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Playlist: Climate Change

Compiled By: PRX Editors

Flickr_VoyageAnatolia Credit: voyageanatolia.blogspot.com
Image by: voyageanatolia.blogspot.com 
Flickr_VoyageAnatolia
Curated Playlist

Below are picks chosen by PRX editorial staff. You can see more pieces about climate change by using our search.

Hour (49:00-1:00:00)

RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities (Series)

Produced by Claire Schoen

RISE is a series of 3 hour-long radio documentaries about the impact of climate change on coastal cities.

Most recent piece in this series:

RISE: Part III Chuey’s Story

From Claire Schoen | Part of the RISE: Climate Change and Coastal Communities series | 59:00

Part_3_photo_small Chuey Cazares has lived all of his 21 years in Alviso, a tiny hamlet jutting into the salt ponds at the southern tip of the San Francisco Bay. Part of a close, extended Chicano family, with hundreds of relatives living in town, Chuey works as a deck hand on a shrimp boat off Alviso's shores.

His town's history — and its future — are defined by water. In the 1800's, farmers drained the aquifer, and the land sank thirteen feet below sea level. Then, the conversion of wetlands to salt ponds made the rivers back up during heavy rains and flooded Alviso. Now sea level rise from the Bay and more rain swelling the rivers threaten more frequent flooding. Chuey's family was traumatized by the last big flood in 1983, and although they fear the next one, they don't want to move anywhere else.

Meanwhile, Mendel Stuart of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working to save Alviso by restoring wetlands. But who is Alviso being saved for? As the flood risk lessens, property values are increasing, making housing in Alviso unaffordable for Chuey and his relatives. And the wetlands conversion has driven his boss's lucrative shrimping business out of the salt ponds.

While we must adapt to the impacts of climate change that we can no longer halt, Chuey's story dramatizes that climate change will create both winners and losers in the short term.

Climate One's California Weekly (Series)

Produced by Climate One

Energy, Economy and Environment. To understand any of them, you have to understand them all. Climate Ones host Greg Dalton explores the intersection of these three issues with industry leaders, government officials and citizen activists in a public conversation held at San Francisco's Commonwealth Club. Each week we offer one of these discussions in a full hour-long show.

Most recent piece in this series:

2017-05-28 Texas Surprise

From Climate One | Part of the Climate One's California Weekly series | 58:56

Img_4924_smith_small

Host: Greg Dalton

Guests:
Kip Averitt, Former Chair, Texas Clean Energy Coalition
Stephanie Smith. COO, Greencastle LLC
Pat Wood III, Principal, Wood3 Resources

 

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on April 25, 2017.

When Californians think of Texas, images of JR Ewing and pump jacks quickly come to mind. But the Lone Star State is greener than you think – it leads the country in wind power, thanks to a law signed by Governor George W. Bush in 1999. Texans also claim the state can comply with President Obama’s Clean Power Plan with technologies and policies already on hand. Ranchers and former oil men are dipping their toes into renewable energy. What else is in the clean energy pipeline?

Stephanie Smith, CEO of Greencastle, is a native Texan whose early law career focused on clean energy deals.  “It did not go over well,” at first with her parents’ friends, she laughs. “I believe ‘hippie tree hugger’ was used fairly frequently. But, it was pretty amazing how, I’d say within about a year, the conversation was changing.”

Convincing her family that renewables made sense was, as with many fossil fuel holdouts, a matter of economics. Once their west Texas friends started installing wind turbines on their land, she says, “It evolved really quickly.  Because the economics were great for those farmers.”

For Pat Wood, former Chair of Texas’ Public Utility Commission, the impetus came directly from his boss. “We like wind,” then-Governor George Bush told him in 1996. Wood’s first response was, “You’ve got to be kidding!”  But after a series of hearings and public policy educating sessions, he came around. “The surprise out of that whole process was how much broad public support, after learning the pros and cons of everything, people really like this.”

“We got a bill that opened up the power industry, and the rest is history,” Wood continues. “And part of that was a renewable goal mandate for the state that we’re going to hit 2,000 megawatts of wind by 2009; well, now we’re at 18,000. So it's been a big success.”

Kip Averitt, who ran the Texas Clean Energy Coalition, admits to being “a bit of a nerd – I like to see results.” Much of what happens in the public policy arena is vague and difficult to track, Averitt says. “But when it comes to clean air, there's a scientific way to measure your results.  And so when we enacted policies we could actually track over time, whether or not they were working …our clean-air programs happened to be very successful.”

Averitt agrees that economic issues have helped drive the state’s attitude shift, especially in impoverished rural areas. “This renewable energy search is bringing it back to life…the new schools and the property taxes and stuff like that. That is a real-time, tangible result that people can feel and see.

“When I was in office, I would tell folks 30 and 40 years ago in Texas, if you were concerned about the environment you were a communist and you could not get elected to public office,” Averitt continues. “Today in Texas if you're not concerned about the environment, you’re a goober and you’ll have a very hard time getting elected to public office.”

Wood believes that much of the Republican opposition to the clean air agenda has been the result of backlash against the Obama administration and its support of renewables. “It was a pretty lonely place to be, a clean energy supporting Republican, for the last eight years,” he admits.

Texas may still be one of the reddest states in the union. But could its commitment to renewable energy be altering the color chart? Not exactly, says Wood.

“It’s red, white and blue -- I like that answer,” he states. “Everybody says it was red, it was blue, it was purple -- but I like red, white and blue. I think that works even better.”

 

 

Related Links:

Texas Clean Energy Coalition

Competitive Renewable Energy Zones (CREZ) (Texas Tribune)

Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT)

Which state is a big renewable energy pioneer? Texas (Wall Street Journal)

Adapting to Climate Change

From Spectrum Radio | 59:01

Adapting to Climate Change explores the ambitious plans that engineers, scientists, government officials, business leaders, NGOs, and community groups around the world are making to deal with future catastrophic events and shifting weather patterns.

Adapting_to_climate_change_logo_small

No matter what you believe about climate change, we can all agree that extreme weather events -- tornadoes, hurricanes, fires, droughts -- are occurring more frequently. These massive natural disasters upset lives and devastate property.  The costs of clean-up and reconstruction are enormous.  

 

 Adapting to Climate Change explores the ambitious plans that engineers, scientists, government officials, business leaders, NGOs, and community groups around the world are making to deal with future catastrophic events and shifting weather patterns.  

This one-hour special is
co-hosted by PBS documentarian Rick Karr and IEEE Spectrum's Susan Hassler, and is
part of the Engineers of the New Millennium series.

The program investigates:  
 

  • Protecting the coastlines of New York and New Jersey from the next Hurricane Sandy .  
  • Getting ready for droughts and floods in the Midwest. 
  • Adapting farming techniques to changing rainfall patterns in Brazil.     
  • Planning for rising sea levels in Durban, South Africa.    
     

Adapting to Climate Change is produced by IEEE Spectrum Magazine and the National Science Foundation .

All Mixed Up-Stormy Shortcut

From Peter Bochan | Part of the Shortcuts series | 59:47

This special program was produced during Hurricane Sandy's collision with the east coast, in Peter Bochan's studio on the upper west side which luckily had power though much of the area around the region did not. Impressionistic slices of lives interrupted during this "perfect storm" and a soundtrack of some very anxious days.

Images_small This "Stormy Shortcut" includes sound and fury from Hurricane Sandy mixed with music from the Wizard of Oz, King Kong, Ella Fitzgerald, Neil Young, Duke Ellington, the Beatles, Harry Belafonte, Peter Gabriel & Robert Fripp, Lena Horne, Creedance Clearwater, Ray Charles, Peter, Paul & Mary, Kevin So, Moondog, Dinah Washington, Brothers & Sisters and featuring New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, Barack Obama, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, meteorologist Jim Cantore, George Clooney, Elmo, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, David Letterman,  Dr. Victor Frankenstein, Lionel Barrymore  and the voices of various challenged residents and first responders from the tri-state area. We've also included some rare audio from a Clearwater Rainout mix during a festival shutdown in 2007.

Humankind: The Diet-Climate Connection (Hour 1)

From Humankind | 58:59

What was the carbon footprint of your dinner last night? This special documentary project examines how the foods we eat affect the planet we inhabit. In a period of extreme weather associated with climate change, our food choices can make a difference. Agriculture is a heavy emitter of heat-trapping gases. And in this sound-rich production, listeners will learn that some foods (fruits and vegetables) often have a much lighter environmental footprint than others (meat and dairy). The health benefits of climate-friendly foods are also covered.

Apple_globe_small

What was the carbon footprint of your dinner last night? This Humankind documentary project, by award-winning producer David Freudberg, examines how the foods we eat affect the planet we inhabit. In a period of extreme weather associated with climate change -- 2012 was the hottest summer on record -- our food choices can make a difference. Agriculture is a heavy emitter of heat-trapping gases. And in this sound-rich production, listeners will learn that some foods (fruits and vegetables) often have a much lighter environmental footprint than others (meat and dairy). The health benefits of climate-friendly foods are covered. 

In Hour 1,
we visit college campuses and several public high schools striving to offer more “sustainable dining” options as well as healthier food choices. And we explore the concerns of young people, who feel an urgent need to address the threat of global warming, and have made related dietary choices. How large institutions implement these goals is discussed. 

Listeners can access our free downloadable Climate-Friendly Food Guide booklet, which is announced in the program. Produced in association with WGBH/Boston. 

Humankind: The Diet-Climate Connection (Hour 2)

From Humankind | 58:59

Understanding the footprint of what we eat is a revelation for many of us who contact our food not in the sunlit fields, but in the fluorescent-lit aisle of the grocery store. And people concerned about climate change are just starting to focus on the large, but under-appreciated role our food system plays in the problem. In Hour 2 of this series, we’ll hear from health experts, climate scientists, and the emerging movement of urban farmers who grow their own food in sustainable ways. Hear best-selling author Frances Moore Lappe, Paul McCartney’s recent song on this, our visit to the White House vegetable garden and more.

Apple_globe_small What was the carbon footprint of your dinner last night? This Humankind documentary project, by award-winning producer David Freudberg, examines how the foods we eat affect the planet we inhabit. In a period of extreme weather associated with climate change -- 2012 was the hottest summer on record -- our food choices can make a difference. Agriculture is a heavy emitter of heat-trapping gases. And in this sound-rich production, listeners will learn that some foods (fruits and vegetables) often have a much lighter environmental footprint than others (meat and dairy). The health benefits of climate-friendly foods are covered. 

In Hour 2, we learn why climate experts increasingly point to our food system as a heavy emitter of greenhouse gases. We visit Frances Moore Lappe, whose classic book Diet for a Small Planet introduced a generation to the link between food and our environment. Paul McCartney's recent song on this topic is featured, along with practical suggestions by public health experts for reducing our "food footprint". And we take a tour of the White House vegetable garden, a symbol of climate-friendly, locally-grown food.

Listeners can access our free downloadable Climate-Friendly Food Guide booklet, which is announced in the program. Produced in association with WGBH/Boston. 

Peace Talks Radio: Climate Change and Conflict (59:00 / 54:00)

From Good Radio Shows, Inc. | Part of the Peace Talks Radio: Weekly Hour Long Episodes series | 57:34

Two scholars who have studied the impact of climate change on peace and security reflect on the awarding of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize to climate crisis crusader Al Gore and the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

Climate_small PEACE TALKS RADIO: THE SERIES ON PEACEMAKING AND NONVIOLENT CONFLICT RESOLUTION On this edition of Peace Talks Radio: a conversation about the 2007 winners of the Nobel Peace Prize - Former U.S. Vice President Al Gore and the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. By awarding the prize to Gore and the IPCC, the Nobel committee seemed interested in promoting the link between climate change and the threat to peace. Could the unchecked effects of climate change lead to conflicts and civil war within nations, or war between nations? Could a collective effort to save the planet from the harmful consequences of climate change actually promote peaceful cooperation within and between nations? Peace Talks Radio host Carol Boss talks with two scholars who have studied the possible links between climate change and conflict. First, Dan Smith, Secretary General of International-Alert, an independent peace building organization that works in over 20 countries to promote lasting peace and security in communities affected by violent conflict. He's the author of the report "A Climate of Conflict: The Links Between Climate Change, Peace and War." Later in the program, we'll talk with Dr. Thomas Homer-Dixon (Ph.D.), who overseas the Peace and Conflict Studies Department at the University of Toronto. This program is made available here in both a full 59 minute version as well as a news-cast friendly, 54 minute version. A 29 minute version is available here at PRX. Follow this link: http://www.prx.org/pieces/24704 More about the Series: Peace Talks Radio, the series on peacemaking and nonviolent conflict resolution explores the art and science of peacemaking. The programs consider examples of effective peacemaking in our history, and feature people with ideas about how to make peace in our daily lives - within ourselves and in our circles of common experience - our families, our neighborhoods, our schools, our workplaces. Some episodes also look at ways to address challenges to peace between nations around the globe.

Action Speaks! - What Now?: 1951 - The Rise of Levittown

From Action Speaks Radio | 59:00

Can the suburbs be fixed? What does sustainability look like in a land of three-car garages, shopping malls, single use zoning and houses on steroids? This week, Action Speaks takes a look at a birthplace of suburban utopia, Levittown.

Levittown_small

1951 - The Rise of Levittown 

Levittown Postcard

Can the suburbs be fixed? What does sustainability look like in a land of three car garages, shopping malls, single use zoning and houses on steroids?

 

This week, Action Speaks takes a look at a birthplace of suburban utopia, Levittown. In just over 50 years, the American suburbs have physically transformed the landscape of our country, redefined the middle class and helped to both fuel and bring down our nation's economy. Is this the American dream we were looking for? Will the suburbs, built on a seemingly inexhaustible supply of oil, be able to turn 'green' and can bastions of  'white flight' and individualism reflect our nation's demographic diversity and its needs for community?

PANELISTS:

V. Elaine Gross is the president of ERASE Racism, a regional not-for-profit organization based on Long Island, New York that promotes racial equity through research, policy advocacy and education in areas such as housing, public school education and health. The Racial Equity Report Card: Fair Housing on Long Island is a revealing report published in March 2009.

Alyssa Katz is a freelance journalist who teaches at the Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute at New York University. The former editor-in-chief of City Limits, an award-winning magazine about urban policy in New York City, she is currently an editorial consultant for the Pratt Center for Community Development and the author of Our Lot: How Real Estate Came to Own Us.

Paul Lukez is a Boston based architect and the founding principal of his own firm, Paul Lukez Architecture. His designs and competition entries have earned him numerous awards with the NE / AIA and BSA. With over 15 years of teaching experience, he has taught at MIT, Tsinghua University , TU Delft and is currently teaching at Washington University.  He is the author of Suburban Transformations, a book which proposes theories and tools for planning suburbs and edge cities.

 


 

Action Speaks!, a co-production of AS220 and the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, would like to thank The National Endowment for the Humanities who provided major funding to our program; our Media Partners: WRNI, RIPBS & the Providence Phoenix.  Thanks to The What Cheer? Brigade for our intro music.

Find out more at http://actionspeaksradio.org/ 

Contact the production crew at actionspeaksradio@as220.org with any feedback, ideas for future shows for press info or to request a personalized ID. You can also write to us at Action Speaks! c/o AS220 Main Office, 95 Mathewson St. Dreyfus #204, Providence RI 02903. If you are a radio station and wish to receive a CD of Action Speaks! please visit Creative PR's website: creativepr.org to make a request or contact them at info@creativepr.org / 1-888-233-5650.

After December 2009, please contact actionspeaksradio@as220.org with any CD requests.

World Tour Radio presents Mining, Miners, and Music

From Andrew Reissiger | 58:59

A look at the mining communities that support our unquenchable thirst for energy.

Usminer_small On Oct 24, 2006 one of the world's largest and most experienced independent conservation organizations - the World Wildlife Fund - released their 2006 Living Planet Report. With climate change and its potentially dire consequences on the lips of mainstream media, the 8th such report might finally do more than reach deaf ears. The report claims that the world's natural ecosystems are being degraded at a rate unprecedented in human history. Summarizing data collected and analyzed since 1970 on more than 3600 populations of 1300 land and water vertebrate species, the WWF (as they are called) say that humanity's Ecological Footprint - or our demand on the biosphere - has more than tripled over the past 40 years, exceeding biocapacity, or what the earth can regenerate by 25%...creating an ecological debt as they say. And fossil fuels, according to the report, is the fastest growing component of our global footprint, increasing more than nine fold since 1961. In our unquenchable thirst for economic growth and energy, join me Andrew Reissiger as we look at mining communities in West Virginia, northern Mexico, Potosi Bolivia, and China, as we put a face on the price of future today on World Tour.

Battling Climate Change

From Smart City Radio | 58:54

This week on Smart City we're looking at our carbon footprints. We'll talk with Julia Parzen of the Urban Sustainability Director's Network and Architect Gordon Gill about tackling climate change both in policy and in our built environment.

Default-piece-image-2 Today on the show we're tackling climate change on two fronts. 

First we'll speak with architect Gordon Gill.  Gordon is responsible for the greening of Chicago's Willis Tower among other projects and he'll tell us how architects are designing mixed use buildings that are better for the environment and better fits for city living.

And we'll talk to Julia Parzen of the firm JP Consulting.  She's brought 65 international cities together to coordinate climate action planning as the director of the New Urban Sustainability Director's Network. She'll tell us about the low hanging fruit for cities that want to make a big dent in their carbon footprint.

Heavy Weather

From Barbara Bernstein | 54:06

Hour-long documentary explores connections between increasing extreme weather and our changing climates and landscapes.

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The Copenhagen Climate Talks yielded disappointing results. But there are many effective initiatives we can take to reduce global greenhouse emissions that don't require international treaties. HEAVY WEATHER, a new radio documentary by Barbara Bernstein explores the connections between increasing extreme weather and our changing climate and landscapes. It presents solutions that are community driven, based on decisions we make to change the ways we live and travel. Changes that actually can improve our quality of life.

For a hundred years people in the Pacific Northwest—and much of the world— have transformed the landscape to suit their needs. At the same time we’ve pumped enough greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere to transform the climate, forcing us now to rethink the shape and placement of our built environments. Now the burden of past decisions rests on our shoulders. Heavy Weather looks at what kinds of choices we can make to lighten that burden for future generations.

HEAVY WEATHER spends time in several communities around the Pacific Northwest, contrasting differing responses to the dramatic flooding that has occurred in the past 14 years and which will probably increase as the climate changes. It looks at the important role that remaining wetlands play in managing storm water in an ecological and healthful manner, as well as efforts to "re-nature" the city, like Portland's Environmental Services project, Tabor to the Willamette Project. HEAVY WEATHER explores how the transition from engineered solutions for managing water to natural processes, including protecting natural wetlands, helps clean our rivers, protect salmon and buffer us from flooding that will only get worse as the climate changes.

We hear the voices of climate scientist Philip Mote, ecologist Kathleen Sayce, environmental ethicist Kathleen Dean Moore, sustainable farmers in Oregon and Virginia, as well as elected officials in Lewis (WA) and Tillamook (OR) Counties, Metro councilor Rex Burkholder and Portland and Vancouver, WA mayors Sam Adams and Tim Leavitt. Portland's urban naturalist Mike Houck takes us on a tour of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge and wetland in the Sellwood district of Portland. Former Lewis County public works director Mark Cook shows us around the suburban sprawl spreading across the Chehalis River floodplain. And Portland State University faculty member Vivek Shandas guides us through the Brooklyn Basin, where Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services is trying to replicate with ecoroofs, curbside and parking lot swales and tree planting, the course and function of a historic creek that flows under the streets of SE Portland on its way to the Willamette River.

HEAVY WEATHER was produced with funding from the Regional Arts and Culture Council, Oregon Humanities (an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities) and the Ralph L. Smith Foundation

Buying Into A Dying World

From Alex Smith | Part of the Radio Ecoshock Show series | 53:05

Check out everything from Radio Ecoshock. Great interviews about climate and the environment.

Erik_assadourian_small Two 29 minute segments. Each can be run separately as half hour programs. 1 second of silence at end of each.

Cut into end music of segment 2 if you need more time for announcements.

Music: "Garbage" by Chairlift, album "Does You Inspire You"

Attics, basements, and garages are loaded with the plunder of past shopping. Some people rent storage lockers just to hold all their extra stuff. Dumps are filling up with brand new items, never used, but tossed out. There's even a TV show called "Hoarders" - a reflection of the national preoccupation. Do all these THINGS really make us happier?

In this Radio Ecoshock program, we examine the two extremes of consumption: the Americans who use up more of the world's resources than any other people; and the slum dwellers who use practically nothing.

The World Watch Institute has released it's annual report. "State of the World 2010, Transforming Cultures: From Consumerism to Sustainability" is 262 pages of solutions from around the world.

I interview the project director, Erik Assadourian. We start by noting the total disconnect between governments and economists encouraging consumers to get out and buy to save the economy - versus the plain facts that resources are getting harder to find, the forests and land are being devastated, and the atmosphere is damaged by all the useless spending.

Then, in Part 2, we look at the other part of the world, the 3 billion people who create hardly any carbon emissions. Most of them live in "illegal settlements", with no government services, no police, no fire, no hospitals, no schools, and little hope.

Except, as our next guest David Satterthwaite tells us, the so-called "slum dwellers" are self-organizing to improve their lot, in many parts of the world.

Dr David Satterthwaite is a senior urban planner for the International Institute for Environment and Development, a non-profit based in the UK. He's traveled to the poorest parts of cities all over the world. He's the editor of the Earthscan Reader in Sustainable Cities, and co-author of many other books, including "Adapting Cities to Climate Change: Understanding and Addressing the Development Challenges."

Satterthwaite has also researched the role of consumerism, in the developed versus developing world. If you were wondering, when it comes to climate change is it "them" (increasing population in the "Third World") or is it "us" (Western-style consumers) - the verdict is in: it is us! 


Half-Hour (24:00-30:00)

Encounters Erosion

From Encounters: Radio Experiences in the North | Part of the Encounters series | 29:00

Kivalina is a small island in the Bering Sea that is experiencing the impacts of global climate change first-hand. Head out to this remote and special place with producer Elizabeth Arnold.

Newtok_012_small Kivalina is a small island in the Bering Sea that is experiencing the impacts of global climate change first hand. Head out to this remote and special place with producer Elizabeth Arnold

Coal and Climate – We Shall Remain

From Eric Mack | 29:00

Just in time for the global climate summit in Copenhagen and the debate on a climate and energy bill in Washington, this half-hour special from High Plains News takes a look at the effects of our reliance on coal-fired power on our air, water, climate and communities.

Coal_plant_small In this half-hour we'll visit three communities – a Montana town where coal has been both a blessing and a curse, an Indian reservation looking to coal for salvation, even as some say it's already poisoned their way of life, and a town on the plains of North Dakota that's still hesitant to open its doors to coal development after years of the industry's knocking.

Along the way, we'll hear about the future of coal and coal power, including a concept you may have heard about – something called 'carbon sequestration'; technology that promises we can have our coal and climate, too. But who really pays the price? And who's liable when things go wrong? Those answers and more on this High Plains News special – “We Shall Remain – Life with and after coal.”

Moving the Village

From Gabriel Spitzer | 29:00

Climate change is displacing a thousand-year-old community.

Shishhanginghouseinstorm_small The people of Shishmaref have been called the first American refugees from global warming. Chronic erosion and flooding driven by climate change is making this remote Alaska village uninhabitable. The Inupiaq Eskimo community wants to pick up their village, and put it down somewhere safe. Temperatures in Alaska have risen three-to-four times faster than the rest of the globe over the last 50 years. The Chukchi Sea is freezing later and later, leaving Shishmaref unprotected from the battering waves of fall storms. Villages up and down Alaska's coast are beginning to experience the same problems, and the costs of saving or moving these villages are mounting. This documentary tells the story of this thousand-year-old community, providing a window into the human cost of global warning. It explores a unique culture endangered by gradual ecological disaster, explains the science of Arctic warming and coastal erosion, and examines the ethical and political dilemmas on the horizon. And finally, listeners will hear and feel what a disastrous storm is like, as whole chunks of teh coast slide into the sea. A shorter, 16-minute version of this story ran on the program "Living on Earth" in December of 2004. CDs of this program are available to stations on request. This documentary was funded in part by a grant from the Alaska Humanities Forum.


Segments (9:00-23:59)

Episode 5: Venus and Us: Two Stories of Climate Change

From Public Radio Exchange (PRX) | Part of the Transistor series | 17:32

Space scientists are acutely aware of what can happen when climates change in other parts of our solar system. Take Venus, where it rains sulfuric acid and is 900°F on the surface, but it wasn’t always that way. Astrophysicist Michelle Thaller talks with a NASA expert on Venus about how the planet became a hellscape. And she talks with the Library of Congress’ inaugural chair of astrobiology about how to grasp this new geologic era where humans cause rapid change.

Image__1__small Space scientists are acutely aware of what can happen when climates change in other parts of our solar system. Take Venus, where it rains sulfuric acid and is 900°F on the surface, but it wasn’t always that way. Astrophysicist Michelle Thaller talks with a NASA expert on Venus about how the planet became a hellscape. And she talks with the Library of Congress’ inaugural chair of astrobiology about how to grasp this new geologic era where humans cause rapid change.

Clearing a Carbon Catastrophe

From Ari Daniel | Part of the Ocean Gazing series | 09:43

We’re letting loose tons — literally — of carbon dioxide into our skies each day. And a good amount of that CO2 is finding its way into the ocean. Scientists from all over the world are rolling up their sleeves to try to avoid a global disaster.

Og19_small

Today we’re gonna focus on the surface of the ocean, that thin layer right where the sea touches the air above. Air with increasing amounts of carbon dioxide, a gas contributing to climate change. Chris Sabine from NOAA says, “Carbon dioxide is moving between the atmosphere and the ocean: across that interface. You know, through the surface of the ocean.”

Sabine’s passionate about the global climate crisis and its mounting impact on our oceans. He’s also the chair of the International Ocean Carbon Coordination Project, which is rallying scientists from all over the world and networking them, coordinating them, and maximizing their science. Stay tuned to find out how.

An Imminent Thaw

From Ari Daniel | Part of the Ocean Gazing series | 10:37

In the Bering Sea, ice is everything. It controls the life, the people living there, and the climate. So what’s happening now that the thickness and the quality of that ice is deteriorating?

Og46_small

Phyllis Stabeno, a physical oceanographer at NOAA, told me: “Ice may be beautiful but it’s immensely dangerous. It’s nature. It’s powerful, and you have to treat it with respect. A lot of respect.”

Stabeno admits that ice shapes the physics and biology in the Bering Sea between Alaska and Russia. It’s also hugely important to the people that live up there. Have a listen.

Bare As You Dare!

From Vaska Trajkovska | 18:13

Every year, in cities across the world, cyclists throw off their clothes and ride naked as part of the World Naked Bike Ride, a global protest movement that celebrates bodies and human-powered transport, promotes green energy, and campaigns against car culture, oil dependency, and the destruction of the environment.

Wnbr-bton-jun06-rogerbamber_small The World Naked Bike Ride is a global protest movement that takes place in cities each year.

The movement celebrates bodies and human-powered transport, promotes green energy, and campaigns against car culture, oil dependency, and the destruction of the environment. 

In this piece, I focus on the rides in the UK and talk to cyclists both old and new to the event and discover the many reasons why people are drawn to ride naked en masse.

 


Cutaways (5:00-8:59)

Whitebark Pine, Grizzlies, and an Ecosystem on the Brink

From Kristin Espeland Gourlay | 05:56

Whitebark pine trees, once a feature of the mountainous west, are under attack. Nearly two-thirds have died from beetle attacks and other causes, hastened by climate by change. Just recently considered candidates for endangered species protection, the pines' disappearance is affecting a chain of interdependent species, including Yellowstone's grizzly bears.

Cimg1143_small Just a few years ago, I accompanied a group of some of the finest entomologists and foresters into the heart of grizzly country for a first-hand look at the beetle damange to Yellowstone's whitebark pine trees. Trudging up the sides of mountains and, later, flying over ridge after ridge in a small plane, the extent of that damage became clear. More than two-thirds of the species, which ranges throughout the Rockies, has been destroyed. Mountainsides once evergreen have turned a rusty brown.

Now, whitebark pine trees are being considered for endangered species protection, primarly because of the continued threat of global warming to their survival. But without any intervention, their demise could tip the scales for an entire community of species that rely on the trees for surviving the winter.

More:

Yellowstone's grizzly bears rely on a single food more than any other to pack on the pounds before winter: whitebark pine tree nuts. They find them stockpiled in squirrel middens - storehouses for another species dependent on the nut in winter. The tree survives by being indispensible to one more species - a bird called the Clark's nutcracker, which survives the winter on buried nuts. Unlike other pines, whose seeds spread by fire, the whitebark pine needs a forgetful nutcracker.

But this tightly woven community of animals and trees faces a serious threat, made worse by global warming. Pine beetles that once focused on other species of trees have taken advantage of warmer temperatures and shorter winters to continue their attack at the higher altitudes where whitebark pine trees grow. The trouble is that whitebark pines haven't evolved the right defenses against this particular bug. So it's killing trees faster than they can bounce back--leaving few, if any, options for foresters.

Fewer whitebark pines means fewer whitebark pine nuts. And fewer nuts means bears, squirrels, and the nutcracker must scramble to find another source of calories - or starve.

It's the kind of story unfolding in ecosystems across the globe: warmer temperatures set off or speed up a chain of events with consequences nearly impossible to reverse.

Climate change in Shishmaref Alaska

From Alaska Teen Media Institute | 07:09

Three teens from Shishmaref, Alaska have seen the impacts of climate change first-hand. Here they discuss how the warm weather is impacting them and their elders.

Atmi_small Three High school students traveled from Shishmaref, Alaska to Anchorage last month to represent the United States at the Alaska Model United Nations, held at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

The Alaska Model U.N. is a three-day mock session in which students from all over the state represent countries from around the world and talk about the issues of today.

This year's topic, Climate Change and Sustainability was especially important to the students from Shishmaref.

Nithya Thiru and Nikki Navio caught up with the Shishmaref students and their advisor while they were in town to hear their story about climate change in Shishmaref.


Drop-Ins (2:00-4:59)

Part 1: A Long History of Dioxin Delays

From The Environment Report | Part of the Dioxin Delays series | 03:40

The first in a 5-part series of feature reports on how a huge corporation can delay the clean-up of toxic chemicals in a community where people are being harmed. Check out the whole series!

Valdas_adamkus_small Dioxin pollution has been present in a watershed in central Michigan for more than thirty years.  People around the country might think it's just a local issue, but there was a time when this very same pollution problem made national news.  Shawn Allee met the man who took the issue to Congress and who feels it should make news again.

The Miner's Canary: First Peoples on Climate Change

From A World of Possibilities | 54:58

Interviews from an indigenous climate change conference during the summer of 2009 in Alaska.

Earth_small

Indigenous peoples, living closest to nature, feel the threat of climate change first. They have a potent message to deliver to the climate treaty negotiators meeting in Copenhagen in December 2009. The climate is changing the way they've lived forever, so they're adapting in order to endure. Do the rest of us have the wisdom and ingenuity to change along with the changing climate?

Guests: 

Andrea Carmen, Executive Director, International Indian Treaty Council
Gunn-Britt Retter, Head of the Arctic and Environmental Unit, Saami Council
Mike Williams, Chairman, Alaska Intertribal Council
Sarah James, Gwich'in tribal leader, Arctic Village, Alaska; winner, Goldman Environmental Prize
Tom Goldtooth, Executive Director, Indigenous Environmental Network
Shagire Shano Shale, Gamo elder and Ethiopian mountain pastoralist; Wolde Gossa Tadesse, interpreter(TCF)

(Click on a guest's name to listen to their full unedited interview.)

Acidic Seas

From KQED | Part of the QUEST series | 04:57

What's global warming doing to the ocean? Check out the whole QUEST series on climate change.

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Acidic Seas
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Oceanacid_small we've all heard about melting glaciers, rising temperatures and droughts... But what effect will global warming have on the ocean? The sea, it turns out, absorbs carbon dioxide emissions, which are causing it to become more acidic. Changing pH levels threaten the entire marine food chain from coral reefs to salmon. We report from the Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, where scientists are finding out what happens to marine animals when the ocean's chemistry changes.

Alleviating Poverty in Africa - a Climate Change Challenge

From Paula Kahumbu | 03:54

Poor people living in African countries are feeling the brunt of global climate change even though it is believed that most Africans cause hardly any green house gas emissions. To find out more about the average Kenyan carbon footprint I spoke to my neighbor Rhoda, a domestic worker in Nairobi.

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Poor people living in African countries are feeling the brunt of global climate change even though it is believed that most Africans cause hardly any green house gas emissions. To find out more about the average Kenyan carbon footprint I spoke to my neighbor Rhoda, a domestic worker in Nairobi.

Rhoda’s carbon footprint well below the global average, but THATS not due to any effort on her part to reduce her climate impact. Its what she can afford. Like most Kenyans her main source of energy is Charcoal.  And it is the production of charcoal that is destroying Kenyas forests.  Her husband cannot plant enough trees to replace those that were turned into the charcoal that they cook with.

Like most Kenyans, if she had more money Rhoda would drive a car, use electrical appliances and buy a butane stove.  And so the decision makers at Copenhagen must offer solutions on how to alleviate global poverty without aggravating climate change.

Produced by Paula Kahumbu an ecologist and Director of WildlifeDirect. Visit http://baraza.wildlifedirect.org to learn more about what we are doing to save Africa's wild places

Howard Rides the Wind

From NPR Economic Training Project | 04:31

The small town of Howard, South Dakota stands to benefit from green energy bill being considered in congress. But not everyone in town is backing the measure.

Howard_turbines_prx_small To make up for the job losses seen in the recession President Obama is pushing for new green jobs in a bill aimed at addressing energy and climate change. 

The small town of Howard, South Dakota is poised to benefit from a boost to wind energy.  But not everyone in the town is behind the climate bill.