Home > Crazy Town Podcast > Episode 1: Orangutans, Santa Suits, and Airplanes on Fire


March 13, 2019

Can you imagine putting on a Santa Claus suit, not to pull a fast one on the kids and deliver Christmas presents, but to protest Big Oil and climate change in front of your local gas station? That may sound insane, but given what’s at stake, it might be the sanest thing you could do on Christmas Eve (plus it’s kinda funny). In this first episode, Asher, Rob, and Jason explore how tough it can be to keep from going crazy as our society rushes headlong toward the cliff edge of environmental and social meltdown. Welcome to Crazy Town, where most of the inhabitants just want you to keep contributing to an economy already in overshoot, keep distracting yourself from the most important stories, and (most of all) keep your mouth shut.


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Show Notes

  • The Reluctant Radical is the movie about Ken Ward, the guy in the Santa suit protesting climate change.
  • The orangutan sanctuary in Borneo near Sandakan, Malaysia.
  • Population estimate of all primates, including the Great Apes (orangutans, gorillas and chimpanzees).
  • Human population growth rate per year is currently about 83,000,000 (births minus deaths). That number divided by 365 days in a year is about 277,000 people a day, so every two days, human population growth equals total great ape population size. See data here.
  • Current vs background extinction rate.
  • The discussion that a barrel of crude oil is roughly the equivalent of 11 years of human labor is based on the following math: One barrel of oil has 5.7 million BTU, which converts to 1,700 kWh. A typical person can work at an output of about 70 watts for several hours. If you multiply 70 watts times 8 hours a day, you get about 600 watt-hours (or 0.6 kWh) of work per day for a human laborer. Divide 1,700 kWh by 0.6 kWh to yield 2,833 days. Since each work year is about 250 days, divide 2,833 by 250 to get 11 years of labor in a barrel of oil. Here’s a reference for the energy density of a barrel of oil.
  • Bobby Woo, the 200 millionth American, is now an attorney in Atlanta.