Frequent Sea Change Radio listeners know that we’ve covered many California-related environmental issues over the years – and for good reason. As the country’s most populous state, it’s an important barometer of our progress in the fight to become more sustainable. But what about our nation’s smallest state, Rhode Island? It counts too. This week, as we mark another year, we learn about the environmental issues facing little Rhode Island with Tim Faulkner, the Executive Editor of ecoRI news. Faulkner and host Alex Wise explore the challenges facing the alternative energy industry there as well as some of the long term policy goals that Rhode Island’s state government has set forth.
The meltdown at the nuclear power plant in Fukushima is enlivening discussions on alternative energy around dinner tables and across debate platforms everywhere. People who call themselves environmentalists tend to agree on the need to curtail human reliance on fossil fuels, including the pervasive use of coal in generating electricity. That same level of consensus cannot be found, however, on the topic of nuclear power. Nuclear energy and environmentalism have traditionally been thought of as incongruous, yet our guest today on Sea Change Radio offers a logic to solve the paradox. Jesse Jenkins, the Director of Energy and Climate Policy at the Breakthrough Institute, a think tank that advocates for innovative solutions to energy and climate challenges, believes that nuclear power ought to be a significant part of a more sustainable energy plan. Listen as Sea Change Radio host Alex Wise asks him about the risks, real and perceived, and how the catastrophe in Japan affects his views on nuclear power. For more, here’s a piece that Jenkins recently co-wrote for The Atlantic titled Nuclear as Usual: Why Fukushima Will Change Less Than You Think.