Monthly Archives: May 2013

Amanda Eaken on the Rise of Collaborative Consumption

AmandaEaken63000116_b10317f5f1_qWith the climate crisis staring us right in the face, the need to transform our daily routines has become increasingly apparent. A part of the solution may be a new twist on the very old concept of sharing things, it’s called collaborative consumption. We’ve seen how peer-to-peer networks allow us to share and buy goods and services from each other, and now that same concept is being applied by communities all over the world as a more efficient way to get around.

This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Amanda Eaken, the Deputy Director of Sustainable Communities at the Natural Resources Defense Council will walk us through these new modes of shared transportation – from bike-sharing to carpooling to taxi and car sharing – and show how emerging smart phone technology is playing a vital role in their rising popularity.

Here’s a link to Rachel Botsman’s TED talk about collaborative consumption that Ms. Eaken refers to in the interview.

David MacKay & Michael Kyes: Sustainable Policy Great and Small

DavidMackayMichaelKyesIs living sustainably a plausible proposition? That’s the crucial question today’s first guest on Sea Change Radio, David MacKay, is trying to answer. MacKay, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in Great Britain and the author of the seminal work, “Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air,” is one of the most important figures in the environmental policy field. A physicist and information theorist, MacKay is a master of breaking down the numbers for us all to better assess the planet’s renewable energy options. He discusses his pro-nuclear stance and his advocacy for the development of carbon capture and storage technology, which remains unpopular in many environmental circles. Next, host Alex Wise speaks with the Mayor of Sebastopol, California, Michael Kyes, who has advanced environmental policy in his own way – the small  town recently passed an ordinance requiring all new homes to be solar-equipped.

Get The Lead Out: Kevin Drum & Sarah Hess (re-broadcast)

KevinDrumSarahHessThe 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 Alex’s sister, 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.

Fighting Power Gridlock: PG&E’s Ezra Garrett

EzraGarrettHow do we advance sustainable practices in a world driven by the profit motive? Public policy that mandates the use of renewables by private companies is one way. Not surprisingly, though, this sort of approach is often blockaded by those private interests. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with Ezra Garrett, the Chief Sustainability Officer from Pacific Gas and Electric, or PG&E, a private company that appears to be getting out of the way of sustainability advocates. PGEThis is no small matter, given that PG&E has a veritable monopoly in California, the nation’s most populous state. We hear from Mr. Garrett about PG&E’s track record on sustainability, what they are doing to get to the mandated threshold of 33% renewables within the next seven years, and whether they feel more comfortable backing policy or backing off from politics altogether.