#1538: NY Senator Liz Krueger

liz-krueger-500How compassionate is the New York State Compassionate Care Act of 2014 legalizing the use of medical marijuana? My guest this week, New York State Senator Liz Krueger, a lead advocate for legalizing marijuana for both medicinal and also for recreational use, gives us some insight into the pros and cons of the current bill, and why it needs to be enhanced to allow coverage for more diseases. Senator Krueger has also sponsored the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act to limit the investment in oil and gas stocks in NYS pension funds. For more information go to: nysenate.gov/senators/Liz-Kruger or send a tweet @LizKrueger

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#1535: Citizens Campaign for the Environment

Jordan-C-the-many-shades-of-greenMicrobeads are not part of a kids craft project, they are tiny plastic particles which are entering the wildlife and human populations. My guest this week, Jordan Christensen, is the Program Coordinator for the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, and she is working to put pressure on our elected officials to ban the use of microbeads. She is also working on projects to limit raw sewage and toxins from entering the waterways, as well as reducing use of chemicals in schools. We have to write letters to our local and national representatives to let them know that Earth comes first. Go to www.citizenscampaign.org for more information.

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#1534: The End of Plenty

bourneCan we feed the world without wrecking it? Are we farming ourselves out of food? My guest, Joel K. Bourne Jr. and I delve into those questions on this week’s show. Joel’s new book, THE END OF PLENTY: The Race to Feed a Crowded World, discusses the world food crisis, as it relates to population increase and environmental concerns. Farm land is becoming decimated, as water shortages are spreading globally, thus reducing growth of crops needed to feed the populace. Political unrest and revolutions have occurred in various hot spots around the world, as wheat crops have failed, which has lead to tightening grain supplies. Lives are lost as fights break out over bread. Will 3D printing of food save us? Probably not, but there is hope, as farmers are using innovations in food irrigation, as well as conservation methods to solve some of the problems. A new land ethic must be put into place to feed the world. For more information go to joelkbournejr.com and amazon.com for his book, THE END OF PLENTY.

#1525: The End of Plenty by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1526: What is the Clean Air Act anyway?

Elon-Rubin-TMSOGWhy are environmental regulations important in helping reduce greenhouse gas emissions? The Clean Air Act and the Clean Power Standard Rule have been put into place to keep the air, land and water safe, in order to reduce the negative health effects of pollutants. Join me and my special guest, Elon D. Rubin, Esq., Environmental lawyer, entrepreneur, techie, musician and most importantly my awesome son, as we talk about the environmental regulatory process, and how citizens can participate in the process. The climate is changing, and we must be proactive in being resilient and adaptive to current and future climate challenges. For more information visit Edrlaw.com and epa.gov.

#1526: What is the Clean Air Act anyway? by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1525: 2015 Clearwater Music Festival

Abba-and-M-clearwaterNeither rain, nor fog, nor soggy dew could dampen the spirit of the Clearwater 2015 Festival. We spoke to many environmental activists and green entrepreneurs who are creating ideas, and spreading the message about the need to be proactive stewards of Mother Earth. Music echoed throughout the festival, with many performers motivating the populace to take a stand and raise their voices on environmental and social justice issues. Music icon David Crosby, sang new songs with lyrics that commented on the nation’s current state of affairs, and implored people to email, call or show up at the offices of their elected officials and make some noise. Pete Seeger would have been proud to see his vision perpetuated. For more info go to clearwater.org.

#1525: 2015 Clearwater Music Festival by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1520: Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA

Born-Free-USA-The-Many-Shades-of-Green-square-2This week’s show takes us to jungles, plains, back lots and road shows to focus on animal welfare and the need for wildlife protection. My guest, Adam Roberts, CEO of the organization Born Free USA, and I discuss the plight of elephants and lions and what is causing them to be endangered. We also talk about the cruelty and neglect of Exotic pets, and the treatment of animal actors in circuses, film and TV. Lions may be sleeping, but we need to ROAR to save them. For more information go to BornFreeUSA.org.

#1520: Adam Roberts, CEO of Born Free USA by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1519: “Local Action” a Film for the Bedford 20/20 Movement

Nick-Gutfreund-the-many-shades-of-green-sq-500Nick Gutfreund, founder of Long Run Media, is my guest this week, and we discuss how film is a powerful tool to educate and communicate messages, to help promote participation in the eco-movement. He is currently working on a documentary entitled “Local Action,” which focuses on grassroots community groups, and how those groups move to build awareness of environmental and social issues. Local organizations are the change agents who help create solutions for a more sustainable planet. Please visit longrunmedia.com and bedford2020.org to get more information.

#1519: “Local Action” a Film for the Bedford 20/20 Movement by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1515: Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot

Butler_TomOverdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot – Tom Butler’s new large format coffee table book, tells the story of how population increase, and the rise of the industrial complex, has led to social, economic and environmental problems world wide. The phrase ” a picture’s worth a thousand words” is most evident in the photos taken during this three year journey to expose man’s quest to dominate the planet, and leave sprawl, over growth, disease and destruction in its path. We over indulge, over-plug, and over saturate this beautiful planet, with blatant disregard for the other species who live on earth. Tom and I discuss how we can resolve and build solutions to these problems. This unique approach, which uses powerful photographs, illustrates that humankind must do better, we must stop drilling, stop building and stop decimating the earth. Mother Nature is not happy, but we can do things to make her smile again. Go to populationspeakout.org for more information.

#1515: Overdevelopment, Overpopulation, Overshoot by The Many Shades Of Green on Mixcloud

#1509: Bedford 2020

Bedford2020_trans-01This week’s program takes place at the Bedford 2020 Summit and Solar Action Day. We spoke to Andrew Revkin, writer of the Dot Earth Blog for the New York Times, as well as Peter Olmsted, East Coast Regional Director for Vote Solar. We also spoke to Mayor Michael Cindrich of Mt. Kisco, NY about the solar projects on his agenda. Keynote Speaker Amory Lovins, of The Rocky Mountain Institute, spoke about new energy technologies that are on the horizon for the future of electricity. It was a gathering of innovators, educators and community, all working to promote solar and other renewable energy, in an effort to help create actionable solutions to green house gas emissions. A special thank you to Heather Flournoy for her hard work and hospitality. For more information go to bedford2020.org, dotearthblogs.nytimes.com and votesolar.org

The Green Stream: Beware of US Food Politics

Green-Strem-Blog-The-Many-Shades-of-GreenBy Mikey Kohlberg

The need is greater than ever to be involved in the growing sustainability and food movement. The threats that our agriculture industry pose on climate change and human survival are blatantly obvious at this point, yet it seems that many US politicians have forsaken their duty as representatives of the common good of America while instead succumbing to the pressures of politics and corporate interest. For the sake of being concise, I won’t get into the details of the destruction that Monsanto Company and similar operations are causing to humanity and to nature. For a summary of these details, click here.

Today, I am focusing more on the dilemma of Michael R. Taylor slithering his way from atop multiple powerful positions working for Monsanto Company to holding America’s health in the palm of his hand as head honcho of the FDA. And last but not least, I hope to begin to show you all how gravely this affects us all.

To start off I want to ask a question. When did it become acceptable in this country to let someone switch so freely between the position of corporate lobbyist/lawyer and policy maker in the same field? That is what FDA Deputy Commissioner for Food and Veterinary Medicine Michael R.Taylor did. Also, do me a quick favor and google the relationship he has had with King & Spalding, a law firm that has a history of representing Monsanto. This, my friends has been called by Marion Nestle, who wrote Food Politics, “a classic example of the revolving door.”

There are those who argue for Taylor’s innocence however. Bill Marler who wrote Mike Taylor and the Myth of the Monsanto Man, claims that after knowing of him (not directly knowing him) for nearly 20 years, he is convinced Taylor is non-partial to Monsanto. Taylor himself is quoted in the article saying, “The government has clear rules about what a person can and cannot work on under those circumstances (potential partiality to an industry),” Marler then establishes his line that Taylor “follows those rules very carefully.” Marler continues to explain that when Taylor held the Deputy Commissioner for Policy (FDA) in the mid-’90s, the FDA Ethics Counsel said that he could work on general policy matters, such as policies for food labeling, but that he was precluded from any involvement in specific product approvals of interest to Monsanto. HOLD ON!

Seeing as one of the biggest US food policy issues right now is the requirement of food companies to label GMO foods, this seems like an issue that former Monsanto lawyer and VP of public policy at the largest GMO company in the world should not be engaging in! American health is at stake!

Also, according to PF Louis in his article Biotech industry at war over GMOs; millions of dollars funneled to lawmakers, “Monsanto Mike (Taylor) was able to influence the approval of rBGH (recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone), which forces cows to yield more milk while causing infections that require antibiotics. So many milk and other dairy products became contaminated with the synthetic hormone rBGH, antibiotics, and infected cow blood and puss.” If you are unaware of the futility that over antibiotic use in factory farms is causing modern medicine please check out some of these links. I encourage you to explore the topic in more detail.

Farmers-market-foodLong story short, America’s reckless agricultural techniques and lack of quality governmental oversight has created a situation in which Americans are falsely assured by their own government about the safety of their food. It is a situation that still has its solutions though. What we need is mass education which will contribute to a snowballing in consumer awareness about the importance of the local and sustainable food movement. It has started to take hold around the world but with EVERONE’S help, we will begin to change. Their have been sparks of change so far, but we need to keep the passion strong to get the fire roaring. As we eat locally and buy from small farms, food becomes much healthier, less mysterious, and more tasty. While food transportation costs and emissions are reduced, air becomes cleaner in cities and communities become stronger through community farms and other CSA projects. If you take away one thing from this blog, let it be to buy food that comes from within 100 miles of where you live!

I want to end this Green Stream blog with a note of optimism, because although there are many problems with our current food regulatory system and agricultural sector, there is much we all can do.

Buy local and Stay Green!

Find out more info about eating clean and stayed tuned for The Many Shades of Green’s interview with Ashley Spivak from Clean Plates!

#1445: Sunday, September 21st 2014, The People’s Climate March

Abba-Carmichael-Maxine-Margo-Rubin-The-Many-Shades-of-Green-Peoples-Climate-March-New-York-City400,000 strong, a mosaic of humankind gathered at the People’s Climate March in NYC, to voice their concern about the climate crisis, and demand that the leaders of the world take action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. My co-producer, Abba Carmichael and I, were able to witness history and walk with those who trekked from across the globe, and from across the street, to take an active role in showing support for Mother Earth. We spoke to actor/activist and academy award nominee Mark Ruffalo, NY Senator Charles Schumer, former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, author, environmental and civil rights activist Van Jones, Climate Project Presenter Marc Sussman, Grandparents Climate Campaign of Norway and many many more. It was truly an uplifting moment in time, and an example of peaceful, democratic protest on behalf of Mother Nature. For more info go to 350.org and peoplesclimate.org

#1406: Ken Gale

What is the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement (TPP), and why is it such a “secret.” Ken Gale, host of Eco-Logic on WBAI, gives us the reasons why we need to be very afraid of what is called “NAFTA on steroids.” Internet Freedom, Food Safety, US jobs, Copyrights, the Environment, Public Health, and the price of medicine will all be affected by this agreement, which is being negotiated behind closed doors by the Executive Branch, the USTR and Fortune 500 corporations, who stand to greatly benefit should it pass. Congress is putting this matter on the “Fast Track”, without even knowing what the TPP contains, which considering their record, is not all surprising. Get more information by going to www.citizen.org/TPP. Tune into Ken’s show Eco-Logic, Tuesdays at 8 PM on WBAI.