Last week on Sea Change Radio, we talked about how a single flight can virtually neutralize all the efforts a family makes in a year to reduce their carbon footprint. As individuals, it’s essential that we begin to fly less, but isn’t there something more that the airlines can do, too? This week, Alex Wise interviews Jim Walsh, Managing Director of Corporate Environmental at American Airlines. He explains how early motivations to become more efficient and sustainable stemmed from rising fuel costs and an associated self-interest in saving money. But these seeds of sustainability began to sprout and the airline now boasts a number of employee-informed solutions, including donating used carpets to animal shelters, plans for burning alternative fuels, replacing heavy food carts with lighter ones, and even serving rain-forest certified coffee.
Airplanes transport over 2.2 billion passengers a year but they are also a significant contributor to climate change, producing approximately 600 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. One transatlantic flight for a family of four creates more CO2 than that family generates domestically in an entire year. And while the benefits of the smaller planet that airline travel has created are immeasurable, can it be justified in light of the potentially life-damaging effects of climate change? And if we can’t justify it, are we capable of stopping? George Monbiot writes, “When it comes to flying, there seems to be no connection between intention and action. This is partly because the people who are most concerned about the inhabitants of other countries are often those who have traveled widely.”
This week on Sea Change Radio, the first part of our two-part series on air travel. We speak with two veterans of the airline industry to learn more about what steps airlines are taking to lessen the environmental impact of this revolutionary mode of transportation. First, host Alex Wise talks to David Swierenga, the former chief economist for the Air Transport Association and now an airline consultant in Texas. Next, Alex speaks with Bob McAdoo, Senior Research Analyst at Avondale Partners and previously the CEO of Vanguard Airlines and CFO at People Express Airlines.
This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with Joe Marlin, a biofuels station manager in San Francisco who thought their really ought to be a better way to fire up your summer grill. Marlin talks about his invention, BioLighter, and the great, unexplored potential for replacing petroleum-derived products with biologically-derived, cleaner, greener alternatives.Later, we hear from Dan Ferber, co-author of Changing Planet, Changing Health. The book focuses on the multiple detrimental impacts of climate change, but our conversation centers on what can be done on an individual, local and global scale to curtail the progress of disaster.
This week on Sea Change Radio we have the honor of visiting with Bill Kreutzmann, original drummer of the Grateful Dead, and organic gardener. Host Alex Wise talks with Kreutzmann about the natural resources on the idyllic island of Kaua‘i, where he currently lives and where he has developed a passion for these lush surroundings. We also learn how his hope for a healthier island and planet prompted his civil disobedience to prevent the Hawaii SuperFerry from docking in Nawiliwili Harbor. As a lifelong fan of the band, Wise also asks him about his years with the Grateful Dead. Billy K recalls playing with Mickey, Phil, Bobby and Jerry, talks about his most recent musical project, 7 Walkers, and about how, in the post-Jerry Garcia era, the band’s remaining members feel a little more free to become advocates for causes that most inspire them.