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Sustainability Now! on KSQD.org
52 minutes | Oct 4, 2021
There's Fungus Among Us--Mycopermaculture, Mycomimicry, and Mycopsychology
Join hosts Ronnie Lipschutz and Brooke Wright for a conversation with Maya Elson, Executive Director of CoREnewal (formerly known as the Amazon MycoRenewal Project). She is a founding member of the Radical Mycology network, she’s worked on various fungal cultivation and educational projects in Olympia, WA and the San Francisco Bay area. Maya is a teacher, naturalist, mycologist, organizer and lover of the wild, dedicated to enacting effective and just solutions to environmental and social crises by working in collaboration with fungi. CoRenewal is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing education and research in ecosystem restoration, health and healing, and sustainable community dynamics through community development and bioremediation, the nature-based solutions to human caused pollution. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation. For further reading: Zoë Schlanger, "Our Silent Partners," New York Review of Books, October 7, 2021: Review of Merlin Sheldrake, Entangled Life: How Fungi Make Our Worlds, Change Our Minds and Shape Our Futures (Random House, 2021). For viewing: "Fantastic Fungi," https://fantasticfungi.com/
57 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
The Sustainable Systems Research Foundation: Who are those guys?
Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation. But what is SSRF? Join host Ronnie Lipschutz and new co-host Brooke Wright in a discussion of two SSRF projects in development. The Watsonville Basic Income Pilot Project will take revenues from sale of solar electricity to a local business and distribute to selected farmworker households as basic income stipends. The Sustainable Urban Food Initiative will bring the benefits of agricultural technology and farm management techniques to small farms and gardens in the Monterey Bay Region. Both projects are examples of the kinds of local development pursued by SSRF.
54 minutes | Sep 21, 2021
Clean Energy Now!
Join host Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with Shaina Nanavati, a research organizer for the Reclaim Our Power Utility Justice Campaign and staff member of the Local Clean Energy Alliance. Reclaim Our Power is an statewide initiative mobilizing a broad coalition of utility ratepayers, social justice advocates, and allies to develop an equitable, sustainable, decentralized restructuring of California’s energy system. Tune in to learn about this transformative project and what it will require to succeed. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
56 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
An SN! Revisit: Climate Change and Public Health
Planetary heating and climate change are in the news more and more, and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has just issued a very pessimistic report on humanity’s and the world’s prospects. In a revisit of a show from 2020, Host Ronnie Lipschutz and Guest Dr. Rupa Basu talk about about climate change and public health. Dr. Basu is Chief of the Air and Climate Epidemiology Section at California Office on Environmental Health Hazards and a lecturer in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health. She is coauthor of a review article in JAMA Open Network about the effects of air pollution and climate change on birth outcomes. She is featured in an article on the health effects of high temperatures in The San Francisco Chronicle, on Sunday, August 29, 2021.
58 minutes | Sep 20, 2021
An SN! Revisit: Solar Dividends
In this SN! Revisit from 2019, host Ronnie Lipschutz welcomes Robert Stayton, physicist and author of Solar Dividends: How Solar Energy Can Generate a Basic Income for Everyone on Earth. We’ll discuss the math, physics, economics and politics of his idea and proposal, and whether his utopian vision can be made real by the end of the 21st century.
56 minutes | Jul 26, 2021
That’s the Last Straw! with Jackie Nuñez, founder of The Last Plastic Straw
Plastic is ubiquitous: it rains down on us, it fouls land, streams and oceans, it even turns up in our bodies. And the big oil companies are looking to plastic to keep up profits when fossil fuels are finally banned. What are we to do? SN! host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with guest Jackie Nuñez, founder of The Last Plastic Straw and Advocacy Manager of the Plastic Pollution Coalition. The Last Plastic Straw is a project of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of more than 1,200 organizations, businesses, and thought leaders in 75 countries that seeks to shift the way individuals and businesses think about plastic pollution - and about our society’s disposable culture on a larger scale. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
55 minutes | Jul 12, 2021
Give Me Land, Lots of Land in the Santa Clara Valley
Host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. For more than 25 years, Ms. Mackenzie has worked in the fields of land use planning, conservation planning, public policy, and finance for open space and agricultural land preservation agencies at county, regional, state, and national levels. The Open Space Authority works to protect and steward the region’s natural capital, open spaces, water resources, natural areas, and working lands to support healthy lands, resilient communities, and strong economies. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
55 minutes | Jul 1, 2021
Fighting Fire with Fire
California is dry, dry, dry and that probably means we are in for a wild wildfire season. Since the beginning of January, there have been more than 10,000 wildfires across the state. So, what are we to do? Hear from Dr. Sasha Berleman, Wildland Fire Scientist. She is director of Fire Forward at Audubon Canyon Ranch in Stinson Beach. She is a CA State Certified Burn Boss, a Prescribed Fire Training Exchange (TREX) coach and leader, and a wildland firefighter with Fire Effects Monitoring, Squad Boss, Crew Boss, Firing Boss, and Incident Commander qualifications. Find out what we can do to reduce the threat and risks of wildfires. Watch these videos online: Why These Californians Are Starting Fires On Purpose Community-Based Burning: Caring for our Land Together Andrew Selsky, “Amid clamor to increase prescribed burns, obstacles await,” AP News, June 22, 2021.
55 minutes | Jun 14, 2021
Making Solar Law and Solar Sausages: How It’s Done in California
There is an old saying attributed to the 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck: “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.” This show is about law and sausages in California. If you ever took a civics or government class in high school or college, you probably learned about how a bill becomes law through a clean and straightforward process. You might have learned about lobbyists and interests, too, but probably never traced legislation from its origins to its implementation. The actual process is a good deal more sleazy and arcane than we are taught, and is more like a game of Calvinball, in which the rules are made up as you go along. My guest on this show is Allie Detrio, Founder and Chief Strategist of Reimagine Power, which she founded. At Reimagine Power, Allie focuses on policy and market strategy for microgrids, distributed energy resources, cleantech, and sustainability in the west coast. She works with clean energy developers, cleantech startups, nonprofits, serves as the representative for the microgrid industry, intervenes in regulatory proceedings, lobbies for bills, writes papers, organizes grassroots support for policy, and serves as a liaison for many trade associations. So she is thick in the middle of California law and sausages.
53 minutes | May 27, 2021
Finding the Mother Tree with Professor Suzanne Simard, University of British Columbia
Join host Ronnie Lipschutz as he speaks with Dr. Suzanne Simard, Professor of Forestry and Conservation Sciences about the social life of trees. Her new book, Finding the Mother Tree--Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, has just been published. According to Simard, communication between trees happens not in the air but deep below our feet in an incredibly dense, complex network of roots and chemical signals. ... “In a single forest, a mother tree may be connected to hundreds of other trees.” Here is what Bookshop Santa Cruz wrote about Simard: “Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she’s been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound…. Simard writes—in inspiring, illuminating, and accessible ways—how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved, how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about the future; elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication, characteristics ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies—and at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.” You can learn more about Simard's work in "The Social Life of Forests," New York Times Magazine, Dec. 2, 2020, and at The Mother Tree Project. If you search for "Suzanne Simard" on You Tube, you will turn up a dozen videos, including a TED talk, about her work. The articles referred to in the show are: Lincoln Taiz, et al, "Plants Neither Possess nor Require Consciousness," Trends in Plant Science 24, #8 (August 2019): 677-87 Michael Pollan, "The Intelligent Plant," The New Yorker, December 23, 2013.
57 minutes | May 17, 2021
“Are we the cows of the future?” The digital management of nature and humans with Professor Esther Leslie, Birkbeck University, London
Join host Ronnie Lipschutz and Dr. Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck University in London. “Political Aesthetics highlights the complex and ambiguous connections of aesthetics with social, cultural and political experiences in contemporary societies.” This past January, Leslie published an entry in “The Stone,” a New York Times column on philosophy. There, she asked “Are we the cows of the future?” to be manipulated and managed like livestock. Among other topics, we talk about contemporary utopian visions of nature, digital surveillance and the relationship of humans to nature. You can find links to Dr. Leslie's publications here: https://www.bbk.ac.uk/our-staff/profile/8008438/esther-leslie#publications
54 minutes | May 3, 2021
What’s that bug up to, anyway? Insect socioecology in urban gardens, with Azucena Lucatero
“Gosh, I never realized there was a social ecology in my backyard!” Find out just what those bugs are up to in your garden, as host Ronnie Lipschutz welcomes Azucena Lucatero, a third-year PhD student in Dr. Stacy Philpott's lab at UC Santa Cruz. Lucatero studies the socio-ecology of urban gardens in the California central coast with special interests in biological pest control, community and population ecology, landscape ecology, and food justice. The ladybugs are already home! You can find information & publications about "BUGS" (Biodiversity in Urban Gardens) at https://www.urbangardenecology.com/. This includes the BUGS Garden Report 2019 and lots more!
56 minutes | Apr 19, 2021
Getting Back to the Garden, with Orin Martin, Master Gardener, Horticulturalist and Teacher
UCSC’s Agroecology Farm is known around the world for innovation, training and inspiration. But before there was a Farm, there was a Garden: the Alan Chadwick Garden, launched in 1967 on a steep, rocky clay hill side. It is still there today, although very few people know of its existence. Join host Ronnie Lipschutz in a conversation with Orin Martin, who has managed the Chadwick Garden since 1977 and where he is widely admired for his skills as a master orchardist, horticulturalist, and teacher. Tune in to hear about Orin’s role at the Chadwick Garden, as well as its origins and history since the 1970s. You’ll be well-prepared to visit it when UCSC reopens. You can read Orin's oral history for the UCSC library here. A website dedicated to Alan Chadwick is here. And oral histories of organic and sustainable farming on California's Central Coast are available here. 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.
54 minutes | Apr 5, 2021
The Green Business Program in California & the Monterey Bay Region, with Brooke Wright, Green Business Expert
These days, we are hearing a lot about plans to transform the country’s energy infrastructure from one based on fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy resources. President Biden appears to be making this transformation one of his signature initiatives. Certainly, the technology exists, the money is (probably) there but there is one elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about: getting the American public to go along. Central to going along will be greening the economy and central to the greening of the economy will be the greening of businesses and companies, large and small. Hear Green Business expert Brooke Wright talk about the network. She manages the Monterey Bay Green Business Program, which is part of the California Green Business Network. The CGBN is a network of local programs, funded by grass-roots contributions from local government and utility partners to allow small to medium-sized businesses implement specific practices to reduce pollution, save water, conserve energy, and protect human health. You can read James O'Connor's on "The Second Contradiction of Capitalism" at http://www.columbia.edu/~lnp3/second_contradiction.htm.
47 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Water in California’s Future, with Dr. Ruth Langridge
It’s beginning to look as though California is headed into another multi-year drought. The snowpack is meager and contracted water supplies through the state’s delivery systems are likely to be much less than requested. Farmers and cities are looking to groundwater to make up the difference, but even groundwater is heavily depleted. Hear Dr. Ruth Langridge, UCSC Researcher and instructor in Legal Studies, who has studied California groundwater and climate change since 2009, the current state of underground resources and ways to conserve and restore groundwater. You can find information about her work here.
54 minutes | Mar 23, 2021
There Otter be a Law! Will the Southern Sea Otter Survive? A conversation with James Estes
The southern sea otter is a keystone species in kelp forest communities, acting to increase the species diversity and providing ecosystem services. Despite federal protection since 1977, the southern sea otter population has struggled to recover and there are only an estimated 2,800 sea otters in California. Listen to this conversation with Dr. James Estes, Emeritus Professor of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCSC. Estes is author of Serendipity: An Ecologist’s Quest to Understand Nature and appears in “The Serengeti Rules,” a 2019 film about “five unsung heroes of modern ecology,” of which he is one. Of course, Jim is best known for his research on California sea otters, once almost wiped out, then recovered and now again threatened by marine toxins, disease, orcas and agricultural chemical runoff. More information is available on the Tinker & Estes Lab’s web page.
57 minutes | Feb 24, 2021
Environmental Literacy for K-12 Students, with Amity Sandage, Santa Cruz County Office of Education
Sunday, February 21st: Host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with Amity Sandage, environmental literacy coordinator for Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Sandage leads a countywide effort to build environmental literacy by increasing student access to outdoor learning. She also supports teachers in using local environmental connections to increase relevance of core classes and to create opportunities for civic and environmental action. You can learn more about the state's environmental literacy goals in "A Blueprint For Environmental Literacy: Educating Every California Student In, About, and For the Environment" (2016). Previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! are archived here on Castos, on KSQD.org and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
57 minutes | Feb 8, 2021
Reconnecting with Nature through Ecospirtuality
Sustainability Now!, Sunday, Feb. 7: Reconnecting with Nature through Ecospirtuality: A Conversation with Dr. Michelle Merrill Radio Show #38, February 7, 2021: Join host Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with anthropologist Dr. Michelle Merrill, whose teaching and counseling experience led her to establish Novasutras, an egalitarian spiritual movement with scientific sensibilities. Novasutras responds to the need for spiritual community centered on the biggest challenge humanity currently faces: how do we help people through the transition from an “Industrial Growth Society” to an “environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on the planet“? You can hear previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! at KSQD.org and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
54 minutes | Jan 25, 2021
W(h)ither California & the Nation? A Conversation with State Senator John Laird
Radio Show #37, January 24, 2021: Join host Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with newly-elected California State Senator John Laird, to talk about energy, resources, environment and politics, in the state and the country, and his hopes and dreams for the State Senate. Laird’s political career began in 1981, on the Santa Cruz City Council, and included stints in the State Assembly and Jerry Brown’s second administration as Secretary of Natural Resources. He has just begun his term in office and represents Senate District 17, which includes Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties in their entirety, as well as portions of Monterey and Santa Clara Counties.
52 minutes | Jan 11, 2021
“To Say Nothing of the Dog”* Understanding connections between culture and nature in environmental art
Episode #36, Sunday, January 10, 2021: Hear Jeffrey Downing, Professor of Art at San Francisco State University and Artist-in-Residence at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art talk about how his work connects culture and nature. Downing was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle a few weeks ago for his environmental sculpture in Richardson Bay, designed to mark today’s king tides, which will be swamped by rising sea levels in the future. According to a website describing his work: “Jeff Downing’s sculpture is informed by the humor and pop sensibility of the California artist Robert Arneson; by the stripped-down economy of Alberto Giacometti’s figures; and by the spontaneity and energy characteristic of the work of Pablo Picasso. Downing’s work with dog imagery depends on chance discovery of form but seeks to invoke feelings concerning the human condition and our varied relationship with the natural world. In Jeff Downing’s world view, studying the dog – with all of its expressiveness, intelligence and sensitivity - leads us to a better understanding of the connection between culture and nature.” You can hear previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! at KSQD.org and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Check out Marisha Farnsworth, an Oakland-based environmental artist, who appeared on the show on July 27, 2020. (* with apologies to Connie Willis, author of the eponymous book).
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