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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The race to feed a crowded world with Joel K. Bourne, Jr.
 

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Episode Archive

THE SWEAT GLANDS OF THE EARTH

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/02/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Forests' role in cooling the earth and generating moisture thousands of miles away
The carbon emissions created by tropical deforestation are well known. Now a new study finds that forests are not just the lungs of the earth—they are the sweat glands. In other words, the moisture they move through their roots, trunks and leaves helps keep the planet cool to an extent that has never been quantified globally until now. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with the study's author Deborah Lawrence about the critical role forests play in directly cooling the earth and generating moisture--not only for the immediate region where deforestation takes place, but for critical food-producing regions thousands of miles away.

Kinder Morgan's Louisiana Coal operations

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/26/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Kinder Morgan's coal operations along the Gulf Coast and how communities are fighting back
This week on Locus Focus we continue the story of Kinder Morgan. This time we go to the Gulf Coast of Louisiana, where Kinder Morgan's coal export terminal in Plaquemines Parish has been wreaking havoc on the lives and health of the residents of communities in this coastal parish.. Kinder Morgan's coal operations are also impeding efforts to restore the rapidly disappearing Gulf coastline. We talk with Grace Morris, senior organizer with the Gulf Restoration Network, based in New Orleans.

Grace Morris works with people across the Gulf to challenge the coal industry's devastating impacts to coastal communities and to forward coastal restoration.

Public Produce

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/19/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How can public access to fresh produce improve urban dwellers’ quality of life?

How can public access to fresh produce improve urban dwellers’ quality of life? On this episode of Locus Focus we look at governmental and non-governmental efforts in communities across North America to transform pieces of public land into edible gardens and orchards. Darrin Nordahl, author of Public Produce: Cultivating Our Parks, Plazas, and Streets for Healthier Cities, discusses why food foraging and cultivation in cities is viable and productive and whether it can actually help alleviate food insecurity.

 

Taking a Stand on Burnaby Mountain

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/12/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Fighting Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline in the woods of British Columbia
Download:
While the U.S. Congress votes one more time on whether or not to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, another pipeline battle rages north of the border. Energy giant Kinder Morgan plans to triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain Pipeline running from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, BC (just east of Vancouver). This proposal has generated heated opposition from First Nations people and the majority of residents and elected officials in the cities of Burnaby and Vancouver. But recently, the Canadian Federal Government has restricted public participation in the assessment process for projects such as pipelines and limited what environmental concerns are deemed relevant for consideration. This has left pipeline opponents with only one option - protest and civil disobedience.

The Facts about Kinder Morgan

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/05/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Eric de Place on Kinder Morgan's track record of pollution, law-breaking, and cover-ups.
Energy giant Kinder Morgan, which rose from the ashes of Enron several years ago, has big ambitions across North America. The firm aspires to multiply its coal export capacity in the Gulf Coast region even as it seeks permission to build a huge new oil pipeline in the Pacific Northwest. These projects could boost Kinder Morgan’s profits, but they also raise serious questions about what the projects might cost neighboring communities.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Eric de Place of Sightline Institute, whose new report, “The Facts about Kinder Morgan,” reveals that Kinder Morgan's track record is one of pollution, law-breaking, and cover-ups.

THE ANTHROPOCENE

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/29/2014 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Our responsibility as the shapers of the earth's future to create a sustainable path
There is a growing scientific consensus that we are entering a new geologic epoch shaped by human beings. Dubbed the "Anthropocene," scientists are still debating how long ago it started or if it is only now unfolding. Most people are aware that humanity’s influence on our planet’s natural resources continues to cause irreversible damage. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Christian Schwägerl, an environmental journalist in Berlin and author of The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How It Shapes Our Planet.

The High Cost of Tar Sands Oil

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/22/2014 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The consequences of tar sands development for people in its path
The Canadian Tar Sands is the largest and most polluting industrial project in the world. Impacts of tar sands development ripple out from the Northeast corner of Alberta, where the tar sands are extracted, to almost every region in North America. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with journalist Ted Genoways about the consequences of tar sands development for people in its path - ranging from First Nations people living downstream from these operations to communities along the routes of proposed pipelines carrying diluted bitumen to coastal ports.

Your Atomic Self

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How current environmental concerns affect us on an atomic level.
What do atoms have to do with your life? And how is it that even after we die we continue to exist for eternity through our atoms as they disperse back into the universe?

The Bee: A Natural History

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/08/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A window into the vitally important role that bees play in the life of our planet.
Download:
Bees pollinate more than 130 fruit, vegetable, and seed crops that we rely on to survive. They are crucial to the reproduction and diversity of flowering plants, and the economic contributions of these irreplaceable insects measure in the tens of billions of dollars each year. Yet bees are dying at an alarming rate, threatening food supplies and ecosystems around the world.

CUB TURNS 30

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/01/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Citizens' Utitlity Board of Oregon's 30 years of achievements
This month the Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon celebrates its 30th anniversary. CUB has come a long way from its grassroots founding through a ballot initiative in 1984. Then Oregon utilities fought against the measure with a well-funded campaign and slick TV ads arguing that a Citizens’ Utility Board would turn out to be just “a boondoggle”. Far from being a boondoggle, however, in over 30 years of hard work and collaborative effort, CUB has proven, many times over, the need for an independent consumer advocate voice to intervene in utility regulatory proceedings and legislative initiatives.

Audio

The Three Trillion Dollar War

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/25/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein speaks with Linda Bilmes, co-author of The Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict ( W. W. Norton, 2008).

Glen Lamb and the Columbia Land Trust

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/11/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts "Post-Measure 49 Oregon, Part 2" with Glenn Lamb of the Columbia Land Trust (columbialandtrust.org). Learn what land trusts are, and how they can help save our environment. Find related information at the Land Trust Alliance (www.lta.org)

Sustainable Portland

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/04/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein spoke with Michael Armstrong, Deputy Director of the Office of Sustainability for the City of Portland about the greening of Portland.

Locus Focus with David Cole on Why America is Losing The War On Terror

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 02/26/2008

Today on Locus Focus, Barbara Bernstein talks with David Cole, Professor of Law, Georgetown University; Co-Author, Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror (TheNewPress.com); Legal Affairs Correspondent, The Nation; Co-Chair, Liberty and Security Initiative & Checks and Balances Initiative, Constitution Project.

They'll discuss the Protect America Act which expired over the weekend with Bush threatening, “Because Congress failed to act, it will be harder for our government to keep you safe from terrorist attacks.” House Democrats refused to hold a vote on the Senate-approved legislation that would permanently expand the government’s eavesdropping authority and give immunity to telecommunications companies that helped the government monitor conversations. Cole says the rule of law is an asset not an obstacle in the struggle to keep us safe and free, we have given up many freedoms in the name of security but we are not safer.

Bob Stacey on Life After Measure 49

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/29/2008

Barbara Bernstein talks with Bob Stacey Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon (www.friends.org) about the landscape of Oregon land use law in a post-Measure 49 world. Bob and Barbara will discuss the Big Look, the New Look and the Blueprint for Oregon's Future.

Carbon Trade Watch

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/29/2008

Kevin Smith and Tamra Gilbertson, leading critics of international climate change policy and researchers with www.carbontradewatch.org will tell us what's wrong with carbon credits, how they do nothing to fight global warming, and even exacerbate the problem.

Peak Oil, Debt and the Economy

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/15/2008

Per Fagereng hosts talk radio this morning with special guest, Kurt Liebezeit, a local Peak Oil Activist. Listen to Per and Kurt discus Peak Oil and the Economy, while fielding questions, opinions, and discussions with our listening audience.

Gray To Green - Storm Water Management

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/08/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein invites Portland city officials onto her show to discuss the city's storm water management systems. Her guests today are Dean Marriott, Director of the Bureau of Environmental Services, and Lisa Libby, Sam Adams' Senior Environmental Policy Director. Questions were answered for the listening public, as well as plans for the future explained.

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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