Sustainability

It's scary, but by now it's also obvious -- our environment today contains thousands (literally, thousands) of toxic chemicals that it did NOT contain just a few decades ago. How are these chemicals affecting our health? And what can we, as individuals, do about this? Our guest on ST Medical Monday is the co-author of a new book called "Non-Toxic: Guide to Living Healthy in a Chemical World." Dr. Aly Cohen is a board certified rheumatologist and integrative medicine specialist, as well as an environmental health expert based in Princeton, New Jersey.

It's easy to take safe drinking water for granted, but so very much of public health stems from having it (that is, having lots of it) on hand. Moreoever, the problems that've recently affected Flint, Michigan -- and other communities -- have brought the whole potable-water issue to the forefront for many Americans. Where does Tulsa's drinking water come from, and how does it get here? How safe is it, and how clean or "pure" is it? And how do we know these things? How is our water monitored? And how often?

Our guest is the gardening expert Benjamin Vogt, who grew up in Oklahoma and Minnesota and is now based in Nebraska, and who is also the author of "A New Garden Ethic: Cultivating Defiant Compassion for an Uncertain Future." Vogt will deliver the keynote address at a day-long gathering happening in OKC on Wednesday the 28th called "Rewilding Oklahoma: A Symposium for People, Places, and Pollinators." This event will highlight statewide successes in pollinator conservation, and you can learn more about it here.

Our guest on ST is Jon Steinman, the producer and host of an internationally syndicated radio show and podcast called Deconstructing Dinner. A Canadian resident of Nelson, BC, he joins us to discuss his new book, "Grocery Story: The Promise of Food Co-ops in the Age of Grocery Giants." By closely studying -- and also drawing engaging stories from -- many different American and Canadian food co-ops, this book makes a case for the eventual (and radical?) transformation of the grocery store in the 21st century.

(Note: This interview originally aired back in October.) What's it like to live on one-tenth of the fossil-fuel consumption of the average American? Alarmed by the drastic changes now occurring in the Earth's climate systems, our guest on today's ST -- who is a climate scientist and father of two -- decided to find out. And he's very glad he did. Peter Kalmus is our guest; he is an atmospheric scientist at Caltech / Jet Propulsion Laboratory, and he has a book out.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Corey Williams, the executive director of the nonprofit Sustainable Tulsa, which is driven by (as noted at its website) these core principles: "A thriving society, responsible economic growth, and environmental stewardship...[which] are the mutually reinforcing pillars of sustainability." Ms. Williams tells us about Sustainable Tulsa's next First Thursday presentation, which is a free event happening tomorrow (the 6th) at the TCC Center for Creativity (near 10th and Boston in downtown Tulsa).

Our guest on ST is Chuck Marohn, an engineer based in Minnesota and member of the American Institute of Certified Planners. He's also the founder and president of Strong Towns, a nationwide media nonprofit that, per its website, supports "a model of development that allows America's cities, towns, and neighborhoods to become financially strong and resilient. For the United States to be a prosperous country, it must have strong cities, towns, and neighborhoods.

On this edition of ST, we offer a wide-ranging chat with Bill Leighty, the executive director of Smart Growth Tulsa, which was founded in April of 2014 and incorporated as a nonprofit just recently. This organization, per its website, is "committed to policies, not politics. We seek to create healthy communities that work for everyone, with strong schools and local businesses, improved mobility options and jobs that pay well....

(Note: This interview first aired back in July.) On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Robert Penn, a British writer and journalist whose books include "It's All About the Bike," a bestselling memoir of craftsmanship. Penn joins us to speak out his new book, just out from W.W. Norton, which is called "The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees." As is noted of this book at the Norton website: "Out of all the trees in the world, the ash is most closely bound up with who we are: the tree we have made the greatest and most varied use of over the course of human history.

On this installment of ST, we are discussing State Question 777, the so-called "Right to Farm" proposal, which voters statewide will decide on come November. As was noted recently in a Tulsa World editorial: "Both sides in the debate over State Question 777...have been guilty of excesses in their arguments. The proponents have suggested that only a state constitutional measure could shield cherished rural values of decent working farmers from the meddling hands of bureaucrats and lunatic eco-extremists.

On this edition of StudioTulsa, we speak with Philip Howard, a professor of community sustainability at Michigan State University. He's also president of the Agriculture, Food, and Human Values Society, and is a member of the International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Robert Penn, a British writer and journalist whose books include, "It's All About the Bike," a bestselling memoir of craftsmanship. Penn joins us to speak out his new book, just out from W.W.

On this installment of StudioTulsa, we speak with Corey Williams, the executive director of Sustainable Tulsa, a well-regarded local nonprofit that's been encouraging area businesses and individuals to embrace sustainability for nearly a decade. Williams tells us about her organization's "Triple Bottom Line ScoreCard," which has just completed its pilot (or developmental) phase...and which will begin its first full-year term as a Sustainable Tulsa program in the fall. The "triple bottom line," in this case, refers to People, Profit, and Planet.

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On this edition of ST, a discussion of business practices and sustainability goals in contemporary America -- and of where these two ideas do and don't (and might someday) overlap. Our guest is Bill Roth, a business-book author, green entrepreneur, and consultant on sustainability; he'll be speaking soon in our community.

On this installment of StudioTulsa on Health, we learn about Health Care Without Harm, an international coalition of hospitals, health care systems, medical professionals, environmental health organizations, and similar groups. This coalition was formed in 1996, shortly after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency identified medical waste incineration as the leading source of dioxin emissions in this country.

Today's ST offers another discussion in our series of interviews with organizations aiming to acquire funding through the Vision 2025 sales tax extension for the City of Tulsa. Our guests, both members of TYPros, are two of the principals behind the much-talked-about proposal to create a Boston Avenue Multisport (or "BAM") Facility, which would exist between Boston and Cincinnati Avenues, and between 10th and 12th Streets, in downtown Tulsa: Terrell Hoagland is the Director of Sustainability for Jones Design Studio and Kenton Grant is the owner of Kenton Grant Consulting.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with urban planner and professional engineer Charles Marohn, who is also the president and founder of a nonprofit called Strong Towns. This organization works to help America's towns and cities to become financially resilient and economically strong -- and as is noted at the Strong Towns website: "Enduring prosperity cannot be artificially created from the outside but must be built from within, incrementally over time.

On this edition of ST, we speak with Bill Leighty, a longtime realtor in our community who's also served on the Tulsa Metropolitan Area Planning Commission, the City's Transportation Advisory Board, and its Land Use Task Force. Moreover, Leighty is the executive director of the Smart Growth Tulsa Coalition, which he tells us all about on today's program.

On this edition of ST, we speak by phone with Jayson Lusk, who holds the Willard Sparks Endowed Chair in the Agricultural Economics Department at Oklahoma State University. Lusk has a new book out called "The Food Police: A Well-Fed Manifesto About the Politics of Your Plate." Here are a few sentences from the book's opening pages: "A catastrophe is looming. Farmers are raping the land and torturing animals. Food is riddled with deadly pesticides, hormones, and foreign DNA. Corporate farms are wallowing in government subsidies.

Tulsa Partners, a nonprofit organization that's been working to build a disaster-resistant and sustainable community since late 2000, will celebrate its 2012 Nania Awards this evening (Tuesday the 19th) at a banquet and fundraising auction at the Tulsa Garden Center.