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.

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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 350.org 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 firsttheretheneverywhere.org

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

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.

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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 Stilltasty.com, 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.

Adam


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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.

turkey

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