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February 19 2014

21:58

February 18 2014

07:31

February 03 2014

06:51

The Tense Trail Of The Keystone XL Pipeline

We’ll follow the path of the Keystone XL Pipeline from Canada’s Tar Sands country through the heart of America and hear the furious debate over its fate.

photo

View this gallery on Flickr »

Guests

Coral Davenport, energy and environment correspondent for the New York Times. (@CoralMDavenport)

Tony Horwitz,  author and journalist. Author of the new book “BOOM: Oil, Money, Cowboys, Strippers, and the Energy Rush That Could Change America Forever.” Also author of ”Confederates in the Attic,” “Blue Latitudes,” “Baghdad Without a Map,” “A Voyage Long and Strange” and “Midnight Rising.” (@tonyhorwitz)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: Report May Ease Way to Approval of Keystone Pipeline — “The long-awaited environmental impact statement on the project concludes that approval or denial of the pipeline, which would carry 830,000 barrels of oil a day from Alberta to the Gulf Coast, is unlikely to prompt oil companies to change the rate of their extraction of carbon-heavy tar sands oil, a State Department official said. Either way, the tar sands oil, which produces significantly more planet-warming carbon pollution than standard methods of drilling, is coming out of the ground, the report says.”

U.S. State Department: Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement — “There is existing demand for crude oil—particularly heavy crude oil—at refiners in the Gulf Coast area, but  the ultimate disposition of crude oil that would be  transported by the proposed Project, as well as any  refined products produced from that crude oil, would also be determined by market demand and applicable law.”

The Walrus: Big Mac — “Until recently, Alberta has been slow to release Crown land to the municipality, mostly because it sits on vast reserves of bitumen. Work is finally set to begin on two new suburban developments, each on the scale of Eagle Ridge, which will provide housing for at least 50,000 people. By 2030, Fort McMurray could be a city of almost a quarter million.”

Key Facts And Figures From The Latest State Department EIS

Read An Excerpt From Tony Horwitz’s “Pipe Dreams”

203704905

January 31 2014

21:32

Keystone XL Pipeline: The Latest Facts And Figures

The proposed Keystone XL project consists of a 875-mile long pipeline and related facilities to transport up to 830,000 barrels/day from Alberta and  The Bakken Shale Formation in Montana.

A timeline of the Keystone XL Pipeline planning process (US State Dept)

A timeline of the Keystone XL Pipeline planning process (US State Dept)

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline route (US State Dept)

The proposed Keystone XL pipeline route (US State Dept)

The Gulf Coast project route (Courtesy US State Dept)

The Gulf Coast project route  (US State Dept)

The U.S. State Department’s Final Supplemental Environmental Impact Study is a technical assessment of the potential environmental impacts related to the proposed pipeline. It responds to more than 1.9 million comments received since June 2012 (from both the scoping and Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement comment periods).

A typical pipeline construction sequence (US State Dept)

A typical pipeline construction sequence (US State Dept)

A cross-section of a typical horizontal directional drilling method (US State Dept)

A cross-section of a typical horizontal directional drilling method (US State Dept)

Native American tribes consulted in the creation of the final State Dept. EIS (US State Dept)

Native American tribes consulted in the creation of the final State Dept. EIS (US State Dept)

 

Representative alternatives to the Keystone XL Pipeline (US State Dept)

Representative alternatives to the Keystone XL Pipeline (US State Dept)

All images and charts via the U.S. State Department.

The next step? Comments are being excepted between 2/5/14 and 3/7/14 at http://www.regulations.gov

January 29 2014

06:42

State Of The Union And The State Of The Obama Presidency

We’ll dive into President Obama’s State of the Union Address. Analysis — and where the President stands — with Riehan Salam, Kristen Welker and Amy Davidson.

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union Address in front of the joint session of the U.S. Congress on Jan. 28, 2014. (AP)

President Barack Obama delivers his State of the Union Address in front of the joint session of the U.S. Congress on Jan. 28, 2014. (AP)

Guests

Amy Davidson, senior editor at The New Yorker. (@tnycloseread)

Reihan Salam, writer for National Review and Reuters Opinion. Co-author of “Grand New Party: How Republicans Can Win the Working Class and Save the American Dream.” (@reihan)

Kristen Welker, NBC News White House correspondent. (@kwelkerNBC)

From Tom’s Reading List

Wall Street Journal: Obama to Press for ‘Year of Action’ – “The speech repackages many of the policy proposals Mr. Obama has so far failed to achieve, including infrastructure projects, early childhood education programs and plans for making college more affordable. He’s also renewing calls on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour, covering all U.S. workers, and pass an overhaul of the immigration system.”

New York Times: Obama Taking Up Economic Issues on His Authority – “Promising ‘a year of action’ as he tries to rejuvenate a presidency mired in low approval ratings and stymied by partisan stalemates, Mr. Obama used his annual State of the Union address to chart a new path forward relying on his own executive authority. But the defiant, go-it-alone approach was more assertive than any of the individual policies he advanced.”

Washington Post: Obama prepared to avoid Congress, go it alone on carrying out modest initiatives – “For the first time since taking office, Obama spoke to Congress on Tuesday evening from a clear position of confrontation. The areas he identified for possible cooperation with a divided Congress have shrunk, leaving an agenda filled out by a growing number of modest initiatives that he intends to carry out alone.”

January 27 2014

15:00

California Drought And The U.S. Food Supply

The drought emergency in California, and what it may mean for the nation’s food supply.

With the edge of Folsom Lake, Calif., more than 100 yards away, Gina, 8, left, and Sydney, 9, Gerety walk on rocks that are usually at the waters edge, Thursday Jan. 9, 2014. Gov. Jerry Brown said he would meet Thursday with his recently formed drought task force to determine if an emergency declaration is necessary as California faces a serious water shortage. Reservoirs in the state have dipped to historic lows after one of the driest calendar years on record. (AP)

With the edge of Folsom Lake, Calif., more than 100 yards away, Gina, 8, left, and Sydney, 9, Gerety walk on rocks that are usually at the waters edge, Thursday Jan. 9, 2014. Gov. Jerry Brown said he would meet Thursday with his recently formed drought task force to determine if an emergency declaration is necessary as California faces a serious water shortage. Reservoirs in the state have dipped to historic lows after one of the driest calendar years on record. (AP)

They are praying for rain in California.  And facing drought.  A drought emergency, Governor Jerry Brown declared last week.  Worst in years.  Winter weather so warm you’ve got a confused bear wandering through skiers on the slopes last week.  So dry that farmers are thinning herds and letting fields go fallow.  Wondering which crops to lose.  Up in the Sierra Nevada, only 20 percent of the normal snow pack.  Less to melt, less to drink.  It’s just dry.  This hour On Point:  fire, food, climate and the drought emergency in California.

– Tom Ashbrook

Guests

Bettina Boxall, water and environmental issues reporter for The Los Angeles Times. (@boxall)

Jeanie Jones, deputy drought manager and interstate resources manager for the California Department of Water Resources.

Heather Cooley, co-director of the water program at the Pacific Institute. Co-author of “The World’s Water,” “A Twenty-First Century U.S. Water Policy” and “The Water-Energy Nexus In the American West.”

Daniel A. Sumner, director at the University of California Agricultural Issues Center and Frank H. Buck, Jr. Professor, Department of Agricultural and Resource Economics at the University of California, Davis.

From Tom’s Reading List

Los Angeles Times: California declares drought emergency — “Brown’s drought proclamation follows California’s driest year on record and comes amid dropping reservoir levels and no sign of relief in the near future. Some Northern California communities dependent on shrinking local supplies have already imposed rationing and others are asking residents to eliminate outdoor watering. Many Central Valley irrigation districts are warning growers to expect severe delivery cuts this spring and summer.”

Significant Figures: What Californians Can Expect from the Drought – “It is not too late for some big storms off the Pacific Ocean to bring relief. But the odds are against it andcurrent meteorological conditions are not encouraging. If the rest of the winter months are dry, or even of average wetness, the state will have much less water than normal, and much less than water users want – from cities to farms to our natural ecosystems.”

TIME: Hundred Years of Dry: How California’s Drought Could Get Much, Much Worse — “Californians need to be ready, because if some scientists are right, this drought could be worse than anything the state has experienced in centuries. B. Lynn Ingram, a paleoclimatologist at the University of California, Berkeley, has looked at rings of old trees in the state, which helps scientists gauge precipitation levels going back hundreds of years. (Wide tree rings indicate years of substantial growth and therefore healthy rainfall, while narrow rings indicate years of little growth and very dry weather.) She believes that California hasn’t been this dry since 1580, around the time the English privateer Sir Francis Drake first visited the state’s coast.”

January 24 2014

20:48

Behind The Scenes And On Stage For #OnPointNOLA

Though most of you reading this heard the On Point Live! broadcast from New Orleans on Friday, Jan. 23, the lucky few hundred of you in the greater New Orleans-area with tickets to the event heard the hour on Thursday.

Our primetime live event included an applause-ready audience, some absolutely lovely live jazz music from Edward Anderson, Eileina Dennis and Josh Starkman and a truly riveting conversation on America’s coastal wetlands and coastal communities in a time of rising sea levels.

Photos from the Event and the Tour of the New Orleans Coastal Wetlands (Courtesy Janet Wilson, WWNO)

 

photo

View this gallery on Flickr »

[Storify]
07:30

New Orleans: On Point Live! American Coastline — The View From Louisiana

We take On Point to New Orleans to look at the state of America’s battered coastlines.

On Point Radio host Tom Ashbrook inspects a map of the New Orleans coastline with  Ioannis Georgiou, a coastal guru. (Sam Gale Rosen / WBUR)

On Point Radio host Tom Ashbrook inspects a map of the New Orleans coastline with Ioannis Georgiou, a coastal guru. (Sam Gale Rosen / WBUR)

In Louisiana, they understand how nature and the not-so-natural can hit the coast.  Hurricane Katrina.  The BP oil spill.  Sea level rise and coastal erosion across the Louisiana waterfront.  When Katrina hit, it looked like Louisiana’s problem.  When Superstorm Sandy hit the most populated coastline in America we saw it as everybody’s problem.  Here in New Orleans, they’re just a little ahead of the rest of the country in thinking it through. This hour On Point:  we’re with a live audience in New Orleans thinking about the great American coastline, and how it will change.

Guests

Denise Reed, professor of earth and environmental sciences at the University of New Orleans. Chief scientist at the Water Institute of the Gulf.

Tommy Michot, research scientist at the Institute for Coastal Ecology and Engineer at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Jarvis Deberry, award-winning columnist for the Times-Picayune. (@jarvisdeberry)

From Tom’s Reading List

New Orleans Lens: More massive tar mats from BP oil spill discovered on Louisiana beaches — “According to the U.S. Coast Guard, in the past few weeks this one spot has yielded 1.5 million pounds of ‘oily material’ – a designation that includes oil products as well as associated shell, sand and water. And that’s in addition to 1.79 million pounds already collected from Fourchon, by far the largest share of the 8.9 million pounds recovered from all Louisiana beaches in the past two years.”

Times-Picayune: Louisiana’s top coastal official may explore lawsuit to block levee board suit against energy companies — “To illustrate the damage caused by the energy industry, Jones used historical aerial photographs of wetlands surrounding the Delacroix community in St. Bernard Parish. He said the photos showed how the dredging of canals to access oil exploration and development wells by Devon Energy and Murphy Oil took place in wetlands that later turned largely to open water.”

USA Today: Climate change could spawn more frequent El Ninos – “Some of the worst El Niños, the infamous climate patterns that shake up weather around the world, could double in frequency in upcoming decades due to global warming, says a new study out Sunday in the journal Nature Climate Change. During an El Niño, water temperatures in the central and eastern equatorial Pacific Ocean tend to be warmer-than-average for an extended period of time – typically at least three to five months. This warm water brings about significant changes in global weather patterns.

January 17 2014

09:01

Week In The News: Bad Water, School Shooting, Net Neutrality

Poisoned water in West Virginia. Net neutrality takes a hit. Another school shooting – New Mexico. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Water buffaloes are made available to local residents in South Charleston, W.V. to fill coolers and other containers at the GeStamp Stamping Plant-South Charleston Sunday morning, Jan. 12, 2014. The ban on using water for drinking, washing and cleaning remains in effect following the chemical spill Thursday in the Elk River that has contaminated the public water supply in nine counties. (AP)

Water buffaloes are made available to local residents in South Charleston, W.V. to fill coolers and other containers at the GeStamp Stamping Plant-South Charleston Sunday morning, Jan. 12, 2014. The ban on using water for drinking, washing and cleaning remains in effect following the chemical spill Thursday in the Elk River that has contaminated the public water supply in nine counties. (AP)

Guests

John Heilemann, national affairs editor at New York Magazine and MSNBC political analyst. Co-author with Mark Halperin of “Double Down: Game Change 2012” and “Game Change: Obama and the Clintons, McCain and Palin and the Race of a Lifetime.” (@jheil)

Nancy Cordes, Congressional correspondent for CBS News.  (@nancycordes)

Jack Beatty, On Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

CNN: ’Pay to play’ on the Web?: Net neutrality explained — “How would you like to have to pay a fee to be able to stream YouTube videos at full speed? What if you liked downloading music from, say, Last.fm or Soundcloud, but those sites suddenly became infinitely slower than bigger sites like Amazon or iTunes? Those are the kind of major changes to the Internet some folks are envisioning after a federal court ruling this week on what’s come to be called ‘net neutrality.’”

Politico: House approves bipartisan spending bill — “The House approved and sent to the Senate a landmark $1.1 trillion spending bill that fills in the blanks of December’s budget agreement and sets a new template for appropriations for the remainder of President Barack Obama’s second term. Adopted 359-67, the giant measure literally touches every corner of government. And more than any single document to date, it defines the new budget reality that faces the president and his activist agenda.”

Reuters: Pregnant women warned off West Virginia water in cleared areas — “One week after the spill into the Elk River prompted authorities to order some 300,000 people not to drink or wash with their tap water, officials have cleared more than 200,000 of them to start drinking the water again after tests showed levels below the 1 part per million level safety standard set by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But pregnant women should continue to steer clear of the water in an ‘abundance of caution’ until the chemical is completely undetectable, West Virginia American Water said.”

January 08 2014

11:55

David Deutsch: Chemical scum that dream of distant quasars

Legendary scientist David Deutsch puts theoretical physics on the back burner to discuss a more urgent matter: the survival of our species. The first step toward solving global warming, he says, is to admit that we have a problem. http://www.ted.com/talks/david_deutsch_on_our_place_in_the_cosmos.html

January 04 2014

22:50

The Vent: Lucas Ihlein

Today's Vent is Lucas Ihlein, artist and environmental auditor. So, as you can imagine his Vent is about the monitoring of the cost of climate change -- and he asks particularly, what about the environmental damage of art? http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/artworks/the-vent-lucas-ihlein/2974540

December 27 2013

09:01

Week In The News: 2013 In Review

Our weekly news roundtable –live and lively–in the studio looks back over a whole year, 2013.

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013.  (AP)

Protesters hold posters of former National Security Agency member Edward Snowden in front of the German parliament building, the Reichstag, prior to a special meeting of the parliament on US-German relationships, in Berlin, Monday, Nov. 18, 2013. (AP)

Guests

Karen Tumulty, national political correspondent for The Washington Post. (@ktumulty)

David Sanger, chief Washington correspondent for the New York Times. (@SangerNYT)

From Tom’s Reading List

New York Times: White House Tries to Prevent Judge From Ruling on Surveillance Efforts –”The government said that despite recent leaks by Edward J. Snowden, the former N.S.A. contractor, that made public a fuller scope of the surveillance and data collection programs put in place after the Sept. 11 attacks, sensitive secrets remained at risk in any courtroom discussion of their details — like whether the plaintiffs were targets of intelligence collection or whether particular telecommunications providers like AT&T and Verizon had helped the agency.”

Washington Post: Republicans reassess after shutdown debacle — “The GOP establishment has embarked, once again, on a round of soul-searching. But this time, the question is: What will it take to save the Republicans from the self-destructive impulses of the tea party movement? That the government shutdown was a political disaster for the party that engineered it is widely acknowledged, except by the most ardent tea partners. And that near-unanimity presents an opportunity for the establishment to strike back — and maybe regain some control from the insurgent wing.”

Boston Globe: The Fall of the House of Tsarnaev — “Federal investigators have suspected that Tamerlan, the 26-year-old boxer from southern Russia who is believed, along with his brother, to have set off the deadly Boston Marathon bombs in April, was motivated, if not deliberately directed, by real life jihadist revolutionaries on the other side of the globe. But an investigation by the Boston Globe suggests that Tamerlan was in the perilous grip of someone far more menacing: himself.”

December 26 2013

16:07

The Final Straw 2013/09/01: When THE MAN knocks, health in the coal fields of West Virginia & METAL/PUNK!

This week's show features two interviews. The first is a conversation is with Mark of Croatan Earth First! about the recent visits by JTTF/FBI to anti-fracking activists on the East Coast, climate-change activists on the West Coast and and GJ-targetted Anarchist communities in NYC. The second conversation takes place between our friend, Wren Awry (http://www.seamsandstory.org) and Dustin Steele about Dustin's work with the Beards Fork Health Survey (http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/beard-s-fork-health-survey) to gather information on the health effects of surface mining in West Virginia with an eye toward mutual aid. The last half of the show features new songs from Bellicose Minds (PDX), Anniversary (D.C.), Wiccans (Denton, TX), Criminal Damage (PDX)... and more! http://www.croatanearthfirst.com http://ccrjustice.org/if-agent-knocks-%28-booklet%29 https://www.nlg.org http://www.jerryresists.net https://nopoliticalrepression.wordpress.com/ http://www.sals.info/

December 23 2013

11:51

Druids And Celts From A Real ‘Middle Earth’

Hobbitmania returns, and we look at the real legacy of druids and celts in the “Middle Earth” of Iron Age Western Europe.

A druid watches the sunrise by the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge, in southern England, as access to the site is given to druids, New Age followers and members of the public on the annual Winter Solstice, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.

A druid watches the sunrise by the ancient stone circle of Stonehenge, in southern England, as access to the site is given to druids, New Age followers and members of the public on the annual Winter Solstice, Friday, Dec. 21, 2012.

Guest

Graham Robb, British author and historian. Author of the “The Discovery Of Middle Earth: Mapping the Lost World of the Celts.” Also author of “The Discovery of France,” “Parisians: An Adventure History Of Paris,” “Strangers: Homosexual Love in the Nineteenth Century” and several biographies.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Prospect: What did the Druids ever do for us? An interview with Graham Robb — “We tend to think of the efficient transmission of information as a feature of our own society. But one of the things that seems to have amazed the Romans is the way that the different [Celtic] tribes could form alliances at very short notice over huge distances.”

The Christian-Science Monitor: The Discovery Of Middle Earth — “At the heart of ‘The Discovery of Middle Earth’ is a profound meditation on the nature of knowledge itself: not just its discovery or intrinsic value, but also (and perhaps centrally) how susceptible it is to being lost or corrupted. The  Via Heraklea may be the example that Robb picks apart in detail, but other examples dance like flames throughout the pages of the book: the Antikythera Mechanism, a gear-driven mechanical ‘hand-held computer’ from the 2nd Century BC that acted as a complex calendar and navigation aid; the immense loss of ancient Druidic scholarship, which lived and eventually died through oral memory; and the burning of the Library of Alexandria, one of the great tragedies of the ancient world.”

Los Angeles Times: Graham Robb’s ‘Discovery of Middle Earth’ offers a new look at Celts — “Indeed, although the Druids were the learned elite of the ancient Celts, they are better known today as the inspiration for such flaky goings on as the gathering at Stonehenge of ersatz Druids in white robes celebrating the summer solstice. (Stonehenge actually antedates the Druids by millenniums.) They seem an odd subject for the critically praised biographer of Balzac, Hugo and Rimbaud, a historian whose previous works seldom look back further than the French Revolution.”

Read An Excerpt Of “The Discovery Of Middle Earth” By Graham Robb

December 21 2013

20:31

Spiritual rebellion from the elites - Stanley Kubrick

This interview is fascinating. It is an interview with Jay Weidener who is a renowned author, filmmaker and hermetic scholar. Considered to be a ‘modern-day Indiana Jones’ for his ongoing worldwide quests to find clues to mankind’s spiritual destiny via ancient societies and artifacts, his body of work offers great insight into the circumstances that have led to the current global crisis. He is the producer of the documentary films, 2012 The Odyssey, its sequel Timewave 2013, and director of http://projectavalon.net/forum4/showthread.php?20129-Spiritual-rebellion-from-the-elites-Stanley-Kubrick

December 04 2013

20:35

Eating ‘Wilder’ Foods for a Healthier Diet

Author Jo Robinson digs up tips on how to get the most nutrition out of our fruits and vegetables. http://sciencefriday.com/segment/11/29/2013/eating-wilder-foods-for-a-healthier-diet.html

November 22 2013

05:22

Week In The News: Afghan Deals, Midwest Storms, J.P. Morgan Fine

Midwest destruction, Afghan troop talks, a big fine for J.P. Morgan and gay marriage and the Cheney sisters. Our weekly news roundtable goes behind the headlines.

Guests

Trudy Rubin, Worldview columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer. (@TrudyRubin)

Bill McKenzie, editorial columnist for The Dallas Morning News. (@Bill_McKenzie)

Jack BeattyOn Point news analyst.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Philadelphia Inquirer: Bluster from Congress on Iran, but to what end? – “I can understand Netanyahu’s thinking: He distrusts Tehran and wants President Obama to back an Israeli military strike on its nuclear sites. But I can’t grasp the ‘thinking’ in Congress. Are the sanctions hawks really ready to push America into another unnecessary Mideast war? The hawks argue that if strong economic curbs pushed the Iranians into talks, then harsher punishment will make them give up their nuclear program. But when it comes to Iran, that kind of strategy has failed badly in the past.

The Dallas Morning News:  A second president’s profile in courage — “Johnson’s reaction went beyond an ability to handle emergencies; I think another factor was in play. He was absolutely comfortable using his authority to achieve his goals. That trait separates political leaders from those who follow in their wake. Johnson’s indomitable will certainly helped him prepare to lead from the moment he arrived at Andrews. The late George Plimpton described some leaders as having an X factor that defines them and puts them in a special category. For some, that could be charisma, which Kennedy had in large doses. But Johnson’s ability to tower over others was his X factor. He used it often as Senate majority leader in the 1950s to move legislation. And, of course, he put it to use in carrying out JFK’s domestic legacy.”

Politico: Liz Cheney tries to repair hostile relations with Wyoming press — “The question is whether she can undo the initial damage in a state with such a strong newspaper tradition. The primary contest is nine months away, but political pros say Cheney faces a steep uphill climb against the incumbent, Sen. Mike Enzi. Cheney was widely seen as a carpetbagger from the moment she entered the race — she moved her family to the state last year — and the attacks on the state’s newspapers, which have a loyal readership, have left a sour taste.”

November 21 2013

07:40

Colorado’s Polka-Dotted Middle Way

Colorado is pushing a lot of boundaries and buttons lately. On fracking, gun law, marijuana, secession. We catch up with Colorado.

Guests

Laura DiSilverionovelist, former Air Force intelligence officer. (@LauraDiSilverio)

Patty Limerick, Faculty Director and Chair of the Board of the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado, professor of history. (@CenterWest)

John Long, founder and executive director of Biodiesel for Bands, a nonprofit that offers touring musical artists discounts on bio-diesel fuel and touring vehicles.

From Tom’s Reading List

The Daily Beast: Colorado’s Strange Secession Vote —  ”Eleven of Colorado’s 64 counties want to secede from the state, and there is a referendum on the ballot to that effect. It will, in all likelihood, pass. Only the voters in those 11 counties are voting on the question. Ten are contiguous, in the northeast corner of the state. In their dream world, they say sayonara to Denver and become “North Colorado.” The eleventh county is across the way, in the northwest corner. Since the U.S. Constitution mandates that states be contiguous, Moffat County would just sign up with Wyoming.”

The New Yorker: The Middleman — “Colorado is part of a national trend: red states are becoming redder and blue states are becoming bluer. According to the National Journal, an unprecedented thirty-six states are controlled by one party or the other. Activists, frustrated by the partisan gridlock in Washington, are pushing their agendas in state capitals that are dominated by a single party and thus can swiftly move legislation. Two weeks before Hickenlooper signed his gun laws, the Republican governor of South Dakota signed legislation allowing school employees to carry firearms. In April, Kansas passed one of the most restrictive abortion laws in the country, while in Democratically controlled New York, Governor Cuomo unveiled a bill to guarantee in state law the protections provided by Roe v. Wade.”

The Denver Post: Polis, Hickenlooper disagree on Colorado’s fracking regulations –”Polis never took a position on the fracking bans, but Tuesday he said fracking ‘is occurring very close to where people live and work and where they raise families. Yet our state doesn’t have any meaningful regulation to protect homeowners,’ Polis said in a floor debate on a series of energy measures. ‘Unfortunately, the fracking rules are overseen by an oil and gas commission that is heavily influenced by the oil and gas industry.’”

November 19 2013

07:39

The Great Greening Of The Global North

The fall crop is in, harvested. But the map of what we grow, where, is changing, with climate change. We’ll look at the new map of North American food production.

Guests

David Lobell, professor in environmental Earth system science at Stanford University. Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment. (@DavidBLobell)

Wolfam Schlenker, professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Donn Teske, farmer, president of the Kansas Farmers Union.

Woody Barth, farmer, president of the North Dakota Farmers Union.

From Tom’s Reading List

USA Today: Some crops migrate north with warmer temperatures — “North Dakota is at the leading edge of a shift in North American weather patterns, with more variable weather and rainfall; longer, hotter summers; and warmer winters. USA TODAY visited the state as the seventh stop in its look at how climate change is impacting the way Americans work, live and play. In the town of Rugby, N.D., 50 miles south of the Canadian border, climate change is written in the fields. Where once wheat was king, field after field is now full of feed corn. At the beginning of September, farmers are hustling to get combines out to cut the golden wheat but green fields of corn are everywhere — and still a month from harvest.”

New York Times: A Jolt to Complacency on Food Supply – ”This may be the greatest single fear about global warming: that climate change could so destabilize the world’s food system as to lead to rising hunger or even mass starvation. Two weeks ago, a leaked draft of a report by the United Nations climate committee, known as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, suggested that the group’s concerns have grown, and that the report, scheduled for release in March in Yokohama, Japan, is likely to contain a sharp warning about risks to the food supply.”

Mother Jones: Climate Change Is Already Shrinking Crop Yields — “Of course, we can’t tie any individual heat wave to long-term climate trends—there’s plenty of random weather variation even in times of climate stability. But we do know that hot, dry weather can stunt plant growth and reduce yields—and we also know that we can expect more hot, dry weather in key growing regions as the climate warms up.”

November 13 2013

07:46

How And Where To Donate For Typhoon Haiyan Relief

The disaster in the Philippines after Typhoon Haiyan hit is devastating to behold. Some estimates suggest that as many as 10,000 could die as a direct result of the massive storm surge in the country’s mid/ eastern section.

Our Nov. 13 hour covered the typhoon’s harsh current reality, but the crisis will continue for weeks, months and even years as thousands of survivors try to clean up and move forward after so much chaos and destruction.

There are many ways to donate to the relief effort. We’ve included a few below. (Please note: the resource Charity Navigator is an excellent tool to verify the authenticity and legitimacy of any charity you may consider donating resources to in times of international aid. Make sure to double-check your intended charity before sharing any sensitive financial information.)

  • Community and Family Services International and the Philippine Red Cross, both based in the Philippines, will be able to provide direct local access to those in need
  • Doctors Without Borders, an international medical assistance organization, operates in the Philippines
  • CARE (Cooperative for Assistance and Relief Everywhere) the international aid group, is helping lead efforts to provide support for Filipinos
  • mGive Foundation uses U.S. mobile phones to raise funds. Texting AID to 80108 provides a $10 donation to the group’s Philippines Typhoon Diaster Relief Fund.
  • World Vision, a children’s aid organization, has launched a targeted aid campaign for the Philippines disaster
  • Oxfam International has a dedicated campaign for Philippines disaster relief, focusing on community support

There are many, many other charity organizations mobilizing to help assist the Philippines in the aftermath of this natural disaster. This list is not exhaustive, by any means, but if you feel compelled to give, feel free to use our guide as a starting point.

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