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Getting to Net Zero

Season 2, Ep. 11

We all know that climate change is real and that we have to do something about it. In today's podcast extra episode, we go behind the scenes at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and talk to Anders Hammer Strømman, who was one of the lead authors for their latest report, released in April this year. Anders is a professor at NTNU's Industrial Ecology Programme where he has specialized in Life Cycle Assessment and Environmental input-output analysis, which are tools that enable us to understand the real environmental costs of the goods and materials we use in everyday life.


We talk about why cutting carbon emissions quickly is a little like skiing up a big mountain, how battery companies need to come clean when it comes to how they make their products, why some version of a home office could be good for the planet, and why your individual choices can actually make a difference.  And we talk about why Anders is optimistic and thinks we can make this shift — even though the governments of the world have been slow to act.


Anders encouraged me (and by extension, you, my listeners) to look at the entire report (nearly 3000 pages — not 3675 as I say in the podcast!) but that's probably more than most of us have time for. You can look at the chapter that Anders was lead author on, on Transport, here (the link will start a pdf download). You can read an even more condensed version of the WG III report and its major findings here.


The bottom line is that we CAN make this happen!


Thanks this week for help from Ole Marius Ringstad, who did the sound design for the episode. Stay tuned for an update about next season, coming in the autumn.




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3/30/2022

The Detectives: Hunting toxic chemicals in the Arctic

Season 2, Ep. 9
Baby grey seals. Polar bears. Zooplankton on painkillers. How do toxic chemicals and substances end up in Arctic animals — and as it happens, native people, too? Our guests on today's show are Bjørn Munro Jenssen, an ecotoxicologist at NTNU, Jon Øyvind Odland, a professor of global health at NTNU and a professor of international health at UiT —The Arctic University of Norway, and Ida Beathe Øverjordet, a researcher at SINTEF.One of the most useful websites on arctic pollution is the Arctic Monitoring and Assessment Programme, AMAP. Rachel Carson's book is Silent Spring.Here's a selection of articles from today's episode:Sørmo, E.G., Salmer, M.P., Jenssen, B.M., Hop, H., Bæk, K., Kovacs, K.M., Lydersen, C., Falk-Petersen, S., Gabrielsen, G.W., Lie, E. and Skaare, J.U. (2006), Biomagnification of polybrominated diphenyl ether and hexabromocyclododecane flame retardants in the polar bear food chain in Svalbard, Norway. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, 25: 2502-2511. https://doi.org/10.1897/05-591RBourgeon, Sophie; Riemer, Astrid Kolind; Tartu, Sabrina; Aars, Jon; Polder, Anuschka; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Routti, Heli Anna Irmeli.(2017)Potentiation of ecological factors on the disruption of thyroid hormones by organo-halogenated contaminants in female polar bears (Ursus maritimus) from the Barents Sea.Environmental Research.vol. 15Nuijten, RJM; Hendriks, AJ; Jenssen, Bjørn Munro; Schipper, AM.(2016)Circumpolar contaminant concentrations in polar bears (Ursus maritimus) and potential population-level effects.Environmental Research.vol. 151.Chashchin, Valery; Kovshov, Aleksandr A.; Thomassen, Yngvar; Sorokina, Tatiana; Gorbanev, Sergey A.; Morgunov, Boris; Gudkov, Andrey B.; Chashchin, Maxim; Sturlis, Natalia V.; Trofimova, Anna; Odland, Jon Øyvind; Nieboer, Evert.(2020)Health risk modifiers of exposure to persistent pollutants among indigenous peoples of Chukotka.International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH).vol. 17 (1).