John Stoehr: Evangelicals and the Orange Menace

Has it ever struck you as odd how white evangelicals in this country consistently and enthusiastically back a president with a verifiable history of strikingly lewd behavior? From multiple divorces to bragging about grabbing women by the genitals, from public affairs with porn stars to the suggestion that he’d like to date his own daughter, the man’s moral compass swings wildly away from due North. The evangelical right is historically famous for linking personal morality with fitness to govern. They attacked Bill Clinton unmercifully, for example, for his extra-marital concerns in the 1990s. But when it comes to Donald Trump, white evangelicals seem willing to reconsider this linkage, supporting him in record numbers. What’s behind this mysterious hypocrisy? This week on Sea Change Radio we speak with Editorial Board Founder and Publisher John Stoehr, a journalist who spent his childhood among white fundamentalist Christians. He applies his insights and posits that an authoritarian cosmology and nihilism about the environment enable white evangelical Christians to abandon the Golden Rule in favor of the Orange Menace.

Phil Ting: Policies For Clean Cars and Recycling

Can you imagine how hard it must be for legislators to know where to focus their energies? The problems that require reform and improved public policy are vast and varied. But as this week’s guest explains, there’s really nothing more important than ensuring clean air and water. Today on Sea Change Radio, we speak with California Assemblymember Phil Ting about his efforts to promote recycling and cleaner cars. We look at the impediments to systemic change, breakdown his proposals, and talk about the amount of political capital required to advance the most fundamental components of life on earth: clean air and water.

Nori + Keeling Curve Prize

If you ask most people what they think of blockchain applications or cryptocurrency, the response is usually a blank stare of utter bafflement. Well, this week on Sea Change Radio, we are going to try to make some sense of this arcane concept as we re-visit our 2018 discussion with Paul Gambill, an entrepreneur who has devised a carbon dioxide removal marketplace which incorporates blockchain applications. Gambill explains how his startup, Nori, uses this cryptography-based technology, how it plans to ramp up into a vibrant marketplace of buyers and sellers, and why he believes this could actually help reverse the effects of climate change. Then, we speak to Jackie Francis, the executive director of the Keeling Curve Prize as she tells us about her organization’s mission and gives us a glimpse at some of the 2019 winners.

Sammy Roth: Salton Sea Lithium

If you follow tech news, it’s pretty hard to miss stories reminding us of the tremendous potential that lithium-ion batteries have in store for the world – longer times to gaze into our dazzling new smartphones  and longer distances to travel in our cutting-edge electric cars without a re-charge. And yet, most of us probably don’t think too much about the environmental cost of mining all of this lithium. In Australia and South America where 80-90 percent of the world’s raw lithium comes from, the extraction process is dirty and energy intensive. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Sammy Roth of the Los Angeles Times about the promise of extracting lithium in a much cleaner way right here in the US. We learn about plans to extract lithium from the Salton Sea geothermal fields in the Southern California desert, how this process will be viewed by environmentalists and what it could mean for the lithium industry.

Ben Ehrenreich: PG&E and the Nasty Side of Capitalism

There’s a quote often attributed, perhaps incorrectly, to the great economist John Maynard Keynes that “Capitalism is the extraordinary belief that the nastiest of men for the nastiest of motives will somehow work for the benefit of all.” The absurdity of this notion is being played out in real time in the form of smoke-filled air and rolling blackouts in Northern California, courtesy of the state’s largest monopoly, Pacific, Gas & Electric, better known as PG&E. This week on Sea Change Radio, journalist Ben Ehrenreich joins the show to discuss his piece in The Nation on PG&E and the utility company’s most recent episode of malfeasance. Ehrenreich provides an overview of PG&E putting profits before people, looks at some possible solutions to the problem and reminds us that capitalism’s nastiness is often at odds with a healthy planet.

Helen Mountford: The US Leaves Paris

For years, climate denialists put forth the narrative that it would cripple the US economy to sign on to international climate agreements like the Kyoto Protocol. They said that other major carbon emitting countries like India and China needed to be on board in order for the US to join. It’s clear now, however, that this narrative was always just a smokescreen. The Trump Administration is pulling the US out of the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, which notably does include India and China, and is an historic accord representing more than 87% of global greenhouse gas emitters. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Helen Mountford the Vice President for Climate and Economics at the World Resource Institute. She breaks down what the US withdrawal from the Paris Climate Agreement means. We look at when this withdrawal would actually go into effect, examine some Trumpian lies about the Agreement itself, and discuss the impact it will have on the US and the planet moving forward.

Carter Rubin: Traffic In Transition

Do you ever find yourself driving down a familiar street and suddenly encounter an unfamiliar right turn only sign that diverts all traffic off your intended route? The changing landscape of your city’s streets may be disconcerting and inconvenient, but there’s usually a fair amount of thought and intentional planning behind those changes. This week on Sea Change Radio, we learn about how transportation planning can limit car traffic and even improve socioeconomic equity. We speak with Carter Rubin, a mobility and climate advocate for the NRDC, who discusses various efforts to make cities like Barcelona, San Francisco and New York more livable for mass transit users, cyclists and pedestrians. Take a listen and maybe the next time you’re unceremoniously diverted from a main thoroughfare, your annoyance will be mitigated by a pinch of appreciation.

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.