John Platt: In Search of The Ivory-Billed Woodpecker

When you visit the World Wildlife Fund’s list of critically endangered species, the first animals named are large, beloved mammals like the African Forest Elephant and the Eastern Lowland Gorilla. While these majestic creatures tug at our heartstrings, there are also a lot of smaller, more unsung organisms that are in grave risk of extinction, like the lowly freshwater mussel. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to environmental writer, John Platt, the editor of The Revelator to talk about some of the less glamorous animals that have recently been declared extinct or are on the brink of extinction. First, we take a deep dive into the plight of the ivory-billed woodpecker, a regal swamp-dwelling bird whose demise may or may not have been premature. Then we discuss why Hawaii is referred to by some naturalists as the extinction capital of the world, and look at the ethical quandaries presented by the emerging field of resurrection biology, also known as de-extinction.Read the show transcript

Jim Motavalli on the EV Revolution


According to the International Energy Agency, over 14 million electric vehicles, or EVs, are expected to be sold globally in 2023. If this is accurate, EVs would account for about 18 percent of total car sales for the year, a 35 percent increase over 2022. The EV revolution is upon us, and here to help Sea Change Radio listeners decide where to plug-in is automotive journalist, Jim Motavalli. We discuss the puzzling decision by General Motors to shelve the Chevy Bolt, get some recommendations on new EV automakers and models, and examine America’s ongoing fascination with big old gas-guzzling trucks and SUVs.Read the show transcript

Wood Pellets: The New Coal (re-broadcast)

Back in the 16th century, when England began to run out of trees, it started burning coal. And by 1700, most Brits were using coal as their main source of fuel. But then coal became scarce. To come full circle, today England is burning large amounts of wood again – much of it in the form of wood pellets from the US. Wood has somehow been designated as a renewable energy source since the Kyoto Protocol in 1992 and the repercussions have been devastating. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to journalist Justin Catanoso, a journalism professor at Wake Forest University, about the dangers of this latest transition to a fuel source which is leading to deforestation and pollution. We learn about the wood pellet industry, manufacturing giant Enviva, and the wide-ranging problems caused by burning trees.Read the show transcript

Adam Woltag: Designing Sustainable Spaces

They say home is where the heart is, and it’s also where our story begins today. This week on Sea Change Radio, we talk to two people doing their best to make everyone’s home a happy one. First, we speak to architect Adam Woltag to discuss how sustainability factors into newly constructed buildings. We learn about a high-end luxury apartment building in Honolulu that is incorporating some cutting-edge technologies to conserve both power and water, examine how consumer demand for environmentally conscientious buildings continues to increase, and look at how this correlates to office spaces as well. Then, we dig into the archives and speak to Shamus Roller, the Executive Director of the National Housing Law Project, about housing challenges, evictions, and homelessness.Read the show transcript

Sasha Buchert of Lambda Legal: The Case For LGBTQ Equality

The passage of time has generally moved us in the direction of increased dignity and rights for members of the LGBTQ community in this country, with marriage equality officially recognized in 2015. But since then, the US Supreme Court has taken a sharp turn to the right, and we are now looking at the erosion of some hard-fought gains. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Sasha Buchert, a senior attorney at Lambda Legal about the many angles from which the right wing is attacking America’s LGBTQ community. We look at the battle to maintain fundamental human rights, talk about the struggles that transgender children are facing in states like Florida and Iowa, and examine the impact that uniformed LGBTQ personnel are making in the military, nearly a decade into achieving the right-to-serve openly. We also distinguish high-leverage legal issues from provocative but less substantive culture war misdirects.Read the show transcript

Namrata Chowdhary: Three (50) Is A Magic Number

In the first decade of this century many of us learned that the threshold for keeping our planet healthy was 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide. Advocates like those at emphasized the need to adopt practices to help the earth stay below that number. Well, unfortunately, we earthlings have blown through that limit and are presently looking at 419 parts per million. But that doesn’t mean the idea of lowering our carbon emissions is moribund. And there are still organizations like keeping the dream alive. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Namrata Chowdhary, the Head of Public Engagement at We learn more about the organization’s roots, examine some of the fights they’ve taken on, and discuss how they’re planning to evolve. We also talk about the corporatization of some larger environmental organizations and dive into the issues surrounding fossil fuel divestiture.Read the show transcript

Daniel Pye on the “Protecting Our Planet” Challenge

Backed by some of the world’s wealthiest people like Jeff Bezos and Michael Bloomberg, the Protecting our Planet (POP) campaign has a mission to ensure the protection of 30% of the world’s land and seas by 2030. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Mongabay reporter Daniel Pye to learn more about this bold initiative. We check in on the progress of the group two years into its launch, look deeper into its finances, and discuss the realistic expectations for what POP might be able to accomplish.Read the show transcript

Finless Foods: A Different Kettle of Fish

Long time Sea Change Radio listeners know a thing or two about the challenges of being both a seafood lover and an environmentalist. It’s hard to keep track of which seafoods are sustainable and which involve practices that cause egregious harm to ecosystems and humans alike — so much so that places like the Monterey Bay Aquarium have created handy guides for shopping and ordering at restaurants. Fortunately, there are people dedicated to finding ways to get protein without depleting the planet’s oceans, like our guest today on Sea Change Radio. This week we speak with Shannon Cosentino-Roush, the Chief Strategy Officer of Finless Foods, a start-up that makes a plant-based alternative tuna product and is awaiting federal approval for its cell-based seafood product. We learn about the ins and outs of the alternative seafood industry, look at the exploding popularity of poké bowls, and examine the frontier of cell-based protein manufacturing.Read the show transcript

NC Newsline Editor Rob Schofield on Elephants, Donkeys and Leopards

They say a leopard doesn’t change its spots, but last week, North Carolina state representative Tricia Cotham switched from the Democratic Party to the Republican Party, suddenly shifting the balance of power in the Tar Heel state. With Cotham’s assistance, Republicans in the general assembly now have enough votes to override any vetoes by the state’s Democratic governor, Roy Cooper. Our guest on Sea Change Radio is Rob Schofield, the Editor of NC Newsline, who will give us the inside scoop on Cotham’s spot-changing move to the GOP, lay out what it could mean for North Carolinians, and explore some other recent under-the-radar results from the 2022 midterms.Read the show transcript

Laughing through Tears: Andrew Boyd on Better Catastrophes

In Yiddish there’s a term, “a bitterer gelekhter,” which basically captures the idea of laughing through the tears. There are some situations that are so absurdly grim that, instead of crying, you just gotta laugh. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with author and humorist Andrew Boyd about his new book, “I Want A Better Catastrophe: Navigating the Climate Crisis with Grief, Hope, and Gallows Humor.” We examine what Boyd means by “a better catastrophe,” look at how the pandemic may have paved the way for Biden’s climate bill, and discuss the nature of gallows humor and how it can be used to heal rather than divide.Read the show transcript