Many of us would like to be at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change, kicking off this week in Paris. Well, today on Sea Change Radio, we’ve got the next best thing. Alex Levinson is the executive director of Pacific Environment, an organization focused on environmental efforts in the Pacific Rim and the Arctic, and a Paris Summit participant. Host Alex Wise recently sat down with Levinson at Pacific Environment’s San Francisco headquarters to discuss the goals and expectations of the Paris conference, how other Pacific Rim powers such as China and Russia view the climate change denial movement in the U.S., and the mess that humans have made of an already fragile Arctic ecosystem.
As 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.
This 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.
What 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.
By 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.
The 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.
Did 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
Is 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.