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Sustainability Now! on

Sustainability Now! on

By Ronnie Lipschutz
Are you concerned about the Earth's future? Are you interested in what is being done in Northern California and the world to address environmental issues? Do you want to act? Then tune in every other Sunday to "Sustainability Now!" on to hear interviews with scientists, scholars, activists and officials involved in the pursuit of sustainability. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation in Santa Cruz, California
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That’s the Last Straw! with Jackie Nuñez, founder of The Last Plastic Straw
Plastic is ubiquitous: it rains down on us, it fouls land, streams and oceans, it even turns up in our bodies. And the big oil companies are looking to plastic to keep up profits when fossil fuels are finally banned. What are we to do? SN! host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with guest Jackie Nuñez, founder of The Last Plastic Straw and Advocacy Manager of the Plastic Pollution Coalition.  The Last Plastic Straw is a project of the Plastic Pollution Coalition, a global alliance of more than 1,200 organizations, businesses, and thought leaders in 75 countries that seeks to shift the way individuals and businesses think about plastic pollution - and about our society’s disposable culture on a larger scale. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
July 26, 2021
Give Me Land, Lots of Land in the Santa Clara Valley with Andrea Mackenzie of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority
Host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with Andrea Mackenzie, General Manager of the Santa Clara Valley Open Space Authority. For more than 25 years, Ms. Mackenzie has worked in the fields of land use planning, conservation planning, public policy, and finance for open space and agricultural land preservation agencies at county, regional, state, and national levels. The Open Space Authority works to protect and steward the region’s natural capital, open spaces, water resources, natural areas, and working lands to support healthy lands, resilient communities, and strong economies. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
July 12, 2021
Fighting Fires with Fire, with Dr. Sasha Berleman, Wildland Fire Scientist
California is dry, dry, dry and that probably means we are in for a  wild wildfire season. Since the beginning of January, there have been  more than 10,000 wildfires across the state.  So, what are we to do?  Hear from Dr. Sasha Berleman, Wildland Fire Scientist. She is director  of Fire Forward at Audubon Canyon Ranch in Stinson Beach. She is a CA State Certified Burn Boss, a Prescribed  Fire Training Exchange (TREX) coach and leader, and a wildland  firefighter with Fire Effects Monitoring, Squad Boss, Crew Boss, Firing  Boss, and Incident Commander qualifications.  Find out what we can do to  reduce the threat and risks of wildfires. Watch these videos online: Why These Californians Are Starting Fires On Purpose  Community-Based Burning: Caring for our Land Together Andrew Selsky, “Amid clamor to increase prescribed burns, obstacles await,” AP News, June 22, 2021.
July 1, 2021
Making Solar Law and Solar Sausages: How It’s Done in California, with Allie Detrio, Chief Strategist of Reimagine Power
There is an old saying attributed to the 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck: “Laws, like sausages, cease to inspire respect in proportion as we know how they are made.”  This show is about law and sausages in California. If you ever took a civics or government class in high school or college, you probably learned about how a bill becomes law through a clean and straightforward process.  You might have learned about lobbyists and interests, too, but probably never traced legislation from its origins to its implementation.  The actual process is a good deal more sleazy and arcane than we are taught, and is more like a game of Calvinball, in which the rules are made up as you go along. My guest on this show is Allie Detrio, Founder and Chief Strategist of Reimagine Power, which she founded. At Reimagine Power, Allie focuses on policy and market strategy for microgrids, distributed energy resources, cleantech, and sustainability in the west coast. She works with clean energy developers, cleantech startups, nonprofits, serves as the representative for the microgrid industry, intervenes in regulatory proceedings, lobbies for bills, writes papers, organizes grassroots support for policy, and serves as a liaison for  many  trade associations. So she is thick in the middle of California law and sausages. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
June 14, 2021
Finding the Mother Tree with Professor Suzanne Simard, University of British Columbia
Join host Ronnie Lipschutz as he speaks with Dr. Suzanne Simard, Professor of Forestry and Conservation Sciences about the social life of trees.   Her new book, Finding the Mother Tree--Discovering the Wisdom of the Forest, has just been published.  According to Simard, communication between trees happens not in the air but deep below our feet in an incredibly dense, complex network of roots and chemical signals. ... “In a single forest, a mother tree may be connected to hundreds of other trees.” Here is what Bookshop Santa Cruz wrote about Simard: “Suzanne Simard is a pioneer on the frontier of plant communication and intelligence; she’s been compared to Rachel Carson, hailed as a scientist who conveys complex, technical ideas in a way that is dazzling and profound…. Simard writes—in inspiring, illuminating, and accessible ways—how trees, living side by side for hundreds of years, have evolved, how they perceive one another, learn and adapt their behaviors, recognize neighbors, and remember the past; how they have agency about the future; elicit warnings and mount defenses, compete and cooperate with one another with sophistication, characteristics ascribed to human intelligence, traits that are the essence of civil societies—and at the center of it all, the Mother Trees: the mysterious, powerful forces that connect and sustain the others that surround them.” You can learn more about Simard's work in "The Social Life of Forests," New York Times Magazine, Dec. 2, 2020, and at The Mother Tree Project.  If you search for "Suzanne Simard" on You Tube, you will turn up a dozen videos, including a TED talk, about her work. The articles referred to in the show are: Lincoln Taiz, et al, "Plants Neither Possess nor Require Consciousness," Trends in Plant Science 24, #8 (August 2019): 677-87 Michael Pollan, "The Intelligent Plant," The New Yorker, December 23, 2013.
May 27, 2021
“Are we the cows of the future?” The digital management of nature and humans with Professor Esther Leslie, Birkbeck University, London
Join host Ronnie Lipschutz and Dr. Esther Leslie, Professor of Political Aesthetics at Birkbeck University in London.  “Political Aesthetics highlights the complex and ambiguous connections of aesthetics with social, cultural and political experiences in contemporary societies.”  This past January, Leslie published an entry in “The Stone,” a New York Times column on philosophy.  There, she asked “Are we the cows of the future?” to be manipulated and managed like livestock. Among other topics, we talk about contemporary utopian visions of nature, digital surveillance and the relationship of humans to nature. You can find links to Dr. Leslie's publications here: .
May 17, 2021
What’s that bug up to, anyway? Insect socioecology in urban gardens, with Azucena Lucatero
Gosh, I never realized there was a social ecology in my backyard!” Find out just what those bugs are up to in your garden, as host Ronnie Lipschutz welcomes Azucena Lucatero, a third-year PhD student in Dr. Stacy Philpott's lab at UC Santa Cruz. Lucatero studies the socio-ecology of urban gardens in the California central coast with special interests in biological pest control, community and population ecology, landscape ecology, and food justice.  The ladybugs are already home! You can find information & publications about "BUGS" (Biodiversity in Urban Gardens) at  This includes the BUGS Garden Report 2019 and lots more!
May 3, 2021
Getting Back to the (Alan Chadwick) Garden, with Orin Martin, Master Gardener, Horticulturalist and Teacher
UCSC’s Agroecology Farm is known around the world for innovation, training and inspiration.  But before there was a Farm, there was a Garden: the Alan Chadwick Garden, launched in 1967 on a steep, rocky clay hill side. It is still there today, although very few people know of its existence.  Join host Ronnie Lipschutz in a conversation with Orin Martin, who has managed the Chadwick Garden since 1977 and where he is widely admired for his skills as a master orchardist, horticulturalist, and teacher.  Tune in to hear about Orin’s role at the Chadwick Garden, as well as its origins and history since the 1970s.  You’ll be well-prepared to visit it when UCSC reopens. You can read Orin's oral history for the UCSC library here.  A website dedicated to Alan Chadwick is here.  And oral histories of organic and sustainable farming on California's Central Coast are available here. Previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! are archived at and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
April 19, 2021
The Green Business Program in California & the Monterey Bay Region, with Brooke Wright, Green Business Expert
These days, we are hearing a lot about plans to transform the country’s energy infrastructure from one based on fossil fuels to one based on renewable energy resources.  President Biden appears to be making this transformation one of his signature initiatives.  Certainly, the technology exists, the money is (probably) there but there is one elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about: getting the American public to go along. Central to going along will be greening the economy and central to the greening of the economy will be the greening of businesses and companies, large and small.  Hear Green Business expert Brooke Wright talk about the network.  She manages the Monterey Bay Green Business Program, which is part of the California Green Business Network.  The CGBN is a network of local programs, funded by grass-roots contributions from local government and utility partners to allow small to medium-sized businesses implement specific practices to reduce pollution, save water, conserve energy, and protect human health. You can read James O'Connor's on "The Second Contradiction of Capitalism" at
April 5, 2021
Water in California’s Future, with Dr. Ruth Langridge
It’s beginning to look as though California is headed into another  multi-year drought. The snowpack is meager and contracted water supplies  through the state’s delivery systems are likely to be much less than  requested.  Farmers and cities are looking to groundwater to make up the  difference, but even groundwater is heavily depleted.  Hear Dr. Ruth  Langridge, UCSC Researcher and instructor in Legal Studies, who has  studied California groundwater and climate change since 2009, the  current state of underground resources and ways to conserve and restore  groundwater. You can find information about her work here.
March 24, 2021
There Otter be a Law! Will the Southern Sea Otter Survive? A conversation with James Estes
The southern sea otter is a keystone species in kelp forest  communities, acting to increase the species diversity and providing  ecosystem services. Despite federal protection since 1977, the southern  sea otter population has struggled to recover and there are only an  estimated 2,800 sea otters in California. Listen to this conversation with Dr. James Estes, Emeritus Professor  of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCSC.  Estes is author of Serendipity: An Ecologist’s Quest to Understand Nature and appears in “The Serengeti Rules,”  a 2019 film about “five unsung heroes of modern ecology,” of which he  is one.  Of course, Jim is best known for his research on California sea  otters, once almost wiped out, then recovered and now again threatened  by marine toxins, disease, orcas and agricultural chemical runoff. More information is available on the Tinker & Estes Lab’s  web page.
March 24, 2021
Environmental Literacy for K-12 Students, with Amity Sandage, Santa Cruz County Office of Education
Host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with Amity Sandage, environmental literacy coordinator for Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Sandage leads a countywide effort to build environmental literacy by increasing student access to outdoor learning. She also supports teachers in using local environmental connections to increase relevance of core classes and to create opportunities for civic and environmental action.  You can learn more about the state's environmental literacy goals in "A Blueprint For Environmental Literacy: Educating Every California Student In, About, and For the Environment" (2016). Previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! are archived here, on and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
February 24, 2021
Reconnecting with Nature through Ecospirtuality: A Conversation with Dr. Michelle Merrill
Join host Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with anthropologist Dr. Michelle Merrill, whose teaching and counseling experience led her to establish Novasutras, an egalitarian spiritual movement with scientific sensibilities. Novasutras responds to the need for spiritual community centered on the biggest challenge humanity currently faces: how do we help people through the transition from an “Industrial Growth Society” to an “environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling human presence on the planet“? You can hear previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! here on Anchor, at and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
February 8, 2021
W(h)ither California & the Nation? A Conversation with State Senator John Laird​​
Radio Show #37, January 24, 2021: Join host Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with newly-elected  California State Senator John Laird, to talk about energy, resources,  environment and politics, in the state and the country, and his hopes  and dreams for the State Senate.  Laird’s political career began in  1981, on the Santa Cruz City Council, and included stints in the State  Assembly and Jerry Brown’s second administration as Secretary of Natural  Resources. He has just begun his term in office and represents Senate  District 17, which includes Santa Cruz and San Luis Obispo Counties in  their entirety, as well as portions of Monterey and Santa Clara  Counties.
January 25, 2021
“To Say Nothing of the Dog”* Understanding connections between culture and nature in environmental art
Episode #36, Sunday, January 10th: Hear Jeffrey Downing, Professor of Art at San Francisco State University and Artist-in-Residence at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art talk about how his work connects culture and nature. Downing was featured in the San Francisco Chronicle a few weeks ago for his environmental sculpture in Richardson Bay, designed to mark today’s king tides, which will be swamped by rising sea levels in the future. According to a website describing his work: “Jeff Downing’s sculpture is informed by the humor and pop sensibility of the California artist Robert Arneson; by the stripped-down economy of Alberto Giacometti’s figures; and by the spontaneity and energy characteristic of the work of Pablo Picasso. Downing’s work with dog imagery depends on chance discovery of form but seeks to invoke feelings concerning the human condition and our varied relationship with the natural world. In Jeff Downing’s world view, studying the dog – with all of its expressiveness, intelligence and sensitivity - leads us to a better understanding of the connection between culture and nature.” You can hear previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! at and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify.  Check out Marisha Farnsworth, an Oakland-based environmental artist, who appeared on the show on July 27, 2020. (* with apologies to Connie Willis, author of the eponymous book).
January 11, 2021
Are we Becoming “Plastic People of the Universe” Or, What does “biodegradable” really mean?
Radio Show #35, December 27, 2020: As you may have read in a number of places, not only is the ocean  full of plastic, we are literally living in an ocean of plastic  microparticles falling from the sky.  Before you know it, we will all be  “Plastic People of the Universe.” On this show, Sustainability Now! addresses this and related topics.  Ronnie Lipschutz and Kevin Bell, co-founder and co-director of the  Sustainable Systems Research Foundation in Santa Cruz, discuss the  biodegradability of plastics and which ones don’t really break down.  Along with a raft of SSRF volunteers and interns, Bell has been  conducting research into the plastics recycling dilemma and the  diffusion of plastic through the environment and also looking for ways  to make sure that take-out containers and utensils are truly  biodegradable and compostable. If you'd like to read more about the plastics problem, here are three recent publications of interest: "Choked, Strangled, Drowned: The Plastics Crisis Unfolding in Our Oceans," Kimberley Warner, et al., Oceana, November 2020. "The Mixed Message of Earth-Friendly Design--Does buying more elegant objects help heal the planet?" Blake Gopnik, New York Times, December 11, 2020. "Biodegradable, Hygenic, and Compostable: Tableware from Hybrid Sugarcane and Bamboo Fibers as Plastic Alternative," Chao Liu, et al., Matter 3, 1–14, December 2, 2020.
December 28, 2020
Environmental Justice through Building Green, Healthy and Sustainable Communities
Radio Show #34:  Sunday, December 13th, 5-6 PM  Join Host Ronnie Lipschutz for a conversation with Darryl Molina Sarmiento, Executive Director for Communities for a Better Environment,  a 40-year-old environmental justice organization with offices in both  Southern and Northern California. The mission of CBE is to build  people’s power in California’s communities of color and low-income  communities to achieve environmental health and justice by preventing  and reducing pollution and building green, healthy and sustainable  communities and environments.  CBE provides residents in heavily  polluted urban communities in California with organizing skills,  leadership training and legal, scientific and technical assistance, so that they can successfully confront threats to their health and well-being.
December 14, 2020
Sustainability Now! Permaculture and Regenerative Agriculture on a Small Farm
Radio Show #33: Host Ronnie Lipschutz and Dave Blume of Blume Distillation do a walking interview and tour of Whiskey Hill Farm,  its permaculture and regenerative agriculture practices and  technological innovations connecting alcohol distillation and organic  agriculture.  Whiskey Hill Farm is a 14-acre organic farm on Calabasas  Road near Watsonville that employs poly-cropping, permaculture  techniques in six large greenhouses to create “food forests” of  multi-layered polyculture. Dave is CEO and Director of Research and  Development at Blume Distillation and Whiskey Hill Farm.  He is author  of the critically acclaimed book Alcohol Can be a Gas! and  has been engaged in one sort of farming or another for more than 40  years.  This is an edited version of the full 70 minute tour, which you  can hear at: There is now a video of this tour available on You Tube at:
December 1, 2020
Electric Vehicles on the Road and in Our Future
Radio Show #32. In September 2020, California Governor Gavin Newsom issued an executive order requiring that by 2035 all new cars and passenger trucks sold in the state will have to be zero-emission vehicles, producing no greenhouse gases.  While there are various types of zero-emission power plants in existence and on design boards, most of these will probably be electric vehicles, or EVs. This goes along with a parallel push to electrify the state by 2045. Getting from here to there will be no easy task. Host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with Beverly DesChaux, President of the Electric Auto Association of CA Central Coast about Newsom's mandate and related topics.  We’ll talk about electric vehicles, past, present and future, and how they could become an electricity storage solution to the ups and downs of the California electrical grid.  We’ll also discuss “virtual power plants,” which are based on the aggregation and remote control of rooftop solar panels, batteries and electric vehicles as part of the electricity grid. You can find out more about EVs at: Plug-in America, the Sierra Club, and the Monterey Bay Electric Vehicle Incentive Program. And you can contact Beverly at You can hear previous broadcasts of Sustainability Now! at and on Pocket Casts, Google Podcasts and Spotify. Sustainability Now! is underwritten by the Sustainable Systems Research Foundation.
November 16, 2020
Forests and species after wildfires & climate change
Radio Show #31. Host Ronnie Lipschutz speaks with Dr. Joseph Stewart,  a conservation biologist with special interests in biogeography,  prediction, demography, ecophysiology, and climate change. He received  his PhD in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from UCSC in 2018 and is  now a post-doctoral fellow in the Department of Environmental Science  and Policy. He works with the US Forest Service and the California  Department of Forestry and Fire Protection on forest regeneration after  wildfires and the impacts of climate change on biodiversity and species  migration.  You can find more about his work at and The opening tune is “Sky Pond,” performed by American Pika aka Greg Douras, a musician and mountaineer from Colorado.  Joe has  done research on the American Pika, a small mouse and rabbit-like  critter that lives in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains.
November 2, 2020
Clean Water as a Human Right
Radio Show #30, October 18, 2020. Did you know that Section 106.3 of the California Water Code states that “every human being has the right to safe, clean,  affordable, and accessible water adequate for human consumption,  cooking, and sanitary purposes.” Host Ronnie Lipschutz talks with Mayra  Hernandez, a community organizer at the Community Water Center in Watsonville, about safe water and the human right to it.  The Community Water Center works towards realizing the Human Right to Water for all communities in California through education, organizing, and  advocacy. The Center has offices in Visalia, Sacramento and Watsonville.
October 20, 2020
As long as grass grows: The indigenous fight for environmental justice
Radio Show, #29, October 4, 2020. Host Ronnie Lipschutz and guest Dina Gilio-Whitaker talk about indigenous environmental justice, environmental philosophy and the restoration of balance between humans and nature. Gilio-Whitaker is a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes in the Pacific Northwest, a lecturer in American Indian Studies at California State University, San Marcos and Policy Director and Researcher at the Center for World Indigenous Studies. She is author of As long as grass grows: The indigenous fight for environmental justice, from colonization to Standing Rock (Beacon Press, 2019) and co-author, with Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, of "All the Real Indians Died Off": And 20 Other Myths About Native Americans (Beacon Press, 2016). Professor Whitaker has just received a journalism award from the Native American Journalist Association for an editorial she published in High Country News, on indigenizing the Green New Deal.
October 5, 2020
Healthy Eating and Economic Justice in the Pajaro Valley
Radio Show #28, September 20, 2020.  Host Ronnie Lipschutz welcomes his guests, Mireya Gomez-Contreras and  Ana Rasmussen, codirectors of Esperanza Community Farms.  Esperanza  Community Farms is a system-changing, sustainable community agriculture  project focused entirely and directly on increasing food security and  good health among low-income families from under-resourced communities  in the Pajaro Valley. ECF cultivates fresh, pesticide-free, culturally  preferred vegetables and fruit varieties, then deliver bi-weekly boxes  of produce directly to members’ homes via a subsidized Community  Supported Agriculture (CSA) program.  You can find out more about  Esperanza Community Farms at:  and more about sustainable urban agriculture at
September 21, 2020
Accessory Dwelling Units in Our Backyards
Sustainability Now! Show #27, September 6, 2020, Accessory Dwelling Units in Our Backyards: Host Ronnie Lipschutz and his guest, Santa Cruz architect Mark Primack, talk about how we might address the California housing crisis through construction of accessory dwelling units.  Primack has lived and worked in Santa Cruz since the late 1970s, served on the City Council, written Divisible Cities: Acting Local in a Transient World and writes a regular column on local matters for The Santa Cruz Sentinel (for example, here and here). Additional resources on ADUs are available at SSRF's "ADU Resources" page.
September 7, 2020
Sustainability & Politics after Annus Horriblis 2020, with Kim Stanley Robinson
Sustainability Now! August 23, 2020. Host Ronnie Lipschutz and his guest Kim Stanley Robinson engage in a wide-ranging  conversation about sustainability, politics, 2020 and after, and how we  might prepare for the future. Robinson is a science fiction author,  California futurist and environmental optimist of the will. His recent  work, such as New York 2140 (2017) has addressed environmental and climate issues. His forthcoming book, The Ministry for the Future,  which imagines a new, global organization that advocates for the  world’s future generations and protects all living creatures, present  and future. (Photo by Stephan Martiniere,
August 24, 2020
Climate Change, Heat & Birth Impacts
Sustainability Now! #25, August 9, 2020. Climate Change, Public Health & Birth Impacts, with Dr. Rupa Basu, Chief of the Air and Climate Epidemiology Section at California Office on Environmental Health Hazards in the California Environmental Protection Agency and a lecturer in the UC Berkeley School of Public Health.  She is coauthor of a recently-published review article in JAMA Open Network about the effects of air pollution and climate change on birth outcomes and conducts research on the health effects of climate change. Dr. Basu received her PhD in Environmental and Occupational Epidemiology from The Johns Hopkins University and a Masters of Public Health from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health.
August 9, 2020
Environmental Art in Public Spaces
Sustainability Now! #24, July 26, 2020. Environmental Art in Built & Natural Landscapes, with Marisha Farnsworth. “Environmental artists seek to investigate our human relationship with the environment through embedding their artistic practice within it” (“The Art Story”). Learn about the practice of environmental art on Sustainability Now! in this conversation between host Ronnie Lipschutz and environmental artist Marisha Farnsworth. She is an Oakland-based artist, whose large-scale public space interventions explore future ecosystems, infrastructural utopias and the social and ecological implications of materiality in the built environment.  Her work has been exhibited at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, the Venice Biennale and is in the collection of the Nevada Museum of Art. She was the lead artist for the 2017 Temple at Burning Man. You can find out more about her work here. The Nevada Museum of Art's Center for Art + Environment has an extensive archive of ecological art projects.
July 26, 2020
Sustainable Community Commons
Sustainability Now #23, July 12, 2020, with Len Beyea, addresses sustainable community planning in Santa Cruz and cities in general. Len is a semi-retired energy engineer and commissioning agent, former land-use planner, musician, Interfaith Minister, gardener, dancer, political and cultural commentator. He is host of the Wednesday broadcast of Talk of the Bay on KSQD and shares hosting of Border-Free Radio, which airs just before this time slot. Len writes that “The modern city has grown up during the era of the automobile, resulting in sprawling land use, paving over of up to 60% of urban space, loss of productive farm and range lands, forests, and wetlands, destruction of riparian habitats, and increased runoff and erosion; while within the urban spaces offering a lack of walkable neighborhoods and real centers of social and civic engagements, financially unsustainable infrastructure, traffic jams, and almost total dependence on private motorized transportation for shopping, school, work and basic services.” He addresses the current state of Santa Cruz County’s urbanized spaces and their unsustainable characteristics, principles of urban design for walkable neighborhoods and “new urbanism” that can bring our cities back into balance, visualization of a transition to more sustainable and inviting spaces for various local neighborhoods where we live, work, and engage socially, and exploration of the concrete and specific changes that can help get us there. You can read about attempts during the 1960s to turn Santa Cruz into an industrial city in “The plan to make Santa Cruz into Detroit and Los Angeles,” by Ross Eric Gibson in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Another interesting publication about sustainable planning is “Civic Commons: Reimagining Our Cities’ Public Assets,” 2016.
July 12, 2020
Climate Changes & Black Lives
Sustainability Now! #22, June 28, 2020, with Kalina Browne, 2019-20 RAY Diversity Fellow at the Ocean Conservancy to learn about Climate Change and Black Lives Mattering on the California Coast.  Browne grew up on the Caribbean island of St Vincent and the Grenadines. She holds a B.S. in Environmental Geoscience from the University of Buffalo. She has worked with the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center in Belize, the Garifuna Heritage Foundation in St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Ministry of Finance, Economic Planning, Sustainable Development and Information Technology for the Government of St. Vincent and the Grenadines.  She will be entering the Coastal Science and Policy Program at UCSC this Fall. You can find her recently coauthored brief on seabed minerals mining here.
June 22, 2020
Public Lands on Pacific's Edge
Sustainability Now! #21, June 14, 2020, with Jo Chamberlain, Executive Director of the Coastside Land Trust in Half Moon Bay. Jo is a graduate of College Eight (aka, Rachel Carson College) at UC Santa Cruz and was provost’s assistant there for several years during the past decade.  She has served on several non-profit boards, including the San Francisco Zoological Society and Friends of Westwind. The Coastside Land Trust is dedicated to the preservation, protection and enhancement of the open space environment, including the natural, scenic, recreational, cultural, historical, and agricultural resources of Half Moon Bay and the San Mateo County coast for present and future generations. You can find out more about California’s land trusts at the California Council of Land Trusts.
June 14, 2020
"The Wheels on the Bus"
May 31, 2020, “The Wheels on the Bus” Getting ‘Round the City, with Rick Longinotti, a member of and spokesperson for the Campaign for Sustainable Transportation, a “group of volunteers dedicated to making Santa Cruz County a place where everyone in our diverse community can access their needs and activities in a way that is safe, affordable, convenient and sustainable for future generations.” You can learn more about transportation in Santa Cruz County at the Regional Transportation Commission website and the City of Santa Cruz Public Works website and from the work of Adam Millard-Ball, an environmental studies professor at UC Santa Cruz.
May 31, 2020
Farmworkers Struggling to Survive
Sustainability Now!, May 17, 2020, Struggling to Survive: Binational Farmworkers on the Central Coast, with Dr. Ann Lopez, Founder and Director of the Center for Farmworker Families in Watsonville, California.  Lopez is emerita professor at San Jose City College, and holds degrees in biology and a PhD in Environmental Studies from UC Santa Cruz. The Center works with binational farmworkers and their families to promote their well being. She is author of The Farmworker’s Journey about the human side of the binational migration circuit from the subsistence and small producer farms of west central Mexico to employment in California’s corporate agribusiness. In 2019, Ann was chosen as Woman of the Year by the 29th Assembly District of California. Be sure to watch “A Migrant Farmworker’s Story,” a CFF video filmed during on of the Centers Farmworker Reality Tours.
May 17, 2020
Protecting Sacred Lands
Sustainability Now! May 3, 2020, Protecting Sacred Lands, with Valentin Lopez, Chair of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band of the Costanoan/Ohlone Indians and President of the Amah Mutsun Land Trust.  The Amah Mutsun are descendants of the more than 20 politically distinct indigenous peoples of the territories ranging from Año Nuevo to the greater Monterey Bay area. We talked about the history of the Amah Mutsun, some of their research and relearning projects and plans for Juristac, a sacred tract of land near Gilroy.
May 3, 2020
By the Beautiful Sea
Sustainability Now! April 19, 2020, By the Beautiful Sea, with Rachel Kippen, Executive Director of O’Neill Sea Odyssey and a columnist for the Santa Cruz Sentinel. Rachel was previously Director of Programs at Save Our Shores. She has also worked as a marine science educator, a kayak guide and a whale tour naturalist. She holds two degrees in Environmental Studies. She grew up on two islands, one in the Puget Sound and the other in Hawai’i, so she spent her youth learning about the ocean by snorkeling, surfing, and paddling.  O’Neill Sea Odyssey is a Monterey Bay-based introduction to marine science for students in grades 4-6 aboard the 65-foot O’Neill Catamaran.
April 19, 2020
Urchins in the Storm
Sustainability Now!, April 5, 2020, Urchins in the Storm, with KSQD engineer Emily Donham, a 5th-year PhD candidate in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology at UCSC.  Emily’s research focuses on how sea urchins, which graze on kelp forests, may be vulnerable to ocean acidication and global warming.  Emily is the producer of “Santa Cruz Naturalist,” which airs on Tuesdays at 7:54 AM, Wednesdays at 3:55 PM and Saturdays at 11:54 AM. at Her favorite crustacean is the horseshoe crab.
April 5, 2020
No Place Like Home
Sustainability Now! March 22, 2020, No Place Like Home, with UCSC Sociology Professor Steve McKay, director of the UCSC Center for Labor Studies and codirector, with Professor Miriam Greenberg, of “No Place Like Home,” a community-initiated, student-engaged research project on the affordable housing crisis in Santa Cruz County.
March 22, 2020
Auto-Free Living in Hayward?
Sustainability Now! March 8, 2020, Auto-Free Living in Hayward? with Dr. Sherman Lewis, Emeritus Professor of Political Science at Cal State East Bay, to talk about a proposal for Bayview Village, a car-free development in a disused quarry in Hayward and urban sustainability more generally.
March 8, 2020
Climate Justice in the Pajaro Valley
Sustainability Now! February 23, 2020, Climate Justice in the Pajaro Valley, with Nancy Faulstich, Director of Regeneración, a non-profit focused on climate and social justice in Watsonville, California and the Pajaro Valley, Tamela Harkins, Pajaro Valley High School English Teacher, and three members– Itzel Sanchez, Luke Zamora and Reuben Garcia–of La Vida Verde, a student environmental club at the high school.
February 23, 2020
Caring for the Prairie
Sustainability Now! February 9, 2020, Caring for the Prairie, with Professor Jenny Reardon of the UCSC Sociology Department talks about  “Caring for the Prairie,” a “project involving biking through the prairies and small towns of Kansas, designed to develop embodied knowledge of the land and to find out more about attitudes towards contemporary US politics from the denizens of the prairies.” You can hear a podcast about her experiences in Kansas here.
February 9, 2020
A Conversation with Extinction Rebellion
Sustainability Now!, January 26, 2020, A Conversation with Extinction Rebellion, with members of Extinction Rebellion in Monterey and Santa Cruz: Vanessa Mekarski, Dwight Mitchell, Jennifer Brugman and Magali Morales. Extinction Rebellion is a leaderless, decentralised, international and apolitical network using non-violent direct action and civil disobedience to persuade governments to act justly on the Climate and Ecological Emergency.
January 26, 2020
Is Bioethanol the Answer?
Sustainability Now! January 12, 2020, Is Bioethanol the Answer? with David Blume, CEO & Director of Research and Development at Blume Distillation, and author of Alcohol Can be a Gas, to talk about his distillation & permaculture operation just outside of Watsonville.
January 13, 2020
A Basic Income with Solar Energy
Sustainability Now! December 15, 2019, Can Solar Energy Provide a Basic Income for Everyone in the World? with  Robert Stayton, author of Power Shift: From Fossil Energy to Dynamic Solar Power and Solar Dividends: How Solar Energy Can Generate a Basic Income for Everyone on Earth discusses his proposal to give everyone on Earth 10 kilowatts of solar PV panels. You can request a free e-book of Solar Dividends at: 
December 16, 2019
What Do You Do About a Problem Like PG&E?
Sustainability Now! December 1, 2019, What Do You Do About a Problem Like PG&E?, with Professor Dustin Mulvaney, Environmental Studies at San Jose State University. His research focuses on the social and environmental dimensions of food and energy systems, innovation, emerging technologies and environmental change.  He is author of Solar Power: Innovation, Sustainability, and Environmental Justice and the forthcoming Sustainable Energy Strategies: Socio-Ecological Dimensions of Decarbonization.
December 2, 2019
Down on the Farm
Sustainability Now! November 17, 2019, Down on the Farm in Santa Cruz, with Nina Vukecevic, Farm Manager at Common Roots Farm in Santa Cruz, which provides disabled adults with access to agriculture. You can find out more about urban agriculture here.
November 18, 2019
Zero Waste Living?
Sustainability Now! November 3, 2019, Zero Waste Living? with Liz McDade, who runs the “No Trace Shop,” an online business dedicated to providing customers with a “sustainable lifestyle.”
November 4, 2019
Where the Mountain Lions Are
Sustainability Now! October 20, 2019, Where the Mountain Lions Are, with Professor Chris Wilmers, Department of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, talking about mountain lions, talking about their habits, lairs and ecology.
October 21, 2019
History of UC Santa Cruz
Sustainability Now! October 6, 2019, History of UC Santa Cruz, with Professor Emeritus Jim Clifford, History of Consciousness at UC Santa Cruz, talking about the University and its history, and his book, In the Ecotone.
October 7, 2019
Where Does Your Bottle Go?
Sustainability Now! September 22, 2019, Where Does Your Bottle Go?, with Tim Goncharoff, Zero Waste Programs Manager for Santa Cruz County discussing garbage, recycling and all that.
September 23, 2019
Green Architectural Design
Sustainability Now! September 8, 2019. Green Architectural Design, with Thomas Rettenwender, Principal Architect at Ecologic Design Lab in Carmel, California talking about green building.
September 8, 2019
Climate Action Now!
Sustainability Now! August 25, 2019, Climate Action Now!, with Dr. Tiffany Wise-West, Sustainability & Climate Action Manager for the City of Santa Cruz. For more information, see the City’s Climate Action Program web site.
August 25, 2019