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.

Coming Soon

The struggle of Arctic peoples to ensure that the fate of their own region remains in their hands.
 

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Episode Archive

THE SWEAT GLANDS OF THE EARTH

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Forests' role in cooling the earth and generating moisture thousands of miles away
This program originally aired on February 2, 2015

The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Four Years Later with Charles Johnson of PSR

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/13/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The Fukushima Nuclear Disaster: Four Years Later with Charles Johnson of PSR
On March 11 of this year, exactly four years after the devastating nuclear disaster in Japan, Charles Johnson of Physicians for Social Responsibility talked about the Fukushima nuclear disaster, the result of a major earthquake.

Winning Grassroots Campaigns on a Shoestring Budget: Jackson and Josephine Counties

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/06/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Winning Grassroots Campaigns on a Shoestring Budget: Jackson and Josephine Counties

A roundtable discussion from the Public Interest Environmental Law Conference held at the University of Oregon Law School in early March. Panelists include attorney Brent Foster; George Kimbrell, Senior Attorney, Center for Food Safety; Chris Hardy, Farmer, Our Family Farms Coalition, Village Farm; and more.

(Recorded by Paul Roland)

Reforesting the Tropics

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/30/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Stopping the spread of tropical deforestation and promoting reforestation as well
Since the dawn of civilization, humans have destroyed or badly damaged perhaps three-quarters of the world’s forests. While forests have been re-established in many regions across the Northern Hemisphere they are under increasing assault in the tropics. On this episode of Locus Focus we speak with Rolf Skar, Forests Campaign Director of Greenpeace, about efforts to stop the spread of tropical deforestation and initiatives to promote reforestation as well.

Jackson County's Anti-GMO Ordinance Goes to Court

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/23/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
An update on the lawsuit challenging Jackson County's anti-GMO ordinance.
In May 2014, voters in Jackson County overwhelmingly approved Measure 15-119, banning most GMO crops in the county. The bi-partisan victory came despite a wave of opposition funding from the chemical industry, topping out at nearly $1 million. Now these same biotechnology interests are challenging the ordinance in court

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk about the status of this lawsuit  with Elise Higley, Jackson County farmer and director of Our Family Farms Coalition, the organization that spearheaded the anti-GMO ordinance last fall.

STORM SURGE

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/16/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Scientist Adam Sobel on what what Hurricane Sandy means for the future of our planaet
Two years after Hurricane Sandy tore a swath of destruction and death across the Northeast, one haunting question remains: was it a freak of nature or was this devastating catastrophe a harbinger of what’s to come? On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with scientist Adam Sobel, author of STORM SURGE: Hurricane Sandy, Our Changing Climate, and the Extreme Weather of the Past and Future, about what this unprecedented megastorm means for the future of our planet.

Adam Sobel is a leading scientist in the study of hurricanes and the changing climate. He has authored or co-authored over 100 articles in peer-reviewed scientific journals and he has won several major awards.

The Koch Brothers and the Pacific Northwest

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/09/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
What the Koch Brothers have in store for the Pacific Northwest
Billionaire brothers David and Charles Koch, two of the richest people in the world, bankroll a network of organizations whose agenda is to gain indisputable control of the nation's political process. Their money supports efforts to undermine everything from social security to the environment. In the Pacific Northwest they work in tandem with large corporations like the oil giant Tesoro, to rewrite statutes and regulations that protect the region from unfettered petrochemical development. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Eric de Place, policy director with the Sightline Institute in Seattle, about the Koch Brothers' designs on the Northwest and what communities must do to stop them.

Propane In Portland

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/02/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Opposition to Pembina's plan to build a propane export terminal on the Columbia River
The largest pipeline company in the Alberta tar sands mining industry, Pembina, wants to export propane (a form of liquefied petroleum gas) from the Port of Portland’s Terminal 6 on the Columbia River to Asian markets. Pembina’s proposal for this terminal on Hayden Island would create: more profits for fracking and tar sands companies; more mile‐long unit trains of explosive propane cutting through our communities; dangerous, pressurized propane storage tanks endangering workers and neighborhoods; and propane supertankers on the Columbia River. The irony is that Pembina’s proposal comes at a time when the City of Portland is attempting to establish itself as a leader in climate policies and sustainability.

Keeping Nestlé Out of the Gorge

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/23/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Julia DeGraw with Food and Water Watch on the campaign to keep Nestlé out of the Columbia Gorge
Nestlé has been attempting for more than five years to gain access to spring water used for a fish hatchery by the Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife so they can establish a bottled water plant near Cascade Locks. In the face of intense public opposition to Nestlé's initial proposal, the company has come up with a new scheme that bypasses the public interest review requirement.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Julia DeGraw, Northwest Organizer for Food and Water Watch, who has been organizing opposition to Nestlé's plan to build a bottled water plant in the Columbia Gorge.

WHERE THE DEAD PAUSE AND THE JAPANESE SAY GOODBYE

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/16/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A look at Japanese culture and spirituality in the wake of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster.
Marie Mutsuki Mockett’s family owns a Buddhist temple 25 miles from the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. In March 2011, after the earthquake and tsunami, radiation levels prohibited the burial of her Japanese grandfather’s bones. At the same time, Mockett grieved for her American father, who had died unexpectedly. As Japan mourned thousands of people lost in the disaster, she wondered: how does one cope with overwhelming grief?

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Mockett about her voyage through Japanese culture and spirituality in the wake of the earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster that shook the country to its core.

Audio

Sensible Options for the Columbia River Crossing

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/31/2009

 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

 

Does it make sense to replace the current bridge across the Columbia with a 12 lane megabridge?  Will it promote Urban Sprawl?

Consensus is growing that the future bridge across the Columbia River on I5 will be a 12 lane mega bridge. But many people in the community disagree and are raising their voices in concern that such a massive infrastructure will encourage the kind of car and oil dependent way of life that many in the Northwest profess to want to change. Guests Mara Gross with the Coalition for a Livable Future, Metro Councilor Robert Liberty and Joe Kurmaskie, who is helping organize a rally on April 5 to oppose the mega bridge proposal, will discuss Columbia River Crossing alternatives that will not encourage sprawl and increase our carbon footprint.

A grassroots coalition of Portlanders and Vancouverites opposed to the current scope and direction of the Columbia River Crossing project will host an Opposition and Alternatives Rally at Waterfront Park. The event is schedued for noon, Sunday, April 5th, on the lawn of Portland's Waterfront Park - just north of the Hawthorne bridge. Rally organizers call this the opening salvo in a sustained campaign to block funding for the project in its current form, and to offer alternatives that match the desires of a community to be fiscally responsible, address environmental challenges and tackle livability issues effecting the region.   

"This part of the world has made truly sustainable choices in the past, an urban growth boundary, investment in mass transit, bicycle infrastructure and the stoppage of the Mt Hood Freeway and Harbor Highway," rally organizer Joe Kurmaskie said. " Innovative decisions that have made us an attractive city to live in or visit. Putting up a four billion dollar, 12 lane mega-bridge will change all that, and not for the better. 

"The project is based on models done before peak oil and the arrival of an economic crisis that's changing every aspect of people's lives, including their transportation choices. The CRC is 20th century thinking applied to a very different world today. The Coalition For A Livable Future has long said that we can not hope to build our way out of congestion. As proposed, this bridge promotes single occupancy vehicle use, invites unchecked sprawl to southern Washington and opens the door to widening I-5 through the heart of Portland." 

The Waterfront Park rally will include speakers, calls to action, information booths, distribution of lawn signs and tangible steps citizens can take to oppose the project, as well as the announcement of teach ins by smarterbidge.org, and other organized events in the future. Speakers will include elected officials, transportation experts and community leaders explaining their opposition to the project while proposing alternatives.

So far, confirmed to speak are former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury (who give’s Al Gore’s climate change presentation all over the country), Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz (the only city council member who voted against moving forward on a 12-lane CRC bridge), and Metro Councilor Robert Liberty (who voted against the project in the past and has offered specific alternatives) and  Bicycle Transportation Alliance advocate and educator Michelle Poyourow.

 

 

Robert Johnson and "Too Big To Bail: the 'Paulson Put', Presidential Politics, and the Global Financial Meltdown"

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/24/2009

In the past week there has been intense outrage over AIG executive bonuses and other manifestations of corporate greed. How do we go beyond the angry mob mentality? Guest Rob Johnson, who co-wrote "Too Big to Bail: The 'Paulson Put,' Presidential Politics, and the Global Financial Meltdown" with Thomas Ferguson, provides a larger context for understanding the current financial crisis and analyzing the knee-jerk responses that currently rule in the mass media.

Robert Johnson was formerly a managing director at Soros Funds Management and chief economist of the Senate Banking Committee.  You can read a recent article by Johnson and Ferguson at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090309/ferguson_johnson?rel=hp_picks

 

 Hosted by Barbara Bernstein.

Wake-Free on the Willamette

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/17/2009

Why we need to make the Holgate Channel & Ross Island Lagoon wake-free or non-motorized zones - and what that means.

Between Ross Island and the east bank of the Willamette lies the Holgate Channel, a patch of natural paradise only a couple miles south of downtown Portland.  Sitting above the river on the eastbank, with osprey and eagles and blue herron as your companions, you have no idea you're anywhere near a city. . .except for the roar of jet skis and motor boat engines - not to mention the bass enhanced stereo systems booming across the river.  Bob Sallinger, Urban Conservation Director for the Portland Audubon Society has been working hard to create a wake-free zone in the Holgate Channel and ban motorized craft outright from neighboring Ross Island Lagoon. Tune in to hear why he believes this is necessary to make the Holgate Channel a safer place for humans and wildlife.

Bob Sallinger is the Conservation Director for the Audubon Society of Portland where he has worked since 1992. His current responsibilities include managing the Audubon Statewide Important Bird Area in Oregon, recovery of imperiled species, promoting wildlife conservation in the Portland Metropolitan Region, and overseeing the Society's wildlife rehabilitation center. He has a particular interest in anthropogenic impacts on wildlife and promoting wildlife stewardship in urban ecosystems. His favorite pastime rappelling off Portland area bridges to monitor the region's growing population of bridge nesting peregrine falcons.  Bob has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for a Livable Future and the East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Elisabeth Neely, two children, a dog, a cat (indoor!) and a couple of chickens (outdoor).

Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

Roberto Rodriguez on Holding the Bushies Accountable

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/10/2009

 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

Now that the Bush Administration is history, how do we hold Bush and his advisors, and their cronies in the financial sector who melted down the economy, accountable for high crimes and misdeamors?

The Bush administration is now history but its legacy continues to tear the world apart. Senator Patrick Leahy wants to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commision, modeled after ones in South Africa and Latin America - to probe the potentially criminal actions of this administration but many people are calling for stronger measures to hold these culprits accountable for the pain and destruction they have caused.   A couple weeks ago comedian Bill Maher suggested executing a couple bankers who "poisoned our financial markets with tainted investments" as a warning to other greedy financial captains. A more serious proposal has been offered in an commentary for New American Media by today's Locus Focus guest Roberto Cintli Rodriguez. He says that we need to seek not just truth and reconciliation, but also justice.

Roberto Rodriguez has been writing the syndicated Column of the Americas, distributed by Universal Press Syndicate, since 1994. He began his journalism and writing career at La Gente newspaper at the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972. Since 1990, he has been a senior writer with Black Issues in Higher Education. He is the author of several books, including, most recently, the electronic books: The X in La Raza and Codex Tamanchuan: On Becoming Human. He wrote for several publications, including Lowrider magazine, the Eastside Sun in Los Angeles and La Opinion, the nation's largest Spanish-language daily. 

Before becoming syndicated, he also published columns in The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer and USA Today. In 1984, he wrote Assault With A Deadly Weapon, a book on police brutality. In 1986, he was honored by the California Chicano News Media Association for his defense of the First Amendment, as a result of his triumph in two police brutality trials stemming from a vicious assault by L.A. County Sheriff's officers in 1979. In 1997, Assault With a Deadly Weapon and his book On the Wrong Side of the Law were published under one title: Justice: A Question Of Race (Bilingual Review Press).

 

Arjun Makhijani on the Nuclear Power Fiasco

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/03/2009

Thirty years ago this country's nuclear program came to a halt after the disasterous accident and meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear facility in Pennsylvania. Since then we are still debating how to safely store in perpetuity countless tons of high level radioactive waste that is the legacy of this program that once promised "energy too cheap to meter," but resulted in massive cost-overuns and environmental hazards. So why has the nuclear option returned to the table as we look for alternatives to carbon emitting climate changing fossil fuels? What forgotten lessons of the 1970s do we need to remember? Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy & Environmental Research, for a discussion about why nuclear power is no better an idea now than it was thirty years. We also talk about who is promoting nuclear power and why

 

Arjun Makhijani is President of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research in Takoma Park, Maryland.  He earned his Ph.D. in engineering at the University of California, Berkeley in 1972, specializing in nuclear fusion.A recognized authority on energy issues and nuclear issues in particular, Dr. Makhijani is the author and co-author of numerous reports and books on topics such as nuclear defense systems, radioactive waste storage and disposal, nuclear testing, disposition of fissile materials, energy efficiency, and ozone depletion.  He is the principal editor of Nuclear Wastelands: a Global Guide to Nuclear Weapons Production and Its Health and Environmental Effects, published by MIT Press in July 1995, and subsequently nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

 Dr. Makhijani has served as a consultant to numerous organizations including the Tennessee Valley Authority, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory, and several agencies of the United Nations.

You can download "Carbon-free and Nuclear -free" (for FREE!) at http://www.ieer.org/carbonfree/index.html

 

Pratap Chatterjee on our Privatized, Outsourced Military

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 02/24/2009

 Pratap Chatterjee (CorpWatch) talks about why the privatized, outsourced military Barack Obama has inherited from the Bush administration will prove a done deal.  Pratap Chatterjee's article, "The Military's Expanding Waistline, What Will Obama Do with KBR?," appears at http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175036

 

 Pratap Chatterjee is an investigative journalist and producer and the program, director/managing editor of Corpwatch. He is the author of Iraq Inc.: A Profitable Occupation and The Earth Brokers. He hosted a weekly radio show on Berkeley station KPFA, was a global environment editor for InterPress Service, and wrote for the Financial Timesthe Guardian, and the Independent of London. He has won five Project Censored awards as well as a Silver Reel from the National Federation of Community Broadcasters for his work in Afghanistan, and the best business story award from the National Newspaper Association (U.S.), among others. He has appeared as a commentator on numerous radio and television shows ranging from BBC World Service, CNN International, Democracy Now!, Fox, and MSNBC. The winner of a Lannan Cultural Freedom Award in 2006, he lives in Oakland, California.

 

 

Chuck Collins on the Stimulus Package

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 02/17/2009

Required reading for today's broadcast:  EconomicMeltDownFunnies.org...

President Obama has just signed a 787 billion dollar stimulus package into law. So what does it all mean and what can we hope for? Locus Focus Resident Economist Chuck Collins joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to discuss the political and psychological implications - as well as economic - of the struggle to get this package enacted. Is it big enough to really have any impact? What else is needed to turn the economy around?

 

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Chuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy (IPS) and directs IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is an expert on U.S. inequality and author of several books, including Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity (New Press, 2005). He coordinates a national effort to preserve the federal estate tax, our nation’s only tax on inherited wealth. He co-authored with Bill Gates Sr., Wealth and Our Commonwealth, a case for taxing inherited fortunes.

In 1995, he co-founded United for a Fair Economy (UFE) to raise the profile of the inequality issue and support popular education and organizing efforts to address inequality. In 1997, he co-founded Responsible Wealth, a project of UFE to bring together business leaders and investors to publicly speak out against economic policies and corporate practices that worsen economic inequality. He was Executive Director of UFE from 1995-2001 and Program Director until 2005.

 

What are the links between economic stimulus and health care?

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 02/10/2009

This week the news is about Obama's economic stimulus package passing the Senate and about to be enacted into law.

Last week it was about Tom DaschelObama's nomination for Secretary of Health and Human Services, having to withdraw his name because of his problems with the IRS.  So what are the connections between economic stimulus and health care?  Barbara Dudley, a regular guest on Locus Focus, joins host Barbara Bernstein, in a discussion about these issues. . .and more.

Barbara Dudley is an Adjunct Professor at Portland State University. She is also co-chair of the Oregon Working Families Party, and a partner in Bethel Heights Vineyard in Polk County.  She formerly served as President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, and Assistant Director for Strategic Campaigns of the national AFL‑CIO.

 

John Cavanagh on the Stimulus Package

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 02/03/2009

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with John Cavanagh with the Institute for Policy Studies about the ins and outs of Barack Obama's economic stimulus package.  What is progressive about the proposal, where could it go further and why does it upset the Republicans so much? 

 

John Cavanagh has been Director of the Institute for Policy Studies since 1998. The Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) is the nation’s oldest multi-issue progressive think tank. Since 1963, the Institute has worked with social movements to forge viable and sustainable policies to promote democracy, justice, human rights, and diversity.  John oversees IPS’s programs, outreach, and organizational development. John holds a BA from Dartmouth College and a MA from Princeton University. He worked as an international economist for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (1978-1981) and the World Health Organization (1981-1982). He directed IPS’s Global Economy Project from 1983-1997. John is the co-author of 10 books and numerous articles on the global economy. His recent publications include: Global Dreams: Imperial Corporations and the New World Order (with Richard J. Barnet), Simon & Schuster, 1994, and A Field Guide to the Global Economy (with Sarah Anderson and Thea Lee), New Press, 2000.

 

The Sellwood Bridge Project

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/27/2009

The Sellwood Bridge is in desperate need of repair or replacement. After a long process, a final decision is due soon on a new bridge's alignment and design. In recent weeks this process has become contentious because two groups are being pitted against one another.

A group of condo owners who live on either side of the bridge have been aggressively supporting an alignment that would move the bridge a block or more north, saving their property from demolition but having major impacts on other parts of the neighborhood.

This week we talk with a group of Sellwood neighbors who are opposed to this plan and have organized a grassroots movement to rebuild the bridge in its current alignment. We look at the sustainability and livability issues of where the new Sellwood Bridge is built.

 

 

Heather Nelson Koch is an environmental planner who has spent her career using planning, design and policy to protect and enhance built and natural environments.  With a focus on community participation in planning processes, Ms. Koch has planned and implemented a variety of projects, from urban creek restoration and urban greenway projects to long-range campus plans.  Her interests and involvement have ranged from hands-on, site-specific ecological design and construction to regional policy initiatives striving to foster sustainable communities.  Ms. Koch and her family live in the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood of Portland, Oregon, where they enjoy the local riverfront park, the pedestrian/bicycle corridor and the ability to make most of their journeys on foot or by bike.   At this time, she is also working as a volunteer and organizer alongside hundreds of neighbors to protect shared community resources as the development process for the proposed Sellwood Bridge redevelopment moves forward.

Eric Miller is a Sellwood/Moreland community organizer, public health physical therapist and current stay-at-home Dad.  He co-founded the Sellwood Playgroup Association, an affiliation of 6 playgroups in the neighborhood that provide community and fellowship to families with children aged 0-5.  He became active in the Sellwood Bridge project late last year following an accident at the intersection of SE Tacoma and 13th Avenue between a 4-yr-old bicyclist and a truck.  Which bridge designs are chosen have a direct impact on the health, safety and welfare of our children and families who must cross Tacoma to go to school and church, and of those who use the Spokane gateway to access Oaks Bottom, Sellwood Riverfront Park, and one of the few natural beaches on the Willamette that exist in urban Portland.  He is an advocate for the community's overall well-being.

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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