Welcome to Radio Ecoshock. This week’s program is about schizophrenia: the state of hoping the system will crash before it kills the planet, while counting on all the usual creature comforts of home, jobs, and a well-stocked supermarket.
Yes, I know the Western world is hanging in suspension. We’re waiting for the shopping to resume, for the economy to rebound, for the good life to return. Most politicians and the mainstream press promise that it will all go back to the normal process of chewing up and spitting out the last of the planet’s goodness.
Meanwhile we go to movies like 2012, slurping up scenes of the destruction of everything. Part of our secret selves hopes it all goes down in flames, or floods. Even while we worry about our children having a decent life. You see how it goes?
I know you are worried about the economy. Maybe even your own job or home is at risk. Despite the propaganda, we’d be crazy not to worry about it. I’ve been told the general formula for every speech and radio program goes as follows: we paint the grim picture, but always, always end on a positive note. Give humans solutions, or they’ll just go numb and do nothing.
Sorry. This week we violate the rules. Lately Radio Ecoshock has run a series about greening our cities. A couple of listeners have written back, saying cities can never be sustainable, as Derrick Jensen says. Have I fallen into the camp of false good cheer?
We’ll start out with one of the most promising solutions I’ve heard about lately – a dream of new economics coming from a British government advisor, Professor Tim Jackson. He’s got a new book out “Prosperity Without Growth“.
Then we’ll head into more pessimistic territory with Dave Cohen, an analyst for ASPO, the Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas. Having written the American Empire is now obviously in decline, Cohen asks “Now What?” We talk more about the economic crisis, Wall Street bull (and bears) – and the energy crisis.
Along with James Howard Kuntsler, and our recent guest Richard Heinberg, Cohen says normal consumption is never coming back. We might as well prepare ourselves for very hard times.
We’ll trash smug Canadians a bit, since real estate north of the border is just as stupidly over-leveraged as the American market. Then we’ll notice Australia melting in the heat, while they push even more coal. A big Canadian company has just bought into the dirty Aussie coal market. Aren’t we proud?
In the end, I wonder, is hope just getting in the way of dealing with the limits of reality?
This show is peppered with audio clips, including shorties from Max Keiser, Jeff Buckley‘s song “The Sky Is A Landfill”, Bob Holman‘s “We Are the Dinosaur”, and of course ending with the show title “Dinosaurs Will Die” from NOFX. We open with “Times Is Hard” by Loudon Wainwright III.