Amazon Update With Christian Poirier

Over the past fifty years, around 17% of the Amazon rainforest has been destroyed, according to the World Wildlife Fund, but as this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio explains, with fires and deforestation out of control, the situation could get even worse before we see any significant improvement. We speak to Christian Poirier of Amazon Watch to get a clearer picture of this largely man-made disaster in Brazil. While some steps to control the fires have been made recently by the Brazilian government, rampant deforestation continues unabated. Poirier gives us a closer glimpse into the agribusiness giants that are involved in the devastation, what his organization is doing to help stop it, and tells listeners what they can do to get involved in the struggle. Then, we take a peek into the Sea Change Radio archives and hear Kevin Walker talk about what he calls our grand food bargain.

Doris Kearns Goodwin: Leadership In Turbulent Times

What makes a great leader? This week on Sea Change Radio, we are honored to have Pulitzer Prize-winning presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin here to give us her take on that question. Goodwin’s book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, just released in paperback, re-examines four US presidents she has studied in the past: Abe Lincoln, Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt and Lyndon Johnson. She discusses the contrast between these presidents’ leadership and the behavior of the current grifter-in-chief, puts today’s impeachment proceedings in historical context, and hypothesize about how past presidents might have addressed momentous issues like climate change and election tampering. Then, we dig into the Sea Change Radio archives and listen to Rebecca Vallas, a Vice President at the Center for American Progress, talk about the Trump administration’s absurd claims that poverty and hunger are now things of the past in this country.

James Quilligan: The Commons and the Future of Democracy

What is the American dollar based on? It was based on the gold standard until 1971 when it transitioned to a floating monetary system. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio believes US currency now rests unofficially on the price of oil. What will a successful Green New Deal will look like if the underlying currency upon which the US economy rests is based on fossil fuels? We speak to James Quilligan, the Managing Director of Economic Democracy Advocates and longtime policy analyst in the international development space. Quilligan explains the history of the commons and monetary policy, points out some of the shortcomings of capitalism, and lays out how to ensure the survival of democracy. He argues that understanding the complexities of our global economic system is the first step in fixing it.

Chris Martenson: Dow Obsession Syndrome

The Dow Jones Industrial Average. What does this omnipresent ticker in the corner of our TV screens really mean? Is it a gauge of our country’s economic health, an indication of corporate growth, or something else? This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss the Dow and the stock market as a whole with economic researcher Chris Martenson. The co-founder of Peak Prosperity, Martenson talks about how our obsession with the Dow helps the investor class, describes the economic indicators that environmentalists should be looking at, and weighs in on whether it’s OK to root for the Dow to go down.

Ian Urbina on “The Outlaw Ocean”

This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Ian Urbina, a longtime investigative reporter for the New York Times whose latest book The Outlaw Ocean reveals many of the hidden costs of the seafood and shipping industries. After listening to Urbina discuss his book that took five years to research and led him around the globe through some of the deadliest waters on earth, it’ll make you realize that the reason something is impossibly cheap is because far too often it involves impossible human suffering.

Karla Mendes on Brazil’s For-Profit Fire Disaster

The Amazon is burning. And we’re not talking about the ubiquitous online store, although profit and commerce are just as involved. According to preliminary data from the Brazilian National Institute for Space Research (INPE),  deforestation of the Amazon rose 92 percent in the past year to 2,472 square miles – an area larger than the state of Delaware. And these fires, while posing a grave risk for wildfires, are not naturally-occurring. These are for-profit fires, intentionally set and on the rise, fueled by a right-wing government hostile to environmental interests. This week on Sea Change Radio, we get an inside glimpse into this environmental disaster with Brazilian environmental journalist, Karla Mendes. A Contributing Editor to Mongabay, Mendes explains how the new right-wing government in Brazil has paved the way for deforestation and exploitation by big business in some of the world’s most pristine rain forests. Then, we cast our net to the archives and hear from sea forager extraordinaire, Kirk Lombard.

Innovative Rocks + Cruise Ship Watchdogs

As summer draws to a close this week on Sea Change Radio, we take a dip into the archives. First, we speak to Ian Power, an assistant professor at Trent University in Ontario, Canada, who is working on a breakthrough in manufacturing a CO2-absorbing mineral called magnesite in a fraction of the time that it forms in nature. We discuss his team’s research, learn about the methods they used, and talk about this unusual mineral’s potential to fight climate change. Then, we hear from Kendra Ulrich, a Senior Shipping Campaigner at Stand about the downsides of the cruise industry. Ulrich tells us about the hazards presented by enormous cruise ships that float into some of the planet’s most fragile ecosystems, the diesel fumes that harm the lungs of the ship’s crew and passengers, and the greenwashing that the cruise-lines have used in response to allegations of environmental irresponsibility.

What a Waste: Mark Murray Reveals Flaws in Recycling Systems

Many of us concerned with the environment are conscientious about sorting our garbage. Those of us lucky enough to live in cities with curbside recycling feel pretty good that the majority of our garbage is diverted from landfill. Well, before we get too smug about it, perhaps we should take a closer look at where that waste goes after it leaves our hands. For example, did you know that pretty much all paper milk cartons in this country are plastic-lined and therefore end up in landfills? Or that 15% of the paper we ship to China for recycling doesn’t actually get recycled? This week on Sea Change Radio, Mark Murray, the Executive Director of Californians Against Waste, reveals the garbage in our global garbage systems. We discuss what consumers, manufacturers and retailers can do to improve the current system, where gains are being made, and what areas are ripe for improvement.

Bruce Bartlett: The Roots of Wreckage

Today on Sea Change Radio we take a little timeout from all things sustainability to analyze how the Republican Party has led us to some very uncertain and dangerous times with a white supremacist occupying the White House. To help us dissect the roots of modern Republicanism, we hear from author and economist Bruce Bartlett, who worked for both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations before defecting from the Party in 2003. We learn about Bartlett’s own political journey, debate the legacy of Ronald Reagan and discuss how this country’s conservative party has squandered an opportunity by not being the party of conservationism.

Dan Austin: 88Bikes

A generation ago, the dream of owning a bicycle was one shared by a vast number of American kids. While the explosion of competitors like video games and iPhones may have somewhat tempered that youthful enthusiasm for bikes in this country, there are still millions of children in developing nations who can only begin to imagine having their very own bicycle. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Dan Austin, is in the business of fulfilling those dreams for kids from Belgrade to Calcutta. He talks about his philanthropic nonprofit 88Bikes, the problem his organization is trying to solve and the unique way it puts donors directly in touch with recipients. Then, we dig into the Sea Change Radio archives to discuss ways to tackle homelessness in this country with San Francisco City Supervisor Rafael Mandelman.