Food/Water/Agriculture

Food/Water/Regenerative Agriculture:

October 27, 2017: Twenty Years of Ecosystem Services

Nature provides a lot of “services” that we don’t normally think about – pollination, water purification, and more. What’s the economic value of an ecosystem? Today Dr. Patricia DeMarco invites Prof. Robert Costanza, Ecosystem Services expert, who challenges us to think about how we place value on things that are priceless.

Professor Robert Costanza is a Vice Chancellor’s Chair in Public Policy at the Crawford School of Public Policy at the Australian National University. His transdisciplinary research integrates the study of humans and the rest of nature to address research, policy and management issues at multiple time and space scales, from small watersheds to the global system.


October 11, 2017: Research and Regulation of Toxic Chemicales

Geo engineering is the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming. Is this a good idea? Dr. Patricia DeMarco invites Wil Burns to discuss the potential benefits and risks, as well as the moral, ethical and political considerations of this budding technology.

August 23, 2017: If we learn to control the weather, can we stop climate change?

Geo engineering is the deliberate large-scale manipulation of an environmental process that affects the earth’s climate, in an attempt to counteract the effects of global warming. Is this a good idea? Dr. Patricia DeMarco invites Wil Burns to discuss the potential benefits and risks, as well as the moral, ethical and political considerations of this budding technology.

Wil Burns is Co-Executive Director of the Forum for Climate Engineering Assessment at the School of International Service, American University. He formerly served as the Director of the Energy Policy and Climate program at Johns Hopkins University, and was Assistant Secretary of State for Public Affairs for the State of Wisconsin in the 1990s.

August 2, 2017: How do we get chemical pollution out of drinking water?

Even micro-doses of hormones can have a drastic impact on the human body. How are hydrocarbons and endocrine disruptors ending up in our water supply, and what can we do about it?

This week, Dr. Patricia DeMarco invites Terry Collins, Theresa Heinz Professor of Green Chemistry at Carnegie Mellon University.

July 12, 2017: Soil, Struggle and Justice

The New American Economy: Soil, Struggle and Justice
(subtitle: Agroecology in the Brazilian Landless Movement and Lessons for the US)

Andreas Hernandes, Ph.D. from Marymount Manhattan College in New York joins us by skype from Porto Alegre, Brazil to discuss an innovative, natural approach to farming known as agroecology. He explains how this practice differs from traditional farming, how it improves the lives of workers and the food they grow, and why Brazilian farmers are pairing agroeclolgy with their Landless Movement. Can the US learn from this practice? Is it possible for us to move from a chemically dependent system to naturally controlled farming? How long would this take? Join us for a fascinating discussion with Dr. Patricia DeMarco.

June 21, 2017: Time To Do Away With Pesticides

This week Dr. Patricia DeMarco invites Jay Feldman from Beyond Pesticides. He is an expert in how pesticides affect the local ecosystem and alternatives to chemicals like Roundup. In addition to the environmental consequences, consumers are often inadvertently exposed by tracking the chemicals into their homes after coming into contact with them. Agricultural workers are also at risk because they aren’t protected by the labor board, and instead are at the whims of the EPA, which is not an organization designed to protect workers.

June 14, 2017: Industry and Environment Round Table

Dr. Patricia DeMarco hosts a Just Transitions round table with Charlie McCollester, Jim Kunz of IUOE 66 and Policy Director Kristen Osterwood of the Green Building Alliance talking about the move to a sustainable future and the organized labor that can lead the way.

May 3, 2017: Transforming Urban Spaces and Creating Food Security, one Vacant Lot at a Time

Today we debut our new show, The New American Economy. Every Monday at 1pm Dr. Patricia DeMarco joins Charles Showalter in hosting a program on exploring the link between energy, food and water, transportation, and manufacturing and supply chain.
This week we focus on urban and community farming, featuring City of Pittsburgh Open Space Manager Shelly Danko-Day. They discuss the plan to achieve Food Security through local and urban agriculture, and the process of transforming vacant land into productive use, the ordinances required, and the results they’re seeing.