Archive for July, 2008

Gore’s Carbon-Free Energy Plan

July 29th, 2008

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Al Gore recently announced an ambitious energy goal for America. He’s called on the United States to produce all of its electricity from carbon-free, renewable energy sources within 10 years.

Joining host Daphne Wysham to discuss the economic and political feasibility of the plan is Congressman Jay Inslee, the Democratic Representative for the 1st District of Washington, State. Inslee is also the co-author of Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. Joining the conversation is S. David Freeman, he has over 30 years of experience in Washington’s energy politics, and he’s the author of Winning Our Energy Independence: An Energy Insider Shows How.

Breaking down the details of solar power and how it fits into America’s economy is Jon Rynn, an energy commentator for the online magazine Grist – and Harvey Wasserman, the author of Solartopia! Our Green-Powered Earth.

Ilyse Hogue is the Communications Director for the nonprofit Internet organizing group – Move On. She joins the conversation to discuss how Al Gore’s message is reaching the new wired world.

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

Music for this edition of Earthbeat is ‘Electricity’ by Spiritualized, and ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’ by Sparklehorse.

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

Photo by courtesy of Juampe Lopez via Flickr, all rights reserved.

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

Offshore Energy: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

July 22nd, 2008

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Today on Earthbeat – host Mike Tidwell talks about the Good, the Bad and the Ugly in Offshore Energy.

The Bush Administration lifted the more than 20-year ban on drilling for oil off America’s coasts — and the Democrats responded with a plan to drill on already open lands.

We’ll hear from the President of the Congressional House class of 2006 – Congressman Paul Hodes of New Hampshire speaks about why even the Democrats are pushing more drilling for oil. Joining the conversation is Joe Romm, the author of Hell and High Water and a senior fellow at the nonpartisan, nonprofit group the Center for American Progress. Athan Manual, the director of Public Lands Protection for the Sierra Club, joins the conversation from Capitol Hill.

What about the OTHER offshore energy source – wind? Jim Lanard is the head of strategic planning at BluewaterWind. His company just received the very first agreement to provide offshore wind power to an American utility company. Joining the discussion with a view from Capitol Hill is Christine Real de Azua, the spokeswoman for the American Wind Energy Association.

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

Music for this edition of Earthbeat are two songs by Congressman Paul Hodes’ other endeavor, the singing group Peggo and Paul. ‘Acres of Clams’ is from their album Patchwork Quilt and ‘This Little Light of Mine’ is from Stand Up! Speak Out!

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

Photo by Matthew Potochick courtesy of Flickr, all rights reserved.

Native American Solutions

July 15th, 2008

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The Native American teacher, leader and activist — Dennis Banks — came to national attention almost 40 years ago when he took part in occupying Alcatraz Island in an attempt to claim the abandoned government prison as a center for Native American Studies. After 18 months, he and the other organizers were forcibly removed, an action that led to an event called The Trail of Broken Treaties or The Longest Walk in 1972.

Now, in the face of climate change dramatically affecting life on the reservations — drying up marshes, wildfires and floods on the Indian nations — The American Indian Movement and other supporters held a sequel, dubbed The Longest Walk 2.

This 8 thousand-mile trek came to its completion in July in Washington, DC. It began, like its predecessor, at Alcatraz Island in the San Francisco Bay. This walk followed two routes — a southern one through Texas, Tennessee and North Carolina — and a northern one through Nevada, Illinois and Pennsylvania.

Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham joined the founder of the American Indian Movement — Dennis Banks — the new leader of the group — Tashina Banks Moore — and two of the walkers themselves in one of the event’s tipis that were erected in the shadow of the U.S. Capitol.

Modern scientists are now beginning to study the Earth as one system, as if it was one living organism with many, many parts. This idea is called “Gaia Theory” and while it’s new to scientists — native peoples have viewed the Earth as a living being for thousands of years. At an Gaia conference held in the DC area, Native American Lloyd Pinkham spoke about Native Science, a practice that covers social, economic, natural and wildlife resources.

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

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

Challenging Coal Redux

July 8th, 2008

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Coal is a dark and dirty source of energy — it’s also the source of about 80 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

So why is the coal industry pushing to build over 100 new coal-fired power plants across America? They’re rushing construction before Congress finally sets caps on greenhouse gases. But activists are fighting back.

Patrice Simms, a senior project attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council joins host Mike Tidwell in this encore broadcast of Earthbeat to discuss coal nationwide.

Then we focus on one plant planned in Wise County, Virginia. Joining us from Charlottesville, Virginia is Cale Jaffe, the lead attorney fighting against the planned Dominion Virginia power plant. Cale is a staff attorney with the Southern Environmental Law Center. Joining him is Matt Wasson, the conservation director for the group, Appalachian Voices.

Finally, we talk about the people living in the shadows of coal. Nick Miroff is a staff writer for the Washington Post – his story on prescription drug abuse among coal miners can be read here. Joining him is Kathy Selvage. She’s a citizen activist and the vice president of the group – Southern Appalachian Mountain Stewards.

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

Music for this edition of Earthbeat comes from Moving Mountains: Voices of Appalachia.

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

Nigeria

July 3rd, 2008

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Recently, armed rebels in Nigeria attacked an enormous oil facility in the Niger Delta. That and other attacks cut Nigeria’s oil production to its lowest level in nearly two decades — and sent America’s gasoline prices even higher. Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham speaks to Nnimmo Bassey, the executive director of Environmental Right Action / Friends of the Earth, in Nigeria. John Ghazvinian, the author of Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil, and Michael Watts, the director of African Studies at the University of California, Berkeley, join the conversation.

Then we look at the upside of the high price of oil – stopping suburban sprawl. Filmmaker Andrea Torrice discusses her latest work that focuses on the economic justice issues of sprawl with Carl Anthony of Earth House Leadership Center. And we hear about the connections between high gas prices and the bursting of the housing bubble with Joe Cortright, an economic analyst for Impresa Consulting in Portland, Oregon.

Then, we discuss the possibilities of plug-in hybrid cars with David Sandalow, a senior fellow on foreign policy at the Brookings Institution.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat is from Thievery Corporation.

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