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This Sunday we will talk with Rachel Carson author of "Silent Spring" (played by a high school student for the Women's History Project). The topic is "Youth and Protecting the Environment." We will discuss the environmental club we formed at school, and will be joined by Warbler from a nearby tree sit.
INTRO February 2013
Youth and Protecting the Environment
Welcome to "Youth Speaks Out!," a show by, for, and about young people. It airs on the first Sunday of each month from 3 to 4 pm, and is hosted by young people in Mendocino County.
We want to create a place where young people can talk truthfully about important issues in our lives...and have a dialogue with the community of listeners.
Today's hosts are me, Elios, and (point to others who will state their names). We all attend local high schools.
Today our topic is "Youth and Protecting the Environment." The terms "climate change," "ozone depletion," and "global warming" are frequently used in news reports and in our classrooms. Some people, mainly in America, continue to debate whether or not human activity is significantly altering weather patterns. On a global scale, most scientists are reporting melting ice caps, increased species extinction, and ever increasing pollution of the land, air, and water. The environment we live in, the one we depend on, is degrading. And most people see that the damage is accumulating to a crisis point.
One of the first Americans to lead an organized stand on the conservation of the environment was John Muir. In 1892 Muir and others formed the Sierra Club which persuaded the federal government to preserve Yosemite as a national park. The goals of the club were to show how we could use natural resources without depleting them, enjoy natural beauty without destroying it, and take a more sustainable approach to the way we live.
Ecology is a branch of biology that deals with the relations of organisms to one another and their physical surroundings. The term ecology became popular in the 1960s by people who were concerned about the escalating pollution of the land, sea, and air. The Greens are a political party with ecology as a core value. Chief Seattle described ecology in 1854 when he said, "Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself."
At Willits high school we have formed a club called PeaceWorks! It is a student-run organization dedicated to the proliferation of sustainable peace. The organization works to attain this goal through various social and environmental actions. Some of these actions have included cleanups of local waterways as well as engaging civic leaders about the future of our community. An example of our work has been cleaning up Baechtel Creek southwest of Willits and Mill Creek next to the high school. We removed over 2500 pounds of garbage and debris from one these creeks.
Today we have a special guest in the studio, Rachel Carson, who authored "Silent Spring" in 1962. Rachel passed on in 1964, but through the miracle of the Women's History Project, and the dedication of Lexie Krauss, Rachel will speak to us about her work and life.
Rachel was born in Pennsylvania in 1907 and became a marine biologist and nature writer. In 1951 she wrote "The Sea Around Us" which won a National Book Award and was a bestseller. Later in the 1950s she turned her attention to conservation, especially the environmental problems she saw being caused by synthetic pesticides, especially DDT. When "Silent Spring" was published in 1962, environmental consciousness was born in a large number of Americans. Rachel's writings were a primary force in advancing the global environmental movement.
Rachel will be speaking around the classrooms of Mendocino County as part of the annual Women's History Project put on by the Willits branch of the American Association of University Women.
Rachel, would you please tell us about your life and work?
(Lexie begins Rachel portrayal)
Thank you Rachel! Rachel could you allow Lexie Krauss back into the room? We would like to hear about the environment related science projects she has been working on at the Willits Charter School. Lexie, what is BPA, how are we exposed to it, and what are your concerns about it?
Now while we are discussing youth and the environment, we know that there is a young woman who goes by the name Warbler and is perched in a Pine tree just off of Highway 101. She is part of an effort to challenge the current route for a highway bypass through Willits. This route was chosen by Caltrans and includes a great many irreversible environmental changes to the Little Lake Valley, And the species that inhabit the valley.
Warbler, could you tell us about yourself and how you came to be an environmental activist?
We're going to open the phone lines now. The phone number is 707 456-9991. Everyone is welcome to call, and we'd especially like to encourage the youth and teachers in the listening audience. Please call in if you have questions or insights about youth and the environment.
Have you been involved in studying and protecting the environment you live in? How have you gone about taking action to improve or preserve the ecology of where you live?
Do you think that our educational system encourages understanding of environmental impacts? Should there be more focus in school on studying how humans impact the climate and the concept of sustainable living?
Do you think that what is done to the ecology of an area should just be left up to the so-called experts and politicians? Do you worry that financial considerations obscure ecological harm?
Does a community have the right to protect itself from environmental destruction? What actions have you taken to maintain the earth?