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Another Way to Help Save Life on Earth

Ralph welcomes Miranda Massie, director of the Climate Museum, an institution focused on the intersection of art, climate science, justice, and activism — that aims to make people feel that collective action is both possible and necessary, and the only hope we have of saving the planet. Plus! Ralph answers listener questions.

Miranda Massie, a former civil rights attorney, is the founder and director of the Climate Museum.

It is obscene that we are continuing to allow the fossil fuel industry to hold such sway over our national politics. And that has to end. their social license to operate must be revoked. And until we achieve that, we will not get the policy that we need. And as you know, time is running out.

Miranda Massie, director of the Climate Museum

It’s not enough to create a space where people can feel engaged, and connected with each other, and empowered to take meaningful action. Those are necessary but they’re not sufficient. You have to actually give people concrete mechanisms for raising their voices.

Miranda Massie, director of the Climate Museum

We know from polling… that the majority of American adults are freaked out [by the climate crisis] but feel shut down and out-scaled by the problem. And one of the precursors to the political action that [we’ve] been discussing is a sense that what you do can matter in the overall scheme of things.

Miranda Massie, director of the Climate Museum

 

Whatever their politics, people shouldn’t vote for any Member of Congress who accepts fossil fuel campaign donations, and won’t sign the “no fossil fuel money” campaign pledge, or who supports fossil fuel subsidies. We’ve got to cut that revolving door of money off… Nobody should be allowed to take them. They should be isolated and voted out of office if they do accept them. It’s not– at this moment in the history of our climate and our human society– it should not be permitted to accept the support of the destroyers. Period.

Miranda Massie, director of the Climate Museum

 

Climate disruption, climate violence, [the] climate crisis is a mass tort against the people and the natural world of the planet. It’s a mass tort, as well as a mass crime against humanity and the natural world.

Ralph Nader

It’s always a good chance to argue for ranked choice voting. if only to avoid the scapegoating of third parties by the two major parties. But it’s [also] always a good time to move for universal voting the way they have in Australia.

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 399 Transcript (Right click to download)

15 Comments

  1. Sean Lawler says:

    As a faithful listener, I especially enjoyed today’s program. Anyone who is paying attention realizes the absurd power that the fossil fuel industry wields. Still, I was a bit disappointed that nobody mentioned the Iraq war as the most perverse illustration and exercise of this power.

  2. Bruce K. says:

    To make up for the massive disruption, costs, and retooling that is clearly going to be necessary to motivate and bring about change going off carbon fuels whatever mix we end up on the other side simply must be incredibly cheap and clean, and massive – or in other words based on a massive amount of nuclear.

    I know as soon as some see that word their minds will close like a Republican’s when any one of the thousands of things that ring that socialism bell for them go off, and that is a real tragedy.

    Just like the massive economies of scale socialized health care would bring to American healthcare, nuclear would do the same thing – at scale – to the American energy picture, and the world economy by totally removing carbon from electric power generation and making energy ubiquitous and cheap.

    I already know all the arguments that you would come back with, mainly because I’ve felt that way until way after the Fukushima disaster, until I began to look at it from a different perspective. The way to look at it this. We have two choices:

    1. Continue trying to shut down the million source of carbon in the economy which we have already seen is like trying to pull teeth out of the Mt. Rushmore Presidents, trying to convince people who will never be convinced and hold all the political power and money, and the continuation of carbon to cater to them which will lead to the end of civilization …

    or

    2. We go nuclear in a big way which by sheer advancement and cost cutting will make carbon untenable even with massive government subsidies, which is the theoretically cheapest type of power — no massive inputs of fuel, no massive outputs of pollution, low labor costs, and a technology that will mature very quickly and be safe.

    Considering that technologies get better over time so broadly looking at the fact that in 50 years we have had two major nuclear disasters and neither of them did anywhere near the harm to people that the many deaths and polluted environments we see from oil and coal, and neither threatened the very existence of life on Earth.

    Looking at the big picture we either take a gamble that we can reduce fossil fuels in some kind of peaceful reasonable way which has never worked before and there is probably not way to do – and run the very likely risk of ending life on this planet as we know it, or we take the, I think, unlikely risk that we will have perhaps another 2 Fukushimas in the next 50 years with an almost certain probability that nuclear technology will become safe and accident-free over time due to the improvement of the technology … which is proven with cars, computers, communications, all the other areas of life that technology has make smaller, faster, safer and better. Nuclear reactors seem to work on our aircraft carriers and submarines.

    I just think nuclear is worth a discussion deeper and more complex than the terrorizing of the public that we see in the movies and media today.

    • Virginia Browning says:

      I don’t have the stats at hand, but I hope someone who sees your public relations hype above does. To start though, uranium is not clean going in. Uranium mining kills fast or slowly every day. If you walk out into the middle of traffic without looking, likely cars will stop – until one day when someone looks away for a minute and hits you. If 3 someones look away given a ramp-up of nuclear power, we don’t just have one person die – we have a plague of serious illness and pollution that stays for many thousands of years. The nuclear industry has had had over 70 years to find a solution to disposing of the waste, also an intense health-destroying pollutant for thousands (more?) of years. The same people you say or imply behind the headstrong Mt. Rushmore tooth-pulling problem are behind the nuclear industry. So there’s that. The fight is to organize, as Ralph Nader and his guest today emphasized, so that together enough clout can be created to make sure the same empire-sized power-abusers don’t distract even more people by pretending to “invest” in solar, wind, conservation to move those hopes into to their hands and out of actual realization.

      • Bruce K. says:

        I get you are scared, scared, scared of radiation and heavy metals. I’m not fond of them either.

        We all should he scared enough to get educated, but nobody really seems that scared after they shoot their tiny fear-mongering loads and smirk in satisfaction that that is that. That is all they need to do because everyone else is paralyzed with fear too.

        Here is something pretty calm and objective you might want to watch, and then continue watching some of the other scientific videos:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjkTzk8NAxM

        We’ve also had solutions to the nuclear waste issues for a long time, but people have been terrified to see them implemented, because they do not know what will happen … really. Does that remind anyone of the Covid-19 vaccine reluctance. People are people.

        Here is a new company that has another answer to nuclear waste disposal.
        https://www.deepisolation.com

        When you consider that nuclear materials are spread far more by burning coal and fossil fuels uranium mining is pretty much like any other mining operation, and the newer reactors have been designed to minimize, as much as possible, nuclear waste.

        You seem to resort to the same thing everyone does in every subject now, mindlessly accusing anyone they disagree with of being a shill for some big money interest, and there is probably no way I can convince you I am not. For the record, I am not. But also, I think anyone who says something on these forums ought to be judged on the facts of what they say. I never buy anyone’s ideas on faith or arguments based on authority. Even Ralph’s as much as he has a lot of credibility with me.

        Did you notice the core arguments I presented – completely ignored.

        Also pretending that I am against solar, wind and renewable … I am not. I am also more anxious about the business people than I am the scientists or engineers. That is always the problem.

        The things we want to do in the future of planet Earth are to be able to fix things on a massive level. To recycle, to fix pollution and transform it into something safe, and maybe even useful, recycling for example, will be a lot more economical and doable if we have massive amounts of clean energy. Melting metals, incinerating and capturing waste and pollution. Pumping astronomical amounts of water around the world to counteract the effects of global warming.

        I don’t trust the nuclear companies any more than I trust the coal, oil and gas companies, but as I said – let’s compare then at the same levels. What we have now is a world-ending crisis coming up. Don’t worry about what’s in your gas tank when you are about to drive off a cliff.

        We need a way to move away from carbon fuels in ways that do not depend on the good behavior of the carbon industries or the people invested in them. It hasn’t worked yet and it won’t. But what would would be a lower cost source of energy that forces people to back away from coal and oil. Solar and wind sort of do that … but they are intermittent. I love you how you talk about how terrible uranium mining is, but say nothing about the industry that makes batteries, and the lead and cadmium and all the other metals that go into that. They talks about machines that will such carbon out of the air … but what is going to power them and power their manufacture? Stuff needs to be minded for that too.

        I think you are being incomplete, and at worst dishonest.

        Apples to apples

        Compare the end of the world with a chance of 2 more disasters the size of Fukushima or Chernobyl and the promise that every technology we have ever had gets better, faster, cheaper and safer over time. or Christ sake – not that I like it, but we have AI driven cars that have a safer record than human drivers. That is more the choice we face … not an inflated rosy fantasy world of solar, wind, toxic batteries that could possibly even fail if we had a big volcano blow ash across the world. You have to take as much into account as you can.

        What we get for going forward the way we are is BS blah, blah, blah as Greta says, lots of talk from our leaders and satisfied smiles as they listened today to David Attenborough … and the action that MIGHT come out of that is going to slow and insufficient. I am sure even Attenborough would be against nuclear,

        The thing is – nuclear could work if we make it. The other option really do not seem like they will and they leave hole in the economy, and the demand from people and the needs of the environment.

        People just seem to be in love with the perfect ideals they carry in their utopian fantasies … no wonder nothing gets done, and the people who do do things and get things done are so contemptuous and careless.

  3. Don Harris says:

    The right words to describe climate change are The War on Habitat.

    When you discussed the Congress Club and the letter writing/poster campaign you were wrong to say that the Citizens Summons had consequences. You even said so yourself when you said they get the summons and that is the end of it.

    As the politicians will just ignore the summons or just show up to make more empty promises that is the end of it with no consequences.

    Your guest came close with the call to not vote for anyone that takes fossil fuel money, but that is not enough.

    No matter what subject your guests talk about there is a reference to big money in politics being a major obstacle to getting anything substantial done on that issue.

    How are we going to determine who we vote for?

    Will we have to look through all the different big money donors and decide which ones are not acceptable and which are okay?

    If they don’t take fossil fuel money but take money from the drug companies, insurance industry etc. should we still vote for them or not?

    Why not kill all those birds with one stone and have citizens demand that politicians take no big money from anyone by demanding that politicians must run small donor only campaigns in order to get our votes?

    If politicians take no big money we don’t have figure out if the money is good or bad. It won’t do much good to replace politicians that take big money from fossil fuels if the politicians we replace them with are taking big money from somewhere else.

    I suggest a poster that says “Take Big Money- Lose Our Votes”. Those six words are worth thousands of pictures and are a real consequence.

    It is also the slogan for One Demand, Citizens can register at the One Demand website to let politicians and other citizens know that they will only vote for small donor candidates in 2022.

    Let’s get all the groups together to promote this demand.

    You can help get this started by making good on your statement on Washington Journal (10-24-2018) that you would have me on your program to discuss One Demand. Note: I even tried using your Citizens Summons to get you to make good on your statement which you ignored and that was the end of it as far as the Citizens Summons was concerned.

    We shouldn’t have to protest at the Tort Museum to shame you into doing this when you have said that politicians want our votes more than big money. You should embrace this opportunity to test your theory without protests or shaming.

  4. David Faubion says:

    Thank you Miranda Massie for your right livelihood, your vision, and your determination to serve now the Earth. You speak with grace and confidence; its a pleasure to hear you.
    So, I gave the ‘Drilled’ podcast a listen and was impressed but not surprised to learn at long last how the high school students in Portland (a mini LA with its own slow thermal inversion) have organized to change the curriculum citywide to correct the science that had been taught about climate and energy. That happened way back in 2019, much to our media ignorance of it. The only disappointment about ‘Drilled’ is that Chevron Corp. monied it’s way as an end of the program advertiser, but that’s also a hope-inspiring irony.
    Portland is where 21st-century mass transit began in the United States under then-Mayor Neil Goldschmidt whom President Carter named his Secretary of Transportation. Portland is, in my view, where the bicycle revolution in the United States began since I was part of it riding all over that hilly, polluted, and volcanic city of roses. For example, after his Trailblazer home games, star center Bill Walton would pedal across town to eat at his favorite vegan restaurant, ‘The Magic Supper.
    But what I truly want to share is the most recent Guardian podcast of its ‘Today in Focus.’ It features a long interview with Mohamed Nasheed, the former president of the Republic of Maldives who shook the world with his 2009 address to the COP. He is back with another compelling message this time save yourselves from 1.5 degrees so Manhattan can stay above water. He speaks with passion, vision, and perfect clarity. Its heart wrenching though to hear him speak about being part of the first generation of Maldivians to see the coral reef, and then see it disappear. Peace out.

    • David Faubion says:

      Dave,
      You left out the fact that Secretary Goldschmidt did little or nothing progressive in terms of greening our national transportation system. Instead, the Carter Admin had him deregulate the auto and airline industries. Carter who ran as a populist was just another disappointing Democrat. By the time Al Gore ran in 2k, Ralph Nader was correct in saying that, and I paraphrase, “There’s not a dimes difference between the two parties, the ruling duopoly.” For example, in ’96, Bill Clinton ran to the right of Bob Dole so he could win.

      Corporate campaign finance is the core corruption that robs us of our democracy, as it seems to validate and justify further shredding of our voting rights and free and fair elections. For the sake of pity, now our freaking electoral commission via the courts is allowing foreign interests to finance our politics–and lobby Congress at will. Find all the crime you need in the good ol’ US of C, the United States of Corruption. Disgusting.

  5. While the fossil fuel industry should be outlawed, it does seem that given the time frame we have to prevent major climate catastrophy, it does seem incumbent on us as individuals to do as much as we can — drive less and eat fewer animal products. It seems that a campaign to engage people and families in a movement to do this could have an impact on greenhouse gas emissions — and such a movement could put a hole in the bank accounts of the fossil fuel titans. Getting such a movement off the ground, and getting people to embrace, is no easy fete. But we have no time to waste, and we have not time to wait for Joe Manchin — because our planet is burning.

  6. stan moore says:

    We’ll not get anywhere near cutting greenhouse gas emissions we need to unless we seriously curtail the humongous bloated military juggernaut. The US military alone produces more of such gases than the entire country of Sweden (The Cost of War Project at Harvard U). And, of course, the amount emitted increases with war. The media hardly reports how US “diplomats” are, as we speak, threatening war with China, over Taiwan, and Russia, over Ukraine, and encouraging an Israeli assault on Iran. Meanwhile, the brilliant NATO chief Stoltenberg appears to think it’s ok if NATO takes on Russia and China, simultaneously.

  7. Demetrio says:

    Time to lay off the so-called fossil industry (the assertion that oil is derived from dinosaurs s not a proven fact). Oil is what gave us the MODERN world, boys and girls and cisgender/uniracial/binary bipoc lgbtqurz. It not only gives us gasoline but is what makes anything made of plastic possible. If it were not for plastic, everyday items would be more expensive and shorter-lasting. Long live oil!

    • Bruce K. says:

      Oil, or rather BURNING OIL, seems to have also given us wars, pollution, fascist militaristic governments and corporate trolls and planetary hot-boxing.

      Abiogenesis has been proven to occur since they have found oil at depths where no dinosaur graveyards could ever be, but that doesn’t mean the massive amounts of ancient life that died and were crushed with heat and pressure is not where we get most of the oil and coal we access for energy. Why is that even something to mention pray tell?

      We’ll still have plastic, which is really a way to sequester carbon, like wood and lumber. Oil’s great … I agree … too good to just burn up, and too dangerous.

      Is it even possible for you right-wingers to make a comment without insults or ridicule?

  8. John Puma says:

    I was shocked and dismayed that addressing the issue of the “always consume more” basis of the economic system was not only absent from the guest’s list of strategies to deal with the climate crisis but was defended by her refutation of the ONE point of truth ever uttered by the indisputably demonic fossil fuel industry: “the consumer has a role in this.” That industry, and all the others with inordinate power, got their power from the money given them by the CONSUMERS of their products.

    Every single human activity is connected to energy expenditure and thus green-house gas emission … right down to the minimal energy expended in one’s sleep that is ultimately derived from the food produced by expenditure of fossil fuels by the agricultural industry. The other end of the spectrum is driving a car and taking a plane and/or cruise ship, or even a space ship, for vacation.

    Even building the infrastructure of a truly renewable energy future has been, is and will be dependent on energy, and therefore emissions, from extracting/processing materials, to manufacture, deployment and maintenance.

    NOTHING significant will occur to avoid the inevitable extinction of the species caused by the pending climate disaster unless and until people understand the total dependence of their existences on energy consumption that is inextricably, physically & chemically linked to greenhouse gas emissions.

    The solution is NOT “green” consumption but drastically reduced consumption, thus emissions, across the board. There will be a radically transformed society … or, essentially, none at all. Preserving the species will be a bit more profound and difficult project than, figuratively speaking, publicly demonizing those who, admittedly, got us addicted. No pusher, even a humiliated one, was ever able to rehabilitate a client.

    Notes: 1) CO2, the major greenhouse gas emitted from fossil fuel consumption remains in the atmosphere, on average, for centuries.
    2) Yes, the US military produces annual greenhouse gas emissions equal to that of Sweden. However, Sweden’s emissions are 1% of total US emissions. The myriad, critical reasons for dealing with the US military can hardly include its contribution to national emissions.

  9. Dale West says:

    Shell Oil states it needs maximum fossil fuel profits to transition to renewable energy systems in the distant future. I bet that continued government subsidies are also essential to their blackmail plan. There is a fallacy if I have ever seen one. The emperor has no clothes on!

    The big oil monopoly dinosaurs can see the paradigm shift meteorite approaching but they are going to build their doomsday bunker with bricks of exploitation money. They will be nowhere near the blast zone & will re-emerge to predate again upon the destruction.

    REF- https://www.bbc.com/news/business-59154930

    • Bruce K. says:

      In other words, the big monolithic financial and industrial interests that failed us in the past, and who have taken over other industries and the government NEED us to pay them off AND pay for their new investments in the future so they can continue their criminality and incompetence forever into the future.

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