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

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

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 03/03/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The health and safety concerns from fracking the Eagle Ford Shale Play in Texas.

Deep in the heart of South Texas, oil and gas wells are sprouting at an unprecedented rate, making the Eagle Ford Shale one of the biggest energy booms in America. But the boom could be a bust for local residents who fear for their health, not from the water in the ground, but the very air they breathe.

THE CONTINUING SAGA OF LOGGING ON O & C LANDS

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/24/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How doubling logging on BLM lands will elevate extinction risks to threatened wildlife.

Senator Ron Wyden is sponsoring legislation that would double the logging on the so-called O&C lands. It is estimated that approximately 200,000 acres of older forests currently protected by the Northwest Forest Plan would be shifted into logging, including clearcutting, under S.1784. This plan is drawing intense criticism from scientific organizations who conclude that the Oregon and California Lands Act (S.

Taking An Ethical Stand To Protect A Planet In Peril

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/17/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Kathleen Dean Moore on making ethical values and moral guidance the center of the climate debate.

In the face of environmental degradation and climate change, scientific knowledge alone does not show us the way to take a meaningful stand to protect our planet in peril. Nor do economic incentives or political initiatives. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with environmental philosopher and essayist  Kathleen Dean Moore about the need for ethical values, moral guidance and principled reasons to become the centerpiece of this debate. Beginning with finding a resounding answer to the often-raised question: "How do we maintain our way of life without fossil fuels?"

Windfall: The Booming Business of Global Warming

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/10/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Winners and losers of climate change: how people and industries are cashing in on a warming world.
Download:

If we continue to allow climate change to continue unchecked we are actually making the choice to adapt to a warming world that most of us do not want to fathom. Except for a particular class of entrepreneurs who see the catastrophes of climate change as an exciting market opportunity.

The Smell of Disaster: West Virginia's Latest Toxic Spill

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 02/03/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The Chemical Spill that left 300,000 West Virginians without drinking water last month

In early January, 4-Methylcyclohexane Methanol, a chemical used to process coal, spilled into the Elk River near Charleston, West Virginia. It turned out that little was known about the health hazards of the substance that contaminated the water supply for at least 300,000 people. In the wake of this disaster we still do not know the full story about what the longterm impacts will be on the health of the people affected by the spill.  

Tale of Two Pipelines

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/27/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
The controversy over proposed pipelines carrying bitumen from the Alberta tar sands across BC.
Every day the tar sands operations in Northeastern Alberta produce 2 million barrels of oil, and within a few years they are projected to double their production.

THE FUTURE IS NOT ALL DOOMED - A Conversation with Carl Safina

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/20/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Seeking hope on a planet in peril, with Carl Safina
ORIGINALLY BROADCAST ON APRIL 2, 2012

Trees In Paradise, Part Two

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/13/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
Connections between the transplanted people and trees that shape California landscapes and cultures
A few species of trees have come to define what was once the nearly treeless landscape of California. Only two of these iconic species are native to California - Coastal Redwoods and Giant Sequoias. The other three - Eucalyptus, Orange and Palms - have, like most of California's residents, come from somewhere else. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk again with Jared Farmer, whose book Trees In Paradise explores the connections between the transplanted people and trees that have shaped the landscapes and cultures of California. Jared's appearance on Locus Focus was truncated by the demands of the pledge drive.

THE PIPELINE THAT NO ONE IS NOTICING

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 01/06/2014 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
How fracking for natural gas in the United States and Alberta tar sands development is connected

While the fate of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline is caught in a fury of politics and headlines, last month the U.S. quietly approved another major border-crossing pipeline proposal. Kinder Morgan's Cochin Pipeline has been operating since 1979 between Ft. Saskatchewan, Alberta and Windsor, Ontario, carrying various forms of natural gas.

SNAKE OIL: How Fracking's False Promise of Plenty Imperils Our Future with Richard Heinberg

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Mon, 12/30/2013 - 10:15am - 11:00am
Short Description: 
A conversation with Richard Heinberg about the perils of fracking
REBROADCAST OF PROGRAM ORIGINALLY AIRED ON SEPTEMBER 30, 2013

The rapid spread of hydraulic fracturing (“fracking”) has temporarily boosted US natural gas and oil production and driven down energy costs. But it's also sparked a massive environmental backlash in communities across the country where the impacts of fracking are being felt.

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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