Yearly Archives: 2012

Sustainable Eating: From Bunnies to Black-Eyed Peas (re-broadcast)

When you think about living sustainably, what comes to mind first? Driving less, recycling, avoiding plastics? For this week’s guests on Sea Change Radio, sustainable eating is what tops their list. First, we hear from Novella Carpenter, who recently co-authored a how-to on urban farming. Carpenter explains how she came to this topic and why raising rabbits might be a practical way to have a meat-rich but sustainable diet. After that, host Alex Wise talks to Bryant Terry, chef, author and food justice activist, who is as passionate about social justice as he is about great-tasting food. Whether it’s farming in your own back yard or making vegan food that is no less satisfying or flavorful than a meat-lover’s feast, what these guests have to say will give you a practical guide for how to eat in a way that’s healthy for both the body and the planet.

Walking in Our Footprints

How will our current climate policies and actions be viewed by future generations? Our first guest this week on Sea Change Radio is pretty sure our descendants will be, “stunned by our obliviousness.”

Host Alex Wise talks with Joe Romm, whose influential blog, Climate Progress, has been instrumental in shaping the climate debate in this country. After that, we hear from someone who’s working to leave less for future generations to lament. Wendell Simonson is the Marketing Director for Eco-Products, a relatively small manufacturer of compostable and biodegradable products that’s beginning to make a significant dent in a rapidly growing industry.

Richard Heinberg: “The Quest” For Truth

Last year, Pulitzer Prize-winning author and energy consultant Daniel Yergin published his long-awaited sequel to the The Prize called The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World. The New York Times called this follow-up “even better… than the first. It is searching, impartial and alarmingly up to date.” The Prize provides readers with an overview of the modern energy industry and posits that peak oil, the premise that the world’s oil supply is being rapidly depleted, is an out-dated theory and that with new discoveries in shale gas, we’ve instead reached a comfortable plateau when it comes to ferreting out fossil fuels from the ground.

This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Richard Heinberg, an author, a senior fellow at the Post-Carbon Institute and a leading environmentalist, fundamentally disagrees with many of Dr. Yergin’s ideas. And while both The Prize and The Quest are certainly recommended reading for Sea Change Radio listeners, Mr. Heinberg and host Alex Wise discuss why Dr. Yergin’s view of reality differs so greatly from his own.

Coping With The Rising Tides: John Englander & David Hedman

Our planet’s rising oceans are no longer the purview of pessimistic doomsayers – they are the new reality. This week’s guests on Sea Change Radio are both trying to help us adapt to the phenomenon of crumbling coastlines and swollen seas. 

First, host Alex Wise speaks with author and oceanographer John Englander, whose new book, High Tide On Main Street, provides a roadmap for readjusting our fiscal, social and political expectations in a world with significant sea level change. Then, we hear from David Hedman, the inventor of a mold remediation technology that is sure to find an escalating demand in the impending diluvial age.

Driving Change in What We Drive

For better or for worse, cars are not leaving the American landscape anytime soon. The automobile is woven into the cultural fabric of our country like nothing else. But we also know that the status quo is not sustainable. This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss efforts by the Sierra Club to advocate for electric vehicles with Gina Coplon-Newfield and then, for a little context, we dip into the Sea Change Radio archives to hear some of host Alex Wise‘s discussion with David Johnson, whose company, Achates Power, is developing a more efficient combustion engine.

Frederick Kaufman: The Fix Is In (With All The Fixins)

This week, along with the rest of the country, we’ll be piling my plate high with abundant turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and apple pie. It seems like a fitting time to reflect on food. Today on Sea Change Radio, we check in again with leading food journalist Frederick Kaufman to discuss the factors that go into fluctuating food prices around the world. Kaufman talks with host Alex Wise about the food-commodities market, how our global food pricing system mirrors the widening gap between the haves and the have-nots, and the potential impact of geopolitical and weather trends on the availability of food.

Wind Blown: Ken Burns on “The Dustbowl”

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained…infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  That was philospher George Santayana writing in 1906, thirty years before the peak of the American Dust Bowl, a chapter of the 20th Century that’s often called America’s worst man-made ecological disaster (so far, anyway).

A lengthy dry spell, combined with farming practices that did not respect the natural conditions of the region, set into motion a decade which devastated millions of acres of land, displaced thousands of heartland families, and had ripple effects on food markets and the national economy. Documentary filmmaker Ken Burns has produced a new film series on the dustbowl. It features survivors, experts on climate and farming, as well as some amazing footage from the era. He’s our guest this week on Sea Change Radio. Burns and host Alex Wise discuss this important project, which is being released against the ominous backdrop of our current drought conditions. Continue reading

Hurricane Sandy: A Climate Change Wake-Up Call?

Hurricane Sandy highlighted the devastating effects of a changing climate and rising sea levels like perhaps no other event we have seen in this country. Will the silver lining of Sandy’s thousand-mile wide storm cloud be widespread recognition of the tangible and imminent dangers of climate change? This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Neela Banerjee, the energy and environment reporter for the Los Angeles Times, to discuss the impact of Sandy, not on the subways of New York or the Jersey shore, but on the media’s handling of climate change and in political discourse beyond the election.

 

GMO: Your Right To Know

Like it or not, genetically engineered foods make up a significant portion of our nation’s food supply. Approximately ninety-three percent of all U.S. soy and canola and eighty-six percent of our corn are genetically modified. There are informed positions on both sides of the debate around genetically modified organisms, or GMOs, pertaining to the health and long-term safety of these food products. But many assert that as long as this debate still rages, consumers deserve to know whether they’re eating and serving foods that have been genetically modified.

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Playing Catch-Up: CALSTART’s John Boesel on Fuel Efficiency Standards

We often hear about efforts to raise the fuel efficiency standards for our nation’s fleet of automobiles but what’s being done to make our trucks and buses burn less gas? This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, is doing something to help tackle this problem. John Boesel is the CEO of CALSTART, a non-profit organization that’s trying to help  develop and implement clean, more efficient transportation solutions by advocating for more progressive policies. Boesel and host Alex Wise discuss the barriers to change fuel efficiency standards over the past thirty years, the progress that’s been made over the past four years, what hurdles lie ahead and what lessons we can learn from similar efforts in other countries.