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 11/12/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 11/12/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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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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Locus Focus
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Mon, 11/05/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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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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Locus Focus
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Mon, 10/29/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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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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Locus Focus
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Mon, 10/22/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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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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Locus Focus
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Mon, 10/15/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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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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Locus Focus
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Mon, 10/08/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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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.

Locus Focus on 10/01/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 10/01/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How good conservation efforts are helping endangered Black Rhinos in Namibia make a comeback

THE BLACK RHINOS OF NAMIBIA: An Interview with writer Rick Bass

The Namib desert in Southwest Africa is one of the oldest landscapes in the world. It is home to the black rhino, a 3,000 pound nearly blind super-survivor that sports three-foot-long dagger horns and is capable of eating poisonous plants and going for days without water. Caught in the crossfire during the endless war between Angola and the South African Defense Force, with both sides poaching rhinos and elephants to help fund the war, the black rhino population was decimated by the mid 1990s.

Locus Focus on 09/24/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 09/24/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Creating policies to address the crisis of climate change in the poorest nations who are hit hardest

CLIMATE CHANGE'S DISPROPORTIONATE IMPACT ON POOR NATIONS

Climate change is one of the greatest obstacles to ending poverty and one of the gravest equity challenges of our time. While the richest countries in the world have been responsible for a disproportionate amount of global carbon emissions which cause global warming, it is the poorest countries in the world that are hit first and worst by climate change.

Locus Focus on 09/17/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 09/17/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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The struggle of New Orleans residents to return and remain home after Katrina
Interview with Daniel Wolff author of The Fight For Home

THE FIGHT FOR HOME: How (Parts of) New Orleans Came Back - An Interview with author and filmmaker Daniel Wolff

Five months after Hurricane Katrina, Daniel Wolff and Oscar-winning film director Jonathan Demme traveled to New Orleans.  As they treked through the city and past the headline-making ruins, they discovered a deeper, more beautiful, and more troubled story—about a cross-section of New Orleanians trying to return to what remains of their city and to rebuild their lives.

Locus Focus on 09/10/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 09/10/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How the Marine Stewardship Council supports well-managed sustainable fishing

THE MARINE STEWARDSHIP COUNCIL: PROMOTING SUSTAINABLE FISHING PRACTICES ONE FISHERY AT A TIME

What does it mean when a fishery crashes and who is responsible for the accelerating loss of marine life throughout the world? From cod fisheries of New England to salmon fisheries in Oregon, we are witnessing a rapid depletion of marine species that we value not only for food but as bellwethers of environmental health. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Kerry Coughlin of the Marine Stewardship Council about the council's program to create a meaningful certification program for sustainable fisheries, akin to organic food certification.

Audio

Dan Leahy and Kari Koch on the Economic Meltdown

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 06/02/2009

 Once again Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein takes on the economic meltdown and today she has help navigating this maelstrom from Dan Leahy, professor of Labor Studies at the Evergreen State College.

Dan sorts through the financial mumbo jumbo and hocus pocus that has shaken the world's economy for the past year and explores local initiatives that may help put the economy together, one community at a time.

We're also joined by Kari Koch with the Rural Organizing Project. Kari tells us about ROP's current organizing initiative: creating Living Room Conversations on the Economic Collapse & Bringing our Money Home.

Dan Leahy and Kari Koch will be part of a Community forum on  Building a Fair Economy on Tuesday June 9th from 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Corvallis Public Library, 6th AND Monroe, in Corvallis.

 

 

ROP is a statewide organization of locally-based groups that work to create communities accountable to a standard of human dignity: the belief in the equal worth of all people, the need for equal access to justice, and the right to self-determination. Starting in 1992, ROP's challenges to the anti-democratic right have earned ROP a national reputation for being an effective grassroots organization that takes on the hard issues. Today, ROP works with 65 member groups to organize on issues that impact human dignity and to advance inclusive democracy.

 http://www.rop.org/

 

How will Salmon Policy change under the Obama Administration?

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/26/2009

Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

How will Salmon Policy change under the Obama Administration?

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.

While the official invitees met inside the hotel, fishermen circled the Lloyd Center Doubletree trailing fishing boats, kayaks and drift boats to stake their claim in the Columbia-Snake salmon plan debate.

See Save Our Wild Salmon for more information...

Great Blue Heron Week - Portland's Official Bird

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/19/2009

 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

The Great Blue Heron has been Portland's official city bird since 1986. And next week is Great Blue Heron Week.

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

Law Professor Ben Davis on holding the Bush Administration accountable for their actions

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/12/2009

 Hosted by Barbara Bernstein

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 GeneralEric 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."

http://www.afterdowningstreet.org/prosecutorstatement

 

We'll also talk about the alleged suicide of Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, who was captured trying to escape from Afghanistan in late 2001 and sent to Egypt to be tortured.  Under duress al -Libi alleged that Saddam Hussein was training al-Qaeda agents in chemical weapons techniques. With al-Libi's death do we lose the best refutation of Dick Cheney's insistence that torture was necessary and useful in dealing with threats from al-Qaeda?

 

Before coming to the University of Toledo College of Law, Ben Davis was an Independent Consultant for Alternative Dispute Resolution, Director, Conference Programmes and Manager of the Institute of World Business Law, and Legal Counsel for the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Commerce, all in Paris, France. He has written numerous articles about torture and command responsibility.

http://www.law.utoledo.edu/students/faculty/BDavis/torture/index.htm

 

Leon Kolankiewicz on Population Growth and the Environment

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/05/2009

 Hosted by Barbara Bernstein

 

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.  Sprawl City, anyone?

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.

 

Grow your Own Food!!!

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 04/28/2009

 Hosted by Barbara Bernstein

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.

 Leslie Pohl-Kosbau was a new city gardener in 1974 when her boss asked if she'd create a community garden program. People wanted to grow their food, they wanted help and they wanted some direction. Pohl-Kosbau provided it. "It means a lot to gardeners because they can hone their skills; they're not isolated," she says. "They're in a garden where they can learn from other gardeners."

Pohl-Kosbau has gardened since she was a child. Although an inflammatory condition has prevented her from puttering in the dirt as much as she wants, Pohl-Kosbau keeps a plot at the Fulton garden and favors potatoes, kale, basil and tomatoes. Oh, and raspberries.

Whether planning a patch of peas or turning the entire front yard into an urban minifarm, it’s easy to grow an edible garden that’s safe for people, pets and the planet. Metro’s Natural Techniques Demonstration Garden in Southeast Portland makes it fun for the whole family to get going on growing green. It’s all about building soil with compost and mulch, picking plants adapted to the region, using nontoxic pest and weed control and watering wisely. Renee Moog, a coordinator for Metro regional government’s popular demonstration gardens, is on hand to chat about Metro’s free learning activities, the benefits of gardening without toxic chemicals, and top tips for growing organic food at home. Tune in to discover how organic gardening at home makes a difference in the community and beyond. For more information on Metro’s free gardening programs, call 503-234-3000, or visit www.oregonmetro.gov/garden.

 

Mark Rudd's new memoir: Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weatherman

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/21/2009

 

Host Barbara Bernstein interviews Sixties activist Mark Rudd about his new memoir: "Underground: My Life with SDS and the Weatherman." 

 

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. His memoir UNDERGROUND: MY LIFE WITH SDS AND THE WEATHERMEN has just been published. Mark will be speaking and signing books at Looking Glass Books on SE 13th in Sellwood on April 26 at 4 PM.

 

Full Disclosure: Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein was one of the student strikers at Columbia in 1968 and was arrested in the president's office on April 30, 1968. That summer she lived downstairs from Mark in an apartment on West 110th Street.

 

 

Tax the Filthy Rich!!! -plus- Dateline Havana: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Future of Cuba

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/14/2009

 

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.

Related reading:  Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

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.

 

What you're NOT supposed to know about Nuclear Power

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/07/2009

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.

 

Karl Grossman is professor of journalism at the State University of New York/College at Old Westbury and coordinator of its Media & Communications Major. A major concentration for decades has been nuclear technology. Among the six books he has authored are: Cover Up: What You Are Not Supposed To Know About Nuclear Power; The Wrong Stuff: The Space Program’s Nuclear Threat To Our Planet; Power Crazy; and Weapons in Space

Karl Grossman has given presentations on nuclear issues around the world. He has long also been active on television. He narrated and wrote the award-winning documentaries: The Push To Revive Nuclear Power; Nukes In Space: The Nuclearization and Weaponization of the Heavens; and Three Mile Island Revisited, all produced by EnviroVideo (www.envirovideo.com). 

For the past 15 years, Grossman has hosted Enviro Close-Up, aired nationally on Free Speech TV, the DISH satellite network (Channel 9415), and on more than 100 cable TV systems and on commercial TV. His magazine and newspaper articles have appeared in numerous publications. He is a charter member of the Commission on Disarmament Education, Conflict Resolution and Peace of the International Association of University Presidents and the United Nations. He is a member of the boards of directors of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service-World Information Service on Energy and Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting, and board of advisors of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space.


Sensible Options for the Columbia River Crossing

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/31/2009

 Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

 

Does it make sense to replace the current bridge across the Columbia with a 12 lane megabridge?  Will it promote Urban Sprawl?

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.

 

 

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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