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Category: Climate and Society

Rooftop Solar with Bernadette Del Chiaro

We have built 1.2 million rooftop solar systems in the state of California.Bernadette Del Chiaro, the Executive Director of the California Solar and Storage Association, discusses the importance of net-metering, an electric utility billing program that credits solar energy owners for the surplus electricity they add to the grid.

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Educating Future Environmental Justice Leaders with Candice Youngblood

Environmental racism typically isn’t taught in high school science classes, and often the socio-political aspects of the climate crisis are left out of environmental science education altogether. One effort to fill this gap is Youth on Root, which supplements existing STEM education with a curriculum kit on environmental justice, a youth-directed conference program that brings California kids together, and an animated explanatory video series.

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Earth Day with Ken Alex and Ethan Elkind

Earth Day, which falls on April 22 and is the annual celebration of the birth of the modern environmental movement, began in 1970. It is a day of unity for environmentalists, groups and organizations mobilized around specific environmental issues, and everyone in between. Once focused on more local environmental concerns, now on its 51st anniversary, the meaning of Earth Day is giving way to more organized international concerns of inspiring global action on climate change.

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Climate Change Warning Labels with Robert Shirkey

Highlighting the link between a product’s consumption and its carbon footprint could potentially alter harmful consumer behavior that contributes to climate change. Similar to how warning labels on cigarettes changed the smoking habits of some users, placing climate change disclosure labels on gas pumps could introduce discomfort that serves as an effective intervention that connects consumers to the dangerous reality of fossil fuels and illuminates the hidden costs of climate change.

Extended Version

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Communicating Climate Policy in Purple States with Janet Napolitano

When it comes to crafting policy solutions to climate change, government messaging often depends on the ideological leanings of the electoral base. When an elected government official’s politics align with the politics of the majority of the constituent base, like it does in “red” and “blue” states, political support is easier to find. But what about in purple states where there are similar levels of Democratic and Republican support? For government leaders in purple states, writing policy that appeals to everyone can be difficult.

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Urban Farming with Paul Bernstein

Urban Farming is one solution to agricultural emissions. Approximately 30 percent of Greenhouse Gas emissions are from agriculture and the food system, so finding ways to drastically reduce emissions is in this sector is key. Urban farms often feed local residents, which eliminates much of the emissions produced by transportation. They are also often farmed agroecologically, which is a kind of agriculture that promotes environmentally sustainable and socially just farming practices.

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Climate Migrant Policy with Janet Napolitano

Unpredictable weather patterns, crop disease, unstable governments–all of these symptoms of climate change are pushing North and Central Americans northward to find economic opportunity and safety. President Biden recently addressed this rising influx of climate migrants to the United States by issuing an executive order stipulating a humane, comprehensive framework to address the root causes of migration such as “improving governance and the rule of law, fighting against corruption and impunity, addressing climate drivers of migration, and respecting human rights.”

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Neighborhood Climate Data with Ms. Margaret Gordon

West Oakland experiences the highest level of diesel particulate matter — a toxic air contaminant and form of powerful, short-lived climate pollutant– of any community in the San Francisco Bay Area. Heavy truck traffic to the Port of Oakland, pollution from the Port and from the surrounding freeways along with decades of disinvestment resulted in this concentration of air pollution. Coupled with emissions from neighboring industry and activity, these pollutants have contributed to worsening climate change and generated higher rates of asthma, cardiovascular disease, premature death and other adverse health effects for the West Oakland community.

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Federal Climate Action with Gov. Jerry Brown

Former four-term California Governor Jerry Brown sat down with Climate Break to discuss policy solutions and possible government actions on climate change. While in office from 1975-1983 and then 2011-2019, Gov. Brown instituted significant environmental protections and regulations that became the standards for the nation to follow. Now retired, Gov. Brown continues to drive international conversation on clean energy, market climate solutions and global cooperation on climate change mitigation.

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