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

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 05/13/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
With Ben Davis, Professor of law at the University of Toledo College of Law, we talk about how to ma

The Bush administration is now history but their criminal acts live on. How do we as a nation hold these characters accountable for the many apparent crimes they committed during the past 8 years. Locus Focus host Barbara Bernstein talks with Ben Davis, Professor of law at the University of Toledo College of Law, about his efforts to get attorney general Eric Holder "to appoint a non-partisan independent Special Counsel to immediately commence a prosecutorial investigation into the most serious alleged crimes of former President George W. Bush, former Vice President Richard B. Cheney, the attorneys formerly employed by the Department of Justice whose memos sought to justify torture, and other former top officials of the Bush administration."

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 05/06/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
The recent oubreak of swine raises questions about how many people or livestock can live crowded con

The recent outbreak of H1N1 Flu (or swine flu) is raising questions about potential links between pandemics and population stability. For a few days last week a large hog farm in Veracruz was being blamed for the outbreak of swine flu in Mexico, and although that connection has been challenged the question remains: how do our practices of raising crops and livestock as well as the constraints of unrestrained population growth create conditions for potential pandemics.

This installment of Locus Focus takes on that controversial issue among environmentalists: how do we (or should we) limit population growth, especially growth due to immigration. Our guest Leon Kolankiewicz is an environmental scientist and national natural resources planner. He has a B.S. in forestry and wildlife management from Virginia Tech and an M.S. in environmental planning and natural resources management from the University of British Columbia. His professional experience includes stints with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Marine Fisheries Service, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, Alaska Department of Fish and Game, University of Washington, University of New Mexico, and as an environmental planner with the Orange County, (Ca.) Environmental Management Agency. Mr. Kolankiewicz is the author of Where Salmon Come to Die: An Autumn on Alaska’s Raincoast.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/29/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A look at the most local way to eat - growing your own food in backyard or community gardens

 

 

It's time to plant your garden and this morning we talk with two Portland gardening proponents who work to make gardening accessible and enjoyable to everyone. We'll talk with Renee Moog, the coordinator for the SE Natural Techniques Demonstrations Garden at 57th and Cooper (sponsored by the Metro Natural Gardening Program), and Leslie Pohl-Kosbau who founded and still directs Portland's community garden program. Learn why gardening is a revolutionary act and how growing your own vegetables doesn't just improve your own life - it helps make the planet a better place to live.

 

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/22/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
An interview with Sixties activist Mark Rudd about his new memoir: Underground: My Life with SDS and

41 years ago this week students at Columbia University began an occupation of their campus that shut down the university and resonated around the world. Last year many of these activists gathered at Columbia to remember and reassess this life-changing event. Among them was Mark Rudd, who was one of the leaders of the strike and later went on to help found the ultra-left Weatherman faction of SDS. After spending 7 years underground, he emerged in 1976 and began to reconstruct his life based upon non-violent principles.

Locus Focus on 04/15/09

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/15/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
A conversation with economist Chuck Collins on restructuring tax codes to fuel economic recovery

If the most affluent 400 Americans as of 2006 had paid as much of their incomes in taxes as the top 400 did in 1955, the federal treasury would have collected an additional $35.9 billion more in revenue in 2006 just from these 400 ultra-rich individuals. Guest Chuck Collins (Locus Focus' official economist) co-authored a Tax Day report "Reversing the Great Tax Shift: Seven Steps to Finance Our Recovery Fairly,” which offers proposals that would raise $450 billion of revenue to support economic recovery. 

 Here are some of the reports modest proposals:
Introducing a modest financial transaction tax that will chill speculation and generate $100 billion a year.
Implementing an estate tax reform that taxes inheritances over $2 million at progressive rates.
Setting an emergency tax rate on extremely high incomes that would generate over $60 billion a year.
Eliminating the tax preference on capital gains and dividend income, generating $80 billion.
Closing overseas tax havens for individuals and corporations, generating $100 billion.
Scrapping $18 billion in tax breaks that subsidize excessive CEO compensation.
 
“By seriously taxing the top, as we did in the 1950s, we could raise the revenues we need to better invest in infrastructure, education, and retrofitting our energy system,” says Chuck Collins, an IPS senior scholar and co-author of the new IPS brief. “Appropriately targeted, higher taxes on the top would also serve to dampen the speculative frenzy that has cratered our economy.”

 

At 8:20 we're joined by journalist Reese Erlich, whose new book Dateline Havana: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Future of Cuba explores Cuba’s strained history with the United States and the power of the Cuba Lobby. We'll talk about Obama's new Cuba policy and what impact that may have on improving the relationship between our countries.

 

Reese Erlich is the author of The Iran Agenda: The Real Story of U.S. Policy and the Middle East Crisis and co-author of the best-selling Target Iraq: What the News Media Didn’t Tell You. He reports regularly for National Public Radio, Latino USA, Radio Deutche Welle, Australian Broadcasting Corp. Radio, and Canadian Broadcasting Corp. Radio. He also writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, St. Petersburg Times, and Dallas Morning News.

Locus Focus on 04/08/09

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/08/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Is nuclear power a solution for climate change?

In 1980 investigative journalist Karl Grossman wrote a book called "COVER UP: What you are not supposed to know about Nuclear Power." That was a year after the meltdown at the Three Mile Island nuclear power facility in Pennsylvania scared the nation into rethinking its faith in nuclear power as a source of energy too cheap to meter. After a thirty year hiatus, however, nuclear power is back on the table, this time touted as a carbon emission-free source of electricity. But Karl Grossman is still here to tell us what we're not supposed to know about Nuclear Power.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 04/01/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Does it make sense to replace the current bridge across the Columbia with a 12 lane megabridge?

Consensus is growing that the future bridge across the Columbia River on I5 will be a 12 lane mega bridge. But many people in the community disagree and are raising their voices in concern that such a massive infrastructure will encourage the kind of car and oil dependent way of life that many in the Northwest profess to want to change. Guests Mara Gross with the Coalition for a Livable Future, Metro Councilor Robert Liberty and Joe Kurmaskie, who is helping organize a rally on April 5 to oppose the mega bridge proposal, will discuss Columbia River Crossing alternatives that will not encourage sprawl and increase our carbon footprint.

A grassroots coalition of Portlanders and Vancouverites opposed to the current scope and direction of the Columbia River Crossing project will host an Opposition and Alternatives Rally at Waterfront Park. The event is schedued for noon, Sunday, April 5th, on the lawn of Portland's Waterfront Park - just north of the Hawthorne bridge. Rally organizers call this the opening salvo in a sustained campaign to block funding for the project in its current form, and to offer alternatives that match the desires of a community to be fiscally responsible, address environmental challenges and tackle livability issues effecting the region.  

"This part of the world has made truly sustainable choices in the past, an urban growth boundary, investment in mass transit, bicycle infrastructure and the stoppage of the Mt Hood Freeway and Harbor Highway," rally organizer Joe Kurmaskie said. " Innovative decisions that have made us an attractive city to live in or visit. Putting up a four billion dollar, 12 lane mega-bridge will change all that, and not for the better.

"The project is based on models done before peak oil and the arrival of an economic crisis that's changing every aspect of people's lives, including their transportation choices. The CRC is 20th century thinking applied to a very different world today. The Coalition For A Livable Future has long said that we can not hope to build our way out of congestion. As proposed, this bridge promotes single occupancy vehicle use, invites unchecked sprawl to southern Washington and opens the door to widening I-5 through the heart of Portland."

The Waterfront Park rally will include speakers, calls to action, information booths, distribution of lawn signs and tangible steps citizens can take to oppose the project, as well as the announcement of teach ins by smarterbidge.org, and other organized events in the future. Speakers will include elected officials, transportation experts and community leaders explaining their opposition to the project while proposing alternatives.

So far, confirmed to speak are former Oregon Secretary of State Bill Bradbury (who give’s Al Gore’s climate change presentation all over the country), Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz (the only city council member who voted against moving forward on a 12-lane CRC bridge), and Metro Councilor Robert Liberty (who voted against the project in the past and has offered specific alternatives) and  Bicycle Transportation Alliance advocate and educator Michelle Poyourow.

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 03/25/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
In the past week there has been intense outrage over AIG executive bonuses and other manifestations

In the past week there has been intense outrage over AIG executive bonuses and other manifestations of corporate greed. How do we go beyond the angry mob mentality? Guest Rob Johnson, who co-wrote "Too Big to Bail: The 'Paulson Put,' Presidential Politics, and the Global Financial Meltdown" with Thomas Ferguson, provides a larger context for understanding the current financial crisis and analyzing the knee-jerk responses that currently rule in the mass media.

Robert Johnson was formerly a managing director at Soros Funds Management and chief economist of the Senate Banking Committee.You can read a recenty article by Johnson and Ferguson at http://www.thenation.com/doc/20090309/ferguson_johnson?rel=hp_picks

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 03/18/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Why we need to make the Holgate Channel Ross Island lagoon wake-free or non-motorized zones - and wh

Between Ross Island and the east bank of the Willamette lies the Holgate Channel, a patch of natural paradise only a couple miles south of downtown Portland. Sitting above the river on the eastbank, with osprey and eagles and blue herron as your companions, you have no idea you're anywhere near a city. . .except for the roar of jet skis and motor boat engines - not to mention the bass enhanced stereo systems booming across the river. Bob Sallinger, Urban Conservation director for the Portland Audubon Society has been working hard to create a wake-free zone in the Holgate Channel and ban motorized craft outright from neighboring Ross Island Lagoon. Tune in to hear why he believes this is necessary to make the Holgate Channel a safer place for humans and wildlife.

Bob Sallinger is the Conservation Director for the Audubon Society of Portland where he has worked since 1992. His current responsibilities include managing the Audubon Statewide Important Bird Area in Oregon, recovery of imperiled species, promoting wildlife conservation in the Portland Metropolitan Region, and overseeing the Society's wildlife rehabilitation center. He has a particular interest in anthropogenic impacts on wildlife and promoting wildlife stewardship in urban ecosystems. His favorite pastime rappelling off Portland area bridges to monitor the region's growing population of bridge nesting peregrine falcons. Bob has a B.A. in Biology from Reed College and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Coalition for a Livable Future and the East Multnomah County Soil and Water Conservation District. He lives in Northeast Portland with his wife Elisabeth Neely, two children, a dog, a cat (indoor!) and a couple of chickens

Locus Focus

Program: 
Locus Focus
Air date: 
Wed, 03/11/2009 - 8:00am - 9:00am
Short Description: 
Now that the Bush adminstration is history how do we hold Bush and his advisors and their cronies in

The Bush administration is now history but its legacy continues to tear the world apart. Senator Patrick Leahy wants to create a Truth and Reconciliation Commision, modeled after ones in South Africa and Latin America - to probe the potentially criminal actions of this administration but many people are calling for stronger measures to hold these culprits accountable for the pain and destruction they have caused. A couple weeks comedian Bill Maher suggested executing a couple bankers who "poisoned our financial markets with tainted investments" as a warning to other greedy financial captains. A more serious proposal has been offered in an commentary for New American Media by today's Locus Focus guest Roberto Cintli Rodriguez.

Audio

LATEST POLITICAL BRINKSMANSHIP AROUND KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 01/16/2012

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.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Oil Change International founder Steve Kretzmann about the political maelstrom that is being stirred up by pipeline proponents. We discuss why many environmentalists are optimistic that by requiring a speedy decision, the Republicans' ultimatum actually forces the president to reject the pipeline project, despite this being an election year.

Steve Kretzmann has worked on energy issues and the global oil industry for more than twenty years. He has worked with communities and organizations around the world concerned with the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the oil industry. He has campaigned to keep Florida’s coast free from oil & gas drilling, keep bike lanes open in New York City, engage reluctant corporations in dialogue about human and environmental rights, expose the oil industry’s involvement in drafting Iraq’s new oil law and, end destructive public finance by institutions such as the World Bank. He has also represented various organizations in Washington DC and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Montreal Protocol. Steve has authored numerous articles and reports and is a regular commentator on issues of corporate accountability, climate change, the global oil industry, and environmental and human rights. He founded Oil Change International in 2005 in order to educate about the true impacts of fossil fuels and to conduct research, education, and organizing to hasten the transition to clean energy.

FRACKING CRACKS THE PUBLIC CONSCIOUSNESS

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 01/09/2012

2011 was the year that fracking became a household word. A little over a year ago opposition to fracking was limited to a select group of environmental activists and people unfortunate to have their water supplies contaminated by neighboring fracking operations. But by the end of the year major media was reporting on independent scientific investigations that linked fracking with water pollution. And federal and state agencies were responding to the growing apprehension about water contamination with more studies and more regulation. What has changed in the last 12 months to ratchet up opposition to this use of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from the deep recesses of shale deposits? On this episode of Locus Focus we are joined by former ProPublica reporting fellow Nicholas Kusnetz, whose articles about controversies surrounding fracking have helped reframe public understanding about the true environmental and health impacts of this practice.

Nicholas Kusnetz is a Middlebury fellow in environmental journalism and a freelance journalist. Until recently he was a reporting fellow at the online investigative journalism website ProPublica.

WEIGHING IN: Obesity, Food Justice & The Limits of Capitalism - An Interview with Julie Guthman

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 01/02/2012

There is little doubt that Americans are getting fatter. As an example, a new Coast Guard regulation requires that the Washington State Ferries reduce their maximum capacity by 250 passengers because the average body weight of individual passengers has increased by 25 pounds. Common wisdom attributes the rise in obesity to the high caloric/low nutrient levels of the junk food that many people eat and to the auto-centric, pedestrian-hostile physical environments in which they live. On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Julie Guthman, author of a new book called Weighing in: Obesity, Food Justice, and the Limits of Capitalism, which challenges many assumptions at the core of the food movement. Rather than blaming the eater for eating too much of the wrong food, Guthman looks for other causes of obesity—like environmental toxins in our food. She critiques the alternative food movement as a phenomenon that is primarily white, elitist, privileged and prejudiced against fat people, and calls for solutions that take on our entire economic system, not just lifestyle choices.

Julie Guthman is Associate Professor in the Community Studies Department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. She is the author of Agrarian Dreams: The Paradox of Organic Farming in California (UC Press)

ANOTHER WAY THE RIVER HAS: An Interview with Author Robin Cody

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 12/26/2011

Rivers define Oregon. They shape the landscapes and wildlife habitats as well as human settlements and politics of this very watery place. There are few people who know and can describe Oregon's rivers like Oregon author Robin Cody. On this episode of Locus Focus, Robin joins us to describe his river adventures and reflections, whether he is canoeing the entire length of the Columbia River or floating the Willamette and lower Columbia in his handmade motorized boat, the Turtle. For Robin, the river is a metaphor for our lives, just as our lives are metaphors for the river. Along the way, we'll touch base with his latest collection of essays: Another Way the River Has.

Robin Cody, an Oregon native, is the author of Ricochet River and Voyage of a summer sun, both which appeared on the Oregon State Library's "150 Oregon Books for the Oregon Sesquicentennial. Cody has worked as an English teacher, a dean of college admissions, a baseball umpire and a school bus driver, and lives in Portland. Cody is a native speaker who probes the streams and woods and salmon that run to the heart of what it means to live and love, to work and play, in Oregon.

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

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/28/2011

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?

On this episode of Locus Focus, we talk with Jim Motavalli, author of a new book, HIGH VOLTAGE: The Fast Track to Plug in the Auto Industry, which describes the history of the electric car, the race to produce a new generation of all-electric vehicles and now, the tipping point, where half of all new cars heading into showrooms around the world will be at least partly electric. We'll talk about the challenges still facing all-electric cars: extending their driving range, making them affordable and assuring that their batteries don't catch on fire.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jim Motavalli first started reporting on the dream of electric cars in the late 1980’s during the SUV boom in Detroit and when cheap gas seemed infinite. He is the author of Forward Drive and several other books. He regularly writes about clean cars for The New York Times' Automobiles section, CBS, NPR’s Car Talk and MNN.com. Jim also has a weekly syndicated Wheels column. He lives in Connecticut.

Re-creating a Local Food System - The Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/21/2011

There is a lot more to eating locally than buying produce at your neighborhood farmers' market. What about all the staple foods we rely on, like grains and beans, that provide most of the calories in our diet? While Oregon's Willamette Valley has the agricultural potential to feed the valley residents twice over, nearly ninety-five percent of what we eat in the Willamette Valley is imported and what's grown here is exported. With the price of all fossil fuels on the rise, a lot of people are beginning to think that this makes no economic or agricultural sense.

On this episode of Locus Focus we are joined by Willow Coberly, co-owner of the largest grass seed farm in Linn County (touted as the grass seed capitol of the world). Her husband Harry Stalford has been a grass seed farmer all his life, but Willow is convinced that they should be growing more food on their land and using organic practices as well. Willow has been working with organic pioneer Harry MacCormack (founder of Oregon Tilth) to transistion several hundred acres of her 6,000 acre farm to growing organic wheat, grains and beans. Several years ago she helped Harry MacCormack form the the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project, a small group of farmers and local food system advocates focused on rebuilding the local food system and promoting food security in Oregon's Willamette Valley. We talk about how they are working to stimulate the cultivation and local marketing of organically grown beans and grains to provide a nutritionally dense foundation of year-round food staples in the valley.

Willow Coberly is co-owner of Stalford Seed Farms, a 6000-acre agricultural operation. She and Harry MacCormack started the Southern Willamette Valley Bean and Grain Project five years ago, because most grass seed producers scoffed at the idea of growing dry-land beans or hard red wheat in the western Oregon climate. She had begun in 2003 by beginning to transition 130 acres of her farm to organic bean and grain production. Without this opportunity, the Project could not have gotten off the ground. And in the ensuing five years, Ms. Coberly has steadily transitioned more and more of her farm's acreage to organic, expanded her food crop production, added bean cleaning and grain milling capacity to her farm, and spoken regularly in public about the Bean and Grain Project and her belief that food production and a working local food system are the future of Willamette Valley agriculture.

The Coal Hard Truth

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/14/2011

In the past year the Northwest made major strides towards being coal-free, as deadlines were set to shut down the regions' last coal-fired power plants. But while the Northwest is moving away from relying on coal to generate its own electricity, there is a movement afoot to transform Northwest ports into a major infrastructure for shipping coal to Asia. Trainloads of coal from Wyoming would make their way across the Pacific Northwest, spewing toxic coal dust and diesel pollution, putting safety at risk, clogging the railroads, and contributing to climate change the whole way.

On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Laura Stevens and Bonnie McKinlay, with the Sierra Club about their campaign to stop the Northwest from becoming a large-scale coal export center. We talk about how to put the brakes on Big Coal's dirty and dangerous plans for the Northwest.

WILD IN THE CITY

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 11/07/2011

One of Portland's best known attributes is the easy access to all kinds of spectacular nature. Mountains, rivers, the Columbia River Gorge and the Oregon Coast are all within an easy drive from the city. One of Portland's best kept secrets is the abundance of natural areas in the metro area itself, including forests, wetlands and meadows close to downtown. Urban naturalist Mike Houck has been on a mission for years to protect and promote the city's hidden natural treasures. Over a decade ago he collaborated with M.J. Cody on a collection of natural history essays and nature rambles by foot, bike and boat, that introduced places where you can experience peak moments of nature right inside or close to the city. A completely new edition of Wild In The City: Exploring the Intertwine has just been released. More than 100 writers and artists donated their time and expertise to this effort ranging from local naturalists to nationally renowned authors such as Richard Louv, Ursula Le Guin and Robert Michael Pyle. On this episode of Locus Focus we're joined by Mike Houck and M.J. Cody, editors of Wild in the City, along with M.J.'s brother Robin Cody, a local author who wrote one of the essays in the collection. We'll talk about how the book embodies the spirit of our regional conservation movement, and reflects the growing recognition that our natural areas, trails, ecoroofs, tree canopy, etc. are all part of an integrated system that supports the health, biodiversity and livability of our region--that nature is truly intertwined with our built landscape.

THE MOVEMENT TO STOP THE KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE

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program: 
Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 10/31/2011

Alberta's Tar Sands operations have been stirring up controversy north of the border for some time now, Last month awareness of Alberta's tar sands mining began to spread as thousands of activists gathered in Washington, D.C. to protest the Keystone XL pipeline, that is being proposed to carry the bitumen mined in Alberta all the way to Gulf Coast ports in Texas for refinement. Now it's no longer just environmentalists who are opposing the pipeline. Latest critics include the governor of Nebraska, who is concerned that spills of highly corrusive bitumen along the way might contaminate the aquifers that provide water to the Great Plains states.

On November 6 another Tar Sands Action is being called in D.C., this time to encircle the White House and remind President Obama, one year out from next year's election day, of the power of the movement that he rode to the White House in 2008. One of the groups calling for this action is Oil Change International. On this episode of Locus Focus we are joined by Steve Kretzmann, who founded Oil Change International. Steve was one of over a thousand people arrested in Washington, D.C. this fall in the first round of protests against the Keystone XL.

Steve Kretzmann has worked on energy issues and the global oil industry for more than twenty years. He has worked with communities and organizations around the world concerned with the environmental, social, and economic impacts of the oil industry. He has campaigned to keep Florida’s coast free from oil & gas drilling, keep bike lanes open in New York City, engage reluctant corporations in dialogue about human and environmental rights, expose the oil industry’s involvement in drafting Iraq’s new oil law and, end destructive public finance by institutions such as the World Bank. He has also represented various organizations in Washington DC and at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Montreal Protocol. Steve has authored numerous articles and reports and is a regular commentator on issues of corporate accountability, climate change, the global oil industry, and environmental and human rights. He founded Oil Change International in 2005 in order to educate about the true impacts of fossil fuels and to conduct research, education, and organizing to hasten the transition to clean energy.

 

FELLING THE CONDIT DAM

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Locus Focus
program date: 
Mon, 10/24/2011

For a century dams have blocked salmon runs throughout the Pacific Northwest. These dams have wiped out or greatly reduced many of the salmon runs in the Columbia River Watershed, which was once the greatest salmon river in the west. But in the past few years, some of these dams have been removed. On October 25th, the Condit Dam on the White Salmon River in Klickitat County, WA, will be the next large dam to fall. After years of controversy and many missed deadlines, the dam will be blown up to make way for salmon to return to the upper reaches of the White Salmon River.

On this episode of Locus Focus we are joined by self-proclaimed river rat Steven Hawley to talk about what the restoration of the White Salmon River means for salmon and the rest of us.

Steven Hawley is the author of Recovering a Lost River: Rewilding Salmon, Revitalizing Communities, Removing Dams. He lives in Hood River, across the Columbia from the mouth of the White Salmon River.

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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