Last week on Sea Change Radio, influential progressive and cognitive linguist George Lakoff laid out the principles of linguistic framing as they relate to environmentalism. This week, part two of host Alex Wise‘s discussion with Prof. Lakoff, where they delve into the framing of topics such as genetically modified organisms, greenhouse gas emission legislation, and what’s wrong with approaching ecological issues through a cost-benefit lens.
If you can’t get enough of Dr. Lakoff’s insightful views and would like to hear some of the more politically-focused parts of the discussion, listen to our podcast exclusive here.
[amazon-product]140132326X[/amazon-product]According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the first half of 2010 was the warmest January to July on record. At this point, to be skeptical of the overwhelming evidence of climate change is to “replace a faith in science with a belief in science fiction.” With the wounds of the Copenhagen climate summit still open, what should we expect as the world goes back to the negotiating table in Cancún at the end of this month? If the continued lack of leadership from the US is any indication, probably not much. And the recent Republican takeover in the House doesn’t inspire much optimism, either. When asked about his party’s plans to address climate change last year, incoming House Speaker, John Boehner told ABC: “The idea that carbon dioxide is acarcinogen, that it is harmful to our environment, is almost comical.”
It’s enough to make a person feel pretty hopeless. So what can be done? One of the first steps is to really understand the history, politics and policies behind climate change. This week on Sea Change Radio, we take an in-depth look at the key climate change proposals that have emerged from the past two decades of talks – cap and trade, and the carbon tax. First Eric Pooley, the author of The Climate War, lays out the players and the policies for us. Then, we speak to Peter Umhofer, former advisor on energy and environmental issues to Senators Harry Reid and Tom Daschle, who gives an overview of the history of climate change policy in the US.
Barack Obama has said time and again that change comes from the bottom up at least as much as from policy directives from on high. He’s right–and he seems to be giving signs that pressure from below is going to be needed to keep him true to his own campaign promises. Continue reading →
[amazon-product align=”right”]0547085974[/amazon-product]The 18th century British author Jonathan Swift wrote that under the enclosure movement in Britain, “sheep eat men”. That’s because large landowners threw thousands of tenant farmers off their land to make way for raising sheep on an industrialized scale, in order to feed the textile mills of the new industrial age. Something of the same could be said of our current system of producing food. It was supposed to solve the problem of hunger in the world. The so-called “green revolution”, with its massive use of herbicides and pesticides, did usher in the era of cheap, abundant food. But Paul Roberts says that era is coming to an end. In his book, [amazon-product text=”The End Of Food” type=”text”]0547085974[/amazon-product], Roberts says the technologies meant to end hunger don’t fit the conditions in the very countries they were supposed to feed. Small farmers are squeezed off the land, their families go hungry, and suicide sweeps their ranks. Rich countries are vulnerable, too. In a globalized food system, plant diseases could wipe out major food crops like wheat, fish stocks are crashing, and antibiotic resistance threatens both our meat animals–and ourselves. Roberts says the global industrialized food system is overextended, under threat of disruptions and unsustainable.
CWR News Analysis — The 24th Anniversary of Bhopal:
Last month, Fortune magazine’s Sustainability Columnist Marc Gunther blogged and wrote an article on the “cozy” relationships between NGOs and corporations. For the Corporate Watchdog Radio ViewPoint, we caught up with Marc from his home office in Bethesda for his take on this issue.
Plan A — the business-as-usual, free-market, capitalist economy — is clearly breaking down, causing meltdowns of global markets AND polar icecaps. Time for Plan B. That’s the title of the book by Earth Policy Institute Founding President Lester Brown, published five years ago. In it, he proposes an alternative economic model for “Rescuing a Planet Under Stress and a Civilization in Trouble,” according to the subtitle. An updated version 2.0 came out two years ago, and earlier this year, Brown unveiled Plan B 3.0, this time subtitled “Mobilizing to Save Civilization.”