WXXI AM News

Climate Change

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:

Noelle E. C. Evans / WXXI News

Democratic Rep. Joe Morelle announced Wednesday that he is taking action on climate change.

“There is no greater threat facing humanity, and there’s probably never been a greater threat ever to face humanity," Morelle said.

Morelle said he is sponsoring the Climate Emergency Resolution that Sen. Bernie Sanders and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez introduced last month. He’s also endorsing multiple environmental bills.

Randy Gorbman / WXXI News

Monroe County Clerk Adam Bello, a Democratic candidate for county executive, has announced a plan to combat climate change in the county.

Bello said Tuesday that the six-part plan would be a pillar of his administration if elected. It includes a Climate Action Board, something of an Environmental Management Council revival.

The board would help his administration put together a climate action plan, which would include:

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.

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