Friday, November 28, 2008

Sustainable Small Towns and Environmental Impacts of The Mortgage Crisis in Georgia, Sunday at 4:30p and online at

Note: Sustainable Georgia will not air on Saturdays for a few weeks as we step aside for the live broadcasts of The Metropolitan Opera on GPB Radio. The program will continue to air Sundays at 4:30pm and Tuesday nights at 11:30pm. You can also download or stream the program on demand at

This week's edition of Sustainable Georgia considers the notion that places should be sustainable, as much as land or natural resources. Billy Parrish is the Director of the Georgia Department of Community Affairs Office of Downtown Development. As such, he's charged with helping sustain Georgia's small towns, dealing with such issues as historic preservation, local tourism, local food, and sustainable economic development. We'll talk about brownfield and grayfield redevelopment, Georgia's eco-tourism initiatives, and why the people living and working to make Georgia's small towns more livable and sustainable aren't worried about "two Georgias." They are more interested in the fact that we have many Georgias, all of them liveable in their own way.

On Earth News this week, Dave Bender takes a look at a new biomass energy plant in South Georgia. The collapse of residential real estate development is having environmental consequences that are turning mortgage bankers into erosion control experts (whether they like it or not).

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Plant Washington Resources Pro And Con

We've had a number of responses to our interview with Altamaha Riverkeeper President Deborah Sheppard last weekend concerning the proposed coal burning Plant Washington in Washington County, GA. The local group opposing the plant is called Fall Line Alliance For A Clean Environment (FACE). You can reach them at 478-553-9151. GreenLaw is another Georgia advocacy group who opposes new coal fired plants in Georgia. They can be reached online at

The EMC cooperatives who want to build the plant also make their case for energy efficiency and "cleaner" coal technology and their reasons for building the plant at their advocacy site We encourage you to educate yourself from a variety of sources. Sustainable Georgia will continue to follow events concerning Plant Washington going forward.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Altamaha Riverkeeper Opposes Plant Washington, Record Drought Continues, and The Balanescu Quartet This Weekend On Sustainable Georgia

One of the great challenges before us as a civilization is how to come up with a way to fuel our machines in ways that don’t despoil the environment, compromise our immune systems, or bankrupt our economy. That’s a tough nut to crack, and just because the price of gasoline has dropped to under two dollars a gallon does not mean that we can forget about the challenge. For example, if you were designing and building an electricity-generating plant in 2008 would you be building one that burns coal to accomplish that?

On Georgia Earth News this week we feature the return of Pierre Howard to the helm of the Georgia Conservancy, bankrupt developers winning court fights along the coast, and positive changes in green building standards. Isla Earth brings word of sustainable house trailers in Mississippi. We’ll check in with Altamaha Riverkeeper Executive Director Deborah Sheppard about a controversial coal-fired energy plant slated for Washington County and it’s possible effects on the Oconee Watershed, a watershed currently suffering the effects of a drought that has water levels across the state at record lows . In spite of it all, we hope you have much to be thankful this thanksgiving week, and that Sustainable Georgia is one more of those things.

This week’s Sustainable Georgia Shout Out goes to the Center For A Sustainable Coast, whose Executive Director David Kyler took us to task this week in an email, complaining that we're giving short shrift to the potential for wind energy generation off of the Georgia Coast. We’ll take that issue up in a future program. The Center For A Sustainable Coast, based in St. Simons Island, has fought coastal development, and has fought offshore oil drilling off the east coast. This past Spring, Common Cause honored Kyler and the Center as part of their annual Democracy Awards. Like Common Cause, The Center for A Sustainable Coast is dedicated to holding those in power accountable. While their latest battle against the Cumberland Harbour was lost in the courts this week, as we noted in Earth News, the Center For A Sustainable Coast will continue to fight to protect the tidal marshes of the Georgia Coast.

Our recycled music this week is from the Balanescu Quartet.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Recycled Cars, Green Cemeteries, Frog Watchers and Joni Mitchell This Weekend on Sustainable Georgia

Junkyards, scrapyards, auto salvage yards--You might not think so, but they were recycling before recycling was cool. In fact, automobiles are recycled at a rate higher than paper, plastic, aluminum, glass or electronic goods. This week on Sustainable Georgia we talk with Steve Levetan, Senior Vice President of Pull-A-Part, a ten-state automobile recycling operation. Levetan, whose family started in the scrap iron business in Atlanta in 1919, has worked for nearly 40 years in business and in public policy to create solid waste policies in Georgia that have left us with less clutter and a more pleasing environment to look at. For that and more, Levetan was named the Keep Georgia Beautiful Man of The Year. We'll talk with him about recycling, solid waste, and the future of the automobile in our car-culture.
On Earth News we talk about Georgia DNR's search for frog surveyors to help count Georgia's frog population. T. Boone Pickens is slowing down his alternative fuel plan now that oil is cheap again. And Josephine Bennett reports that if you want to be buried in a 'green' cemetery, then don't plan to rest in peace in Macon.
Our shout out goes to the Live Oak Library System, based in Savannah, which is building a green LEED-certified building at their newest branch.
Joni Mitchell's Big Yellow Taxi was too hard to resist as a recycled music cut. We hope the public radio audience can tolerate a single, just this once.
Sustainable Georgia airs Saturdays at 12:30p, Sundays at 4:30p and Tuesday nights at 1:30p. You can also listen on demand online by going here.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Climate Change and Fall Colors, Eco-Villages, Nuclear Power, Food Banks, e-Peanuts and Vince Guaraldi This Weekend On Sustainable Georgia

The winds of change are blowing across the nation and right here at home. This week on Sustainable Georgia in Earth News we'll look at what Obama the candidate promised to do about environmental issues versus the agenda he will push as president. A UGA scientist has research that shows Georgia climate change has pushed back the peak of Fall colors by a couple of weeks. The Georgia Public Service Commission is beginning a series of hearings about whether or not to allow Georgia Power and other state utilities coops to build the first new reactors to be approved and built since the Three Mile Island incident in 1979. The two reactors would be built at Plant Vogtle in Burke County.

In our feature interview we talk with Myra Bales and Architect and Designer Greg Ramsey with Village Habitat Design. Bales is trying to create a sustainable cooperative Eco-Village in Carroll County. Village Habitat Design is a leader in Conservation Community design that's worked on such notable Atlanta-area communities as Lake Claire Co-Housing and East Lake Commons.

Our shout out goes to Georgia's Food Banks, who are low on food with high demand in a weak economy. Please do what you can to support them by going here.

With news that 1964-era vintage Peanuts cartoons have been animated and are available for download for your iPod or mobile device, we decided to celebrate change this week by ending the show with Vince Guaraldi's best known Peanuts song Linus and Lucy, suitable for dancing atop your dog house.