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

Taking a Stand on Burnaby Mountain

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/12/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Fighting Kinder Morgan's Trans Mountain pipeline in the woods of British Columbia
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While the U.S. Congress votes one more time on whether or not to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline, another pipeline battle rages north of the border. Energy giant Kinder Morgan plans to triple the capacity of its Trans Mountain Pipeline running from Edmonton, Alberta to Burnaby, BC (just east of Vancouver). This proposal has generated heated opposition from First Nations people and the majority of residents and elected officials in the cities of Burnaby and Vancouver. But recently, the Canadian Federal Government has restricted public participation in the assessment process for projects such as pipelines and limited what environmental concerns are deemed relevant for consideration. This has left pipeline opponents with only one option - protest and civil disobedience.

The Facts about Kinder Morgan

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/05/2015 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Eric de Place on Kinder Morgan's track record of pollution, law-breaking, and cover-ups.
Energy giant Kinder Morgan, which rose from the ashes of Enron several years ago, has big ambitions across North America. The firm aspires to multiply its coal export capacity in the Gulf Coast region even as it seeks permission to build a huge new oil pipeline in the Pacific Northwest. These projects could boost Kinder Morgan’s profits, but they also raise serious questions about what the projects might cost neighboring communities.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Eric de Place of Sightline Institute, whose new report, “The Facts about Kinder Morgan,” reveals that Kinder Morgan's track record is one of pollution, law-breaking, and cover-ups.

THE ANTHROPOCENE

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/29/2014 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Our responsibility as the shapers of the earth's future to create a sustainable path
There is a growing scientific consensus that we are entering a new geologic epoch shaped by human beings. Dubbed the "Anthropocene," scientists are still debating how long ago it started or if it is only now unfolding. Most people are aware that humanity’s influence on our planet’s natural resources continues to cause irreversible damage. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Christian Schwägerl, an environmental journalist in Berlin and author of The Anthropocene: The Human Era and How It Shapes Our Planet.

The High Cost of Tar Sands Oil

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/22/2014 - 10:00am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The consequences of tar sands development for people in its path
The Canadian Tar Sands is the largest and most polluting industrial project in the world. Impacts of tar sands development ripple out from the Northeast corner of Alberta, where the tar sands are extracted, to almost every region in North America. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with journalist Ted Genoways about the consequences of tar sands development for people in its path - ranging from First Nations people living downstream from these operations to communities along the routes of proposed pipelines carrying diluted bitumen to coastal ports.

Your Atomic Self

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/15/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How current environmental concerns affect us on an atomic level.
What do atoms have to do with your life? And how is it that even after we die we continue to exist for eternity through our atoms as they disperse back into the universe?

The Bee: A Natural History

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/08/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A window into the vitally important role that bees play in the life of our planet.
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Bees pollinate more than 130 fruit, vegetable, and seed crops that we rely on to survive. They are crucial to the reproduction and diversity of flowering plants, and the economic contributions of these irreplaceable insects measure in the tens of billions of dollars each year. Yet bees are dying at an alarming rate, threatening food supplies and ecosystems around the world.

CUB TURNS 30

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/01/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Citizens' Utitlity Board of Oregon's 30 years of achievements
This month the Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon celebrates its 30th anniversary. CUB has come a long way from its grassroots founding through a ballot initiative in 1984. Then Oregon utilities fought against the measure with a well-funded campaign and slick TV ads arguing that a Citizens’ Utility Board would turn out to be just “a boondoggle”. Far from being a boondoggle, however, in over 30 years of hard work and collaborative effort, CUB has proven, many times over, the need for an independent consumer advocate voice to intervene in utility regulatory proceedings and legislative initiatives.

Richmond, California Beats Big Oil

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/24/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How Richmond, California beat Big Oil this election
This year's midterm election offered few victories for progressives to savor. But despite the gloom there were successful progressive election results in several communities across the country. On this episode of Locus Focus we focus on one of these bright spots - Richmond, California. For a century Richmond has been a company town. Chevron's oil refinery, one of the largest in California, dominates Richmond's landscape, politics and economy and for 100 years Chevron has owned the town. Chevron tried to buy this election as it has so many in the past. But to their surprise, progressive underdogs triumphed in the city's races for mayor and city council, despite being dramatically outspent by Chevron-backed opponents.

New Slow City: Living Simply in the World's Fastest City

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/17/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Living simply, slowly and sustainably in the world's fastest city.

Portland, Oregon has been described as the city where young people come to retire, a place that celebrates what is becoming known as the Leisure Ethic. But the Leisure Ethic is not really about retiring, but about finding a way to live more simply, quietly and slowly, in tune with nature and the cycles of life.

Saving the Tongass

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 11/10/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Saving the Tongass National Forest in SE Alaska, the most intact temperate rain forest in the world.
At 16.8 million acres, the Tongass National Forest in southeast Alaska is America’s largest national forest, and contains some of the most intact expanses of temperate rainforest remaining in the world today. In addition, the Tongass is a key contributor to long-term sequestration and storage of atmospheric carbon. But for decades the Tongass has also been a major source of old growth timber. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Dominick DellaSala, with the Geos Institute in Ashland, about the need to step up protections for the Tongass. DellaSala was among 200 scientists who recently sent a letter to Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsak expressing their full support for a transition from old-growth to second-growth logging on the Tongass National Forest.

Audio

Locus Focus - June 4

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 06/03/2008

Hostess Barbara Bernstein entertains callers with the latest developments in the Democratic Primaries for another rousing show!

  • Title: Locus Focus 20080604
  • Length: 80:15 minutes (36.74 MB)
  • Format: MP3 Stereo 22kHz 64Kbps (CBR)

Portland's 40 Mile Loop - The North Portland Greenway

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/27/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein invites local Portland activists Paul Maresh and Pam Arden from the Friends of the 40 Mile Loop (40mileLoop.org) to discuss the plans for adding the North Portland Greenway to the long-term plan for a 40 Mile hiking and biking loop around the Portland Metro area.

Locus Focus on the Election and Green Streets

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/20/2008

Today, Barbara Bernstein hosts a two part show. First up, Bernstein and local political consultant Liz Kaufman discuss the recent election.

In the latter half, Steve Shackman, Mitch Frister, and Kim White from Portland Friends of Green Streets (Frogs Blog) talk about how we can all help manage our environment.

Locus Focus and Candidates for City Council

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/13/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts. Her guests will be candidates for Portland City Council, Position 2, which was previously held by Sam Adams. Confirmed guests are Nick Fish, Ed Garren, Fred Fader, Jim Middaugh, and Harold Williams Two.

Christopher Rich and Sho Dozono for Mayor, LIVE

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 05/06/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts. Today, her guests are candidates for Mayor of Portland, Christopher Rich and Sho Dozono. Craig Gier was invited, but didn't make it in to the station.

Locus Focus and the 1968 Columbia U Strike

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/29/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts. She has guests on who participated in the 1968 Columbia Strike Commemoration/reunion this past weekend. They include Ray Brown, now a New Jersey  lawyer and Kathie Knowles, a Eugene, Oregon bodyworker/healer.

Leigh Ann Caldwell from Election Unspun on the PA Primary

Categories:
program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/22/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein interviews Leigh Ann Caldwell, News Editor for Free Speech Radio News and Producer for Election UnSpun. Today's main topic is the Pennsylvania Primary.

Lucy Brehm from Climate Trust with More on Carbon Credits

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/15/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts. Today Lucy Brehm, former VP at ShoreBank Pacific (SDJC) and currently Senior Manager, Business Development at The Climate Trust (ClimateTrust.org) is the guest as Barbara hosts another discussion of carbon credit trading. They'll discuss how carbon credits can be useful tools in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but how they must be used judiciously and as a last resort - not as an excuse to keep on consuming at current levels.

Locus Focus with poet/activist Hilton Obenzinger

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 04/08/2008

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the 1968 student strike at Columbia University, one of the many pivotal events of 1968 being remembered this year. Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein, as a freshman at Barnard College, spent a week occupying Low Library, the office of Columbia University's president, along with 100 other students, kicking off a series of actions and mass arrests that shut down the university for the rest of the semester. Today she speaks with fellow striker and Low Library occupier Hilton Obenzinger, (obenzinger.com) whose memoir Busy Dying (chax press) comes out this month.

The Three Trillion Dollar War

program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Tue, 03/25/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein speaks with Linda Bilmes, co-author of The Trillion Dollar War: The True Cost of the Iraq Conflict ( W. W. Norton, 2008).

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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