Specials

Cilmate One: Energy Efficiency and Building Power

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on January 29, 2015.

LISTEN HERE

The American Dream may no longer mean a sprawling house in the suburbs, with heated pool, an endless lawn and two SUVs in the driveway. But that doesn’t mean the dream of home ownership has died. “Hopefully in the years to come, part and parcel of that American dream will be a home that is more energy efficient,” says Julián Castro. “So it’s still I think at its base the same American dream. But we can be smarter about the impacts on our climate when we achieve the American dream.”

US Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julián Castro stopped by The Commonwealth Club on a recent visit to San Francisco to talk about his plans for bringing energy efficiency to every American household. “Folks tend to think that, well, that’s something for people that have a lot of resources — driving electric cars or installing rooftop solar,” he says. “The fact is that… the declining cost of being energy efficient in general is making that more and more affordable for middle-class Americans and folks of modest means.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate One: Down and Dirty

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on January 29, 2015.

LISTEN HERE

“Hamburgers in a hot world,” is how host Greg Dalton summarized a recent Climate One discussion on cattle and their carbon hoofprint. The negative effects of the meat industry on our climate have been food for debate ever since the publication of the 2006 report, “Livestock’s Long Shadow,” by the UN’s Food and Agriculture Association. But could there be a “grass-is-greener” side to this environmental fence?

“Agriculture also has a chance to be part of the solution,” says ecology professor Whendee Silver, who studies climate and land-use relationships at UC Berkeley. The FAO’s report, she says, was one sided. “It gave very little space and consideration to good management practices, how widespread those are, what the potential sustainability questions are with regard to management.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate One: Talking About the Weather

The archive of this episode is unavailable on our website.

You can also visit:  http://climate-one.org/

Climate One:
Future of Oil and Personal Mobility

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on January 12, 2015.

LISTEN HERE

Gas prices are plummeting as fracking has unleashed a gusher of American oil.  California’s cap and trade program is increasing the bottom line for petroleum producers. Meanwhile, public support for reducing fossil fuel reliance is growing, and major shareholders are divesting from oil stocks. What does the future hold for the industry?

Climate One recently gathered a panel of oil industry veterans, along with California’s top carbon cop, to discuss whether Big Oil must, in the words of H.G. Wells, adapt or perish.
Read the rest of this entry »

Climate One - GMOs: Necessary in a Hot and Crowded World?

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on June 11, 2014.

LISTEN HERE

Robert Fraley, Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto
Andrew Kimbrell, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Food Safety
Nathanael Johnson, Food Writer, Grist; Author, All Natural: A Skeptic’s Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier
Jessica Lundberg, Seed Nursery Manager, Lundberg Family Farms

Technology is everywhere – in our phones, in our cars and now, in our corn flakes. Biotechnology promises weed-resistant crops, bigger yields, more food for a growing population. But are genetically modified fruits and vegetables safe? Are they healthy? And should foods containing GMOs be labeled as such?

Those were some of the questions on the minds of the audience members who gathered at the Commonwealth Club for a lively discussion on GMOs – genetically modified organisms.

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate One: Weather Disruption

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

LISTEN HERE

To quote Charles Dudley Warner, “Everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.” Dr. Jane Lubchenco was tasked with just that when President Obama named her to head up the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in 2009. It turned out to be the start of the most extreme four-year weather period in U.S. history.

“We had over 660 major tornadoes,” Lubchenco remembers. “We had sixty Atlantic hurricanes, including Sandy, Isaac and Irene. We had six major, just devastating floods. Record-breaking snowfall, prolonged heat waves, wildfires — you name it, pretty much every category of weather, we broke records.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate One: Climate Denial, Education and Politics

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco.

LISTEN HERE

Do you believe in climate denial? To hear climate scientists tell it, there is a war being waged on science by government opponents and special interests, designed to fuel skepticism and discredit their work in the eyes of the public. Two of them told their stories recently at The Commonwealth Club.

Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory says that being a climate scientist today feels “a little scary.” He’s been targeted by congress and threatened with referral to the Justice Department; threatening emails from strangers have filled his inbox. Michael Mann, a professor of Meteorology at Penn State who has written on the climate wars, tells of having his emails hacked and used out of context to malign him, his colleagues and climate research. “I see that as a direct assault,” he told the audience.
“Not just on us, but our children and grandchildren, who stand the most to lose if we fail to act in time.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate One: Climate Cartoons

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 24, 2014.

LISTEN HERE

A climate scientist, an economist and a politician walk into a bar, and…well, if you follow the news about climate change, you know it’s no laughing matter. But there were plenty of smiles, chuckles and belly laughs when “the world’s only stand-up economist” visited The Commonwealth Club.

Yoram Bauman co-authored The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change, described by one reviewer as “An Inconvenient Truth meets Peanuts.” His Ph.D. in economics is fodder for some self-deprecating humor about his chosen profession, such as his series of “you might be an economist if…” jokes (“You might be an economist if…you’ve ever gone to a bank in hopes of getting a date”). Bauman joined host Greg Dalton and Free Range Studios co-founder Jonah Sachs to talk about how to tell an inconvenient truth – and be heard.

So, what’s so funny about climate change?

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate One: Powering America’s Economy

LISTEN HERE

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 24, 2014.

At a Climate One gathering last October, U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz outlined three major objectives for addressing the country’s energy challenges. “One is to support economic growth, good jobs, et cetera. Secondly is to reinforce our security. And third and perhaps, in my view, of greatest interest right now, is addressing the climate challenge.

So the issue is, how do we do all those three together?”

Moniz started things off on a positive note: the nation’s energy renaissance has meant good news for the economy. “There’s no question that what’s happening in energy has led to economic growth and jobs,” says Moniz. “Recently Fortune Magazine put out a list of 100 fastest-growing companies; 26 of those had their growth pegged to what’s happening in energy.

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate One: Powering Innovation

LISTEN HERE

Imagine you’re remaking “The Graduate” for today’s climate-challenged world.  What would be the one word you’d whisper in Dustin Hoffman’s ear to signal the business opportunity of the future?  That’s the question that sparked a lively conversation about innovation, technology and entrepreneurship at The Commonwealth Club recently.

For Arun Majumdar of Stanford University, the word for the future is “storage” – as in energy storage. “It’s a game changer,” he says. “Especially if you are transitioning to renewal sources, which are intermittent.  If you could get storage out there at low cost that would be game changer.”

Adam Lowry of Method Products bypassed “plastics” — despite the fact that recycled plastic is a central component of his ground-breaking eco-friendly household products. Instead, he cites carbon capture as the next big thing. “Because whether we like it or not, we’re in a period where we have to go negative carbon.  We have to take carbon out of the atmosphere at this point, given where we are.  And so if you can solve for that problem, you’ll be a billionaire.”

Read the rest of this entry »