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Climate Change

The Takeaway

The Ptarmigan: A 'Canary' for Climate Change?

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Ptarmigan, a mountain bird known in Colorado for its camouflaged exterior, may be at risk due to climate change. Because the birds are limited to alpine habitats, scientists worry for their survival as temperatures rise and snow and ice melt. Last week, environmentalists began a campaign to designate the bird as a threatened species. If the designation is accepted and approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, it would require action to combat the threat of climate change, which could lead to legislation to reduce carbon emissions.

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The Takeaway

What This Summer's Natural Disasters Mean for Planet Earth

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The number of people affected by the massive flooding in Pakistan over the past week is larger than the combined total of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, the 2005 Kashmir earthquake and the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Flash floods have hit neighboring Kashmir, killing at least 85 people, and China where more than 1,300 people are feared missing. In Europe, a heat wave has led to the deaths of 5,000 people, and in Russia drought and wildfires are ravaging the country.

Are all these simultaneous natural disasters this summer just a big coincidence, or is it a harbinger of something more serious for Planet Earth? Environmentalist Bill McKibben connects the dots and finds out how much it has to do with global warming.

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The Takeaway

Senate Delays Vote on Spill Bill

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Senate still has a few things to do before it goes on August recess. From the "spill bill" to Elena Kagan, Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich has the latest from Capitol Hill.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Climate Legislation

Monday, August 02, 2010

Dan Lashof, director of the NRDC climate center, looks at what's next for climate change legislation after the collapse of the Cap and Trade bill.

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The Takeaway

UN Climate Talks Resume in Bonn

Monday, May 31, 2010

After the bottom nearly dropped out of the international climate summit in Copenhagen six months ago, some say don’t expect much, if anything, to come out of a similar summit beginning today in Bonn, Germany. The main challenges on coming to an agreement remain, and one of the big questions is: How should rich economies help poor countries deal with climate change?

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Gulf Oil Spill Threatens Democrat's Climate Bill, Listener Responses

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

  • Washington Takeout:  Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich explains how the oil spill that threatens the business and environment of the Gulf Coast region is also threatening Congressional Democrats who hoped to pass a sweeping energy and climate reform bill. 
  • Listener Responses: We hear what you had to say about the Times Square bomb attempt and what you think about surveillance cameras in public places in the wake of the incident.

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The Takeaway

Takeouts: Immigration Reform in Democrat's Crosshairs, Your Take on Secret Recipes

Monday, April 26, 2010

  • CONGRESSIONAL TAKEOUT: Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich discusses the new sense of urgency in Washington for immigration reform, and how the Democrats' agenda might get disrupted as a result.
  • LISTENERS TAKEOUT:  Friday, we talked to Todd Wilbur, a cookbook author turned master in the art of cloning secret recipes. This morning, we hear your take on what makes you keep or share kitchen secrets.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda: Ash Paralyzes Europe, 'American Idiot' Opens on Broadway

Monday, April 19, 2010

We take look at what's ahead this week, with Marcus Mabry of The New York Times and Latoya Peterson editor of the blog, Racialicious. Volcanic ash continues to keep most European flights grounded affecting attendance at everything from the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate to the Tribeca Film Festival, both of which take place this week. Meanwhile, Washington is still buzzing about the Iran memo sent by Defense Secretary Robert Gates. And in cultural news, Wanda Sykes' show is up for renewal and Green Days' "American Idiot" opens on Broadway.

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The Takeaway

New Fuel Efficiency Standards to Save Oil, Cut Pollution

Friday, April 02, 2010

The federal government announced its first ever mandatory limits for particular greenhouse gas emissions, as the EPA and the Department of Transportation announced new emissions rules for automobiles and light trucks yesterday.

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The Takeaway

After Copenhagen: Reviewing the Climate Change Summit

Monday, December 21, 2009

The climate change summit in Copenhagen wrapped up over the weekend - and a muted response has greeted what some are calling a toothless agreement, which observers note is merely a statement of intent rather than a binding document. David Biello, associate editor of environment and energy at Scientific American, was at the summit in Copenhagen. He says if you try to pick winners and losers from the conference you'll find that no nation really came out on top. And Kathleen McGinty, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality during the Clinton administration, says that the White House blew an important chance for diplomatic action.

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The Takeaway

Looking for Agreement as Copenhagen Talks Wrap Up

Friday, December 18, 2009

Climate talks in Copenhagen wrap up today, but will an appearance by President Obama inspire nations to strike a last-minute deal? We talk with Kathleen McGinty, former chair of the White House Council of Environmental Quality, and Peter Thomson, the environment editor for PRI's The World, about what to look for as countries try to reach an agreement in the final hours. 

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The Takeaway

Copenhagen Summit Heats Up in Final Days

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The UN's historic climate change conference in Copenhagen wraps up tomorrow. There are persistent fears that the end could come without a major, binding climate change agreement between the 193 countries. “The next 24 hours are absolutely crucial,” warned UN climate change official Yvo de Boer. (...continue reading)

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The Takeaway

New York Mayor Bloomberg at Climate Talks in Copenhagen

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is in Copenhagen this week to take part in the Climate Summit for Mayors.  Last week, the Mayor passed his Greener, Greater, Buildings Plan, and this week he hopes to inspire leaders from other cities to follow suit. With cities around the world producing more than 80 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, changes in urban systems can have green effects globally. We speak with Bloomberg from Copenhagen.  (click through for the full interview transcript)
 

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The Takeaway

Climate: Looking at Copenhagen from Delhi

Monday, December 14, 2009

In the second week of climate talks in Copenhagen, attention will be on whether big developing countries like India will agree to cuts in their carbon emissions. But western demands for carbon cuts are stoking a surprising amount of anger and resentment in India, even among green campaigners. They see the requirements as imperialist and want to prioritize India's economic growth, as one third of Indians still live below the poverty line. So what can we expect from India in Copenhagen this week? The BBC’s India correspondent, Sanjoy Majumder, joins us from Delhi to bring us views and voices from India.

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The Takeaway

This Week's Agenda with Todd Zwillich and Jonathan Marcus

Monday, December 14, 2009

We've uncovered our crystal ball and are peeking into the week ahead with our Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich, and Jonathan Marcus, BBC diplomatic correspondent.  They'll discuss what's next for health care reform in the Senate as Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) throws a wrench into the works ... again; President Obama's meeting with some of the heads of the largest American banks; the continuing climate talks in Copenhagen; and continuing nuclear troubles with Iran.  All that and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi getting socked in the face with a statuette.

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The Takeaway

In Copenhagen: Skepticism, Credulity, Hope

Monday, December 14, 2009

Protestors, experts and delegations from 192 countries have descended on Copenhagen to try to come up with a strategies for combating climate change resolution. Developing countries are claiming that emission regulations will create an unfair burden on their development, prompting protests in the streets.  And some experts think that the best outcome from Copenhagen would be if nothing gets passed at all.  We speak with Tom Burke, founding director of E3G, a non profit consulting firm working on sustainable devlelopment; and Bjørn Lomborg, author of "Cool It: The Skeptical Environmentalist's Guide to Global Warming," about their views on climate change and what they hope will come out of the Copenhagen talks.

The problem that I have with this deal is that it's essentially following the same failed strategies of the last 18 years. It's essentially a lot of promises...coming together in Copenhagen and simply making even grander promises is not going to actually do anything for climate. It's just simply spinning the wheels in the road to nowhere.
-- Bjørn Lomborg on the possible futility of finding agreement among 192 countries about climate change

It's not been the failure Bjørn says it's been. There have been significant reductions around the world from what would've otherwise happened. And they've happened precisely because there's been an international agreement in place. So it's a bit cavalier to dismiss all of that out of hand and all the things that lots of people in lots of countries have done to reduce emissions.
-- Tom Burke

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The Takeaway

Countering Copenhagen Carbon with Kilns

Friday, December 11, 2009

With luminaries flying in from all over the world, the carbon footprint of the Copenhagen summit had worried the Danish government ...but they've come up with a surprising way of making the summit carbon-neutral.  The Danes are contributing about $1 million into a project to replace 20 traditional brick kilns with energy efficient ones, thousands of miles away in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh. Denmark says the scheme will cut 50,000 tons of carbon dioxide emissions a year, offsetting the fuel spent by the 15,000 delegates' flights to Copenhagen. We talk with the BBC’s Mark Dummett from Dhaka to find out more about the program.

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The Takeaway

'Danish Text' Hurting Copenhagen Climate Talks

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Daniel Stone, senior writer for Newsweek, reports on how a leaked proposal from some of the world's biggest industrial nations is threatening discussions at this week's international climate summit in Copenhagen.  (Read Stone's entry on the leaked texts here.)

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The Takeaway

Why California Won't Wait for Copenhagen

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

While nations around the world are readying themselves for climate talks in Copenhagen, the state of California is already negotiating their own international climate agreements. We talk with Tony Brunello, California’s deputy Secretary for Energy and Climate Change and Ingrid Lobet, West Coast Bureau Chief of PRI's Living on Earth about what the state is facing and how they’re staying ahead of the curve.

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The Takeaway

Saving Amazonian Trees with Cold, Hard Cash

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

The Brazilian government is trying a new scheme to cut its carbon emissions and slow down the rate of deforestation in the Amazon. It's planning to do that by PAYING local communities to protect forests and stop cutting down trees. BBC Brazil reporter Paulo Cabral has been to visit the first trial project in the Juma reserve, which contains 1 million acres and is home to over 300 families.

During a visit there, he found the approach is changing the attitudes of local people. "The key drivers of deforestation are poverty and lack of education," Amazonas State Governor Eduardo Braga told him. "Don’t ask for one mother and one father to keep one standing tree if their kid is crying because they’re going to say ‘I’m going to save my kid and I don’t care about this tree.'"

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