How Much Pain is Necessary to Break U.S. Addiction to Fossil Fuels?

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Posted June 8, 2011

Interview with Michael Klare, professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College, conducted by Melinda Tuhus

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The nuclear plant disaster at Fukushima, Japan, has generated months of headlines around the world this year, but it was just last year that the massive oil spill caused by the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico was similarly in the news for months.

Coal extraction is also costly to humans and the environment, whether in deep mines where many workers globally have died in accidents over the past year or from black lung disease which kills many more. Mountaintop-removal coal-mining in America’s Appalachian mountains has devastated communities and generated deadly air and water pollution. Even production of natural gas, which has been touted as the cleanest of the fossil fuels, has led to deadly explosions and likely contamination of drinking water as a result of extraction methods such as hydraulic fracturing or "fracking."

Michael Klare is professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College. He’s an authority on the interface between energy production and security, examining both military and environmental issues. Between The Lines’ Melinda Tuhus spoke with Klare, who discusses fossil fuels’ impact on human health and the planet’s ecosystem, assessing the conditions necessary to change course.

Michael Klare's latest book is titled, ”Rising Powers, Shrinking Planet: The New Geopolitics of Energy.”

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