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Green radio: Meet Ecoman and the Skeptic

Thursdays are green radio days at Philadelphia University.

Last week, the university launched Ecoman and the Skeptic, airing from 3 to 4 p.m. and online as a podcast.

Ecoman is Rob Fleming, an architect, and the Skeptic is Chris Pastore, an engineer.  Both are sustainability experts and co-directors of PhilaU's Engineering and Design Institute, an interdisciplinary research center focusing on green materials and sustainable design. They also head the Pennsylvania Green Growth Partnership, funded by the Pa. Department of Economic and Community Development.

"Rob and I have been arguing about sustainability for over a decade," Pastore said in a prepared statement. "We find the dialectic process to be an efficient method for solving problems. As I like to say to Rob, 'Are you sure about that?' I respect faith, but we have to question everything to learn."

Fleming responds: "And I say that perception can often trump reality – that what we believe to be true is often more important than the reality. Sustainability is partly driven by facts about how our behaviors have negatively impacted the world. At the same time, though, sustainability is also about belief – belief that there are better ways to live on the planet, better ways to run our enterprises and better ways to treat each other."

Last week's show, the first, looked at climate change and the role that humans play. Their guest was Steve Ghan, climate scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, Wa.

This week: Are we running out of oil? Will the world survive? Are people still buying SUVs? Ecoman and the Skeptic will explore peak oil and alternative energy options such as solar, wind and geothermal power. Liz Robinson, executive director of the Energy Coordinating Agency in Philadelphia, is the guest.

Regular features include green news and a greenwashing quiz.