NG Weekend: A Factory Goes Green


This week on National Geographic Weekend radio, host Boyd Matson speaks with guests about death in Myanmar, the post-Copenhagen climate, biking in Cambodia, climbing in Chile, Turkey’s vulture restaurant, Richard Branson’s new sub, greening a Toronto factory, traversing the Yukon by dog-sled, and riding the 100-mile Tevis Cup horse race in a tuxedo.

Hour 1

  • Photographer, biologist, and frequent National Geographic contributor Mark Moffett talks with Boyd about the death of his friend, herpetologist Joseph Slowinski. On September 11th, 2001, Moffett was with Slowinski in a remote region of Myanmar (Burma) when Slowinski was bitten by a deadly snake. Moffett tells Boyd that from this experience, he’s learned that real conservation means loving and saving even the dangerous parts of nature. (Read Moffett’s story about the episode in Outside magazine.)
  • “A Failure of Historic Proportions!” “Not Worth the Paper it’s Written on…” The headlines out of the United Nations Climate Change Conference 2009 in Copenhagen were overwhelmingly negative. But S. Jacob Scherr, director of the Natural Resources Defense Council’s International Program, was in Copenhagen and has a different take on what happened there.
  • When 2009 Geotourism Challenge winner Daniela Papi traveled to Cambodia, she was inspired to begin a program called PEPY (“Protect the Earth, Protect Yourself”) to organize educational bicycle trips around the country and at the same time foster local development. Papi tells Boyd that the organization now operates education programs in more then a dozen schools and rural villages.
  • The Tevis Cup is an annual 100-mile endurance horse race. Not only has cowboy and rancher Potato Richardson won this race more than once, he’s finished it twenty times—once in a tuxedo. Boyd and Richardson recall the time they rode the race together.
  • National Geographic News editor David Braun joins Boyd to talk about the first vulture restaurant in Turkey.

Hour 2

  • Billionaire Sir Richard Branson has a new toy: a submarine that looks like it’s part jet fighter and part convertible. The submersible, designed by Graham Hawkes, allows riders to “fly” underwater. Boyd talks with Hawkes about the new sub and what it’s like to swim alongside hammerhead sharks, whales, and dolphins.
  • Last time we talked with National Geographic grantee Asa Firestone, he and his climbing partner Matt Othmer were hanging off the side of a vertical cliff face. This time Boyd catches up with them from the summit of a granite peak in the Cochamo Valley in Chile.
  • 2009 Geotourism Challenge finalist Geoff Cape is working to bring nature back into the city of Toronto by transforming an abandoned brick factory into an environmental community center.
  • What has 58 legs, 15 mouths, and runs 1,000-miles across the Yukon Territory? A competitor in the annual Yukon Quest dog-sled race. Boyd talks with Julie Estie, an organizer and former competitor in the race, to find out what it takes to win.
  • Boyd shares a story about sleeping on a dog sled on a night when the mercury dipped to 60 degrees below zero.

Tune in to National Geographic Weekend on the Salem Radio Network or on XM/Sirius satellite radio (XM channel 133 Sundays at noon), subscribe to the iTunes podcast, or get the show streamed to your iPhone, Blackberry, Palm, or Android OS phone with Stitcher Radio.

Artist’s rendering of the planned Evergreen Brick Works site by DATH