20 episodes

Sea Change Radio covers the transformations to social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Change is accelerating in positive and negative directions: the clock is ticking in the race to see which will tip first—the problems or the solutions. Join Sea Change's Host, Alex Wise, as he provides in-depth analysis to help our audience understand possible remedies and potential pitfalls. Sea Change interviews sustainability experts including Paul Hawken, Stewart Brand, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Lester Brown, and many others. Sea Change airs on over 30 radio stations around the country.

Sea Change Radio Alex Wise

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    • 4.9 • 50 Ratings

Sea Change Radio covers the transformations to social, environmental, and economic sustainability. Change is accelerating in positive and negative directions: the clock is ticking in the race to see which will tip first—the problems or the solutions. Join Sea Change's Host, Alex Wise, as he provides in-depth analysis to help our audience understand possible remedies and potential pitfalls. Sea Change interviews sustainability experts including Paul Hawken, Stewart Brand, Bill McKibben, Van Jones, Lester Brown, and many others. Sea Change airs on over 30 radio stations around the country.

    California Termites and the Atmosphere

    California Termites and the Atmosphere

    California is famous for its picturesque sunsets, year-round mild weather, excellent surf, and largely progressive politics, including forward-thinking greenhouse emission policies. This week on Sea Change Radio, however, we learn about a less pleasant claim to fame for the golden state. Today we're speaking with two scientists from Johns Hopkins University who are working to uncover the mysteries behind a dangerous greenhouse gas: sulfuryl fluoride. One such mystery is why so much of this harmful atmospheric compound originates from Southern California. Dylan Gaeta and Scot Miller walk us through changes in termite-eradication practices, how termites are not all alike, and what needs to happen in the nation's most populous state and elsewhere to solve the problem.

    Narrator | 00:02 - This is Sea Change Radio covering the shift to sustainability. I'm Alex Wise.

    Dylan Gaeta | 00:20 - These sort of policies mandate emissions reductions of greenhouse gases across the board, but in all of these cases, sulfuryl fluoride isn't included in that list of greenhouse gases that require emissions reductions. So in, in that sense, it's sort of slipping through the cracks or under the radar, and are greenhouse gas emissions accounting.

    Narrator | 00:40 - California is famous for its picturesque sunsets, year-round mild weather, excellent surf, and largely progressive politics, including forward-thinking greenhouse emission policies. This week on Sea Change Radio, however, we learn about a less pleasant claim to fame for the golden state. Today we're speaking with two scientists from Johns Hopkins University who are working to uncover the mysteries behind a dangerous greenhouse gas: sulfuryl fluoride. One such mystery is why so much of this harmful atmospheric compound originates from Southern California. Dylan Gaeta and Scot Miller walk us through changes in termite-eradication practices, how termites are not all alike, and what needs to happen in the nation's most populous state and elsewhere to solve the problem.

    Alex Wise | 01:35 - I am joined now on Sea Change Radio by Dylan Gaeta and Scot Miller Dylan is a PhD candidate at Johns Hopkins School of Environmental Engineering, and Scot is an assistant professor there. Scot, Dylan - welcome to Sea Change Radio.

    Dylan Gaeta | 01:57 - Yeah, thank you for having us. Yeah, thanks. It's great to be here.

    Alex Wise | 02:01 - So, Dylan, you are the lead on this study that is just getting published entitled, California Dominates US Emissions of the Pesticide and Potent Greenhouse Gas, sulfuryl fluoride. Explain the genesis of your research and why people should be aware of this.

    Dylan Gaeta | 02:23 - I hadn't heard of sulfuryl fluoride until I, until I came to Hopkins and started my PhD here. And this was around 2020 and I started working with Scot. And so Scot had been in contact with a colleague from the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratories, who was sort of at the end of his career and had started looking at this gas around 2015. NOAA started, no, no, global Monitoring Laboratory started making these measurements and sort of pass it on to Scot as to say like, well, I'm out of time to, to look at this myself, but maybe this would be a good, um, topic to look into further. And so, so I, um, we started digging into where the SC is emitted in the world and like what, what, what it's used for, um, how it's been accumulating in the global atmosphere. Um, and when we started looking at those measurements, we sort of found, um, a sort of striking lack of information about the global distribution of this gas and where it's being used and what it's being used for and where, how much is being emitted in different parts of the world. And so what we did in our research study is that we, we used atmospheric measurements that were collected by our colleagues over at the, the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory. And we started and we used those atmospheric measurements to,

    • 29 min
    Rod Graham: The Case For Legacy Preference in College Admissions

    Rod Graham: The Case For Legacy Preference in College Admissions

    Legacy students, applicants whose families attended the school, comprised 36 percent of Harvard's class of 2022. Notably, 77% of students admitted to Harvard via legacy preference are white. These days, however, the practice of giving legacy applicants a competitive edge over their peers in college admission decisions has come under fire. Last week on Sea Change Radio, we spoke with Law Professor John Brittain, from the University of the District of Columbia, who made the case for ending legacy preference in college admissions, asserting that it preserves wealth, power, and privilege. This week, we speak to Rod Graham, a sociology professor at Old Dominion University, who offers a contrasting perspective. Graham explains why he believes that legacy preference admissions should just be considered another factor that admissions officers should be free to consider, similar to how they may weigh an applicant's geography, race, athletic prowess, and other factors.

    Narrator | 00:02 - This is Sea Change Radio, covering the shift to sustainability. I'm Alex Wise.

    Rod Graham (RG) | 00:19 - So we have what looks like a meritocracy because those kids earned their way there by doing the things to get there. But the people who went to the Ivy League schools in the seventies and eighties are sending their kids to Ivy League schools now, who will then send their kids to Ivy League schools later.

    Narrator | 00:38 - Legacy students, applicants whose families attended the school, comprised 36 percent of Harvard's class of 2022. Notably, 77% of students admitted to Harvard via legacy preference are white. These days, however, the practice of giving legacy applicants a competitive edge over their peers in college admission decisions has come under fire. Last week on Sea Change Radio, we spoke with Law Professor John Brittain, from the University of the District of Columbia, who made the case for ending legacy preference in college admissions, asserting that it preserves wealth, power, and privilege. This week, we speak to Rod Graham, a sociology professor at Old Dominion University, who offers a contrasting perspective. Graham explains why he believes that legacy preference admissions should just be considered another factor that admissions officers should be free to consider, similar to how they may weigh an applicant's geography, race, athletic prowess, and other factors.

    Alex Wise (AW) | 01:55 I am joined now on Sea Change Radio by Rod Graham. He is a sociology professor at Old Dominion University. Rod, welcome back to Sea Change Radio.

    Rod Graham (RG) | 02:12 - Hey, Alex. It's nice to be back.

    Alex Wise (AW) | 02:14 - I've missed you, my friend. And I wanted to discuss a piece that you wrote on your medium site. It was entitled, why I Support Legacy Admissions in Universities Instead of Me summarizing it. Why don't I first let you have the podium and explain the thinking behind this piece?

    Rod Graham (RG) | 02:34 - Yeah, sure. Well, I, I think that institutions, uh, particularly educational institutions should have some leeway in building the student body that they think fits their mission. Um, it's not absolute, but some leeway, right? So if it, if it is the case that, an institution says, look, you know, there are reasons why we need to have legacy admissions. I'm for that. It's the same reason actually why I'm for affirmative action, or I think in the piece, uh, that you mentioned, the example I gave was my university, which doesn't have to worry about legacy admissions really, uh, or affirmative action or any of those things. But we do have a large military, uh, presence in the community, and it's in our best interest to, in effect, have preferences for, uh, military affiliate affiliated people, veterans or active or even their, their family members. And so I think it's a good idea within reason for an institution to have military preferences, affirmative action, and then also legacy, uh, preferences.

    • 29 min
    The Myth of Meritocracy Revisited: John Brittain on Legacy Preference (2017)

    The Myth of Meritocracy Revisited: John Brittain on Legacy Preference (2017)

    Longtime listeners know that Sea Change Radio is not a debate format - we do not generally provide a platform for climate change deniers or other purveyors of disinformation. But when it comes to certain topics, we do believe there is room for spirited discourse. Next week's guest will argue in favor of preserving legacy preferences in college admissions. In preparation for that conversation, and to provide context and a counterpoint, this week we are dipping into the Sea Change Radio archives to revisit our 2017 discussion with Prof. John Brittain.

    The official subject matter of Sea Change Radio is environmental sustainability. This week, however, we are deviating from that to talk about a topic that we believe is inextricably linked to sustainability: stratification in education. We are talking with law professor, civil rights advocate, and educational diversity expert, Prof. John C. Brittain, about educational practices that perpetuate social, racial, and socioeconomic exclusiveness. Elite private schools were once restricted to wealthy white young men. Since the 1960s we have seen some progress at these schools – they all admit women, most have scholarship programs to make room for the non-wealthy, and they generally boast of need-blind admissions practices. But there is one hidden practice, often overlooked, which runs counter to all of that progress: the practice of legacy admissions. That is, giving preference to applicants who have a family connection to the school. The majority of elite educational institutions in this country do this. For example, in 2017, a full 41% of Harvard’s incoming freshman were legacies. Logic tells us that generation after generation, this sort of admission preference can’t be doing much for these schools’ demographic diversity. Professor Brittain and host Alex Wise discuss how legacy admission practices serve as affirmative action for the privileged, the irony that the practice thrives in the United States which holds itself up as a model meritocracy and how schools’ justifications for the ongoing use of legacy preferences don’t hold up to a reasoned analysis.

    Narrator | 00:02 - This is Sea Change Radio covering the shift to sustainability. I'm Alex Wise. 

    John Brittain (JB) | 00:17 - At many elite post-secondary educational institutions, applicants with an alumni parent are accepted at two to three times the rate of those without leading one commentator to label legacy preference as the biggest affirmative action program and American higher education.

    Narrator (2024)| 00:41 Longtime listeners know that Sea Change Radio is not a debate format. We don't generally provide a platform for climate change deniers or other purveyors of disinformation, but when it comes to certain topics, we do believe there's room for spirited discourse. Next week's guest will argue in favor of preserving legacy preferences in college admissions in preparation for that conversation and to provide context and a counterpoint, this week we're dipping into the Sea Change Radio archives to revisit our discussion with Professor John Brittain.

    Narrator (2017) | 01:18 - The official subject matter of Sea Change Radio is environmental sustainability. This week, however, we're deviating from that to talk about a topic that we believe is inextricably linked to sustainability stratification in education. We're talking with law professor, civil rights advocate, and educational diversity expert John Brittain about educational practices that perpetuate social, racial and socioeconomic exclusiveness. Elite private schools were once restricted to wealthy white young men. Since the 1960s, we've seen some progress at these schools. They all admit women most have scholarship programs to make room for the non wealthy, and they generally boast of need blind admissions practices. But there is one hidden practice often overlooked, which runs counter to all of that progress, the practice of legacy admissi

    • 29 min
    Nicole Voudren: Charged Up For EVs

    Nicole Voudren: Charged Up For EVs

    According to Reuters, electric vehicle sales leapt 50% in the US in 2023, and are expected to grow by another 30% in 2024. But driving around your city or town, you'll probably still see a lot more gas stations than electric charging stations. This week on Sea Change Radio, we learn the ins and outs of electric vehicle infrastructure from Nicole Voudren, an engineer, educator and consultant in the EV charging space. We look at how private industry, public utilities, and governmental agencies are all converging in this new vital area of the economy to help Americans transition away from internal combustion engine vehicles and get electrified. Voudren talks about the Tesla supercharging network, free, ad-based charging initiatives like Volta, and other ways that technologies are improving to help allay the range anxiety that many EV owners experience.

    Narrator | 00:02 - This is Sea Change Radio covering the shift to sustainability. I'm Alex Wise.

    Nicole Voudren (NV) | 00:15 - The industry's a bit of a wild west right now, and we need lots of talent to get where we need to go.

    Narrator | 00:25 - According to Reuters, electric vehicle sales leapt 50% in the US in 2023, and are expected to grow by another 30% in 2024. But driving around your city or town, you'll probably still see a lot more gas stations than electric charging stations. This week on Sea Change Radio, we learn the ins and outs of electric vehicle infrastructure from Nicole Voudren, an engineer, educator and consultant in the EV charging space. We look at how private industry, public utilities, and governmental agencies are all converging in this new vital area of the economy to help Americans transition away from internal combustion engine vehicles and get electrified. Voudren talks about the Tesla supercharging network, free, ad-based charging initiatives like Volta, and other ways that technologies are improving to help allay the range anxiety that many EV owners experience.

    Alex Wise (AW) |1:30 - I'm joined now in Sea, Change Radio by Nicole Voudren. She's an engineer who provides education about EVs electric vehicles and the EV charging industry. She also works at a startup called Better Together Brain Trust. That's BT two Energy, which focuses on turnkey EV charging assessments and installation. Nicole, welcome to Sea Change Radio. 

    Nicole Voudren (NV) | 01:55 - Excellent. Thank you so much, Alex. I'm delighted to be here. 

    Alex Wise (AW) | 01:58 - Well, it's a pleasure to speak with you. We've done many pieces over the years about electric vehicles, and as a subset of that, we often talk about the infrastructure and the charging and range anxiety and some of these elements. But since the last time we did a piece on EVs, I became an electric vehicle owner. So I have a new perspective on the ins and outs of what it takes to drive around and what it means to be an electric vehicle owner these days in terms of charging. So what are some of the, the most exciting projects that listeners should be aware of in terms of populating this vast road network that we have in the United States with the ability to power an entire country that could someday run on electricity? 

    NV | 02:51 - I think the most exciting is the, the funding coming through from various sources. You know, the federal government is all in on the electrification of transportation, and they're providing, uh, significant grants and funding to states and localities. The local utilities, at least in the northeast where I live, and I know across the United States, are very supportive of EV charging infrastructure deployment and have various funding mechanisms for the capital expense. Because when you are changing from the current fueling infrastructure that we have to an electrified fueling infrastructure, there are a lot of industries that are at play. You have the transportation, the automotive, commercial real estate, utilities, um, you have private businesses, et cetera.

    • 29 min
    “To Serve & Protect” Whom? Alec Karakatsanis on Copaganda (re-broadcast)

    “To Serve & Protect” Whom? Alec Karakatsanis on Copaganda (re-broadcast)

    What comes to mind when you hear the words “crime” and “safety?” For many, these words evoke images of poor people stealing things, or police enforcing laws to suppress street crime. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio argues that there’s a whole set of crimes that have been intentionally omitted from the messaging we get and that, for many, “police” and “safety” are far from synonymous. This week we speak with Alec Karakatsanis, the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps. A former public defender and the author of “Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System,” Karakatsanis believes that much of our country’s perspective on crime and policing has been shaped by “copaganda,” the swaying of public opinion for the benefit of law enforcement. We look at the corrosive societal effects of historic and current police practices, examine how and why these wrongheaded approaches persist, and discuss the complicity of journalists and policymakers who fall for and then perpetuate the American mythology of crime and safety.

    00:01 Narrator - This is Sea Change Radio, covering the shift to sustainability. I'm Alex Wise.

    00:20 Alec Karakatsanis (AK) - If you everyday on the news see a story of someone shoplifting from a pharmacy but you never hear a story about that pharmacy stealing from its own workers, then you're going to think that the shoplifting is a more of a problem than wage theft. Even though the exactly the opposite is true. And there are different kinds of problems, right? And there are different kinds of solutions.

    00:00:44 Narrator - What comes to mind when you hear the words "crime" and "safety?" For many, these words evoke images of poor people stealing things, or police enforcing laws to suppress street crime. Our guest today on Sea Change Radio argues that there's a whole set of crimes that have been intentionally omitted from the messaging we get and that, for many, "police" and "safety" are far from synonymous. This week we speak with Alec Karakatsanis, the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps. A former public defender and the author of “Usual Cruelty: The Complicity of Lawyers in the Criminal Injustice System,” Karakatsanis believes that much of our country’s perspective on crime and policing has been shaped by "copaganda," the swaying of public opinion for the benefit of law enforcement. We look at the corrosive societal effects of historic and current police practices, examine how and why these wrongheaded approaches persist, and discuss the complicity of journalists and policymakers who fall for and then perpetuate the American mythology of crime and safety.

    02:05 Alex Wise (AW) - I'm joined now on Sea Change Radio by Alec Karakatsanis. He is the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps. Alec, welcome to Sea Change Radio.

    02:14 Alec Karakatsanis (AK)  - Thank you for having me.

    02:16 AW So you have a newsletter entitled Copaganda, Alec’s Copaganda Newsletter. Why don't you define copaganda for us?

    02:24 AK - I think there are a lot of ways to understand what copaganda is, so I don't purport to have the definitive understanding of the term, but essentially what it reflects is the way in which a very special kind of propaganda is weaponized by powerful interests in government, in the corporate world and the media. To change the way we think about public safety, change that we think about the criminal punishment bureaucracy and the way we think about police, prosecutors, judges, courts, jails, prisons, probation officers, and I think it really serves 3 main roles. Rule #1: copaganda tends to narrow our conception of safety and what safety means to a very small subset of the many different kinds of threats that there are to public safety. So for example, copaganda and the media tends to focus on low level criminal activity, typically by the poor, and to ignore large scale. Criminal activity b

    • 29 min
    Andrea Thompson: Battling Extreme Heat Fatigue

    Andrea Thompson: Battling Extreme Heat Fatigue

    While you're shoveling snow out of the driveway this week, you may not want to hear about extreme heat - but then again, maybe you do! This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss the issue of a warming planet with Andrea Thompson, a science reporter and associate editor at Scientific American. We look at how people and policymakers are trying to cope with the rising temps, examine how different parts of the globe are being affected, and talk about the challenges of presenting this important information to the public in a fresh, engaging manner.

    Narrator | 00:02 - This is Sea Change Radio covering the shift to sustainability. I'm Alex Wise. 

    Andrea Thompson (AT) | 00:19 - How much we decide to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by and how quickly we do it is going to greatly affect what kind of summers we have 20, 30 years from now. You know, like what summers my 3-year-old is going to see when he's my age. And it's something that we, we are very much in control on. We get to set the standard for what that's going to be in the future. And the decisions we make now will affect that.

    Narrator | 00:50 - While you're shoveling snow out of the driveway this week, you may not want to hear about extreme heat - but then again, maybe you do! This week on Sea Change Radio, we discuss the issue of a warming planet with Andrea Thompson, a science reporter and associate editor at Scientific American. We look at how people and policymakers are trying to cope with the rising temps, examine how different parts of the globe are being affected, and talk about the challenges of presenting this important information to the public in a fresh, engaging manner.

    Alex Wise (AW) | 01:35 - I am joined now on Sea Change Radio by Andrea Thompson. She is an associate editor at Scientific American. Andrea, welcome back to Sea Change Radio.

    Andrea Thompson (AT) | 01:52 - Thanks for having me.

    Alex Wise (AW) | 01:54 - So, looking at the work you've done the last few years at Scientific American, it seems like there's a lot of focus on something that we all are very concerned about, which is extreme heat. Why don't we dive into some of these stories, unpack them for our listeners, and, and give them a better idea of where we are and where we're headed and what we can do about it?

    Andrea Thompson (AT) | 02:20 - Absolutely. Yeah. So I think, you know, kind of the , the high level headline was the 2023 was the hottest year on record and by a very large margin, um, it was about 1.15 degrees Celsius or about 0.3 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the previous hottest year of 2016. And, you know, that doesn't sound like a lot, and it's not, you know, maybe day to day, but when you're talking on a global level averaging, you know, the whole world over a whole year, that is a really huge amount. It stands out very clearly in the records. And you know, these records, one of them is kept by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is, goes back 174 years. So that's a pretty substantial time and based on what are, what's called paleoclimate records, so using things like tree rings or cos taken from ice sheets or sediments, um, that can give us some glimpse of what the temperature was like before we have actual written records. There's a good chance this is, you know, the hottest it the earth has been since humans have really been around so a couple hundred thousand years, which is really remarkable.

    Alex Wise (AW)  | 03:39 - And we, here we are in the midst of winter and there's headlines. I'm sure we can sniff them out of record cold temperatures in Norway or Alaska or wherever, but that does not necessarily correlate to the planet not warming. So why don't you, if you can pop some of those myths for our listeners who, who may have gotten some disinformation about how if it's cold outside the planet's not actually warming. 

    Andrea Thompson (AT) | 04:12 - Absolutely. So the existence of climate change doesn't mean that winter does...

    • 29 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
50 Ratings

50 Ratings

malfoxley ,

Great show!

The hosts of the podcast, highlight all aspects of sustainability and more in this can’t miss podcast! The hosts and expert guests offer insightful advice and information that is helpful to anyone that listens!

J. Barshop ,

Deeply substantial and amazingly practical

It’s obvious that Alex puts extraordinary effort in covering salient topics and finding guests that are authentic and truly care about being a positive force in this world - the insights they bring to bear is still mind-blowing Every. Single. Time.

No matter the subject, you’re guaranteed to gain something from every episode - can’t recommend Sea Change Radio enough 🙌

Leifcycle ,

Informative, smart and just the right amount of depth

Alex finds excellent guests and asks good questions. I enjoy the musical interludes and their often humorous connection to the subject of discussion.

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