Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Farmers & War

(This is the third installment of Small Closet Radio.)

Growing peace. In 2005, farmer Michael O'Gorman started the coalition Farms Not Arms, hoping that the world would be a better place if "the folks who have the world in their hands, literally, got together to protect it, and to protect each other." Peace activism isn't exactly part of the farmer job description, but when you hear O'Gorman talk, it makes a lot of sense -- though these days he'd tell you that his only activism is growing food. We spend this hour looking at how war impacts farmers and rural communities, and what U.S. farmers are doing about it.

The voices:
Michael O'Gorman, organic farmer, founder of Farms Not Arms, and executive director of the Farmer Veteran Coalition.
Jerry Pennick, director of the Federation of Southern Cooperatives' Land Assistance Fund.
George Naylor, farmer and former president of the National Family Farm Coalition.

Listen. Use the player below to hear the show, or click "divShare" to download the mp3.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Risks & Choices On The Gulf Coast

(This is the second installment of Small Closet Radio.)

Taking risks in the Gulf.
When the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in April, it began the largest marine oil spill in U.S. history -- and it took the livelihoods of fisherfolks and others in the Gulf Coast's seafood industry. Many of these people have taken jobs cleaning up and containing the spill with BP's "Vessels of Opportunity" program, but they've been forbidden to use respirators while cleaning up the toxic crude oil. In this hour, a look at the "choice" to do this work. We examine the risks that led to this situation, who's been making the choices, and what choice we've got left. (Photo credit:

The voices:
Merle Savage, general foreman on the Exxon Valdez clean-up and author of Silence In The Sound.
Monique Harden, New Orleans-based lawyer and co-director of Advocates for Environmental Human Rights.
Dahr Jamail, independent journalist reporting from Louisiana.

Listen. Use the player below to hear the show, or click "divShare" to download the mp3.