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Last week, I hosted a podcast discussion with Princeton professor Jesse Jenkins and UC-Santa Barbara professor Leah Stokes about the climate and energy provisions in the Inflation Reduction Act. It proved quite popular! (If you haven't listened yet I highly recommend listening to it before this one.)
Kim Stanley Robinson is one of the great living science fiction writers and one of the most astute observers of how planets look, feel and work. His Mars Trilogy imagined what it might be like for humans to settle on the red planet. His best-selling novel “The Ministry for the Future” is a masterful effort at envisioning what might happen to Earth in a future of unchecked climate change. Robinson has a rare command of both science and human nature, and his writing crystallizes how the two must work together if we are to rescue our collective planetary future from possible ruin.
Jaclyn Olsen, Associate Director of Harvard’s Office for Sustainability, and Erin Craig, Vice President of 3 Degrees, a climate solutions firm hired by Harvard, discuss the University’s goal to be fossil-fuel neutral by 2026 and fossil-fuel free by 2050. Jaclyn and Erin discuss Harvard’s carbon footprint, its efforts to reduce emissions and realize health benefits, and its emerging strategy on carbon offsets.
Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science at the University of Oxford and Director of the Oxford Net Zero initiative, discusses the controversy over carbon offsets and how the Oxford Offsetting Principles can help organizations reduce risk and improve transparency in their use of carbon offsets to support their net zero goals. Myles also talks about what the University of Oxford is doing to address its own emissions, and shares the advice he gives his students interested in embarking on climate change careers. For transcripts and other resources, visit; climaterising.org. Guest: Myles Allen, Professor of Geosystem Science in the School of Geography and the Environment and Department of Physics at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Oxford Net Zero initiative.
The past several weeks have shaken the world order and given us a lot to process all at once. The IPCC released its latest report the same day the U.S. Supreme Court heard the most environmentally significant case in a decade, all while Russia’s invasion of Ukraine is dominating headlines and policy agendas.
Former US vice president Al Gore has been pushing for climate action for decades and maintains optimism, despite the fact that greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise while the science says they need to be cut to zero by 2050.
For most of the carbon-intensive sectors of the economy — electricity, transportation, buildings — we have a pretty good sense of how to eliminate carbon emissions. None of those sectors will be easy to decarbonize. Every one is an enormous practical challenge. But in each case, the basic path to zero is clear, and it mostly involves switching out fossil-fueled machines with machines that generate or run on clean electricity.
As the U.S. transitions from fossil fuels, utilities must ramp up the amount of clean energy on the grid. Wind, solar, and nuclear power do not emit carbon pollution. But the amount of energy produced by wind and solar fluctuates, and large nuclear reactors are expensive and time-consuming to build.
Green Dreamer explores issues regarding environmental justice often from the perspective of marginalized peoples around the world. The podcast takes a bottom-up approach by focusing less on public policy than on the thought-provoking ideas of innovative thinkers and activists. Episodes with titles like “Deconstruction Saviorism from Herpreneurship and Voluntourism” and “Mapping for Abundance against Cartographies of Capital” approach familiar issues of the environmental movement informed by progressive academic insights and a “deep green” perspective. The academic rhetoric can limit the accessibility of the episodes, but the expert interviewees have important ideas to share.