What if the solution for reducing our collective carbon footprint were right under our feet? Our guest this week on Sea Change Radio believes it is – soil is a natural and planet-healthy repository for CO2. A slight rise in carbon dioxide levels in the soil could help fend off the encroaching warming of the climate. Author Courtney White talks about this as well as the environmental problems caused by today’s common farming practices.
Airplanes transport over 2.2 billion passengers a year but they are also a significant contributor to climate change, producing approximately 600 million tons of carbon dioxide annually. One transatlantic flight for a family of four creates more CO2 than that family generates domestically in an entire year. And while the benefits of the smaller planet that airline travel has created are immeasurable, can it be justified in light of the potentially life-damaging effects of climate change? And if we can’t justify it, are we capable of stopping? George Monbiot writes, “When it comes to flying, there seems to be no connection between intention and action. This is partly because the people who are most concerned about the inhabitants of other countries are often those who have traveled widely.”
According to the World Bank, Indonesia is the planet’s third largest carbon dioxide emitter. But the problem in Indonesia differs from ours here in the United States. Rather than pollutants from cars or the energy and industrial sectors, in Indonesia, the primary culprit is deforestation. More than 64 million acres of Indonesia’s forests have been cut down or burned over the past two decades in order to make room for industrial growth.
Fortunately, Greenpeace has been working hard on a campaign to stop deforestation in places like Indonesia. By pressuring key corporations and governments, Greenpeace is helping to save many forests and slow climate change. One of the voices behind the Greenpeace campaign is Rolf Skar, a senior deforestation campaigner with the organization. Sea Change Radio host Alex Wise sits down with Skar this week as they discuss deforestation in Indonesia, the UN Climate Change Conference that kicks off in Cancun, Mexico next week, and how we can all make a difference with day-to-day choices as consumers.Read the show transcript
Lauren Compere, Director of Shareholder Advocacy at Boston Common Asset Management, discusses shareowner resolutions asking BP and Shell to report on the strategic risks of oil sands exploitation. And Cary Krosinsky, Vice President of Trucost, talks about its analysis of the carbon intensity and environmental impacts of companies operating in Alberta’s oil sands.
We reported last week that Barack Obama will regulate carbon dioxide as a pollutant under the Clean Air Act if elected. Not so for John McCain. Today writer and scientist Joseph Romm wrote on his blog Climate Progess, that a McCain-Palin administration would use a voluntary or incentive-based approach, one that “has never worked in any country to restrain emissions growth.” Today, we talk to Joe Romm about how Barack Obama and John McCain differ on their approaches to the climate crisis and alternative energy. Romm is a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he maintains its blog, Climate Progress. It was named one of the top 15 green websites by Time Magazine. Romm is also the author of the 2006 book Hell and High Water: Global Warming–the Solution and the Politics–and What We Should Do. He was Acting Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Energy during the Clinton Administration.
Two slim guides have recently been published on climate change solutions, one written to CEOs on how business can profit by helping mitigate and adapt to climate change, one addressing what government policies are most promising. CWR co-host Bill Baue speaks with University of Michigan Professor Andy Hoffman, co-author with John Woody of Climate Change: What’s Your Business Strategy?, published May 1 by Harvard Business Press as part of its “Memo to the CEO” series.
Baue also speaks Working Assets Co-Founder Peter Barnes, author of Climate Solutions: What Works, What Doesn’t, and Why–A Citizen’s Guide, out recently from Chelsea Green.
Plus, we hear commentary from Sierra Club Executive Director Carl Pope on the failure of the Environmental Protection Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions, even after being ordered to do so by the Supreme Court. Thanks to Sierra Club Radio for this commentary.
Peter Senge and Joe Laur of the Society for Organizational Learning (SoL) discuss how corporations need to transform, the central theme of the Summit on the Future of the Corporation on November 13 and 14 in Boston that SoL is co-sponsoring along with Corporation 20/20. Corporate Watchdog Radio co-hosts Bill Baue and Francesca Rheannon ask Senge and Laur about specific projects advancing corporate change such as the SoL Sustainability Consortium run by Laur that helped Nike achieve 80 percent carbon dioxide equivalent emissions reductions by changing the gas used in Nike Air sneakers. Senge describes the Sustainable Food Lab, a collaboration between SoL and the Sustainability Institute that he participates in.