Tag Archives: michael payne

If The Dutch Ruled The World

Michael PayneWhen liberal politicians suggest we look for policy-making inspiration from social democracies in Europe, the automatic reaction from some corners of the political scene is something like “well, then, move to Sweden!” or “Love it or leave it!” But today, reflecting upon the millions of women, men, and children who participated in the historical march over the weekend, it’s pretty clear that advocating for change is part of why we do love it. There is no reason that we can’t take lessons from other systems in our collective pursuit of a more perfect union, not to mention a more healthy environment. This week on Sea Change Radio we take a peek at how the Dutch do things. Host Alex Wise speaks with two American MikeFawcettenvironmentalists based in the Netherlands to get their perspective on Holland’s environmental policies and practices. Michael Payne, a wind energy and bicycle advocate, and Mike Fawcett, the founder of Farm Zero discuss the cultural, economic, and financial keys to Dutch sustainability.

Houston Bicycle Revolutionaries

Michael Payne8883004825_5f6a92e9b9_qDo you ever wonder why so many people ride bikes in a place like the Netherlands while so few do in Texas? Both places are flat with temperate weather, and physicists call the bicycle the most efficient means for human transportation yet invented, so why do residents in one location ride bicycles at so much lower a rate? Well, the answer, it turns out, is complicated and involves political, cultural, and practical factors.

This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Michael Payne, a wind energy executive-turned-bicycle-advocate. He talks with host Alex Wise about the efforts his non-profit, Bike Houston, is undertaking to change policy, attitudes, and habits in the nation’s 4th largest city.  While it’s unlikely this work will transform Houston into a Southwestern Amsterdam anytime soon, the lessons from the work of Payne and his colleagues may well inspire similar bicycle revolutions in other cities.

Winds of Change: Congressman Jerry McNerney & Michael Payne

This week on Sea Change Radio, Part 2 of our 2-part series on wind power. First, we hear again from US Congressman Jerry McNerney (CA-11), the only member of either House who’s also a wind power engineer. Next, the US is lagging far behind Europe in the move toward renewable energy sources. To find out why, host Alex Wise talks once more to Michael Payne, a veteran wind power executive who’s served as Shell WindEnergy’s General Manager of Europe & Asia as well as a Director at Enron Wind. Payne offers his perspective on the policy and business factors that will help direct the winds of change. Continue reading

Is the Answer Blowin’ in the Wind?

The wind – it flies our kites and fills our sails, and, since the 7th Century, humans have been harnessing its power to pump water and mill grain. So how far have we come since then? The modern wind power industry didn’t really start until the late 70s, yet over the past three years worldwide wind-powered energy generation has doubled. But this endlessly renewable power source is still relatively untapped and only accounts for about 2% of global electricity usage.

This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from two wind power executives about the burgeoning potential of wind. First, host Alex Wise talks to Michael Payne, a 15-year veteran of the industry who’s helped develop some of the world’s largest wind energy projects in the U.S., Europe and Asia. He tells us about the technical, environmental and regulatory hurdles that the industry faces. Next, we speak with Corwin Hardham, the CEO of Makani Power. This company, whose name means wind in Hawaiian, is developing a cutting-edge way to capture the power of the wind using airborne wind turbines that fly like kites and generate more power than conventional earthbound turbines.