Farm Zero is a five year-old startup company that’s a concept for sustainable agricultural systems that use sea water rather than fresh water as the core for growing fruits and vegetables. This concept could someday be a life-saver in places dealing with water scarcity and other resource poverty. This week on Sea Change Radio we talk to the founder of Farm Zero, Mike Fawcett, as he tells us about the company’s technology and efforts in places like Oman and Grenada. Then we hear from writer Lauren Markham about the new generation of American hipster farmers, or “farmsters.”
Given its northern latitude, Sweden is warming more rapidly than many other places in the world. Johan Rockström, one of Sweden’s leading environmental scholars, joins us this week on Sea Change Radio to discuss his latest book, Big World, Small Planet, in which he details some of the approaches Sweden has taken to reduce carbon emissions and slow the progress of climate change.
When we try to visualize the Arctic, we usually think of ice as far as the eye can see. But, unfortunately, that’s changing. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, author Roy Scranton, gives us a first-hand glimpse into the rapidly melting polar cap up North. Scranton, who recently took a cruise through Greenland and Northern Canada for a piece published in The Nation magazine, presents us with the many challenges we face as this vast region undergoes vast transformation. Then, host Alex Wise and Scranton discuss Scranton’s book, Learning How To Die In The Anthropocene, and how his time as a U.S. soldier in the Iraq War gave him a unique perspective on climate change and environmentalism.
Author Courtney White believes he has a quick fix for what ails the planet: build topsoil, fix creeks and eat meat from pasture-raised animals. He outlines this strategy in his latest book Grass, Soil, Hope: A Journey Through Carbon Country. White and Sea Change Radio host Alex Wise discuss the profound impact that could result from some simple changes in ranching and farming practices, and why this might appeal to both liberals and conservatives. Then, we hear from British-based sustainability consultant, Michael Townsend who explains why we need to re-frame how we view the economy to better incorporate well-being.
Who doesn’t need a miracle? As the lyricist for many timeless Grateful Dead classics, as a privacy rights activist, or as the founder of the biofuel company, Algae Systems, John Perry Barlow has used creativity and sheer will to advance a wide array of “miracles.” That is until a devastating illness left him hospitalized for most of 2015. Sea Change Radio host Alex Wise sat down recently with Barlow, who’s still on the mend, along with the CEO of Algae Systems, Matthew Atwood. They discuss the company’s technology which turns waste water into fuel, and the current Indiegogo campaign to raise new capital for Algae Systems. They also delve into Barlow’s relationship with Edward Snowden, his recovery from this illness, and the unfortunate tale of how he missed out on the Grateful Dead’s Fare Thee Well mini-tour.
As we ring in the new year, we should recognize that 2016 marks the centennial of the National Park Service. Today on Sea Change Radio we speak with author and environmentalist Jason Mark about the challenges that the national parks face moving forward. Mark is the editor of Sierra Magazine and author of a new book, Satellites in The High Country, which focuses on the state of wilderness in the U.S. We talk about the hidden wild gems that Mark encountered while researching the book, and discuss how environmental groups like the Sierra Club are approaching the issue of climate change which looms over the entire conservation landscape.
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.