Archive for December, 2006

Setting the World on Fire

December 26th, 2006

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Scientists now say there is a clear link between the increase of wildfires and global warming. As our summers get longer, hotter and drier — wildfires in the Western United States are burning earlier, longer, and larger. Host Mike Tidwell talk about this research and how Congress is reacting with University of Montana Ecologist Steven Running and The Wilderness Society’s Michael Francis, the director of its National Forest Program.

NOAA’s weather forecasting facility in Rapid City, South Dakota was recently in the line of wildfires. Tidwell talks to meteorologist David Carpenter about what it’s like to be evacuated, even when you’re the ones making the forecasts.

Where there’s wildfire, there’s smoke. Tidwell speaks to Harvard University’s Paul Epstein from the Center for Health and the Global Environment. He’s warned for years about the health effects of increased wildfires due to global warming. Joining them to discuss state-by-state actions to highlight efforts to educate health officials about the health dangers of wildfires is Will Callaway of the Physicians for Social Responsibility.

Indigo Teiwes is a mutual fund manager for Portfolio 21, an Oregon firm that specializes in investing in environmentally friendly funds – but she’s also a dedicated fire dancer. Indigo discusses how she balances her day job of saving the environment with her carbon dioxide-emitting hobby.

Indigo performed at this year’s Burning Man festival.

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Children and the Environmental Movement

December 19th, 2006

During the holiday season, visions of sugarplums and flying reindeer dance through children’s heads. In this edition of Earthbeat, host Daphne Wysham reviews the crucial part children play in saving the environment — and how they’re often the smallest victims of environmental pollution.

LastChildPBcover-thumb.jpgRichard Louv is the author of the book, “The Last Child in the Woods: Saving Our Children from Nature Deficit Disorder.” He discusses the dramatic change occuring in children’s attitudes toward nature — they lack the desire to go outside. Louv is one of the leaders of the world-wide “Leave no child inside” campaign.

Children’s book author Lynne Cherry weaves environmental messages throughout her acclaimed picture books. She joins host Daphne Wysham to discuss how even the very youngest children can become environmental activists.

Rick Hind, the legislative director of Greenpeace, discusses the group’s current campaign to highlight the environmental problems caused by building, and disposing of, computers. Hind says one of the targets of Greenpeace’s current campaign is Apple and its ubiquitous iPod. More information on the campaign can be found at Green My Apple-dot-org.

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Hurricanes: Past, Present and Future

December 9th, 2006

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All summer, residents of the Gulf Coast were bracing for the worst — again. But the 2006 defied scientific predictions of another season of monster storms. The winds and weather all along the Gulf Coast was mild and calm.

Joining host Mike Tidwell in the studio to discuss how scientists conduct hurricane predictions and what happened in the 06 season is Howard University’s Director of Atmospheric Sciences — Greg Jenkins.

Flood victims in New Orleans recently won a legal battle with their insurers. The companies argued their policies did not cover man-made disasters like levees bursting, but a judge did not buy it — and if it stands up on appeal, the insurance industry will have to pay out billions more to Hurricane survivors.

How is the industry weathering these continuous storms? Carolyn Gorman, a vice president with the Insurance Information Institute in Washington, DC explains the industry point of view, and Wendy Fullerton Powell, the business editor of the Fort Myer Newspaper, the News-Press, discusses how her reader are reacting to sky-high insurance prices.

While residents of the Gulf Coast took the mild 2006 season to rebuild, there’s another kind of boom going on — a baby boom. Joining host Mike Tidwell on the telephone from New Orleans is Micah Walker Parkin, a program director for the Alliance for Affordable Energy and one of the city’s many new moms.

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NOAA satellite image of Hurricane Katrina

The Supreme Court Takes on Global Warming — The Health of the World’s Oceans

December 5th, 2006

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Host Daphne Wysham discusses the Supreme Court case over whether or not the Environmental Protection Agency should regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act.

Guests include David Bookbinder, senior attorney for the Sierra Club, and Tarek Maasarani, staff attorney and the coordinator of the Climate Science Censorship Investigation for the Government Accountability Project.

Scientists predict that the world’s commerical fisheries in the oceans will completly collapse as early as within the next 50 years. Discussing the health of the world’s oceans are Jane Sack, the Oceans Policy Advisor for Greenpeace, and Mike Hirshfield, the chief scientist and vice president for North America for the ocean protection organization, Oceana.

Leading the way in activism to help the world’s oceans is David Helvarg, the founder of the Blue Frontier Foundation. He joins host Daphne Wysham in discussing the ‘Seaweed Rebellion’ he’s leading. And we’ll have a live ship-to-shore conversation with Adam Walters and the crew of the Esperanza guided by our in-studio guest Steve Smith who just disembarked from the Greenpeace ship.

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