Earthgauge Radio August 9, 2012: Burning down the house!
On Earthgauge Radio this week, we continue with our summer programming schedule with a special guest episode from our friend Alex Taylor and Radio Ecoshock in Vancouver. Today’s episode is called Burning Down The House and it was produced during the recent devastating Colorado forest fires of late June, which have been described as being among the worst ever seen. Click the audio player above or right click here to download the podcast.
Hundreds of new U.S. counties were declared disaster areas in July amidst the country’s worst drought in decades. June broke or tied 3,215 high-temperature records across the United States. That followed the warmest May on record for the Northern Hemisphere – the 327th consecutive month in which the temperature of the entire globe exceeded the 20th-century average, the odds of which occurring by simple chance were 3.7 x 10-99, a number considerably larger than the number of stars in the universe.
Meteorologists reported that this spring was the warmest ever recorded in the U.S.– in fact, it crushed the old record by so much that it represented the “largest temperature departure from average of any season on record.” The same week, Saudi authorities reported that it had rained in Mecca despite a temperature of 109 degrees, the hottest downpour in the planet’s history.
Meanwhile here in Ottawa the dry summer has devastated many crops and put tremendous pressure on local farms, while also stressing a wide range of native wildlife in the Ottawa region, from warblers and fish to beavers and bears.
So while the West burns and East floods, we have media who seem incapable of discussing these events while also mentioning the words “climate change” in their reporting. We hear more about this year’s extreme weather from Alex Smith off the top of the program. We then hear Alex’s interview with Daniel Rirdan, author of “The Blueprint: Averting Global Collapse,” who gives us some ideas for solutions to our climate and ecological crisis.
Also on the show today we hear an interview with the author and climate activist Bill McKibben whose July 19 article in Rolling Stone ‘Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math’ has gone absolutely viral, with close to 11,000 tweets and more than 94,000 Facebook “likes.” The essay is in essence a battle-cry, a polemic against the fossil fuel industry — or as McKibben writes “Public Enemy Number One to the survival of our planetary civilization.” McKibben appeared on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman this past week to discuss the article and we hear a clip from this interview later in the show.