Radio Show #24, July 26, 2020. Environmental Art in Built & Natural Landscapes. “Environmental artists seek to investigate our human relationship with the environment through embedding their artistic practice within it” (“The Art Story”). Learn about the practice of environmental art on Sustainability Now! on Sunday, July 26th, from 5-6 PM, when host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with Marisha Farnsworth. She is an Oakland-based artist, whose large-scale public space interventions explore future ecosystems, infrastructural utopias and the social and ecological implications of materiality in the built environment. Her work has been exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Venice Biennale and is in the collection of the Nevada Museum of Art. She was the lead artist for the 2017 Temple at Burning Man. You can find out more about her work here. The Nevada Museum of Art’s Center for Art + Environment has an extensive archive of ecological art projects.
Radio show #23, July 12, 2020, with Len Beyea, addresses sustainable community planning in Santa Cruz and cities in general. Len is a semi-retired energy engineer and commissioning agent, former land-use planner, musician, Interfaith Minister, gardener, dancer, political and cultural commentator. He is host of the Wednesday broadcast of Talk of the Bay on KSQD and shares hosting of Border-Free Radio, which airs just before this time slot.
Len writes that “The modern city has grown up during the era of the automobile, resulting in sprawling land use, paving over of up to 60% of urban space, loss of productive farm and range lands, forests, and wetlands, destruction of riparian habitats, and increased runoff and erosion; while within the urban spaces offering a lack of walkable neighborhoods and real centers of social and civic engagements, financially unsustainable infrastructure, traffic jams, and almost total dependence on private motorized transportation for shopping, school, work and basic services.”
He addresses the current state of Santa Cruz County’s urbanized spaces and their unsustainable characteristics, principles of urban design for walkable neighborhoods and “new urbanism” that can bring our cities back into balance, visualization of a transition to more sustainable and inviting spaces for various local neighborhoods where we live, work, and engage socially, and exploration of the concrete and specific changes that can help get us there. You can read about attempts during the 1960s to turn Santa Cruz into an industrial city in “The plan to make Santa Cruz into Detroit and Los Angeles,” by Ross Eric Gibson in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Another interesting publication about sustainable planning is “Civic Commons: Reimagining Our Cities’ Public Assets,” 2016.
Local groups working on Santa Cruz area planning issues:
- Downtown Commons Advocates – https://downtowncommonsadvocates.weebly.com
- Campaign for Sustainable Transportation – http://sustainabletransportationsc.org
And further information about New Urbanism, walkable cities, transit-oriented development, etc (and this is a very partial list):
- Congress for the New Urbanism – http://www.cnu.org
- New Urbanism – http://www.newurbanism.org
- Articles, Events, and Resources on Sprawl Repair – http://sprawlrepair.com
- Strong Towns is an international movement that’s dedicated to making communities across the United States and Canada financially strong and resilient – https://www.strongtowns.org
- City Repair Project – https://cityrepair.org
- National Complete Streets Coalition https://smartgrowthamerica.org/program/national-complete-streets-coalition/
- Original Green – http://www.originalgreen.org – this website emphasizes the importance of the collective wisdom of sustainability in contrast to technical fixes – the collective knowledge and traditions of vernacular architecture and land use that enabled our ancestors to survive and thrive without modern technology
- “Owned: A Tale of Two Americas” – https://www.ownedfilm.com
- Placemakers – We’re planners, urban designers, form-based code wranglers, storytellers, advisors and advocates. http://www.placemakers.com
Radio show #22, June 28, 2020, with Kalina Browne, 2019-20 RAY Diversity Fellow at the Ocean Conservancy to learn about Climate Change and Black Lives Mattering on the California Coast. Browne grew up on the Caribbean island of St Vincent and the Grenadines. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Buffalo. She has worked with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center in Belize, the Garifuna Heritage Foundation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology for the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She will be entering the Coastal Science and Policy Program at UCSC this Fall. You can find her recently coauthored brief on seabed minerals mining here.
Radio Show #21, June 13, 2020, with Jo Chamberlain, Executive Director of the Coastside Land Trust in Half Moon Bay. Jo is a graduate of College Eight (aka, Rachel Carson College) at UC Santa Cruz and was provost’s assistant there for several years during the past decade. She has served on several non-profit boards, including the San Francisco Zoological Society and Friends of Westwind. The Coastside Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation, protection and enhancement of the open space environment, including the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of Half Moon Bay and the San Mateo County coast for present and future generations. You can find out more about California’s land trusts at the California Council of Land Trusts.
Radio Show #20, May 31, 2020, with Rick Longinotti, a member of and spokesperson for the Campaign for Sustainable Transportation, a “group of volunteers dedicated to making Santa Cruz County a place where everyone in our diverse community can access their needs and activities in a way that is safe, affordable, convenient and sustainable for future generations.” You can learn more about transportation in Santa Cruz County at the Regional Transportation Commission website and the City of Santa Cruz Public Works website and from the work of Adam Millard-Ball, an environmental studies professor at UC Santa Cruz.
Radio Show #19, May 17, 2020, with Dr. Ann Lopez, Founder and Director of the Center for Farmworker Families in Watsonville, California. Lopez is emerita professor at San Jose City College, and holds degrees in biology and a PhD in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. The Center works with binational farmworkers and their families to promote their well being. She is author of The Farmworker’s Journey about the human side of the binational migration circuit from the subsistence and small producer farms of west central Mexico to employment in California’s corporate agribusiness. In 2019, Ann was chosen as Woman of the Year by the 29th Assembly District of California. Be sure to watch “A Migrant Farmworker’s Story,” a CFF video filmed during on of the Centers Farmworker Reality Tours.
Radio Show #18, May 3, 2020, with Valentin Lopez, Chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of the Costanoan/Ohlone Indians and President of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust. The Amah Mutsun are descendants of the more than 20 politically distinct indigenous peoples of the territories ranging from Año Nuevo to the greater Monterey Bay area. We talked about the history of the Amah Mutsun, some of their research and relearning projects and plans for Juristac, a sacred tract of land near Gilroy.
Radio Show #17, April 19, 2020, with Rachel Kippen, Executive Director of O’Neill Sea Odyssey and a columnist for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Rachel was previously Director of Programs at Save Our Shores. She has also worked as a marine science educator, a kayak guide and a whale tour naturalist. She holds two degrees in Environmental Studies. She grew up on two islands, one in the Puget Sound and the other in Hawai’i, so she spent her youth learning about the ocean by snorkeling, surfing, and paddling. O’Neill Sea Odyssey is a Monterey Bay-based introduction to marine science for students in grades 4-6 aboard the 65-foot O’Neill Catamaran.
Radio Show #16, April 5, 2020, with KSQD engineer Emily Donham, a 5th-year PhD candidate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCSC. Emily’s research focuses on how sea urchins, which graze on kelp forests, may be vulnerable to ocean acidication and global warming. Emily is the producer of “Santa Cruz Naturalist,” which airs on Tuesdays at 7:54 AM, Wednesdays at 3:55 PM and Saturdays at 11:54 AM. at Her favorite crustacean is the horseshoe crab.
Radio Show #15, March 22, 2020, with UCSC Sociology Professor Steve McKay, director of the UCSC Center for Labor Studies and codirector, with Professor Miriam Greenberg, of “No Place Like Home,” a community-initiated, student-engaged research project on the affordable housing crisis in Santa Cruz County.
Radio Show #14, March 8, 2020, with Dr. Sherman Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Cal State East Bay, to talk about a proposal for Bayview Village, a car-free development in a disused quarry in Hayward and urban sustainability more generally.
Radio Show #13, February 23, 2020, with Nancy Faulstich, Director of Regeneración, a non-profit focused on climate and social justice in Watsonville, California and the Pajaro Valley, Tamela Harkins, Pajaro Valley High School English Teacher, and three members– Itzel Sanchez, Luke Zamora and Reuben Garcia–of La Vida Verde, a student environmental club at the high school.
Radio Show #12, February 9, 2020, with Professor Jenny Reardon of the UCSC Sociology Department talks about “Caring for the Prairie,” a “project involving biking through the prairies and small towns of Kansas, designed to develop embodied knowledge of the land and to find out more about attitudes towards contemporary US politics from the denizens of the prairies.” You can hear a podcast about her experiences in Kansas here.
Radio Show #11 January 12, 2020, David Blume, CEO & Director of Research and Development at Blume Distillation, and author of Alcohol Can be a Gas, to talk about his distillation & permaculture operation just outside of Watsonville. There are two versions of this show: a shorter, edited one of my interview with Blume (hyperlinked above); a longer one with 15 minutes of filler here.
Radio Show #10, January 26, 2020, with members of Extinction Rebellion in Monterey and Santa Cruz: Vanessa Mekarski, Dwight Mitchell, Jennifer Brugman and Magali Morales. Extinction Rebellion is a leaderless, decentralised, international and apolitical network using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
Radio Show #9, December 15, 2019, Robert Stayton, author of Power Shift: From Fossil Energy to Dynamic Solar Power and Solar Dividends: How Solar Energy Can Generate a Basic Income for Everyone on Earth discusses his proposal to give everyone on Earth 10 kilowatts of solar PV panels. You can request a free e-book of Solar Dividends at: http://solardividends.org/free-ebook-by-request/