Energy from evaporation/Climate change and mental health

November 17, 2017

We all probably first learned about the cycle of evaporation when we were in grade school. This could be source of energy that rivals  wind and solar power and is, as yet, untapped.  Dr. Ahmet-Hamdi Cavusoglu with Columbia University is one of four researchers who've been looking into this innovation.

We’ve heard a lot about how climate change is having and will continue to have an effect on our physical environment around us and on our own physical bodies. More research is showing how it’ll have an effect on our own mental well being.  Dr. Susan Clayton of Wooster College is one of the authors of a study that looks into how changes in the climate bring about changes in our psychological health.


Greenest cities in America/Treating LF in Haiti

November 10, 2017

While sustainability and green are part of the national conversation, what matters more is what individual cities have been doing to green up. And, if you check out this new list, how well they’re doing varies widely.  Jill Gonzalez is an analyst with WalletHub which published the new list of the Greenest Cities in America. It includes the 100 largest cities in the US and ranks them.

Next to mental illness, lymphatic filariasis is the leading cause of disability in the world. Many of us have never heard of it, but it is an often overlooked tropical disease. And, food is a way to prevent it. It’s been tried with great success in Haiti thanks to a program with the University of Notre Dame.   We’re joined by James Reimer who’s with the Notre Dame Haiti program.


Steel’s environmental edge/Washed Ashore art installation

October 23, 2017

Steel has been long the material of choice for carmakers. In recent years, aluminum’s been on the rise as they try to make cars lighter in weight. But even more recently, environmental advantages of steel are getting greater notice when it comes to long-term sustainability.  We’re joined by David Anderson from the Steel Market Development Institute.

Art can be a positive way to draw attention to crises. One of them is the global marine crisis and artist Angela Haseltine Pozzi. For the past six years her project Washed Ashore has processed tons of plastic from Pacific beaches to create monumental art to awaken the hearts and minds of people to this problem.   



Climate change & coffee production/Nissan Leaf news

October 17, 2017

Climate change could drastically affect the coffee harvest around the world. A new study written in part by Dr. Taylor Ricketts, director of the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont says that could be the case.

Tom Appel, publisher of Consumer Guide Automotive has news on a new all-electric Nissan Leaf all-electric car which is being redesigned for the 2018 model year. He and Robert also have a road test of the hybrid Chrysler Pacifica minivan.


World Water Week/Heroic Food

October 6, 2017

A 40-percent population increase by 2050 means the demand for water used in growing crops and feeding livestock will increase dramatically too. How can we be sure fresh water for food will be available? That and other issues were part of World Water Week which recently wrapped up in Stockholm. Peter McCornick's the Executive Director of the Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska.

Heroic Food helps men and women returning from military service who can face unemployment, social dislocation, a loss of a sense of purpose and lowered self esteem by preparing them  for careers in sustainable farming, agricultural trades, and food entrepreneurship. Heroic Food director Leora Barish is our guest.

Tom Appel of Consumer Guide Automotive has a road test of the Jeep Compass fuel-saving SUV.


Hurricanes and climate change/’To rake or not to rake’

September 29, 2017

Large parts of Texas, Louisiana, Florida, and the Caribbean are on the long road to recovery following the devastation of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.  What is the role of climate change in the size and frequency of these storms…and what can we expect in the future? Dr. Astrid Caldas is a senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. 

Autumn is arriving for much of the US and for many, it's time to get out the rakes and pile those leaves and cart them off (or burn them, as some still do). But is it better to just leave them where they are? It'll save you the hassle but it also might be better for your lawn and the environment. We're joined by Sam Bauer, a professor with the University of Minnesota's Turfgrass Science Program





Energy from forest waste/Toyota Highlander hybrid road test

September 22, 2017

We talk a lot about the “basket of goods” that is necessary to meet our growing energy needs in the world. As solar, wind and other renewable methods continue to grow and increase, others are discovered and developed. One is the use of food and forest waste as fuel for bioelectric energy generation, something that’s being worked on in California. We’re joined by Alicia Gutierrez with the California Energy Commission.

Consumer Guide Automotive Publisher Tom Appel joins us for a road test of the hybrid version of the Toyota Highlander SUV.



Wind energy report card/post-Paris carbon commitments

September 15, 2017

Wind energy costs less, has seen numerous technological improvements and has the potential to generate even more energy than before.  This is all covered in a new report by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. We’re joined by its lead author Ryan Wiser.

The US under President Trump backed out of the Paris Climate Agreement a few months ago. Since that time, we’re learning more and more how business, state and local governments on their own are committing to it in order to reduce carbon output.  Joining us is Diana Rojas who wrote about this trend for Ethical Corporation’s monthly magazine.


Food Waste Erased/Diesel cleaning up/Lexus CT 200H F Sport road test

August 30, 2017

Of the 40% of food that’s wasted in the US much of it is safe to eat. However, some of it is not fit for consumption. But, it still can be reused instead of ending up in landfills. We’re joined Joanna Underwood of Energy Vision which just put out the report Food Waste Erased about how we could meet the UN goal of cutting food waste in half by 2030.

New technology has helped the trucking industry clean up its act.  Improved diesel engines and emissions control systems are now part of 30 percent of all the trucks on the road in the US. To tell us more about clean diesel and it’s positive impact on the environment is Allen Schaeffer with the Diesel Technology Forum.

Tom Appel, Publisher of Consumer Guide Automotive has a Green Road Test of the Lexus CT 200H F sport.


SolarRoofHook/Future of Food/Chicago River cleanup

August 16, 2017

Going green is about more than sexy, high-tech hardware. Just as important are the “nuts and bolts” of sustainability. SolarRoofHook’s been growing rapidly in the solar industry by working its niche by providing innovative, simple, and effective mounting solutions for residential roof. Joining us is Rick Gentry, VP of Sales for SolarRoofHook.

The Institute for the Future recently took part in the US Chamber of Commerce’s Food Forward Summit. Joining is us Sarah Smith with the IFTF’s Food Futures Lab to share with us some of their new insights on Food Innovation.


The Chicago River is nationally known for being died green every St. Patrick’s Day. But there’s much more   - it’s a 156-mile river system that’s a story of  a polluted, industrial waterway that’s on its way to becoming ecologically healthy. Joining is us Margaret Frisbie, Executive Director of the Friends of the Chicago River.