Incoming EPA Chief: Fox In The Henhouse

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rebeccaleberWhen someone sues an organization repeatedly and then gets put in charge of that agency it’s a pretty classic example of the fox guarding the henhouse. Welcome to the Bizarro World of the Trump Administration where the fossil fuel industry’s favorite son, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt, is poised to run the Environmental Protection Agency. The appointment of a climate change denier like Pruitt to run the EPA affirms, as NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen has put it, that “the US government is officially done with being evidence-based.” On this week’s Sea Change Radio, Mother Jones reporter Rebecca Leber gives us a closer look at the new head of the EPA, what his appointment means politically, what the repercussions could be for the climate and how states may be able to protect the environment locally.

Four Strong Winds: First US Offshore Wind Project Launches

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TimFaulknerAs the public learned of the recent opening of America’s first offshore wind power project, many wondered why it took so long? This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk with the executive editor of EcoRI News, Tim Faulkner, to discuss the opening of the Block Island Wind Farm off of Rhode Island. We learn about the logistics of this undertaking, compare it to offshore wind projects in Europe, and ponder the future of similar endeavors under a presidential administration that is openly hostile to wind power.

Algae Systems + Other Miracles: John Perry Barlow (re-broadcast)

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John_Perry_BarlowWho 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.

How We Fight Back: Part II

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zackbeckyThis week on Sea Change Radio, in the second half of our discussion with former senior advisers to the Bernie Sanders campaign, Becky Bond and Zack Exley, host Alex Wise struggles with the harsh reality of an incoming President completely unqualified and unprepared to lead the planet’s only superpower. We recap the 2016 presidential election and draw parallels between the fight to improve this country’s healthcare system and the battle to cut carbon emissions. Then we revisit part of Alex’s discussion with Ralph Steadman, the British artist best known for his work with the godfather of gonzo journalism himself, the legendary Hunter S. Thompson.

How We Fight Back: Part I

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zackbeckyAll over the world people who care about the environment are watching the US President-Elect sketch out a blueprint for disaster. To head the EPA he has tapped a man who demonstrates open disdain for the very agency he would be running, and for Department of Energy Chief his choice is a guy who announced on a national stage that that department should be dismantled. It’s no wonder climate scientists around the country are scrambling to back up their research data, fearing it might vanish in the years ahead. Signs point to an incoming Administration that will undo hard-fought progress on all environmental fronts. But this week on Sea Change Radio, we talk to two political organizers who have written a roadmap for how we fight back. We hear from Becky Bond and Zack Exley, two senior advisers from the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign and authors of the new book, “Rules For Revolutionaries: How Big Organizing Can Change Everything.” We discuss Sanders’s dark horse candidacy, extract lessons learned, and talk about strategies that could be applied to the environmental struggle moving forward.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Part II

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gavinnewsomHow does Gavin Newsom maintain his optimism in the face of all the destructive policies the president-elect might enact? That’s part of what we talk about today on Sea Change Radio in the second half of our discussion with California’s Lieutenant Governor. We also hear Newsom’s ideas on the future of public transportation, including self-driving vehicles, his thoughts on the ongoing drought, and why he is not particularly hopeful for the Delta Tunnels Project.

Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Part I

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gavin-newsom1Many believe Gavin Newsom will be the next Governor of the most populous state in the union. Today, in his first in-depth interview since the election, he is our guest here on Sea Change Radio. The former Mayor of San Francisco, and current Lieutenant Governor of California,  Newsom is a nationally recognized pioneer in gay rights, a champion for the environment, and a consistently progressive Democrat. This week, in Part 1 of a two-part series with the Lieutenant Governor, Newsom and host Alex Wise discuss what the result of the recent presidential election might mean for the country, for the Democratic Party, and for the environment. We also talk about California’s energy future, including the decision to shut down the state’s last nuclear power plant and its ambition to achieve a 55% renewable electric grid.

Re-exploring Sports Welfare

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PatrickHrubyAs you digest your Thanksgiving feast this Thursday and settle in to watch some football with the family, keep in mind that your down time comes with a cost. Nearly all NFL teams are profitable before a single ticket is sold and for most of these teams it’s public dollars that have made this level of profitability possible. This week on Sea Change Radio, we re-visit our 2014 discussion with Patrick Hruby, a contributing Editor at VICE Sports. In this examination of “sports welfare,” Hruby talks about how common government subsidies are in the sports industry, and the opportunity cost felt by environmental causes when public coffers are drained in order to bankroll some of the wealthiest enterprises in America.

Food Waste Pioneers: David Rodriguez + Jonathan Bloom

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david-rodriguezFive years ago, when we first started covering the food waste issue, America was throwing away enough food to fill the Rose Bowl every day. And, unfortunately, not much has happened to change that statistic. But this week on Sea Change Radio, we talk to someone who’s doing his best to change the status quo. First, we dig into the archives from 2011 as food waste expert, blogger and author of American Wasteland, Jonathan Bloom, gives us some perspective on the amount of food we waste from field to fridge in this country. Then, we hear from David Rodriguez, a Mexican immigrant turned Boston-based entrepreneur, who tells us about his startup company Food For All, a mobile app that allows diners a chance to purchase leftover food from restaurants at a steep discount.

David Hart: Dream World of Magic Blues

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david_hartIf you had a functional magic wand wouldn’t you use it to reverse climate change? A quick flick of your wrist and, presto change-o, our troubles would be over! But, as our guest this week on Sea Change Radio, David Hart, rightly points out, that’s not how the world works. Hart, a professor at George Mason University and a senior fellow at the Information, Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), summarizes his recent report on the need to avoid overly optimistic, simplistic solutions to climate change, or what he calls “magical thinking.” He argues that environmentalists and science-deniers may both be guilty of this enchanting oversimplification, and posits that instead we need to devise complex strategies to address the multi-faceted dilemma that is climate change.