Category Archives: Environmental

Feel Good Friday: Saul Goodman

Recently, NPR’s Fresh Air interviewed Bob Odenkirk who plays the most popular fictional lawyer currently on television–Saul Goodman of AMC’s Breaking Bad.

Here is a description of the interview:

“When the going gets tough, you don’t want a criminal lawyer — you want a criminal lawyer.”

That’s how meth dealer Jesse Pinkman describes the fast-talking, sleazy Saul Goodman on AMC’s Breaking Bad. Played by Bob Odenkirk, Saul knows how to bend the law, or break it, depending on his clients’ needs. He helped Walter White — a high-school chemistry teacher turned meth cooker — launder money, stay out of prison and get connected with a meth drug lord.

Now, in the final season, even Saul is scared. Walt has plenty of drug money stashed away, but he’s murdered a drug lord. Worse still, a DEA agent (who happens to be Walt’s brother-in-law) may be on to him.

Before Breaking Bad, Odenkirk was best known as the co-founder and co-star, with David Cross, of the HBO sketch-comedy series Mr. Show.

Breaking Bad begins the second half of its final season on Sunday. Odenkirk tells Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross about Saul’s comb-over, the character’s penchant for long-winded speeches, and his own thoughts on playing the most comedic character in a serious drama.

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August 16, 2013 · 11:42 pm

Less Than “Do Nothing” Congress?

Recently Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross interviewed New York Times congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman about Congress’ coming summer recess and its inaction in the last term.  

Here is a description of the interview: 

Friday is the last day before the 113th Congress scatters for their summer recess. And what has it accomplished so far? Almost nothing, says New York Times congressional correspondent Jonathan Weisman. As he points out in a recent article:

“None of Congress’s 12 annual spending bills have reached Mr. Obama’s desk, and with the House and the Senate far apart on total spending levels, a government shutdown is possible on Oct. 1, when the current spending law expires.

“Once Congress returns on Sept. 9, lawmakers will have just nine legislative days until the current fiscal year ends and large swaths of the government would be forced to close.”

Weisman joins Fresh Air‘s Terry Gross to discuss why this Congress has passed so few laws, and explain some of the conflicts between Republican lawmakers and President Obama.

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August 2, 2013 · 11:09 am

Morality of Environmentalism

Recently, the Philosophy Bites podcast discussed “Green Virtues” with NYU Law and Philosophy Professor Dale Jamieson. Here is description of the interview: 

How should we live? This is a basic philosophical question, but at at time when human beings’ actions are devastating the environment, we need to cultivate specific virtues, green virtues. Dale Jamieson outlines some of these virtues in this episode of thePhilosophy Bites podcast.

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July 18, 2013 · 4:45 pm

Economist Approach to Climate Change

Recently, NPR’s Planet Money team discussed the economics of climate change legislation.  

Here is a description of the story: 


Climate change seems like this complicated, intractable problem. But maybe it doesn’t have to be.


On today’s show, we talk to a couple economists about a very simple idea that could solve the climate-change problem: Tax carbon emissions.


A carbon tax could be paired with cuts in the income tax. And it would drive down emissions without picking winners or losers, and without creating complicated regulations.


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July 14, 2013 · 2:47 pm

Agriculture in the Age of Climate Change

Recently, NPR’s Talk of the Nation discusses how agriculture has been affected by climate change with David Nielsen (Research Agronomist, Central Great Plains Research Station, Agricultural Research Service), David Wolfe (Climate Change Leader, Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, Professor of Horticulture, Cornell University), and Sally Mackenzie (Professor of Plant Science at the Center for Plant Science Innovation, University of Nebraska, Lincoln).

Here is a description of the segment: 

Scientists say climate change could increase pests and weeds, lengthen growing seasons and turn dry soil to dust. Farmers are already on the offensive, adopting no-till cropping methods to conserve water and experimenting with different seeds. And scientists are using a technique called gene silencing to develop new crops—without tinkering with the plants’ DNA.

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May 28, 2013 · 9:55 pm

Fracking: The Key to a Combating Climate Change?

Fareed Zakaria recently disgusted how increase access to natural gas has led tode decreased CO2 admissions.  Zakaria posits further gains may be made by sharing our hydrofracturing technology with China.  Here is a description of the story: 

We have been thinking about an idea in the opinion pages of the New York Times to tackle one of the great challenges of our times: cutting carbon emissions to slow down climate change. It would result in the single largest reduction of CO2 emissions globally of any feasible idea out there. But there are a couple of hitches. Let’s explain.

Here’s the idea: it’s time to help China master fracking safely.

By now it’s clear that fracking (the process of extracting shale gas) has dramatically lowered America’s CO2 emissions. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2006, a fifth of our electricity came from natural gas, while almost 50 percent came from coal. By 2012, natural gas had increased its share to 30 percent of our electricity. Coal’s share dropped to 37 percent. The change was because of fracking: over that same period, shale gas production grew 800 percent.

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May 22, 2013 · 10:30 pm

The Changing Politics of Climate Change

This American Life recently devoted an episode to the changing politics of climate change. Here is a description of the show: 

After years of being stuck, the national conversation on climate change finally started to shift — just a little — last year, the hottest year on record in the U.S., with Hurricane Sandy flooding the New York subway, drought devastating Midwest farms, and California and Colorado on fire. Lots of people were wondering if global warming had finally arrived, here at home. This week, stories about this new reality.

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May 21, 2013 · 9:01 pm