With world heat records this summer – is It too late?  Should we just give up and party like there’s no tomorrow? Scientist James Lovelock, inventor of Gaia, says “yes”. Former NASA scientist James Hansen says “no”. Loaded with clips including Obama’s science man John Holdren, deep greener Derrick Jensen, country singer Katty Mattea, late rocker Tom Petty, Lovelock on “Vanishing Gaia” and Hansen arrest audio (with Daryl Hannah) in this Ecoshock blast from the past.

Listen to or download this Radio Ecoshock show in CD Quality (57 MB) or Lo-Fi 14 (MB)



In the summer of 2023, over a billion people are suffering through extreme heat. Thousands of heat records are falling around the world. For 36 straight days, Americans in the southwest and deep south are just living inside when they can, with no relief during hot humid nights. The whole of Northern Africa is burning with searing heat, including wildfires in Algeria claiming dozens of lives. The Middle East is sizzling. Turkey just set a new all-time high. The Caucuses right up into Russia are cooking. The heat in Iran is not just record setting, but stunning. I’ve seen reports in Iran of Humidex readings (heat plus humidity) as high as 158 degrees Fahrenheit – 70 C!. North India is far too hot, and so are parts of China. The combinations of heat and humidity in Japan are just jaw-dropping bad. It’s a belt of non-stop record heat around the northern Hemisphere. I feel sorry for people living there, especially outdoor workers, the poor and the homeless. It’s heartless heat.

And now it’s come to my home in the Pacific Northwest.  Sizzling, and last night wildfire ash fell all over our yard from an out-of-control monster fire to the West.  It is 101 degrees F. (38.3 C) outside my studio.  Smoke has hidden the nearby hills.  Not quite smoky Hell, but bad.

In fact, the amount of heat in 2023 has shocked even climate scientists. Reputable scientists are asking could this all be just climate change and El Nino? There’s a lot of discussion, including water vapor from from the Tungan volcano and a reduction in ship pollution. Other scientists say after being held back by 3 years of cooling by La Nina, this is the real impact of ever-increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

In a new article published August 14, James Hansen and crew say we ain’t seen nothing yet.  They predict Earth will go beyond 1.5 degrees C warming (since “pre-industrial” around 1880) in 2024.  That is beyond the safety line the United Nations has been peddling for years.  This depends on how strong the El Nino that just began last month becomes.  Hansen’s team show by satellite records, the real heat impacts from a major El Nino do not come until the second year after it begins.

Add the big geologic-level changes on the glaciers of Greenland and Antarctica, crazy low sea ice around Antarctica, and global marine heat waves, it’s easy to panic. Is it too late? Guests on this show have been asking that question for a long time. It’s time for my classic 2009 radio show “ENJOY YOURSELF (It’s Later Than You Think)”. A few things have changed since this blast from the past. Most things are worse than we thought possible for the 2020s. You be the judge.

Program Notes: full list of speakers, credits, and links to video here.


I have some super scientists lined up.  They have concerns.

Thank you for listening, and especially for supporting this program.

Alex Smith