It is already too late to stop rampant climate change?  An emailed blog posting asks: "Do we just enjoy the time we have left?"


Scientist James Lovelock thinks so.  He wanted the sub-title of his new book "Vanishing Gaia" changed from "Final Warning" to "Enjoy it while you can." 


Is it really that serious?  We'll hear top American and British administrators say it is. 


But I want to contrast the response by two scientists: James Lovelock, who at age 90 plans to blast out into space, and NASA's James Hansen, the first world-class climate scientist to put himself up for arrest, to stop mountain top mining in West Virginia, this week.


Doubting coal barons, the black secret of George Soros, U.S. climate dodgers in Canada - from outer space to the deepest pit - enjoy yourself.  This is Radio Ecoshock.


The program is also loaded with music clips – from Guy Lombardo’s opening 1950 hit “Enjoy Yourself (It’s Later Than You Think)”, another version by The Specials UK concert, samples from country music star (and anti-mountain top removal activist) Kathy Mattea, talk and music from Tom Petty, an oldie by Lee Dorsey – and a lot of fun clips, including stuff from the trailer for “Skipjack” and even Winston Churchill.


Find all the video and audio links used in the program here.  Click on through to the source material – on our climate crisis.




On June 18th, Hilary S. challenged her Care2 global warming blog readers:


"What I want to know is this: can we as individuals actually do enough to stop it in time, or should we just do what little we can and enjoy the time we have left?"




That brought a blistering response from deep green author Derrick Jensen.


"This is why I hate so much of the so-called environmental movement. We're talking about life on this planet, and people move directly from consumer choices to giving up."


I'm sorry Derrick is driven to hate others who are struggling to understand this new reality.  He's already concluded that industrial civilization is not, and never can be, sustainable.  In fact, he thinks civilization will and should fall.


In my opinion, Jensen's anger won't help the world either.  He advocates blowing up dams, but never gets arrested himself.  I've recorded Derrick bragging about his personal AK-47 attack rifle, and friends knowledgeable about explosives - but he has no coherent way forward, other than all fall down.


For me, Derrick Jensen is a little like the German philosopher, Friedrick Nietzsche. (sp) We need to go through the fire of his nihilism, in order to realize what we do think.  I might recommend Jensen's new book, Endgame Three, if it weren't 500 pages long.


The Care2 readers, at are mostly women, it seems.  Some are just beginning their recognition about the deep problems of consumer society, others are most stimulated by the plight of the animals.  They are part of the tree - and just so you know: the world's best scientists are also debating whether there is anything we can do to stop climate change.


Last week on Radio Ecoshock, we ran clips from the White House release of the new report "Global Climate Change Impacts on the United States."  If you missed it, please download that free mp3 file from our program archive, for June 19th, 2009.


How serious is it?


Barack Obama appointed John Holdren as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.  He's Obama's top science advisor.


As part of the U.S. climate impacts release, Holdren appeared on the weekly environmental program "Living on Earth" hosted by Steve Kirkwood.  Here is a clip from the June 19th interview with John Holdren.


[loe090619_Holdren 3 degrees and warming comes.wav ][Holdren says there is no way to stop climate change now.  We can only hold back the worst impacts.]


We can hear similar warnings all over the world, from the United Nations on down.  Here is a recent release from the British Environment Agency with it's head, Lord Chris Smith:


[GreenTV Lord Chris Smith Env Agency UK on climate.wav] [also say global warming can’t be stopped now]


The top science advisor to Angela Merkle, Chancellor of Germany is Hans Joachim Schellnhuber.  He's with the Potsdam Institute.  One of his most famous papers is simply titled: "Global Warming: Stop Worrying, Start Panicking?"


I could spend another hour explaining the complete breakdown of the recent talks in Bonn.  Those were supposed to set up a survival route for humanity, with a new agreement to save the climate, by rapidly reducing our greenhouse gas emissions.


Greenpeace issued a fake edition of the International Herald Tribune with the headline:




"In a front-page ad in today's International Herald Tribune, the leaders

of the European Union thank the European public for having engaged in

months of civil disobedience leading up to the Copenhagen climate

conference that will be held this December. "It was only thanks to your

massive pressure over the past six months that we could so dramatically

shift our climate-change policies.... To those who were arrested, we

thank you."


So many of us dream to read those headlines.  Here is what really happened.


Likely you've heard some solid science, including on this program, saying that we need to cut human-induced greenhouse gas emissions 40 percent by 2020, to keep a livable planet, as we know it.  This is what various countries have proposed so far, according to Phil England, the host of Climate Radio in the UK:


·         Australia – not clear (conditional target of 25% but they are using a base year of 2000)

·         Canada – 2.7%

·         EU – 20%-30% - half of which could be offsets

·         Norway – 30% - a third of which could be offsets

·         Japan – 8% - no offsets

·         New Zealand – "we’ll tell you later"

·         Russia – "later…"

·         United States – 0-4% (exact number is unclear) - mainly offsets


The IPCC’s 2007 assessment (now considered to be based on old science) is that industrialized countries should be making cuts of 40% at the very least. "

            - Phil England.


To keep up with the international climate negotiations, you must listen to climate radio with host Phil England.  Go to for all his programs.


So... we can forgive the public for fearing the worst, for feeling like we should give up.  Let's visit that pit of despair, with the grand-daddy of give up, Sir James Lovelock.


Llock1 Duty to Survive 090410.wav                                           21 K

Llock1 No Going Back Frost 090410.wav                                             2 K


That was James Lovelock with interviewer David Frost on April 10th, 2009.  Our next clips comes from a program called "The Hour" with host George Stroumboulopoulos.


Llock4 Migration to Canada The Hour.wav                                                 5 K


Llock5 Not Reversible The Hour.wav                                               10 K

LLock6 Renewables A Joke The Hour.wav                                     4 K

Llock7 7 out of 8 wiped out The Hour.wav                                                 3 K


Bleak enough for you?  The big cull, billions of humans dead, as humans race toward the poles to escape killer heat, storms, and blowing sand.


Tom Petty Like A Refugee - Studio.wav

Tom Petty Like A Refugee - Live Aid.wav


This is Radio Ecoshock - and that was a bit of Tom Petty, the studio version with a little Live Aid crowd mixed in.  Tom Petty is one of many musicians participating in Rock the Earth at




I'm Alex Smith, and we're talking about whether we still turn this thing around.  Or is the climate already gone?  Should we just party hearty, fly around the world, drive gas guzzlers like there's no tomorrow?


Earlier we heard from James Lovelock, the controversial scientist who thinks that we should.  At age 90, he intends to toss a pile of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, just so he can be a space tourist.


Lovelock has been as wrong as he's been right.  Thanks for raising our awareness of Gaia, the urge of living things to work together for life.  And thanks for the tool that showed micro-poisons in the atmosphere, like Chlorofluorocarbons.


But Lovelock totally misjudged these CFC's that damaged the ozone hole so badly.  He admits his mistake on a great Radio Adelaide broadcast on July 7th, 2007:


Llock8 Biggest Boo Boo CFCs Radio Adelaide 070707.wav         8 K


A boo boo?  Lovelock fails to add that he testified to Congress, for the chemical industry, for money.   His testimony may have delayed action on CFCs and damaged the ozone hole.  It took a decade or protests, people hanging themselves from buildings and blocking railway cars, to bring the world governments to CFC banning action in 1987, with the Montreal Protocol.


[fun clip:Take Look Alex half lives with no ozone layer FreeJack.wav]


In fact, Lovelock's career is festooned with serious errors.  He advocated tearing down Britain's hedgerows for industrial farming - wiping out many native bird and animal species.  He's pushed dangerous nuclear power, while fighting against clean wind energy.


Llock12 Mistake Planting Trees Adelaide Speech.wav                     2 K



And he lulls activism to sleep with statements like this, also from Radio Adelaide:


Llock9 Enormous Cull Happened Before RadAdelaide.wav                       13 K

Llock11 55 million years ago Radio Adelaide speech.wav                     3 K


Yes, climate shifts have happened many times before, and life adapted - but at least five times previously life adapted by mass extinctions beyond anything we've ever known.


The climate change he describes also developed over hundreds if not thousands of years, giving the species times to adapt.  There has never been a species that could haul massive amounts of concentrated solar energy out of the ground, as fossil fuels. 


And worse yet, he fails to tell the audience that where we've found evidence of relatively fast climate shifts, up to 5 degrees Celsius in a decade we think - it was from a very cold period, an ice age, to a warmer period, like the interglacial we no inhabit.  But this time, we are moving from a warm interglacial into a hot-house world, way too fast.


James Lovelock is 90, famous and wealthy, and ready to push off.  He can be optimistic about a giant cull of humanity - mass death within the lifetimes of our descendants, or sooner.  Great.  So let's just give up and enjoy ourselves with another cruise ship holiday?


No thanks.  I've got a much better scientist role model for you and me. 



It's James Hansen, head of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City, and a Professor at Columbia University.  Way back in 1988, he warned the U.S. government that climate change could damage our world.


H4_Hansen_What He Said in 88.wav


Hansen went on to warn that there might not be any limit to the amount of global warming humans might inflict on the planet.  James Lovelock, you recall, said natural systems might stop warming at 5 degrees Celsius - still enough to send us scurrying to the Poles.  Lovelock had no real science to suggest that would save us this time.  Other scientists, like America's Michael Oppenheimer aren't so sure.




NASA's Hansen goes further.  In many speeches, he warns humans may create climate change so severe that it would create, quote, "a different planet."  He compares the case of Venus, the baked planet enshrouded by a carbon-loaded atmosphere.


Speeches and Radio Ecoshock shows about James Hansen litter our web site at  Go ahead and listen to the man.


Instead of giving up, Hansen is leading the way toward scientific activism.  In the Spring, he appeared at an anti-coal demonstration in Britain.  This past week, scientist James Hansen was arrested, along with 31 others, at a coal protest at Marsh Forks West Virginia.


Let's let a native West Virginian, country music star and Grammy winner Kathy Mathea, describe mountain top removal.


Kathy Mattea on W Virginia Mtn top mining loe080104.wav            108 K

KathyMattea2 warming solutions.wav                                           15 K


Again, that clip comes from the green radio show Living on Earth.  That broadcast was January 4th, 2008, found at


500 hundred mountain tops blasted away, just so Minnie and Mickey can keep the TV and lights on all the time.  Illegally filling up valleys with sludge and rock.  It's a sign of Peak Coal really, just as author Richard Heinberg suggests.  Just like the Canadian tar sands, where oil gets harder and dirtier to get - the best coal seams of West Virginia are tapped out.  So Massey Energy, aided by big Wall Street financing, blows up the mountains.


That's no worry to Massey CEO and black lord of West Virginia, Don Blankenship (sp).  He doesn't believe in global warming.


Blankenship Global Warming Not Real.wav                              3 K


James Hansen was charged with obstructing police officers and blocking traffic.  He tried to enter the grounds of Massey Energy, but was met with a blockade allegedly formed by coal miners and their families.


[West Virginia Broadcasting coverage of the arrest of Hansen and “Kill Bill” actress Daryl Hannah]


Elizabeth Kolbert has a profile of Dr. Hansen in the June issue of the New Yorker magazine. (Subscription required)


Hansen himself published a pleas to President Obama to end mountain top mining.  Find that at


[clips and news from the protest]


[clips from the action]


And who are those Wall Street men backing dirty coal?  Here's one: George Soros, occasional friend of the Left, talks up the coal industry on the "Green Business" show, produced by Fortune magazine, June 14th, 2009.


George Soros from Fortune's "Green Business" program 090612

(if that link doesn’t work for you, Google “Soros Slams Instruments of Destruction” and

(scroll down the page for the embedded video “Soros Comes Clean on Coal”)


Soros Fortune Green Business 090614 Coal.wav


It's a classic, partly because all the time George is talking about "clean coal" - the background video is just machines moving mountains of coal.  The black carbon keeps moving on, while money talks.


Oh yeah - the little screen of figures that flashes up, just for a few seconds, shows:


"Soros Fund Management LLC

Top Coal holdings - Shares:


Archcoal 482 mil

Consol Energy 12 mil


as of Feb 2009.  Source:"


George, get out of the coal business.  It's killing the planet.  Please George, don't kill us all off.


This is Radio Ecoshock, with Alex Smith.  I began this program by asking if we should just give up and party.  You must know by now.  We can't give up this rich planet, and a decent life for all coming generations. 


[Winston Churchill “We Shall Never Surrender”]


But I don't think that means we can't enjoy ourselves.  Feeling joy is more important now that ever.  Let's feel joy about nature, and each other.  Let's feel good about the people we meet in the struggle, the parties after the action, the love.


Forget about James Lovelock.  Let's enjoy, and save the climate too. 


Find all our past shows for free download at our web site,  Thanks for not giving up.  Here is Michael Jackson.


“Enjoy Yourself” by Michael Jackson