Green Grid Radio

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

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S5E3: The Human COP

Factual clarifications: As of Earth Day 2015, Yeb Saño is no longer the Climate Commissioner of the Philippines. Additionally, our comment about the COP process emerging from the IPCC AR1 is probably a little too simplistic and overgeneralized. Fast for the Climate Coordinator, David Tong aptly noted that the COP process emerged from the Rio Earth Summit (1992). Both the Rio Earth Summit and the IPCC AR1 came from the World Climate Conferences.

Climate change in the news again… It comes up in the periphery during record droughts in California or large weather events like super-typhoon Haiyan in late 2013, as well as directly during the Obama Administration in announcements like the bilateral cooperation on climate change between the US and China. Climate change resurfaces in the mainstream media from time to time. The elephant in the room is perhaps that the international community cannot seem to agree on a unified way to address climate change.

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is the international body tasked with convening state leaders to discuss, negotiate, and ultimately produce binding global agreements or treaties. But why have we surpassed the 20th Conference of Parties (December 2014), and why has this been going on for over 20 years? What about the voices of those not in the UN, or those who do not negotiate in these sessions?

Interior of Warsaw National Stadium during the Conference of Parties 19, before an NGO action, photo by Adam Pearson

I attended COP19 in Warsaw in 2013 as a SustainUS delegate (and in stealth-mode Green Grid Radio Producer), and this week’s episode presents some of the stories of those in civil society who seek to enact change in the UNFCCC process through a human approach. Featured is the work of negotiator trackers in the “Adopt a Negotiator” initiative, which aims to paint a personal  face on the negotiators. And we hear the story behind “Fast for the Climate,” the narrative of solidarity (and spiritual cleansing) in response to the devastating Typhoon Haiyan.

SustainUS delegates being interviewed by Grist, photo by Adam Pearson

SustainUS delegates being interviewed by Grist, photo by Adam Pearson

Philippines negotiator Yeb Saño, who started the fast, has since become a major force in advocating for climate action, while the Fast for the Climate continues as a global movement, tying environmental justice, faith-based, and activist groups together.

Listen here:

Hosted by Adam Pearson and Mallory Smith, produced by Adam Pearson, and co-produced by Diane Wu.  Our guests this episode include Colin Rees, Lucas Burdick, Anita Raman, Ryan Madden, Lidy Nacpil (Jubilee South Asia/Pacific), and Hamzat Lawal. Further resources include:

Hamzat Lawal of the Adopt a Negotiator project, photo by Adam Pearson

Hamzat Lawal of the Adopt a Negotiator project, photo by Adam Pearson

Music in this episode (via the Free Music Archive) from: James BlackshawPodington BearThe Augustus Bro Gallery SixHigh Places, Keinzweiter

Make sure to subscribe to our podcast in the iTunes store, if you haven’t done so already.

Green Grid Radio producer Adam Pearson in action in Warsaw, photo by Ryan Madden.

Green Grid Radio producer Adam Pearson in action in Warsaw, photo by Ryan Madden.

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Xmas Markets in Berlin (S5 short)

Happy Festivus from Green Grid Radio!
Recently I was able to produce a short story for NPR Berlin on Xmas markets in Berlin. Exploring local traditions and describing alcoholic beverages in the central European alternative capital, it’s not typical GGR fare. We upload it here as a short bonus podcast to complement the last few episodes we are producing this production season. The version here is an alternative (longer) version to the one posted on the NPR website and originally aired on NPR Berlin.
Green Grid Radio has already entered a period of sporadic production. As the producing team has moved away from campus or on to the next stage in our unique lifelong learning experience (or maybe I should just say “lifelong experience”), we aim to tie up some of the remaining production loose ends and complete new episodes before June.

Continue reading

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S4E5: Stanford’s Divestment in a Tale of Three Meetings

Stanford University made national news on mainstream media outlets last week, when the Board of Trustees announced the decision to divest the $18.7 billion endowment from coal investments. This is a story of the student activists who were called into a surprise meeting with Stanford administrators and walked out smiling and speechless.

Fossil Free Stanford, the student group behind the divestment push at Stanford since the fall of 2012, has been holding actions on the Stanford campus to raise awareness and mobilize support. (Disclosure: Diane is a volunteer for Fossil Free Stanford’s graduate student campaign). The group is part of a larger movement coordinated by to rid University campuses across the country from fossil fuel investments, due to the impacts that individual companies have on climate change. The Fossil Free Stanford story has appeared prominently in previous Green Grid Radio episodes.

krishna at rally

Krishna (left of speaker) at a Divest Harvard rally in April 2013. Photo from

Krishna Dasaratha participated in the Divest Harvard movement while enrolled at Harvard through 2013, then joined Fossil Free Stanford as a graduate student this year. The Divest Harvard students have faced some hurdles on their steadfast course for divestment, including the President’s “unequivocal” statement that the school did not intend to divest in late 2013, and the recent May arrest of a Divest Harvard activist.

Dasaratha notes that the big difference between the Stanford and Harvard campaigns has been that Stanford’s Board of Trustees is held to investment responsibility, and have therefore been more receptive to discussions with the students who have been arguing that climate change causes “substantial social injury.” And in Spring 2013, The Leland Stanford Junior University Board of Trustees accelerated the time horizon of their decision to divest from coal.


Krishna Dasaratha. Photo from Fossil Free Stanford.

Listen here:

Featuring Stanford students Krishna Dasaratha and Mikaela Osler. Hosted by Diane Wu and produced by Shara Tonn and Derek Mendez. Further resources include Krishna’s recent op-ed in the Boston Globe.


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S4E2: Dumpster Diver Interceptors

The first time we dove into the topic of food waste, Diane visited a compost facility, Erik spent an afternoon with the leftover food distribution initiative, the Stanford Project on Hunger, and Dana Gunders of NRDC gave us the low-down on one of her recent reports.


Food waste reduction campaign in Saudi Arabia. Photo by Diane Wu.

40% of food that is prepared in the US is wasted, dropped in the trash, untouched. This is alarming, especially when we consider all the water, fossil fuel energy, time, and effort involved in delivering food. The Green Grid Radio team became preoccupied by this sobering reality and decided to be more proactive about reducing food waste. We decided to pull back our hair, grab some gloves, and give dumpster diving a chance.

Beyond the novelty of the experience, can dumpster diving be a strategy in a broader effort to reduce our community’s impact? Can it move the food waste needle?

Listen here:

The next GGR episode coming in January will investigate the fermented, flushed world of biofuels.

Produced and co-hosted by Diane Wu and Adam Pearson and featuring GGR staff Erik Olesund and Mallory Smith. The voices of interceptors, friends, and guests on this podcast include: Stephanie Pollack and Maxine Lym . Resources mentioned this episode include: The Dating Game, a recent NRDC report on food date labels and food waste: and, a “shelf life guide” website. The music that graced our ears came from: Kevin MacLeodKeep Them AliveMalt.Tabulated Soundsnisei23Tussle, krackatoa, and Derek Mendez.

We’re inspired by many local groups addressing food waste head-on, including: Be Healthy Tulare;  Tulare CA Food Bank; Stanford Glean; Stanford Project on Hunger . If there are people and initiatives minimizing food waste in your community, please let us know via twitter and we’ll include them in this post!

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Our Summer Vacation

Hello Green Grid Radio listeners,

This summer, the production team took some time off to explore the world, read all those books piling up in each of our respective apartments, experience new lifestyles, embrace our love of neuroscience, venture up mountains, sunbathe in low-lying valleys, and to follow our inspiration, wherever it led us. We have put together a few shorter pieces that we’ll be releasing periodically over the course of the next month. We took the task of experimenting in shorter-form storytelling, not necessarily on Green Grid Radio “topics.” The first piece we are presenting was inspired by an experience I had in August on Mount Hood, Oregon.

tipiConstruction of a tipi at the Focus The Nation ReCharge 2013 retreat.

I had never been to summer camp before. No, not until this summer. “Tipi Time” is my story of ReCharge, a gathering of rising clean energy leaders with different skillsets and passions. This was my first summer camp experience, in a way, but also much more. Voices include ReCharge 2013 delegates, Matthew Eastman, Dominic Coccia, Nolan Rutschilling, Jamila Tull, Richard Shelton, Michael Grubert, Tara Sulzer, and Founder of Creative Facilitations Stephanie Pollack. Featured music from Ian D. Marksjunior85, and Damien Jurado.

And for those of you eager for brand new, full-length episodes, we can announce now that the production is underway for our new season to premiere in Spring 2014. We won’t be quiet in between now and then. We have a lot of exciting announcements coming up, so stay tuned for Green Grid Radio on new formats, in new places, and with new stories.


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S3E7: One Nation, Under Meat: A Tragic Love Story Of the American Appetite

The Green Grid Radio team sliced into a meaty topic this week: the broken American food production system, specifically focusing on meat. Today turkeys cannot naturally reproduce and must be artificially inseminated, 60 billion farm animals are annually killed for human consumption worldwide, and we consume eight times as much chicken as our grandparents did eighty years ago. What else is going on in meat production?

dinnerpartyThe Green Grid Radio team talking about meat at our dinner party.

Guests include: Stanford undergraduate student Caroline Hodge; Matt Rothe, Fellow at the Institute of Design at Stanford; Environmental Earth System Science Professor Rosamond Naylor, of the Center on Food Security and the EnvironmentGraham Meriwether, Director of the documentary American MeatEli Zigas, Food Systems and Urban Agriculture Program Manager at San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association; UCLA Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Professor Dan Blumstein, author of Eating Our Way to Civility; Professor Christopher Gardner of the Stanford School of Medicine; and Vasile Stanescu, Stanford PhD candidate in the Program of Modern Thought and Literature.

Hosted by Mallory Smith and Adam Pearson.

Resources mentioned in this podcast: “Give Thanks for Meat,” an essay by Jay Bost; FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) report “Livestock’s Long Shadow” (2006); Peter Singer’s book, Animal Liberation; the American “Farm Bill“; the American Humane Methods of Slaughter Act (1958); “Unnatural Turkeys” Freakanomics podcast (2011).

Audio featured, in chronological order, by Keshco, My Imaginary LovesChris ForsythShake That Foot, Dan Warren, Gable, MUTE, and Personal and the Pizzas.

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Coming Up in S3E7: One Nation, Under Meat: A Tragic Love Story Of the American Appetite

A very wise person at Stanford once explained that changing food habits is a powerful way for an individual to reduce his or her environmental impact, because every single day, three times a day, we sit down to eat. So are there choices you can make every single day, that will make a difference? We sat down with people– a lot of people– students, scholars, and animal rights activists, folks at non-profits, nutritionists and professors from more than one institution, seeking insight into the food system (especially the meat industry) today. We present the results of our roller-coaster ride through the world of meat on Thursday.


Make sure to listen live at 90.1FM if you’re in the Bay Area or online at from 6-7PM PST. Shortly thereafter, we will post the podcast to this site and make it available via our iTunes podcast.

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Founder Adam Pearson featured on “Green Is Good”

Want to know more about how the producers approach Green Grid Radio? Founder Adam Pearson was recently featured on the satellite XM radio program Green Is Good. The program aired on Sirius XM channel 244 on June 3rd.

Take a listen to the interview here, and read more about Adam’s discussion with host John Shegerian here.

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S3E6: Is the Sustainability Movement an Activist Movement?

The Green Grid Radio team thought about how American culture has changed since the 1960s in the most recent episode of Season 3. In looking at the sustainability movements on campus, we draw out (or try to draw out) some of the societal forces that have changed the way students tackle environmental problems. Stanford Sociology Professor Doug McAdam joined us to weigh in on social movements, noting “divesting from politics is the wrong impulse.”

fossilfreeThe Stanford Fossil-Free team making a stand against Keystone XL (Image attributed to Fossil Free Stanford , 2013).

Guests on this week’s show include Stanford students Nicholas Reale and Jorge Masero of the Civil & Environmental Engineering department; Gregory Hall and Ian Girard of the Stanford Solar Car project; and Naomi Cornman, Co-President of the Green Living Council; Stanford Sociology Professor and Director Emeritus of the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral SciencesDoug McAdam;  Julie Muir, Community Relations Manager at Peninsula Sanitary Service, Inc; Dana Gunders, Project Scientist at the Natural Resources Defense Council; and Jacob Woodruff, Senior Scientist at SunPower Corp.

Hosted by Adam Pearson, Erik Olesund, Diane Wu, Mallory Smith, Sophia Vo.

Audio featured in this episode: ROTC sit-in at Old Union*, Stephen Schneider Memorial Lecture 2013, John F Kennedy Inaugural Address, data clip (and other sound effects from, excerpts from a Claremont Colleges 3/4/13 Divestment eventBlue DucksPodington BearBroke For FreeInnocent BanditsKing Felix, Johnny RipperAoiroooasamusi, and Dustin Wong.

*Stanford University, Office of Vice President and General Counsel, Records (SC0178). Dept. of Special Collections and University Archives, Stanford University Libraries, Stanford, Calif.

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Coming Up in S3E6: Is the Sustainability Movement an Activist Movement?

The next episode of Green Grid Radio formed out of the observation that many people in northern California are aware of energy and planetary challenges, as well as some solutions. But many young people simply do not fight for the social/environmental issues like college-aged Americans did once upon a time. We will debut the episode, “Is the Sustainability Movement an Activist Movement?” this Thursday evening, which dives into Stanford perspectives on sustainability and how to go about achieving social change in today’s world.

psuA group of Penn State students demonstrate in the 1960s (Attributed to Penn State University Libraries, “Years of Crises: The 1960s,” 2013).

As usual, you can listen live  on 90.1FM in the Bay Area or online at from 6-7PM PST Thursday. We will make the episode available for download from this site or from our iTunes podcast.

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Green Grid Radio Featured on Satellite Radio

On Saturday June 1st, the satellite XM radio program Green Is Good will spotlight Green Grid Radio. The program will air at 5pm EST on Sirius XM channel 244 (“America’s Talk Channel”). Green Grid Radio Founder, Adam Pearson, had a chance to speak with “Green is Good” host, John Shegerian, about how Green Grid Radio started, and some of the program’s educational goals.

Attributed to Sirius XM/Green is Good, 2013.

Tune in if you have XM radio. If you missed the episode, you can listen here.


S3E4: Overfished or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Cocaine Cowboy Fisheries and Love Catch Shares

Global consumption of fish is on the rise, and so we critically need to effectively manage how we catch fish and how much of it we catch. On “Overfished,” the Green Grid Radio team begin dives into this topic and understand what strategies may address the problems we see today in the open waters. We take perspectives from an economist, consumers, and even a fisherman.

A vessel with a trawling net, courtesy of EDF.

Image courtesy of EDF, EDFish blog (2013).

Featured voices are Professor John Lynham of the University of Hawaii, Stanford PhD candidate Dane Klinger, fisherman Hans Haveman of H&H Fresh Fish, salmon aficionado Elena Lawson, and Stanford undergraduate students Emma Budiansky and Tiffany Li. Hosted by Adam Pearson and Diane Wu.

(In case you’re interested, the FAO report mentioned in the episode is available here, while the study on fishermen opposing catch shares  can be found here. Music featured this episode includes: Love Cult, Johnny Ripper, Tristeza, Las Ardillas, The Curious Mystery, & Balmorhea).

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Coming Up in S3E4: Overfished or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Cocaine Cowboy Fisheries and Love Catch Shares

Hans Haveman of H&H Fresh Fish. Image attributed to, “Catch of the Day: H&H Fresh Fish,” 2012.

Hello out there. We’ve taken a few weeks off to better prepare for our exciting, upcoming episodes. This Thursday will be the premiere of “Overfished or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying About Cocaine Cowboy Fisheries and Love Catch Shares.” Perhaps more succinctly, we’ll be honing in on the state of fish in our oceans, how things got to where they are, and what kind of management strategies may address the problems. Indeed with this episode, like with our episode on the Sharing Economy, we have jettisoned all obvious links to energy topics, as we continue to broaden our thematic scope for Green Grid Radio.

This week’s program will include many different voices, including folks who study this topic, fishermen, and even average fish consumers. Professor John Lynham of the University of Hawaii gives us the rundown on economics behind the overfishing phenomenon, aquaculture expert Dane Klinger joins us for his perspective, and we even spoke with Hans Haveman of H&H Fresh Fish about being a fisherman in Santa Cruz.

So tune into on Thursday May9th, 2013, from 6-7PM PST at KZSU Stanford 90.1FM or online at The episode will also be available shortly thereafter on our site or in our iTunes podcast.

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Clinton Global Initiative Commitment – How We’re Doing

Green Grid Radio made a commitment to tackle environmental and energy education in November, 2012 for the Clinton Global Initiative University. This page will describe not only the commitment that was made initially, but will track the progress of how we’ve done.


1. Summary of your CGI U Commitment to Action. The Green Grid Radio Initiative seeks to provide thought-provoking, educational, timely content about sustainable energy systems to listeners on a weekly basis. The goal is to catalyze citizens to vote in an informed manner, develop their own grassroots movements, seek out additional educational opportunities on energy and environmental subjects that pique their interests. By discussing real problems in candid interviews with academics, policymakers, and industry representatives, the Green Grid Radio Initiative effectively addresses the education and environmental/climate change focus areas of the Clinton Global Initiative.

2. CGI U students work to address specific global challenges. What is the problem or issue you are working to address? Our Initiative tackles problems in the focus areas of education and environment/climate change. There is a severe problem with the dissemination of scientific and factual information to the public, especially in these fields… We serve to communicate truthful and technical information about these technologies in an engaging manner to an information-inundated public (and serve educational/environmental GCI areas).

3. What activities will you/your group (and, if appropriate, your partners) undertake to address this issue? I have assembled a Green Grid Radio volunteer staff of like-minded, passionate environmentalists and activists. We produce a quality program week in and week out , yet there is tremendous room for growth and improvement. I would love to see our organization recruit a larger army of volunteers who are excited about the Initiative, so that I can spend more time teaching teammates how to produce a high-level program… We will ramp up this effort during the month of January.

4. How is this different from what you have done before? The program is already novel and new because there exists a significant lack of energy/environmental discussion in traditional radio media. Our local audience covers the majority of the San Francisco Bay Area, perhaps a highly educated group. But as the 2012 presidential election debates demonstrated, these topics often fall through the cracks in regular discourse, possibly due to the long-term nature of the climate change problem. But we cannot only think about our local listeners. One of the benefits of podcasting the show is that we can reach an international audience through the benefits of the free, transparent, accessible Internet. We can therefore imagine our educational reach has significant potential.

5. How will you know you are successful? Our specific, tangible goal is to reach 1000 subscribers to our podcast by September of 2013. We believe that if our program is relevant to 1000 people, we will be engaging with a sizeable international audience to think about and strongly consider the advantages of renewable energy systems as a means to combating climate change. It will not be easy—we will need to expand our volunteer staff expectations significantly—but the benefits of greater awareness will be a reward in itself.

So how are we doing?

We’ve put together some graphs, based on some tracking of our podcast and online presence over the last 6 months.


Figure 1. Daily subscribers, or how many times the feed has been requested on average in a 24-hr period.


Figure 2. Daily “raw hits” plotted over time, by google feedburner highlighting website traffic growth (a “raw hit” is when someone loads a page that can access a download).


Figure 3. Weekly twitter “follower” counts plotted over time, highlighting growth.

Unfortunately we don’t have subscriber data right now (we are working on migrating our audio to one centralized source, so we can monitor this more accurately– right now we have our audio at different sites and it is hard to track). More info soon, but we certainly have a long way to go. Please help us reach our commitment by sharing or getting involved!

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S3E3: Stanford Energy Week – Live from White Plaza!

S3E3: Stanford Energy Week - Live from White Plaza!GGR Producers Adam Pearson, Erik Olesund and guests Debra Dunn, Sarah Triolo (photograph by Diane Wu).

As Earth Day approaches on the Stanford campus, Green Grid Radio and other environmentally-minded affiliates on campus are reaching out to the broader Stanford community for engagement. Wednesday in White Plaza featured Green Grid Radio broadcasting live during the Stanford Energy Club’s Energy Showcase event. With technical assistance from producer Diane Wu and KZSU engineer Mark Lawrence, Green Grid Radio brought a solar-powered (literally– see our photo below!) episode with an appropriate lunch-time focus on food systems.

S3E3: Stanford Energy Week - Live from White Plaza!Solar-powered radio (photograph by Diane Wu).

We had a great, lengthy discussion with our guests this week, Ms. Debra Dunn and Sarah Triolo. Sarah recommended this supplemental reading from the New York Times on some of the “nasty things happening in our food system” today. Thanks to all the audience input and for the support out in White Plaza. Take a listen below, and see you next week!

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Coming up in S3E3: Stanford Energy Week – Live from White Plaza!

This week we’ll have a very special broadcast of Green Grid Radio on Wednesday, April 17th from 12-1pm. Green Grid Radio will be broadcasting live from the Energy Showcase, which is the Stanford Energy Week kick-off event in White Plaza on the Stanford campus.

energy-week-banner-EDITAttributed to Stanford Energy Club (2013).

Not only will we broadcast live, but our booth will be solar powered. We are utterly thrilled to bring our show to the middle of the action, and to demonstrate our environmental commitment at the same time.

Our guest this week is Ms. Debra Dunn of the Stanford We’ll be talking about sustainability, food, and energy broadly in our discussion. Student Sarah Triolo will also join us for the panel conversation. Green Grid Radio will air an encore edition of this special episode during the regular Thursday, April 18th from 6-7pm PST timeslot on KZSU.

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S3E2: A Breezy Introduction to the Basics: Wind Energy 101

SWEPThe SWEP team working on installing a wind anemometer at the Berkeley Marina (Image attributed to SWEP, 2013)

This past Thursday, the Green Grid Radio team spoke with Dr. Jeff Mirocha, a scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. We were also joined by guest panelist Aaron Burdick, a graduate student in Stanford’s Civil and Environmental Engineering Department. We’ve explored a lot of issues related to wind energy technology on the show in previous episodes, but this time we went back to the basics to gain an understanding of some oft overlooked fundamentals. What are the mechanics of making electricity from wind? How efficient is wind energy? What kinds of engineering challenges are wind engineers currently working to overcome?

Aaron provided many insights about the topics discussed with Dr. Mirocha, and shared his experience working with the Stanford Solar and Wind Energy Project (SWEP).

Note: During the show, we mentioned that wind energy delivered about 6% of America’s electricity in 2012. After the show aired, we found that as of 2012, wind energy comprised 6% of American electricity generation capacity, but only delivered about 3% of American electricity that year. We apologize for the error!

Listen here:

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Green Grid Radio Nominated for a Radio Star Award

This Spring, Green Grid Radio has been nominated for a Radio Star Award through the website Radioflag. Radioflag is a social radio site that aggregates and promotes independent, community, and college radio stations across the country and their content.

radio-star-award2Attributed to Radioflag, 2013.

Radioflag expects,  “that the broadcast industry’s “Best Read Newspaper” Radio World, will once again report the RadioStar Award winners. The paper is Published bi-weekly, and is the definitive source for information on technology, industry news, management techniques, applications-oriented engineering and production articles and new product information.”

Judging for the contest is taking place right now and will end on April 22nd, with the winners announced shortly thereafter. If you are inclined, check out Radioflag and support Green Grid Radio.


S3E1: The Rise of the Sharing Economy

S3E1: The Rise of the Sharing Economy

The sharing economy is a movement that is gaining more and more momentum both here in the U.S. and around the world. In this episode we dig into what the environmental, social and economic benefits are of sharing compared to the current way of meeting our needs through consumption.

Featured voices are Andy Ruben, co-founder of yerdleNeal Gorenflo, founder of Shareable and Stanford students Katie Brigham (from the Stanford Free Store), Maayan Dembo and Adam Pearson. Hosted by Erik Olesund and Diane Wu.

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High Ground Organics Supports Green Grid Radio

In case you missed the news on Thursday, we’re excited to report that High Ground Organics has supported Green Grid Radio for our third season.


High Ground Organics are a Watsonville-based, organic family farm that offers a CSA program from Monterey to Palo Alto. We’re excited to be working with High Ground Organics and very thankful for their interest and critical contribution to GGR’s operations.

If you also are interested in supporting Green Grid Radio, please send an email to adam [at] greengridradio [dot] org. We hope to have more information about these opportunities on our website soon!

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Green Grid Radio Honored by Clinton Global Initiative

Green Grid Radio is en route to St. Louis!


Earlier this year, the Clinton Global Initiative honored Green Grid Radio by inviting me to the Clinton Global Initiative University meeting in St. Louis from April 5-7th. As Founder of Green Grid Radio, I proposed an aggressive commitment to climate, energy, and sustainability education through Green Grid Radio. The mission of Green Grid Radio has always been to engage the public in these topics, and season 3’s adjusted format will achieve that better than ever before. We’ll be adding some more information about our Clinton Global Initiative commitment on the Green Grid Radio website soon.

And if you’re wondering what a “commitment” is: The Clinton Global Initiative University (CGI U) brings together college students to address global challenges with practical, innovative solutions. A CGI U Commitment to Action is a new, specific, and measurable plan that addresses a challenge on campus, in the local community, or around the world. Commitments can be small or large, global or local. No matter the size or scope, commitments help CGI U participants translate practical goals into meaningful and measurable results.

I look forward to a productive weekend of working with and learning from our world’s next leaders. Thank you for the support!

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Coming up in S2E10: Recap Roundtable with Returning Panelists

As the weather warms up, the vegetation turns green, and the days lengthen, we have reached the start of spring, and therefore, the end of winter. With the end of winter, also comes the end of Green Grid Radio’s second season.

This Thursday, we’ll wrap up the season with interview and panel highlights from throughout the second season. Joining us in the studio will be returning panelists, Andrew Ponec of Stanford GRID Alternatives, Rob Best of the Stanford Solar Decathlon team, Tim Burke of Engineers for a Sustainable World, and Megan Tsai of the Materials Science and Engineering Department. The roundtable recap in Season 1 was one of our best episodes, so make sure to tune in Thursday from 6-7 PM at 90.1FM or for a show filled with goodies!

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S2E9: Energy Efficiency Local Rebates and Policies

This week, Bill Brittan of  The Green Pro Network and Jasmine Wei, a Stanford student and intern with Green Pro Network joined us to speak about how we might demonstrate the benefits of investing in energy efficiency for homeowners. There exists a wealth of resources and rebates out there, and Green Pro Network encourages folks to claim these rebates. We also discussed how poor planning of outfitting and locating buildings lead to poor energy efficiency and how California’s system of decoupling the electricity providers incentivizes them to promote energy efficiency, which is not the case in all states.

We rounded up the episode with Hannah Rich and Hanni Hanson from Students for a Sustainable Stanford, who spoke about their organization’s projects, upcoming events and how to get involved.

S2E9: Energy Efficiency Local Rebates and Policies

Staffers at Green Pro Network. Image credit: Green Pro Network

Listen below:

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Coming up in S2E9: Energy Efficiency Local Rebates and Policies

As Green Grid Radio approaches the end of its second season, we will return to one of the big topics of the second season, energy efficiency. This week, Bill Brittan of  The Green Pro Network joins us to speak about how we might demonstrate the benefits of investing in energy efficiency for homeowners. There exists a wealth of resources and rebates out there, and Green Pro Network encourages folks to claim these rebates. We will also speak a little bit about energy efficiency policies and even indoor air quality. And while energy efficiency isn’t the primary goal of Students for a Sustainable Stanford, we will be joined by Hannah Rich and Hanni Hanson who will speak about varied projects directed toward a greener campus.

So join us on Thursday if you are in the Bay Area by tuning in to 90.1FM  from 6-7 PM (PST). If you want to listen online, you can at Thanks for listening!

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S2E8: Reason for Hope: Fitting Biodiversity Conservation into Solar Development Plans

This past Thursday on Green Grid Radio, we turned to a subject few consider when thinking about the viability of different types of renewable energy: impacts on birds and other wildlife. Garry George, Renewable Energy Project Director at Audubon California, joined us to discuss how solar and wind energy development projects impact biodiversity, as well as how Audubon works with renewable energy developers to reduce this impact as much as possible. We learned about some exciting partnerships and developments, such as the Working Lands Program, the Department of Energy and Interior’s final plan for solar development in the west, and ways to move forward in the transition to renewable energy without threatening endangered wildlife. We were also joined by panelist Chase Mendenhall, a Ph.D candidate in Stanford’s Center for Conservation Biology. Chase shared his perspective on the efforts to conserve wildlife in human-dominated areas, his environmental philosophy, and some interesting implications of his research in countryside biogeography. If you missed it live, please enjoy this week’s episode below!

S2E8: Reason for Hope: Fitting Biodiversity Conservation into Solar Development Plans

Garry George, Audubon. Photo credit: AT&T

Listen here:

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S2E7: A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank

Green Grid Radio returned to a local focus this past Thursday. “A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank” featured Dr. Tanja Srebotnjak of the Ecologic Institute, who joined us to speak a bit about some of the San Mateo office’s recent work in the Bay Area. This included discussion of the Sustainable San Mateo 2012 Indicators Report and a recent project on Senior Health in San Mateo. As we think about communities and large populations aging in the future, how might we improve resource efficiency? Do seniors need to have to have their Oldsmobile in their driveway for weekly trips to the store, or can we introduce interventions like car-sharing or taxi services to reduce the hassle of vehicle ownership, encourage the sharing economy, and improve the social lives of folks? This was merely one topic we discussed this week. Matt Chalmers of UC Davis Law School, panelist extraordinaire, also joined us to hammer home the importance of many sectors (government, nonprofits like Ecologic and academia, and industry) working together to solve our sustainability challenges.

S2E7: A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank

Ecologic has written up an even more comprehensive description of the episode. Thanks for the support and promotion!

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Coming up in S2E7: A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank

It’s easy to get caught up thinking about national energy and environmental policies and programs as the ultimate mechanisms for initiating change. We hyper-analyze every word in Obama’s State of the Union and different groups cry foul, while others proclaim victory. In this media-saturated world we live in, we sometimes forget about many of the promising local changes that are taking place. Volunteers, city governments, and local non-profits are out there making a difference, especially here in the Bay Area. On today’s show, we focus on effective sustainability initiatives  with Dr. Tanja Srebotnjak of the Ecologic Institute, and the episode is titled, “A Day in the Life of a Bay Area Environmental Think Tank”. We’ll also be joined by frequent contributor and panelist, Matt Chalmers.

2012-indicators-cover-231x300Make sure to listen from 6-7 PM (PST) on Thursday! Our regular reminder: we’re on 90.1FM in the Bay Area, or online at Thanks for listening!

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Coming up in S2E6: Ecovillages: Sustainable, Cooperative Lifestyles That Really Work

The sixth episode of Green Grid Radio’s second season will be, “Ecovillages: Sustainable, Cooperative Lifestyles that Really Work,” and will feature Stanford University alum Tony Sirna. Tony lived in Synergy, a co-op house at Stanford, as an undergrad, and after graduating decided to take the principles of community living and implement them in the real world by founding Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in northeastern Missouri. Dancing Rabbit, now a thriving intentional community of about 70 people, allows members to live ecologically sound lives and provides an example of an alternative way of living as a community. We will also welcome current Stanford students and co-op residents Hannah Rich and Aliza Gazek as panelists on the show, to discuss our interview with Tony and to comment on how cooperative living has impacted their views on sustainability and community.


So tune on in Thursday from 6-7 PM (PST) to 90.1FM in the Bay Area, or online at Thanks for listening!

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Coming up in S2E5: Powerhouse: How Video Games Can Produce Serious Energy Efficiency

The fifth episode of Green Grid Radio’s second season will be, “Powerhouse: How Video Games Can Produce Serious Energy Efficiency,” and will feature Stanford University Department of Communication PhD candidates, James Scarborough and James J. Cummings. The two study how behavioral psychology and social motivations can influence behavioral change, with a specific focus on energy efficiency. Scarborough and Cummings have been involved in the Stanford ARPA-E Initiative project, specifically working on the video game Powerhouse, which is designed to help players and the broader population have fun while learning about energy efficient behaviors in their homes. This is Green Grid Radio’s first episode on energy efficiency, and the first to feature two long-form interviews!


Jim Cummings stopped by the studio to talk about the Powerhouse video game.

Make sure to tune in Thursday to 90.1FM (in the Bay Area) from 6-7 PM (PST) or online at This will be another fantastic episode Thanks for listening!

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S2E4: Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid

Earlier this week, the Green Grid Radio team returned to one of the central topics on the show: the grid. In “Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid,” Professor Mark O’Malley, all the way from the University College Dublin in Ireland, spoke with us about grid basics as well as institutional, physical, and technical barriers to higher renewable penetrations. Outbound Stanford student and current PG&E renewables integration specialist, Larsen Plano*, also joined us to weigh in on the discussion. The two believe there is plenty to be optimistic about in terms of moving to higher levels of variable renewables, here in California, and internationally. There are strategies to overcome these barriers to grid flexibility, as demonstrated by real life examples in Europe and American studies like the NREL Renewable Energy Futures report.

S2E4: Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid

The NREL Futures study provides an interactive map that allows users to investigate generation sources in projected time.

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*Larsen’s opinions are his and do not represent those of PG&E.

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Coming up in S2E4: Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid

This Thursday, make sure to tune in to our fourth episode this season. It is titled, “Grid Flexibility: Challenges and Opportunities with Bringing Renewables onto the Grid,” and will feature Professor Mark O’Malley from the Electricity Research Centre and University College Dublin. Electrical Engineering Professor O’Malley dropped by the studio before his Energy Seminar in January to speak about grid flexibility, what that even means in the first place, and some of the challenges and opportunities with increasing renewables from a grid perspective. We will also be joined by Larsen Plano, a student in Civil & Environmental Engineering who is transitioning into the utility world at Pacific Gas & Electric.

Join us from 6-7 PM (PST) at, or if you live in the SF Bay Area, 90.1FM on the dial. We hope you find it to be a great addition to our episode list. Thanks for listening!

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S2E3: Commercial Solar: Communicating Long-Term Benefits in an Immediate World

This past Thursday we retackled solar PV on Green Grid Radio. The featured interviewee on the show was Vishvesh Jhaveri, of Silray Inc, while Stanford students Emma Sagan and Justin Briggs joined us to round out the discussion. In “Commercial Solar: Communicating Long-Term Benefits in an Immediate World,” we spoke at length about solar through the lens of how academia and industry can work together to continue lowering costs of solar technologies. Another theme of the show was on local and regional policies that facilitate the integration of clean energy.

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Coming up in S2E3: Commercial Solar: Communicating Long-Term Benefits in an Immediate World

On January 31st, Green Grid Radio shifts back to focusing on renewable energy and, specifically solar photovoltaics in Northern California. The upcoming episode is titled, “Commercial Solar: Communicating Long-Term Benefits in an Immediate World.” Our guest on the program is Vishvesh Jhaveri, Business Development Associate at local solar company, Silray Inc. We’ll discuss some upcoming Silray PV projects and even how solar policy incentives have made a lot of their work possible.

Silray project for US Coast Guard in Petaluma, CA.

So tune in from 6-7 PM (PST) at 90.1FM on the dial, or at on the tubes for another dense, thought-provoking addition to our catalog. Thanks for listening!

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Green Grid Radio named a “Green Podcast worth listening to”

Good news from new friends at The Mindful Consumer. They named our show a “Green Podcast worth listening to,” alongside some other heavyweights in the ring. Their ringing endorsement: “The students are intelligent and find some great guests to interview, asking some excellent questions.”

To read the full scoop, check out the article on their website, titled “Nine Podcasts Worth Listening To: How To Be Green.” Thanks for the support!

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Coming up in S2E2: Climate Change in the U.S. After Superstorm Sandy, Part II

This Thursday, the second season of Green Grid Radio continues with another perspective on climate change in the United States following Superstorm Sandy. Dr. Jim Salinger, a New Zealand climate scientist and IPCC author is our guest on the program. Salinger will weigh in on the perception of climate change in the United States and the world at large, following the tremendously costly November storm, Sandy. Many topics about climate change will be discussed– such as ways climate change will impact food accessibility in developing countries, to how recent extreme weather events may spur new climate policies. Also returning as a panelist, UC Davis law student Matt Chalmers.

Woman stands in New York street after Sandy. Image attributed to (AP Photo/John Minchillo)

Make sure that Green Grid Radio is a part of your Thursday routine! The show airs 6-7 PM (PST) at 90.1FM (in the Bay Area) or at on the internet.

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Coming up in S2E1: Taking on Climate Change through Education and Grassroots Action

On Thursday January 16th, we’re opening up the second season of Green Grid Radio with another spotlight on Stanford! The show will feature student guests Sara Orton, Alan Propp, and Sophie Harrison. Orton and Propp  have worked on developing a climate change education curriculum in local high schools. Harrison currently leads the Fossil Free Stanford movement to encourage the Board of Trustees to divest from fossil fuel investments.  The panelists are tied together by goals of behavioral change, using bottom-up and grassroots strategies to achieve these ends.


So tune in on Thursday from 6-7 PM (PST) at 90.1FM or for our exciting season 2 premier!

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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.

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Coming up in S1E7: A Solar Rooftop Revolution (Nov 27th, 1-2PM PST)

Our next episode of Green Grid Radio will feature co-founder of Sungevity and longtime environmental activist, Danny Kennedy. Kennedy makes the case for residential photovoltaicsolar energy across the US, explaining the unique Sungevity Remote Solar Design and Solar Lease programs. Also, we spoke a bit about his 2012 book Rooftop Revolution, the King CONG lobbying industry that stands in the way of renewable energy, and to what degree the California Solar Initiative has been effective.

This upcoming episode will also feature the debut of the first “Energy on the Farm” segment, and will premier on Tuesday November 27, 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.

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Coming up in S1E4: Clean Energy in the State of California (Oct 23rd, 2012: 1-2pm PST)

This week on Green Grid Radio, Laura Wisland, a Senior Energy Analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists stops by the show. Laura analyzes data and public policy to provide state and regulatory agencies with information to implement clean energy laws, including California’s Renewables Portfolio Standard (RPS). Laura wrote a recent report – “The Clean Energy Race: How do California’s Public Utilities Measure Up?” – which investigates how clean energy resources have been developed and supported by California’s publicly-owned utilities.

Wisland is optimistic that California will meet its aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals designed in the state’s Renewables Portfolio Standard. But in order to reach these goals, we need to improve storage and increase demand response programs, among other strategies. Tune in for more on Tuesday, Oct 23rd at 1pm PST for the fourth episode of Green Grid Radio. And if you haven’t done so yet, follow us on twitter (@greengridradio).


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Coming up in S1E3: Green Buildings, Oil Hegemony, and “Dodo Sapiens” (Oct 16th, 2012: 1-2pm PST)

This week on Green Grid Radio architect Eric Corey Freed join us. Freed is a thought leader, writer, and speaker inviting the public to reassess how much we need the millions of barrels of oil we use and why he needs to ask clients if they want carcinogenic chemicals in their home interior. Freed is well-known for best-seller, Green Building & Remodeling for Dummies, among three other well-received books. The Organic Architect sits on the boards for multiple architecture, sustainability, and green buildings organizations, including West Coast Green. He is a founding member and current Chair of the Coachella Valley branch of the US Green Building Council.

Freed will give us the rundown on green buildings, current technology, and low-energy design, in addition to some humor about our generation’s shortcomings. Listen in Tuesday Oct 16th at 1pm PST for the Green Grid Radio season’s third episode! Watch out for us on twitter (@greengridradio) if you want the latest news and info.


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S1E2: Integrating Wind and Variable Resources in a Renewable Power Future

Mark Z. Jacobson, Stanford Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering, stops by Green Grid Radio to discuss his plan for a renewable energy future. Jacobson emphasizes that in order to reach popular consensus in support of a clean energy world, we must push for energy education for the public. Topics of conversation also includes black carbon’s relationship to climate change, “beefing up” transmission lines, and how a wind/water/solar world could reduce global energy consumption by 32%, and emissions by 100%.

Presented by Adam Pearson, Nick McIntyre and Sophia Vo.

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Coming up in S1E2: Integrating Wind and Variable Resources in a Renewable Power Future (Oct 9th, 2012: 1-2pm PST)


This week on Green Grid Radio we’ll be hosting Professor Mark Z. Jacobson. Jacobson is a major force at Stanford pushing thinkers to reassess how much of the world can be powered by renewable energy (spoiler alert: all of it). Jacobson is a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Director of the Atmosphere/Energy program, Senior Fellow at the Precourt Institute for Energy, and a Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. Professor Jacobson has published textbooks on air pollution and global warming, as well as atmospheric modeling. Jacobson’s work on energy resources, climate, aerosols, and atmospheric forcing has been published in numerous journals, and recently he worked with activist/actor Mark Ruffalo to publish a Huffington Post column and deliver a google talk in support of his vision for a clean world.

Jacobson’s recent Global Warming and Air Pollution textbook

Jacobson will be speaking a bit about the feasibility of his Wind Water Solar plan, and how variable resources can be effectively incorporated into our grid system. Tune in Tuesday Oct 9th at 1pm PST to listen live to our second episode! As always, keep up with us on twitter (@greengridradio) for show updates and other interesting articles and info.


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Coming up in S1E1: Renewable Energy at Stanford and Beyond (Oct 2nd, 2012: 1-2pm PST)

It is with great pleasure that I announce this update on behalf of the Green Grid Radio team. This Tuesday, Oct 2nd, 2012 from 1-2pm will be the inaugural episode of the show. The topic of the show will be “Renewable Energy at Stanford and Beyond.” We’ll discuss ways that Stanford students are leading projects related to renewable energy and sustainable design. Our guests will be Stanford students Derek Ouyang, Tim Burke, and Rob Best, representing the Stanford Solar Decathlon team and the Stanford chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World. They will certainly bring a unique perspective to the airwaves when they answer questions about their current projects and broader energy concerns.

Perspective drawing of the Stanford Solar Decathlon house

Schematic from Engineers for a Sustainable World’s current Anam City (Nigeria) project

To stream the show live, tune into KZSU Stanford at 90.1 FM in the San Francisco Bay Area. Alternatively you listen on your computer at kzsulive. Remember to keep checking the Green Grid Radio homepage for an archive of the show, available at a later date. And make sure to follow us on twitter (@greengridradio) for show updates and other interesting articles and info. Tweet at us during the show and we may pose your question to our guests!

Green on,


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The Show..

Welcome to the Green Grid Radio website.

My name is Adam and I’m the host and creator of the program. I’ve been involved in radio at KZSU Stanford for a long time now – since fall of 2008. As an undergraduate I explored the form of a(n experimental) music show extensively, and I even managed KZSU from 2011-2012. I finally decided it was time to merge my two passions: radio and sustainable energy.

The program is a weekly interview, panel, and news show on the Californian and American transition to renewable electricity sources. This will include discussions of utility-scale wind, solar, and geothermal facilities, energy efficient buildings, and transportation technologies. Guests on the show will run the gamut from Stanford professors to industrial professionals to environmental conservationists.

There’s a lot of programming out there in the same sphere, so how will my show be different?

  • 1) The structure. Each month, we’ll focus on an umbrella subject and broach the topics from many different perspectives. As mentioned, different stakeholders will provide their perspectives on what is coming, what is important, and what is feasible.
  • 2) Current events. The show will incorporate recent policy debates and technological improvements to consider the future of the energy source/field. For example, one could imagine the Production Tax Credit will feature prominently in wind conversations.
  • 3) Guests. We won’t be shy in bringing in faculty, researchers, and other high-level thinkers in these worlds. It’s nice to hear industry spokespeople, but the show will be rooted in science, and not in buzz words and vague jobs projections.

If you have any questions, suggestions, or you’d like to participate on or contribute to the program, feel free to email me: adam [at] kzsu [dot] stanford [dot] edu.