Episode 2: Cleaning Up

Beautiful Poison (Mercury)

Beautiful Poison (Mercury). The photo was uploaded by mrsingh816 to stock.xchange.

After the recent oil spills in the San Francisco Bay and the Kerch Strait, Distillations delves into the reality of cleaning up human-made messes. In this episode, Jody Roberts, the program manager for environmental history and policy at CHF’s Center for Contemporary History and Policy, talks about environmental remediation. Also, learn about how the San Francisco Bay was cleaned up in late 2007 with mushrooms and human hair. The Element of the Week: mercury.

Show Clock

00:00 Opening Credits
00:32 Introduction
00:55 Commentary by Jody Roberts
02:55 Element of the Week: Mercury
04:44 Cleaning up the San Francisco oil spill
09:12 Quote of the Week: Barry Commoner
09:44 Closing Credits

Resources and References

On American environmentalism: Michael Egan, Barry Commoner and the Science of Survival: The Remaking of American Environmentalism (Cambridge: MIT Press, 2007).
On the elements: Web Elements Periodic Table
On hair mats and the World Response Group: The OttiMat
Quote: Barry Commoner, The Closing Circle: Nature, Man, and Technology (New York: Knopf, 1971), p. 300.


Special thanks to Jody Roberts for researching the show.

Our theme music is composed by Dave Kaufman. Additional music was provided from the Podsafe Music Network. The background music for the end of the commentary is Silent Death by Wolves, by Rob Lundy. The music during the show ID is string groove, a.b.e. (anthems of a bygone era). The music for the quotation is The Ocean, by Dave Kaufman, from

“Beautiful Poison” photo from stock.xchng, uploaded by mrsingh816.


Posted In: Environment

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