Archive for the ‘Solar’ Category

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.

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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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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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Bolivian & Venezuelan Views on the World’s Green Challenge

November 2nd, 2010

The Washington, DC Green Festival brought together hundreds of activists, artists, craftspeople and families. Today on Earthbeat we bring you three of the most compelling speakers from the event.

The Reverend Lennox Yearwood is the director of the Hip Hop Caucus. He rallied the crowd around what he calls the “lunch counter moment” of our lifetimes: acting on climate change for the sake of future generations.

Bolivian Ambassador to the UN, Pablo Solon Romero, spoke about why the agenda that emerged from the Peoples’ Summit on Climate Change in Cochabamba, Bolivia is critical of “market mechanisms” such as carbon trading, and warned people to be wary of “greenwashing” and other claims of climate action that are insufficient to stave off the climate crisis.

Then we hear from Venezuelan Presidential Climate Change Envoy Claudia Salerno Caldera, and why she spoke out against the so-called “Copenhagen Accord,” and what she calls the “elephant in the room” of climate negotiations: capitalism.

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

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Encore Edition: NASA Scientist James Hansen

August 31st, 2010


Earthbeat Host and IPS Fellow Daphne Wysham conducted a special one-hour interview with Dr. James Hansen, NASA’s top climate scientist, as an Earth Day 40th anniversary special.

In this broadcast of that interview, Dr. Hansen discusses the role of nuclear power in the climate crisis, the need for alternatives to cap and trade as a solution to climate change, and the possibilities that Earth will become like Venus due to fossil fuel consumption.

A video of the interview is available. Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2

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Encore Edition: Nuclear Power – Debating the Future of Energy

August 24th, 2010


Host Daphne Wysham interviews Dr. Helen Caldicott about the influences exerted by the nuclear power industry. Then Brad Plumer of New Republic moderates a debate at the National Press Club between Arjun Makhijani, president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research and Dr Patrick Moore, co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition about the safety, cost and feasibility of nuclear power as a solution to the climate crisis.

Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.
Image used courtesy of Michael S. Anderson via Flickr

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Oil Washes Up on the Gulf Coast – and Forests as ‘Carbon Markets’

May 25th, 2010


Oil is now washing up all along the Gulf Coast as a result of the disaster of an open, gushing BP oil well in the Gulf of Mexico.

Joining host Daphne Wysham with a first hand account of the ongoing disaster is Bob Deans, the director of federal communications for the Natural Resources Defense Council. Joining the conversation with a view on what’s occurring on Capitol Hill and the Obama Administration’s plans to continue offshore oil drilling is Kyle Ash, the senior legislative representative for Greenpeace.

Investigative reporter Mark Schapiro joins us to discuss his investigation on how forests in Brazil are becoming a commodity on the worldwide ‘carbon market.’ Mark is a senior correspondent for the Center for Investigative Reporting – and his series on the carbon market is for Frontline World.

Carbon Nation is a new feature film about the current revolution of entrepreneurs across America who are focusing on clean, renewable energy. We speak to filmmaker Peter Byck about his documentary in which some of these ‘climate pioneers’ don’t even believe that climate change is occurring. Or as one of Byck’s subjects puts it, “even if you’re a greedy bastard and you just want cheap power, you’d still do these things.”

Music in this week’s edition of the show is by Sanjay Mishra with special guest Jerry Garcia, the album is Blue Incantation. Our theme music is Baladi by Tony Anka, Bellydance Superstars vol. 2.

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Image: A Brown Pelican is cleaned at the Fort Jackson Wildlife Rehabilitation Center after it became coated with oil from the disastrous Gulf oil spill

Secretive Science Behind Blocking Out the Sun

February 16th, 2010

Valkyrieh116Billionaires Bill Gates and Richard Branson are funneling millions of dollars into far-out solutions to climate change. It’s called geoengineering and these high-risk, planet-altering schemes are already underway. Joining host Daphne Wysham to discuss these plans is Diana Bronson of the ETC Group in Montreal, Canada.

The massive snowstorms that blanketed the nation’s capitol are just one instance of odd-ball weather this winter. Joining us to discuss the connections between the weather and climate change is Dr. Amanda Staudt, a climate scientist for the National Wildlife Federation.

The sweet smell of success on coal-fired power. 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.

Image from Valkyrieh116 via Flickr – all rights reserved.

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EPA Staffers Defy Government Censorship & Barcelona Bombs Out on Climate

November 17th, 2009

SamFeinsteinWhistleWThe EPA tried to silence two of its own staffers when they criticizing the White House’s cap and trade program. Host Daphne Wysham speaks to Laurie Williams and Allan Zabel about their YouTube video that shows how cap and trade is fatally flawed.

We review of the recent UN climate meeting in Barcelona with Ilana Solomon of Action Aid and Janet Redman of the Sustainable Energy and Economy Network. Then, details of President Obama’s climate agreement with China with Julian L. Wong of the Center for American Progress.

Image used courtesy of Sam Feinstein via Flickr.

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Al Gore’s Choice & Hurricane Victims Sue Oil Companies

November 10th, 2009


Al Gore’s long-awaited follow up to ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ is in bookstores. ‘Our Choice’ is a master plan for fighting climate change. Joining host Mike Tidwell to talk about the book is Joe Romm. Joe is the author of the website Climate Progress and the author of the book Hell or High Water.

Then speaking of high water, we review a lawsuit by victims of Hurricane Katrina against the oil companies that they say contributed to the ferocity of the storm. We speak to Hannah McCrea, the author of the website Warming Law, and F. Gerald Maples, the lead attorney in the case.

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