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

The 1980 Mt. St. Helens Eruption - Then and Now

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Remembering the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, on its 35th anniversary
This May 18 marks the 35th anniversary of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, that blew the top 1,300 feet off the mountain and triggered the largest recorded landslide in the earth's history. The eruption disrupted the lives of thousands of people and wildlife and transformed hundreds of square miles of rich forest into a grey, lifeless landscape. But in the ensuing 35 years life has returned to the slopes of Mt. St. Helens, which has become a living laboratory for geologists and biologists alike. On this episode of Locus Focus, we're joined by Portland State University geology professor Scott Burns, to remember that momentous eruption and its aftermath.

TASTY: The Art and Science of What We Eat

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 05/11/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The art and science of what we eat with author John McQuaid
Download:
Taste is often dismissed as the most primitive of senses, yet it's really the most complex and subtle. On this episode of Locus Focus we learn how taste originated, starting with flavor's primitive stirrings 500 million years ago, and many millions of years later with the taming of fire, how tools making flavor became the first true catalyst of cultural awakening. Our guest is John McQuaid, author of TASTY: The Art and Science of What We Eat.

CAN GEOENGINEERING SOLVE GLOBAL WARMING?

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Challenges, pitfalls and unintended consequences of relying on geoengineering to stop climate change
Modified jets spewing sulfuric acid could haze the skies over the Arctic in a few years “for the price of a Hollywood blockbuster,” as physicist David Keith of Harvard University likes to say. That’s geoengineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment. This hazing, which mimics the cooling effect of a volcanic eruption, is so cheap that almost any country—or any random billionaire—could afford to do it, But even though it's too late to slow down the planetary warming triggered long ago by the carbon emissions of the industrial age, is geoengineering really the route we want to go?

Mount Polley copper/gold mine in B.C. set to reopen just 8 months after massive toxic spill

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/27/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Guests Kanahus Manuel of Secwepemc Nation and Franklin Lopez of subMedia.tv from Vancouver, B.C.1
On August 4, 2014 a huge mine tailings pond breached, releasing an estimated 14.5 million cubic meters of toxic solid and liquid mine wastes into the pristine waters of the Fraser River watershed in southeastern British Columbia. Imperial Metals, which runs the Mount Polley open pit copper and gold mine, applied for a permit to reopen the mine after the disaster. On April 1 (cruel joke), the Province of B.C. accepted the application to reopen the mine, leaving just one month for the public to comment. 

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.

Audio

Organic Farming Certification and Farmer's Markets

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 06/10/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein talks about organic farming certification with Chris Schreiner of Oregon Tilth, plus Moreland Farmers' Market Manager Laura Wendel and several farmers who have gone through the federal organic certification process, and some who have not.

Locus Focus - June 4

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 06/03/2008

Hostess Barbara Bernstein entertains callers with the latest developments in the Democratic Primaries for another rousing show!

  • Title: Locus Focus 20080604
  • Length: 80:15 minutes (36.74 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 22kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

Portland's 40 Mile Loop - The North Portland Greenway

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/27/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein invites local Portland activists Paul Maresh and Pam Arden from the Friends of the 40 Mile Loop (40mileLoop.org) to discuss the plans for adding the North Portland Greenway to the long-term plan for a 40 Mile hiking and biking loop around the Portland Metro area.

Locus Focus on the Election and Green Streets

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/20/2008

Today, Barbara Bernstein hosts a two part show. First up, Bernstein and local political consultant Liz Kaufman discuss the recent election.

In the latter half, Steve Shackman, Mitch Frister, and Kim White from Portland Friends of Green Streets (Frogs Blog) talk about how we can all help manage our environment.

Locus Focus and Candidates for City Council

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/13/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts. Her guests will be candidates for Portland City Council, Position 2, which was previously held by Sam Adams. Confirmed guests are Nick Fish, Ed Garren, Fred Fader, Jim Middaugh, and Harold Williams Two.

Christopher Rich and Sho Dozono for Mayor, LIVE

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/06/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts. Today, her guests are candidates for Mayor of Portland, Christopher Rich and Sho Dozono. Craig Gier was invited, but didn't make it in to the station.

Locus Focus and the 1968 Columbia U Strike

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/29/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts. She has guests on who participated in the 1968 Columbia Strike Commemoration/reunion this past weekend. They include Ray Brown, now a New Jersey  lawyer and Kathie Knowles, a Eugene, Oregon bodyworker/healer.

Leigh Ann Caldwell from Election Unspun on the PA Primary

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/22/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein interviews Leigh Ann Caldwell, News Editor for Free Speech Radio News and Producer for Election UnSpun. Today's main topic is the Pennsylvania Primary.

Lucy Brehm from Climate Trust with More on Carbon Credits

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/15/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts. Today Lucy Brehm, former VP at ShoreBank Pacific (SDJC) and currently Senior Manager, Business Development at The Climate Trust (ClimateTrust.org) is the guest as Barbara hosts another discussion of carbon credit trading. They'll discuss how carbon credits can be useful tools in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but how they must be used judiciously and as a last resort - not as an excuse to keep on consuming at current levels.

Locus Focus with poet/activist Hilton Obenzinger

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/08/2008

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the 1968 student strike at Columbia University, one of the many pivotal events of 1968 being remembered this year. Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein, as a freshman at Barnard College, spent a week occupying Low Library, the office of Columbia University's president, along with 100 other students, kicking off a series of actions and mass arrests that shut down the university for the rest of the semester. Today she speaks with fellow striker and Low Library occupier Hilton Obenzinger, (obenzinger.com) whose memoir Busy Dying (chax press) comes out this month.

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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