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 12/10/12

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Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/10/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Curbing urban hunger through urban agriculture with city commissioner Nick Fish
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URBAN AGRICULTURE: An Avenue To Fight Hunger

For the last few years Oregon has had the dubious reputation of having the highest level of child food insecurity in the country. The city of Portland has been trying to address this issue through a number of initiatives, including increasing urban agriculture opportunities within the city. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk again with Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish about how expanding urban agriculture in the city is an affective avenue for addressing hunger and building healthy neighborhoods.

Locus Focus on 12/03/12

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/03/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The intricacies and mysteries of the air we breathe and the violence it is capable of wreaking.
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AIR: THE RESTLESS SHAPER OF THE WORLD - Another Interview with William Bryant Logan

We are dependent on air to sustain us, but rarely do we reflect on this fluid, boundless and unpredictable element of our planet. In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, William Bryant Logan, author of Air: The Restless Shaper of the World returns to Locus Focus to talk about the intricacies and mysteries of the air we breathe and the violence it is capable of wreaking. On this episode of Locus Focus we have time to expand on our abbreviated conversation with Bill Logan, begun during the October pledge drive.

Locus Focus on 11/26/12

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/26/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Why growing canola is bad for the Willamette Vally.

KEEPING CANOLA OUT OF THE WILLAMETTE VALLEY

Oregon's Willamette Valley is an ecological gem and one of the few places left in the world where quality specialty seeds can be grown. One reason why specialty crop seeds thrive in the valley is that there is very little canola grown here. But that could now change as the Oregon Department of Agriculture considers new rules that would loosen restrictions on where canola could be grown in the Valley. Canola, a trade name for rapeseed, is actually an invasive weed that persists in fields where it has been previously grown and is nearly impossible to eradicate.

Locus Focus on 11/19/12

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Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/19/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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On the 40th anniversary of the Clean Water Act, what we need to do to ensure its continuance.

 THE CLEAN WATER ACT TURNS 40

Locus Focus on 11/12/12

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/12/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Why Alaskan Natives are bent on stopping the Pebble Mine in Bristol Bay, Alaska

 THE CONTINUING SAGA OF PEBBLE MINE AND BRISTOL BAY, ALASKA

Locus Focus on 11/05/12

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/05/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How slow democracy helps us to govern ourselves locally and inclusively.

SLOW DEMOCRACY: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home

On the eve of Election Day Locus Focus takes a look at how real democracy involves much more than casting an occasional vote. We talk with Susan Clark, co-author of a new book Slow Democracy: Rediscovering Community, Bringing Decision Making Back Home, that gives numerous examples of communities around the country taking back control of decision-making processes that directly affect their lives.

Locus Focus on 10/29/12

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 10/29/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How Euro-American settlers' political borders decimated once abundant salmon runs in the Northwest.

THE NATURE OF BORDERS: SALMON, BOUNDARIES and BANDITS ON THE SALISH SEA: An Interview with Lissa Wadewitz

The 49th parallel has demarcated the border between Canada and the United States for over 150 years. But for millions of years before any people lived here, numerous runs of salmon flourished in the rivers, creeks and coastal waters of the Pacific Northwest.

Locus Focus on 10/22/12

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 10/22/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Why the EPA's Pebble Mine watershed study is not the rush job portrayed by mining advocates

RUSH TO JUDGEMENT?: EPA WATERSHED STUDY OF THE PEBBLE MINE IN BRISTOL BAY, ALASKA

The Pebble Mine proposed in southwestern Alaska is slated to become one of the largest gold, copper and molybdenum mines in the world. It would produce more than 10 billion tons of mining waste laced with toxins that threatens to decimate the world's largest salmon fishery in Bristol Bay. The mine would eliminate or block nearly 87 miles of salmon streams, destroy up to 4,286 acres of wetlands, and threaten to contaminate the ground and surface waters throughout the Bristol Bay watershed.

Locus Focus on 10/15/12

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 10/15/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
William Bryant Logan reflects on all the questions about air that you never thought to ask.
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AIR: THE RESTLESS SHAPER OF THE WORLD - An Interview with William Bryant Logan

We are dependent on air to sustain us, but rarely do we reflect on this fluid, boundless and unpredictable element of our planet. How do birds fly and why do they often fly in V formation? How do tornados form? How far can winds carry dust? Why is weather so difficult to predict? What is the impact of poisonous gases that may come from our cozy, new furniture? How does pollen help palynologists establish the rhythm of the ice ages? On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with author William Bryant Logan about the intricacies and mysteries of the air we breathe.

Locus Focus on 10/08/12

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Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 10/08/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Greg Pahl on how communities can organize & launch community-scale renewable energy projects

POWER FROM THE PEOPLE: How to Organize, Finance and Launch Local Energy Projects - author Greg Pahl

More than ninety percent of the electricity we use to light our communities, and nearly all the energy we use to run our cars, heat our homes and power our factories, comes from large, centralized, highly polluting nonrenewable sources. On this episode of Locus Focus, we find out how it doesn't have to be that way. We will talk with energy expert Greg Pahl, whose new book Power from the People details how communities can empower themselves to prepare for the emerging energy crisis by launching their own community-scale, renewable energy projects that harvest energy from the sun, wind, water and earth.

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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