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51% Show #1213


51% Episode 1213
Oct 11, 2012

Not too long ago, scientists predicted that the ice at the arctic was melting away for good.  They thought it was possible it might melt away completed by the middle of this century. That’s all changed. A record ice melt this year has scientists now predicting that the summer ice could be gone in less than ten years – by 2020. What does that mean? Rising oceans and problems for coastal communities, but also bigger climate shifts without the polar ice to reflect back the sun’s rays.

Research scientist Julienne Stroeve from the National Snow and Ice Data Center was just at the artic – and what she found surprised her. Find out more at nsidc.org.

Up next, do you know about the arsenic in your baby’s rice? And yours? It’s time you do. Plus an outspoken woman who was way ahead of her time. 

The Internet has made it possible to speak to the world – and blogs have become a particularly popular way for women to speak out. Anna Hackman is a New Jersey blogger who has become a one-woman campaign to get the FDA to finally deal with the fact that our rice has measurable amounts of arsenic in it. The problem with arsenic isn’t brand new – it’s just that no one has been doing anything about it. After the latest Consumer Reports study showing high levels of arsenic in rice compared to arsenic in drinking water, the FDA, which has no regulations about how much arsenic is allowable in our food, has announced it’s studying the issue. Anna Hackman has started a petition on Change.org to get the FDA to act.

Go to Change.org and search for arsenic and rice. You’ll find Anna Hackman’s petition. If you want to find out even more, visit Anna Hackman’s blog, Green-Talk.com. Or check out the Consumer Reports study.

Outspoken women weren’t usually welcome in American history. They particularly weren’t paid for it. But Professor Granville Ganter of St. Johns University in New York has an exception – a western Massachusetts native who became a successful lecturer in the early 1800s.

That’s our show for this week.  Thanks to Katie Britton for production assistance.  Our theme music is by Kevin Bartlett. This show is a national production of Northeast Public Radio.  Our executive producer is Dr. Alan Chartock.

If you’d like to hear this show again, or visit the 51% archives, go to our website at WAMC.org.  Thanks so much for joining us…we’ll be back next week with another edition of  51% The Women's Perspective.

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