Jon Maier: WTF Is An ETF?

Dipping one’s toe into a new pond can often mean getting accustomed to a whole new set of acronyms. Well, if you’re treading into the investment world for the first time, here’s one you should know – the ETF, or exchange-traded fund. This week on Sea Change Radio, we learn about the ETF market from Jon Maier, the Chief Investment Officer of Global X ETFs. ETFs are one of the largest segments of the financial services industry even though many of us don’t know the first thing about them. We discuss how ETFs work, what has helped propel them into a $10 trillion industry, and how monitoring ETFs lends insight into trends such as the future of electric vehicles in China. Then, we revisit our 2021 discussion with impact investment pioneer Raj Thamotheram about how the socially responsible investing field has changed over the years.Read the show transcript

Sammy Roth of the LA Times: Repowering The West

About 24% of the US population resides in the West, a region already profoundly affected by climate change. In 2021 nearly 95% of the American West was characterized by drought conditions, and anyone who lives on this side of the country knows that wildfires and rolling blackouts are now the norm rather than the exception. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Los Angeles Times energy reporter, Sammy Roth, about this energy-hungry region. We get an in-depth look at a big wind power project in Wyoming, examine the increasing water needs of one of California’s agricultural regions, and get a glimpse into the latest LA Times energy-related project, Repowering the West.Read the show transcript

Sachu Constantine of Vote Solar

It is estimated that over 2.5 million homes are equipped with solar panels in the U.S. And the popularity of capturing the natural power of the sun to heat and cool our homes is on the rise – according to the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) solar panel installations have increased by 43% in just the past couple of years. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is Sachu Constantine, the Executive Director of Vote Solar, a policy advocacy organization committed to expanding access to affordable solar energy. Constantine provides an update on net metering legislation in California, gives us a glimpse into what’s happening in the community solar space, and looks at hurdles to solar that the Trump Administration mounted.Read the show transcript

Waymap CEO Tom Pey

Have you ever watched in amazement as a visually impaired person nimbly maneuvers their way through a crowded subway station? Well, some thoughtful innovations are being developed to enable people with low vision to navigate the world with greater ease. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to the founder and CEO of Waymap, Tom Pey, about his start-up company’s breakthrough navigation technology. We discuss his company’s product, look at some of the challenges that people with disabilities face, and touch upon the promise of autonomous vehicles for those without sight.

Read the show transcript

Bianca Fortis on Florida’s Efforts to Disenfranchise Former Prisoners

Florida sort of defines the term “swing state.” The smallest of variables can push the outcome of Florida’s elections in one direction or another – in the year 2000 it was “hanging chads” and more recently it appeared it would be the re-enfranchisement of former felons. In 2018, Florida voters overwhelmingly passed Amendment 4, which restored the voting rights of most felons who had completed their sentences. This was a particularly important turn of events given the massive number of Floridians who could not vote due to felony convictions. Republican leadership in the state, however, has been working tirelessly to undermine the will of the people by making it harder for the formerly incarcerated to exercise their franchise. Some of the obstacles that have been erected include a requirement to clear all debts in order to vote – some former felons have actually been criminally prosecuted for voting without paying what in effect amounts to a poll tax. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to journalist Bianca Fortis who has written an investigative piece chronicling right wing efforts to keep Florida’s most vulnerable populations from participating in the democratic process. Then we dip into the archives to listen to our 2020 discussion with groundbreaking health physicist and nuclear expert, Hattie Carwell.Read the show transcript

“To Serve & Protect” Whom? Alec Karakatsanis on Copaganda

What comes to mind when you hear the words “crime” and “safety?” For many, these words evoke images of poor people stealing things, or police enforcing laws to suppress street crime. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio argues that there’s a whole set of crimes that have been intentionally omitted from the messaging we get and that, for many, “police” and “safety” are far from synonymous. This week we speak with Alec Karakatsanis, the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps. A former public defender and the author of “Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System,” Karakatsanis believes that much of our country’s perspective on crime and policing has been shaped by “copaganda,” the swaying of public opinion for the benefit of law enforcement. We look at the corrosive societal effects of historic and current police practices, examine how and why these wrongheaded approaches persist, and discuss the complicity of journalists and policymakers who fall for and then perpetuate the American mythology of crime and safety.Read the show transcript

RL Miller of Climate Hawks Vote on the Inflation Reduction Act

Are you weary of having to care about where headline-seeking Senators Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema land on important topics? Well, according to this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, relief may be in sight. This week we speak with grassroots organizer and Democratic insider RL Miller to dig deeper into the politics, logistics and the climate impact of the Inflation Reduction Act. The president and founder of Climate Hawks Vote, Miller believes Manchin is starting to see his star fade as he watches more progressive Democratic Senate hopefuls making inroads – she believes this is a key impetus for his and Sinema’s connection to this bill, and perhaps a sign of things to come. We also get a harrowing glimpse into Miller’s first-hand experience with the California wildfires.Read the show transcript

Daniel Nichanian on the Nuts and Bolts of Local Elections

Anyone who paid attention to the ugly aftermath of the 2020 presidential election suddenly realized that a coterie of state-level bureaucrats had a whole lot more power than we ever imagined. And it was a huge wake up call for those who have chosen not to vote in past local elections. Elections matter, even small ones. This week on Sea Change Radio, we welcome political scientist and election expert Daniel Nichanian to discuss the importance of local elections in this country and how his new media venture, Bolts Magazine, intends to shine a brighter light on small, but increasingly vital races in all fifty states. We talk about the upcoming midterms, uncover arcane election laws in certain states and examine what’s on the ballot locally in the wake of the Supreme Court’s reversal of Roe v. Wade.Read the show transcript

Indonesian Coal + Food For Soul

This week on Sea Change Radio, we dig into the archives and listen to two very different stories about consumption. First, we speak to global journalist Nithin Coca who has written a series of pieces for Mongabay.com about Indonesia’s alarming headfirst dive into the coal industry. We discuss the high-level corruption that allowed coal to take off in Indonesia, examine the lax regulatory standards that imperil workers while allowing the country to keep export prices low and learn about the environmental degradation that the Indonesian coal boom is causing. Then we revisit our conversation with Lara Gilmore, who along with her husband, chef and restaurateur Massimo Bottura, run the world-renowned Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. In addition to running a three-star Michelin restaurant, Bottura and Gilmore have created a unique template for feeding the needy through their nonprofit, Food For Soul. Based on the concept of the Italian refettorio, a place where monks gathered together to share their meals, Food For Soul has elevated the soup kitchen to a whole new level, cooking and serving delicious meals in warm, elegant environments.Read the show transcript

The Revelator’s John Platt on Endangered Species

Historian and philosopher Yuval Harari writes, “When the first humans reached Australia about 45,000 years ago, they quickly drove to extinction 90% of its large animals. This was the first significant impact that Homo sapiens had on the planet’s ecosystem. It was not the last.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss extinction with longtime journalist and founder of the environmental news site, The RevelatorJohn PlattWe look at efforts around the planet to save endangered plants and animals, explore the plight of smaller, often overlooked creatures, and examine the effects of war on fragile ecosystems.  Read the show transcript