Steve Zwick

010 Climate Change in the Trumpocalypse / Part 2: Voices from Marrakesh

US president-elect Donald Trump claims to have an open mind on climate science, but he put an unabashed climate-science denier in charge of his environmental transition team, and he says he’ll slash NASA’s climate-monitoring capabilities.

Might a president who doesn’t believe in climate science still find it worthwhile to stay in the Paris Agreement? And who will pick up the slack if he doesn’t?

These are questions we addressed in three stories on Ecosystem Marketplace:

Can Individual US States, The Private Sector, And The International Community Fix The Climate Despite Trump Election?” came the day after the election, and pretty much says it all

Investors See Rockier Road To Low-Carbon Economy Under Trump, But No Dead End” came in one week later.

Hundreds Of US Companies Urge Climate Action As John Kerry, Others Calls For More ‘Business Diplomacy’” came in a day after that.

We harvested all three to generate today’s episode of Bionic Planet, which offers an audio mosaic of snippets culled from interviews we conducted in the two weeks after the US Presidential election, as well as audio we harvested from a media call that the World Resources Institute hosted.

Guests, in order of appearance, are:

Yvo de Boer, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute

Anthony Hobley, CEO of the Carbon Tracker Initiative

Michael Bloomberg, in his capacity as head of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

Christian de Valle, Founder and Managing Partner of Althelia Ecosphere

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists

Sam Adams, Director of WRI United StatesMike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works

Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank

Andrew Mitchell, Founder and Director of the Global Canopy Programme

Peter Grannis,  First Deputy Comptroller for the New York State Office of the State Comptroller.

Nigel Topping, CEO of the We Mean Business Coalition

Jonathan Pershing, US Special Envoy for Climate Change

Brigadier General Stephen Cheney (ret), CEO of the American Security Project.

Peter Graham, former Canadian negotiator now working as a consultant in Washington, DC.

Climate, Conflict, And Commodities: The Calculus Of Peace On A Changing Planet

Liberian environmentalist Silas Siakor knows all too well what can happen to a fragile nation when a dictator hijacks its commodity sector, as warlord Charles Taylor did in the 1990s – first by using slave labor and “blood diamonds” to finance a devastating civil war in neighboring Sierra Leone, and then by spreading that war…

What is “Bionic Planet”?

An introduction to Bionic Planet, the Podcast of the Anthropocene: what is it, what does it aim to achieve, and how does it relate to the Paris Climate Talks? In this episode, we offer a brief introduction to the role of forests in the Paris Agreement and introduce basic themes that we will be revisiting…

Can Brazil’s “Green Municipalities” Save the Amazon?

Consumer giants like Unilever and Marks&Spencer have promised to source materials from states and regions that slash deforestation, but slowing deforestation requires buy-in at every level of society. Here’s how one Brazilian jurisdiction became the country’s first “Green Municipality”, and why that success may prove difficult to replicate. 11 February 2016 | Adnan Demachki hadn’t…

The Case Of The Flatulent Fugitive: How California’s Methane Monster Escaped The Carbon Cap (And How To Nab It)

We all make mistakes – that’s why pencils have erasers and renters have insurance. If we add some numbers wrong, we can erase them and start over; but if we burn down the neighbor’s house, we can’t “un-burn” it by labeling it a mistake. Instead, we have to offset our damage by paying to rebuild…

Banks Aren’t Doing Their Part To End Deforestation. Here’s How They Can – And Why They Should

Companies around the world are tripping over each other to make “zero deforestation” pledges, but that won’t mean a thing if the banks that finance them ignore deforestation liability. A new study says that’s exactly what’s happening, but there’s a simple solution. Will the banks bite? 29 July 2015 | The UN Environment Programme (UNEP)…

13 Powerhouse American Companies Have Taken Obama’s New Climat Pledge. What Does It Mean For Forests?

Thirteen major US companies today took the White House’s “American Business Act on Climate” pledge to slash their greenhouse gas emissions to slow climate change. The pledges commit to at least $140 billion in new low-carbon investment, but only three companies – Cargill, PepsiCo, and Walmart – made any explicit mention of purging deforestation from…

Chapter Four: Jamnabe

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Carbon Cowboys and REDD Indians

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Carbon Cowboys and REDD IndiansThe end of the rubber wars coincided with the arrival of another group of Whites, who created the small outpost that eventually became the city of Cacoal, and who bartered with the Paiter for access to their land. They started turning up…

Chapter Three: Apocalypse And Exodus

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Carbon Cowboys and REDD Indians

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Carbon Cowboys and REDD IndiansIn his fascinating 2006 book 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus, Charles Mann tells the story of Allan Holmberg, a young doctoral student who spent the early 1940s living with an indigenous people called the Sirionó. “Crouched over meager…

US EPA To Approve California’s Newest List Of Impaired Waterways

More than 40,000 miles of California’s rivers and streams are currently threatened by pollution, according to a list of impaired waterways submitted by the state to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Monitoring of rivers, lakes and coastal waters in California continue to show harmful pollutant levels, based on updates to the list from three of the…

The Pope Is Right On Climate, Wrong On Offsetting

Pope Francis’s “Ecumenical Letter on Care for Our Common Home” is elegant, inspirational, and insightful. It may even prove to be transformational if people heed its call to deliver themselves from soul-sucking consumerism and immerse themselves in nature and the brotherhood of man. The Pontiff rightly identifies the drivers of this mess: our disconnection from…

Indigenous People Build Fund For Direct Access To Climate Finance, Push For More Active Role In Proceedings

Hundreds of millions of dollars in climate finance have been pledged to helping indigenous people manage their territories, but all of that money now flows through intermediaries. Here’s how the Amazon’s largest federation of indigenous organizations aims to change that. 24 June 2015 | BONN/BARCELONA | Indigenous leader Juan Carlos Jintiach says he was ecstatic…

Dutch Court Says Country Violates Human Rights By Not Meeting Global Norms In Slashing Emissions

A Dutch court today ruled that the country’s government failed to protect human rights by not implementing policies that would reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by at least 25% by 2020. “Based on the State’s current policy, the Netherlands will achieve a reduction of 17% at most in 2020, which is below the norm of 25% to…

It’s Official! REDD+ Is Now Ready For Paris

Climate-change negotiators meeting in Bonn today approved the technical provisions for REDD+, creating a standardized set of mechanisms that countries can begin incorporating into their climate strategies. Still unclear, however, is whether countries can meet their emission-reduction obligations by reducing deforestation abroad. 9 June 2015 | BONN | Germany | Maybe it’s the new digs here…