This program explores how green leaders are converting to climate activism. And how you can move from spectator to Earth activist. You'll hear Forest Ethics co-Founder Tzeporah Berman in a moving speech, going to a new climate group Power Up Canada. United Church Pastor Bruce Sanguin gives us a new vision of Gaia-friendly Christianity. And Maureen Jack-LeCroix explains her calling to "Be the Change" - as host of the recent Be The Change Circles event in Vancouver. There's more... Arran Stephens of Nature's Path, and two conference guests - but first, here are some links to help you dig further.
You Tube video of founder Maureen Jack-LeCroix - why she devoted 10 years to Gaia and founded Be The Change Circles.
BURNING DOWN THE WEST Wildfires stoke the carbon load. Ecoshock Show 071116 (1 hr) Interview: Dr. Tom Gower, saying fires in N. Canada make positive feedback; speech by Temperate Rainforest activist Pas Rasmussen - why she is now a climate activist as well. Echoes by Andrea Reimer of the Wilderness Committee. New research on the Rockies burning by Lara Kueppers; were California fires climate change?
CURRENT PLAGUES - FUTURE FORESTS Can forests keep up with global warming? Ecoshock Show 070706 1 hour
Dr. Clive Welham on ravages on pine bark beetle in Rockies; Dr. Del Meidinger speech "Future Forests" to 6th N.A. Forest Ecology Conference.
RISING SEAS, DRYING WEST Ecoshock Show 080815 Top IPCC organizer & U of Arizona Professor Jonathan Overpeck speech at Washington U. After updating the world climate report, Overpeck predicts climate impacts on North America. 1 hour CD Quality Lo-Fi 14 MB http://www.ecoshock.net/eshock08/ES_080815_Show_LoFi.mp3
Drying of the West with National Geographic author Robert Kunzig; the first Carbon Tax in North America in B.C. (and what it means for the U.S.); censored Canadian scientists - speech clip from Dr. John Fyfe, IPCC author. Oh yeah, and some hope. 1 hour. Ecoshock show 080222 Lo-Fi 14 MB
Climate Conversion - Tzeporah Berman speech Be The Change Un-Conference, Vancouver May 23, 2009. 16 minutes Lo-Fi
A CLIMATE OF CRASH AND CHOICE Finance & elections. Mike Whitney on Wall Street mess -Bush's plan to grab the money & run. Voting for climate action. Brianna Cayo Cotter U.S. PowerVote.org; Tzeporah Berman speech introducing PowerUpCanada.ca. Also Rep Ed Markey web cast on new Green Jobs initiative. Plus some fun (e.g. George Carlin) and music. Ecoshock Show 080926 1 hour
Lo-Fi 14 MB
Tzeporah Berman at Bioneers Conference October 2006. About 20 minutes.
THIS WEEK'S ECOSHOCK PROGRAM BEGINS....
Dear extra-terrestrial visitor,
Things are past serious here on Planet Earth. Our top scientists, the people who study and measure, warn the web of life is headed toward utter catastrophe, possibly in just ninety years. The ocean, source of our oxygen and mother of most life, is turning acid due to our carbon pollution. Our once stable climate, the basis of our agriculture and civilization, is undergoing violent change.
As I record this, smoke from forest fires - hundreds of miles away in the mountains, is filling our great city. I can smell the distress, and it's only June, not even fire season yet. Last night, as we watched TV news, a reporter showed the tinder dry conditions on Vancouver Island. "My God" said my companion, "that is the rainforest. The rainforest, untouched by fire for a thousand years or more, could burn."
It's only a matter of short time. The great pine forests of the Rocky Mountains have been killed by global warming. They stand dead, valley after valley, each long trough visible from space, waiting to burn. Each great tree is a tower of carbon taken from the atmosphere. Now it will go back, in great bursts of fire that nothing can stop. A burp of carbon worse than the Indonesian rainforest fires of '97-'98. Greenpeace predicted this in 1994, in a report called "The Carbon Bomb". Now, it's happening. Here in the Rockies, all from California right up to the Yukon. Even the boreal forest, clothing the North, is burning out more carbon than new trees can gather. Vast forests will convert into grasslands or scrub deserts.
We don't know how far all this new carbon, coming in the next decade, will push the climate.
The carbon whirlwind is still of our own making. Will you be a witness? Or will you be the change we need?
This is Radio Ecoshock. I am your host, Alex Smith.
What is this program about? Is it horrible fear about the future? Not really. We're going to delve into vision and conversion. Yours and mine.
How do we change from passive viewers, to become actors for the Earth? As governments fail, as society cracks wide open, how can we be what Earth needs?
What if you are already type-cast, maybe even successful and well-known in your role? Could you drop all that to start up again? Just because an inner voice calls it the right thing to do?
This is a story of three lives changing. They all call on you - not to follow them. No. To realize your own mission. To do what you were born to do.
Tzeporah Berman is an iconic forest activist. OK, she's one of THE green media stars of the woods. While executive director of the eco-group Forest Ethics, Berman has a hard-won realization: the largest forests are already dying and burning not from loggers, but from coal plants and car exhausts. Climate change is now the biggest killer in the woods. We'll hear a hot new speech about her conversion to a new climate activism.
Maureen Jack-LaCroix produced movies and organized big music festivals. One day, Maureen says she got a spiritual call to devote ten years to Gaia, the life force of Earth. She started "Be The Change Circles" - small groups of self-motivators. That became an organization, the "Be The Change Earth Alliance". On May 23rd, 2009, I took my recording equipment to their latest so-called "un-conference." Yes there were two short speeches - but people grouped at intimate round tables. Everyone got a chance to speak and share. This was not a place for learning from authorities, but each other. There was no passive audience. It was "You get involved."
I came away thinking "This is it. This is how it can happen - across North America and around the world." That is why I'm doing this radio program. To invite you - yes you! - to convene a little group of people, pointed toward a living world. Be the change.
Somewhere along the way, I'll toss in a bunch of resources to learn about our drying, burning forests. So you can educate yourself, and prepare some psychological readiness for tomorrow's shocking news.
Then we'll wrap up with the most difficult conversion of all. Christianity still dominates the mental majority of the worst carbon polluters - in the United States and Europe. Some blame the Judeo-Christian-Muslim separation of God, from the living Earth, for our rapacious culture. Fundamentalist Christian teachers continue to deny the sciences of evolution, geology, and now climate.
Can Christianity become compatible with science? The science that warns us of a new sin that will burn our living world? In a short speech, Pastor Bruce Sanguin proposes a new Reformation - a vision of green Christianity. Is it possible?
We'll also squeeze in a few words from Arran Stephens CEO and co-founder of the cereal and whole foods company Nature's Path. He was one of over twenty table leaders at Be The Change. I also have a sample un-conference conversation for you, two women in the hallway, walk-by audio.
Great Gaia! All that in one hour? Let's be going.
Tzeporah Berman knows big change. She could have been a middle class success at anything. Instead, she popped up on Canadian TV screens, and then around the world, as the passionate and photogenic spokeswoman for the anti-logging protests at Clayoquot Sound, a gorgeous old-growth inlet on Canada's far West Coast.
There hasn't been any environmental protest quite like Clayoquot, before or since 1993. Canadians are generally a quiet, law abiding lot. Yet over 850 people were arrested at this protest, perhaps more than at any other green protest anywhere in the Western world. Businessmen in suits bussed up to get themselves a criminal record. Grandmothers and even children were dragged away to police vans and jail. Twelve thousand people joined the protest in the remote woods. The big rock band Midnight Oil came for a free concert, held in the infamous "black hole" of burned out stumps.
Clayoquot Sound was designated a World Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations in 2000.
Tzeporah worked some years for Greenpeace, helping to organize negotiations between the big logging companies and several environmental groups, including Greenpeace, The Sierra Club, and Rainforest Action Network. Meanwhile, Greenpeace offices around the world organized not just media-catching protests, but one of the first and largest corporate boycotts in history. Paper companies, and lumber companies began calling B.C. corporations, like MacMillan Bloedel, to cancel orders. The consumer pressure was just too hot. Finally, years later, in another big step for environmental action, the largest companies joined the government and private foundations in signing a protective agreement for the Great Bear Rainforest. Huge virgin rainforest valleys were saved for the future, while other logging had to meet sustainable standards that included wildlife protection.
During the battle, Berman joined another organization set up by the three groups, called "Forest Ethics." Note, despite her later claims, Tzeporah did not found Forest Ethics, but joined as an employee under then Executive Director Michael Marx. But this green dynamo, Tzeporah Berman, certainly took Forest Ethics to new heights, becoming Executive Director and it's guiding light. She continued her forest activism with a single-minded heart that few could match.
But then something happened. Tzep, as she is know to her many friends, ran into the wall of fire, climate change. She'll tell us in her own words, after a lively introduction by Maureen Jack-LeCroix of the Be The Change Earth Alliance.
That was famous forest activist Tzeporah Berman, recorded by Alex Smith of Radio Ecoshock, from "Be the Change" May 23rd, 2009. Now she is Executive Director of a new organization aimed at weaning Canadians from fossil fuels. It's called Power Up Canada at powerupcanada.ca
[More Crosby Stills and Nash “Long Time Gone”]
Back in 1968, when David Crosby wrote that song, it seemed a long time coming. It was. Now over 40 years later, it seems to me the time has come. The Great Turning, for better and for worse, has come.
Let's get back to being the change. Here is my quickie interview in a doorway, with Arran Stephens, CEO and co-founder of the big natural cereal and whole foods company "Nature's Path". He was humbly leading a circle table, one of the 270 giving up their whole sunny Saturday to thrash out grass roots change.
[Arran Stephens interview]
That was Arran Stephens, CEO of Nature's Path. We're at the Be the Change un-conference in Vancouver May 23rd. Each circle had a leader, but everyone got two chances to speak, holding the talking stick. It was a mass participation event. I tried to record a table with Vancouver's Deputy Mayor, and long time Western Wilderness activist, Andrea Reimer - but the background of so many people exchanging overwhelmed my equipment. I wanted to grab it all, I heard so many intriguing conversation. We'll have to settle for this audio walk-by in a hallway, between two women participants, one fairly fresh from Rumania. Let's listen in.
[Two Women talking]
Our time to consider conversion is running out. We'll go to the grand-daddy of green problems: can Christians accept the new climate science? What kind of stories bring us together, to make the changes we need to survive? Our host Maureen Jack-LaCroix, conference organizer for Be The Change Earth Alliance, introduces pastor Bruce. Don't run away. Bruce Sanguin has a vision that just might make this work.
That was Pastor Bruce Sanguin, a United Minister in Vancouver, at the Be the Change event May 23rd, 2009. Find out more at bethechangeearthalliance.org. You'll find helpful links in the Radio Ecoshock blog entry for June 4th. Just go to ecoshock.org and click blog. I've added a listing of all our radio shows on the drying West, the dying trees, and the risks of a climate conflagration. Those are mp3 files for your download, free and commercial free. Climate and forests are tied in a divine dance. Find out more.
I'm Alex Smith. Thanks for tuning in to Radio Ecoshock - and let's talk again next week.
Lyrics for Long Time Gone
David Crosby, 1968
It's been a long time comin'
It's goin' to be a long time gone.
Appears to be a long time,
Yes, a long, long, log time
Before the dawn.
Turn, turn any corner.
Hear, you must hear what the people say,
You know there's something that's goin' on here,
That surely, surely, surely won't stand the light of day.
And it appears to be a long,
Such a long, long, long time before the dawn.
Speak out, you got to speak out against
The madness, you got to speak your mind,
If you dare.
But don't try to get yourself elected.
If you do you had better cut your hair.
'Cause it appears to be a long time,
Before the dawn.
It's been a long time comin',
It's been a long time gone.
But you know, the darkest hour,
Is always just before the dawn.
And it appears to be a long time,
Such a long, long, long time before the dawn.