Amy Harder: Investments in Nuclear Power + Plastics

If you had a million dollars what would you do with it? OK, now what if it were $100 billion? Today on Sea Change Radio, we are talking with Amy Harder, environment and climate reporter for Axios, about where some titans of industry are investing their money and the environmental impact it might have. You might be surprised to learn, for example, that Bill Gates has been pouring some of his considerable wealth into the nuclear energy sector. Harder recently interviewed Gates about his estimated half a billion dollar investment into TerraPower. She tells us about that as well as the big bets that companies like Exxon Mobil are making on ethane, a petrochemical by-product that is used to produce plastic.

Mark Coleman on Mindfulness and Nature

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.

PurpleAir Founder Adrian Dybwad (re-broadcast)

Northern California’s now infamous Camp Fire was not only the largest, longest, and deadliest wildfire in the state’s history, it also produced record amounts of smoke. Schools closed, there was a run on protective masks, and people were fashioning do-it-yourself air purifiers because there were none left in stores. And it looks like we will only see an acceleration of wildfires in the future. This grim forecast has brought a surge in traffic to websites that monitor air quality like AirNowWeather Underground, and PurpleAir. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with the founder and CEO of PurpleAir, a company that sells laser air quality sensors for home use at a reasonable price, and posts all the results in real-time on its site. We discuss PurpleAir’s business model, its unique brand of crowd-sourcing technology, and examine the ways that it casts the world in a different, and sometimes frightening, light.

James Hoggan: Politics in Polite Company

Has this ever happened to you: You are talking with a friend or family member, and as the topic moves to politics, things start to get a little heated. You make what you think are excellent points, based on data, logic, and what you fervently believe to be the absolute truth. Yet, when the debate concludes, somehow neither of you has budged an inch, and no one leaves any wiser. Perhaps this is why we are instructed to “never discuss politics in polite company.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we are talking about bridging the divide, with James Hoggan, an author and the co-founder of Desmog Blog. Hopefully, the next time the subject of impeachment or the Democratic nominee of your choice arises, the debate can be spirited, productive, and maybe even polite.

Soil4Climate: To Meat or Not To Meat?

To meat or not to meat? That is the question. Recent innovations in lab-grown meats seem to be making non-meat burgers and tacos a tastier option than they have ever been. But are these products too good to be true? And are non-meat alternatives always more ecologically responsible than actual meat? This week’s guests on Sea Change Radio have some thoughts on the matter. We speak with the co-founders of Soil4Climate, Seth Itzkan and Karl Thidemann, about the mission of their organization. They lay out the benefits of regenerative farming and grazing practices, as well as a lifestyle that includes eating plenty of meat. They also explain why they hope companies like Impossible Foods ultimately fulfill the promise in their name, and cease to be possible.

Adam Sobel: Science In The Eye Of The Hurricane

It’s summertime! That means county fairs, stone fruit, and hopefully a cool body of water in which to dip one’s toes. Of course, it also means record temperatures and the beginning of hurricane season. Today on Sea Change Radio we are talking weather with Adam Sobel, an atmospheric scientist at Columbia University. We discuss the difference between climate and weather, learn about the importance of accurate forecasts in the age of extreme weather, and dispel some preposterous myths about climate scientists.

Ramez Naam on the Green New Deal, Pt. 2 + Sunscreen Bans

If you’ve been wondering what people mean when they talk about a Green New Deal, today’s episode of Sea Change Radio should help. This week we air the second half of our discussion with technologist Ramez Naam. Last week Naam shared some of the specifics of the Green New Deal. This we talk about the best way to pitch any plan to the American public, whether a measure for restricting individual consumption ought to be included in the plan, and the importance of considering vulnerable populations around the globe when crafting sound climate policy. Then, with summer kicking off, we revisit our conversation with Craig Downs of the Haereticus Institute, to learn about which sunscreen ingredients to avoid and which are safe for fragile marine ecosystems.

The Ramez Naam Plan For De-Carbonization, Pt. 1

Whether or not we use the name Green New Deal to describe a set of aggressive long-term policies that will help humanity in the fight against climate change, most rational people agree that the status quo is completely unacceptable. The potential of a Green New Deal is that it could pave the way for some great minds to devise concrete proposals for reducing greenhouse gases in our atmosphere. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with one of those great minds, Ramez Naam, a futurist and technologist who’s crafted his own sort of Green New Deal. We delve into the nuts and bolts of Naam’s proposal and the problems it’s trying to solve, as he makes the case for why we may actually see bipartisan support for such a proposal.

Roger Gottlieb: Philosophy and the Environment

When you see someone littering a plastic bag into the street how do you judge that person? What about the person who stands by watching the litterer and does nothing? And what about the person who supports the policy-makers who want to dismantle the EPA, or support other steps that undermine the health of the planet? This week on Sea Change Radio, we welcome Roger Gottlieb, a philosophy professor at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, to discuss his new book Morality and the Environmental Crisis. We look at the moral conundrums and the bitter divisions among this country’s citizens over things as fundamental as clean air and water. Gottleib talks about effective ways to engage people to whom you may be diametrically opposed politically and the intersection of religion and environmental policy.

Climate Pioneers: Warren Washington + Kelly Gallagher

Since 1973, the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement has been bestowed upon people who have made a significant impact in the fight for a sustainable planet. Last week on Sea Change Radio, we spoke with noted activist climate scientist Michael Mann, who was one of two recipients of this year’s Tyler Prize. This week, we are honored to speak with the other Tyler Prize Laureate, Warren Washington, to learn about the beginnings of his groundbreaking career as an atmospheric scientist. Dr. Washington was the second African American to receive a PhD in meteorology. He’s a former chair of the National Science Board, and currently a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colorado. After our conversation with Dr. Washington, we chat with this year’s Tyler Prize panel moderator Kelly Sims-Gallagher, a professor at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, about the evolving intersection of global affairs and climate science.