Friday, April 13, 2007


Welcome to Radio Ecoshock

[click title above to hear audio, 20 minutes, with clips]

First, I want to hit a couple of the highlights from last week's new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the IPCC. This is the Second Working Group, looking at the impacts we are already feeling from global warming, and predicting who gets hurt in the future. That turns out to be up to 30 percent of all species going extinct, including coral reefs, and billions of humans running out of food and water.

I won't try to duplicate the whole report. You can find lots in the newspapers and on Google news. What they don't cover so well is the censorship and just plain government bumbling that watered down the results of thousands of scientific studies.

The scientists spend five years gathering 29,000 data sets, analyzing them all, and then in the last four days, a slew of government bureaucrats arrive to dump important results, in all night sessions of wrangling by representatives from big polluters like the United States and China. It's criminal really, what happens to the science.

Do we need a whole new system to watch over the progress of climate change, and human induced catastrophe? We'll hear from one man with a new idea.

First, let's hear a couple of minutes from the official press conference, from the co-chair of Working Group 2, Martin Perry.

[clip 1][describes the terrible impacts of climate change; up to 30 percent of all species extinct; disappearance of climate zones; dryer areas become desert-like; wet areas suffer floods; temporary benefits to agriculture in the Temperate regions - at a cost of famine closer to the Equator. And more]

Then, two reporters point out some of the material that is missing.

[clip2, 3][AP's Seth Bernstein, and another reporter, list out some of the casualties left out of the summary report for Working Group Two, as government reps hammered away during an all-night session (to determine the rate of deterioration of the world, they couldn't spare another few days...)]

The numbers of human lives to be wrecked is cut down like the casualty figures in Iraq. And an important map of what happens for every degree of climate change was just sliced out. Lack of time, they say. Five years in preparation, and things are dumped, because no one can stay awake any longer in an all night bargaining session? This is the way humans handle the most important crisis in all of our history? Sheer insanity.

Fortunately, with a little effort, you can get a good picture of what we can expect with each degree of global warming - from a new book coming out by British author Mark Lynas, titled Six Degrees. Just Google Mark Lynas, spelled Lynas. And listen to our interview with Mark on the Radio Ecoshock website, at

And, this being the age of Internet leaks, you can also download the original PDF report from the scientists, before the government hacks got their hands on it. If Google doesn't find it for you, I'll be posting it in the climate section of by this Sunday. Look for yourself, what the real science says.

Meanwhile, David Wasdell of the Meridian Project is proposing a brand new institution to keep us updated on global climate science. He was going to call it the new Manhattan Project, but we're not trying to build a weapon of mass destruction, but a weapon of mass salvation. So, he's calling it the Apollo Gaia project instead. You can Google that to find his video on YouTube - but I'll run it here for you now.

[clip Apollo Gaia][As one of many reviewers of the 1500 page main document, Wasdell comments on the impossible review conditions, the cuts, and the need to create a new body, a permanent project to study the impacts of climate change.]

Frankly, David Wasdell has proposed other giant projects in the past, which didn't amount to a lot. I don't see him as the agent which will create an alternative IPCC - especially since only government institutions, so far, have the money to fund all that scientific research, and the conferences. But he shows us the real weakness of the IPCC system, when it comes to judging our current situation. I'm sure others will call for reform in the IPCC process, to avoid censorship and last minute madness.

One final point: once the third report is released this May - that's it for another 5 years! Come on! New science is popping up practically every week - we're just beginning to understand how the world works. And many top scientists have warned we only have another 5 to ten years to act, to save our climate as we know it. We can hardly afford to wait another 5 years to get a new report on our situation.

Maybe, just maybe, since the planet is threatened with vast changes, most of them quite bad, we could have a full-time staff looking at the science, and bringing us updates every month, not every five years.

When it comes to climate change, the system isn't working, and if we can't change the way we study, report and act - we'll need our Derrick Jensen, to tell us how to dismantle the industrial-economic system, before it dismantles life on earth.

The former host of Green Monkey, Zoe Blunt, caught up with Derrick here in Vancouver, to capture his latest dark thoughts on our future, and the activism required to avoid the worst impacts of pollution, and climate change.

When it comes to Deep Ecology, Jensen is the philosopher of green despair and resistance. You can find this latest 30 minute interview with Derrick Jensen as a free mp3 download at our website, Just choose "Greens" from our audio on demand menu.

Personally, I hope it doesn't come to that. Will big governments, and big corporations, finally act to preserve the rest of the planet? Or, we humans might organize in brand new carbon-free ways. Of course, Jensen says such wild hopes are the last remaining barrier, the final stage of denial, before we face our real situation, here on the small blue planet.

For Radio Ecoshock, I'm Alex Smith - and I hope you are enjoying these podcasts. I try to boil down critical information, using audio to reach both sides of the brain.

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