Facing climate change: action and optimism

Listen 49:00
A flare burns off methane and other hydrocarbons as oil pumpjacks operate in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Massive amounts of methane are venting into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations across the Permian Basin, new aerial surveys show. The emission endanger U.S. targets for curbing climate change.  (AP Photo/David Goldman)

A flare burns off methane and other hydrocarbons as oil pumpjacks operate in the Permian Basin in Midland, Texas, Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021. Massive amounts of methane are venting into the atmosphere from oil and gas operations across the Permian Basin, new aerial surveys show. The emission endanger U.S. targets for curbing climate change. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

At the climate summit in Egypt, United Nations secretary general António Guterres told world leaders that we are on a “highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator.” He explained that our planet’s future will be decided by how we act this decade. This frightening warning reinforces what some have experienced in our own lives – devastating hurricanes, wildfires and droughts – and what others have seen on the news and in headlines.

This year also saw record levels of carbon dioxide emissions and the past seven years have continued to be the hottest on record. So, as heads of state, advisors and activists hammer out an agreement, is our climate future really that bleak, or has the world made some real progress?

We start our hour off with Time Magazine’s JUSTIN WORLAND, who is in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt covering the UN climate summit. We’ll talk about the negotiations, the sticking points and if an agreement is emerging. Then, MICHAEL MANN, director of the Center for Science, Sustainability and the Media at the University of Pennsylvania, joins us to share his climate optimism and explain that while it’s not too late, we need action now.

 

Subscribe for more Radio Times

WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal