The industrial revolution ushered in an era of more efficient transportation. As history has shown us, the impact of our ability to move easily across town and across the planet is complex. It has made the world smaller but it has also given rise to the climate crisis. This week on Sea Change Radio we speak to TreeHugger‘s Lloyd Alter about innovations in the transportation space. First, we look at one of the cleanest, oldest and best forms of modern transport: the bicycle. We look at the latest designs in e-bikes, discuss whether or not they will come down in price and become more ubiquitous, and examine the gender gap in cycling. Then we talk about the threat that cheap flights and booming ridership pose for the planet, and the future of self-driving cars and ride-sharing.
What do cork, coffee cups, lettuce, and excessive travel have in common? They are all areas of personal choice that have an environmental impact, and they are all things we will be discussing with our guest today on Sea Change Radio. Lloyd Alter is a design professor as well as an editor at TreeHugger.com. This week he joins us and expounds on the virtues of cork, a surprisingly sustainable alternative to fossil-fuel-based products for sound-proofing, insulation, home-building, and, of course, bottling wine. We also talk about the waste generated by ubiquitous coffee-to-go, the diminishing need for travel in the era of electronic communication, and what Alter posits to be the idiocy of lettuce. As many of us think about making New Year’s resolutions for 2019, Alter gives us some ideas as to what we might put on our lists.
As many of us prepare for the hectic holiday hustle of planes, trains and automobiles, we might be thinking about how our travel plans are going to increase our carbon footprints. Fortunately, there are important strides being made to electrify these modes of transportation. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Treehugger’s Sami Grover who gives us a peek into two projects coming out of the U.K. — one will allow jets to use less fuel and emit less carbon, and the other enables trains to stop spewing dirty diesel. We talk with Grover about the current state of these technological innovations, discuss how private and public sectors are working to foster innovation, and look at other movements toward electric transit happening around the globe.