Climate Talk Radio: An Idea Whose Time has Come?

October 29, 2014

Everywhere we look, we can see the hinge of history swinging away from climate denial, and a global wake up on where we are.

Radio talk show veteran and political activist Nancy Skinner has an idea to energize that transition, and she’s pushing it on IndieGogo.

The “Talk Radio Industry” has been almost completely dominated by those angry loud voices who adamantly deny climate change, ranging from attacking the science itself, the scientists, the scientific consensus, and my favorite; the “global hoax” theory.  These talk radio hosts read from the same script written by “Think Tanks” funded by Big Oil which launched a massive Media and PR campaign to “confuse the American public” on the science two decades ago. They succeeded and “talk radio” played a key role in their success.

Here’s the problem: until the American Public understands how high the stakes are, how small the window is, and that the solutions are “here and now” too, we are headed toward a future that is not fit for survival as we know it. It’s late, but it’s not too late. More extremes are on the way but we can avoid  the nightmare scenerio!

The idea is ambitious, but if Nancy can generate adequate funding from this effort, there is an open door at a flagship station, WPWC 1480 AM located in Washington DC, and a 4 to 6 pm time slot — afternoon drive time, with the idea of eventually shooting for an XM radio slot.
I’ve contributed to Nancy’s effort with the “ask” video above, and, if the idea goes, may have some input into the day to day broadcasts – so I say, if not now, when?


Skinner also is concerned about increased heavy precipitation events and how they’re going to affect Michigan’s agriculture industry. If California continues on its path of extreme drought, she said, Michigan may have to ramp up its agricultural output. But with more extreme precipitation events, which the recent National Climate Assessment forecasts for the Midwest, topsoil could be eroded, making it difficult for Michigan to achieve greater agricultural production.

“We have to get with the scientists and think about how we deal with drainage … so that we are able to step up the production of agriculture to meet the needs of the country,” she said.

Skinner first became interested in environmental issues when her sister-in-law died of melanoma in the early 1990s at 32 years old. At that time, the hole in the ozone layer was growing rapidly, a factor her doctor said could have contributed to the cancer diagnosis. So, Skinner began to research the hole, eventually reading Al Gore’s Earth in the Balance in 1993.

After the Great Midwestern floods of 1993, Skinner worked with President Bill Clinton’s White House to develop a team of federal agencies and architects that rebuilt two communities affected by the floods in Missouri and Illinois on higher ground, so that they wouldn’t be destroyed if the kind of flooding seen in 1993 happened again.

Skinner ran for Senate in Illinois in 2004, but ended up losing to then state-senator Barack Obama.


8 Responses to “Climate Talk Radio: An Idea Whose Time has Come?”

  1. Sometimes things work out for the best. She lost to Obama and started Climate Talk Radio, he became President. It is possible that Climate Talk Radio will do more to shift thinking than the President has done. Go Nancy!

  2. Gingerbaker Says:

    Umm… a single station located in D.C.?

    Is it possible to imagine a location that would have less of an impact? I mean, DC doesn’t have a rep in Congress. I’m not sure I get that idea.

    If you really want to influence talk radio listeners, you are going to have to get a coalition of billionaires to support a nationwide network – just like the Republicans did. It is not going to be profitable for a long long time.

    Moving public opinion is also a long-term project that requires commitment on many levels – financial, political, messaging, etc. Air America plain ran out of money.

    It would make more financial sense, I think, to simply spend the capital needed to reinstate the Fairness Doctrine.

    • Radio waves extend beyond municipal boundaries, thank goodness.

      • dumboldguy Says:

        DC is only ~70 square miles in size, and the signal will reach the VA and MD suburbs, which are home to a lot of wealth and high-powered folks with influence (including all the members of Congress and any government officials who work in or near DC). The greater DC metro area is home to ~6 million, and it’s not a bad place to start.

        • Gingerbaker Says:

          Yeah, but I don’t see any of those folks being in the AM talk radio profile, do you?

          • dumboldguy Says:

            I am 100% certain that Inhofe, Boehner, and all the other science-illiterate Repugnants, lobbyists, financiers, and corporate CEO’s are “in the AM talk radio profile” along with Joe Ignorant Redneck, where they are all already catching Rush Limbaugh. You’re right that FM might be a better place to reach the better informed, but it’s the ignorant that are in greater need of education.

    • greenman3610 Says:

      Obviously the idea is to move to a larger audience – but it beats Muskogee as a starting point.

      • Gingerbaker Says:

        What is it a starting point for?

        Unless somehow this station is miraculously, stupendously successful, what is this going to start? Now, perhaps it will display really encouraging efficacy for moving public opinion. Maybe it will have a huge listenership. maybe it will will generate self-sustaining income revenue.

        But it is not likely to do any of these things, and almost certainly won’t accomplish all three. So, then what? Even f it accomplishes one out of three, there will still be a need for a sponsor with very deep pockets.

        Air America couldn’t survive, and they had a fair amount of financial backing. Conservative talk radio could not survive on their own for many, many years – but they had huge amounts of cash over a long period of time, and an agenda in goose-step with their political puppetmasters. The Democrats don’t have puppetmasters, and they really don’t even have an environmental agenda. Or any financial backers willing to fund things for decades.

        I am not hoping this venture will fail – quite the opposite. I just don’t see the point of the approach from a political standpoint.

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