Aaron Huertas on the Purveyors of Disinformation

Disinformation. It sometimes manifests in theatrical shows of ignorance, like Senior Republican Senator James Inhoffe bringing a snowball to the Senate floor as “evidence” that global warming is a hoax, or the persistent denial coming out of the ill-informed head of the current president that Harvey and Irma are unrelated to climate change. But where does the disinformation start? Sometimes the seeds of willfully inaccurate right-wing talking points are planted by more mainstream conservative thinkers like George Will, Rich Lowry, Peggy Noonan, or the latest star of the right wing elite, NY Times opinion columnist, Bret Stephens. Under cloak of sophisticated language, these opinion columnists bury grains in the fertile right-wing psyche that grow into dangerously thorny vines of falsehood. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with DC-based science communicator, Aaron Huertas, to discuss what disinformation Bret Stephens has sown lately regarding the climate. We talk about Stephens’s disregard for solutions that could fight climate change, examine the weaknesses in his research, and ponder what motivates him to reach his simplistic and misleading conclusions.

Tell Me Something Good: Volt Energy’s Gilbert Campbell

Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio, Gilbert Campbell III, the Co-Founder of Volt Energy, is here to remind us that sustainable energy is good, not only for the earth, but also for business. Campbell’s company, based in Washington, D.C., builds and operates solar projects, electric-vehicle charging stations, and offers energy storage solutions. We discuss how Volt Energy’s business model works, why there are not nearly enough minority-owned businesses in the renewable energy space, and the challenges of interacting with a new Administration that is openly hostile to science and minorities.

Daniel Kammen Spells Relief I-M-P-E-A-C-H

Recently, in response to the 45th president’s shameful mishandling of the incidents in Charlottesville, Virgina, UC Berkeley Energy Professor Daniel Kammen resigned as a State Dept. ┬áScience Envoy. His resignation letter picked up national attention — in part because the first letter of each paragraph spelled out the word “IMPEACH.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Prof. Kammen, learn more about his role of special envoy, how it changed under the current administration, and some of the reasons why he felt the need to leave the post. Then, we reach back to our 2015 discussion with Prof. Kammen and hear about the strides that are being made to provide electricity to the 20% of the world’s population that doesn’t currently have access to it.

Newfangled Retrofitting: BlocPower’s Donnel Baird

Compared with new buildings, older buildings tend to eat up a lot more energy and produce and trap a lot more pollution. Whether it’s an old church, a broken-down community center, an under-funded school building, or public housing, too often these older buildings don’t get retrofitted due to fiscal constraints. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Donnel Baird, the founder and CEO of BlocPower, a startup that uses technology to retrofit buildings in financially underserved communities. Not only does this work result in long-term energy savings and more humane conditions, BlocPower offers these benefits at a much lower cost than was previously available. Baird explains BlocPower’s business model, tells us what inspired him to start the company, and talks about the challenges that the current political environment brings.

Brendan O’Connor on Unholy Alliances

Between impending nuclear annihilation and the President of the United States seeming to endorse white supremacists, you may have missed the dismantling of the Environmental Protection Agency. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Brendan O’Connor, a reporter for Gizmodo Media who has recently written an extensive piece chronicling the evangelical community and the elements behind the movement’s embrace of climate change denialism – and the politicians, oil companies and think tanks connected to it all. We look at the history of the movement, its leaders and discuss the unlikely alliance between the evangelical right and Donald Trump.

Michael Carolan: “No One Eats Alone”

Food. It is as necessary as air and water. But the systems around food production and distribution have created a good deal of distance between ourselves and our food sources. Our guest today on Sea Change radio believes that food represents a wonderful, if somewhat untapped, opportunity for human connection. Colorado State University sociology professor Michael Carolan joins us to discuss food as a social enterprise and his new book, “No One Eats Alone.” We discuss how human connection is often lacking in modern food movements, talk about what it means to be a better “food citizen,” and define and explore what Carolan calls “foodscapes.”

Orange County: Wastewater Reuse Leader

What would you say to the idea of drinking a tall, cool glass of wastewater? On the face of it, it sounds, well, yucky. But it turns out you’ve probably been drinking it all along. There’s good technology now for extracting impurities and making even the dirtiest water potable. And some water districts around the country are taking this technology to scale. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Mike Markus, the General Manager of the Orange County, California Water District. Orange County’s practices may represent the high water-mark for the re-use of H2O. Markus and host Alex Wise discuss the innovative technology the district uses to clean its wastewater, examine the costs compared to other alternatives like desalination, and talk about his team’s efforts to overcome common misperceptions about turning wastewater into clean drinking water.

Takin’ It To The Streets: Solar Roadways Update

What if the roads we drove on, instead of being made of carbon-intensive petroleum sludge, were actually solar panels? And what if whenever electric vehicles drove on these solar roads, they were automatically re-charged? Sounds like a fiction, wishful thinking, a dream? Well, here at Sea Change Radio we like to celebrate the dreamers, and in 2014 we profiled Solar Roadways, a hot new startup at the time, based on the wild idea of paving roads with solar panels. There were critics who pooh-poohed the idea, but there were also a lot of us who fell in love with it. This week on Sea Change Radio, we give our listeners an update on the progress being made to bring this innovative technology to the streets, in Europe and via US government contracts. We talk to the co-founders of Solar Roadways, Scott and Julie Brusaw to get the latest on their company, learn about dynamic charging technology, and allow them to respond to criticism about their product.

Anya Cherneff + Moira Hanes: Empowering A Generation

In physics, electricity is power. Electricity can also be power, though, in the sense that it creates opportunity for the pursuit of social capital and positive outcomes. This week on Sea Change Radio, we highlight the efforts of two nonprofits that are working to bring clean, affordable energy to some of the most under-resourced people on the planet. First, we hear from Anya Cherneff of Empower Generation who gives us a snapshot of her organization’s efforts to bring electricity to people in Nepal, and how it connects to fighting human trafficking in Southeast Asia. Then, Moira Hanes from Empowered By Light talks about the difference her organization has made both in Nepal and Zambia.

Trump on Energy: A Collection Of Contradictions

Even the most astute followers of the news may have missed that the Trump Administration is touting a series of self-proclaimed focal areas. With compelling revelations of lying, collusion, and treason coming out almost daily, it’s understandable if absurd, toothless initiatives like “Energy Week,” or “Workforce Development Week” flew under your radar. Today on Sea Change Radio, we try to decipher what the actual energy policies of the current administration are with the help of Axios energy reporter, Amy Harder. We dissect Harder’s piece, “What Trump gets wrong about coal, natural gas and carbon,” analyze the divides within various federal agencies, and try to make heads or tails of what she dubs “a collection of contradictions.”