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.
Some 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.
Perhaps the hardest job in professional football is that of the Punt Returner, who tries to avoid being torn to shreds by very large, rapidly approaching human beings. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Tim Dwight, who was a Kick Returner and Wide Receiver in the NFL for ten years. He now applies his David vs. Goliath skills to the solar industry, where he competes against fossil fuel giants and advocates for better energy policies as a solar lobbyist and an executive for a solar EPC, or Engineering Procurement and Construction company. We talk about his transition from one of the least sustainable careers you can think of, in every sense of the word, to one of the most sustainable. We also touch upon some of the systemic problems plaguing the NFL, including artificial turf and public stadium financing. And, finally, Dwight gives us a behind-the-scenes glimpse into his time spent with the Chargers, Falcons and Patriots.
What does the word wilderness evoke in your mind? A vast field, a dense forest, a body of water? If you’re an attorney, it may simply be a legal term. It turns out that how the law defines wilderness can be pretty significant for conservation efforts, for private enterprise, and for food production. Our first guest today on Sea Change Radio is Summer Brennan, whose recent book, The Oyster War, tells the story of a legal struggle concerning an oyster farm in Northern California. The case, hinges largely on the definition of wilderness, and made a bit of a splash, if you will, with Fox News and the Koch brothers. We delve into the history of the Drakes Bay Oyster Co. and talk about the hostilities that ensued when the government tried to shut it down. Later, we revisit my discussion with Doug Woodring of the Ocean Recovery Alliance whose Hong Kong-based organization continues the fight to clean up our ocean wilderness.
As we approach Labor Day, now seems like a good time to think not only about the value of our labor, but about the value of the time we spend not working. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is William Powers, author of New Slow City – a reflection of an unhurried, minimalist life in the heart of high-speed Manhattan. In his book, Powers offers an alternative philosophy for living, one that stands in stark contrast to the American ethos of constant growth and unending expansion of production and consumption. Powers and host Alex Wise have a conversation about the root of our obsession with work, the drawbacks of constantly striving for increased productivity, the influence of technology on the quality of time, and how better stewardship of the planet may be tied to just slowing down.
This week on Sea Change Radio we are talking about the California drought – getting an update on weather-related aspects, and finding out about an innovation designed to help. First we talk to Anthony Artusa, a meteorologist from the National Weather Service’s Climate Prediction Center. He gives us a sense of what to expect from the current El Niño year and what it may or may not mean to California long-term. Then we talk to Peter Brewitt who recently wrote about the millions of plastic shade-balls being used in LA’s main reservoir to try to slow evaporation – might this potentially controversial innovation provide a lasting solution?
As the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina approaches, we thought it would be an appropriate time to head back down to the bayou. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from the Executive Director of Audubon Louisiana, Dr. Douglas Meffert. We get an update on the coastal restoration efforts in the region, get a sense of how the cleanup from the BP Oil Spill is progressing and talk about the ongoing struggles and challenges of the Army Corps of Engineers in New Orleans.
President Obama announced a bold new climate plan last week. The plan is being widely heralded by environmental advocates, but, perhaps unsurprisingly, pilloried by coal states and fossil fuel companies who are actively mounting legal challenges. This week on Sea Change Radio we talk with two environmental reporters, Alex Guillén from Politico and Tim McDonnell of Mother Jones. They provide an overview of the climate plan and its goals, discuss some political and legal responses, and talk about how it may be viewed globally as we anticipate the UN Climate Summit in Paris.
Is your home one of the millions that haven’t been able to get solar because you’re a renter? The cost of solar panel installation is half of what it was just five years ago, which should be opening up opportunity everywhere. But many homes and businesses are locked out because they don’t own their rooftops. The good news is that policymakers are starting to look for creative ways to expand solar access — just recently, the Obama Administration announced a $520 million initiative for community solar farms which could allow everyone to get on board the renewable revolution. This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk about this community solar initiative in a panel discussion with Adam Browning and Katherine Bagley. Browning is the executive director of the non-profit solar advocacy organization, Vote Solar, and Bagley is an environmental reporter for Inside Climate News.
Among the inherent contradictions of capitalism, according to Karl Marx, is that private profit rests on the backs of workers who gain little from the arrangement, other than perpetuating the wealth of those to whom they sell their labor. But there is a movement afoot to mitigate that contradiction. In business schools, and increasingly in actual capital enterprises, people are talking about, and working toward a “triple bottom line” which considers not only private profit but creating positive social and environmental impact. This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk with two professionals involved in this new way of doing business. First we take a look at a small textile entrepreneur who’s cultivating responsible sourcing for the clothes we wear. Next, we talk to a sustainability consultant about how he helps businesses employ alternative ways to define success.