This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Andrew Winston is a sustainability consultant and author who is working to make big corporations understand that they have just as much of an obligation to the planet and community as they do to their shareholders. He and host Alex Wise discuss what Winston dubs The Big Pivot, the need for these large corporations, just like many countries, to use science-based goals to reduce their carbon footprint, embrace renewable energy, and to develop a green strategy that is much more than just window-dressing.
Do you ever wonder why so many people ride bikes in a place like the Netherlands while so few do in Texas? Both places are flat with temperate weather, and physicists call the bicycle the most efficient means for human transportation yet invented, so why do residents in one location ride bicycles at so much lower a rate? Well, the answer, it turns out, is complicated and involves political, cultural, and practical factors.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Michael Payne, a wind energy executive-turned-bicycle-advocate. He talks with host Alex Wise about the efforts his non-profit, Bike Houston, is undertaking to change policy, attitudes, and habits in the nation’s 4th largest city. While it’s unlikely this work will transform Houston into a Southwestern Amsterdam anytime soon, the lessons from the work of Payne and his colleagues may well inspire similar bicycle revolutions in other cities.
As major weather-related calamities like Hurricane Sandy are teaching us, decisions around where buildings are built and trees are planted are important, especially as they relate to the encroaching coastline and other impacts of climate change. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Meera Subramanian, a writer whose recent piece in Orion Magazine explores post-Sandy restoration efforts that draw upon engineering insights from a hundred years ago, and may reach far beyond the shores of Long Island and New Jersey.
Then, we re-visit host Alex Wise’s discussion with Chris Cannon of Empower Playgrounds, an innovative non-profit that provides equipment to West African villages that converts the energy of playing kids into electricity for their families.
Did you know that almost all NFL teams are profitable before a single ticket is sold? And did you know that for most of these teams it’s public dollars that have made this level of profitability possible? A few weeks ago on Sea Change Radio we discussed some of the environmental advances being championed in the sports industry.
This week, host Alex Wise speaks with Patrick Hruby, a writer and podcaster for Sports on Earth. He offers a complementary (if contrasting) perspective to our earlier discussion by highlighting what he terms “sports welfare.” Hruby talks about how common government subsidies are in the sports industry, and the opportunity cost felt by environmental causes when public coffers are drained in order to bankroll some of the wealthiest enterprises in America.
Imagine how you’d feel if instead of paying you the usual $5,000 a month, your employer suddenly whittled your paycheck down to $500 a month – in order to pay for your boss’s new private jet. Well, that’s pretty much how thousands of landowners who leased their land to natural gas giant, Chesapeake Energy feel right about now.
When we think of the downside of the natural gas boom in this country, we usually think of the potential of environmental harm. But as residents in places like Pennsylvania and West Virginia are discovering, financial hazards lay in the weeds as well. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, award-winning journalist, Abrahm Lustgarten, of Pro Publica, discusses his recent investigation that has exposed alleged mass-scale financial wrongdoing by Chesapeake Energy, one of the nation’s biggest oil and gas companies. Lustgarten will explain how sometimes when you make a deal with the devil, you get burned.
Here’s a little exercise: take a pen and a blank piece of paper and write down everything you know about nano-technology. If you do this, you may find your essay to be pretty brief. You could take comfort to know you’re not alone in your ignorance of nano-technology. But perhaps you should not be feeling so comforted. In a 2013 Orion Magazine article, “Pandora’s Boxes,” this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, journalist Heather Millar, points out that nanoparticles are ubiquitous.
They are used in everyday products: making hair dryers hotter, toothpaste whiter, sunscreen more transparent, and clothing more stain-resistant. They are also, of course, in the food we eat as additives, pesticides and other hidden ingredients. But what exactly are nanoparticles? Are they harmful or beneficial? Are you wearing some right now? Millar shows us that while there are not adequate answers to many of these questions, they need to be asked. Still, at the end of her discussion with host Alex Wise, you may remain unsure about whether to be afraid of nanoparticle technology or not. In the words of Marie Curie: “Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.”
Advertisers love to talk about the art of engineering. But this week’s guests on Sea Change Radio truly are fusing their high-tech research with art. By incorporating the principles of origami, the traditional Japanese art form of paper folding, with their work in the emerging field of paper battery technology, this Arizona State research team has come up with some exciting new ways to store energy.
These researchers believe that “origami electronics” may be an important new template for the production of things like stretchable electronics or even highly foldable and more efficient solar cells. Listen now as these three academics tell us how simple paper cranes may be the key to solving complex, real-world problems.
This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Allen Hershkowitz, is a pioneer in the greening of the sports industry and a senior scientist at the NRDC. Dr. Hershkowitz is working to help decrease the carbon footprint of our nation’s sports teams while engaging sports industry leaders to speak up about environmental problems like climate change. He and host Alex Wise delve into the various ways that sports leagues and teams are starting to become leaders for change.
A couple of decades who could have imagined that a gust of wind wafting across a Wyoming plain could power an air conditioner as far off as Southern California? But it very well may be happening soon. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Shalini Ramanathan, a Texas-based wind energy consultant who gives us a peek into new advances in the wind industry and how these are enabling wind to blow open our nation’s interstate power grid.
Then, we hear from the mayor of Sebastopol, California, Michael Kyes, who told us last year about how his town passed some controversial, yet effective solar power ordinances to get off of fossil fuels and make this humble municipality a trailblazer in the shift to sustainability.
Are you one of the many people who thinks about taking your bike to do an errand more often than actually taking your bike for that errand? If one of your reasons for driving instead is that you don’t have the energy for a workout or it’s just too dark outside, you won’t want to miss this week’s episode of Sea Change Radio.
First, we hear from Jon Stevens of Superpedestrian, an innovative company that has designed the Copenhagen Wheel, a bicycle wheel that can make a sweaty, tiring hill ascent a thing of the past. Then, host Alex Wise speaks with Laurent Rains of Monkey ‘Lectric, whose cutting-edge wheel lights make it much more fun to ride a bike in the dark.