Interview with Texas Environmental Activists Paul Robbins, Dave Cortez, and Roger Baker

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Publication date 2014-05-09
Thorne Dreyer’s guests on Rag Radio are Central Texas environmental activists Paul Robbins, Dave Cortez, and Roger Baker. Among the topics discussed are the continuing Texas drought and Austin’s attempt to respond to it in the face of climate change denial in Texas politics.

Paul Robbins is an environmental activist and consumer advocate, and editor of the Austin Environmental Directory, a comprehensive sourcebook of environmental issues, products, services, and organization. In the early 1980s, Robbins helped start the City of Austin’s nationally renowned clean energy programs. He has long received public recognition as a watchdog of the city’s water and energy utilities on behalf of all Austin ratepayers.

Dave Cortez is the Central Texas Organizer for Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign. He previously was the Sierra Club’s coordinator for the Texas BlueGreen Alliance — a coalition of labor and environmental groups advocating for clean economy and infrastructure jobs. He is now working to retire the coal-fired Fayette Power Project, and to push for the adoption of strong renewable energy policies in Austin. Dave is also working to incorporate anti-poverty and anti-racist principles and organizing strategies into Austin’s environmental activist community.

Roger Baker is a long time transportation-oriented environmental activist, an amateur energy-oriented economist, an amateur scientist and science writer, and a founding member of and an advisor to the Association for the Study of Peak Oil-USA. He is active in the Green Party and the ACLU, and is a director of the Save Our Springs Alliance and the Save Barton Creek Association in Austin. Mostly he enjoys being an irreverent policy wonk and writing irreverent wonkish articles for The Rag Blog. His important Rag Blog series on the Texas drought has been widely distributed (http://www.theragblog.com/tag/texas-drought-series/).

Host and Producer of Rag Radio: Thorne Dreyer; Engineer and Co-Producer: Tracey Schulz; Apprentice: Ioannis Gatsiounis. Rag Radio (koop.org/ragradio) is produced in the studios of KOOP 91.7-FM, an all-volunteer, cooperatively-run community radio station in Austin, Texas, in association with The Rag Blog (TheRagBlog.com) and the New Journalism Project, a Texas 501(c)(3) nonprofit. The show is broadcast (and streamed) live Fridays, 2-3 p.m. (Central) on KOOP, and is rebroadcast and streamed on WFTE-FM in Mt. Cobb and Scranton, PA., Sundays at 10 a.m. (Eastern time) and on Houston Pacifica’s KPFT HD-3 90.1 on Wednesdays at 1 p.m. (Central). Contact: ragradio@koop.org.