Monthly Archives: December 2010

Cream Skimming: Cows & CleanTech

What does it look like when a dirty industry goes clean?  And can an ethical company be a profitable one?  This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks to two people who work in very different industries: dairy processing and capitalism.  His first guest is Brie Johnson from Straus Family Creamery who talks about practices that make milk production a more sustainable, less polluting and cleaner enterprise.  Then he speaks with venture capitalist, Tom Blaisdell of DCM, about Clean Technology – where the concept of efficiency links the strange bedfellows of investment capitalism and sustainability.

COP 16 Report

The 16th UN Climate Change Summit – also known as Conference of the Parties, or COP 16 was just held in Cancún, Mexico. So what happened there? Did we get the agreement we wanted? Many environmentalists say “no,” but this week’s guests both believe the summit was nevertheless historical and constructive. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks to Kate Sheppard, an environmental reporter at Mother Jones, and Martin Chilcott, the CEO of 2 Degrees Network. Both attended the summit in Cancún earlier this month and give us their perspectives for the next UN Convention on Climate Change in Durban, South Africa, the greening of China, and the potential “Sputnik moment” that could ignite the United States’ competitive spirit and finally inspire bolder climate change policy.

Electricity That Sucks

Vampire power refers to the electricity electronic appliances and devices waste just by being plugged in, even when they’re switched off. Did you know that when you point your remote control at the TV to turn it off for the night, that appliance isn’t really off? In the middle of the night, at the witching hour, your TV, in standby mode, continues to suck power, like a sinister vampire draining electricity off the grid while you sleep blithely unaware.

This purely wasteful electricity consumption is said to amount to around 10% of residential use for the average American household. The good news is that the solution is very straightforward. By utilizing technological innovations that already exist, and changing some simple everyday habits, we can put a stake in the heart of this problem. This week on Sea Change Radio we talk with Maria Vargas who explains how the federal government’s Energy Star program is trying to raise awareness and promote more responsible energy consumption, and with Alan Meier, senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a faculty member at UC Davis and one of the foremost authorities on standby power.

While this broadcast focuses more on the progress being made by the Energy Star program, critics assert that the program’s binary “yes” or “no” system is less helpful to consumers than graded scale systems like in Europe – and also that the program certifies too many products.

Green Firebrands: Majora Carter & Mike Papantonio

This week’s guests on Sea Change Radio both work behind the scenes fighting for ecological protection and innovation – and amplify their message of progress through popular media. First, host Alex Wise speaks with attorney and radio personality, Mike Papantonio, who’s known for his courtroom battles with large corporate polluters like Raytheon and BP, as well as his weekly Ring of Fire radio show where he teams up with Robert F. Kennedy Jr. to entertain and educate. Next, we hear from activist and businesswoman, Majora Carter, whose efforts to empower urban and low-income communities have dove-tailed with television and radio appearances on the Sundance Channel, Public Radio, and the Discovery Channel. This week on Sea Change Radio, these two eco-warriors tell us about their work in the trenches and remind us that we can all make a difference.