Archive for June, 2006

A New Attack to Wind Energy: Hybrid Benefits for Employees; Enlisting Big City Mayors to Protect the Climate; & Protecting Scientists Through the Funny Pages

June 27th, 2006

A move by two powerful U.S. Senators to block a wind power project in their backyard has stopped a number of wind power projects out in the Midwest. The senators inserted a bit of language into a Department of Defense bill that called for ‘studying’ whether or not wind turbines mess with military radar. But there has been no evidence that wind turbines have anything to do with military radar. In fact there are a number of wind power projects located on military bases.

Joining us in the studio to talk about this is Christine Real de Azua, a spokeswoman for The American Wind Energy Association, a Washington DC based group that promotes wind power. On the telephone is Michael Vickerman, a writer with Renew Wisconsin, a network of clean energy businesses, educators, farmers, utility mangers and environmental advocates. Also on the telephone from Wisconsin is Mark Jacobson, the Development Manager for the Forward Wind Energy Center in Milwaukee, a project that has been stopped in its tracks by the legislation.

The most popular gas-electric hybrid car, the Toyota Prius has been around for a decade. But, until gas prices shot up recently, anyone driving a hybrid was taking a hit in their wallet. Most hybrid cars cost a few thousand dollars more than the run-of-the-mill autos, and there are some concerns that they could cost more to fix and maintain.

A number of small companies have been subsidizing their employee’s purchases of Priuses and other high mileage cars, and now the big guys are getting into the act. On the telephone from Charlotte, North Carolina is Terry Francisco of Bank of America. And in the studio are Jen Garment and Steve Guest of the Washington, DC area grocery store My Organic Market.

District of Columbia environmental organizations, individuals and activists to hold a Mayoral Forum featuring issues highlighted in the soon to be released DC Environmental Agenda. Candidates will have an opportunity to present their environmental vision for the District to residents and explain their thoughts on issues that most directly impact the environmental health of our communities.

For more information contact The Chesapeake Climate Action Network.

Recently NASA officials admitted the space agency acted ‘inappropriately’ in telling climate scientist James Hansen to keep quiet about global warming. One group is trying to keep censorship of scientists on the front burner and have a little fun at the same time.

The Union of Concerned Scientists
is holding a cartoon contest for scientific integrity. They are commissioning editorial cartoons from the public about the issue of political interference in science. The judges for this contest are the top tier of editorial cartooning. In the Earthbeat studios is Michael Halpern, the outreach coordinator for scientific integrity at the Union of Concerned Scientists, and on the telephone one of the judges of the content, the creator of “Rhymes with Orange,” Hilary Price.

If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail

Political Green Washing – The Supreme Court and Whistle Blowing & Bio Blitz!

June 20th, 2006

This week co-host Daphne Wysham starts tracking politicians who start going green right before election day. Joining her in the studio is Chuck Porcari, the spokesman of The League of Conservation Voters in Washington, DC, and on the telephone from California – Carmen Balber, a consumer advocate with the watchdog group, The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights and the website ‘Arnold Watch.’

The U.S. Supreme Court recently restricted the First Amendment rights of government whistle blowers. Debating the issue is Tom Devine, the legal director for The Government Accountability Project, and David Rivkin, a former Justice Department official in the Reagan and Bush senior administrations. He’s currently a partner with the law firm, Baker and Hostetler LLP.

Bio Blitz is when a swarm of scientists take over an area and do an intense survey of everything in their path. Joining Daphne in the studio are Stephanie Flack of The Nature Conservancy and Sam Droege of the US Geologic Survey and on the phone is Art Evans, a specialist in ‘recent invertebrates’ at the Smithsonian.

If you’d like to hear this edition of Earthbeat – please send us an e-mail

Roger Ebert on the Gore Documentary ; A Congressman Takes NOAA to Task; Climate Activists Get Ready for a Landslide

June 13th, 2006

Roger Ebert has been reviewing movies for 39 years. A two-thumbs-up on his television program Ebert and Roeper can make or break a film.

In a recent review for the Chicago Sun Times, Roger Ebert did something he’s never done. He told people to go see a film — and that, if they didn’t — they would have to explain to their children and grandchildren.

That movie is Al Gore’s “An Inconvenient Truth.”

See a list of screenings.

Debating How to Tax Oil Company Profits; How Fat Cat Military Contracts Hurt Public Transit; Congress Debates Fuel Standards for Cars – and Hydrogen-Powered Cars

June 7th, 2006

ExxonMobile and other oil companies are posting huge profits — while everyday Americans pay more and more for gasoline. Some environmentalists say that we’re still not paying enough for oil, while others say we should change how we tax fossil fuels. Tyson Slocum, the Acting Director of the energy program at Public Citizen and Lester Brown of the Earth Policy Institute debate the issue

Jonathan Feldman is a research fellow investigating the connections between military contracts and public transit. He says that companies that otherwise would be building trolleys, subways cars and trains are instead going after fat military contracts to build tanks, personnel carriers and other equipment. Feldman joins host Daphne Wysham on the phone from his office in Sweden.