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Oct 26, 2020
The Robots Are Coming
28 min

Boston Dynamics is one of those companies that either makes you feel like we’re living in a Black Mirror episode or like we’re on the cusp of technological innovation. Over the past decade they’ve made a name for themselves through viral videos that demonstrate unparalleled robotics engineering. You’ve probably seen some of these: robot dogs loading the dishwasher, a humanoid robot doing a backflip, a segue-like robot effortlessly moving heavy objects. And now, after almost 30 years, their products are finally on the market. Reporter Matt Simon talks to Marc Raibert, the founder of Boston Dynamics, to check in on the ambitious robotics company.

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The Energy Gang
The Energy Gang
Greentech Media
Automakers Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago
In the 1960s, scientists who worked for General Motors and Ford discovered that the exhaust from their cars was very likely changing the climate. They made presentations at conferences. They briefed senior executives. And then, they were publicly contradicted and their work was suppressed.  We’ll talk to Maxine Joselow, the journalist who reported the story for E&E News over many months. She talked with more than two dozen former GM and Ford employees, retired auto industry executives, academics, and environmentalists about what the companies knew about climate change five decades ago. It leaves the reader wondering: what if automakers had taken the problem more seriously a half-century ago? Then, plenty of conservative states are embracing renewables. But now 100% clean energy mandates are spreading to redder states. The latest is Arizona: a place where elected officials and a giant utility previously worked to stop the march of clean energy. We’ll look at the shift.  And last: can a Marshall Plan for fading coal communities rebuild America’s former industrial regions? * E&E News: GM, Ford Knew About Climate Change 50 Years Ago * Scientific American: A Woman Warned GM about Warming, But Men Didn’t Listen * Greentech Media: Arizona Regulators Pass Rule for 100% Clean Energy by 2050 * Smart Cities Dive: Mayors Unveil $60B Plan to Support Midwest Energy Transition * University of Pittsburgh: Marshall Plan for Middle America Roadmap The Energy Gang is brought to you by Wärtsilä Energy, leading the transition toward a 100% renewable energy future. Wärtsilä launched “The Path to 100%” to accelerate the transition to renewables. Become part of the discussion. The Energy Gang is brought to you by Honeywell, a leading supplier of IoT solutions to mission-critical industries around the world. Honeywell Smart Energy helps utilities transform their grid operations through advanced solutions and targeted services from edge to cloud. Learn more.
1 hr 6 min
The Strong Towns Podcast
The Strong Towns Podcast
Strong Towns
Stacy Mitchell: Fighting for Small Businesses and Strong Local Economies
COVID-19 has been brutal for small businesses. Back in September, data from Yelp showed that nearly 100,000 businesses had closed for good. That was two-and-a-half months ago...and many experts believe the next few months will be even worse for small businesses. A global pandemic was going to be destructive no matter what, but it’s clear now that small businesses were on a weak footing to start with. Why? That’s the topic on this episode of the Strong Towns podcast...and there’s no guest better able to help us make sense of it than Stacy Mitchell. Mitchell is the co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance and the director of its Independent Business Initiative. She’s the author of Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, and coauthor of “Amazon’s Stranglehold: How the Company’s Tightening Grip on the Economy Is Stifling Competition, Eroding Jobs, and Threatening Communities.” Her writing has also appeared in The Atlantic, Wall Street Journal, The Nation, Bloomberg, and other major outlets. Mitchell has testified before Congress on the monopoly power of dominant tech platforms. In April, she was the subject of a New York Times profile, “As Amazon Rises, So Does the Opposition.” In this episode, Strong Towns president Chuck Marohn welcomes Stacy Mitchell back to the podcast to talk about the concerns she had before the pandemic — corporate consolidation, tech monopolies, how corporate giants were using their size and political clout to muscle out small businesses — and why those concerns are even more acute now. They discuss how small businesses have adapted in extraordinary ways to the challenges of coronavirus, yet still face huge obstacles, including a federal policy response that is printing money for big businesses but has done comparatively little for small businesses. They talk about how Amazon is “fundamentally anti-competitive,” the damage done by Amazon to startups and small businesses, and what it might look like if Congress breaks up the tech behemoth. Marohn and Mitchell also discuss why it is distorting to think about Americans primarily as “consumers.” Before we are consumers, we are members of a community, citizens in a democracy, and people trying to build a good life for ourselves and our families. Additional Show Notes: * Stacy Mitchell (Twitter) * Institute for Local Self-Reliance (Website) * Institute for Local Self-Reliance (Twitter) * Sign up for the ILSR Hometown Advantage newsletter * Charles Marohn (Twitter) * Other Strong Towns content featuring Stacy Mitchell and the Institute for Local Self-Reliance * “Amid COVID-19, Local Governments Are Coming Through for Local Businesses,” by Daniel Herriges * “Why Local Banks Are Crucial to Your Community's Coronavirus Recovery,” by Daniel Herriges * Ask Strong Towns Webcast: Celebrity Edition (featuring Stacy Mitchell) * “Stacy Mitchell on the Big-Box Swindle” (Podcast) * “How a Local Bookstore Can Make Your Town Richer—In More Than One Way,” by Kea Wilson
45 min
Materialism
Materialism
Taylor Sparks and Andrew Falkowski
Episode 28: μ: Investing in Materials Startups
Every new startup requires capital, but most venture capital groups are very cautious about investing in materials companies due to the typically long timeframe for development. In this episode we talk to a Matt Cohen, Director of Technology at Pangaea Ventures. Matt talks about why their company dares to invest primarily in materials companies. He tells us about some of the investments they make, and the impact they have. Matt and the team also discuss how you can start your own startup as well as recommending some books to get you started. If you have questions or feedback please send us emails at materialism.podcast@gmail.com. Make sure to subscribe to the show on iTunes, Spotify, google play, and now Youtube or wherever you find your podcasts. If you like the show and want to help us reach more people, consider leaving a review - it helps us improve and it exposes new people to the show. Finally, check out our Instagram page @materialism.podcast and connect with us to let us know what new material you’d like to hear about next. We’d like to give a shoutout to AlphaBot for allowing us to use his music within the podcast. Check him out on Spotify. And as always a special thanks to Kolobyte who created the intro and outro for our podcast. He makes a ton of really cool synthwave music which you can check out at kolobyte.bandcamp.com. Also visit our sponsors for this episode The American Ceramic Society Arts Archeology & Conservation Science division, www.materialstoday.com, and matmatch.com. Follow us on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/materialism.podcast/?hl=en Follow us on Twitter: https://twitter.com/MaterialismPod Visit our website: www.materialismpodcast.com Materialism Team: Taylor Sparks (co-creator, co-host, production), Andrew Falkowski (co-creator, co-host, production), Jared Duffy (production, marketing, and editing) Support Materialism by donating to their Tip Jar: https://tips.pinecast.com/jar/materialism
The War on Cars
The War on Cars
Proving Ground Media
Honk If You Loved 2020
Automobiles played an oversized role in the news this year, from the country’s response to the pandemic to the strange twists and turns of the presidential election. In fact, some might say 2020 was the year of the car. Beyond the growth of drive-thru COVID testing and importance of curbside voting, there was the president’s weird virus-infected limousine ride around Walter Reed, flag-flying “Trump Trains” shutting down highways and the strange spectacle of watching President-elect Joe Biden deliver his victory speech before supporters in parked cars who expressed their excitement and enthusiasm by honking. What does it mean for the future of democracy that most of our interactions with our fellow citizens now happen from behind a windshield? Are we destined to duke it out, road-rage style, until society collapses? Or is there an off-ramp from all this madness? Plus, is there really a parking angle to the Four Seasons Total Landscaping story? You bet there is. Aaron, Sarah and Doug are together again to discuss it all. ***This episode was sponsored in part by our friends at Cleverhood. Receive 20% off your purchase of stylish, functional rain gear designed specifically for bicycling and walking. Enter coupon code WARONCARS when you check out.*** Support The War on Cars on Patreon starting at just $2/month to get stickers and unlock exclusive bonus episodes. Buy a “buttery soft” War on Cars t-shirt at Cotton Bureau. Purchase books by authors who’ve appeared on the podcast at Bookshop.org. Help people find us by reviewing the podcast on iTunes. SHOW NOTES: How “Trump Trains” became a political weapon. (The Atlantic) What was with the red, white and blue Jeeps at Biden’s victory speech? (Jalopnik) The owner of the adult novelty store next to Four Seasons Total Landscaping was annoyed that his customers couldn’t find parking. (Slate) "Petro-masculinity" was on display at Trump highway rallies. (Gizmodo) Drive-thru voting survives challenge in Harris County, Texas. (Texas Tribune) Trump rally gets ugly in Marin City, California. (KTVU) Long lines for COVID testing at Dodger Stadium. (ABC 7) Find us on Twitter: @TheWarOnCars, Aaron Naparstek @Naparstek, Doug Gordon @BrooklynSpoke, Sarah Goodyear @buttermilk1. Questions, comments or suggestions? Email us: thewaroncars@gmail.com TheWarOnCars.org
42 min
The Interchange
The Interchange
Greentech Media
Decoding the New Energy Customer
This week, Shayle Kann talks with Kiran Bhatraju, the CEO of Arcadia, about who's buying clean energy. Every pathway toward economy-wide decarbonization drives straight through a dramatic transformation in the electricity sector. But so much of the discussion in that sector focuses on the supply side: how fast will wind and solar displace fossil fuels? what will happen with natural gas? But there's another important player in this game: the energy consumer.  Consumers tend to be confusing when it comes to energy. It's hard to discern how much we actually care about it in the first place, what our preferences are, what decisions we'll make, what we'll pay for.  Most sectors that have undergone dramatic transformation have been driven by changing customer behavior, and energy may be no different. So we need to understand the consumer, and to find ways to deliver them products and services that will accelerate the energy transition. Shayle and Kiran discuss the different groups of clean-energy customers, how they respond to options, and how a changing regulatory landscape could influence behavior. Support for The Interchange comes from Trina Solar, a global leader in PV modules and smart energy solutions. With decades of industry recognition and awards, Trina Solar is committed to delivering reliable and fully bankable solar technology to the world. Download the free TrinaPro Solution Guide Book on how to optimize utility-scale solar projects. The Interchange is brought to you by S&C Electric Company. Today, non-wires alternatives such as microgrids can provide more sustainable, resilient and economical ways to deliver reliable power. S&C helps utilities and commercial customers find the best solutions to meet their energy needs. Learn more.
41 min
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