Archive for the ‘Oceans’ 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.

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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.

Fukushima’s Informational Fallout; Obama’s Nuclear Connections; Billionaires & Salazar Push Coal in Wyoming; EJ Leaders Celebrate Halt to Cap and Trade

March 29th, 2011

The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has quietly doubled what it considers “safe” exposure levels to nuclear radiation. Japan issues conflicting claims about levels of radioactivity. The French and Austrian governments are putting forth different numbers on the radiation emerging from Japan.

Joining host Daphne Wysham to discuss the reliability – or lack thereof – of claims of “safety” in the aftermath of the Fukushima disaster is Dr. Arjun Makhijani, the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research. Makhijani is the author of numerous reports and books, including the book “Carbon-Free and Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy.”

** Update: The US EPA is testing milk for radiation contamination. **

Mary Olson is the director of the Southeast Office of the Nuclear Information and Resource Service. She explains how President Obama’s ties to the nuclear industry include some of his closest advisers, staff, and fundraisers. She also explores the challenging issues around nuclear waste storage and transport.

Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham interviewed the Institute for Policy Studies‘ Bob Alvarez about spent fuel here in the U.S. for our television partners – The Real News.

More at The Real News

The US has opened up huge swaths of public land in Wyoming to coal mining in a deal that involves billionaires Warren Buffett and Bill Gates. Jeff Biggers gives us the latest. Biggers is the author of “Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland.”

Finally, environmental justice activists declared victory in California courts, bringing cap and trade to a halt in the state. We hear from attorney and plaintiff Angela Johnson-Meszaros on why they challenged cap and trade and what’s next.

Additional information and audio will be posted shortly.

Image by Abode of Chaos, used via a Creative Commons license from Flickr.

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

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

Breaking News::: Nuclear Experts on Japanese Crisis & US Nuclear Industry

March 18th, 2011

Radioactive spent fuel rods – similar to those currently in crisis in Japan – are stored at US power plants in concentrations that are FOUR times what the plants were designed to hold – and those storage sites are NOT required to have nuclear-safety rated containment or backup power generators. That’s according to the Institute for Policy Studies’ Bob Alvarez.

Alvarez spoke as part of a press conference held today (Friday March 18) at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.

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Moderator: Erich Pica, President of Friends of the Earth

Peter Bradford, former member of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and former chair of the Maine and New York utility commissions. Bradford teaches energy policy and law at the Vermont Law School and has taught at the Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

 

Robert Alvarez, Senior Scholar at the Institute for Policy Studies. Alvarez researches nuclear disarmament, environmental, and energy policies. He served as a senior policy adviser to the Energy Department’s secretary and deputy assistant secretary from 1993 to 1999. http://www.ips-dc.org/nuclear

 

Dr. Jeffrey Patterson, radioactive exposure expert and a board member of Physicians for Social Responsibility. Patterson is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine at the University of Wisconsin and Public Health. He maintains an active family practice and teaches residents in family medicine. He traveled to Chernobyl in 1986 with a delegation of physicians.

Photo Above: A one-year-old boy is re-checked for radiation exposure after being decontaminated in Nihonmatsu, Fukushiima, northern Japan Monday, March 14, 2011. (AP Photo/Asahi Shimbun, Toru Nakata)

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.

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

Women Creating Real Environmental Change

March 11th, 2011

Today on Earthbeat, in celebration of the 100th anniversary of International Women’s History month – we talk to women and girls who are making a difference.

Award-winning children’s book author Lynne Cherry focuses on environmental issues. Her latest project Young Voices on Climate Change brings her work to a new medium – film.

The bailout of Wall Street led to billions of taxpayer money going toward banks – instead of people. Nia Robinson, the former director of the Environmental Justice and Climate Change Initiative, spoke with us about how these funds could have gone toward helping African-American communities cope with climate change.

Actress Q’orianka Kilcher co-starred in the Hollywood movie ‘The New World.’ She now works to spread the message of environmental justice in her native Peru and around the world.

Niaz Dorry, Time Magazine Hero for the Planet, and director of the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance, is working to bring the ‘buy local’ food movement out to sea.

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes Protect the World, Last Day on Earth by Kate Miller-Heidke, and Scale Down by Rising Appalachia. Our theme music is “Baladi” by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Photo by SIDA.

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

Fracking Comes Under Fire, Oil Refineries Endanger Millions & The EPA’s Embattled History

March 4th, 2011

The EPA undertakes the first national study of fracking for natural gas – while communities near so-called fracking sites find radium in their water and scientists reveal that natural gas isn’t as climate-friendly as once thought. Joining host Daphne Wysham is Abrahm Lustgarten, the author of the ongoing investigation of fracking for the non-profit journalism group – ProPublica.

Decrepit oil refineries threaten the health of at least 16 million Americans – and safer chemicals alternatives that could be used are ignored by oil companies. Reporter Jim Morris investigated the records of more than 50 oil refineries across America for the investigative journalism group – The Center for Public Integrity.

To find out if your community is located near an oil refinery – check out this interactive map by CPI.

As the US federal budget debate continues, the EPA is once again on the chopping block. A look back at the history of the EPA and look forward to new ways to stimulate the economy with Bill Drayton and Brent Blackwelder. Bill was the deputy administrator in the EPA in the Carter Administration. He’s currently the CEO of the Ashoka Foundation. Brent is the president emeritus of The Friends of the Earth.


More at The Real News

Music for this edition of Earthbeat includes Excuse Me Mr. by Ben Harper and Jump Start by Melissa Czarnik.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

October 14th, 2010

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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.

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