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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.”
Many people living in Pacific nations, like Vanuatu, Indonesia, and the Philippines, struggle to find adequate shelter, a challenge compounded by the elevated risk of structure-destroying cyclones. Meanwhile, miles off their coasts, plastic waste floats in the ocean, contaminating the marine food chain and threatening the world’s largest ecosystem. Our guest this week is Nev Hyman, an avid surfer who saw these two seemingly unrelated problems and devised a solution. His company, Nev House, uses recycled plastic to build low-cost, fire- and cyclone-resistant, solar- and water sanitation-equipped houses for people living in developing nations. He tells us about how Nev House partners with charities to actualize their business model, how he feels the emergency shelter system should be streamlined, and how this small company will upcycle 3 million tons of plastic waste over the next four years.
“I guess the grass is itself a child, the produced babe of the vegetation.” Perhaps Walt Whitman had this week’s guests on Sea Change Radio in mind when he wrote those words, as we talk to two entrepreneurs who, in very different ways, are using nature’s bounty for innovative purposes. First, we speak to Hawaiian-based bicycle maker, Barret Werk, who uses bamboo, the strongest grass around, to make his bike frames. Then, we revisit host Alex Wise‘s discussion with Bay Area-based sea forager extraordinaire, Kirk Lombard.
Are the cries for a complete transition to renewable energy from environmentalists like Bill McKibben actually undermining the work to combat climate change? That is the position of our guest today on Sea Change Radio. Ted Nordhaus is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland-based think tank which focuses on energy issues. We discuss Nordhaus’s recent piece in Foreign Policy magazine, assess the damage that climate change denialism in the US has wrought on the planet, and examine the methods used by both pro-environment and anti-environment activists.
When a West Virginia University research team won a grant in 2012 to run some tests on diesel cars, they could not have imagined that their relatively small study would soon be bringing one of the largest, most storied auto makers in the world to its knees — something in the Farfegnugen just didn’t smell right. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to New York Times reporter Jack Ewing whose new book, Faster, Higher, Farther takes a deep plunge into the history of Volkswagen and gives us the latest on the company’s emissions scandal. We learn about the Nazi propaganda beginnings of Volkswagen, the company’s involvement in wartime atrocities, and the powerful families behind the Volkswagen brand. We also examine the company’s systematic and dishonest emissions cheating practices, and talk about what lies ahead for the auto giant.