127 episodes

Resources Radio is a weekly podcast by Resources for the Future. Each week we talk to leading experts about climate change, electricity, ecosystems, and more, making the latest research accessible to everyone.

Resources Radio Resources Radio

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Resources Radio is a weekly podcast by Resources for the Future. Each week we talk to leading experts about climate change, electricity, ecosystems, and more, making the latest research accessible to everyone.

    Exploring the Energy Transition on Tribal Lands, with Pilar Thomas

    Exploring the Energy Transition on Tribal Lands, with Pilar Thomas

    In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with Pilar Thomas, a partner at Quarles & Brady and a professor of the practice at the University of Arizona and Arizona State University. Thomas is an expert on energy development and environmental management on tribal lands and has served in the US Departments of Justice, Interior, and Energy. Raimi and Thomas discuss how different tribes are approaching fossil and renewable energy development, preparing for the energy transition, and addressing energy poverty on tribal lands.

    References and recommendations:

    Tribal Energy Atlas from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory; https://maps.nrel.gov/tribal-energy-atlas

    Writing and analysis from Wood Mackenzie; https://www.woodmac.com/

    Studies and analysis from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; https://www.lbl.gov/

    Sandia National Laboratories; https://www.sandia.gov/

    • 38 min
    Problems Cropping Up? The Historical Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture, with Ariel Ortiz-Bobea

    Problems Cropping Up? The Historical Impact of Climate Change on Agriculture, with Ariel Ortiz-Bobea

    In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Ariel Ortiz-Bobea, an associate professor of applied economics and policy at Cornell University and a faculty fellow at the Cornell Atkinson Center for Sustainability. Much of Ortiz-Bobea’s research focuses on the links between climate change and agricultural productivity—which is the topic of this conversation. In particular, Ortiz-Bobea discusses a paper that he and colleagues released recently in Nature Climate Change, which covers the historical impact of anthropogenic climate change on global agricultural productivity. The key word here is “historical.” Whereas a large body of research focuses on future impacts, this study looks back to see how much climate change already has affected agriculture globally. Spoiler alert: the impacts today have been fairly large.

    References and recommendations:

    “Anthropogenic climate change has slowed global agricultural productivity growth” by Ariel Ortiz-Bobea, Toby R. Ault, Carlos M. Carrillo, Robert G. Chambers, and David B. Lobell; https://www.nature.com/articles/s41558-021-01000-1

    “Creating Abundance” by Alan L. Olmstead and Paul W. Rhode; http://services.cambridge.org/us/academic/subjects/history/american-history-general-interest/creating-abundance-biological-innovation-and-american-agricultural-development

    • 32 min
    A Conversation about the Civilian Conservation Corps, with Neil Maher

    A Conversation about the Civilian Conservation Corps, with Neil Maher

    In this week’s episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Neil Maher, professor of history at the New Jersey Institute of Technology and Rutgers University-Newark. Maher’s research focuses on the intersection of environmental and political history, and his scholarship includes a 2008 book called “Nature’s New Deal.” Maher and Hayes discuss the Civilian Conservation Corps’s successes, challenges, and legacy in the American conservation and historical landscape. Maher also describes lessons from the Depression-era program that could apply to current policy and political deliberations.

    References and recommendations:

    “Stop Saving the Planet! An Environmentalist Manifesto” by Jenny Price; https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393540871

    • 34 min
    Playing God with the Nature of the Future, with Elizabeth Kolbert

    Playing God with the Nature of the Future, with Elizabeth Kolbert

    This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with New Yorker staff writer and Pulitzer Prize–Winning author Elizabeth Kolbert about her new book, “Under a White Sky: The Nature of the Future.” The book is a fascinating and darkly funny exploration of how humanity is trying to manage the negative effects we’ve inflicted on the natural world. Using examples such as the Asian carp, endangered desert pupfish, the Great Barrier Reef, and solar geoengineering, Kolbert’s book includes interviews with leading experts around the world who are using new technologies to try and counteract the harms done by old technologies.

    References and recommendations:

    “Beloved Beasts” by Michelle Nijhuis; https://michellenijhuis.com/beloved-beasts

    • 28 min
    Giving a Fair Shot to Energy Workers and Communities in Transition, with Wes Look and Daniel Raimi

    Giving a Fair Shot to Energy Workers and Communities in Transition, with Wes Look and Daniel Raimi

    In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Wesley Look and Daniel Raimi, Resources for the Future (RFF) colleagues who have led RFF's research on enabling fairness for energy workers and communities in transition. Look is a senior research associate and Raimi is a fellow at RFF, and the work they describe in this episode has been carried out over the past year in partnership with Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), culminating in a synthesis report released on March 25, 2021.

    Look and Raimi share some of the lessons that they and their EDF colleagues have learned about this complex topic, including the many facets of transition, how the federal government can improve outcomes for workers, and what researchers and policymakers alike can learn from various communities and countries that already face these changing ties to the energy industry.

    References and recommendations:

    “Enabling Fairness for Energy Workers and Communities in Transition” synthesis report by Wesley Look, Daniel Raimi, Molly Robertson, Jake Higdon, and Daniel Propp; https://www.rff.org/publications/reports/enabling-fairness-for-energy-workers-and-communities-in-transition/

    Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition report series by Wesley Look, Daniel Raimi, Molly Robertson, Jake Higdon, and Daniel Propp; https://www.rff.org/fairness-for-workers-and-communities/

    “Economic Development Policies to Enable Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition” by Daniel Raimi, Wesley Look, Molly Robertson, and Jake Higdon; https://www.rff.org/publications/reports/economic-development-fairness-workers-communities/

    “Environmental Remediation and Infrastructure Policies Supporting Workers and Communities in Transition” by Daniel Raimi; https://www.rff.org/publications/reports/environment-infrastructure-fairness-workers-communities/

    “The Role of Public Benefits in Supporting Workers and Communities Affected by Energy Transition” by Jake Higdon and Molly Robertson; https://www.rff.org/publications/reports/public-benefits-supporting-workers-and-communities-affected-energy-transition/

    “Labor Policies to Enable Fairness for Workers and Communities in Transition” by Wesley Look, Molly Robertson, Jake Higdon, and Daniel Propp; https://www.rff.org/publications/reports/labor-policies-to-enable-fairness-for-workers-and-communities-in-transition/

    Just Transition Initiative at the Center for Strategic & International Studies (CSIS); https://www.csis.org/programs/energy-security-and-climate-change-program/projects/just-transition-initiative

    The American Jobs Plan from the Biden administration; https://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room/statements-releases/2021/03/31/fact-sheet-the-american-jobs-plan/

    • 34 min
    Progress Amid the Pandemic: Carbon Markets in 2020, with William Acworth

    Progress Amid the Pandemic: Carbon Markets in 2020, with William Acworth

    In this episode, host Daniel Raimi talks with William Acworth, Head of Secretariat at the International Carbon Action Partnership (ICAP). ICAP recently released its 2021 status report on global emissions trading, and we're highlighting the group's status report for the second year in a row. This time, Acworth gets us up to speed on China's recently launched national emissions trading scheme, along with programs from elsewhere in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Acworth and Raimi discuss how markets have responded to the pandemic, where prices might be headed, and how markets are expanding to cover new sectors such as buildings and transportation.

    References and recommendations:

    "Emissions Trading Worldwide: Status Report 2021" from the International Carbon Action Partnership; https://icapcarbonaction.com/en/icap-status-report-2021

    “Prices in the world’s biggest carbon market are soaring” from the Economist magazine; https://www.economist.com/finance-and-economics/2021/02/24/prices-in-the-worlds-biggest-carbon-market-are-soaring

    "2020 China Carbon Pricing Survey" from China Carbon Forum; http://www.chinacarbon.info/sdm_downloads/2020-china-carbon-pricing-survey/

    "Barbarian Days: A Surfing Life" by William Finnegan; https://www.pulitzer.org/winners/william-finnegan

    "Under a White Sky" by Elizabeth Kolbert; https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/617060/under-a-white-sky-by-elizabeth-kolbert/

    "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster" by Bill Gates; https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/633968/how-to-avoid-a-climate-disaster-by-bill-gates/

    • 34 min

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