In a deadly dance of unbearable heat and extreme rains, people look for answers. Our guest Chris Kocher is a “recovering lawyer” who founded Extreme Weather Survivors. You also hear from author/activist Bill McKibben, Aaron Regunberg of Public Citizen, and Cathy Mulvey from the Union of Concerned Scientists. Then tales from massive environmental protests in Europe you never heard about, with Swedish author and Professor Andreas Malm. Tune in voices of climate sanity, this week on Radio Ecoshock.

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


This planet is still in the grips of an absolutely historic mind-blowing band of heat too hot for humans and other life. On one side of the world record smashing heat stretches across the Americas from South and Central America through Mexico into the southern U.S. states. The city of Phoenix issued ice-filled body bags to emergency responders, trying to save lives in time.

Photo credit: AP Anita Snow.

North Africa is crazy hot, to the point where villagers in Algeria are rioting. Egypt set it’s all-time high record heat of 50.9°C (123.6°F) for the month of June, and just a fraction from that countries highest ever recorded temperature ever.

In war-torn Gaza and the Middle East, it’s worse. Jordan broke it’s June record hitting 47.8 last week. The heat in Iraq was over 50 degrees C across the country, only cooling to 30 or even 35 degrees at night – that’s over 120 degrees Fahrenheit by day and 86 to 95 degrees at night! Unbearable.

You heard tourists are dying in Greece and nearby islands like Cyprus, where night-time temperatures were still as high as 38 degrees C – 100 degrees Fahrenheit at 3:30 in the morning! According to weather historian Maximiliano Herrera, these are the hottest day EVER in Southern Aegean and in Rhodes Islands, not just in June, but ever.

India continues the longest hottest days ever. New waves of heat struck in China and Japan, setting new records there.


But it’s not just the heat. Record hot oceans result in more evaporation of water into the atmosphere. What goes up must come down, and it came down last week in Florida. Several inches of rain fell in a single hour. The deluge went on for three days. Cities from the Western Gulf Coast like Sarasota, to the Atlantic coast suffered feet of water filling streets and houses.

The Governor may ban all talk of climate change, but that doesn’t stop extreme rains on a warming planet. Similar freak rains washed out towns in Spain, after striking southern Germany the week before. Flash floods are becoming the new normal.


Be sure to follow Maximiliano Herrera – a Climatologist & Weather Historian (since 1992). His web site and Twitter/X feed are both called “Extreme Temperatures Around the World”. When Max started in 1992, weather records were interesting but a relatively slow game. This past 12 months has been a heat record circus going by too fast to record or even comprehend.



Bill McKibben, author and founder of, gives us a quick update on where we are. He spoke at a virtual panel on June 4, 2024, organized by the NGO Public Citizen. This roundtable examined criminal prosecution of Big Oil corporations for climate harms, including millions killed by climate driven weather extremes.

Bill McKibben started with his book “The End of Nature” in 1989. He knew what would happen but not yet – now it arrives. Bill’s latest book is “The Flag, the Cross, and the Station Wagon”.  Bill also notes the number of prisoners in unsafe American jails with no Air Conditioning as they roast in record heat waves.




What happens when people burned out, flooded out, or burying relatives from climate-driven extreme weather find out they are all victims of the fossil fuel scam? Will they connect, across the world, and demand action?

People who lost loved ones and homes in hurricanes in the south have little connection to flood or fire victims in other parts of the country, or the world. Now we begin to recognize a common cause: record extremes caused by climate disruption. People are linking up through non-profit groups like Extreme Weather Survivors, a new American advocacy group.

Chris Kocher is co-executive director of Extreme Weather Survivors. He describes himself as a realistic idealist. recovering lawyer, and father.

I think we have crossed into a new constituency. Here on Radio Ecoshock, most of our guests have been experts recording change and predicting worse to come. As the hottest years with the most violent string of weather events arrive, we hear from what used to be called “climate victims”. Now they are “climate survivors”.

A recent press event organized by Public Citizen and Chesapeake Climate Action Network featured survivors from all over the country. Very different people, experiencing everything from fires to floods – they are starting to recognize each other and the climate cause. Is this an environmental “#MeToo” moment?

Another other weird problem: during a year or two of waiting for paperwork, construction costs go up so fast that insurance no longer covers rebuilding. Some people who lost homes can not rebuild. We imagine fast-track help arriving. Disappointment is deep when that doesn’t happen.

We also hear in climate survivors stories signs of trauma. People still cry years later triggered by a small loss, like a treasure from Grandma gone in the disaster. Governments and industry talk about adapting. Part of that has to be treating the mental health and support needs of those victimized by fossil fuels. The Extreme Weather Survivors group serves as a doorway to a number of networks who can offer mental health support for survivors.

We hope similar climate survivor groups will show up all over the world. It may start in developed countries where people have more assets and resources, but it should arrive in places like Bangladesh, South America, everywhere – because climate disruption is everywhere.



Getting back to the Public Citizen round table on criminal prosecution of Big Oil, author and activist Bill McKibben raises a key question: how can anyone prove particular fossil fuel products led to deaths or injuries? Can we make the links between the wells and refineries all the way to seniors falling dead in the heat or families drowned in record floods? By the way, a new study in Nature found “Heat exposure of older people across world to double by 2050, finds study” (Guardian headline).


Kathy Mulvey is the next speaker. Kathy is accountability campaign director for the Union of Concerned Scientists.  Check out UCS’s Science Hub for Climate Litigation .

Kathy Mulvey speaks about “attribution science” – a new and rapidly evolving field. It breaks down into four sub-topics:
trend attribution;
event attribution;

source attribution (where emissions came from);
impact attribution (how many deaths or how much damage from climate input).



Aaron Regunberg, senior policy counsel, Public Citizen’s Climate Program has a follow up on the case against fossil fuel companies. He weighs the obstacles and opportunities to finally get climate justice – in a panel presented by Public Citizen recorded June 4, 2024.

Aaron Regunberg

Aaron summarizes where the legal situation (in the U.S.) and wraps up how to contact them. Public Citizen and its allies have an open letter in development, which can be sent to state and local prosecutors, advising them on prosecuting climate crimes.  This may not be a permanent link but you can follow up later with Public Citizen.




The European save the climate movement is more advanced. In this supposedly connected world, most people in North America never hear about it. We explore a new front for environmental concern: climate adaptation measures forced by big government – on behalf of mega-corporations.

Take France, where an estimated 30,000 protesters showed up in March 2023 to protest the construction of a massive water reservoir. They were beaten and gassed by thousands of police. The reservoir, a human-made lake, is filled by pumping up groundwater. The water will go to large-agribusiness fields -to make up for the excess heat and drought caused by global warming.

Ironically, as the world warms, water that was protected underground is now exposed in megabasin lakes to evaporation. More water is lost with every tenth of a degree of warming. The super reservoirs are also open to bacteria and other pollution. Meanwhile, the groundwater used by small farmers and nature itself is sucked up for corporate benefit. It is a climate solution only a capitalist militarized state could love.

The location is Sainte-Soline, where a reservoir is planned, an artificial lake surrounded by walls eight feet hight. French groups like the collective “Bassines Non Merci!” and “Les Soulevements de la Terre” [meaning The Earth’s Uprisings] and the Confederation Paysanne oppose the construction of this and about 30 more grand reservoirs planned for France in a hotter planet.



Our tour guide is the Swedish author Andreas Malm. He is associate Professor Of Human Ecology at Lund University. Andreas has been called a Marxist. His 2021 book “How to Blow Up a Pipeline: Learning to Fight in a World on Fire” has been adapted to a film of the same name. A Wikipedia article telling you more about Malm and this book of desperate climate activism here.


Andreas has two new books coming out this year (2024): “Overshoot : How the World Surrendered to Climate Breakdown” (with Wim Carton) and “Political ecologies of the far right : Fanning the flames” (2024) Global Studies of the Far Right (with several other authors).

Global Studies of the Far Right


Asked for an interview here on Radio Ecoshock, Dr. Malm declined citing heavy commitments already to teaching and writing. He is not doing interviews currently. So in this show we hear Andreas Malm’s presentation to the 2023 Conference “The Failure Of Green Capitalism: Findings, Objections, Alternatives“, held September 15, 2023. Malm’s title is: “Overshoot: Climate Politics When It’s Too Late”.


In the twelve minute audio clip selected for Ecoshock, Andreas refers to the German environmental group Ende Gelande (translated as “here and no further”). This civil disobedience group has occupied coal mines in Germany raising climate justice. They protested coal mining and fracking in Poland, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic.


Malm thinks Ende Gelande is the most inspiring environmental protest group in Europe – noting that Germany, like Sweden, is not a place where a lot of social struggle happens in this way. But he now thinks the German movement been surpassed by the French groups fighting mega reservoirs. The French groups brought out 30,000 people against one reservoir, known as mega-basins in March 2023. Malm estimates that is about three times bigger than the largest protest camp organized by the German group Ende Gelande. He says this is the first but not the last protest against adaptation projects in Europe.

But France is the one country in Europe that has a history of protest actions in the streets. Malm says the French groups have opened “a new front in climate politics in Europe.” The new environmental threat may be human reaction to climate threats. It is important to tune into this.

Now, with the world doing nothing to control global warming, the climate movement faces multiplying fronts needing action, Malm warns.

You can watch the full presentation by Andreas Malm on YouTube here, speaking September 15, 2023 on “Overshoot: Climate Politics When It’s Too Late”.



There were “violent” protests against water reservoirs in southern France reported April 4, 2023 . The protest was March 24-26 in Sainte-Soline. Al Jezeera reports “more than 25,000 people” attending the protest. Le Monde characterizes it as “an illegal demonstration against a massive water reserve project in Sainte-Soline.” Over 200 people were hurt, some seriously. One remains in a coma. Police discharged more than 5,000 tear gas canisters at the crowd.


Megabasin water storage has also been built in Chile and other countries. The Chilean ones tend to benefit large export farming operations like avocados rather than local farmers. Some villages in Chile ran out of water but were not allowed to tap into the big reservoirs. Locals say: “ne es sequia, es saquero!” (”it is not drought, it is looting!” That is a slogan in Chile. Indigenous people in Mexico are also protesting giant reservoirs. Internationally, mega-corporations like Coca Cola or Nestles get access to the water.

No es sequía es saqueo: la escasez de agua en América Latina se agrava con el cambio climático – Por Maestra Teresa Aguilar

México. La escasez de agua persevera de forma crítica: No es sequía es saqueo

In France, the Fondation Danielle Mitterrand is making an “international call – We are water defending itself.” It includes over, quote: “300 peasant, indigenous, environmentalist, feminist and trade union organizations from all over the world”.

Right to water

Al Jazeera notes: “Opponents say that these hug artificial water reserves privatize a common resource for the benefit of intensive, production-driven methods of agriculture that refuse to question its method in light of climate change.

More protests erupted in Southern France on October 29 and 30th, 2023. Both police and protesters were injured. The protests had been prohibited. Five people were put on trial in western France for the protests. They were tried in November 2023.


So here we are. Rich agricultural areas with mass farming technology faces climate-driven water shortages and increased need for irrigation. Their lobby groups and the government respond with even more technology to pump out groundwater common to all, to save up for the privileged corporations. Even if thousands of people object, thousands more police appear to gas and beat them. We enter the age of climate adaptation for the few, by force. That is the new climate action front – according to Andreas Malm.



– Canadian Government report

Given all the mega-threats around, frankly Pilgrim, I don’ t like your chances. Neither does the Canadian Government. Pulling no punches, their recent report “Disruptions on the Horizon” is pretty scary.

According to this government report, the top 10 disruptions with the highest combined likelihood and impact are:

People cannot tell what is true and what is not – likely within three years

Biodiversity is lost and ecosystems collapse – within seven years

Emergency response is overwhelmed – within six years

Cyberattacks disable critical infrastructure – four years

Billionaires run the world – within five years

Artificial intelligence runs wild – within six years

Vital natural resources are scarce – within eight years

Downward social mobility is the norm – within five years

Health-care systems collapse – within six years

Democratic systems break down – within six years.

The “Disruptions on the Horizon” report was created by Policy Horizons Canada. The authors say, quote: “While the disruptions in this report are not guaranteed to take place, they are plausible – and overlooking them may carry risks in various policy areas.” They add:  “One disruption could have cascading implications in unexpected areas, and the occurrence of one disruption could set off others.” Find the full Canadian report here.

Read more about “Disruptions on the Horizon” in this Canadian media report.

Surely several of these “disruptions” will happen in the same time period, leading to unknown feed-backs.

I’m Alex Smith. Thank you for listening again this week, and caring about our world.  Please make a donation, large or small, to help me keep going and pay the bills over the summer.  There is no secret source or owner of Radio Ecoshock.  You the listener help pay the bills so I can keep researching, interviewing, and giving it all away to 106 non-profit radio stations and podcast listeners around the world. It is easy here: