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 03/28/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 03/28/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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The changing relationship between people and food.

Fred Kirschenmann: Building Community Through Sustainable Farming

Oregon is touted as one of the epicenters for the local food movement. As if to reinforce its credentials, there have been food related conferences up and down the Willamette Valley since the year began. Coming up on April 16 is one more conference, this time at the University of Portland in North Portland and it's called Food for Thought. The big name at the conference is food writer Michael Pollan who will be speaking in the evening. But throughout the day there will be several panels, featuring an assortment of interesting folks.

Locus Focus on 03/21/11

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Mon, 03/21/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Why the Alberta Tar Sands endanger the world as its industrialized tentacles creep across the US

The Heavy Haul: Fighting Goliath

While we worry about melting nuclear reactor cores and fuel rods in Japan, another environmental crisis is brewing closer to home. On this episode of Locus Focus we find out why the Alberta Tar Sands endanger the world and how its industrialized tentacles are trying to creep across the United States.

Locus Focus on 03/14/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 03/14/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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In the battle over GMO alfalfa is it true that with organic friends like these who needs enemies?

NUCLEAR CRISIS IN JAPAN

Locus Focus on 03/07/11

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Mon, 03/07/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How one of Europe’s great multicultural cities, became the heart of darkness during WWII

Odessa: Genius and Death in a City of Dreams

Until World War II, Odessa was one of Europe's great multicultural cities, a place of optimism and light. For nearly a century its colorful street life inspired poets and writers like Alexander Pushkin, Mark Twain and Isaac Babel. It was also a major center of Jewish culture, and by 1941 Odessa had 200,000 Jews living within its bounds—over a third of its population. But by the end of the war there were only 48 Jews left. Many had perished in a gruesome—but still largely unknown—episode of the Holocaust.

Locus Focus on 02/28/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 02/28/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How the Agricultural Reclamation Act can save Oregon's family farms

The Act of Reclaiming Agriculture

Oregon is blessed with many small family farms that have somehow managed to survive in a hostile environment dominated by behemoth industrial farming operations. Friends of Family Farmers, a statewide organization working to promote and protect socially responsible agriculture in Oregon, has spent the last couple years meeting with farmers around the state to hone legislation that will create a level playing field for small family farmers trying to compete in the corporate-dominated market place.

Locus Focus on 02/21/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 02/21/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Farming with the cycles of plants, animals and the seasons

Farming Beyond the Barcode

Barbara is in Eugene this week for the Food Justice Conference (check out last week's Locus Focus to learn more about this event), so we're re-running a Locus Focus episode from November 2009 that features, Joel Salatin, farmer, food choice advocate and dream-doer, who runs Polyface Farm in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. Joel, Barbara and Willamette Valley farmer Clare Carver (of Big Table Farm in Gaston) discuss the sustainable agricultural methods Joel and Clare practice, based on polyculture and the interweaving roles of farm animals and crops.

Locus Focus on 02/14/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 02/14/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Food justice means we all eat and live better

FOOD JUSTICE - WHAT'S THAT?

 

 

Locus Focus on 02/07/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 02/07/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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JOHNSON CREEK - A stream on the brink of extinction returns to life

THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JOHNSON CREEK

Last December three dead coho salmon were found 15 miles upstream along the banks of Johnson Creek. This once trashed out forgotten waterway flows 26 miles from its headwaters near the Sandy River to its confluence with the Willamette River, passing through four cities (Gresham, Portland, Milwaukie, and Happy Valley) and two counties (Clackamas and Multnomah) along the way. Over 100 years ago it supported salmon runs so plentiful that it's said you could catch fish with a pitchfork. But when pioneers moved to the area, they logged the banks of the creek and created slash dams so they could float logs downstream.

Locus Focus on 01/31/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 01/31/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Being environmentally conscious and childfree by choice

GINK—Green Inclinations, No Kids
A Conversation with GRIST.ORG'S Lisa Hymas

According to a 2009 study by statisticians at Oregon State University, each child an American has increases his or her lifetime carbon emission by 570 percent—because kids are likely to one day have kids of their own and so on. With climate change already causing havoc around the globe and the world population poised to hit 7 billion this fall, some people are wondering whether a sane response is to skip parenthood altogether.

Locus Focus on 01/24/11

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 01/24/2011 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Saving Oregon's sugar beet crop from Monsanto

Ground Zero in the Battle Over Genetically Engineered Sugar Beets

Roughly half of the nation’s sugar supply comes from sugar beets, and much of this seed is produced in Oregon. In 2007 the USDA started allowing genetically modified sugar beet seed to flood the market. Now 95% of the sugar beet crop is grown using seeds that have been genetically engineered to resist heavy spraying of the Monsanto pesticide Roundup. The Center for Food Safety and other advocacy groups sued to ban the beets, pointing out that an environmental impact statement has not yet been completed, as the law requires. Last November, a U.S.

Audio

Patriarch Versus Matriarchy as they relate to the Environment

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 08/19/2008

 Host Marlene Howell substitutes for Barbara Bernstein today, bringing two main topics to the table.  

First up, she invites opinions on Patriarchy versus Matriarchy as it relates to the wholesale Commodification of the entire planet's resources versus Sustainability.  Is it even possible for our species (let alone most other species) to survive our greed?

Part two of today's show asks the listenership: "What are YOU going to do TODAY to express your environmental values?"  This is not meant as an esoteric question, but a practical one, inviting real behaviors that can be practiced today by average citizens to protect and preserve our lifeline.

 

China, the Olympics, and the Environment

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 08/12/2008

Barbara and Corrina
Barbara Bernstein and Corrina 

 

Today, host Barbara Bernstein (The Media Project) covers the Olympics from the point of view of the environment.  What was China like last year, what is it like right now, and what will it likely look like a year from now?

Helping guide the discussion are two distinguished guests.  First up is Elizabeth Economy, author of The River Runs Black: The Environmental Challenge to China's Future

Next up is Erik Leaver, a Research Fellow at Foreign Policy In Focus.

Of course, both guests entertain questions from the listening public.

 

 

What's wrong with Off-Shore Oil Drilling?

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 08/05/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein (The Media Project) talks with Richard Charter, with Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, about the recent push for lifting moratoriums on off-shore oil drilling, why the idea seems to be winning public support, and what is wrong with the plan.

Barbara and Corrina

Barbara Bernstein and Corrina

 

Wildfires and Climate Change

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 07/29/2008

This morning Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by Timothy Ingalsbee, former forest firefighter and now executive director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology. They discuss causes for the current rash of wildfires in California and how they are in part a result of climate change.

 

 

Frida Berrigan from The New America Foundation on The War.

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 07/22/2008

Hosted by: Barbara Bernstein

 

Obama's trip to the mideast
 

This week on Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein is joined by Frida Berrigan, Senior Program Associate, Arms and Security Initiative, with The New America Foundation. We'll be talking about repercussions of Obama's trip to Iraq and Afghanistan on the potential of actually ending the war in Iraq any time soon.

 

Frida Berrigan

 

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Locus Focus: Columbia River Crossing and the Obama Cartoon

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 07/15/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein leads a discussion with our listeners on two topics, one National, one Local: The Columbia River Crossing and the recent New Yorker cover, featuring a cartoon of Barack Obama and his wife dressed as terrorists.

Jerry DeWitt, Director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 07/08/2008

Jerry DeWitt (bio), Director of the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture at Iowa State University, joins host Barbara Bernstein in a discussion about the impacts of climate change and agricultural practices on recent flooding in the midwest.

Dr. Matthew Helmers on US Agriculture today

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 06/24/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein talks about the recent severe weather and the impacts on Agriculture with Dr. Matthew Helmers, Assistant Professor at Iowa State's Department of Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, and an expert in Agricultural and Water Resources.

Tom Hayden and Elisabeth de la Vega - IMPEACH!!!

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 06/17/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein speaks with activist and author Tom Hayden. Hayden was a founding member of the Students for a Democratic Society in 1961, and author of its visionary call, the Port Huron Statement, described by Howard Zinn as "one of those historic documents which represents an era."

After helping lead street demonstrations against the war at the 1968 Chicago Democratic Convention, where he was beaten, gassed and arrested twice, Hayden was indicted in 1969 with seven others on conspiracy and incitement charges.
After five years of trials, appeals, and retrials, he was acquitted of all charges.

Hayden was elected to the California state assembly in 1982, and the state senate ten years later, serving eighteen years in all.

His latest book is Writings For A Democratic Society : The Tom Hayden Reader, the best of Tom Hayden's writings from the turbulent 1960s to the Iraq war.

Barbara's second guest, Elisabeth de la Vega, (The Colbert Report), former federal prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience. During her tenure, she was a member of the Organized Crime Strike Force and Chief of the San Jose Branch of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Northern District of California. Her current book, United States v. George W. Bush et al. is her personal protest against the atrocities afflicted upon our nation by the current administration. A pretty good list of offenses can be seen in Dennis Kucinich's recent Articles for Impeachment, presented before Congress in early June 2008.

Organic Farming Certification and Farmer's Markets

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 06/10/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein talks about organic farming certification with Chris Schreiner of Oregon Tilth, plus Moreland Farmers' Market Manager Laura Wendel and several farmers who have gone through the federal organic certification process, and some who have not.

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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