John Stoehr: Guns And White Power

The term “civil liberties” may connote different associations, depending on where you fall on the political spectrum. While some connect the term with the struggle for racial justice or reproductive freedom, for others it may evoke a belief in their right to bear arms. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is John Stoehr, the founder and publisher of The Editorial Board. In the wake of the latest horrific rounds of gun violence in this country, Stoehr reflects on how America’s lack of gun regulations reveals deeper societal flaws. He explains how the violent fervor surrounding so-called 2nd Amendment rights stems from a power structure rooted in white male dominance. He also connects the dots to the impending repeal of reproductive protections and xenophobic approaches to immigration.

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Neel Dhanesha: Nurdle Hurdles

What is a nurdle, you ask? Is it the latest variation on the popular New York Times puzzle, Wordle? No, not quite. Nurdles are the tiny little petroleum-based building blocks of the plastics industry. And they are literally everywhere. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Neel Dhanesha to learn about the role nurdles play in the half-trillion dollar global plastics industry and why they are a big problem for the environment. Then, we revisit part our discussion with Dan Austin, the founder of The 88Bikes Foundation.

William Moomaw: Climate Change Assessments

“It is unequivocal that human influence has warmed the atmosphere, ocean and land. The scale of recent changes are unprecedented over many centuries to many thousands of years. Human-induced climate change is already affecting many weather and climate extremes in every region across the globe.” These words of warning, read by today’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Professor Bill Moomaw, are from the most recent report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (or IPCC). This week we speak with Dr. Moomaw, a climate scientist and longtime faculty member at the Fletcher School at Tufts University, about the inner workings of the IPCC, on which he has served for many years. We talk about barriers preventing more expeditious responses to the looming threat of climate change, examine the flaws in some quick-fix proposals, and look at realistic paths toward keeping our planet habitable for centuries to come.

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States Newsroom: A Novel Approach To State-Level News

There are forces in the US that like to selectively bring up “states rights” from time to time – with the impending decision stripping the federal protections for access to safe abortion, this is one of those times. But most of us don’t methodically monitor what happens in states that are not our own. Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a single source where one could find reliable reporting on state-level politics and policies? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to the Founder and Publisher of the States Newsroom, Chris Fitzsimon. We discuss the business model for this nonprofit news outlet, the landscape of the online news industry, and why it’s more vital than ever to deliver readers truthful, well-presented local news. Then, we revisit part of last year’s discussion with Liz King, the Director of Education at the Leadership Council on Civil and Human Rights, as she outlines the battle over civil rights in our nation’s public schools.Read the show transcript

David v. Goliath: Danna Smith + Leo Woodberry v. Big Conservation

With around a billion dollars in annual revenue, The Nature Conservancy is the largest organization of its kind in America. Their stated mission is to “conserve the lands and waters on which all life depends” and they boldly claim to have “done more than anyone else to advance conservation around the world.” And yet, this large, powerful group is under fire from a set of progressive grassroots environmental justice advocates. This week on Sea Change Radio, we welcome the Reverend Leo Woodberry and Danna Smith to the show. Woodberry is pastor of Kingdom Living Temple in Florence, South Carolina and the executive director of the nonprofit New Alpha Community Development Corporation, and Smith is the executive director of the Dogwood Alliance. They explain why they are critical of The Nature Conservancy’s stance on carbon offsets, wood pellet usage and its dubious alliance with the wood products industry.Read the show transcript

SF Public Defender Peter Calloway Pt. 2: Recall Rubbish

More than 20 years ago, sociologist Barry Glassner wrote his bestseller The Culture of Fear, where he explains why Americans tend to be unreasonably afraid of things like crime, drugs, people of color, immigrants, teenagers, etc. He writes, “The short answer to why Americans harbor so many misbegotten fears is that immense power and money await those who tap into our moral insecurities and supply us with symbolic substitutes.” This week on Sea Change Radio, the second half of our discussion with San Francisco deputy public defender, Peter Galloway. We delve further into the danger of cherry-picked crime statistics, look at the upcoming recall election of San Francisco’s relatively new District Attorney, Chesa Boudin, and examine the recent recall trend in the nation’s most populous state.Read the show transcript

SF Public Defender Peter Calloway Pt. 1: Crime And Moral Panic

In his astute and timeless book, How to Lie with Statistics, Darrell Huff writes, “The secret language of statistics, so appealing in a fact-minded culture, is employed to sensationalize, inflate, confuse, and oversimplify.” This statement is at least as true as it was in 1954 when it was first published. Among the subjects most prone to statistical abuse: criminal justice. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio is Peter Calloway, an outspoken public defender whose Twitter thread about crime in San Francisco went a little bit viral last week. In the first half of our two-part conversation, we discuss the significance of US Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson, who is not only the first Black woman to serve on the highest court, but also the first public defender. We also talk about the role of the public defender’s office and why people tend to fall for sensationalized crime statistics.Read the show transcript

Lambda Legal CEO Kevin Jennings on the Fight For Equal Rights (re-broadcast)

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. famously instilled optimism with his proclamation that, “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” He was speaking in relation to the long struggle for racial equity, but the words are also applicable to the advancement of civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Kevin Jennings, the CEO of Lambda Legal, one of the nation’s leading advocacy groups for the LGBTQ community. We look at some of the key legal battles unfolding in courtrooms around the country, discuss the political ramifications of social wedge issues, and examine the efficacy of hate crime legislation.Read the show transcript

Hog Wild: Susanne Rust on the Feral Pig Problem

You may not have seen them running through your yard, but just wait. Feral pigs are everywhere and they’re a growing problem. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Susanne Rust, an environmental reporter from the Los Angeles Times. She talks about the millions – yes,  millions of wild pigs roaming the countryside, and the multitude of problems they bring: eating like pigs and breeding like rabbits, these wild swine trample fragile habitats and imperil other animals, ecosystems, and even humans.Read the show transcript

Jesse Tran: Coffee Waste Sneakers

According to a study conducted by Quantis International, footwear production is responsible for about 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide, or 1.4% of total global climate emissions. The negative impact of athletic footwear in particular includes problematic waste stream and labor practices, as well. So what can you do when you want to be responsible but you need new kicks? This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with the founder of Rens Original, Jesse Tran, about his company’s unique method of manufacturing shoes from spent coffee grounds and recycled plastic. Then, we revisit our discussion with independent journalist Brett Simpson as we imagine a world without traffic cops.Read the show transcript