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This week's show.

Catholic Call Against Corruption - (stream / mp3)
President Trump has signed the repeal of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s transparency rule that required extractive industries to reveal payments to foreign governments to prevent graft. Living on Earth Host Steve Curwood spoke with Catholic Bishop Oscar Cantú, who’s visited developing countries to see how corruption fueled by foreign cash exacerbates poverty and misery. (03:10)

Standing Up for Science - (stream / mp3)
Hundreds of scientists and supporters rallied in Boston’s Copley Square on February 19th, 2017, to affirm the importance of science, research, and factual reporting of results. Early moves by the Trump administration, including gag orders and travel restrictions from some countries, raise fears of political interference, data loss and censorship. Living on Earth’s Jenni Doering and Jaime Kaiser report to host Steve Curwood on the mood at the rally, and the message from the square. (06:05)

Coal Mines and the Stream Protection Rule - (stream / mp3)
The new GOP controlled Congress acted quickly to overturn the Department of Interior’s new Stream Protection Rule. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports on how the rule might have affected coal mines and protected streams in Pennsylvania and the rest of Appalachia, had it survived. (04:30)

A Coal Miner’s Take on Stream Protection - (stream / mp3)
Coal has deep roots in Appalachia and its local communities, but this way of life too often comes with persistent water pollution. With the recent overturn of the Stream Protection Rule, coal companies are under less pressure to control and clean up their environmental impact. Former miner Gary Bentley and host Steve Curwood explore the murky future of coal country’s water and its future. (07:00)

Coal Is Just Too Damn Expensive - Mother Jones

Beyond the Headlines - COAL, and Strip-Mining -  (TEXT) - (stream / mp3)
Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood reflect on the settlement for health damage from chemical leak in Parkersburg, West Virginia, size up some chemical and agribusiness mega-mergers, and consider the effects of a Chinese ban on North Korea’s main export - coal. Then they remember how ignored warnings led to the deadly Buffalo Creek mining waste dam collapse 45 years ago that spurred legislation still in effect today.

*The Book That Changed America* - (TEXT) - (stream / mp3)
The book that changed America is Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species, says Randall Fuller, the Chapman Professor of English at the University of Tulsa. The book arrived in New England in 1860, as the slavery debate raged and civil war loomed, and its ideas were instantly fodder for those discussions. Randall Fuller explains the influence of Darwin’s new theories with Living on Earth’s Helen Palmer.

NOTE: Without John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry, a lot of things might never have happened, like the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln, and the Emancipation Proclamation. Even some historians who acknowledge this do not appreciate two important facts.

First, it was not the raid, per se, that persuaded public opinion, it was John Brown's writings, whilst he was in prison - (just as happened for many other historical leaders).

Second, these writing would not have come to light if not for the heroic advocacy of Henry David Thoreau, this countries first great environmentalist and moral philosopher. (Thoreau has been the #1 literary or media influence in my life. He inspired Gandhi, Tolstoy, MLK, and countless social justice advocates).

Some miss an important point of Thoreau's retreat, for a year, to Walden Pond, alone with Nature. It was, like a true Retreat, a mission to revive his soul, and his mind, so that he could then return to society with full purpose and enterprise. That is what he did. After Walden Pond, Thoreau committed himself to fighting for social issues.

This strong attitude resolved for him the conflict between two "factions" of the Concord Transcendentalists, as to whether the true philosophy could be achieved in action. This conflict is what lead to the decline of the Utopian community, George Ripley's Brook Farm. It was exemplified by the differing positions of Orestes Augustus Brownson, (social activist), and Ralph Waldo Emerson, (individual idealist).

It was because Thoreau singularly grappled with Darwin's revolutionary, "Origin of Species," that he set himself to fighting for the rights of blacks, aligning himself with the Abolitionists, who were a faltering band at the time. Although Emerson took a similar position on the the rights of blacks, it was Thoreau who became a true civil rights advocate, and brought John Brown's cause into national consciousness. Uniting Romanticism with Enlightened evolutionary Science - and the ruthless humanitarian individualism of the Enlightenment, for progress and Justice, Thoreau helped remind the nation of its responsibilities not only to Nature, but to fellow man.

It was because of this effort that America came to wake itself up to the thought that blacks were something more than animals, and deserving of equal rights. "Evolution" itself requires dynamic social justice. I think the question of whether or not blacks were "less-than-human" was a moot point, in some ways, to Thoreau. Thoreau, more than anyone, argued for the rights and "divinity" of ALL animals, (including ourselves). In the light of mutual transcending, we were all in the same basket, and were called to the same responsibilities. "A rising tide lifts all boats."

(Note: this last phrase is not true when applied to corporatist economics).

"The Book That Changed America" is something I'd really like to read.

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