During the 2018 Herndon Town Council election season, I met candidate Joe Plummer, a young member of the Herndon Sustainability Committee running a campaign centered on environmental and economic sustainability.
Joe excited and challenged me: Though I’m the son of EPA administrator and am pro-green policy, I had never really considered how local and neighborhood government could really have an impact on the environment. I was excited to endorse and vote for Joe, but he fell short by fewer than 25 votes.
In the months since then, I’ve become friends with Joe and had several great conversations with him about how we can care for the planet, the importance of local activism, and the power (and challenge) of communicating big, complex ideas.
Carbon Radio: “Digital Media Brand for the Planet”
Since last fall, Joe has found a new outlet for his passion for sustainability: A YouTube channel called Carbon Radio, with Herndon as its home base. Joe has interviewed dozens of entrepreneurs and politicians about various environmental issues. For example, he recently spoke with Virginia Delegate Jeff Bourne about our state’s future in energy:
Carbon Radio has also given a platform to some non-political forward-thinkers, like GreenFare’s Gwyn Whitaker. Here she talks about the transformative power of plant-based diets:
Carbon Radio is quickly growing and releasing great new content. Topics range all over the spectrum of planet-focused and sustainability topics, from ecotourism to architecture to politics, and more.
Here’s a fascinating one from Joel Salatin of Polyface Farm defining how he measures the success of his farm:
The Importance of Educating Ourselves
I’m sharing Joe’s channel with you today not just because he’s a good guy with a great mission, but because I firmly believe that all responsible American citizens have a duty to educate themselves on environmental issues.
Look at headlines from the past few months alone:
- Progressive Congressmembers unveil and endorse “Green New Deal” policy to transform US environmental policy (Carbon Radio has a small but growing playlist of Green New Deal-focused videos)
- Washington Governor Jay Inslee announces a 2020 presidential campaign centered around addressing climate change
- The United Nations shares a report revealing the potential of imminent calamity if carbon emissions aren’t radically adjusted
Clearly, sustainability issues aren’t going away. In fact, I expect them to become more and more prominent in the next several years. I’m still figuring out exactly which policies and politicians I support, but in the meantime I’m glad to have resources like Carbon Radio to give me a ground-floor view of the cutting edge.