While some listeners might find it hard to fathom, the perceived unsightliness of rooftop solar panels can actually be a barrier to widespread adoption. There are homeowners associations and even municipalities from the suburbs of Dallas to Bordeaux, France, that restrict the endlessly renewable energy source that rooftop solar panels represent. But our guest today on Sea Change Radio, Oliver Koehler, is the CEO of a company called Suntegra that offers the perfect solution: solar panels that integrate into roof tiles. Koehler gives us a snapshot of his company, talks about Suntegra’s technology, and offers a glimpse of the competitive landscape. Then, we re-visit our discussion with Richard Lunt about transparent solar cells, another cutting-edge technology that can integrate with skylights and windows.
Since 1992, fish ’n chips fans may have noticed that there was no cod in their classic fried dish. That’s the year that the Canadian government issued a moratorium on fishing the popular, tasty species. It devastated the Newfoundland region’s economy, but it had to be done. The cod population had dwindled to nearly nothing at that time due to over-fishing and changing water temperatures. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Abel, who recently wrote a piece for the Boston Globe about how the cod has actually rebounded in recent times. We talk about the region’s historical relationship with cod, how science-informed policy can help reverse human-generated ecological damage, and Abel’s upcoming film on the subject, Sacred Cod.
Who doesn’t enjoy that refreshing feeling when you walk in from 90 degree heat to the cool blast of an air-conditioned room? Last month extreme heat blistered most of the US, from the Northeast, to the Southwest and practically every place in between. Weather experts are telling us that extreme is going to be the new normal when it comes to summer temperatures. Thank heavens for A/C. Approximately 86% of American households are equipped with air conditioners, and the rest of the world is rapidly catching up. But, while it undoubtedly helps human beings survive extreme heat, A/C is a huge and growing greenhouse gas offender. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is reporter, Katie Herzog, who recently wrote a piece for Grist on the social and environmental costs of air-conditioning. We discuss the past and future of these machines, the possibility of solar-powered A/C units, and the irony of this thing that is making us hotter by keeping us cool.
If you’ve been tuning into the Olympics in Rio this week, you’ve probably watched your fair share of inspirational profiles of athletes. You may also have been following some of the stories emerging out of Brazil about the corruption, poor environmental stewardship, and social justice transgressions surrounding the Olympics. It’s enough to make the most ardent sports fan a little ambivalent. In Rio, athletes will be swimming or sailing in water that is literally crappy — some athletes may be taking home gold, silver, bronze, or just hepatitis. It may turn out that the more emotional story is not an athlete profile, but one of environmental malfeasance and social injustice — it tugs at the heartstrings, alright, but not in the way that NBC had hoped. This week on Sea Change Radio, we take a deep dive into some of the issues surrounding the thirty-first Olympiad as we are joined by Kate Zerrenner of the Environmental Defense Fund.
What would it take for North America to really reduce pollution? At a minimum, Canada, the U.S., and Mexico would have to jointly commit to increasing renewable energy sources and eliminating fossil fuel subsidies. Fortunately, these three nations just signed onto the North American Clean Economy Agreement, which includes these commitments and many others aimed at improving the environment. Author and sustainability consultant Andrew Winston joins us today on Sea Change Radio to explain the ins and outs of the agreement. Winston and host Alex Wise discuss its importance, dissect the specific pledges made by the three countries, and look at what steps must be taken to achieve the goals listed in this unprecedented agreement.