California, the nation’s most populous state, votes again this Fall on the legalization of marijuana. It’s yet another sign that the century-long prohibition may finally be lifting, one state at a time. This week on Sea Change Radio, we bring you four interviews from the National Cannabis Industry Association conference held recently in Oakland, CA. Host Alex Wise talks with “ganjapreneurs” Matthew Huron, Nancy Whiteman, Kevin Dolan and Shelly Peterson, about the horticulture, distribution, extraction, and marketing of the nation’s fastest growing crop, and learns what legalization would mean for their respective businesses.
Do you ever wonder what impact well-known wildlife groups like the Nature Conservancy and the World Wildlife Fund are having? Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Jeremy Hance, an environmental journalist whose recent four-part series for Mongabay.com, “Conservation, Divided,” thoughtfully investigates how the field of global wildlife conservation has changed over the past 30 years. In his discussion with host Alex Wise, Hance provides an overview of his investigation, evaluates the effectiveness of the four big global conservation groups, and talks about the philosophical and strategic debates that have emerged as these non-profits struggle to stop mass extinction.
This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise chats with Daniel Kirk-Davidoff, a climate scientist at the University of Maryland and at MDA Information Systems. First, Kirk-Davidoff tells us about how the science of predicting changes in climate and weather influences how utility companies and futures markets behave. Then, we hear about the challenges the developing world faces to keep carbon emissions low even as populations expand. Last, he talks about how different the electric grid of tomorrow may look in a few decades.
As we celebrate the Fourth of July, it’s fitting that we also recognize the centennial of the National Park Service. Today on Sea Change Radio we speak with author and environmentalist Jason Mark about the challenges that the national parks face moving forward. Mark is the editor of Sierra Magazine and author of a new book, Satellites in The High Country, which focuses on the state of wilderness in the U.S. We talk about the hidden wild gems that Mark encountered while researching the book, and discuss how environmental groups like the Sierra Club are approaching the issue of climate change which looms over the entire conservation landscape.
If you’re listening to this broadcast, the chances are you can get clean drinking water right from your kitchen sink. But much of the world’s population does not have that luxury. In rural sub-Saharan Africa, the World Health Organization estimates that only about half of the population has access to clean water, and only 23% have access to hygienic sanitation facilities. The burden of this problem falls disproportionately on women and girls who literally carry the water for their communities. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Gemma Bulos, the Executive Director and co-founder of an organization that works to solve the problem by empowering women as technicians and community leaders who build and sustain water-access technology. Bulos explains how the Global Women’s Water Initiative builds capacity, the connection between water access and girls’ education, and the story of how she arrived at this world-changing work.
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.
Is the biofuel craze of a few years ago really dead? This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Pat Gruber, thinks not. While plummeting oil prices may have flattened the appeal of biofuel in the auto industry, the air travel industry’s interest appears to be just taking off. Gruber’s company, Gevo, provided the fuel for the first corn-powered commercial passenger flight in U.S. history this month. We discuss his company’s technology, the competitive bio jetfuel landscape, and what feedstocks are likely to be used to power future flights. Then we dig into the Sea Change Radio archives to hear from longtime airline industry analyst Bob McAdoo. He breaks down airline pricing models that often leave travelers flummoxed.
It’s summertime, time to make your camping reservations. Oops, should have done that three months ago! This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Alyssa Ravasio, noticed that there was a lot of private land that would be perfect for camping, while public campsites were consistently overbooked and too often unavailable. So she started something called Hipcamp which is sort of an Airbnb meets Expedia for campers. Ravasio tells us more about the company’s business model, how they hope to make it easier for more of us to appreciate nature and how her site can be a welcome new source of income for rural property owners.
What will it take to get the CEOs of the world’s largest fossil fuel companies to wake up to the realities of climate change? Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Raj Thamotheram. He and his colleagues at Preventable Surprises believe that even small-scale investors can produce large-scale results by advocating for sounder environmental practices within the board rooms of multinational conglomerates. Thamotheram breaks down his approach to investor engagement, known as the Forceful Stewardship Program, and maps out a strategy for companies to satisfy investors without putting the planet in peril.
Human slavery. Many of us think of it as a terrible chapter of US history that ended in the 19th century. But, according to the United Nations, slavery is a modern reality for roughly 27 to 30 million human beings living, right now. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Associated Press reporter, Robin McDowell, who, along with three colleagues, recently won a Pulitzer Prize, for her team’s exposé of slavery practices in the Southeast Asian seafood industry. Not only did this investigation receive the highest honor in journalism, it alerted consumers of how we are contributing to the practice by eating slave-produced seafood, and, most importantly, it precipitated the rescue of 2,000 slaves who are now living free after years and even decades of bondage. McDowell breaks down the details of how she and her colleagues uncovered the story, some of the horrors they encountered along the way, and how it sparked action to dismantle similar operations in the region. (n.b. Ms. McDowell misspoke when she called the Rohingya a persecuted minority from Indonesia. They are from Myanmar).