Locus Focus

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with local, regional and national experts, activists and policy makers about climate change, food policy, land use, salmon restoration, forest management and all the other things that matter in our environment.

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Episode Archive

WHAT HAS NATURE EVER DONE FOR US? HOW MONEY REALLY DOES GROW ON TREES

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 10/14/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The economic and intrinsic value of natural systems with Tony Juniper

From Indian vultures to Chinese bees, nature provides the "natural services" that keep the economy going - as well as ecological balance. From the recycling miracles i the soil to an army of predators ridding us of unwanted pests, it has been estimated that these and other services each year are worth about double the global GDP. Yet we take most of Nature's services for granted, imagining them free and limitless - until they suddenly switch off.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with British environmentalist Tony Juniper, whose book What Has Nature Ever Done for Us? How Money Really Does Grow on Trees points out that if we realized the true economic as well as intrinsic value of nature, we would stop treating our natural systems in a destructive manner.

SHOULD PORTLAND CREATE A SPECIAL DISTRICT TO RUN PUBLIC UTILITIES?

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 10/07/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Bob Sallinger and Mike Houck discuss proposal to create new public utilities district in Portland.
An effort is underfoot to wrest control of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services and Water Bureau from the Portland City Council and transfer them to an obscure board lacking transparency and accountability. This effort masquerades as a populist movement but is in fact a Trojan horse backed by industrial water users designed to lower their costs and defund the City's most important environmental programs.

SNAKE OIL: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future with Richard Heinberg

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/30/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A conversation with Richard Heinberg about the perils of fracking

SNAKE OIL: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future with Richard Heinberg

GMOs IN OREGON - Update with Clint Lindsey

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/23/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
An update on the continuing struggle to keep GMOs out of Oregon

GMOs IN OREGON - Update with Clint Lindsey

Locus Focus on 09/16/13

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/16/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A look back at this past summer's fire and flood season

 

 

FIRE, WATER & BRIMSTONE

Locus Focus on 09/09/13

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/09/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Coal and oil trains, pipelines and terminals proproposed for the Pacifid NW - with Eric de Place

COAL TRAINS, OIL TRAINS, PIPELINES coming through the Pacific Northwest

This summer the port of Vancouver, Washington approved plans to build a terminal for oil trains, over widespread opposition from the community. Meanwhile anti-coal activists are still trying to fend off three proposed coal terminals in Oregon and Washington and Kinder Morgan is going ahead promoting its plan to enlarge and extend its Trans Mountain Pipeline that carries tar sands crude from Alberta to Burnaby, BC. If they have their way the Georgia Strait and Strait of San Juan de Fuca will become a shipping channel for scores of super tankers, carrying the heavy oil to refineries in California.

Locus Focus on 09/02/13

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/02/2013 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Helen Caldicott on Nuclear Power, Radiation & Our Health (Recorded in Taiwan on 7/7/13

From the series TUC Radio we hear Dr. Helen Caldicott's keynote presentation at a public forum in Taipei, Taiwan, on July 7, 2013. The organizer was an antinuclear alliance of mothers called Mom Loves Taiwan. They are campaigning to prevent the opening of yet another nuclear power plant on that small island and invited Dr. Helen Caldicott to help inform the public and the media.
 

Locus Focus on 08/26/13

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/26/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Weekly interview show about our place on the planet.

Guest host Ross Freeman Levin invited local activist Pierre to discuss his efforts to end oppression in modern culture. They talked about uncompromising environmental activism, corporate greed, police repression, prison abolition and efforts to liberate the earth from capitalist dominance. Some links related to show content appear below.

http://earthfirstjournal.org/

http://katuahearthfirst.org/

http://oregonjericho.wordpress.com/

Locus Focus on 08/19/13

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/19/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Never Again Enough: Field Notes From a Drying West
Never Again Enough: Field Notes From a Drying West

Guest host Per Fagereng interviews environmentalist and writer William deBuys, author of the definitive book on the parching of the West, "A Great Aridness: Climate Change and the Future of the American Southwest." They discuss deBuys' recent article, "Never Again Enough: Field Notes From a Drying West.”  This is another in his series of reports -- the last was “Exodus from Phoenix” -- on facing the new weather and climate-change world we are living in. http://www.tomdispatch.com/blog/175730/

Locus Focus on 08/12/13

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/12/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Earth Overshoot Day is expected on August 19th
Earth Overshoot Day is expected on August 19th

Per Fagereng guest hosts. His guest is Dave Gardner, Producer/Director/Writer of GrowthBusters.

Audio

COUNTRY NATURAL BEEF: FARMING IN THE MIDDLE

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 06/28/2010

On June 10 ranchers from across Oregon, Idaho and Washington descended upon downtown Portland for a country food fair sponsored by Oregon Natural Beef. This event provided an opportunity for these ranchers to meet the city folks who eat the meat that they raise, and for city eaters to get a glimpse of cowboy life. Oregon is fortunate to have a ranch co-op like Oregon Natural Beef that provides organic, hormone-free, grassfed sustainably-raised beef to a wide range of eaters—from the fancy diners at Higgins in downtown Portland, to Cleveland High School students grabbing a burger at the Burgerville across the street from their school, as well as shoppers at New Seasons and Whole Foods Markets. This morning on Locus Focus we talk with Connie and Doc Hatfield, co-founders  of Oregon Natural Beef. We'll learn what it means to be farming in the middle.

WHAT IS COUNTRY NATURAL BEEF?

In 1986 fourteen family ranches formed a consumer driven beef marketing cooperative with a vision to protect open spaces by preserving the rural culture and families that nurture them.

Country Natural Beef is a conduit allowing individual family ranches to own, control and finance our beef from birth of the calf to our retail customer. This conduit serves as a two way bridge - providing value to our urban customer's meal and meaning to our rancher's work. Country Natural Beef is third party certified for humane animal practices and environmentally sensitive land management by Food Alliance.  In February of this year, the Country Natural Beef Animal Welfare Standards were endorsed by Temple Grandin, a well known animal behaviorist and industry expert.

Country Natural Beef is a unique cooperative, each family rancher owns, and controls management of their beef from birth to the retail cooler.

 

....it's the smell of sage after a summer thunderstorm,
the cool shade of a Ponderosa Pine forest.
It's 80 year old weathered hands saddling a horse in the Blue mountains,
The future of a 6-year old in a one room school on the high desert.
It's a trout in a beaver built pond, haystacks on an Aspen framed meadow.
It's the hardy quail running to join the cattle for a meal,
the welcome ring of a dinner bell at dusk.

Doc Hatfield and Becky Hatfield Hyde

 

A VIEW FROM THE BOTTOMS: RESHAPING PORTLAND'S REMNANT WETLAND

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 06/21/2010

As you follow the lower Willamette River through the city of Portland you see mostly hardened banks, sea walls and industrial sites that line both shores of the river. But along the east bank of the river, just a few miles south of downtown Portland, you come across a stretch of beach and wetlands and braided channels that reminds us of the landscape through which the lower Willamette River once flowed. A central feature of this nearly natural stretch of watershed, is Oaks Bottom, a 160 acre wetland and wildlife refuge, the closest thing left to the rich wetland habitat that once lined both shores of the Willamette River, where Portland now stands.

This week on Locus Focus we talk with Anne Nelson with Portland Environmental Services, Mark Griswold Wilson - Restoration Ecologist with Portland Parks & Recreation City Nature Division - and Sean Bistoff - the project manager for the habitat enhancement project at Oaks Bottom, who are involved in a project to restore Oaks Bottoms' natural features and functions. For nearly a century the wetlands have been severed from the river by a railroad berm. The plan is to reconnect Oaks Bottom to the river and recreate a salmon nursery in its open water. We look at the challenges of restoring a functioning ecosystem in Oaks Bottom, which like so many urban natural areas, has endured decades of abuse and neglect.

In the summer of 2011, the City Nature Division of Portland Parks & Recreation and Portland Environmental Services will be constructing a large scale habitat enhancement project at Oaks Bottom to benefit wildlife and people. The project will enhance 75 acres of wetland habitat by:

* Replacing an existing culvert with a larger box culvert to enhance fish passage and significantly improve the flow of Willamette River water in and out of the refuge.

* Excavating tidal slough channels and enhancing wetland habitats at the south end of the refuge to provide off-channel refuge for salmon.

* Removing invasive vegetation, such as purple loosestrife, and revegetation with native species to improve wildlife habitat.

* Enhancing opportunities for environmental education and interpretation of the refuge from the Springwater on the Willamette Trail.

Mark Griswold Wilson is an Restoration Ecologist with Portland Parks & Recreation City Nature Division and a neighbor of Oaks Bottom.

Anne Nelson is an Environmental Program Coordinator for the Willamette Watershed with the City of Portland Environmental Services.  She works on urban watershed function enhancment projects such as the Oaks Bottom Habitat Enhancement Project, Tryon Creek Confluence Habitat Enhancement Project and Tabor to the River.  For more information on this work please see:  www.portlandonline.com/bes/watershed/willamette
 

Sean Bistoff has worked at the City of Portland Environmental Services since 1998, and has worked on a variety of projects including environmental monitoring and sampling, permit and development application review, and land acquisition and floodplain restoration in Johnson Creek.  Sean is currently the design phase project manager for several wetland restoration projects, including the Oaks Bottom Habitat Enhancement Project. Sean's education is in Water Resources and Geology.

  • Title: Oaks Bottom
  • Year: 2010
  • Length: 43:26 minutes (39.76 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

THE CLIMATE CRISIS AT THE END OF YOUR FORK: An Interview with Anna Lappe

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 06/14/2010

When we talk about the primary causes of climate change, the food we eat and how it's produced does not usually come to forefront of the discussion. Yet agriculture is responsible for nearly a third of the greenhouse gas emissions which are at the root of the climate crisis, and the emissions produced by the food sector are largely methane and nitrous oxide emissions, which have global warming effects many times more powerful than carbon dioxide.

This week on Locus Focus we talk with food activist and author Anna Lappe, whose new book Diet for a Hot Planet: The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, sends a strong message: if we are serious about addressing climate change, we have to talk about food. On this episode of Locus Focus we look at how we can break out of the corporate food model, cut the greenhouse gas emissions footprint of the food we eat and help work toward creating a more sustainable world.

Anna Lappé is a national bestselling author, television host, and public speaker, known for her work on sustainability and food systems. In 1971, her mother Frances Moore Lappé released her now-classic Diet for a Small Planet. Her core message, that food remains the central issue through which to understand world politics, remains as relevant today. Anna Lappe has pursued her mother's cause and taken it to the next level, raising consciousness around the world about the role that food, and the politics of food, plays in promoting the climate crisis.

Link to Anna's blog: http://www.takeabite.cc/blog/

  • Title: Anna Lappe
  • Year: 2010
  • Length: 44:03 minutes (40.33 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

Sand Berms and Burning Oil Slicks in the Gulf of Mexico

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 06/07/2010

As part of KBOO's special day of programming about the BP Oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico - Stop the Oil – Save the Gulf! this episode of Locus Focus looks at two under-reported stories coming out of the Gulf.

First we talk with Portland science writer Liz Grossman, who has been following the health impacts of the dispersants being used to break up the oil in the spill. We hear about how BP is trying to downplay the danger both to humans and wildlife of the chemicals they are using, while at the same time there are growing reports of workers exposed to the dispersants who are getting sick. We also talk about the lack of available data on air quality near the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, which is a serious concern since BP has been burning off oil that has reached the water's surface around the site of the damaged rig.

In the second half of the program we talk with Len Bahr, retired director of the Governor's Applied Coastal Science program in Louisiana, who now writes a blog entitled LaCoastPost. We discuss the science and politics behind dramatic plans to "fix" the oil spill problem, such as building a huge sand berm along the Louisiana coastline to prevent the oil from reaching into the marshes and beaches. Len has strong opinions as a coastal scientist, about the fallacy of this plan and believes that it is driven by politics, not science.

ABOUT A MOUNTAIN

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 05/31/2010
In recent years a wide range of voices has been promoting nuclear energy as the solution to climate change. While it’s true that the actual nuclear processes within reactors produce no carbon emissions, nuclear boosterism overlooks a number of serious issues with nuclear power. Probably the most critical one is the still-unsolved problem of where to store all the nuclear waste. For many years it looked like the permanent repository for all of our country’s nuclear waste was going to be Yucca Mountain, 90 miles north of Las Vegas. But a few months ago, shortly before President Obama announced plans to restart the nation’s commercial nuclear reactor program after a thirty-year hiatus, he essentially pulled the plug on using Yucca Mountain as a storage facility, by cutting off further funding for the project. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with John D’Agata, author of a book about Yucca Mountain, called About a Mountain.
 
About A Mountain looks at how Southern Nevada’s peculiar culture advanced Yucca Mountain as the favored site for the nuclear waste repository. But it’s also an incisive look at how we all live without looking closely at the consequences of our decisions. John D’Agata is an author who teaches creative writing at the University of Iowa. A few years ago he spent time in Las Vegas, after his mother moved there. Through his mother's network of activist friends, he became intimately familiar with the controversy brewing over creating the nation's permanent nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain. His book challenges the rationale for relying on currently known technologies to manage the problem of storing nuclear waste, a toxic substance that will persist in nature for a quarter of million years.
  • Title: About A Mountain
  • Length: 41:49 minutes (38.29 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 128Kbps (CBR)

FOOD SCRAP RECYCLING COMING TO YOUR CURBSIDE

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 05/24/2010

How much of your garbage is composed of food scraps? According to analysis in the Portland Recycles! Plan the average Portland household disposes of 1,326 pounds of garbage per year of which 75% could be recycled or composted instead of winding up as landfill. We can reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by our garbage by approximately one ton for each ton of food scraps diverted from landfill.

This week on Locus Focus we learn about what Portland is doing to change our garbage habits? We talk with Bruce Walker, the Solid Waste & Recycling Program Manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and master recyler Heather Hawkins about the city's new pilot curbside food scrap collection program in four neighborhoods across Portland. For the next year, selected households will put food scraps along with yard debris into the green Portland Composts! roll cart, which will be collected every week. With the addition of weekly food scrap collection, the City will also test every-other-week garbage service to encourage participation in the food scrap collection program and to maintain the efficiency of the garbage and recycling collection system. Hopefully at the end of the year, Portland will join other major West Coast cities such as Seattle and San Francisco that have been offering successful city-wide residential curbside collection of food scraps for several years.

Bruce Walker is the Solid Waste & Recycling Program Manager for the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS). BPS promotes integrated land use planning and development based on sustainability principles and practices. BPS also develops and implements policies and programs that provide environmental, economic and social benefits to residents, businesses and government, which strengthen Portland's position as an international model of sustainable practices and commerce. Portland has been nationally recognized for its residential and commercial recycling programs and the resulting 67 percent recycling rate.  Bruce has worked in the recycling field longer than he wants to admit but prior to joining the City of Portland’s staff in 1987, he worked for a non-profit community recycling depot, a small local government and a recycling consulting firm. Bruce is a former Chair of the Association of Oregon Recyclers, former National Recycling Coalition Board Member and currently serves on the State of Oregon Product Stewardship Stakeholder Group.

After completing the Master Recycler course offered through Portland's regional government, Heather Hawkins helped launch EnviroMom and formed GreenGroup -- a group of moms who meet monthly and exchange ideas on green living with children. They are not experts -- not by a long shot -- but they are trying to raise their kids to care about the environment and manage healthy households. Heather grew up in Minnesota and Indiana, and then hightailed it Portland after graduating from the Indiana University School of Journalism in 1992. After a career in orchestra management and public relations, she left the workforce in 2004 to raise her two kids. Aside from blogging and environmental pursuits, Heather enjoys good fiction, winning at Scrabble, red wine, Jon Stewart and date nights with her husband, David. She dreams of raising goats and making cheese.

THE MASSEY MINING DISASTER, THE BP OIL SPILL AND THE FUTURE OF CHEAP FOSSIL FUEL

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 05/17/2010

Last month, an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Mine in West Virginia resulted in the worst mining disaster in four decades. The mine is owned by Massey Energy. This company is notorious not only for committing numerous and flagrant safety violations in their mining operations, but also for pursuing mountaintop removal mining throughout Appalachia. The mining disaster has raised new awareness about the true costs of "cheap" coal. Since the last time we discussed this subject on Locus Focus, the Obama administration has taken some steps to regulate mountaintop removal mining, but how effective will these new regulations be? This week Judy Bonds, co-director for Coal River Mountain Watch, returns to Locus Focus, to talk about the aftermath of the mining disaster and how it is changing the national conversation around our use of coal. We also compare what's happening in the Gulf of Mexico in the wake of the BP oil rig explosion and massive oil leak with the attitudes and arrogance that contributed to the Massey mine disaster.

Julia "Judy" Bonds is a coal miner's daughter, granddaughter. She is an Appalachian American and her family has lived in the Coal River Valley in West Virginia for 10 generations. Julia has been fighting for social and environmental justice for Appalachian coalfields since 1998. Julia and others at Coal River Mountain Watch have embarked on a road show to educate America about the clean water act and to educate and motivate Americans about where their electricity comes from and who pays the true price.  Julia says that this road show also serves to dispel negative Appalachian stereotypes.

Julia worked on safety issues on overweight coal trucks and is on the Governor's Safety Committee for commercial trucks. She was named the "Earthmover Award" in GEO Magazine and on Organic Style Magazine's Environmental Power list.  She was recently featured in the Marsh issue of National Geographic, the first "green" issue of May's Vanity Fair and in the July issue of O, The Oprah Magazine. The O Magazine issue focused on tough West Virginian women.

WHY ARE YOUNG PEOPLE DISCONNECTED FROM NATURE (and what we can do to reconnect them)

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 05/10/2010

Several years ago Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein was walking in Forest Park when a young boy came running by, his eyes gleaming half in glee, half in terror. He was being pursued by his older brother and as he passed, he called out, "I feel like I'm in a video game."

Children today for the most part hardly ever play outside, let alone get to experience wild nature outside the city. Instead they spend up to 90% of their time in front of computer screens, video games and cellphones, seeking connection with other people they can neither see nor touch. What will happen to this generation of children when they grow up, if they never get to have direct experiences with nature, and who will be there to advocate for the Earth if they don't really know that's where they live.

This week on Locus Focus Tonje Hessen Schei joins host Barbara Bernstein to talk about her new film, PLAY AGAIN, which examines this disturbing phenomon and shows some possible ways that children can learn to play again in nature, nourishing the creativity that gets stifled by too much "screen time."


PLAY AGAIN is being screened at the Bagdad Theater, SE Hawthorne and 37th
May 15th, 2010
7pm (doors at 6:15pm)

DOES PORTLAND HAVE A FOOD CZAR? (and why we need one)

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 05/03/2010

Portland is the only city in America that has a Food Policy and Programs Office. And while many communities are starting to talk about creating Food Policy Councils, Multnomah County and Portland have had such a council for years. So why is there so much interest in food and its politics here in the Rose City? And why should food policy be at the heart of any discussion about creating sustainable and resilient communities?

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk about these issues with Portland's Food Czar - or as he actually calls himself, the manager of food policy and programs for the City of Portland. His name is Steve Cohen, and it turns out that he and Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein go way back together to what seems now like another era, when Frances Moore Lappe's book Diet for a Small Planet was the bible of the counter-culture communities that nurtured young Steve and Barbara. They'll talk about what inspired food politics consciousness 40 years ago and how what was once the provence of the counter-culture is now taking its place in the mainstream. Which is why Portland now has a food czar.

Here are some links to city programs that Steve refers to in the show:

Urban Growth Bounty: http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?c=50648

Janis Youth Program Urban Agricultural Services

http://www.jyp.org/what-we-do/urban-agriculture-services.php

Steve Cohen manages food policy and programs for the City of Portland’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability. He focuses on all aspects of a sustainable food system including planning, food security, education, economic development, urban agriculture, purchasing, composting, and climate change. Steve also staffs the Portland-Multnomah County Food Policy Council.

Steve has extensive experience in purchasing, distribution and marketing for major regional, national, and international food and beverage companies. Over the past 30 years he has played key roles in establishing indoor and outdoor festival markets, performing arts venues and community spaces in Oregon.

SUSTAINABLE GARDENING IN THE CITY with Community and Urban Horticulturalist Weston Miller

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 04/26/2010

It's time to plant your garden. This week on Locus Focus we look at how our relationship to food can help or hinder our efforts to create a sustainable community and lessen the impacts of climate change. With guest Weston Miller, the community and urban horticulturist with the OSU Extension Service for the Clackamas County and Metro Area, we talk about why learning to feed ourselves is an important part of creating sustainable and resilient communities. We also get some practical advice about what a sustainable garden looks like and learn how to plant a garden that uses minimal water, enhances wildlife habitat and can also produce good things to eat.

Weston Miller serves as Community and Urban Horticulture Faculty for Oregon State University Extension Service.  His job is to educate about and promote stable and resilient food systems and ecological landscapes in the tri-county Portland metro area.  Weston has been a small-scale farmer, landscaper, and high school teacher before starting taking his position with OSU Extension Service in 2007.  He lives in SW Portland with his wife and 2 young sons where he likes to garden and hike.

To learn more about sustainable gardening, classes and workshops:

Multnomah County Food Summit, Saturday, May 1

Metro Master Gardeners

Metro Natural Gardens

Comments

Global Warming

Barbara, I hope you might forward my comments to your guest. I was only able to listen to part of today's program but I am very interested. I want to raise my concerns about two prevailing frames that arise on your show and throughout serious discussion of climate change that I believe do great damage to the efforts to raise the awareness of the public and help them understand the urgency needed when addressing this issue.
First is the frame that global warming is happening slowly and will continue to do so. I do not believe the facts support such an assertion and not only does no one know that warming will not suddenly serge forward it seems to be doing exactly that. A report out last week raised the projected temperature for the planet by the end of the century to 9F from 4F degrees. That means that we are going to hit 4F by---2040? Until recently no one imagined the arctic ice cap could melt in anything like our lifetimes but in fact it will and it may do so as soon as 2013! The problem with the frames that give people the impression that GW is a slow process is that it provides fauls comfort, "Oh, technology will fix it before it happens," or "It is not my problem." Neither one is the case but too many people still think that way. So please start using a different frame from "by the end of the century," or “future generations." Instead say "within our life times," and stress the urgency. After all it is much more accurate to say catastrophic climate change is happening right now.

The second frame is that one cannot attribute any given weather event to global warming. That is only partly true. In fact one might say that you cannot not attribute any given weather event to climate change such is the post-industrial influence on the pre-industrial trajectory of the climate---we have departed the Holocene and are in the Antropocene some scientist tell us. It is like a basketball launched toward a basket that gets tipped by one of the players. Its trajectory is for ever changed. I think it is more accurate to say that the weather everywhere and everyday has been influence to some degree by GW. This is important because the frame that one cannot tell if an event is caused by climate change is asking them not to believe there own "eyes," experiences, or impressions which are often very astute. For instance in Oklahoma where I grew up we used to have thunderstorms in April and the 100F days did not come until late July. This year they had wild fires near Oklahoma City in April and the temperatures have been in the hundreds throughout much of this June---that has increasingly become the trend and is consistent with climate change projections. Now Oklahomans should by all rights believe that what they are experiencing is in fact global warming. It may be noted that Inhofe is a Senator from Oklahoma and one of the most radical global warming deniers and obstructionist in government.
I have been keeping up with this issue for a long time now and am alarmed at the rapidity that things are taking place. I truly believe we are probably in for crop failures, water shortages, and mass migrations here in North America, in this country, within our lifetimes and whereas I think there is a fine line to be drawn to not panic or send people into despair I think scientist tend to be much too measured in their statements. It is as though there is smoke billowing out of the projection room and the scientists don’t want be caught dead yelling fire in a crowded theater because there is no "proof" that there is in fact a fire.
Scientist have long dismissed the near term risk of a methane/co2 release from the arctic or the ocean meanwhile there is growing indications that that is exactly what is happening. As a NASA scientist you should know that a huge methane release was detected on Mars a few years ago and that is within a much more static system than ours----that should give us pause!
The public needs to be prepared in case there is a sudden spike in methane from the Arctic so I hope in the future Barbara you will direct your discussions of climate change toward the rapidity of changes already taking place and the potential danger of being too complacent and smug about what we know and what we think we do or do not know. Thank you.

Global Warming

I recently interviewed Phil Mote who has replaced climate change denier George Taylor as Oregon's State Climatologist. Like any careful scientist Mote does not feel comfortable attributing specific weather events to climate change. But he gave me a analogy that I like: It's like playing Russian Roulette and adding a second bullet to the chamber of the revolver. If you blow your head off it doesn't really matter whether it was the original bullet or added bullet that did you in.

Solar Energy

I echo Bruce's concerns and add commentary based on  Mon - 14 - Sep show.

While I support solar energy, I warn against pie-in-the-sky proposals that make it sound like we can find new sources to keep living our wasteful lives. The scale of the problem is lost when we pretend that putting solar panels on 100 roofs signifies real change.

There is some hope to be found in using solar power efficiently. This does NOT include powering electric resistance heaters with photovoltaics. It does mean passive solar heating, solar hot water, and solar clothes driers (AKA clotheslines).

When you have used conservation and innovation to convert the wasteful electric grid into a sustainable system, then we can begin the conversation about supplimenting the system for our transportation problems. Until then, the only real sustainable alternatives to petroleum are wind, human, and animal powered vehicles. Coal and nuclear, the primary sources of new electricity, are polluting uses of nonrenewable resources.

Walk, ride a bicycle, sail (without motor), and use horse and ox cart, if you are truly concerned about the serious threat of climate change. Park your car forever. We cannot afford cars any longer.

- Vernon Huffman

   Corvallis, OR

today's show & "socialism"

i think now is a good time to talk more about what socialism actually is - common ownership of the means of production - and what is is not - redistributing wealth. you are right to continue pointing out that what obama is talking about is a progressive tax structure, not socialism.

the progressive tax idea actually comes from adam smith himself, "It is not very unreasonable that the rich should contribute to the public expense, not only in proportion to their revenue, but something more than in that proportion." [from book 5, ch.2 on taxes]

Intro Music

The intro music to Locus Focus is a song by Hugh Masakela called "Change." It's on his album "Time," which came out a few years ago. I plan on playing the song each week until Robert Mugabe relinquishes power in Zimbabwe.

brain gender

Did you see the piece in the NY Times re schizophrenia and autism having possible roots in parental dna - that is mother mix:father's mix? That is female characteristics manifesting as schizophrenia from mother dna and autistic characteristics from father's?

 

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