A couple months ago, Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein leaped at the opportunity to interview Stewart Brand, Whole Earth Catalog creator and innovative futurist. But Stewart has changed his views on some key things since the heady days of the late 1960s and early 70s, when his ideas and projects inspired a huge counter-cultural movement. His primary concern now is curbing climate change and he believes that to achieve the goal of drastically reducing our carbon emissions we must embrace technologies that he (and most of the environmental movement) once eschewed - like nuclear power.
In these end days of peak oil, the Canadian province of Alberta is on a mission to replace Saudi Arabia as the world's major source of petroleum. The once pristine boreal forests of Northern Alberta are being transformed into gigantic pit mines as energy companies rush to extract some of the last of the earth's petroleum reserves. The quest to extract and refine these thick, dirty tar sands that lie beneath what was once a wilderness of wetlands and salmon-rich rivers, threatens the ecology and economy of North America.
On this show we'll look at how climate change impacts women and whether population growth is a major cause of climate change. What's the best way to protect humanity from extreme weather and rising seas? Could better access to reproductive health care and improved relations between women and men make a critical difference in addressing this long-term global problem?
Harriet Fasenfest, writer, cook, gardener, food preserver and backyard economist, returns to Locus Focus to talk about the art, economics and politics of householding and food preservation just in time for the holidays.
Born and raised in the Bronx, Harriet Fasenfest has lived in the Northwest since 1978. Now retired from Main Street, she is attempting to raise the bones of home economics from the trash bin of modernity. She teaches classes on food preservation at Preserve and lives happily with her husband and children in Portland, Oregon.
Lauren Moomaw and Maggie Maggio are part of a new community effort, TaborSpace. This coffeehouse and gathering place feels like a throwback to the best of Portland in the 1970s, but it also reflects a uniquely 21st century understanding of how to create sustainable communities. This week on Locus Focus we talk with Lauren and Maggie about creating a neighborhood sense of place through village building.
Climate talks drew to a close in Copenhagen just before Christmas, with little concrete action to celebrate. Our guest Robert Engelman was there and he tells us what happened in Copenhagen, what didn't happen, what we can hope for and what we need to make sure happens soon.
What's going on with Portland's water? In light of the Thanksgiving weekend e coli outbreak in one of the Washington Park Reservoirs, we look at arguments for and against covering Portland's famously open-air reservoirs. We also talk about the underground water storage facility under construction on Powell Butte and the status of Portland's request for a variance from the EPA for its open reservoirs.
Our guests are David Shaff with the Portland Water Bureau and Friends of the Reservoirs representatives Floy Jones and Scott Fernandez.
Many Portlander's think that we get most of our electricity from the Bonneville hydro system, but in fact 40% comes from burning coal, much of it mined by blasting the top off a mountain in Kirk, West Virginia. This week on Locus Focus, guest Judy Bonds, co-director for Coal River Mountain Watch, talks about the impact of this devastating practice on the lives, economy and culture of her community. We'll also hear an update on what's happening at the federal and local level to end mountain top removal mining and put a stop to the wholesale burying of streams under mountains of mine tailings.
300 miles of creeks lie beneath streets and buildings of Portland. In this segment of Locus Focus we explore a creek that flows under the streets of SE Portland and what the city is doing to recognize and replicate the important functions that creek once performed. Brooklyn Creek's headwaters are on the west slope of Mt. Tabor (a dormant volcano that hovers on the near horizon of SE Portland). Until it was culverted many years ago, the creek flowed through what are now the Sunnyside, Richmond, Hosford, Abernathy and Brooklyn neighborhoods, on its way to the Willamette River.