beyond that.

There is some resistance. On November 7th, a consortium of anti-nuclear groups presented a petition of more than 150,000 signatures to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, demanding a global takeover of the Fukushima disaster, for the protection of all. A Japanese group has another petition calling for a strict government policy against contaminating the Pacific with Fukushima radiation. Contact nukefree.org for more information on what you can do.

Bottom line: do you accept that hundreds of thousands of tons, perhaps soon to be millions of tons, of highly radioactive Fukushima water will be dumped into the Pacific Ocean? If that's not OK with you, time is limited.

Contact your government, reach out to your local public, let's stop this next nuclear disaster from happening. The Pacific Ocean is not anyone's nuclear dumping ground. Heaven help the species who live there, and all of the people of the world is we sleep-walk through this awful plan.

I'm Alex Smith. This is Radio Ecoshock.


Environmental Lawyer Paula Maccabee

Next we turn to our guest host for this week's show. Gerri Williams. Our fearless D.C. Correspondent moved up near Lake Superior. Sure enough, she's right in the thick of it there, in the battle to help save that Northern wilderness from a really ugly mine by the Polymet Corporation.

In our first interview, Gerri interviews Paula Maccabee, representing waterlegacy.org. They are battling a copper-sulfide mine by the Polymet Corporation, proposed for an ecologically sensitive area in Northern Minnesota, USA.

We learn that this foreign-owned corporation will export all the Minnesota copper mine benefits to China, leaving the pollution for Americans. Tracing ownership of Polymet's parent Glencore/Xtrata, or it's many overseas subsidiaries is difficult. Parts of the merger of Xtrata and Glencore were negotiated with, and required the approval, of the government of China.

Officially, Glencore is listed as an Anglo-Swiss company trading on the London Metals Exchange. The largest single shareholder is reputedly Glencore Chief Executive Officer Ivan Glasenberg. But I don't really know whwho controls the company.

After the $30 billion dollar merger with Xtrata, the new company is the fourth largest mining corporation in the world. This combined company has sales larger than the budget of the whole state of Minnesota.


Glencore Xtrata are also climate-wreckers. Before the merger, Xtrata bought the Australian and South African coal mines previously owned by Glencore. In fact, Glencore/Xtrada is the single largest exporter of coal for power generation in the world. Number one climate wrecker! Ten percent of all coal shipped on the high seas comes from Glencore/Xtrata mines.

Glencorextrata also owns the giant copper-lead, zinc mine called Falconbridge in Sudbury Ontario, plus mines in Peru, the Dominican Republic. It has tentacles all over the world. During the first 8 years of mine operation in Minnesota, we are told all the copper will go to China.

Maccabee, an experienced public interest lawyer, tells us of a study that found despite environmental assurances, 9 out of 10 mining companies leave pollution behind them. In this case, unlike the desert environments where many copper mines operate, the tender wetlands of Minnesota will be polluted for centuries.

Coppper-sulfide mines have a history of leaving behind mercury contamination as well. Paula also tells us the Native American people, including their famous wild rice harvest, are at risk.

In reality, recycling copper uses 10% of the energy of new mining. We have lots of the stuff already above ground, but don't recapture enough of it.


Then it's Bill Carter, author of "Boom, Bust, Boom", the story of world copper mining. Bill is originally from California, and is an award-winning documentary film maker.

We start from the humble former copper town of Bisbee Arizona (where Radio Ecoshock is broadcast on KBRP!) through Alaska, and around the world. It all began when Bill tried to plant a garden in Bisbee, and found the soil had been wrecked for generations by a copper mine. There was no technology to fix soil poisoned by heavy metals.

Copper itself is poisonous to fish. And these mines, as Carter explains, leave behind other heavy metals that are toxic for thousands of years.

Bill and Gerri talk about the Pebble Mine in Alaska, about 300 miles West of Anchorage, in rugged country. It's right near Lake Iliamna, Alaska's largest lake, and the birthing grounds of half of the world's stock of sockeye salmon. Only 14 miles of soggy Tundra separate Pebble Mine from this lake.

Eventually the open pit holes can fill back up with water, like the Berkeley Pit mine near Butte Montana, which is now highly toxic.

Find out more about Bill Carter at his web site.

As I said at the start, there are mine battles all over. Here's shout out to my friends in British Columbia who have so far held off the Fish Lake Mine. And those in Australia trying to kill off the gigantic climate-wrecking Alpha coal mine.


Out of time again, for another week. Keep listening to Radio Ecoshock at www.ecoshock.org. I'm Alex Smith.

Please support this program if you can. Thank you for listening, and let's check in again next week, when I talk over the violent and unusual weather, plus Arctic methane, with climate scientist Paul Beckwith. Dr. Richard Feely from NOAA will also be our guest, as we look into the alarming rise of ocean acidification.

We're heading out with more music from northern Minnesota, from a group of artists called the Arrowhead Story.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

The New Truth About Global Warming

In the winter, we dare to ask: why did global warming pause? New science shows it didn't. Official records grossly underestimated real heating here on Earth. You'll hear that science unfold.

What else has been low-balled? The US EPA estimates of dangerous methane emissions in America. Our guest explains just-released science showing humans are emitting 1 and a half times more than the government told you.

We'll wrap up the show with the climate-related death of another dream: the economy of the southern states. Why is the "stormbelt" withering?

I'm Alex Smith. Get ready for Ecoshock.

Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality (56 MB) or Lo-Fi (14 MB)


Scientists have been pondering why all our carbon was not showing up as higher temperatures. While extreme weather seems on the increase, climate change deniers are talking about a long pause in warming.

Two scientists have finally figured out where the heat is. In the one hour Radio Ecoshock show I interview Robert Way, a doctoral student at the University of Ottawa. Along with University of York UK computational scientist Kevin Cowtan, Robert just published a startling study in the Quarterly Journal of the Royal Meteorological Society. They've got scientists talking, and media calling from all over the world, after finding planet Earth is warming more than twice the accepted figures.

Here's the scoop. Big institutions like NASA, the Hadley Centre in the UK, and others in Europe calculate Earth's temperature, to see how much warming has taken place. As you might guess there are large areas where there are no weather stations to make those measurements. That includes places like Africa, but especially in the Arctic.

Up until now, global warming estimates just left those spots out. But using a combination of techniques including satellite measurement, Way and Cowtan found a huge amount of warming was left out. In fact, instead of warming just 0.05 degrees Centigrade over the last decade, earth has warmed more than twice that, at 0.12 degrees C.

It's a ground-breaking paper.

Resources for this interview: Here is the University of Ottawa press release

Here is the Real Climate posting and discussion

Here is the way UK's The Independent newspaper handled it

The website for this paper is here.

The youtube videos are under "media" but here is a good one

Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with Robert Way (20 min) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi


A new university study shows emissions of the dangerous greenhouse gas methane are much higher than the American government reports. Have artificially low figures protected the American cattle industry, and fossil fuel producers?

Joining us is Scot M. Miller. He's from the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard. Scot is the lead author of a paper just published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science titled "Anthropogenic emissions of methane in the United States."

Scientist Scot M Miller

There has been growing concern about methane leaking out of the melting Arctic. So it's alarming to find government agencies like the Environmental Protection Agency have been underestimating real methane emissions in the lower 48 states.

Download/listen to this Radio Ecoshock interview with Scot Miller (20 min) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi

USA Today coverage of this story.


Remember prosperity in the new American South? Factories opening, people moving down into the real estate boom. Fortunes may still be made there, but for most people, the system shows signs of eroding away.

Robert Leslie is part of a team of artists, writers, and photographers who explored the underbelly of that dream. The result is called "Stormbelt." It's a journey across the southern states. Robert's work has been published in Vanity, the New York Times and the French version of Vogue magazine.

Photojournalist Robert Leslie

Co-authors include Edward Burtynsky, founder of Toronto Image Works Gallery, and Cameron Sinclair, co-founder of Architecture for Humanity and author of "Design Like You Give A Damn [2]: Building Change From The Ground Up".

Listen to/download this Radio Ecoshock interview with Robert Leslie (19 min) in CD Quality or Lo-Fi

Here is the web site for Stormbelt, with some samples.

If you are a Mac user (Mac computer, IPad, Iphone) you can get a sample of this book from Itunes (doesn't work on a PC or Android device)

The full book is already out in the United Kingdom. It's published by Published by Dewi Lewis Publishing UK (ISBN: 978-1-907893-47-6). Stormbelt should be released in the United States in January.

Stormbelt was just featured in the Guardian newspaper in the UK, with an image-gallery to boot.


Coming up on Radio Ecoshock, we've got more on the harsh ecological impact of both fracking and mining. Plus a look at possible ocean die-off with one of America's top ocean scientists. Did you know that the star-fish population is collapsing off the California coast? Why are more whales and dolphins hugging the shore?

We can only lie to ourselves so long. It's been a fib-fest of climate denial and economic black magic. When reality strikes, our confidence building script wont' cut it. It's not future shock when Nature denies the game of snatch and greed. It's ecoshock, when humans discover our real role here on Earth. We were never Gods, but creatures among a web of co-dependent species, in a thin and fragile atmosphere.

We become part of nature, or fail and fall. What is your decision?

I'm Alex Smith. Thank you for listening. Grab our past programs free at the web site ecoshock.org. Please tune in again next week, for more Radio Ecoshock.

Remember I don't get paid by anybody other than help from listeners. Please help keep Radio Ecoshock going with a donation, or become one of our 150 people keeping this program on the air with a $10 a month membership. Details here.