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The Waning Labor Movement; Competitive Yoga; the Changing Arctic; Remaking Detroit

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Tuesday, July 02, 2013

Leopard Seal. From Polar Obsession, by Paul Nicklen (Paul Nicklen)

On today’s show: Jane McAlevey talks about her struggles as a union organizer and discusses ways the labor movement might be revived. Benjamin Lorr describes his experience with competitive yoga. Frances Beinecke, the President of the NRDC, and acclaimed photographer Paul Nicklen, discuss changes in the Arctic and his photographs a changing worlds at the earth’s poles. And we’ll look at efforts by urban planners, land speculators, and utopian environmentalists to remake Detroit.

Fighting for the Labor Movement

Today, fewer than 7 percent of American private-sector workers belong to a union, the lowest percentage since the beginning of the 20th century. Union organizer Jane McAlevey looks at the state of the American labor movement and describes her experiences fighting the bosses and national labor leaders. In Raising Expectations (and Raising Hell): My Decade Fighting for the Labor Movement, she tells the story of a number of dramatic organizing and contract victories, and the unconventional strategies that helped achieve them, and looks at ways to revive the labor movement.

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Inside the World of Competitive Yoga

Benjamin Lorr explores the world of competitive yoga and how he got sucked into an obsessive subculture. He talks about the athletic prodigies, wide-eyed celebrities, legitimate medical miracles, and predatory hucksters involved in competitive yoga.

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Photographing the Changing Arctic

Frances Beinecke, President of the Natural Resources Defense Council, and National Geographic photographer Paul Nicklen discuss the changing climate of the arctic, which Nicklen has been photographing for years. The NRDC is awarding Nicklen with a first-ever BioGems Visionary Award for his Arctic photography. Nicklen, born and raised on Baffin Island, Nunavut, grew up in one of the only non-Inuit families in a tiny native settlement amid the ice fields of Northern Canada. His photography book Polar Obsession captures up-close documentation of the lives of leopard seals, whales, walruses, polar bears, bearded seals, and narwhals, and gives a vivid portrait of two extraordinary, endangered ecosystems. 

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Remaking Detroit

Detroit-area native Mark Binelli talks about Detroit—it’s long downward spiral and its new role as a laboratory for the future of cities. In Detroit City Is the Place to Be, he goes beyond the usual portrait of crime, poverty, and ruin to show how Detroit is being re-invented as a post-industrial city becoming smaller, less segregated, greener, economically diverse, and better functioning.

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