MMD461 Media Mining Digest: America Lost Its Way, American Indians, Canadian Economy and Covid, Climate Change, Climate Crusade for Children, Communications Technology, Covid and Non-medical Workers, Covid and Racial Inequalities, Covid and Refugee Camps, Covid Finances, Covid Health Care Deaths, Covid Heroes, Covid in Long Term Care Facilities, Covid Misinformation, Covid Racial Inequalites, Covid Strandings, Covid Strategies in Different Countries, Covid Tools to End Lockdown, Covid Travel Restrictions, Covid Treatments, Covid-19 Environmental Impact, Design Thinking, Investing, Responsibly, Julia Child, Maya Angelou, Money in Politics, New Robber Barrons, PFAS Pollutant, Plastic Burning, Plastic Waste, Seattle Chef Panel, Vertical Farms

Exercise your ears: the 33 podcasts shown below present the best ideas, information and stories from a larger group of 441 for the week, to hear while your hands and eyes are busy. Get all the files as a group here, or double (ctrl-click) individual  titles to get single podcasts and explore the source. A collection of 29,900 podcasts, listed alphabetically and grouped by topic, can be downloaded piecemeal, with files A-E at this link, and the remainder here. You’ll be limited to a 4GB maximum per download at the last place, so multiple group downloads will be needed to get all files, totaling over 170GB and may take a few hours. The first entry in the collection is a text file with just titles for quicker reference. A collection of abstracts for all the podcasts is available at this link and updated quarterly. Get the discarded material, too, using a podcast aggregator loaded with this opml file of the 503 sources. And try PodcastRE from the University of Wisconsin with over 150,000 titles. Exercise your ears and relax the rest.

America Lost Its Way 15 mins – “Three years ago, reporter and former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert took to the road and traveled across the United States to gather research for his new book, Losing Our Way. In it, Herbert tells the stories of the brave, hard-working men and women he met who have been battered by the economic downturn. He found an America in which jobs have disappeared, infrastructure is falling apart and the “virtuous cycle” of well-paid workers spending their wages to power the economy has been broken by greed and the gap between the very rich and everyone else. He tells Bill: “[W]e’ve established a power structure in which the great corporations and the big banks have allied themselves with the national government and, in many cases, local government to pursue corporate interests and financial interests as opposed to those things that would be in the best interests of ordinary working people… Once you do that, you lose the dynamic that America is supposed to be. It’s supposed to be an egalitarian society, a society of rising standards of living, a society of a vast and thriving middle class. And we are getting farther and farther away from that ideal.” As for solutions, Herbert says, “People need to start voting against the excessive power of the great moneyed interests. But more than that, we need a movement, a grass-roots movement that will fight for the interests of ordinary men and women…” Herbert is a senior distinguished fellow at the public policy and analysis think tank, Demos. He is also a board member of the Schumann Media Center, from which he is presently on leave working on a major documentary.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

American Indians 15 mins – “American Indians have long had to contend with the myth of the “savage” as well as with the law, especially the language long employed by the courts to legitimize what legal scholar Robert Williams calls “this uniquely American-style, constitutionally sanctioned white racial dictatorship.” Robert Williams, himself of Lumbee Indian heritage, has set himself the task of trying to root out the law’s bias and to challenge the bigoted ways of talking, thinking, and writing that still shape our attitudes toward the American Indian population. Williams tells Bill Moyers, “When Europeans came to the New World, the first thing they said is, ‘Well, Indians don’t appreciate property. They’re savage. They’re backwards. They’re uncivilized. And so we really don’t have to pay them for it or if we give them a treaty we really don’t have to give them what the land is– is truly worth.’ Nothing could be farther from the truth. Tribes have very clear conceptions of their traditional boundaries, they maintain their rights and their claim to sovereignty over the lands according to their own honored traditions and tribal elders.” Williams continues, “What we’ve had is 500 years of taking away from tribes. And it’s going to be very hard to start giving back and to start recognizing those things were taken from tribes… And that continual work that Indian leaders, indigenous people are doing throughout the world is getting back what was taken away.” Robert Williams teaches law and American Indian studies at the University of Arizona, has represented tribal groups before human rights courts and commissions, adjudicated as a judge for Indian courts of law, and written such influential books as “Like a Loaded Weapon” and “Savage Anxieties: The Invention of Western Civilization,” which show how and why the notion of Indians as war-mongering, unruly savages was used to justify western expansion – and suppression.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

America Lost Its Way 15 mins – “Three years ago, reporter and former New York Times columnist Bob Herbert took to the road and traveled across the United States. What he discovered is chronicled in his new book, “Losing Our Way,” stories of brave, hard-working men and women battered by the economic downturn. He found an America in which jobs have disappeared, infrastructure is falling apart and the “virtuous cycle” of well-paid workers spending their wages to power the economy and spark further growth has been broken by greed and the gap between the very rich and everyone else. “ At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Canadian Economy and Covid 13 mins – ”Finance Minister Bill Morneau says that the federal government financial aid package will help ensure the economy is strong when the COVID-19 pandemic blows over. He speaks to host Matt Galloway about delays in getting money to Canadians and about the federal wage subsidy. Meanwhile, small-business owners say that the measures don’t go far enough. Smaller hospitals outside of Canada’s big cities are facing additional concerns during the pandemic — often fewer doctors and supplies. Three emergency room physicians share what COVID-19 means for their rural facilities. Advocates say prisons are uniquely susceptible to outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, and they’re asking officials to depopulate prisons across the country in the effort to help Canada flatten the curve.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Climate Change 15 mins – “Climate Change: Faith and Fact – Katharine Hayhoe is an atmospheric scientist who’s also an evangelical Christian, but in the face of those who use religion to deny the worldwide crisis of climate change, she believes that her faith is compatible with science. “…The New Testament talks about how faith is the evidence of things not seen,” she tells Bill Moyers. “By definition, science is the evidence of things that are seen, that can be observed, that are quantifiable.  And so that’s why I see faith and science as two sides of the same coin.” The daughter of missionaries, Hayhoe believes she, too, has a mission: “Caring about climate is entirely consistent with who we are as Christians.  But over the last several decades…we have increasingly begun to confound our politics with our faith. To the point where instead of our faith dictating our attitudes on political and social issues, we are instead allowing our political party to dictate our attitude on issues that are clearly consistent with who we are… Climate change is a casualty of much larger societal issues. If we can get past the issue of rhetoric and politics, and actually start talking about what’s in our hearts, I have seen amazing things happen in terms of moving forward to look at solutions that are consistent with the values that we have.” Katharine Hayhoe teaches at Texas Tech University and is director of its Climate Science Center. She is the founder and CEO of ATMOS Research, a scientific research and consulting firm and co-author of A Climate for Change: Global Warming Facts for Faith-Based Decisions. A rising star of climate science, Hayhoe was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in 2014 and featured in the Emmy Award-winning Showtime documentary series Years of Living Dangerously.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Climate Crusade for Children 15 mins – With so many in Congress and state legislatures in denial or simply missing in action, and with the very agencies created to protect our environment hijacked by the polluting industries they were meant to regulate, it may turn out that the judicial system, our children and their children will save us from ourselves. The new legal framework for this crusade against global warming is called atmospheric trust litigation. It takes the fate of the Earth into the courts, arguing that the planet’s atmosphere – its air, water, land, plants and animals — are the responsibility of government, held in its trust to insure the survival of all generations to come. It’s the brainchild of Bill Moyers’ guest this week on the final broadcast of the series Moyers & Company (Note that the BillMoyers.com website will continue). Mary Christina Wood is a legal scholar who wrote the book, “Nature’s Trust,” tracing this public trust doctrine all the way back to ancient Rome. It is, she writes, “a robust set of legal footholds by which citizens can hold their government officials accountable.” Wood tells Bill Moyers, “If this nation relies on a stable climate system, and the very habitability of this nation and all of the liberties of young people and their survival interests are at stake, the courts need to force the agencies and the legislatures to simply do their job.” “Climate is not just an environmental issue,” she continues.  “This is a civilization issue.  This is the biggest case that courts will get in terms of the potential harm and in terms of the urgency.”  Mary Christina Wood teaches law at the University of Oregon and is founding director of that school’s Environmental and Natural Resources Law Program. Her theories are being used in several legal suits filed by the advocacy group Our Children’s Trust.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Communications Technology 21 mins – “FCC Commissioner Brendan Carr (R) talked about regulation and the internet in relation to President Trump’s executive order on Section 230 of the 1996 Communications Decency Act. Section 230 shields websites from liability for content their users post. He also talked about 5G infrastructure and the “digital divide” between school children amid the coronavirus pandemic.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid and Non-medical Workers 48 mins – “Non-medical frontline workers share how they’re being affected by COVID-19, what supports they need — and what physical distancing means for them. What’s it like in Italy one month into lockdown? CBC’s Megan Williams brings us the latest from Rome, and we hear from an ICU doctor on the frontlines of the battle against the coronavirus. Looking for a way to find some calm and reduce stress as life is turned upside down? Research shows it could be as simple as listening to your favourite song. Adriana Barton explains how. First Nations communities are bracing themselves for #COVID19, and trying different strategies to keep the virus out. From lockdowns, to curfews, to quarantines for returning travellers, we hear about what’s being done.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid and Racial Inequalities 49 mins – “Early data from the U.S. shows a higher death rate for African Americans from COVID-19. We discuss what Canada can do to better protect people of colour from inequalities in health care. Then, author and podcast host Brené Brown talks to Matt Galloway about how being vulnerable can help us give us the strength to face the COVID-19 pandemic. Plus, Nova Scotia woman Crystal Blair tells us she’s kept her truckstop restaurant open during the pandemic, so she can serve up free meals to the truck drivers with few options. And as COVID19 cases climb in New York, doctors face tough choices over who gets access to limited resources. Now guidelines have been published in Canada, in case our doctors have to make those same life-or-death decisions.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid and Refugee Camps 16 mins – “According to the Official Opposition, the Trudeau government has been too slow to respond to the COVID-19 crisis. Andrew Scheer talks to host Matt Galloway about his party’s role during the pandemic. For many living in refugee camps around the world, access to medical supplies is already limited making COVID-19 a dangerous threat. Canada’s former UN ambassador Rosemary McCarney explains how. Keeping the spark alive during these trying times can be tough. Sex columnist and writer Dan Savage on what sex and love can look like during — and after — the coronavirus. q host Tom Power speaks to Modern Family star Ty Burrell about the hit sitcom’s final episode — and how he’s supporting bar and restaurant staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. You might have her book, Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat, in your kitchen. Chef and food writer Samin Nosrat wants to help you cook during the pandemic with her new podcast.

Covid Finances 48 mins – “Finance Minister Bill Morneau says that the federal government financial aid package will help ensure the economy is strong when the COVID-19 pandemic blows over. He speaks to host Matt Galloway about delays in getting money to Canadians and about the federal wage subsidy. Meanwhile, small-business owners say that the measures don’t go far enough. Smaller hospitals outside of Canada’s big cities are facing additional concerns during the pandemic — often fewer doctors and supplies. Three emergency room physicians share what COVID-19 means for their rural facilities. Advocates say prisons are uniquely susceptible to outbreaks of the novel coronavirus, and they’re asking officials to depopulate prisons across the country in the effort to help Canada flatten the curve.

Covid Health Care Deaths 48 mins – “Police are investigating a Dorval, Que. long-term care home where 31 residents have died since March 13 (five deaths attributed to COVID-19). We talk to Barbara Schneider, whose mother Mary died at the facility. Then, are you a sports fan, and missing your team? Shireeen Ahmed, Morgan Campbell and Devin Heroux discuss the withdrawal many fans are feeling. Plus, Christopher Tito has been passing time in quarantine by remaking classic films on social media — all with the help of his cat Ulysses. And author Val Walker talks about staying connected to beat the loneliness of isolation.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid Heroes 54 mins – In a conversation first aired last month, astronaut Chris Hadfield, Giller Prize-winning author Madeleine Thien and Olympian Clara Hughes join us to share why they believe Canadians have what it takes to weather this pandemic. Plus, we talk to some photographers who are capturing memories (from a distance!) with what are being called “porch portraits.” Then, we’re bringing you a Canadian classic. From the Vinyl Cafe archives, we’ll hear the late Stuart McLean with the 1995 story, Sourdough. And finally, host of q Tom Power brings us chats with singer Norah Jones, screenwriter Alan Yang and props designer John Allen.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid in Long Care Facilities 26 mins – “People in long-term care homes are cut off from their relatives during the pandemic, who are left worried their loved ones are in the path of COVID-19. One advocate argues these family members should be viewed as essential workers — and let back in to help with care. Then, hear from staff and management of long-term care facilities to hear their concerns — and distress — about the rising COVID-19 death toll in the facilities.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid in Long Care Facilities 46 mins – “We talk to staff and management of long-term care facilities; hearing their concerns and distress about the rising COVID-19 death toll in the facilities. Then, warnings of deadly consequences followed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to cut funding to the World Health Organization — but some argue the organization has serious problems. We hear both sides. Plus, is the pandemic magnifying gender inequality? We discuss how family and work dynamics are playing out during COVID-19.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid Misinformation 55 mins – “Some would say that living through the #COVID19 pandemic is sort of like living in the early chapters of one of Daniel Kalla’s novels. The ER doctor and novelist tells us how his fiction books are starting to look a lot more like reality. Have you seen posts claiming that you can make an N95 mask out of a bra, or that gargling salt water will help prevent COVID-19? Don’t believe them — they’re baseless claims, says CBC fact checker Andrea Bellemare. Reports suggest that the Chinese government has underreported the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in that country, but others say to point fingers at China this way is to feed into a conspiracy theory. Science is a process of discovery, according to Deborah Blum. So if the information and advice around COVID- 19 seems to be changing, that doesn’t mean scientists are making mistakes — they’re figuring it out. q host Tom Power speaks to Liza Lou, an artist that’s encouraging people to join her in weaving quilts out of household materials while live-streaming the process.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid Strandings 46 mins – “We’re talking to faith leaders about how they tend to their communities during the pandemic, and why empty houses of worship this weekend don’t mean we can’t come together. Then, we hear from Canadians who were stranded abroad because of COVID-19, but have made it home against all the odds. Also, in these uncertain times, we talk to seniors who have experienced similar challenges in the past, including one 107-year-old Nova Scotian who remembers the 1918 Spanish Influenza pandemic. What can we learn from their experiences? And as some Canadians forgo meat this Good Friday, we’ll check in with a St. John’s fish and chip shop that has been serving the city for almost 70 years.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid Strategies in Different Countries 45 mins – “We discuss calls for the federal government to release projections of how bad the COVID-19 pandemic could get. How might projections affect public behaviour and compliance with measures to slow the spread? Then, how are different countries dealing with the virus? We’re comparing strategies in India, Sweden and South Korea. And amid the pandemic, some businesses are shifting their production to find ways to contribute, such as distilleries pumping out hand sanitizer, or clothing companies making hospital smocks. We talk to companies involved in business-not-as-usual.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid Tools to End Lockdown 49 mins – “How do we safely move past the pandemic lockdown? We discuss two ideas to ease restrictions: tracking the spread of #COVID19 with mobile technology, and testing the population for immunity. How do these tools work, and what are the concerns around privacy, and the gaps in our knowledge about COVID-19 immunity. Then, the CBC’s Adrienne Arsenault takes us inside a Toronto hospital battling the pandemic, and Susan Ormiston discusses the mood in New York, the epicentre of the U.S. outbreak. Plus, having a baby is stressful, having a baby in a pandemic is a whole other matter. We talk to two mothers about their worries (and their joy), and a panel of experts about the steps being taken to ensure quality of care.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid Travel Restrictions 50 mins – “If travel restrictions remain in place, that might stop seasonal agricultural workers reaching Canada this summer — and cause problems for farmers, and perhaps the food supply. The pandemic has come with a massive amount of data, but how can you make sense of the numbers, and how do you know what to trust? Statistician and host of the Risky Talk podcast David Spiegelhalter joins us to discuss. The weather’s getting better, but a group of orthopedic surgeons is asking us to think twice before jumping on our bikes or rollerblades for some (physically distant) exercise. They say COVID-19 means a simple broken bone might not be so simple. Exhausted by the pandemic? Philosopher Michael Baur says you might have moral fatigue, a result of everyday choices — like deciding when to go to a grocery store — becoming serious life decisions. And finally, we talk to the organizers of the Quarantine Book Club — a virtual solution for readers stuck at home. Just don’t forget to unmute yourself.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid Treatments 46 mins – “We look at the unprecedented collaborative efforts to find a treatment for COVID-19, including a Canadian clinical trial hoping blood plasma from the recovered can help those still sick, and a medical student volunteering to test a vaccine. Plus, are you worried about money amid the pandemic? Personal finance author Lesley-Anne Scorgie and Carleton University assistant professor Jennifer Robson answer your questions about the CERB, retirement savings, interest rates, what students can do, and more. Then, our national affairs panellists Kathleen Petty, Mia Rabson and Jason Markusoff unpack Alberta’s latest COVID-19 projections, the pandemic’s impact on the oil patch, and the latest from Ottawa.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Covid-19 Environmental Impact 19 mins – “Tom Heap talks through the environmental issues emerging during the coronavirus pandemic and asks what the legacy might be. He’s joined by climate change expert Dr Tamsin Edwards from King’s College, London to examine the effect of the lockdown. With millions of people now working from home, planes being grounded and fewer cars on the roads, what level of environmental improvement has there been, and will that be reversed once our lives return to normal? With the help of experts from the fields of climate change, remote working, ecology and environmental standards, we track the changes in air pollution and global temperature.What will the return to ‘normal’ look like? With the UK aiming to be carbon neutral by 2050, Tom asks whether the pandemic can be seen as a trial run for a zero-carbon world. And, with the international climate meeting COP26 postponed, Tamsin considers how international climate targets might be affected. With contributions from Christiana Figueres – architect of the Paris climate agreement, environmental psychologist Lorraine Whitmarsh, air quality expert David Carslaw, Gina McCarthy of the Natural Resources Defense Council, business communications specialist Jon Sidwick and Julian Newman from the Environmental Investigation Agency.” At the link left-click “Download,” and select “Lower quality,” then “Save Link As” to get the podcast.

Design Thinking 41 mins – “We spend one third of our lives at work, whether it’s at a job we love or one we can’t wait to leave. As the job market shifts with the increase of automation and artificial intelligence, a flexible mindset is more important than ever. Stanford professor Bill Burnett (co-author of the No. 1 New York Times best seller Designing Your Life) believes we can transform our work experience by building and utilizing a designer mindset. He argues that much of our unhappiness and difficulty is caused by “dysfunctional beliefs” that limit our potential. In the forthcoming Designing Your Work Life, Burnett offer strategies on everything work related—from how to quit to how to get the job we want—and everything in between. Join INFORUM as Bill Burnett teaches us how design thinking can transform our experience of work and our outlook on life, without necessarily changing the job we have.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive. 

Julia Child 17 mins – ”Radio Cherry Bombe went on tour to find out what’s on the mind of food folk across the country, Once we finished our tour, we realized that three of our talks centered around one very iconic person in the food world: Julia Child. We know Julia’s pioneering spirit, culinary talent, and sheer joy in the kitchen inspires everyone in the Bombesquad and we wanted to share these stories with you. At our San Diego stop, Diane Rocha, a retired school teacher and enthusiastic amateur baker in California shares her very special connection to Julia. In Kansas City, Missouri, Christina Corvino, the co-owner and general manager of Corvino restaurant, tells us how Julia has encouraged her through the ups and downs of her professional journey. In Baltimore, Maryland, Jessica Grosman of With Health & Gratitude tells us about her special moment with Julia Child.” At the link right-click “Share” to get a link where you can listen; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Maya Angelou 15 mins – “Over the years and on several occasions, Bill Moyers interviewed Maya Angelou, the legendary author who died in late May. In this first of two programs celebrating her extraordinary life and legacy, Moyers revisits an episode from his 1982 series “Creativity” in which he and Angelou returned to the small town of Stamps, Arkansas, where she spent much of her childhood. Walking with Moyers, she remembers a place where she was “terribly hurt… and vastly loved.” Stamps, Arkansas, was deeply segregated, divided by railroad tracks that split the town into black and white. “This was more or less a no man’s land here… If you were black you never felt really safe when you simply crossed the railroad tracks,” she says. “… And I used to have to walk over here. Oh gosh, I hated it. I had no protection at all over there. I had an idea of protection on this side. I had my grandmother on this side. I had the church, my uncle, and all my people were on this side. So I had an idea of protection, but there I would be all alone and I loathed it, crossing those railroad tracks.” Angelou, who had been traumatized by rape at the age of seven-and-a-half and did not speak for several years, found her voice again with the help of a family friend, Mrs. Flowers, who “told me poetry was music written for the human voice” and encouraged her to read aloud. The great writers she read, the music she heard in church, and the scars of racial discrimination guided her toward the writing career that made her famous. “I am a writer and Stamps must remain for me in that nebulous, unreal reality, because I’m a poet and I have to draw from these shadows, these densities, these phantasmagorias for my poetry,” Angelou tells Moyers. “I don’t want it to become a place on the map, because the truth is you never can leave home. You take it with you everywhere you go.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Money in Politics 15 mins – In this turbulent midterm election year, two academics decided to practice what they preached. They left the classroom, confronted the reality of down-and-dirty politics, and tried to replace moneyed interests with the public interest. Neither was successful – this year, at least – but on this week’s edition of Moyers & Company, they discuss with Bill Moyers their experiences and the hard-fought lessons learned about the state of American democracy.  Lawrence Lessig teaches law at Harvard, is director of that university’s Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics and founded the University of Chicago’s Center for Internet and Society. A well-known Internet activist and campaign finance reform advocate, this election cycle, he started Mayday.US, a crowd-funded SuperPAC to end all SuperPACs. Its mission, Lessig says, is to reduce the influence of money in politics and make it politically toxic to oppose campaign finance reform. Lessig’s six congressional picks in truly competitive races went down to defeat in the midterms, but he told a reporter, “The fight to root out corruption in our politics is one of the most important in our time, and we will continue to pursue it with fierce urgency.”  Zephyr Teachout is a professor of constitutional and property law at Fordham Law School and this year became a political candidate – going up against incumbent New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo in the Democratic primary. She received more than a third of the vote and carried 30 of the state’s 62 counties, surprising everyone – including Cuomo. Her new book, “Corruption in America,” is a history of the corrosive influence of money in politics. In it she writes, “What America now faces, if we do not change the fundamental structures of the relationship of money to legislative power, is neither mob rule nor democracy, but oligarchy.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

New Robber Barons 15 mins – “America’s first Gilded Age, more than a century ago, was a time of vast riches and conspicuous consumption, as well as degrading poverty. “It wasn’t merely that poverty lived alongside great wealth,” historian Steve Fraser tells Bill Moyers on this week’s Moyers & Company, “It’s that poverty was being created by great wealth.” Senators and Representatives were owned by Wall Street and Big Business, and then, as now, those who footed the bill for political campaigns were richly rewarded with favorable laws. We’ve just watched the Senate and the House — aided and abetted by President Obama — pay off financial interests with provisions in the new spending bill that expand the amount of campaign cash wealthy donors can give and let banks off the hook for gambling with customer( and taxpayer) money. The social safety net, Fraser says, has been “shredded to a very significant degree.” But what was different about the first Gilded Age is that people rose in rebellion. Today we do not see “that enormous resistance.” Nonetheless, he concludes, “people are increasingly fed up… their voices are not being heard.  And I think that can only go on for so long without there being more and more outbreaks of what used to be called class struggle, class warfare.” Steve Fraser is a writer, editor and scholar of American history. Among his books are Every Man a Speculator, Wall Street: America’s Dream Palace and Labor Will Rule. His latest, The Age of Acquiescence: The Life and Death of American Resistance to Organized Wealth and Power, will be published early next year.” At the link you can listen, but not download; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

PFAS Pollutant 19 mins – When a frustrated farmer dumped a bag of VHS video tapes onto the desk of Cincinnati lawyer Rob Bilott it kick-started a legal process that would ultimately reveal that one of the world’s biggest chemical companies had poisoned thousands of people. The story of DuPont and their manufacture of the non-stick chemical family PFAS matters to the factory workers of Parkersburg, West Virginia but it also reveals the extent to which virtually all of us have been exposed to a chemical that for decades has lined our frying pans and takeaway food containers and guarded our sofas and carpets against stains. Rob’s story of his two decade battle with DuPont has inspired ‘Dark Waters’, a Hollywood film starring Mark Ruffalo and Anne Hathaway. In the first of a new series Tom Heap meets Rob and Mark to discuss the impact on the environment and human health of a family of chemicals that can build up in our bodies and take tens of thousands of years to decay.” At the link left-click “Download,” and select “Lower quality,” then “Save Link As” to get the podcast.

Plastic Burning 19 mins – “Every year billions of products are sold around the world in plastic packaging. But some countries lack a waste system to collect and recycle or dispose of the rubbish. The result can be that waste is dumped, set on fire or used as an accelerant in domestic fires. A new report by Tearfund claims to reveal the scale of the uncontrolled burning in six key countries. Tom Heap finds out what the implications of this are and asks if the product manufacturers which profit have a ‘moral responsiblity’ to help clear up.” At the link left-click “Download,” and select “Lower quality,” then “Save Link As” to get the podcast.

Plastic Waste 19 mins – “Plastic waste is the scourge of developing countries. Many have poor waste collection and virtually no recycling. But there may be ways in which local people can put the waste to good use. In Cameroon a child called Pierre Kamsouloum wanted to play football, but had no ball. He got the idea of melting soft plastic, the kind that food is wrapped in, and moulding it into a crude football. A few years later, without a job and looking for a way to make money, he came back to the idea, and realised that if you mixed the molten plastic with sand, you could turn it into tough paving slabs, competitively priced. Now, with the help of NGOs, thousands of people across Cameroon and Gambia have been trained in the technique. In the Netherlands, design student Dave Hakkens had the idea of creating machines that people could use to recycle their plastic locally. Using quite basic technology, these machines shred, melt and then extrude plastic into moulds to make flat sheets, bowls, and even giant Lego-style house building bricks. The designs are all open-source and online, and a movement of thousands of people has grown up, building, improving and using Dave’s machines. In Guatemala, German environmentalist Susanne Heisse was depressed by the plastic pollution collecting at the side of Lake Atilan. Inspired by the actions of a neighbour, she started stuffing the waste into plastic drinking bottles, and so the idea of the eco-brick was born – a building block that can be strong and durable and at the same time sequesters the plastic and stops it breaking down into dangerous plastics. None of these ideas is without its difficulties and each has its critics. But until we find ways to live without plastic, could they be part of the solution?” At the link left-click “Download,” and select “Lower quality,” then “Save Link As” to get the podcast.

Seattle Chef Panel 27 mins – “On today’s show, we’re celebrating some of our friends in the chef community and airing a panel from our Jubilee Seattle conference with Chef Rachel Yang, Chef Renee Erickson, and Chef Makani Howell. These pillars in the restaurant community talk about leadership and navigating an ever-changing city. Chef Angie Mar of The Beatrice Inn in New York City and author of the new cookbook Butcher + Beast (and who happens to be a Seattle native!), moderated the panel, and Lara Hamilton, owner of the community cookbook store Book Larder, introduces everyone.” At the link right-click “Share” to get a link where you can listen; however, a copy of the podcast is included in this blog archive.

Vertical Farms 19 mins – “Nine years ago on Sea Change Radio, we spoke to the self-proclaimed founding father of vertical farming, Dickson Despommier, about the concept of moving crops onwards and upwards (literally). In an interesting twist, the global COVID pandemic has resulted in a lot of abandoned office buildings. To proponents of vertical farming, these spaces may represent unprecedented opportunity. We thought this seemed like a good time to revisit our original Sea Change Radio interview with Dr. Despommier, unedited, in its entirety. In fact, Dr. Despommier co-authored a paper just last week for the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) titled “Wheat Yield Potential in Controlled-environment vertical farms.” In the paper, the authors write that “although it is unlikely that indoor wheat farming will be economically competitive with current market prices in the near future, it could play an essential role in hedging against future climate or other unexpected disruptions to the food system.” Now, let’s go back to our interview from November 2011.” At the link right-click “Download” and select “Save Link As” from the pop-up menu.

About virginiajim

Retired knowledge nut.
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