Witch Hunt in Washington: The Climate Minute Podcast

Halloween is very scary for climate scientists this year. In Washington, the House “science” committee is on a witch-hunt for researchers who publish inconvenient truths. With nearly unlimited subpoena power, these new inquisitors are intimidating individual scientists by demanding years of unrelated emails and internal documents, demands that come with associated legal costs and career disruption for each researcher. This effort to ‘chill’ the work of scientists is destructive in many ways. We discuss.

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Technocrats to the rescue? The Climate Minute Podcast

Moral imperatives aside, exactly what will it take to bring society to a clean energy system? Venkatesh Rao in the Atlantic Monthly argues that only a “World War II” scale effort will suffice, but goes on to point out that war was won by many faceless bureaucrats who carried out wise policy. If there is no single technology or super-human leader to guide us, can we trust ‘the gu’mint’ to do the right thing? 

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Back to the Future, 2045: The Climate Minute Podcast

“Back to the Future Day” happened this week. The Chicago Cubs play off bid notwithstanding, the movie nostalgia gives clear-eyed Climate Hawks a chance to think forward thirty years and imagine what 2045 might look like. It is important to remember that what we do now will influence what happens in the future, just as we wish that someone had taken bold action back in the '80s. It is our turn to be that someone.

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In the Interest of National Security: The Climate Minute Podcast

Does climate change constitute a threat to our national security? That begs the question: What is “national security?” If you think national security is about the functioning of our government, or if you think it is about a citizen’s personal security, a pretty strong case exists that climate change is a real threat.  We discuss that, plus Bill McKibben’s most recent act of civil disobedience.

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A Legacy Moment: The Climate Minute Podcast

In Massachusetts, the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station will shutter in 2019,  depriving the state of a big chuck on carbon-free energy. What should be done to fill the gap? Build more pipelines for carbon polluting natural gas? Import out-of-state power from Hydro-Quebec? Or build a green energy infrastructure right at home? This is a moment where great things can be done, if our leaders hear the call. We discuss.

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On the road to COP21 in Paris: The Climate Minute Podcast

This December the city of Paris will play host to the 21st “Conference of the Parties”, or COP21. The goal of the conference will be to hammer out a global treaty intended to address global warming. We discuss the latest developments and try to make sense of it all.

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TPP, Part Deux: The Climate Minute Podcast

The terms of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) treaty have finally been concluded in a closed session in Atlanta. While the text is still secret, the arguments have begun. Climate Hawks are suspicious of the ‘Investor State Dispute Resolution” mechanism, which gives enormous opportunities for Big Oil to undermine future climate legislation. Here in Massachusetts, the Governor will allow utilities to charge a fee to electrical ratepayers to cover the cost of new pipelines. Is it fair to call that a tax? Still it is a pretty a sweet deal for Kinder Morgan!

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Law and Order- Climate Notes

You have to admit that it would really be quite great to see Exxon's execs busting rocks and pressing license plates...

I hope these fossil-fuel fiends aren't considered "too big to jail," especially after the revelation that Exxon (now known as ExxonMobil) not only knew about the severe risks of human-caused climate change in the late-1970s and early-1980s, but actually financed cutting-edge research into the dangers of carbon dioxide--only to abandon such groundbreaking research and go all-in on denying climate science and attacking climate scientists.

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Gore v Exxon: The Climate Minute Podcast

It turns out that Exxon knew the truth about climate change a long time ago. Are they at legal risk for hiding their findings?  We discuss the implications.

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Just Four Cape Winds: The Climate Minute Podcast

The real possibility of a shutdown of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station creates a crisis (or perhaps an opportunity.) It means that Climate Hawks should demand clean energy to fill the gap.  It would take only four projects comparable to Cape Wind to fill that gap. There are bills in the Massachusetts Statehouse that relate to clean energy, and they are the being debated.  Further, now that KXL is in deep trouble, and Shell has withdrawn from the Chukchi Sea, what is next for Climate Hawks? Our next big push should be for a ban on the extraction of carbon based fuels from federally owned lands, whether they are in the American West or off our coastal shores.

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