Monthly Archives: November 2015

What’s cooking? Solar Stoves with Julie Greene

JulieGreeneThis week many people in the United States will be spending a fair amount of time laboring over elaborate meals, baking pies, roasting turkeys (or tofurkeys), and beating the lumps out of the gravy. In  the developing world, they may not be celebrating Thanksgiving, but there’s still news on the cooking front. Billions of people around the world cook with high-emissions methods. The fuel they use is dirty, expensive, and can be extremely labor-intensive, especially for girls and women.

So where is the good news? Well, in 2010 Hillary Clinton announced the creation of a Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a coalition of for-profit and nonprofit organizations working together to spread cleaner cooking to the developing world. Today on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Julie Greene, executive director of Solar Cookers International, one of the partners in the Global Alliance. They discuss her organization’s work, some of the business models being used to advance cleaner cooking around the world, and how Shell Oil’s foundation is sneaking fossil fuel into the “clean” cooking mix.

Bill McKibben: Putting the X in XL

Bill McKibbenThe drawn-out fight to prevent the Keystone XL pipeline recently ended in a triumph for environmental activists, when President Obama announced he would not approve the pipeline. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with the leader of the movement to stop the Keystone XL, Bill McKibben. McKibben and host Alex Wise discuss the importance of the movement to prevent the pipeline’s construction, what the recent victory means for the environmental movement in a larger sense, and whom among the current presidential candidates McKibben thinks is best on the environment. Then, we revisit our discussion with entrepreneur Harrison Dillon, the co-founder of Solazyme, a biotech company that creates environmentally-friendly synthetic designer oils that can be used in a wide array of products that have traditionally been petroleum-based.

Ken Geiser: Our Chemical World

KenGeiserWhen you see an ad sponsored by the chemical industry espousing the wonders of chemicals, you probably roll your eyes like most of us. But how much does it influence our attitude towards chemicals? As consumers we may do our best to avoid toxins and carcinogens, but they’re still everywhere we turn, from our food and clothing to the walls in our houses. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Ken Geiser, whose new book “Chemicals Without Harm provides a roadmap for sound policing of the chemical industry. By focusing on what we know works, from greener chemicals, to greater transparency, to the templates provided by regulatory bodies beyond our borders, Geiser lays out a better way to live in our chemical world.

Imitations: On GMOs and Concrete

BrookeBorelNow that Stephen Colbert has put his alter ego to bed, some of you may be missing broadcasters pretending to be someone else. Well, apparently, Colbert is not the only imitator out there. University of Florida Horticultural Science professor, Kevin Folta, invented a persona for his podcast, the Science Power Hour with Your Host Vern Blazek. Our guest today is Brooke Borel, a journalist who recently wrote about how, in interviewing himself, Blazek (or Folta) criticized anti-GMO activists and stirred up some controversy. Borel and host Alex Wise talk about the fake podcast persona, about how the Folta/Blazek position on GMOs has erupted into a firestorm, and how one unassuming podcast has raised much larger issues around the need for transparency when big business and academic science co-mingle.

For the second half of our show, we look at a very different sort of imitation. We revisit a discussion with geologist, biomineralization expert, and entrepreneur, Brent Constantz. He tells us about a process which mimics lobster shell generation, transforming carbon dioxide to a calcium carbonate base that can be used as cement or concrete.