Climate Change | WAMC

Climate Change

David Narkewicz
northampton.gov

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.

https://www.rawpixel.com/image/421800/free-photo-image-solar-panels-wind-turbine-windmill / 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 / https://citizensclimatelobby.org/

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"
islandpress.org / islandpress.org

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
islandpress.com

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."

Jenny Offill's new novel, "Weather," is about a family, and a nation, in crisis.

Lizzie Benson slid into her job as a librarian without a traditional degree, but this gives her a vantage point from which to practice her other calling: she is a fake shrink which sees her advice grow increasingly apocalyptic and unhinged.

Blair Horner: New York's "Green New Deal" Begins

Mar 2, 2020

Last year, Governor Cuomo and state lawmakers agreed on ambitious goals to show the nation how to attack the climate crisis here in our own backyard.  It is well-established that the burning of oil, coal and gas has triggered global warming that threatens our habitat.

Dr. James Hansen
https://blogs.ei.columbia.edu/

**We weren't able to conduct the scheduled interview with Dr. James Hansen but leave this post on our site to provide information about the summit.**

The Woodstock Day School and the Ashokan Center have teamed up to co-sponsor The Youth Empowerment & Sustainability Summit (YESS!); a global climate solution and leadership summit for young people who are ready to change their lives and their communities by working towards climate resilience.

The three-day summit is designed to empower students from middle school through college by teaching them to develop solutions-based thinking and civic engagement skills.

Dr. James Hansen, the renowned climate scientist who was among the first to sound the alarm of global climate change.

He delivered the summit’s keynote address this morning at Ashokan Center and tonight he’ll present a “Catskill Conversations” talk sponsored by the Ashokan Center at Kingston High School at 7 p.m. Tonight’s talk is open to the public.

One of two new electric buses joining Burlington's transit fleet
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont officials met at the Green Mountain Transit central garage in Burlington Tuesday afternoon to unveil the city’s first two electric buses that will be deployed for commuter transit.

Vermont Statehouse
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Nearly 30 advocacy organizations outlined a 2020 Climate Action Plan at the Vermont Statehouse this week. The groups say the proposed polices would enact critical environmental policies while strengthening Vermont’s economy.

Ben Downing: Time To Double Down

Jan 16, 2020

In 2008, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (CEC) was created to help develop the solutions, markets and companies to help solve climate change. The hope was Mass would capture the economic benefits of reducing our impact on climate change. The CEC has done just that, supporting the growth of the clean energy industry to 111,836 jobs and helping Mass begin to meet its climate goals. Despite these successes, the future of the CEC is in question, while its mission is more important than ever. 

Photograph of the Earth taken on December 7, 1972, by the crew of the Apollo 17
Public Domain / NASA

Last year was the second-hottest year on record. That was the conclusion at the 100th American Meteorological Society Annual Meeting in Boston, where experts from NASA and NOAA discussed major climate trends detailed in an annual assessment of global temperatures.

As humanity marches on, causing mass extinctions and destabilizing the climate, the future of Earth will very much reflect the stories that Homo sapiens decides to jettison or accept today into our collective identity. At this pivotal moment in history, the most important story we can be telling ourselves is that humans are not inherently destructive.

In "Changing Tides" Alejandro Frid tackles the big questions: who, or what, represents our essential selves, and what stories might allow us to shift the collective psyche of industrial civilization in time to avert the worst of the climate and biodiversity crises?

This week, three Vermont environmental groups outlined climate priorities they believe the Vermont Legislature should consider this session.

The world’s leaders met in Madrid to discuss new steps to combat the threat posed by global warming.  The Conference was convened by the United Nations two weeks ago and finished its work with far too little progress toward curbing a rapidly heating planet.  The Conference wrapped up with a modest agreement, too weak to have any effect on the warming of the planet – a warming that is heating up at a pace that exceeds even the direst predictions from a few years ago.

Bill McKibben
Nancie Battaglia

Author, environmentalist, and activist Bill McKibben will give the Annual Elizabeth and Lawrence Vadnais Environmental Issues Lecture at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts in North Adams, Massachusetts on Thursday, December 5 at 7 p.m.

His 1989 book “The End of Nature” is regarded as the first book for a general audience about climate change. He is a founder of 350.org, the first planet-wide, grassroots climate change movement, which has organized twenty thousand rallies around the world in every country except North Korea.

The Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, McKibben was the 2013 winner of the Gandhi Prize and the Thomas Merton Prize.

His most recent book “Falter: Has the Human Game Begun to Play Itself Out?” was published by Macmillan in April.

University at Albany

A three-day conference is underway at the University at Albany on how higher education can help in the preparation, response and recovery from events caused by climate change and extreme weather. RISE 2019, organized by the State and City Universities of New York, includes 90 institutions of higher education along with community leaders and government officials. 

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