Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

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.


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.


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)

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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Support Public Radio – Earthbeat on WPFW

October 5th, 2010


Put YOUR name on a dollar and pin it on OUR ceiling! Please call 202-588-9739 or 1-800-222-9739 right now and pledge and support Earthbeat on our home station of WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington, DC.

Any pledge that comes in between 10 and 11 am East Coast time supports Earthbeat on WPFW at this crucial time. So please pick up the telephone and make one quick telephone call to support climate news and views you won’t hear anywhere else!

The Green The World Project is a collection of artists committed to positive messages and a clean, green future.

Jeff Conant is the author o A Poetics of Resistance: The Revolutionary Public Relations of the Zapatista Insurgency.

A Poetics of Resistance

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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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Climate Legislation Derailed, Gulf Coast Update, and Whistleblowers Blast EPA Carbon Offsets

July 27th, 2010


Congress throws in the towel on cap and trade provisions in the climate and energy bill, while EPA enforcement attorneys Laurie Williams and William Zabel come forward with the explosive claims that the proposed federal carbon offsets contain “unfixable flaws and waste, fraud and abuse as dangerous as those that nearly brought down the financial system.’ We explore in-depth the problems and prospects for comprehensive energy legislation with Marcia Cleveland, legislative representative for Friends National Committee on Legislation and Bill Snape, senior counsel for the Center for Biological Diversity.

And three months into the Gulf Coast BP Deepwater Horizon oil blowout disaster,  people are seeing the face of unchecked corporate power and  are beginning to ask what sort of lasting reforms can make a difference to make sure the BP disaster never happens again. Antonia Juhasz, director of Global Exchange‘s Chevron Program and author of “The Tyranny of Oil: The World’s Most Powerful Industry–and What We Must Do to Stop It ” joins us from Mobile, Alabama for a review of what can be done.

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Copenhagen: We need a real treaty, not a “drive-by hug” from Obama

December 17th, 2009

Mike Tidwell reports on how the U.N. is locking out activists as it opens its doors to the world’s leaders and how climate negotiators are suffering from ‘ADD’ – Ambition Deficit Disorder.

Okay, here’s what’s really, really positive about the Copenhagen treaty conference now nearing its second week of talks: the activism. There are tens of thousands of citizen activists here: students, indigenous leaders, faith leaders. They are colorful and noisy and have really left a mark on the proceedings. On Monday, on the downtown streets of Copenhagen, I met a young Congolese climate activist who spoke the same obscure African language I spoke 25 years ago as a Peace Corps Volunteer. I was in the snow, in Scandinavia, speaking Tshiluba with a fellow climate activist from the Congo. Wow. We’re making progress.

And indeed the whole world is paying attention. If you Google “Copenhagen” today you get 43 million hits. But it’s unclear, just 48 hours from the end of the talks, what will happen here. The negotiating nations are still far apart on global emissions targets and how to finance clean-energy development in poor nations.

And now, tragically, with heads of state from 115 countries now arriving in full, the UN has decided to expel from the Bella conference center just about all the activists and other “nongovernmental” representatives. The one really bright spot – the inspiration of grassroots voices — is being booted out of the room. Activists are now planning to gather elsewhere downtown for vigils, a “fossil” award ceremony that shames the most intransigent nations (the US has gotten two so far this week), and on Friday a giant aerial photo of activists forming the words “350 is Survival.” 350 of course is the level of carbon pollution leading scientists say is needed to save the planet. Right now, all the proposals from all the nations now officially on the negotiating table would actually lead the world by 2100 to about 770 parts per million carbon. It would be — literally — hell on Earth.

John Holdren, Obama’s own science advisor, told an audience here that the goal was to get the world toward 450 parts per million. The President’s science advisor seemed uninformed of the latest climate science.

Students staged a really big, inspiring demonstration in the middle of the Bella Center Wednesday to tell Holdren and other negotiators that compromise with the physics of climate change is not possible. We must commit to 350 now. Hundreds of students from over 40 nations sat cross-legged on the floor and read the names of 11 MILLION people worldwide who’ve signed a petition demanding a strong treaty. CCAN staffer Kat McEachern read the names of signers from Costa Rica, Latvia, and South Korea.

Many here believe — and I’m one of them — that a bad treaty is worse than a treaty that locks the world into 700 parts per million CO2 by 2100. Already, Vice President Al Gore on Wednesday seemed to suggest a binding treaty was not in the cards this week, and that we should all shoot for next year in Mexico City.

That’s better, in my view, than a dramatically compromised piece of paper. As May Boeve of said, “It’s not like compromise in the past has in any way slowed down global warming. Maybe we should try something different, like pushing for policies that match the science.”

In a valiant, last-minute attempt to push leaders toward “a real deal” that will fix the climate treaty here in Copenhagen, the group on Wednesday called on concerned Americans to phone Obama and to consider making a meaningful, profound, personal sacrifice: fasting for 24 hours. I’m going to do it. I’m going to skip food here in Copenhagen all day Thursday. It’s one more thing I can do to show solidarity with the African delegations here that brought bushels of shriveled, drought-decimated corn to show how climate change is already dramatically affecting that continent.

Consider phoning and fasting today. Learn more at

The real problem here, according the Jeremy Symons of the National Wildlife Federation, is that the Obama team suffers from ADD: Ambition Deficit Disorder. There really does seem to be much more citizen-based desire for action than the US delegation has ambition.

It’s too bad because the whole world is watching, hundreds of thousands are phoning and fasting, — and as recent as Tuesday polls showed over 70 percent of Americans believe global warming is a real problem in need of real solutions — now.

Bottom line: What we don’t need from Copenhagen is a weak compromise and a piece of paper — just paper — for Obama to sign Friday during a drive-by hug. We need a treaty that protects the poor nations, holds rich nations accountable, and gets us to 350 parts per million carbon in the atmosphere by 2100.

And we need it now, in Copenhagen, in 2009, not later, somewhere else, in some other capital city.

Now. Here. For all of us.

Mike Tidwell
Earthbeat Host & Director, Chesapeake Climate Action Network

Anna Keenan describes day 42 of her “Climate Justice Fast”. McKibben, Naomi Klein, Tidwell, thousands of others joined the fast for 24 hours in Copenhagen.

Al Gore Takes on Congress

May 12th, 2009


Al Gore takes on the largest group of climate deniers – Congressional Republicans. During the Waxman-Markey climate bill hearings the former Vice President countered ignorance with information.

Today on Earthbeat host Mike Tidwell reviews Al Gore’s climate testimony.

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The Danger of Nuclear Power

October 21st, 2008


This week’s show features a recent lecture by renowned anti-nuclear activist Doctor Helen Caldecott. The Smithsonian Institute named Dr. Caldecott one of the most influential women of the 20th century and she’s been a nominee for the Nobel Prize.

The Australia-born Caldecott left a medical career that included stints at Harvard Medical School and Children’s Hospital Medical Center in Boston to devote her life to the prevention of nuclear war. She co-founded Physicians for Social Responsibility, an organization of 23,000 doctors committed to educating their colleagues about the dangers of nuclear power, nuclear weapons and nuclear war.

Her efforts were the subject of the 1982 Academy Award-winning documentary If You Love This Planet. Caldecott has received more than 20 honorary degrees, and has authored seven books.

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Image used courtesy of Michael S. Anderson via Flickr.

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A New Green Economy

October 14th, 2008


Looking for a silver lining. Given the massive world-wide economic downturn thatis occurring, Earthbeat host Mike Tidwell speaks to Lester Brown, one of the world’s greatest environmental minds.

Brown is the head of the Earth Policy Institute and the author of the book Plan B 3.0 – Mobilizing to Save Civilization.

Then we listen to an encore of our conversation with the lead scientist for the National Snow and Ice Data Center – Ted Scambos. Arctic ice is hitting its second lowest level in the last 100 years, Scambos discusses how and why the North Pole is melting away. Joining the conversation to discuss the politics in Washington and how it can, or can’t, protect the arctic is Brian Moore of the National Audubon Society.

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Image used courtesy of jonathandes via Flickr.

The Candidates & a New Green Economy

September 30th, 2008


In the face of the worst economic disaster in American history since the Great Depression — both Barack Obama and John McCain cite their energy policies in their solutions for solving the crisis. Host Mike Tidwell dives into the deep waters of clean energy with two climate activists who don’t see eye to eye on energy policy — Ted Glick, the national coordinator of the US Climate Emergency Council and Joe Romm, a senior fellow with the Center for American Progress.

Climate change is creating what’s called global weirding — these odd fluctuations in temperatures and rainfall are making it harder and harder to pinpoint the ‘leaf peak’ in fall foliage. It’s also putting the billion-dollar ‘leaf peeping’ tourism industry in New England at risk. Jake Weltzin is the executive director of the USA National Phenology Network in Tucson, Arizona. Project Budburst is the tracking network that’s using photos from backyard gardeners.

Getting an urgent climate message out to everyone is the goal of the podcast World on Fire. Producer Jay Tomlinson discusses his tricks of the trade in creating a ‘Reader’s Digest’ of climate news.

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Image used courtesy of Andybvrs via Flickr.