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Environmental Audio Clips




Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sea Change Radio

Louisiana's Disappearing CoastlineIsland off coast of Louisiana With so much focus on the BP oil spill and the havoc it wrought on the Gulf Coast, it's easy to overlook the broader, more long-term environmental dilemma that serves as the backdrop for that catastrophe: Louisiana's coastline is shrinking at an alarming rate. Journalist Bob Marshall recounts the history of the region's struggle to keep dry, and delves into the reasons why human efforts to harness Mother Nature so often have gone awry. In the second part, Marshall focuses on the massive undertaking of reversing a century and a half of policies that have left the Mississippi River Delta region battered. Topics include the dominance of the petroleum industry in the region; the 50 year plan to fix the problem; and how Washington politics have proved to be a barrier to solutions.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   30:00
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   30:00

GP comment:  Once we humans are heavily invested in an approach that turns out to be problematic, good luck implementing a proper solution.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Feb.2015


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Resistance Radio

The Guy McPherson Celebrity Roast — More than ten years into a career in the academic ivory tower, Guy McPherson terminated his do-nothing, six-figure arrangement and turned his efforts toward awakening the public about impending catastrophic climate change. McPherson says current science is now showing that enough climate feedback loops have been triggered that we are in a runaway climate-change scenario, where nothing we may try to do can possibly reverse drastic temperature increases. The heating of the planet over the next few decades—unprecedented on a geological time scale—will result in the loss of many species, including humans. His assertions have, of course, come under heavy criticism from many mainstream thinkers as well as some climate scientists. In this clip, Derek Jensen allows McPherson to lay out his basic case, and then starts hurling the zingers that have been voiced by critics, and allows McPherson to respond to the criticisms.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   56:08

GP comment:  The climate situation, as they say in the Hollywood scripts, is complicated. I think McPherson is more right than wrong. Regardless, most climate activists believe in solutions that will never work because of physics or public resistance or the criminality of the planetary leadership. So what's the difference? Be good, do good, and enjoy the ride.

Original Show Pub Date: 15.Feb.2015


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Living on Earth

Plastics and Male Reproduction — A new study in the Journal of Human Reproduction finds that a common chemical used to create sperm flexibility in plastics can affect baby boys' development in the womb. Lead researcher Dr. Shanna Swan talks about the affect that phthalates have on the developing fetus and the threat they may pose to male reproductive health later in life.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:14

GP comment:  Hormone disruption affects all of us who live in the toxic soup sold as better living through chemistry. But hormone disruption especially affects development—fetuses, infants, children. It's nearly impossible to rid your life of plastic, but the better you do on that score, the healthier your family will be.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Feb.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

FBI Harassing Keystone XL ActivistsIn July 2013, the climate action group Rising Tide hung a banner from the Interstate Bridge in Portland that read 'Coal, oil, gas, none shall pass.' (Photo: Adam Elliot/Portland Rising Tide; Flickr CC BY-NC-SA 2.0) In October 2014, the FBI began contacting at least a dozen people who had been involved in protests against fracking and tar sands development, including the Keystone XL pipeline. In some instances, the agents visited—unannounced and uninvited—people at their place of employment, even though the people were not suspected of any crime or involvement in planned crimes. Reporter Becky Kramer and attorney Larry Hildes discuss the FBI's tactics and its history of surveillance against political activists.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:21

GP comment:  TPTB go to war with entire countries that threaten their agenda. It should come as no surprise that they don't play nice with eco activists.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Feb.2015 ~~ Original story title: FBI Questions Keystone XL Activists


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! C-Realm Podcast

Yay or Nay? — Intentional Collapse as a Response to Environmental Catastrophesandstorm An extreme position in the environmental movement is that activists should be engaged in deliberately trying to hasten the collapse of the global economic system. Nothing short of complete collapse, they argue, can save the rest of life on earth from human rapaciousness and stupidity. In a debate recorded at the 16th annual Sustainable Living Festival in Melbourne, Australia, six thought leaders weighed in on whether there is any sensible reason to advocate the collapse of the global economy. No one said "yes," and one person answered with a clear "no," but the rest gave nuanced answers that cannot be contained within a simple "yay" or "nay."
Go to page  |  Download/listen   58:16

GP comment:  (1) Bravo to KMO for his arrangement of the presentation clips and his voice-over analysis. Very clear, very cogent. (2) We should always keep in mind Heinberg's "burning the furniture" metaphor. We actually are in that phase already—fracking is probably the clearest example of how increasingly unpalatable and long-term-unproductive measures will be taken when short-term needs demand it. If things were to get truly desperate, as they would in a true collapse scenario, then many ordinarily reasonable people will find themselves doing things that today seem patently unreasonable. And they will not just support, but will demand, that leaders take actions to attempt to correct unsolvable problems, regardless of the collateral damage. Collapse may force itself upon us, but it will not be pretty, and we should not seek it. Just work on resilience and disengaging from the corporatist system.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Feb.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Uprising

New Refinery Explosion ... and More Evidence of Oil Companies Not Investing in Safetyphoto of refinery accident scene in Torrance, CA A recent explosion at an ExxonMobil refinery in Torrance, California injured four workers, shattered the windows of nearby buildings, and released massive amounts of smoke and ash into the air, prompting the mayor of Torrance to advise residents to "shelter in place, stay indoors, no outdoor activity, turn the air conditioners off, keep the windows closed." Investigative reporter Antonia Juhasz uses this event as a starting point for the broader discussion about oil companies scrimping on maintenance and safety at refineries and the dangers posed to nearby communities.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   23:36

GP comment:  Don't you just love how corporations are masters of serving the bottom line at all costs? And hmmm, that unit was planned for renovation within a month and just happened to explode now? Can anyone say "insurance fraud"?

Original Show Pub Date: 19.Feb.2015 ~~ Original story title: Oil and Energy Expert Analyses Latest Exxon Refinery Explosion


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Want to Fix the Broken System? Think Like a CommonerDavid Bollier One percent of humans control half the world's wealth. This is the result of what author David Bollier calls "the market state"—a tight marriage of billionaires, mega-corporations, and political institutions. A host of problems boil out of this paradigm of power, including unsustainable resource use, rampant pollution as "externalities," and a new economic serfdom. We've been told there is no alternative, but David Bollier says there is, and it's an idea we've been taught to hate: the commons. His most recent book is Think Like a Commoner: A Short Introduction to the Life of the Commons.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  It is essential to have viable alternatives to point to when telling the masses cherished concepts like capitalism and the free market simply do not work. But it is also essential to recognize that the 1% (especially the "1% of the 1% of the 1%") were not just lucky beneficiaries of a poorly designed system. They designed and evolved the system to foster acquisition of the wealth and power they now hold. They will not see that system replaced without a fight—the mother of all fights.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Feb.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

James Gustave Speth Calls for a New Environmentalism — NRDC co-founder Gus Speth reflects on the environmental movement both as a previous 'insider' and now as a reformer. He says that half a century ago, he and other eco-activists were inspired by the direct-confrontation methods of the civil rights movement and applied similar energy and tactics in the fight to confront environmental issues. But somewhere along the way, as groups like NRDC worked to reform the system, they became part of the system. And now progress on environmental issues has stalled or reversed. In his memoir Angels by the River, Speth calls for deeper challenges to the economic status quo as an approach that can solve problems of the environment, of working people, and of a broken political system.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   14:30

GP comment:  The parasitic, plundering, predatory nature of plutocratic capitalism must be addressed. All other problems exist as a subset of that issue. Whether that can be done by trying to reform a political system that is totally captured and controlled by the benefactors of predatory capitalism is a dubious proposition, but worth trying in the absence of realistic alternatives.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Feb.2015


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Talking Dirty... About Coal — Coal is a world-class environmental wrecking ball, with impacts affecting climate, mountains, streams, air pollution, food quality, and more. But hey don't worry about that; American jobs are at stake. That's the message coming from the National Center for Policy Analysis, or the NCPA. It's a tax-exempt organization that's been pumping out the big-business message for over 30 years. Here's an example of some recent NCPA coal propaganda: "Increasing US coal exports could be good for the US economy, workers, and the environment..." Really? Coal, good for the environment? Not so fast, mister...
Go to page  |  Download/listen   12:01

GP comment:  Despite all the talk about moving away from coal, the pace is slow and mostly driven by economics, not concern for the environment or climate change.

Original Show Pub Date: 04.Feb.2015


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Biodiversity for a Livable Climate / Radio EcoShock

The Planetary Peril in the IPCC's Lowest-Common-Denominator Science — Thomas Goreau's doctorate is in biogeochemistry. He's an expert in areas such as coral reef science and global climate change. Two of the main points Goreau makes are that the IPCC's window of focus is much too narrow—most of the worst climate effects will be beyond its 100-year window—and its conclusions are so "lowest common denominator" that they are greatly underestimating both the data trends and coming impacts. He also says that the "350" goal is far too high—if we accept even that currently politically unattainable goal, we are doomed to a temperature increase of 17-20 degrees C. Goreau says atmospheric CO2 levels need to be rolled back to 260 ppm. He says the essential solution—mostly ignored by global leaders—is to put carbon back in the soil using practices such as biochar.
Watch  |  Download/listen   24:07

GP comment:  Watch if you can—lots of good graphs. Tip o' the hat to Radio EcoShock for pointing out the Biodiversity for a Livable Climate conference videos.

Original Show Pub Date: Nov.2014 ~~ Original title: Thomas Goreau - The Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming: How Soil Carbon Sequestration Works


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sea Change Radio

Smarter CitiesMelanie Nutter Many planners agree that a more centralized population is a good thing for long-term environmental responsibility. But as people all over the world continue to flock to urban centers, the challenge of creating sustainable cities becomes more pressing. How can cities be improved to ensure that their billions of residents have energy-efficient transportation, housing, waste-stream management, as well as clean air and water? Ecological urban planner Melanie Nutter walks us through some of the emerging policies and practices to promote smart, sustainable, resilient cities.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   29:00

GP comment:  Nutter has good ideas, and they seem to be fairly successful in San Francisco. But the success largely depends on the target city being highly prosperous in general and green-minded specifically. Many of these programs simply would not sell politically or economically in, say, Atlanta. I'm not saying Atlantans shouldn't get on board with such ideas; just that it's not likely to happen on nearly the same scale as it has in SF.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Climate and the Collapse of Western Civilization — Science historians Naomi Oreskes of Harvard and Erik Conway of CalTech have taken current climate science and extrapolated it into an apocalyptic new science fiction book, The Collapse of Western Civilization—A View From the Future. Oreskes discusses how democracy, the free market, and science are all failing to protect our future.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   16:28

GP comment:  This dance doesn't include much climate apocalypso, but Oreskes ably lays out the inside-the-envelope view on climate status and action. In reality, any progress made on transitioning out of fossil fuels will come too slowly to make a difference in our future climate. But it will make a difference in many other environmental areas, so it's still worth doing.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.Jan.2015


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Fairewinds Energy Education

Debate: Should Nuclear Energy Be Expanded to Help Create a More Sustainable Future? — Given the seriousness of the climate challenge—of the need to get to a zero-carbon future—does nuclear need to play an expanded role in the world's energy matrix? This was the question that Hofstra University posed to a debate panel in late 2014. Arnie Gundersen of Fairewinds was among the debaters who discussed the environmental, fiscal, and policy issues pertaining to the expansion of nuclear energy.
Watch  |  Download/listen   1:31:10

GP comment:  Even if one assumed sufficient additional nuclear capacity could be brought online in time to make a difference for climate mitigation—it can't—the answer is still "hell no." Gundersen had a couple of great lines; here is one: Nuclear proponents have faith that humans are smart enough to figure out how to store radioactive nuclear waste for a quarter million years. Alternative energy proponents have faith that humans are smart enough to figure out how to store electricity overnight.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Nov.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

The Future of Energy—Green Tech or Green Illusions? — Is the whole "green energy" game just an extension of the fossil fuel industry, dressed up in green clothing? In part 1, Ozzie Zehner makes the case that high-tech greening of our civilization is a pipedream. In particular, he targets solar PV as a technology that causes many more problems that it's worth, and is often use as a "green badge of honor" when other, less sexy approaches do far more to reduce energy use and pollution. ~~ In part 2, clean-tech venture capitalist Dan Miller gives his views on alternative energy and provides a counterweight to Ozzie Zehner's dim view of a green-tech future.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   1:00:00
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   1:00:00

GP comment:  Both Zehner and Miller engage in excessively vague statements, and bless Alex Smith for spending time at the end of part 2 to try to make sense of it all. Even as a supporter and heavy user of solar technologies, I'm much more in the Zehner camp on this one, despite the obvious problems with some of his statements. We're headed for a resource cliff at some point because we cannot reign in our desires for more—more energy, more land, more stuff. Green tech cannot cure that.

Original Show Pub Date: 31.Dec.2014 + 07.Jan.2015 ~~ Original story titles: (1) Green Illusions - Ozzie Zehner (2) Green Reality vs. Ozzie Zehner


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Project Censored

The Most Underreported Stories of 2014Censored 2015 cover Project Censored is out with a new addition of their annual "unreported stories" book. On the environmental front, their top underreported stories include "Ocean Acidification Increasing at Unprecedented Rate"; "Lawsuit Challenges Nuclear Power Industry Immunity from Liability in Nuclear Accidents"; "Agribusiness Attempts to Discredit Scientists Who Reveal Herbicide Health Threats." On the empire front, their most-underreported stories include "Top Ten US Aid Recipients All Practice Torture"; "WikiLeaks Revelations on Trans-Pacific Partnership Ignored by Corporate Media"; "Corporate Internet Providers Threaten Net Neutrality"; "Bankers Back on Wall Street Despite Major Crimes"; "The Deep State—Government Without the Consent of the Governed"; "US Media Hypocrisy in Covering Ukraine Crisis."
Download/listen   59:00

GP comment:  This clip includes an interview with Zara Zimbardo, who recently penned "It Is Easier to Imagine the Zombie Apocalypse Than the End of Capitalism." Catchy title, but we need to be more clever in attacking capitalism. It must be continually distinguished from "free enterprise" and "entrepreneurship" and "effort/reward." Capitalism is not about those things; it means "money rules," and no one but the 1% of the 1% really want that.

Original Show Pub Date: 06.Jan.2015


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Uprising

Cancer—Environmental Factors and Genetics vs. Plain Ol' Bad Luckscientist in lab A new study has found that 22 types of cancer are the result of sheer bad luck, blaming the cancers largely on random mistakes in tissue-specific stem cells and stating that the cancers arise in a manner unrelated to genetic or environmental factors. Julia Brody of the Silent Spring Institute offers a countering opinion, noting that a different team looked at exactly the same data and concluded that only 10% of cancers were attributable to random bad luck.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   12:28

GP comment:  This is a pretty tepid report, but the takeaway should be that the defenders of corporations' toxic products and processes now have a study to point to and say, "see, no problem" ... which no doubt was the intention of whoever funded that particular data analysis. As Mark Twain cautioned, there are lies, damn lies, and statistics.

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Jan.2015 ~~ Original story title: The Science of Health: Silent Spring Inst. Cautions Against New Cancer Study


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Unwelcome Guests

The Temptation of The Technofixpassenger pigeon and beaker In this audio of speeches from the 2014 conference "Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth," we hear seven speakers who, despite contrasting styles and material, manage to jointly conclude that technological development has become unhinged from our true human values. The speakers, in order, are John Michael Greer, Gar Smith, Mary Reynolds-Thompson, David Ehrenfeld, Lisi Krall, and Stephanie Mills. Topics include technology's history of broken promises; how technology is devastating life; how technology has tamed us, as we use it to (unintentionally) destroy life on earth and ourselves; challenging the idea of "de-extinction" as a solution; the economic evolution of dominion.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   1:00:00
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   1:00:00

GP comment:  This starts out strong, but I found my attention waning in the latter half, where we get heart-felt analyses of how far humans have strayed from the path. That is true, for sure, but I don't think it's fixable—at least it won't be volunteered for—so why keep rehashing it? Ratings: 4 for part A; 2 for part B.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Dec.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

New York Moves to Ban Fracking — Officials in New York have announced that the state will ban hydraulic fracturing within its borders. The move follows years of efforts by environmentalists, who cite dangers like earthquakes and potential contamination of New York's renowned pristine water supply.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   3:14

GP comment:  This report is rather superficial but adequately conveys the excellent news that a major state is going to ban this odious practice.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Dec.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

AGs Driving Environmental Politics at State Levelmen in suits on steps of a government building US Attorneys General are not usually big players in national policy-making, but in recent years that's changed. Democrat AGs have previously teamed with environmental groups to move on issues that were stalled at the national level; now Republican AGs are allying with fossil fuel companies to challenge federal environmental regulations in court. Political scientist Paul Nolette discusses this development.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   13:40

GP comment:  To put this in context, the Republicans are excelling at selling out on environmental issues and the Democrats are excelling at selling out on Wall Street issues. They are Scylla and Charybdis and we are a Greek tragedy.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Dec.2014 ~~ Original story title: Republican AGs Fight Environmental Regulations


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

Pesticides—Beware the Drifter — Attorney Amanda Heyman's job is providing legal counsel for independent farmers and food businesses. Here she discusses the legal aspects of pesticide drift, GMOs, organics, and "natural" labeling.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  Pesticide drift may sound like a boring technical topic, of limited interest to anyone but farmers. But it affects a wide variety of issues, from air quality for residences around non-organic farms to the integrity of organic foods.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Nov.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Catastrophic Failure of the Planet—Satire or SITREP?tv news set Joseph D'Lacey writes eco-apocalyptic/horror fiction as a way of exploring the way in which the human condition is broken. Here he discusses his fictional post-apocalypse books, which include the Black Dawn series, which extrapolates from our real-life era when corporations are literally sucking the earth dry of its high quality resources; and Meat, where a combination of powerful corporations and organized religion completely control the food supply, with living standards for animal welfare and human rights falling by the wayside. ~~ Then Stanford's Mary Kang explains the data on leaking methane from abandoned gas wells. ~~ A clip from the fictional show "The Newsroom" has an EPA scientist going non-linear, predicting absolute climate doom, with no possibility of escape. Real-life climate scientist Michael Mann gives his take on our climate prospects.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  Given humans' demonstrated inability to elevate their actions above their parochial interests, I think the "we're screwed" conclusion of the fictional EPA official will prove more likely than the hopium-based "we can still take meaningful action" assertion expressed by Michael Mann. That said, Alex Smith does a nice job at the end mediating the two extremes and adding more scientific—and psychological—context.

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Dec.2014 ~~ Original story title: Eco Horror ... Is "The Newsroom" Climate Doom for Real?


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Sloppy Fracking Practices Result In Large Methane Leaks — Faulty equipment and maintenance procedures in natural gas operations can inadvertently release large quantities of methane, new research reveals. Scientists say most of the problem can be pinned on a relatively small number of "clunker" wells.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   3:19

GP comment:  The report implies that just fixing the low-hanging fruit will eliminate the majority of the methane leaks. That sounds like a "see, things aren't so bad" result, just as one might expect from an industry-funded study. But even if the study's conclusion is correct, and even if the worst of the leaks are fixed, methane is such a potent greenhouse gas that the remainder would still be an issue.

Original Show Pub Date: 09.Dec.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen CounterSpin

30 Years Since Bhopal, Justice May Finally Be Getting StartedBhopal protest scene It was 30 years ago that a gas leak at the Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal, India, killed thousands of people and injured tens of thousands more. But if you think of Bhopal as a tragedy from the '80s, you're missing the point: It was a crime and it's far from over. Amitabh Pal of the Progressive talks about the ongoing disaster of Bhopal and the potential progress finally being made to clean up the area and properly compensate victims.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:14

GP comment:  It's important to remember that Bhopal was not an unavoidable accident, it was a manifestation of corporate pennypinching on maintenance and upgrades at an industrial facility that handled deadly reagents. It's extremely rare that we put corporate executives or board members on trial for such failures, but that should change. Their personal fortunes are made by reaping the revenue from such operations in good times; their liberty and wealth should be at risk when it goes wrong due to their mismanagement.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Dec.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

The US Role in Illegally Logging Peru's Forests — More than half of Peru is still covered by tropical rainforest—an area the size of Texas—which plays a crucial ecosystem role and is a significant carbon sink. A new report documents how more than 20 US companies have imported millions of dollars in illegal wood from the Peruvian Amazon since 2008. Guest is Julia Urrunaga, Peru programs director for the Environmental Investigation Agency and author of the new report, "The Laundering Machine: How Fraud and Corruption in Peru's Concession System Are Destroying the Future of Its Forests."
Watch  |  Download/listen   6:59

GP comment:  You can see why these logs are coveted—they're huge compared to the re-growth trees available for lumbering in the US. Nonetheless, this is just another example of how most people in the West are fine with not asking too many questions about where wonderful (but illegally sourced) products come from.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.Dec.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

Coal Baron Indicted in Mine Disaster — In 2010, in one of the deadliest mine accidents in US history, an explosion at the Upper Big Branch Don Blankenship Coal mine in West Virginia killed 29 miners. Now Don Blankenship, the CEO of mining company Massey Energy, has been indicted on federal charges, which accuse him of directing company policies that were contrary to mining regulations and laws and that contributed to the disaster. Law professor Patrick McGinley talks about the case.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:47

GP comment:  Couldn't have happened to a more bastardy bastard.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Dec.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Food Sleuth Radio

The Seed Underground—A Growing Revolution to Save FoodJanisse Ray Janisse Ray discusses the threat to seed sovereignty posed by multinationals like Monsanto, which are endeavoring to lock up the food-related profit stream from field to fork by owning the means of production. She explains how activism and seed saving both play a role in the fight.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  A simple solution would be to pass a constitutional amendment banning patents on life forms. Um, did I say simple?

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Nov.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Sea Change Radio

Tis The Season For A Good Guideshopper in front of refrigerator case It's that time of year, again: the season of giving ... or at least the season of buying. When you're perusing the shelves, be they virtual or actual, what matters to you? Beyond price, quality, and value, what about knowing how the company that made the product treats its workers, the extent to which production depletes natural resources, and what impact this product has on the environment? Many of us care about these things in the abstract, but it's difficult to put our tenets into practice. If only there were an app. But there is! Dara O'Rourke explains the Good Guide, a website and smart phone app that consumers can use to make informed "green" decisions on what they're buying.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  Few of us can resist the draw of consumerism, so you might as well ka-ching your purchases in the right direction.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Dec.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Quirks and Quarks

Genetically Modified Chestnuts — A century ago, the American Chestnut was a tremendously important species in the forests of Eastern North America, representing more than a quarter of all forest trees in a swath from Georgia to Ontario. But a fungus introduced on imported Asian chestnut trees turned out to be catastrophic for the American Chestnut, killing billions of trees and essentially wiping out the species by the 1950s. Breeding a blight-resistant tree has proved laborious and difficult, so now a research team has developed a genetically modified American Chestnut that uses a gene from wheat to resist the effects of the fungus. Lead researcher William Powell explains.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:08

GP comment:  As GMO applications go, this would seem to be one of the less objectionable ones. But beware anytime a GMO proponent says "this is for the people and for the environment." And Powell's additional assertion that GM technology is more targeted and sensible than standard hybridization is completely specious.

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

The Anthropocene and Techno-UtopiaChristian Schwagerl Environmental journalist Christian Schwagerl discusses some of the concepts of assigning human impact as the dominant force of the current era, now being called "The Anthropocene" by many in scientific circles. Can the planet survive the wave of human modification washing over it? Can WE? ~~ Then we hear excerpts from speeches given by American Green Party founder Charlene Spretnak and author Susan Griffinon on the topic "Techno-Utopianism and the Fate of the Earth."
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  I once believed in the idea that humanity must be awakened to the dangers of environmental destruction. That's still a worthy goal, but it is a subset of the need to awaken to humanity to the disease of financial parasitism, that we simultaneously are exploited by and are willingly participants in. In the end, the real question is whether the masses are psychologically capable of dealing with either of these problems even if they grasp them.

Original Show Pub Date: 26.Nov.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Quirks and Quarks

Lakes Turning to JellyJelly-coated crustaceans from an Ontario lake, courtesy Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry The problem of acid rain is often touted as one of the few success stories in controlling pollution, as the industrial emissions that cause it have been cut substantially. But the environmental damage and disruption caused by acid rain still echo in the wilderness. One example discovered is the "jellification" of temperate lakes, where acid rain has reduced calcium content, an essential element for most lake organisms. This has caused some crustaceans at the base of the aquatic food chain—the ones that make their exoskeletons from calcium—to be at a disadvantage, and they're now being displaced by species that have a jelly-like coating. These jelly organisms are inedible to many predators and thus are disruptive to the lakes' ecological balance.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:43

GP comment:  And what do geoengineering proponents most often propose to push back global warming? Why, of course, to blast sulfate particles—the most toublesome of the old acid rain pollutants—into the atmosphere.

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Healing Green Despair — Todd Wilkinson, author of a new biography of eco-billionaire Ted Turner, talks about Turner's attention to green issues. Is this proof that the wealthy can lead on environmental challenges? ~~ Kathleen Dean Moore comments on green despair, saying we should not wallow in self-loathing or use our own complicity in environmental issues as a reason to excuse the worst offenders—the fossil-fuel companies—when it comes to climate change and other issues. ~~ Writer and owl biologist Tim Fox sees humans as an unstoppable flood. Species that have been able to adapt have prospered; most have not.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  Working on environmental issues without solving the problem of the central banking-corporate-warfare complex will only get us so far. We've back-slid since the major green successes of the 1970s. Is it coincidental that the central banking-corporate-warfare complex has grown much more powerful in that same timespan?

Original Show Pub Date: 19.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen CounterSpin

US/China Climate Deal—Not Built to LastUS and Chinese presidents shaking hands The White House's climate emissions deal with China has been praised throughout the media as a big step in the right direction. One liberal columnist told readers not to listen to the "yes but" naysayers. But critics of the deal are worth listening to; for one, Daphne Wysham of the Center for Sustainable Economy, who says the goals are timid, the timing is suspect, and the enforcement mechanism is weak.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   9:30

GP comment:  Understand that the hoopla from the corporate media is designed to put the public at ease because "now something is being done." And this may indeed be an improvement on business as usual, at least from the standpoint of general air pollution. But that's not the same as true progress on climate change, so in the end, this is a lot of noise about what will largely turn out to be a stalling tactic.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sea Change Radio

Digging Deep with Paul HawkenPaul Hawken Paul Hawken is an environmental thought-leader, author, and perhaps best known as the co-founder of the high-end gardening supply chain Smith & Hawken. Hawken talks about the challenge of taking society to the next quantum level in the face of political factionalism and environmental immaturity. Topics include corporate social responsibility; the evolution of the open-source-economy and sharing-economy movements; and how communication technology has transformed global human interaction, holding promise for future green activism.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   30:00
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   30:00

GP comment:  Hawken vacillates between keen insight and delusional hopium. In the end, his conclusion that we need to try hard but also just live in awe of the spectacle is quite apt.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Stolen Future, Broken PresentDavid A. Collings David Collings discusses the epochal environmental crisis that is unfolding. Climate change is a centerpiece, but this is a many-faceted problem with no easy solutions. Overcoming the psychology that fathered the problem may not be possible, but it's still worth trying. ~~ Then Martin Persson explains how tropical deforestation is still stripping the planet—to provide products for us, the consumers in rich countries. ~~ Finally, Olli Tammilehto asks whether we can we survive a system that rewards the rich with a license to commit ecocide?
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  Yep, the problem is one that is internal to the human makeup. It is indeed important that we keep trying to minimize the damage—it will make life more pleasant for longer. But we should always make the basis for discussion facts, not hopium.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Making Contact

This Changes Everything (Or Not) — Naomi Klein argues that while it's too late to stop climate change, we can still take action to save our civilization. But it's going to take radical steps that will transform the way humans interact with the world. Klein offers her vision of how we can foster a global movement to counter climate change.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  This is worth listening to because Klein does correctly identify several culprits in the current ecocidal ruling system—the financier class, excessive military spending, corporate hegemony, and the fossil-fuel-friendly political system—as barriers to doing anything real about climate change. But she's got it backwards: The climate crisis is not the threat that will unite people against those elite forces. Instead, uniting the masses to take back power from the elites and reestablish a fair economic system should be the stated political goal. That is Job 1, and trying to superimpose a divisive issue like climate on top of it is brainless.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Oct.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Nature Bats Last

Higher Learning, Higher Debt, and The System — Guy McPherson talks to Karl Klein. Topics include....the inadequacies of IPCC climate reports; illegal asset forfeiture at the hands of local cops; the problem of limitations of rare-earth metals. Much of the conversation centers on how our higher-learning institutions are not training our students correctly at the same time they foster high levels of post-graduation indebtedness. McPherson contrasts his decision to leave academia with Klein's decision to stay within the system.
Download/listen   1:01:57

GP comment:  A decent general discussion

Original Show Pub Date: 04.Nov.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

India's Mega-Coal PlantsNicole Ghio Targeted for 4,000 megawatts, the Sasan Ultra Mega Power Project (UMPP) in India is ten times the size of the average coal power plant in the United States. Worse still, we find ourselves in an Orwellian world, where a mega coal plant in India is classified as "environmentally friendly technology"; where electricity customers in Europe can buy credits from a coal plant as a "clean development mechanism"; and where hundreds of millions of US taxpayer dollars help build a dirty coal project. Nicole Ghio of Sierra Club International explains.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   21:55

GP comment:  The project in India is just another example of our collective inability to sacrifice power demand for carbon reductions. It's just not going to happen. Alex Smith plays a brief sidebar at the end of this interview that sums it up perfectly. Listen, and awaken to climate reality.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio Ecoshock

A Path to Sustainable Energy by 2030Mark Z. Jacobson Super-scientist Mark Jacobson from Stanford explains the warming/cooling nuances of soot pollution in the atmosphere. Then he reviews the math on how available technologies can have the world well on the way to running on clean energy by 2030.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   20:00

GP comment:  I found Jacobson's attempts to clarify the effects of various types of particulate pollution on warming and cooling to be rather confused. But his rapid-fire solution list for a clean-energy transition is well worth hearing.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Nov.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Green Issues in the 2014 Electionvoting booths Steve Curwood and guests review how environmental candidates and issues fared in the recent US election. Other stories in this show are .... Arsenic Released in Frackwater Spills // Fingerprinting Frackwater // Hyundai and Kia Fined for Misreporting MPG and Greenhouse Gas Emissions // Restoring California's Giant Kelp Forests // Uprooting an Invasive Ribbon Grass on the Metolius River.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   51:30

GP comment:  Don't expect politicians to lead on green issues. You may be able to drag them to the water, but you'll probably have to throw them in before they drink ... or even think about doing the right thing on keeping our environment clean and adopting a forward-thinking energy policy.

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Nov.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Solving the Problem of Ecocidal Capitalism — Frank Rotering is quite sure that capitalism is killing the planet. In the past, he has advocated a voluntary shrinkage of the industrial economy as a way to reduce pollution and resource pressures and let the planet come back into balance. But he now realizes that few are willing to join that quest, so he has a new strategy based on converting true conservatives of the capitalist class to a non-ecocidal posture.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   27:39

GP comment:  Rotering is an excellent logician, but he seems blind to the emotional traps that keep people locked into unhelpful mindsets. And don't look to the elites—from either side—to take down the system that made them. The only possible solution I see is a public education campaign that carefully distinguishes a market-based economy from a capitalist economy. Capitalists must be separated from entrepreneurs. The latter must be heralded and promoted; the former must be excoriated and squashed for being the financial parasites that they are.

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Oct.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

How Can Harsher Winters Be Related to Arctic Sea Ice Loss?map of Arctic sea ice retreat A new study published in Nature Geoscience found that the likelihood of unusually cold winters in parts of Eurasia doubles as the Arctic warms and sea ice declines. Rutgers University climate researcher Jennifer Francis explains how loss of Arctic sea ice can lead to harsher winters in some regions at the same time it causes warming-related phenomena such as drought or increased heavy rainfall events in other regions.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:47

GP comment:  Francis slips in an important fact: Arctic ice melt is in an unstoppable feedback loop. Of course, she then also softballs it at the end by saying we're in trouble if we can't figure out how to reduce greenhouse gases. She should have just stopped at the word "trouble."

Original Show Pub Date: 31.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

Green Groups Sue EPA Over Agent Orange-Related Herbicide — A coalition of environmental groups and farmers is suing the EPA over approval of Dow Chemical's new GMO crop herbicide, Enlist Duo, a combination of glyphosate and 2,4-D, one of two active ingredients in the notorious Vietnam-era defoliant Agent Orange. The lawsuit alleges inadequate environmental and health assessments by the agency. Bill Freese of the Center for Food Safety discusses the suit and the effects the herbicide is likely to have on weed resistance and pollinators.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:35

GP comment:  This case has gotten a lot of press, but the entire pesticide regime is out of control, as a walk down the pesticide aisle in the gardening section of a big-box store will tell you.

Original Show Pub Date: 31.Oct.2014 ~~ Original story title: Agent Orange-Related Herbicide Approved for GMO Crops; EPA Sued


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Carbon RecyclingA cement plant, like this one in Cupertino, CA, might one day contribute carbon dioxide to companies like Skyonic for profitable recycling. (Photo: Jitze Couperus; Flickr CC BY 2.0) A Texas company has started capturing CO2 from a cement plant in San Antonio and is set to recycle 75,000 tons of CO2 per year by incorporating it into profitable products, including baking soda, hydrochloric acid, and bleach. The process can also be used for fossil fuel power plants.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:56

GP comment:  Taking the waste stream from one process and making it an input to another process is always smart. But I'm not sure how hydrochloric acid can be counted here as capturing carbon. Even if CO2 is used in the process of making hydrochloric acid, the chemical formula is H-Cl (one hydrogen atom plus one chlorine atom)—exactly where is the carbon?

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Oct.2014 ~~ Original title: Carbon Capture and Recycling


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Fracking Waste Water Proves Highly Resistant to Clean-Up — The oil and gas industry produces a high volume of dirty wastewater from fracking operations. That polluted water has to go somewhere, and the two typical solutions are down an injection well or, after some slight clean-up, into another fracking operation. But as public resistance to injection wells and fracking grows, some businesses trying to truly clean up fracking waste water so it can be put back into nature. Unfortunately, so far, it turns out that the matrix of pollutants in fracking wastewater is very difficult to deal with in volume.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:32

GP comment:  Such clean-up can be done, of course, but cost is the issue. Nonetheless, true cleanup of fracking wastewater should be required and incorporated as a cost of doing business.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Oct.2014 ~~ Original title: It's Tough To Turn Frack Water into Profits


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Who is Recycling E-Waste?e-waste Electronic waste is one of the fastest growing waste streams in the world, and a new survey from Best Buy found that only about a third of people in the United State recycle their electronic waste, even though many more claim that they would like to. US stores, including Staples and Best Buy, are helping to close this gap with free e-waste recycling programs.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:17

GP comment:  When new electronics are designed, ease of recycling is not a consideration. That's a problem.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Quirks and Quarks

The Pill is Harming Fishfathead minnow We have known for years now that pharmaceuticals make their way into our waterways, through residues in urine or by disposal of unused drugs down our toilets. The consequences are often detrimental to aquatic wildlife. Dr. Karen Kidd of the University of New Brunswick has studied this phenomenon in the fathead minnow in an experimental lake in Northern Ontario. The introduction of birth-control chemicals into the water not only caused the fathead minnow population to crash, it upset the balance of the entire ecosystem. This included a sharp decline in the trout population, which prey on the minnow.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   11:30

GP comment:  This particular pollutant is an actual form of estrogen. Many other chemical pollutants mimic estrogen or have other endocrine-disrupting effects.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

Mountain Top Removal Coal Mining Increases Cancer Riskmountain top removal mining explosion Overburden removal during mountain-top-removal coal mining in Appalachia blasts dust into the air that is then carried on the wind for miles and inhaled by nearby residents. Michael Hendryx is a Professor of Applied Health Science at Indiana University Bloomington and co-author of a study linking that dust to lung cancer. He's calling for a halt to this type of coal mining.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:41

GP comment:  MTR mining is an obscene thing to do to a landscape. Don't believe the industry flacks when they say they "restore" the area once they are done. Sure, they plant stuff, but the ecosystem is not at all "restored."

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Resistance Radio

Has Capitalism Captured the Environmental Movement? — Tom Butler of the Northeast Wilderness Trust talks with Derrick Jensen about the problematic trend among mainstream environmental groups trying to steer capitalism in a better direction. The problem with that approach is that capitalists, when push comes to shove, will always prioritize corporate profits over natural preservation. Even more troubling is the shift in the framing of environmental issues, where the comfort, convenience, and continuation of modern life is a given, and any sacrifice along those lines to preserve species or protect the biosphere is not even up for discussion.
Download/listen   50:59

GP comment:  This is a good talk, though the general tack is that this problem is mostly one of evil corporatists, venal politicians, and a lackey media. There are those aspects, for sure, but the general populace has fully embraced the benefits of modern industrial society, regardless of the environmental costs, and the gains in comfort and convenience will not be given up willingly, no matter how right the goals.

Original Show Pub Date: 19.Oct.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Sea Change Radio

Can Ozone Success Be Parlayed into GHG Success?Durwood Zaelke Durwood Zaelke was a key advocate decades ago in the fight to instate policies that would preserve the ozone layer. Those efforts were very successful and are often lauded as a sign that nations CAN come together to solve difficult environmental problems that are global in scope. Zaelke is still working on ozone protection, but his organization's mission has broadened to include combating climate change. Zaelke contrasts the ozone protection effort with the climate protection effort.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  Sorry, but they can't be compared. Though ozone depletion was an equally serious threat, it was relatively easy to solve; corporations lost little revenue; consumers barely noticed the difference in product function and availability; and, most importantly, no one had to seriously modify their lifestyle. None of those characteristics apply to the climate problem.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.Sep.2014 ~~ Original title: Durwood Zaelke and the Ozone Keepers


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Companies Pulling Out of Canadian Tar Sands OilTar sands scene With crude prices sharply down and the future of the Keystone XL pipeline in doubt, energy companies have become dubious about investing in oil projects based in the Alberta Tar Sands. OnEarth writer Brian Palmer discusses the problems facing the industry.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:35

GP comment:  (1) He hints at it, but Palmer does not explicitly mention the Achilles heel of the tar sands: low net energy. (2) I suspect the oil companies would be a lot less in favor of the XL Pipeline if they were required to pay for it and incorporate all of its costs into the price of their products (or in cuts to shareholder dividends).

Original Show Pub Date: 17.Oct.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen C-Realm Podcast

No Matter What — KMO talks to Global Catastrophic Risk Institute researcher David Denkenberger about the technical feasibility of feeding everyone on earth in the aftermath of a calamity the wipes out conventional agriculture. The potential collapse scenarios include nuclear winter based on nuclear war or a massive volcanic eruption; a plague (natural or manmade); a catastrophic mistake in a high-impact technology; or even artificial intelligence taking over. Denkenberger is careful to distinguish technical feasibility from political or economic feasibility. Then KMO shares some thoughts on the incompatibility of capitalism and environmental stewardship from the Socialist Equality Party and with a brief clip from a conversation between Laura Flanders and Gar Alperovitz. He closes with some unconventional thoughts on technology from sci-fi author Karl Shroeder.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   59:55

GP comment:  This is generally good, but I'll offer two points: Whereas the capitalist model is inconsistent with sustainability, the socialist model is inconsistent with human nature. Similarly, it's silly to blame climate change on capitalism without recognizing the human characteristics that are equally to blame at the hoi polloi level—and that are equally difficult to change.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.Oct 2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Coal Dust Poses Wetland Threatwetlands With recent proposals to bring coal by rail through the Pacific Northwest for export to Asia, some scientists worry that coal dust containing mercury might contaminate Washington's wetlands, threatening wildlife. Reporter Ashley Ahearn treks through marshes and muck near railways with USGS scientists as they look for coal's potential impacts on wetland ecosystems.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   4:55

GP comment:  As anyone from the coal regions of Appalachia knows, coal dust is a serious pollutant.

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Sleuth Radio

Failed Promises and Real Risks of GMO Crops — Raymon Seidler is a former senior scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency. Decades ago, he led the first team to study the environmental and health impacts of newly introduced GMO crops. He explains how we have ignored risks in favor of broad market penetration; in particular, plans for containing the unintended contamination of organic and non-GMO crops with GMO genetic material have been utterly inadequate. Pesticide use has also risen, not fallen as the industry promised.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  He's right—we should stop talking about labeling GMOs and begin the conversation about banning them.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Oct.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

air pollution in china China Still Burning Plenty of Coal as Fracking Ramps Up — Among China's energy efficiency initiatives is a program that replaces outdated coal-fired power plants with more modern—but larger—coal-fired plants. This has led to an overall increase in CO2 emissions as more coal is burned. ~~ Partly in response to the unprecedented air pollution crisis caused largely by burning coal, China is looking to its massive natural gas reserves for energy. But Mother Jones reporter James West says that fracking is bringing its own environmental problems to China.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   5:00
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   10:30

GP comment:  One of the few correct points made by climate obstructionists is that there is no game without China making significant reductions. Of course, no one else is able to make significant reductions either. That's what political spin is for.

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Oct.2014 ~~ Original story titles: China's Energy Efficiency Program Still Promotes Global Warming ~~ China's Great Frack Forward


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

In Hotter (Sea) Waterocean research vessel As the climate warms, atmospheric temperatures don't tell the full story—much of the heat increase is being absorbed by the oceans. Scientists are increasingly concerned about the impact on ocean health. Paul Durack of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory discusses new measurements that say mainstream estimates of ocean warming are off by more than 25 percent.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:14

GP comment:  Warmer water, less oxygen, lots of problems.

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Oct.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Living on Earth

Obama Creates the World's Largest Ocean Reserve — President Obama expanded the Pacific Remote Islands National Marine Monument, protecting nearly half a million square miles of Pacific Ocean from commercial exploitation. Elliott Norse of the Marine Conservation Institute talks about the impact of the reserve on the ecosystem and the precedent it sets for global conservation.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:40

GP comment:  A decent action. All presidents do this sort of thing. It's an easy green credit, much easier than taking meaningful action on issues like nuclear, chemicals, GMOs, sprawl, peak oil....

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Oct.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Quirks and Quarks

"Microbead" Plastic Pollution Plagues the St. Lawrence Rivermicrobead contamination in silt Microplastic beads, often found in industrial and household products like cosmetics and cleaners, are known to pollute ocean water. Now the beads have been found in the sediments of the St. Lawrence for the first time. Anthony Ricciardi, a biologist at McGill University, explains why it was surprising to find this type of pollution in a river, especially in the sediment, and what the impact on river life is.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:50

GP comment:  Well, crap. If it's in the St. Lawrence River, you know its in ALL the rivers in North America.

Original Show Pub Date: 04.Oct.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

geology of seabed methane Why Lie to Ourselves About Methane? — While the world's focus is on carbon dioxide, a group of powerful scientists have written an urgent letter to the directors of five US government agencies. The scientists worry that the American government, like other governments around the world, is not paying attention to the big climate risk posed by methane, especially from the thawing Arctic. Mickey Moritz of the Center for Biological Diversity explains.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   17:18

GP comment:  Moritz explains that it's a political challenge for the US to tell the truth about how methane risk should be evaluated, because to do so would put the lie to our assertions of climate progress. This is true for all sectors of the climate conversation—at the political level, it's all spin.

Original Show Pub Date: 01.Oct.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Living on Earth

The State of the Planet — The World Wildlife Fund recently released its 2014 Living Planet Report, which studied 10,000 wildlife populations across the globe to assess the overall state of the planet. The WWF's Keya Chatterjee discusses the report. A key finding was that the total number of vertebrate animals—excluding humans—is down by 50%. Other topics include climate, cities getting sustainable, and population.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:42

GP comment:  Other than the bad news about species, this report is mostly green techno-hopium. Let's get real: There is no nation or leader talking about truly effective climate solutions. There are no cities on their way to sustainability, only some that are more green than others. And almost no person is willing to reduce their ecological footprint to a sustainable level, which at this point in the climate conundrum, is a zero-carbon, zero-methane level of existance. Continuing to pretend that fiddling at the margins can work—as this report does—is to lie about our predicament. I say this not to be scary or depressing but because I feel that real solutions can only start from a point of truth.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Oct.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Communities at Odds with States on Fracking Wastewater Zoning — Fracking wastewater is trucked from Pennsylvania into Ohio, where it is processed and injected into deep wells. Many locals worry about earthquakes and water contamination, but local councils are finding that state rules override citizens' concerns about waste-water well siting.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:09

GP comment:  Regardless of what the industry says, waste-water injection is just a regulated pollution activity. Inevitably, all injected waste will contaminate groundwater somewhere.

Original Show Pub Date: 19.Sep.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Fires in Northern Canada a Major Event in the Life of the Earth System — Northern Canada just experienced the worst fire season ever recorded. A Canadian scientist calls them "a major event in the life of the earth system." Soot from these fires may be a primary cause of the snow surface in Greenland turning from white to dark and dirty—i.e. a major change in albido. Marc-Andre Parisien, a research scientist for the Canadian Fire Service, talks about the characteristics of the great Boreal forest and why the fires there are such a major issue.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   20:00

GP comment:  Darker surface = more sun-energy absorption = more melting.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Sep.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

The Wilderness Act at 50The Hoover Wilderness sign at Summit Lake. The Hoover Wilderness spans 128,000 acres and is managed by the Inyo National Forest and the Humboldt/Toiyabe National Forest mostly in northern California and Nevada. (Photo: Dcrjsr; Wikimedia Commons CC-BY-SA-3.0) In 2014, the Wilderness Act turned 50. American environmental writer Jordan Fisher Smith discuss the relevance of the Wilderness Act today, as well as changing perceptions of wild lands, their uses, and how to protect them.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   9:23

GP comment:  One of a handful of hallmark protection acts in the 20th century.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Sep.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Radio Ecoshock

Near-Term Climate-Driven Human Extinction—Or Not — In the first clip, conservation biologist Guy McPherson lays out his case that runaway feedback mechanisms have already been tripped and will alter the climate so significantly that humans will be unable to survive—and we'll be toast within just a few decades. Psychologist Carolyn Baker agrees and offers tips on how to live a happy life in the meantime. ~~ In part two, environmental writer Scott K. Johnson says it ain't so, that McPherson cherry picks data and extrapolates in inappropriate ways. Podcaster KMO, an excellent deep-thinker on collapse issues, says McPherson seems to be trying to make the data fit his foregone conclusions. Just as "collapse from peak oil" has not happened as precipitously as many predicted, so neither is "collapse from climate chaos" likely to drive human extinction in our lifetimes.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   1:00:00
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   1:00:00

GP comment:  I agree that McPherson is likely overstating the case, though there are enough possible bad climate scenarios that his message can't be discounted completely. What no one here mentioned is that no countries or politicians—and not even most of the scientists or environmentalists—are advocating the sort of radical climate action that would actually solve the problem. Climate chaos is coming, even if it's not in McPherson's timeframe.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.Sep.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good TUC Radio

Poisoning the Sky—A Community Investigates Chemtrails and Fights Back — Residents of Shasta County, California have documented that the lingering white trails in the sky above—chemtrails—are correlated with an increase in toxic contaminants in rain, snow, and surface water, including aluminum, barium and strontium. In this clip, we hear experts and citizens present their evidence before the Shasta County Supervisors as a matter of public health and an issue of citizens' right to know. They point out that the chemicals in the contaminated water are also found in patents for weather modification chemicals used by the military and private contractors.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  This is not concerned citizens making unsupported allegations. There is science here, presented by credentialed witnesses.

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Sep.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Siberia ice crater The High Arctic and High Anxiety — Alex Smith provides a review of some of the disturbing climate news in the high Arctic—trends that predict a hotter and less stable climate for all of us. Climate scientist Paul Beckwith, who is just back from the glaciers of Alaska, explains. ~~ Psychologist Susie Burke talks about mental preparation for disasters and ways to cope with eco-anxiety.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  As the Arctic goes, so goes North America's temperate climate.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Sep.2014, Original story title: The High Arctic and Eco-Anxiety


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Making Contact

Pesticides—Homes, Farms, and Kids — The pesticide chlorpyrifos was deemed toxic enough that it has been banned for household use. But the pesticide is still allowed for farm use, so what about the continued effects on the health of farmworkers and their children? What about pesticide drift into unintended areas? What about other pesticides—are we protecting children in general from their development-disruption effects?
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:58

GP comment:  Most insecticides act through some sort of nerve disruption but also may act as endocrine disruptors. Why aren't parents more concerned about what they spray around their houses and lawns, or what others spray on nearby farms or road berms?

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Aug.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sea Change Radio

Keeping An Eye On The Natural Gas BoomNeela Banerjee Even the most casual followers of energy policy have become aware of the controversy surrounding the massive expansion of fracking in this country over the past decade. Successful attempts to lift the curtain on fracking, like Josh Fox's 2010 documentary film Gasland, have spurred a grassroots movement to push back against an industry that would have us believe that fracking is clean and safe as well as the solution to US energy woes. Journalist Neela Banerjee discusses the battle for America's health and well-being that is being fought on the parallel fronts of policy and PR.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  There is some good info here but also some delusion. The natural gas boom is neither a substantial contributor to US economic well being or a meaningful path to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Wind, solar, and plug-in electric vehicles, as good as they are, cannot supplant fossil fuels without significant lifestyle change.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Aug.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Resistance Radio

The Colorado River—Past, Present, and Future — Gary Wockner coordinates the Save the Colorado River Campaign, whose mission is to protect and restore the Colorado River and its tributaries from the source to the sea. Topics include the history of the river; water rights and farms vs. cities; impact of dams and water rights on species; and opportunities for improving the river's future.
Download/listen   39:45

GP comment:  The chance of a major hydroelectric dam coming down to benefit species is zero (and, from an overall environmental perspective, should be zero). It's good that their "dam talk" acknowledges that reality.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Aug.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen You Bet Your Garden

Is Your Lawn Causing Water Pollution? — Mike McGrath's topics include .... adequate soil calcium combats tomato blossom end rot; weather and care factors in cherry production; crepe myrtle conundrums; outdoor potted plants approach the doom of winter; tips for new trees. In the question of the week, McGrath talks about runoff from lawn fertilizer, a problem that recently made Toledo's water undrinkable. Find out how to not be part of the problem when you feed your lawn.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   52:58

GP comment:  After all, it's just a lawn. Stop the madness!

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Aug.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Post Carbon Institute

Humans—Are We the Borg? ... Or Merely Delusional?Nate Hagens and slide show In an hour and a half, ecological economist Nate Hagens offers up a grand tour of how the human-dominated planet works, or more accurately, mis-works. It all comes down to bad programming—science shows that we humans are predisposed to making bad choices; or at least making choices that bolster short-term, selfish desires at the expense of long-term, altruistic interests. Energy, or an increasing lack thereof relative to our needs, is the hammer that will force us to recognize reality and make increasingly hard choices.
Watch  |  Download/listen   1:30:00

GP comment:  Must listening. And Hagens is kind enough to explain how we "aware humans" can navigate the seemingly impossible mission ahead.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Pennsylvania's Complicated Groundwater Contamination — In many locations in Pennsylvania, well water is unfit to drink, polluted with iron and manganese. But the source of the contamination is complex. Reid Frazier of the Allegheny Front reports that fracking, coal mining, and natural methane formations in the ground combine to make single-source blame difficult to prove.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:18

GP comment:  What IS easy to say is that extracting resources from the earth causes lots of water pollution.

Original Show Pub Date: 25.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Making Contact

Fighting Goliath—The Tar Sands Monstersteaming landscape, tar sands The Canadian Tar Sands is the largest industrial project on earth. Its potential environmental consequences have brought together citizens from across borders, to fight its rippling effects. In Idaho and Montana, hundreds of gargantuan trucks were routed to haul mining equipment to the Tar Sands oil fields of Alberta, Canada, endangering sensitive wildlife areas and risking damage to roads and municipal utilities. But an alliance of citizens and community groups was able to block the transport project. Meanwhile, back in the Tar Sands extraction area, regulations lag and the enormity of the environmental damage grows.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   30:00
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   30:00

GP comment:  A pretty good treatment, mixing reporting and first-person accounts.

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Unwelcome Guests

REDD and the Perversity of Financial IncentivesNO REDD protesters Jeff Conant explains REDD, a scheme to financialize carbon and forests, where pristine, formerly priceless natural zones are turned into commodities for sale. Most market advocates argue that such a process should lead to efficient outcomes, but Conant explains why the devil lurking in the details of REDD means that the program is much more about making money than about reducing carbon or preserving forests. ~~ The Conant piece is preceded by a short reading of John Taylor Gatto's sorry tale of trying to use cash payments to incentivize and enhance the learning of his students, providing us with an example of the perverse way in which financial incentives—whether for learning or for forest preservation—can cause the opposite outcome from that which is desired.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   59:36

GP comment:  Of course, from the perspective of the banksters, exploitation of the forests is exactly the desired, if unspoken, outcome of REDD.

Original Show Pub Date: 28.Jun.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good The Keiser Report

Fracking—Economic Insolvency, Environmental Insanity — Tina Rothery discusses the government's propagandistic stance on the 'inevitability' of fracking, the environmental damage the process causes, the poor economics for almost all fracking undertakings, how the moneychangers are propelling the technology forward despite the bad economics for most participants, and how fracking companies are now using paid squatters on fracking sites to prevent anti-fracking activists from doing the same and disrupting operations.
Watch  |  Download/listen   13:23

GP comment:  This is mostly UK focused; they're having the same fracking issues we have in the US.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen The Lifeboat Hour

Planetary Hospice — In an ecosystem, each dying thing ultimately becomes part of the nutrient stream for new growth. Zhiwa Woodbury explains why humans' irrational fear of dying is a root cause of our lack of environmental understanding and why we do not properly value natural systems and interaction with nature. Just as we feel fear at the though of dying, we feel fear at the thought that the planet might die (from catastrophic environmental degradation). Indeed, the rich web of life is broken and ending; but there can also be liberation and rebirth in disintegration.
Download/listen   55:20

GP comment:  "Listen to the tide slowly turning; wash all our heartaches away. We're part of the fire that is burning; and from the ashes we can build another day." -- Moody Blues, "Story in Your Eyes"

Original Show Pub Date: 20.Jul.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen resistance Radio

The Impact of Recreational Off-Road Vehicles — Bethanie Walder, WildEarth Guardians Public Lands Director, discusses the impact of recreational off-road vehicles on non-motorized outdoor enthusiasts (hikers, campers, fishers, etc.) and on the environment and animals. Topics include history off off-road vehicles in parks, how NEPA applies, off-roaders as a vocal minority, the false "jobs vs. owls" argument in forestry decisions, rights vs. responsibilities.
Download/listen   48:21

GP comment:  Recreational four-wheeling is one of those pet peeves of mine—very low redeeming value, lots of damage to environment, species, and water quality. Related rant: allowing fueled-motor boating on reservoirs is another example of the hegemony of the insane majority.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Jul.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Sleuth Radio

Nanomaterials In Soil—Our Future Food Chain? — Steve Suppan of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy discusses a new report on the presence of nanomaterials in soil and water, as well as their effects on soil health and, ultimately, the safety of food and drinking water.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   28:15

GP comment:  For nanotechnology and GMO technology, the profiteers have been given a license to use the world as their laboratory and us as their guinea pigs.

Original Show Pub Date: 26.Jun.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen One Radio Network

Coal Problems Continue as the Noose TightensMary Anne Hitt After trash, coal ash is the second largest source of solid waste in the US. The recent massive coal ash spill into the Dan River in North Carolina has brought renewed attention to the problem of toxic pollution from coal operations. Mary Anne Hitt of the Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign discusses a variety of coal-related topics, including new political will to tighten regulations on coal ash; mercury pollution from power plants to be cut by 90%; and coal as the number one source of water pollution.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   51:00

GP comment:  We could stop using coal completely in the US in 10 years if we decided to.

Original Show Pub Date: 30.Jun.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Uprising

As Ocean Acidity Rises, Will Phytoplankton Health Fall?phytoplankton Microscopic ocean creatures called phytoplankton produce an astonishing 60 percent of the Earth's oxygen and they occupy the crucial bottom rung of our world's ocean food chain. The survival of most life on this planet depends on healthy phytoplankton. Researcher William Cochlan discusses a new study that is attempting to predict the likely impact to phytoplankton from rising CO2 and ocean acidity levels. Though results are still unfolding, it appears that some phytoplankton turn more toxic in a higher acidity environment and, in turn, harm the shellfish and other marine animals that feed on them.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   21:06

GP comment:  Ocean impact is one of the more worrying effects of humanity's continuing mismanagement of the planet.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Jun.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Living on Earth

EPA Greenhouse Gas Rules Ignore Methane — Climate protection advocates have applauded the EPA's recent power plant regulations, but environmental lawyer Bill Snape says the new rules don't deal with methane, and that's a serious problem for the climate. More broadly, it's a continuation of Obama's policy of underregulating the natural gas extraction industry.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:43

GP comment:  He's right about the sweetheart deals for fracking, but he generally applauds the new GHG rules. Sorry, but they are a fractional measure and will prove totally ineffective at stopping runaway climate shift.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Jun.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Quirks and Quarks

Microplastics on Ice — Researchers have discovered that Arctic sea ice is contaminated with tiny fragments of plastic that originated from run-off, dumped garbage, and fishing gear. As multi-year sea-ice disappears, this reservoir of frozen plastic is likely to be released back into the Arctic Ocean. Dr. Rachel Obbard explains why the ice naturally takes up the particles of plastic that enter the Arctic Ocean from the Atlantic and Pacific, and expresses concern that as global warming causes more ice to melt, sea life will be more and more impacted.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:24

GP comment:  There aren't many pollution problems worse than plastic.

Original Show Pub Date: 31.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Alternative Visions

Obama's New CO2 Rules—The Bogus Brain Behind the Happy Facecoal plant Energy analyst Steve Breyman discusses the new Obama/EPA proposal to reduce CO2 emissions from existing industrial plants in the US by 30% by 2030. Are the proposals too little, too late, and cleverly crafted to defer the pain until after Obama leaves office? Topics include the slippery climate math of fracked natural gas; the XL pipeline loophole; a backdoor approach to cap and trade; increased taxation vs. consumer rebates; the future for coal-fired power plants.
Download/listen   1:00:27

GP comment:  Though most of the mainstream environmental groups are trying to put a happy face on the new carbon rules, in reality the result will be increased taxation and energy costs to consumers without solving the climate problem. The guest and host make many good points here, but they are surprisingly naive about "Obama the Hopeful" vs. "Obama the Tool of the Elites."

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Jun.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Chain Radio

Waste, Want Not — Caroline Snyder talks about the toxic chemicals that are found in sewage sludge and the conspiracy of corporations and municipal treatment operations that hides the truth from the public and attacks anyone who dares question their practices. Snyder is professor emeritus at the Rochester Institute of Technology and founder of Citizens for Sludge-Free Land. Joining the conversation is Patty Martin, a former town mayor in California and co-founder of Safe Food and Fertilizer.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   42:22

GP comment:  Just one more reason to eat organic—no sludge allowed on the fields.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sea Change Radio

A Wilderness Too Tame — When was the last time you were really in the wilderness? Or, maybe you're like the millions of Americans who've never even been in the wild before. Jason Mark, editor of Earth Island Journal, shares his misgivings about what he views to be a technological threat to some of nature's most mysterious spots. He says much of what we currently consider wild is actually pretty tame. Also discussed are conservation policy and the surprising number of bipartisan conservation bills that (unsurprisingly) have not yet been passed by Congress.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  I suspect most of us would find true wilderness highly inconvenient, if not incredibly daunting.

Original Show Pub Date: 20.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

Common Pollutants and Chemicals Increase Breast Cancer Risk — A recent study from the Silent Spring Institute catalogued common pollutants and chemicals that increase breast cancer risk. Dr. Julia Brody explains how we can minimize exposure to these carcinogens and reduce the health risk.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:02

GP comment:  Cancer is just one of the many ways we're achieving better dying through chemistry.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Quirks and Quarks

Why Are Scientists Sure That the West Antarctic Ice Will Slip Away?ice sheet The West Antarctic ice sheet appears to have passed a critical tipping point and will inevitably collapse. According to new research by two separate climate-study groups, warm deep-sea water, driven by shifting climate patterns around Antarctica, has undermined two critical glaciers that are part of the ice sheet, making it likely that the whole ice sheet will melt into the sea. If this happens, global sea levels will rise by more than three meters.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:52

GP comment:  Three meters (10 feet) will devastate many major coastal cities. The scientists say the process will take hundreds of years. We'll see.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good One Radio Network

Glyphosate—Either It Goes Away or We Go Away — Stephanie Seneff is a Senior Research Scientist at MIT. She's been studying the effects of GMOs Dr. Stephanie Seneff and glyphosate, the primary herbicide used with GMOs, and what she has discovered is devastating: Glyphosate is ubiquitous and exposure is toxic, leading her to conclude that we either ban glyphosate's use or we prepare to die off. Topics include ... glyphosate and gut bacteria; glyphosate as a cause of fungal infections; glyphosate vs. bees, bats and other animals; Europe, Russia, China, and others pushing back against GMOs.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:03:24

GP comment:  GMOs are bad, bad, bad. And now they even spray glyphosate on non-GMO wheat as part of the harvest process? Eat organic!

Original Show Pub Date: 20.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sierra Club Radio

Green Coffee — Helen Russell of Equator Coffee discusses the reasons we should care about sustainably grown, fair-trade coffee. Russell also talks about how she went from two coffee shops to a $9M green coffee company.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   14:02

GP comment:  Shade-grown. Organic. Fair-trade. Bird-friendly. Try to get at least two of those in your choice of brews.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good ExtraEnvironmentalist

William Rees: Why Degrowth?Bill Rees Ecological economist William Rees, author of the "ecological footprint" concept, talks about the numerous limits humans are smacking up against and that may prove to be our undoing. He explains the concept of "degrowth"—the idea that we would intentionally choose a to shrink economic activity to reverse unsustainable trends. From the 2014 De-Growth Vancouver Event, Part 1.
Watch  |  Download/listen   35:43

GP comment:  Politicians will give up their growth meme when we pry it from their cold, dead hands.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen ExtraEnvironmentalist

Jennie Moore: How Degrowth Applies to Vancouver, Canada, and the World Jennie Moore Jennie Moore is the Director of Sustainable Development and Environmental Stewardship at the British Columbia Institute of Technology. She discusses opportunities for we caring humans to do better at reducing our ecological footprint, especially carbon, but also explains why such steps will never be enough in the context of an infinite growth economy. From the 2014 De-Growth Vancouver Event, Part 2.
Watch  |  Download/listen   17:33

GP comment:  She is right that green consumerism will never be enough to solve our environmental problems. Ironically, "enough" is a concept that is antithetical to the infinite growth paradigm.

Original Show Pub Date: 17.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

deep sea scene Deep Seabed Mining — Deep-ocean mining may sound futuristic, but a Canadian company recently struck a deal with Papua New Guinea to mine gold and other metals from deep beneath their coastal sea. Greenpeace campaigner Richard Page explains what types of minerals and mining are being targeted and talks about why the project raises concerns about the impact on life in the deep ocean.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:30

GP comment:  Where is a killer leviathan when you need one?

Original Show Pub Date: 16.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

The (So Far) Elusive Dream of Carbon Capture And Storage — Future regulations on carbon dioxide emissions will mean that coal plants must capture and sequester their CO2—or go out of business. Reid Frazier reports that despite years of experiments there is still no cost-effective way to employ carbon capture technology at coal-fired power plants.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:55

GP comment:  Injection-style CO2 sequestration is a pipedream. Yes, they have the technology to inject it and cap it. But geology shifts, and stuff comes back up. Ever hear of a volcano or a seep? Carbon capture is a scam designed to keep the coal industry at the table.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Moyers and Company

David Suzuki on Corp-Gov Anti-Environmentalism — We live in an upside-down world where the people who would protect the natural systems that sustain us (environmentalists) are openly declared enemies of the state, where corporations fund a big-media propaganda machine dedicated to false statements about global warming and other environmental issues. David Suzuki says the "kill the messenger" strategy is ripped straight from big tobacco's old playbook. While he is concerned that humans are setting themselves up for a fall, he is more optimistic about the chances for "the planet"—it's highly resilient (though we are not).
Watch  |  Download/listen   24:27

GP comment:  Suzuki is clear and cogent, as always.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good CounterSpin

White House Trade Policies Undermining Clean Energy GoalsObama giving speech on clean energy at a Walmart store Ben Lilliston of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy explains why White House policies promoting energy efficiency and renewables may be good rhetoric, but the broader goals for sustainable energy and a clean environment are undermined by White House trade policies.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   9:30

GP comment:  Follow the money.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Political Analysis

Green Slime—The Corporate Attack on Rooftop Solar — Solar industry insider Chuck McCune discusses energy democracy, solar power, and paradigm shifts. Topics include how energy corporations are trying to undermine consumer-installed solar; the true (and shocking) kilowatt-hour cost of nuclear energy; strategies for boosting solar energy.
Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  Dinosaur energy will not die easily. Best we help it in that direction.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Between the Lines

Environmental Group Targets NPR for Ditching Coverage of Fracking Issues in Deference to Corporate SponsorsNPR - don't even think about it It's no secret that the interests of corporate sponsors influence what stories get covered, which get ignored, and what point of view the coverage conveys. So it was not surprising that when NPR started accepting corporate sponsorship from the American Natural Gas Alliance, the network's national coverage of the downsides of fracking all but ceased. Drew Hudson of Environmental Action explains why his group targeted NPR.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:58

GP comment:  NPR is corporate media, just like the others. In a way, NPR is more of a problem than obvious hacks like Fox and MSNBC—NPR's sins of ommission and misframing are much more subtle, but their stories almost always represent corp-gov interests.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living On Earth

Gardening in a Climate-Changed Worldberries From vicious drought to terrible storms, climate change is affecting people throughout the world. But writer Jim Barilla sees that climate change is also being felt in his own urban garden in South Carolina. He explains how climate disruption has changed his gardening practice and offers suggestions on how gardeners can adapt.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:10

GP comment:  Including more (southern) varieties—good idea.

Original Show Pub Date: 09.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Less Nutritious Grains May Be In Our Future — In the future, Earth's atmosphere is likely to include much more carbon dioxide. Scientists say that some of the world's most important crops will likely contain fewer crucial nutrients when they grow in such an environment.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   2:59

GP comment:  It's sort of the same effect as too much nitrogen fertilizer on your tomato plants—lots of vegetation, not so many tomatoes, and not so tasty. The balance is delicate.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.May.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

tomatoes Guide to Pesticide Residues on Produce — The Environmental Working Group has released its annual "dirty dozen" list of the twelve fruits and vegetables most contaminated with pesticide residues. This clip lists many of the top 12 and reminds us that extra washing of non-organic produce is not a solution.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:40

GP comment:  PROCESSED organic foods are quite expensive. But the extra cost to get fresh organic veggies and fruits and other basic commodities is not huge—and is well worth it.

Original Show Pub Date: 09.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Kevin Danaher on the Green FutureKevin Danaher Kevin Danaher says people often react to the proposal of good grand projects with the attitude, "sure, that will be great for the future." But "the future is now" in terms of implementing projects that will correct current problems and pay dividends for the era of our grandchildren. He talks about this year's green festival and green goals in general.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   21:00

GP comment:  Danaher's pitch is appropriate and enthusiastic. But if I have to pick between people being greener consumers and people knocking the wheels off the bankster-industrial complex, I'll take the latter. If you pay for your green purchases with bankster credit cards, what's the point?

Original Show Pub Date: 07.May.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Houston air pollution State of the Air 2014 — This year's State of the Air report from the American Lung Association shows a growing ground-level ozone problem. But the recent Supreme Court decision on interstate air pollution has clean-air advocates smiling. ~~ In a related story, Houston, Texas is home to the largest chemical hub in the Americas and is one of the smoggiest cities in the US. The city is working to clean up its air, but it still has a long way to go.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   6:07
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   5:00

GP comment:  No surprise that the petrochemical industry would be a cause of air pollution in that area.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.May.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... NPR

Farmers And Frackers Wrangle For Water In Shadow Of California Drought — California's drought has developed an interesting relationship between farmers and oilers: California oil wells produce more water than oil, and Chevron filters that water and sells it to a local water district. Interest in the technology is growing in the Central Valley, but high costs and uneasy relations between oil and agriculture might get in the way.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   4:58

GP comment:  Yeay! The oil and gas industry saves the day! OK, seriously, it would be good to use "excess water" from petroleum pumping operations IF it's properly cleaned up. But are they willing to spend the bucks needed to properly clean it? Or will they "sort of clean it" and let the subtle contamination just end up part of what grows your food? Always bet on the answer that is the most profitable one.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good NPR

Supreme Court Ruling Affirms Law Regulating Out-Of-State Pollution — The Supreme Court has upheld an EPA air pollution rule that reins in pollution from power plant smoke stacks when that pollution fouls the air in downwind states. Clean-air advocates say the rule finally addresses a disconnect between the science of air pollution and the laws intended to clean it up.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   2:41

GP comment:  A rare but very welcome true victory on the environmental front. Let's hope the power companies decide to comply rather than dragging their feet (and knuckles) for the next decade.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Sea Change Radio

Richard Heinberg on the Anthropocene — Richard Heinberg discusses the era of the anthropocene, the geological epoch during which the enduring central feature will be human-driven changes to the environment. Climate change is not the only characteristic within this concept, but it is likely to be the dominant one. Heinberg distinguishes between "lean, green" solutions (typified by permaculture) and "techno" solutions (typified by genetic engineering, geoengineering, etc.). The first group is hampered by the fact that human desire is at odds with the goals; the second group is likely to prove unsustainable. In the end, Heinberg thinks the interdependence of species—the web of life—will prove to be something that we break at our peril.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  Heinberg also aptly observes that the techno-optimists are missing a key point—it's not all about us (humans).

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Flea Collar Chemical Banned To Protect Toddlerstoddler playing with dog The EPA has banned certain flea and tick collars for cats and dogs because young children touching their pets can get exposures to unhealthful amounts of pesticides. The move came in response to lawsuits filed by the Natural Resources Defense Council. NRDC Senior Scientist Miriam Rotkin-Ellman explains which collars are the problem and says there are safer alternatives.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:54

GP comment:  Any form of pesticide in the home should be avoided. That includes antibacterial soap!

Original Show Pub Date: 25.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Cli-Fi — Climate Beyond Imaginationfuturistic painting of young woman walking towards green glowing sky Envisioning a future where the climate has changed significantly enough to affect people's everyday lives is the theme of a growing body of fiction and non-fiction dubbed "Cli-Fi." Alex Smith talks to authors Perry Kelly and Mary Woodbury about the genre. ~~ Richard Rosen of the Tellus Institute explains why current models of the economics of mitigating climate change are so flawed as to be useless.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   59:59

GP comment:  Rosen is right that the current economic assessments are grossly unrealistic and unhelpful, but even his own criticisms fail to account for the crazy way money works on this planet—that is, TPTB print as much as they want. So why are we haggling over the price of climate action? The cost is not the issue.

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Apr.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Living On Earth

Finance and Economics vs. Climate and Fossil Fuels — Some may think that the price of addressing climate change today is high, but the IPCC's 2104 mitigation report says it's cheap compared to what it would cost in the future. Joseph Romm discusses the report's cost-benefit analysis. ~~ A growing movement across the country is demanding that institutions pull their investments out of fossil fuel companies. In Massachusetts, pensioners, professors, and students recently demonstrated to urge divestment from the corporations most responsible for climate change.
Go to page A  |  Download/listen A   11:23
Go to page B  |  Download/listen B   6:46

GP comment:  The IPCC gets its touted cost-benefit result partly because it greatly underestimates what needs to be done to truly stop runaway climate disruption. Regarding divesting from the fossil fuel corporations, that's a good idea for lots of reasons besides climate.

Original Show Pub Date: 18.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

Toms River—How a Small Town Fought Back Against a Corporate Giant and Its Toxic Dumping — Environmental reporter Dan Fagin discuss the topic of his book, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation, which tells the story of how a small New Jersey town fought back against industrial pollution and astronomical rates of childhood cancer and ultimately won one of the largest legal settlements in US history. Regarding chemical pollution in general, Fagin says that we collect massive amounts of data but we don't look for patterns that point to contamination and health problems: "People are dying because we do not do effective public health surveillance in this country."
Watch  |  Download/listen   24:41

GP comment:  We don't look for those patterns because the corp-gov state has an interest in them remaining hidden, and most ordinary people are too busy with their lives to worry about it—until fate brings tragedy to their door.

Original Show Pub Date: 23.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

The Green Scare—Religion and Anti-Environmentalism — Are big fundamentalist churches selling out to the big bucks of Big Oil and Big Coal and helping the fossil fools derail Rev. Michael Dowd climate action? Rev. Michael Dowd explains why junk-science-thumping preachers are at odds with the core tenets of Christianity and are actually doing evil. ~~ Also discussed: A new report from UNEP shows alternative energy growth strong but slightly down in 2013.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  The conversation about intentional deception being ironically evil is reasonable to have, but climate shift has blown past any potential good outcome from carbon taxes. And he doesn't even get that topic right: a tax-SHIFT that penalizes pollution and liberates earned income is the only acceptable form of carbon tax. That said, there are some important concepts in this clip.

Original Show Pub Date: 16.Apr.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Against the Grain

Flame Retardants and Other Synthetic Chemicals Are Ubiquitous We may not realize it, but most of us consume small amounts of toxic flame retardants and other chemicals on a daily basis. California has just overturned the mandate that flame retardants be used on foam, but the chemicals remain in much of our existing furniture. Chemist Arlene Blum, who is partially responsible for the change, discusses the use of flame retardants in everything from sofas and mattresses to baby products. ~~ Then environmental historian Nancy Langston talks about how synthetic chemicals can trigger cancer and other illnesses in humans.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   54:59

GP comment:  The chemical companies, as usual, are the bad guys here. However, lawmakers who ignore the law of unintended consequences should be held accountable, too.

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

Four Years After BP Disaster, Ousted Regulator Warns US at Risk of Another SpillGulf Coast beach Four years ago, BP's Deepwater Horizon drilling platform exploded and killed 11 workers, causing more than 200 million gallons of oil to spew into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, the Environmental Protection Agency has lifted a ban that excluded BP from new federal oil contracts. Elizabeth Birnbaum, who was forced out as director of the Minerals Management Service shortly after the Deepwater Horizon blowout, explains that little has changed in the way drilling is practiced and warns that there is a real risk of another offshore oil blowout. ~~ Then Jaclyn Lopez of the Center for Biological Diversity comments on the impact to Gulf wildlife.
Watch  |  Download/listen   16:17

GP comment:  There are two essential moments here: (1) A reminder that the Obama Administration has ignored recommendations that would require stronger blow-out preventers; (2) the news that not only is the US military exempt from marine-mammal protection laws (for national security reasons, apparently), so is the US energy industry (for private profit reasons, apparently).

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good NPR

Telltale Rainbow Sheens Show Thousands Of Oil Spills Across The Gulf — Under the Clean Water Act, when a company spills any amount of oil in the water, it must file a report with the National Response Center run by the Coast Guard. But when Jonathan Henderson checked, he found many small spills in the Gulf region were not making that list. So environmental groups formed the Gulf Monitoring Consortium to get a better count on spills.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   3:57

GP comment:  Industry likes self-regulating and self-reporting for a reason—they get away with shit.

Original Show Pub Date: 19.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living on Earth

The Growing Threat From Methane — Methane is many times more powerful as a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. Evidence from prehistory suggests methane was a major factor in Earth's largest extinction, and current global warming projections warn of ballooning methane emissions in the future. The White House has launched plans to reduce methane emissions from US sources.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:23

GP comment:  This is a decent short history of the relevance of methane to climate change. But regardless of what politicians say, the world will not be any more successful at (or truly interested in) controlling methane than it was at curbing CO2. In fact, methane from a tipping-point event or runaway feedback loop is the most likely scenario for catastrophic, rapid climate shift.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

Study Links Pesticides and Lowered IntelligenceCAUTION - pesticide spraying in progress - proceed at own risk Studies conducted in the Salinas Valley and New York City have found that the effects of pesticides on development in children can be similar to those of lead, including lower IQs and slower mobility. Journalist Susan Freinkel discusses the findings.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:27

GP comment:  Freinkel soft-pedals on her recommendations. Forget that "wash the pesticides off" nonsense—washing reduces but does not eliminate pesticide residue. Buy organic, or grow 'em yourself. And for heaven's sake, if you are still using lawn chemicals or "Turfbuilder" type products, STOP!

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Against the Grain

In the 17th Century, a Different Climate Crisis but the Same Old Elites — In the 1600s, the world faced a global climate crisis—an extended period of cooling known as the Little Ice Age—which severely depressed agricultural output. Most rulers of the time took the opportunity not to help their populations adapt to the problem but as an opportunity to purge internal enemies and harvest the wealth of other lands. Historian Geoffrey Parker discusses the lessons of the 17th century, where elites—with the exception of Tokugawa Japan—responded to the crisis with wars and scapegoating.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   54:41

GP comment:  Well, given that bankster types have been around since about that time, it's no surprise.

Original Show Pub Date: 01.Apr.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Sea Change Radio

Hurricane Sandy's Lessons in Coastal ResilienceMeera Subramanian As major weather-related calamities like Hurricane Sandy are teaching us, decisions around where buildings are built and vegetation is planted are important, especially as they relate to the encroaching coastline and other impacts of climate change. Meera Subramanian discusses post-Sandy restoration efforts that draw upon engineering insights from a hundred years ago.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  People shouldn't build where natural has a tendency to thrash. But they still do.

Original Show Pub Date: 01.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Making Contact

Sounding the Alarm—Noise Pollutionpoliceman holding up hand to stop Noise pollution is a growing problem. On this edition, we hear three stories about noise pollution: how it affects marine mammals; how it affects people near airports; how it feels to be in a remote area with only natural sounds.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  Noise is one of those things that can subtly wears your nerves down when you're awake and keep you from getting proper deep sleep at night, thus slowly degrading your health.

Original Show Pub Date: 02.Apr.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Quirks & Quarks

IPCC Climate Change Report Advocates Adaptation — The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued its latest report, which focuses on "Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability," or how humans and the natural systems are likely to be affected by climate change, and how we can try to adapt to it. We are definitely already seeing the impacts of climate change, and while we've started to prepare for the more serious issues to come—including extreme weather, drought, floods, potential crop failures, and wildfires—there is still much to do.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   16:28

GP comment:  Because of their nature as "consensus reports," IPCC reports have always been far behind current science, understating impacts and lowballing predictions. Even with the increased urgency here, this report is no exception. It's good that they're focusing on adaptation to warming, because avoidance is no longer an option.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Apr.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living On Earth

Oil Spills Increasingoil spill on beach The 25th anniversary of the Exxon Valdez spill was marked by a tanker spill in the Gulf of Mexico, an oil pipeline rupture in an Ohio nature reserve, and a BP refinery leaking oil into Lake Michigan. Lorne Stockman of Oil Change International says that oil producers are increasingly going after difficult-to-extract oil reserves. The more difficult production environments and changing oil substrates are stressing the infrastructure, so we're seeing an increase in spills.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:20

GP comment:  Yup, just another sign that we're in the "burning the furniture" phase.

Original Show Pub Date: 28.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Toxic Chemical Dioxane Detected In More Water Supplies — West Virginia's drinking water crisis earlier this year highlighted an unsettling truth about tap water: Treatment plants test for only a fraction of the chemicals in use. The chemical 1,4-dioxane, which is used by industry to dissolve oily or greasy substances—and likely causes cancer—is one chemical that is being detected now that it's being tested for.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   3:49

GP comment:  Why it should surprise anyone that a common industrial solvent contaminates our waters is beyond me. This "hope for the best" approach to chemicals has to stop.

Original Show Pub Date: 26.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Red Ice Radio

Climate Change, Geoengineering, and the Collapse of CivilizationDane Wigington, geoengineering Dane Wigington is a former employee of Bechtel Power Corp, with an extensive background in solar energy. When he began to lose significant amounts of solar uptake due to ever-increasing "solar obscuration," Wigington undertook an investigation that has turned into a 10-year quest to understand and document government geoengineering programs, their impact on the weather and climate; their use for political pressure, military conquests, and land grabs; and their impact on environmental and human health. He explains why he thinks all this tinkering with earth's natural systems has gotten out of control, setting us up for catastrophic collapse.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   53:19

GP comment:  Though this is an area that is often ignored as mere wild-eye conspiracy talk, Wigington's presentation is clear and cogent, and it weaves together a number of details that have previously been difficult to place.

Original Show Pub Date: 14.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

25 Years After Valdez Spill, Alaska Town Still Struggling With Aftermath — On March 24, 1989, the tanker Exxon Valdez struck a reef in Prince William Sound, Alaska, spilling 11 million gallons of crude oil into the pristine water. At the time, it was the single biggest spill in US history. Today, its legacy is a lasting social and economic disaster.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:19

GP comment:  It's easy to hate Exxon-Mobil and all the big oil companies. But as long as we expect to have reasonably priced fuel and unfettered mobility, we drivers remain part of the problem.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.,Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living On Earth

Boosting Public Transit — Congestion and smog in Paris are bad enough that authorities are taking aggressive measures to deal with the problem. Can bold steps taken in an iconic city abroad make Americans more accepting of the actions necessary to solve transportation woes in US cities? Former Massachusetts Transportation Secretary Fred Salvucci explains why public transit is a key to limiting congestion and reducing emissions from cars. in spite of this, many cities with public transit, including Boston, aren't keeping up with growing demand and infrastructure requirements.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   9:50

GP comment:  Mass transit is low-hanging fruit for almost all cities, yet investments always seem to lag. It doesn't make sense.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Sea Change Radio

Little By Little—Nanoparticle Technology — In a relatively short period, ultra-small nanoparticles have become ubiquitous in modern products. And probably in the environment, too. We don't really know about the latter because no one has bothered to test what happens to nano products when they are disposed of. Though most people don't pay much attention to nano, the technology is found in everyday applications, from making toothpaste whiter and sunscreens more transparent to making hair dryers hotter and clothing more stain-resistant to making food more visually appealing. Journalist Heather Millar talks about the pros and cons of nano.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   30:00

GP comment:  For industry to release nanomaterials into the environment and put them in food without long-term studies is the height of irresponsibility. Millar is mildly cautionary, but she asserts that nano is here to stay so there's no point in talking about killing the industry. Such an assumption is also irresponsible.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

everglades Oil Industry Gets An Earful As It Eyes Florida's Everglades — Drilling companies have new interest in southern Florida's Big Cypress preserve. The prospect of large-scale operations, with or without fracking, worries environmentalists and residents.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   3:57

GP comment:  Even without any chemicals being used, fracking rearranges things below the surface, and contamination of fresh water is almost a given.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Mar.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living On Earth

BPA-Free Does Not Mean Safe baby with sippy cup Though those numbers on the bottom of plastics tell you what can be recycled, plastic waste now litters the earth and seas, and what once seemed an inert material can sometimes affect human health by mimicking estrogen. The ingredient bisphenol A (BPA) is now widely banned in baby bottles and children's sippy cups, but BPA-free alternatives may not be much safer. Recent research suggests Tritan, a BPA replacement, is also estrogenic. Mariah Blake, a reporter with Mother Jones, discusses the findings and the corporate dirty tricks designed to discredit anyone who finds fault with their products.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   10:37

GP comment:  Plastics are a classic example of balance in the universe. Their incredible usefulness is counterbalanced by the fact that they are incredibly damaging to the environment, animals, and us.

Original Show Pub Date: 14.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living on Earth

New Rules Will Reduce Fuel Sulfur and Air Pollutionvehicle exhaust pollution Sulfur in gasoline makes automobile engines less efficient and creates more pollutants. The US EPA has released new regulations to cut the amount of sulfur in gasoline. Dan Greenbaum from the Health Effects Institute explains how the new rules are expected to save money and prevent more than 2,000 premature deaths.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:18

GP comment:  Bravo. But this was low-hanging fruit that should have been picked long ago. When US auto manufacturers get behind doubling fuel-efficiency standards and reducing total emissions by more than half, let me know.

Original Show Pub Date: 07.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Against the Grain

Ocean Acidification—A Basic Problem — Carbon dioxide generated by the burning of fossil fuels is being absorbed into the oceans with already serious (and potentially catastrophic) consequences for marine life and, eventually, human life. Meg Chadsey describes the phenomenon of ocean acidification and the myriad physical and civilizational threats it poses.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   53:00

GP comment:  The question may be less one of the absolute acidity level vs. the rapidity of the change. Regardless, if the oceans die, we die.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Feb.2014


Rating: 2 of 5 - OK; if you've got the time... Exploration

Our Oceans—Pollution and Plunder — Dr. Robert Callum discusses the devastating effect human activities—some intentional, some not—are having on the health of the oceans and the sea life in them.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   59:50

GP comment:  The first 30 minutes is worth hearing. The second half is a ridiculously inept discussion about the role music plays in various aspects of human existence.

Original Show Pub Date: 04.Mar.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

New Data on Methane Leaks from City Gas Systems — Last year a team of scientists drove a truck loaded with measuring equipment around Boston and found thousands of places where natural gas (including its prime component, methane) was escaping from decaying distribution pipes. A new study shows a similar situation in Washington, D.C. Overall, methane is 25-30 times more powerful a greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, though short-term effects are even worse. Nathan Phillips reviews the study results and discusses the risks to trees and human health, as well as the climate change risks.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   20:00

GP comment:  The will to fix this problem probably does not exist. Look at the huge backlog of undone infrastructure repairs at the same time we pay hedge fund managers billions of dollars, keep building new sports stadiums, and give huge local tax breaks to corporations. It's a system run by venal maniacs.

Original Show Pub Date: 26.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

The Climate Impact of Arctic Ice LossPaul Beckwith Arctic ice expert Paul Beckwith discusses a newly released NASA study that has calculated the changing reflection of the sun's rays as sea ice increasingly diminishes during the Arctic summer. It's about 4% more heat absorbed now, compared to 1979, which doesn't sound like much, but NASA says it's huge, accounting for 25% as much global warming as all human-made fossil fuel burning.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   18:00

GP comment:  Beckwith rightly sees this as a feedback loop that is about to reach its tipping point.

Original Show Pub Date: 26.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living On Earth

Plastic Microbeads Contaminating US Waterwaysplastic microbeads Microbeads are tiny plastic spheres found in facial scrubs and other cosmetics. Sewage treatment doesn't remove them from wastewater, so they end up in lakes and streams. As Kara Holsopple of the Allegheny Front reports, they are a hazard to fish and to anyone who might eat the fish.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   5:11

GP comment:  The microbeads are intentionally put in facial scrubs when a natural substance would work just as well. Humans—shiny faces, tarnished souls.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Democracy Now

Report Exposes Link Between Fracking and Toxic Air Emissions — Residents who live near areas of oil and natural gas fracking have long complained that the industry's activities contaminate groundwater. A new investigation is shedding light on another concern: air quality. David Hasemyer and Lisa Song, two of the reporters who worked on the investigation, explain the findings.
Watch  |  Download/listen   6:36

GP comment:  The air pollution aspect is a negative, for sure; but the water pollution aspect should be the deal-breaker for all Americans.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Natural News

Mercury Toxicity and You — Mercury toxicity expert Chris Shade explains how humans are exposed to mercury, what it does to us, and how we can avoid it. Topics include organic mercury vs. inorganic mercury vs. elemental mercury; why testing must combine urinalysis and hair analysis; synergistic toxicity between mercury, cadmium, and lead; how the dental lobby stands in the way of sensible mercury regulations; how to get rid of mercury if you have it.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   45:46

GP comment:  A bit wonky, but very informative.

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good C-Realm Podcast

David Holmgren Peak Oil, Environment, Finance, and Psycho-Social Debt — David Holmgren has been tracking the onset of climate change and peak oil for many years, but he says that in recent years, largely due to the work of Steve Keen and Nicole Foss, he has come to see financial systems as the fastest moving and most volatile element in the emerging global crisis. Here, Holmgren offers a nuanced and apt review of the intersection between energy, finance, climate, and culture, adding to the basis for his assertion that we must collapse the financial system to preserve a livable biosphere. He also explains why he thinks that multiple generations of mass affluence has left us saddled with a "psycho-social debt" that will be very difficult for us to discharge.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  KMO makes a rare fundamental error, describing the actions of the Federal Reserve as if they were dictated by President Obama. That is not at all the case. The Federal Reserve is owned by its member banks—mostly Wall Street investment banks. Of course, both entities are tools of the same elites. But the distinction is important. That's a minor nit—overall, this is an excellent interview.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Feb.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Democracy Now

Silencing the Scientist—Tyrone Hayes on Being Targeted by Herbicide Firm SyngentaTyrone Hayes Scientist Tyrone Hayes discovered that a widely used herbicide called Atrazine may have harmful effects on the endocrine system. But when he tried to publish the results, the chemical's manufacturer launched a campaign to discredit his work and threaten him with physical harm. Newly available court documents from a class action lawsuit against Syngenta show how it sought to smear Hayes' reputation and prevent the US EPA from banning the profitable chemical, which has already been banned by the European Union.
Watch  |  Download/listen   17:41

GP comment:  There are several must-hear moments in this clip. I particularly love that Hayes found out Syngenta had access to his email and then crafted emails that mislead them and kept them off his trail. Bravo!

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living On Earth

Flouride and Other Chemical Risks — New research finds exposure in early life to several common chemicals, including fluoride in drinking water, diminishes brain function in children. Study lead author Philippe Grandjean says fluoride, flame retardants, pesticides, and and fuel additives may be affecting children's intelligence.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:41

GP comment:  Generally good report, except for the host's initial comment about "the dental benefits of fluoride." Here's the truth about fluoride: It's a biocide, so it is effective as a topical anti-cavity agent in toothpaste because of the concentration level and the prolonged exposure mouth bacteria receive. Taken internally via drinking water, however, fluoride is nothing but a toxin.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living On Earth

desert scene Using Bacteria to Heal the Desert — Erosion is a huge problem in the dry American West. But there's hope. Soil scientist Matthew Bowker explains how bacteria can be used to help bring a living crust back to the surface of the desert.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   6:25

GP comment:  All soil systems have a living layer. The desert is no exception.

Original Show Pub Date: 14.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Living On Earth

Coal Ash Impoundments Threaten Water Quality — Huge Coal ash waste ponds are commonplace at power plants in Appalachian coal country, but environmental watchdogs coal ash impoundment say state and federal oversight is lax. A recent spill on the Dan River in North Carolina dumped thousands of tons of toxic coal ash into the water. Amy Adams of Appalachian Voices discusses the threat of coal ash impoundments and offers some ideas for reform.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:21

GP comment:  Coal pollutes on many levels, not just when it's burned.

Original Show Pub Date: 14.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Resistance Radio

Environment and "Collapse Consciousness" — As it becomes more and more obvious that the corp-gov state has no intention of addressing increasingly urgent environmental issues, including ecosystem collapse, species extinction, ubiquitous pollution, and climate chaos, people of conscience are increasingly feeling the deep wounding that comes with awareness of how dire the predicament has become. Derrick Jensen and Carolyn Baker discuss five facets of "collapse consciousness"—fear, anger, grief, depression, and even joy—and offer ideas on how we can best navigate what's coming (and what's already here).
Download/listen   44:03

GP comment:  We're seeing converging collapse scenarios for environment, energy, and finance. This may be partly intentional on the part of The Powers That Be—it feels that way. But why? Post-apocalyptic feudal state? Is that really appealing to these psychopaths?

Original Show Pub Date: 09.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good NPR

Risky Tech Fixes For Climate Becoming Likelier, Critic Warns — As the window of opportunity to address climate change through severe reduction of human-emitted greenhouse gases closes—if it's not already closed—Clive Hamilton sees a grim, potentially dangerous world ahead, where nations become desperate to confronting worsening climate-driven problems and pull the last best hope off the shelf: risky geoengineering solutions. In fact, he says, the logic of why they WILL do that is inescapable.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   4:23

GP comment:  He's right—that's exactly where we are headed, and the notion of "profitable techno-fixes" is exactly why our corp-gov masters have decided to forget about solving the problem by reigning in the ever-profitable pollution side. As the saying goes, the wealthy make money on the way up AND the way down.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

US Chemical Safety Board Understaffed and Largely Ignored — The lead federal agency investigating the West Virginia chemical leak is one most Americans have probably never heard of: The US Chemical Safety Board. It's is an independent body, but critics say it is understaffed, underfunded, and takes too long to finish its investigations. An even larger problem is that its non-binding recommendations are often ignored anyway.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   4:13

GP comment:  Exactly right. We pretend to regulate chemicals in this country. But we don't even pretend to punish criminal negligence in the area.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Feb.2014


Rating: 5 of 5 - Must-listening! Radio EcoShock

Crash on DemandDavid Homgren Do we need to break the insane, rapacious financial system to save the climate? Permaculture co-founder David Holmgren says "yes." Nicole Foss counters that the system is going to crash anyway, so why set yourself up as the fall-guy or get stuck in the quagmire of climate-denier politics? We should focus on the peak-oil/resilience message. If people get onboard with that, action on climate issue will happen as a natural side-effect.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  Foss is exactly right. The climate war has already been lost. Stop fighting it and move to a front were victory is possible—because it is in people's clear and immediate self-interest—and you will do better on the climate front anyway.

Original Show Pub Date: 05.Feb.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Do We Have the Wisdom to Survive?planet earth inundated with pollution from smokestacks Anne Macksoud discusses her film, The Wisdom to Survive—-Climate Change, Capitalism & Community. She sees climate chaos as an existential threat, but recognizes that the relentless gears of capitalism must be replaced with a less destructive system if we are to get anywhere on solutions.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   25:00

GP comment:  I particularly like that fact that she dismisses "better technology" as the solution. Even if such a fix were possible, we need to address the question of how we are supposed to be living and learning on this planet. Failure to do so is what got us into this mess in the first place.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Democracy Now

Michigan Activists Face Up to Two Years in Prison for Protesting Oil Pipeline Behind 2010 Spill — Three environmentalists have been convicted for their role in nonviolently protesting the construction of tar sands pipelines in Michigan. Last summer, they tied themselves to excavators at an Enbridge construction site to stall work on a pipeline that ruptured in 2010, dumping about 800,000 gallons of crude oil into a tributary of the Kalamazoo River. In this clip, we hear a brief statement by the protesters, then Christopher Wahmhoff of the Michigan Coalition Against Tar Sands discusses the local activism that's been bringing awareness to the problematic pipeline.
Watch  |  Download/listen   6:14

GP comment:  Many people get so lost in the climate issue they forget that fossil fuel extraction technologies are highly polluting, regardless of their carbon footprint.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Feb.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Fresh Air

Entrepreneurs Looking for Windfalls as Climate Changes — In Windfall—The Booming Business of Global Warming, journalist McKenzie Funk looks into how some entrepreneurs and even some nations stand to benefit from a changing climate. They include investors buying water rights and farmland around the world; firms offering wildfire protection services for affluent homeowners; investment houses running mutual funds designed to take advantage of financial opportunities forced by climate change; and the nation of Greenland, which will be able to exploit new mineral deposits as its ice melts.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   26:13

GP comment:  It is indeed true that some climates will become more supportive of typical human activities. Many others will become less so. The financial barons will figure out ways to exploit both situations.

Original Show Pub Date: 28.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Between the Lines

United Church of Christ Takes Leading Role in Fossil Fuel Divestment MovementJim Antal In the summer of 2012, environmentalist Bill McKibben challenged colleges, municipalities and religious organizations to divest their endowment or pension fund holdings from fossil fuel stocks. The first national organization to move forward with divestment was the United Church of Christ, which in June 2013 voted to divest its fossil fuel holdings. Rev. Jim Antal, who introduced the resolution, discusses his organization's decision and its practical implications for the bigger picture on climate change.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   7:46

GP comment:  Generally the right direction, but it doesn't go far enough. Moving from "bad Wall Street investments" to "good Wall Street investments" won't cut it. Pull your money totally. Put it into reducing home energy use by installing solar electric (or buying shares in a solar farm), and by adding solar hot water and passive solar structures, and by installing better doors, windows, insulation, and roofing. Investments in alternative financial instruments pale by comparison.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Fresh Air

How Industrial Chemical Regulation Failed West Virginia — On January 9, 2014, people in and around Charleston, WV, began showing up at hospitals with nausea and eye infections, and some were vomiting. It was later discovered that around 10,000 gallons of a toxic chemical had leaked into the Elk River, just upstream from a water treatment plant that serves 300,000 people. After initially staying silent, the company and the WV government finally told citizens not to drink or bathe in the water. Today, some people are back to using water from their taps, but many still don't trust it or the information coming from public officials. Charleston Gazette reporter Ken Ward recaps the event, the response, the politics, and the aftermath.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   36:03

GP comment:  No one wants "overregulation." In terms of the voluminous laws and regulations that are on the books, one could argue that we are at a minimum overburdened with paperwork. But if one examines the EFFECTIVENESS of current regulations, we are NOT overregulating—use of chemicals is ubuquitous and wanton. When you start putting CEOs in jail for events like the WV spill, you will start to see things change.

Original Show Pub Date: 29.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Are We Headed for the Climate Cliff? — Does the global future look like Australia today, where the heat causes bats to fall dead out of the sky and tennis players to drop like flies? Cam Walker of Friends of the Earth Australia talks about what's going on in Australia, where the heat is affecting the economy, with some outdoor work being cancelled and some downtown streets looking like a ghost-town, as people stay home, hunkered down against the heat. Will such problems accelerate and push us over the climate cliff?
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  Thankfully, the material in the clip is less sensational than the description sounds.

Original Show Pub Date: 22.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good ExtraEnvironmentalist

Green Wizards, Get Off Your Butt!wizard made of shrubbery Americans are finding it increasingly difficult to achieve and maintain their expectations for jobs, housing, and other basic aspects of life. With the limits to growth putting basic lifestyle assumptions under assault, can people use intermediate technologies to reduce their ecological footprint, be more resilient, and find satisfaction? John Michael Greer talks about the concept of Green Wizardry, which advises development of hands-on skills as a way for a person to change their life and their culture. Then Jessica Kellner explains how people are building their own homes out of salvaged materials using lots of sweat but very little money.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   1:45:36

GP comment:  Indeed, being green is not about better shopping or hybrid cars. It's about investing yourself in reengineering your life.

Original Show Pub Date: 27.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living On Earth

Explosive Oil Trains — The past year has seen a marked increase in oil train derailments and explosions, including the deadly accident in Lac-Megantic in Quebec that killed 47 people. These events have raised questions about oil transport in North America. Canadian journalist Jacquie McNish discusses.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   15:06

GP comment:  You gotta love the desperation of industry when they use "it was a once-in-a-lifetime accident" because "there was a hill and the brakes failed." And, as with the ocean-based oil tanker industry, the oil-by-rail industry has mightily resisted the push to use shielded double-wall rail cars. And P.S. Also mentioned in passing is that the US is headed for "energy independence." That is a myth.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Jan.2014


Rating: 1 of 5 - Gah! Read the comment! Living On Earth

New Research Probes BP Oil Disaster — Five million barrels of oil spewed into the Gulf of Mexico when BP's Macondo well exploded in 2010, and some oil remained suspended in the water. New research is examining why the oil behaved in such an unexpected way.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   8:09

GP comment:  I rarely bother featuring a clip that I rate a "1". But OMG—how does a story about how the oil dispersed after the Gulf accident not mention the massive use of Corexit, which was DESIGNED TO DISPERSE THE OIL.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good NPR

Water Companies Can't Monitor All Chemicals; There Are Too Many — The fact that a second contaminant in West Virginia's drinking water eluded detection for nearly two weeks—despite intense testing of the water—reveals an important truth about how companies test drinking water: In most cases, they only find the contaminants they're looking for.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   3:26

GP comment:  Well, the truth it really reveals is that Americans are totally ignorant of—or at best completely complacent about—about the dangers posed by the 80,000+ different chemicals used in products, many of which are present in waste streams and water supplies, as well as elsewhere in the environment. Hell, they're even in the products and food we buy, as contaminants or by design. It's long past time we stopped believing in "better living through chemistry" and started demanding that the precautionary principle be applied to all chemicals. They are guilty of toxicity until proven safe by independent long-term testing.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Getting Toxics Out of Our Bodies — Are you accumulating harmful chemicals and metals in your body? If so, what about all those magic pills and therapies to detox? Do they work? Bruce Lourie talks about how we are exposed to chemicals in food, products, and our everyday environment; what they can do to us; and how we can get rid of them. His book on the topic is Toxin, Toxout, Getting Harmful Chemicals Out of Our Bodies and Our World.
Go to page  |  Download/listen   18:15

GP comment:  Sadly, the average person dismisses the idea that the sea of chemicals in which we live is a problem—until a health issue forces them to deal with the effects.

Original Show Pub Date: 15.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen NPR

Night of the Living Streams — It once made sense to urban planners to put streams in pipes underground. Now, pipe decay and chronic flooding problems are causing some cities to revive above-ground portions of some waterways.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   3:17

GP comment:  Good for them. But the fact that such projects are based solely on economic, with environmental and human-nature interactions considered mere side benefits, tells you we have a long way to go in achieving a level of consciousness that is compatible with true sustainability.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living On Earth

Fracking With Recycled Mine Water — Thousands of abandoned mines in Pennsylvania are full of polluted water. Some think the fracking boom is a way to pay for cleaning up that water—by reusing it.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   5:35

GP comment:  Even fracking done with distilled water will eventually cause contamination of fresh groundwater—the pressure pushes already-present underground contaminants into groundwater reservoirs. Even if it were made mandatory that fracking companies use only cleaned-up mine water, it's still a net loser.

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Clouds and Climate — A key unknown has been the behavior of clouds in a hotter world. If the future is cloudier, more sun will be blocked, helping cool the earth. But fewer clouds mean more solar energy will be soaked up by land and sea. Dr. Steve Sherwood explains new research that clears up some of the cloud-cover uncertainty. He is concerned that we are going to blow past 2 degrees of warming to a level of warming that may make life very uncomfortable.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   11:25

GP comment:  A bit wonky, but useful.

Original Show Pub Date: 15.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Living On Earth

Air Pollution and Diabetes — We've long known that air pollution is bad for our lungs and can even cause cardiovascular disease, but as Doctor Sanjay Rajagopalan tells us here, recent research suggests that breathing dirty air in combination with a fatty diet can promote diabetes.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   7:10

GP comment:  Type 2 diabetes may correlate with air pollution, but it's a general disease of modern lifestyles. And just avoid the bad fats like trans fats and other artificial nonsense; healthy fats are good for you!

Original Show Pub Date: 10.Jan.2014


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Colbert Report

Stephen Colbert on WV Stephen Colbert and chemical molecule Water Contamination — Roughly 300,000 people in West Virginia were advised not to drink or touch their tap water because its source, the Elk River, had been contaminated by a chemical spill from a Freedom Industries' coal-cleaning operation. Stephen Colbert mines this unfortunate situation for laughs.
Watch  |  Download/Listen   4:01

GP comment:  The callous attitudes of the corporate CEO and front men are reminiscent of the initial brush-off tried by BP after the Gulf disaster in 2010.

Original Show Pub Date: 13.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

The Awful Truth About Fracking — As peak energy hits, fracking is the salvation plan for countries like the US, UK, Canada, and many more. Politicians take huge campaign donations from industry, slash regulations, squash local protests, and foster a new wave of water pollution and climate-killing emissions. This show examines the real cost of fracking for gas. Professor and journalist Walter Brasch reports from Pennsylvania, a hotbed of dirty fracking. Then UK energy activist Helen Rimmer explains the government's rabid push for fracking. Finally, scientist Sandra Steingraber offers a damning assessment of the true nature of fracking and its impacts.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  The Steingraber clip at the end is must-listening.

Original Show Pub Date: 08.Jan.2013


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Lifeboat Hour

Is It Too Late for Climate Action? Is Geoengineering is All We Have Left? — Paul Beckwith discusses some of the feedback mechanisms that are accelerating the impact of global warming, including Arctic thawing. He discusses the recent "polar vortex" in the context of overall global warming. More broadly, he says the sum of all the feedback loops is now too strong—there is no plausible way for humanity to reduce its greenhouse gases sufficiently to restore climate balance. He reluctantly sees geoengineering as the last best hope.
Download/Listen   59:03

GP comment:  Some useful data is discussed here. But the idea that geoengineering is what we should do is as misplaced as the idea that we should do more nuclear energy. Geoengineering and nuclear (and nanotech and GMOs) are akin to children playing with God's toys.

Original Show Pub Date: 12.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good NPR

California County Pushes Drugmakers To Pay For Pill Waste — The leftover prescription drugs you have around your house are at the center of a battle between small government and big pharmaceutical companies.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   4:15

GP comment:  It's about time. Few water treatment plants remove pharmaceutical chemicals. So it all just goes into the environment, back through the water cycle, and into any creature that drinks water, including us.

Original Show Pub Date: 03.Jan.2014


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Food Chain Radio

Can the Oceans Survive Our Plastic Waste? — Charles Moore talks about plastic waste in the ocean and the health problems it's causing for marine life. There are so many microscopic bits of plastic in the ocean now it's estimated that they outnumber plankton by more than 100 to 1. Topics include the sources of plastic trash in the ocean, how plastic molecules are finding their way into our food chain, and what, if anything, can be done to reduce the damage.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   42:39

GP comment:  If you can put up with the unpolished interviewer, the interviewee offers a lot of excellent insights into the ocean plastic problem.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Dec.2013


Rating: 3 of 5 - Good, worth a listen Radio EcoShock

Best Environmental Songs of 2013 — Talk, talk, talk ... about environmental stuff. Here, instead of more jabbering, Alex Smith turns to DJ'ing for an hour, with his picks for the best environmental songs of the last year. Top tracks are the hilarious "Denial Tango" by the group Men With Day Jobs and Kris Kitco's excellent "Frack That Oil."
Page for full song list  |  Download/Listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  All by relatively unknown artists; mostly pretty good, with a couple standouts.

Original Show Pub Date: 24.Dec.2013


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good Radio EcoShock

Ugly Times for Ugly Mines — Giant mines are operating or being developed all over the world to provide the metals that make the products that feed our consumer desires. But even in areas with environmental regulations, mines spew pollution, carve into wilderness, and leave behind heavy metals that leach into rivers and lakes for hundreds of years. Environmental lawyer Paula Maccabee discusses the fight against a proposed copper mine in Minnesota.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   1:00:00

GP comment:  Mining pollution is almost a given with any mining operation. As discussed here, increased recycling of metals is the best way to eliminate the need for new mines. That said, consumers who think they need a new phone (or whatever) every year are a large part of the problem.

Original Show Pub Date: 11.Dec.2013


Rating: 4 of 5 - Very good NPR

Gulf Spill Cleanup Grinds On — Though the mainstream press has long-since forgotten about the 2010 Gulf oil disaster, the environment and people of the Gulf have not. Though oil on the beach is less of an obvious problem, the black gunk still lurks below the surface, and the aftermath is still affecting ecosystems, seafood, and livelihoods in the Gulf region.
Go to page  |  Download/Listen   5:00

GP comment:  The tragedy of the mainstream press mostly acting like the Gulf disaster is "all good" now is surpassed only by the outrageousness of it doing the same thing with Fukushima.

Original Show Pub Date: 21.Dec.2013



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