Free Forum Q&A – GEORGE WOLFE of L.A. River Expeditions & THEA MERCOUFFER, filmmaker of ROCK THE BOATWritten on July 18th, 2013
How many of you know where the LA River is…where it starts, where it runs, where it ends? Okay, how many believe anyone could kayak down the entire river – all 51 miles of it – beginning in Canoga Park in the San Fernando Valley and finally passing the Queen Mary to enter the Pacific in the Port of Long Beach? My next guests believed it was possible, and proved it in 2008, changing the course, if you will, of the river for us all. For the first time in decades, kayaking and fishing are now legal along the waterway, and The L.A. River: used, abused and forgotten, is now at the center of a major vision to transform this concrete metropolis into a more sustainable model city for the 21st century.
My guests will be GEORGE WOLFE of LA River Expeditions and THEA MERCOUFFER producer-director of the film ROCK THE BOAT that documents the successful campaign by Wolfe and others to have the LA River declared a navigable river and open sections of it to boats and kayaks.
Our life on earth depends on a most unlikely love affair – one between flowers and the bees, butterflies, birds and bats which enable plants to reproduce. The brilliant colors and exotic perfumes of flowers are designed to lure their pollinators into an intricate dance of seduction, a dance on which more than one third of our food crops depend, a dance without which we could not survive.
If you’re lucky and observant, you’ve witnessed the visits of bees and those marvels of engineering, hummingbirds, to the plants around you. But now, for the first time, you have a chance to watch that magnificent dance of pollinators and plants in the far corners of the globe and in the darkness of night. WINGS OF LIFE, the latest documentary from remarkable cinematographer and director, LOUIE SCHWARTZBERG, is now available on DVD. More than beautiful – which it is – the film carries an important message about the threats to pollinators and in turn, the threat to life itself.
I’ll be joined by LOUIS and CHIP TAYLOR a Monarch butterfly expert.
How difficult is it to be a government whistleblower these days? A dozen years after 9/11, with a former constitutional law professor in the White House, the sad news is that to expose government negligence or illegality is to jeopardize one’s career and life savings.
The newest documentary from producer and director ROBERT GREENWALD and Brave New Films, WAR ON WHISTLEBLOWERS: Free Press and the National Security State highlights the stories of four individuals who felt compelled to reveal acts of government illegality and violations to the U.S. constitution in the military industrial complex in the years following 9/11. In the film, whistleblowers, journalist and experts share what happens when the government punishes those who stand up to demand accountability and defend the constitution. Such actions and the atmosphere they engender has a chilling effect on the speech rights of citizens and the free press. This week I speak about all of this with GREENWALD as well as with two of the courageous whistleblowers featured in the film, THOMAS TAMM and FRANZ GAYL.
Q&A: RANDY HAYES, ED of Foundation Earth former head of Rainforest Action Network, working to “ecologize” the economyWritten on November 21st, 2012
I’ll be talking with RANDY HAYES, former head of Rainforest Action Network, currently ED of Foundation Earth, whose primary work these days is rethinking and “ecologizing” the economy. While Balog offers evidence of some symptoms of our way of life, the consequences of our actions, Hayes is attempting to develop radical approaches to economics that will enable us to deal with the underlying causes.
RANDY HAYES is a Climate Policy Officer at the World Future Council, a global forum composed of 50 individuals from around the world championing the rights of future generations and working to ensure that humanity acts now for a sustainable future. Hayes is also the founder of Rainforest Action Network, a veteran of many high-visibility corporate accountability campaigns, served as President to the City of San Francisco Commission on the Environment, and as Director of Sustainability in the office of Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown. Hayes has a Master’s degree in Environmental Planning from San Francisco State University and his master’s thesis, The Four Corners, won the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award for “Best Student Documentary” in 1983.
My guest will be NORA BATESON, and we’ll talk about AN ECOLOGY OF MIND, the wonderful documentary she’s made about her father, the late anthropologist GREGORY BATESON. He saw reality as made up of relationships and systems and had a big impact on a lot of people’s worldview in the late 60s and early 70s, myself included.
NORA BATESON is a media producer and educator. Her work includes documentaries, multimedia productions, magazine columns, and developing curriculum for elementary and high school students. Central to all her pursuits is the idea of utilizing media and storytelling to encourage cultural understanding, social justice, and environmental awareness.