Welcome to Radio Ecoshock. I'm Alex Smith. In this program we'll explore the big black hole where your dreams of prosperity used to be. Like rescue dogs, we'll sniff around the wreckage for the corpses - and the survivors, the dead-ends and the new paths of living.
In past shows, we've presented top experts and authors. This time around, I just need to thrash this through with some intelligent people. What really is happening with the economy? Does the crash doom us to irreversible climate shift?
We have alternative economic commentator Mike Whitney back on Ecoshock, for a go round on the latest news. I'll tell you about the Global New Deal - or is it the New World Order just dressed up by the same old boys?
Then we'll try something completely different. You and I will chat with a long-time Radio Ecoshock listener about some better alternatives. We'll cover the triple threat from militarism, the collapsed economy, and the fragile climate. I'll ask her: does the upcoming Copenhagen climate conference really means anything. Or should we go for re-localization, and transition towns. All the issues swirling around in my mind, and likely in yours too.
We'll wrap up with another listener question: is laughter really appropriate in these serious times? I'll let a Somalian musician tell us.
Radio stew for an upset bailed out world, this is Ecoshock.
Here on Radio Ecoshock we talk a lot about the triple threat, three main elements that have converged into a joint crisis. I would say there are economy, climate and peak oil. But a listeners and email correspondent from California prefers war/empire, the economic crash, and climate, along with the environment in general. Those are her big three, and I appreciate being reminded about the role of militarism and world domination in our current crisis.
I remember when Peak Oil sites didn't mention climate change. Now they do. And everyone knows the economy is a possible knock-out blow.
Just consider the hardship to the American image, and most Westerners, who might be losing not just their own job or home, with all the self-image that represents, - and then learn that their country may no longer be the great power of the world. A double hit on identity that has been deeply programmed into each of us.
We discussed the personal and psychological cost of hard times, and let's pick up our conversation there. We built ourselves, she says, constructed on an identity...
[32 minute radio interview]
Our California caller suggests world wide views as a web site for Citizen input into the Copenhagen climate conference coming up this December. That's at wwviews.org. Back to our chat on the triple crisis. Also “really accessible guide to the UN climate process including Copenhagen at http://www.tebtebba.org/. It has an indigenous people's focus, which is even better.”
[This is what we talked about, among other things....]
1. The triple threat - trying to unite three separate movements. I would have said the economy, climate and peak oil. You said "war/empire, economy, climate/environment are my big three"
Although, the weak link is that there is no recognizable social movement in response to the developing depression. It's so new, so fast, unexpected to the public - that it's hard to say what new social movement will develop there.
Re disaster planning, you said "One thing I've learned about disaster planning is that the disaster you *get* is rarely the one you plan for, and it's rarely the one you had last time"
2. Copenhagen. Is there a real chance for reducing climatic damage to the Earth at this meeting? Can pressure from activist scientists help? Our guest recommends this web site to get tuned in to the Copenhagen process: "a really accessible guide to the UN climate process including Copenhagen is at http://www.tebtebba.org. It has an indigenous people's focus, which is even better."
3. transition towns - what are they, where are they?
Recommended: this alternative view to handling the economic collapse, developed by people who already deal with poverty. The report is “GLOBALIZATION FROM BELOW” TACKLES THE “GREAT RECESSION” found at http://laborstrategies.blogs.com/htreport1.pdf
Our Radio Ecoshock listener has pinpointed the need for a convergence of movements for social change. We don't even have a name for it yet, this coming wave of popular agreement on a new way forward, peacefully, sustainably, in a livable climate. A movement without a name. Yet.
Here are some helpful web sites to get more information - so grab a pen, or keyboard to capture the info. You can also find this list of links in my blog entry for March 5th. Hit the blog button at our web site, ecoshock.org.
One of the key focal points, relocalize.net has announced it will no longer be active after March 1st. When I last checked they were still online, with a long list of re-localization groups in the United States and around the world. Find one nearest you, or start your own.
I like peakmoment.tv Many of their programs are on You tube, or linked through the Net. You hear the experts from outside Wall Street, plus reports from real alternative makers in the field. Watch a bunch of their back shows for good ideas.
Author Richard Heinberg, and friends like author and speaker Julian Darley, can be found at postcarbon.org They've been looking at life after fossil fuels for some time now.
They have a related multi-media posting site: globalpublicmedia.com That one used to be only Peak Oil, but has since added some climate change radio, video, and text - as well as community re-building info.
I've also joined The Global Warming Crisis Council (GWCC) - a group started in California to exchange information via a list serve sending out key emails. It's mainly inhabited by activists and potential activists. Search for Global Warming Crisis Council - it's hosted out of the culturechange.org web site.
[Pinky are you pondering what I'm pondering?]
Yes, Brain, I think we are all pondering the same basic questions. What the Hell is going on, and what can we do about it? Join me in the search for answers, on Radio Ecoshock, on your local college or community radio station, by satellite and podcast, or download free from our web site, ecoshock.org.
Finally, Ecoshock listener Ian asks if laughter is a normal response to the terrible news these days. A serious question. I do fool around with comedy clips, and laugh at some of the worst headlines, but I do think that's natural and necessary. Otherwise, John Stewart wouldn't make a living, and we couldn't face this crack up at all. Love and good times are good, no matter what comes, I say.
We'll hear that in this clip from K'Naan, the Canadian artist who grew up in Somalia, where ten-year-old kids learn how to fire Kalishnakov machine guns. It's spelled K'Naan. This rap sensation, spreading out world-wide now. From his album Troubadour, this is "Dreamer".