Tag Archives: environment

Steve Almond on the Post-Jon Stewart Era

steve-almondWhen Jon Stewart recently announced his plan to leave the Daily Show – the fake news show that has steadily become the go-to news-source for millions of Americans – one fan of the show, Steve Almond, chose to see it as a positive development. Almond, a humorist and author of popular books such as Candyfreak, Against Football, and Rock ‘n Roll Will Save Your Life, believes that Americans have come to lean on savvy, insightful comedic news shows like The Daily Show and The Colbert Report as a sort of crutch, an all-too-often substitute for getting off the couch and making an actual difference in the real world. Continue reading

Nevada: The Paradoxical State

RoseMcKinneyJamesDavidBobzienFrom an environmental standpoint, Nevada is a state of stark contrasts. When we think of the Silver State, most of us picture the Las Vegas strip, but Nevada is also home to picturesque canyons, rare desert wildlife and majestic, snow-peaked mountains. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from two participants from the 7th annual Clean Energy Summit which took place on September 4th in Las Vegas.

First, we focus on southern Nevada as host Alex Wise discusses Las Vegas’ energy needs with Rose McKinney-James the chairperson of the Clean Energy Project. Then, we turn to the northern part of the state and hear from David Bobzien, a state assemblyman from Reno who talks about the efforts of the Conservation Lands Foundation as well as the recent announcement that Tesla Motors will be building a major electric vehicle battery plant in his part of the state.

Women Ecopreneurs in the Developing World

ShilpitrashA wide array of economic analysts are increasingly recognizing the link between economic development and gender equality. Research is showing that when women succeed, developing economies thrive. But what impact, if any, does the increased economic role of women in the global south have in terms of the environment? This week on Sea Change Radio, we feature two stories of women in Asia who are leading the way both economically and sustainably.

First, host Alex Wise talks to Jenny Fernan, the President of Pangea Green Energy, a landfill gas company based in the Philippines. She tells us about this pioneering company which runs a biogas plant, converting hazardous garbage into electricity. Then we hear from Shilpi Chhotray, a consultant with Future 500 who discusses the burgeoning seaweed industry in India and the important role that women are playing in making it a success.

Courtney White: Grass, Soil, Hope

CourtneyWhiteGrass-Soil-Hope-jpgWhat if the solution for reducing our collective carbon footprint were right under our feet? Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio believes it is – soil is a natural and planet-healthy repository for CO2. A slight rise in carbon dioxide levels in the soil could help fend off the encroaching warming of the climate. Author Courtney White talks about this as well as the environmental problems caused by today’s common farming practices.

Returns on Trash and Treasure

DaleWannenGailLoosToday on Sea Change Radio we talk with two people working on very different fronts of the environmental movement. Our first guest is Dale Wannen, a Presidio Graduate School alum who runs a sustainable and responsible investment firm. We learn about the latest in sustainable and responsible investing (or SRI), including whether or not the small investor stands a chance in the age of flash trading. He also explains how owning just a small amount of stock allows an investor to influence a corporation’s sustainability practices, creating a return that is both monetary and socially beneficial.

Then, host Alex Wise talks to composting expert Gail Loos. She tells us about the growing trend among municipalities to encourage composting through curbside pick-up programs. She also describes how to get a return on your biodegradable garbage, in the form of nutrient-rich soil, even if your city is not yet composting.

Patrick Hruby on Sports Welfare

PatrickHrubyRoseBowlDid you know that almost all NFL teams are profitable before a single ticket is sold? And did you know that for most of these teams it’s public dollars that have made this level of profitability possible? A few weeks ago on Sea Change Radio we discussed some of the environmental advances being championed in the sports industry.

This week, host Alex Wise speaks with Patrick Hruby, a writer and podcaster for Sports on Earth. He offers a complementary (if contrasting) perspective to our earlier discussion by highlighting what he terms “sports welfare.” Hruby talks about how common government subsidies are in the sports industry, and the opportunity cost felt by environmental causes when public coffers are drained in order to bankroll some of the wealthiest enterprises in America.

Corporate Carbon: Mike Bellamente + Leigh Fondakowski

MikeBellamenteLeighFondakowskiWhen we talk about corporations trying harder to do the right thing when it comes to the environment, it’s important to remember the consequences of not doing the right thing. Both of our guests this week on Sea Change Radio are trying to shine a light on corporate polluters – but in very different ways. First, we hear from Mike Bellamente, the Executive Director of Climate Counts. We talk about his group’s landmark study tracking the CO2 emissions of one hundred corporations. Then, host Alex Wise speaks with Leigh Fondakowski (the head writer of The Laramie Projectwho recently penned a play about the BP Oil Spill, which, when it comes to the stage this March, should capture the attention of environmentalists and thespians alike.

*Here’s a link to help bring Ms. Fondakowski’s play, SPILL, to a theater near you

The Grass Is Always Greener: Scott Zeramby and Shaka King

ShakaKingScottZerambyWhen most people think about a controversy surrounding marijuana, they think about medicinal uses or outright legalization. But there’s also an environmental controversy. Would you be surprised to learn that indoor cannabis production is responsible for about 3% of all electricity use in the state of California? When you consider that a single industrial grow light uses about the same amount of electricity as 28 refrigerators, it starts to make sense.

Our first guest this week on Sea Change Radio is Scott Zeramby, a contributor to a recent study that documents the energy consumption associated with indoor cannabis growing. Mr. Zeramby discusses the forces responsible for the shift to indoor growing, and how the study makes a case to oppose this trend and instead let the grass grow where it’s greenest — outside.

After this high-minded discussion, host Alex Wise speaks with filmmaker Shaka King, whose debut feature film “Newlyweeds” depicts one young man’s complex relationship with marijuana. They talk about the problems that arise when you combine policies that criminalize cannabis and practices that unfairly target communities of color.

Post-Plastic Entrepreneurs

EbenBayerRickEye
Can you think of two everyday materials with a worse environmental rep than Styrofoam and plastic bottles? From production through disposal, these things produce toxic gasses, are major culprits in our single-use disposable culture, and are rapidly invading our oceans and destroying marine food chains. This week’s guests on Sea Change Radio are each working on eco-friendly alternatives to these environmental villains.
First, we hear from Eben Bayer, one of the founders of Ecovative, a company that has developed a mushrom-based alternative to extruded polystyrene foam (more commonly known by its copyrighted name, Styrofoam). He tells us how Ecovative’s biologically-based material is replacing packing materials, insulation and maybe soon food storage containers that were previously the exclusive domain of polluting, non-biodegradable stuff. Next, host Alex Wise talks to Rick Eye, CEO of Blue Can Pure Water, a company offering an alternative to those ubiquitous plastic water bottles: on-the-go water in aluminum cans. He explains why it has taken so long for this much better idea to spring up, and discusses how he’s doing his part to reduce plastic waste.

Empowered By Light + California’s Lone Wolf

MoiraHanesJoeDonnellyToday’s show starts off in Zambia. Worldwide, an estimated 1.5 billion people do not have access to electricity. In Zambia more than 80% of the population has no access to electricity according to the World Bank. It has been shown that providing access to power can be tremendously beneficial to people’s education, their health and their livelihood.

Our first guest on Sea Change Radio this week is Moira Hanes, who describes what her relatively small nonprofit, Empowered By Light, is doing to try to change this big problem, harnessing solar power in sun-drenched areas like sub-Saharan Africa.

Next, we come back to California where, after 80 years of extinction, a lone wolf has appeared in the Golden State. Author Joe Donnelly recounts the tale of California’s lone wolf who wandered in from Oregon and unwittingly raised a controversy between environmental groups who want to protect the possible resurgence of wolves in California, and ranchers and others who don’t.