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EG Radio April 11, 2013: Our 50th show! EcoBricks, Ontario Home Comfort and Rachel Carson

April 12, 2013 Leave a comment

This week marks our 50th program since Earthgauge Radio was launched in the fall of 2011! So we’re celebrating a big milestone today and are sending out our thanks to all the guests we’ve had in the past year and a half, the numerous people who have contributed to the show, the whole CKCU radio family and of course to our faithful listeners for tuning in every week either live, online or by podcast.

On the program this week, we discuss Eco-bricks, saving energy (and money!) on home heating and the 50th anniversary of Rachel Carson’s book ‘Silent Spring’.

We also have our usual update from Kathy of Ecology Ottawa on local environmental events and campaigns.

Click the audio player above to stream the show or right click here to download.

Part 1 – Eco-bricks in Guatemala


(Right click here to download file)

Earthgauge contributor Xerez Bridglall brings us her interview with two Carleton University undergraduate students who participated in the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program this year. ASB is an immersive year-long program that culminates with a week of cultural exchange and community service over reading week in February. Mario Pizzuto and Megan Stacey went on the ASB trip to Guatemala where they were involved in building a structure made out of eco-bricks, an environmentally friendly, additive free pressed kiln dried hardwood sawdust bricks used for home heating fuel in wood burning stoves, wood burning fireplaces and outdoor fire pits.


Part 2 – Saving energy and money at home


Right click here to download file.

James Keena of Ontario Home Comfort tells us about some ways for homeowners to upgrade to more energy efficient furnaces and hot water tanks, which can save you hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs and reduce your environmental footprint. You may also be eligible for additional government and Ontario Power Authority rebates.


Part 3 – 50th anniversary (sort of) of Rachel Carson’s ‘Silent Spring’

In honour of the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking book ‘Silent Spring‘ by Rachel Carson, a book that many believe launched the environmental movement in the 1960s, today we feature a Democracy Now! interview with renowned author and environmental health activist Sandra Steingraber who reflects on the significant impact the book has had over the years.

‘Silent Spring’ documented detrimental effects of pesticides on the environment, particularly on birds. Carson accused the chemical industry of spreading disinformation, and public officials of accepting industry claims uncritically. When the book was published, Rachel Carson was already a well-known writer on natural history, but had not previously been a social critic. The book was widely read and inspired widespread public concerns with pesticides and pollution of the environment. Silent Spring facilitated the ban of the pesticide DDT in 1972 in the United States.

Earthgauge Radio airs every Thursday morning at 7:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa and online around the world at www.ckcufm.com. Ottawa’s only radio program dedicated exclusively to environmental news and commentary from Ottawa, across the country and around the world. Podcasts on iTunes and right here on earthgauge.ca.

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EG Radio this week: EcoBricks, Ontario Home Comfort and Rachel Carson

April 10, 2013 Leave a comment

On Earthgauge Radio this week, Xerez Bridglall will bring us her interview with two Carleton University undergraduate students who participated in the Alternative Spring Break (ASB) program this year. ASB is an immersive year-long program that culminates with a week of cultural exchange and community service over reading week in February. Mario Pizzuto and Megan Stacey went on the ASB trip to Guatemala where they were involved in building a structure made out of eco-bricks, an environmentally friendly, additive free pressed kiln dried hardwood sawdust bricks used for home heating fuel in wood burning stoves, wood burning fireplaces and outdoor fire pits.

Also on the show, I’ll be speaking with James Keena of Ontario Home Comfort. OHC offers ways for homeowners to upgrade to more energy efficient appliances such as furnaces and hot water tanks, which can save you hundreds of dollars every year in energy costs and reduce your environmental footprint. You may even be eligible for additional government and Ontario Power Authority rebates. We’ll find out more about this great program in my interview with James.

Finally, given that 2012 was the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking book ‘Silent Spring‘ by Rachel Carson, a book that many believe launched the environmental movement in the 1960s, we’ll feature a Democracy Now! interview with renowned author and environmental health activist Sandra Steingraber who reflects on the significant impact the book has had over the years.

Earthgauge Radio airs every Thursday morning at 7:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa and online around the world at www.ckcufm.com. Ottawa’s only radio program dedicated exclusively to environmental news and commentary from Ottawa, across the country and around the world. Podcasts on iTunes and right here on earthgauge.ca.

This week on EG Radio: Guest host Chris White on environmental cancers and media coverage of the climate crisis

Tomorrow on EG Radio, guest host Chris White will be broadcasting part of an NPR interview with Wen Stephenson on the coverage of climate change in the mainstream media. Stephenson was senior producer of the NPR program On Point. He was also an editor at the Boston Globe and the Atlantic before becoming a climate change activist. He now says that journalists have failed miserably in covering climate change and he wrote an article about this recently, which has generated a lot of attention and controversy.

Chris will also be playing my interview with Connie Engel of The Breast Cancer Fund. Most of the focus of cancer awareness and fundraising campaigns these days is on “finding a cure” while the prevention side of cancer is often ignored. Why have breast cancer rates among young women been increasing significantly in recent years? Does it have anything to do with a commensurate rise in levels of toxins and chemicals in the products we use on a daily basis? Some researchers believe there is a link. Just a few months ago, Dr. James Brophy of the University of Windsor appeared on Earthgauge Radio to discuss his groundbreaking study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, likely due to exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental pollutants.

Connie Engel is the Program Coordinator at the Breast Cancer Fund and is an expert on the conjunction of science and advocacy in the environmental breast cancer movement. The Breast Cancer Fund is a non-profit organization that works to connect the dots between breast cancer and exposures to chemicals and radiation in our everyday environments. Their goal is to help transform how our society thinks about and uses chemicals and radiation, with the goal of preventing breast cancer and sustaining health and life.

Earthgauge Radio airs every Thursday morning at 7:00 AM on CKCU 93.1 FM in Ottawa and online around the world at www.ckcufm.com. Ottawa’s only radio program dedicated exclusively to environmental news and commentary from Ottawa, across the country and around the world. Podcasts on iTunes and right here on earthgauge.ca.

Interview with Dr. James Brophy about a groundbreaking study on the links between workplace pollutants and breast cancer

December 14, 2012 Leave a comment
[audio https://earthgauge.files.wordpress.com/2012/12/james-brophy-edited.mp3]

On Earthgauge Radio this week, I featured an interview with Dr. James Brophy who is an adjunct professor at the University of Windsor and the co-author of a groundbreaking new study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, likely due to exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental pollutants. Click the audio player to stream the interview or right click here to download.

This research, which was published in the prestigious online journal Environmental Health, seems to support growing evidence of the links between pollutants in our environment and the risks of developing serious diseases such as cancer. Dr. Brophy and Dr. Margaret Keith found that women working in particular occupations, such as manufacturing and farming, have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Women employed in the automotive plastics industry, for instance, were almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer, prior to menopause, as women in the control group.

Needless to say, this research has been causing quite a stir and has been reported around the world as a groundbreaking contribution to women’s health. Jeanne Rizzo, president of the Breast Cancer Fund, a San Francisco-based group that has pressed for more research into environmental causes of breast cancer called the study “a very powerful piece of work. The piece that’s really been missing for female breast cancer is occupation.” The study clearly demonstrates the value of including detailed work histories in the environmental and occupational epidemiology of breast cancer. In our interview, James Brophy discusses how and why the study was conducted, the implications of this research and why the cancer research community has been so slow to recognize the occupational and environmental risks associated with breast and other forms of cancer.

Earthgauge Radio December 13 2012: Cancer in the workplace and the crisis of ocean acidification

December 13, 2012 Leave a comment

This week on Earthgauge Radio, we’re talking about environmental health and ocean acidification. I have two interviews on the program today:

  • Dr. James Brophy, co-author of a groundbreaking new study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer, likely due to exposure to toxic chemicals and environmental pollutants
  • Dr. Robert Rangeley of the World Wildlife Fund of Canada who will explain why the rapid acidification of the word’s oceans threatens many forms of marine life and may even endanger the oceanic food chain

Click the audio player above to stream the show or right click here to download. Individual interviews with James Brophy and Robert Rangeley will be posted shortly.

Part 1 – Ocean acidification

The United Nations International Climate Change Conference in Doha, Qatar wrapped up last week. Although virtually ignored in the Canadian mainstream media, we covered it here on Earthgauge quite extensively but in the end, little was accomplished with no new commitments to cut CO2 emissions and no new funding being committed. Only 37 of the 195 participating nations agreed to extend the ineffectual Kyoto Protocol to curb greenhouse gas emissions and as Reuters news agency reported, “many of those most concerned about climate change are close to despair.”

Meanwhile, global emissions in 2012 are expected to rise by 2.6 percent over 2011 levels. This represents an astonishing 58 percent increase in emissions since 1990. Now we’ve talked a lot on this show about what all this excess CO2 means for our changing climate but what are the implications for the global oceans? After all, about a quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions are absorbed by the earth’s oceans, where they’re having an impact that’s just starting to be understood.

It turns out excess CO2 due to burning fossil fuels is actually changing the chemistry of the seas and proving harmful for many forms of marine life. A more acidic ocean could wipe out species, disrupt the food web and impact fishing, tourism and other human activities on the oceans. Over the last 250 years, oceans have absorbed 530 billion tons of CO2, triggering a 30 percent increase in ocean acidity.

So to kick off the program today we welcome our newest Earthgauge contributor, Xerez Bridglall, who will bring us an interview she did with Dr. Robert Rangeley, the VP of Conservation, Atlantic Region, for the World Wildlife Fund Canada. Sometimes described as “the other CO2 problem”, the rapid acidification of the word’s oceans represents an extremely grave threat not only to marine life but of course to the vast majority of humanity who depend on the bounty of the oceans for our food, well being or our livelihoods. Dr. Rangeley will explain what is happening and why it is so important.

Robert Rangeley:

Right click here to download this interview.


Part 2 – Toxic chemicals and cancer

Sticking with the petrochemical theme, on the program today we’re also talking about environmental health and the growing evidence of links between pollutants in our environment and serious diseases such as cancer. I am thrilled to present a feature interview today with Dr. James Brophy, who is the co-author of a remarkable new study published in the prestigious online journal Environmental Health demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Their research found that women employed in the automotive plastics industry, for instance, were almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer, prior to menopause, as women in the control group. This study clearly demonstrates the value of including detailed work histories in the environmental and occupational epidemiology of breast cancer.

Needless to say, this research has been causing quite a stir and has been reported around the world as a groundbreaking contribution to women’s health. Jeanne Rizzo, president of the Breast Cancer Fund, a San Francisco-based group that has pressed for more research into environmental causes of breast cancer called the study “a very powerful piece of work. The piece that’s really been missing for female breast cancer is occupation.”

So recently I caught up with Dr. James Brophy who is an adjunct professor at the University of Windsor to talk to him about how and why the study was conducted, the implications of this research and why the cancer research community has been so slow to recognize the occupational and environmental risks associated with breast and other forms of cancer.

Earthgauge Radio airs Thursday mornings from 7-8 AM on CKCU 93.1 in Ottawa. Podcasts on iTunes and www.earthgauge.ca. Stream live on www.ckcufm.com. Check us out on Facebook at www.facebook.com/EarthgaugeRadio.

On Earthgauge Radio tomorrow: Getting cancer at work and the ticking timebomb of ocean acidification

December 12, 2012 Leave a comment

Tomorrow on Earthgauge Radio, I am pleased to present a feature interview with Dr. James Brophy, who is  the co-author of a groundbreaking new study demonstrating that women working in particular occupations have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. Their research found that women employed in the automotive plastics industry, for instance, were almost five times as likely to develop breast cancer, prior to menopause, as women in the control group. The research results have created quite a stir in the cancer research community and our discussion tomorrow is not to be missed!

We’ll also have an interview from our new Earthgauge contributor, Xerez, on a very serious problem related to the burning of fossil fuels that does not receive as much attention as melting Arctic sea ice and glaciers, super storms, rising sea levels, floods and droughts. Sometimes described as “the other CO2 problem”, the rapid acidification of the word’s oceans represents an extremely serious threat that has many scientists concerned. Excess CO2 due to burning fossil fuels is actually changing the chemistry of the sea and proving harmful for many forms of marine life. A more acidic ocean could wipe out species, disrupt the food web and impact fishing, tourism and other human endeavours on the sea. Over the last 250 years, oceans have absorbed 530 billion tons of CO2, triggering a 30 percent increase in ocean acidity.

On tomorrow’s show, Xerez will speak with Dr. Robert Rangeley, the VP of Conservation, Atlantic Region, for the World Wildlife Fund Canada about this important issue.

Tune in every Thursday morning at 7:00 AM to Ottawa’s only radio program dedicated exclusively to environmental news and commentary from here in Ottawa and around the world. Earthgauge Radio on CKCU 93.1 in Ottawa and online at www.ckcufm.com. Podcasts on iTunes and http://www.earthgauge.ca.

Climate Change Deaths Could Total 100 Million By 2030 If World Fails To Act

September 27, 2012 Leave a comment

More than 100 million people will die and global economic growth will be cut by 3.2 per cent of gross domestic product by 2030 if the world fails to tackle climate change, a report commissioned by 20 governments said on Wednesday.

As global average temperatures rise due to greenhouse gas emissions, the effects on the planet, such as melting ice caps, extreme weather, drought and rising sea levels, will threaten populations and livelihoods, said the report conducted by humanitarian organization DARA.

It calculated that five million deaths occur each year from air pollution, hunger and disease as a result of climate change and carbon-intensive economies, and that toll would likely rise to six million a year by 2030 if current patterns of fossil fuel use continue.

Read more here: http://daraint.org/climate-vulnerability-monitor/climate-vulnerability-monitor-2012/

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