WXXI AM News

climate

One year into the Trump presidency, climate activists are taking their efforts to the statewide level. So what are their priorities for New York State in 2018? Here’s one idea: In New York, activists and advocates say that many of the vital technologies – the ones that would update and improve our outdated energy grid – can not be deployed at a meaningful scale. How can we change that? Our guest:

A fresh look at LED lighting challenges ideas as to whether it’s better for the environment. A recent piece published by Gizmodo argues that the benefits of LED lighting – energy efficiency and reduced costs – could lead to more lighting overall. It’s called the rebound effect, and there’s disagreement over the impact it may have. Some scientists say that concerns about the rebound effect are overblown. They argue that more efficient technology reduces threats to the environment; so, even if the world is getting brighter, it’s become brighter using less energy.

We break down the facts, and look at common household items and their impact on climate. Our guests:

What can we do on a daily basis to help mitigate the effects of climate change? That's the focus of the upcoming New York Climate Solutions Summit.

We discuss a number of solutions and how to implement them, including using electric vehicles, clean energy, and more. Our guests:

Sustainability is a word we hear often in the news and as we discuss subjects like climate change, but if you were asked to define sustainability, what exactly would you say? 

The authors of a new book argue that most people understand how important sustainability is, but few can define it. Randall Curren is a professor at the University of Rochester, and he's one of the co-authors of a book called Living Well Now and in the Future: Why Sustainability Matters. The book explains the obstacles that prevent us from being more sustainable, and offers some ideas for how to create opportunities to live better together now and ensure other generations live well in the future.

We talk about fossil fuel use, transportation, meat consumption, climate change, public policy, and more with author Randall Curren.

Rochester City Council endorsed the city’s Climate Action Plan in May. The plan’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2010 levels by 2030.

We discussed the draft plan in November when the document was available for public comment. Now that the plan has been approved, members of local climate action groups say their input was not taken into full consideration. They want more information about how the plan will be enacted: How will programs be funded? Will the plan create jobs? Will it impact the city’s poverty issues?

Last month, Mayor Lovely Warren  joined the Mayors National Climate Change Agenda, which has pledged to strengthen local efforts to protect the environment. We discuss how the Climate Action Plan fits in with this goal and if proposed efforts will have enough of an impact on combating climate change. Our guests:

Steve Curwood is the host and executive producer of Living on Earth. His pilot of the show aired in the 1990, and now, 27 years later, he says the majority of the climate issues that he addressed on that first program -- the state of the oceans, energy choices, environmental justice -- have become more significant problems. Curwood says the only issue that has improved is the public understanding of climate change. 

This hour, Curwood joins us for a conversation about social equity, climate resilience, and green development in Rochester. Our guests:

The March for Science happened this past weekend in Washington, and around the world. Scientists from all manner of fields declared their desire to do their work without politicization. Of course, critics said the entire idea was political. But the Trump administration has been openly hostile to several basic, scientific ideas. So where does that leave science in the United States? Our guests:

  • David Williams, professor of optics and biomedical engineering, and dean for research in arts, sciences and engineering at the University of Rochester
  • Matthew Hoffman, associate professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences at RIT
  • Jason Szymanski, assistant professor of chemistry and geosciences at Monroe Community College
  • Adam Rich, associate professor of biology at the College at Brockport
  • Stephanie Gallant, chair of the organizing committee for the Rochester March for Science

The trouble with running the earth is that we don't get to do it twice.

In his new book, Earth in Human Hands, astrobiologist David Grinspoon lays out the scientific evidence for the human impact on our planet... as well as an idea for what we can do to protect it going forward. It's a book layered with data, humor, storytelling, and a scientifically informed set of ideas about what comes next. Grinspoon is not a doomsayer, even though he presents all kinds of troubling possibilities. He views this moment in time as a great possibility. 

We discuss his book and how he sees the future of Earth.

What might we expect regarding environmental and climate issues under the Trump administration? We discuss the President-elect's appointments for Secretary of State and head of the EPA, their views on climate science, and more. Our guests:

  • Lawrence Torcello, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at RIT
  • Karen Berger, lecturer in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester

Will the UN climate deal, recently struck in Paris, be effective? We talk with two people who were in Paris during the negotiations, and a local climate change activist. Did they get what they were looking for? What will it mean for us? Our guests:

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