Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Mark Hertsgaard discusses why the truth about climate change didn’t hit home until he became a father, although he’s investigated global warming for the New Yorker, Time, Vanity Fair, and the Nation. In Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, he combines reporting from around the world with reflections on his daughter’s future. He looks at what we should expect in the next five decades: Chicago’s climate transformed to resemble Houston’s, shrinking water supplies and crop yields, mega-storms and rising sea-levels.


Mark Hertsgaard

Comments [21]

chris Wanjala

Pfor W R Ochieng',A History of Egypt and the Nile Valley From Ancient Times

Jan. 30 2011 09:33 PM
tom nemec from port monmouth, nj

It is a scientific fact that the is closets it has been to the sun in 26 thousands due to its orbit pattern. This would make it Hot. Why does not anyone mention this fact. It will get warmer in the years to come and then , cooler again.

Jan. 28 2011 04:04 PM
Bill from Danbury

History shows that market forces work best. Solar/wind won't deliver the enormous energy requirements the world needs. Thorium reactors look like the best bet near term. A significant government commitment to this technology could drive kwh costs below coal in less than a decade. Then we sell to the Chinese. Allow the oil cos. to handle marketing.

Jan. 27 2011 04:22 PM
Marilyn from Brooklyn

Mark Hertsgaard mentions that he 'blames' the media for not reporting the truth about global warming/climate change. I find it stunning that this sentiment isn't highlighted by the FACT that the media is no different than the Republican party and much of the Democratic party, basically owned by corporations whose interest is in short term profit and nothing else.

Jan. 27 2011 01:53 PM
Ed from Larchmont

I would be glad to accept the obvious scientific conclusions about global warming (and even the part that it's caused by human action), if you accept the obvious scientific conclusion that the fetus from the moment of conception is a human being, and so deserving of protection and respect. Seriously.

Jan. 27 2011 12:58 PM
Norma from NYC

I fully support your guest's stance on global warning, but unfortunately our country is so political & the ani-climate change group is so vociferous & has the most money & the most lobbyists on their side.
I believe that President Obama did the right thing in not mentioning climate change. We have to reframe the issue & talk about clean environment. The end is the important thing, not the means.
Most people readily accept the issue of cleaning our air & water. The polluting industries & their lobbyists cannot refute air & water pollution. We can work toward overcoming climate change by working toward the cleanest air and water.

Jan. 27 2011 12:54 PM
Michael from Manhattan

re: meat is bad for the environment

Please distinguish between meat from grain-fed animals (devastating to the environment) and meat from grass-fed animals (good for the environment).

This kind of oversimplification is a huge problem.

Jan. 27 2011 12:48 PM
Michael from Brooklyn

It is sooo frustrating that no one in office takes any of this seriously and there is no change being made. The general attitude of the Republican party is absolutely shameful, totally denouncing all scientific proof for oil money. It makes me so angry, and I feel totally helpless.

What the heck can we do to make it so our government starts changing something?!

Jan. 27 2011 12:47 PM
Shawn Shafner from Brooklyn, NY

I run an organization called The People's Own Organic Power Project ( that is tries to make people more conscious of the way we deal with all "waste" streams in our environment. We believe the 'flush and forget it' mentality has permeated the way we deal with most of our consumption. Check out this research on how farms can get more from their animals' output while reducing greenhouse gas emissions

Jan. 27 2011 12:41 PM
Charlie Roberts from Highlands, NJ

If we cut down on the hot air coming out of this guy, we'd probably be all a lot better off . . . maybe the sea levels would only rise two feet!!!

Jan. 27 2011 12:37 PM
Matthew in Brooklyn

What about Permaculture-- building a sustainable agricultural system

Jan. 27 2011 12:36 PM
Mirek Walus from Westfield, NJ

Recently on a train trip from Hamburg to Berlin (not the towns in Pennsylvania) I was counting PV solar panels installation on the roofs of German buildings as well as wind farms. After an hour and some 50 installation I saw and counted I thought 'enough of counting, it is a lot'. Recently on a train trip from Newark, NJ to Providence RI where you see town after town and industrial installation after industrial instillation, ports, factories and such, I counted TWO electric generating wind mills.In Germany I never saw ONE OR TWO. Always half a dozen or much much more in MANY, MANY locations there.
Why? German gov mandates that power companies pay more for the green generated power than the one they provide and charge for. Does our beloved Prez does not know this while running this 'all talk - no action' 'green policy'???

Jan. 27 2011 12:36 PM


Jan. 27 2011 12:35 PM
Jackie from Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

Your guest should note there is another political party (besides Republicans) in the industrialized world who question global warming. They currently hold a minority government in Canada - the Conservative Party of Canada

Jan. 27 2011 12:31 PM
Naomi from BK

Funny, I tried to market sustainable printing (recycled and re manufactured ink and toner which pollute landfills) solutions to both the White House and WNYC and was rebuffed by both.

No one takes this seriously on a day to day operations basis of a business.

Jan. 27 2011 12:28 PM
Mirek Walus from Westfield, NJ

Very high percentage of cars in Europe are both CNG and gasoline. The conversion of practically any gas powered vehicle takes few hours and costs $1000-2000 USD. Any car becomes a gas/CNG hybrid in a matter of few hours. CNG is much less polluting and costs much less to fill up. Oil lobby in this country will never allow it...

Jan. 27 2011 12:26 PM
Nydia Leaf from New York City

The USA for decades has generated almost 25% of greenhouse gases while having only 5 or 6% of world population. Of this 25% the US has generated, more than half comes from the US military. What can be done about this? Will the Pentagon renounce war?

Jan. 27 2011 12:26 PM
Marissa from Manhattan

We studied the effects of climate change on NYC at Columbia's GSAPP in the MS architecture + urban design program - we titled our project "sponge city" - and have references and ideas at
You should definitely start with the MEC report

Jan. 27 2011 12:22 PM
Amy from Manhattan

Please don't put it in terms of "without *global warming* there would be no life on Earth"--the deniers would love to quote that! Isn't it really the greenhouse effect you're referring to?

And I actually want to discourage using "global warming" for what's coming--it sounds too nice & not urgent enough. How about global climate disruption or upset? Too many people think climate = weather & global = uniform, & we need to counter that.

Jan. 27 2011 12:20 PM
Ed from Larchmont

One reason people argue against the global warming idea is that other people use it to control population incorrectly, which is not necessary and a separate question.

Jan. 27 2011 12:15 PM
Peg from Upstate Ny

Bringing down our global carbon emissions is our "Sputnik" moment.

If we don't address this - nothing else matters.

Sorry folks - but "the sky is falling" on our beautiful planet.

Jan. 27 2011 12:13 PM

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