Climate Change | WAMC

Climate Change

Book cover for "How to Love Animals"
Viking / Viking

We love animals, but does that make the animals’ lives any happier? With factory farms, climate change and deforestation, this might be the worst time in history to be an animal. If we took animals’ experiences seriously, how could we eat, think and live differently?

Henry Mance's new book, "How to Love Animals," is a lively and important portrait of our evolving relationship with animals, and how we can share our planet fairly.

Aaron Mair at Brant Lake in 2021
Photo by Nancie Battaglia / Adirondack Council

A former leader of the Sierra Club is now working for the Adirondack Council.  Aaron Mair, who led the national Sierra Club from 2015 until 2017, is now working to bring new funding and guide new policies to protect the Adirondack’s waters and wilderness while sustaining the communities within the park. Mair tells WAMC North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley the new campaign plans to take advantage of the Biden Administration’s focus on the environment and climate change.


Today we welcome Dan Delurey, Barbara Brabetz, and Dr. Neil Law to discuss the science of climate change and emerging green technologies. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts.

Inaugural Woodstock Film Festival Residency Filmmakers: (clockwise) Eunice Lau, Maba Ba, Set Hernandez Rongkilyo, and Brooke Pepion Swaney
Provided /

The Woodstock Film Festival is knee-deep in its inaugural Filmmakers Residency / Incubator Program. It serves four filmmakers of diverse and underrepresented backgrounds who are in the midst of developing their respective full-length narrative and documentary films, each addressing social justice themes. Each project will fit within the mission of the residency of artistic vision and social responsibility, resting upon four pillars: Racism, Climate Change, Food Insecurity, and Immigration.

Woodstock Film Festival Co-Founder and Executive Director Meira Blaustein says she is “thankful for the opportunity to bring the fellows, mentors, staff and community at-large together and look forward to seeing these promising filmmakers hone in their creative voices."

The four filmmakers are Eunice Lau, Set Hernandez Rongkilyo, Brooke Pepion Swaney and Maba Ba.

It is well established that the oil companies knew for decades that the burning of fossil fuels would result in a hotter planet.  They knew it and yet did all they could to keep the public disinformed.  Like the tobacco industry, the fossil fuel companies spent big time on public relations efforts, political consultants, hot-wired lobbyists, campaign contributions and funded fake groups to advocate against the science that they knew to be true.

Solar array at the Essex Farm
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Solar is a key piece of New York’s goal of reaching 70% renewable energy generation by 2030 under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. With farmland seen by solar companies as prime real estate for their arrays, new research from Cornell University considers how to best balance solar development with the state’s agricultural sector and food production needs. WAMC's Jim Levulis spoke with Max Zhang, the study’s senior author and professor of mechanical engineering at Cornell.

Book cover for "Can I Recyle This?"
Penguin Books

Since the dawn of the recycling system, we have stood by their bins, holding an everyday object, wondering, "can I recycle this?" This simple question reaches into our concern for the environment, the care we take to keep our homes and our communities clean, and how we interact with our local government.

Jennie Romer’s new book, "Can I Recycle This?" gives straightforward answers to whether dozens of common household objects can or cannot be recycled, as well as the information you need to make that decision for anything else you encounter.

Jennie Romer has been working for years to help cities and states across America better deal with the waste we produce, helping draft legislation to help communities better process their waste and produce less of it in the first place.

Blair Horner: Earth Week 2021

Apr 26, 2021

April 22nd was Earth Day.  For over five decades, the world has marked Earth Day as a time to reflect on the state of the environment and to debate how best to improve the only habitat we have.

Barn silos
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Lieutenant Governor Molly Gray has been holding a series of themed roundtables to bring attention to what she says are critical issues for the state.  Her latest “Seat at the Table” featured a panel discussion on climate change and sustainable food systems.

Lincoln Park
Jesse King / WAMC

The Albany Common Council has advanced a measure to declare a climate emergency.

Microphone in radio studio

    The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are:
WAMC’s Alan Chartock
Judith Enck - Former EPA Regional Administrator, Visiting Professor at Bennington College, President of Beyond Plastics
Jeff Goodell - long-time contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he has been writing about climate change for more than a decade. His most recent book is The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World. In 2020 he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship
Elizabeth Kolbert - staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999 and won a Pulitzer Prize for her book, "The Sixth Extinction." Her latest book “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future” came out in February

Book cover for "Rescuing the Planet"

Veteran New Yorker staff writer Tony Hiss’ new book, "Rescuing the Planet," is out today. The book is an urgent call to protect 50 percent of the earth's land by 2050--thereby saving millions of its species--and a candid assessment of the health of our planet and our role in conserving it.

Hiss not only invites us to understand the scope and gravity of the problems we face, but also makes the case for why protecting half the land is the way to fix those problems. He highlights the important work of the many groups already involved in this fight. And he introduces us to the engineers, geologists, biologists, botanists, oceanographers, ecologists, and other "Half Earthers" like Hiss himself who are allied in their dedication to the unifying, essential cause of saving our own planet from ourselves.

Tony Hiss is the author of fifteen books, including the award-winning "The Experience of Place." He was a staff writer at The New Yorker for more than thirty years, was a visiting scholar at New York University for twenty-five years, and has lectured around the world.

He will be having a virtual Crowdcast event through Odyssey Bookshop in South Hadley, MA tonight at 7 p.m.

David Narkewicz

A western Massachusetts city now has a blueprint to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.

Book cover for "How to Prepare for Climate Change"
Simon & Schuster / Simon & Schuster

In "How to Prepare for Climate Change," bestselling self-help author David Pogue offers sensible, deeply researched advice for how the rest of us should start to ready ourselves for the years ahead. Pogue walks readers through what to grow, what to eat, how to build, how to insure, where to invest, how to prepare your children and pets, and even where to consider relocating when the time comes. 

David Pogue is the host of twenty science specials on PBS NOVA, a five-time Emmy Award–winning technology and science correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning, and a New York Times bestselling author. 

He will present a Zoom webinar for The Salisbury Forum entitled "Are YOU Prepared for Climate Change?" on Friday, February 5 at 7:30 p.m. ET. / Carol M. Highsmith

Here to answer your climate change questions we have expert Dan Delurey, Senior Fellow for Energy & Climate at Vermont Law School. WAMC's Ray Graf hosts. 

Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker stands at a podium in front of a marble building with a row of people standing on either side of him
Josh Landes / WAMC

Berkshire County activists and politicians are expressing dismay at Governor Charlie Baker’s veto of a climate bill passed by the Massachusetts legislature last week.

This plot shows yearly temperature anomalies from 1880 to 2019, with respect to the 1951-1980 mean, as recorded by NASA, NOAA, the Berkeley Earth research group, and the Met Office Hadley Centre (UK).
NASA GISS/ Gavin Schmidt

2020 will be remembered for many reasons in the United States – among them the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, a turbulent political cycle and nationwide protests against racial injustice. But, the year has also etched itself into the global record books. NASA says 2020 tied 2016 for the hottest year on record.

Citizens' Climate Lobby logo
Citizens' Climate Lobby /

This weekend, the grassroots nonprofit Citizens’ Climate Lobby is holding both a virtual conference and a nationwide lobbying push for bipartisan climate legislation.

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A photo of the book "Leave It As It Is" by David Gessner on a audio board
Jesse King / WAMC

David Gessner is the author of the New York Times bestselling book All The Wild That Remains. His latest work, Leave It As It Is: A Journey Through Theodore Roosevelt’s American Wilderness, considers the environmental work of America’s 26th president. 

Susie Ibarra next to her sound installation "Water Rhythms: Listening to Climate Change” at Innisfree Garden, Millbrook, NY
WAMC, Allison Dunne

On a quintessential Hudson Valley fall morning, a world premiere took place at a garden tucked away in Dutchess County. The sound installation was commissioned for the TED Climate Countdown and was live-streamed for a virtual kick-off event in October. Visitors to Innisfree Garden that day heard meditative music and sounds, played continuously while people’s interactions and reactions to the sounds were part of the live-stream. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne was there.

Book cover for "Planetary Health" /

Dr. Sam Myers is a Principal Research Scientist at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and founding Director of the Planetary Health Alliance. He joins us now to tell us about the new book he has co-edited: "Planetary Health: Protecting Nature to Protect Ourselves."

Human activity is driving the fastest changes in our global environment in the history of our species, and these planetary changes threaten the very foundations of human health by affecting the quality of our air and water, the amount and quality of the food we produce, our exposure to infectious disease and natural hazards, even the habitability of the places we live.

Dr. Myers says to address these threats, we need to establish a different trajectory. The good news is that we know how to do everything differently—across every sector we have powerful solutions that can be taken to scale—the question is will we? Planetary Health lays out the science and the politics behind the challenges as well as the potential solutions.

Bookcover for "Diversifying Power" by Jennie Stephens

Today, white men make up less than 30 percent of the US population, yet hold over 60% of elected positions, control a disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth, and have resisted the creation of green jobs in an economic sector they have long controlled.

In "Diversifying Power: Why We Need Antiracist, Feminist Leadership on Climate and Energy," Jennie Stephens argues that leadership reflects the experiences and priorities of its members, and that women and communities of color have for too long been underrepresented and over-impacted. In this context, antiracist, feminist leadership is not a luxury - it is central to giving voice and agency to almost three-quarters of our population, with potentially Earth-changing results.

Two people examine a stream from the top of a paved outcropping in the woods
Josh Landes / WAMC

Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs Kathleen A. Theoharides was in Western Massachusetts this week as part of a statewide tour for Climate Week. Governor Charlie Baker’s administration is rolling out three new initiatives, including $11 million in new spending on climate change preparedness programs and over $800,000 on culvert projects.

The massive fires on the West Coast are unprecedented in both their size and impact.  An area larger than the size of New Jersey is now burning in California, Oregon, and Washington.  Those fires continue to rage and the death toll continues to rise.  Hundreds of thousands of Americans are poised to flee their homes as the dangers grow. 

In "The Future We Choose," Christiana Figueres and Tom Rivett-Carnac, who led negotiations for the United Nations during the historic Paris Agreement of 2015, have written a cautionary but optimistic book about the world's changing climate and the fate of humanity.

The authors outline two possible scenarios for our planet. In one, they describe what life on Earth will be like by 2050 if we fail to meet the Paris climate targets. In the other, they lay out what it will be like to live in a carbon neutral, regenerative world.

Tom Rivett-Carnac joined us.

Hurricanes menace North America from June through November every year, each as powerful as 10,000 nuclear bombs. These megastorms will likely become more intense as the planet continues to warm, yet we too often treat them as local disasters and TV spectacles, unaware of how far-ranging their impact can be.

As best-selling historian Eric Jay Dolin contends, we must look to our nation’s past if we hope to comprehend the consequences of the hurricanes of the future.

In his new book "A Furious Sky,"  Dolin has created a vivid, sprawling account of our encounters with hurricanes, from the nameless storms that threatened Columbus’s New World voyages to the destruction wrought in Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria.

With catastrophic global warming already baked into the climate system, today's children face a future entirely unlike that of their parents. How can we maintain hope and make a difference in the face of overwhelming evidence of the climate crisis?

Harriet Sugarman, Executive Director of Climate Mama, Professor of Global Climate Change Policy and World Sustainability, and Chair of the Climate Reality Project is the author of the new book, "How to Talk to Your Kids About Climate Change," which provides tools and strategies for parents to explain the climate emergency to their kids and galvanize positive action.

Joe Donahue:  In an isolated estate on the Atlantic coast storms are brewing, waters are rising, and the world as we know it is inexorably shifting. This is the reality of Lydia Millet’s new novel, “A Children's Bible”, where a pack of kids and their middle aged parents are coexisting at this summer estate. The novel turns steadily darker as climate collapse and societal breakdown encroach. Millet is a senior editor at the Center for Biological Diversity, who regularly tackles environmental issues in her op-eds for the “New York Times”. She has long foregrounded the costs of climate change in her fiction, and “A Children's Bible” with scenes of quarantine and societal breakdown is no different. She has written 12 works of fiction including “Sweet Lamb of Heaven”, “Mermaids in Paradise” and “Love in Infant Monkeys”. 

Joe Donahue: People prepared for the worst, but they didn't always comprehend how awful the worst could be. The campfire in November 2018, was the deadliest wildfire in America in a century, and the deadliest ever recorded in California history. It burned the town of Paradise, home to 27,000 to the ground, and it was a harbinger of fires to come. In the new book “Fire in Paradise: An American Tragedy”, reporters Alastair Gee and Dani Anguiano of The Guardian tell the story of the destruction wrought by the campfire, creating an account of how the fire happened and why fires like it will happen again. The name of the book is “Fire in Paradise“. 

        The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are:

WAMC's Alan Chartock

Judith Enck - Senior Fellow and Visiting Professor at Bennington College, Founder of Beyond Plastics, former EPA regional administrator.

Jeff Goodell - is a long-time contributing editor at Rolling Stone, where he has been writing about climate change for more than a decade. His most recent book is The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World. Earlier this month he was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.

Elizabeth Kolbert - has been a staff writer at The New Yorker since 1999 and won a Pulitzer Prize for her book, "The Sixth Extinction."