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

CAN GEOENGINEERING SOLVE GLOBAL WARMING?

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 06/22/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Challenges, pitfalls and unintended consequences of relying on geoengineering to stop climate change
THIS PROGRAM WAS ORIGINALLY BROADCAST MAY 4, 2015

TOMS RIVER

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 06/15/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Dan Fagin talks about Toms River, NJ, a town ravaged by sickness tied to chemical pollution.
Chemicals are an integral part of modern life, but sometimes we forget just how dangerous they can be. The story of Toms River, New Jersey, is a poignant reminder of the risks of mixing chemicals and capitalism—a story journalist Dan Fagin unravels in his Pulitzer-Prize–winning Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation. On this episode of Locus Focus Dan joins host Barbara Bernstein to tell the story of a town ravaged by sicknesses tied to chemical pollution.

SHELL OIL'S INVASION OF SEATTLE

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 06/08/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Shell invades Seattle with a titanic drilling rig and meets it match in protests
In late 2012 Shell Oil’s Kulluk drilling rig ran aground near Alaska’s Kodiak Island, putting an end, it seemed, to Shell's ambitious plans to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean. But now Shell plans to return to the precarious Arctic seas this summer for another try at tapping the oil reserves.

THE GREAT TRANSITION

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 06/01/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Shifting from an economy dependent on fossil fuels to one sustained by the power of the sun and wind
The age of oil and coal is rapidly coming to an end. Mounting scientific evidence has dispelled all doubt that the byproducts of these fossil fuels are dramatically increasing the rate of climate change and all its devastating consequences. Meanwhile, reserves of these nonrenewable resources are dwindling as quickly as energy demands are increasing.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Janet Larsen about the encouraging growth of sustainable energy technologies utilizing solar, wind, water, and geothermal power, that are coming on line to replace the fossil fuels that are wreaking havoc on our planet.

Will the Pacific Northwest be Transformed into a Petrochemical Export Hub?

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 05/25/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Proposals to build oil, coal and LNG terminals across the Northwest, and opposition they face
The Pacific Northwest is noted for its magnificent mountains, rivers, coastline and verdant farmland. The region also holds itself up as a model of environmental stewardship and sustainability. Yet at the same time, forces inside and outside of the Northwest are pushing for the region to become an export hub for fossil fuels. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Dan Serres, conservation director for Columbia Riverkeeper, about proposals to build oil, coal and LNG terminals across the Northwest, and the opposition these proposals face from broad segments of the community.

The 1980 Mt. St. Helens Eruption - Then and Now

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 05/18/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Remembering the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, on its 35th anniversary
This May 18 marks the 35th anniversary of the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens, that blew the top 1,300 feet off the mountain and triggered the largest recorded landslide in the earth's history. The eruption disrupted the lives of thousands of people and wildlife and transformed hundreds of square miles of rich forest into a grey, lifeless landscape. But in the ensuing 35 years life has returned to the slopes of Mt. St. Helens, which has become a living laboratory for geologists and biologists alike. On this episode of Locus Focus, we're joined by Portland State University geology professor Scott Burns, to remember that momentous eruption and its aftermath.

TASTY: The Art and Science of What We Eat

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 05/11/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The art and science of what we eat with author John McQuaid
Download:
Taste is often dismissed as the most primitive of senses, yet it's really the most complex and subtle. On this episode of Locus Focus we learn how taste originated, starting with flavor's primitive stirrings 500 million years ago, and many millions of years later with the taming of fire, how tools making flavor became the first true catalyst of cultural awakening. Our guest is John McQuaid, author of TASTY: The Art and Science of What We Eat.

CAN GEOENGINEERING SOLVE GLOBAL WARMING?

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 05/04/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Challenges, pitfalls and unintended consequences of relying on geoengineering to stop climate change
Modified jets spewing sulfuric acid could haze the skies over the Arctic in a few years “for the price of a Hollywood blockbuster,” as physicist David Keith of Harvard University likes to say. That’s geoengineering, the deliberate large-scale manipulation of the planetary environment. This hazing, which mimics the cooling effect of a volcanic eruption, is so cheap that almost any country—or any random billionaire—could afford to do it, But even though it's too late to slow down the planetary warming triggered long ago by the carbon emissions of the industrial age, is geoengineering really the route we want to go?

Mount Polley copper/gold mine in B.C. set to reopen just 8 months after massive toxic spill

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/27/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Guests Kanahus Manuel of Secwepemc Nation and Franklin Lopez of subMedia.tv from Vancouver, B.C.1
On August 4, 2014 a huge mine tailings pond breached, releasing an estimated 14.5 million cubic meters of toxic solid and liquid mine wastes into the pristine waters of the Fraser River watershed in southeastern British Columbia. Imperial Metals, which runs the Mount Polley open pit copper and gold mine, applied for a permit to reopen the mine after the disaster. On April 1 (cruel joke), the Province of B.C. accepted the application to reopen the mine, leaving just one month for the public to comment. 

THE SWEAT GLANDS OF THE EARTH

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 04/20/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Forests' role in cooling the earth and generating moisture thousands of miles away
This program originally aired on February 2, 2015

Audio

Sustainable Food Policy and Practice

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 09/21/2009

Thirty years ago Portland was ringed by working farms and the community garden program was beginning to blossom. Today community gardens are still alive and well throughout Portland, but much of the old farms at the edge of town are now covered with housing and commercial development. On this segment of Locus Focus, host Barbara Bernstein talks with Mayor Sam Adams, Zenger Farm's Jill Kuehler and Clare Carver with Big Table Farm in Gaston, about why we need to protect local farms close to and inside our city. We look at the connections between land use policies that preserve small family farms and the growing movement to eat local food, and maybe even grow our own. Find out why eating and farming sustainably is a revolutionary act.

WHAT IS ZENGER FARM? WHAT WAS ONCE THE MT. SCOTT DAIRY.

Zenger Farm was first owned in the 19th Century by Jacob Johnson as part of a 320-acre donation land claim. Johnson was a sawmill operator who furnished lumber for some of Portland’s earliest homes. Johnson Creek later was named for him. The land passed through several owners and eventually was purchased in 1913 by Ulrich Zenger, a Swiss dairy farmer. Zenger operated the Mount Scott Dairy, lived in the farmhouse, and farmed the land. When he died in 1954, the farm went to his son, Ulrich Zenger Jr., who lived on the farm as his father had. Ulrich Zenger Jr. operated the farm but did not maintain it as a commercial enterprise.

It was Zenger Jr., who, with great fondness for the place that had been his home, had the foresight and determination to protect the land from commercial development and preserve its integrity as a farm. In the mid-1980's, Zenger Jr. explored ways to preserve his farm and allow future generations to develop a mutually sustaining relationship with the land and a respect for it’s heritage, as Zenger himself had done for more than eighty years.

The land was purchased by the City of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) in 1994, five years after Ulrich Zenger Jr.'s death. BES saw in Zenger Farm an opportunity to promote environmental stewardship in a way that would complement BES' long-term conservation plans for the Johnson Creek Basin and Watershed. BES preserved the farm and its wetland as a collection point for the area's storm water. It was in June of 1995 that the land became a working farm again. Marc Boucher-Colbert knew good soil when he saw it. He leased the farmland from BES and, through his Urban Bounty Farm, not only cultivated the land but promoted educational and community events on the site. Urban Bounty Farm formed partnerships with the Environmental Middle School and the Portland State University Capstone Program, among others, to broaden the farm's availability as an open-air classroom.

Zenger Farm's expanding role as an educational and environmental resource created a need to formalize the farm's mission and establish a group to maintain it. In 1999, the Friends of Zenger Farm was assembled. They authored the Zenger Farm Master Plan, obtained the City's approval of the Conditional Use Master Plan, and partnered with BES to secure a 50-year lease of the property. Ulrich Zenger Jr.'s family farm was now, officially and sustainably, a public space.

Incorporated in 1999, Friends of Zenger Farm is a non-profit farm and wetland in outer southeast Portland dedicated to promoting sustainable food systems, environmental stewardship and local economic development through a working urban farm. Friends of Zenger Farm utilize the combination of a 10-acre wetland adjacent to the 6-acre organic farming operation to provide unique experiential learning opportunities for youth, farmers and families in subjects such as sustainable agriculture, wetland ecology, food security, healthy eating and local economic development.



BIG TABLE FARM is a small family farm in Gaston, Oregon, run by Clare Carver and Brian Macy. They named their Farm after a desire to provide a gracious and welcoming table for themselves and  friends, with a cornucopia of hand-crafted food and wine. They are establishing a working farm, where they raise pasture poultry, pigs, cows, and egg-laying chickens and a large vegetable garden. They are working towards a managed intensive grazing system of farming that builds soil, sequesters carbon, and creates a healthy, sustainable and diverse farm.
 

 

 

Sam Adams is the mayor of Portland, Oregon and an avid gardener. When he was growing up he wanted to be a farmer.

Creating a Sustainable Future One Solar Panel at a Time

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 09/14/2009

 

We can create a sustainable future one solar panel array at a time. Seattle solar designers/community activists Jeremy Smithson and Pam Burton talk with host Barbara Bernstein about the work they are doing on the individual, neighborhood and regional level to make solar energy, plug-in electric cars and other sustainable practices accessible and affordable for everyone.

 

Jeremy Smithson started Puget Sound Solar in 2001 with 30 years of construction contracting experience, and a desire to turn Seattle on to solar energy.  What began out as a vague notion has gelled into a firm commitment to establish solar energy as a viable and permanent consumer choice.  Along the way, Jeremy has become a NABCEP Certified Solar Thermal and Solar PV Installer, a Washington State certified Electrical Administrator, and a popular lecturer and teacher.  What was initially a solo act is now part of a team effort, but his job description still includes providing vision and guidance to the company.

 

 

 

Pamela Burton was Director of the Pacifica Radio Archives before moving to Seattle in 1997, and remained in the non-profit world as the first Executive Director of Seattle Tilth until mid-2004.  As the volume of phone calls to Puget Sound Solar increased, she pitched in to help and became the ‘front office’, taking messages at first, and learning solar fundamentals.  Now she spends her day talking to prospective and current customers, utility people, suppliers, contractors, architects, and the like, dispensing information and advice, in addition to handling scheduling and customer paperwork.  She has served as President of Solar Washington for the last four years, developing the annual Solar Tour, helping to educate the public, and working to effect public policy.

 

Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 08/04/2009

 On Wednesday Morning Talk Radio, Marianne Barisonek hosts, with guests Lisa Weasel, author of the book Food Fray: Inside the Controversy over Genetically Modified Food and Rick North of Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Reese Erlich on current events in Iran

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 07/28/2009

 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

The post-election political struggle in Iran is no longer front page news, but that doesn't mean that it has ceased to be important. Journalist Reese Erlich was in Iran for the elections, He’s now back in the states, closely monitoring events in Iran as they continue to unfold.. He joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to talk about the political movement that burst forth during and after the Iranian elections in June.

Reese Erlich reports regularly for National Public Radio, Marketplace Radio, Latino USA, Radio Deutche Welle, Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio, and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio and also writes for San Francisco ChronicleSt. Petersburg Times, and Christian Science Monitor.

He has been a media critic for San Francisco's KQED-FM (NPR affiliate) since 1988.

Reese will be speaking about Iran at Portland State University on Friday, July 31 at an event that begins at 6 PM

Next week Locus Focus goes on vacation for five weeks. We re-emerge at a new day and time on Monday, September 14 at 10:15 AM, still bringing you in-depth interviews and conversation about critical environmental issues.

 

Portland's Green Infrastructure

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 07/21/2009

  Why preserving and building new green infrastructure is so important in making our city sustainable.

Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

 What is Green Infrastructure? According to Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services it's: "interconnected natural systems and/ or engineered systems that use plants and soil to slow, filter, and infiltrate runoff close to its source in ways that strengthen and mimic natural functions and processes."

Today on Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with four key advocates for making Portland's green infrastructure a key part of the city's future planning. Mike Houck with the Urban Greenspaces Institute, Bob Sallinger with Audubon Society of Portland and Mary Wahl with the Bureau of Environmental Services get pose questions to Portland Mayor Sam Adams about the importance of emphasizing green infrastructure as the way of the city's future. You can call in with your own questions as well.

 Mike Houck, a native Portlander, has been a leader at the local, regional, national and international levels in urban park and greenspace issues since his founding the Urban Naturalist Program at theAudubon Society of Portland in 1980. Since that time he has worked on urban parks, trails, greenspaces and natural resources in the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region. He speaks locally, nationally and internationally on issues related to urban natural resources and sustainable development. He helped found the Coalition for a Livable Future in 1994 to better integrate social and environmental issues into the region's growth management planning process. The CLF consists of over 70 nonprofit organizations, individuals and businesses from the Portland-Vancouver metropolitan region working to build an equitable and sustainable metropolitan region. Mike directs the Urban Greenspaces Institute out of the Center for Spatial Analysis and Research at Portland State University's Geography Department where he is an adjunct instructor. Mike serves on the national steering committee of the Ecological Cities Project of Amherst, MA and on several local and regional urban watershed, park and greenspace advisory committees in the Portland metropolitan region. He is co-editor of the book, Wild in the City, a Guide to Portland's Natural Areas, and produced Wild on the Willamette, Exploring the Lower Willamette RiverMike has been recognized for his contributions to urban greenspace issues at the local, national, and international arenas.

Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director, has worked for Audubon since 1992 and previously served as the Society’s Wildlife Care Center Director and Urban Conservation Director. His current responsibilities include managing the Audubon Statewide Important Bird Area in Oregon, recovery of imperiled species, and promoting wildlife conservation in the Portland Metropolitan Region. He has a particular interest in anthropogenic impacts on wildlife and promoting wildlife stewardship in urban ecosystems. His work in this area is informed by his experience overseeing the rehabilitation of more than 40,000 injured wild animals and responding to more than 200,000 wildlife related phone calls. In 2001, Bob developed Audubon’s “Living with urban Wildlife” program to proactively promote wildlife stewardship on the urban landscape. A highlight of Bob’s career with Audubon has been his work managing Audubon’s Peregrine Project which has combined educational outreach, management, captive rearing and release, and citizen science to promote peregrine falcon recover in the Portland Metropolitan Region. Today Portland area peregrine eyries comprise 5% of the known peregrine nesting population in Oregon and the Audubon Program has been recognized with awards for the US Fish and Wildlife Service and the Oregon Chapter of the Wildlife Society. Bob’s passion for conservation was developed early exploring the woods of Massachusetts and later on solo hikes from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail and from Canada to New Mexico on the Continental Divide. Bob has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for a Livable Future and the East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Elisabeth Neely, two children, a dog and a couple of chickens.

Mary Wahl is the Watershed Services Group Manager for the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services, which includes watershed planning and implementation, regulatory/policy, sustainable stormwater management, and the Endangered Species Act program. Previously, Maryspent 14 years at the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, primarily as Administrator of the Waste Management and Cleanup Division. She is an avid kayaker and hiker. Her "leftover" time goes to a local effort on the southern Oregon coast, the "Conservation and Rural Working Landscapes Initiative," whose goal is to marry conservation of natural resources with local ranching and timber operations.Mary lives in Portland. 

 

 

   Sam Adams has been the mayor of Portland since 2009.

 

Portland Central American Solidarity Committee

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 07/14/2009

 This morning on Guest Host Trillium Shannon speaks with members of the Portland Central America Solidarity Committee (PCASC), about the history of solidarity work, current events and trends in Latin America, and how local communities are responding.  Live, in the studio with Shannon are Shiruko Hashimoto, Megan Hise, and Maria Damaris.

Kim Klein on grassroots, non-profit fundraising

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 07/07/2009

 The economic meltdown of the past year has created exceptional challenges for the non-profit sector of our society. Kim Klein, legendary grassroots non-profit fundraising consultant, joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to discuss why these hard times are providing not only difficulties but also opportunities for grassroots social change organizations. We'll talk with Kim about about war, locusts, famine and community organizing and find out how grassroots activists can take advantage of some unique opportunities hidden in the folds of this economic downturn. Why is the non-profit sector is gaining in strength even as the financial system seems to be imploding and how would instituting a truly progressive income tax benefit us all?

 

Listen to the keynote address that Kim Klein gave in Portland in April 2009 at the National Federation of Community Broadcasters' annual conference: 

     http://www.nfcb.org/conference/post_communityradioconference.jsp

Kim Klein is internationally known as a fundraising trainer and consultant. She is a member of the Building Movement Project and leads workshops on tax policy and the importance of the "commons" for them as well as being a regular contributor to their website.  She is the Chardon Press Series Editor at Jossey-Bass Publishers, which publishes and distributes materials that help to build a stronger nonprofit sector, and the founder of the bimonthly Grassroots Fundraising Journal. She is also the author of Fundraising for Social Change (now in its fifth edition, 2006), Fundraising for the Long Haul (2000), which explores the particular challenges of older grassroots organizations, and Ask and You Shall Receive: A Fundraising Training Program for Religious Organizations or Projects, Raise More Money (2001) which she edited with her partner, Stephanie Roth, and Fundraising in Times of Crisis (2004). Widely in demand as a speaker, Kim Klein has provided training and consultation in all 50 states and in 21 countries.

For more information about Kim's organization Klein & Roth:  http://www.kleinandroth.com/

 

Gavin Schmidt and Climate Change - Picturing The Science

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 06/30/2009

 Understanding the ramifications of climate change through images

 

 

   Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein interviews NASA climate scientist Gavin Schmidt, co-author and editor of an unprecedented union of scientific analysis and photography illustrating the effects of climate change on the global ecosystem. Gavin Schmidt talks about how his new book, "Climate Change - Picturing the Science,"  illustrates the ramifications of shifting climate for human society, by including photographic spreads (including a photo essay by Oregon photographer Gary Braasch) and satellite imagery that show us retreating glaciers, sinking villages in Alaska's tundra, and drying lakes, as well as text following adventurous scientists from the ice caps at the poles to the coral reefs of the tropics.  

Gavin Schmidt is a climate scientist at the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies as well as the co-founder of RealClimate.org, where he is a contributing editor.

 

Lents Park Baseball Stadium *derailed* by Community Activists!!!

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 06/23/2009

 A proposed baseball stadium in Lents has been derailed. How did this happen and why is it good for Lents? 
 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein 

     It looks like the contentious baseball stadium in Lents Parkis a not going to be built after all. But there’s still plenty to chew on in the aftermath of its demise. In this segment we talk about why building a stadium in Lents' only park was opposed by so many neighborhood people as well as social justice and environmental activists across the city, why the campaign to stop the stadium was a success and how do we prevent a bad proposal like this in the future. Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by Lents Stadium Issue Organizers - Kathleen Juergens de Ponce and Nick Christensen - and Dianne Riley with the Coalition for a Livable Future.

 

 

Portland's Sunday Parkways

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 06/16/2009

 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

 

How Sunday Parkways reduce carbon emissions, build community, and raise Portland's Happiness Quotient.

This week Linda Ginenthal with Transportation Options joins Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to talk about Sunday Parkways. Modeled after Bogotá, Colombia’s Ciclovias, held every Sunday on 70 miles of streets, Portland's first Sunday Parkways was last summer, drawing 15,000 Portland area residents to bike and walk through neighborhoods in North Portland. Sunday Parkways is about connecting neighborhoods and people: walkers, runners, bikers, seniors, adults, and children enjoying neighborhood streets filled with surprises, performers, physical activities, and food – all in a car-free environment.

 

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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