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.

Hosted by

Episode Archive

Locus Focus on 02/06/12

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How nature and human dignity require each other with author Carl Safina

AUTHOR CARL SAFINA: VOYAGE OF THE TURTLE & VIEW FROM LAZY POINT

"[Sea] turtles don't think about their next generation, but they risk and provide all they can to ensure that there will be one. Meanwhile, we profess to love our offspring above all else, yet above all else it is they from whom we daily steal. We cannot learn to be more like turtles but from turtles we could learn to be more human. That is the wisdom carried within one hundred million years of survival. What turtles could learn from us,  I can't imagine." (Carl Safina, Voyage of the Turtle)

Locus Focus on 01/30/12

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/30/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Friends of Family Farmers - connecting rural farmers and urban eaters in Oregon

FRIENDS OF FAMILY FARMERS - Growing a New Generation of Sustainable Farmers

Locus Focus on 01/23/12

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/23/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How chronic fear in infancy and early childhood lies at the root of common illness

SCARED SICK - An Interview with Author Robin Karr-Morse

When we talk about environmental health hazards, we usually are referring to toxins in the environment outside our bodies. But there are environmental health hazards inside our bodies as well. Chemicals and hormones triggered by stress and trauma can wreak havoc on our nervous systems and ultimately result in serious disease. In her new book Scared Sick, Portland family therapist Robin Karr-Morse, explores how many adult diseases, ranging from fibromyalgia to diabetes, as well numerous psychological disturbances, are rooted in childhood trauma.

Locus Focus on 01/16/12

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/16/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Why Obama may be forced to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline despite threats from the oil industry

LATEST POLITICAL BRINKSMANSHIP AROUND KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

Last November the Obama administration responded to intense public opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline—which would carry crude oil from Alberta's tar sands, to refineries on the Gulf Coast—by calling for additional environmental impact studies that could take more than a year to complete. This decision made many pipeline opponents hopeful, if not celebratory. But then six weeks later, as part of a deal to extend the payroll tax cut, congressional Republicans required that the administration make a decision on the project within 60 days.

Locus Focus on 01/09/12

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/09/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How fracking became a household word in 2011

FRACKING CRACKS THE PUBLIC CONSCIOUSNESS

2011 was the year that fracking became a household word. A little over a year ago opposition to fracking was limited to a select group of environmental activists and people unfortunate to have their water supplies contaminated by neighboring fracking operations. But by the end of the year major media was reporting on independent scientific investigations that linked fracking with water pollution. And federal and state agencies were responding to the growing apprehension about water contamination with more studies and more regulation. What has changed in the last 12 months to ratchet up opposition to this use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from the deep recesses of shale deposits?

Locus Focus on 01/02/12

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/02/2012 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A discussion of obesity, food justice and the limits of capitalism with Julie Guthman

 WEIGHING IN: Obesity, Food Justice & The Limits of Capitalism - An Interview with Julie Guthman

Locus Focus on 12/26/11

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/26/2011 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Journeying down Oregon's rivers with author Robin Cody

ANOTHER WAY THE RIVER HAS: An Interview with Author Robin Cody

Rivers define Oregon. They shape the landscapes and wildlife habitats as well as human settlements and politics of this very watery place. There are few people who know and can describe Oregon's rivers like Oregon author Robin Cody. On this episode of Locus Focus, Robin joins us to describe his river adventures and reflections, whether he is canoeing the entire length of the Columbia River or floating the Willamette and lower Columbia in his handmade motorized boat, the Turtle. For Robin, the river is a metaphor for our lives, just as our lives are metaphors for the river.

Locus Focus on 11/28/11

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/28/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The rebirth of the electric car and the challenges it still faces

HIGH VOLTAGE: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry

Transportation accounts for about a third of all carbon dioxide emissions in America. Cars and trucks are the biggest source of our smog pollution, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Gas prices are rising, the dependence on foreign oil is an ongoing concern, and local air pollution is not improving. This makes a powerful case for cleaner cars. Are electric cars the answer?

Locus Focus on 11/21/11

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/21/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How the Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project is rebuilding a local food infrastructure in Oregon

Re-creating a Local Food System - The Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project

There is a lot more to eating locally than buying produce at your neighborhood farmers' market. What about all the staple foods we rely on, like grains and beans, that provide most of the calories in our diet? In Oregon's Willamette Valley we have the agricultural potential to feed the valley residents twice over, yet most of the fertile valley land is dedicated to growing grass seed and commodity wheat that's exported to China. Meanwhile ninety-five percent of what we eat in the Willamette Valley is imported. But with the price of all fossil fuels on the rise, a lot of people are beginning to think that this makes no economic or agricultural sense.

Locus Focus on 11/14/11

Categories:
Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/14/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How to put the brakes on Big Coal's dirty and dangerous plans for the Northwest.

The Coal Hard Truth

In the past year the Northwest made major strides towards being coal-free, as deadlines were set to shut down the regions' last coal-fired power plants. But while the Northwest is moving away from relying on coal to generate its own electricity, there is a movement afoot to transform Washington State ports into a major infrastructure for shipping coal to Asia. Trainloads of coal from Wyoming would make their way across the Pacific Northwest, spewing toxic coal dust and diesel pollution, putting safety at risk, clogging the railroads, and contributing to climate change the whole way.

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?

 

Copyright © 2012 KBOO Community Radio | Community Guidelines | Website Illustration & Design by: KMF ILLUSTRATION