Archive for September, 2007

False Promise of Big Coal

September 26th, 2007

Marsh_Fork_Elementary_School_2004.jpg

Marsh Fork Elementary School – surrounded by silos full of dirty coal and slurry ponds.

On this edition of Earthbeat, we hear about the Appalachian elementary school that is just downhill of a massive pond of ‘slurry’ left behind from Mountain Top Removal mining. Host Daphne Wysham speaks to Coal River Mountain Watch’s Judy Bonds, Bobby Mitchell, Lorelei Scarboo as well as Alan Johnson for Christians for the Mountains.

Mary Anne Hitt is the director of Appalachian Voices and a native to the area. She spoke passionately about the effects of coal mining on both the land, and the culture, of Appalachia. Following up on her talk at the IFG/IPS Teach-In was Jeff Goodell. He’s a contributor to the New York Times magazine, and the author of Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America’s Energy Future.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat comes from Moving Mountains – an album that benefits the fight against Mountain Top Removal Mining. The first song is “The Fiddler’s Ballad” by Jen Osha with Wolf Creek Session and the second is “Underneath a Blackened Moon” by Keith & Joan Pitzer.

Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Photo courtesy of Brittany Williams of Coal River Mountain Watch.

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

Ice, Ice Baby

September 18th, 2007

calvingW.jpg

Today on Earthbeat — the ice at the North Pole nearly melted away this summer. The world’s governments have rushed in – ironically not to save the ice, but to exploit the oil beneath the formerly frozen sea.

Host Mike Tidwell speaks to Mark Serreze of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the University of Colorado, Boulder.

What’s also on ice is any constructive action by the Bush Administration on climate change. The President will hold a two-day climate meeting in Washington, DC in the coming weeks, but authorities and activists say this meeting is nothing but bunk. Alden Meyer of the Union of Concerned Scientists discusses the administration’s policy moves, while youth activist Richard Graves highlights the on-the-ground action planned during the meeting. Graves is the with the website, It’s Getting Hot in Here.

It’s been a summer of records, from melting arctic ice, to droughts, to flooding. With a climate news roundup is Joe Romm, the author of the book Hell and High Water and with the climate blog, Climate Progress.

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

Music for this week’s show included ‘Eskimo’ and ‘Cold Water’ by Damien Rice.

Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Image used courtesy of Amanda Graham, Yukon White Light, copyright 2006.

Mountaintop Removal Mining

September 12th, 2007

kayford2_tn.jpg

On this encore edition of Earthbeat — Mountain Justice Summer is an effort to highlight the problems surrounding what’s called “Mountaintop Removal Mining.” Often called ‘strip mining on steriods’ this type of coal mining removes the entire top of mountains to get at coal reserves underneath. Joining co-host Daphne Wysham in the studio is Brian Bernhardt of Mountain Justice Summer, and on the phone is Vernon Halton from the Whitesville, West Virginia offices of Coal River Mountain Watch.

Labeling of organic foods is a contentious issue. Mark Kastel joins Daphne from the dairy state of Wisconsin to discuss the efforts of The Cornucopia Institute. It’s pushing the USDA for stricter standards for organic milk — and has rated organic milk marketers on a ‘cow scale’ measuring how much of their milk comes from small family farms.

Every year, a massive ‘Dead Zone’ in the Gulf of Mexico is created by the Mississippi River bringing fertilizer into the Gulf. Joining Daphne in the studio is Mary Booth, a senior scientist with the Washington, DC based Environmental Working Group. Booth says that most of the fertilizer pollution comes from only a few tax-subsidized farms. She says that limiting the amount of tax breaks and subsidies to these farms could help to greatly clean up the Gulf.

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

Music for this week’s show came from Falling Mountain Music and from Dana Lyons, the song “Cows with Guns.” (Be sure to watch the flash animation version on Lyon’s website here.)

Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Image by Vivian Stockman, of the Ohio Valley Environmental Coaltion.

Moving the Movement Forward

September 4th, 2007

fastimage.jpg

The world’s woken up to climate change — now the struggle will be keeping the movement moving.

Earthbeat host Mike Tidwell debates the benefits of a proliferation of climate activist groups with Betsy Taylor — the founder of the Maryland social justice organization Center for a New American Dream. Betsy is organizing a new endeavor to link climate activists under one umbrella organization — 1 Sky.

Fasting may seem like an odd way to combat climate change — but as Gandhi has shown, personal sacrifice opens the doors to empathy and to change. So Others May Eat is an effort by over a thousand people to put down their spoons and speak up on climate change. Fast organizers Ted Glick and Ibrahim Ramey join Earthbeat host Mike Tidwell and others in this personal effort to get Congress to acknowledge the climate crisis.

Eban Goodstein is one of the leaders of a massive movement on college campuses this fall — Focus the Nation. A massive teach-in on climate change will culminate in a day of action on January 31st.

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

Music used in this edition of Earthbeat: Ding-a-Dong and Tennessee Town by the Netherlands group Teach-in.

Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.