Lester R. Brown– “The Earth and Economy in Crisis”

This episode was first broadcasted on October 7, 2003

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Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble
Our earth is in big trouble. The environment and our economy are in crisis. Essentially, we have created a bubble economy in which we are over-consuming the earth’s natural resources. In this program, we will visit with Lester R. Brown, the author of “Plan B: Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble.” Lester Brown is the president of the Earth Policy Institute, a nonprofit interdisciplinary research organization based in Washington DC.

Originally Broadcast: October 7, 2003

Tim Stoen – “Litigation to Save Old Growth Redwoods”

This episode was first broadcasted on September 13, 2003.

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The California law prohibiting unfair business practices is the basis for the 2003 lawsuit brought against the Pacific Lumber Company by the People of the State of California. This case was brought when the Humboldt County, California, District Attorney alleged that Pacific Lumber provided inaccurate information to the California Department of Forestry as the basis for a timber harvest plan which would preserve certain old growth redwood trees in “The Headwaters” forest. Tim Stoen is the Assistant District Attorney in Humboldt County and the lead attorney representing the People of the State of California in this case.

Tim Stoen recommends “John Adams and the American Revolution” & “The Lion and the Throne,” by Catherine Drinker Bowen.

Joshua Tickell– “Biodiesel: An Oil-less Fuel”

Originally Broadcast: July 22, 2003

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From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel

Biodiesel, an alternative to the dwindling supply of fossil fuels, is created from processed vegetable oil and is available anywhere vegetable oil is grown or used. Joshua Tickell is the author of “From the Fryer to the Fuel Tank: The Complete Guide to Using Vegetable Oil as an Alternative Fuel.” In this program, he shared his ideas on the topic.

Joshua Tickell recommends “Connections,” by James Burke.

Dr. Joao Magueijo– “Was Einstein Wrong?”

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Faster than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation

Joao Magueijo, a Professor of Theoretical Physics at the Imperial College of London, disputes some of Einstein’s most accepted theories. In his book, “Faster than the Speed of Light: The Story of a Scientific Speculation,” he argues that the speed of light is not constant, questioning the basis of the Theory of Relativity.

Dr. Joao Magueijo recommends “Angela’s Ashes,” by Frank McCourt.

Originally Broadcast: February 25, 2003

Jeff Ruch – “How to be a Whistleblower”

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The Art of Anonymous Activism: Serving the Public While Surviving Public Service

“The Art of Anonymous Activism: Serving the Public While Surviving Public Service” is a short book published by three public interest organizations based in Washington DC: POGO, the Project on Government Oversight (www.pogo.org), GAP, the Government Accountability Project (www.whistleblower.org), and PEER, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (www.peer.org). Jeff Ruch is the executive director of PEER and the book’s co-editor.

Originally Broadcast: January 20, 2003

Dr. Frank Vertosick — “Evolutionary Intelligence”

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In this program we visit concepts of evolution and intelligence, some of which were raised after our series on near term human extinction.

What is intelligence?  What kind of intelligence do non human creatures have?  What are the different levels of intelligence that can be found in single cells, or invertebrates, up to human beings?

Neurosurgeon Dr. Frank Vertosick, author of “The Genius Within: Discovering the Intelligence of Every Living Thing,” discusses these and other questions about learning among all species.   He talks about the learning that occurs through evolution or alteration of the genetic structure and about the learning, of the way we commonly think of it, by studying or by experience.

When Dr. Frank Vertosick and I visited by phone from his office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in early October 2002, we began when I asked him to describe the different levels of intelligence and the development of intelligence in invertebrates.

The book Dr. Frank Vertosick recommends is “Linked: How Everything is Connected to Everything Else and What it Means for Business, Science, and Everyday Life,” by Albert-Lasio Barabasi.

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Eric Schlosser- “Do You Really Want to Eat That?”

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Fast food is what many people eat in America, and increasingly in other countries. It is advertised to be fun, tasty, and easily available. Americans spend more money annually on fast food than is spent on higher education.

Eric Schlosser is our guest in this archive edition.  He’s the author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. Schlosser writes that it is not only what is served for human consumption that is the problem, but the art of mass-marketing to children through organized promotions and ads for the products—in school busses, hallways, and even bathroom stalls—has serious side effects on society.

Working conditions for employees at meat-packing plants and the resulting contamination of the product resulted in the July 19th, 2002 recall of 19 million pounds of beef. In addition to the acute health hazards of contamination, a fast food meal often contains more fat in one meal than the average person needs in a day.

I spoke with Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, in mid-summer 2002, we began with his description of the problem of excess fat in fast food.

Eric Schlosser is the author of Fast Food Nation: The Dark Side of the All-American Meal. The book he recommends is “Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing,” by Ted Conover.

“Victoria Bruce – Beware of Volcanos”

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No Apparent Danger

Volcanic eruptions are far more predictable than earthquakes. Scientific equipment is available to forecast an eruption with about as much accuracy as there is to predict a hurricane. These predictions can tell when it is time to evacuate areas surrounding an active volcano. Unfortunately, the information available from these predictions is not always heeded. That’s what happened in the South American nation of Columbia, in 1985, and later, in 1993. Victoria Bruce is the author of a book entitled “No Apparent Danger,” which tells the stories of these two volcanic eruptions and the deaths that followed.

Victoria Bruce recommends “Measure of a Mountain,” by Bruce Barcot.

Originally Broadcast: April 14, 2001

Andy Case – An Aquarium for Kids

Gilbert Van Dykhuisen – Sea Life Mysteries Explained

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71% of the earth’s surface is covered by oceans which are home to 99% of the life on earth. About 250,000 species of ocean life have been discovered so far, but the ocean is home to an estimated 10 million species. The Monterey Bay Aquarium on the central coast of California holds more than 300,000 creatures, representing over 500 species that live in 34 major aquarium galleries. Under the direction of Gilbert Van Dykhuisen, a senior research marine biologist, the Monterey Bay Aquarium has created deep-sea life exhibit which is reflective of the deep-sea canyon located in the Monterey Bay and comparable in size to the Grand Canyon.

Gilbert Van Dykhuisen recommends “The Universe Below,” by William Broad.

Originally Broadcast: October 3, 1999