Monthly Archives: September 2013

The War on Empathy: Marion Nestle and George Lakoff

MarionNestleGeorgeLakoffRemember when President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, and “empathy” was transformed by some political commentators into a dirty word? This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk to two giants in their respective fields who think empathy is probably pretty important, especially when it comes to policy.

First, host Alex Wise talks to Marion Nestle, a noted nutritionist and author whose latest book digs into the power of cartoons to drive home complex arguments for fighting food insecurity issues in this country. Next, progressive linguist extraordinaire George Lakoff discusses how liberals need to improve their messaging to convince people that policies that help people are actually a good idea.

Chris Whittier: Cousins In The Mist

ChrisWhittier8384792838_4350289870_qIn 1988 a Hollywood movie called Gorillas in the Mist depicted the work of the noted primatologist Dian Fossey and brought well-warranted attention to the plight of the mountain gorilla. In the intervening years, the story of how the mountain gorilla has been saved from extinction has been a prominent narrative for the animal conservation movement. But we haven’t heard much lately about the mountain gorilla. And what of its close relative the lowland gorilla, which is much more numerous than its mountain brethren, and is facing its own threats to survival?

This week on Sea Change Radio, we learn about the state of the world’s gorilla population from Chris Whittier, a professor of veterinary medicine at Tufts University and a Veterinary Medical Officer at the Smithsonian. We’ll get a glimpse into the different challenges that both mountain and lowland gorillas are up against, and come away with a better understanding of why it is of vital importance that we save these magnificent cousins in the mist.

Rolf Skar: Living In the Age of Fire

RolfSkar29626930351_036f3a74e5_qMassive wildfires, like the recent so-called “Rim Fire” which threatened the region near Yosemite National Park, seem to be far-too-frequent events these days.  The Rim Fire, which apparently was caused by a hunter’s illegal campfire is now thankfully 80% contained at the cost of about $100 million, but its effects are long-term and far-reaching, and they raise some important larger questions: Are we heading in the right direction in terms of forestry policy? Are we learning from past mistakes? And are fires like this always bad?

This week on Sea Change Radio, we welcome back Rolf Skar, the director of forestry management for Greenpeace, to break down the impact of the Rim Fire and answer our questions about the broader context of this fire and its ilk.

The Latest Buzz On Bees

HannahNordhausEarthStarterBack in 2010 we had entomologist John Hafernik on Sea Change Radio to explain what was going on with the honey bees and colony collapse disorder. Today’s guest, Hannah Nordhaus, picks up where Dr. Hafernik left off, with her new book, “The Beekeeper’s Lament.”

In the book, Nordhaus profiles an industrial beekeeper, examines the close tie between almond cultivation and the honeybee population, and details the current research on colony collapse disorder. Later on in the show, host Alex Wise speaks with the founders of a new company called Earth Starter who have developed an easier way to grow your own food that can turn even an inattentive gardener into a successful producer of fruits, vegetables and complementary flowers.