January 31, 2012
This week our program is devoted to the Northstate Kids & Creeks project, which provides field trips to local parks and nature reserves to connect young citizens to their local environment while instilling a sense of stewardship through community involvement. Kids and Creeks has just launched a new radio show on KZFR, and you may have listened in to their inaugural program last Tuesday. They’ll be on the air every third Tuesday at 7 pm, immediately following Ecotopia, and we hope to do some joint programs with them. In the studio with us tonight will be the Kids and Creeks Executive Director, Jeremy Miller, and the Program Director, Scott Itamura. We’ll chat with them about their specific program and about the role that outdoor education can play in the lives of young people.
Our Conversation with Scott and Jeremy
This is Ecotopia on KZFR, and tonight we are talking about the Kids and Creeks educational program here in Chico and, more broadly about outdoor education and how it contributes and can contribute to quality education inside and outside our schools. With us in the studio are Jeremy Miller, the Director of Kids and Creeks and Scott Itamura, the Program Director. Welcome, Scott and Jeremy.
– Jeremy Miller: Let’s ask you to open by telling a little about Kids and Creeks. What is it? How long has it been around?
And tell us a little about yourself–you’ve been in outdoor education for almost two decades and have worked in Colorado, California, Oregon, New York, and Switzerland. How did you wind up in Chico with Kids and Creeks?
–Scott Itamura: You’re the curriculum and program director at Kids and Creeks, but you, too, have been involved in alternative education for over twenty years. What do you do at Kids and Creeks, and how did you first become involved?
–Before we get more into the Kids and Creeks programs, you have a fundraiser coming up this Saturday at the Women’s Club. Please give us the details.
–Let’s go into a little more about Kids and Creeks and how you operate. How many classes/students go through your program each year? Where do they come from? Do kids come once, twice, multiple times? What do the classes look like?
Where are the field sites?
–Scott: What is your “curriculum”? What do you want the kids to see, learn, do or achieve while they are with you? What are some examples of K&C lessons
–Jeremy: How are you funded? Do school districts pay to send kids to you? What’s the scope of your nonprofit fundraising efforts?
–Scott: One of your tasks is to align California State Standards to the K&C program. What does that entail? [Susan and Steve will probably have lots to say on this matter, having done alignment but being generally opposed to the standards-and-tests approach.] Do you only cover science standards?
What the #$%^^&*&* is ( Standardized Testing and Reporting (STAR) Test Language?
–Outdoor education has been around for a while. Can you tell us a little about it and its various permutations. How do you see outdoor ed performing this function?
–Yours is an alternative program, with classes meeting outside of regular school classes. Have you ever thought about opening your own school that would be centered entirely on outdoor ed? Is that feasible? Could kids pursue an outdoor ed curriculum and still pass the standardized tests or get into Stanford?
–We’ve also been part of an organization called Science, Technology, and Society, that aims to get kids thinking about the unintended or unnoticed consequences of science and technology (e.g. automobile pollution, atomic waste, landfills). Are such concepts part of outdoor education?
–Let’s return for a few minutes to Kids and Creeks. What is Kids and Creeks planning for these days? What’s in the future for Kids and Creeks?
–How can interested listeners get involved as parents or volunteers?
–Please tell us again about your fundraiser this Saturday evening.
Thanks very much for being with us tonight: Jeremy Miller, Director of Kids and Creeks; Scott Itamura, Program Director. We also want to thank their Public Relations Director, Sammey Zangrilli, for arranging this interview.
10 January 2012
This week our program carries the title, “The Rubber Dodo and Other Lobbyists.”
Our guest tonight is Philip Cafaro who is a professor of philosophy at Colorado State University. He is President Elect of the Society for Environmental Ethics and Chair of Progressives for Immigration Reform. He will talk with us about some issues in lobbying and something called the “rubber dodo award,” given annually to “to those who have done the most to drive endangered species extinct.”
The Story of the Dodo from the Center for Biological Diversity
In 1598, Dutch sailors landing on the Indian Ocean island of Mauritius discovered a flightless, three-foot-tall, extraordinarily friendly bird. Its original scientific name was Didus ineptus. (Contemporary scientists use the less defamatory Raphus cucullatus.) To the rest of the world, it’s the dodo — the most famous extinct species on Earth. It evolved over millions of years with no natural predators and eventually lost the ability to fly, becoming a land-based consumer of fruits, nuts and berries. Having never known predators, it showed no fear of humans or the menagerie of animals accompanying them to Mauritius.
[The Dodo's] trusting nature led to its rapid extinction. By 1681, the dodo was extinct, having been hunted and outcompeted by humans, dogs, cats, rats, macaques and pigs. Humans logged its forest cover and pigs uprooted and ate much of the understory vegetation.
The origin of the name dodo is unclear. It likely came from the Dutch word dodoor, meaning “sluggard,” the Portuguese word doudo, meaning “fool” or “crazy,” or the Dutch word dodaars meaning “plump-arse.”
The dodo’s reputation as a foolish, ungainly bird derives in part from its friendly naiveté and the very plump captives that were taken on tour across Europe. The animal’s reputation was cemented with the 1865 publication of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
Based on skeleton reconstructions and the discovery of early drawings, scientists now believe that the dodo was a much sleeker animal than commonly portrayed. The rotund European exhibitions were accidentally produced by overfeeding captive birds.
Why are we talking about the Dodo on Ecotopia? Partly we’d like to rescue the Dodo and the word “dodo” from their meaning as dumbheads. The real dumbheads in this story seem to be (who else?) the humans who exploited the island and destroyed an ancient an ecologically well-adapted bird.
Our Discussion with Philip Cafaro
Philip Cafaro is professor of philosophy at Colorado State University. He is President Elect of the Society for Environmental Ethics and is Chair of Progressives for Immigration Reform. He also is a former ranger with the U.S. National Park Service and an affiliated faculty member of CSU’s School of Global Ecological Sustainability. Welcome Philip Cafaro. Part I: The Rubber Dodo, Lobbying, and Ethics –The Center for Biological Diversity makes an annual award called The Rubber Dodo “to those who have done the most to drive endangered species extinct” Please tell us a little about the Rubber Dodo award. What’s the purpose of this award?
–And the winner (for 2011) was? [Drumroll!!] U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
–In a Press Release, the Center for Biological Diversity focused on the Chamber’s consistent opposition to climate control efforts and legislation. Could you please describe how the Chamber works against heading off climate change? How much money do they spend on this effort? How do they lobby to achieve their goals?
–Who were some of the other nominees for the award, and how does their “work” negatively affect biological diversity.
[Other official nominees were giant pesticide manufacturer Syngenta and Rep. Steve Pearce (R-N.M.), who’s launched a disinformation campaign opposing Endangered Species Act protections for the dunes sagebrush lizard. Hundreds of write-in votes were given to Congress, Monsanto, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar, President Obama, Sarah Palin and Wall Street.]
[Previous winners of the Rubber Dodo include: former BP CEO Tony Hayward (2010), massive land speculator Michael Winer (2009), Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (2008) and Interior Secretary Dirk Kempthorne (2007)]
–In your comments about the Rubber Dodo Award, you emphasized the Chamber’s “quest for never ending U.S. population growth.” What is your take on the American (global) business model of “grow or die,” which essentially requires new customers and new markets to succeed?
–What level of population do you feel the earth can tolerate sustainably?
–What do you teach in your ethics classes at Colorado State? What’s your level of optimism that the grow-or-die/lobby-for-moolah attitudes toward the environment may change in the future?
–On this show, we often ask interviewees about what sorts of mechanisms can rein in climate change. Will it come about through legislation and compulsion? market economics? green industry? voluntary restraint? being driven to or over the brink? What do you think is required so that, in the future, it might not be necessary to make a Rubber Dodo Award?
–We’ll be taking a short break and come back to talk with philosopher and environmentalist Phil Cafano about another topic that concerns him: the effect of lobbying on anti-immigration policies. But before we do that, Phil, please tell us how listeners can learn more about the specifics of the Rubber Dodo Award and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We’ll put some links on our website:
Center for Biological Diversity www.biologicaldiversity.org
U.S. Chamber Wins Rubber Dodo Award http://www.biologicaldiversity.org/news/press_releases/2011/rubber-dodo-10-14-2011.html
Part II: Population and Immigration Reform
–You are also Chairman of Progressives for Immigration Reform, which is committed to “examining the unintended consequences of mass migration.” Please tell us about this organization and its work. Mass migration from where to where? How does this relate to current U.S. (and other “developed” countries) attitudes toward immigration? What’s the problem with “give me your tired, your poor”?
–You link your concerns about population growth to what you see as an anti-immigrant stance by the U. S. Chamber and “other anti-environmental organizations like the Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc., National Restaurant Association and the American Meat Institute” [who] “spent over $15 million dollars this summer to lobby against a law that would require business to only hire workers legally eligible to be employed in the U.S. (House bill H.R.2885: Legal Workforce Act).”
–The First Street Research Group has issued a report that describes other lobbying efforts on immigration over the past decade. Could you provide us a few details about the breadth of lobbying on these issues?
[■1,733 immigration-related bills have been lobbied on.
■Over 1,000 organizations have lobbied on immigration issues.
■Over 7,500 lobbyists have lobbied on immigration issues including over 40 former Members of Congress and over 500 former congressional staffers.
–The First Street report also talks about the DREAM Act that would allow the children of undocumented immigrants to attend college. Why are industry lobbyists opposed to the DREAM Act?
–How can activists counteract the effects of such massive lobbying efforts by industry, especially in a time when employment is down and lobbyists argue that their way is the only way that can rescue the economy?
–Do you and/or Progressives for Immigration Reform have specific recommendations for a reformed immigration policy? [What would you propose that the U.S. do about currently undocumented immigrants (estimated at about 12 million).]
–How can listeners become more involved in your work on immigration, population, and lobbying issues?
Progressives for Immigration Reform http://www.progressivesforimmigrationreform.org/
Thank you, Phil Cafaro of Colorado State for talking with us tonight. We appreciate all your great efforts on ethics, species diversity, population, and immigration.
1. Trophic Cascade 4:12 Ronn Fryer Endangered Animals (Environmental Jenga)
2. The Way of the Dodo 3:34 The Streets Everything Is Borrowed
3. Danger (Global Warming) – Radio Mix 3:35 Brick Casey Danger (Global Warming)
4. Supernova 4:42 Liquid Blue Supernova
5. Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology) 3:16 Marvin Gaye What’s Going On
6. Weave Me the Sunshine 4:28 Peter, Paul And Mary The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary
7. Traffic Jam (Album Version) 2:13 James Taylor James Taylor Live 8. Global Warming Blues 3:42 Lenny Solomon Armando’s Pie
Date: January 3, 2012
This week we’ll be talking about eating local and eating healthy. In the first half of the program, we’ll be talking with Stephanie Elliot who is Education Program Executive Director for GRUB: Growing Resources Uniting Bellies. She’ll tell us about her program that involves educating people about cultivating healthy communities. And in the second half, we’ll talk with Frank Mazzarino and Sally Shea, owners of Green Cedar Farm in Berry Creek, about their work as certified organic orchardists supplying our local market.
Our Conversation with Stephanie Elliott
Stephanie Elliott is GRUB Education Program Executive Director and one of a number of people running an exciting new program here in the NorthState.
1. You’re here to talk about a film being shown this weekend by Cultivating (Healthy?) Community. First of all can you tell us what “Cultivating Community” is? What are your goals?
2. Who’s involved in “Cultivating Community”? Is it a part of a larger movement? Does it have a national organization, too?
3. What are some of the main activities of “Cultivating (Healthy) Communities? What’s planned for the future? Who is your target audience?
4. The organization is showing a film, “Urban Roots.” Tell us a little about the film.
5. Tell us again when and where the film will be shown? [The film, Urban Roots, is being shown Friday January 6, 2012 @ 6pm @ Subud Hall, 574 E. 12th Street, Chico.]
Talking withg Frank Mazzarino and Sally Shea
Frank Mazzarino and Sally Shea, owners of Green Cedar Farm, a certified organic fruit and nut farm in Berry Creek.
1. Please tell us the history of Green Cedar Farm. How long have you been in business? What do you grow? How many varieties do you have? What are your favorites?
2. In our correspondence, you mentioned that you have a philosophy of farming that guides what you do and how you do it. Please tell us about that philosophy. Is it as difficult to implement as New Years’ resolutions?
3. We’re interested in the problems a local farmer encounters marketing. How do certified organic orchardists find a market that works for them? Where do you sell your products? Have you pretty much found your niche at this point?
4. We’re in the midst of what passes for winter in the foothills. What kind of work are you doing in the orchards these days? How will the new year unfold for you? What are the worries and the unpredictables?
5. There seems to be enormous interest in the buy local movement at the present time. What do you see as the most important evolving trends in our area? Do you think local ag can/will become large enough to make a serious dent in the megastore markets?
6. Please tell us how listeners can learn more about your farm and/or about some of the issues and problems in local organic farming.
Playlist for Ecotopia #171–Eat Healthy/Eat Local
1. Back To The Garden 4:03 Jason Webley Against The Night Alternative &
2. Plant a Radish 2:34 Hugh Thomas & William Larsen The Fantasticks
3. Mr. Soil’s Song 1:45 Singin’ Steve Billy the Bean Children’s Music
4. Dirt Made My Lunch 2:25 Banana Slug String Band Dirt Made My Lunch
5. Dirt 4:20 Mary Mary The Sound Christian &
6. Weave Me the Sunshine 4:28 Peter, Paul And Mary The Very Best of Peter, Paul and Mary