Wildfire podcast

Introducing: Camp Monsters

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In this 8-part series from REI, you'll hear stories about some of the country's most notorious monsters. From Tahoe Tessie to the Jersey Devil, these are the tales about the things that pass just beyond the firelight. 

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    Ep. 6: Martyrdom

    31:55

    After Chico’s death, he became a martyr for the rainforest, and his work continued with significant success. But where is Chico’s name today? And why is it important that we remember his work?Sources:Complicity in Destruction III. Amazon Watch. (n.d.). https://amazonwatch.org/news/2020/1027-complicity-in-destruction-iii.Guardian News and Media. (2019, November 2). Brazilian 'forest guardian' killed by illegal loggers in ambush. The Guardian. https://www.theguardian.com/world/2019/nov/02/brazilian-forest-guardian-killed-by-illegal-loggers-in-ambush.Revkin, Andrew. The Burning Season: the Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest. Island Press, 2004.Hecht, Susanna, and Alexander Cockburn. The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon. University of Chicago Press, 2010.Chris Mooney, B. D. (2019, December 22). Top scientists warn of an Amazon 'tipping point'. The Washington Post. https://www.washingtonpost.com/climate-environment/top-scientists-warn-of-an-amazon-tippingpoint/2019/12/20/9c9be954-233e-11ea-bed5-880264cc91a9_story.html.Brasil, V. (n.d.). Chico Mendes House: Visit Brasil. Visit Brasil - Site oficial de turismo do Brasil. https://www.visitbrasil.com/attractions/chico-mendes-house.html.Fabricius, K. E., Neill, C., Van Ooijen, E., Smith, J. N., & Tilbrook, B. (2020). Progressive seawater acidification on the Great Barrier Reef continental shelf. Scientific Reports, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75293-1Maisonnave, F. (2020, October 23). The second death of Chico Mendes. Climate Home News. https://www.climatechangenews.com/2020/03/06/second-death-chico-mendes/.Shoumatoff, Alex. “Murder in the Rainforest.” Vanity Fair, 1989.Rodrigues, Gomercindo, et al. Walking the Forest with Chico Mendes: Struggle for Justice in the Amazon. University of Texas Press, 2007.Mendes, Chico, et al. Fight for the Forest: Chico Mendes in his Own Words. Latin America Bureau (Research and Action) Ltd, 1989.Chico Mendes: Voice of the Amazon, a documentary about rainforest martyr Chico Mendes. (n.d.). https://www.mirandaproductions.com/voice/reviews.htm.The Amazon: A Global Treasure. Amazon Watch. (n.d.). https://amazonwatch.org/about.Guajajara, S. (2020, October 2). Can Our Culture Survive Climate Change? The New York Times. https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/02/opinion/amazon-indigenous-people-brazil.html.
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    Ep. 5: The International Stage

    27:19

    Chico takes his message to the national and international stages, where he finds both support and increased threat of violence. Jim and Graham take a look at the larger drivers of deforestation in the Brazilian Amazon. It ends at the beginning, with Chico’s murder.Sources:Revkin, Andrew. The Burning Season: the Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest. Island Press, 2004.Rodrigues, Gomercindo, et al. Walking the Forest with Chico Mendes: Struggle for Justice in the Amazon. University of Texas Press, 2007.Mendes, Chico, et al. Fight for the Forest: Chico Mendes in his Own Words. Latin America BuShoumatoff, Alex. “Murder in the Rainforest.” Vanity Fair, 1989.Mendes, Francisco. “Antihero.” Spin, September 1989, page 76-78.Surui, Almir Narayamoga, et al. Save the Planet: An Amazonian Tribal Leader Fights for His People, The Rainforest, and the Earth. Editions Albin Michel, 2015.Hecht, Susanna, and Alexander Cockburn. The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon. University of Chicago Press, 2010.
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    Ep. 4: The Indigenous Perspective

    33:10

    Chico reaches out to the Indigenous communities to help his cause in the forest, a resource on which they both rely. Similarly, Graham and JIm contact the Surui tribe, who have their own innovative way to combat deforestation. In the end, Chico sees that he must take his message to the international stage — but he has doubts. Sources:Revkin, Andrew. The Burning Season: the Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest. Island Press, 2004.Rodrigues, Gomercindo, et al. Walking the Forest with Chico Mendes: Struggle for Justice in the Amazon. University of Texas Press, 2007.Mendes, Chico, et al. Fight for the Forest: Chico Mendes in his Own Words. Latin America BuShoumatoff, Alex. “Murder in the Rainforest.” Vanity Fair, 1989.Mendes, Francisco. “Antihero.” Spin, September 1989, page 76-78.Surui, Almir Narayamoga, et al. Save the Planet: An Amazonian Tribal Leader Fights for His People, The Rainforest, and the Earth. Editions Albin Michel, 2015.Mann, C. C. (2019). 1491: New revelations of the Americas before Columbus. Alfred A. Knopf.Hecht, Susanna, and Alexander Cockburn. The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon. University of Chicago Press, 2010. https://www.fs.fed.us/forestmanagement/aboutus/index.shtml
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    Ep.3: Good Guys and Bad Guys

    34:16

    Chico begins organizing against deforestation and starts a war with the local ranching community. The hosts see first hand what the burning looks like on the ground and learn more about the “good guys” and “bad guys” in the complex conflict between rubber tappers and ranchers, as well as the individuals and groups opposed to Chico before his murder. Finally, Chico is put into a leadership role in 1980.Sources:Hecht, Susanna, and Alexander Cockburn. The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon. University of Chicago Press, 2010.Revkin, Andrew. The Burning Season: the Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest. Island Press, 2004.Rodrigues, Gomercindo, et al. Walking the Forest with Chico Mendes: Struggle for Justice in the Amazon. University of Texas Press, 2007.Mendes, Chico, et al. Fight for the Forest: Chico Mendes in his Own Words. Latin America Bureau (Research and Action) Ltd, 1989.Mann, Charles C. 1491 (Second Edition): New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. 2nd ed., Random House LLC, 2005.Shoumatoff, Alex. “Murder in the Rainforest.” Vanity Fair, 1989.Mendes, Francisco. “Antihero.” Spin, September 1989, page 76-78.Brown, Foster. “Morte Entre Muitas.” Jornal A Gazeta, February 2020.
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    Ep. 2: The Man and the Forest

    28:01

    In the second episode, hosts Graham and Jim explore the origin story of Chico Mendes. They explore the past of the rubber trade in the Amazon, the rubber tappers' relationship with the forest, and their plight. More about the show:In the second season of Wildfire, we’re shifting our perspective from fires in the forests of the American west to those taking place in the Amazon rainforest alongside a story of violence and heroism.On December 22nd 1988 in the town of Xapuri, Brazil a man named Chico Mendes was shot and killed at his home. He was killed for trying to protect the rainforest from the fires that were burning at an increasing rate; fires that were turning one of the most complex ecosystems in the world into cow pastures. In this season of Wildfire, hosts Jim Aikman and Graham Zimmerman look into the story of Chico Mendes—who he was, what he was fighting for, and how his legacy lives on. It's a story filled with intrigue and violence but also hope, both for the Amazon and for humankind. This 6-part series is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts. Episode sources:Hecht, Susanna, and Alexander Cockburn. The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon. University of Chicago Press, 2010.Revkin, Andrew. The Burning Season: the Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest. Island Press, 2004.Rodrigues, Gomercindo, et al. Walking the Forest with Chico Mendes: Struggle for Justice in the Amazon. University of Texas Press, 2007.Mendes, Chico, et al. Fight for the Forest: Chico Mendes in his Own Words. Latin America Bureau (Research and Action) Ltd, 1989.Mann, Charles C. 1491 (Second Edition): New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus. 2nd ed., Random House LLC, 2005.Shoumatoff, Alex. “Murder in the Rainforest.” Vanity Fair, 1989.“Making a Difference : Chico Mendes . . .” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 1989, www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1989-01-22-op-1186-story.html.Mendes, Francisco. “Antihero.” Spin, September 1989, page 76-78.
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    Ep. 1: A Murder and a Fire

    28:39

    In December 1988, Brazilian environmentalist Chico Mendes was murdered at his home in the Amazon Rainforest. Chico was a rubber tapper who witnessed the destruction of the forest—of his home—and built a community both in Brazil and abroad to stop the devastation. For this, he was killed in cold blood.In episode one, hosts Graham Zimmerman and Jim Aikman set off to better understand the Brazilian Amazon. They explore both the politics and biology of one of the most diverse ecosystems in the world. They also learn about the history of the conflict in the Brazilian Amazon and why someone like Chico Mendes risked his life to safe it.Episode sources:Hecht, Susanna, and Alexander Cockburn. The Fate of the Forest: Developers, Destroyers, and Defenders of the Amazon. University of Chicago Press, 2010.Revkin, Andrew. The Burning Season: the Murder of Chico Mendes and the Fight for the Amazon Rain Forest. Island Press, 2004.Pyne, Stephen J. Fire in America. Univ. of Washington Press, 1997.“I. Foster Brown.” Woodwell Climate, 2 Dec. 2020, www.woodwellclimate.org/staff/foster-brown/Shoumatoff, Alex. “Murder in the Rainforest.” Vanity Fair, 1989.Rodrigues, Gomercindo, et al. Walking the Forest with Chico Mendes: Struggle for Justice in the Amazon. University of Texas Press, 2007.Rabie, Passant. “NASA Satellites Confirm Amazon Rainforest Is Burning at a Record Rate.”Space.com, Space, 27 Aug. 2019, www.space.com/amazon-rainforest-fires-2019-nasa-satellite-views.html#:~:targetText=Firedetections by NASA's Moderate,over the world since 2003.Hoover, K., & Hanson, L. A. (2021, January 4). Retrieved January 28, 2021, from https://fas.org/sgp/crs/misc/IF10244.pdfPasquali, Marina. “Number of Wildfires in Brazil 2020.” Statista, 14 Sept. 2020, www.statista.com/statistics/1041354/number-wildfires-brazil/.Templeton, Amelia. “Eagle Creek Fire Perpetrator Ordered To Pay $36.6 Million.” Opb, OPB, 2 June 2020, www.opb.org/news/article/eagle-creek-fire-wildfire-restitution-oregon-columbia-river-gorge/.Kloster, Tom. “After the Fire: A Closer Look (Part 2 of 2).” WyEast Blog, 28 Feb. 2018, wyeastblog.org/2018/02/27/after-the-fire-a-closer-look-part-2-of-2/.Borger, Julian, and Jonathan Watts. “G7 Leaders Agree Plan to Help Amazon Countries Fight Wildfires.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 26 Aug. 2019, www.theguardian.com/world/2019/aug/26/g7-leaders-agree-plan-to-help-amazon-countries-fight-wildfires.“Amazon Fires: Crisis Mobilization Update.” Rainforest Alliance, Rainforest Alliance, 8 Nov. 2019, www.rainforest-alliance.org/articles/an-update-on-our-crisis-response-to-the-amazon-fires.“It's Okay to Be Smart.” PBS, Public Broadcasting Service, 24 Oct. 2018, www.pbs.org/video/the-largest-river-on-earth-is-in-the-sky-ayxiyl/.Surui, Almir Narayamoga, et al. Save the Planet: An Amazonian Tribal Leader Fights for His People, The Rainforest, and the Earth. Editions Albin Michel, 2015.Mendes, Chico, et al. Fight for the Forest: Chico Mendes in his Own Words. Latin America Bureau (Research and Action) Ltd, 1989. “Making a Difference : Chico Mendes . . .” Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Times, 22 Jan. 1989, www.latimes.com/archives/la-xpm-1989-01-22-op-1186-story.html.
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    Wildfire: The Amazon

    3:12

    On December 22nd 1988 in the town of Xapuri, Brazil a man named Chico Mendes was shot and killed at his home. He was killed for trying to protect the rainforest from the fires that were burning at an increasing rate; fires that were turning one of the most complex ecosystems in the world into cow pastures. In this season of Wildfire, hosts Jim Aikman and Graham Zimmerman look into the story of Chico Mendes—who he was, what he was fighting for, and how his legacy lives on. It's a story filled with intrigue and violence but also hope, both for the Amazon and for humankind. This 6-part series is available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher or wherever you listen to podcasts.  
  • Wildfire podcast

    Introducing: Camp Monsters

    2:07

    In this 8-part series from REI, you'll hear stories about some of the country's most notorious monsters. From Tahoe Tessie to the Jersey Devil, these are the tales about the things that pass just beyond the firelight. 
  • Wildfire podcast

    The Language of Wildfire

    22:15

    When this final episode of Wildfire was recorded, in May of 2019, wildfire Season had already kicked in. Or, maybe it never stopped. We’re breaking records all around the world: more loss of life due to forest fires; many more homes lost to fire; longer fire seasons; hotter global temperatures; much more carbon in the atmosphere. In short, we’re heading into uncharted territory. Our goal with this podcast series has been to equip you with the tools you need to understand wildfire, so that you can be a more informed citizen of the world and build a stronger relationship with our wild spaces. We covered the science, the fire and forest management methods, the history, and we explored what we can do in the future to and create a more symbiotic relationship between our society and the forests in which we live and on which we rely. But now that we’re wrapping up the show, you’re about to dive back into the media bath of forests burning and threatening communities while engulfing entire regions of the world in smoke. In this final episode of Wildfire, now that we’re done with the story of the Eagle Creek Fire in Oregon’s Columbia River Gorge, we’re going to arm you with the tools you need to interpret the information you see in the news, be more prepared personally, and, if you like, know where you can go to learn more. Resources Thriving with Fire Predictive Services National Interagency Fire Center Outlooks Crag Law Center What Does 'Containing A Fire' Really Mean - NPR Built to Burn - 99% Invisible  Forest Fire Facts  Firefighters United for Safety in Environmental Ethics  The National Fire Protection Association Key takeaways: 0:05 - In May of 2019, Wildfire Season had already kicked in, or maybe it never stopped… 2:24 – This is clearly a worldwide issue… 2:54 – In the Pacific Northwest, a record-setting fire season is already kicking in… 6:45 – A conversation with Ralph Bloemers, Co-Founder and Senior Staff Attorney at the Crag Law Center in Portland, around the language used to describe wildfire. 10:15 – How do we know if the wood products we’re buying come from companies with good forest management policies? 12:04 – We are, in fact, breaking many important records. Records that we do not want to be breaking… 13:00 – What can we, as individuals, do? 13:50 – What does it mean to “harden our homes?” 16:58 – Resources you can use to learn more about wildfire and what’s happening in our forests.
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    The Future of Wildfire

    51:01

    The kid had started a fire that burned 49,000 acres of forest—76 square miles—a fire that closed a major highway, keeping hundreds of thousands of people from visiting the Gorge and its many businesses that rely on tourism to stay afloat. Oregon Parks and Recreation had to lay off a few dozen people to make up for lost business; The many families of the Gorge that evacuated suffered enormous financial burdens and emotional trauma; Five-thousand homes were threatened by the fire; The slopes of the Gorge were destabilized, as the root systems holding the dirt together burned up, leaving it prone to landslides and rockfall; The fire rained ash on Portland for days, and the smoke-filled air was a serious health hazard for more than a week; Many of the trails and campgrounds in the Gorge are still closed to this day. Clearly, the consequences were far reaching, and all of this would need to be considered in court. At the end of a contentious trial, the court decided the kid would serve no jailtime, but he would be fined the total amount of damages from the fire: $36,618,330. On top of the fine, he was given five years of probation and nearly 2,000 hours of community service and would have to write letters to everyone impacted by the fire. And he was banned from ever returning to the Columbia River Gorge scenic area. His life had changed forever. In episode five of Wildfire, we dive into the political spectrum around wildfire, and look into management solutions for dealing with the future of wildfire in the United States. And we’ll wrap things up in the Columbia River Gorge, concluding the story of Oregon’s 2017 Eagle Creek Fire. Key takeaways: 1:15 – “Before we went on the fieldtrip, the kids were still carrying around a lot of confusion and fear around what happened in the fire and how it affected their lives.” 4:44 – “As the fire died down, a largescale criminal investigation immediately swung into action, involving a number of law enforcement agencies. The community wanted somebody to pin the tragedy on, and they wanted a swift sentencing.” 5:18 – “When the kid arrived at the arraignment, he was charged with a litany of crimes…” 7:46 – “When I first started talking to people about the kid who started the fire….” 14:58 – “Everything I was hearing was leading me to assume that this kid is probably a nice guy, with respect for the laws and cultural mores of this country. But he had made a huge mistake, and he would have to pay a price for that.” 16:24 – “A national treasure is scarred for generations…” 18:21 – “It made me upset, because it wasn’t about trying to find the learning moment… it was about just punishing him.” 19:09 – The kid declined to speak to any journalists or address the public, except for this statement that he read at his trial… 21:47 – “It was inevitable that the forest would burn. As we’ve learned throughout this series, it simply has to. In fact, experts even agree that the forests in that area were overdue for a major fire.” 22:23 – “Over the last two years, since the fire went out, tempers around here have definitely cooled. It seemed that everyone I talked to had come around to a place of empathy and compassion, replacing anger and vengeance.” 24:56 – “Isn’t the system of forestry management that left the Columbia River Gorge so extremely vulnerable to a catastrophic fire as much to blame for what happened in Eagle Creek as this 15-year-old kid?” 25:52 – “I hope that we’ve all learned some valuable lessons, as well: To be better stewards of our planet; to be more responsible in nature; to be more humble, and respectful, and compassionate.” 26:23 – “The Eagle Creek Fire is almost two years in the rearview mirror, and we’re entering the 2019 wildfire season.” 27:30 – “As we’ve learned, this is a national issue… So, what’re we doing at a political level, from the top down, to combat this problem?” 31:35 – A conversation with Dr. Paul Hesberg, a 35-year veteran of the Forest Service’s Research and Development group as a fire ecologist in the Pacific Northwest. 32:35 – “We’ve been finding that the annual acres burned has been increasing consistently from year-to-year and decade-to-decade. And we’re seeing a nexus of a warming and drying climate interacting with 100 years or more of fire exclusion, which increased the area and density of many of our forests.” 33:08 – “The studies throughout the world are really conclusive. Rational minds aren’t arguing about whether or not we’re living in a new climate change world. We are. Period.” 34:30 – “We need to create wildfire-adapted communities. Get ready for the fires that are coming—because they’re coming—and we can get ready before the fact.” 35:34 – Scientists have developed seven core landscape principles that they think will move us in a direction that’s much more symbiotic with respect to wildfire. 41:04 – Exploring what’s happening in the Columbia River Gorge today, as it recovers from the Eagle Creek Fire. 44:05 – “It’ll look different, but it’s still a beautiful place to explore and enjoy, and will be, hopefully, for generations to come.” 44:47 – “Here we are, at the end of the story… disaster to regrowth.”

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