WXXI AM News

Climate Change

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.

Conversations about plastic pollution often center around their impact on the world’s oceans, but what’s happening in our own backyard? Plastics and microplastics are imposing environmental pressures on the Great Lakes. From organic and inorganic pollution, to the threat of invasive species, to climate change, plastics are threatening the fresh water demands of many communities that rely on the lake system.

This hour, we’re joined by scientists who help us understand the current state and health of the Great Lakes and what’s at stake. We also preview Earth Day events happening at the College at Brockport. In studio:

  • Sherri "Sam" Mason, sustainability coordinator for Penn State Behrend
  • Jim Haynes, professor in the Department of Environmental Science and Ecology at the College at Brockport
  • Jamie Spiller, professor of modern U.S. history and environmental history at the College at Brockport
  • Tammy Bleier, graduate student at the College at Brockport studying microplastics in the Great Lakes. and founder of Plastic Lakes Project

freeimages.com/Rob Waterhouse

The global demand for milk and other dairy products is expected to increase more than 50 percent in the next 30 years, but climate change is threatening the dairy industry.

Dairy cows produce less milk and are susceptible to infertility and disease when the weather is warm.

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.

In recent weeks, we've heard from a number of listeners who say they are changing their personal habits in an effort to help combat climate change. Many of those habits relate to garbage -- both at home, and at work or school.

This hour, we discuss what we collect as garbage, what we throw away, what we recycle, and what we try to reuse. Our guests share their ideas for how to reduce the amount of trash heading to landfills. In studio:

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

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