495: Hot In My Backyard
MAY 17, 2013
After years of being stuck, the national conversation on climate change finally started to shift — just a little — last year, the hottest year on record in the U.S., with Hurricane Sandy flooding the New York subway, drought devastating Midwest farms, and California and Colorado on fire. Lots of people were wondering if global warming had finally arrived, here at home. This week, stories about this new reality.
Prologue: Host Ira Glass remembers Hurricane Sandy, and the feeling that we might be getting a preview of what the world would looking like as climate change continues. He talks about how stuck the country’s conversation about climate change has been, but how for the first time in a long time, it seems that might change. (2 minutes)environment
Act I: The CO2 in CO.
Reporter Julia Kumari Drapkin tells the story of Colorado’s State Climatologist, Nolan Doesken. Doesken has long believed the humans are driving climate change, but never connected it to his own life. Even after several years of some of the most devastating weather his state has ever seen, Nolan considered climate change a worry for the future. Then, last year, he watched as his state experience some of the most extreme weather it ever has. For the first time, Nolan felt like he was looking at what the future would be like where he lives. He felt scared. Julia tells the story of how this has all changed Nolan, and changed what he’s saying to the people of his home state. Julia is the lead producer of iSeeChange at station KVNF, funded by Localore, AIR and CPB. (18 minutes)
Act II: The Right Man for the Job
Producer Ben Calhoun tells the story of a former Congressional Representative from South Carolina, Bob Inglis. Inglis is a conservative Republican who once doubted climate science. After he looked at the research, he changed his mind, and decided to speak out. In 2010, he was mocked by people in his own party and trounced in by a Tea Party-backed candidate. Since then, Bob has dedicated himself to the issue even more — and he’s now trying to create a conservative coalition for climate change action. (15 minutes)
Act III: Find an Enemy
Host Ira Glass tells the story of writer turned activist Bill McKibben. McKibben is trying to reinvent progressive politics when it come to climate change. He’s attempting to create a divestment campaign modeled after the successful campaign against apartheid in South Africa. The campaign is designed recast the discussion of climate change with fossil fuel companies as the villains. (18 minutes)