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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: November, 2016
Nov 29, 2016

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In this episode, America Adapts talks with innovative climate leader, Jonathan Parfrey, the Executive Director of Climate Resolve (CR).  The mission of Climate Resolve “is to make Southern California more livable and prosperous today and for generations to come by inspiring people at home, at work, and in government to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and local air pollution, as well as prepare for climate change impacts.” Jonathan talks about how CR approaches climate change at the city scale, with the goal of not only making Los Angeles more resilient in the face of climate change, but also improving the overall quality of life of Angelos. It is not a typical mission for most adaptation professionals,, but as Jonathan explains, it’s a strategy that successfully gets broad public support for their activities.

Learn about CR’s “Cool Roofs” program, a citywide program to help low income residents obtain solar panels. Jonathan also talks about efforts to create a more integrated and green transportation system for Los Angeles.  We also learn about specific climate change impacts that Los Angeles is currently experiencing, and also, future impacts.  Climate Resolve emphasizes partnerships and they have assumed a major role in bringing together regional partners in these efforts.

What really stands out is the proactive approach the city of Los Angeles is taking on these issue, along with the state of California providing substantial support for cities to address climate change.  Hopefully what happens in California will spread across the country. The state truly is an incubator for cutting edge climate change planning.  There’s a lot more, so have a listen to Jonathan tell Climate Resolve’s story.

Finally, yes, most of your favorite podcasts are supported by listeners just like you! Please consider supporting this podcast by subscribing via PayPal! For more information on this podcast, visit the website at http://www.americaadapts.org and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes.  Also, follow on Facebook at America Adapts!  Check us out, we’re also on YouTube!

On Twitter: @usaadapts

Before founding Climate Resolve, Jonathan Parfrey served as a commissioner at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (2008-2013). Jonathan is also the immediate past-president of the Los Angeles League of Conservation Voters. He is a founder and Vice Chair of CicLAvia, the popular street event, as well as the founder of the Los Angeles Regional Collaborative for Climate Action and Sustainability, and the statewide Alliance of Regional Collaboratives for Climate Adaptation. He served as director of the GREEN LA Coalition (2007-2011), and as the Los Angeles director of Nobel Peace Prize-winning organization Physicians for Social Responsibility (1994 to 2007). Prior to that, Jonathan founded and directed the Orange County Catholic Worker (1987-1993). He was appointed to Governor Schwarzenegger’s Environmental Policy Team in 2003.

Nov 22, 2016

In this episode of America Adapts, I talk with Sascha Petersen, founder and lead of Adaptation International, an Austin, Texas based consulting firm. Sascha talks about his experiences working on adaptation projects with local governments and tribal interests. Learn the nuances of dealing with adaptation with tribal communities and how those lessons could be applied elsewhere. We also discuss if the private sector world of adaptation is growing and what new opportunities exist for those seeking opportunities outside the government and non-governmental sector.  Sascha has a unique experience in becoming an adaptation professional and we discuss his journey through this process, especially how he pivoted from sustainability and mitigation, to working mainly in adaptation planning.  We also test out how one communicates adaptation in an environment like Texas (it involves a belt buckle and plenty of enthusiasm).  

We then pivot and talk about about Sascha’s experiences as the first Managing Director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals. Learn the history of that group; why it was inevitable that the field of adaptation would need a professional society and also if things like adaptation certification are necessary. Finally, Sascha talks about his travels as ASAP director and all the interesting and inspiring people he got to meet working in the the field of adaptation.  Sascha shares a lot more insight on the field of adaptation and happens to be one of the emerging field’s most enthusiastic boosters. Have a listen to Sascha’s amazing adaptation journey.

Sascha has been working specifically on climate change for more than 10 years.  He was the first managing director of the American Society of Adaptation Professionals, a Lead Author for the Great Plains Region of the National Climate Assessment (2014), and  has worked with both climate scientists and municipal governments. He focuses on bridging the gaps between climate change science, policy, and action.

Finally, yes, most of your favorite podcasts are supported by listeners just like you! Please consider supporting this podcast by subscribing via PayPal! For more information on this podcast, visit the website at http://www.americaadapts.org and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes.  Also, follow on Facebook at America Adapts!  Check us out, we’re also on YouTube!

Nov 15, 2016

Special Election Coverage. In this episode, America Adapts is hosting James Stillwell, Program Manager for Climate Implementation at the University of Maryland, reporting from Marrakech, Morocco from the Cop22 climate change negotiations. Also, I speak with EcoAdapt’s MaryKay Gewiss and Alex Score, on next year’s big National Adaptation Forum. First, I check in with James, who’s in Morocco, following up with his role at the 2016 Paris Climate agreement (previous podcast topic).  We learn what other countries are saying about the climate agreement in light of Donald Trump’s presidential election win.  James seeks to provide a reality check on what happens next. We learn what it might mean if the U.S. exited the agreement; the difficulties involved with such an action; and the rest of the world’s desire to move on even if America does exit the talks.  James also shares his perspective on debating noted climate skeptic, Myron Ebell (available on youtube), the man responsible for the transition at the Environmental Protection Agency. He gives his insight on what Mr. Ebell's approach might be and offers a broader perspective on potential limits to that approach. Finally, James gives his parting thoughts on what Americans can expect from the Marrakech negotiations.  In a major pivot, I then talk with Alex and WendyKay about next year’s National Adaptation Forum in St. Paul, Minnesota, in May.  No matter what the results of the election are, adaptation planners will continue to work and convene and share information on the best ways to adapt to the impacts of climate change.  We talk about previous forums and what to expect at this forum. There are new themes and plenaries topics, looking to expand what sectors would be interested in attending the event.  We share advice to federal employees who may be concerned about their ability to travel under a new administration.  Also, the deadline to submit oral and poster presentations is December 16th, so please hurry if you are considering doing this.  Finally, I end the podcast with an election discussion with Tim Watkins in the Adaptation and Wine Power hour, trying to find ‘silver molecules’ on what a Trump presidency might mean for the adaptation field.  And stay tuned for next week's episode, as Dr. Michael Mann, legendary professor behind the ‘hockey stick’ research, and author of “ The Madhouse Effect”, comes on the podcast.  

Finally, yes, most of your favorite podcasts are supported by listeners just like you!  For more information on this podcast, visit the website at http://www.americaadapts.org and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes.  Also, follow on Facebook at America Adapts!  Check us out, we’re also on YouTube!

Nov 7, 2016

In this very special Halloween Episode, I talk with adaptation planning legends Lara Hansen and Jennie Hoffman. Lara is the Executive Director of Ecoadapt and Jennie is Founder and Principal at Adaptation Insight.  This was the first ‘threeway’ conversation on America Adapts, where we discussed the 5 year anniversary of Jenny and Lara’s groundbreaking book, Climate Savvy.  We learn the origins of the book, and how writing it went hand in hand with the establishment of their nationally recognized group, EcoAdapt.  Their book was one of the first to comprehensively lay out how one adapts to climate change, specifically in the natural resource world.  After digging into the book, we debate,  is the field of adaptation elitist? Is focusing on adaptation taking attention away from mitigating against carbon emissions (we all said no!)?  We also learn if some communities actually mitigate more effectively after they embrace adaptation.  Other topics covered:  the positives and negatives of the failed Cap and Trade bill; is adaptation certification necessary; is “Climate Savvy” still relevant? We also talk about the upcoming National Adaptation Forum next year in Minnesota and what new plenary sessions will be part of the agenda.  And finally we hear Lara and Jennie make an amazing analogy between adaptation and surfing - yes, it makes sense when they explain it, so listen in!  

Finally, yes, most of your favorite podcasts are supported by listeners just like you! Please consider supporting this podcast by subscribing via PayPal! For more information on this podcast, visit the website at http://www.americaadapts.org and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes.  Also, follow on Facebook at America Adapts!  Check us out, we’re also on YouTube!  Contact Doug Parsons at americaadapts@gmail.com.

Nov 1, 2016

In episode 16 of America Adapts, I talk with Brian Kahn, Senior Science Writer with Climate Central. Climate Central (CC) is exactly what it sounds like: a central location for key science information and resources.  Climate Central is a relatively new organization and Brian walks us through their unique model for providing climate science.  Brian explains how CC uses social scientists to find ways to get science news to resonate with the public. Brian also explains their unique Climate Matters program, which engages with meteorologists all over the country, providing climate graphics and resources.  We then talk about some of Brian’s own articles, the process of writing and selecting the topics, when a story connects, or when one is not well received, and how he can work with fellow Climate Central experts to figure why an article might have not connected as intended..  A few of his stories include:  Heat, Then Deluge Fell a Town’s Beloved 600-Year-Old Oak, Carbon Dioxide Passed Critical Threshold in 2015, This is What It’s Like To Be a Young Climate Scientist, Hottest Months on Record Have Something in Common, OK Fine, Here’s the Carbon Dioxide Spiral.  As you’ll discover, Brian brings a unique voice to these climate discussions and it’s one you’ll find yourself returning to frequently. We talk at length on his multi part series on the National Park Service and their response to climate change.  Doug and Brian also discuss the National Climate Assessment; what it is; the challenges of sharing the information in the assessment and how Climate Central has similar goals as the Assessment. Doug and Brian also discuss the role of Climate Central in adaptation planning and what opportunities exist for the organization to help this emerging field of climate practitioners.  The conversation ends with Brian sharing some of his favorite climate web sites and writers.  We also dig into climate change and pop culture and how movies like Before the Flood can engage and inspire a new generation of climate professionals.  

Brian Kahn is a Senior Science Writer at Climate Central. He previously worked at the International Research Institute for Climate and Society and partnered with climate.gov to produce multimedia stories, manage social media campaigns and develop version 2.0 of climate.gov. His writing has also appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Grist, the Daily Kos, Justmeans and the Yale Forum on Climate Change in the Media. In previous lives, he led sleigh ride tours through a herd of 7,000 elk and guided tourists around the deepest lake in the U.S. He holds an M.A. in Climate and Society from Columbia University.  One of Brian’s best quotes from the podcast, and a very succinct reason why Climate Central is so needed:  “Climate change is not a 2100 problem, it’s a 2016 problem.” There’s a lot more to hear from Brian, so please listen in!  And follow Brian on Twitter at: http://twitter.com/blkahn!

Finally, yes, most of your favorite podcasts are supported by listeners just like you! Please consider supporting this podcast by subscribing via PayPal! For more information on this podcast, visit the website at http://www.americaadapts.org and don't forget to subscribe to this podcast on Itunes.  Also, follow on Facebook at America Adapts!  Check us out, we’re also on YouTube!

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