98 episodes

Student DJs at WCBN created It’s Hot in Here in 2008 in order to combine environmental journalism with positive, infectious pop and counter culture energy. Placing the wealth of knowledge at the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability (formerly known as the School of Natural Resources and Environment) in conversation with Ann Arbor and the world, It’s Hot in Here ushered in a new era in envi­ron­men­tally-themed college talk radio with a focus on soul and R&B. Over one-hundred live shows later, a seed that started off as a joke at a party has grown — and is still growing — into a family of friends, colleagues, experts, and artisans.

It’s Hot In Here WCBN-FM Ann Arbor

    • Science
    • 5.0 • 6 Ratings

Student DJs at WCBN created It’s Hot in Here in 2008 in order to combine environmental journalism with positive, infectious pop and counter culture energy. Placing the wealth of knowledge at the University of Michigan's School for Environment and Sustainability (formerly known as the School of Natural Resources and Environment) in conversation with Ann Arbor and the world, It’s Hot in Here ushered in a new era in envi­ron­men­tally-themed college talk radio with a focus on soul and R&B. Over one-hundred live shows later, a seed that started off as a joke at a party has grown — and is still growing — into a family of friends, colleagues, experts, and artisans.

    Farming in the Big City

    Farming in the Big City

    As a changing climate and urbanizing population continually alter the landscape of the US, many of us are asking the question: what is the future of food production? Increasingly, answers to that question include some aspect of urban agriculture, especially in Detroit, a globalized recognized hub of urban agriculture. To learn a bit more about this side of food production, It’s Hot In Here hosts sat down (virtually) to speak with Naim Edwards, the director of Michigan State University (MSU) Detroit Partnership in Food, Learning and Innovation. 

    After graduating from Morehouse College, Edwards became intrigued by food systems and the power of local economies during his time as a Peace Core Volunteer in Ecuador. Upon the completion of his volunteer service, Edwards returned to school to receive his M.S. from the University of Michigan’s School of the Environment and Sustainability (formerly the School for Natural Resources and the Environment) where he specialized in urban garden management. Since 2018, Edwards has acted as the director of the Detroit Partnership program which saw its first year of operations in 2019. As director, his responsibilities include the development of the physical space as a center for urban agriculture and forestry research, conducting and facilitating said research, as well as public outreach. 

    The Partnership is located at a site leased by MSU from the city of Detroit that holds both arable land as well as a learning center. This combination allows the site to house a diverse set of research opportunities and community programs. Ongoing research projects are examining the usage of biochar in compost, the conservation of perennial fruit pollinators, and native plants while the learning center hosts programs around financial management, food preservation, home ownership, nutrition, counseling, job preparation, 4H youth programs, robotics, etc. Edwards notes that this is part of their commitment to sharing their resources with the public.

    Edwards also breaks down some of the characteristics that distinguish urban agriculturalists from traditional rural agriculturalists. Since urban agriculture is defined by population density and small scale, this creates a set of challenges unique to this type of agriculture. Urban farmers must be mindful of the potential noises, smells, risks, and overall public impact that these spaces might have, a problem more rural farmers don’t have. He notes that successful urban agriculturalists require social skills and the ability to resolve any conflicts that arrive with the surrounding community. Being in an urban center also means that urban farms or gardens must adhere to the policies or ordinances laid out by the city which are generally stricter than in rural areas, presenting another set of issues for urban agriculturalists. 

    Nonetheless, the field urban agricultural is only expanding as a response to issues such as food deserts and poverty that disproportionately affect communities of color. Looking forward, Edwards’ philosophy – that everyone should be able to access good food – points him to potential ways we can think about the future of urban agriculture. These include engaging the residents of urban areas in food production, developing a more defined set of best practices, normalizing edible landscapes, and reframing our most basic ideas around food. 

    • 47 min
    A Meditation on Juliana v. United States

    A Meditation on Juliana v. United States

    In August 2015, 21 plaintiffs, ranging from 8-19 years old at the initial hearing, filed a landmark lawsuit against the United States as well as many specific members of the Federal Government. In short, their claim was that the U.S. Government had knowingly violated the rights of the plaintiffs and future generations, by encouraging, subsidizing, and permitting activities relating to carbon and other greenhouse gas emissions. The consequences of these actions will infringe on the plaintiffs constitutional rights to life and liberty. They further asserted that, since most of their generation does not yet have the right to vote, they had been robbed of their future before they even had a say.

    Remarkably, the case made its way through the legal system to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals before it was dismissed there and is currently pending on appeal, which many hope could be won such that it would move forward to the Supreme Court in 2021. In the meantime, the Juliana v. US case has sparked a litany of opinion pieces, amicus curiae briefs, and academic attention.

    It has even grabbed the attention of Lisa Heinzerling, the Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., Professor of Law at the Georgetown University Law Center. Heinzerling is an award winning professor and researcher, as well as an expert in the fields of administrative law, environmental law, food law, and torts. She has also published several books, notably: Priceless: On Knowing the Price of Everything and the Value of Nothing.

    In this “meditation,” Heinzerling takes us along on the journey of Juliana v. US, as only an expert can. Explaining the complexities of the case and its many appeals in common language, Heinzerling notes how fascinating this case truly is, its impact after its dismissal, and the future implications of climate law. Ultimately, Juliana v. US was dismissed on a technicality, and even then it was dismissed 2-1. By comparing this case to one with a related one: Exxon v. Healey, Heinzerling explores the possibility that this may be only the beginning of this sort of lawsuit and expresses her dissatisfaction with the dismissal of Juliana v. US.

    Part of the Environmental Law & Policy Program Lecture Series. 

    • 58 min
    Financing a Sustainable Future

    Financing a Sustainable Future

    In the coming years, climate finance and sustainable investing will likely be some of the most transformed sectors in the world. David Blood, co-founder and Senior Partner of Generation Investment Management (GIM), joins the University of Michigan community to share his expertise and 30+ years of experience on the cutting edge of sustainable finance.

    Chairman of Dialight, one of the co-chairs of The World Resources Institute, board member of several organizations, such as: On the Edge Conservation and The SHINE Group, David Blood has one of the most impressive resumés and investment portfolios in the world. In a talk given at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, Blood outlined his past experiences within the investment sector and where he sees the field moving in the near future.

    From education to child psychology to finance to leading the world in sustainable investing, David Blood came to the forefront of the investing world when he left an 18-year long career at Goldman-Sachs to join Al Gore in founding GIM. A mission driven institution, GIM has lead the charge on divestment, redefined best practices, and incorporated social justice and equity throughout their portfolio. They are now one of the most successful investment agencies in the world.

    In the past, investing has revolved around two aspects: risk and return. Impact has traditionally been viewed as a side effect of the process, not a consideration. However, as Blood notes, “all investing has impact,” and whether that be positive or negative is the “fiduciary duty” of the investor. GIM has set the bar for incorporating impact into their mission.

    “All investing has impact.”– David Blood

    Blood believes that sustainability and climate are current and future drivers of economies and that the shift towards a “green economy” will happen sooner than people think. Cautioning the public not to assume that what has happened in the past will also happen in the future, Blood predicts that the coming years will entail “the most significant economic shift in history.”  

    “It cannot be incremental, it must be transformational.”– David Blood

    Following Blood’s talk, a panel of experts convened to discuss sustainable finance and divestment within the state of Michigan. The panelists were:

    Moderator: Chad Spitler, Founder and CEO of Third EconomyLiesl Clark, Director of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE)Michael Dorsey, Co-founder of Sunrise Movement, Partner at IberSun Solar and a member of The Club of Rome Jennifer Haverkamp, Graham Family Director of the Graham Sustainability Institute

    The panel discussed transitioning to a sustainable economy, the potential of a carbon tax, what a just transition would entail, and some obstacles that prevent sustainable investing. Using real data and their collective decades of expertise, the panel predicted what urgency in the economic sector will look like over the next few years. The evening concluded with a Q&A section.

    • 57 min
    Appropriate Technology Collaborative

    Appropriate Technology Collaborative

    Ever heard of the triple bottom line: people, profits, and planet? Ever wondered what a business model that priorities all three would look like, if it’s even possible? Look no further than Appropriate Technology Collaborative and the future of equitable, sustainable development. John Barrie, a “recovering architect” and co-founder of Appropriate Technology Collaborative (ATC), and Monika Goforth, co-founder and executive director of ATC, join us once again in the It’s Hot in Here studio to talk about the future of solar energy and bottom-up, women-led business models. 

    Founded in 2008, ATC, as the name suggests, is a collaborative geared towards creating “opportunity by design.” Now, ATC is an award-winning, globally-recognized organization working out of the U.S. and Guatemala. Shedding the skin of traditional “charity-minded” organization, ATC follows a social business model founded in equity, community engagement and leadership, and “radical transparency” on all fronts. 

    Members of ATC install rooftop solar panels in Guatemala. Photo Credit: Appropriate Technology Collaborative

    ATC defines “appropriate technologies” as simple technologies that greatly improve the quality of life for low income people using widely available resources that are affordable and accessible to anyone. This includes a variety of different products, such as solar-powered water pumps and food dehydrators. ATC also is focused on providing practical, direct training (e.g. financial management, technical skills, sustainable business management, etc.) for individuals in Guatemala to learn how to grow their own businesses and utilize new technologies.

    “Our purpose is to design, develop, demonstrate and distribute appropriate technological solutions for meeting the basic human needs of low income people worldwide.” – Appropriate Technology Collaborative Mission Statement 

    John and Monika go on to discuss the ways in which they have structured ATC to prioritize gender and racial equality within the collaborative, how technological collaboratives work, as well as some personal stories about their experiences. With the Mayan Power project and, more recently, the Detroit Solar project, the two co-founders of ATC have seen their ultimate goal realized which is local people having the resources and the investment to become self-sustaining and solve local problems. 

    Join us in the studio as John and Monika talk the future of sustainable technology applications, specifics about their business model, ongoing projects, and how they measure success. Want to get involved? Check out ATC’s careers and volunteer opportunities or check out ATC’s humanitarian carbon credit program. This allows individuals to subsidize personal carbon emissions (i.e. from commuting, flights, etc.) by donating money that directly funds a solar grid for a family in Guatemala. 

    • 1 hr
    Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion with Sonia Joshi

    Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion with Sonia Joshi

    In 2016 the University of Michigan embarked on a five year strategic plan to incorporate diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) more comprehensively throughout the campus. Now in the fourth year of the initiative, Sonia Joshi, the first DEI program manager for the University of Michigan’s School for the Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), sits down with our hosts to discuss where we’ve come from and where we’re going now. 

    What is DEI to you? “Working to ensure that people who have been underrepresented due to injustice and prejudices have access to the same opportunities and resources and are valued.”– Sonia Joshi in the University of Michigan’s DEI Strategic Plan Report

    Sonia Joshi joined the University’s DEI team 3 years ago and has been embedded within the SEAS program ever since. As the first ever DEI program manger of SEAS, she’s been pivotal in the creation and implementation of DEI programming and training within the school. In this week’s show, Joshi begins by breaking down the differences between diversity, equity, and inclusion, explains how she picks her battles so to say, and addressing the “moment” DEI is having right now, specifically in academia.  

    Joshi also walks us through a bit of the history of DEI and why it is so crucial by reflecting on the history of the United States and the legacies of traditional research. As she notes, all science has bias since all scientists have bias, and traditional structures have prioritized some forms of knowledge and research over others. Now, DEI practitioners, advocates, allies, scholars, etc. ought to be moving away from tokenism and performative or surface-level DEI incorporation. Instead, we should work on ensuring systematic change and solutions by leveraging our partnerships and privilege in substantive ways. It’s ultimately the goal of DEI initiatives to ensure that people aren’t just at the metaphorical table but are also having their input and their voices heard, understood, and given weight. 

    Looking forward, Joshi explains her optimism regarding the DEI field and its endless intersections with other disciplines, specifically the environmental field. As she puts it, the coming years of DEI will continue to ground DEI in reality, support frontline communities, center and empower historically-marginalized voices, and work on changing culture in meaningful ways. 

    For information or support, contact the SEAS DEI office here:

    SEAS Office of Diversity, Equity & InclusionDana BuildingSecond Floor, Office 2575, 440 Church St. Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340

    Phone: 734-936-0900

    Email:  seas-dei-office@umich.edu

    Or connect with the University’s campus-wide DEI office:

    Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Fleming Administration Building Third Floor, Office 3084, 503 Thompson Street Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1340

    Phone: (734) 764-3982

    Email: diversitymatters@umich.edu

    • 50 min
    Elders Climate Action

    Elders Climate Action

    Elders Climate Action, a ‘spinoff’ of Elders Action Network, is an organization focused on promoting the environmental activism of older folks, making sustainable behaviors more accessible, increasing the visibility of elders working in the environmental field, and providing a space for elders to organize. The organization is growing rapidly with 9 chapters around the country and several more in the process of being recognized. Founded in 2017, the Ann Arbor Chapter of ECA has focused on educating, mobilizing, and engaging with local elders and their families on several fronts. 

    Joe Ohren, co-founder and chair of the Ann Arbor chapter, life-long environmental activist, grandfather of 7, retired college professor, and “amateur expert” on composting joins our hosts in the studio to discusses his role in the organization. Drawing on his years of expertise in the field of local government management and his experience with political protest, Ohren speaks on his time as a community leader and advocate. 

    A key focus of the ECA Ann Arbor Chapter has been removing the barriers of participation for communities to participate in sustainability efforts and environmental activism. A prime examples would be the recent food composting project, made possible but a grant from the Sustaining Ann Arbor Together program. Though this project, ECA is working to increase access for local people to compost and promote education about the process. 

    Reports have indicated that, in the United States, between 30-40% of all food produced ends up in landfills. This leads to massive amounts of waste and methane gas in landfills. A potential solution to this issue is composting, however the City of Ann Arbor currently only collects compost for 8 months of the year (mid-March to mid-December) and also exclusively serves single family homes, not commercial properties nor multifamily buildings. Furthermore, many residents remain without composting bins or the knowledge of how to compost. This campaign targets all of those issues through policy advocacy, educational materials, and subsidizing composting tools. 

    “…like many people, I feel some sense of responsibility for how we got to where we are…”

    Looking forward, Ohren notes that the elder community is working for the future of our grandchildren. He explains that elders may have the time, ‘the wisdom to make good decisions’, and the motivation to actively participate in change on a much wider scale than is currently acknowledged. To address this and affect change on a larger scale, ECA’s new promote the vote campaign seeks to grow political efficacy of environmentally minded non-voters to increase. The first step towards collaboration with other organizations, local engagement, effective mass mobilization, and coalition building may just be realizing that “there’s a lot of people like Joe out there.”

    To connect with Joe: joe.ohren@gmail.com

    To get more information about ECA and how to get involved: info@eldersclimateaction.org

    For information on composting food waste.

    • 1 hr

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
6 Ratings

6 Ratings

rebeccarunaina ,

hot environmental content

such a great mix of music and environmental issues…useful, educational, but also hot.

Roldi23 ,

Amazing Concept!

This show is a fantastic way to present issues regarding the environment to a wide range of people through radio! This platform, along with its podcasts, has really become an amazing thing in the last few years, and these guys really know how to do it! Whether it’s a show about Michigan mushrooms, beer, or oil in Africa, they always bring the heat with a fresh new feel! Definitely check them out and be sure to tune in every week!

77 BB ,


Great show!

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