October 31, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: Well it’s my real pleasure to have on the show next the award winning author of ‘Skinny Bitch,’ Rory Freedman. It’s a fantastic book, beautiful cover, and it’s selling off the shelves. Now there’s a whole line of products attached to it, including ‘Skinny Bastard.’ I wish I still was one. Welcome to the show, Rory Freedman.
Rory Freedman: Thank you so much for having me. It’s great to be here.
Dr. Kent: What an incredible concept. How did you start coming up with this book title, and the things inside it.
Rory Freedman: The title was just a provocative, cheap, attention-getting ploy. Basically I changed the way that I eat, and changed my life, and I wanted to make sure to share that information with other people, and get that information out there. But I also know that people don’t necessarily want to sit down and learn about their health, and learn about their food origins and learn about what’s going on with their bodies with the food they’re eating, so I figured that if we made a fun, sassy, easy-to-read guide, and put it with a silly title, and good artwork, then people would dig it.
Dr. Kent: The title, it is silly, but it’s so edgy. It’s got the thing that every woman wants to be, and the thing that every woman doesn’t want to be.
Rory Freedman: Yes. Unfortunately, nobody cares about their health in this day and age. We’re in a time of mass media and pop culture, and everybody just wants to be thin, and ‘bitch’ seems to get a lot of attention. The title’s been a great attention-getting ploy, and I’m happy that people are reading the book because there is so much sound information and compelling, motivating stuff that gets people to really make those lasting changes once and for all.
Dr. Kent: One great thing about the book – and the title and the cover hint at it – is that it really is a no-nonsense guide. It’s edgy. The way the book is written, the way you’re advice is given is very edgy. What’s the feedback you get from women?
Rory Freedman: Basically they read the book, and they laugh their asses off the whole time they’re reading it, and because of that, the information sort of sticks. I’m not a scholar, I’m not a real writer in a sense – this was the first book I ever wrote, and I just write in a really conversational way. It’s not a stiff, boring, hard-to-read diet book: it’s more of a fun lifestyle book, but there’s again, tons of information in there that is just easier to swallow when it’s written in a really informal way.
Dr. Kent: Both of you got to know each other in the modeling world, right?
Rory Freedman: Right. I was an agent, and Kim was a model, and we bonded over food and laughing. We found that we had similar senses of humor, and we both liked eating more than anything else on the planet. That was, I don’t know how many years ago, but we became fast friends, and then eventually when we each changed our own crappy diets to a better diet, that’s eventually when we started to think that we could make a difference in the lives of other people and how we could best go about doing that.
Dr. Kent: Tell me about the crappy diet first. I am definitely attracted to that concept.
Rory Freedman: You name it, I ate it. Basically, I used to eat Burger King seven days a week.
Dr. Kent: Seven days!
Rory Freedman: Yup – seven days a week. Actually, maybe it was five days a week. I’m sorry. I shouldn’t say seven. It was probably five days a week. Every morning I used to eat a Taylor ham-fried egg-and-cheese on a roll, and I drank soda, and chocolate bars, and bags of chips, and anything from a convenience store, I was interested in eating.
Dr. Kent: Well, you got my mouth watering. So tell me how health food can make me just as excited.
Rory Freedman: It can’t overnight. If you’d told me back then that I was going to get excited over eating something healthy like a salad or steamed vegetables and fruit, I would have barfed on the table. But, once you do start making small changes, something happens inside your brain and inside your body, something shifts and it doesn’t happen overnight, but eventually it does happen, and once it happens, you cannot believe the changes that you experience: your taste buds, your brain, your personality, your positivity, your energy: everything in your body of course just becomes different and better, and it’s life-altering.
Dr. Kent: So there’s a lot of folks out there that say, okay, we’ve seen them on these big shows, or we see them on the shelves of all the stores, and they look skinny, the woman on the front cover of their book is skinny. Of course it’s easy for them.
Rory Freedman: Not at all. Food is an addiction for all of us. Even now, even being skinny and even being healthy, I still struggle with food, because I love eating more than anything on the planet. I actually just had to take a vow to not eat sugar for 30 days because I was feeling like I’ve gotta get this under control: all I want is cookies, all day every day. I’m not even PMSing! So I’ve gotta figure this out. I just took a 30-day pledge to myself, and actually I think it’ll be longer than 30 days: I’m not going to eat any sugar until Thanksgiving.
Dr. Kent: Holy cow!
Rory Freedman: I know! It’s a big deal. So if people think that it doesn’t matter, if you’re thin, or if you’re overweight: food is hard for all of us, and making changes is really difficult, but once you make that commitment to yourself – and I think a really good idea for people to do is to just say for 30 days, I’m going to try something. Don’t worry about the rest of your life. Don’t say from now on I’m going to bla bla bla. Just pick something you know you can do better, start today, and do it for 30 days.
Dr. Kent: So I’m curious about ‘Skinny Bastard,’ a little bit. That’s the newest fun book in the series. What inspired that, and how was it writing that one?
Rory Freedman: It was a lot of fun to write that one, because I got to come up with as many euphemisms as I could for the male operating equipment. That book was basically the same as ‘Skinny Bitch,’ because men and women have mostly the same dietary needs, the only difference being that men often have a higher calorie need, but basically the same foods are healthy for all of us, and people have the same concerns. Of course with men we talked a little bit more about exercise, and athletes, and protein and weight-lifting, prostate cancer, and erectile dysfunction, and how your diet effects all of those things. It also was fun to kind of – even for me, because I’m already bawdy to begin with – but to step out and be a little bawdier, and doing a little locker-room talk. It was fun.
Dr. Kent: It’s an incredible thing to see a book that’s on the bestseller list. It’s literally, you walk into Borders, there it is, all around the country. It’s a book that’s really edgy. It doesn’t have the things you’re supposed to say in it. It is bawdy, it is edgy, it’s fun. Have you gotten any people saying to you, ‘Hey, this is a little bit over the top’?
Rory Freedman: Oh, of course! I certainly didn’t set out to offend anyone; I just have my own specific sense of humor, and I think a lot of that stuff is hilarious. The feedback in general has been in agreement with that, that it’s hilarious. But if you’re somebody who’s easily offended by four-letter words, or somebody calling your johnson a ding-a-ling-ling, then don’t read the book! You’re going to be horrified because there’s ten-times worse stuff in there than that. But if you have a good sense of humor, and you want to feel good, and you want to eat well, and you want an education that doesn’t feel like an education, then you’re going to love it, and you’re going to laugh out loud multiple times, I guarantee it.
Dr. Kent: Diet books, gosh, they’re a dime a dozen. There’s so many, and everybody’s hooked to them, and they buy one after the other after the other. The hush-hush industry thing is we know it’s not going to work, but we’re just trying to find the next edgy concept that everybody will flock to, whether it’s Atkins diet or this and that. Your book is a little different, because it’s kind of timeless. You’re dealing with women personally, but have they actually lost the weight? Have you gotten some feedback?
Rory Freedman: The reason that this book is popular – certainly Posh Spice picking up the book and being photographed holding it absolutely made a difference for us – but the book was really successful before that ever happened, and before we had any publicity at all, and that’s because people were reading the book, and it was a huge word of mouth success. People read the book and then tell the friends and family around them, ‘You have to read this book.’ Because their minds are blown when they read it. There’s just so much compelling information, and it’s also a really fun read. But it does change people’s lives, and the way the information is presented makes it for the first time easy for people to actually make these changes. I’m not tooting my own horn, I’m just saying, the book is effective. It’s not like we have reinvented the wheel. I didn’t invent this way of eating. I just collected information from all sorts of scientific sources and put it in one easy-to-read, fun package. People are responding to it.
Dr. Kent: If you were to boil down what changes are needed to become what you’ve become, which is somebody who’s in control of their own body. What would it boil down to for you?
Rory Freedman: I think that everybody knows what their weak spots are. Some people have no idea what their weak spots are because they just don’t know what’s healthy and what’s not, so this books is going to give a good education on that. For other people, they just need the motivation. They know what their weak spots are but they don’t really feel excited or compelled or motivated to do anything about it. I think that’s one of the really good things about the book: when you’re done, you’re excited, and invigorated. Instead of dreading making the change, you kind of feel like ‘Wow! If I don’t do this…’ For example, I’ll start with a little silly one: soda. I know a lot of people drink soda, whether it’s diet or regular soda, and there’s nothing in there that’s beneficial for your body at all, and in fact it’s harmful for your body. So for people that can get rid of the soda and have water instead, it’s going to make a huge difference. Not only just because of that, but because it’s also going to influence other things in your diet, and your health as well. So just start somewhere, do something.
Dr. Kent: So what about celery, are we going to have to eat a lot of celery on the ‘Skinny Bitch,’ or ‘Skinny Bastard’?
Rory Freedman: I don’t think we mention the word ‘celery’ in the book ever. I’m definitely not someone who sits down to chop carrot sticks, and chop celery sticks. I’d rather eat a pile of poop; how boring! There’s lots of fun food that you can eat on the ‘Skinny Bitch’ and ‘Skinny Bastard’ diets. That’s the reason they also work. We’re not saying, ‘No more cake! No more cookies!’ We’re saying, food is meant to be enjoyed and nobody likes eating more than us. Just figure out what you’re eating, what makes you feel good, what makes you feel crappy. Make better choices for the food that you are buying, but still enjoy the same stuff.
Dr. Kent: Now you also have, ‘Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.’
Rory Freedman: Right, that’s a cookbook, it’s a recipe book. For some people, this is a new way of eating, and we wanted to make it as easy as we could as possible, and there’s a cookbook that’s got tons of fun, great recipes.
Dr. Kent: I have to say, my fiancé is really into Larabars, and it looks like you guys are too.
Rory Freedman: Yes, I love Larabars. There’s a lot of those protein bars or snack bars out there, and a lot of them are just kind of crappy for you, but people think that because it’s called like a nature bar or a nutrition bar that it’s healthy. But if you read the ingredients, there’s sugar or corn syrup, or God forbid, artificial flavors or colors, and it’s like, who the hell wants to eat that? The ingredients in Larabars are just really pure and really simple. It’s always just a few ingredients and they taste really good.
Dr. Kent: So what are you working on now? There must be another three or four books in the hopper, right?
Rory Freedman: Oh, yeah. I’m just cranking them out. We actually have a boxed set coming out in December or January. It’s a couple in a box. It’s the hardcover editions of ‘Skinny Bitch’ and ‘Skinny Bastard.’ A boxed set so that if there’s a man and woman living together, and they both want to get their groove on, that’s a good little gift option there.
Dr. Kent: Of course, the funny thing about the book industry is often times a lot of the men’s books are bought by women. That’s a big market.
Rory Freedman: That’s definitely something that happens all the time. I think men aren’t known to be trolling the diet book section of bookstores, but I think women, because just in general we tend to be naggy, we tend to fix things, we’re definitely the type of creatures that will buy a book for our man.
Dr. Kent: I bought your book for the first time, actually, for a client because your title is so edgy, and your style is so fantastic in the book. I use it with my clients, and recommend it to all of them. So I was in the bookstore buying a copy, and I’ve got to say, I was turning a bright shade of red. I sandwiched it between another few books.
Rory Freedman: It takes a certain kind of man to have enough confidence to hold a book called, ‘Skinny Bitch,’ whether it’s on the subway or in an airplane. I know a couple of women who want their men to read the books, but they say, ‘He won’t read it! He doesn’t want to read it!’ I would just say ‘Leave it in the bathroom. It’ll get picked up.’
Dr. Kent: Exactly. That’s the place men read. Exactly. All right, it’s been such an honor talking to you. Tell me where we can find out more. Of course, there’s the Bitch List, and there’s SkinnyBitch.net, and all sorts of places.
Rory Freedman: Right. We’ve got SkinnyBitch.net and SkinnyBastard.net, and all the bookstores and Amazon and Barnes & Noble: we’re everywhere. I want to thank you for having me. It’s been my honor and privilege to be here.
Dr. Kent: Oh sure. You’re book rocks. Are you going to stick with the Skinny Bitch thing, and when you’re 80 you’ll still be a skinny bitch?
Rory Freedman: We’ll see how it goes. A little of this, a little of that; we’ll see how it goes.
Dr. Kent: Awesome. It’s been such an honor. I’ve been talking to the coauthor of ‘Skinny Bitch.’ What a fun book, fun title, and really practical. Rory Freedman, thank you so much.
Rory Freedman: Thank you so much.
October 31, 2009 | Comments Off
From Her Website:
Rory Freedman co-authored the L.A. Times Best Seller, ‘Skinny Bitch.’ She is a former agent for Ford Models and has studied diet, health, traditional, and holistic nutrition for more than ten years. She lives in Los Angeles and has successfully counseled models, actors, athletes, and other professionals using the Skinny Bitch method. The following is Rory’s and co-author, Kim Barnouin’s, philosophy about ‘Skinny Bitch:’ Don’t judge a book by its cover. We titled the book, ‘Skinny Bitch,’ for one reason: So people would read it. Sadly, people seem to be more interested in their appearances these days than their health. But neither one of us puts any stock in being skinny. We care about being healthy and want to inspire people to take better care of themselves. We’ve all been so brainwashed by fad diets, magazine articles, and advertising that we have forgotten how to think for ourselves. With obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and depression at all-time highs, it’s time for us to smarten up and use our own heads. ‘Skinny Bitch’ is not a diet. It’s a way of life. A way to enjoy food. A way to feel healthy, clean, energized and pure. It’s time to reclaim our minds and bodies!
October 30, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: Welcome back to Sound Authors. My next guest on the show is Dr. D.A. Henderson. He’s the author of ‘Smallpox: Death of a Disease.’ This book is an account of challenges, obstacles and disasters faced by an intrepid international program in achieving the global eradication of smallpox. Fascinating, fascinating tale. Welcome to the show, Dr. D.A. Henderson.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: Delighted to be with you.
Dr. Kent: Give me a little background about it. What is smallpox?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: Smallpox was probably the most devastating disease known to history. It goes back at least 3500 years, and has caused tens of millions of deaths, hundreds of millions of deaths, over the century. It’s a virus disease: it causes a severe rash, a high fever. The person who acquires it has about a 30 percent chance of dying from the disease, and some of those who recover are left blind. Throughout history, it was regarded as probably the most feared out of all the diseases: it’s worse than cholera or yellow fever, or any of the other diseases.
Dr. Kent: My goodness. How was it part of Americans’ lives early this century?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: It certainly kept going throughout the US until 1949; that was when our last cases occurred. One of the remarkable things is that the American Indians, the natives here in this country and throughout the western hemisphere, were particularly susceptible to it. So death rates of 60 to 80 percent were recorded. In fact, they recorded the fact that so many people died, that they couldn’t harvest the food to keep going, and whole tribes disappeared.
Dr. Kent: Wow. The toll just during the 20th century, according to your bio, says that there were 300 to 500 million deaths.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: That’s a fairly conservative estimate. Before the disease was eradicated (the last case occurred in 1977), we estimated that there were at least 300 million deaths. One compares that to what the New York Times has said how many people died as a result directly or indirectly of our conflicts in the 20th century, they estimate about 120 million, so it was more than two and half times that number dying as a result of smallpox in various countries throughout the world.
Dr. Kent: There’s such a hubbub around vaccines these days. Celebrities are starting not to vaccinate their children. This buzz is starting. With a father who’s a physician, he always tells me it’s foolish not to vaccinate, and part of the reason is because there’s such power in vaccines, and of course, with smallpox, my goodness, of course 500 million deaths, that’s a huge number that can be prevented by a vaccine. So tell me about the vaccine: how it works, how you started to think about coming up with it, or how the whole community did.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: The smallpox vaccine is actually largely comprised of another virus called cowpox, which did infect cows. It’s sort of a cousin of smallpox. It started very early that they found they could inoculate this material into the arm, and there would be an infection: a little pustule would form. The individual would then develop protective antibodies, antibodies in the blood, so that when the individual is exposed to smallpox, the antibodies would fight off the infection. This is the way vaccines work. Some of them, what they call ‘kill’ vaccines, you take a virus, like influenza, and you grow up a certain quantity of it, and you kill that virus and actually you inoculate it into the skin, and that really is your vaccine. Your body makes protective antibodies against that virus, which is dead – it’s growing – and when you are then exposed to the live virus, those antibodies are fighting off the invasion of the live virus.
Dr. Kent: Wow. How do you eradicate, even using something as incredible as this vaccination, how do you eradicate a disease? How can you get every single case?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: In fact, we did not try to get every single case. What we tried to do was provide a vaccine protection to let’s say 80 percent of the population. Now smallpox cannot infect animals, and it cannot just lie in the soil and infect people. So therefore, that virus, to keep going, it has to infect one person after another. One after the other. Think of it as a chain of infection. Now if we can stop that virus from infecting one person, and one person from infecting another, we then can break that chain and gradually get rid of the disease. So what we did was try to first of all protect a lot of people, by vaccination, and then we did something that’s called surveillance and containment: basically, find the cases. Once you’ve found a case, a team would go out and they’d vaccinate, in Africa for example, 30 houses around where the case was, all of the people there. Those people would then be protected. Then the patient could not spread the disease to anybody else. The chain would be broken, and little by little, you’d stop the spread of smallpox throughout the area.
Dr. Kent: Fascinating. Is that a technique that has been used before?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: Yes, it actually goes back a long time. Our first vaccine, the smallpox vaccine, goes back to 1796, and this was the discovery that you could take cowpox, or a little infection off of a cow and protect an individual person with that. So it had been used off and on, although it had been used pretty much on, until the time of eradication. But it was impossible really to get that vaccine out to distant areas, so that it wasn’t destroyed by feat, then to get it properly inserted in the skin so that it would really grow, and to do this throughout a lot of parts of the world which are very remote, and which are virtually inaccessible. So, it left places, areas and people where the smallpox could keep going and did keep going.
Dr. Kent: Wow. What other diseases could potentially be eradicated completely? There’s so many out there in the world, is it possible to eliminate some of these, and are efforts going on?
Dr. D.A. Henderson: It’s pretty hard to get rid of a lot of diseases. A number of them, like tuberculosis, an individual gets infected, and they get perhaps temporarily cured, but they’re still carrying the organism and can still transmit it. Poliomyelitis, for example, the individual spreads the disease, but you can’t tell where it is, because only one person in about 200 will get paralyzed, and the others will be infected, but there will be no symptoms, so that makes it difficult. There are some organisms that really largely exist in animals, and so we only get in contact with them periodically, like rabies: people know about that in dogs, and man does not get infected very often. So there are a lot of diseases that we cannot eradicate. Smallpox, fortunately, having been the most disastrous of all the diseases, had this weakness that it did not infect animals, and individuals, when they recovered from the disease, if they did, they were protected: they’d never get another case for the rest of their lives. So this was what we took advantage of with smallpox, and then tried to eradicate it.
Dr. Kent: Smallpox was essentially destroyed, but you talk about that there are stockpiles of this disease in certain places, and that could potentially be used as a weapon.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: It’s a worry. We do know that back in the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s, that the Soviet Union was working with smallpox. It was the preferred agent that they would use if they were going to use a biological weapon. So, this was a concern. When we got our last case, which actually occurred October 26, 1977, we then wrote to laboratories, contacted people all over the world who might still have some virus of smallpox. They were asked to destroy these; governments were asked to check their laboratories and to destroy them, or to transfer them to one of two laboratories which had been research laboratories that were working with us: one being actually in Moscow, one being in Atlanta, Georgia. After a while, all of the laboratories insisted finally that they had destroyed the virus or transferred it. It left us just the two places that we knew had the smallpox virus. Since then, there’s been continuing discussion as to whether those should be destroyed or not. This has been studied by many experts and scientists. I think most believe that it would be a good idea, let’s just destroy it. There’s some who believe that we might be able to learn something by retaining it, keeping it, and working with it, but there’s always a risk in that. The question is: are you going to risk having it escape, for example, or are you going to destroy it? This is something that is being discussed in the World Health Assembly and the World Health Organization: trying to reach a decision on this.
Dr. Kent: Well, it’s been such an honor talking to Dr. D.A. Henderson. He’s the author of ‘Smallpox: Death of a Disease.’ It’s so riveting thinking about all of this. I appreciate you being on the show, and I hope to talk to you again.
Dr. D.A. Henderson: Thank you very much; nice to be with you.
Dr. Kent: Again, you can find that book all over the place. It’s called, ‘Smallpox: Death of a Disease,’ by Dr. D.A. Henderson.
October 30, 2009 | Comments Off
Donald Ainslie Henderson, known as D.A. Henderson, is an American physician and epidemiologist, who headed the international effort during the 1960s to eradicate smallpox. As of 2005, he is a Resident Scholar at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center’s Center for Biosecurity and a professor of public health and medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. He is also a Johns Hopkins University Distinguished Service Professor and Dean Emeritus of the School of Public Health, with a joint appointment in the Department of Epidemiology. Dr. Henderson is the author of, ‘Smallpox: The Death of a Disease.’
October 29, 2009 | Comments Off
Dr. Kent: Welcome to Sound Authors. We have four fantastic guests on the show today. Three authors, and one musician. We’re doing a show of course in the traditional format of Sound Authors. We’ve scheduled this show quite a while ago, and that’s why we’re back to the four-segment method. Again, tune in next week and the week after. We’re doing brand new varieties of shows with all sorts of different kinds of guests. Always authors and musicians: Sound Authors both. At the end of the show we’re going to talk to a musician. His name is Jacob Moon. He’s based in Hamilton. A wonderful singer/songwriter. Before that, we’re going to talk to the author of ‘Skinny Bitch,’ Rory Freedman, a New York Times bestselling coauthor. They’ve sold millions of books literally. Before that, at 3:15 or so, we’re going to talk to Dr. D.A. Henderson, the author of ‘Smallpox: Death of a Disease.’ In this world right now where we’re always talking about the H1N1, let’s talk about smallpox and the havoc it wreaked. Without further ado, at the beginning of the show, I’ll be talking to Glenn Bachman. Glenn has more than 30 years of experience in improving the economic and environmental performance of organizations and products. His book is called ‘The Green Business Guide.’ Welcome to the show, Glenn Bachman.
Glenn Bachman: Thank you so much.
Dr. Kent: Tell me about this book: ‘The Green Business Guide.’ Green stuff has been really hot for the last couple of years, and with the Obama presidency, it’s gotten even more so.
Glenn Bachman: That it has. The guide is intended to be a blueprint or a roadmap for small and medium sized businesses. What I have found in looking around as to what could be used as a roadmap if a business or an organization wanted to go green was not very detailed in the nuts and bolts of the how-to. I found that a lot of businesses understood why they would want to go green, but they didn’t really understand what it was that it would mean in detail. So what I had decided to do was to write a book that would consolidate different resources from all over the place, whether it’s from environmental organizations, EPA, business best-practices, my own experience, and pull that together in a single unified document that could be used in making or allowing an organization to go green.
Dr. Kent: What does it mean to ‘go green,’ exactly?
Glenn Bachman: There’s differing concepts on that. I use ‘green’ as ecological friendliness. A lot people use the term ‘green’ and use it as though it was also the same as ‘sustainable.’ However, sustainable businesses take not only the ecological friendliness, but they expand that into economic performance as well as social equity issues. Fair-trade, for example, or comparable pay for women and men, things of that nature.
Dr. Kent: And for you, ‘green’ means?
Glenn Bachman: For me, ‘green’ means ecological performance. By ecological performance, I’m talking about ensuring that the business or the organization is using a minimal amount of energy, that the energy that is being consumed is clean energy, that the water use is reduced, that they’re pulling water in minimal amounts from either public or private sources. When they are getting rid of the water, the water is being returned to a natural system with a minimal amount of contaminants or temperature change, or things like that. That packaging is reduced, material use is reduced, and things like that.
Dr. Kent: In business right now, it seems to be quite trendy to say that you’re green, and I know that there’s some things where you can trade some of your electricity against something that’s sustainable, or you could do many things as a business. You can install solar panels on the roof. What does it mean for a business to call themselves ‘green’?
Glenn Bachman: I think that fundamentally what they’re saying is that the way that they’re approaching the delivery of their services or the manufacture or sale of the products that they have is that they are doing it in a manner that is least injurious to the natural environment. You’re right to point out that they’re getting a lot airplay right now, because there’s certainly businesses that aren’t being truthful about being green. They recognize that to call themselves green is a way of taking advantage of what some perceive to be a fad, but that in fact they are not being green, because they’re, for example, reducing their packaging size, but perhaps they still have contaminants that are embedded into the product that they’re selling. That type of green, or non-green, has been dubbed ‘green-washing.’ Sort of like white-washing, only green-washing, where an organization is making claims that it’s green when in fact it is not. I think that what those businesses are doing that are legitimately trying to become green is they are aligning themselves with a greater population of consumers, whether those consumers are individuals or corporations like Wal-Mart, or what have you, that are recognizing that it makes business sense and family sense to go green. That by reducing the impact now it’ll be more likely that we’ll have a more palatable and inhabitable earth decades from now and generations from now.
Dr. Kent: Where’d you get your start in all of this?
Glenn Bachman: I think probably my path for this was from architecture. I was doing construction in high school during the summer, and that turned into architectural design interests in college, which turned into urban planning interests as I was trying to integrate shelter energy production and food production into neighborhoods, and I then became an energy planner working in the northwest where I was doing projects. I did about 50 different energy-related projects in the Pacific northwest as part of this environmental company that I was a partner in. Ecology has probably always been a part of my background. Probably the very first appreciation for that came from my grandfather.
Dr. Kent: When creating a green business guide, we’ve talked about sometimes it’s not necessarily green, but what are the best practices a business could fairly easily implement?
Glenn Bachman: I think part of the best practice is to demonstrate the leadership in the company to say, ‘We want to change the way that we are doing things and become more green.’ The leadership is critical. That’s best practice number one. Best practice number two is probably to engage everybody in the organization to look for opportunities for saving energy, for conserving water, for reducing resource use, things like that. Then, I think that on the nuts and bolts side, probably what you want to be able to do is focus on lighting, that’s probably common to most businesses, and then depending on the nature of the business, a mom-and-pop grocery would be most interested in lighting and refrigeration, whereas warehousing might be more interested in – if it’s non temperature controlled – it might be more interested in transportation issues and how to reduce the impact of moving goods from the warehouse to their point of use.
Dr. Kent: One of the things in this new administration has been green technology can really start to drive the economy. What does that mean, and is that possible?
Glenn Bachman: It is possible. In fact, President Obama just gave a speech today at Massachusetts Institute of Technology which was pretty much a statement of his green philosophy and also I would say in some ways a motivational speech saying ‘Go get ‘em.’ Energy technology and green technologies are moving very rapidly. It’s much like what the computer world was looking like 25 years ago and actually continues to be today. There are really some amazing things that are coming out in terms of developing fuels for transportation out of algae, out of different types of agricultural products. There’s different technologies that are being created on rooftops where shingles can understand what the temperature is and change color to reflect during overheated times so that the solar radiation doesn’t penetrate the building, or the solar radiation doesn’t get absorbed as heat into the building. Or in the wintertime turn into a darker color when it is desirable to have that penetration and to acquire more heat. We’re getting micro wind turbans that can be attached to rooftops that look very small. You would hardly even notice that they are on the rooftop.
Dr. Kent: When you mean micro, do you mean the kind that’s on like a little kids hat, or do you mean really small?
Glenn Bachman: I mean probably a little bit bigger than a little kid’s hat. We’re not going to get a lot of useful energy out of something that small. But think maybe 10-times larger than that.
Dr. Kent: So maybe like two feet tall or something?
Glenn Bachman: Yes, but instead of thinking in the vertical access, think in the horizontal axis, a hamster cage or something like that, running along the full length of a ridge. It can capture the wind energy, transform that into a generated electricity.
Dr. Kent: I’m curious about the roof that changes color. I remember as a kid just walking out along a simple asphalt road how hot it would get. Just color is pretty significant.
Glenn Bachman: It is. That’s one of the reasons why in ‘The Green Business Guide,’ the book, there are a series of recommendations on how to deal with paving: those huge parking lots that we see when we go to malls and outside parking lots when we are in the heat of the summer, when we’re walking across the entrance to the store, we’re boiling out there. So we try to shield those with vegetation: trees that will shade the asphalt and prevent the solar radiation from being absorbed.
Dr. Kent: It’s going to be profitable, but it’s a massive change for a lot of businesses. What is the resistance?
Glenn Bachman: The first set of resistance is that over the years, I think that we’ve seen that green technologies have been expensive. I think that because of that, the perception is that the green technologies are not having a very favorable return on investment. A lot of the greening of a business can be categorized in terms of changes, transformations that are no cost, like reminding people to turn off the lights in the storage room when they’ve gotten their ream of paper out of storage. Or they could be very low cost, such as installing compact fluorescent light bulbs, and removing incandescent bulbs. Those in a full use area have a payback often of six to eight months depending on what the cost of electricity is. And then there’s other costs that are greater. What I encourage the businesses to do is to look for the low-hanging fruit: those things that can be implemented easily with very little goading on the part of management or workers, and then to look at those other programs that can be implemented that would be a relatively short return on the investment. I think that the second thing that we’re seeing is that in the past, a lot of these technologies were not as confidant, as skilled, as efficient, as effective as the ones that they were being designed to replace. An example of those were some of the early fluorescent bulbs that flickered, that hummed, that were a distraction in the workplace, and so folks weren’t installing those. Those problems have been remedied, and as a result of that, there have been greater penetration of those types of programs in action in the workplace. I think that overall, there is just a certain malaise, that this is the way we’ve done business. It’s really not been a focus of attention until the problems associated with the climate change, with the resources, such as petroleum, silver, others that are used in industry, because they’re finite resources, they’re not as available because of the growing clientele of consumers, and as a consequence, the price of a lot of these resources are going up, and if the prices are going up, the operating expenses for the businesses obviously go up. So, they’re looking at ways of just reducing their input in order to stay competitive, and that’s the advantage that they’re seeking.
Dr. Kent: Well it’s so fascinating talking about green business, and I hope to talk to you again sometime. The book is called ‘The Green Business Guide,’ by Glenn Bachman, subtitled, ‘A One-Stop-Resource for Businesses of All Shapes and Sizes to Implement Eco-Friendly Policies, Programs and Practices,’ and of course it’s out on Career Press, and it’s been such an honor chatting with you.
Glenn Bachman: My pleasure.
Dr. Kent: You can find out more online, just again look up, ‘Glenn Bachman’ and ‘The Green Business Guide.’