America Adapts - The Climate Change Podcast

A changing climate presents humanity with only one option: adapt. On the America Adapts podcast, we explore the challenges presented by adapting to climate change, the national movement that has begun to drive change, and the approaches that the field's best minds believe are already working. Join climate change adaptation expert Doug Parsons as he talks with scientists, activists, policymakers and journalists about the choices we face and the people who make them. The climate adaptation conversation, and the movement, starts here. America Adapts - building a community of Adapters!
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Now displaying: September, 2016
Sep 26, 2016

In this episode, host Doug Parsons speaks with doctoral student Samantha Montano, a “Disasterologist”, an expert in emergency management.  Samantha also blogs on this subject at her web site:  Samantha recently published a news article for Vox magazine, highlighting the recent, unprecedented flooding in Louisiana, and  how underprepared the country is deal with natural disasters and how climate change is only going to make responding to these disasters harder.  In this episode, Samantha explains what the country’s emergency management system is; she also talks about what inspired her  to join this field, going into detail of her time living in New Orleans, helping with the recovery in post Hurricane Katrina.  Samantha also discusses the media’s failure to appropriately cover the recent catastrophic flooding event in Louisiana and what role the media has in natural disasters. Doug and Samantha discuss how the adaptation field can learn from the emergency management universe and how the two fields can collaborate to improve what each other is doing.  We also talk about the shortcomings of our regulatory and policy mechanisms to deal with disasters, especially during the recovery phase, and the missed opportunities for long term adaptation planning. Samantha also identifies her top recommendations to adaptation professionals to get more networked with emergency management professionals. Finally, Samantha talks about the 4 phases of emergency management, 1. Preparedness; 2.Response; 3. Recovery; and 4. Mitigation and how adaptation planning can learn from this framework. It’s a rich, enlightening and boisterous conversation! For more information on this podcast, visit our website at and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes. Also, consider following us on Facebook at America Adapts!  Also, America Adapts plugs the inspiring podcast, Everyday Superhumans.

Sep 19, 2016

Show me adaptation in Missouri, the ‘Show Me’ state: Doug talks with Dennis Figg, longtime wildlife conservation leader from the state of Missouri.  Learn how climate change will fundamentally alter future wildlife management. Listen in as Doug and Dennis list their top 3 challenges facing the wildlife community.  They also discuss the limitations of the Endangered Species Act in the face of climate change and the overall approach of threatened and endangered species.  Learn about Missouri’s unique wildlife and Dennis’ decades working to protect this region. They also discuss the role of science in wildlife management and the challenges of developing effective policies from field research.  They also discuss the overall capacity of wildlife professionals to deal with the threat of climate change and how climate change will radically alter our perceptions of invasive species.  Dennis shares his experiences from his early days as a wildlife conservationist ,  all the way to his evolution into one of the country’s leading voices on climate change adaptation.  We also discuss: funding opportunities for adaptation; mandatory climate change training; understanding vulnerability assessments; getting the public behind these emerging concepts; and finding Bull sharks in the Mississippi River.   We discuss all these things and more!   For more information on this podcast, visit our website at and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes. Also, consider following us on Facebook at America Adapts

Sep 12, 2016

America Adapts talks with Tristram Korten, investigative reporter from Florida who was responsible for the most covered climate change story of the year!  Learn the specific details on how Tristram broke the climate change story of the year, uncovering the fact that the Florida Governor had banned the use of climate change for state employees. Hear the untold stories of who was involved; what the ultimate fall out was from this story, and what it means for the future of Florida.  This amazing story was covered by almost every major news outlet, from Huffington Post, Washington Post, the New Republic, New York Magazine, USA Today, Time , CNN, and Newsweek; the international media also got involved, where Tristram describes when the French media conducted a surreal and humorous interview with him.  In addition, The Daily Show and even President Obama referenced this groundbreaking story.  Also, Doug and Tristram discuss the fall out of from the story and did it lead to any changes in government policy; they also discuss the ethics of government officials to share key information and the challenges of dealing with government employees;   Doug and Tristram then dig into the challenges of covering climate change stories in the popular media. Do reporters have the necessary skills and expertise to cover climate change, and specifically adapting to climate change? Doug and Tristram also discuss: the state of small and medium newspapers and their ability to function in the internet age; Tristram’s favorite news reporters; how the Republican party use to be the source of innovative climate change leadership;  the Zika virus and the future of Florida and the role of politics in climate change planning. This discussion is fundamentally about science integrity and the role of politics in that process. Yes, we cover a lot. So listen in as Tristram and Doug go play by play and recreate what exactly happened that led to the climate change story of the year!

Tristram Korten is a magazine and radio journalist based out of Miami. He writes about environment, politics, and investigative stories in the Southeast U.S. and the Caribbean Basin. His work has appeared in Atlantic Monthly, The,, Fast Company, Details, Macleans, Mother Jones, and newspapers like the Miami Herald and The New York Times. Tristram's radio stories have aired on NPR's "Here and Now" and PRI's "The World." He's won numerous awards, including a National Headliner Grand Prize in 2012 and most recently the 2016 Waldo Proffitt Award for Excellence in Environmental Reporting in Florida, for a series exposing how the Florida Governor's Office banned the term "climate change" within state government.

For more information on this podcast, visit and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes. Also, consider following us on Facebook at America Adapts!

Sep 5, 2016

Episode 8:  Rivers, watersheds and climate change adaptation!  America Adapts talks with Watershed/Adaptation Planner Rebecca Esselman of the Huron River Watershed Council.  Learn how HRWC became one of the first local watershed groups to bring in adaptation staff.  Many river advocates have long argued that watersheds should be the landscape model for conservation planning. Listen in as Doug talks with Rebecca on the challenges and opportunities that local watershed groups have when dealing with climate change adaptation.  The Huron River is a major urban river, part of the greater Detroit watershed.  Rebecca describes working with local watershed stakeholders on how they need to focus on future threats like climate change and what that means for present day decision making. Also hear more about some of their current adaptation projects, one of which is funded by the Doris Duke Foundation’s Adaptation Fund.  Rebecca also proposes developing a “climate network” of local groups to keep the momentum going on existing efforts and to develop new partnerships.  Rebecca also discusses the struggles of identifying funding streams for inland landscapes since so much adaptation emphasis has been placed on coastal areas in recent years.  This podcast highlights the issue that adaptation planning must be local if we were are going to get the public behind these efforts.  For more information on this podcast, visit our website at and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes. Also, consider following us on Facebook at America Adapts!