Imagine a world where every window-laden skyscraper generates its own solar power, where the skylights in your ceiling are a source of light and electricity, and where your iPhone charges itself through the power of the sun. What could make this imagined world possible? Photovoltaic solar cells that are as transparent as regular glass. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Prof. Richard Lunt, the lead researcher on the MIT team that developed the technology, an assistant professor at Michigan State University, and co-founder of Ubiquitous Energy, the commercial enterprise through which this energy-capturing glassy-film will be distributed. Lunt talks about the science behind “transparent luminescent solar concentrators” and the opportunities ahead with applications ranging from power-generating car and building windows, to use on every device you can think of, from smart phones to store signs.
Victor Hugo said of Paris that nothing was more fantastic, more tragic, or more sublime. Will the same ever be said of the COP 21 climate agreement brokered this month in the iconic city? This week on Sea Change Radio, we re-cap the Climate Summit with prominent freelance journalist Vivienne Walt. Walt and host Alex Wise discuss the impact of the Paris Agreement on the world’s largest polluters, explore how big banks and deep-pocketed interests are reacting to the pact, and examine efforts to accelerate the transition to clean energy in developing nations. Walt also talks about how the world views U.S. climate skepticism and what effect the November terrorist attacks and climate protests had on the summit.
Many consumers out there have made the choice to be vegan. Be it for the humane treatment of animals, or because of the damaging impact of methane, choosing not to eat dairy seems an ecologically responsible choice. But is there a responsible choice for those of us who enjoy a little parmesan grated on our pasta? This week on Sea Change Radio we speak to the director of sustainability for Cabot Creamery, Jed Davis. We talk about water usage in dairy production, methane capture, the farm co-op model, and packaging for cheese products. Maybe there is a way for us to have our cheese and eat it, too? Then, we re-visit highlights from our discussion with hemp evangelist and author, Doug Fine.
If you’ve ever seen a seal, bobbing its head in the ocean, you might have been too busy admiring its natural beauty to think about the obstacles that this graceful creature had to overcome to reach adulthood. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Jeff Boehm, a veterinarian and the executive director of the Marine Mammal Center in Sausalito, CA. When he sees that seal, he sees a potential patient. Ocean trash, toxic algae blooms, domoic acid, and over-fishing are just a few of the health threats that human activity is inflicting on marine life. We discuss these adversities and others facing seals, sea lions, and marine mammals in general, and learn about the work that Dr. Boehm and his team do to try to mitigate the perils of living in an increasingly dangerous ocean habitat.
Many of us would like to be at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, kicking off this week in Paris. Well, today on Sea Change Radio, we’ve got the next best thing. Alex Levinson is the executive director of Pacific Environment, an organization focused on environmental efforts in the Pacific Rim and the Arctic, and a Paris Summit participant. Host Alex Wise recently sat down with Levinson at Pacific Environment’s San Francisco headquarters to discuss the goals and expectations of the Paris conference, how other Pacific Rim powers such as China and Russia view the climate change denial movement in the U.S., and the mess that humans have made of an already fragile Arctic ecosystem.