Today on Sea Change Radio we take a little timeout from all things sustainability to analyze how the Republican Party has led us to some very uncertain and dangerous times with a white supremacist occupying the White House. To help us dissect the roots of modern Republicanism, we hear from author and economist Bruce Bartlett, who worked for both the Reagan and George H. W. Bush administrations before defecting from the Party in 2003. We learn about Bartlett’s own political journey, debate the legacy of Ronald Reagan and discuss how this country’s conservative party has squandered an opportunity by not being the party of conservationism.
Recently, in response to the 45th president’s shameful mishandling of the incidents in Charlottesville, Virgina, UC Berkeley Energy Professor Daniel Kammen resigned as a State Dept. Science Envoy. His resignation letter picked up national attention — in part because the first letter of each paragraph spelled out the word “IMPEACH.” This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from Prof. Kammen, learn more about his role of special envoy, how it changed under the current administration, and some of the reasons why he felt the need to leave the post. Then, we reach back to our 2015 discussion with Prof. Kammen and hear about the strides that are being made to provide electricity to the 20% of the world’s population that doesn’t currently have access to it.
Even the most astute followers of the news may have missed that the Trump Administration is touting a series of self-proclaimed focal areas. With compelling revelations of lying, collusion, and treason coming out almost daily, it’s understandable if absurd, toothless initiatives like “Energy Week,” or “Workforce Development Week” flew under your radar. Today on Sea Change Radio, we try to decipher what the actual energy policies of the current administration are with the help of Axios energy reporter, Amy Harder. We dissect Harder’s piece, “What Trump gets wrong about coal, natural gas and carbon,” analyze the divides within various federal agencies, and try to make heads or tails of what she dubs “a collection of contradictions.”
Are the cries for a complete transition to renewable energy from environmentalists like Bill McKibben actually undermining the work to combat climate change? That is the position of our guest today on Sea Change Radio. Ted Nordhaus is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Breakthrough Institute, an Oakland-based think tank which focuses on energy issues. We discuss Nordhaus’s recent piece in Foreign Policy magazine, assess the damage that climate change denialism in the US has wrought on the planet, and examine the methods used by both pro-environment and anti-environment activists.
It has been a bit difficult to keep up with the news since January. Every few hours it seems like there is a new revelation in the global political wreckage that is the Trump administration. Whether you’re more interested in how ties to Putin will lead to impeachment, how Donald Trump is systematically alienating the US’s closest allies, or the possibility of the US pulling out of the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, it’s hard to deny that the international political scene is roiling. And with every international political churn, there are environmental causes and implications. This week on Sea Change Radio we speak with energy consultant, Alex Gilbert, who provides a clear recap of the past 10 years in US international relations. He connects the dots and shows how political alliances among nations, policies like fracking, and environmental conditions like drought have helped to create turmoil in countries like Syria, Turkey, Russia, and even the good old US of A.
Many believe Gavin Newsom will be the next Governor of the most populous state in the union. Today, in his first in-depth interview since the election, he is our guest here on Sea Change Radio. The former Mayor of San Francisco, and current Lieutenant Governor of California, Newsom is a nationally recognized pioneer in gay rights, a champion for the environment, and a consistently progressive Democrat. This week, in Part 1 of a two-part series with the Lieutenant Governor, Newsom and host Alex Wise discuss what the result of the recent presidential election might mean for the country, for the Democratic Party, and for the environment. We also talk about California’s energy future, including the decision to shut down the state’s last nuclear power plant and its ambition to achieve a 55% renewable electric grid.
An issue that didn’t come up in Monday’s presidential debate, and unfortunately may not show up in subsequent debates either, is, “What are the candidates’ water policies?” It is one of the most vital issues for all Americans, and for the globe, and yet it is almost never mentioned on the national political debate stage. But if you look for them, you’ll find that each of the two major party candidates for president do have positions on water — well, one has actual proposals, and the other one has a set of ill-conceived opinions that could theoretically inform policy. This week on Sea Change Radio, we hear from the Washington correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle, Carolyn Lochhead, to compare Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton on water. We will discuss the preposterous supposition advanced by one candidate that the California drought is just a figment of our collective imaginations ginned up by liberals, the idea that it is wasteful to allow rivers to flow to the sea, and Clinton’s vision for collaborative stewardship. Stay tuned as we dive deep into the politics of water.