Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Biodiesel, Particulates Amok in Augusta and Columbus, Sustainable Humans With Foodbanking This Week on Sustainable Georgia

We take time during the holiday season this week to break bread with Bill Bolling, founder of the Atlanta Community Food Bank and a pioneer of the food banking concept. The current economy has food banks across the state dealing with higher demand and rapidly emptying shelves with which to meet this demand. Bill talks about why we need to help our neighbors, what he would tell Barack Obama to do, and how environmentalists and hunger and anti-poverty activists share common ground. If you would like to help one of the nine regional Georgia food banks, you can go here.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Sol Invictus, Mother Nature's Lobbyist, Obama's Green Team, and Count Basie On Sustainable Georgia Sunday at 4:30p and Online at

Programming Note:
Sustainable Georgia's Saturday broadcast is preempted again this week for live coverage of the Metropolitan Opera Matinee. We'll air Sunday at 4:30pm following Weekend Gazette.

We celebrate the Winter Equinox this week on Sustainable Georgia with hopes for rebirth, and longer Spring days to come.

Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper Sally Bethea(pictured above) checks in on this week's show to talk about the highs and lows of fighting the good fight for Georgia's watersheds. She will be actively lobbying the state legislature when it cranks up in a few weeks. If you want to know where your local legislator stands on environmental issues, you can read the Georgia Conservation Voters 2007-2008 Legislative Scorecard linked to here. As Sally points out in our interview, legislators don't hear from their constituents as much as they do from lobbyists and business interests. A spare word or note from you about the importance of considering Mother Nature ahead of the Fortune 500 could make a difference.

Dave Bender reports that the planned coal-fired energy plant for Early County Georgia has been back-burnered by Dynegy, the Houston company that was financing the bulk of it. We report on what that means for the environment, and what it means for people in Early County who had been hoping for new jobs and tax revenue.

Our shout out this week goes to the Mother Nature Network. MNN is a brainchild of Chuck Leavell, keyboardist, Twiggs County tree farmer, friend of GPB and a friend of the Earth. We recommend you check out their site.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Is Cheap Gasoline Bad For Georgia? Find The Price of Energy Complacency On Sustainable Georgia-4:30p Sat and Sun

Is cheap gasoline good for the country? If we taxed fossil fuels at a rate high enough to discourage their consumption would we get on the alternative fuel tip sooner? It's a hard question to ponder, particularly in a tough economy. But Georgians, like the rest of the country, are at risk of falling into energy complacency. The Wall Street crash and Main Street struggles could set back energy alternatives. On this weekend's program we're joined by Sustainable Georgia Energy Policy Wonk Jay Hakes. Hakes, who is director of the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library in Atlanta, worked as the head of the Energy Information Administration in the Department of Energy under Bill Clinton from 1993-2000. We'll talk about energy complacency, whether the auto industry can re-tool for a new energy paradigm, and how much political capital Barack Obama will be willing to spend on green issues come January.

In Earth News, Mary Ellen Cheatham reports on the latest plans afoot to recycle spent nuclear fuel at the Savannah River Plant outside of Augusta. Some punk shot an American Bald Eagle outside of Tifton and we encourage our listeners their to call the DNR Wildlife Turn In Poacher hotline. The EPA now has a Ten Most Wanted Environmental Crime Fugitives List. And the 1071 Coalition has formed to advocate on behalf of Lake Lanier.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Right Whales, Wrong Solar Strategy, Sunday at 4:30p on Sustainable Georgia

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 here.

Sustainability Pioneer, Guru, Architect and Venture Capitalist William McDonough was in Atlanta this week, as part of the Arthur Blank Family Foundation's Speaker Series. GPB and Sustainable Georgia were proud to partner with them on the event bringing McDonough to town. We will be posting his remarks in one form or another, so watch this space for details. We'll also focus on his Cradle To Cradle initiative as time goes forward. One of McDonough's points in his talk, among many, was that he is a big supporter of nuclear power--nuclear fusion coming from the sun. That's to say he favors the solar energy, the original nuclear power. There are a number of reasons that the solar energy industry is growing by 25% this year when many other businesses are hurting. It's clean, it's free from the source, and it comes without a carbon footprint. We're at a point where the cost of photo voltaic solar arrays and their affiliated technology and hardware is going to begin to drop, even as utilities and businesses using traditional fossil fuel-extracting and burning technologies incur increased real and environmental costs.
Duke Power in North Carolina started an innovative program in the past year in which they are deploying solar arrays to their customers, allowing their customers to generate their own power. In other states both government and utilities are making real steps towards harnessing solar. In Georgia, not so much. As Myriam Levy reports this week on the program, Georgia Power is offering a limited green option, but as a company is not betting on solar energy playing a major role in Georgia. We encourage you to go to their website here and learn about what commitment they do have to green energy. In the story, we name-check both Southface Energy Institute and One World Sustainable as additional resources if you're ready to start powering your house with the original nuclear energy.
The Right Whales are back along the Georgia Coast, calving and spuming and otherwise enjoying our sunny Southern waters. We report on the new rule starting December 9, which forces large ships to slow down when sailing through the whales' migratory path.
Our Shout Out this week goes to Robert Whelchel, a Gainesville High School senior who just picked up his 4th, yep 4th, regional student Emmy Award. His psa is entitled Lake Lanier 2008 and encourages water conservation. You can watch it here.
We lean on Deborah Byrd and our friends at Earth & Sky for this week's interview with Marine Biologist Felicia Coleman, who talks about the impact of upriver development on our ocean's health. She specifically talks about the impact of Georgia's water crisis and the diminished flow of the Chattahoochee, Flint and Apalachicola Rivers and its effect on the oyster beds of Apalachicola Bay.
Recycled music goes old school Crosby & Nash to celebrate the return of the Right Whales with the title track to their 1979 LP Wind On The Water. We wouldn't want to celebrate the wrong ones, would we?