Decision 2020: Aaron Huertas of Healthy Voting

The clock is ticking down on Decision 2020. Whether they are talking about record turnout, or voter suppression, or the reliability of polling data, the pundits are in agreement on one thing: 2020 is an election like no other. This week on Sea Change Radio, we are speaking with political consultant Aaron Huertas about how this unique election is unfolding. We learn about how and when Americans are exercising their franchise, the growth in early voting around the country, hot spots for voter suppression, and what all of us can do to make a difference before the last ballot is cast.

Howard Frumkin: Time For A Planetary Checkup

When a member of your household feels unwell, a good first step is to find the thermometer — if there’s a fever, it could be something serious. Well, these days our planet is exhibiting signs of illness, from swarms of locusts in East Africa and southwest Asia, to the smoke spreading from California’s infernos, to a massive release of greenhouse gasses from once-frozen, now-burning Siberia. And Covid itself may serve as both a metaphor and an exemplar of the inextricable connection between the planet’s health and that of our species. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Howard Frumkin, a physician and environmentalist who recently coauthored a book entitled Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves. We talk about how the pandemic exposes planetary health issues related to food, population, and politics, and touch on what we can do to bring the patient’s fever down.

Dan Dicker: Turning Oil Green

In the words of the late US Senator Everett Dirksen, “the oil can is mightier than the sword.” Whether it is mightier than the COVID-19 virus remains to be seen, however. This week on Sea Change Radio, we welcome back energy expert Dan Dicker to talk his new book, Turning Oil Green. Dicker views oil companies and oil-rich countries like Saudi Arabia through an unexpectedly nuanced and sanguine lens as we discuss the role they may play in our energy future. We also delve into the current state of the fracking industry in the US and how the global pandemic has affected the fossil fuel industry.

Lee van der Voo: As The World Burns

A few years ago, we discussed a high profile case, Juliana v. U.S., brought by 21 remarkable young plaintiffs across the country. The plaintiffs, most of whom were children when the case was first filed, essentially argued that their government had a legal obligation to protect them from the effects of climate change, an obligation they were failing to meet. This week on Sea Change Radio, we get an update on the lawsuit from journalist Lee van der Voo who has chronicled the case in her new book, As The World Burns. Then we dig into the Sea Change Radio archives and hear a bit from our 2017 conversation with Philip Gregory, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs in the Juliana case.

George Monbiot on the Power of Narrative and Altruism

As 2020, aka the year from hell, rolls on, we thought it might be a good time to revisit an uplifting voice from less troubled times. This week on Sea Change Radio, we dig into the archives and listen to our 2017 discussion with British writer and environmentalist, George Monbiot. We talk about his book, Out of the Wreckage, where Monbiot examines how our politics have been mired between the redundant doctrines of Keynesianism and neoliberalism – and he reminds us of the importance of recognizing altruism and of the power of narrative in the human psyche. In addition to providing some insight into how we ended up here, it’ll hopefully help you take your mind off of this dismal year.

Daniel Kirk-Davidoff on Grids + Climate Reports

Did you lose power at some point this summer? Between the gaps in electricity service, sheltering in place, the fires on the West Coast, and the multiple tropical storms hitting in the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico, people in the US have many reasons to be averting their gaze from the future of our climate. There are, however, a few courageous souls in our institutions of higher learning who persist in imagining what the world will look like a decade or more into the future. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Daniel Kirk-Davidoff, a research scientist at Underwriters Laboratories. He gives us a glimpse into the 2035 climate report from the Center for Environmental Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley – there’s actually some good news in there. He also sheds light on the complex choices and gambles that result in rolling blackouts across the US. While record high temperatures battered the world this summer, not every country’s electrical grid responded in the same way.

Holy Smoke! Air Quality Meteorologist Scott Landes

With record-setting wildfires blanketing large swaths of the Western United States in smoke, we thought it appropriate to speak to someone who knows a thing or two about wildfire smoke. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to the chief air quality meteorologist for the State of Colorado, Scott Landes, to learn more about the cause of these fires, their harmful effects, and what we can do to protect ourselves.

John Stoehr on the 2020 Presidential Election

In a little over 10 weeks, every American citizen will have the opportunity to have their vote counted to either elect a new president or to keep the current president in place. Or that’s what’s supposed to happen in theory, anyway. In reality, the principle of “one person, one vote” is violated in American electoral practices. This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk to political writer John Stoehr of The Editorial Board about the upcoming American presidential election, and about the gross inequities built into the electoral college system. We also discuss whether the goal of unifying the country should take a backseat to advancing truth, justice, and equity. And we contemplate what Donald Trump’s end game is for this election — is he truly driven by a desire to lead the country for four more years, or is he mostly just thinking being president is the best way to stay out of prison?

Under Pressure: Jeremy Hance

These dark and troubling times have left very few of us stress and anxiety free. So we thought we’d check in with an expert on germophobia and anxiety. No, our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is not a psychologist. He is an environmental journalist, writer for Mongabay, and long-time friend of the show, Jeremy Hance. Hance has struggled with mental illness and anxiety for decades, and recently wrote a book documenting his travails. “Baggage: Confessions of a Globetrotting Hypochondriac,” is brave, thoughtful and often quite hilarious. Our discussion with Hance may just give you a different perspective the next time you read an investigative piece that takes place in some exotic locale. Perhaps it will also lend perspective as we all struggle with our own negative thoughts and uneasiness.

Patrick Hruby: Sports In The Time Of COVID

Not too long ago, it was fairly normal for many of us to spend 4-5 hours a week yelling at the TV, providing valuable encouragement and critique to athletes who cannot hear us. If you’re a sports fan, or if you live with one, you know what I’m talking about. This week on Sea Change Radio, we take a look at how sports are adapting in the time of COVID-19 with sports journalist Patrick Hruby. While Clemson University’s star quarterback Trevor Lawrence made some waves by kicking off the #WeWantToPlay meme among college football players, more rational minds like Washington Nationals pitcher Sean Doolittle asserted that sports should be “the reward of a functioning society.” Hruby talks about where things stand as sports resume in empty arenas across North America, and about how effective leadership ensures smoother transitions to normalcy. Can sports resume the way the NFL and major league baseball are hoping, or do the leaders of these industries need someone to offer them some good advice from the sidelines?