Wednesday, December 28, 2016

December 28, 2016: Owls: The Otherworldly Creatures Who Need Our Help

"You do not find owls – owls find you. Their camouflage conceals them until you catch a fleeting glimpse of broad, soft wings illuminated by the setting sun or, more likely, the moon." In this audio rich conversation with Paul Bannick, conservationist and photographer about his latest book, Owl: A Year in the Lives of North American Owls, we hear the owl's message and what North America's 19 distinct species need to survive.

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Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November 28, 2016: No Farms, No Food

Most of us are familiar with the bumper sticker, "no farms, no food," the rallying cry to protect farmland and nurture local, sustainably grown food. The cry has become increasingly relevant to farmers and farmland advocates on Seattle's urban fringe, 13 miles north of the Space Needle. They say current levels of development threaten their future. Martha Baskin takes us to the Sammamish Valley outside of Woodinville.

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Tuesday, October 18, 2016

October 18, 2016: Birds, Birds, Birds, and the Threat They Can't Escape

Birds exist everywhere we do, so it's little wonder that they have been important to human culture from time immemorial. Their songs thrill along with their incredible display of speed and strength. Audubon has been dedicated to ensuring their survival since it was founded in 1905. From its work in stopping the sale of feathers of native birds for the fashion industry, to the ban of DDT in 1972, the organization has been on the frontlines of conservation and grassroots advocacy. In this bird-rich radio feature, we take a look at Audubon's work in Washington state and why they support I-732, the carbon tax.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

September 28, 2016: State Carbon Tax Initiative Backers Undaunted Despite Divide

The state of Washington could become the first state in the nation to enact a carbon tax on big polluters if grassroots activists can overcome opposition from unlikely allies: the business community, low-income and people of color communities, the state Democratic party and environmental groups. Supporters of the carbon tax, Initiative 732, are pulling out the stops to win voters before November. Meanwhile a new report published this week in Nature says that with today's level of fossil fuel emissions the planet is “locked” into eventually hitting its highest temperature mark in 2 million years.

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September 14, 2016: Youth Unveil Proposed Climate Legislation to Protect Constitutional Rights

A group of youth plaintiffs in Washington state are bringing their fight for a stable climate system – which they argue is a constitutional right and as “unalienable” as any right conceived by the founding fathers - to a new level. The youth have gone to the courts, met with the Governor and lobbied the state's department of Ecology. Their latest strategy is unveiling proposed climate legislation which they argue needs to be based on the “best available climate science”, science that's been prescribed for them by no other than eminient climate scientist James Hansen. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Monday, August 22, 2016

August 22, 2016: Fresh Bucks Rx – A Prescription for Farm Fresh Healthy Food for Low Income Patients

A new federally funded pilot program, "Fresh Bucks Rx," allows medical providers to write a prescription for fruits and veggies from farmer's markets. The pilot was launched by the City of Seattle, Harborview Medical Center and Odessa Brown Children's Clinic along with Seattle and King County farmers markets. The program is aimed at improving health outcomes for low-income patients with diet-related disease. An estimated one in seven Americans experiences food insecurity or the inability to access healthy food on a chronic or intermittent basis. Martha Baskin checked in with providers to bring us this story.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2016

July 28, 2016: Anti-nuke Activists Run Bus Ad to Alert Public about the Largest Concentration of Nuclear Weapons in the US

Nuclear weapons? Isn't that "last century"? Not if you know about the billions being spent by the US Navy and Department of Defense to upgrade the US nuclear arsenal. Activists in the Puget Sound with the Ground Zero Center for Nonviolent Action hope to trigger public debate. This summer they're running ads on King County Metro buses to inform people that the largest concentration of deployed weapons in the US is right in their own back yard.

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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

June 28, 2016: Dirty deal on public lands?

For the first time in 30 years, policies that drive federal leasing of coal on public lands are receiving a major review. The nation's largest coal reserves in Wyoming's Powder River Basin are the biggest beneficiary of the program. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell suspended new leasing earlier this year and ordered the Bureau of Land Management to hold public hearings that take into account the economic, environmental and social costs of the program. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

June 14, 2016: The Great Salish Sea: Double Jeopardy - Endangered Orcas and Endangered Salmon

A long time ago there were thousands of orcas, as legend has it, with salmon and herring spawning by the millions. Today southern resident whales who migrate through the Salish Sea and up and down the west coast foraging for salmon number just 83. A recent baby boom offers some hope but diminishing runs of salmon and a toxic stew of pollution and noise point to ongoing challenges. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Friday, June 3, 2016

June 3, 2016: Cooking up a 'Farm-to-Table' Storm at Little Tables All over the City

The term "farm-to-table" is best known as a culinary experience at a high end restaurant. But what about the little tables, the ones at pre-schools and in particular those serving kids from families who can't always afford organic food? The city of Seattle is making a dent in this "farm-to-table" program. One of its preschools is not only sourcing locally grown food with an up and coming organic distributor but has hired a chef to cook meals on site. The smells are, well -- come along. Martha Baskin has the story.

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Tuesday, May 17, 2016

May 17, 2016: Divest the Rest! Climate Justice Campaigners Thank Gates Foundation - With a Caveat

There was a small victory in the divestment movement this week. After a year of public pressure, the Gates Divest campaign learned that the Gates Foundation had quietly sold millions of fossil fuel stock. The foundation didn't make it public. So the divest campaign decided to do it for them. Martha Baskin has our story from Seattle.

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Tuesday, April 5, 2016

April 5, 2016: Nature Unbound: Restoration on the banks of the Snoqualmie River

One of the most important rivers in the fertile Snoqualmie Valley east of Seattle is the Snoqualmie River. Once upon a time the river boasted record salmon runs for the Snoqualmie and Native American tribes who first lived here. But climate change and population growth have negatively impacted the river's ability to be sustainable. Today restoration is underway along its banks to ensure it's healthy for salmon, farmland, and generations to come.

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Wednesday, March 16, 2016

March 16, 2016: Bee-Friendly: Bee Lovers Unite to Protect a Species at Risk

With bees of all species at risk, bee-lovers, gardeners, and farmers are uniting to create bee-friendly strategies. In the mix are pesticide-free pollinator power patches and unique housing projects, designed to protect the insects who pollinate one out of three bites of food we eat. To follow the buzz, Martha Baskin brings us to urban farms and gardens and catches up with an entomologist and the Xerces Society, whose mission is to prevent all invertebrates from extinction.

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Wednesday, March 2, 2016

February 23, 2016: From Australia to Iowa to Uganda by Way of Seattle: Human Feeding Trials of GMO Bananas Raise Concerns

You may wonder what protestors clad in banana costumes have to do with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. But then you might not be up on a multi-continental GMO banana experiment funded by the foundation whose stated goal is to reduce Vitamin A deficiency in Uganda. Human feeding trials of the banana are slated to begin at Iowa State University shortly. The FDA doesn't require any clinical trials for genetically modified food stuffs, they generally go straight to market. But scientists developing the GM banana want to see just how effectively the human body derives the vitamin from their banana and human feeding trials are slated to begin at Iowa State University sometime this year. The issue is stirring controversy. Last week, 57,000 petition signatures were delivered to the Gates Foundation in simultaneous demonstrations in Seattle and Ames, Iowa. Martha Baskin has our story.

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Thursday, February 11, 2016

February 11, 2016: Blue Herons, Oil Sheens, and Polluted Urban Waters: Puget Sound's Biggest Water Quality Challenge

Water bodies across the nation are under steady assault from legacy pollutants, petroleum products, stormwater runoff, and contaminants of all kinds. In this feature we take a tour of waterways in Seattle with the Puget Soundkeeper, a member of the global water keeper alliance, a grassroots movement devoted to protecting specific watersheds. Decades after the Clean Water Act was passed, you may be surprised at some of the pollutants the Soundkeeper finds and the challenges in preserving water bodies for wildlife and future generations.

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