Why Was It So Effing Close?
November 7, 2020
Gerrymandering Victory! Ax the Max!
November 21, 2020
Show all

Lame Ducks and Musical Whales

Ralph spends a brief time talking about the dangers presented by Donald Trump during this lame duck period. But then we pivot away from the tumult of the election and the pandemic to a more contemplative and soothing topic by playing selections from “earth music” saxophonist and composer, Paul Winter, who tells us the stories behind his musical collaborations with nature.

Paul Winter is a seven-time Grammy winning saxophonist, composer and bandleader. He founded Living Music as the recording context for his ensemble, the Paul Winter Consort. His music includes some of the world’s finest jazz, world, and classical musicians, along with sounds from wildlife, which he refers to as “the greater symphony of the Earth.” Mr. Winter has recorded more than 50 albums. His ensemble was the first jazz ensemble to ever perform at the White House, invited by First Lady Jackie Kennedy back in 1962. As Mr. Winter sought musical sounds in nature, he became more of an environmental activist and for many years he has worked to raise awareness about the threats facing the natural environment. His latest album just released is “Light of the Sun”.

“Dr. Roger Payne discovered that these patterns that [whales] sing some of which are as long as 30 minutes and as complex as a Beethoven symphony are repeated again and again verbatim by all of the whales in that area of the sea. And you come back the next year and you put your hydrophones in the water and you find they have a new song and they’re all singing it as if almost they have a kind of Top 40 in the underwater realm.”

Paul Winter, “earth music” composer, whose new album is “Light of the Sun”


“Roger Payne who recorded them in the 60s. He hypothesized that before the era of noise pollution in the ocean from ships that not only did whale songs travel thousands of miles that it’s possible they went all the way around the world. So that a whale off Antarctica might communicate with a whale off Greenland. We’ll never know. But because of the density of water, sound travels much faster and further than it does in air.”

Paul Winter, “earth music” composer, whose new album is “Light of the Sun”


“Now comes Joe Biden and he’s already being told by his associates, do not answer a question from the press that says are you going to let the Trump Administration off. Do not do that. Let the Justice Department pursue the course under the rule of law. If he says the same thing as Obama he will have disastrously lowered the level of the rule of law affecting presidents in succeeding administrations.”

Ralph Nader

“We’re learning more and more about whales, not just as magnificent mammals in the ocean but how they contribute to the global environment. How they churn up the plankton.   Plankton in the ocean absorbs a lot of carbon dioxide. We’re talking huge quantities. And if the plankton start being reduced in number it’s something like cutting down parts of the Amazon rainforest.”

Ralph Nader

Ralph Nader Radio Hour Ep 349 Transcript (Right click to download)


  1. Anne George says:

    Mr. Nader and Team,

    Thanks for this lovely break from the misery of American capitalism. I’m thinking of purchasing this album as a way to recover from the visceral hate I currently have for the Republicans and Democrats, from the pathetic indifference of Obama for 8 years, for the disheartening derailment of the Bernie Sanders campaign by Obama, and for the despair I feel for my fellow Americans right now.
    I don’t intend to checkout, but I along with many others, need to calm down and figure out how to contribute to a better future.

    If possible, I welcome your thoughts, if any, around the Movement for a Peoples Party. I voted for you when you ran for President, and I registered Independent after Bernie’s 2020 campaign. I voted to get trump out, and now I embrace the Peoples Party as a final jumping off point from the corporate duopoly.

  2. Deborah Kitzmann says:

    Mr. Nader thank you the world needs to hear maybe than!

  3. Donal Klepack says:

    I Want to echo Ralph’s statement about Trump administration using the election as a means to obtain money from donors. I donated $10 to Donald Trump campaign after the wikileaks exposed the DNC cheating Bernie Sanders in the 2016 . I did this because my 2 main issues were fair trade and ending regime change wars, event though I disagree with almost all of Trump’s domestic policies. Since then I occasional received request for further donation, which I ignored. Starting the day after media pronounced Biden the winner, I received up to ten solicitations per day and it grew the last view days asking money to keep the 2 senate seats in George Republican so America does not become a Communist Country. I know that donor funds can be used for “Payment of Certain Legal Expenses”. I expect that the Trump campaign will legally challenge the election all the way until January. Why wouldn’t they?

  4. Wendy NooN says:

    This🎶 Progrem 🎶 talked to my 🎼SouL.
    How one Species has DisRespected and Destroys Its own co~Species & it’s own Life.
    This must be “the Metal Age”. Metal that can be a slow burning. Source of Heat Energy, instead of our Precious Food Trees.
    The 🎼ound🎼 for Children to find their Parents & 🎼ound🎼 to call for mates: all muffled by
    Games Being Played while 0uR Future needs to
    Be 🔔Saved🔔.
    Thank you for the Animals that Talk In Musical 🎼ound🎼; for the Story Tellers Who Shared Stories accompanied with Musical Instruments
    that sharred the “Spirit of the Story” in deeper Dimension & Understanding.
    Thank you for closing of the “Nuclear Radioactors updates”; Fracking Materials” &
    The research done by DC Water to get Lead & Copper out of our Water.
    Now we need Internet in every home & Jail Cell,
    So all can (a) Study “Career in a Year” (b) take & Pass state, national &/or international exam(s) &
    (c) work their certified skill two (2) years in their Community in lieu of their DRAFT TIME “Protecting us assets”, as well as ”Giving back to their Teachers & their Community.”
    It is my CLEAR UNDERSTANDING that each city has a CHAMBER of C0MMERCE. No
    Business can operate in THEIR CITY without the Approval & Payment into their PRIVATE CLUB.
    If they wish Wealth, they give internet to every home in their City & the People will bring SkillS & Financial Stability.
    GLOBAL INTERNET will give us underground electric; magnetic transfer transportation of trollys & cars
    Magnetizing to each other; burning metal instead Of trees; and cleaning up fukashama & the ocean bottom so Sea Animals have more to
    Eat then floating Plastic.🥰😢🥰
    Lets SHOW WE CARE; and Let’s Be GRATEFUL.
    Everyone in a Home or No Home for AnyonE.

  5. Lynn Canarelli says:

    Thank you for this episode. As usual, Mr. Nader knows the pulse of the people and what we need. Beauty peace oneness.

  6. Ben Leet says:

    A good antidote for the angst of the last months. “No other creatures can fly as far as fast or as long as birds. The swift is indeed, the swiftest, one Asian species being capable of speeds of 170 kph in level flight and flying every day about 900 kilometres to collect the insects that are its only food. So extreme is its adaptation to an aerial existence that its feet are reduced to little more than tiny grasping hooks. . . . It even copulates in mid-air. A female, flying high, holds out her wings stiffly and a male comes from behind, alights on her back and, for a few moments, the two glide together. They never alight between breeding seasons so that they spend at least nine months of the year continuously on the wing. Even that, however is excelled by the sooty tern which, after it leaves its nest for the first time has not been seen to alight or settle on the water until it nests three or four years later.” — from David Attenborough’s Life on Earth, p. 183. Well, it helps to take the mind off the constant diet of “what if”.

  7. David Faubion says:

    Thank you for hosting Paul Winter and his consortium (consort) of highly skilled musician critters. Muisic is artful science like math, and Paul adds to it a cosmic yet earthbound dimension. Love what he says about the 97% dominance of our sight sense vs the paltry 3% we allocate to our other four brain feeders. Yet what we hear, I think, is as significant or more than what we see, though we might not be aware of it. Sound is the bridge between the matter and light, so I learned from The Secret Power of Music, by David Tame ca 1975.

    Paul Winter shares with us some valuable knowledge and wisdom, not the least of which is that as Homo sapiens we are kids relative to species in the wild, perhaps even some pets and livestock, who are well beyond such a classification of mere maturity. Whales, wolves, throstes and the like have an evolutionary guidance that gives them forever power, perfect harmony with the cosmos. Let us not feed them our crap but rather may we listen closely to their secrets and truth plain to see.
    It is good to learn more about Ralph’s values in art and culture, too!

  8. Kim Nguyen says:

    This is so amazing. Thank you so so much. I am planning to recommend middle school and elementary school this kind of music lessons with context in Vietnam school.

    • Skro35 says:

      That’s wonderful. Please let us know how that goes and if there is anything we can do to help.