Alex Gilbert on West Virginia v. EPA

It seems like these days every sentence that begins with “The Supreme Court…” finishes with truly appalling news — another draconian ruling regarding privacy, guns, or basic, fundamental human rights. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to energy expert Alex Gilbert about a recent Supreme Court decision that many environmentalists were eyeing with dread. To Gilbert, though, things could have gone much, much worse in the West Virginia v. EPA case. We dive into the details of this ruling: its political ramifications, its practical implications, and what it suggests about this court’s future environment-related decisions.Read the show transcript

John Fleck: Drought Dilemmas and the Colorado River

Years of extreme drought have left the Colorado River at alarmingly low levels. Earlier this month, water management experts testified in front of a Senate energy and Natural Resources Committee that’s seeking ways for the Western United States to drastically cut back water usage. With all the recent reporting on the issue, it’s important to remember that this sad state of affairs has been a slow-moving disaster visible to all those willing to pay attention. This week on Sea Change Radio, we revisit our 2016 conversation with John Fleck, a water expert focused on the problems of the Colorado River and the author of “Water is For Fighting Over: And Other Myths About Water in the West.” We learn about the struggle over water rights in Arizona, discuss how Mexico and the US are cooperating over the Colorado River Delta and talk about the complexities of growing alfalfa in the desert.Read the show transcript

Summer Solstice Celebration: Bill Kreutzmann + Chuck Leavell

This week on Sea Change Radio, we celebrate the summer solstice to revel in our planet and talk music as we dig into the archives to revisit our discussions with two legendary rock musicians who also care deeply about environmental causes. First, we listen to our 2011 conversation with Bill Kreutzmann, the drummer for the Grateful Dead, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and an organic farmer in Kauai who’s currently touring with Dead & Company. Then, our 2013 interview with sideman extraordinaire Chuck Leavell who, in addition to playing piano for the Rolling Stones, the Allman Brothers Band and Eric Clapton is quite passionate about preserving forests.Read the show transcript

The Promise of Psychedelic Therapy

Psychologist and pop culture icon of the 1960s, Timothy Leary, famously instructed San Francisco hippies to take psychedelic drugs in order to “turn on, tune in, and drop out.” These days there’s a movement in psychology, also centered in Northern California, advancing the use of psychedelics, as well. But the agenda is less about dropping out than about treating serious mental health challenges. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to two people about the intriguing new breakthrough that is ketamine therapy. First, we talk to Oli Mittermeier, the CEO and Co-founder of CIT Clinics to get a glimpse of his company’s innovative approach to ketamine treatment for depression, bipolar, and PTSD. Then, we hear from Reuben Steiger, an entrepreneur who found relief from decades of struggling with depression and bipolar through ketamine therapy.Read the show transcript

Crystal Kolden: Prepping For Wildfire Season (re-broadcast)

Yes, there will be millions of collective sighs as the deadliest pandemic in a century begins to abate and a more open summer kicks off. But summer also means the beginning of the wildfire season in the American West – a slew of deadly disasters lying in wait. Last year was the worst fire season in California’s recorded history and drought-like conditions portend another challenging summer. This week on Sea Change Radio, we speak to Professor Crystal Kolden of the University of California Merced, a wildfire expert and former firefighter. We talk about current preparations for impending fires, where she believes resources should be directed, and the ethical dilemma presented by California’s reliance on inmate firefighters.Read the show transcript

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.

Read the show transcript

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.

Read the show transcript

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