If You Love This Planet, Dr. Helen Caldicott

Dr. James Hansen on stopping coal emissions to reduce global warming; John Johnson on mountaintop-removal coal mining’s effect on Appalachia

As Dr. Caldicott says during this show, the risk of unabated global warming is now “beyond serious.” The burning of coal, which is rapidly increasing in China and elsewhere, is the single largest factor set to increase emissions and the Greenhouse Effect. How are melting ice caps and mountaintop coal removal related? This program’s two segments provide the answer.

The world’s leading - and most politically outspoken - climate researcher, Dr. James Hansen from NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies is a meteorologist, physicist, and university professor who has led the charge for over 20 years to take global warming seriously. Dr. Hansen and Dr. Caldicott discuss the critical environmental problems facing the planet due to the effects of global warming, and how the most catastrophic warming effects can be averted by stopping all coal emissions now.

Next, Dr. Caldicott speaks with John Johnson, an activist based in Knoxville, Tennessee, whose organization Katuah Earth First! fights the increasingly widespread mountaintop coal removal practices which have devastated over 1 million acres in southern Appalachia, where entire landscapes are obliterated and local culture is destroyed, leaving only barren moonscapes. Johnson has written that mountaintop removal is “. . .an extreme form of coal mining that involves blasting the tops off of ancient mountains, burying freshwater streams with rubble and flattening the world’s most biologically diverse temperate forest.” For more information, see the websites of Mountain Justice and I Love Mountains (on this site, enter your zip code under “What’s Your Connection to Mountaintop Removal?” to see if your local power is derived from leveling mountains).

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