Archive for September, 2006

Nanotechnology

September 26th, 2006

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This week, Earthbeat looks at the coming wave of nanotechnology. While activists have called our attention to corporations owning seeds, plants, even whole animals — multi-national corporations have taken another tack — patenting DNA itself.

Nanotechnology, the science of creating new life forms from scratch, isn’t science fiction — it’s happening right now. On this edition of Earthbeat, we listen to two speakers from the recent What’s Next symposium in Sweden.

First Pat Mooney of the ETC group speaks about the past, present, and not-so distant future of nanotech.

Following Mooney’s presentation at the forum was the ETC Group’s Jim Thomas, speaking about virtual biology.

Host Daphne Wysham spoke to Pat Mooney of the ETC group from his office in Ottawa, Canada about possible ways that governments, organizations, and people can control nanotechnology.

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If you would like to hear the entire What’s Next workshop, including the unedited presenations by Pat Mooney, Jim Thomas and others, please visit this website to download the file.

Political Climate Change

September 18th, 2006

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This week, Earthbeat focuses on political climate change. Rumors are swirling that the Bush administration is about to make some kind of decision on climate change — while Al Gore has entered ‘phase two’ of his global warming agenda.

But while national politicians talk, California and other states have woken up and realized they can’t wait for Washington. Joining host Mike Tidwell to discuss California’s groundbreaking global warming plans is Julie Soderlund, press secretary for California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Rico Mastrodonato, the Northern California Director of that state’s League of Conservation Voters.

Two people who were caught up in the rumor that the Bush Administration would be changing their tune on climate change is David Roberts, a staff writer for the on-line environmental magazine Grist, and Ben Dunham, a staff attorney for the US Public Interest Research Group (PIRG). Both join host Mike Tidwell to discuss the national political agenda on global warming.

And finally, Mike speaks to an EPA scientist who’s been studying sea level rise since the 1980s. James Titus gives his perspective on what it’s like to work under four different White House Administrations.

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* photo copyright Toshio

The World Bank’s Latest Identity Change: Climate Change Financier

September 12th, 2006

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The World Bank and the International Monetary Fund will hold their yearly meeting in Singapore in the coming days. The G8 nations have asked the World Bank to develop an “investment framework” to guide climate change investments for the entire globe.

On this edition of Earthbeat, host Daphne Wysham explores the Bank’s history when it comes to energy lending, looks at the Bank’s current plans, and discusses alternatives to the plans put forward by the Bank.

In the first segment Daphne speaks to Antonio Tricario, a coordinator for the Italian group Campaign to Reform the World Bank. He is one of several dozen invitees to The World Bank meeting who’s been blocked from entering Singapore by that country’s government.

Joining Daphne in the Earthbeat studios to discuss the World Bank’s policies on climate change is Elizabeth Bast, the international policy analyst for the Friends of the Earth in Washington, DC; Michael Marriotte, the executive director of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service; and on the telephone is Patrick McCully, the executive director of the International Rivers Network.

In our second segment, Bast and Marriotte are joined by Robert Goodland, the former chief environmental director of the World Bank; and David Batker, the founder and director of Earth Economics to discuss the World Bank’s past, present and future investment policies.

One of the strategies suggested by the World Bank to combat climate change is so-called ‘clean coal’ technology. This ideas has its supporters, and its critics. Joining Daphne in the Earthbeat studios is Dan Lashof, the science director for the Climate Center at the National Resources Defense Council, and on the telephone is Rob Sargent energy program director for the US Public Interest Research Group.

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Back To School

September 5th, 2006

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This week, Earthbeat goes back to school. Student activism has been a mainstay of most successful social movements in America. Students have the drive, the passion, the knowledge and often the time that is necessary to drive a movement.

Host Mike Tidwell talks about the Campus Climate Challenge with American University sophomore Claire Roby; Jessy Tolkan, the media coordinator for the challenge who’s working with MTV to get the word out about the effort; and to Matt Stern, the Mid-Atlantic Regional Campus Coordinator.

Are students really necessary for true social change? Host Mike Tidwell will get an answer to that question and an overview of student activism in America from noted author and sociologist, Todd Gitlin. Gitlin is the author of “Letters to a Young Activist” among many other books.
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One of the goals of the Campus Climate Challenge is getting universities to pursue clean, renewable energy. Catholic University in Washington, DC has been years ahead of other schools, thanks to one man. Mike Tidwell speaks to Bob Burhenn, the Director of Engineering and Energy Utility Management at Catholic, as well as the Paul Copleman of Community Energy, Inc, the company that sells clean wind energy.

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