What’s cooking? Solar Stoves with Julie Greene


JulieGreeneThis week many people in the United States will be spending a fair amount of time laboring over elaborate meals, baking pies, roasting turkeys (or tofurkeys), and beating the lumps out of the gravy. In  the developing world, they may not be celebrating Thanksgiving, but there’s still news on the cooking front. Billions of people around the world cook with high-emissions methods. The fuel they use is dirty, expensive, and can be extremely labor-intensive, especially for girls and women.

So where is the good news? Well, in 2010 Hillary Clinton announced the creation of a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a coalition of for-profit and nonprofit organizations working together to spread cleaner cooking to the developing world. Today on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Julie Greene, executive director of Solar Cookers International, one of the partners in the Global Alliance. They discuss her organization’s work, some of the business models being used to advance cleaner cooking around the world, and how Shell Oil’s foundation is sneaking fossil fuel into the “clean” cooking mix.

Bill McKibben: Putting the X in XL


Bill McKibbenThe drawn-out fight to prevent the Keystone XL pipeline recently ended in a triumph for environmental activists, when President Obama announced he would not approve the pipeline. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with the leader of the movement to stop the Keystone XL, Bill McKibben. McKibben and host Alex Wise discuss the importance of the movement to prevent the pipeline’s construction, what the recent victory means for the environmental movement in a larger sense, and whom among the current presidential candidates McKibben thinks is best on the environment. Then, we revisit our discussion with entrepreneur Harrison Dillon, the co-founder of Solazyme, a biotech company that creates environmentally-friendly synthetic designer oils that can be used in a wide array of products that have traditionally been petroleum-based.

Ken Geiser: Our Chemical World


KenGeiserWhen you see an ad sponsored by the chemical industry espousing the wonders of chemicals, you probably roll your eyes like most of us. But how much does it influence our attitude towards chemicals? As consumers we may do our best to avoid toxins and carcinogens, but they’re still everywhere we turn, from our food and clothing to the walls in our houses. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Ken Geiser, whose new book “Chemicals Without Harm provides a roadmap for sound policing of the chemical industry. By focusing on what we know works, from greener chemicals, to greater transparency, to the templates provided by regulatory bodies beyond our borders, Geiser lays out a better way to live in our chemical world.

Imitations: On GMOs and Concrete


BrookeBorelNow that Stephen Colbert has put his alter ego to bed, some of you may be missing broadcasters pretending to be someone else. Well, apparently, Colbert is not the only imitator out there. University of Florida Horticultural Science professor, Kevin Folta, invented a persona for his podcast, the Science Power Hour with Your Host Vern Blazek. Our guest today is Brooke Borel, a journalist who recently wrote about how, in interviewing himself, Blazek (or Folta) criticized anti-GMO activists and stirred up some controversy. Borel and host Alex Wise talk about the fake podcast persona, about how the Folta/Blazek position on GMOs has erupted into a firestorm, and how one unassuming podcast has raised much larger issues around the need for transparency when big business and academic science co-mingle.

For the second half of our show, we look at a very different sort of imitation. We revisit a discussion with geologist, biomineralization expert, and entrepreneur, Brent Constantz. He tells us about a process which mimics lobster shell generation, transforming carbon dioxide to a calcium carbonate base that can be used as cement or concrete.

Bill Baue: Sustainability In Context


BillBaueNewThe environmental impact of any business enterprise depends on the specific environmental conditions and challenges that exist where that enterprise is doing business. So a dairy in Vermont, where the water tables are high but solar energy is more intermittent, will have a different set of environmental factors to consider than a dairy in dry and sunny Arizona. In other words, sustainability planning is context-specific. Today we talk with Sea Change Radio founder Bill Baue who consults in sustainability planning with businesses around the world. He explains sustainability context, discusses why commerce should be driven by stakeholders rather than shareholders, and points to Volkswagen as an example of what can go wrong when profit dominates good sense and stewardship.

Canary In The Coal Mine


TimMurphyThe former CEO of Massey Energy, Don Blankenship, is currently on trial for conspiracy to violate mandatory mine safety and health standards, making false statements to the SEC, and securities fraud.  Blankenship is being held personally responsible for aspects of the Upper Big Branch disaster of 2010  and the ensuing cover-up. Here to discuss the trial is Mother Jones reporter, Tim Murphy. Murphy and host Alex Wise talk about Blankenship’s history with Massey, the current legal proceedings, and whether this prosecution is a harbinger for the demise of the coal industry in general. Would the case have unfolded this way 15 years ago, when coal was still king? Or is Blankenship basically a canary in the coal mine, signaling to the industry that the fumes are getting toxic?

Cutting Edge: Knives + Politics


AdamSimhaThis week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from a craftsman who makes razor-sharp kitchen knives, and with a progressive political talk show host who relies on razor-sharp analysis. First, knife-maker extraordinaire, Adam Simha, gives us a glimpse into the world of high-end kitchen blades. We talk about how having fine knives can help you savor life more and be less wasteful at the same time. Then, host Alex Wise talks with political analyst and talk show host David Pakman about the 2016 election and review the environmental positions of candidates on both sides of the aisle.

Richard Heinberg: After the Burn


RichardHeinbergAfter a two-century-long burning bender, the globe is in for a heck of a hangover. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow at the Post-Carbon Institute, and author of a dozen books about growth, peak oil, and energy issues. His latest book is called Afterburn, a collection of essays that center on the impending consequences of what he terms “The Great Burning” – our chronic habit of fossil-fuel binging. Heinberg and host Alex Wise talk about what it will take to truly transition off of fossil fuels, including the need for bold leadership and radically different policies. He explains why the GDP is a flawed metric for success, and talks about why we should move away from the outdated Gross Domestic Product, and toward the Global Happiness Index as a better metric of national well-being.

The Imprisonment of A Climate Hero


President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama pose for a photo during a reception at the Metropolitan Museum in New York with, H.E. Mohamed Nasheed President of the Republic of Maldives, Wednesday, Sept. 23, 2009. (Official White House Photo by Lawrence Jackson) This official White House photograph is being made available only for publication by news organizations and/or for personal use printing by the subject(s) of the photograph. The photograph may not be manipulated in any way and may not be used in commercial or political materials, advertisements, emails, products, or promotions that in any way suggests approval or endorsement of the President, the First Family, or the White House.In the remote Indian Ocean nation of the Maldives, they don’t have the luxury of discussing climate change as an academic subject. The small country’s very existence faces a nearly inescapable fate of submersion. As president of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed was embraced by the international environmental community when he sent out a clarion call for immediate action to harness greenhouse gases at the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference of 2009. He was also featured in the documentary film, The Island President, which chronicled his inspiring efforts. And yet, Mohamed Nasheed now faces a different sort of struggle. He was overthrown by a military dictatorship in 2012 and was incarcerated earlier this year. This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss the plight of this imprisoned climate hero with his attorney, international human rights lawyer Jared Genser. Genser recently visited President Nasheed along with fellow human rights activist, Amal Clooney, who’s also known as the wife of movie star George Clooney. I talk with Genser about the current political situation in the Maldives and what his team is doing to help free not only President Nasheed but also the 1700 other political prisoners locked up by the dictatorship of Abdullah Yameen.

Dan Dicker: Deciphering Oil Prices


DanDickerSome energy analysts predict that the past year’s downward trend in oil prices will continue. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio, energy expert Dan Dicker, disagrees. He thinks that the price of oil will inevitably rise again, and sooner than many of his colleagues believe. Dicker comes on this week to explain his prediction and why he thinks a little more pain at the pump might, in the long run, be a good thing.