Tag Archives: Environment

Scholars’ Circle – COP 27 Review and other Global Environmental Agenda – December 11, 2022

The world met once again on climate change, this time in Egypt. What did they agree to do, and what did they fail to do? We discuss the global environmental agenda, including biodiversity and the scourge of plastics. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin, Mihika Chechi, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – US provides policy incentives for mitigation and adaptation to changing climate and its effects – August 28, 2022

The United States just passed the Inflation Reduction Act. Much of it addresses climate change. Does it meet the challenge the planet faces on the changing climate? What renewable energy technologies will the US need to utilize to meet its climate goals? [ dur: 28mins. ]

  • Mark Jacobson is Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Director of Atmosphere/Energy Program at Stanford University. He is also the Co-Founder of The Solutions Project, 100.org, and the 100% Clean, Renewable Energy Movement. He is author of 100% Clean, Renewable Energy and Storage for Everything and the forthcoming No Miracles Needed : How Today’s Technology Can Save Our Climate and Clean Our Air.

Scientists say we still have time to address climate change and we’ve made headway, but we still have a long way to go. We rebroadcast a conversation with renowned climate scientist Michael Mann recorded on September 25, 2016. [ dur: 30mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Factory Farming of Animals, an Unsustainable Method of Food Production – August 21, 2022

Farming around the world, and in particular in the US, has increasingly become centralized as large factory farming. What are the environmental, social, and philosophical implications of this mode of agricultural production? [ dur: 58mins. ]

Factory farming carry significant challenges on environmental protection, on pricing and the centralization of wealth, and on social issues such as animal welfare and animal rights. We discuss agricultural policies and the environmental impacts including carbon emission, climate change and pollution.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Regulatory challenges for EPA after West Virginia v. EPA Decision of 2022 – July 17, 2022

The Supreme Court has weakened executive agencies and their ability to regulate and make policy. No agency has been more affected than the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). What is next for environmental protection? [ dur: 58mins. ]

Traditionally, the US Supreme Court has given executive branch agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency quite a bit of latitude at enforcing Congressional legislation. This principle is called Chevron deference. But in this term, the Supreme Court weakened this principle significantly, in particular in the area of environmental protection. In West Virginia v EPA, the Court signaled that the EPA can only enforce on areas specifically outlined by Congress. Specifically, it weakened the agency’s ability to take regulatory steps to combat climate change. We will discuss what this means for the EPA, for public policy, and for the US’s ability to make international commitments on the environment.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Mihika Chechi, Melissa Chiprin, and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – American Common Ground with Public Land Uses – History and Reform Opportunities – February 13, 2022

Over 600 million acres of land is collectively owned by the American people. What is the history of public lands and how is the contemporary discourses about public lands framed by this history? We interview the author of a new book on the history of public lands in the US. [ dur: 34mins. ]

Public lands are one of the collectively owned riches of Americans. How does this history influence our contemporary debates on public land use? How has President Joe Biden advanced the cause of public lands and how is this different from other presidents? [ dur: 24mins. ]

This program is produced by Maria Armoudian, Doug Becker, Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – What happened at COP26 in Glasgow ? – November 28, 2021

After world leaders met in Glasgow to mitigate the climate crisis, what exactly did they discuss? What was in the agreement and what does that mean for the future of the planet? We break down some of the specific agreements and the language used to confront the climate crisis. How does a promise to “phase down” the use of coal fall short of the required action to confront the crisis? What role should indigenous peoples, largely unrepresented at the meetings, play at administering these carbon reductions? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Will Carbon emission reduction goals be met with voluntary commitments by Corporations and the Nation State – November 21, 2021

Climate Change is an existential threat that demands bold action and a transformation of how humanity uses its resources. Concepts like “net zero” and “carbon offset” have done little toward decreasing the amount of greenhouse gases we emit into the atmosphere. Is the current legal and voluntary structure adequate to meet the challenge of climate change? Are we up to the challenge? [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Consequence of Oil Spill on the Southern California Coast – October 31, 2021

Earlier this month, an oil spill devastated parts of the ecosystems off the coast of Southern California. We explore how to limit the destruction arising from oil production and spills during the transition away from fossil fuels. [ dur: 58mins. ]

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – IPCC report analyzed, importance of Mitigation to assist Adaptation to new climate realities – August 22, 2021

The IPCC’s assessment on climate change warns us of the environmental risk if we don’t take dramatic action. We explore the report, the state of scientific research on climate change, and the need for political action. What actions do we need to take to mitigate and adapt to climate change?

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Election Laws in America ; Underestimated Impact of Seabed Mining – August 15, 2021

Since the 2020 election, Republican state legislators have passed a series of laws intended to shrink the number of eligible voters in future elections. What are the legal implications and what does this mean for the future of American democracy? Hosted by Doug Becker. [ dur: 36mins. ]

The search for minerals is leading some corporations to begin mining the ocean floor but scientists warn that this could devastate fragile ecosystems that will have repercussions that we still don’t understand. What is going on in the deep sea? What precautions should be taken to prevent devastating fragile ecosystems? hosted by Maria Armooudian. [ dur: 22mins. ]

  • Craig Smith is Professor of Oceanography at the University of Hawai’i.
  • Verena Tunnicliffe is a marine biologist at the University of Victoria in Canada where she holds a Canada Research Chair in Deep Ocean Research.

They are co-authors of the study Deep Sea Misconceptions Cause Underestimation of Seabed-Mining Impacts.

This program is produced by Ankine Aghassian, Doug Becker, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.