Environmental Interviews --


Judi Bari

Conversation with an Earth First! Leader

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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Judi Bari

Conversation with Judi Bari

Judi Bari, our guest in this archive edition of Radio Curious, was one of the leading environmental activists on the North Coast in the late 1980s to the mid-1990s, notwithstanding that she was a victim of a car bombing in 1990 and severely injured.  Presumably, the bomb was intended to stop her activities as a leader and organizer for Earth First!.  The bomb that injured her exploded in May 1990 while she was driving in Oakland, California, took a tremendous toll on her physically and resulted in a lawsuit she brought against the FBI and the Oakland, California Police Department.  In the weeks before this interview which was originally broadcast in November 1993, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas, Judi Bari obtained approximately 5,000 pages of FBI documents which she gathered as part of her lawsuit.  We spoke about this information and about Judi’s background.

Judi Bari recommends “A Taste of Power: A Black Women’s Story,” by Elaine Brown.

Originally Broadcast: November 29, 1993

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Blanche Boyd

Self-Styled Outlaw Lesbians

Terminal Velocity

The concept of memoir versus fiction leads many authors to transform their personal experiences and life to fiction.  Blanche Boyd is a native of South Carolina and a Professor of Literature at Connecticut College.  She is also the author of the book entitled, “Terminal Velocity.”  This is a book about a group of self-styled lesbian outlaws in the 1970s.  We discussed the relationship of memoir and fiction, and how it applies to her work.

Blanche Boyd recommends "Cathedral" & "To the Waterfall," both by Raymond Carver.

Originally Broadcast: August 19, 1997

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Roger Brandt

The Oregon Caves

The Oregon Caves, located about 70 miles northeast of Crescent City, California in the Oregon Caves National Monument, are a place full of interest, mystery, and history. The caves were located in 1874 when Elijah Davidson chased his dog into the what appeared to be a hole in the earth.  The Oregon Caves are very unique possibly due to the fact that it is one of the few cave systems located on tectonically active ground, known as a subduction zone. Their uniqueness may also be due to the fact an old growth Douglas Fir forest grows directly above the caves, or the fact that they were created from what used to be a tropical reef that was pushed about 12 miles below the surface of the earth and then brought back up to its current location, and is still rising. I visited the Oregon Caves in 2006 and knew at once it would be a unique experience. I spoke with Roger Brandt, the manager of visitor services and education of the Oregon Caves in the summer of 2006 about the caves. We began when I asked him about the Oregon Caves and what they represent.

Roger Brandt recommends “Golden Days and Pioneer Ways” by Ruth Phefferle.

Originally Broadcast: February 21, 2007

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Lester R. Brown

The Earth and Economy in Crisis

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

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Victoria Bruce

Beware of Volcanos

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

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Dennis del Castillo

Mercedes Lu

Peruvian Environmental Issues, 1998

In this edition of Radio Curious, we visit Dennis del Castillo and Mercedes Lu, two environmental activists from Peru.  I met with them in Lima, Peru on February 5th, 1998. Dennis del Castillo, who holds a Ph.D. from Mississippi State University in soil science and in this interview describes contemporary environmental problems in the Peruvian Amazon Basin.  In the second half of this program we visit with Mercedes Lu, a scientific technician, who described some of the problems resulting from copper mining that occurs along the coast of southern Peru.  We began our conversation when I asked Dennis del Castillo to describe the potential of the Peruvian Amazon Basin.

Dennis del Castillo recommends “The Losing Ground,” by Erik P. Eckholm.

Originally Broadcast: April 3, 1998

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Laura Cheek

At Home in Glacier Bay

Some of the most studied glaciers in the world are found in Glacier Bay National Park located in southeastern Alaska.  These expansive ice sheets cover approximately ten percent of the earth’s surface and hold eighty percent of the world’s fresh water, ninety-nine percent of which can be found in Greenland and Antarctica.  Due to gravity’s pull, glaciers shape and scour the landscape moving land and vegetation great distances as they slowly slide downward toward the sea.  This glacial movement has created rich farmland, vast deposits of gravel and sand, and concentrated valuable metals, depending on where they glaciers have traveled.   Glaciers also create deep valleys and fjords, like the kind seen in Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.  Laura Cheek was a national park ranger at Glacier Bay National Park in 1996 when this program was recorded.  As part of her job, she boarded tour ships in Glacier Bay to discuss glaciers, what they’re like and how they’re formed.

Laura Cheek recommends "The Island Within," by Richard Nelson.

Originally Broadcast: August 14, 1996

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Gary Coy

The Man Driving the Dog Team

There is strong historical and anthropological evidence that dogs came across the Bering land bridge with people migrating from Siberia to Alaska.  These dogs worked hard to maintain their keep; they weren’t pets.  Instead, they chased and ran down polar bears and located seals hiding beneath the Bering ice.  One of the early dog professionals in Alaska was Harry Karstens, who later became the first superintendent of Mount McKinley National Park.  As a young man, he pioneered a dog sled route from Fairbanks to Valdez, and hauled mail to the Katishna mining district.  Now, at Denali National Park in central Alaska, there’s a breeding and training and leadership program for these sled dogs.  I spoke with Gary Coy, the director of this remarkable kennel.  In his office there is a large sign quoting Harry Karstens.  It says: “A man driving a dog team is the biggest dog himself.”  Amid the noise and the chatter of the dog kennels in Denali Park, I asked Gary to explain what that sign means and to tell us a little about this wonderful project.

Gary Coy recommends "A Dog-Puncher on the Yukon," by Arthur Walden.

Originally Broadcast: August 28, 1996

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John Darnton

Who is Charles Darwin?

The Darwin Conspiracy

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 Island 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.  And the world has not been the same since.  Now, at a time when concepts of evolution and natural selection are attacked certain from theological and political perspectives, a novel called  “The Darwin Conspiracy,” has been written by John Darnton, a writer and editor for the New York Times.  “The Darwin Conspiracy,” although fiction, is said by John Darton to be 90% accurate, and covers Darwin’s life and thinking before and after the publication of “The Origin of the Species.”  I spoke with John Darton 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. 

  John Darnton recommends "Snow," by Orhan Pamuk.

Originally Broadcast: November 29, 2005

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Ed Dolnick

The Grand Canyon, 1869

Down the Great Unknown, John Wesley Powell's 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon

John Wesley Powell, a one-armed civil war veteran and passionate geologist, is a mostly unknown early explorer of the Grand Canyon.  In 1869, he led a group of nine men on a 99 day adventure over 1,000 miles and almost 500 difficult rapids to a the vast chasm of the Grand Canyon.  Edward Dolnick is the author of “Down the Great Unknown, John Wesley Powell’s 1869 Journey of Discovery and Tragedy Through the Grand Canyon.”  Dolnick based his book on the journals that Powell and other members of his crew kept as they made their journey.

Ed Dolnick recommends "Endurance," by Alfred Lansing.

Originally Broadcast: December 18, 2001

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Ira Flatow

Science Changes

Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature.

The chance to interview another interviewer is an opportunity I like to take.  A chance came on September 4, 2007, when I was able to visit with Ira Flatow, the host of “Science Friday,” a part of "Talk of the Nation," on NPR.   We talked about some of the ideas and concepts  in his book, “Present at the Future: From Evolution to Nanotechnology, Candid and Controversial Conversations on Science and Nature.”  I think that after thirty-five years as a science journalist, Ira Flatow has seen enough to expect unexpected changes.  He refers to that at the close of the introduction to his book and writes:  “After watching science do its thing for a while, you realize knowledge is really a moving target. What we know today will probably be wrong tomorrow.  And science is that tool for discovery. When science tells us something, chances are that it will tell us something different a few years from now.”  And that’s where Ira Flatow and I began our conversation.  


Ira Flatow recommends "The World Without Us," by Alan Weisman.

Originally Broadcast: September 5, 2007

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Rodolfo Gomez

A Walk in the Costa Rican Rain Forest

On the eastern slope of the Continental Divide, about an hour’s drive east of San Jose, Costa Rica, is the Rain Forest Aerial Tram, a tramway that travels through, above and below the rain forest canopy.  The rain forest canopy is home to more diverse forms of flora and fauna than anywhere else in the known universe.  Rodolfo Gomez, trained as an architect, has found his calling as a tour guide in Central America and specifically Costa Rica.  My daughter Molly and I met with Rodolfo in the rain forest, near the aerial tram and recorded this program in April of 1995.

Originally Broadcast: June 20, 1995

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Jonathan Harr

Toxic Water, A Book

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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Jonathan Harr

Toxic Water, A Movie

A Civil Action

Water, a necessary element to our survival is expected to be pure, safe and clean when it comes into our home.  When it is polluted, the results can be extreme.  The people in the town of Woburn, Massachusetts, just west of Boston, had an unusually high rate of cancer in the early 1970s.  The town’s water was contaminated with industrial pollutants. Several children and adults became very sick and some died.  Their families sued the polluters in the U.S. Federal Court.  Jonathan Harr, a non-fiction writer, followed the process and wrote a book telling the story of what happened.  He called it, "A Civil Action."  A movie, also called “A Civil Action,” was based on the book and released at the end of 1998. I spoke by phone with Jonathan Harr, from his home in Massachusetts, a month after the movie was released and asked him how he was able to capture what occurred and create “A Civil Action.”

Originally Broadcast: February 2, 1999

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Dr. Dolores Hayden

From City to Suburb

Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820 to 2000

The development and the expansion of homes, where they are and why they came to be in the places they are, are issues of particular importance to Dolores Hayden, Professor of Architecture and Urbanism and American Studies at Yale University.  Her book, “Building Suburbia: Green Fields and Urban Growth, 1820 to 2000,” explores the design and development of the suburbs and suburbia’s relevance in American history.

Dr. Dolores Hayden recommends "A Consumer's Republic," by Liz Cohen.

Originally Broadcast: November 21, 2003

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Jack Hines

One Corner of Montana

Sweet Grass County: Historic Crossroad

Montana, the Big Sky state, is a place of significant historical interest in the history of North America and the United States.  Sweet Grass County, located in south central Montana, is an area that since pre-historic times has been a justify of trade and historic crossroads of travel.  Jack Hines worked as an artist in New York for 30 years until 1972 when he moved to Sweet Grass County, Montana.  There he began the ”Historic Crossroad” painting and writing project, as a declaration of his love for his adopted home in the exquisite Yellowstone Valley of Montana.  His paintings depict the life in that area beginning in the ice-age, through the times of the Indians, Lewis and Clark, the Fur trade and homesteading and listened to Jack reading from his book, "Sweet Grass County, Historic Crossroad," in Big Timber, Montana.

Jack Hines recommends "Glow Smile, A Biography" & "What Went Wrong," both by Bernard Louis.

Originally Broadcast: June 2, 2003

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Prof. Alberto Kattan

Argentinan Environmental Issues in 1993

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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Niilo Koponen, Ph.D.

North To Alaska

People who crave space, freedom, adventure, and opportunities have long been attracted to Alaska.  In June of 1996 I spoke with Niilo Kopanan, the son of Finnish immigrants who grew up in New York City and moved to a mountain ridge near Fairbanks, Alaska in 1952.  At that time, land there was still open for homesteading.  He located his 160 acres and filed a homestead on the ridge where he still lives.  After several years there, in the mid 1950s, he returned to the lower 48 states to earn a Ph.D.  Yet the magnet of Alaska pulled him back where he became a university professor and a member of the Alaska legislature, and he’s been there ever since.

Niilo Koponen, Ph.D. recommends “The life story of Elizabeth Morgan” by Ernest Morgan.

Originally Broadcast: June 18, 1996

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Sam La Budde

Getting Dolphins Out of Tuna Nets

My guest in this program is Sam La Budde, a catalyst, if not the catalyst, in getting dolphins out of tuna nets.  He has been an activist with the Earth Island Institute and a number of other organizations.  In this conversation, we discussed the history of the dolphins, endangered species in Taiwan, and a potential economic boycott of redwood lumber.  This program was originally broadcast in September of 1992, when Radio Curious was called Government, Politics and Ideas.

Originally Broadcast: September 14, 1992

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Marc Lappe

Roadside Spraying, For Better or Worse

Break Out

Spraying of herbicides to kill weeds and/or plants that are considered by some to be pests is a phenomenon of the 20th century.  These sprays, in many cases, pollute the water we use in our homes; they destroy and sometimes permanently alter not only the growth cycle of what we are intending to kill, but also other plants, animals, and sometimes people.  Dr. Marc Lappe was a widely recognized Ph.D. toxicologist who has studied the effects of the use of the sprays.  He was the founder and a director of The justify for Ethics and Toxics, located in Gualala, California.  He was also the former director of the California State Hazard Evaluation System.  He’s been a fellow at the Hastings justify for the Study of Bioethics in New York, published 112 articles and eleven books on the subject of toxicology.  Dr. Marc Lappe died in May, 2005.


Marc Lappe recommends "Break Out, " by Dr. Marc Lappe.

Originally Broadcast: February 5, 1997

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Dr. Joao Magueijo

Was Einstein Wrong?

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

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Glenn McGourty

The Slow Food Movement

How can we assure ourselves that the food we eat is safe, nutritious and energy-efficient?  If we are what we eat, we ought to know what we will become.  That may be the concept underlying what is coming to be known as the slow food movement.  Glenn McGourty is the wine growing and plant science advisor for the University of California Cooperative Extension for Lake and Mendocino Counties in Northern California.

Glenn McGourty recommends "The Origins and Ancient History of Wine," by Patrick McGovern.

Originally Broadcast: January 4, 2005

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Stephen Most

The Klamath River

River of Renewal, Myth & History in the Klamath Basin

Since the last Ice Age ended about 12,000 years ago, human beings have traveled along the Klamath River and it tributaries in the northwest corner of California and extending into southern Oregon. Many people finding an abundance of food, have stayed.  The main source of their food was salmon.  The power of the myth of the salmon may derive from the fact that wild salmon spread out across the Pacific Northwest about the same time that human beings did, at the end of the last Ice Age.  In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Steve Most, author of “River of Renewal, Myth & History in the Klamath Basin,” a book that tells the story of the history of the Klamath River and the people who have continuously lived there for the past 12,000 years.  Steve Most is a playwright and documentary storyteller who lives the San Francisco Bay Area.  Among many other works, he wrote the texts, audio voices and videos for the permanent exhibit of the Washington State History Museum.  In this interview recorded in mid-March 2007, I spoke with Steve Most from his home in Berkeley, California.  We began our conversation when I asked him to give a perspective of the geological and human aspects of the Klamath River and its place in history.

Stephen Most recommends Essays and Letters of Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Originally Broadcast: March 21, 2007

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Elliott Norse

Trawling the Ocean Floor

Once, fishes as big as turkeys and sheep swam the seas.  Now, most of their few remaining descendants would fit into a frying pan.  Dr. Elliot A. Norse, president of the Marine Biology Conservation Institute in Redmond, Washington, believes that this radical reduction in the size and number of the world’s fishes comes not only from over fishing, the catching of fish at a faster rate than they can breed, but also from bottom trawling.  Dr. Norse writes that bottom trawling crushes, buries, and exposes marine creatures like lobsters, crustaceans, clams, corals and sponges that live on or in the seabed, damaging or killing them.  In August of 1999, Dr. Norse visited with Radio Curious to discuss the effects of bottom trawling, how and where it’s done, and some of the concerns and causes of global warming and the effects it has on the oceans.

Elliott Norse recommends “The Song of the Dodo: Island Biogeography in an Age of Extinction” by David Quammen.

Originally Broadcast: November 27, 1998

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Dr. Donald Perry

A Ride Through a Rain Forest in Costa Rica

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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John Pinches

All Politics is Local Including Marijuana

The concept that all politics is local is shown in this interview with Mendocino County Supervisor John Pinches in our August 7, 2007 interview on growing, use and "legalization" of marijuana.


Originally Broadcast: August 7, 2007

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Neil Proto

Law As A Tool For Social Change

To A High Court: The Tumult and Choices that Led to United States v. SCRAP

Law a tool for social change is the subject of this edition of Radio Curious, and it’s also reason why I decided to be an attorney.  Neil Proto, now a veteran Washington D.C. attorney, was a law student in the early 1970s in Washington D.C. and one of several law students in a group called SCRAP (Student’s Challenging Regulatory Agency Procedures) which sued the Interstate Commerce Commission of the United States and the nation’s railroads for what they believed was a violation of the NEPA, the National Environmental Protection Act.   The regulations, which they successfully challenged, discouraged the movement of materials that could be recycled and encouraged the movement of raw materials.  The Federal court issued an injunction, ordered an environmental impact report be prepared and in the end the regulations were overturned.  The story is told in Neil Proto’s book, “To A High Court: The Tumult and Choices that Led to United States v. SCRAP.”  For the past 35 years, Neil Proto has been practicing and teaching law in the Nation’s capital.   In this conversation, recorded in early February, 2006, we discuss the SCRPA lawsuit, importance of citizen involvement in the use of the law as a tool for social change and how court rulings in recent decades have made this involvement more difficult.

  Neil Proto recommends “The Prince of Our Disorder:  The Life of T.E. Lawrence,” by John E. Mack..

Originally Broadcast: February 14, 2006

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Jeff Ruch

How to be a Whistleblower

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

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Evan Schwartz

The Inventor's Juice

Juice, The Creative Fuel That Drives World-class Inventors

Albert Einstein suggests:  “To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old questions from anew angle, requires creative imagination and marks real advance.” 

Thomas Edison suggests:  “The inventor has a logical mind that sees analogies.”

And Winston Churchill comments:  “Success consists of going from one failure to another without loss of enthusiasm.”

The mind of an inventor works differently than the mind of a non-inventor.  What inspires the inventive mind?  What is different in the way an inventive mind perceives the world that is different from other minds?  What is the role of the role of invention in our society?  In this interview, recorded in January 2005, Evan Schwartz, author of “Juice, The Creative Fuel That Drives World-Class Inventors” discusses inventing and inventions.  According to Evan Schwartz, the creative energy of inventors, their “juice” gets applied to problems, products, companies and markers through the use of creativity patterns.  Invention is a set of strategic thinking strategies that can be learned, taught and practiced, just as with other skills, like cooking, acting or sailing.  He began our conversation by describing what differentiates an inventive mind from other types of minds.


Evan Schwartz recommends "Chronicles Volume One," by Bob Dyland.

Originally Broadcast: January 3, 2006

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Tim Stoen

Litigation to Save Old Growth Redwoods

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.

Originally Broadcast: September 23, 2003

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Joshua Tickell

Biodiesel: An Oil-less Fuel

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.

Originally Broadcast: July 22, 2003

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Mike Tidwell

Destruction of Louisiana

Bayou Farewell, The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Louisiana's Cajun Coast

It is now known that the destruction to southern Louisiana that occurred as a result of hurricane Katrina in August 2005 was anticipated by some and should have been anticipated by others. In this interview recorded in April 2003, and first broadcast in February 2006, our guest Mike Tidwell, is the author of "Bayou Farewell:  The Rich Life and Tragic Death of Coastal Louisiana."  Tidwell describes how that vast marshland of coastal Louisiana, home to millions of migratory birds and the source of one-third of America’s seafood, is literally washing out to sea.  The bayou region, 6000 square miles in size, remains the fastest disappearing landmass on earth. An acre of solid ground turns to water every 20 minutes.  An area the size of Manhattan Island washes away every ten months.

Mike Tidwell recommends "Oil Notes," by Rick Bass.

Originally Broadcast: February 28, 2006

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Gilbert Van Dykhuisen

Sea Life Mysteries Explained

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 Giilbert 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

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Fred Watson

What a Telescope Reveals

Stargazer, the Life and Times of the Telescope

The history of the telescope is a rich story of human ingenuity and perseverance involving some of the most colorful figures in the scientific world.  In this edition of Radio Curious we visit with Dr. Fred Watson, the Astronomer-in-Charge of the Anglo-Australian Observatory at Coonabarabran, New South Wales, Australia.  Dr. Watson’s book, “Stargazer, the Life and Times of the Telescope,” reveals the science and technology behind the telescope and its impact in unveiling the mysteries of the universe, and concludes with a fictional epilogue in the year 2108.  This epilogue looks back 48 years at the object, one kilometer in diameter, that had a 99.9% probability of impacting the earth in April 2060 and how it was diverted.  Dr. Watson was in his office in New South Wales, Austrailia, when this interview was recorded and begins by explaining the importance of the epilogue.


Fred Watson recommends "The Transit of Venus," by Peter Autin.

Originally Broadcast: July 19, 2005

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