Alexander Zaitchik on Effective Altruism + Longtermism

As the news that thirty year-old cryptocurrency baron, Sam Bankman-Fried‘s, FTX empire suddenly collapsed, the residual effects reverberated in the spheres of business, politics and philanthropy. Bankman-Fried was one of the largest donors to and a huge proponent of effective altruism, a social and philosophical movement started by academics Peter Singer, Toby Ord, and William MacAskill. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to author and journalist Alexander Zaitchik to learn more about the effective altruism movement and its offshoot known as “longtermism.” We discuss how longtermism sprung from effective altruism, how the downfall of Bankman-Fried might change the mega-philanthropy space moving forward, and how the movement all too often ignores the immediate threat of climate change.Read the show transcript

Andrea Thompson of Scientific American on COP 27

While much of the world turns its gaze to the first World Cup held in the Middle East, there was recently another important international gathering on the environmental front nearby. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Andrea Thompson of Scientific American to get a better understanding of what was discussed at the United Nations Climate Change Conference known as COP27 that just took place in Egypt. We look at the hurdles that need to be overcome by the major emitting countries, examine the impact of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and talk about the irony that one of the least eco-friendly countries was hosting a global climate summit.Read the show transcript

Ian Power + Brent Constantz: Don’t Take The Planet For Granite

This week on Sea Change Radio, we dig into the archives and take a look at two mineral-based innovations. 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 talk about 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 Brent Constantz, the founder of Blue Planet Systems, a company that has developed innovative carbon-capturing methods for concrete production. We discuss Blue Planet’s latest projects, look at the industry as a whole, and examine some encouraging concrete recycling solutions.Read the show transcript

Roderick Graham: The End of Affirmative Action?

With the right-leaning US Supreme Court poised to eliminate affirmative action in higher education around the country — this seemed like an opportune moment to take stock of how effective affirmative action has been since President Kennedy instituted it in 1961. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Roderick Graham, a sociology professor at Old Dominion University to examine who will actually be affected by the seemingly inevitable change, what the right wing might do once affirmative action is gone, and how this decision may affect other selection preferences in college admissions.Read the show transcript

Bugging Out: Anne Carlson of Jiminy’s + Chef Bun Lai

Do you have environmental food guilt? There’s no actual definition for that (because we just made it up), but many of us definitely know how it feels: that regretful pang we get, knowing that much of the food we either eat or feed our pets is doing harm to the environment. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to two people cultivating alternative food sources in order to help the planet. First, the founder and CEO of Jiminy’s, Anne Carlson, discusses how their company makes insect protein-based pet food. Then, we speak to acclaimed chef and sustainable food pioneer Bun Lai to learn about his vision for making both Mother Earth and her human inhabitants healthier by incorporating insects and invasive species into dining experiences.Read the show transcript

Shrimpbox: A Cleaner Approach To Seafood

Shrimp is America’s most popular seafood product. Yet, the industry is rife with problems, from human slavery to ecological devastation. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Daniel Russek, the founder and CEO of Atarraya, a Mexican-based company whose innovative shrimp farming solution is called Shrimpbox. Russek talks about the problematic practices plaguing the shrimp industry worldwide and gives us a peek into the Shrimpbox approach.Read the show transcript

Defenseless: Daniel Medwed on Incarcerated Innocents

Many followers of the highly publicized Adnan Syed case were delighted to see an innocent man set free after over two decades behind bars. But the case also highlighted some troubling aspects of American justice, or in Syed’s case, injustice. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Daniel Medwed, a law professor at Northeastern University and an innocence advocate. His new book, Barred: Why the Innocent Can’t Get Out of Prison, takes an in-depth look at how difficult it is for wrongful convictions to be overturned in this country. We examine the Syed case, learn about the plight of Harry Miller, and expose an ineffective system that tilts the scales against the most vulnerable.Read the show transcript

Midterm Musings: Robijn Van Giesen on the ’22 Election

With less than a month to go before the midterm elections, concerned citizens across the country are deciding which candidates to support through contributions of time, money and advocacy. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with longtime Democratic political consultant Robijn Van Giesen to gain insight into the closest Senate races – from Nevada and Ohio to Georgia and Wisconsin. We also look at the tight gubernatorial races in Texas and Georgia, along with Van Giesen’s own candidate, Kirsten Engel, who hopes to represent Arizona’s sixth congressional district. Hopefully this episode will inspire some of you to knock on doors, make phone calls, donate to candidates and get your friends on board.Read the show transcript

Mark Coleman on Mindfulness and Nature (re-broadcast)

The last time you went for a little walk around the neighborhood, did you take a few moments to drink in the natural beauty around you, even in the most unlikely of places, like a timid squirrel, a blossoming tree or a unique cloud formation or did you choose to zone out with a podcast, talk on the phone or text someone? This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio wants you to try your best next time to be more attentive of your surroundings – and, who knows, it might just become a habit. We speak to author and nature meditation teacher, Mark Coleman, about his new book From Suffering To Peace, and the steps we can take to appreciate our environment in hopes that we can become happier, kinder and better stewards of our planet.Read the show transcript

Shifting Sands: Juan Cole on Middle East Climate Woes

When it comes to the Middle East and the environment, many of us think first about the area’s role in petroleum production. But climate change is hitting this desert region hard – making it both a geopolitical and a literal hotbed. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Juan Cole, a professor of history at the University of Michigan, a noted blogger, and a Middle East expert. We discuss the struggle for clean air and water in the face of extreme heat in Iraq, Iran and Egypt and contrast it with record flooding currently affecting Pakistan. We also take a look at the negative environmental impacts of desalinization, a staple in desert nations and a solution many are calling for globally as fresh water becomes increasingly scarce.Read the show transcript