Archive for December, 2008

Carbon Taxes & Nuclear Debates

December 30th, 2008

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The global economic collapse has shown the folly of letting Wall Street traders run the world. The result is a wake-up call to those who believed that climate change could be fixed by carbon credits in the global market. The alternative is a carbon tax. Earthbeat host Daphne Wysham speaks to Charles Komanoff of the Carbon Tax Center.

Then, a debate at the National Press Club in Washington, DC between two environmental leaders on the merits and problems of relying on nuclear power to fight global warming. Patrick Moore is the co-chair of the Clean and Safe Energy Coalition, he debated Arjun Makhijani, the president of the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research.

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Image used courtesy of Pixelens Photography via Flickr.

Combating So-Called Clean Coal

December 23rd, 2008

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Fighting coal power with commercials. A new effort seeks to bring some Reality to the idea of clean coal. Host Mike Tidwell speaks to Rob Perks, the director for advocacy programs at the Natural Resources Defense Council about both the Reality campaign and the Clean Coal Carolers – that’s right, singing lumps of coal harmonizing about the benefits of the dirtiest form of energy.

Francesca Grifo is the director of the Scientific Integrity Program of the Union of Concerned Scientists – a program that didn’t even have to exist before the Bush Administration. Grifo joins us to discuss the program’s “Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions’ for the upcoming Obama Administration.

Education and action are the goals of the National Teach-In on Global Warming. The Teach-In is directed by Eban Goodstein, who’s also an economics professor at the Lewis and Clark College in Oregon. And Earthbeat host Mike Tidwell discusses the benefits of a carbon cap and dividend plan.

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Image used courtesy of VEB Zardoz the Gravyboat.

UN Failure in Poland & 2009 Priorities

December 16th, 2008

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At the crucial UN climate meetings in Poland, an atmosphere of bitterness and entrenchment afflicted the talks. Karen Orenstein is the international finance campaigner for the Friends of the Earth. Holmes Hummel is a policy specialist with the Energy Resources Group at the University of California-Berkeley. Yiorgos Vassalos is a researcher with the Corporate Europe Observatory.

Then we get a behind-the-scenes look at how one environmental group identifies its priorities for the coming year. Johnathan Lash, the president of the World Resources Institute discusses WRI’s views for 2009.

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Image used courtesy of ecstaticist via Flickr.

Climate Year in Review

December 9th, 2008

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We are in – right now – the hottest decade in at least the last two thousand years. This year has been one for the record books for carbon dioxide, gas prices, wildfires, melting glaciers and, ironically, polar tourism. 2008 is on track to be warmer than the entire decade of the 1990s.

Host Mike Tidwell discusses the year in review with Andrew Revkin, reporter for the New York Times and author of the Times’ environment blog – Dot Earth and with Joe Romm, the author of the blog Climate Progress and a senior fellow at The Center for American Progress.

Then we dive even deeper into the automaker’s bailout with Matt Pawa, the lead lawyer representing the Natural Resources Defense Council, Environmental Defense and the Sierra Club in their defense of states enacting strict auto emission standards.

Then we get a first-hand account of what it was like to stand on the desk of the very first commercial ship to sail through the ice-free Northwest Passage. Waguih Rayes is general manager of the Arctic division of the shipping company – Group Desgagnes.

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Image used courtesy of Waguih Rayes, all rights reserved.

A Changing Congress Changing Climate Change

December 2nd, 2008

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How the big changes in Congress will affect climate change. In the House, a progressive California Congressman won an unusually public battle over a Detroit legislator for key committee spot. In the Senate, a coal-fired relic steps down after more than 50 years of controlling the Senate’s purse strings.

Host Daphne Wysham discusses what these moves mean for climate legislation with Brent Blackwelder, the president of Friends of the Earth; Dave Hamilton, the director of the Global Warming and Energy Program at the Sierra Club; and Sandy Schubert, the director of Government Affairs for the Environmental Working Group.

Brazil unveiled a plan that could protect acres of the Amazon rainforest at the UN climate negotiations in Poland. Joining us in our studios is Trevor Stevenson, the executive co-director of the Amazon Alliance – and with reports from Poland – Jake Schmidt, the international climate policy director for the Natural Resources Defense Council and Janet Redman of the Sustinable Energy and Economy Network at the Institute for Policy Studies.

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Photo by Hanneorla via Flickr.