Climate Change

The presidential debates included exactly zero questions about climate change. So if the debate panelists won't ask about climate change, we will.

Our panel examines the kinds of questions they would like to have seen addressed -- it's a bipartisan look at the questions that could impact all of us. Our guests:

  • Vas Petrenko, paleo-climatologist with the University of Rochester
  • Karen Berger, lecturer in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Rochester
  • Andrew Light, former senior State Department climate change official who worked on the creation of the historic 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, and professor of philosophy and public policy at George Mason University
  • Thomas Drennen, professor of economics and environmental studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges

Our Monthly Science Roundtable takes a look at why conservatives tend not to accept the science behind climate change.

Our guest is perfectly suited to explain: Bob Inglis is a conservative Republican who served in Congress. He admits that when climate science become more prominent, he dismissed it because Al Gore had touted it. He didn't study it. "It was based on ignorance for me," Inglis explains. "All I knew is that if Al Gore was for it, I was against it."

But Inglis listened to his children, who pleaded with him to check out the facts. When he came out in favor of policy that would mitigate climate change, his own party attacked him, and he lost his next primary.

Today, Inglis works on the kind of policy that is market-based. He believes he has the kind of message that can break through to skeptical conservatives. He explains how to crack the code. Our guest:

  • Bob Inglis, former Congressman and executive director of RepublicEn

We discuss carbon fee and dividend: what it is, how it works, who supports it, and the impact it would have on climate change and the economy. Our guests: 

Our monthly Science Roundtable focuses on carbon capture and storage as it relates to climate change. What would carbon capture mean to the fossil fuel industry? Is the technology available and scaleable? How does it work? Our guests will explain:

  • Bill Jones, professor of chemistry at the University of Rochester, and associate editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society
  • Richard Eisenberg, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Rochester, and editor-in-chief for Inorganic Chemistry

New York Rep. John Katko (R-Camillus) said his position on climate change is "evolving." The Republican representative recently signed onto a resolution that acknowledges a human role in causing climate change related to erratic and damaging weather patterns. That's a reversal from his 2014 campaign when he said it was unclear if human activities had any influence.

What is it that climate can't change? That’s the subject of a new documentary produced by the filmmaker of Gasland. We talk to Josh Fox about his film, How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change, and what it is deep within us that climate change can’t destroy. The film will be screened at The Little Theatre on Saturday as part of the One Take Documentary series. Our guests:

Donald Trump recently said that he doesn't think there is a real drought in California. That came as a surprise to scientists, who have been tracking the water crisis out west for a while now.

Our Monthly Science Roundtable digs in to the science of the drought: how closely tied to climate change is it? And how does it impact us in western New York? Our guests:

  • Josh Goldowitz, professor and undergraduate coordinator for the Environmental Sustainability Health & Safety BS Degree Program in the College of Applied Science & Technology at RIT
  • Matthew Hoffman, assistant professor in the School of Mathematical Sciences at RIT
  • John Stella, associate professor in the Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management, SUNY-ESF
  • Craig Miller, senior editor of Climate Watch at KQED

Nazareth College is getting ready to host perhaps the first ever conference on the intersection of faith and the fight against climate change. The conference is called Sacred Texts and Human Contexts: Nature and Environment in World Religions.

How does faith guide our approach to climate change? Is environmentalism a religious value? Our panel discusses it:

  • Thomas Donlin-Smith, professor of religious studies at Nazareth College
  • Etin Anwar, chair of religious studies at Hobart and William Smith Colleges
  • Nancy Rourke, director of the Catholic Studies program at Canisius College
  • Nathan Kollar, co-founder of the Hickey Center for Interfaith Studies at Dialogue

Are environmental groups denying the real leading cause of the destruction of the planet? The makers of the film Cowspiracy say yes.

The local chapter of the Sierra Club is bringing in filmmaker Keegan Kuhn of Cowspiracy to talk about the role of animal agriculture in climate change. We talk to Kuhn, and we hear from others who are participating in a local event to focus on food, access, cost, and more. Our guests:

  • Keegan Kuhn, filmmaker
  • Peter Debes, chair of the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club
  • Carly Fox, worker rights advocate

We've heard it said many times that we need to eventually get off fossil fuels. There is growing urgency about that, but there's usually a lot less emphasis on one important word: how?

The Greater Rochester section of the National Council of Jewish Women is hosting an event this week titled, "Repairing the Planet, Starting in the Flower City." Representatives join us in studio to discuss the goals, and we hear from the Rochester People's Climate Coalition about related issues coming up later this month. Our guests:

  • Arlene Schenker, past president and current board member of the National Council of Jewish Women, Greater Rochester section
  • Mark Dunlea, executive director of the Green Education and Legal Fund
  • Linda Isaacson Fedele, Rochester People's Climate Coalition