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Climate One

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Climate One

Climate One from The Commonwealth Club

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We’re living through a climate emergency; addressing this crisis begins by talking about it. Host Greg Dalton brings you empowering conversations that connect all aspects of the challenge — the scary and the exciting, the individual and the systemic. Join us.
 
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President Biden recently signed the biggest piece of climate legislation in U.S. history into law. To be sure, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act got pared down significantly from what was first put on the table, but the final measure still contains five times more money for projects aimed at mitigating the climate crisis than the best legi…
 
Ever have a difficult conversation about climate? Pretty much everyone has. Knowing all the facts and figures only goes so far when talking to someone who just doesn’t agree. So how do we break through the barriers? Scientists trained to present information in a one-way lecture format face a particular challenge: they first need to unlearn old habi…
 
In 2015, delegates from 196 nations entered into the legally binding treaty on climate change known as the Paris Agreement, which set a goal of limiting global warming to “well below 2 and preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels.” Yet in August of this year, the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change re…
 
Rick Ridgeway estimates he’s spent about five years of his life sleeping in tents, often in the world’s most remote places alongside fellow outdoor adventure luminaries. Ridgeway worked for Patagonia for 15 years and was behind the company’s infamous “Don’t Buy This Jacket” ad campaign, which paradoxically advocated sustainability and increased sal…
 
According to the latest IPCC Assessment Report, we’re currently on course for at least 3°C (5.4°F) of warming by 2100 even if all of the voluntary Paris Agreement emissions pledges are fulfilled. Clearly the world needs to do more to reduce emissions. But what if that’s still not enough? Solar geoengineering – such as putting sulfate aerosols into …
 
People around the world have been experiencing unprecedented extreme weather events – raging wildfires, killer heatwaves and catastrophic floods. In August, the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a new Assessment Report, which UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres called “code red for humanity,” adding that alarm bells are deafen…
 
How do we manage our own anxiety around an uncertain climate future – let alone help our children work through their feelings and fears? In his latest book, Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet, internationally renowned Zen Master and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Thich Nhat Hahn argues that addressing the intersection of ecological destruction, rising…
 
We’ve experienced yet another summer of record wildfires in the western U.S., endangering lives, displacing communities, and sending unhealthy smoke across the nation. The science is clear: human-caused climate change is making lands more conducive to burning, and we are increasingly living in flammable landscapes. Forest experts say there are tool…
 
Despite her identity as an evangelical, climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe doesn't accept global warming on faith; she crunches the data, analyzes the models, and helps engineers, city managers and ecologists quantify the impacts. In her new book, Saving Us: A Climate Scientist’s Case for Hope and Healing in a Divided World, Hayhoe argues that when…
 
The COVID-19 pandemic revealed structural weaknesses and inequities that existed long before 2020. Like COVID-19, climate change is another “threat multiplier,” with the power to disrupt many of our social systems. In her new book, The Fight for Climate After COVID-19, Alice Hill says we need to adapt our thinking and our policies to combat the eve…
 
This September marks the 50th anniversary of the seminal work Diet for a Small Planet, in which Frances Moore Lappé argued that cattle constitute “a protein factory in reverse.” Lappé’s book inspired countless people to adopt vegetarian diets for environmental reasons. But in the last 50 years the industrial food systems in America have only grown …
 
Water is essential for life, and throughout history we have sought to control and make use of it. As Giulio Boccaletti explores in his new book, Water: A Biography, that relationship with water has underpinned human civilization, forming an integral part of society, government and land use systems. But despite its essential nature, access to water …
 
Hundreds of people have been arrested in Minnesota in ongoing protests against Line 3, a pipeline that will move Canadian tar sands oil, and which could be operational as soon as this month. Pipeline advocates, like Mike Fernandez of Enbridge (Line 3’s builder), argue that as long as people are still using oil, we need a way to transport it — and p…
 
Listener Advisory: This episode contains some content related to a suicide. If you or someone you love is thinking about suicide, the National 24-hour Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. This summer, the climate crisis seems to be unfolding faster than ever before — with catastrophic floods, huge wildfires, and killer heat. It’s becoming…
 
In early August, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report unequivocally connecting global warming and extreme weather to human-driven greenhouse gas emissions, and warning of much more dramatic climate futures if we don’t change course soon. Since the 2020 election, Rich Thau’s Swing Voter Project has been querying those who …
 
In October 2020, California Gov. Newsom announced a plan to protect 30% of his state by 2030. In 2021, the Biden Administration announced its own 30x30 plan, later dubbed America the Beautiful. With 12% of the U.S. already under some form of protection, where will the other 18% come from? In states like Nebraska, nearly all the land is in private h…
 
In Washington State, voters defeated initiatives to put a price on carbon ― twice. Governor Jay Inslee himself then lost his personal bid for the White House. Yet his bold ideas have proven staying power. The state legislature recently passed a carbon cap and invest bill that will reduce economy-wide greenhouse gas emissions 95 percent by 2050. “We…
 
From clearing land for pasture to building dams, humans have long changed the face of the Earth. But Indian eco-feminist Vandana Shiva is highly critical of how we’ve changed our relationship with the land through industrial monocrop agriculture. She firmly opposes genetically modified crops, and has called seed patents “bio-piracy.” But it’s not j…
 
The United States is famous for its car culture. But a hundred years ago, pedestrians didn’t want cars to take over the streets — and it took decades of pressure and lobbying by car companies to make them feel otherwise. Today, traffic jams, maintenance and pollution make cars more like the cigarette no one wants to quit. Urban areas have grown up …
 
Pathways for reducing carbon emissions include electrifying transportation and replacing fossil fuels with wind and solar power. But in this time of national reckoning on racial and economic disparities, there is growing support for a more holistic approach. This view holds that the climate crisis won’t be resolved until we first address the system…
 
When we think of action on climate change, we usually think of what individuals can do, what governments can do, and maybe what businesses can do. But what about the broader economic levers that affect behaviors? Can we get companies to walk away from billions of dollars they’ve already invested in a fossil fuel-based economy? Insurers are on the f…
 
For over two decades, carbon offset programs have promised individuals and businesses that they can reduce their overall carbon footprint by paying someone else to reduce their carbon emissions. Yet many programs have been plagued by scandal – like shady accounting and paying forest owners not to cut down trees they weren’t planning to log anyway. …
 
Extreme heat causes more deaths than any other weather-related hazard in the U.S., wreaking quiet havoc on the health and economic well-being of billions of people across the world. But it’s rarely given the same billing or resources as other, more dramatic, natural disasters. Because of racist and discriminatory housing and development practices, …
 
From activism to political campaigns to corporate advertising, the power of music and images is undeniable. So how can the arts inspire and advance the climate conversation? For more than three decades, Shepard Fairey’s work has provoked thought and controversy in the art and political spheres. Now, with a public weary of climate charts and apocaly…
 
The Colorado River supplies water to more than 40 million people across seven states. Lake Mead has fallen to its lowest level since it was filled in the 1930s, which could trigger the first stage of real water cutbacks. For years, “much of the discussion in the Colorado River Basin has been who gets the next drop,” says journalist Luke Runyon. “Th…
 
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