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Speaking of Resilience Podcast

A podcast series exploring what’s needed for a clean energy transformation in the Great Lakes State. Hosted by Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities and the Michigan Climate Action Network.


Before the coronavirus hit, renewable energy was growing rapidly, and Michigan was poised to become a climate leader. While most people and our elected officials are rightly focused on flattening the curve and meeting the immediate needs of the sick, unemployed, and people on the front lines, the urgent timeline to act on the climate crisis has not changed. Massively expanding clean energy infrastructure could also dramatically speed the economic recovery from COVID-19 by creating millions of jobs.


Join host Kate Madigan for a series of interviews with experts to explore how we solve the climate crisis while creating economic stimulus in this changing landscape. If you care about our overheating planet, and want to rebuild the economy to be more resilient, just, and sustainable, this is the podcast for you.






justin snowden talks micro-mobility in the motor city     LISTEN OR WATCH

Detroit got us off the sidewalks and into our cars. Now urban planners see the need to reverse that scenario: get people on bikes, e-scooters and on their feet, for the health of our people and our community cohesion. Justin Snowden, chief of Mobility Strategy, City of Detroit shares insight. 



Marnese Jackson & Grover Easterling - Turn Oakland County Green     LISTEN OR WATCH

Oakland County is ground zero for Michigan's conservative movement, the place where power brokers and big donors reside. Is there reason to hope that the county can also be a place that embraces clean energy and the environmental justice opportunities that can blossom from a transition to a carbon free economy? 

This week's Speaking of Resilience podcast guests, Marnese Jackson, of Mothers Out Front, and Grover Easterling, of Michigan League of Conservation Voters, are working hard to make that answer "yes" through the Turn Oakland County Green campaign. The good news: they see signs of positive change. 




With more than 30 square miles of solar power currently proposed for Michigan—an area likely to increase—siting has become a central issue in the success of our transition to a clean energy economy. In this  episode of Speaking of Resilience, we talk with researcher Dr. Sarah Mills, of the Ford School's Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy at U-Mich. She's extensively researched rural siting of renewables and shares what works and what doesn't. If you believe in the future of clean energy and also care about the landscape—and especially if you are a planning official—you will enjoy this conversation!



Ed Rivet  - Local Government & Renewables Siting, Part 1      LISTEN OR WATCH

In this  episode of the Speaking of Resilience podcast, we're going to talk about an issue that’s especially important for the success of solar and wind energy projects in Michigan: the process of finding appropriate sites for those projects, and getting them approved by local townships.

Today, our guest is Ed Rivet, Executive Director at Michigan Conservative Energy Forum. We will talk about the siting of renewable energy and a project they call Land and Liberty Coalition that works to move Michigan to build more clean energy with a focus on building energy independence and local reliance. A lot of this work focuses on working with local governments and local communities to build support for new renewable projects.



Dr. Laura Sherman - Michigan's Clean Energy Future        LISTEN OR WATCH

In this episode of the Speaking of Resilience Podcast, Dan Worth interviews Dr. Laura Sherman. Dr. Sherman is the President of Michigan Energy Innovation Business Council and Institute for Energy Innovation. She most recently served as the organization’s Vice President for Policy Development and as a Senior Consultant at 5 Lakes Energy, and previously as policy advisor to Senator Michael Bennet of Colorado on energy, agriculture, and environment issues.



Beth Wallace & Larry Bell -

10 Years since Enbridge's kalamazoo river oil spill         LISTEN OR WATCH

This week marks ten years since the oil spill into the Kalamazoo River from Enbridge’s Line 6b pipeline - one of the largest oil spills in US history. Our guests today are Larry Bell, founder of Bell’s Brewery and a founding member of the Great Lakes Business Network, and Beth Wallace, with the National Wildlife Federation and co-coordinator of the Great Lakes Business Network, which is also co-coordinated by the Groundwork Center’s Jim Lively.

In today’s podcast, we talk about what we learned from the Kalamazoo River oil spill, and how it relates to the efforts to prevent a catastrophic spill in the Straits of Mackinac from the Line 5 oil pipeline. We’ll also learn about how business leaders are getting involved through the Great Lakes Business Network, and specifically how they are challenging Michigan’s Governor Gretchen Whitmer to step up and take required action to shut down the pipeline.



Justin Onwenu - Environmental Justice         LISTEN OR WATCH

In this episode of the Speaking of Resilience podcast, Kate Madigan interviews Justin Onwenu. Justin is a 4th generation Detroiter and environmental justice organizer for the Sierra Club. Justin is a passionate advocate for environmental justice and a rising star in Michigan. In our interview, Justin and Kate discuss climate change and extreme weather events and its disproportionate impacts on low income communities and communities of color - including his experience with Hurricane Harvey and the devastation that storm caused he observed while he was in college that inspired a lot of his current work. We also talk about water shut offs in Detroit and their significance during the #COVID crisis, and how his work has changed to respond to community needs.





In this episode of the Speaking of Resilience Podcast, Kate Madigan interviews Dr. Brandy Brown. Brandy leads the Office of Climate and Energy within the MI Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy. This office was created by Gov. Whitmer to lead the state’s work to achieve aggressive climate action goals. Brandy is an experienced energy strategist with deep industry knowledge after working for several years designing energy programs for utilities and businesses.



Chairman Bryan Newland - Line 5 and the Oil Tunnel          LISTEN OR WATCH


Kate Madigan and Jim Lively interview Bryan Newland, Chairman of the Bay Mills Indian Community. There is a lot going on with Line 5 right now, and our interview with Chairman Bryan Newland about Line 5 could not be more timely. The conversation focuses on the impacts of the aging Line 5 pipeline owned by Canadian oil company Enbridge, which sits in the open waters at the Straits of Mackinac. We hear from Bryan about the backroom deals made by an outgoing Republican-led Michigan Legislature from the perspective of Michigan's native communities, whose treaty rights are at stake, especially in the event of a catastrophic oil spill. 

On June 30, 2020 we learned that a Line 5 anchor support was damaged, and as a result of that discovery, Michigan's Attorney General Dana Nessel was successful in getting a judge to issue a temporary restraining order, temporarily shutting down Line 5. In the legal hearing about this issue, we also learned that there were two additional incidents where ships anchors or cables struck Line 5 in the Great Lakes, unbeknownst to Enbridge, only to be discovered when they were fixing damaged coating on the pipeline. This alarming revelation raises increased concern about this 67 year old pipeline and highlights the need for Governor Whitmer to join the AG to act to revoke the easement. In the coming weeks we’ll continue to cover this issue in more depth. 

Take action NOW - Go to to urge the Governor to take action to revoke the easement and shut down Line 5.



Dr. Jonathan Foley - Project Drawdown          LISTEN OR WATCH

In this episode of the Speaking of Resilience Podcast, Kate Madigan and Dan Worth interview Dr. Jonathan Foley. Dr. Jonathan Foley is the executive director of Project Drawdown, a nonprofit organization that seeks to help the world reach “Drawdown”— the future point in time when levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere stop climbing and start to steadily decline. He is a world-renowned environmental scientist, sustainability expert, author, and public speaker. His work is focused on understanding our changing planet, and finding new solutions to sustain the climate, ecosystems, and natural resources we all depend on.


Episode 1:

Dr. Missy Stults - Ann Arbor's Climate Goals                   LISTEN or WATCH

In our first episode of the Speaking of Resilience Podcast, Kate Madigan and Dan Worth interview Missy Stults. Missy is the Sustainability and Innovations Manager at City of Ann Arbor, and is responsible for ensuring Ann Arbor meets its climate and sustainability goals and to make Ann Arbor one of the most sustainable and equitable cities in America. In two short years, she has been at the helm as Ann Arbor set a goal to be carbon neutral by 2030, the most ambitious city climate goals, and created a detailed plan to get there, which was just unanimously passed by the city. She has called it a moonshot goal for Ann Arbor, a nod to her previous work as a Program Manager at NASA.







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