Strange Brew: Atomo Bean-less Coffee

Many people around the world wouldn’t dream of starting their day without their coffee ritual. And they tend to be pretty particular about it — what to buy, where to buy it, how to make it and when to drink it. But how much thought do they put into the coffee bean itself? The global popularity of coffee contributes to deforestation and erosion, and consumes enormous quantities of water — some estimate that a standard cup of coffee eats up about 34 gallons of our planet’s most vital resource. Furthermore, climate scientists are predicting that as the earth’s temperature rises, coffee may become an untenable crop. But this week’s guests on Sea Change Radio want us to be able to keep our coffee rituals while at the same time radically revolutionizing the beverage. We talk with the co-founders of Atomo Coffee, Andy Kleitsch and Jarret Stopforth, about their quest to build the perfect cup of bean-less joe. That’s right, they have created a lab-grown java-alternative with none of the environmental impact and all of the punch. We discuss some of the problems plaguing the traditional coffee industry, their process for creating coffee from scratch, and the challenges they face in getting their business brewing.

Aaron Huertas on the Green New Deal

Back in the 1930s, when the US was in the midst of an economic crisis, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt enacted a set of policies to protect the people of the US from the worst ravages of poverty: it was called The New Deal. Our planet is currently in the midst of an environmental crisis. Some lawmakers in Washington D.C. are asserting that this crisis requires a set of policies no less deep or sweeping than FDR’s New Deal. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to political consultant Aaron Huertas to better understand the ins and outs of the initiative set forth by the progressive wing of the Democratic Party. We take a look at the history behind the idea, delve into some of the policy specifics, and consider how the two major political parties are responding to this Green New Deal.

Ship of Fools: Cruise Polluters

Growing up watching “The Love Boat,” some of us thought of a cruise as a romantic and exciting way to see the world. New research out of Johns Hopkins University and Stand.earth, however, indicates that cruises don’t just “set a course for adventure,” they deliver high quantities of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons into the air and delicate ocean habitats. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Kendra Ulrich, a Senior Shipping Campaigner at Stand. She tells us about the hazards presented by these moving “cities on the sea” that float into some of the planet’s most fragile ecosystems, the diesel fumes that harm the lungs of the ship’s crew and passengers, and the greenwashing that the cruise-lines have used in response to allegations of environmental irresponsibility. It could be enough to make Julie McCoy, Gopher and Isaac stage a mutiny.

Scooter Talk with Carter Rubin of NRDC

The first time you saw a fleet of rent-able electric scooters huddled together on a city sidewalk, what was your reaction? Annoyance at yet another silly transportation trend, hope for a greener way to get around, or perhaps a burning desire to jump aboard? This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Carter Rubin of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC). We discuss why some municipalities like San Francisco have banned these E-Scooters, the safety concerns surrounding them, and their estimated carbon footprint. Can electric-assist scooters be an integral part of our clean transportation future, or are they just faddish fun?

WildAid CEO Peter Knights

Have you ever seen one of those ads with a celebrity like Jackie Chan or Leonardo DiCaprio beside a beautiful, rare animal? If so, there’s a good chance it was promoting a WildAid campaign. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with the CEO of WildAid, Peter Knights, about the organization’s mission to protect endangered species. We explore the challenges of trying to globally ban the trade of ivory, discuss the methods they use to curb the demand for rare animals (particularly in China), and hear an update on the status of the totoaba, a rare fish whose bladder is sometimes referred to as “aquatic cocaine” because of the astronomical price it fetches on the black market.

M Jackson: It’s Thin Where We’re Skating

Have you ever noticed that scientists historically are mostly white men? Do you think that this fact has skewed some scientific findings? Well, our guest today on Sea Change Radio has certainly noticed. This week, we speak to glaciologist M Jackson, who’s drawn attention from the right wing for the feminist perspective she applies to her research. We discuss her new book, The Secret Lives of Glaciers, dive into her research, and examine how and why science has been influenced by centuries of white male dominance.

Catherine Homsey: Conscious Shopping

The average US resident heads out to the grocery store 1.6 times a week, and over the course of a year uses well over 1,000 plastic shopping bags there – bags which, on average, are used for a mere 15 minutes but will stick around on the earth for hundreds of years. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Catherine Homsey, is fed up with the status quo and has changed her food shopping habits to better reflect her values. She gives us insight into the plastic habit of food retailers, talks about what to do about it, and tells us of her particular annoyance with Trader Joe’s, the popular grocer that was once her favorite.

Jeremy Hance on Big Conservation (re-broadcast)

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.

Rev. Leo Woodberry on Climate Justice (re-broadcast)

How does one cultivate environmental activism in the deepest of red states? Is the current situation in the White House dividing Americans further, or expanding the progressive tent? This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss these issues and more with the Reverend Leo Woodberry, a nondenominational pastor from South Carolina who is thoroughly committed to fighting climate change. Rev. Woodberry talks about his upcoming ten-state Justice First Tour, the upsides and downsides of raising awareness of climate change in the South, and the overlap between the Civil Rights and environmental movements as we mark the 50th anniversary of the passing of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

PurpleAir Founder Adrian Dybwad

Northern California’s now infamous Camp Fire was not only the largest, longest, and deadliest wildfire in the state’s history, it also produced record amounts of smoke. Schools closed, there was a run on protective masks, and people were fashioning do-it-yourself air purifiers because there were none left in stores. And it looks like we will only see an acceleration of wildfires in the future. This grim forecast has brought a surge in traffic to websites that monitor air quality like AirNow, Weather Underground, and PurpleAir. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with the founder and CEO of PurpleAir, a company that sells laser air quality sensors for home use at a reasonable price, and posts all the results in real-time on its site. We discuss PurpleAir’s business model, its unique brand of crowd-sourcing technology, and examine the ways that it casts the world in a different, and sometimes frightening, light.