World Ocean Radio

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A weekly series of five-minute audio essays on a wide range of ocean issues from science and education to advocacy and exemplary projects, brought to you by long-time host Peter Neill. Available for RSS feed, podcast, and syndicated use at no cost by community radio stations worldwide.
Feb 08, 2015
The price of oil has dropped to $50 per barrel and the landscape is changing: alternative energy is growing in success and popularity, industries have cancelled plans to drill in the Polar seas, there is talk of increased efficiency, improved technology, new energy policy, and “clean energy” are the buzzwords of our day. In this episode of World Ocean Radio host Peter Neill will discuss this shift away from oil dominance and will attribute it to a number of factors, including increased public...
Jan 30, 2015
The Japanese word "Mottainai" refers to the essence of things, and suggests that objects do not exist in isolation, rather that they are intrinsically linked to one another. In this episode of World Ocean Radio host Peter Neill will discuss this and other Japanese words and phrases which can be used to help us describe a new strategy for our relationship to the ocean, one which respects and sustains the values of Mother Nature so that we may rely on her natural resources for our future, and for...
Jan 05, 2015
Waste and the management of it are new challenges of these recent decades. How do we dispose of toxic waste, plastic packaging, electronics, and other discards of our modern society? Where does it all go? In this episode of World Ocean Radio, host Peter Neill talks about current efforts to recycle and re-purpose trash in efforts to slow contribution to the waste stream, and he suggests some new ideas for turning waste into profit.
Dec 29, 2014
As the world population has grown, the demand for food has increased, technologies for more efficient harvest have evolved, and our natural systems have been exploited at ever-increasing scale. In this episode of World Ocean Radio, host Peter Neill will present a recent suggestion by Dr. Daniel Pauly of the Sea Around Us Project which outlines a simple management plan that would solve the problem through an economic adjustment of scale.
Dec 15, 2014
Toxic chemicals released into watersheds and waterways remain a persistent problem despite the sounding of alarms, which for decades have railed against the uncontrolled use of fertilizers and pesticides. Today, the issue is as pervasive and as threatening as ever. In this episode of World Ocean Radio host Peter Neill shares research on international protections and management approaches and argues that despite best intentions, precautions against use and dispersal are limited, confused, mired...
Dec 08, 2014
At a recent conference and planning workshop sponsored by the Climate Change Institute at the University of Maine, participants took part in a climate risk management exercise to define possible climate change scenarios. They were given lists of risks, impacts, and vulnerabilities as tools to imagine viable responses. In this episode of World Ocean Radio, host Peter Neill describes the exercise and explains the scenarios and how they might be transformed and implemented as plans for action. And...
Dec 01, 2014
Externality refers to a disconnected or unconsidered consequence. Hydrofracking, mountaintop removal, filled wetlands, carbon emissions, and plastic pollution are all examples of intrusion into natural systems where the full cost is not valued. In this episode of World Ocean Radio host Peter Neill will discuss the real, various, and dangerous externalities of climate change and will assert that to deny them is simplistic and defeatist.
Nov 24, 2014
An article published by The Guardian in October provides a stark exposé of one of the largest Chinese suppliers of premium tuna to the Japanese market. The findings were alarming: a company circumventing international conservation limits by simply ignoring them; a government unwilling to crack down on illegal fishing because it does not fit past patterns of behavior; an industry that does nothing to honor catch limits set by Regional Fisheries Management Organizations. The list of revelations...
Nov 17, 2014
Who has a right to life? Only one species? Do humans have the right to exterminate any species they wish? In an effort to combat climate change and the exploitation of the planet’s resources, Bolivia is becoming the first country on Earth to give comprehensive legal rights to Mother Nature. In 2010 the National Congress of Bolivia voted to support an act to protect the well-being of its citizens by protecting the natural world, its resources, sustainability, and value as essential to the...
Nov 10, 2014
Everywhere you look there is a battle being waged over our energy future. Leasing plans for offshore oil have long and unsuccessfully been the target of industry groups; it has been asserted, however, that in recent months offshore exploration and development have gained public backing and may push forward. In this episode of World Ocean Radio, host Peter Neill will argue that the energy industry has transformed the American landscape and cannot be trusted with environmental stewardship of the...
Nov 03, 2014
In this episode of World Ocean Radio host Peter Neill explains the term “ecological debt” and outlines the work of the Global Footprint Network which uses the Ecological Footprint accounting tool to measure how much nature we have and how much we use. And he’ll assert that, according to the matrix, we are already in global ecological overshoot, having depleted the very resources on which human life and biodiversity depend.
Oct 27, 2014
The distribution of fresh water to meet growth and increased demand has historically relied on massive planning structures. The impacts of climate change (drought, fire, extreme weather) are testing these structures, exposing them to be largely inadequate for a 21st century world. In this episode of World Ocean Radio, host Peter Neill will use China as an example of a rapidly-developing country in need of an industrial water policy that realistically factors the true cost of the supply and...
Oct 17, 2014
Each city lost or gained by a rival faction in the latest violence in Syria and Turkey sits on a major river—the Euphrates, the Tigris, or their tributaries. The wars waged are being fought along a watershed. In this episode of World Ocean Radio we suggest that despite air strikes, conflicting systems of law, and pursuits for oil, what really matters most is water. That it, among all other things, is what enables the true security of the region.
Oct 10, 2014
In Part II of a 2-part series on the Global Water Contract, World Ocean Radio host Peter Neill explains the Committee's progressive recommendations in response to a growing fresh water crisis that is estimated to affect 3 billion people worldwide.
Oct 06, 2014
In 1998, a private commission was assembled to create a framework for worldwide understanding of fresh water as an inalienable human right. In this first of a two-part series on the Global Water Contract, World Ocean Radio host Peter Neill will begin to outline the basic premises and arguments laid out in the contract, a foundation on which to share the committee’s recommendations, which will appear in next week’s episode.
Sep 29, 2014
On September 21st, 2014, nearly 400,000 people gathered to march through the streets of New York City to express growing concern over the impacts of climate change. World Ocean Observatory's Peter Neill was there, and in this episode of World Ocean Radio he shares the exhilaration and exuberance of the march and discusses the UN Climate Summit and General Assembly which took place in the days following the People's Climate March.