This week on Sea Change Radio we have the honor of visiting with Bill Kreutzmann, original drummer of the Grateful Dead, and organic gardener. Host Alex Wise talks with Kreutzmann about the natural resources on the idyllic island of Kaua‘i, where he currently lives and where he has developed a passion for these lush surroundings. We also learn how his hope for a healthier island and planet prompted his civil disobedience to prevent the Hawaii SuperFerry from docking in Nawiliwili Harbor. As a lifelong fan of the band, Wise also asks him about his years with the Grateful Dead. Billy K recalls playing with Mickey, Phil, Bobby and Jerry, talks about his most recent musical project, 7 Walkers, and about how, in the post-Jerry Garcia era, the band’s remaining members feel a little more free to become advocates for causes that most inspire them.
Discussions about the West’s epic drought tend to focus on the need to cut back on residential and agricultural water usage. The importance of water conservation during this record dry spell notwithstanding, sound water management turns out to be about a lot more than just water use. Today on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Abrahm Lustgarten of ProPublica, who is writing a multi-part series exposing unfortunate policies and practices vis-à-vis our most precious, life-sustaining resource. Continue reading
Have you ever driven by a hillside covered with wind turbines and wondered, “Who owns those, and is the energy produced up there making it to my house?” Chances are those turbines are not owned by your local or statewide energy utility company, but by an independent power producer (IPP), an important but often overlooked area of the American energy industry.
This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is Todd Thorner, an entrepreneur who has started and operated multiple renewable energy companies himself, from wind to solar to hydro-electric. Thorner tells host Alex Wise about the path that wind energy takes from the hillside to your home. Thorner also discusses how IPPs fit into the energy mix, how they interface with utility companies, and why they may represent the best hope for a flexible pivot away from coal and gas toward clean and renewable electricity.
This week on Sea Change Radio, we are talking about green beer, and it’s not even St. Patrick’s Day. First we talk with Jennifer Vervrier, the Director of Sustainability for New Belgium Brewing Co. In a plot twist straight out of a Laverne & Shirley episode, Vervrier worked her way up from the bottling line to head of sustainability in a brewery now known as one of the most ecological in the country.
Recognized for its tasty Fat Tire Amber Ale and other original craft-style brews, New Belgium is a female-dominated company in a male-dominated industry. Then, we revisit host Alex Wise‘s discussion with the founder of Alaskan Brewing Company, Geoff Larson, as we talk about the challenges his Juneau, Alaska-based company faces in keeping a tiny carbon footprint despite sizable transportation costs.
When we think of the potential dangers of fracking for natural gas, what may come to mind is the dramatic image of flaming tap-water. But the prospect of methane released in the hydraulic fracturing process goes beyond contaminated ground water to include poor air quality and accelerated climate change. Researchers have struggled to accurately measure how much methane is released through fracking, and studies vary widely in their findings. This week on Sea Change Radio, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, Lisa Song, of Inside Climate News joins us to make some sense of the various studies, and help us understand the impact of fracking on the air we breathe. We also delve into the political divide among environmental groups, as nonprofits like the Environmental Defense Fund break with longstanding allies on the subject.
For the better part of the past decade, The New York Times and The Environmental Protection Agency have been frequent punching bags of the right wing. Conservatives allege that The Grey Lady has an open liberal bias and that the EPA is run by tree huggers who care more about owls than jobs. But this week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Joe Romm of Climate Progress, who is angered by what he believes is a front page hit piece on the EPA by that bastion of liberal journalism, The New York Times. We delve into the details of the piece itself and explore the history of the conservative war against the EPA.
“Whither goest thou, America, in thy shiny car in the night?” Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road” perfectly captured the essence of the American fascination with the automobile. But that love affair has been dysfunctional, at least as far as the environment goes. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Ginger Strand, a non-fiction writer who has written extensively on the American interstate. Strand and host Alex Wise discuss the history of American roads over the past five decades, efforts to protect wildlife in the face of road encroachment, and the evolution of hitch-hiking as the rideshare movement continues to blossom. Then, we revisit our conversation with Paul Minett, the founder of the Ridesharing Institute in Auckland, NZ and Mark Svenvold, a journalist who’s profiled Minett’s work.
As they learn more about the realities of climate change and sea level rise, some coastal communities are taking action. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Benjamin Grant, the Urban Design Policy Director for SPUR, a California-based nonprofit that focuses on making urban areas more sustainable. In response to already documented rapid erosion, Grant and his colleagues have presented San Francisco with a bold plan for re-doing a 3.5 mile stretch of San Francisco’s coast, known as Ocean Beach. Grant and host Alex Wise talk about the San Francisco proposal, and how it could serve as a template for other coastal cities, if they can afford it, that is.
Monoculture. It displaces native plant and animal species, it leads to long-term soil quality degradation, and, in tropical areas, it often means the razing of those beautifully bio-diverse, carbon-capturing rain forests. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Rhett Butler, the founder of the popular non-profit environmental science and conservation website, Mongabay. Continue reading
Last week we spoke about the prospect of decentralized energy systems supplying clean electricity to the developing world with Daniel Kammen, a UC Berkeley Professor. This week on Sea Change Radio, the second part of that discussion. Then, we learn about vampire electricity and the latest home efficiency innovations from Alan Meier, a scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.