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

The Bad Idea of Fracking, with Sandra Steingraber

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 10/13/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Sandra Steingraber talks about why fracking is not a sustainable solution to our energy needs.
REBROADCAST OF A PROGRAM ORIGINALLY AIRED ON FEBRUARY 25, 2013

CLIMATE CHANGE IS NO LAUGHING MATTER

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 10/06/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein show that climate change is no laughing matter-but maybe it should be
Sociologists have argued that we don't address global warming because it's too big and frightening to get our heads around. But if we don't take it seriously we're going to find ourselves and the planet in deep trouble. On this episode of Locus Focus we introduce a new tool kit that takes the intimidation and gloom out of one of the most complex and hotly debated challenges of our time. We talk with Yoram Bauman and Grady Klein, co-authors of The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, which explains all the facets of this daunting issue with simplicity, clarity and lots of humor.

HOW TO CHANGE MINDS ABOUT OUR CHANGING CLIMATE

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/29/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Taking on climate change deniers by dismantling their pernicious misconceptions about climate change
During the past week we witnessed 400,000 people marching in the People's Climate March in New York City, while many more mobilized in cities around the world (including 4,000 in Portland). During the United Nations climate summit two days later President Obama gave a forceful speech challenging the rest of the world to seriously address climate change now. From just reading the news it would seem that the world is finally on board to confront the dire threats posed by a climate in chaos. But believe it or not there are still powerful forces out there trying to stop this movement through lies and obfuscation - and many of these people are members of the United States House of Representatives.

Oil Trains: Coming Through a Community Near You

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/22/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Eric de Place with Sightline institute provides updates on the latest developments with oil trains

We've been covering oil trains for awhile on Locus Focus but until recently most news outlets carried few if any stories about what has now grown into a major concern. Across the United States and Canada worry about the danger of these barely regulated trains carrying potentially explosive cargoes of Bakken crude oil has garnered increasing attention in the mainstream news. Meanwhile more and more oil trains are passing through communities throughout North America, particularly in the Northwest.

Louisiana: An Intersection of Impending Disasters

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/15/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Louisiana's impending crises: sea level rise, disappearing coastal wetlands and storm surges
In Louisiana the combined results of unfettered industrialization and climate change thrust the state toward ecological disaster. The region's impending environmental crises - sea level rise, disappearing coastal wetlands and the increasing threat of catastrophic hurricanes - have much to do with its intensely developed oil and gas infrastructure. This includes 250,000 oil and gas wells drilled across the state, 7,000 more oil wells developed off shore and over 10,000 miles of canals dredged to service the 50,000 oil wells interlacing coastal wetlands. While even the oil and gas industry acknowledges its role in creating this crisis, there is little political will to hold it accountable.

Fracking the Eagle Ford Shale: Big Oil and Bad Air on the Texas Prairie

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/08/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The health and safety concerns from fracking the Eagle Ford Shale Play in Texas.
THIS IS A REBROADCAST OF A PROGRAM THAT ORIGINALLY AIRED ON MARCH 3, 2014

Can Coal Ever Be Clean?

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 09/01/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Can carbon capture and sequestration reduce the carbon emissions of coal-fired power plants?
This is a rebroadcast of a program that originally aired on March 24, 2014

The Sixth Extinction: An Interview with author Elizabeth Kolbert

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/25/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A conversation with Elizabeth Kolbert about the sixth mass extinction in our planet's history.
This is a rebroadcast of a program that originally aired on May 19, 2014

Part two: Portland forum on the Trans-Pacific Partnership

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/18/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Community forum in Portland on TPP & GMOs
Part two of a community forum recorded in Portland on June 19th 2014, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its potential impact on local efforts to ban genetically modified organisms.

Featured speakers were Julia DeGraw of Food and Water Watch; Madelyn Elder from Communication Workers of America Local 7901; Elizabeth Swager with the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

The first half of this forum aired on Monday August 11th at 10:15 am


Portland: TPP & GMOs - a Community Forum

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 08/11/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Community forum on the TPP
Part one of a community forum recorded in Portland on June 19th 2014, on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and its potential impact on local efforts to ban genetically modified organisms.

Featured speakers were Julia DeGraw of Food and Water Watch; Madelyn Elder from Communication Workers of America Local 7901; Elizabeth Swager with the Oregon Fair Trade Campaign

The second half of this forum will be aired on Monday August 18th at 10:15 am

Audio

Barbara Dudley on Expectations for Obama

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/13/2009

     A look back at the worst 8 years of our life and a look ahead into what we hope will be a better future. Guest Barbara Dudley and Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein explore several themes as we we look forward to Barack Obama's inauguration next week: What are you looking forward to in the Obama administration? What do you fear will or will not happen? What opportunities now exist that have been suppressed for so long to make what we have been working for a reality? What are the challenges that face us? What does it mean to bring everyone to the table as Obama claims he wants to do? How do we deal with our own inclinations to only want the ones we want at the table? What does true democratic inclusiveness look like?

     Barbara Dudley is an Adjunct Professor in the sociology department at Portland State University. She is also co-chair of the Oregon Working Families Party, and a partner in Bethel Heights Vineyard in Polk County. She formerly served as President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers Guild, Executive Director of Greenpeace USA, and Assistant Director for Strategic Campaigns of the national AFL‑CIO.

 

PSU's Andrew Rice on Weather and Climate Change

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 01/06/2009

 Is Climate Change the culprit for our recent spate of extreme weather?

Andrew Rice, assistant professor of physics at Portland State University, talks with Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein about the weather. Especially the recent stretch of cold, snow and flooding that has shaped the past few weeks.

Is climate change the culprit? Should cities in the lower Willamette Valley start investing in more snow removal equipment. Dr. Rice answers these and any of your weather-related questions.

Portland's Largest Mural at Oaks Bottom

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 12/30/2008

A new mural is rising above the wetlands of Oaks Bottom. The largest public art project in Portland is beginning to adorn the walls of Portland Memorial that face the Bottoms. By next spring this former eyesore of weirdness will become an artistic reflection of the diversity of nature that abounds in Portland's singular city-owned wildlife refuge.

Mike Houck, the original visionary for this project; Peggy Kendellen, public art manager for the Regional Arts and Culture Council; and Dan Cohen with ArtFX (here, too) join Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein to talk about the impact and signficance of this project. Happy New Year!

 

 

Barbara and Corrina

 

Harvey Wasserman on Obama's Cabinet, and Raed Jarrar on The Shoe, That Dog!

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 12/16/2008

 At 8 AM Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by writer and activist Harvey Wasserman to critique Barack Obama's recent nominations for cabinet positions related to energy and the environment.  At 8:30 Raed Jarrar, Iraq Consultant for the American Friends Service Committee, discusses the fallout from GW Bush's trip to Iraq this past weekend, and how the hurling of a pair of shoes at the president by Iraqi journalist Montather al-Zeidi, is resonating throughout the Arab world.

 

HARVEY WASSERMAN has been speaking to citizen and campus groups, to public rallies and corporate confabs since the late 1960s.  His primary topics are energy, the environment, election protection, US History and his spiritual experiences surrounding the passing of his parents.

Harvey hosts the “Solartopia Show” at WVKO AM 1580 Air America in Columbus, Ohio, and has appeared for forty years on major media shows ranging from Nightline, Today, Lou Dobbs, All Things Considered, DemocracyNow!, Charlie Rose and Laura Flanders to hundreds of local and syndicated talk shows throughout the world. Harvey has spoken to scores of citizen groups around the world and has worked actively in social movements for civil and electoral rights and the natural environment, particularly against nuclear power and for a Solartopian post fossil-nuclear world.

Raed Jarrar was born in Baghdad and spent most of his life in Iraq. After the 2003 invasion Raed Jarrar was the country director of CIVIC Worldwide, the only door-to-door casualty survey in post war Iraq. He also established an NGO called "Emaar" that carried out work in Baghdad and the nine cities of the south in coordinating with local authorities, community leaders and other NGOs.  Emaar implemented hundreds of community-based projects around the country on an extremely low budget. Jarrar left the Middle East and moved to California in 2005. Since that time, he has worked on a number of Iraq-related projects. He was a translator and consultant with an UNEP-Japan contract concerning Iraq's marshlands. In addition, he was a political analyst and interpreter for an UNDP-Iraq sponsored conference in South Africa. He also worked with California Peace Action in gaining support for an initiative urging Congress to outlaw the building of permanent U.S. bases in Iraq. He is currently the Iraq consultant for the American Friends Service Committeeand maintains a popular blog that includes political analysis and news summary regarding Iraq. He has been featured as an Iraq expert on a number of news shows and channels such as CNN, CNNi, Aljazeera, Al-Alam, BBC, Democracy Now, and numerous radio stations including member stations of Pacifica, BBC, NPR, CBC, CBS, and Fox.

Barbara and Corrina

 

 

Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 12/09/2008

Hosted by Barbara Bernstein with Mine safety & health and environmental expert Jack Spadaro.

The Bush administration continues issuing midnight regulations that will help destroy the earth as we know it. This past week they issued a new rule that loosens restrictions on how mountaintop removal is regulated by reducing the required buffer zones from streams and making it easier for mining companies to dump tailings into rivers and creeks. Mine safety & health and environmental specialist Jack Spadaro will be the guest for this discussion on what is mountaintop removal mining, why it threatens both human and wildlife in the appalachians and what is being done to try to stop it.

 

For pictures of what Mountain Top Removal looks like, see ohvec.org and IloveMountains.org.

Mountaintop removal is a radical form of coal mining in which entire mountains are literally blown up -- and it is happening here in America on a scale that is almost unimaginable.  Mountaintop removal is devastating hundreds of square miles of Appalachia; polluting the headwaters of rivers that provide drinking water to millions of Americans; and destroying a distinctly American culture that has endured for generations.

Mine safety & health and environmental expert Jack Spadaro has dedicated his life to preventing environmental damage from coal mining activities and is among the nation's leading experts on coal waste disposal. Jack was a young engineer and instructor at West Virginia University's School of Mines, one of the world's top institutions for training mining engineers, when the 1972 Buffalo Creek WV disaster occurred. "Right then," he says, "I made a pledge to dedicate my life to doing whatever I could to prevent this type of thing from happening again." He has since spent nearly 38 years in public service, safe-guarding coal miners and their communities from life-threatening environmental and health and safety hazards caused by mining operations.

Barbara & Corrina

 

Bush's Attack on the American Landscape

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 12/02/2008

 Utah Red RocksHost Barbara Bernstein invites Heidi McIntosh, associate director of the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance, discusses the impact that some of Bush's midnight regulations could have on pristine and remote areas in southeastern Utah (which are among Barbara Bernstein's favorite spots in the world).

 

On election day, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) announced that it will sell oil and gas leases on areas in eastern Utah including sections of Desolation Canyon, White River, Diamond Mountain, Bourdette Draw, and other lands in the Nine Mile Canyon region. These public lands had largely been off-limits to new oil and gas leasing because of a series of federal court and administrative decisions overturning earlier illegal BLM leasing decisions.  The BLM had previously declared these pristine lands to be wilderness caliber landscapes.

“Previous administrations proved that there can be a balance between wilderness protection and oil and gas development,” said former BLM Director Jim Baca. “Unfortunately, the Bush Administration has worked tirelessly to appease the oil and gas industry no matter the cost to our national heritage of wild and untamed places. Extraordinary places like Desolation Canyon deserve to be protected.”

For more information visit:
http://www.suwa.org/site/News2?page=NewsArticle&id=6957&news_iv_ctrl=1162

SUWA promotes local and national recognition of the region's unique character through research and public education; supports both administrative and legislative initiatives to permanently protect the Colorado Plateau wild places within the National Park and National Wilderness Preservation Systems, or by other protective designations where appropriate; builds support for such initiatives on both the local and national level; and provides leadership within the conservation movement through uncompromising advocacy for wilderness preservation.

 

Nomi Prins on the Economic Maelstrom

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 11/25/2008

Nomi PrinsHosted by: Barbara Bernstein

 Journalist Nomi Prins helps us sort our way through the current economic crisis.

President-elect Obama has just unveiled his new economic team, but the economic meltdown continues. On this week's Locus Focus our guest is journalist Nomi Prins, who draws on her extensive international financial career to help us navigate this strange new world of bailouts and boondoggles.

Nomi Prins is a journalist and a senior fellow at Demos, a public policy think tank based in New York. Before becoming a journalist, she served as a managing director of Goldman Sachs in New York from March 2000 to March 2002. Prior to that position, she ran the analytics group at Bear Stearns, London from February 1993 to February 2000.

 


Barbara and Corrina

 

Our Economic Meltdown, plus Alaskan Politics

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 11/18/2008

Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with Chuck Collins with the Institute for Policy Studies about what caused the current finanical meltdown and how a bottom up investment strategy is the best solution to the current crisis. Later in the hour we'll get an update on Alaskan election returns with Anchorage talk show host Shannyn MooreChuck Collins is a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy (IPS) and directs IPS’s Program on Inequality and the Common Good. He is an expert on U.S. inequality and author of several books, including Economic Apartheid in America: A Primer on Economic Inequality and Insecurity (New Press, 2005). He coordinates a national effort to preserve the federal estate tax, our nation’s only tax on inherited wealth. He co-authored with Bill Gates Sr., Wealth and Our Commonwealth, a case for taxing inherited fortunes.

In 1995, he co-founded United for a Fair Economy (UFE) to raise the profile of the inequality issue and support popular education and organizing efforts to address inequality. In 1997, he co-founded Responsible Wealth, a project of UFE to bring together business leaders and investors to publicly speak out against economic policies and corporate practices that worsen economic inequality. He was Executive Director of UFE from 1995-2001 and Program Director until 2005.

Shannyn Moore is a top rated progressive broadcaster based in Anchorage, Alaska. A dynamic radio personality, she pioneered the progressive political talk forum for women in the 49th State.  Shannyn has appeared on Democracy Now! with Amy Goodman as well as The Canadian Broadcasting Company’s mid-day news program Today and nationally syndicated shows hosted by Thom Hartmann. She has also appeared on Keith Olbermann’s Countdown. She can be seen Sundays on the weekly televised political show, The Fagan Report, on KIMO Channel 13. She does special project work for the Alaska Public Radio Network. She resides in Anchorage, Alaska.

 

Barbara and Corrina

Norman Solomon and Stephen Zunes

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 11/11/2008

 Host Barbara Bernstein invites listeners to join in the post-election conversation with Norman Solomon and Stephen Zunes.

Barbara and Corrina

Locus Focus Post Election Discussion

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 11/04/2008

 

Host Barbara Bernstein looks at election results with Marci Westerling of the Rural Organizing Project and award-winning journalist Danny Schechter, the News Dissector.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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