The Gary Null Show Gary takes on the real issues that the mainstream media is afraid to tackle. Tune in to find out the latest about health news, healing, politics, and the economy.

May 5, 2020  

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Study finds meditation and aerobic exercise relieves stress in medical school students. Aromatherapy may reduce nurses' stress, WVU researcher suggests, Green tea compound EGCG reduces breakdown of acetylcholine. Exercise boosts motor skill learning via changes in brain's transmitters. Fasting boosts stem cells' regenerative capacity. Study: Coconut oil contains molecules found to be effective against coronavirus. Vitamin D slows diabetes progression, improves insulin effectiveness. Peppermint oil can help reduce pain caused by irritable bowel syndrome

May 4, 2020  

A Challenge to Fox’s Medical Expert Dr. Marc Siegel

Gary Null PhD, May 4, 2020


Last Friday evening, Fox’s Tucker Carlson Show invited his favorite physician, Dr. Marc Siegel from New York University’s medical school, on his program.  Dr. Siegel is a regular contributor on the COVID19 pandemic for Fox.  He made an emphatic statement that Vitamin C plays no role in the prevention and treatment of coronavirus despite evidence to the contrary.  Instead he emphasized the need for new medications and a vaccine. 

It is expected that a COVID19 vaccine will be fast tracked through the FDA so it becomes available more rapidly.  CNBC News has already reported that White House advisor Dr. Anthony Fauci and other US health officials are collaborating with the drug company Moderna to fast track its COVID19 vaccine that is now in development. In order to expedite medical interventions that are determined to be critical, the FDA permits fast tracking, which lightens the otherwise rigorous clinical trial process and lessens the requirement of long-term assessment to properly evaluate a drug’s or vaccine’s efficacy and safety. According to DrugWatch, many fast tracked drugs have resulted in black box warnings, an FDA flagging of a product as carrying serious adverse risks after its approval and licensure.

Therefore, we want to challenge Tucker’s guest Dr. Siegel. Either they are both uninformed about the peer-review medical literature in the National Library of Medicine and the countless positive patient results from physicians using complementary medicine and Vitamin C therapy for over 5 decades to treat infectious illnesses, including HIV and respiratory infections or they are in denial.  

This may be intentional neglect – making a concerted choice to refuse to acknowledge something in order to avoid contradicting personally held beliefs.

We hope that Tucker and Siegel will be open to interview doctors and patients who have defeated viral infections by non-drug regimens and without vaccination.  There are over 2,600 studies listed in the National Institutes of Health PubMed database specifically addressing Vitamin C therapy and supplementation to prevent and treat infectious diseases; most of these concern respiratory infections.

Below are some of the more important studies, especially regarding the importance of Vitamin C for strengthening the innate and adaptive immune systems. Both of these immune systems are essential for protecting ourselves from COVID19, whereas a vaccine will only act on a single immune system that triggers antibody production.


Current Clinical Trial Underway and listed in the US National Library of Medicine’s database of Clinical Trials:  Vitamin C Infusion for the Treatment of Severe 2019-nCoV Infected Pneumonia


A new clinical trial to test high-dose vitamin C in patients with COVID-19 (University of Otago, New Zealand)

Critical Care, April 2020

Efficacy of Mega dose Vitamin C against Covid19



Vitamin C and SARS coronavirus (University of Helsinki)

Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy, December 2203

The possibility that vitamin C affects severe viral respiratory tract infections would seem to warrant further study, especially in light of the recent SARS epidemic.



Vitamin C and Infections (University of Helskinki)

Nutrients, April 2017

  • Reviewed 148 studies on vitamin C deficiency associated with diverse viral and bacteria infections and pneumonia.
  • Found that in active people, shortened duration of colds effectively


The effectiveness of vitamin C in preventing and relieving the symptoms of virus-induced respiratory infections

Journal of Manipulative Physiological Therapy, October 1999

Megadose Vitamin C before and after flu infections and colds improved symptoms compared to placebo group


The clinical effects of vitamin C supplementation in elderly hospitalised patients with acute respiratory infections (Huddersfield University)

International Journal Vitamin Research, 1994

A randomised double-blind trial showing the effectiveness of vitamin C/placebo supplementation conducted on 57 elderly patients admitted to hospital with acute respiratory infections (bronchitis and bronchopneumonia). 



Vitamin C Is an Essential Factor on the Anti-viral Immune Responses through the Production of Interferon-α/β at the Initial Stage of Influenza A Virus (H3N2) Infection (Seoul National University College of Medicine

Immunology Network, April 2013

Vitamin C is an essential factor for anti-viral immune responses at the early stage of Influenza A infection.





Vitamin C Is an Essential Factor on the Anti-viral Immune Responses through the Production of Interferon-α/β at the Initial Stage of Influenza A Virus (H3N2) Infection (Seoul University College of Medicine)

Immunology Network, April 2013

the infiltration of inflammatory cells into the lung and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and interleukin (IL)-α/β, were increased in the lung. Taken together, vitamin C shows in vivo anti-viral immune responses at the early time of infection, especially against influenza virus, through increased production of IFN-α/β


Extra Dose of Vitamin C Based on a Daily Supplementation Shortens the Common Cold: A Meta-Analysis of 9 Randomized Controlled Trials (Tianjin University of Traditional Chinese Medicine)

Biomedical Research, 2018

The combination of supplemental and therapeutic doses of vitamin C is capable of relieving chest pain, fever, and chills, as well as shortening the time of confinement indoors and mean duration.


A New Mechanism of Vitamin C Effects on A/FM/1/47(H1N1) Virus-Induced Pneumonia in Restraint-Stressed Mice (Pharmacy College, Jinan University, Guangzhou)

Biomedical Research, February 2015

Vitamin C administration significantly decreased expression of susceptibility genes, including mitochondrial antiviral signaling (MAVS) and interferon regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), and increased expression of NF-κB. These findings provide a new mechanism for the effects of vitamin C on influenza virus-induced pneumonia in restraint-stressed mice.



Vitamin C and Immune Function (University of Otago, New Zealand)

Nutrients, November 2017

  • Vitamin C supports epithelial barrier function against pathogens and promotes the oxidant scavenging activity of the skin, thereby potentially protecting against environmental oxidative stress.
    Overall, vitamin C appears to exert a multitude of beneficial effects on cellular functions of both the innate and adaptive immune system. 
  • Vitamin C appears to be able to both prevent and treat respiratory and systemic infections by enhancing various immune cell functions. Prophylactic prevention of infection requires dietary vitamin C intakes that provide at least adequate, if not saturating plasma levels (i.e., 100–200 mg/day), which optimize cell and tissue levels.



Immunomodulatory and Antimicrobial Effects of Vitamin C (University Medicine Berlin)

European Journal of Microbiological Immunology, August 2019

For a few vertebrate species including humans having lost their capacities to synthesize vitamin C themselves during evolution, the uptake of this essential compound from external sources is mandatory in order to prevent from vitamin deficient conditions resulting in severe morbidities

vitamin C is able to inhibit the growth of S. aureus and streptococci even under neutral pH conditions. 


Articles Sited by Cochrane Database as reliable for Vitamin C Efficacy


Anderson TW, Suranyi G, Beaton GH. The effect on winter illness of large doses of vitamin C. Canadian Medical Association Journal 1974;111(1):31‐6.


Chalmers TC. Effects of ascorbic acid on the common cold. An evaluation of the evidence. American Journal of Medicine1975; Vol. 58, issue 4:532‐6.


Dykes MH, Meier P. Ascorbic acid and the common cold. Evaluation of its efficacy and toxicity. JAMA1975; Vol. 231, issue 10:1073‐9.


Hemilä H, Chalker E. Vitamin C for preventing and treating the common cold. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews 2013, Issue 1. [DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD000980.pub4]


Karlowski TR, Chalmers TC, Frenkel LD, Kapikian AZ, Lewis TL, Lynch JM. Ascorbic acid for the common cold. A prophylactic and therapeutic trial. JAMA1975; Vol. 231, issue 10:1038‐42.


Raposo SE, Fondell E, Ström P, Bälter O, Bonn SE, Nyrén O, et al. Intake of vitamin C, vitamin E, selenium, zinc and polyunsaturated fatty acids and upper respiratory tract infection ‐ a prospective cohort study. European Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2017;71:450‐7. [DOI: 10.1038/ejcn.2016.261]


Vorilhon P, Arpajou B, Vaillant Roussel H, Merlin E, Pereira B, Cabaillot A. Efficacy of vitamin C for the prevention and treatment of upper respiratory tract infection. A meta‐analysis in children. European Journal of Clinical Pharmacology 2018 Nov 21 [Epub ahead of print]. [DOI: 10.1007/s00228‐018‐2601‐7]


Webb AL, Villamor E. Update: effects of antioxidant and non‐antioxidant vitamin supplementation on immune function. Nutrition Reviews2007; Vol. 65, issue 5:181‐217.



Witek TJ, Ramsey DL, Carr AN, Riker DK. The natural history of community‐acquired common colds symptoms assessed over 4 years. Rhinology 2015;53(1):81‐8.


Yakoot M, Salem A. Efficacy and safety of a multiherbal formula with vitamin C and zinc (Immumax) in the management of the common cold. International Journal of General Medicine2011; Vol. 4:45‐51.


May 1, 2020  

Richard Vague is Acting Secretary of Banking and Securities for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Previously, he was co-founder, Chairman and CEO of Energy Plus, an electricity and natural gas supply company operating in states throughout the U.S. that was sold to NRG Energy in 2011. Vague was also co-founder and CEO of two credit card companies – First USA, which grew to be the largest Visa issuer in the industry and and Juniper Financial, the fastest growing credit card in its era.  Richard currently serves on the University of Pennsylvania Board of Trustees and the Penn Medicine Board of Trustees. He is chair of FringeArts Philadelphia, chair of the University of Pennsylvania Press, and chair of the Innovation Advisory Board of the Abramson Cancer Center.  He also serves on the Governing Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking. Richard is also the founder of the email newsletter service, which focuses on non-fiction literature.    He is the author of A Brief History of Doom, a chronicle of 6 major world financial crisesand The Next Economic Disaster, a book with a new approach for predicting and preventing financial crises.

April 30, 2020  

Is COVID-19 Herd Immunity Possible?

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 29, 2020

One effort some countries are undertaking to stem the rise of COVID-19 infections is to increase herd immunity.  There are physicians and scientists suggesting that the more individuals are exposed to the coronavirus, the faster the population will reach a hypothetical herd immunity. However there is no international consensus on this strategy given many factors about this particular viral strain that remain essentially unknown. Unfortunately, this week, the World Health Organization issued a warning that there is no guarantee or confirmatory evidence that persons infected with COVID-19 have generated reliable antibody responses that would protect them from reinfection.  Consequently, governments that are lessening lockdowns or making efforts to open their economies for business again may be contributing to the increase of other viral infections as well. On the other hand, this finding, if valid, may put a halt to attempts to require "immunity passports" or to implement draconian measures requiring certified proof of immunity or even vaccination. 

Now more than ever it is critically important to question and challenge many of the a priori assumptions being made about this pandemic's rates of infection, immunity, and fatalities. 

Read More

April 29, 2020  

Richard Heinberg is A Senior Fellow at the Post Carbon Institute and is widely regarded as one of the world’s experts on our shift away from reliance on fossil fuels.  His writings focus on the repercussions of a fossil fuel based world economy on food and transportation, and the need to transition away from fossil fuels and create a more sustainable future. Richard appears in the new documentary Planet of the Humans that is raising some important controversies and was featured in Leonardo DiCaprio’s film “The Eleventh Hour.” His articles appear in many media sources including Nature, YES!, Counterpunch, Oil Drum, Public Policy Review, and Project Censored. He has authored over ten books on oil depletion, energy economics, climate change and ecological issues.  His latest book is “Our Renewable Future: Laying the Path to One Hundred Percent Clean Energy”.  His websites are  AND

April 28, 2020  

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. Glucosamine supplementation associated with lower mortality risk during 8.9-year median, Which foods do you eat together? How you combine them may raise dementia risk. Quercetin demonstrates analgesic effect in post-inflammatory irritable bowel syndrome. Plants against diabetes: Adopting a plant-based diet can slash your risk of developing metabolic diseases. Orujo olive oil reduces obesity, The best material for homemade face masks may be a combination of two fabrics. Therapeutic effects of extract of ashwagandha on age-induced changes in daily rhythms. 

Today's Videos 



What We Should ALL Be Doing Right Now! 😷 (ORIGINAL)

April 27, 2020  

COVID-19's Economic Holocaust

Richard Gale and Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 27, 2020


For all the uncertainties the COVID-19 pandemic poses to the world, especially in the US, one thing seems evident.  Our neoliberal capitalist civilization has proven itself to be unprepared for unexpected crises and catastrophes. For decades, the US has been falling behind other developed nations to infuse economic resiliency in society. Not only has the American medical system and federal health agencies been shown to be naked, we are also discovering we cannot rely on epistemological statistics and computer modeling alone to account for our flawed health policies.

Aside from the pandemic's toll on people's lives, there is also its impact upon the national economies and the global economy at large that is barely being discussed in any depth. Rather, hopes and wishes are being directed towards life returning to normal.  We are expected to believe that our addiction to unconscionable consumerism will return, employment will rise and the American dream can again be mentally photo-shopped on the horizon. In short, we are persuaded that the comfort of our illusions and denial of harsh realities will return.  However, if a past Nobel laureate of economics, Joseph Stiglitz, is correct, then "if you leave it to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell we will have a Great Depression." Likewise, former Federal Reserve chair Jenet Yellen has also warned that the 30% GDP decline is leading us towards Depression. In fact, we may already be there.

As of today, the federal government has guaranteed $5.2 trillion dollars to keep the economy afloat as a depression worse than 1932 looms overhead. Some economists believe that this massive bailout is insufficient and upwards to $10-15 trillion may be necessary.  In 2008, with one broad stroke the Obama administration rescued Wall Street.  What was believed to be just the TARP bailout of $700 billion was in fact over $4 trillion worth of outlays, including TARP and other FED and Treasury expenditures.  The Levy Institute at Bard College calculated the outlays may have been as high as $29 trillion, a number the Sanders' campaign had quoted.

Obama's bailout was to assist the incompetency and corruption of Wall Street and the financial industry. Today it is a submicroscopic organism, approximately 120 nanometers (one nanometer is one billionth of a meter or about 20 oxygen atoms lined up), that threatens the financial well being of most Americans.

However before the COVID-19 reached our shores, the US was already in a horrible debt crisis. Fiscal conservatives are angered that the US National Debt has reached $24.5 trillion while at the same time adamantly ignoring that the US Total Debt now hovers above $77 trillion. Neither party shows concern about Americans' increasing personal debt (mortgage, credit card, auto, student loans, etc), nor the rise in corporate, state and city debts. When we take into consideration $144.6 trillion in US Unfunded Liabilities, $20.4 trillion in Social Security Liability, and $31.6 trillion in Medicare liability, the nation lingers on the precipice a total collapse.

Before the pandemic, Trump boasted an unemployment level as low as 3.6 percent. But in the US, there are different ways to calculate unemployment figures. There is the official figure (U-3) that Wall Street and presidential administrations rely upon and then a more realistic statistic or U-6 that includes those underemployed and those only marginally attached to the work force.  Before the pandemic the "real" or U-6 employment was 6.9 percent.  Finally there is the shadow statistic, which adds the millions of Americans who have dropped out of the work force because their benefits ceased or because they are homeless or unaccounted for by the Labor Bureau.  When those adjustments are made, the shadow unemployment is likely around 23 percent.

Now, unemployment is skyrocketing.  The most recent estimate is that over 26 million people lost work during the past month and, according to Fortune magazine, the official unemployment rate may be as high 18 percent.  Consequently a more accurate unemployment figure would be approximately 32 percent or almost a third of population. This is far worse than at the height of the Great Depression when unemployment stood at 25 percent.  The dark side of American jobs has been decades of large layoffs, workers being replaced by automation, downsizing, corporate consolidation due to equity partnerships, mergers and off shoring of manufacturing. In addition, tens of thousands of foreign professionals have received work visas and are eager to take the place of middle seniority positions in firms for lower salaries and without full benefits.  The system is so corrupt that the millions of people who work full time for less than a living wage are completely ignored. Hence most Americans are deep in debt and frequently live paycheck to paycheck. The fact of the matter is that there is no security whatsoever for millions of people who may not find work for a very long time.

Even if the lockdown were to end tomorrow, the lights would not immediately switch back on.  Throughout the financial news, we are reading headlines of companies eyeing bankruptcy as credit ratings are being rapidly downgraded.  Retail stores are being especially hit badly. According to Global Data Retail, over 190,000 retail stores have closed, accounting for nearly 50 percent of the nation's retail square footage. Forbes has listed Dillards, JC Penny, Kohl's, Levi Strauss, Macy's, Nordstrom, and Signet to likely go under.  Others include Pier 1 Imports, Rite Aid, J Crew that is loaded up with private equity debt, Fairway supermarkets, and niche organic grocer Lucky's. Macy's capital alone dropped from $6 billion to $1.5 billion since February. This trend had already been rising since Trump came to office with large chain companies increasingly closing outlets including Walgreens, Gap, GNC, H&M and Victoria's Secret. For sure, when and if the pandemic ends, there will be far less retail stores. The New York Times predicts very few are likely to survive. And we are not even looking at the hundreds of their vendors that are also being affected.

With 60 percent of Americans eating regularly outside the home, the restaurant industry is also being hit fiercely. Restaurants employ more minority managers than any other industry -- approximately 60% -- and employs almost 16 million people. Between 2010 and 2018, it represented the largest number of low middle class jobs ($45,000 to $75,000), 300 percent more than the overall economy. Now a restaurant apocalypse is underway, with an estimated 20 percent of restaurant operations going under. Larger chains are far better equipped. They are simply closing down dining room facilities and only offering carryout, pickup, delivery or drive-thru. Smaller independent restaurants are at the greatest risk.

Then there are the farms, the concentrated agriculture feeding organizations (CAFOs) and food chain suppliers. In the past it was very rare to enter a large grocery store and find empty shelves. Now it is a common sight because the food supply chain has been upended. Pork and other meat suppliers such as Smithfield Foods, Tyson and Cargill are forced to close plants. Due to Trump's draconian position on immigration of foreign workers, farm produce will not be harvested. Niv Ellis at The Hill reports that "some $5 billion of fresh fruit and vegetables have already gone to waste."  The pandemic, therefore, is contributing to rising food insecurity throughout the nation. Before the pandemic, Ellis notes, 37 million Americans were already food insecure.  The additional 26 million unemployed will increase that number, and it is sure to continue to climb. Finally, the UN Food and Agriculture Organization expects that the frantic efforts underway by countries to import basic staple foods may launch global food inflation.

We are also facing "the quickest and deepest oil demand crash in history," says Richard Heinberg from the Post Carbon Institute. Oil prices plunged to an inconceivable negative minus $37 a barrel last week as global fossil fuel demand dropped roughly 30 percent.  "The entire petroleum industry," writes Heinberg, "is teetering."  Natural gas producers relying on hydrofracking shale, which had already been burdened with high debt from private equity, are scrambling for bankruptcy protectionAccording to Reuters, "numerous midstream companies [in the energy sector] backed by private equity are in danger of bankruptcy." With the collapse of hydrofracking companies, the pipeline firms have also entered troubled waters. The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City predicts that 40 percent of energy producers may be insolvent "if oil prices remain around $30 a barrel" for the year. Then consider the larger picture of the impact this has on the 6.4 million people working in the energy sector.

Also we might consider the future of 15 million Americans who work in the tourism industry, including hotels, entertainment, parks, museums, etc. It is estimated that 96 percent of global tourism has vanished in the blink of an eye.

State and local city governments are also "staring at budget shortfalls that will substantially exceed what they faced during the great recession." States are reporting significant gaps in their capacity to remain fiscally afloat. The Republican Senate led by Mitch McConnell seems determined to withhold $150 billion of emergency funds to the states in the CARES Act before Congress -- less than half of the $300 billion to $1 trillion state legislators are demanding. Consequently, states are staring into a deep abyss.

Americans who will either return to a job or seek work when the pandemic slows will be further imprisoned by an economy buried in greater debt.

  • Downsizing will accelerate along with borrowed money to continue operations while the White House refuses to pass a rent holiday, forgive student loans and other debts, cease payday loans, reduce interest rates on credit nor provide free healthcare for those infected with COVID-19;


  • The average person without a steady paycheck is living off savings and credit cards. Therefore, when the economy reopens, large numbers of people will be unable to return to the marketplace to circulate dollars;


  • As corporate debt mounts, the most insidious truth are the vultures of capitalism who will profit. These are the great white sharks in the finance industry that smell blood. For the trillions of dollars Trump is dishing out to the 1 percent, these are the first to get the lion's share of the quarry.

Nobody in the mainstream media has properly criticized the huge monetary allocations being made for the pandemic. The FED is buying corporate debt in order for companies to off load their mistakes and receive fresh, new money. But the average small business receives the left over pennies.  The virus is teaching us the harsh reality about Washington pervasive culture of corruption. On this account both parties have no empathic regard for average citizens and small business owners.  Even the money from Trump's and Mnuchin's stimulus package given to citizens can be confiscated by debt collectors.

Imagine if you are an average citizen, not an insider, at the conference table with executives from Facebook, Google, the major banks and mega-corporate industries. You have no income or savings and no health insurance. If you are hungry, where do you get money for food? Where do you get money if you are sick or gas for your car?  The unintended consequences of Trump's and the Congress' irresponsible and inhumane policies are literally bankrupting the nation.

By extension the millennial and iGen generations are the victimized recipients of this debt bequeathed to them by older generations. They are further compromised with the inability to secure jobs equal to their educational level nor secure a satisfying living wage. They are burdened with high interest student loans. They also are far more aware of the impact climate change will have on their futurs. Therefore, millions of young adults are rapidly losing faith in America's neoliberal capitalist system and our self-centered culture of predation.

Similar to waking up the day following September 11, 2001, we will be emerging into a new world after the COVID19 pandemic subsides. It is now being called the "shut-in economy." The pandemic is not solely a health crisis; it is equally an existential crisis, an impasse in the global civilization that is forcing us to realize that our over dependence and perverse reliance upon natural resources, such as fuel, energy, food and corrupt banking and healthcare services, is fragile. We are learning that at every level there are numerous cracks in our structures of governance and our economic and social bases.  Yet the virus did not break the nation; it has been broken for a long time. Only now more people are waking up from their dream. Furthermore, few people, including the mainstream media, now believe there will ever be a return to the normalcy of life that ended after Wuhan had its first patient infected with the virus. It is time for every individual to reassess her or his priorities. A life full of well-being is more possible today if we realize the virus has also been our teacher. But it is living a life that is founded upon simplicity, insight and wisdom, and community rather than consumption and competitive power. 

April 24, 2020  

Kent Heckenlively is an attorney with a jurist doctoral degree, a science teacher and a founding contributing editor of Age of Autism, a daily web newsletter about the autism epidemic that investigates autism as an environmentally induced and treatable illness. In the past he has worked for US Senator Pete Wilson from California and the US Attorney’s Office in San Francisco. His daughter Jacqueline has severe autism due to a vaccine injury. Kent is the co-author with Dr. Judy Mikovits of the recent book "Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science" -- which recounts Dr. Mikovits' career over the past four decades working with the cutting edge of viral research both within and outside of government.  Earlier Kent authored “Inoculated: How Science Lost its Soul in Autism,” which tells the story of how vaccines have become a 30 year disaster since the passage of Ronald Reagan’s 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act that gave vaccine makers immunity from vaccine injuries.

Dr. Judy Mikovits has been research scientists for almost four decades specializing in immunology and virology, drug development and epigenetics.  Her dedication saw her rise to become the director of the National Cancer Institute's laboratory for Antiviral Drug Mechanisms. Later she went into private industry to direct the cancer biology program at EpiGenX Pharmaceuticals in California and was drawn to investigate the molecular causation of autism, chronic fatigue syndrome and immunological inflammation in disease. She holds a BA from the University of Virginia and received her doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from George Washington University.  Judy's and Kent's website is

April 23, 2020  

The Gary Null Show is here to inform you on the best news in health, healing, the environment. 



April 22, 2020  

The Empty Celebration of Earth Day

Gary Null PhD

Progressive Radio Network, April 21, 2020


Fifty years ago I and other conservationists and public health advocates were thrilled with the idea of an annual Earth Day celebration to honor our planet. At that time, I had more requests from television and radio to speak about health, nutrition and the early natural food movement. I had never received before any requests to speak about the environment, although I was an organic farmer and taught organic and sustainable agricultural methods at my Fertile Earth Farm outside of New Paltz in the Hudson Valley.

Despite the success of the early Earth Day events, there seemed to be very little national interest in deeper environmental issues. Even in those days, I largely spoke to deaf ears. Unlike the worldwide consciousness growing around civil and women's rights, activism advocating for stewardship of the Earth, its resources and wildlife was still in its infancy. I was hoping these various efforts might join together. That included going vegetarian, live through the principle of being in harmony with the natural world and conscientiously simplifying our lives. Rather than focus on a future to purchase and hoard more stuff, explore what other cultures do to connect with our human faculties that foster compassion, kindness, and a shared commons. I believed we should be oracles of peace rather than ambassadors of political hegemony, oppression and power.

Yet how foolish, naive and delusional I was! Now jumping forward fifty years, where does humanity linger today?  Last year was the year of Greta Thunberg, a teenager who raised hell, got into the faces of the world's leaders and demanded environmental priority over profits. Despite her sincerity and heer activism's success in mobilizing the global youth, it turned out to be a rather futile gesture.  We are still faced with powerful laissez faire opportunists behind Green capitalism exemplified by the elite such as Al Gore. With very few exceptions, I no longer believe the world governments, and certainly not private industry or the mainstream media, will effectively cause anything to change to the degree necessary to reach a realistic level of ecological sustainability.

Do we ever ask a basic question?  What are we trying to save the planet from? The answer is simple: massive over-consumption of unessential stuff that requires endless exploitation of natural resources and the media's manufacturing of consent. Aside from a bubble economy of debt, we have a bubble educational system.  Bubble military and pharmaceutical complexes. A bubble agriculture. A bubble body politic. And bubble comfort where we do nothing that advances the causes for empathy by engaging in authentic change and care for others rather than solely for ourselves and our tribe. All of our grasping for luxuries while doing less feeds the predatory capitalist system.

Robinson Jeffers, an icon of America's early 20th century environmental movement, anti-war activist and epic poet warned of the same social hubris that we witness today and is now leading us to an environmental precipice. He believed humanity was too self-centered and indifferent to the "astonishing beauty of things." He called on his readers to "uncenter" themselves. The only thing that materialism accomplishes, according to Jeffers, is to teach us how to suffer. His contemporary John Muir would castigate the utter failure of the faith based religions to protect the Earth and pen, "No wonder the hills and groves were God's first temples, and the more they are cut down and hewn into cathedrals, temples and churches, the farther off and dimmer seems the Lord."

Sadly, our lying mainstream media rarely portrays the ugliness of our culture and our destruction of the planet. It only focuses on the consequences of climate change disasters, not why these crises are happening and who is ultimately responsible. These are treated as one time events. There is no complex and truthful analysis. For example, last year, there were record breaking weather events. Alaska witnessed for the first time a complete loss of sea ice. Wildfires occurred in Greenland and above the Arctic Circle. There was epic flooding in the American heartland, forest fires devastated large tracts of northern California, and the Bahamas were hit with the first recognized Category 6 hurricane.  But these events were only in the news cycle for a day or two before disappearing. Have major media outlets ever gone back to look at the long term consequences?

Our media reality is hyper-kinetic. Short and spastic, it changes with each 24-hour news cycle. Information is rapidly lost from our cultural consciousness and other political news stories replace it before another climate catastrophe appears on the horizon. Consequently there is no time for self reflection or meditation about what each of us as individuals should be doing.

I knew something was terribly wrong during a later Earth Day celebration in Dallas where I was a speaker. After my lecture, I wandered around the fairgrounds observing people eating hamburgers and junk food. Coke cans were scattered about. I realized most came for the country music. They did not attend in order to learn how to better change their lives.

Today there is nothing to stop global warming's dangerous feedback loops. Repeatedly we learn that the experts were wrong in their predictions by a substantial measure. The Antarctic ice sheets are melting far more rapidly than expected, by a ten-fold magnitude. Sea level rise is happening faster than forecasted.  In 2019, the International Arctic Research Center reported that the region has entered an "unprecedented state" that threatens the planet's climate stability.

The Trump White House does absolutely nothing and instead has been making efforts to censor press statements related to climate change. Wall Street and the private corporate industrial complex are equally complicit in keeping the public stupefied.  In the meantime, there is a new Earth Day for us to stand up and be proud of. And this meaningless ritual we will continue to frivolously revere in the future as matters worsen. There is nothing to be learned from celebrity environmentalists, many who will fly to events in private jets, eat meat and then pontificate about environmental consciousness raising.

This does not mean that I am surrendering my commitment to the Earth nor should you. However, I will no longer waste my time with large environmental organizations and Earth Days. Instead, every day I support local activities such as farmer markets and efforts to strengthen local community resilience. I balance my lifestyle in order to minimize my carbon footprint, support truly sustainable movements, and intentional communities where people choose to live in harmony with nature and focus on the emotional and intellectual quality of their lives. I will continue to host daily radio broadcasts and direct documentaries on the environment and health. However, what we do as individuals in our homes, with our neighbors and communities also make a difference.

When Wisconsin Senator Gaylord Nelson founded the first Earth Day in 1970, it was because he observed that the health of the planet was being completely ignored in politics and the media. The nationwide event would have been irrelevant except for it having set important milestones. It led to public support behind the eventual passage of Ralph Nader's Clean Air and Clean Water acts and the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency.  Nader is undoubtedly our most important and uncompromised environmentalist. It was his commitment to the Earth and our humanity's relationship to the environment that resulted in passing many laws to protect us.

Therefore, instead of another Earth Day pageant on April 22nd, let us reconnect with the beauty of what remains of nature and our neighbors with earnest. And let's remember the words of Chief Seattle from the Suquamish nation that "humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves."

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