Barbara Freese: Industrial Strength Denial

The next time you hear the White House assert that up is down and down is up, consider what paved the way for this template of mendacity. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with environmental attorney and author Barbara Freese about her new book, “Industrial Strength Denial.” Freese takes us on a historical tour of the havoc that big business has wreaked on the planet and on truth itself. We discuss the climate change denial movement and how it relates to the Trump Administration’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, as well as the pernicious legacy of leaded gasoline.

Frederick Kaufman: Voices Inside Our Heads

When faced with something overwhelming, terrifying, or incomprehensible, the human mind can get pretty creative. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to author Frederick Kaufman about the common threads running through pandemics, money, and food systems: namely, conspiracy theories. First, we look at the parallels between the COVID-19 pandemic and the yellow fever that swept through this newly formed country in the 1790s, and how it contributed to some wild theories at the time, including the Illuminati. Then, we get a sneak peak at Kaufman’s upcoming book, “The Money Plot,” where he describes how frustration in trying to grasp the complexity of financial systems can also lead to unsubstantiated explanations, sometimes with very bloody outcomes. Lastly, we discuss how the corporate food industry has orchestrated a bit of a panic in order to maximize profits, taking advantage of this global pandemic.

Jeremy Miller on Foxes, Henhouses and Trojan Grouses

The Republican habit of putting wolves in charge of our nation’s henhouses hits those who love the environment particularly hard. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with journalist Jeremy Miller about how the current EPA and Department of Interior are taking advantage of our current lockdown, working with big business and right-wing think tanks to rollback environmental protections. We discuss efforts to continue drilling on fragile lands despite plummeting oil prices, look at the uranium mining industry and its voracious thirst for water, and examine efforts by ranchers to deforest some of the West‘s hidden gems.

The Dow of Deception: Mark Tulay

As the horrendous economic news continues to pile up, somehow stock prices keep bouncing back, leaving many of us scratching our heads. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio tries to help us make sense of it all. Mark Tulay, a consultant and expert in the field of sustainable investing, breaks down how Wall St. can essentially ignore economic reality, and how the stock market paints a picture of economic health despite the tens of millions of Americans suddenly out of work. Will Wall St. be able to paper over the vast inequities in this country and propel the Sociopath-in-Chief to re-election in November? Or will this finally be the moment when we recognize that the stock market is a poor barometer for the country’s economic well-being? We also discuss the pandemic’s effect on sustainable investment, examine which companies are seriously committed to the green revolution, and try to predict what this upheaval will mean for Wall St. long term.

Marie Mutskui Mockett: American Harvest

Anyone who has gone to the grocery store during the COVID-19 health crisis must have wondered to themselves at some point why there was no toilet paper, milk or flour all of a sudden. It’s an important reminder that most of us have very little idea how things go from being planted in the ground to being stocked on our shelves. On this week’s Sea Change Radio, we speak with Marie Mutsuki Mockett, an author whose family owns a wheat farm in Nebraska. Her new book, American Harvest, takes us inside the world of wheat harvesting. We get a glimpse into the lives of the farmers she met while researching her book, discuss how those in the industry are coping with the pandemic and take a closer look at some of the agricultural industry’s practices.

Dave Brown: How We Shop For News

Media critics have pointed out that news stations these days tend to have a political bent – gone are the days of “objective” journalism. At the same time, it must be acknowledged that MSNBC and Fox News differ greatly in their treatment of what is factual. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio thinks it’s all garbage. We are talking with Dave Brown, an attorney, podcast host and freelance sports columnist. We debate the merits of cable TV news, look at the impact it makes during a global health crisis, and speculate about what, if anything, can be done to remediate the bloviation.

The Muckraker: Jared Yates Sexton

As most of us have been cooped up doing our best to keep the pandemic at bay, the current resident of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. has decided that his job is to make daily TV appearances wherein he flouts science, deludes the public, brags about made-up accomplishments, and bullies members of the White House press pool who deign to ask him straightforward questions. It’s just another day in this truth-is-stranger-than-fiction reality we are all doing our darndest to get through. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with political analyst and author Jared Yates Sexton about a Republican Party that has chosen to be led by a malignant narcissist, a situation that has only gotten worse in the midst of an unprecedented global health crisis. We learn about what Yates refers to as the “Republican Death Cult,” discuss the effect this party has had on the climate movement, and get a glimpse of the struggle over universal access to the ballot box.

Meet the Candidate: Evelyn Farkas

Since we don’t have one in the White House, what would it be like to have a representative in Congress who truly understood the nuances of international diplomacy? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Evelyn Farkas. She was a Defense Department official under the Obama Administration, is an expert on Russia and the Ukraine, and she’s currently a candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in New York’s 17th district. We discuss what it’s like to campaign virtually for office during the coronavirus shutdown, what a Democratic Congress can do to hold the current administration accountable for its panoply of misdeeds, and how environmental protections are dropping by the wayside during this health crisis. Then, we revisit part of our 2019 conversation with Dan Austin, the founder of 88 Bikes, a nonprofit that gets bikes to those who cannot afford them.

Chinese Air Quality + Ekoru Search Engine

Looking for some good news as we enter yet another week of sheltering-in-place? Perhaps you feel like doing a Google search to discover an upside to the slow down? As this week’s first guest on Sea Change Radio, Liz Kimbrough, notes, there are no true silver linings from this pandemic. But if you squint hard enough, it’s possible to catch a glimmer of light at the end of this scary, dark tunnel. Kimbrough, a writer for the online environmental journal, Mongabay, takes us through some of her recent reporting. First, we discuss the impact that global economic stagnation is having on our air quality and then we look at efforts that are being taken to protect the 1000 or so mountain gorillas that remain on earth from contracting COVID-19. After that, we speak to Ati Bakush about his company Ekoru, a Malaysian-based search engine that runs on water power and donates 60% of its revenues to ocean conservation. After learning about Ekoru, perhaps you’ll feel like switching out your default search engine before you run that search for good news!

Matt Haney: COVID Contingencies

Over the years, we’ve learned from countless sustainability experts that in the climate change fight it makes sense for humans to live more densely and efficiently. Now, however, in the midst of a global pandemic, we recognize that density may have other ramifications. This week on Sea Change Radio, we dive into the Covid-19 planning policy weeds with San Francisco Supervisor Matt Haney. Haney has been an outspoken advocate for more equity in this city now famous for its extreme wealth divide, so the impact of this crisis and the shelter-in-place order on those living on the margins is of particular interest to him. We discuss his work with local hotels to shelter people experiencing homelessness, the struggle to develop smart policy responses to a situation in constant flux, and what can be done to protect seniors, small, local businesses, and gig-economy workers.