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Dying Planet

A remarkable discovery has emerged in astrophysics: key properties of the universe have just the right values to make life possible. Most scientists prefer to explain away this uniqueness, insisting that a number of unseen universes must therefore exist, each randomly different. Astrophysicist Bernard Haisch joined George Knapp in the first half of the show to propose the alternative—that the special properties of our universe reflect an underlying intelligent consciousness.

In the second half of the program, veteran journalist Chris Taylor talked about how the Star Wars franchise has conquered our culture with a sense of lightness and exuberance, while remaining serious enough to influence politics, and spread a spirituality that appeals to religious groups and atheists alike.

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Dying Planet

Show Archive
Date: Monday - September 12, 2011
Host: George Noory
Guests: Peter F. Sale, Dr. Leonard Coldwell

Assistant Director of the Institute for Water, Environment, and Health at United Nations University, Peter Sale, discussed evidence of the wholesale destruction of coral reefs, mass overfishing, and other environmental concerns. He stressed that the planet has "one complex environmental problem" rather than a variety of separate problems that must contend for our attention. This overarching problem, Sale said, is that the human population is using more goods and services that the planet can provide per year. He noted that the current annual human consumption of resources like water, fuel, fish, and timber accounts for nearly one and a half times the Earth's actual production of such resources.

With regards to areas of our ecosystem that are in danger, he detailed the ongoing plight of Earth's coral reefs. According to Sale, these remarkable natural structures account for a mere .1% of the ocean's surface yet support 25% of the species living there. However, he explained, local overfishing, pollution, and "inappropriate coastal development" have resulted in the degradation and collapse of coral reefs. Although these issues can be solved on a regional basis, Sale noted that the reefs are now also seeing widespread coral deaths as a result of the rising temperature of the Earth's ocean. While he acknowledged that "in the grand scheme of things," our civilization would survive if the planet lost its coral reefs, Sale opined that "we're diminishing ourselves as human beings" if we do not try and stop this epic loss.

A self-described "optimist at heart," Sale was hopeful that the human race can curb its overconsumption and reverse the trends which have put the planet in such a perilous predicament. Though this may be problematic to some degree, he asserted that some steps toward that goal are "absurdly simple." One such example was to create building codes which would specify the orientation of newly built houses so that larger windows receive the most exposure from the sun. This concept, he said, would create "passive solar heating" which would considerably cut down on energy costs. "You don't have to do everything in an ugly way," he said, "you just have to do them in an intelligent way."

Combating Cancer

In the first hour, Dr. Leonard Coldwell talked about the dangers of chemotherapy as well as the benefits of alternative cancer treatment. Calling chemotherapy "assault with a deadly weapon," Coldwell contended that "nobody dies of cancer anymore, they die from the side effects of the so-called 'treatment.'" To that end, he cited a UK study which showed that 27% of patients undergoing chemotherapy die within the first 30 days. In espousing the benefits of alternative cancer treatments, he claimed that flax seed oil has been proven to fight breast cancer better than chemotherapy. Additionally, Coldwell advised that cancer cannot survive in an "alkaline, oxygen-rich environment." Therefore, he suggested people consume a gallon of water with sea or pink salt every day and switch to a raw food diet.

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New Doubts Exist for NDEs

Skeptics of Near-Death Experiences have had their arguments bolstered thanks to a series of scientific studies which claim to explain all major facets of the classic paranormal phenomenon. New research indicates that the effects of trauma on various aspects of the brain creates chemical conditions conducive for such NDE elements as seeing a tunnel of light as well as meeting lost loved ones on 'the other side.' More on the story at LiveScience.

Bumper Music

Bumper music from Monday September 12, 2011