Friday, March 13, 2009

Right Whales, Sea Turtles, Hybrid Garbage Trucks, Integrative Biology and Listeners Protest This Weekend on Sustainable Georgia

Sustainable Georgia airs across the state on GPB Radio at 12:30p Saturday and 4:30p Sunday. You can listen to the program on demand here, and you can also download the program as an iTunes podcast.
It's been a week with good news for coastal wildlife and next week promises to be a pivotal week in the expansion(or not) of nuclear power in Georgia. Meanwhile, Macon Georgia gets out on the cutting edge of hybrid vehicles. Melissa Stiers reports on the news that Sea Turtles have plenty of suitable nests on Tybee Island after all. Myriam Levy reports on the first successful sedation of a whale swimming free in the wild, as federal biologists sedated a Right Whale off of Daytona Beach in order to disentangle it from fishing gear.
From Macon comes word that the first hybrid-power municipal garbage truck in America will be hauling refuse through the cherry blossom city. Josephine Bennett from WMUM 89.7 FM reports.
Earth & Sky's Lindsay Patterson talks with integrative biologist Camille Parmesan, who suggests that climate change will change the rules of wildlife conservation.
Sustainable Georgia answers email from a listener in Washington County, Georgia, who favors the building of coal fired energy Plant Washington. While respectfully disagreeing with some of his assertions, we are interested in featuring a debate on the plant between two Washington County residents. Our listener can represent the Pro side. If you are interested in debating the Con side of Plant Washington and you live in Washington County, please drop us a line at
Finally, we ask the question "can we all get along" by recycling a song from Johnny Clegg and Juluka, one of the great, courageous cross-cultural, cross-class artistic expressions of late 20th century. You can read more about them here.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Sierra Club of Georgia, Coal Plants, Bicycle Power, Red Snapper Ban, Marvin Gaye All On Sustainable Georgia This Weekend

Sustainable Georgia is on the air on GPB Radio Saturday at 12:30p and Sunday at 4:30p after Weekend Georgia Gazette. You can also stream or download on demand here, or you can subscribe to the podcast on iTunes.

This week on Earth News we cover Thursday night's public meeting with the Georgia EPD in Sandersville discussing the impact of building new coal-fired Plant Washington. Georgia cyclists rode to the Capital this week to rally in favor of more bike paths and trails and against a state transportation bill that has nothing in it for pedal-powered vehicles. Dave Bender reports. From Savannah comes news that Red Snapper is now forbidden to be fished out of Georgia waters. Orlando Montoya reports on this sustainable seafood story.
Believe it or not, there is a green initiative underway in NASCAR. During this week's visit to Atlanta Motor Speedway in Hampton, the Hall of Fame Racing Team, which runs the 96 Ford with driver and former champion Bobby Labonte, announced that they are purchasing carbon offsets to account for the carbon dioxide produced by their team on track and traveling between tracks. Sustainable Georgia dares to ask the question this week--if the good old boys in NASCAR can purchase carbon offsets, then why can't the rest of us?
Our feature interview is with Sierra Club of Georgia Organizer Erin Glynn. Glynn appeared with a Sierra Club group at the Plant Washington meeting in Sandersville, and she talks about the problems with coal plants, the realities of rural economy, and why it's in our best interest to factor in the cost of carbon emissions in anything we do. She also lets you know how to get involved with the local Sierra Club chapter in your community. Go here to find out more.
Marvin Gaye's 1971 album What's Going On was a break from the Motown tradition in many ways, not least of which was the record's topic matter, which included drugs, poverty and the Vietnam War. But most interesting to us is Mercy Mercy Me(The Ecology), which departed from Motown's standard verse-chorus-verse formula musically, and brought soul music and its audience around to the environmental message for the first time. We recycle the song to close out this week's show. Thanks for listening.

Friday, February 27, 2009

The Sky Is Falling, The Nuclear Toll Is Coming Early, and Alan Flurry Expounds On Green Skepticism On Sustainable Georgia This Weekend.

Sustainable Georgia airs across Georgia on GPB Radio this weekend, after Weekend Georgia Gazette at 12:30p Saturday and 4:30p Sunday.
On Earth News we cover the Georgia Legislative vote in favor of Senate Bill 31, which will allow the utilities to pre-bill power bill rate payers for two new nuclear reactors at Plant Vogtle. The vote came amid rising controversy over who was saving how much money on behalf of whom. You can read more about it here.
The sky really was falling over the Arctic Ocean earlier this week, as a $278 million dollar Orbiting Carbon Observatory satellite failed to deploy properly after launch and crashed. Scientists lost the opportunity for some eight million daily carbon calculations daily that were to greatly inform our understanding of climate change.
On the oil front, Colonial pipeline announced that because of a decreased demand for oil that they were postponing plans to add an additional pipeline through Georgia.
This week's feature interview is with Athens-based writer Alan Flurry, whose blog What Does Green Mean and Eco Hustle column in Flagpole Magazine are both a healthy antidote to the received wisdom of both mainstream media and mainstream environmentalism. Listen in as we ponder what it means to be green, especially in Athens, a town so green there's even a tree that owns itself(pictured above). We'll close with XTC's Ball And Chain, a paean to tearing things down just to build new ones in the same place.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Greenspace, Save Our Amphibians, Aquaponics, Gray Water and Old Bob Dylan This Weekend On Sustainable Georgia On GPB Radio & Online

This week on the program we look into the green aspects of the Economic Recovery Plan signed into law by President Obama on Tuesday. While their are high hopes and rhetoric about millions of jobs to be gained and thousands of tons of C02 and barrels of oil to be saved, we'll keep watch to see if Fed dollar promises make for a more sustainable Georgia.

Georgia's Regional Water Councils were announced February 14 by the Governor. The councils, organized by watershed, are political appointees charged with water resource planning, and were mandated by last year's Comprehensive Statewide Water Monitoring Plan. Some editorial writers around the state have noted with concern that environmentalists are notably absent from the list, the state's riverkeepers in particular. We recommend that you check out the list of Water Council members here and see who's making decisions on behalf of your watershed. Call them up or drop an email and let them know your concerns, whether it's point-source pollution issues, water conservation, development, or other green concerns.

Greenspace promises to tick up in Walker County and Carroll County, with initiatives this week. Edgar Treiguts reports about a proposed Chickamauga to Cloudland Canyon(pictured above) rail to trail, while the Trust for Public Land and Carroll County creatively used contributions and SPLOST money to set aside 485 acres of land along the Chattahoochee River.

Myriam Levy takes a look at aquaponics, Noel Brown focuses on Georgia's rules regarding gray water re-use, integrative biologist Tyrone Hays talks about the importance of amphibians to our long term prospects as a species, and we shine a light on Alan Flurry and his blog What Does Green Mean? Check it out. We'll talk with Alan on next week's show.

Sustainable Georgia is on the air Saturday at 12:30p and Sunday at 4:30p after Weekend Georgia Gazette on your local GPB Radio station. Also online for stream or download and available as an iTunes podcast.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Nuclear Reactors Paid In Advance, The Center For A Sustainable Coast, and Sand Hill Cranes On Sustainable Georgia This Weekend.

This week the program features a feature from Orlando Montoya in Savannah about the Federal Government's new off shore energy policy. Hint--the buzz phrase "drill, baby, drill" is no longer operative. John Sepulvado drops by with a Q&A about Georgia Senate Bill 31, which is now going before the Georgia House of Representatives. The bill would allow utility companies to begin billing rate-payers for the cost of building two new reactors at Plant Vogtle years before the reactors actually go online.

Does Georgia have alternatives to nuclear power and offshore drilling? The Center for a Sustainable Coast thinks so. Their Executive Director David Kyler joins us for a conversation about studies that show that offshore wind energy could be harnessed and provide clean, non-radioactive, carbon free megawatts in the years to come.

Our Shout Out this week goes out to the Georgia Association of Floodplain Management, who met this week in Columbus. Georgia's floodplain managers keep our towns safe when the water is high, and are devoted to low impact development, greenways, and improved stormwater runoff strategies. They are unheralded workers in most cases, but they are doing good green work. Visit their site here to find out more.

Melissa Stiers drops in as the GPB Nature Watcher, taking in the annual migration of Sand Hill Cranes across our state. Catch the show on GPB Radio across the state, 12:30p Saturday and 4:30p Sunday right after Weekend Gazette.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Sustainable Georgia-Listen and Become A GPB Member, Today at 12:30p, Sunday at 4:30p

Today on Sustainable Georgia we will be asking for you to support the environmental reporting and green community building that the show represents. GPB Radio is holding a brief Winter Membership Campaign that started Friday and continues through Monday, and if you listen to Sustainable Georgia and would like to support our show, please click here and renew your membership or become a new member.

In between our appeals for your support on this week's show, Myriam Levy will talk with two federal wildlife biologists about the possible re-introduction of the Florida Panther back into the Okefenokee Swamp and the adjoining Osceola National Forest. Earth & Sky's Jorge Salazar talks with Global Water Expert Peter Gleick about the water crisis affecting us all. The Sustainable Georgia Ombudsman reports on last week's mispronunciation of perfluorooctanoic acid, or PFOA. That is all. Please express your support for Sustainable Georgia by making a contribution to Georgia Public Broadcasting today. Thanks.

Friday, January 30, 2009

PFOA, Obama Stands Firm On Energy,, Randy Newman's homage to the Cuyahoga River Fire This Weekend on Sustainable Georgia

This has been a week filled with both hope and dread for Georgians who want to see their communities green and sustainable. We’ll touch on both aspects, and hopefully leave you with more hope than dread on Sustainable Georgia. The Obama administration wasted no time on pushing forward their green initiatives with regards to energy policies and dealing with carbon in our air. We’ll have a report from NPR on that. John Sepulvado stops by to weigh in on the latest information and mis-information about Perfluoro-octanic Acid-PFOA , found in large amounts in a North Georgia water supply taken from the Conasauga River(pictured above). Meanwhile some Georgia EMC customers now have a new green energy alternative, with news that a former underwear plant has been converted into a biomass energy plant.
At a time when for profit green initiatives are proliferating and the natural skepticism of both libertarians and liberals are starting to come full circle, meeting in the middle, we’ll visit with Beth Bond from, an Internet start up, for-profit web site attempting to provide community resources for Southern environmentalists. On recycled music we take a listen to Randy Newman's paean to the Cuyahoga River fires of 1936-1969, Burn On.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Transportation Alternatives and Frog Calls This Weekend on Sustainable Georgia--Saturday at 12:30p and Sunday at 4:30p on GPB Radio

Transportation--how we get around--is a choice. Do you ride a bike to work? Walk? Take the bus or take the train? For most of us, the answer is that we jump into our car or SUV and head on down the highway. America (and Georgia) is a car culture, and we've lived in an 'age of easy motoring,' to paraphrase J. H. Kunstler. On this week's show Edgar Treiguts looks at a new initiative by Coca Cola to deploy a fleet of electric trucks, while Josephine Bennett brings news that Macon, Georgia be a hub for high speed and commuter rail going forward.

My own easy motoring took me, along with my longtime traveling companion Dr. Roy Burke, into South Georgia for a tour of the Little Ocmulgee River Watershed back around New Year's. We took Doc's old truck through back roads through Twiggs, Telfair, Dodge and Wheeler Counties. When we would stop at a creek, river or swamp, I was surprised to hear the distinctive call of frogs in the middle of the South Georgia Winter. On this week's program we talk with DNR Senior Wildlife Biologist John Jensen about Georgia's diverse frog population. As part of the North American Amphibian Monitoring Program, or NAAMP, many Georgians volunteer to travel specific routes across our state and count the varieties and densities of Georgia frogs along the way. If you want to know if you have what it takes to identify one of our 31 native frog species, you can take the NAAMP frog quiz here. We hope you enjoy this week's program, airing Saturday at 12:30p and Sunday at 4:30p, with a rebroadcast on Tuesday night at 11:30p. You can download or stream Sustainable Georgia on your schedule by clicking here.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Million Mile Greenway, Plant Vogtle, Suniva, Inauguration Day Is Coming on Sustainable Georgia, Saturday at 12:30p, Sunday at 4:30p

Green Space. If you live on a sod farm in Telfair County Georgia, just a little outside of Rhine off of a sandy unpaved county road, it’s no big deal. It’s green as far as your eyes can see in the morning. If you live in one of Georgia’s urban areas, the infamous Atlanta exurbs, for example, Green Space isn’t as easy to come by. This week on Sustainable Georgia we talk with Jim Langford, a Georgia Bulldog, Harvard MBA, and an environmentalist who is leading an organization called Million Mile Greenway, and their attempt to support efforts across Georgia to preserve a few patches of unspoiled land from the bulldozer’s maw.

Governor Perdue’s State of the State address this week shined a light on Suniva, a Georgia company on the cutting edge of alternative energy and the green economy. Susanna Capelouto takes a look at what they’re doing. John Sepulvado reports that environmentalists are opposing a water conservation plan in Atlanta. And in the spirit of Wimpy and Popeye, Georgia energy companies will gladly bill you today for nuclear reactors that won’t be online for several years. Mary Ellen Cheatham reports on this week's Plant Vogtle hearings at the Public Service Commission.

It's week of arctic cold and high hopes in Georgia, as a distinctly new American administration gets sworn in next Tuesday. In the days to come, environmentalists in Georgia and elsewhere will look for President Obama to give more than lip service to Mother Nature, alternative energy, and the green economy.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Local Food, Halloween Darter Discovered, Savannah Is Greener, and Thelonius Monk on Sustainable Georgia Saturday 12:30p-Sunday 4:30p

Are we really what we eat? Do our daily choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner have hidden costs that don’t ring up at the cash register? We’re not just talking triglycerides and chemical additives, either. The average food item in your local grocery store traveled some 1500 miles to reach your town. You can look it up. Is that really sustainable? We’ll dig into local food this week with Mike Gilroy from the Sustainable Grower’s School in Carrollton and talk about how growing your own makes economic and ecological sense. This takes in Community Gardens, Urban Gardens, Cooperative Agriculture, and maybe starting a local farmers market in your downtown. In Georgia earth news this week, the drought seems to be abating and a new fish species has been discovered in the Chattahoochee and Flint River Systems. Dave Bender reports as coal power in Georgia takes a hit, and Orlando Montoya brings news that Savannah gets a little greener. We give a shout out to Nuci’s Space, which helps sustain Georgia musicians.

Regarding the sustainability of the Athens Music Scene, Linda Phillips and her family started Nuci’s space as a response to the tragic suicide of her son Nuci, a student and musician at the University of Georgia in the mid 1990’s. Nuci’s space continues on today as a support and resource center dedicated to promoting the emotional, physical and occupational well-being of the music community. With a staff of musicians, under the guidance of founder Linda Phillips, the center provides a stable caring environment, and health care options for musicians, who don’t typically carry health insurance. Northern Alabama touchstones and Athens emigres Drive By Truckers play an annual benefit show for Nuci’s Space each year. This year’s performance also features The Whigs and takes place at the Fabulous 40 Watt club in Athens on Thursday night, January 15. You can support Nuci’s space by attending the rock show, or you can support them and learn more online by going to their website, linked above.

Sustainable culture has to be part of the puzzle, don’t you think? Things like mountain music, the Swamp Gravy saga, the long leaf pine ecosystem poetry of Janisse Ray, Howard Finster’s Paradise Garden and Eddie Martin’s Pasaquan —sustaining music and art and culture are just as important as the Hallowen Darter, for my dime. This week's show goes out with Rocky Mount, NC Native Thelonious Sphere Monk's "Straight, No Chaser." I hope you enjoy it. Thanks to Myriam Levy, Dave Bender, Orlando Montoya, Kevin Sanders and Tom Barclay for helping produce Sustainable Georgia this week.