Eric Lebel: Cooking With Gas?

When momentum starts to build, people like to exclaim, “Now we’re cooking with gas!” Well, a recent study out of Stanford University might have us re-thinking that expression. The study found that methane leaking from stoves inside U.S. homes has the same climate impact as about half a million gasoline-powered cars and, furthermore, that these stoves expose household members to respiratory disease-triggering pollutants. Findings like these are prompting some jurisdictions, like the US’s largest urban center, New York City, to ban gas hook-ups in new buildings. Keep in mind that approximately 2000 new buildings are erected there each year. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with Eric Lebel, part of the Stanford research team that conducted the study, to learn more about their methods and findings. We discuss the impact that America’s 40 million gas stoves might be having on the air we breathe (both inside and out of our homes), how to transition away from these types of appliances, and why in many ways it’s an environmental justice issue.Read the show transcript

Andrea Copping: The Latest on Marine Energy Projects

We hear a lot about solar and wind power, but a renewable source of clean energy that continues to be largely untapped is the ocean. According to the US Energy Information Administration, the annual energy potential of waves off the coasts of the United States is 2.64 trillion kilowatt hours, or the equivalent of about 66% of this country’s electricity generation in 2020. Over the past two decades, many marine energy projects have sprung up around the world aiming to harness this seemingly limitless resource. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Andrea Copping, a senior research scientist at the Pacific Northwest Laboratory, to catch the latest on wave energy. We learn about the various technologies, the benefits these projects present, potential regulatory hurdles, and the kinds of harmful effects they may have on marine life.Read the show transcript

Global Investigative Journalism Network + Pandemic Plastic Use

An icon of 20th Century journalism, Walter Cronkite, once said, “The profession of journalism ought to be about telling people what they need to know – not what they want to know.” That quote was never more relevant than today. This week on Sea Change Radio we speak with two reporters. First we talk about the state of independent journalism with David Kaplan, the Executive Director of the Global Investigative Journalism Network, an organization promoting cutting-edge investigative reporting. Then we hear from Tara Duggan of the San Francisco Chronicle about some reporting she has done on single-use plastic products — how their use surged during the pandemic and whether retailers are finally reverting back to pre-pandemic practices.Read the show transcript

Celia Ouellette: The Business of Punishment in America (re-broadcast)

People sometimes like to quote that Bible passage about “an eye for an eye” when justifying a punitive criminal justice system focused on retribution and vengeance. Others like to repeat a saying often attributed to Ghandi, that “an eye for an eye will leave the whole world blind.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we get philosophical about crime and punishment. Our guest today is Celia Ouellette, a human rights lawyer and CEO of the nonprofit Responsible Business Initiative for Justice. Within the scope of her organization’s campaigns, we take a critical look at the American prison industrial complex and private prisons, the ineffectiveness of the death penalty, and the draconian practice of locking juveniles up for life.Read the show transcript

Bob Berwyn of Inside Climate News on the New Normal

The Marshall Fire that swept through the Boulder, Colorado area in the last days of 2021 seemed to be an aberration – a destructive wildfire raging while just a few miles away, skiers took turns through Rocky Mountain powder. But as we are learning on a daily basis, climate change predictably creates unpredictable weather events. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Bob Berwyn of Inside Climate News to learn what this fire that destroyed over one thousand homes reveals to us about the new normal.Read the show transcript

Daniel Oberhaus: Our Super-Charged Future (re-broadcast)

New iterations of the smartphone often focus on bells, whistles and other fancy features, when what we all really want for our devices are batteries that last longer. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak with technology writer and battery expert Daniel Oberhaus about the latest developments in the energy storage space. We learn about the role that solid state and lithium-silicon batteries may play in the machines of tomorrow, how artificial intelligence may improve battery life, and the progress being made to create recyclable batteries.Read the show transcript

The Last Straw: Mark Marinozzi + Romain Troublé (re-broadcast)

The next time you sip on a drink from a straw, you may want to think twice because humans are producing an inordinate amount of plastic waste on straws alone. Plastic straws are one of the leading contributors to ocean trash, they take up to 200 years to decompose and they can’t be recycled.  Every year, the US alone uses enough straws to fill up nine baseball stadiums. Plastic straws are pretty much the definition of wastefulness, they serve very little purpose and are terrible for the environment.  This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to two people who are doing their best to combat plastic waste in our oceans. First, Mark Marinozzi from World Centric gives us some important facts about plastic straws and talks about the best ways to fight the problem. Then, we hear from Romain Troublé whose organization, Tara Expedition, has been making scientific ocean voyages for the past fifteen years to monitor and collect data about ocean plastic waste.Read the show transcript

Joe Brewer: Farms of the Future (re-broadcast)

For environmentalists “agriculture” can be something of a dirty word, associated with other words such as, pesticides, water consumption, pollutants, and deforestation. Not all environmentalists have these negative associations, though. Some, like my guest today, are working to re-fashion agricultural practices so that they actually help to reverse environmental damage. This week on Sea Change Radio we are speaking with Joe Brewer, an American ex-pat living  and working in the regenerative agriculture space in Colombia. We discuss his family’s journey to this small but vibrant farming community, the lessons he’s learned, and how those lessons can be scaled to bigger farms in the U.S.Read the show transcript

Rob Schofield: Carolina In My Mind

Come election season, some of us who live in solidly “blue” states like California or New York take our activist selves on the road to so-called “swing states,” where our door-knocking will make the most impact. One possible destination next Fall for energetic canvassers is North Carolina, one of the nation’s most “purple“ states. This week on Sea Change Radio, we take a deep dive into North Carolina politics with Rob Schofield, the Director of NC Policy Watch. We recap the last few elections in the state, learn about battles over the fundamental right to cast a ballot, and take a look at some of the candidates and races slated for upcoming election cycles.

Read the show transcript

John Stoehr on Critical Race Theory Pt. 2

It’s right in the Declaration of Independence that everyone is created equal. So why is an entire political party so scared of talking critically about race in this country? This week on Sea Change Radio, the second half of our discussion with John Stoehr of The Editorial Board centered around the latest Republican boogeyman, critical race theory. We look at the media’s role in creating something out of nothing, compare critical race theory to the debate over gun control, and examine how the hullabaloo about CRT is connected to the so-called “Big Lie” and why both pose a threat to our democracy. Then, we hear an excerpt from Editorial Board contributor Magdi Semrau on how Black voices are largely left out of public education debates in this country.Read the show transcript