The Carbon Conundrum

The Carbon Conundrum

"What we're trying to do is get carbon out of our emissions so we can keep the worst impact of climate change from happening."

– Professor Dan Schrag, Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment.

But, even with an atmosphere of agreement that capping carbon is good for the planet, world leaders are still generating a lot of hot air arguing how to do it. And, the inconvenient truth is that this isn’t just an international political problem – the actual process of greening cars, cows, and coal-fired power plants will be even more exhausting than getting 190 countries to sign a treaty. Growing new wind farms, saving the rainforest, and scrubbing smokestacks will take time, and a whole lot of money. And in the current economic climate, that’s a tall order.  In this episode, we explore the changing climate of carbon emissions – from the Peruvian rainforests to the shores of Cape Cod. 

Field Report from Peru

Sean Carberry travels to Peru to explore efforts to prevent deforestation, the second leading contributor to carbon dioxide emissions, and the competing economic incentives for felling rainforest.

Guests include Antonio Brack, Peru’s Environment Minister; Bruce Carabali, Director of the Global Forest Program at the World Wildlife Fund; Kurt Holle, Founder of Rainforest Expeditions; Steve Olive, Chief of the Economic Growth and Environment Office for USAID Peru; and Paul Weisenfeld, USAID Director in Peru.

Mitigating the Problem of Acid Rain

Deborah Amos looks back at the cap and trade system implemented in the US in the early 1990s to mitigate the problem of acid rain and asks whether a similar program would help to reduce carbon dioxide emissions that contribute to climate change.

Guests include Ambassador C. Boyden Gray, former White House Counsel during the first Bush Administration; William K. Reilly, EPA Administrator in the first Bush Administration; Robert Stavins, Professor of Business and Government at the Harvard Kennedy School and Director of the Harvard Environmental Economic Program; John Stowell, former Director of Federal Affairs at PSI Energy; and former Senator Tim Wirth.

The Battle Over Cape Wind

Matt Ozug examines the ten-year battle over Cape Wind, the proposed offshore wind farm in Nantucket Bay of Massachusetts, and what it may indicate for the nation’s ability to transfer to greener energy.

Guests include Reverend William Eddy; Jim Gordon, Cape Wind President; Dick Miller, Operations Manager at Hull Municipal Light Plant; Barbara Hill, Executive Director of Clean Power Now; Audra Parker, President of the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound; Professor Dan Schrag, Director of the Harvard University Center for the Environment; and Greg Watson, Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s Advisor for Renewable Energy.

The Challenges of Reducing Global Carbon Emissions

Deborah Amos discusses some of the challenges of reducing global carbon emissions with Dr. Bjorn Lomborg, Director of The Copenhagen Consensus Center and Adjunct Professor at the Copenhagen Business School.