“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.
How easy it is to take our electrified world for granted. Right now about 1.2 billion people or about 20% of the global population live without access to electricity. These people can’t read at night, or power their phones to communicate or conduct crucial e-commerce. What if that 20% could access energy, though? How transformative could that be for those 1.2 billion lives? But wait, would that mean a corresponding 20% hike in greenhouse gas emissions? Continue reading
The California Condor may not be the prettiest of endangered species, but that doesn’t make it any less important to the ecosystem. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Kelly Sorenson, executive director of the Ventana Wildlife Society, which has been working tirelessly to bring the California Condor back from the brink of extinction, only to encounter another barrier: lead ammunition. Continue reading
Money doesn’t grow on trees, but if you’re a paper company, trees are definitely how you make your money. Paper production is one of the leading causes of rainforest loss. Nearly 4 billion trees worldwide are cut down each year for paper. Continue reading