Bionic Planet: Your Guide to the New Reality

Bionic Planet: Your Guide to the New Reality

Earth. We broke it; we own it; and nothing is as it was: not the trees, not the seas – not the forests, farms, or fields – and not the global economy that depends on all of these. Bionic Planet is your guide to the Anthropocene, the new epoch defined by man's impact on Earth, and in each episode, we examine a different aspect of this new reality: sometimes financial, sometimes moral, but always practical.... Show More

Episodes

There's a lot of money sloshing around forests, and most of it goes into agricultural subsidies and investments that destroy forests, while only a trickle goes into programs that save them.

That's why today's guest, Charlotte Streck, wants to implement a Marshall Plan for Forests.

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On the eve of year-end climate talks in Madrid, I revisit my 2017 conversation with Bronson Griscom, Director of Forest Carbon Science for the Nature Conservancy.  He headed up a team of three dozen researchers from almost two dozen institutions tasked with identifying once and for all the realistic potential of using nature as a bulwark against climate change.  The result is a report called " Read more

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The third episode of our three-part look at the birth of REDD+, we speak with Annie Petsonk of the Environmental Defense Fund.

Related Articles:

 

Shades of REDD+: A Marshall Plan for Tropical Forests?

Link: Read more

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In this second part of our three-part series on the history of forests in the Paris Climate Agreement, we hear how REDD+ got its name and made its way into the climate negotiations. Special Guest: Kevin Conrad of the Coalition for Rainforest Nations

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2019 is shaping up to be a pivotal summer in a pivotal year in the critical race to meet the climate challenge, with major media finally discovering the role that healthy forests can play in fixing the mess.

In this episode, we examine the 40-year effort to slow climate change by saving forests. It's the first of three parts developed in accompaniment with the Ecosystem Marketplace series " Read more

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We eat to live, but the food we’re eating is killing us – not just because of what it does to our bodies, but because of what it does to our climate.

Beef, for example, comes from cows that burp out methane, which is a powerful greenhouse gas that traps up to 80-times more heat than carbon diox... Read more

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Environmental NGOs have long pressured companies to reduce their impact on forests, and companies have long complained that every NGO seems to come with different demands.

Now a coalition of more than a dozen NGOs have called the corporate bluff by creating a framework that provides a universal way of accounting for deforestation.

They call it the Accountability Framework, and today's guest, Jeff Milder, is one... Read more

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It's an article of faith among some on the left that markets and capitalism are the roots of all evil, while some on the right see pure, free markets as the invisible hand of God, and regulation as the work of the Devil.

Most economists will tell you they're both wrong, because there's no such thing as either a pure free market or a marketless society. We need markets to get things done, and we need governance... Read more

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Environmental scientist Tim Male has worked the conservation puzzle from both the NGO and governmental sector -- first with NGOs like Environmental Defense Fund, then as an elected councilman, and finally as an adviser to the Obama Administration's Council on Environmental Quality. In 2017, he distilled his views in a paper called "Nature, Paid on Delivery", which examines the ways the US states of Louisiana, Marylan... Read more

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We've been fairly US-centric lately, but only because so much is finally happening there. In today's episode, we speak with Rhiana Gunn-Wright of New Consensus. That's the Think Tank that's helping freshman Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and veteran Senator Ed Markey develop policy to support the Green New Deal they proposed last month.

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March 5, 2019 29 min

We're losing pollinators at an alarming rate, which scientists attribute at least in part to the loss of native plants, which evolved alongside hundreds of native pollinators -- including bees, hummingbirds, and butterflies.

 

Dave Neu and Joe Krischon of the Conservation Land Stewardship have been helping to resurrect a degraded ravine north of Chicago, and today they explain how this backbreaking work helps r... Read more

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Wetlands cover 274 million acres of the United States, and they ultimately provide more than half the country's drinking water, which is one reason the federal government protects them -- or has, until now.

Back in December, the US EPA and Army corps of engineers unveiled new rules for regulating water, and you'd be surprised what it leaves out. More half of the country's wetlands will... Read more

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We hear a lot about the Sustainable Development Goals, or "SDGs" these days, with major pension funds like Calvert aligning their portfolios with them, and up to $12 trillion in finance, by one estimate, ready to do the same the same. But what are they?

That's a question I tried answering almost three years ago -- way back in 2016. It was right after world leaders had reached the Paris Climate Agreement, and r... Read more

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January 23, 2019 82 min

Yvo de Boer served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) from August, 2006 to July, 2010; and in November of last year, he became president of the Gold Standard, which is an NGO-led global partnership that sets standards for everything from carbon projects to the way we recognize contributions to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

In this wide-ranging discussion... Read more

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Agriculture emits roughly 20 percent of all greenhouse gasses, but sustainable management of forests, farms, and fields can turn the world's farms into massive carbon sinks that absorb greenhouse gasses by the gigaton, yet farmers -- as opposed to agriculture ministers -- have been nearly invisible at year-end climate talks. That changed this past year, thanks to a global farmer-led effort to promote climate-safe agriculture... Read more

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The first week of year-end climate talks have wrapped up in Katowice, Poland, where natural climate solutions are finally getting the attention they deserve --  both in negotiations and on the sides. Everyone, it seems, agrees that we need to improve the way we manage our forests, farms, and fields -- which can get us more than a third of the way to meeting the Paris Agreement targets -- but how do you make that happen?

W... Read more

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Samuel Avaala shakes his head as he dips his fork into a bowl of red-red, a traditional Ghanaian stew that gets its color – and name – in part from red palm oil.

“It doesn’t make sense,” he says. “Oil palm evolved here. It’s in our food; it’s in our medicine; but we built an economy on cocoa with little attention to oil palm.”

Oil palm is... Read more

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Ilson López is the President of Belgium.

Not the European country, but the indigenous village in the district of Tahuamanu, in the Peruvian state of Madre de Dios, at the western edge of the Amazon forest. He’s part of the Yine people, who are scattered from here all the way to Cusco, the capital of the old Incan empire, about 500 kilometers to the southwest. The village gets its name from the alleged homeland of a rubber... Read more

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In this episode, we speak with the Reverend Dr. Gerald Durley, who says climate change and civil rights are inexorably intertwined, and not just because the destruction of our living ecosystems is robbing us of our right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

Born in Kansas and raised in California, Rev Durley finished high-school in Oregon and then marched with Martin Luther King Jr while earni... Read more

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When countries around the world ratified the Paris Climate Agreement in 2016, they pledged to prevent average global temperatures from rising to a level more than 2 degrees Celsius, or 3.7 degrees Fahrenheit, above pre-industrial levels.

They picked that number because 2 degrees Celsius is the point at which climate models start going haywire, but they also asked the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, or IPCC, to ... Read more

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