A major victory for indigenous peoples in the Ecuadoran Amazon against Chevron for environmental racism. Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham discusses the case with Kevin Konig of Amazon Watch.
Dr. Arjun Makhijani of IEER explains the latest information on the nuclear meltdowns underway in Fukushima, Japan. Then, will biofuels and climate change lead to another dust bowl in the Midwest? Don Carr of the Environmental Working Group discusses their latest report, Losing Ground.
And Erich Pica of Friends of the Earth reflects on President Obama’s energy strategies and what the environmental movement needs to really win.
Music in this edition of the show is Aires de Terra by Ecuadorian folk musician Arturo Aguirre y los Folkloristas and Lake Sonata from ‘The Midwest American Piano Project’ by Stacey Barelos. Our theme music is ‘Baladi’ by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.
Then, acclaimed author and climate activist Bill McKibben of 350.org rallies youth climate leaders to take power back from the US Chamber of Commerce and the Koch Brothers, and inspires the PowerShift crowd to move its focus from climate science – to political science. The Moving Planet event is September 24th.
The Japanese Government increases the ‘allowed’ amount of radiation exposure to children to 133 times EPA safe levels for adults – and the chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission admits he had not been informed of the change – even though the news was widely covered in the mainstream media
Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham speaks to Bob Alvarez, senior scholar of the Institute for Policy Studies about the Japanese upping the dose of radiation exposure for children, we hear from the chair of the NRC himself – Greg Jaczko. Daphne speaks to Kuniko Tanioka, a member of the Japanese Parliament who tells us what measures the government is and isn’t willing to take to protect its children, and how the Japanese media is failing to cover the issue critically. Then an interview with Public Citizen’s Ralph Nader on the Fukushima disaster – and what it should mean for nuclear power in America.
The Interior Department decides this summer whether or not it will allow uranium mining near the Grand Canyon. Joining host Daphne Wysham to discuss the pre-Fukushima boom in uranium mining by foreign companies is Lauren Pagel, the policy director of EarthWorks. To express your opinion on the mining for uranium in and around the Grand Canyon, click here.
A ‘honking big global Earth summit’ is coming our way next year, that’s according to Jim Thomas of the ETC Group. Jim says bankers and corporations are already jockeying for position at the upcoming UN Rio+20 Summit. His recent commentary can be found at Grist.org. But also preparing are activists like India’s Vandana Shiva. We’ll hear part of Vandana’s comments on Rio+20 at a UN conference earlier this month. The video from the UN Conference is available.
DuPont is taken to task for potential toxic liabilities that endanger millions of Americans, we’ll get the details from Rick Hind, the legislative director for Greenpeace.
Music in this edition of the show is ‘Lightning over Sonora’ and ‘Procession of the Jaguar’ by Native American musician Robert Tree Cody. Our theme music is “Baladi” by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.
Image of an abandoned uranium mine in Utah by wonder_al via Flickr.
Reflections on the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the Chernobyl 25th anniversary, the one year anniversary of the BP blowout, and signs of hope from across the country with Brent Blackwelder and Antonia Juhasz.
Brent is the president emeritus of the Friends of the Earth and Antonia is the director of the Energy Program at Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based human rights non-profit organization.
A Fukushima-like hydrogen explosion could happen at the Hanford Nuclear Waste facilities, that’s according to whistleblower Walt Tamosaitis. The Hanford site in Washington State is home to two-thirds of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste. Joining Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham to discuss Walt’s case – and his being fired for speaking out – is Tom Devine, part of Walt’s legal team and the legal director for the Government Accountability Project.
Oil companies like Chevron work with the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers to place their advertisements directly opposite the paper’s environmental reporting. Discussing the corporate control of environmental reporting is Kert Davies, Greenpeace’s Research Director and Sut Jhally, a professor in the communications department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.
Kert Davies mentions the Powell Memo, a document written by Supreme Court Justice Lewis S. Powell before he joined the US Supreme Court that outlines how corporations should fight back against negative public opinion – and the American Petroleum Institute’s work to undermine climate science. Also discussed is the book, Merchants of Doubt.
Here’s a recent op-ed on the Fukushima crisis and other energy issues by Earthbeat Host Daphne Wysham.
Photo used via a creative commons license via Flickr.
Joining host Daphne Wysham to discuss the contamination and why it is that the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency are giving conflicting and confusing advice on “safe” levels of exposure to radiation is Dr. Jeff Patterson, the past president of the Physicians for Social Responsibility and Carl Grossman, a prolific writer on nuclear power and professor of journalism at the State University of New York – College at Old Westbury.
The EPA remains a target of budget cuts by some members of Congress. Kieran Suckling says the recent fight was only the first skirmish in what will be a longer war against the agency. Kieran is the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.
The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has changed the Fukushima disaster to a 7, on a par with the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown 25 years ago. Philip White in Japan provides us with an update. Philip is the International Liaison Officer at the Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center. And Jim Riccio, Greenpeace’s nuclear policy expert, discusses Greenpeace’s role in monitoring radiation in Japan, and why they the IAEA has been slow to state the obvious.
Then, a soon-to-be nuclear free Germany. We hear from Arne Jungjohann of the Henrich Boll Foundation.
A special broadcast – produced in association with Pacifica producers – on nuclear power: looking back at our history through the eyes of prominent musicians, during a 2007 interview – Graham Nash, Bonnie Raitt, Jackson Browne and anti-nuclear activist, Harvey Wasserman.
Then a simple explanation of what went wrong in Fukushima by Japanese American physicist, and Professor of Theoretical Physics in the City College of New York Dr. Michiu Kaku.
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has quietly doubled what it considers “safe” exposure levels to nuclear radiation. Japan issues conflicting claims about levels of radioactivity. The French and Austrian governments are putting forth different numbers on the radiation emerging from Japan.
** Update: The US EPA is testing milk for radiation contamination. **
Mary Olson is the director of the Southeast Office of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. She explains how President Obama’s ties to the nuclear industry include some of his closest advisers, staff, and fundraisers. She also explores the challenging issues around nuclear waste storage and transport.
Finally, environmental justice activists declared victory in California courts, bringing cap and trade to a halt in the state. We hear from attorney and plaintiff Angela Johnson-Meszaros on why they challenged cap and trade and what’s next.
Additional information and audio will be posted shortly.
Image by Abode of Chaos, used via a Creative Commons license from Flickr.
Our theme music is “Baladi” by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.
If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail
Spent fuel rods have come into focus as a result of the partial meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. Yet the same problem of unsafe quantities of spent fuel exists, stored at nuclear power plants, with even greater quantities of spent fuel in the US, according to Bob Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies – yet, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ignored warnings on this problem. We hear from Alvarez on this issue, and we hear from Jeffrey Patterson of Physicians for Social Responsibility, who claims there is no safe level of radiation, and that it is only a matter of time before an accident similar to Fukushima’s happens in the US unless we act swiftly.
Then we hear from BBC investigative journalist Greg Palast who reveals that the same company that has allegedly covered up safety problems in the partial meltdowns of nuclear power plants in Japan – Tokyo Electric Power – is planning on helping to build two nuclear power plants in Texas, with financial backing from the Obama administration.
The US Coast Guard is investigating reports of new oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico from a spill about 30 miles offshore. For many Gulf residents, reports of a new spill just adds to the astounding amount of oil and toxic dispersants they’re still living with from the massive BP oil disaster nearly one year ago. Rocky Kistner just returned from the Gulf and joins us to discuss the new spill and health concerns of residents along the Gulf. Rocky is a communications associate with the Natural Resources Defense Council.
Finally, some good news, for the first time, the EPA is setting a national standard for mercury and other air pollution from power plants. Mercury and other air toxics like arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases cause as many as 17,000 premature deaths each year and they’re likely the source for 120,000 cases of childhood asthma, says the EPA. Gabe Wisniewski, Greenpeace’s coal campaign director, joins us to discuss the new rules.
Music in this edition of the show includes ‘Excuse Me Mister’ by Ben Harper and ‘Gone’ by Jack Johnson. Our theme music is “Baladi” by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.
Image from Bigod, used via Flickr with a Creative Commons license.
If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail
Radioactive spent fuel rods – similar to those currently in crisis in Japan – are stored at US power plants in concentrations that are FOUR times what the plants were designed to hold – and those storage sites are NOT required to have nuclear-safety rated containment or backup power generators. That’s according to the Institute for Policy Studies’ Bob Alvarez.
Alvarez spoke as part of a press conference held today (Friday March 18) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.
Peter Bradford, former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and former chair of the Maine and New York utility commissions. Bradford teaches energy policy and law at the Vermont Law School and has taught at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.
Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. Alvarez researches nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies. He served as a senior policy adviser to the Energy Department’s secretary and deputy assistant secretary from 1993 to 1999. http://www.ips-dc.org/nuclear
Dr. Jeffrey Patterson, radioactive exposure expert and a board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Patterson is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin and Public Health. He maintains an active family practice and teaches residents in family medicine. He traveled to Chernobyl in 1986 with a delegation of physicians.
Photo Above: A one-year-old boy is re-checked for radiation exposure after being decontaminated in Nihonmatsu, Fukushiima, northern Japan Monday, March 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Asahi Shimbun, Toru Nakata)
"Wysham's broadcasts are brilliant with a keener sense
of the political ramifications of the environmental struggles than
most anybody I have listened to or read."
Marc Steiner - NPR radio show host of The Marc Steiner Show in
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John Cain - Station Manager KABF - 100,000 watts Little Rock, Arkansas
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focus on climate change. Wysham consistently zeroes in on critical (if sometimes under acknowledged) aspects of the climate
crisis. And unlike many other environmental programs, which tend to
ghettoize the climate issue, Earthbeat is the only program I know that
treats this enormous challenge with the thoughtfulness, honesty and
depth it deserves."