KMO attended the Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth teach-in at Cooper Union this past weekend where he met and recorded conversations with Anuradha Mittal of the Oakland Institute and Helena Norberg-Hodge of Local Futures/International Society for Ecology and Culture. Anuradha describes how agricultural corporations who portray their actions in terms sustainable practices and taking the needs of all stake-holders into account are pulling off an enormous land-grab in Africa and Asia and how the policies of the World Bank tilt the field in their favor to the detriment of local people. Helena Norberg-Hodge takes on the idea that humans are so selfish and short-sighted that they deserve to go extinct. This attitude plays into the hands of transnational corporations who are more than happy to see the blame for climate change, inequality and injustice fall on individual actors and not to the policies that create a marketplace which favors short-term profits over long-term responsibility. Music by East Forest.
New York Times columnist Paul Krugman published an opinion piece in which he lumped The Post Carbon Institute together with the Koch brothers as representatives of "climate despair," claiming that anti-environmentalist right-wingers and anti-capitalist environmentalists are both wrong to think that we can't have economic growth without increasing greenhouse gas emissions. Richard Heinberg responded explaining how Krugman fundamentally misunderstands the aims and objectives of the Post Carbon Institute and how he either misunderstands or misrepresents the very reports that he cited to support his argument. Krugman then dug himself into a deeper hole with a second column in which he castigates physical scientists for thinking that they are smarter than economists. In this episode of the C-Realm Podcast, Richard Heinberg joins KMO for a discussion on energy, economics and climate through the lens of biophysical reality.
KMO welcomes Robert J. Fairchild (AKA Solar Bob) to the C-Realm to discuss the dramatic increase in oil extraction from hydraulic fracturing, it's effects on the US and global economies, and what it really represents in terms of energy returned on energy invested. They make extensive reference to an article by Grant Smith, U.S. Seen as Biggest Oil Producer After Overtaking Saudi Arabia, which quotes Bank of America, Citigroup and the International Energy Agency in support of the notion that the United States will remain the world's top producer of fossil fuels until 2030. Compare the quality of discussion in the comments to that article on Bloomberg.com to the discussion of the same article on the Friends of the C-Realm group.
Music by Tah Phrum Duh Bush.
KMO talks to Global Catastropic Risk researcher, Dr. David Denkenberger. David's forthcoming book, Feeding Everyone No Matter What: Solving the Food Crisis After Global Catastrophe, describes the technical feasibility of feeding everyone on Earth without in aftermath of a calamity the wipes out conventional agriculture. He's careful to distinguish technical feasibility from political or economic feasibility. Later, KMO shares some thoughts on the incompatibility of capitalism and environmental stewardship from the Socialist Equality Party and with a brief clip from a conversation between Laura Flanders and Gar Alperovitz before closing with some unconventional thoughts on technology from SF author Karl Shroeder. Music by The Humble Grapes.
KMO talks with freelance writer and blogger Brian Kaller, who grew up in a town next to Ferguson, Missouri about how the news and images out of Ferguson seemed to provide confirmation for disparate and sometimes contradictory narratives about the forces at work in American culture. Everyone saw what they wanted or expected to see, and few voices showed any hint of doubt even while their reporting demonstrated near total ignorance of the story’s setting. You can read Brian’s article on the Ferguson coverage for The American Conservative, Ferguson Falls Apart.
Music by Justin Blankenship.
KMO attended the People's Climate March on Sunday and Flood Wall Street the next day. The first event was a permitted march that respected authority and was timed not to disrupt business. The second was unauthorized and was deliberately disruptive to traffic around the icons of finance capital in lower Manhattan. There were zero arrests at the People's Climate March. There were over a hundred at Flood Wall Street. KMO shares interviews collected on location at both events.
KMO talks with monologist Mike Daisey about origin stories, the unconscious, will, ritual and the reality of mythology vs. the idea of an objective universe. And yes, there's a good long section on Mike's adventure of being thrown under the bus by Ira Glass to make sure that attention stayed focused squarely on the story-teller who failed as a journalist and away from a show that mixes story-telling with journalism without explicit sign posts to alert the listener as to which side of that divide they're on at any given moment. Music by Tah Phrum Duh Bush.
KMO welcomes June Pulliam, lead editor for Encyclopedia of the Zombie: The Walking Dead in Popular Culture and Myth to the C-Realm to talk about how time and again, the characters in zombie apocalypse fantasies find more meaning and personal satisfaction in cooperating with other survivors to weather the storm of the undead than they did in the vacuous and routine existence of life in modern, industrial civilization. In the second half of the program they discuss the changing gender roles in zombie movies, games, and novels over the decades and how the most adaptable and resilient characters are those who can alternate between stereotypically male and female coping strategies. Music by Sek.
KMO welcomes author, journalist and filmmaker, Dr. Nafeez Ahmed, to the C-Realm Podcast to talk about his new novel as well as the role the that US and British foreign policy and intelligence agencies played in empowering Sunni extremists and bringing the Islamic State to power. After discussing the depressing state of affairs in the Arab world as well as in Western countries who remain strong militarily but whose economies are floundering, Nafeez describes why the emerging solar energy sector and the open source revolution leave him essentially optimistic in the face of a storm of converging crises.
Music by The Humble Grapes.
KMO is joined by podcaster, Glen Ganaway, and friend of the C-Realm, Doug, to talk about the lack of gay male perspectives in the peak oil scene and the lack of interest among urban gay men in looking seriously at the converging crises that threaten to make life in cities like New York and San Francisco untenable in the not-so-distant future. Among the gay men his age he knows, Doug is unique, not only in taking peak oil and related concerns seriously, but in actually making significant life changes to prepare for a post-petroleum future. Glen explains why straight doomers should look to Radical Faeries as a model for living an alternative existence in the face of full-spectrum opposition from the larger culture.
Music by Reverend Yolanda's Old Time Gospel Hour!