362 episodes

Earth911's Mitch Ratcliffe interviews activists, authors, entrepreneurs and changemakers working to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, post-carbon society. You have more power to improve the world than you know! Listen in to get started saving the planet!

Earth911.com's Sustainability In Your Ear Earth911.com

    • Science
    • 4.6 • 14 Ratings

Earth911's Mitch Ratcliffe interviews activists, authors, entrepreneurs and changemakers working to accelerate the transition to a sustainable, post-carbon society. You have more power to improve the world than you know! Listen in to get started saving the planet!

    Earth911 Podcast: Newday Impact Investing's Anne Popkin on the Politicization of ESG Investing

    Earth911 Podcast: Newday Impact Investing's Anne Popkin on the Politicization of ESG Investing

    Anne Popkin, president and chief operating officer at Newday Impact Investing, joins the conversation to discuss Environmental, Social and Governance, or “ESG,” investing. More than $8.4 trillion has been invested in ESG-related equities and bonds as of the end of 2022, according to Bloomberg. And it will be a hot topic for investors, Congress and the federal government, as well as several southern states, notably Florida and Texas, who are at war with ESG because it represents , in the words of Florida’s Speaker of the House, Paul Renner: “woke financial titans who seek to dictate policy to Floridians regardless of our choices at the ballot box.” Anne provides an investor’s perspective on the politicization of ESG.

    An ESG report is not a set of sustainability commitments, though those may be included to show progress at reducing the company’s financial risk. For example, an ESG report explores the risk of business disruption of the company continues to generate CO2 emissions that warm the planet and produce negative impacts that could raise costs or interrupt supply chains. Anne explains that we are in a brief but critical period of consolidating what we’ve learned to improve the way we measure and report business risk from climate change. Munich Re, a global reinsurance company, reports that climate-related losses in 2021 totaled more than $210 billion globally and $95 billion in the U.S. — compare that to the 40-year U.S. average weather-related losses of $43.9 billion and it’s clear that business must be prepared to weather at least twice the climate-caused losses of just a few years ago. You can learn more about Newday Impact at https://newdayimpact.com/

    • 36 min
    Earth911 Podcast: Mebl's Mona Chun and Michael Hirschhorn Introduce the Circular Design Glossary

    Earth911 Podcast: Mebl's Mona Chun and Michael Hirschhorn Introduce the Circular Design Glossary

    Richard Hirschhorn and Mona Chun, co-creators The Circular Design Glossary, introduce the new guide to understanding the future of furniture design. It was developed by mebl | Transforming Furniture, where Richard and Mona are founder/CEO and chief operating and sustainability officer, respectively, in partnership with the Sustainable Furnishing Council. Our homes are the center of our lives and a primary source of CO2 emissions. The Ellen McArthur Foundation has estimated that 80% of the environmental impact of the way we live can be changed by making better product design decisions. That may make it sound like most choices are out of our hands, because we have to rely on the companies to chose low-impact materials designed for circularity, taking what we can get. Richard and Mona share a variety of examples of sustainable furniture designs from small designers as well as retail giant IKEA.

    Mona and Michael suggest that “the very first step to a ‘circular future’ is accessible information and awareness” and ask “how can we transform this throwaway paradigm into a just, regenerative and sustainable system?” Those are great questions to ask when shopping for furniture or any other product or service each of us choose. Becoming better informed about our home decor and furnishing choices empower shoppers to exert pressure on manufacturing and services companies to reduce their environmental impact and our own footprint. You can learn more about the Circular Design Glossary at https://sustainablefurnishings.org/glossary and about mebl at https://meblfurniture.com/

    • 47 min
    Earth911 Podcast: Discover Kuni, Japan's Urban-Rural Connection, with Author Richard McCarthy

    Earth911 Podcast: Discover Kuni, Japan's Urban-Rural Connection, with Author Richard McCarthy

    Urban-rural and youth-elder divisions in society represent some of the most difficult challenges to having a robust conversation about how to reduce emissions and waste, what we value as a society, and the path to a sustainable, carbon-neutral society. A just future will be codesigned by all of us to some extent, but we need to reconnect to move from division to collaboration. Richard McCarthy, coauthor of Kuni, A Japanese Vision and Practice for Urban-Rural Reconnection with Tsuyoshi Sekihara discusses how to restore social connections. Richard is the cofounder of Crescent City Farmers Market in New Orleans and was part of the leadership of Slow Food USA for many years.

    Kuni is an ancient word in Japanese that means “a nation” or “a small, independent ancient community. Tsuyoshi Sekihara developed the modern practice of kuni when he moved to a village after more than a decade in Tokyo, the world’s largest city. He found older people living in a dying village with little support or hope and decided to develop a democratic governance model for building urban-rural networks of people committed to having egalitarian, sustainable relationships with one another and the earth. You can learn more about Richard and Kuni at https://thinklikepirates.com/ Kuni, A Japanese Vision and Practice for Urban-Rural Reconnection is available from Amazon, Powell's Books, and olocal bookstores.

    • 52 min
    Patricio Grassini on Mapping Climate Impacts on Grain and Cooking Oil Crop Yields

    Patricio Grassini on Mapping Climate Impacts on Grain and Cooking Oil Crop Yields

    Patricio Grassini discusses the potential to feed the world without more deforestation and conversion of wetlands to agriculture. He is Sunkist Distinguished Professor of Agronomy at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln and Co-leader of The Global Yield Gap Atlas Project, the world’s leading database describing 13 major food crops. If the human population continues on its current growth path, the World Resources Institute estimates we will need 56% more food without expanding farmlands, which are typically carved out of forested areas critical to reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere. We also discuss the potential impact of climate change on crop yields in the second half of the century.

    Patricio has published many studies in Nature and other journals over the past decade about the potential to close crop yield gaps — the difference between what is currently grown and the potential maximum output for each crop and the land used to grow it. He argues the yeild gaps in rice, maize, palm oil, and soy and other legumes can be closed using today’s existing farmland with more intensive use of land, known as cropping intensity, by improving pest control, and using fertilizer. You can learn about The Global Yield Gap Atlas Prohect at https://www.yieldgap.org/

    • 40 min
    Earth911 Podcast: Emergent's Allan Traicoff on the LEAF Coalition and Business' Role in Nature Protection

    Earth911 Podcast: Emergent's Allan Traicoff on the LEAF Coalition and Business' Role in Nature Protection

    Staying within the Paris Climate Accord’s 1.5 degrees Celsius limit, at which potentially devastating climate changes will occur, requires ending deforestation before 2030. But as of 2020, the world was still losing about 38,600 square miles of forest annually. Meet Allan Traicoff, Chief Commercial Officer at Emergent, a nonprofit that creates incentives for and connects businesses to natural climate solutions in countries that protect tropical rainforests. Emergent focuses on identifying “high-quality carbon credits,” which discuss during this interview. Emergent launched the LEAF Coalition, a group of 20 global companies, the United Kingdom, Norway and the United States, that has has facilitated more than $1.5 billion in emissions reduction demand funding to date. Allan explains the role of JREDD+ carbon credits, a brand new class of credits aimed at nations that have set aside forests for protection.

    Preserving standing rainforest is the most efficient way to capture carbon and bring indigenous communities into the forest management process. Emergent also works with reforestation programs to restore land to its natural state. These vast but rapidly shrinking forest ecosystems are the lungs of the planet, essential to climate stability. They generate oxygen and transfer water to the atmosphere. Tropical forests are also home to 80% of the world’s known species and could be a treasure trove of biological and medical discoveries, but only if we keep them intact. Incentives for keeping forests intact and to begin the restoration of forests decimated by logging and lost to farmland are essential to changing the trajectory of climate change. You can learn more about Emergent at https://emergentclimate.com/ and about the LEAF Coalition at https://leafcoalition.org/

    • 41 min
    Earth911 Podcast: Autodesk Spacemaker Aides Bulding Efficiency with AI Insights

    Earth911 Podcast: Autodesk Spacemaker Aides Bulding Efficiency with AI Insights

    Buildings are a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions. The $5.8 trillion-a-year building and construction sector, including ongoing operations of buildings, is responsible for 38% of the world’s energy-related CO2 emissions according to the United Nations’ Environment Program. Meet Håvard Haukeland, cofounder of Autodesk Spacemaker and a senior director at Autodesk, the pioneer and leading provider of Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and other design tools used by architects and builders — Autodesk’s tools also power many of the breakthroughs in animation and special effects. Spacemaker's operational energy tool is an artificial intelligence platform that can analyze architectural designs to identify potential improvements that reduce a building's power requirements during its operational life. It works with other Autodesk tools to speed the green design process and enable efficiencies during construction.

    The International Energy Agency estimates that emissions associated with construction and buildings needs to fall by 6% a year until 2030 if humanity is to avoid crossing the Paris Accord’s target 1.5 degrees Celsius threshold that represents increased likelihood of disastrous climate impacts and extreme weather. And we are not making the necessary progress despite the fact green buildings are projected to account for $24.7 trillion in new construction by 2030. Architects and contractors need better tools to design and test buildings, plan efficient building projects, and optimize the use of materials while minimizing waste. Spacemaker's operational energy analysis reviews a building design, predicts operational energy use as the architect works, and suggests energy efficiency improvements provided by different types of insulation or different kinds of windows based on the dimensions of the entire building. You can learn more about Autodesk and Spacemaker at https://www.autodesk.com/spacemaker/

    • 33 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
14 Ratings

14 Ratings

Chandler's Lost Pony ,

Some useful information

An interesting podcast with some useful information.

hunni0309 ,

Pains me to say this...

But it’s so bad. I want it to be good so much but it’s painfully boring. I can hear the hosts breathing into the mics the whole time. It is like a real-life version of the Delicious Dish sketch with Molly Shannon and Ana Gasteyer. This could be such a great, interesting podcast but you’re going to want to get some fresher hosts or producers.

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