Since 1992, fish ’n chips fans may have noticed that there was no cod in their classic fried dish. That’s the year that the Canadian government issued a moratorium on fishing the popular, tasty species. It devastated the Newfoundland region’s economy, but it had to be done. The cod population had dwindled to nearly nothing at that time due to over-fishing and changing water temperatures. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Abel, who recently wrote a piece for the Boston Globe about how the cod has actually rebounded in recent times. We talk about the region’s historical relationship with cod, how science-informed policy can help reverse human-generated ecological damage, and Abel’s upcoming film on the subject, Sacred Cod.
Who doesn’t enjoy that refreshing feeling when you walk in from 90 degree heat to the cool blast of an air-conditioned room? Last month extreme heat blistered most of the US, from the Northeast, to the Southwest and practically every place in between. Weather experts are telling us that extreme is going to be the new normal when it comes to summer temperatures. Thank heavens for A/C. Approximately 86% of American households are equipped with air conditioners, and the rest of the world is rapidly catching up. But, while it undoubtedly helps human beings survive extreme heat, A/C is a huge and growing greenhouse gas offender. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is reporter, Katie Herzog, who recently wrote a piece for Grist on the social and environmental costs of air-conditioning. We discuss the past and future of these machines, the possibility of solar-powered A/C units, and the irony of this thing that is making us hotter by keeping us cool.
If you’ve been tuning into the Olympics in Rio this week, you’ve probably watched your fair share of inspirational profiles of athletes. You may also have been following some of the stories emerging out of Brazil about the corruption, poor environmental stewardship, and social justice transgressions surrounding the Olympics. It’s enough to make the most ardent sports fan a little ambivalent. In Rio, athletes will be swimming or sailing in water that is literally crappy — some athletes may be taking home gold, silver, bronze, or just hepatitis. It may turn out that the more emotional story is not an athlete profile, but one of environmental malfeasance and social injustice — it tugs at the heartstrings, alright, but not in the way that NBC had hoped. This week on Sea Change Radio, we take a deep dive into some of the issues surrounding the thirty-first Olympiad as we are joined by Kate Zerrenner of the Environmental Defense Fund.
What would it take for North America to really reduce pollution? At a minimum, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico would have to jointly commit to increasing renewable energy sources and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. Fortunately, these three nations just signed onto the North American Clean Economy Agreement, which includes these commitments and many others aimed at improving the environment. Author and sustainability consultant Andrew Winston joins us today on Sea Change Radio to explain the ins and outs of the agreement. Winston and host Alex Wise discuss its importance, dissect the specific pledges made by the three countries, and look at what steps must be taken to achieve the goals listed in this unprecedented agreement.
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.