Have you ever been to the dump? It’s a pretty smelly place. Part of what you’re smelling is methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that’s created as biodegradable garbage breaks down. A number of studies have found that approximately one-third of all waste entering landfills can be composted instead, and over 90 American cities have responded by initiating curbside composting services. Residents separate out their garden waste (and in some cases food scraps), the biodegradable garbage is picked up and diverted, maxed-out landfills experience relief, and the city has a marketable product in the form of rich compost soil. Everybody wins – who could possibly be against this? Well, it turns out that some people are. Waste Management Inc., the nation’s largest waste disposal company and landfill operator, now captures methane from some of its landfills and converts it into energy. While that sounds pretty good, too, our guest this week on Sea Change Radio explains to host Alex Wise the complex set of issues that surrounds the question, “what’s the best use of biodegradable garbage?” Jason Mark is both a journalist and a farmer – listen now as he gives us the dirt on compost.
Articles Tagged ‘ EPA ’
In the past Sea Change Radio has sought the input of journalists and policy-makers on President Obama’s environmental record. So far, however, we have not looked at his challenger, Mitt Romney. Many onlookers find themselves baffled as they try to make sense of this candidate’s positions on multiple topics, including climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency, and energy policy. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with environmental journalist Neela Banerjee. A Washington DC-based reporter for the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, Banerjee helps shed some light on the Republican candidate who wants so badly to lead the United States. She discusses Romney’s past and current environmental positions and we get a glimpse of what a hypothetical Romney presidency might look like from a sustainability perspective.
Vampire power refers to the electricity electronic appliances and devices waste just by being plugged in, even when they’re switched off. Did you know that when you point your remote control at the TV to turn it off for the night, that appliance isn’t really off? In the middle of the night, at the witching hour, your TV, in standby mode, continues to suck power, like a sinister vampire draining electricity off the grid while you sleep blithely unaware.
This purely wasteful electricity consumption is said to amount to around 10% of residential use for the average American household. The good news is that the solution is very straightforward. By utilizing technological innovations that already exist, and changing some simple everyday habits, we can put a stake in the heart of this problem. This week on Sea Change Radio we talk with Maria Vargas who explains how the federal government’s Energy Star program is trying to raise awareness and promote more responsible energy consumption, and with Alan Meier, senior scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a faculty member at UC Davis and one of the foremost authorities on standby power.
While this broadcast focuses more on the progress being made by the Energy Star program, critics assert that the program’s binary “yes” or “no” system is less helpful to consumers than graded scale systems like in Europe – and also that the program certifies too many products.
What does our future on this warming globe hold? We explore this question today with Stephan Faris, who talks about his new book, FORECAST: The Consequences of Climate Change. And Matt Madia of OMBWatch tells us about a provision in the Waxman-Markey climate bill that would strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.
Alex Bowen, a Principal Research Fellow at The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment of the London School of Economics, discusses An Outline of the Case for a ‘Green’ Stimulus, a report he co-authored with Lord Nicholas Stern, the man behind the 2006 Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change. And in the ViewPoint, Donald Bartlett of the investigative journalism team Bartlett and Steele advances the idea of a Federal Reserve for health care. Click to continue reading and listen to the show…
Jim Motavalli blogs on green matters for The Daily Green and Mother Nature Network and he blogs about cars in the New York Times “Automobiles” section. He was also a long-time editor for E–the Environmental Magazine, where he continues as a contributing writer. Motavalli combines his passion for autos and environment in his book, FORWARD DRIVE: The Race To Build Clean Cars for the Future. He thinks its time for the auto industry to wake up and smell the coffee. In his Sea Change ViewPoint commentary, he discusses the significance of President Barack Obama’s executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to reconsider its refusal to grant California a waiver allowing it to regulate greenhouse gases from cars and trucks.
Today we talk with Hunter Lovins, founder of Natural Capitalism Solutions, about the Presidential Climate Action Project. The Sea Change ViewPoint comes from Charlie Cray of the Center for Corporate Policy.
For many people, the election of Barack Obama as the US President stoked hope for big change. The transition to the Obama Administration brings promise of shifts to government regulations and policies to promote sustainability. Long before the election, though, a group of influential sustainability leaders gathered to brainstorm recommendations to the incoming President on tackling climate change. The Presidential Climate Action Project was born, Click to continue reading and listen to the show…
CWR News Analysis — The 24th Anniversary of Bhopal:
–International Campaign for Justice in Bhopal
–EarthRights International: Bano v. Union Carbide Case History
–Press Release: “Victory Against Union Carbide Corp.: Court Reverses Dismissal of Pollution Claims”
–Second Circuit Appeals Court Decision in Bano v. Union Carbide
–Press Release: “Chevron Found Not Liable for Killings, Shootings, and Torture of Nigerian Peaceful Protesters”
–FindLaw: “Chevron Wins an Alien Tort Statute Case – But the Victory May Be Less Important than It Might Seem”
CWR ViewPoint — Are NGOs and Corporations Too Cozy?
On Monday, the Washington DC offices of the NGO Environmental Defense were “invaded” by grassroots climate activists from Rising Tide North America. Dr. Rachel Smolker, daughter of a co-founder of Environmental Defense, protested ED’s collaboration with corporations, particularly its involvement in the US Climate Action Partnership, an alliance of NGOs and big companies that advocates for carbon cap-and-trade. The activists label this a “false” solution to the climate crisis, and lampooned the NGO with “Mr. Green” and “Mr. Wash” scrubbing the ED offices clean.
Last month, Fortune magazine’s Sustainability Columnist Marc Gunther blogged and wrote an article on the “cozy” relationships between NGOs and corporations. For the Corporate Watchdog Radio ViewPoint, we caught up with Marc from his home office in Bethesda for his take on this issue.
CWR News Analysis — The Greening of Wal-Mart?:
–CSRwire: “Wal-Mart Celebrates Thanksgiving by Sourcing Local Food, Supporting Hunger-Relief, and Buying Wind Power”
–GreenBiz: “Wal-Mart’s New CEO: What Does it Mean for Green?”
–The Green Wave Marches On: Wal-Mart in China
–Grist: “Wal-Mart Comes to the Farmers Market”
–Press Release: “Walmart Gives Consumers Opportunity To Support Local Economies Through Locally Grown Program”
–Cornucopia Institute: Wal-Mart Organics: Market Expansion or Market Delusion?
–Press Release: “Wal-Mart Makes Major Commitment to Renewable Wind Power”
–Wal-Mart Carbon Disclosure Project Response, 2007
–Lee Scott Message in Wal-Mart Sustainability Progress report, 2007
Bloomberg Columnist Jonathan Weil, the first journalist to expose Enron’s cooked books in 2001, recently criticized President-Elect Barack Obama’s appointments to the Transition Economic Advisory Board, pointing out that almost half hail from companies that fried their financial statements or fueled the market meltdown — or both. CWR Co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon chat with Weil about his critique.