Pop Culture: The Green Invasion


From eco-friendly films to progressive podcasts, Plenty picks the best in summer entertainment



RADIO & MUSIC:
Radio
Whether you’re a news junkie, a hybrid fan, or an animal lover, you’ll find the right frequency with one of these programs


THE GREAT LAKES RADIO CONSORTIUM ENVIRONMENT REPORT
glrc.org
Now in its 11th year on the air, this Ann Arbor, Michigan–based public radio program has snagged more than 80 awards for topnotch reporting on environmental issues that affect the Great Lakes, which together hold more than 20 percent of the earth’s fresh water. Reporters turn breaking news about science, health, and policy into compelling narratives about long-term environmental implications, and host Lester Graham navigates complex discussions with the ease and authority of the veteran reporter that he is.

RADIO ECOSHOCK
ecoshock.org
Howard Stern, step aside: Radio’s hottest shock jock is ecophile Alex Smith. Broadcasting from British Columbia, Smith uses clever music, background sounds, and clips from historic broadcasts to add depth and wit to his reporting on environmental issues. Whether he’s dissecting population growth or the Kyoto Protocol, Smith sets each issue in its historic context and backs up his commentary with quotes from experts—while also recognizing that bad news goes down better with a dash of humor.

THE WILDEBEAT
wildebeat.net
Avid outdoorsman Steve Sergeant, based in San Jose, California, hosts this upbeat program about the pleasures and perils of the Great Wide Open. Each of his 10-minute segments hones in on a single wilderness-related topic. Whether he’s interviewing backcountry search-and-rescue teams, chatting up tourists at a ski festival, or reviewing new camping equipment, Sergeant’s enthusiasm for all things wild never flags.

ECOTALK
ecotalkblog.com
Veteran reporter Betsy Rosenberg first brought eco-issues to radio in 1997 when she launched TrashTalk on San Francisco’s KCBS, a weekly program examining the intriguing underworld of garbage and waste management. She expanded the show’s content and changed its name a few years ago, and now produces EcoTalk for Air America Radio, where she hosts a variety of guests to discuss pressing and persistent environmental problems—and to champion the people who are solving them.

BEYOND ORGANIC
beyondorganic.com
What are we eating and where does it come from? With its indepth coverage of organic food and farming, this Californiabased program appeals to foodies, gardeners, and health mavens alike. Host Jerry Kay mixes news reports on issues such as genetic modification and fair-trade issues with interviews with experts and policymakers, such as author Michael Pollan (The Botany of Desire) and Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman.

EV WORLD
evworld.com
Host Bill Moore, once a minister, now gets his audience revved up about the fast-changing world of hybrid cars. The program highlights the people and policies behind the latest car models, and looks into the future of sustainable transportation technology and earth-friendly energy sources for our rides.

GOOD DIRT RADIO
gooddirtradio.org
Co-hosted by Tom Bartels and Tami Graham in Durango, Colorado, this program’s tagline—“Digging up good news. . . for a change”—aptly sums up its positive focus. Volunteers write and produce segments that highlight the work of environmental role models; profile subjects have included emerging leaders in solar energy technology and groups that encourage consumers to demand recycled paper products.

THEWATT
thewatt.com
If your eyes light up at the mention of biodiesel or wind turbines, tune into theWatt, where host Ben Kenney reports on a variety of energy-related issues. Though he describes his Ontario-based studio as “pretty ghetto,” Kenney’s discussions are professional and thorough, covering topics that include efforts by European countries to cut oil consumption and assessments of the worldwide market for ethanol.

ANIMALS ALOUD
animalsaloud.net
From snakes and cats to birds and rats, this San Francisco–based program examines the relationship between us two-legged creatures and the critters we love, loathe, or hope not to find in our kitchens. Host Deirdre Kennedy interviews veterinarians, sociologists, historians, artists, and entertainers to capture a broad range of perspectives on the animal world.

RADIO & MUSIC:
Short on time? Many of these programs have brief audio summaries available, and The EnvironMinute (environminute.com) and Earthwatch Radio (ewradio.org) will give you one eco-headline each weekday. Or check out The Lazy Environmentalist, a show devoted to “easy, hip environmentalism,” on Sirius Satellite or Lime Radio (lime.com).

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Issue 25



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