Originally published on Fri December 12, 2014 2:37 pm
U.N. talks on global warming are wrapping up in Peru, but a divide between rich and poor countries and how to divvy up targets to reduce greenhouse gases is a key sticking point that has remained unresolved.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has acknowledged that the issue is "hard fought and ... complex," but he says it is crucial that the targets be agreed on before next year's summit in Paris. The talks in Peru end today.
Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:30 pm
President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.
The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.
A new United Nations report is warning that fossil fuels must be entirely phased out by the end of the century in order to avoid dangerous and irreversible damage to the Earth's climate.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) says the world faces "severe, pervasive and irreversible" consequences if greenhouse gas emissions are not cut to zero by 2100.
Examples of "irreversible" change include a runaway melt of the Greenland ice cap that would trigger devastating sea-level rise and could swamp coastal cities and disrupt agriculturally critical monsoons.
Last month, hundreds of thousands showed up for the People’s Climate March in New York City, the largest climate march ever seen in U.S. history. There, climate activists worked their way through the busy streets of New York, calling on Americans to act on global climate change. Today, we talk to someone who was at the march. We’ll also preview today’s Climate Stewardship Summit at the University of St. Joseph.
Also, radio personality Gerri Griswold and Icelandic singer-songwriter Lay Low join us to talk about the upcoming Iceland Affair and Fire and Ice Music Festival.
Twenty years ago, public perceptions of Long Island Sound weren't good. Mark Tedesco is director of the EPA's LIS office, and during a recent public hearing, he recapped some editorial cartoons from that time.
Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 11:54 am
President Obama told a gathering of the U.N. General Assembly today that the world is living in "pervasive unease" from such crises as terrorism, expansionism and the Ebola epidemic. He challenged the world body to fix the international system or risk being "pulled back by an undertow of instability."
"We come together at a crossroads between war and peace, between disorder and integration, between fear and hope," the president told member nations at U.N. headquarters in New York.
Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 3:21 pm
The forecast calls for picture-perfect weather Tuesday in New York City as world leaders gather to discuss the challenge of a changing climate.
More than 120 leaders, including President Obama, are expected to attend the one-day climate summit, sponsored by the United Nations. They've been instructed to arrive with "bold ideas" to slow the rise in global temperatures.
Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 8:07 am
Streets in New York City and other towns were taken over by marchers Sunday in what organizers called the largest climate change protest in history. The People's Climate March was timed to draw the notice of world leaders gathering for this week's U.N. Climate Summit.
Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 6:59 pm
Dan Reiter, 37, is a long-board surfer and contractor who used to live in Tampa, Fla. Then he discovered the surf breaks along a stretch of coast south of Cape Canaveral. "It's one of the most beautiful places in the world to live and surf and raise your kids," says Reiter, 37, as we watch head-high waves roll into Hightower Beach.
But there's trouble in this coastal paradise. It's on a low-lying barrier island that's getting lower as sea level rises. So the cities here are looking for ways to keep the water at bay or retreat from it.
Originally published on Mon August 4, 2014 1:06 pm
State officials hosted a ceremonial signing this afternoon in North Kingstown Town Beach for Rhode Island’s first comprehensive climate change bill. Gov. Lincoln Chafee signed the bill into law last month.
The governor noted Wickford Cove experienced a little tsunami last year. He said that’s just one reason why the General Assembly passed this bill into law: to better prepare the state for future extreme weather events.
Originally published on Fri August 1, 2014 7:14 am
The coal industry made its presence known in Pittsburgh this week for public hearings on President Obama's controversial plan to address climate change. A key element is rules the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in June. They would cut greenhouse gas emissions — chiefly carbon dioxide — from existing power plants. The national goal is 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels.
Each week, Weekend Edition Sunday brings listeners an unexpected side of the news by talking with someone personally affected by the stories making headlines.
Last week, the Obama administration announced historic regulations to limit carbon dioxide emissions. Policies to address climate change have been a tough sell among some Republicans on Capitol Hill, but also in many Christian congregations around the country.
Dan Brown does a lot of complicated historical research for his novels like The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol. Sometimes, a simple raw number just jumps out at him, and onto the page.
"A couple years ago," he told me on WNPR's Where We Live, "I heard a statistic that just sort of floored me: In the last 80 years, the population on the planet Earth has tripled. I thought, 'That can't be right.'"
New federal regulations announced Monday aim to reduce carbon dioxide emissions from power plants by 30 percent by 2030.
The draft proposal from the Environmental Protection Agency has sparked opposition from industry groups who say the changes would be prohibitively expensive. But the proposal's backers say the rules are needed to cut carbon pollution that scientists say contributes to climate change.
Earlier this month, the National Climate Assessment was released, and the results are less than stellar. The report says, “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.” The release of the climate assessment report prompted both of our local talk shows to tackle climate change last week, from very different perspectives.
The National Climate Assessment released earlier this month paints a bleak picture of the effects of climate change on not only the world - but right here in the northeast. “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present,” the report says.
We’re teaming up with The Colin McEnroe Show for a big discussion on climate change and how we’re adapting to a changing world.
Last week, scientists warned that a massive chunk of the West Antarctica Ice Sheet will eventually drift into the sea and melt, raising sea levels at least 10 feet higher than previous predictions.
Even before the announcement, scientists at the nonprofit research organization Climate Central predicted that surging seas could put the homes of nearly 5 million Americans underwater by the end of this century.
Scientists have long worried about climate change-induced melting of the huge West Antarctic Ice Sheet. Now they say that not only is the disintegration of the ice already underway, but that it's likely unstoppable.
That means that in the coming centuries, global sea levels will rise by anywhere from 4 to 12 feet. As NPR's Nell Greenfieldboyce reports, that's a larger increase than the United Nations expert panel noted last year. But it would occur over a longer time frame — centuries instead of decades.
Climate change is linked to more floods, hotter and drier weather, and melting sea ice, but it could also affect infectious diseases like Lyme disease and West Nile Virus. The problem is we don't know how.
NPR's Elizabeth Shogren tells our Newscast unit the third National Climate Assessment is the most comprehensive look at climate change that the government has ever produced. It was put together by more than 300 experts "guided by a 60-member Federal Advisory Committee."