Sustainability Now! on KSQD 90.7, 89.5, 89.7 FM & KSQD.ORG

Every other Sunday from 5-6 PM

Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation

Bees are in danger; what can we do? Tune into a Sustainability Now! rebroadcast from 2021 to hear a conversation with Eve Bratman, an Associate Professor of Environmental Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Bratman is a political ecologist with interdisciplinary training utilizing social science to explore conservation and land use issues relating to sustainable development politics and policies.  She is author of Governing the Rainforest: Sustainable Development Politics in the Amazon, and is finishing her book, called Bee Politics: Protecting Pollinators and the Local-to-Global Challenge of Sustainability, which uses bees as a prism for seeing broader social and ecological phenomena and is premised upon revealing the ways that human society fumblingly strives to protect and preserve their roles in our lives.

You can find out more about Bratman’s research at http://www.evebratman.com/ and her work on bees at http://www.evebratman.com/bees/ and a recent article about beekeeping in the city at https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1002/pan3.10206?download=true

Solar electricity is the fuel of the future.  But can we go solar without damaging the environment?  Solar farms in distant places need transmission lines to get their product to the market.  Storage batteries, and especially electric vehicles, require lithium and the stuff must be mined somewhere.  And all the while, its seems that the solar enterprise is being undermined by the struggle to control where solar panels can go and who can decide how little wholesale power will cost and how much you, the consumer, will pay.

Join host Ronnie Lipschutz as he welcomes back SJSU Environmental Studies Professor Dustin Mulvaney, who has been looking into the environmental consequences of solar farms, transmission lines and mining in California’s “Lithium Valley.”

All of us—well, many of us—are backyard gardeners. And it’s planting season. Backyard gardens are not immune from the impacts of violent and unpredictable weather or the longer-term effects of climate change.  Join Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with Kim Stoddart, editor of Amateur Gardening and author of The Climate Change Resilient Vegetable Garden—How to Grow Food in a Changing Climate.  She lives and gardens in West Wales, where weather conditions are not always optimal.  Kind of like California.

We live in a Consumer Society.  Rising consumption is good, since it makes the economy grow.  At the same time, we face a Climate Crisis.  Rising consumption is bad, since it makes carbon emissions grow.  People across the Global North believe we must reduce emissions but they are reluctant to reduce their consumption. What can we do?  Some advocate ecological modernization by making our goods and services greener.  Others argue that only shrinking the economy–“degrowth”–will do the trick.  Maybe both are more mythic than technologically or politically feasible. Can we square the circle (or, maybe, circle the square?) and find a path to sustainability?

Join SN! host Ronnie Lipschutz for a thought-provoking conversation with Dr. Jean Boucher, about the promises and myths of sustainable consumption.  Boucher is a senior Research Scientist and Macaulay Development Trust Fellow in Land Use and Societal Metabolism at the James Hutton Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland.  His research ranges from

The elephant seals are back!

The elephant seals have made their annual trip back to the California Coast!  During the winter months, Elephant Seals turn to love…and fighting… and feeding… and laying around in the sun and rain. This is the prime viewing season at Año Nuevo State Park and Point Reyes National Seashore, where you can watch the two-ton male seals fight bloody battles over the females, the females feeding their large and growing pups, and listen to the odd noises they produce (although they probably think humans make strange noises).

On Sunday, February 18th, 2024, we will rebroadcast an interview discussion with Dr. Theresa Keates, who is holds a UCSC PhD in Ocean Sciences and is currently a Legislative Analyst with the California Energy Commission. Keates’ dissertation research centered on deploying oceanographic tags on elephant seals, which offer both a source of valuable oceanographic data from remote regions as well as a unique platform to investigate these very large marine mammals.

Climate change is transforming what scientists call the land-sea interface, with crumbling cliffs, falling structures, tidal and storm flooding and loud homeowners demanding government action.  Should that interface be buttressed and built up to prevent further coastal erosion or is managed retreat a better strategy? Join host Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with Rosanna Xia (“Shaw”), an environmental reporter for the Los Angeles Times and a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2020.  Xia has just published California Against the Sea—Visions for Our Vanishing Coastline.  She has traveled the state’s 1,200-mile coastline and talked to experts, politicians and the public to see what is happening, what communities are doing and what we can expect for our coastal future.

Energy has been with us for a long time and, over the past 100 years, fossil fuels have been cheap and plentiful.  Now we are going to have to pay the piper if we want to limit the future impacts of climate change.  How could that happen.  Tune in to hear Amory Lovins, cofounder of the Rocky Mountain Institute and long time energy policy analyst and advisor to many utilities, regulators and businesses.  Almost 50 years ago, Lovins published a groundbreaking article in the journal, Foreign Affairs, entitled “Energy Strategy: The Road not Taken,” which recommended a renewable-based strategy over one based on oil, coal and nuclear power.  Surely, but slowly, that vision is being realized, albeit in a much more complicated and conflicted fashion.  Amory will talk about efficient energy use, integrative design, renewable supply (including grid integration), and long-term energy needs and paths to getting to an electrified future.

 

Monterey Waterkeeper is part of a coalition of organizations seeking to reduce nitrate pollution in the region’s groundwater. Nitrate contamination, the result of over-application of fertilizers, can cause the “blue baby syndrome” and various cancers in adults.  The State Water Board recently issued rules that allow growers to continue over-application of nitrogen fertilizers without any deadlines for cleaning up contaminated water.  In October 2023, rural Latino community and farmworker groups, environmental organizations, including Monterey Waterkeeper, and commercial and recreational fishing organizations filed suit to overturn the decision.  Tune in to hear Chelsea Tu, Executive Director of Monterey Waterkeeper, talk about the problem, the situation and the solution

 

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Bees are in danger; what can we do? Tune into Sustainability Now! to hear a conversation with Eve Bratman, an Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Franklin & Marshall College, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  Bratman is author of Governing the Rainforest: Sustainable Development Politics in the Amazon. She is currently writing a book entitled Pollen Nation: A journey into the politics of saving the bees and the ethics of a sustainable future, which uses bees as a prism for seeing broader social and ecological phenomena and is premised upon revealing the ways that human society fumblingly strives to protect and preserve their roles in our lives.

You can find out more about Bratman’s research at http://www.evebratman.com/ and her work on bees at http://www.evebratman.com/bees/ and a recent article about beekeeping in the city at https://besjournals.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdfdirect/10.1002/pan3.10206?download=true

 

Previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! are archived at KSQD.org and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.

Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.