Green Grid Radio

Engaging and transformative reporting on the environment, energy, and sustainability

Leave a comment

What Can Professionals Do To Continue Learning Outside Of a Classroom Environment?

One of our all-star panelists, Matt Chalmers put together this nifty little guide for the intellectually curious among our audience. If you missed his appearance on Green Grid Radio, make sure you take a listen. He’s quite the knowledgeable resource. So without further ado…

1. Spend Time On Brookings

It occurs to me the best answer to that is relatively straightforward. First, for high-level discussions of U.S. and international politics, economics, and policy, just spend time on Brookings ( This is one of the major think tanks in D.C., and is a major creator of policy briefs for Congress and the President. I personally use their homepage like a newpaper, and strongly encourage other folks (especially in the science/climate community) who are serious about understanding our high-level national discourse to follow suit. It’s sort of like the Daily Show, minus the comedy, plus an incredible amount of depth. You won’t get lightning-fast “news” but you get very strong analysis of major current events, national and international. Brookings is considered faintly left-leaning by some, but this is a very professional and objective institution.

2. Read The Economist

A few more major plug-ins: most businesspeople rely heavily on The Economist, and although some quasi “right wing” perspectives will appear, this is actually a stronger reflection of the interests of the business community at large. Very strong international coverage. Good for keeping tabs on major events. Also focuses more on analysis and a little less on “newsy” headlines. Many political science and economics classes taught at Stanford either encourage or require students to be up on the Economist.

3. Read Foreign Affairs/CFR for International Politics (optional–for those into major international issues)

For those interested in international politics, make sure to also spend some time on Foreign Affairs. This is also slightly more right-leaning in some ways, but this isn’t a bad thing. Many serious professors and scholars (the kind likely to end up in high-level State Department positions) have written for Foreign Affairs. Additionally, the Council on Foreign Relations ( ), the parent organization that publishes Foreign Affairs, often has insightful articles on their homepage. It’s important to note that Foreign Affairs is an academic journal, and reflects cutting-edge theoretical thinking and framing of global issues. This is much more for strategic insight. Brookings tends to condense the issues into more descriptive, policy briefing-style informative articles.

4. Insight on Congress from Politico (optional–for those into national policymaking)

On a less elevated but perhaps more important note, most U.S. Congressmen and Senators (or at least their aides) religiously follow Politico. The way I’ve had this described to me by both political science professors as well as insiders on the Hill is that Congressmen and Senators “speak” to each other about their positions and policy preferences, and what things are important. Politico believe it or not serves an important signaling function in our national government. Note that it tends to be less elevated, and rather gossipy. This is actually important training for understanding the world that policymakers and politicians live in — and legislate from. It should make some major flaws readily apparent.

If a climate scientist came to me and asked “What can I do to learn as much as possible about everything you suggested?” I’d point them at a minimum at Brookings and the Economist, and encourage reading both of these on a regular basis. You can self-teach yourself an enormous amount here.

Leave a comment

S1E10: Wildlife Challenges and Opportunities with Wind Energy

Justin Allegro, who manages National Wildlife Federation’s Renewable Energy and Wildlife Program, is the final featured guest of Green Grid Radio’s first season. Before the season came to an end, we talked about the tension between the ‘green’ conservation movement and the ‘green’ energy interests, species of conservation concern at wind sites, and what recent US Fish & Wildlife Service measures have been implemented to encourage stakeholders to work together. Your hosts: Sophia Vo, Kara Fong, Adam Pearson and Erik Olesund discussed the interview and wrapped season 1 up with a discussion on subsidies. “We need to stop subsidizing global warming” says Erik.

Green Grid Radio will be back on Thursday January 17 at 6-7PM PST at KZSU Stanford 90.1FM or Please take note, the show is now airing on Thursdays between 6-7PM. As always, each new episode will be available in our free podcast “Green Grid Radio” that can be found in the iTunes store.

Thanks for tuning into Green Grid Radio this season. Happy holidays!

Listen here:

Leave a comment

Coming up in S1E10: Wildlife Challenges and Opportunities with Wind Energy

Our last show of season 1 features Justin Allegro who manages National Wildlife Federation’s Renewable Energy and Wildlife Program. He joins us to talk about the ways in which the Department of Interior is involved in Renewable Energy, how the National Wildlife Federation approaches conservation and energy development projects, and the possible expiration of the Production Tax Credit.

Tune into KZSU Stanford 90.1FM on Tuesday December 18th, 1-2PM PST or listen live at The show is presented by Adam Pearson, Sophia Vo, Kara Fong and Erik Olesund.


S1E9: Season Recap Roundtable with Stanford Panelists

Rob Best, Andrew Ponec and Tim Burke in the studio.

Rob Best, Andrew Ponec and Tim Burke in the studio.

Tim Burke, Andrew Ponec, and Rob Best are guests. For our season finale we invited back three of our favorite panelists from the Stanford community, Tim Burke (Engineers for a Sustainable World), Andrew Ponec (Stanford Grid Alternatives), and Rob Best (Solar Decathlon) for a roundtable discussion on some of the topics we’ve covered throughout the fall. We played segments from previous shows and talked about everything from the recent UNFCCC Conference of Parties 18 in Doha last week to solar technology markets to the integration of variable renewable resources onto the electricity grid.

The show was presented by Adam Pearson and Erik Olesund.

Listen here:

Leave a comment

Coming up in S1E9: The Big Season Finale (Dec 11th, 2012 at 1-2PM PST)

On Tuesday December 11 we’re rounding of the first season of Green Grid Radio with a big finale! The show will feature highlights from the first season such as climate change discussions with Rt. Honorable Helen Clark and Philip Duffy, the possibilities stemming from green buildings and solar panels and much more. Some of our favorite guests Rob Best, Andrew Ponec, and Tim Burke are coming back to the studio to provide the voice of the Stanford community. Your hosts, Adam Pearson and Erik Olesund, will tie things together and perhaps give you a sneak peak of what is to come in Season 2. So tune in on Tuesday from 1-2 PM at 90.1FM or for a show filled with goodies!

Season 1 Finale Flyer

Leave a comment

S1E8: Climate Change in the US after Superstorm Sandy

Dr Phil Duffy

Dr Phil Duffy

Dr. Philip Duffy, senior scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories, is our guest this week. He led us on a discussion of how climate change events can shift renewable energy policies, what kind of climate change adaptation techniques make sense financially, and what Superstorm Sandy means to the environmental movement in this country. Certainly a timely interview.

Andrew Ponec, an undergraduate student leader of Grid Alternatives at Stanford University speaks about their efforts to install solar power on resident buildings in the bay area as our new segment “Energy on the Farm” premiers.

Presented by Adam Pearson, Sophia Vo, Kara Fong and Erik Olesund.

Listen here:

Leave a comment

Coming up in S1E8: Climate Change in the US after Superstorm Sandy

In the upcoming episode of Green Grid Radio we are joined by Dr. Phil Duffy of Lawrence Livermore National Labs. He speaks about the increased interest in climate change adaptation and mitigation after super storm Sandy and various political initiatives to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases such as the Clean Air Act and more recently the Climate And Clear Air Coalition launched by Hilary Clinton in February 2012.

Dr. Philip Duffy is a Senior Scientist at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Most recently, he was Senior Policy Analyst at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. Prior to his time in Washington, Duffy worked as Chief Scientist at Climate Central, Adjunct Associate Professor at UC Merced. He has also been Director at the University of California Institute for Research on Climate Change and its Societal Impacts and a Visiting Scholar at the Carnegie Institute for Science. He has published dozens of peer-reviewed papers on many components of climate science, atomic physics, water variability, and biodiversity. Dr. Duffy contributed to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s work was recognized with the part of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. He has a bachelor’s degree from Harvard and a Ph.D. in Applied Physics from Stanford.

Tune in on Tuesday December 4, 1-2PM PST at 90.1FM or at The episode will be made available here at or via our iTunes podcast shortly after the airing.