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

Locus Focus on 05/16/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 05/16/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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The series of calamitous misjudgments that caused the Deepwater Horizon blowout last year.

A SEA IN FLAMES: An Interview with author Carl Safina

Soon after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Rig exploded in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20. 2010, environmental writer and advocate Carl Safina traveled to the Gulf to find out firsthand what was going on. The result of this months' long Oddesey is a new book, A Sea in Flames, in which he takes us across the Gulf of Mexico to make sense of an ever-changing story and its often-nonsensical twists. On this episode of Locus Focus, Carl joins host Barbara Bernstein to deconstruct the series of calamitous misjudgments that caused the Deepwater Horizon blowout during the summer of 2010.

Locus Focus on 05/09/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 05/09/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Bent Skovmand's struggle to keep precious plant genetic resources free and accessible to everyone

 THE VIKING IN THE WHEAT FIELD: An Interview with Author Susan Dworkin

Locus Focus on 05/02/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 05/02/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Why the Lower Snake River Dams are salmon killers

RECOVERING A LOST RIVER: An Interview with Author Steven Hawley

Locus Focus on 04/25/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 04/25/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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What lessons must the Hanford handlers learn from Fukushima?

HANFORD'S NUCLEAR LEGACY & LESSONS UNLEARNED FROM FUKUSHIMA

The nuclear crisis that was triggered by the massive earthquake in Japan on March 11 has raised many questions about the vulnerability and safety of nuclear power installations throughout the world. But we've heard little discussion about the on-going saga of the radioactive wonderland two hundred miles upstream from Portland, at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation.

Locus Focus on 04/18/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 04/18/2011 - 10:10am - 11:00am
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Individual action that slows climate change

Portland Climate Action Now!

In October 2009 the Portland city council adopted a climate action plan, setting in place the city’s ambitious sustainability roadmap to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 percent by the year 2050. A year and a half later the city is putting the action plan to work with its Portland Climate Action Now! campaign. As daunting a challenge as climate change presents, the city is helping its residents understand how individual choices we make everyday can have a huge impact on our collective carbon emissions.

Locus Focus on 04/11/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 04/11/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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The nuclear crisis in Japan and its implications at home.

Update on Nuclear Disaster in Japan with Nuclear Expert Arjun Makhijani

Day-to-day coverage of the ongoing nuclear disaster at the Fukushima nuclear power complex has slipped from the headlines. But the severity of the nuclear crisis in the wake of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan continues to unfold. Right after the earthquake, nuclear expert Arjun Makhijani was on Locus Focus discussing the short term and long range impacts from the damage to the Japanese nuclear facilities. He focused in particular on the danger of spent fuel rod pools overheating, something no one was talking about at the time.

Locus Focus on 04/04/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 04/04/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How climate change is altering the patterns of disease in plants, animals and humans

Changing Planet, Changing Health: A Conversation With Author Dan Ferber

Climate change not only threatens the earth's ecosystems—it is damaging the health of people around the world. While early warning signals of ecological havoc brought on by climate change are being detected in arctic regions, its serious health impacts are most notable in the tropics. But as the planet continues warm, we're beginning to see tropical diseases and the pests that spread disease moving into temperate regions around the globe.

Locus Focus on 03/28/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 03/28/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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The changing relationship between people and food.

Fred Kirschenmann: Building Community Through Sustainable Farming

Oregon is touted as one of the epicenters for the local food movement. As if to reinforce its credentials, there have been food related conferences up and down the Willamette Valley since the year began. Coming up on April 16 is one more conference, this time at the University of Portland in North Portland and it's called Food for Thought. The big name at the conference is food writer Michael Pollan who will be speaking in the evening. But throughout the day there will be several panels, featuring an assortment of interesting folks.

Locus Focus on 03/21/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 03/21/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Why the Alberta Tar Sands endanger the world as its industrialized tentacles creep across the US

The Heavy Haul: Fighting Goliath

While we worry about melting nuclear reactor cores and fuel rods in Japan, another environmental crisis is brewing closer to home. On this episode of Locus Focus we find out why the Alberta Tar Sands endanger the world and how its industrialized tentacles are trying to creep across the United States.

Locus Focus on 03/14/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 03/14/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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In the battle over GMO alfalfa is it true that with organic friends like these who needs enemies?

NUCLEAR CRISIS IN JAPAN

Audio

Organic Farming Certification and Farmer's Markets

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Locus Focus
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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

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Locus Focus
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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

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Locus Focus
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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

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Locus Focus
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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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Locus Focus
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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

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Locus Focus
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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

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Locus Focus
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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

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Locus Focus
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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

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Locus Focus
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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

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Locus Focus
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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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