Archive for the ‘Global Warming’ Category

World on the Edge – A Discussion with Author Lester Brown

February 10th, 2011

The world is facing a potentially devastating ‘Food Bubble,’ that according to pioneering environmentalist Lester Brown. in his new work – ‘World on the Edge’ – Lester seeks to reconcile dueling predictions of our future: The scientists who say climate change will cause incredible disruption in our food, water and energy sources; And the economists who continue to predict steadily increasing world growth.

Lester’s earlier book, ‘Plan B’ will be the subject of an upcoming PBS television special hosted by Matt Damon this Spring. Host Daphne Wysham sits down with the founder of the Earth Policy Institute – Lester Brown – for a look into the world’s future.

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High-Tech Theft of Carbon Trades, Defending the Clean Air Act & GE Alfalfa

February 1st, 2011

A high-tech heist of international carbon trading credits. Thieves steal millions of dollars worth of ‘vouchers’ for carbon emissions right out of the bank accounts of European traders. We’ll discuss how this daring theft underscores the weaknesses of cap and trade schemes with Jutta Kill, the climate change campaigner for FERN, an environmental and social justice group that focuses on the European Union and the EU’s impact on forests around the world.

Then, the EPA’s regulation of greenhouse gases comes under attack by Congress.  Some say the EPA is barreling ahead on regulations – others say it’s too little, too late. Joining us to discuss the EPA and its use of the Clean Air Act is Nathan Richardson, a lawyer at the non-partisan think-tank Resources for the Future and Kevin Bundy, a senior attorney for the the Center for Biological Diversity.

Then, Monsanto succeeds in pushing genetically engineered alfalfa on American consumers and organic farmers. Joining us to discuss the effects this GE crop may have on milk, beef and bees is Will Fantel, the co-director of the Cornucopia Institute and Patty Lovera, the assistant director of Food and Water Watch.

Image from Digital Monkey via Flickr, used via a Create Commons license.

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Shadowy White House Office Silences Gov’t Scientists; China’s Carbon Capture Plans & Palm Oil Plantations Destroy Indonesia’s Rainforests

January 25th, 2011

This week the Environmental Protection Agency announced that – despite a White House directive – the EPA will not be changing its current standards for answering media questions about its research.

On December of last year, 2010, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy issued a memo directing all agencies, including the EPA, to develop and implement policies clarifying agency scientists’ right to speak and publish their work, talk to the media, and be free of any political alteration of scientific documents.

But in reality, many say far too little has changed since the repressive Bush Administration, and they charge that the White House memo was weakened by the White House Office of Management and Budget. Washington, DC based freelance writer, Joseph A Davis, has covered the OMB and its power plays to control federal agencies for over 30 years. Joe’s reports on the OMB and scientific freedom are available at Climate Science Watch.

When Chinese President Hu Jintao wrapped up his United States visit he returned to China with a historic agreement to focus on clean energy. But part of the plan is ‘carbon capture and storage’ a scheme in which carbon is captured from industrial sources like coal-fired power plants and then stored by injecting it deep into the Earth.

According to Peter Montague, the executive director for the Environmental Research Foundation, carbon capture and storage is an expensive waste of time and money that will extend our use of fossil fuels. Also joining us is Sarah Forbes, a senior associate for climate and energy at World Resource Institute, the organization that is working with China and the US to ensure that CCS, if to happens, is done safely and effectively.

The relatively small island nation of Indonesia is one of the world’s top producers of greenhouse gases. What puts this Southeast Asian country right in there with the United States and China is the deforestation. One of the biggest threats to the Indonesian rainforest are palm oil plantations. Joining Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham to discuss international funding for these plantations is Marcus Colchester, director of the Forest Peoples Program.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes “Secret” by Orchestral Manoeuvers in the Dark. Our theme music is “Baladi” by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Photo by Gavin Westwood via Flickr, used via a Create Commons license.

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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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Success on Coal-Fired Power, Spying on Greens and Testing Nuclear Weapons on People

January 6th, 2011

The sweet smell of success on coal-fired power. Joining host Daphne Wysham on this ‘best of 2010′ program is Bruce Nilles, the director of the Sierra Club’s national coal campaign, joins us to discuss how nearly all of the 150 planned coal-fired power plants have been stopped nationwide.

Even as the Federal Justice Department says the FBI was wrong to investigate on environmental activists – states are hiring private companies to do the spying for them. Discussing this tactic is Mike German, a former FBI agent and now a policy counsel with the ACLU. Giving us a Pennsylvania perspective is Donald Gilliland, a reporter for Pennsylvania’s state capitol newspaper – the Harrisburg Patriot News, and Gene Stilp, a Pennsylvania activist and the creator of the “Pink Pig,” a massive 25-foot inflatable pig used in protests.

Then, how the US Government tested nuclear weapons on the people living in the Marshall Islands. Bob Alvarez, a senior scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies, testified recently before Congress on how the government is now considering cutting off support for the roughly 62,000 affected islanders.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes “Coal Miners Daughter’ by Loretta Lynn and “Somebody’s Watching Me” by Rockwell. Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Image by Russ Walker via Flickr used through Creative Commons license.

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Factory Farms, The Story of Electronics & Our Pursuit of Treasure

December 28th, 2010

A new online map of factory farms highlights how the industry continues to consolidate into massive cattle and chicken farms – and is still pushing the opposite of ‘eat local.’ Patty Lovera of Food and Water Watch joins host Daphne Wysham to review their new Factory Farm map.

‘Tis the season for … returning those gifts. An effort is underway to get computer and mp3 player manufactures to accept returns of their older models – keeping potentially toxic chemicals out of landfills. Joining us to discuss The Story of Electronics is Ted Smith, the coordinator of the International Campaign for Responsible Technology and chair of the Electronics Take Back Coalition, and Allison Cook, special coordinator with the Story of Stuff Project.

Then, how human’s innate desire for ‘treasure’ could be harnessed to drive us toward a more sustainable future. Saleem Ali is the author of the book Treasures of the Earth: Need, Greed and a Sustainable Future. He’s a professor of Environmental Studies at the University of Vermont.

Some additional information on how to safely get rid of your electronics can be found at the International Campaign for Responsible Technology, StopSamsung, the Asia Monitor Resource Center, Schools and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehavior and GoodElectronics.

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Renewable Revolutions; US Military Goes Green & Big Wins for Forests

December 21st, 2010

Renewable energy had a fantastic year what with Google’s investment in offshore wind and the Chevy Volt – the first mass-produced entirely electric car.

Chris Flavin, the president of The Worldwatch Institute, joins host Daphne Wysham to discuss the worldwide successes in renewable energy, and giving us an in-depth view of wind’s successes is Michael Goggin, transmission policy manager for the American Wind Energy Association.

China’s advancements in clean energy is inspiring the United States to finally take direct action – but the answer is mostly military. Joining us to decipher China’s plans, and the American response, is the Institute for Policy Studies‘ Miriam Pemberton.

Brazil has succeeded dramatically in protecting its rainforest from deforestation. Joining us to discuss how Brazil did it, and how other countries could follow their lead is Doug Boucher, the director of the Tropical Forest and Climate Initiative at the Union of Concerned Scientists and Leila Salazar-Lopez, the Rainforest Action agribusiness campaign director.

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Outcomes from the Cancun Climate Conf. & An Eyewitness to Haiti Upheaval

December 14th, 2010

International governments agree to a weakened outcome from the Cancun climate meeting. The World Bank will run the financing and the G-20 countries seem to be running the show. Joining us to discuss the disappointing outcome from the United Nations climate meeting in Cancun is Maude Barlow of the environmental group the Council of Canadians.

Reporting from the streets of Haiti, Beverly Bell tells us about the protests surrounding the suspect outcome of the Presidential election – and how this island nation is dealing with the triple whammy of political upheaval, disease outbreaks and international interference. Bell is with the Other Worlds Project and the Institute for Policy Studies.

In June, we spoke to Beverly Bell about how Haitian farmers were choosing to burn Monstanto seeds instead of planting them.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes “Activity” by ‘Bonga and the Vodou Drums of Haiti’ from the album Many Hands, Family Music for Haiti. Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Image from Oxfam International – used under a Creative Commons license via Flickr.

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Cancun Talks Put a Price on Soil Carbon, Capitol Hill Climate Battles & Greenpeace Sues Its Spies

December 7th, 2010

Soil carbon and genetically modified crops are now the latest hot commodity in carbon markets. Joining us from the the United Nations climate talks in Cancun, Mexico, is Deepak Rughani of Biofuel Watch. He’ll explain how this is driving up the price of land globally, with severe consequences for the poorest.

Then we hear from Joe Romm of the website Climate Progress who gives us his assessment of the state of play on Capitol Hill, where climate denialists will duke it out with regulators from the Environmental Protection Agency.

And we hear from Greenpeace senior researcher Charlie Cray and intelligence expert and investigative reporter Jim Bamford on a lawsuit filed by Greenpeace against public relations firms and former employees of the National Security Agency who engaged in corporate espionage on Greenpeace and other groups. More information on the lawsuit can be found at

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes “Willow Tree” by G Love and the Special Sauce and ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police. Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

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

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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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