Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Radio Smart Talk: nukes and climate change; Smart Bricks

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Oct 8, 2012 3:12 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Tuesday, October 9:


Nuclear war and weapons haven't gotten much media attention since the end of the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union.  That doesn't mean the potential danger is not real today. 

Physicians for Social Responsibility is a group that won a Nobel Peace Prize in 1985 for its efforts to prevent nuclear proliferation and war.  Today, RSP has expanded its campaign to include global warming and the environment.  

The president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, Dr. Andrew Kanter, will be speaking at PSR's Harrisburg Chapter banquet Wednesday night in Camp Hill and makes an appearance of Tuesday's Radio Smart Talk.

Also, VCharge is an energy company that developed and markets Smart Bricks -- bricks that store energy.  VCharge says Smart Bricks can save customers up to 25% on their heating bills.  The campany is already working with PPL in Pennsylvania. 

VCharge president George Baker will be on Tuesday's program to discuss the technology and other renewable energies.

Listen to the program:

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2012-10-09 08:43

    Email from Joey

    Good morning. I have a question for the guest today. You say the climate will be destroyed in limited nuclear exchange of even 15 bombs and up to one million people could die. If this is the case how do you explain no climate damage from the over 2500 de-classified nuclear detonations from 1950 through 1994? Does this debunk the guests argument? There is no question that nukes do damage from radioactive fallout and introduction of sediment into the atmosphere, but to the extent the guest is suggesting I can't see any evidence of this.

    • Andrew S Kanter img 2012-10-09 15:27

      Actually the study in question was 100 hiroshima-size weapons which would kill 20 million people outright and potential cause another 925 million who are currently malnourished to also die of starvation. The atmospheric testing certainly produced a lot of radioactive contamination all over the planet, and the underground testing following the partial test ban treaty also releases some radiation. However, the main production of the soot described by Toon and Robock is caused by the firestorms created by the detonation of these weapons over cities. Clearly, other than Hiroshima and Nagasaki, we have not seen such weapons used on cities, particularly with their current content of combustable materials.

  • Dave img 2012-10-09 09:36

    I will have to listen to this broadcast again, a lot of information to digest.

    I am curious regarding the smart brick. Will this work with a heat pump? Will this work with someone who supplements part of their energy needs with solar? Also, I would like to see more examples of how this really saves us money, the website was not very informative, forcing you to call for more information

  • Andrew S Kanter img 2012-10-09 15:32

    I would just like to comment on George's comments about nuclear power and climate change. It is true that there was some initial confusion among environmentalists about the benefits of nuclear power in helping to reduce CO2 as there is certainly a lot less CO2 produced by nuclear plants in operation compared to coal fired plants. However, this is NOT the question. Nuclear plants produce a lot of green house gasses during their entire lifecycle including the production of the plant, mining and production of the fuel, and then the cooling and storage of the waste. We cannot produce nuclear reactors quickly enough or in enough quantity to significantly impact CO2, and the number needed to do so would lead to a Fukushima-like accident every few years. That, plus all of the things I mentioned in the call regarding links to weapons and the wrong message it sends means that nuclear power is the wrong choice for sustainable and healthy energy production.

    And before the American Nuclear Society puts a bunch of comments on this thread, Thorium reactors are NOT an adequate or safe substitute for traditional reactors.

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