Tag Archives: Climate Change

Meera Subramanian: Resilient Lessons from Hurricane Sandy

MeeraChrisCannonAs major weather-related calamities like Hurricane Sandy are teaching us, decisions around where buildings are built and trees are planted are important, especially as they relate to the encroaching coastline and other impacts of climate change. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Meera Subramanian, a writer whose recent piece in Orion Magazine explores post-Sandy restoration efforts that draw upon engineering insights from a hundred years ago, and may reach far beyond the shores of Long Island and New Jersey.

Then, we re-visit host Alex Wise’s discussion with Chris Cannon of Empower Playgrounds, an innovative non-profit that provides equipment to West African villages that converts the energy of playing kids into electricity for their families.

A Sporting Chance For The Environment

AllenHershkowitzstadiumThis week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Allen Hershkowitz, is a pioneer in the greening of the sports industry and a senior scientist at the NRDC. Dr. Hershkowitz is working to help decrease the carbon footprint of our nation’s sports teams while engaging sports industry leaders to speak up about environmental problems like climate change. He and host Alex Wise delve into the various ways that sports leagues and teams are starting to become leaders for change.

Media Matters And The Climate

GeorgeLakoffShaunaTheelWhat forces have conspired so that millions of Americans believe that the overwhelming majority of scientists are dead wrong about climate change? It seems at times that facts are just pesky talking points to be swatted away by other talking points. Is this the result of a corporate-sponsored news media controlled by the bottom-line, or is it the fault of an audience hungry to believe what it wants to hear? We explore these questions today on Sea Change Radio first by talking with Shauna Theel of Media Matters, who tells us about her organization’s recent study that tracks how the network news programs discuss climate change. Next, we dip into the archives as host Alex Wise talks environmental messaging with prominent linguistics professor, George Lakoff.

Arctic 30 Update and Fog Harvesting

GarethMcKinleyKeillerMacDuffBy now you may have heard about the arrest of 30 activists in the arctic by the Russian government. This week on Sea Change Radio we hear the harrowing tale from Keiller MacDuff, a Greenpeace colleague of the imprisoned group that has become known as the Arctic 30.

Then, host Alex Wise speaks to Gareth McKinley, an MIT professor whose students have come up with a potential solution for the rainless days that await many regions as climate change takes hold – a technology that effectively converts fog into potable water.

Jeff Orlowski: Chasing Ice

"Chasing Ice" director, Jeff Orlowski, Greenland Ice Sheet, June 2009ChasingIce_smThe acclaimed documentary film Chasing Ice chronicles the work of photographer and environmentalist James Balog, who has been at the forefront of documenting earth’s melting polar ice cap. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from the film’s director, Jeff Orlowski, who started out as a part of Balog’s team and eventually assumed the role of documenting the documenter.

We learn about the difficulties of filming in some of the most remote places on earth, as well as the contradictory feelings that Balog and the other members of the Extreme Ice Survey felt while capturing these beautiful yet tragic earth-changing events.

Alex Trembath on Obama’s Climate Change Speech

President Barack ObamaAlexTrembathDid you see how they covered President Obama’s recent big environmental speech on the Sunday political talk shows? No? That’s because none of the Sunday morning shows discussed it at all. In spite of its paltry coverage on the major networks, the speech is being heralded by some environmentalists as historical, while others are critiquing the president for not going far enough. This week on Sea Change Radio, we do our part to make up for the networks’ deficient analysis of this important speech by talking with Alex Trembath of the Breakthrough Institute. The Breakthrough Institute is an American think tank interested in “modernizing environmentalism for the 21st century.” While their positions on nuclear power and natural gas have raised controversy in environmental circles, they are a leading voice on progressive energy policy and how the government can advance innovation that promotes a healthy planet.

*Here’s a link to the President’s speech

David MacKay & Michael Kyes: Sustainable Policy Great and Small

DavidMackayMichaelKyesIs living sustainably a plausible proposition? That’s the crucial question today’s first guest on Sea Change Radio, David MacKay, is trying to answer. MacKay, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in Great Britain and the author of the seminal work, “Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air,” is one of the most important figures in the environmental policy field. A physicist and information theorist, MacKay is a master of breaking down the numbers for us all to better assess the planet’s renewable energy options. He discusses his pro-nuclear stance and his advocacy for the development of carbon capture and storage technology, which remains unpopular in many environmental circles. Next, host Alex Wise speaks with the Mayor of Sebastopol, California, Michael Kyes, who has advanced environmental policy in his own way – the small  town recently passed an ordinance requiring all new homes to be solar-equipped.

Sustainability Adventurers

KateRawlesEdGillespieCan a spirit of adventure lead us toward more sustainable living? This week on Sea Change Radio, we try to answer that question. First, host Alex Wise speaks with Jem Bendell, a sustainability professor who has organized the upcoming Adventures in Sustainability Conference taking place in London May 28th. Next, we hear from Kate Rawles, an environmental travel writer who rode her bike from Texas to Alaska to raise awareness about climate change. Then, Alex talks to Ed Gillespie, a sustainability communications consultant who circumnavigated the globe without flying.

Robert Boyd on the Hydrogen Economy

RobertBoydOne of the most alluring answers to the climate change conundrum is a transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy. As hydrogen power technology continues to evolve, it certainly seems like a promising way to decarbonize our energy system – but what are the practical considerations? Unlike carbon-based energy sources, there are no natural reservoirs of hydrogen on the planet; moreover, it must be bound to a carrier like natural gas or water. HydrogenThis week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is hydrogen vehicle fuel technology expert, Robert Boyd. Boyd and host Alex Wise discuss this relatively clean and plentiful resource, and what he and others are doing to help get us over the production and distribution hurdles that stand between us and a shift to a hydrogen-based economy.

Zac Unger: Looking Polar Bear Endangerment In The Eye

ZacUngerWe have all seen the mournful image of an unhappy polar bear isolated on a melting ice floe. It conveys the doom of that one bear as well as his species, and implies that we are all headed in that direction if something is not done about global warming.

Inspired by such images and his commitment to ecological conservation, this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Zac Unger, ventured up to the great white north to check out the plight of polar bears himself, up close. What he found surprised him. Embedding himself with scientists, Unger learned about how the bears are adjusting their diet, fasting periods and even breeding behavior in response to the warmer, longer summers that climate change is bringing. These adaptations, in conjunction with hunting prohibitions instituted late in the 20th century, have allowed the polar bear population to flourish. Continue reading