WEATHER GONE ROGUE
Let's take a quick look at Christmas day 2012 for example. In Southern France, people were sunbathing and swimming in the Bay of Biscay. It was 24 degrees C. or a balmy 75 degrees, 12 degrees above normal.
On the very same day, about 83 people were found dead of extreme cold in the Ukraine. A huge cold snap descended on Moscow, where the temperature dipped to minus 25 degrees Celsius, 13 below Fahrenheit. Russians expect that maybe later in the winter, but not in December. At least 125 people died in the extreme cold there, and dozens more in Poland, which suffered unusual cold.
That continent sized cold wave extended all the way to China. Beijing, temperatures dropped to about 5 degrees Fahrenheit., minus 15 degrees Celsius, the lowest temperature for the area since 1985.
Not in the UK. Britons suffered yet another deluge, in what has turned out to be the wettest year in the history of that famously wet island. Twenty twelve was the year the rain hardly ever stopped.
In the Southern U.S. rare Christmas tornadoes ripped in. Snow fell in Dallas, just the start of a one-two snow storm that traveled up through the Mid-West to New England and Eastern Canada. At the end of December, Montreal Canada - a city fairly well-known for heavy snow dumps, experienced the heaviest snowfall in 24 hours ever. Not just for that day in history, I mean the most snow to fall in 24 hours in our records. At least 45 centimeters fell on Thursday, topping the previous high of 41 centimetres in March 1971. That's 18 inches - and over two feet fell in other parts of the Province.
That is an extreme precipitation event.
Remember, it was like Spring in Eastern Canada and most of the United States in early December, just two weeks previously. A huge change.
Only a few media outlets explain this unusual weather as science does. The Jet Stream has been disturbed by heat released as record-low Arctic sea ice tries to re-form, after massive Arctic heating by sea and land. Big bends of the Jet Stream tend to freeze into unusual weather patterns.
THE NUCLEAR MESS HAS NOT GONE AWAY!
There is a huge pile of stinking badness coming from the nuclear mafia in the United States. Two states are begging for tons of the worst radiation on earth, deadly plutonium. And a small village in Alaska is the testing ground for a new push of mini-reactors the big corporations want you to swallow, now that their so-called "renaissance" of giant reactors has failed.
Imagine you know and love your state, province or region deeply. You adventure through the highlands, gaze over rivers that seem almost sacred in their beauty. You imagine that timeless gift passing down through the generations. So how do you feel when your government teams up with some mega-corporation to experiment with radioactive materials that remain dangerous for hundreds of thousands of years? When they truck bomb-grade plutonium along your freeways and neighborhoods?
On December 1st 2012, the Nuclear Energy Information Service, or NEIS held their Mountain of Waste 70 Years High Conference in Chicago, USA.
You can watch You tube videos from the conference at their web site at neis.org, or find that link in my Radio Ecoshock blog at ecoshock.info. I got this audio courtesy of Dale Lehman at WZRD the free-form radio station operating from Northeastern Illinois University in Chicago.
Speakers include Arnie Gundersen from Fairewinds.com, and Robert Alvarez from the Institute for Policy Studies. But the real fireworks come from the audience, pleading for help against plutonium dumping projects (including a MOX "factory to nowhere" boondoggle).
YOUR ENVIRONMENTAL ROAD TRIP
What if you could spend a year on the road, visiting all the cool projects in America. You'd interview the big names, and cover the big cities trying to become sustainable. But you'd also hunt down interesting folks socked away on the backroads, with unique projects that really work.
Save your gas money and the greenhouse gas emissions. Now it's been done. You can go on a voyage discovering that unknown country, the really smart America, with a new film. It's called "YERT" Y E R T standing for Your Environmental Road Trip.
The movie producer is Mark Dixon. A co-conspirator and YERT tripper is Julie Dingman Evans. Our guest is her husband and the film's Director Ben Evans.