Back in May, long before anyone had heard of a storm named Sandy, Dr. Heidi Cullen talked about the impact of climate change. She’s the chief climatologist at Climate Central, a non-profit climate science organization in New Jersey. When we spoke, studies were showing that little public interest in taking action to slow climate change. A superstorm may have reversed that trend..but the question now is if we’ve waited too long.
In October I spoke with Nancy Barton of Prattsville, NY. Prattsville is a little town in the Catskill Mountains that nearly got wiped off the map by a storm named Irene.
How one little rural town is working to rebuild after being wiped out by a flood is a microcosm of a story that’s playing out in Japan, in Louisiana, in New Jersey and New York - whether the disaster is a hurricane, a tsunami, a volcano or an earthquake. Barton lives part time in Prattsville and teaches art at NYU in Manhattan. For her, the devastation left by Irene uncovered bigger issues in her community.
The center’s facebook page is at Prattsville Art Workshops.
2012 was the year that hydrofracking finally got the nation’s attention. Advertisements will tell you it’s the way to American energy independence. Proponents point to the jobs it creates. And opponents say the impacts, from fouled drinking water, earthquakes, noise and air pollution to towns overrun by a 21st century gold rush, just aren’t worth it. Pennsylvania resident Vera Scroggins has watched her rural county transform into what she calls an industrial wasteland.
Coming up, the other side of the fracking debate. Plus some thoughts about the future for women, and a young woman who made Olympic history.
Hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, became a national debate in 2012. Already well established in Texas, Pennsylvania and several other states, there’s a heated battle going on over the effort to drill in the state of New York. Opponents argue that the environmental impacts are too risky – the documentary film “Gasland” offered a dramatic illustration with a sink that spewed flames instead of water. But there is another side to the issue. Dairy farmer Jennifer Huntington argues fracking could help save family farms. She has gone to court to try to win the right to allow fracking on her property in rural New York.
2012 was called by some the year of the strong women in film. Films like Brave, Snow White and the Huntsman and the Hunger Games featured some gritty heroines. But there was no woman on a major party ticket for the White House this year. And Kim Gandy, Vice President at the Feminist Majority Foundation and former president of NOW – the National Organization for Women, noticed.
There was a first for women in 2012… Claressa Shields became the first American woman to win a boxing gold medal at the London Olympic games. She was the youngest on her team…and she went home to Flint, Michigan, a champion.
You can hear the entire program, see photos and learn more about the Women Box project by visiting womenbox.com.
That’s our show for this week. Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance. Our theme music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio. Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.