Forecasting Climate Change

StephanFarisMattMadiaWhat does our future on this warming globe hold?  We explore this question today with Stephan Faris, who talks about his new book, [amazon-product text=”FORECAST: The Consequences of Climate Change” type=”text”]0805087796[/amazon-product].  And Matt Madia of OMBWatch tells us about a provision in the Waxman-Markey climate bill that would strip the EPA of its authority to regulate greenhouse gas emissions under the Clean Air Act.

[amazon-product align=”left”]0805087796[/amazon-product]Journalist Stephan Faris has traveled around the globe to cover global warming.  He’s compiled his experiences in the new book, FORECAST: The Consequences of Climate Change, from the Amazon to the Arctic, from Darfur to Napa Valley. He spoke with Sea Change Radio Co-Host Francesca Rheannon recently in a wide-ranging discussion about the intersections between global warming and geopolitics.

The conversation started on the hot-button issue of Darfur.  Contrary to the conventional wisdom that ethnic tensions between Arab Janjaweed nomadic herders and African farmers are driving the genocide, Faris traces the origins of the conflict to global warming. Research shows that drought in the Sudan in the 1980s was caused by climate change, and this extended dry spell fueled the conflict between herders and farmers.

Faris also talks about how global warming is transforming the insurance industry, which acts as a barometer of the financial impacts of climate change – not only in rising property insurance for seaside properties, but also in rising health and life insurance rates.  Immigration is another area impacted by climate change, as populations migrate in response to rising sea levels and drought, for example.  Click here to listen to a complete version of the 40-minute interview.

In the second segment, we look at climate legislation.  In 2007, the Supreme Court issued an opinion in Massachusetts v EPA authorizing EPA to regulate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act. But a little-known provision in the proposed American Clean Energy and Security Act (ACES, otherwise known as the Waxman-Markey climate bill) would strip the EPA of this power. We first heard about the provision, section 311, when we talked with Greenpeace about their objections to Waxman-Markey. So we decided to learn more about it by asking someone whose job it is to delve deep into the details of federal regulations. We found Matt Madia of OMBWatch. He’s a federal regulatory policy analyst with the organization, and he’s written about the dangers of Waxman-Markey stripping EPA’s authority to regulate GHG emissions.

About Bill Baue

Bill Baue is Co-Director of Sea Change Media, a non-profit that makes connections in the shift to social, environmental, and economic sustainability. He co-hosts/produces Sea Change Radio, a nationally syndicated show that podcasts globally.