According to the State of Alaska website, the state’s name derives from the Aleut alyeska, meaning “great land.” Today on Sea Change Radio we talk about The Last Frontier, and some of the threats to its greatness. A week before the November election, the Trump Administration opened more than 9.3 million acres of old growth stands in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to logging companies which can now build roads and cut timber in this pristine ecosystem. This decision reversed protections created by the US Forest Service’s Roadless Rule Policy which this week has been in place for 20 years. Our first guest today is Jim Furnish, a longtime Forest Service official who explains the importance of the Tongass, the significance of the Roadless Rule Policy, and the prospect of a re-reversal once Joe Biden becomes President. Then, we revisit part of our 2015 discussion with environmental journalist Kate Sheppard as she recounts how sea level rise has imperiled the small Alaskan port town of Shishmaref.
While history books will largely remember 2020 as the year of a global pandemic, it was also the year that Americans began to truly embrace the Black Lives Matter movement. The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor – and most recently the verdict in the shooting of Jacob Blake – brought about an outpouring of support in a year where there were only 18 days when police did not kill someone. We turn the page on 2020 on Sea Change Radio by revisiting two of our discussions about the black experience in this country. First, we hear from Castle Redmond, a managing director at the California Endowment as he talks about growing up Black in the Bay Area in the seventies. Then, a conversation with Maurice Plaines about the relationship between police and Black America.
As 2020 comes to a close, we are reminded of the old proverb, “It’s always darkest just before the dawn.” Covid deaths in the US have reached over 335,000 and ICU vacancies across the country are dangerously low; the current president is throwing a temper-tantrum and reminding us, once again, that our civic and political systems were not built in anticipation of people completely devoid of honor. On top of it all, we don’t get to finish this doozy of a year with anything close to the celebration it merits. Things do seem dark. But the second part of the adage is about dawn — something bright, warm, and hopeful on the horizon. This week on Sea Change Radio, in part 2 of our discussion with writer and political analyst John Stoehr, we try to turn the page on the Trump era, examine the Democrat/Republican divide in terms of messaging and policy, and talk about the gerontocracy that’s pulling the levers of governmental power in both parties.
The political antics of 2020 have been unlike anything most of us have ever seen. As we wrap up this year, we ask an old friend of Sea Change Radio to help us put a bow on it with an in-depth political analysis. This week on Sea Change Radio, the first in a two-part, free-flowing political conversation with journalist John Stoehr. We look at the final, exhausting days of the Trump administration, and try to decipher signals from Joe Biden as to whether he may be planning to prosecute the current president.
For environmentalists “agriculture” can be something of a dirty word, associated with other words such as, pesticides, water consumption, pollutants, and deforestation. Not all environmentalists have these negative associations, though. Some, like my guest today, are working to re-fashion agricultural practices so that they actually help to reverse environmental damage. This week on Sea Change Radio we are speaking with Joe Brewer, an American ex-pat living and working in the regenerative agriculture space in Colombia. We discuss his family’s journey to this small but vibrant farming community, the lessons he’s learned, and how those lessons can be scaled to bigger farms in the U.S.
2020 has certainly been a strange year. Everyone is waiting for things to go “back to normal” but what will normal be? Will there be any adaptations from this period that become permanent? Will we all be telecommuting and zooming indefinitely? Will urban centers continue to empty out? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to design professor and environmental journalist Lloyd Alter. We discuss the trend of people leaving cities for less dense pastures, look at new ways to consider home design now that so many of us are housebound, and take a look at buying options for one of the products that has seen a COVID-19 boom: electric bikes.
Six weeks ago, filmmaker James Redford passed away from cancer at the age of 58. He came on Sea Change Radio as a guest in 2012 to discuss his documentary film Watershed which provides the story of the Colorado River through the voices of its beneficiaries, from a fly fisherman to a rancher to a Navajo council member. The film is narrated by Jamie’s father, actor Robert Redford, and this week on Sea Change Radio we remember James Redford, by revisiting our 2012 discussion. Jamie explains some of the water issues related to the Colorado River (many of which persist today) and how these lessons can help inform conservation efforts around the globe.
As the author of “Jaws,” Peter Benchley, put it, “You could start now, and spend another forty years learning about the sea without running out of new things to know.” This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio would surely concur. Richard Delaney, the President and CEO of the Center for Coastal Studies, has spent the past forty some-odd years on Cape Cod, striving to understand the fathomless and majestic depths of the ocean. In our discussion, we look at the impact that pollution and climate change are having on the Cape’s fragile ecosystem, how shark, whale and seal populations have been affected, and what these changes mean for the area’s seafood industry. We also note that Delaney’s organization is currently hosting a free online film festival, coincidentally dubbed Sea Change Film Shorts 2020.
Many of us are about to embark on our first COVID-19 holiday shopping season. With so many of our favorite stores closed or out of business, a logical alternative is to buy online. But before you log into Amazon to fill your shopping cart, you might want to listen to this week’s episode of Sea Change Radio. Today we welcome two sociologists whose new book is called The High Cost of Free Shipping: Amazon In The Global Economy. We talk about the impact that this e-commerce giant’s exponential growth has on vulnerable populations, how the is public subsidizing the modern-day robber baron, and whether there may be ways to curb some of the company’s more predatory practices.
The New York Times recently compiled a list of 104 environmental protections that the Trump administration has rolled back in four short years — they include major climate policies as well as rules that ensured clean air and water, preserved wildlife, and regulated toxic chemicals. With the election of Joe Biden, however, many are hoping for a dramatic and immediate reversal. This week on Sea Change Radio, we unpack some of the key items on our environmental wishlist for the incoming Biden Administration with Mother Jones reporter Rebecca Leber. We talk about restoring our standing in the world by re-entering the Paris Climate Agreement, look at possible variations of a Green New Deal, and ponder what can be done with or without Democratic control of the Senate.