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

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 05/27/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
How will salmon policy change under the Obama Administration? A key meeting this week gives us some

For eight years the Bush administration did everything in their power to impede real salmon recovery along the Columbia River. Now it is the Obama administration's turn to take a serious look at restoring adequate salmon runs to our region. It started this week with high-level Obama administration officials, including NOAA Administrator Dr. Jane Lubchenco, meeting in Portland with representatives from Northwest states and Tribes. However, fishermen and salmon advocates were blocked from the meeting.

 

 

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 05/20/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
The Great Blue Heron has been Portland's official city bird since 1986. And next week is Great Blue

In 1986 Mike Houck approached then mayor Bud Clark to seek recognition of the Great Blue Heron as Portland's official city bird.  Within two weeks of Clark's signature "whoop, whoop!" Portland City Council had adopted the heron as the city's icon for natural resource protection and access to nature in the city. This week Bob Sallinger, Director of the Audubon Society of Portland's Conservation Program;  Mike Houck, Executive Director of the Urban Greenspaces Institute; and  Nick Fish, the new City of Portland Parks Commissioner join Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to celebrate Great Blue Heron Week and the city's commitment to ensuring this majestic bird continues to share the city with its human inhabitants.  The program highlights events and field trips for this year's annual Great Blue Heron Week which runs from May 27th through Sunday morning, June 7th when a flotilla of kayaks and canoes will circumnavigate Ross Island, home to one of the region's many heron nesting colonies.

http://www.audubonportland.org/about/events/gbheron

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 05/13/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
With Ben Davis, Professor of law at the University of Toledo College of Law, we talk about how to ma

The Bush administration is now history but their criminal acts live on. How do we as a nation hold these characters accountable for the many apparent crimes they committed during the past 8 years. Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with Ben Davis, Professor of law at the University of Toledo College of Law, about his efforts to get attorney general Eric Holder "to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush administration."

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 05/06/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
The recent oubreak of swine raises questions about how many people or livestock can live crowded con

The recent outbreak of H1N1 Flu (or swine flu) is raising questions about potential links between pandemics and population stability. For a few days last week a large hog farm in Veracruz was being blamed for the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, and although that connection has been challenged the question remains: how do our practices of raising crops and livestock as well as the constraints of unrestrained population growth create conditions for potential pandemics.

This installment of Locus Focus takes on that controversial issue among environmentalists: how do we (or should we) limit population growth, especially growth due to immigration. Our guest Leon Kolankiewicz is an environmental scientist and national natural resources planner. He has a B.S. in forestry and wildlife management from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in environmental planning and natural resources management from the University of British Columbia. His professional experience includes stints with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, University of Washington, University of New Mexico, and as an environmental planner with the Orange County, (Ca.) Environmental Management Agency. Mr. Kolankiewicz is the author of Where Salmon Come to Die: An Autumn on Alaska’s Raincoast.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/29/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A look at the most local way to eat - growing your own food in backyard or community gardens

 

 

It's time to plant your garden and this morning we talk with two Portland gardening proponents who work to make gardening accessible and enjoyable to everyone. We'll talk with Renee Moog, the coordinator for the SE Natural Techniques Demonstrations Garden at 57th and Cooper (sponsored by the Metro Natural Gardening Program), and Leslie Pohl-Kosbau who founded and still directs Portland's community garden program. Learn why gardening is a revolutionary act and how growing your own vegetables doesn't just improve your own life - it helps make the planet a better place to live.

 

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/22/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
An interview with Sixties activist Mark Rudd about his new memoir: Underground: My Life with SDS and

41 years ago this week students at Columbia University began an occupation of their campus that shut down the university and resonated around the world. Last year many of these activists gathered at Columbia to remember and reassess this life-changing event. Among them was Mark Rudd, who was one of the leaders of the strike and later went on to help found the ultra-left Weatherman faction of SDS. After spending 7 years underground, he emerged in 1976 and began to reconstruct his life based upon non-violent principles.

Locus Focus on 04/15/09

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/15/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A conversation with economist Chuck Collins on restructuring tax codes to fuel economic recovery

If the most affluent 400 Americans as of 2006 had paid as much of their incomes in taxes as the top 400 did in 1955, the federal treasury would have collected an additional $35.9 billion more in revenue in 2006 just from these 400 ultra-rich individuals. Guest Chuck Collins (Locus Focus' official economist) co-authored a Tax Day report "Reversing the Great Tax Shift: Seven Steps to Finance Our Recovery Fairly,” which offers proposals that would raise $450 billion of revenue to support economic recovery. 

 Here are some of the reports modest proposals:
Introducing a modest financial transaction tax that will chill speculation and generate $100 billion a year.
Implementing an estate tax reform that taxes inheritances over $2 million at progressive rates.
Setting an emergency tax rate on extremely high incomes that would generate over $60 billion a year.
Eliminating the tax preference on capital gains and dividend income, generating $80 billion.
Closing overseas tax havens for individuals and corporations, generating $100 billion.
Scrapping $18 billion in tax breaks that subsidize excessive CEO compensation.
 
“By seriously taxing the top, as we did in the 1950s, we could raise the revenues we need to better invest in infrastructure, education, and retrofitting our energy system,” says Chuck Collins, an IPS senior scholar and co-author of the new IPS brief. “Appropriately targeted, higher taxes on the top would also serve to dampen the speculative frenzy that has cratered our economy.”

 

At 8:20 we're joined by journalist Reese Erlich, whose new book Dateline Havana: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Future of Cuba explores Cuba’s strained history with the United States and the power of the Cuba Lobby. We'll talk about Obama's new Cuba policy and what impact that may have on improving the relationship between our countries.

 

Reese Erlich is the author of The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis and co-author of the best-selling Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You. He reports regularly for National Public Radio, Latino USA, Radio Deutche Welle, Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio, and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio. He also writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, and Dallas Morning News.

Locus Focus on 04/08/09

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/08/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Is nuclear power a solution for climate change?

In 1980 investigative journalist Karl Grossman wrote a book called "COVER UP: What you are not supposed to know about Nuclear Power." That was a year after the meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility in Pennsylvania scared the nation into rethinking its faith in nuclear power as a source of energy too cheap to meter. After a thirty year hiatus, however, nuclear power is back on the table, this time touted as a carbon emission-free source of electricity. But Karl Grossman is still here to tell us what we're not supposed to know about Nuclear Power.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/01/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Does it make sense to replace the current bridge across the Columbia with a 12 lane megabridge?

Consensus is growing that the future bridge across the Columbia River on I5 will be a 12 lane mega bridge. But many people in the community disagree and are raising their voices in concern that such a massive infrastructure will encourage the kind of car and oil dependent way of life that many in the Northwest profess to want to change. Guests Mara Gross with the Coalition for a Livable Future, Metro Councilor Robert Liberty and Joe Kurmaskie, who is helping organize a rally on April 5 to oppose the mega bridge proposal, will discuss Columbia River Crossing alternatives that will not encourage sprawl and increase our carbon footprint.

A grassroots coalition of Portlanders and Vancouverites opposed to the current scope and direction of the Columbia River Crossing project will host an Opposition and Alternatives Rally at Waterfront Park. The event is schedued for noon, Sunday, April 5th, on the lawn of Portland's Waterfront Park - just north of the Hawthorne bridge. Rally organizers call this the opening salvo in a sustained campaign to block funding for the project in its current form, and to offer alternatives that match the desires of a community to be fiscally responsible, address environmental challenges and tackle livability issues effecting the region.  

"This part of the world has made truly sustainable choices in the past, an urban growth boundary, investment in mass transit, bicycle infrastructure and the stoppage of the Mt Hood Freeway and Harbor Highway," rally organizer Joe Kurmaskie said. " Innovative decisions that have made us an attractive city to live in or visit. Putting up a four billion dollar, 12 lane mega-bridge will change all that, and not for the better.

"The project is based on models done before peak oil and the arrival of an economic crisis that's changing every aspect of people's lives, including their transportation choices. The CRC is 20th century thinking applied to a very different world today. The Coalition For A Livable Future has long said that we can not hope to build our way out of congestion. As proposed, this bridge promotes single occupancy vehicle use, invites unchecked sprawl to southern Washington and opens the door to widening I-5 through the heart of Portland."

The Waterfront Park rally will include speakers, calls to action, information booths, distribution of lawn signs and tangible steps citizens can take to oppose the project, as well as the announcement of teach ins by smarterbidge.org, and other organized events in the future. Speakers will include elected officials, transportation experts and community leaders explaining their opposition to the project while proposing alternatives.

So far, confirmed to speak are former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury (who give’s Al Gore’s climate change presentation all over the country), Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz (the only city council member who voted against moving forward on a 12-lane CRC bridge), and Metro Councilor Robert Liberty (who voted against the project in the past and has offered specific alternatives) and  Bicycle Transportation Alliance advocate and educator Michelle Poyourow.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 03/25/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
In the past week there has been intense outrage over AIG executive bonuses and other manifestations

In the past week there has been intense outrage over AIG executive bonuses and other manifestations of corporate greed. How do we go beyond the angry mob mentality? Guest Rob Johnson, who co-wrote "Too Big to Bail: The 'Paulson Put,' Presidential Politics, and the Global Financial Meltdown" with Thomas Ferguson, provides a larger context for understanding the current financial crisis and analyzing the knee-jerk responses that currently rule in the mass media.

Robert Johnson was formerly a managing director at Soros Funds Management and chief economist of the Senate Banking Committee.You can read a recenty article by Johnson and Ferguson at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090309/ferguson_johnson?rel=hp_picks

Audio

FIGHTING CELLPHONE TOWERS: A Trumpeter-maker's Battle

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 04/19/2010

Cellphone towers have become ubiquitous and although the jury is out on their safety, few people bother anymore to fight new ones going up in their neighborhoods. The common wisdom is that you can't win. Even local jurisdictions, like city and county governments, have little power to stop the siting of a new tower.


But brass instrument maker Dave Monette is a rare fellow who not only took on the cellphone establishment but actually won. Dave loves to make trumpets and mouthpieces for brass instruments and his clients include many notable musicians including Thara Memory and Wynton Marsalis. He would much prefer to spend all his time doing what he loves, but recently he has spent a lot of time learning about cell tower placement law, because a cell tower was slated to go up next to his property on Mt. Hood. On this Locus Focus episode, Dave recounts his tale of battling the cellphone industry and how he emerged victorious. In the course of our discussion we talk about how little is known about the safety of these weapons of mass convenience that we sidle up to on a regular basis.

What Dave Monette has to say about himself:
I am the owner of a small trumpet factory.  I choose to work in Portland and live in the forest near Mt. Hood. I have been an amateur radio operator since 1970, and I am somewhat familiar with radio theory and RF engineering. I believe that eventually we will learn, as we have with tobacco, asbestos, pesticides, leaded paint, etc., that the health risks in using cell phones far exceed what is commonly understood. In my opinion, it is simply common sense that holding a microwave transmitter up against the side of your head is detrimental to one's health and well-being.

In my opinion, the convenience and the profits cell phones generate make this current world-wide wave of cell growth unstoppable - at least for now. In the last three or four months I have learned more about the law regarding cell tower placement than I could have ever imagined. I believe we should at the very least require cell transmitting equipment to be as far away from residential areas as possible. I also believe that government and private industry should actively work towards developing the next generation of communication technology that hopefully isn't also used to cook hamburgers!

URBAN FARMING

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 04/12/2010

The Importance of Eating Locally


The choice to eat locally grown food is turning into a movement, as more and more people recognize the importance of eating locally. But if you really want to eat locally grown food, the best way is to grow it yourself. Even if you live in the city. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with an urban farmer in the Sellwood neighborhood of Portland and the owner of an urban farm store. Nikki Hill runs Riverhouse Farm, a community-supported agriculture operation on the banks of Crystal Springs in Sellwood. Started in 2007, the RiverHouse Farm CSA  is an 8,000 sq. ft organic farm that believes a sustainable farm functions as a healthy ecosystem. For the 2010 season they have added more growing space at GeerCrest Farm in Silverton and HeartField Farm in Milwaukie, to better serve their growing number of Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) members. We talk about why it's important to develop urban-rural farm networks like these in order to feed us all.

Our other guest is Naomi Montacre, one of the owners of a new farm store, Naomi's Organic Farm Supply, a few blocks north of Riverhouse Farm in the Sellwood neighborhood. Naomi's sells supplies for the urban homesteader, ranging from baby chicks to berry bushes. We talk with Naomi about why a neighborhood farm store has become a requisite feature in today's urban environment.

Coming events of interest to urban farmers:

Infarmation: http://naomisorganic.blogspot.com/2010/03/infarmation-starts-seeds-and-potatoes.html

Food and Climate Change: Step up the plate: http://www.portlandonline.com/bps/index.cfm?a=294789&c=44851

A City Hall Garden celebration / info fair and climate discussion with author Anna Lappé

Sunday, April 18 at 1 PM

According to author Anna Lappé, "If we are serious about addressing climate change we have to talk about food." Lappé will lead that conversation in Portland on Sunday, April 18 at 2 p.m. in the Portland Building when she participates in a panel discussion, Food and the Climate Challenge: Step Up to the Plate. This free event will also include other area experts discussing how food affects our personal and environmental health and the simple steps we all can take to make a difference.

The panel will follow a celebration of Portland City Hall's Better Together Garden's second year and a food gardening information fair. OSU Master Gardeners, Oregon Tilth, Growing Gardens, The Portland Tree Project and the City of Portland Community Garden program will be present to answer questions in the garden at 1221 S.W. Fourth Avenue, Portland.

Lappé's recently released book, Diet for a Hot Planet, The Climate Crisis at the End of Your Fork and What You Can Do About It, states that our food system is likely responsible for a third of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet, Johns Hopkins University reports that of four thousand articles on climate change published in sixteen leading U.S. newspapers, only 1 percent had a "substantial focus" on food and agriculture.

Just as Diet for a Small Planet, written by Anna's mother, Francis Moore Lappé, revolutionized our food consciousness in 1972, Diet for a Hot Planet will change the way we look at today's most pressing issue. Anna Lappé provides a clear account of our current condition and a road map of seven principles for a climate-friendly diet that can heal the planet.

THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 04/05/2010

Sometimes the best way to expose the truth is to lie. . .


At least, that's the approach that the Yes Men take as they try to fix the world, exposing corporate greed and lies and the painful inconsistencies between what corporate elites say in public and what they actually practice. The Yes Men are Mike Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum, and in recent years they have spoken truth to power by impersonating corporate and government figures at conferences and even before an audience of 300 million on BBC television. This week on Locus Focus we will be joined by Yes Man Andy Birchlbaum, who will be sharing the stories behind the making of their recent movie, The Yes Men Fix the World. We'll hear how they got the world to believe for one hour that Dow Chemical would finally become a responsible corporate citizen and make long overdue payments to the victims of the devastating 1984 gas explosion in Bhopal, India . . . and other fantastic exploits.

CAN URBAN ROOFTOPS PROVIDE HABITAT FOR WILDLIFE?

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/29/2010

Much of our urban landscape is paved over or covered with buildings, creating an environment that is the antithesis of nature. Rooftops and asphalt flush rain water into storm sewers, overburdening and polluting our rivers. Portland is fast becoming a leader in promoting vegetated rooftops to capture stormwater. Is it possible to go even further and actually create functional wildlife habitat on buildings that will help birds, bats, bugs and other animals as they traverse our urban landscape?

On this episode of Locus Focus our guests are Dusty Gedge, an international authority on ecoroofs, and the ecoroof expert for Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, Tom Liptan. We talk about how we can transform the rooftops of downtown skyscrapers, industrial warehouses and even our own residences into wildlife habitat. Could thousands of acres of grey industrial warehouse rooftops in the Columbia Corridor be converted to meadows for rapidly disappearing meadowlarks and streaked horned larks? Could the tops of our downtown skyscrapers provide migrating songbirds with a source for insects and a place to rest? What can we do on top of our own houses to support local wildlife?

International authority on ecoroofs, Dusty Gedge has been campaigning to get green roofs installed for biodiversity in London for over 15 years. He currently Director of Livingroofs.org the UK's independent greenroof organization and the current President of the European Federation of Green Roof Associations. He is recognized as a leading authority on green roofs and biodiversity and has written a number of papers and articles on the subject over the years. He also wrote a seminal paper that lead to the introduction of the green roof policy in the Greater London area. In 2005 he won the Andrew Lees Memorial Award at the British Environment and Media Awards.

EARTHQUAKES ALONG THE PACIFIC RIM

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/22/2010

As aftershocks from the massive earthquake last month in Chile continue to shake the earth, this week on Locus Focus, we look at why the earthquake that wreaked so much devastation in Chile is relevant to the rest of us living along the Pacific Rim. What does the Pacific NW have in common seismically with Chile and what can we learn from the Chileans about earthquake preparedness?

We talk about the science of earthquakes and the importance of earthquake preparedness with Portland State University Geology professor, Scott Burns. Scott will help us understand what all the shaking going on, is all about.

Scott Burns is a professor of Geology at Portland State University, who specializes in soils, floods, landslides, earthquakes and helping the rest of us learn how to prepare for the inevitable cataclysms that periodically shake up the Pacific Northwest.

You can watch seismic activity along the Pacific rim at Portland State Universities Seismic Station.

PREPARING FOR CLIMATE CHANGE

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/15/2010

Climate scientists tell us that even if greenhouse gas emissions were halted tomorrow, the world's climate would not stabilize for decades. So even as we continue to reduce our carbon footprint, we need to start adapting to the inevitable. This morning we look at strategies that communities must begin to adopt to mitigate the worst impacts of climate change while preparing to adapt to its consequences. Guest is Brian Barr, with the National Center for Conservation Science & Policy in Ashland, talks about a project he is working on, in collaboration with the Climate Leadership Initiative from the University of Oregon, to start developing climate change preparation plans for river basins around the state of Oregon. 

Brian Barr is an aquatic ecologist with over 16 years of experience on trout and salmon restoration in the Pacific and intermountain west. Over the past nine years, Brian has focused his attention on improving fish passage conditions in the Rogue and Klamath Rivers of southern Oregon and northern California. Recently, he has turned his attention to the emerging impacts of climate change, how those impacts are likely to affect communities and natural resources, and what we can do to prepare ourselves and the resources we depend upon to withstand these effects. In his off time, Brian fishes, watches his daughter ride horses, and bites his fingernails during Virginia Tech football games.

Climate Change is a Women's Issue

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/08/2010

Discussions about climate change usually focus on rising sea levels and reducing carbon emissions. What we don't hear about much is how climate change disproportionately impacts the lives of women in the developing world. On this special International Women's Day segment of Locus Focus, we look at why climate change is a women's issue, and learn about initiatives that can help women in the developing world to reduce the carbon footprints of their communities while at the same time empowering their lives.

Guest Laurie Mazur is the editor of a new book called A Pivotal Moment: Population, Justice and the Environmental Challenge, which looks at the urgent need to examine inequalities–both gender and economic–that underlie rapid population growth, which is a contributing cause of climate change. On this program we hear why in order to slow population growth and build a sustainable future, women and men need access to voluntary family planning and other reproductive health services, as well as education and employment opportunities.

Laurie Mazur is the director of the Population Justice Project. She is the editor of Beyond the Numbers: A Reader on Population, Consumption and the Environment (1994) and co-author of Marketing Madness: A Survival Guide for a Consumer Society (1995).

SUSTAINABLE SELLWOOD: THE MAKING OF COMMUNITY

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 03/01/2010

Last year a group of Sellwood residents created a neighborhood movement that helped shape the design and impact of the soon-to-be rebuilt Sellwood Bridge. At the height of this organizing drive, a neighborhood march drew hundreds of people from all corners of the neighborhood, united in a desire for a bridge that enhances the neighborhood's pedestrian and bicycle-oriented qualities. Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein took part in the march and it was there that she met some of the guests on this week's Locus Focus, who join her for a discussion about creating sustainable projects in our neighborhoods that not only help mitigate climate change but also build a sense of community.

Philip Krain is a former board member of SMILE, the Sellwood-Moreland neighborhood association where he has been spearheading neighborhood environmental initiatives, including new bicycle boulevard improvements on SE Spokane Street. He is now heads SMILE's sustainability committee and is working on building a "Sustainable Sellwood" website, listserv and neighborhood activity program.

Pedro Ferbel-Azcarate has lived in Sellwood since 1998 and was involved in the development of Share It Square at the intersection of SE Sherritt and 9th in Sellwood. He and his wife Adriana began pioneering permaculture features, including water catchment systems, gardening and compost systems, creative urban living rehabs, and the first cob structure built in the city of portland, which was also the founding project of what is now known as the Village Building Convergence, now in its 10th year. Share It Square has continued to grow since its inception, bringing together neighbors to design and build amenities in the public right of way and have organized numerous large events in the square, including weddings. Share It Square models the simple idea that when neighbors have a commons, they communicate and create opportunities that impact the whole neighborhood.

Democratizing the Energy Grid

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 02/22/2010

Oregon is about to institute a new incentive for households to power themselves using alternative energy sources like solar and wind. This method is called Feed-in Tarriff and is already in place in much of Germany as well as Vermont. Mark Pengilly and Judy Barnes, with Oregonians for Renewable Energy, join Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein for a discussion about how feed-in tarrif can help democratize the energy grid. They'll talk about what feed-in tariffs are all about and where they fit into an overall renewable energy policy that moves us toward a sustainable solution to climate change and helps accomplish the switch from a fossil-fuel-based economy.

Judy Barnes and Mark Pengilly are with Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy, a project of the Alliance for Democracy. They are helping design and support adoption of Feed-In Tariff policies for Oregon that produce good social, economic and environmental outcomes at reasonable costs.

What the Heck is a Green Bridge?

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 02/15/2010

Oregon has set ambitious goals for reducing our carbon emissions by 2020. But if all the currently proposed highway projects are built, any reductions that are achieved in other areas will be canceled out by increased auto use. How do plans to replace the I5 bridge between Washington and Oregon fit into this dilemma? While the proposed replacement bridge is being touted as a "green" bridge, most scenarios show that the currently proposed 12-lane bridge will only increase car trips across the Columbia River and help defeat the region's goal to dramatically reduce our carbon footprint. Should the new bridge have fewer lanes? Should there be tolls? Will light rail and bike lanes help reduce driving? Or should we not build a new bridge at all?

On this episode of Locus Focus we hear several perspectives on what to do about the Columbia River Crossing. Guests include Metro Councilor Robert Liberty, Portland Mayor Sam Adams, Vancouver's new mayor Tim Leavitt and Clark County Commissioner Steve Stuart.

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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