WXXI AM News

climate

New York State passed a climate action bill this week, much to the surprise of some advocates who had feared that it would stall. So what’s in it? Our guests discuss the surprise success of the bill, and what New Yorkers can expect from the most aggressive anti-carbon plan in the country.

A new book called “Paying for Pollution” makes the case for a carbon tax in America. Author Gilbert Metcalf is an internationally-recognized expert on climate policy and carbon taxes. He’s currently a professor of citizenship and public service and economics at Tufts University.

Metcalf is in Rochester as a guest of the World Affairs Council to discuss climate change policy and the Green New Deal, but first, he joins us on Connections.

Governor Andrew Cuomo says a climate action bill is not among his priorities for the final days of the legislative session. And while some Democrats in Albany are pushing to pass the Climate and Community Protection Act, it appears that the session will end without significant climate action.

Our guests discuss their views on what the state could do to address climate change. They also discuss their expectations for state action, given complete Democratic control.

Can American free enterprise solve climate change? It's a question that will be addressed in an upcoming forum with former Republican Congressman Bob Inglis. He’ll be in Rochester on Wednesday as a guest of the Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce and the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club.

Inglis joins our panel to discuss possible climate policies, a carbon tax, and more. Our guests:

Rochester native Mary DeMocker fell in love with nature as a young child, and now, she’s an author and climate activist. In her new book, “The Parents’ Guide to Climate Revolution,” she offers guidance and tips for families as they attempt to curb climate change.

DeMocker is in Rochester for a series of events. She joins us in studio for the hour to discuss her work.

How can comedy and art be used to address serious issues like race and climate change? Actor and activist Peterson Toscano incorporates storytelling and performance art to explore the intersections of gender, religion, and climate. 

He is in Rochester this week to work with local students and community members, but first, he joins us on Connections. In studio:

  • Peterson Toscano, theatrical performance activist
  • Harshita Sood, sustainability initiatives manager at the Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Michael Boller, associate professor in biology, and director of the sustainability program at St. John Fisher College

Students from more than 100 countries are holding strikes, protests, and climate-change related events today as part of “Fridays for Future,” a movement that demands world leaders take action on global warming. The movement was initiated by Greta Thunberg, a Swedish teenager who has been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize.

Students in the Rochester and Finger Lakes area are participating the in the events. We sit down with some of them to hear their priorities for climate action. In studio:

  • Liam Smith, student at Brighton High School
  • Hridesh Singh, student at Brighton High School and member of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition
  • Thomas Neumaier, student at the Harley School
  • Tess Begley, student at the Harley School

We continue our series of conversations about statewide efforts to curb climate change. We be joined by Sandra Steingraber, a scientist, climate activist, and scholar at Ithaca College, who recently took her cause and research to Albany.

She’ll be in Rochester this weekend for a program about environmental stewardship with Interfaith Impact of New York State, but first, she joins us on Connections. Our guests:

  • Sandra Steingraber, environmental activist, biologist, and distinguished scholar in residence in the Department of Environmental Studies at Ithaca College
  • Rev. Richard Gilbert, minister emeritus of First Unitarian Church of Rochester, and president of Interfaith Impact of New York State
  • Rev. David Inglis, retired United Church of Christ pastor

There is a discouraging new study about how humans are dealing with climate change. In short, we're getting used to it. And that's dangerous. The study finds that extreme weather can feel "normal" after only a few years, and that normalization could spark apathy regarding climate action. If a past generation thought something was extreme, what happens when the current generation shrugs?

Our panel discusses the implications of this study, and how climate activists plan to push back against normalization. Our guests:

The Green New Deal is getting most of the attention when it comes to legislative ideas for combating climate change. But individual states are working on their own approaches.

New York State is working on a number of policy plans and initiatives, and our guests offer their perspective on what is proposed, what might work, and why. In studio:

  • Sue Hughes-Smith, member of the leadership team for the Rochester People's Climate Coalition
  • Heather Dulisse, Greater Rochester parent leader, and team coordinator for Irondequoit Mothers Out Front
  • Aaron Micheau, president of the Metro Justice Council
  • Andrew Thomas, member of the Rochester chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America's Ecosocialist Working Group, and fundraising and membership director at Metro Justice
  • Mark Dunlea, chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund and one of the initial authors of the Green New Deal

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