Archive for the ‘BP’ Category

Earth Day – the State of the World, BP One Year Later, US Whistleblower Says Fukushima Could Happen Here & Oil Companies’ Control Over Media

April 21st, 2011

Reflections on the 41st anniversary of Earth Day, the Fukushima nuclear crisis, the Chernobyl 25th anniversary, the one year anniversary of the BP blowout, and signs of hope from across the country with Brent Blackwelder and Antonia Juhasz.

Brent is the president emeritus of the Friends of the Earth and Antonia is the director of the Energy Program at Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based human rights non-profit organization.

A Fukushima-like hydrogen explosion could happen at the Hanford Nuclear Waste facilities, that’s according to whistleblower Walt Tamosaitis. The Hanford site in Washington State is home to two-thirds  of the nation’s high-level radioactive waste. Joining Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham to discuss Walt’s case – and his being fired for speaking out – is Tom Devine, part of Walt’s legal team and the legal director for the Government Accountability Project.

Oil companies like Chevron work with the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and other newspapers to place their advertisements directly opposite the paper’s environmental reporting. Discussing the corporate control of environmental reporting is Kert Davies, Greenpeace’s Research Director and Sut Jhally, a professor in the communications department at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Kert Davies mentions the Powell Memo, a document written by Supreme Court Justice Lewis S. Powell before he joined the US Supreme Court that outlines how corporations should fight back against negative public opinion – and the American Petroleum Institute’s work to undermine climate science. Also discussed is the book, Merchants of Doubt.

Here’s a recent op-ed on the Fukushima crisis and other energy issues by Earthbeat Host Daphne Wysham.

Photo used via a creative commons license via Flickr.

US Nuclear Safety Called into Question, Oil Spill Effects Continue in the Gulf and the EPA’s New Mercury Rules

March 22nd, 2011

Spent fuel rods have come into focus as a result of the partial meltdown in Fukushima, Japan. Yet the same problem of unsafe quantities of spent fuel exists, stored at nuclear power plants, with even greater quantities of spent fuel in the US, according to Bob Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies – yet, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has ignored warnings on this problem. We hear from Alvarez on this issue, and we hear from Jeffrey Patterson of Physicians for Social Responsibility, who claims there is no safe level of radiation, and that it is only a matter of time before an accident similar to Fukushima’s happens in the US unless we act swiftly.

Then we hear from BBC investigative journalist Greg Palast who reveals that the same company that has allegedly covered up safety problems in the partial meltdowns of nuclear power plants in Japan – Tokyo Electric Power – is planning on helping to build two nuclear power plants in Texas, with financial backing from the Obama administration.

Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham moderated a debate over America’s nuclear industry between Arjun Makhijani, the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research, and Eileen Supko, a vice president of Energy Resources International, a nuclear fuel consulting company in Washington, DC.

The audio and video of the debate is derived from our television partnership with The Real News Network.

More at The Real News

The US Coast Guard is investigating reports of new oil slicks in the Gulf of Mexico from a spill about 30 miles offshore. For many Gulf residents, reports of a new spill just adds to the astounding amount of oil and toxic dispersants they’re still living with from the massive BP oil disaster nearly one year ago. Rocky Kistner just returned from the Gulf and joins us to discuss the new spill and health concerns of residents along the Gulf. Rocky is a communications associate with the Natural Resources Defense Council.

Finally, some good news, for the first time, the EPA is setting a national standard for mercury and other air pollution from power plants. Mercury and other air toxics like arsenic, chromium, nickel and acid gases cause as many as 17,000 premature deaths each year and they’re likely the source for 120,000 cases of childhood asthma, says the EPA. Gabe Wisniewski, Greenpeace’s coal campaign director, joins us to discuss the new rules.

Music in this edition of the show includes ‘Excuse Me Mister’ by Ben Harper and ‘Gone’ by Jack Johnson. Our theme music is “Baladi” by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Image from Bigod, used via Flickr with a Creative Commons license.

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Nuclear Disaster in Japan; Human Health Consequences of Radiation Exposure; and the True Price of Oil

March 15th, 2011

Nuclear power plants in Japan are exploding as the country struggles to cool them down and recover from the massive earthquake and ensuing tsunami. Joining host Daphne Wysham to discuss the latest on the disaster is Damon Moglen. Damon is the director of the climate and energy program for the Friends of the Earth.

Doctor Ira Helfand, the past president of Physicians for Social Responsibility, tells us how the radiation released will affect people and the effects of potassium iodide pills. He advises US residents on how to prepare in case of radioactive fallout in the US.

In the light of the disaster, the French government released a memo advising its citizens to leave Tokyo.

The BP oil spill continues to kill wildlife along America’s Gulf Coast. Antonia Juhasz tells us the latest on the BP spill, the Chevron spill in Ecuador and how instability globally is affecting prices at the pump. Antonia is the director of the energy program at Global Exchange, a San Francisco-based humans rights group. She’s the author of the book The Tyranny of Oil and up forthcoming book is Black Tide: The Devastating Impact of the Gulf Oil Spill.

Samantha Joye at the University of Georgia continues to research the Gulf Oil Spill.

Music during the breaks from this week’s show is the song “Rescue” by Sanjay Mishra from the CD by the same name.

Select the image below to view Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham’s interview with author Harvey Wasserman on The Real News Network.

photo: Kim Kyung-hoon / Reuters. caption: Officials in protective gear check for signs of radiation on children who are from the evacuation area near the Fukushima Daini nuclear plant in Koriyama, Japan, March 13.

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Taking on Corporations and Giving Rights to Nature, Why 1 in 3 Children is Chronically Ill, and Wild Weather and Media Silence on Climate Connections

January 18th, 2011

Wild weather is occurring all over the world and yet news reports seem to miss the obvious link between these extreme weather events and the ongoing effects of climate change. Joining us to discuss the limitations – and possibilities – of news coverage on climate change is Andrew Revkin. Andrew is the Dot Earth blogger for the New York Times and a senior fellow for environmental understanding at Pace University.

A new strategy is catching on that gives communities the right to kick corporations out of their communities, while granting ecosystems “rights”. Mari Margil is the associate director of the group that’s spearheading this effort – Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund.

Then, a new book explores the why it is that one in three children is chronically ill. Host Daphne Wysham speaks to Alice Shabecoff about her book Poisoned for Profit. Alice is the former national director for the National Consumers League. Her co-author on “Poisoned for Profit” is Philip Shabecoff, a former environmental reporter for the New York Times and the founder of Greenwire.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes “Freakin’ Frackin’” by Op-Critical and “Modern Age” by Eric Hutchinson. Our theme music is “Baladi”  by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Photo of the Brisbane flooding of 2011 – by Erik Veland. Used via a creative commons license.

Here’s Erik’s comment on the flooding: “While I am not directly affected by the flood myself, as a freelance designer most my clients have and I am left without work. If you want to license any of these photos commercially, please contact me. You are still free to use the photos for non-commercial purposes, but if you can, please consider making a PayPal donation to so I can continue to eat and pay my rent. In return I contribute shelter and power to those in need around me. If you are affected by the floods and need space or power, please also contact me.”

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U.S. Gov’t BP Report Blames Bad Management; Danger in our Drinking Water, & A Tribute to a Mountaintop Removal Heroine

January 13th, 2011

A report by the Environmental Working Group on contaminated water forces the EPA to thoroughly investigate.  EWG’s senior scientist Olga Naidenko, outlines changes that needed to happen.

The US government’s final report on the BP oil disaster targets “bad management,” – but that’s not the whole story. Freelance journalist Dahr Jamal and Tyson Slocum, director of the Energy Program of Public Citizen fill in the details.

Finally,  Bo Webb of Coal River Mountain Watch and host Daphne Wysham offer a tribute to Judy Bonds, called the godmother of the battle against mountaintop removal coal mining, who died on January 3, 2011.

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

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Cancun Conundrums and Canadians Undercut US Climate Laws

November 30th, 2010

Documents have come to light that show that Canadian diplomats have been working in DC to try to kill or limit laws that enact clean fuels standards that would restrict the sale of oil from dirty Canadian tar sands flowing into the US. The diplomats quietly asked companies like Exxon Mobil and BP to help them crush clean energy reforms. Joining us in our Washington, DC studios is Danielle Droitsch, the US Policy Director for the environmental think-tank Pembina who discusses the disturbing attempts by these diplomats to “debunk” the toxic effects of tar sands exploration on First Nations peoples.

And, in what’s been called a major breakthrough – over 400 companies around the world have agreed to start using climate-friendly refrigeration techniques. Amy Larkin, Greenpeace’s Solutions Director, helped to put together the agreement that will cut the amount of climate-killing HFCs released into our atmosphere.

Then we hear from representatives who joined nearly 200 nations gathered in Cancun, Mexico this week for the next round of United Nations-sponsored climate negotiations. Joining host Daphne Wysham from the meeting are Ann Peterman, the executive director of the Global Justice Ecology Project to discuss the UN plans for Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) and its effects on indigenous peoples. Janet Redman of the Institute for Policy Studies and Kristen Hite, an attorney for the Climate Change Program at the Center for International Environmental Law also join us to discuss climate finance and REDD.

A recent lawsuit filed on behalf of Ecuador essentially sues the oil company BP on behalf of Mother Nature for the disaster that occurred this summer along America’s Gulf Coast. Nnimmo Bassey of the Friends of the Earth International joins us from Cancun to discuss the meeting the intent of the lawsuit.

Image by Oxfam, used under a Creative Commons license via Flickr.

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BP Oil Disaster – 6 Months Later, by Terry Tempest Williams

October 19th, 2010


Acclaimed environmental author Terry Tempest Williams joins us to discuss her reporting on the BP oil disaster – and the following cover-up – along America’s Gulf Coast.

Terry spent weeks bearing witness to the devastation that followed the explosion of a deep water oil drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico. In her article for Orion Magazine, Terry shares the stories of people living with the spill’s toxic effects, and trying to make a living in a part of America that many would like to forget.

Terry shares these stories with Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham for the entire hour of this broadcast.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat is by Tab Beniot.

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Cousteau on the BP Oil Spill & Our Ocean Future; Vandana Shiva on Activism & How Mushrooms May Replace Plastics

October 14th, 2010


Jacques Cousteau “would be heartbroken” at the current state of our world’s oceans, that’s according to Jacques’ oldest son, Jean-Michel Cousteau. Today on Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham speaks to Jean-Michel about the legacy of his famous father and about Jean-Michel’s upcoming film series about the BP oil disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. Jean-Michel’s book is titled, My Father, The Captain and he founded the Ocean Futures Society. Jean-Michel is touring the country with the NG Live series.

Environmental pioneer, Vandana Shiva was part of the Chipko movement in India that actually led to the term ‘treehugger.’ She speaks to Daphne about that action in an interview taped in London a in 2007.

Mushrooms could replace our dependence on plastics for packing materials, that’s if product designer Eben Bayer has his way. Eban spoke about his fungus-based material in a TED talk.

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

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BP’s Billion-Dollar Deal, Toxic Infants and ‘The Bag Monster’

September 7th, 2010

07 - Bag Monster

The Feds set up a $20 (B) billion dollar trust with BP to clean up the massive oil disaster the Gulf. Tyson Slocum of Public Citizen and Kate Sheppard of Mother Jones Magazine join host Daphne Wysham to discuss the fund, and its limitations.

Infants are born ‘pre-loaded’ with over 300 chemicals in their blood, that’s according to a new study by the Environmental Working Group. EWG senior researcher Jane Houlihan discusses toxic chemicals like BPA and tells us how to protect ourselves and our children.

Then, The Bag Monster attacks our studios. Andy Keller, aka The Bag Monster, comes into our studios to discuss the thousands of plastic shopping bags that pollute waterways and greenspaces. Joining the Bag Monster to discuss plastic bag pollution – and the failure of a ban on plastic bags in the California state legislature is Bryan Early of Californians Against Waste.

Image : The Bag Monster invades St. Louis, copyright Andy Keller

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Continuing Impact of Oil in Gulf Waters, Mining Whistleblower Speaks Out Against Massey, and UK Transition Towns

July 20th, 2010

The April 5th, 2000 Massey Energy coal mine explosion in Upper Big Branch, West Virginia, was the deadliest mining disaster in 40 years. Whistleblower Jack Spadaro speaks out against Massey Energy and US government officials who fired him for criticizing Massey’s failure to implement safeguards that could have prevented the discharge of toxic coal slurry–a spill at least 25 times larger than the Exxon Valdez oil spill. Spadero alleges that the same man who pushed him out under formerPresident George W. Bush in 2000 for investigating Massey wrongdoing is now playing a key role in the investigation of the Massey coal mine explosion in 2010.

Then, joining us after a recent trip to the Gulf of Mexico is David Helvarg, the author of ” Saved By the Sea: A Love Story with Fish” and founder and president of the marine conservation group Blue Frontier. Helvarg speaks about the effects of the BP oil spill on aquatic life and a promising stewardship initiative implemented by the Obama Administration to protect the oceans, coastlines, and Great Lakes.

Rob Hopkins, the co-founder of Transition Towns in the UK, speaks to host Daphne Wysham on the opportunities of peak oil. Transition Town Totnes (TTT), the original Transition Town, has served as a model for the 321 Transition Towns worldwide striving to sustain themselves in a world beyond oil.

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