Sustainable Idaho Launches New Season on KISU
Sustainable Idaho is back! New co-hosts, Scott Greeves and Rachel McGovern, discuss what sustainability is and what is coming up in the new series. The series will run every Tuesday morning during the semester at 7:35am.
By Scott Greeves and Rachel McGovern
Scott: Welcome to the re-launch of Sustainable Idaho, the show where we explore the economic, societal, and environmental implications of sustainability that matter to Idahoans. Over the Summer, Sustainable Idaho, hosted by Chris Brown and Julie Raymond, aired 8 episodes on Sustainable topics ranging from Snake River Salmon Recovery to Solving Climate Change and the Economy. If you want to listen back to any of these episodes, they are available on the KISU website, under the Sustainable Idaho Program Link.
Scott: So Rachel, before we dive into and talk about all the episodes we have coming up in the series, I think we should take some time to discuss what sustainability is and why it’s important to everybody in Idaho.
Rachel: Yeah, good idea Scott. I am actually a graduate student in Idaho State’s Public Administration program – and the topic of sustainability comes up a lot! In my classes, we often discuss how ‘sustainability’ is crucial in city planning and development. When we use the term sustainability, we are usually considering how sustainability is central to developing fair and just societies for everyone.
Scott: Oh, that’s really interesting. See, when I discuss sustainability in my classes as a graduate student in Biology, we often consider how we must manage natural resources in a way that provides for both nature and for people. Our wildlife and habitat management can only be considered sustainable if it can continue long into the future.
Rachel: Yeah. It seems that our different backgrounds in sustainability add up to this bigger picture, where we can identify three key pillars of sustainability; societal, economic, and environmental.
Scott: So when we hear these standard definitions of sustainability, like the one in the Oxford English Dictionary of ‘avoiding of the depletion of natural resources in order to maintain an ecological balance’ or to meet our own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs…
we should remember it’s within the context of these three key pillars.
Rachel: Yeah. These pillars of society, economy and the environment are connected though. I think that’s one of the most important points here.
Scott: So, what do you mean that they are connected?
Rachel: Well, these pillars are working together, to co-support, or hold up the overarching goal of sustainability. That’s why the analogy of them being pillars is so apt. Often if one of the pillars fails, sustainability can not be achieved.
Scott: Hmm, so do you have an example you can think of.
Rachel: Uhh yeah, …
Scott: Ah, well that makes sense to me. I guess I can relate that to my experience in Biology. For instance, if an environmental project considers and works with local people, it’s more likely to be successful … but if it also makes economic sense as well – then its nearly always a winner.
Rachel: Precisely, all the pillars are working together.
Rachel: So Scott, in the Sustainable Idaho series, we want to focus on sustainability topics within Idaho. And we really want to make sure that we do it in a non-partisan and unbiased way.
Scott: Yes, exactly. We are focusing on local sustainability topics, and in a second, we we’ll run through what’s coming up in the series. But your other point is important to touch on here. Many sub-topics of sustainability, including renewable energy and climate change, have become politically sensitive areas. But in this series, we are not trying to present a political picture and we will do our utmost to offer an unbiased and balanced story on the issues that matter to local people.
Rachel: Yeah, exactly, that’s our aim. Our political views don’t matter or feature here.
Rachel: So for the next two weeks we are exploring the complex topic of Solar Energy in Idaho.
Scott: Yes, I don’t want to ruin it – but this one was really interesting. As it turns out, there has been a bit of an on-going saga with regards to Solar energy in Idaho. Currently, Idaho Power is proposing to change their current net-metering program – which is simple terms means that continued investment in solar power may be in jeopardy.
Rachel: Yeah, to explore this topic, we spoke to quite a few stakeholders, including the Idaho Chapter of Sierra Club, which is a conservation group, two Idaho Famers, the Boise Chapter of the Citizens Climate Lobby and Idaho Power.
Scott: Beyond the next two weeks, we will be talking with scientists, researchers, environmentalists, city planners, businesses, local people, and more, to bring you the latest on how citizens in Idaho are striving for a sustainable future.
Rachel: Yep, and these are the other topics we are going to be talking about …
Scott: Thank you very much for joining us this week for the re-launch of Sustainable Idaho – a show made possible by partnership with the Portneuf Resource Council and the ISU Sustainability Club.
Rachel: Join us next Tuesday Morning at 7,35am, here on KISU, for Sustainable Idaho, where we kick the series by looking into Solar Energy for Idaho Farmers.
Scott: Thanks for listening and remember you can listen back to Sustainable Idaho or any other KISU program on the KISU website.