What Comes After What Comes Next
Climate science and protecting the "best" planet with Dr. Kate Marvel
This week James catches up with world-renowned climate scientist and science writer, Dr. Kate Marvel.
Kate is research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and a professor at Columbia University’s Department of Applied Physics and Mathematics.
One of the reasons for inviting Kate on the show was to get to the bottom of how a climate model works. How can we know with any certainty what we are doing to the planet – and why are there still some things that we do not know for sure? What role do the oceans play? Why a hotter planet is more conducive to natural disasters? What are the differences between a world that experiences a 2°C temperature increase as opposed to a 5°C temperature increase?
As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at email@example.com.
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8. Climate change, security, and geo-politics with Ben Rhodes56:26We're back! And for this episode we're lucky to welcome the one and only Ben Rhodes onto the show.Ben spent eight years with President Barack Obama - as a close confidante, speechwriter, national security advisor, and friend. He was there when the Paris Agreement was signed, and at Obama's side every step of the way towards that historic moment - including the breakthrough with China that ultimately paved the way for the agreement. We hope you enjoy this one. It's rare to get to speak with someone who has been so close to the highest levels of climate politics. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow James on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
7. The control of the control of nature with Elizabeth Kolbert01:02:43Elizabeth Kolbert is the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Sixth Extinction. Her most recent book, Under a White Sky, looks at the unintended consequences of human attempts to control nature with technology. "We're now intervening to counter the effects of our own intervention," Kolbert says. "I call it the control of the control of nature."When it comes to climate change, the question that lies at the heart of Under a White Sky is essentially whether various experiments in geoengineering are a distraction from cutting emissions, or whether things have gotten so bad that we need to consider these interventions.James caught up with Elizabeth about this and what our priorities should be when it comes to addressing the climate crisis – action to cut emissions, even though it might not be enough globally, or take the risk of using technology to geoengineer the climate, at all the potential consequences that could entail. We had a few technical difficulties with this one and had to rely on the recording function on Zoom, which doesn't offer the best sound quality - but it doesn't get in the way of a great conversation!As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at email@example.com. Follow James on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
6. Building political support for the transition with David Axelrod58:07This week James catches up with the former chief strategist and senior advisor to President Obama, David Axelrod. James and David talk about the tensions between consensus building and the need for urgent action when it comes to climate action. They also talk about the need to tell a positive story about how climate action will benefit people's lives. David shares his experience of working on 150 campaigns across the U.S., including Barrack Obama's two historic elections in 2008 and 2012, and highlights the importance of bringing people along on the journey net-zero. Obama himself has said his administration did not “adapt quickly enough to the fact that there were people being left behind and that frustrations were going to flare up.” This is something we will all need to be aware of. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow James on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
5. Telling stories with Barbara Kingsolver55:00This week James catches up with award winning author Barbara Kingsolver, whose work over the last three decades has eloquently and movingly touched on matters of genuine social and environmental concern.Most notably, Barbara's novel Flight Behaviour conveyed the impact of climate change on a community, an ecosystem and a species. The novel also draws out the tension that can exist between one's everyday life and the changes happening around us, of which we can feel powerless to address on our own. This is particularly evident in the life of the novel's main character, Dellarobia, who tries to make sense of the unexpected arrival of a flock of monarch butterflies and what it might mean for the future while struggling with the challenges of poverty and her own family. Running through Barbara's work over the last 30 years has been a real sense of place - from her early books in Arizona, to the Poisonwood Bible, to Flight Behaviour. She has also written a number of books with more than a passing reference to the natural world, including Small Wonder and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Most recently Barbara contributed a poem to a Time magazine special report called 2050: The Fight for the Earth, which provides a powerful look at the politics of consumption, equality, and climate change. Halfway through the episode Barbara treats us to a very special reading of the poem. Some of the most popular podcast episodes we've published so far have been those that look at climate change through a slightly different lens. In the last series it was legendary music producer Brian Eno who spoke to James about what different models and structures for making music can teach us about how to organise society and our politics. Today we are delighted to bring you another unique perspective on the role art and literature can play in helping address the climate crisis. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at email@example.com. Follow James on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
4. Why we must listen to indigenous voices with Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim01:02:10When Hindou Oumarou Ibrahim was a child, Lake Chad in her home country spanned 10,000 km2. Today, because of climate change, it is around a tenth of that size.As Hindou puts its "climate change is not about our future, it's about our present.”Hindou is an expert in the adaptation and mitigation of indigenous peoples to climate change. She is a member of the Mbororo pastoralist people in Chad and President of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad (AFPAT). Oumarou Ibrahim is an advocate for the greater inclusion of indigenous people and their knowledge and traditions in the global movement to fight the effects of climate change. Soon after we started talking Hindou reminded me that "when you are born an indigenous person, you are born an activist for the environment.” On the one hand, this is an upsetting conversation about the impact climate change is having right now on indigenous peoples all over the world. On the other hand, it is an inspiring, hopeful conversation about our capacity to build a better, cleaner, low carbon future. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow James on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
3. The habitable earth with David Wallace-Wells01:06:23James catches up with author and journalist David Wallace-Wells. David's 2017 best-selling book The Uninhabitable Earth began with the now-famous line “it is worse, much worse, than you think.” It then goes on to set out in rich and forensic detail what the impacts of climate change could be for our politics, our culture, our economy, and our psychology. It's one hell of a book and comes highly recommended, especially as more and more countries come forward with emissions reduction pledges. The Uninhabitable Earth started life as an article for the New Yorker. Within a couple of days of publication, it was the most-read article the magazine had ever published. Four years after writing it, what gives David hope that we can avoid the worst impacts of the climate crisis and build a better, cleaner future for his young kids? As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at email@example.com. Follow James on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
1. Climate, geopolitics, and trade with Jeffrey Sachs55:22Kia ora!Welcome back for the second series of What Comes After What Comes Next, Aotearoa New Zealand's number one podcast about how we tackle the climate crisis and renew our economies in a post-pandemic world. To kick off series two James catches up with "probably the most important economist in the world"* Professor Jeffrey Sachs. *according to the New York Times, no less.James chatted to Jeff about climate change, global trade, and geo-politics. So, you know, just a couple of light topics to get you into series two. Hope you enjoy it. For those of you who do not know him, Professor Sachs is the Director of the Centre for Sustainable Development at Columbia University and over the course of his career has served as Special Advisor to three UN Secretaries-General. He has also authored some of the world’s most influential book on economics, development, and climate change, and counts President Biden and John Kerry as good friends.
Series Two Coming Soon!01:37Series two drops this Saturday. Look forward to joining you then!