Archive for the ‘Oil’ Category

Victory Against Chevron for Environmental Racism, A New American Dust Bowl, Fukushima Update & U.S. Nuclear Power

May 20th, 2011

A major victory for indigenous peoples in the Ecuadoran Amazon against Chevron for environmental racism. Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham discusses the case with Kevin Konig of Amazon Watch.

Dr. Arjun Makhijani of IEER explains the latest information on the nuclear meltdowns underway in Fukushima, Japan. Then, will biofuels and climate change lead to another dust bowl in the Midwest? Don Carr of the Environmental Working Group discusses their latest report, Losing Ground.

And Erich Pica of Friends of the Earth reflects on President Obama’s energy strategies and what the environmental movement needs to really win.

Music in this edition of the show is Aires de Terra by Ecuadorian folk musician  Arturo Aguirre y los Folkloristas and Lake Sonata from ‘The Midwest American Piano Project’ by Stacey Barelos. Our theme music is ‘Baladi’ by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

Image by Jonathan McIntosh for Amazon Watch.

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.

Radiation from Japan Detected in American Milk & Water, Update on Fukushima, EPA Under Attack & Germany to Phase Out Nuclear Power

April 12th, 2011


Radioactive fallout from Japan’s damaged Fukushima nuclear reactor has been detected in milk in Vermont and water in U.S. cities.

Joining host Daphne Wysham to discuss the contamination and why it is that the US Food and Drug Administration and the US Environmental Protection Agency are giving conflicting and confusing advice on “safe” levels of exposure to radiation is Dr. Jeff Patterson, the past president of the Physicians for Social Responsibility and Carl Grossman, a prolific writer on nuclear power and professor of journalism at the State University of New York – College at Old Westbury.

The EPA remains a target of budget cuts by some members of Congress. Kieran Suckling says the recent fight was only the first skirmish in what will be a longer war against the agency. Kieran is the executive director of the Center for Biological Diversity.

The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) has changed the Fukushima disaster to a 7, on a par with the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown 25 years ago. Philip White in Japan provides us with an update. Philip is the International Liaison Officer at the Citizen’s Nuclear Information Center. And Jim Riccio, Greenpeace’s nuclear policy expert, discusses Greenpeace’s role in monitoring radiation in Japan, and why they the IAEA has been slow to state the obvious.

Then, a soon-to-be nuclear free Germany. We hear from Arne Jungjohann of the Henrich Boll Foundation.

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

Wikileaks Says Saudi Oil Reserves May Be Vastly Overstated, Koch Brothers Push for Tar Sands Pipeline & Saving Social Security with a Carbon Tax

February 15th, 2011

Wikileaks documents show that a top Saudi Arabian geologist told US diplomats that Saudis were overestimating the country’s oil reserves by as much as 40 percent. These cables were discovered by the environmental reporter for The Guardian – John Vidal. John joins Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham to discuss these cables, the geologist’s attempts to retract or at least re-frame his comments, and what the whole affairs means for world oil prices and peak oil.

The Koch Brothers have made billions in the oil industry and it’s been uncovered that they plan to spend millions to defeat President Obama in the upcoming election – and yet they’re pushing the Obama Administration to approve a massive new pipeline that would bring oil from Canadian tar sands down to Texas refineries. Joe Smyth of Greenpeace joins us to discuss the Keystone Pipeline and the Koch Brother’s deep pockets and political maneuvers.

Elaine Kamarck is with the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She says that one way we could finance climate action is by having a carbon tax, and put the proceeds toward shoring up social security.

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

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.

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

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.

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