Tag Archives: Environmental Activism

Scholars’ Circle – Author interview, On Disinformation, How to Talk to a Science Denier and Science Communication in a Crisis – July 30, 2023

Science is under attack. Who and what are behind the attacks? While we face catastrophic climate change and other pending disasters, how can we restore the public’s understandings about scientific realities? We explore disinformation and ways to communicate with non-scientists to loosen the grip the disinformants have on so many people. [ dur: 58mins. ]

  • Lee McIntyre is with us. He is a Research Fellow at the Center for Philosophy and History of Science at Boston University and a recent Lecturer in Ethics at Harvard Extension School. He is the author of How to Talk to a Science Denier , Post-Truth, and the forthcoming On Disinformation (MIT Press, August 2023),
  • Christopher Reddy is a senior scientist in the Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and faculty member at MIT of the MIT/Woods Hole program in oceanography. He is the author of SCIENCE COMMUNICATION IN A CRISIS: An Insider’s Guide (Routledge; May 10, 2023).

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

Scholars’ Circle – Wetlands Protection, the Clean Water Act and the US Supreme Court – July 2, 2023

In the wake of the US Supreme Court decision that weakened the EPA’s capacity to protect wetlands, we explore the role of wetlands in sustainability, biodiversity, and the economy. What might the decision mean for our environment, and economy? We examine Sackett vs. EPA, in a broader context what this means for the implementation of the Clean Water Act, what it means specifically for wetlands. What is the implication of framing the EPA as being against economic development?

What exactly does “waters of the United States” mean as discussed in this decision? [ 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 – 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 – 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 – US Rejoining the Paris Climate Accords and Vaccination as human right – January 24, 2021

The US has rejoined the Paris Climate Accords. What next steps should the US and the world take to mitigate the damage from the climate crisis? [ dur: 31mins. ]

  • Pamela Chasek is a Professor of Political Science at Manhattan College. Among many publications she is the co-author of Global Environmental Politics.
  • Shannon Gibson is Associate Professor of Political Science, International Relations, and Environmental Studies at the University of Southern California. She is the author of the forthcoming book Politics of Global Environment.
  • Larry Schweiger is a former president and CEO of National Wildlife Federation. He is the author of Last Chance: Preserving Life on Earth.

Vaccine distribution for the Covid virus has begun. What human rights issues are raised with the process of distributing the vaccine? How much do wealth and privilege determine who gets vaccinated? We take a global approach to vaccine nationalism and equitable distribution of the vaccine. [ dur: 26mins. ]

Amnesty’s report on this topic is Fair Shot: Ensuring Universal Access to Covid-19 Diagnostics, Treatments and Vaccines.
Amnesty’s report on Vaccine for Palestinians
Amnesty’s report on Human Rights Approach to Eradicating Covid-19.

This program is produced with generous contribution from Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin and Sudd Dongre.

Scholars’ Circle – Measuring Environmental impact of the US Military – April 5, 2020

We spend the hour looking at the environmental impact of the US military. How much does the US military pollute the environment? What is their role in climate change causing green house emissions? The military has taken some measures to reduce its impact on the environment and green gas emissions, but our guests say these measures do little to assuage the military’s bigger effects on climate change. What are these effects and what can be done about them?[ dur: 58mins. ]

For a transcript of this interview, please visit: TheBigQ

Produced by the Scholars’ Circle team: Ankine Aghassian, Melissa Chiprin, Anaïs Amin, Tim Page, Mike Hurst and Sudd Dongre.