Coming up on Connections: Wednesday, September 11

Sep 11, 2019

First hour: Discussing climate nihilism

Second hour: Should Midtown Athletic Club receive tax breaks for its expansion?

Are you a climate nihilist? Author Jonathan Franzen wrote a piece for the New Yorker arguing that it’s time to spend more effort preparing for climate catastrophe, and less effort to stopping it. Franzen argues that humans are not going to do what is necessary to prevent devastating global warming. He wonders why there isn’t more conversation about this, and what it means. But climate policy experts respond that Franzen has botched some of the key facts to understanding climate change, and they argue that his position is a dangerous one. We debate it:

  • Genevieve Guenther, founder and director of EndClimateSilence.org 
  • Reverend Shari Halliday-Quan, senior minister at First Unitarian Church of Rochester
  • Abigail McHugh-Grifa, executive director of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition

Then in our second hour, Midtown Athletic Club is growing, and looked to Monroe County for taxpayer incentives as it expands. The county is supportive, saying that Midtown’s growth will result in new jobs and economic development. Critics contend that most Monroe County residents can not afford a Midtown membership, and this is a case of the rich getting richer without much ripple effect. Our guests debate it:

  • Glenn William, general manager of Midtown Athletic Club
  • Kent Gardner, chief economist with the Center for Governmental Research
  • Rachel Barnhart, former investigative journalist