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.

Coming Soon

Can carbon capture and sequestration reduce the carbon emissions of coal-fired power plants?
The health and safety concerns from fracking the Eagle Ford Shale Play in Texas.
 

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Episode Archive

Locus Focus on 07/12/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 07/12/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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The school lunch revolution

SCHOOL LUNCHES, SUSTAINABILITY AND CHILDREN'S HEALTH

Locus Focus on 07/05/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 07/05/2010 - 10:00am - 11:00am
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An update on the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico

BP'S OIL HEMORRHAGE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE GULF OF MEXICO

Right now there are more unanswered questions than answers about what is happening with the hemorrhaging oil gusher at the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico and what will be its short and long term environmental, health and economic consequences. Portland environmental writer Lizzie Grossman returns from a trip to Gulf of Mexico to report on what she saw, the people she met and her first-hand impressions on the immensity of disaster created by the BP Oil hemorrhage on the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. We talk about the destruction that is already evident from this disaster and the even more disquieting concerns about what is yet to unfold.

Locus Focus on 06/28/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 06/28/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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A look at Oregon's largest co-op of sustainable ranchers

COUNTRY NATURAL BEEF: FARMING IN THE MIDDLE

Locus Focus on 06/21/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 06/21/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Plans to enhance Portland's premier wildlife refuge

A VIEW FROM THE BOTTOMS: RESHAPING PORTLAND'S REMNANT WETLAND

As you follow the lower Willamette River through the city of Portland you see mostly hardened banks, sea walls and industrial sites that line both shores of the river. But along the east bank of the river, just a few miles south of downtown Portland, you come across a stretch of beach and wetlands and braided channels that reminds us of the landscape through which the lower Willamette River once flowed. A central feature of this nearly natural stretch of watershed, is Oaks Bottom, a 160 acre wetland and wildlife refuge, the closest thing left to the rich wetland habitat that once lined both shores of the Willamette River, where Portland now stands.

Locus Focus on 06/14/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 06/14/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Reducing our carbon footprint through the food choices we make - with Anna Lappe

THE CLIMATE CRISIS AT THE END OF YOUR FORK
An Interview with Anna Lappe

 

Locus Focus on 05/31/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 05/31/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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A conversation with author John D'Agata about the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository
ABOUT A MOUNTAIN
 
In recent years a wide range of voices has been promoting nuclear energy as the solution to climate change. While it’s true that the actual nuclear processes within reactors produce no carbon emissions, nuclear boosterism overlooks a number of serious issues with nuclear power. Probably the most critical one is the still-unsolved problem of where to store all the nuclear waste. For many years it looked like the permanent repository for all of our country’s nuclear waste was going to be Yucca Mountain, 90 miles north of Las Vegas.

Locus Focus on 05/24/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 05/24/2010 - 10:00am - 11:00am
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turning our garbage into something useful - curbside composting comes to Portland

FOOD SCRAP RECYCLING COMING TO YOUR CURBSIDE

How much of your garbage is composed of food scraps? According to analysis in the Portland Recycles! Plan the average Portland household disposes of 1,326 pounds of garbage per year of which 75% could be recycled or composted instead of winding up as landfill. We can reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by our garbage by approximately one ton for each ton of food scraps diverted from landfill.

Locus Focus on 05/17/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 05/17/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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The impact of the Massey mining disaster and the BP Oil Spill on the future of fossil fuels

THE MASSEY MINING DISASTER, THE BP OIL SPILL AND THE FUTURE OF CHEAP FOSSIL FUEL

Locus Focus on 05/10/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 05/10/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Why children need to get away from computer screens and get out into nature.

WHY ARE YOUNG PEOPLE DISCONNECTED FROM NATURE (and what we can do to reconnect them)

A conversation with the director of the film PLAY AGAIN

Several years ago Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein was walking in Forest Park when a young boy came running by, his eyes gleaming half in glee, half in terror. He was being pursued by his older brother and as he passed, he called out, "I feel like I'm in a video game."

Locus Focus on 05/03/10

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Locus Focus
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Mon, 05/03/2010 - 10:15am - 11:00am
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Why the politics of food is central to creating sustainable communities

DOES PORTLAND HAVE A FOOD CZAR? (and why we need one)

Portland is the only city in America that has a Food Policy and Programs Office. And while many communities are starting to talk about creating Food Policy Councils, Multnomah County and Portland have had such a council for years. So why is there so much interest in food and its politics here in the Rose City? And why should food policy be at the heart of any discussion about creating sustainable and resilient communities?

Audio

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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Locus Focus
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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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