Jonathan Harr – Toxic Water, A Book

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A Civil Action

Woburn, MA, is a small, blue-collar community just north and west of Boston. In the 1970s, some children in Woburn, MA, became sick and died from childhood leukemia. Some adults in that town developed rare forms of cancer. All of these people live very close to each other. Their illnesses were traced to two contaminated water wells that provided the water to their homes for drinking and bathing. As a result, one of the most complicated personal injury lawsuits was tried in the US Federal District Court in Boston. In this program of Radio Curious, I spoke with author Jonathan Harr, who wrote “A Civil Action,” the horrendous story of the people who became sick and the subsequent trial.

Jonathan Harr recommends any books by Charles Dickens.

Originally Broadcast: November 22, 1995

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Dr. Ron Epstein – Genetically Modified Food

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Genetically engineered food products are an issue that concerns many. In more recent years, Mendocino County has gone so far as to pass a resolution legally prohibiting their growth in the county. My guest in this program, recorded in the late summer of 1995, is Ron Epstein, a philosophy professor at both the Buddhist University in Talmage, CA and San Francisco State University. He has given considerable consideration to the problems of genetic engineering of the plants and vegetables that we eat.

Dr. Ron Epstein recommends “Algeny,” by Jeremy Rifkin.

Originally Broadcast: September 18, 1995

 

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Dr. Donald Perry – A Ride Through a Rain Forest in Costa Rica

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Life Above the Jungle Floor

In the middle of the Costa Rican rain forest, about an hour west of San Jose, Costa Rica, on the east side of the continental divide, you can find the Rain Forest Aerial Tram located on a private rain forest reserve. It’s a series of small, open-air cars that hold about five people each held together by a three kilometers long cable. The tramcars carry visitors through, above and below this portion of the Central American rainforest canopy. The Rain Forest Aerial Tram was the brainchild of Dr. Donald Perry, a biologist trained at the University of California at Los Angeles, who, beginning in 1970, has specialized in the study of the flora and fauna of the Central American Rainforest. In April of 1995, I visited the Rain Forest Aerial Tram with Dr. Perry.

Dr. Donald Perry recommends “Life Above the Jungle Floor,” by Dr. David Perry.

Originally Broadcast: April 1, 1995

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Judi Bari – Conversation with an Earth First! Leader

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Until the mid-1990s, the Redwood Industry dominated much of North Coast economy. In the mid-1990s, due to a number of circumstances particularly involving Pacific Lumber Company and Charles Hurwitz, industry advocates collided with environmentalists in a final hurrah. Few figures among the environmentalists carry as much name-recognition and power as did Judi Bari. In this program, recorded in March of 1995 at the height of the conflict, Judi Bari and I discussed the position of Earth First!

Judi Bari recommends “J. Edgar Hoover,” by Kurt Gentry.

Originally Broadcast: March 27, 1995

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Prof. Alberto Kattan – Argentinian Environmental Issues in 1993

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The late Professor Alberto Kattan, a Professor of Law at Buenos Aires University and one of the foremost litigators of environmental issues in Argentina, is my guest on this archive edition of Radio Curious. In our conversation originally broadcast in March 1993, we discussed the future of the penguins that he was and endeavoring to protect, dolphins, the use of 245T, and problems with the tobacco industry in Argentina.

Originally Broadcast: March 7, 1993

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The Galapagos Islands and Charles Darwin

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Who was Charles Darwin and what led him to describe what we now call the theory of evolution? These curious questions are ones that I have been following since I was about ten years old. In 1978 I had the good fortune of visiting the Galapagos Islands, 600 miles west of Ecuador in the Pacific Ocean. Charles Darwin visited the Galapagos Islands in 1831 for month as part of a five-year voyage around the world. There he saw birds and animals that helped him formulate some of his ideas about evolution he published The Origin of the Species, 22 years later in 1853. Since then the world, science and religion has not been the same.

Now, at a time when concepts of evolution and natural selection are attacked from certain theological and political perspectives, “The Darwin Conspiracy,” a novel has been written by John Darnton, a writer and editor for the New York Times. “The Darwin Conspiracy,” although fiction, is said by John Darnton to be 90% accurate. It covers Darwin’s life and thinking before and after his publication of “The Origin of the Species.”

I spoke with John Darnton from his home in New York City at the end of October 2005. He began by describing who Charles Darwin was, in his time and place.

The book John Darnton recommends is “Snow,” by Orhan Pamuk.

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Fuller, Alexandra — Growing Up White in Africa

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In the late summer of 2003 Radio Curious visited with Alexandra Fuller who, as a child lived in Rhodesia, Malawi and Zambia in southeast Africa between 1972 and 1990.  After her father sided with the white government in the Rhodesian civil war, he was often away from home.   Fuller’s resilient and self-sufficient mother immersed herself in their rural and rugged life. She taught her children to have strong wills and opinions, and to whole-heartedly embrace life, despite and because of their difficult circumstances.  Alexandra Fuller, author of “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood,” known as Bobo to her family, developed a love of reading and story telling early on in her life.

When  Alexandra Fuller and I visited by phone from her home in rural Wyoming in September 2003, we began our conversation when I asked her how she choose the title for her book, “Don’t Let’s Go To The Dogs Tonight: An African Childhood.”

The book Alexandra Fuller recommends is “Echoing Silences,” by Alexander Canigone.

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McPherson, Guy — How to Deal With Abrupt Climate Change

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Guy R. McPherson, Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona, is our guest in this second of a two part series about abrupt climate change.  In part one, podcasted at radiocurious.org, we considered the existing circumstances likely to bring about abrupt climate change, in particular, the total melt of the polar ice caps.  This would result in the polar sea water absorbing heat from the sun rather than reflecting it, raising ocean temperatures and shutting off our “planetary air-conditioner.”

These consequences could make Mother Earth grossly inhospitable to human habitation potentially shut down our ability to grow grain and other crops we depend on for food.  Without food readily available, well, I’ll leave that to your imagination.

Here in part two of our conversation with Professor McPherson we further discuss this pending potential catastrophe and how we may each personally be able to relate to it.

Guy McPherson and I visited by phone on August 12, 2018, and began with his comments of what could occur after the global temperatures preclude the ability to grow grains, the other foods upon which we rely and the resulting reduction of industrial activity.  Finally in this visit we discuss how, in the wake of grimness, joy may be created, along with other options.

The reading the Guy McPherson recommends “My Life and Death,” an essay by Martin Manley. Manley’s essay discusses his suicide on his 60th birthday may found at at the bottom of Guy McPherson website.

Additional information about abrupt climate change may be found in the following three links: President of Finland talking to Trump; President of Finland in north Russia; and Human extinction by 2026.

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McPherson, Guy — Abrupt Climate Change

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Drastic consequences to life as we know it, here on Mother Earth are the topics of this, the first of a two part series on abrupt climate change. Once again we visit with Guy McPherson, a Professor Emeritus of Natural Resources, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from the University of Arizona.

McPherson discusses how global warming is affecting climate change. He explains the physics of what will occur when the polar ice cap has melted ending its ability to reflect the heat of the sun. Instead the heat of the sun will be absorbed by the world’s oceans. McPherson predicts that could well occur by 2022 or sooner, causing the temperature of the oceans to increase.  McPherson argues that this temperature will result in the loss of the “planetary air-conditioner” and the loss of habitat for human species.

Professor Guy McPherson and I visited by phone while he was on a speaking tour, on August 12, 2018.  We began our conversation when I asked his to describe the current state of climate change, now in 2018.

Information about abrupt climate change may be found here, as explained by the President of Finland to the President of the United States.

Additional information can be found here on youtube and here from the National Academies.

 

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Cherney, Darryl — Who Bombed Judi Bari?

In 1990, Earth First! activists from Mendocino County were on a road trip to rally support for a summer effort to help protect old growth redwoods in northern California. For years prior, logging practices took well over 90% of the original redwood growth in the area. Darryl Cherney and Judi Bari, the organizers, were in their car in Oakland, California, on May 24, 1990 when a bomb exploded underneath the driver’s seat where Judi Bari sat.

She and Darryl Cherney were immediately arrested suspected of bombing themselves. Although charges were never filed against the two, authorities have yet to locate the bombers. They sued and won a jury award of four million dollars against the Oakland Police Department and the FBI, Federal Bureau of Investigation, for violating their 1st and 4th amendment rights.

The film, “Who Bombed Judi Bari?” produced by Darryl Cherney, attempts to answer the question posed in the title and examines their struggle with law enforcement in finding the real bomber and chronicles the history of the local environmental movement here, in northern California.

Christina Aanestad, the Radio Curious assistant producer spoke with Cherney about the film he produced and his experiences resulting from the bombing. They visited on March 29, 2011, at the studios of KMEC radio, inside the Mendocino Environmental Center, a hub for social and environmental movements, including Earth First! They began when Christina asked Darryl Cherney to describe the attempted assassination against him and Judi Bari.

The book he recommends is, “The Alphabet Versus the Goddess” by Alan Shlain.

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