What forces have conspired so that millions of Americans believe that the overwhelming majority of scientists are dead wrong about climate change? It seems at times that facts are just pesky talking points to be swatted away by other talking points. Is this the result of a corporate-sponsored news media controlled by the bottom-line, or is it the fault of an audience hungry to believe what it wants to hear? We explore these questions today on Sea Change Radio first by talking with Shauna Theel of Media Matters, who tells us about her organization’s recent study that tracks how the network news programs discuss climate change. Next, we dip into the archives as host Alex Wise talks environmental messaging with prominent linguistics professor, George Lakoff.
If you’ve heard about Bitcoin on the evening news or seen a headline about it, you might have been left with the impression that it’s some sort of online scam or the next Dutch tulip bubble. But Bitcoin and other cryptographic currencies are very real.
Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Jem Bendell, a professor of sustainability leadership at the University of Cumbria, the world’s first public university to accept Bitcoin for tuition payments. He explains how Bitcoin works and why he thinks it might help us move beyond the inadequacies and inequities of central bank-controlled currencies toward a sharing economy. Bitcoin has its critics to be sure, but, as New Yorker columnist James Surowiecki has so aptly put it, “the value of currency is, ultimately, what someone will give you for it…” Listen now as host Alex Wise and Jem Bendell discuss how Bitcoin is valued and the promise crytpographic currency holds for the sustainability movement.
When we talk about corporations trying harder to do the right thing when it comes to the environment, it’s important to remember the consequences of not doing the right thing. Both of our guests this week on Sea Change Radio are trying to shine a light on corporate polluters – but in very different ways. First, we hear from Mike Bellamente, the Executive Director of Climate Counts. We talk about his group’s landmark study tracking the CO2 emissions of one hundred corporations. Then, host Alex Wise speaks with Leigh Fondakowski (the head writer of The Laramie Project) who recently penned a play about the BP Oil Spill, which, when it comes to the stage this March, should capture the attention of environmentalists and thespians alike.
If you watched last weekend’s 60 Minutes piece on the so called “Cleantech Crash,” you might have taken a moment to check the channel and make sure you weren’t watching Fox News. The story focuses almost exclusively on failed companies that have received government support with no coverage of clean technology successes, no information on the success/failure ratio of other venture capital investments, and no mention of all the taxpayer money that goes to support traditional, polluting energy technology. Instead the venture is depicted as an unmitigated fiasco and an embarrassing folly on the part of President Obama.
This most recent episode of the popular CBS news show has been widely criticized as having a Fox News-y flavor. It’s not entirely surprising when you consider that the current president of CBS News, David Rhodes, spent about 15 years at Fox News. Host Alex Wise‘s guests today on Sea Change Radio are Joe Romm of Climate Progress and formerly of the US Dept. of Energy, and Katie Fehrenbacher a senior writer at GigaOM. Each of them wrote a response to the 60 Minutes show, and today they offer their takes on how the news giant got it wrong, from interviewing the wrong people, to providing no actual data, to pulling out that old, rusty lightning-rod, Solyndra.