What the Lobster Knew: Biomimicry + Concrete

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BrentConstantzDid you know that the production of cement is responsible for 5% of the carbon dioxide emissions on the planet? Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is geologist, biomineralization expert, and entrepreneur, Brent Constantz. His start-up company, Blue Planet Ltd., hopes to use biomimicry to transform carbon dioxide to a calcium carbonate base that can be used to build, pave and even roof. Continue reading

Paul Hawken Part II: Cultivating Progress

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PaulHawken (2)Last week on Sea Change Radio, we spoke to Paul Hawken about how the civil rights movement helped shape his thinking and spurred him into a life of environmental activism and entrepreneurship. This week, you’ll hear the second half of host Alex Wise’s wide-ranging interview with this environmental luminary. They discuss corporate social responsibility, the evolution of the open-source and sharing economy movements, and how communication technology has transformed global human interaction.

Digging Deep with Paul Hawken

Photo by: Andreas Balzer

PaulHawkenToday on Sea Change Radio we begin our two-part discussion with Paul Hawken, thought-leader, author and environmentalist, perhaps best known as the co-founder of the gardening supply chain Smith & Hawken. This week listeners will learn about Hawken’s path from civil rights activist to environmental champion to gardening guru, and hear his thoughts on what it will to take to make real social change.

Foam: Ecovative + Alaskan Brewing Company

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EbenBayerThis week we re-visit conversations with two innovators making everyday items greener. First, we hear from Eben Bayer, one of the founders of Ecovative, a company that has developed a mushroom-based alternative to Styrofoam. Bayer tells us how Ecovative’s biologically-based material is replacing packaging, insulation and maybe soon food storage containers that were previously the exclusive domain of polluting, non-biodegradable stuff. Continue reading

Fracking Moves To China, Part II

credit: Steve Webel
credit: Steve Webel

Last week on Sea Change Radio, we learned about the new shale gas boom in China. This week, in the second part of my discussion with Jaeah Lee and James West of Mother Jones, we examine the larger questions that surround this shift in Chinese energy policy. Can natural gas be a bridge fuel as the industrial giant weans itself off coal? Will there be enough water to extract China’s significant shale deposits? Will shale gas exploration further divide urban and rural China, or could it help to close the country’s income gap?

West and Lee provide some answers to these complex questions, and also discuss the implications of Chinese investments into the U.S. natural gas sector. Will this big business alliance be good for consumers on either side of the Pacific? Find out on this week’s Sea Change Radio.

Fracking Moves To China, Part I

Jaeah LeeJamesWestThere is a relatively unanimous recognition that we inhabitants of earth really need to break our addiction to coal. It’s filthy and there are so many cleaner energy sources. This mantra is now being repeated all over coal-dependent China, where shale gas resources appear to be abundant. It turns out, however, that the transition away from coal may not be so simple – or even a step in the right direction. Mother Jones journalists Jaeah Lee and James West spent a year investigating the ins and outs of the growing fracking industry in China.

Host Alex Wise caught up with them before a recent panel discussion in San Francisco to talk about how U.S. oil and gas interests are exporting fracking around the globe and how the technology may pose risks in China that even exceed those associated with coal. Listen now to the first half of this two part series on today’s Sea Change Radio.

How Carbon Is Changing The Cost of Everything

CarbonShockMarkSchapiroWe hear a lot about putting a price on carbon but what does it really mean? This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Mark Schapiro, an investigative journalist and the author of Carbon Shock, helps us understand the bustling carbon market that already exists and explains the carbon taxes that all of us are already paying – whether we know it or not. Listen now as Schapiro and host Alex Wise explore the fundamental question of who should bear the burden of an overheated planet that has resulted from the burning of cheap fossil fuels over the past century and a half.

A Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Sharing Economy

PaulMinettMarkSvenvoldNobody hitchhikes anymore. Back in the 1980s getting a ride with a stranger became decidedly un-trendy. Rugged individualism was in and ridesharing was out. But now, with the advent of social media and mobile platforms, ridesharing is making a come-back. This week’s guests on Sea Change Radio are Paul Minett, the founder of the Ridesharing Institute in Auckland, NZ and Mark Svenvold, a journalist and Professor at Seton Hall University who recently profiled Minett’s work on ridesharing for Orion Magazine.

Dubbed by some as the Johnny Appleseed of the new ridesharing, Minett points out that if everybody carpooled one day a week we could see as much as a 20 percent reduction in traffic volumes. The corresponding reduction in traffic jams and carbon emissions would also be pretty great. Catch a ride with us now, across the planet, to hear what it will take to put ridesharing back in vogue.

Durwood Zaelke and the Ozone Keepers

DurwoodZaelke3927062424_ba6396a4f8_qRemember the seventies? Remember feathered hair, pull-tab soda cans, debates about the thinning ozone layer? Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Durwood Zaelke, a policy advocate and environmental crusader who started working four decades ago to advance policy that would help preserve the ozone layer. Zaelke is the founder and President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development (IGSD) based in Washington, DC and Geneva. He’s a noted international environmental lawyer who received both an Ozone Protection Award and a Climate Protection Award in 2008 for his help in maximizing the climate benefits of the Montreal Protocol.

Now, thanks largely to Zaelke and his organization, debates about the ozone layer are nearly as anachronistic as pull-tab cans and feathered hair. Nearly. Zaelke is still working on ozone protection, and, in line with the times, his organization’s mission has broadened to include combating climate change. Stay tuned as Zaelke and host Alex Wise discuss in detail how the Montreal Protocol succeeded in making inroads to protect the ozone from hydrofluorocarbon pollutants, where the Kyoto Protocol has fallen short, and what needs to happen to make the next international climate change negotiations more productive.