Monthly Archives: April 2012

In the Shadow of the Smokestacks (Part I): Richmond, California

Richmond, California is one of the many communities in America where economic and environmental injustice intersect. A waterfront city in the San Francisco Bay Area, you might expect it to be dominated by affluence and comfort, but you’d be mistaken. Back in 1901 Standard Oil moved in, and built what  currently operates as the Chevron Richmond Refinery, and since then, the city of Richmond has literally grown up in the shadow of the smokestacks. Chevron has not been the most responsible of neighbors, and those of us who have lived in the Bay Area for a while can’t help but associate Richmond with chemical leaks and warnings for residents not to leave their homes. But this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio has an inspiring story of a community coming together to blow back at the smokestack. Host Alex Wise speaks with Greg Karras, a senior scientist at Communities for a Better Environment, an organization that advocates for working-class communities like Richmond that don’t have the money or political influence to fight Big Oil by themselves.

Chris Mooney: Inside The Republican Brain and Climate Denialism

If you’re listening to this show, chances are you believe that climate change is real, that it’s a problem, and that human actions have brought us to where we are today.

Some Sea Change Radio listeners are Democrats, some are Republicans, and a large number may not identify with either party – but all are probably pretty concerned about responsible environmental stewardship, irrespective of their specific political party affiliation.

There is one political party here in the United States, however, whose official position is to deny the threat of climate change and block any and all attempts to slow environmental degradation, in spite of the large body of scientific research that contradicts that position. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Chris Mooney, whose book The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality explores why so many Republicans refuse to accept things that most experts identify as factual. Mooney talks with host Alex Wise about the book, what he posits, and the research that backs him up.

Winds of Change: The DeepCwind Consortium

You probably remember the Cape Wind project. It is America’s first offshore wind farm, located in Nantucket Sound, but coastal residents who considered it an eyesore have been anything but breezy, costing the project dearly in delays and dollars. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio has a model for offshore wind power that can bypass the objections of the “not-in-my-beachview” crowd.

Host Alex Wise talks with Dr. Habib Dagher who manages the DeepCWind Consortium, a floating wind turbine project which is scheduled to launch off the coast of Maine in the summer of 2013. Unlike the Cape Wind project, this offshore wind project is floating, and it’s far enough away from land that it can’t be seen from the coast. Dr. Dagher talks about the exciting solution that floating turbines could offer, the magnitude of this technology’s capacity for energy capture, and some of the challenges facing the offshore wind industry on the whole.

Designer Genes Without Labels: The Fight For GMO Transparency

Have you ever tasted a strawberry whose DNA was altered to include fish genes? In the United States, genetically modified foods are not generally labeled as such.  This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is Charles Margulis, Communications and Food Program Director at the Center for Environmental Health and former lead for Greenpeace’s Genetic Engineering Campaign. Margulis believes that American consumers have the right to know when they are eating genetically modified organisms, or, as he calls them, unlabeled experimental foods. Listen as he speaks with host Alex Wise about the rise of the GMO, the movement pushing for more regulation of GMOs, and the substantial resistance that proponents of GMO labeling have encountered.