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.