Do you cringe when you hear the term “clean coal?” Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio feels that this term is not only an oxymoron it’s offensive to the many communities all over the world who are forced to live with the devastating environmental and health impacts of this multi-billion dollar industry. Politicians, by contrast, seem to like the term, “clean coal” quite a bit. As someone who is in favor of renewable energy, when you watch progressive and conservative candidates arguing about who is a better ally to the coal industry do you sometimes think, “what would it sound like if someone took on coal in one of these debates?” Well, today Matt Wasson, an ecologist and the director of programs for Appalachian Voices, answers this question. Listen now as he talks to host Alex Wise to confront conventional wisdom, refute the politicians, and tell it like it is.
If you could get the President’s attention for just long enough to tell him the ten things you’d like him to do to save the planet, or at least put us on a more sustainable path, what would you say? This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with environmental author and journalist, Jeff Goodell. He expounds on his list, recently published in Rolling Stone, of the ten things President Obama could do now, without having to wrestle with Congress, which would have a significant positive environmental impact. He also shares a small bit of the wisdom contained in his 2006 book, Big Coal, helping debunk the myth of “Clean Coal,” elucidating the perils of mountain-top removal coal mining, and discussing the role that railroad companies play in energy prices in the United States.
Climate change, racial discrimination, and economic recession may seem impossible to solve. But building a green economy could do the trick. The beauty of the green economy is that it could tackle all these problems at the same time. But only if labor is a driving force behind it. And that’s beginning to happen. Green collar jobs build a clean energy infrastructure. They’re hard to outsource because most of the work, like weatherizing homes, happens on-site. Advocates are working to make the green workforce more racially inclusive. And incomes could rise as demand grows for workers left out of the oil-based economy. Today we speak with 2 of the most prominent advocates for green collar jobs and the green economy. Today, we speak with Bracken Hendricks, author of Apollo’s Fire: Igniting America’s Clean Energy Economy. and co-founder of the Apollo Alliance, a coalition of business, labor, environmental, and community leaders working to catalyze a green economy. We also hear from Van Jones, founder of Green For All, an initiative seeking to lift 250,000 people out of poverty through green-collar jobs.
Utilities and coal companies are pushing to open over a hundred new coal-fired power plants in the US. But activists, investors, communities, consumers, and scientists are pointing to financial, regulatory, environmental, and social risks that far outweigh the potential benefits of coal. And they are pulling back the veil from the myth of clean coal, exposing that king coal is a naked emperor. Carbon capture and storage, the key to coal’s “clean” claims, has years of technical and economic hurdles to cross. Leslie Lowe, director of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibilty’s Energy & Environment Program, speaks with us today about the risks of committing to a future of new coal plants.
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Yochi Zakai of Co-op America points out that clean coal is dirtier than it’s cracked up to be. He comments on the recent Georgia court ruling against a new coal plant proposed by Dynegy, and Co-op America’s ongoing activism aimed at that company and others in the industry.
In part one of this two-part interview, Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Francesca Rheannon and Bill Baue speak with Ron Pernick and Clint Wilder, co-authors of the new book, The Clean Tech Revolution: The Next Big Growth and Investment Opportunity. Pernick and Wilder, who helped define the clean tech industry in their work with the research and publishing firm Clean Edge, discuss how clean tech includes clean energy sources such as solar and wind but not so-called “clean” coal or nuclear, despite the fact that some environmentalists claim nukes can help solve climate change. Pernick and Wilder also explain the six Cs, or the major forces they identified that are driving the clean tech revolution.
This week’s conversation covers fours of the Cs (costs, capital, competition, and climate), saving the final two (China and consumers) for the second half of the interview next week.