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 03/19/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 03/19/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How forested riparian zones help keep streams healthy - even in the city.

HOW FORESTED RIPARIAN ZONES KEEP STREAMS HEALTHY

For a long time we've known that streams shaded by riparian forests provide healthier habitat for salmon and other wildlife. A new study led by Daniel Sobota at Oregon State University confirms that riparian zone forests not only provide streams with needed shade to support salmon, they also help clean up high levels of nitrate pollutants from human activities that infiltrate waterways. In the study Sobota and his colleagues looked at nine streams in Oregon’s Willamette Valley that flowed through forest, agricultural or urban landscapes. Among their goals was to discover how much nitrogen was absorbed by the streams near the source, and how much went downriver.

Locus Focus on 03/12/12

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Mon, 03/12/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Examining Hanford's potential for nuclear catastrophe, on the anniversary of the Fukushima meltdowns

HANFORD NUCLEAR RESERVATION: A REGIONAL NUCLEAR NIGHTMARE

Locus Focus on 03/05/12

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Mon, 03/05/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Oaks Bottom - how a great urban natural amenity is about to get even better

THE VIEW FROM OAKS BOTTOM - with Portland Parks & Recreation Ecologist Mark Wilson

The city of Portland is noted for its proximity to outstanding natural areas—Mt. Hood, the Columbia Gorge, Oregon's North Coast. But Portland is also a great place to live because of the abundance of natural areas within the city itself. On this episode of Locus Focus we return to one of the city's nature jewels: Oaks Bottom, a 170-acre wildlife refuge complex of wetlands, meadows and woods, 4 miles SE of downtown Portland as the crow flies, and maybe a bit further if you're following the route of one of the bottoms' many Great Blue Herons.

Locus Focus on 02/27/12

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Mon, 02/27/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Looking back at how CUB has changed the face of Oregon energy policy

OREGON'S CITIZENS UTILITY BOARD - Celebrating Director Bob Jenks' 20th anniversary

This year Oregon's Citizens' Utility Board is celebrating the 20th anniversary of their executive director Bob Jenks' tenure at the helm of CUB. CUB itself has been around since 1984 but many Oregonians probably don't know how much they owe this advocacy group. In its three decades of service, CUB has saved Oregon ratepayers $5.3 billion. It's also led the way for Oregon's investment in energy efficiency, by helping create the Energy Trust of Oregon in 2002 and working for passage of the state's 25% Renewable Energy Standard.

Locus Focus on 02/20/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 02/20/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Why Oregon's population of Marbled Murrelets is endangered by increased logging on state lands.

WEIGHING THE PLIGHTS OF TWO ENDANGERED POPULATIONS: Marbled Murrelets and Oregon Timber Counties

In the 1990s the spotted owl became the icon for environmentalists' struggle to save the remaining old growth forests in the Pacific Northwest. But the spotted owl is not the only specie that needs old growth forests to survive. Twenty years ago the Marbled Murrelet was added to the list of threatened species whose populations have been severely declining due to intensive logging in old growth forests. For over a decade, Oregon was engaged in developing a habitat conservation plan that would have provided a modicum of protection for marbled murrelet. But it has abandoned that effort.

Locus Focus on 02/13/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 02/13/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Are electric cars the answer for a cleaner transportation future?

HIGH VOLTAGE: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry, Revisited

Transportation accounts for about a third of all carbon dioxide emissions in America. Cars and trucks are the biggest source of our smog pollution, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. Gas prices are rising, the dependence on foreign oil is an ongoing concern, and local air pollution is not improving. This makes a powerful case for cleaner cars. Are electric cars the answer?

Locus Focus on 02/06/12

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Mon, 02/06/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How nature and human dignity require each other with author Carl Safina

AUTHOR CARL SAFINA: VOYAGE OF THE TURTLE & VIEW FROM LAZY POINT

"[Sea] turtles don't think about their next generation, but they risk and provide all they can to ensure that there will be one. Meanwhile, we profess to love our offspring above all else, yet above all else it is they from whom we daily steal. We cannot learn to be more like turtles but from turtles we could learn to be more human. That is the wisdom carried within one hundred million years of survival. What turtles could learn from us,  I can't imagine." (Carl Safina, Voyage of the Turtle)

Locus Focus on 01/30/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 01/30/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Friends of Family Farmers - connecting rural farmers and urban eaters in Oregon

FRIENDS OF FAMILY FARMERS - Growing a New Generation of Sustainable Farmers

Locus Focus on 01/23/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 01/23/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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How chronic fear in infancy and early childhood lies at the root of common illness

SCARED SICK - An Interview with Author Robin Karr-Morse

When we talk about environmental health hazards, we usually are referring to toxins in the environment outside our bodies. But there are environmental health hazards inside our bodies as well. Chemicals and hormones triggered by stress and trauma can wreak havoc on our nervous systems and ultimately result in serious disease. In her new book Scared Sick, Portland family therapist Robin Karr-Morse, explores how many adult diseases, ranging from fibromyalgia to diabetes, as well numerous psychological disturbances, are rooted in childhood trauma.

Locus Focus on 01/16/12

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 01/16/2012 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Why Obama may be forced to reject the Keystone XL Pipeline despite threats from the oil industry

LATEST POLITICAL BRINKSMANSHIP AROUND KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

Last November the Obama administration responded to intense public opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline—which would carry crude oil from Alberta's tar sands, to refineries on the Gulf Coast—by calling for additional environmental impact studies that could take more than a year to complete. This decision made many pipeline opponents hopeful, if not celebratory. But then six weeks later, as part of a deal to extend the payroll tax cut, congressional Republicans required that the administration make a decision on the project within 60 days.

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Glen Lamb and the Columbia Land Trust

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 03/11/2008

Barbara Bernstein hosts "Post-Measure 49 Oregon, Part 2" with Glenn Lamb of the Columbia Land Trust (columbialandtrust.org). Learn what land trusts are, and how they can help save our environment. Find related information at the Land Trust Alliance (www.lta.org)

Sustainable Portland

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Tue, 03/04/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein spoke with Michael Armstrong, Deputy Director of the Office of Sustainability for the City of Portland about the greening of Portland.

Locus Focus with David Cole on Why America is Losing The War On Terror

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 02/26/2008

Today on Locus Focus, Barbara Bernstein talks with David Cole, Professor of Law, Georgetown University; Co-Author, Less Safe, Less Free: Why America is Losing the War on Terror (TheNewPress.com); Legal Affairs Correspondent, The Nation; Co-Chair, Liberty and Security Initiative & Checks and Balances Initiative, Constitution Project.

They'll discuss the Protect America Act which expired over the weekend with Bush threatening, “Because Congress failed to act, it will be harder for our government to keep you safe from terrorist attacks.” House Democrats refused to hold a vote on the Senate-approved legislation that would permanently expand the government’s eavesdropping authority and give immunity to telecommunications companies that helped the government monitor conversations. Cole says the rule of law is an asset not an obstacle in the struggle to keep us safe and free, we have given up many freedoms in the name of security but we are not safer.

Bob Stacey on Life After Measure 49

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 01/29/2008

Barbara Bernstein talks with Bob Stacey Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon (www.friends.org) about the landscape of Oregon land use law in a post-Measure 49 world. Bob and Barbara will discuss the Big Look, the New Look and the Blueprint for Oregon's Future.

Carbon Trade Watch

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 01/29/2008

Kevin Smith and Tamra Gilbertson, leading critics of international climate change policy and researchers with www.carbontradewatch.org will tell us what's wrong with carbon credits, how they do nothing to fight global warming, and even exacerbate the problem.

Peak Oil, Debt and the Economy

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 01/15/2008

Per Fagereng hosts talk radio this morning with special guest, Kurt Liebezeit, a local Peak Oil Activist. Listen to Per and Kurt discus Peak Oil and the Economy, while fielding questions, opinions, and discussions with our listening audience.

Gray To Green - Storm Water Management

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Locus Focus
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Tue, 01/08/2008

Host Barbara Bernstein invites Portland city officials onto her show to discuss the city's storm water management systems. Her guests today are Dean Marriott, Director of the Bureau of Environmental Services, and Lisa Libby, Sam Adams' Senior Environmental Policy Director. Questions were answered for the listening public, as well as plans for the future explained.

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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