environment

Scientists around the world agree that pollution, habitat destruction, and over-exploitation of natural resources have created a climate emergency that threatens great harm to human health, wellbeing, and livelihoods. Here at home in California and on the Central Coast, we are experiencing those effects first hand. The U.S. drought monitor reports approximately more than half of California is already experiencing a severe drought, and that we are primed for a severe 2021 fire season. And while climate change is a threat to everyone’s health and well-being, some groups—socially and economically disadvantaged ones—face the greatest risks. So, what can we do?

Join us as we continue our celebration of Earth Month! Join Fred Munroe as he speaks with an array of Central Coast organizations working on ways to protect and restore the environment, combat the climate crisis, and pursue environmental justice for communities that are most vulnerable. Fred will talk with Mary Ciesinski with EcoSLO, Lexi Bell with The Morro Bay National Estuary Program, Eric Veium with The San Luis Obispo Climate Coalition, and Lucas Zucker and Rebeca Garcia with Central Coast Alliance United for a Sustainable Economy (CAUSE) about the important work they are doing around these issues and how you can help create a better future and save the earth. 

 

  Voices of the Earth deals with the troubled relationship between humans and the natural world. Compiled by Charles Junkerman and Rush Rehm Voices of the Earth brings together some of the greatest environmental voices from across the centuries to celebrate the anniversary of Earth Day. With a cast of 90 different characters – poets, naturalists, scientists, politicos, deniers, and heroes, Voices of the Earth presents a kaleidoscope of views on the earth we inhabit, and the existential crisis we face.

Join host Kris Kington-Barker as she speaks with Rush Rehm, Professor, Theater and Performance Studies, and Classics, Stanford University and Artistic Director, Stanford Repertory Theater (SRT), and Magnus Toren, Executive Director of the Henry Miller Memorial Library in Big Sur about this inspiring work and its call to action.

Frank Chen / Stanford Repertory Theater

On April 22, 2021, Earth Day will celebrate its 51st year, but environmental pioneers and poets have been writing about the need to care for our planet much longer. A new audio production called "Voices of the Earth" presents thoughts about the environment from across the ages.

Matt McKechnie

April 7 is International Beaver Day and the San Luis Obispo Beaver Brigade is celebrating this year by participating in the first free, virtual California Beaver Summit.

Maddie Black, Ocean Conservancy

In a report released March 30, the Ocean Conservancy said volunteers around the world collected more than 100,000 items of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) over the last six months of 2020. But the organization estimates the actual number of PPE polluting coastal environments to be in the low millions.

Since 1970, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) has incubated and innovated real life environmental solutions that directly affect the California Central Coast. Their current work advances rapid and equitable solutions to the climate crisis – including ambitious zero carbon goals, drawdown of excess carbon, and protection against the impacts of climate change. At CEC, building community resilience is at the center of everything they do. 

The goal of Harvestly is to empower local vendors. To disrupt the global food system by creating a more efficient economy. Centered around health, sustainability, and the local economy, Harvestly aims to change the current food system and its devastating impacts on communities.

On this week's Issues & Ideas, we commemorate the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, by speaking to its organizer, Denis Hayes, in a wide-ranging and in-depth conversation. Correspondent Tom Wilmer takes us to Camp San Luis Obispo to find out what the National Guard are doing there. To see how virtual learning is faring during pandemic school closures, we check in with school districts in Monterey and San Luis Obispo counties. We also learn how Santa Barbara teenagers are helping seniors during the pandemic through a program called 'Zoomers to Boomers.' All that and more on this episode of Issues & Ideas.

Flickr/Håkan Dahlström

As part of a plan to increase affordable housing, this week San Luis Obispo County officials took some first steps: passing higher development fees on some new homes and streamlining the environmental permitting process in an effort to get homes built faster. Not everyone was happy about it, but did agree the county needs more housing stock. 

Fire and Rain: Ecopoetry of California is an anthology of 250 poems about California’s ecosystems. Join correspondent Tom Wilmer for a chat with Los Osos-based poet Jackie Marcus. Her work is included in the collection, which serves to propel environmental awareness through evocative poetry.

Santa Barbara to revisit proposed plastic straw ban

Jul 31, 2018
www.flickr.com/photos/fairywren

In mid-July, after several months of Santa Barbara city officials engaging with restaurants and businesses in an effort to reduce waste in the city, the Santa Barbara city council voted to pass local laws banning plastic straws, stirrers and cutlery and polystyrene—also known as Styrofoam—food containers

But at their July 24 meeting, council members voted to dial that back a bit. City of Santa Barbara Environmental Services Outreach Coordinator, Bryan Latchford, worked on both ordinances and spoke with KCBX’s Tyler Pratt to help explain what happened.

Broadcast date: 4/29/2018 

This past weekend around the world individual’s and cities celebrated Earth Day, which is marked on April 22 every year. This year's Earth Day was focused on ending plastic pollution in the oceans, the land and in our bodies. 300 million tons of plastic are sold each year and that 90% of that is thrown away.  A huge percentage of those plastics end up in our landfills, our oceans, our wildlife and our bodies.  It’s with that concern, that organizations and people around the world are calling on government leaders to take the health risks of plastic seriously and asking them to ban single use plastics and non-recyclable products.

Broadcast date: 4/20/17

The new administration’s funding proposal has called for drastically cutting the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) budget by 31 percent in order to increase funding for defense programs and immigration enforcement. Yet, these cuts to the EPA have the potential to put many of us at greater risk.

Broadcast date: 3/9/2017

What is the quality of life like in San Luis Obispo County? Do residents feel safe? Are there enough employment opportunities? Do people feel they have access to good schools and services? Is our community healthy? These are just a few of the questions that a consortium of public and private health, education, business, environmental, human service and civic organizations set out to answer when they began the ACTION for Healthy Communities project in the late 1990s. The Vital Signs report is compiled every three years through a collaboration of local organizations which sponsor the project. It is the longest running in San Luis Obispo County.

Scientists are worried about the health of the Morro Bay Estuary because of a rapid decline in a plant considered to be at the base of the system's food chain.

Ron Coley

  Ron Coley, producer of the acclaimed PBS documentary “River of Innocence” chronicling the San Marcos River in Texas has spent the past 40 years studying the legendary Aquarina Springs Lake on the outskirts of San Marcos.

Paul Relis was a student at UC Santa Barbara during the massive 1969 oil spill in the Santa Barbara Channel, and had a front-row seat to much of the public reaction that followed.

Relis went on to lead the Community Environmental Council, was an executive with the state EPA, and lectured for nearly two decades on Environmental Studies at his alma mater, UCSB.

You can hear Relis read from his recently published book, Out of the Wasteland, Thursday night, May 14 at Chaucer’s Bookstore in Santa Barbara starting at 7:00 p.m.

Flickr member Your Pal Dave

Safeway Inc. is paying nearly $10 million as the result of an investigation that found more than 500 stores, including some Central Coast stores, were violating environmental regulations. 

District attorneys in Monterey, San Luis Obispo and Santa Barbara Counties, along with 39 other California district attorneys and two city attorneys announced the settlement Monday.

The settlement resolved allegations that Safeway, Vons, Pavilions and Pak 'n Save stores and distribution centers were improperly handling and disposing of hazardous and pharmaceutical waste.

Reflection

Dec 19, 2014

Broadcast date: 12/15/2014

Environmental Lawyer, presidential advisor and author Gus Speth talks about his latest book, Angels by the River. He reflects on race, environment, politics and living on the front lines of change.

Defending Beef

Nov 25, 2014

Broadcast date: 11/24/2014

Lawyer, cattle rancher and vegetarian, Nicolette Hahn Niman, counters arguments we’ve heard for decades. That red meat is bad for us, and our environment. Her book is an indictment of many aspects of the modern diet and culture.

Flickr/Ben Klocek

The San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday night on the issue of hydraulic fracturing, or 'fracking' as it's more commonly known.

The vote was in line with what members of the local petroleum industry were requesting during the board's public comment period, in which more than 50 people were signed up to speak.

Kathryn Winfrey

At nearly 66 degrees, the Morro Bay estuary water is warm say the divers zipping up their wet suits on this Saturday morning in mid August. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) the average Morro Bay water temp for August at 58 degrees, nearly 8 degrees cooler than its current temperature.

Scientists believe warmer water is among the main culprits behind the decline of the area's eelgrass, a plant that grows along the bottom of the estuary.

Broadcast date: 8/14/2014

Stewardship Travel

Jul 14, 2014
Wine Coast Country Facebook Page

Travel Correspondent Tom Wilmer explores the world of ecotourism with a local company that encourages appreciation for places, culture, and adventure, but goes one step further by also providing clear opportunities to participate in regional conservation and preservation.

Explosion Green

Jun 27, 2014

Explosion Green: When David Gottfried came up with an idea for green environmental building 20 years ago, he ran into a number of hurdles.  The building industry had been doing what they did for decades.  Why change?  It’s taken another two decades, but changes have been made.

SLO County Water Issues

Jan 15, 2014

How severe are our near and long term water problems, and what are we doing to meet our future needs? Those questions are the focus of a talk with SLO County public works director, Paavo Ogren.