It has been a bit difficult to keep up with the news since January. Every few hours it seems like there is a new revelation in the global political wreckage that is the Trump administration. Whether you’re more interested in how ties to Putin will lead to impeachment, how Donald Trump is systematically alienating the US’s closest allies, or the possibility of the US pulling out of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, it’s hard to deny that the international political scene is roiling. And with every international political churn, there are environmental causes and implications. This week on Sea Change Radio we speak with energy consultant, Alex Gilbert, who provides a clear recap of the past 10 years in US international relations. He connects the dots and shows how political alliances among nations, policies like fracking, and environmental conditions like drought have helped to create turmoil in countries like Syria, Turkey, Russia, and even the good old US of A.
In 2013 California boasted a recycling rate of 85%. In 2017 that number is now 79% – that is the first time it has dipped below 80% since 2008. Why is the most populous state in the union moving in the wrong direction on this important indicator? This week on Sea Change Radio we speak with Mark Murray, executive director of Californians Against Waste, a nonprofit environmental group that was founded forty years ago to advocate for beverage container recycling in the state. He will explain this troubling trend and talk about what can be done to get California’s recycling program back on its previous trajectory.
Galileo said we should, “Measure what is measurable, and make measurable what is not so.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we take a look at two ways that people are trying to apply that wisdom to climate change. First, we speak to Davida Herzl, the CEO and co-founder of Aclima, a San Francisco-based company that refers to itself as a “FitBit for the planet.” Herzl explains how Aclima’s technology works, how the company makes money, and the opportunities that lie ahead as the industry of measuring air pollution evolves. Then, we dig into the Sea Change Radio archives and re-visit our discussion with James Leaton, the research director of the Carbon Tracker Initiative, a British nonprofit that analyzes the risks of fossil fuel investment and presents findings to the financial sector, with the objective of limiting future greenhouse gas emissions.
Was all the work to try to keep the Keystone XL and Dakota Access pipelines from being built done in vain now that Donald Trump occupies the White House? Not if you ask this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Kandi Mossett, a leading organizer for the Indigenous Environmental Network. Mossett takes us behind the scenes of Native Americans’ fight to preserve their sacred lands. We discuss the connection between protecting the environment and advocating for Native American rights, talk about how struggles from Standing Rock to Bears Ears have stimulated activism and raised awareness, and recognize the value that this movement has, even in the face of setbacks (like the ascension of an obscenely pro-corporate presidential administration).
Is the New York Times enabling a debate that most rational people think is long over? The latest conservative pundit to be hired by the New York Times has progressives and environmentalists concerned. Bret Stephens, a Pulitzer Prize winning “opinion journalist” from the Wall Street Journal made his first splash onto the op-ed page of the Times recently with a controversial piece entitled Climate of Complete Certainty. In this editorial he asserts that climate science should continue to be debated, despite a preponderance of credible evidence sounding the alarm for immediate action. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with two PhDs with differing responses to Mr. Stephens’s perspective and place at the Grey Lady. First, we’re joined by Joe Romm, the founding editor of Climate Progress, who is critical of the new hire. Then, we hear from psychologist Pamela Paresky who thinks that his hiring by the NY Times could actually be a catalyst for productive dialogue that might ultimately bring conservatives over to recognizing the threat of climate change.