Degrees of Concern

Email a Friend
· by WNYC

Hour 1: Degrees of Concern by John Rudolph
Hour 2: Nationwide call in with Brian Lehrer and Steve Curwood

Email your comments and questions to

Wall Street goes Waterworld!
Marshes disappear in Jamaica Bay!
Rising seas swamp Ground Zero!
Infectious disease on the rise!
And salt in the drinking water!

While the threat of another terrorist attack and city’s budget woes may be foremost on the minds of many New Yorkers today, there is an emerging menace to the city that is only beginning to get the attention some say it deserves - Climate Change.

Many scientists believe man-made changes to the world’s climate are promoting dramatic swings in the weather - more droughts and heat waves on the one hand, but also more storms and floods. What do these weather disruptions portend for a city such as New York, which, like many coastal environments, could be in jeopardy because of climate change?

On Saturday, October 11, from 3-5 pm Eastern, Living on Earth and WNYC, air a collaborative special: "Degrees of Concern: Climate Change and New York City’s Future."

In hour one, producer John Rudolph, who garnered the prestigious DuPont Award for his work on the DNA Files, travels around the city, from the World Trade Center site to Jamaica Bay, investigating how the city is responding to the early signs of global warming.

In hour two, WNYC’s Brian Lehrer and Living on Earth’s Steve Curwood hosted a nationwide call in, call-out to explore what cities around the country and around the world are doing to stave off the effects of climate change in urban environments.

As we learned on September 11th, what ever happens in New York, the nation’s center of industry, commerce and culture, can have far-reaching consequences for the rest of the world. Tune in as we explore how one major metropolitan is dealing with what many scientists call the most pressing challenge of the 21st century – a warming world.

Listen to and read the transcript of the entire documentary

Listen to the call in, hosted by WNYC’s Brian Lehrer and Living on Earth’s Steve Curwood

Degrees of Concern - Part I
Producer John Rudolph went to Jamaica Bay in Queens to investigate what may be early warning signs of the changing climate.

Degrees of Concern - Part II
John Rudolph speaks with a Columbia University scientist who warns that reducing emissions is not enough to address the threat of global warming.

Degrees of Concern - Part III
John Rudolph reports that one of New York's most vulnerable systems is the city's water supply. One place where this weakness would first be detected is along what's knows as the "salt front" on the Hudson River.

Degrees of Concern - Part IV
John Rudolph explains how West Nile came to the city and how it has changed the way New Yorkers live.

Degrees of Concern - Part V
Around the city and the region a number of efforts are underway to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other gasses that are blamed for the man-made disruption of the climate.John Rudolph reports that these efforts are not likely to protect New York from some widely predicted effects of climate change such as rising seas and more frequent storms.

Additional Resources:


    Credits: Producer John Rudolph
    Senior Producer for Living On Earth Chris Ballman
    Associate Producer Sharon Lerner
    Editors Karen Frillmann and Diane Toomey
    Mix engineers Andy Farnsworth and Al Avery
    Field recording engineer Dean Western
    Researcher Alex Kingsbury
    WNYC's archivist Andy Lanset
    Host of Living On Earth Steve Curwood