Rank #1: Hot & Bothered Podcast #9: A Holiday Gift for Climate Wonks, with Kevin Ummel
Daniel’s map for “Carboniferous” in “Nonstop Metropolis: A New York Atlas” by Rebecca Solnit and Joshua Jelly-Schapiro (University of California Press, 2016). Cartography: Molly Roy; artwork: Bette Burgoyne. Underlying data from Kevin Ummel, adapted from research he did for the Center for Global Development. Courtesy of University of California Press. Click here to view the full map.
Just in time for a season of holiday excess, Daniel spends the ninth episode of Hot & Bothered indulging in some heavy data wonkery, while Kate gets the week off. First, he touches on fears among scientists that the Trump administration could actually erase or conceal key climate data. Daniel’s colleagues at the University of Pennsylvania are helping lead an effort to safeguard this valuable material through their #datarefuge campaign (see links below).
Next is Daniel’s feature interview with Kevin Ummel, which reveals why the rich have such high carbon footprints, just what kinds of consumption really drive carbon emissions, how urban density does (and doesn’t) make a difference, and what all this means for developing ethical climate policies, like a properly designed carbon tax. Indeed, if we are still perfecting our knowledge of the climate system, we’re at a much earlier stage in the social science of carbon emissions—figuring out which social and spatial factors are most important. Kevin Ummel is a data scientist and environmental economist based in Colorado. He was formerly a Research Scholar at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis and a Visiting Senior Associate at the Center for Global Development. He currently consults for organizations like the Citizens’ Climate Lobby and the World Resources Institute. Kevin and Daniel collaborated on a map of New York’s per capita carbon emissions that was published this October, alongside an essay of Daniel’s, in Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas.
You know a melancholy Santa Claus will be listening carefully to our bonus episode as he circles above the melting North Pole in the early hours of December 25, trying to find a solid patch of ice near his workshop to land his sleigh. He might even be as shocked as you to find Daniel closing the episode with a passionate plea for optimism. But he’ll certainly be convinced. And with that jolly thought, happy holidays from Hot & Bothered. See you in 2017.
Protecting climate data from Trump’s anti-science administration
Consumption-accounting of carbon emissions
Kevin Ummel, “Who Pollutes?”, Center for Global Development
Kevin Ummel, “Household Impact Study”, Citizens’ Climate Lobby
Daniel Aldana Cohen, “Petro-Gotham, People’s Gotham,” excerpt at The Leap Blog with map “Carboniferous,” developed with Kevin Ummel’s data
Fun bonus holiday link:
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Rank #2: Hot & Bothered Podcast #8: Why Climate Justice Means Racial Justice, with Dawn Phillips
In the eighth episode of Hot & Bothered, we get two perspectives on the crucial links between racial justice and climate justice. First, Kate travels to Standing Rock to talk to Native organizers there about their recent victory and what the growing movement against Trump can learn from the water protectors.
Then, Daniel speaks with Dawn Phillips, Program Director at Causa Justa-Just Cause, a multiracial, grassroots organization building community leadership to achieve justice for low-income San Francisco and Oakland residents. Dawn, who has a background in environmental justice organizing and serves as Chair of the Steering Committee of the Right to the City Alliance, explains how gentrification and the housing crisis are intertwined with environmental racism and systematic disinvestment in communities of color, not just in the Bay Area but across the country.
As we were wrapping up this episode, we learned that Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson is first in line to be Secretary of State in the Trump administration. We’ll be discussing all that and much more in our next few episodes, so stay tuned. Until then, keep sending us your questions, comments, and thoughts how we might still stave off climate dystopia at #HotBotheredClimate.
Climate and Racial Justice, From Coast to Coast
Kate: A People’s Victory at Standing Rock (In These Times)
Development Without Displacement: Resisting Gentrification in the Bay Area (Causa Justa-Just Cause)
Daniel: The Urban Green Wars (Jacobin)
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Rank #3: Hot & Bothered Podcast #7: What Trump’s Victory Means for the Climate Movement
Hot & Bothered #7 is a little different. The national election this past Tuesday was a $#$#*(@ disaster. Donald Trump will be president of the United States. We did not expect this. We did not plan for this. But the future of our species will in part depend on how successfully we can fight back.
By chance, Kate happened to be in Philadelphia, where Daniel lives, on November 10. So we sat down on a couch, poured a couple glasses of wine, and tried to wrap our heads around climate politics in the age of Trump. We talked about a lot. Fundamentally, we tried to grapple with how in this dark moment, more than ever, we need to merge the agendas of climate justice, economic justice, racial justice, and social justice writ large. The timeline for climate action is really, really tight already. The world cannot afford to lose four years of U.S. climate action.
But there’s no separating climate from violence, from bigotry, or from class struggle. If Trump’s victory represents climate emergency, it also portends wide-scale violence for countless people in this country. In our hour-long conversation, we got past our immediate, desperate emotional reactions to Trump’s victory to discuss the how the climate movement can, and must, connect its agenda to the movements already blossoming to resist the onslaught.
Tweet your dread and your hope to #HotBotheredClimate. We’re feeling them both. We don’t know what’s next. We do know that we’ll be thinking, debating, organizing, and fighting back.
Energy World Rocked by Trump Win (E&E News)
Kate: After Trump’s Win, Our Job Is More Clear Than Ever: Organize. (In These Times)
Kate: LIUNA’s Rank-and-File is Challenging Union Leadership on Standing Rock—and Beyond (In These Times)
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Rank #4: Hot & Bothered Podcast #6: Taking Back Power, with James Angel
In the sixth episode of Hot & Bothered, we take a break from biting our nails over November 8 to look abroad—and ahead—at what the climate movement can do with a foothold in state power. But not before we get Kate’s take on what’s wrong with the Green Party, and why we should probably all still be knocking on doors to get out the vote this weekend.
So why look across the pond? Well, after a long, broad-based campaign, a coalition called Switched On London recently secured a commitment from London’s newly elected Labour Party mayor, Sadiq Khan, to create a publicly-owned municipal energy company there—what the group calls an “affordable, democratic and environmentally sustainable alternative to the Big Six.”
We talk to James Angel, a campaigner with Switched On London and PhD student at King’s College London, about what this energy democracy win means for the anti-austerity and climate justice movements. Angel also recently took a research trip to Barcelona, where the city’s Podemos-affiliated left government is rolling out a similar plan to transition entirely over to renewables. While the presidential election has dominated the news cycle here in the United States for the better part of the last two years, what’s happening in Barcelona can be seen as as model for what’s possible when the left contests for other levels of government.
In the second half of the show, we hear from Kevin Smith, a member of Liberate Tate. Led by artists and cultural workers, Liberate Tate successfully pressured the museum to cut ties with oil company BP this year, after six years of organizing and direct-action performances. Since Liberate Tate began in 2010, several “fossil free culture” groups have emerged around the world, including the Natural History Museum here in the states.
Stay tuned for episode seven in the coming weeks. We’ll be doing a post-mortem on the big carbon tax proposal that has raised the eyebrows of leftists (including many climate activists) in Washington state. And in the meantime, keep sending us your questions, comments, suggestions, and prepping tips for the dystopian future at #HotBotheredClimate.
Trash Fire 2016
Kate: The Left Deserves Better Than Jill Stein (In These Times)
Energy Democracy in London, Barcelona, and Beyond, with James Angel
James Angel, Strategies of Energy Democracy (Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung)
Sebastiaan Faber and Bécquer Seguín, Welcome to Sunny Barcelona, Where the Government Is Embracing Coops, Citizen Activism, and Solar Energy (The Nation)
Getting Big Oil Out of the Arts, with Kevin Smith
Fellow Liberate Tate member Mel Evans, Painting with Oil (Dissent)
Erik Loomis, Philly Transit Strike and the Election (Lawyers, Guns & Money)
A #NoDAPL Map (Huffington Post)
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Rank #5: Hot & Bothered Podcast #5: Time for a Green New Deal, with Robert Pollin
It’s Episode 5 of Hot & Bothered and all around us, the bad climate news is falling like hard rain from the hot, damp air of a warming world. Long story short: time is getting uncomfortably tight. But it’s still far from over! In this episode, we take shelter from the storm. It’s the first in our new series on the idea of a Green New Deal to slash carbon emissions, crush inequality, and rebuild our politics.
In our feature interview, Daniel speaks to Robert Pollin, an expert in the macroeconomics of climate change and energy; he’s a professor of economics and co-director of the Political Economy Research Institute (PERI) at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. We talk about his proposal for a massive but utterly feasible program of investment in renewable energy, and how we can decarbonize the global economy while providing good jobs from the United States to India and beyond. All we need is to get the political ball rolling. And as Pollin points out, key coalitions are already mustering, both to support a Green New Deal and to keep fossil fuels in the ground.
Indeed, we start off the show with a report from the front lines of that fight: the indigenous-led encampment against the Dakota Access Pipeline at Standing Rock, North Dakota. Kate interviews Desiree Kane, a Miwok organizer and journalist who’s been at Standing Rock for the better part of the last three months.
Anxious listeners, tweet your sighs of relief, questions, comments, and support for #noDAPL to #HotBotheredClimate. And stay tuned for episode six in the coming weeks. In our pre-election special, Kate Aronoff will bring some of her own hard rain down on the Green Party.
Bad news on our collapsing carbon budgets
Bill McKibben, Recalculating the Climate Math, The New Republic
Robert Watson, former chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, The Truth about Climate Change, a sweeping new report
An update from Standing Rock
Standing Firm at Standing Rock: Why the Struggle is Bigger Than One Pipeline (Sarah Jaffe, Moyers & Company)
Robert Pollin, Professor of Economics at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Robert Pollin and Brian Callaci, A Just Transition for U.S. Fossil Fuel Industry Workers (The American Prospect)
Robert Pollin, Greening the Global Economy, MIT Press, 2015
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