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.

Jessica McCarty on Arctic Wildfires

You may have seen some headlines recently declaring that “The Arctic is on Fire!” Are these just sensationalist reports? Or do these fires represent an unprecedented and alarming danger? This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is Dr. Jessica McCarty, a satellite data expert and a professor at Miami of Ohio. She describes how weather data are collected, explains how this summer’s arctic fires in Greenland, Canada, Alaska and Russia stack up historically, and tells us what they mean for the planet moving forward.

Mike Markus + Donnel Baird: From Wastewater to Retrofitting

What would you say to the idea of drinking a tall, cool glass of wastewater? On the face of it, it sounds, well, yucky. But it turns out you’ve probably been drinking it all along. There’s good technology now for extracting impurities and making even the dirtiest water potable. And some water districts around the country are taking this technology to scale. This week on Sea Change Radio, we dig into the archives and hear from Mike Markus, the General Manager of the Orange County, California Water District. Orange County’s practices may represent the high water-mark for the re-use of H2O. Then, we speak with Donnel Baird, the founder and CEO of BlocPower, a startup that uses technology to retrofit buildings in financially underserved communities. Baird explains BlocPower’s business model, tells us what inspired him to start the company, and talks about the challenges that the current political environment brings.

Christian Shearer: Regeneration Innovation

How is blockchain connected to healing the earth? This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio can explain — he is Christian Shearer, the CEO of Regen Network. We discuss his company’s business model, how Regen Network might help stem the tide of Big Agriculture, and the differences between permaculture and regenerative farming.

Amy Harder: Investments in Nuclear Power + Plastics

If you had a million dollars what would you do with it? OK, now what if it were $100 billion? Today on Sea Change Radio, we are talking with Amy Harder, environment and climate reporter for Axios, about where some titans of industry are investing their money and the environmental impact it might have. You might be surprised to learn, for example, that Bill Gates has been pouring some of his considerable wealth into the nuclear energy sector. Harder recently interviewed Gates about his estimated half a billion dollar investment into TerraPower. She tells us about that as well as the big bets that companies like Exxon Mobil are making on ethane, a petrochemical by-product that is used to produce plastic.