The climate change crisis can feel so formidable, so daunting, that instead of mobilizing people to action, it engenders paralysis. What could we mortals possibly do to prevent the calamity? A fair bit, it turns out. On Heat of the Moment, a 12-part podcast by FP Studios, in partnership with the Climate Investment Funds, we focus on ordinary people across the globe who have found ways to fight back. Hosted by CNN contributor John D. Sutter, Heat of the Moment tells the stories of the people on the front lines of the fight against climate change.
The Solutions Under Our Noses
There are plenty of people sitting around waiting for some magical new or improved technology to come along and fix the mess we’ve made for ourselves with the climate emergency. That’s probably not going to happen—and, anyway, we have the tools we need to ditch fossil fuels now. In the first part of the episode, reporter Molly Schwartz looks into some of these solutions, including wind farm construction and carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
In the second part of the program, host John D. Sutter speaks with Mafalda Duarte, the head of the Climate Investment Funds. (The Climate Investment Funds is FP Studios’ partnering organization for Heat of the Moment.) Duarte explains that her group’s goal is not only to give loans for solar farms and other green projects but also to help tip the scales in favor of a clean energy revolution.
Extreme Weather Resilience
All of the weather these days is forming in an atmosphere that humans have warmed on average by about 1 degree Celsius. It’s not that fossil fuel pollution is causing all the bad weather, but it does play an inextricable role. In this episode of Heat of the Moment, host John D. Sutter speaks with MIT professor Kerry Emanuel, a leading expert on hurricanes and climate change, about how the crisis has evolved.
Later in the episode, reporter Dhashen Moodley shares the story of how officials in Mozambique responded to extreme weather by fortifying key elements of their infrastructure to make their country more resilient.
Why Bold Investments Matter
How much would it cost to fix climate change—and who should pay? Should it be the United States—the biggest polluter historically? Should it be China—the largest annual polluter these days? Is the entire industrial world to blame? These are some of the thorny questions the Heat of the Moment host John D. Sutter discusses with Nobel Prize-winning economist Joseph Stiglitz. Stiglitz is a top expert on how economic policy can play a leading role in steering the world away from fossil fuels.
Later, Emily Johnson reports on real-life examples of how investments can kick-start change. She looks at projects supported by our partners at the Climate Investment Funds in Jamaica, Tajikistan, and Turkey.
Adapting to a Drier Planet
Water is our most vital resource, but climate change is making weather patterns and seasonal rainfall less predictable. Now, drought and water scarcity are increasingly threatening the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable communities around the planet. In this episode of Heat of the Moment, host John D. Sutter speaks with Peter Gleick, president emeritus of the Pacific Institute, and a leading global thinker on the relationship between water scarcity and violent conflict.
Later on, reporter Portia Crowe travels to Niger to see how investments in drip irrigation are helping farmers adapt to more volatile weather patterns.
Talking Green Without Seeing Red
The dialogue surrounding climate change is often passionate and sometimes contentious, especially when it touches on people’s livelihoods, religion, or political beliefs. So how can those seeking action get past the rancor and have a constructive dialogue? In this episode of Heat of the Moment, host John D. Sutter speaks with Katharine Hayhoe, a professor of political science at Texas Tech University, who regularly engages with audiences in deep-red states and other places where going green is seen as political treason. Hayhoe also hosts a digital video series for PBS called Global Weirding that seeks to present the discussion on climate change in an inclusive way.
Later on in the episode, Belgian journalist Jan De Deken discusses why he created the Polar Project, an effort to tell the story of those impacted by climate change using a wide range of mediums including virtual reality and live performances.
A New Plan for the Amazon
The Amazon rainforest has been called “the lungs of the planet” as it plays an outsized role in absorbing the Earth’s carbon dioxide output. But industrial interests have led to rapid deforestation in parts of the Amazon, which is not only disrupting ecosystems but also indigenous communities. To get a better sense of the human impact of deforestation, host John Sutter speaks with the climate activist Nina Gualinga. Gualinga is from the Kichwa community of Sarayaku in the Ecuadorian Amazon.
Later in the program, what if the forest itself could become more profitable than logged timber and meat? The journalist Paula Moura brings us a story from the Brazilian Amazon on how local communities, NGOs, and scientists are combining conservation and technology in search of ways to make sure that trees are more valuable if they’re kept alive.