WXXI AM News

Climate Change

Late last month, five members of the U.S. House of Representatives introduced what climate activists are calling the most significant climate change legislation Congress has seen in more than a decade – and the bill was introduced by members of both parties.

The Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act would apply a nationwide price on carbon emissions and return revenue to taxpayers each month. The goal: to lower greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40 percent in the first 12 years.

We’re joined by local climate activists who discuss their hopes for this bipartisan climate plan and if it can work. In studio:

A group of newly elected Democrats joined protesters in Nancy Pelosi's office last week, staging a sit-in to call for more serious climate policy. Critics called this a case of the left attacking itself; supporters argue that Democratic leadership has failed to produce climate policy strong enough to make necessary changes.

We discuss tactics and policy with a panel that includes:

The new report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that climate change is already further down the road that we had hoped, and without dramatic and quick changes, bad things are coming. In other words, it's worse than we thought.

Meteorological scholar Eric Holthaus responded by pledging to never fly in an airplane again, while listing other changes in his own life that he was willing to make for future generations.

Our guests discuss the path to dramatic change. In studio:

We often hear about the science and research behind climate change, but an upcoming event in Rochester will focus on how people in our community are personally impacted by global warming.

During the Rise for a Resilient Rochester event, area residents will share personal stories of climate change impacts and solutions with city, state, and federal leaders.

We get a preview of the event this hour with our guests: 

  • David Alicea, New York lead organizer of the Sierra Club
  • Hridesh Singh, student at Brighton High School and director of communications for the Climate Club
  • Erika Jones, systems advocate at the Center for Disability Rights

Astrophysicist Adam Frank joins a panel of climate activists and concerned citizens who respond to his book and its themes. In studio:

We sit down with a panel of conservatives who are concerned about climate change. Our panelists are people who describe themselves as being on the right side of the political spectrum. The stereotype is that progressives care about climate change; conservatives deny it. That's not true of our guests, but that doesn’t mean the solutions are easy, or easily agreed upon.

They share their ideas for what kinds of policies and ideas make sense regarding climate and conservatism. Our guests:

Climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe recently wrote that ending America's oil addiction will be a lot harder than many people think. Our panel discusses the practical challenges and possible solutions to creating a national infrastructure without oil.

In studio:

We talk to Rochester Youth Climate Leaders about their recent Earth Day Summit. The students join us to share what they learned, what they hope to achieve with local environmental efforts, and their climate priorities.

In studio:

  • Linden Burack, 8th grade student at School of the Arts and Rochester Youth Climate Leader
  • Benny Smith, 11th grade student at Brighton High School and Rochester Youth Climate Leader
  • Hridesh Singh, 10th grade student at Brighton High School and Rochester Youth Climate Leader
  • Terry Smith, head of the Harley School’s Lower School
  • Cassidy Putney, co-founder and director of sustainability and communications for Impact Earth
  • Evan Zachary, director of Flower City Pickers

Does Rochester have to consider climate change or environmental sustainability when designing its urban spaces? That question has a more obvious answer in places like Miami Beach, where climate change is already impacting where people can live, and how. But what about Rochester? What does sustainability mean here, especially when we think about our urban spaces? 

The Community Design Center of Rochester is getting ready for their next event in the Reshaping Rochester series, and they have a designer with a distinguished and somewhat unusual resume. Mark Dawson is one of just eleven national members for the American Society of Landscape Architects' blue ribbon panel on climate change. He's in Rochester to discuss the evolution of civic parks and open space design over the last several decades.

We sit down with Dawson to discuss trends in urban design, how architects can respond to climate change, and more. In studio:

Cornell is getting ready to host its annual Business, Enology and Viticulture Symposium. We have a conversation about the state of winemaking in a region that is dealing with everything from climate change to tightening resources.

What is the future of winemaking for the region? Our guests weigh in:

  • Anna Katharine Mansfield, associate professor of enology for Cornell AgriTech at the NY State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva
  • Hans Walter-Peterson, team leader and viticulture extension specialist with the Finger Lakes Grape Program of Cornell Cooperative Extension
  • Dave Wiemann, vineyard manager at Sheldrake Point Winery in Ovid, on the eastern shore of Cayuga Lake
  • Kelby Russell, head winemaker for Red Newt Cellars

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