Monthly Archives: January 2013

Strange and Rare Birds: Ralph Steadman & Ceri Levy

CeriLevyRalphSteadmanConfronted with the topic of extinct birds, filmmaker and author Ceri Levy took an unorthodox route to raising awareness. He enlisted the irreverent and intoxicating painter, Ralph Steadman, who’s most famous as the partner-in-crime and illustrator for legendary gonzo journalist, Hunter S. Thompson.

Levy and Steadman embarked on the project, Extinct Boids, and created a coffee table book that documents in colorful hilarity many species of birds that have ceased to exist on the earth, as well as some that only ever existed in the recesses of Steadman’s unrestrained mind. A portion of the proceeds of the book go to supporting wildlife preservation through BirdLife International. While the book is at once a joyful exploration of imagination and a somber reflection on conservation, the conversation you’re about to hear in which host Alex Wise attempts to keep up with the creators of Extinct Boids is almost completely inane.

Teeny Weeny Technology: Heather Millar on Nanoparticles

Here’s a little exercise: take a pen and a blank piece of paper and write down everything you know about nano-technology. If you do this, you may find your essay to be pretty brief. You could take comfort to know you’re not alone in your ignorance of nano-technology. But perhaps you should not be feeling so comforted. In her recent Orion Magazine article, “Pandora’s Boxes,” today’s guest on Sea Change Radio, journalist Heather Millar, points out that nanoparticles are ubiquitous. Continue reading

Get The Lead Out: Kevin Drum & Sarah Hess

The policy decisions we make today will have an impact on the next hundred years and beyond. It kind of makes you think, what policy decisions from the last century are we dealing with today? This week on Sea Change Radio, we focus on lead, a heavy metal whose regulation was slow to follow the discovery that it was highly toxic. The lag time meant the widespread use of this hazardous element as an ingredient in everyday substances like gasoline and house paint, and a toxic legacy that is still being felt.

First, host Alex Wise speaks to Mother Jones political writer Kevin Drum, who’s recently published a set of high-profile articles suggesting a link between lead levels in our environment and crime rates. Then, we hear from Sarah Hess, who shares her personal story of lead exposure and how it inspired her to become a community advocate for safe and lead-free playgrounds.

Tom Laskawy: Food Monopolies and the Antitrust Legacy of Robert Bork

In the words of Robert Bork, the controversial legal scholar and one of the fathers of modern anti-trust law who died this past December 19th at age 85, “Courts that know better ought not . . . to make rules unrelated to reality.” Well, the reality that Prof. Bork and his fellow originalists strived for has manifested itself in a monopolistic food system that keeps prices low and our waistlines bulging. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, food writer Tom Laskawy, tells host Alex Wise why he believes that Bork’s ideas of linking economics to antitrust gave us cheap meat and dairy as well as massive quantities of processed food – and why that’s a problem. Here’s a link to Laskawy’s piece in Grist discussed at length on this week’s show.

Tim Faulkner: On The “Rhode” To Progress

Frequent Sea Change Radio listeners know that we’ve covered many California-related environmental issues over the years – and for good reason. As the country’s most populous state, it’s an important barometer of our progress in the fight to become more sustainable. But what about our nation’s smallest state, Rhode Island? It counts too. This week, as we mark another year, we learn about the environmental issues facing little Rhode Island with Tim Faulkner, the Executive Editor of ecoRI news. Faulkner and host Alex Wise explore the challenges facing the alternative energy industry there as well as some of the long term policy goals that Rhode Island’s state government has set forth.