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

Measure 26-156, the Water District Initiative - on your ballot next month

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/21/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Why Portland's environmental community opposes Measure 26-156, the water district initiative.


In a few weeks Portland voters will be voting on a measure that would remove Portland's Bureaus of Water and Environmental Services from city control and have them run instead by a new elected board. Proponents claim that this measure will cut Portland water rates and provide transparency in an agency they believe is out of control. But opponents of the measure see it as a power grab by the city's largest industrial water users and corporate polluters, masquerading as a populist revolt. They say that the real intention is to roll back the city's most important environmental initiatives.

The Himalayan Stove Project

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/14/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The Himalayan Stove Project: Conserving the Cryosphere with Eco-Conscious Cookstoves

Primitive open-fire cooking methods used by people in remote regions of the High Himalayas are responsible for significant deforestation, toxic air pollution, global warming, and millions of premature deaths. One solution to this problem is providing clean-burning stoves to impoverished Himalayan households. Not only do clean-burning efficient cook stoves reduce carbon emissions and help stave off pollution and deforestation, but they also improve the health and living conditions of women and children.

THE KINGDOM OF RARITIES - A Conversation with author Eric Dinerstein

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/07/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Eric Dinerstein, author of The Kingdom of Rarities, talks about the rarest animals on earth
This program was originally broadcast on April 8, 2013

THE FAMILY FARMS MEASURE: JACKSON COUNTY TAKES ON GMOs

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/31/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The Family Farms Measure, ballot measure to stop genetically engineered crops in Southern Oregon

This May voters in Jackson County in Southern Oregon will be voting on the Family Farms Measure 15-119, a ballot measure that would ban genetically engineered crops from being grown in the county. If it passes, Jackson County will join three California Counties (Mendocino, San Cruz and Marin) where GMO bans are already in place. But Jackson County will be the only county in Oregon that can vote on this issue, since the Oregon legislature passed a pre-emptive law last summer prohibiting any other local anti-GMO ordinances.

Can Coal Ever Be Clean?

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/24/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Can carbon capture and sequestration reduce the carbon emissions of coal-fired power plants?
Coal provides 40 percent of the world's electricity and 39 percent of global CO2 emissions. Mining coal is a deadly profession that destroys the natural environment. Transporting coal is also fraught with dangers and clean coal is a myth. But getting the world off coal is easier said than done. Until we have a comprehensive renewable energy infrastructure, it looks like coal will remain a significant source of the world's energy.

The Case Against Exporting Crude Oil

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/17/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Should the United States lift restrictions on exporting crude oil? with Eric de Place

For nearly forty years there has been a ban on crude oil exports from the United States. This ban started in response to the 1973 Arab oil embargo, which sent world oil prices soaring. To shield the United States from the volatility of global oil markets, Congress enacted numerous conservation measures as well as restrictions on oil exports. Forty years later, with fracked American oil flooding the markets, voices from many corners are calling to lift the ban on exporting crude oil.

MORE ON THE MEGALOADS, with Wild Idaho Rising Tide

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/10/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The latest on the latest round of megaloads rumbling through the Northwest

The oil industry has targeted the Pacific Northwest and Northern Rockies as the most direct shipping route to move heavy equipment to Tar Sands operations in Northeastern Alberta. Since 2010 megaloads of enormous mining equipment have rumbled over winding mountain river corridors through Oregon, Idaho and Montana. One of the first groups to bring attention to the megaloads was Wild Idaho Rising Tide, who is now trying to stop the longest and widest megaload yet. This industrial transport is heading up Highway 95 through Idaho to the Montana Refining Company in Great Falls.

Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil and Bad Air on the Texas Prairie

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/03/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The health and safety concerns from fracking the Eagle Ford Shale Play in Texas.

Deep in the heart of South Texas, oil and gas wells are sprouting at an unprecedented rate, making the Eagle Ford Shale one of the biggest energy booms in America. But the boom could be a bust for local residents who fear for their health, not from the water in the ground, but the very air they breathe.

THE CONTINUING SAGA OF LOGGING ON O & C LANDS

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/24/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How doubling logging on BLM lands will elevate extinction risks to threatened wildlife.

Senator Ron Wyden is sponsoring legislation that would double the logging on the so-called O&C lands. It is estimated that approximately 200,000 acres of older forests currently protected by the Northwest Forest Plan would be shifted into logging, including clearcutting, under S.1784. This plan is drawing intense criticism from scientific organizations who conclude that the Oregon and California Lands Act (S.

Taking An Ethical Stand To Protect A Planet In Peril

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Kathleen Dean Moore on making ethical values and moral guidance the center of the climate debate.

In the face of environmental degradation and climate change, scientific knowledge alone does not show us the way to take a meaningful stand to protect our planet in peril. Nor do economic incentives or political initiatives. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with environmental philosopher and essayist  Kathleen Dean Moore about the need for ethical values, moral guidance and principled reasons to become the centerpiece of this debate. Beginning with finding a resounding answer to the often-raised question: "How do we maintain our way of life without fossil fuels?"

Audio

BEAUTIFUL & ABUNDANT: BUILDING THE WORLD WE WANT

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/26/2012

No one understands the fundamental realities of life on earth better than the farmer. The farmer understands that each habitat can support a certain number of living things sustainably, and to exceed natural limits creates lasting damage. Farmers have been the engineers of humanity’s miraculous success on this planet for the past 3,000 years, and they will necessarily be the engineers of our future. On this episode of Locus Focus we are joined by farmer, author, entrepreneur and business leader Bryan Welch in a discussion about human population growth, economic vitality and the future of the business of agriculture.

Welch says, "As human population growth stabilizes, as it surely must, the farmer will define the value of crops in new ways. Simple trading of simple commodities will no longer offer the same financial incentive. Instead, farmers will be judged on the nutrition of their crops and the conscientiousness of their practices. Already farmers are pioneering this brave new world of agriculture, and reaping great benefits."

Bryan Welch runs Ogden Publications, the world’s largest media company focused on the environment and sustainability. Welch’s company also manufactures earth-friendly household products, and he and his wife raise organic, grass-fed cattle, sheep and goats on their Kansas ranch. He’s the author of Beautiful & Abundant: Building the World We Want.

HOW FORESTED RIPARIAN ZONES KEEP STREAMS HEALTHY

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/19/2012

For a long time we've known that streams shaded by riparian forests provide healthier habitat for salmon and other wildlife. A new study led by Daniel Sobota at Oregon State University confirms that riparian zone forests not only provide streams with needed shade to support salmon, they also help clean up high levels of nitrate pollutants from human activities that infiltrate waterways. In the study Sobota and his colleagues looked at nine streams in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that flowed through forest, agricultural or urban landscapes. Among their goals was to discover how much nitrogen was absorbed by the streams near the source, and how much went downriver. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Daniel Sobota about his study's findings that substantiate the crucial role riparian forests play in maintaing healthy streams flowing through urban areas and agricultural lands.

Daniel Sobota is originally from the Washington, DC, area. He received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Virginia Tech in 2000, and Master of Science and Ph.D. in Fisheries Science from Oregon State in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He has worked as a research associate at Washington State University (Vancouver campus) and is currently a research associate with the National Academy of Sciences in residence at the US Environmental Protection Agency in Corvallis. His research focuses on effects of land use activities on nutrient cycling in streams, rivers, and watersheds.

HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION: A REGIONAL NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/12/2012


We're marking the anniversary of the nuclear castrophe at the Fukushima Nuclear Complex in Japan by looking at a potential nuclear nightmare much closer to home. For nearly 70 years the Hanford Reservation - birthplace of the Plutonium bomb that devastated Nagasaki - has been stockpiling massive quanties of high level radioactive waste. For over thirty years, the U.S. Department of Energy has been purporting to clean up this cold war legacy. Hanford's extensive contamination was supposed to be cleaned up decades ago, but at the end of last year the DOE announced that it had once again failed to meet yet another deadline to empty aging storage tanks that have been leaking high level radioactive waste for decades.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Rachel Monto, assistant director of Heart of America Northwest - an organization that bills itself as "The Public's Voice for Hanford Clean-Up" - about the latest developments in the ongoing saga of Hanford clean up. We'll discuss her organization's plans to pursue legal action to realize meaningful clean up of Hanford at long last. We'll also talk about Heart of America's campaign to stop plans to use Hanford as a national radioactive waste dump.

THE VIEW FROM OAKS BOTTOM - with Portland Parks & Recreation Ecologist Mark Wilson

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/05/2012

The city of Portland is noted for its proximity to outstanding natural areas—Mt. Hood, the Columbia Gorge, Oregon's North Coast. But Portland is also a great place to live because of the abundance of natural areas within the city itself. On this episode of Locus Focus we return to one of the city's nature jewels: Oaks Bottom, a 170-acre wildlife refuge complex of wetlands, meadows and woods, 4 miles SE of downtown Portland as the crow flies, and maybe a bit further if you're following the route of one of the bottoms' many Great Blue Herons. Why is Oaks Bottom such a treasure for Portland residents and what is being done to enhance its wildlife habitat? We'll hear from Portland Parks and Recreation ecologist Mark Wilson who returns to Locus Focus to tell us the latest nature news from Oaks Bottom and the adjoining Willamette River.

A LITTLE BIT OF OAKS BOTTOM HISTORY:

Oaks Bottom is a floodplain wetland located along the east bank of the Willamette River. The City of Portland acquired the landfill property from the Donald M. Drake Company at the beginning of 1969 to block its development as an industrial park. The area was believed, at the time, to be one of the few remaining marshland areas in Portland, and local residents were strongly opposed to its development as industrial property. The nine-acre south meadow is a former “construction debris landfill.” The former floodplain wetlands of the north meadow was originally slated for development and filled with clean fill from the excavation of the I405 freeway and US 26’s Vista Tunnel. Portland Parks &Recreation purchased the entire tract of land to link oak and riparian woodlands to the adjacent wetlands. The 26-acre North Meadow now shelters an amphibian habitat area. Portland Audubon, SMILE, PSU and ODF&W were instrumental in the saving of the 170 acres of Oaks Bottom and it was designated as Portland’s first wildlife refuge in 1988.

OREGON'S CITIZENS UTILITY BOARD - Celebrating Director Bob Jenks' 20th anniversary

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 02/27/2012

This year Oregon's Citizens' Utility Board is celebrating the 20th anniversary of their executive director Bob Jenks' tenure at the helm of CUB. CUB itself has been around since 1984 but many Oregonians probably don't know how much they owe this advocacy group. In its three decades of service, CUB has saved Oregon ratepayers $5.3 billion. It's also led the way for Oregon's investment in energy efficiency, by helping create the Energy Trust of Oregon in 2002 and working for passage of the state's 25% Renewable Energy Standard. CUB has worked to ensure that Oregon takes the lead on the national stage in battling climate change, most notably by helping to negotiate the closure of the Boardman plant in the Gorge, which will be the first 1970s-era baseload coal plant in the United States to shut down due to climate concerns. On this episode of Locus Focus, Bob Jenks joins us to talk about CUB's achievements past and present and its vision for a clean, sustainable and affordable energy future for Oregon.

Bob Jenks is the Executive Director of CUB and a national expert on utility-related issues. Bob started working for CUB in 1991, and has participated in nearly every major Oregon Public Utility Commission case since that time, including dozens of cases dealing with utility mergers, rates, and deregulation. He also regularly represents ratepayers before the Oregon Legislature. Bob has on numerous occasions been flown across country to speak on utility issues before such groups as the California Legislature, the Northwest Public Power Association, and the Consumer Federation of America. Bob sits on the board of Environment Oregon Research & Policy Center, and is the Oregon representative of the National Association of State Utility Consumer Advocates (NASUCA). Bob is a native Oregonian, and has an economics degree from Willamette University.

WEIGHING THE PLIGHTS OF TWO ENDANGERED POPULATIONS: Marbled Murrelets and Oregon Timber Counties

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 02/20/2012

In the 1990s the spotted owl became the icon for environmentalists' struggle to save the remaining old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. But the spotted owl is not the only specie that needs old growth forests to survive. Twenty years ago the Marbled Murrelet was added to the list of threatened species whose populations have been severely declining due to intensive logging in old growth forests. For over a decade, Oregon was engaged in developing a habitat conservation plan that would have provided a modicum of protection for marbled murrelet. But it has abandoned that effort. On this episode of Locus Focus we hear from representatives from the Center for Biological Diversity and Audubon Society of Portland, who are suing the state of Oregon over clearcutting practices in the coastal Elliott, Tillamook and Clatsop state forests, that threaten even further the remaining populations of Marbled Murrelets. Bob Sallinger with the Audubon Society and Noah Greenwald with the Center Biological Diversity talk about how the state’s practices are harming, harassing and leading to the demise of the federally protected marbled murrelet, which comes inland to nest and breed in mature and old-growth forests.

Bob Sallinger, Audubon Society of Portland Conservation Director, has worked for Audubon since 1992. Bob’s passion for conservation was developed early exploring the woods of Massachusetts and later on solo hikes from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail and from Canada to New Mexico on the Continental Divide. 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 Portland Parks Board and 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, cat, goats and chickens.

Noah Greenwald, Center for Biological Diversity Endangered Species Director, directs the Center’s efforts to protect new species under the Endangered Species Act, to ensure that imperiled species receive effective protections and that we have the strongest Endangered Species Act possible. He also works to educate the public about the importance of protecting biodiversity and about the multitude of threats to the survival of North American wildlife. Before he joined the Center in 1997, Noah worked as a field biologist, surveying northern spotted owls and marbled murrelets and banding Hawaiian songbirds.

HIGH VOLTAGE: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry, Revisited

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 02/13/2012

Transportation accounts for about a third of all carbon dioxide emissions in America. Cars and trucks are the biggest source of our smog pollution, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Gas prices are rising, the dependence on foreign oil is an ongoing concern, and local air pollution is not improving. This makes a powerful case for cleaner cars. Are electric cars the answer?

On this episode of Locus Focus, we revisit the subject of electric cars with Jim Motavalli, author of High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry, which describes the history of the electric car, the race to produce a new generation of all-electric vehicles and now, the tipping point, where half of all new cars heading into showrooms around the world will be at least partly electric. We talk about the challenges still facing all-electric cars: will they really attain enough market share to matter, how can their driving range be extended and how will they be made affordable.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jim Motavalli first started reporting on the dream of electric cars in the late 1980’s during the SUV boom in Detroit and when cheap gas seemed infinite. He is the author of Forward Drive and several other books. He regularly writes about clean cars for The New York Times' Automobiles section, CBS, NPR’s Car Talk and MNN.com. Jim also has a weekly syndicated Wheels column. He lives in Connecticut.

More information about High Voltage: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry is available at Books on KBOO

AUTHOR CARL SAFINA: VOYAGE OF THE TURTLE & VIEW FROM LAZY POINT

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 02/06/2012

"[Sea] turtles don't think about their next generation, but they risk and provide all they can to ensure that there will be one. Meanwhile, we profess to love our offspring above all else, yet above all else it is they from whom we daily steal. We cannot learn to be more like turtles but from turtles we could learn to be more human. That is the wisdom carried within one hundred million years of survival. What turtles could learn from us,  I can't imagine." (Carl Safina, Voyage of the Turtle)

For decades Carl Safina — consummate environmental journalist and activist — has traveled the world following the migrations of sea turtles and other endangered species — and figuring out how to apply their lessons to the human experience. When he is not trekking across the globe he follows the arc of seasons from the The View from Lazy Point, his home on the eastern tip Long Island. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Carl about his journeys far and near, finding solace and delight in the power and resilience of living things, giving hope that we can learn to embody our connection with the natural world before we discover that we have destroyed it.

Carl Safina is a prominent ecologist and marine conservationist and president of  Blue Ocean Institute, an environmental organization based in Cold Spring Harbor, New York. A winner of the prestigious Pew Fellowship, MacArthur Fellowship and Guggenheim Fellowship, Safina has written five books — Song for the Blue Ocean: Encounters Along the World's Coasts and Beneath the Seas; Eye of the Albatross: Visions of Hope and Survival; Voyage of the Turtle: In Pursuit of the Earth's Last Dinosaur; Nina Delmar: The Great Whale Rescue; The View from Lazy Point: A Natural Year in an Unnatural World, and due out in April of 2011, A Sea in Flames: The Deepwater Horizon Oil Blowout. Safina’s new TV series, Saving the Ocean, premiered on PBS in April 2011.

Follow more of Carl's adventures on his blog.

FRIENDS OF FAMILY FARMERS - Growing a New Generation of Sustainable Farmers

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 01/30/2012

More and more people are concerned about where their food comes from, how it is grown and who grows it. But if more of us want to eat locally grown, sustainable food, we also need to grow a new generation of farmers commited to sustainable agricultural principles. Who is going to ensure that new farmers can find affordable land close to markets and can navigate the unpredictable and often turbulent waters of full-time farming? We are fortunate in Oregon to have an organization dedicated to just that. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Leah Rodgers, field director for Friends of Family Farmers, about how her organization supports family farmers across the state who are dedicated to sustainable agriculture. We'll learn about some of their current projects including listening sessions with farmers across the state and iFarm, which connects new and young farmers with the land and resources they need to get starte. We'll also hear the latest on the 2012 Food and Farm Bill and why the Farm Bill matters as much to urban eaters as rural farmers.

Friends of Family Farmers is the only statewide agricultural organization working to promote and protect socially responsible family farming, ranching and healthy rural communities in Oregon. Their programs include a farmer campaign; programs designed for urban eaters such as the monthly InFarmation (and Beer); farm to school programs; and keeping tabs on the corporate agriculture lobby and the state agencies charged with promoting and regulating agricultural activities. They also monitor and make the public aware of the threats to Oregon agriculture from factory farms moving into rural communities.

SCARED SICK - An Interview with Author Robin Karr-Morse

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 01/23/2012

When we talk about environmental health hazards, we usually are referring to toxins in the environment outside our bodies. But there are environmental health hazards inside our bodies as well. Chemicals and hormones triggered by stress and trauma can wreak havoc on our nervous systems and ultimately result in serious disease. In her new book Scared Sick, Portland family therapist Robin Karr-Morse, explores how many adult diseases, ranging from fibromyalgia to diabetes, as well numerous psychological disturbances, are rooted in childhood trauma. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Karr-Morse about how the wide array of stresses and trauma hurled at us from birth on, are overtaxing our innate "flight or fight" response and leading to a cascade of health problems that start in early childhood.

Robin Karr-Morse is a family therapist at the Parenting Institute in Portland, Oregon and author of Ghosts from the Nursery and Scared Sick.

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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