Challenging Climate

Challenging Climate

Asking tough questions about the science, technology, and politics of climate change, two climate researchers challenge leading experts on one of the defining issues of our age. Every two weeks, they explore how we can fight global warming by cutting greenhouse gas emissions, carbon removal, adaptation and solar geoengineering. Dr. Jesse Reynolds and Dr. Pete Irvine consider the roles of computer models and persuasive narratives, economics and public policy, and renewable energy and national security in the climate debate, and look beyond to issues such as biotechnology and international development. Support us at Patreon. Questions or comments? Email info@challengingclimate.org or tweet @ChalClimate See more information on Jesse Reynolds and Pete Irvine. Subscribe for email updates. music by Peter Danilchuk @clambgramb (IG/Twitter).

Episodes

November 29, 2022 45 min

Our guests are Dr Glen Peters, the research director for the Climate Mitigation group at Center for International Climate Research (CICERO), and Dr Linda Steg, Professor of Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen.  

In light of the recent COP27 hosted in Sharm el Sheikh, we pose the question: is the 1.5 Celsius goal still alive? In this episode, we dissect this complex question from the model-driven approach of Peter...

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Dr Luke Kemp is a Research Associate at the Centre for the Study of Existential Risk, University of Cambridge. He has a PhD in international relations from the ANU and previous experience as a senior economist at Vivid Economics. In this episode, Luke sheds light on a surprisingly understudied and overlooked topic – catastrophic climate risk. This episode explores catastrophic and extinction risk, why the topic is understudied, and...

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Oliver Morton is The Economist’s briefings editor, specializing in the energy business, climate science and policy, and other green issues. He is the author of The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World and most recently The Moon: A History for the Future. In this episode, we discuss ideas from The Planet Remade on climate change and how recent events have influenced our prospects of reaching net zero emissions, a...

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Ben Novak is lead scientist at Revive & Restore, where he leads the de-extinction efforts – especially the group’s restoration of the extinct passenger pigeon. He is also the lead coordinator for its conservation cloning projects and Program Manager for Revive & Restore’s new Biotechnology for Bird Conservation. In this episode, we dive deep into the applications of biotechnology in de-extinction, genetic modification for c...

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Gaia Vince is an award-winning science journalist, author, broadcaster and speaker. In this episode, we discuss her new book Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval. Vince gives insight on how humanity can plan for and manage an unavoidable climate migration. We also explore methods to restore the planet to a fully habitable state, such as stratospheric sulfate aerosol injection and iron fertilization of the oceans. 

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Professor Kerry Emanuel is a prominent meteorologist and climate scientist working at the Department of Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences at MIT. His research focuses on tropical meteorology and climate, with a specialty in hurricane physics. In this episode, we spoke with Kerry about what distinguishes a hurricane from tropical storms and tornadoes, and the dangers these natural hazards pose to societies. We also cover how...

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Dr Arunabha Ghosh is the founder-CEO of the Council on Energy, Environment and Water, and has led CEEW to the top ranks as one of Asia's leading policy research institutions and among the world’s 20 best climate think-tanks. In this episode, we discuss the work that CEEW is involved in and dive deep into the environmental challenges that developing countries, such as India, face.   

Links:  

  • Council on Energy, Environment and Wat...
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    Dr Tom Matthews is a climate scientist at King’s College London, specialising in glacier-climate interactions and extreme weather. In Episode 17, we discuss Tom’s exciting fieldwork on Mt. Everest co-installing the highest-altitude weather stations in the world, as well as extreme heat and its impacts on society. 

    Links:  

  • Tom Matthews’ profile 
  • Two articles on Tom’s expedition to Mt Everest: this and that  
  • Wikipedia page on penitente...
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    Dr Hannah Ritchie is a Senior Researcher at the Oxford Martin Programme in Global Development and the Head of Research at Our World in Data. In this episode, we spoke with Hannah about her work at Our World in Data and her article, "Stop Telling Kids They’ll Die From Climate Change". We discuss her thoughts on what some of the world's most pressing problems are, touching on topics such as agriculture, the link between m...

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    Dagomar Degroot is an associate professor of environmental history at Georgetown University. In this episode, we spoke with Dagomar about historical climatology and how the past can inform us about contemporary climate change. We cover his book, The Frigid Golden Age, and why societies like the Dutch and Thule thrived while the Norse suffered when the climate changed. Dagomar also addresses existing biases in the field of historica...

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    Dr. Nils Gilman is the Senior Vice President of Programs at the Berggruen Institute and the deputy editor of Noema Magazine. We speak with Nils about two of his popular articles, "The Coming Avocado Politics" and "The Guns of Warming".  We first discuss avocado politics, what it is and how it manifests in the United States and Europe. The second half of the episode takes a look at climate change and security on glob...

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    Dr Britt Wray is an author and researcher working at the forefront of climate change and mental health. She is currently a Human and Planetary Health Fellow at Stanford University and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Britt’s research focuses on the mental health impacts of the climate crisis and has published popular books such as Rise of the Necrofauna: The Science, Ethics and Risks of De-Extinction, and Generat...

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    Mark Maslin is a professor of Earth System Science at University College London and a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit scholar. Mark is a leading scientist in past global and regional climatic change and its links to human evolution, and has written dozens of popular science articles and popular books, including The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene (with Simon Lewis) – just out in paperback. 


    In this episode, we spo...

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    In this episode Jesse and Pete interview each other and look back on the first 10 episodes of Challenging Climate. They discuss their backgrounds, research, and Jesse's new job as Executive Secretary of the Climate Overshoot Commission. They also reflect on how the podcast has been going and look ahead to the future.

    Jesse Reynolds is an expert in international environmental policy. He researches and advises on how rules, proced...

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    Wake Smith is a Senior Fellow at the Mossavar-Rahmani Center for Business and Government at Harvard Kennedy School, writing scholarly articles on the feasibility, costs and governance of stratospheric aerosol geoengineering. Wake also teaches an undergraduate course on climate intervention at Yale University, the syllabus of which forms the basis of his new book “Pandora’s Toolbox – The Hopes and Hazards of Climate Intervention.” P...

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    Sir David King is the founder and chair of the Centre for Climate Repair at Cambridge University and the Climate Crisis Advisory Group. Previously he held the positions of the UK's permanent Special Representative for Climate Change. He was also the Government's Chief Scientific Advisor from 2000 to 2007, during which time he raised awareness of the need for governments to act on climate change and was instrumental in creat...

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    We speak with Jan Minx, Head of Applied Sustainability Science at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change, and a visiting Professor of Climate Change and Public Policy at The Priestley Centre at the University of Leeds. Jan has published widely on climate and sustainability issues and has a keen interest in evidence synthesis which he developed through his work with the Intergovernmental Panel on Climat...

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    We speak with Dr. Gavin Schmidt, climate scientist, director of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies and co-founder of the RealClimate climate science blog. Gavin’s research focuses on understanding the past, present and future of the climate system and the impacts of the various drivers of climate change. In this episode we take a deep dive on the science of climate change covering how it is observed, detected and attributed. A...

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    We speak with Elizabeth Kolbert, a journalist of politics and the environment. She has been at The New Yorker for more than 20 years and is the author of Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future, The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History (winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for General Non-Fiction), and Field Notes from a Catastrophe: Man, Nature, and Climate Change. We dive into how the climate change discourse has changed, mass...

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    Robert Lempert is a principal researcher at the RAND Corporation and director of the Center for Longer Range Global Policy and the Future Human Condition. His research focuses on risk management and decision-making under conditions of deep uncertainty. He was also a coordinating lead author on Chapter 1 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) latest report on climate impacts. We discuss how the IPCC works and how ...

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