Did you see how they covered President Obama’s recent big environmental speech on the Sunday political talk shows? No? That’s because none of the Sunday morning shows discussed it at all. In spite of its paltry coverage on the major networks, the speech is being heralded by some environmentalists as historical, while others are critiquing the president for not going far enough. This week on Sea Change Radio, we do our part to make up for the networks’ deficient analysis of this important speech by talking with Alex Trembath of the Breakthrough Institute. The Breakthrough Institute is an American think tank interested in “modernizing environmentalism for the 21st century.” While their positions on nuclear power and natural gas have raised controversy in environmental circles, they are a leading voice on progressive energy policy and how the government can advance innovation that promotes a healthy planet.
Is living sustainably a plausible proposition? That’s the crucial question today’s first guest on Sea Change Radio, David MacKay, is trying to answer. MacKay, the Chief Scientific Advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change in Great Britain and the author of the seminal work, “Sustainable Energy Without the Hot Air,” is one of the most important figures in the environmental policy field. A physicist and information theorist, MacKay is a master of breaking down the numbers for us all to better assess the planet’s renewable energy options. He discusses his pro-nuclear stance and his advocacy for the development of carbon capture and storage technology, which remains unpopular in many environmental circles. Next, host Alex Wise speaks with the Mayor of Sebastopol, California, Michael Kyes, who has advanced environmental policy in his own way – the small town recently passed an ordinance requiring all new homes to be solar-equipped.
Can a spirit of adventure lead us toward more sustainable living? This week on Sea Change Radio, we try to answer that question. First, host Alex Wise speaks with Jem Bendell, a sustainability professor who has organized the upcoming Adventures in Sustainability Conference taking place in London May 28th. Next, we hear from Kate Rawles, an environmental travel writer who rode her bike from Texas to Alaska to raise awareness about climate change. Then, Alex talks to Ed Gillespie, a sustainability communications consultant who circumnavigated the globe without flying.
One of the most alluring answers to the climate change conundrum is a transition from a fossil fuel-based economy to a hydrogen-based economy. As hydrogen power technology continues to evolve, it certainly seems like a promising way to decarbonize our energy system – but what are the practical considerations? Unlike carbon-based energy sources, there are no natural reservoirs of hydrogen on the planet; moreover, it must be bound to a carrier like natural gas or water. This week’s guest on Sea Change Radio is hydrogen vehicle fuel technology expert, Robert Boyd. Boyd and host Alex Wise discuss this relatively clean and plentiful resource, and what he and others are doing to help get us over the production and distribution hurdles that stand between us and a shift to a hydrogen-based economy.
We have all seen the mournful image of an unhappy polar bear isolated on a melting ice floe. It conveys the doom of that one bear as well as his species, and implies that we are all headed in that direction if something is not done about global warming.[amazon-product align=”right”]0306821168[/amazon-product]
Inspired by such images and his commitment to ecological conservation, this week’s guest on Sea Change Radio, Zac Unger, ventured up to the great white north to check out the plight of polar bears himself, up close. What he found surprised him. Embedding himself with scientists, Unger learned about how the bears are adjusting their diet, fasting periods and even breeding behavior in response to the warmer, longer summers that climate change is bringing. These adaptations, in conjunction with hunting prohibitions instituted late in the 20th century, have allowed the polar bear population to flourish.Read the show transcript
Hurricane Sandy highlighted the devastating effects of a changing climate and rising sea levels like perhaps no other event we have seen in this country. Will the silver lining of Sandy’s thousand-mile wide storm cloud be widespread recognition of the tangible and imminent dangers of climate change? This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise speaks with Neela Banerjee, the energy and environment reporter for the Los Angeles Times, to discuss the impact of Sandy, not on the subways of New York or the Jersey shore, but on the media’s handling of climate change and in political discourse beyond the election.
If you’re listening to this show, chances are you believe that climate change is real, that it’s a problem, and that human actions have brought us to where we are today. [amazon-product]1118094514[/amazon-product]Some Sea Change Radio listeners are Democrats, some are Republicans, and a large number may not identify with either party – but all are probably pretty concerned about responsible environmental stewardship, irrespective of their specific political party affiliation.
There is one political party here in the United States, however, whose official position is to deny the threat of climate change and block any and all attempts to slow environmental degradation, in spite of the large body of scientific research that contradicts that position. Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Chris Mooney, whose book The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science — and Reality explores why so many Republicans refuse to accept things that most experts identify as factual. Mooney talks with host Alex Wise about the book, what he posits, and the research that backs him up.
In the past Sea Change Radio has sought the input of journalists and policy-makers on President Obama’s environmental record. So far, however, we have not looked at his challenger, Mitt Romney. Many onlookers find themselves baffled as they try to make sense of this candidate’s positions on multiple topics, including climate change, the Environmental Protection Agency, and energy policy. This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with environmental journalist Neela Banerjee. A Washington DC-based reporter for the LA Times and Chicago Tribune, Banerjee helps shed some light on the Republican candidate who wants so badly to lead the United States. She discusses Romney’s past and current environmental positions and we get a glimpse of what a hypothetical Romney presidency might look like from a sustainability perspective.
Patriotism. Since the birth of the nation-state, humans have equated fighting in battle on behalf one’s country as the ultimate form of patriotism. But the U.S. military is far and away the planet’s biggest polluting force. Given the looming threat of climate change, perhaps it’s time we recognize environmental stewardship as the more patriotic undertaking.
This week on Sea Change Radio, host Alex Wise talks with author and activist Sara Flounders about the pollution and environmental devastation that continues to be wreaked by the greatest fighting force the world has ever known. How do we break this bellicose cycle of using resources to destroy human life and degrade the earth? Can the green movement somehow become the new face of patriotism? And what exactly does mother nature need to tell us until we finally understand that war is not the answer?
This week on Sea Change Radio, we take a special look back at the recent New Economics Institute Conference held at New York’s Bard College. First we hear from John Fullerton, a former Wall Street bigwig who became a leading practitioner in “impact investment,” a theory-and-practice approach to financial system transformation which focuses on sustainable and regenerative land use, food, and water. Sea Change Radio co-founder, Bill Baue, speaks with Fullerton about what he sees to be the touchstone issues that define the new economy, the roles he sees banks playing in the transition to this new economy and how he factors social equity and the democratic process into his work.
Next, Ben Kurtzman sits down with Senator Tim Wirth at the New Economics Institute Conference. The former Senator from Colorado who chose not to run for re-election in 1992, citing frustration with the ever increasing role of money in politics, talks about the daunting task of moving progressive policies forward in the age of the Citizens United ruling. The President of the United Nations Foundation since its inception in 1998, Wirth talks about what the New Economy movement means to him, where he sees it headed and how surprised he is at the lack of outrage among college-age Americans when it comes to tackling the issue of climate change.