A podcast on climate change hosted by the Danish Minister of Climate, Energy and Utilities Dan Jørgensen. Inviting some of the world’s leading experts, policy makers and activists to share their thoughts with us. Not only to address the challenges and dilemmas inherent in climate change. But also to talk about its possible solutions.
Jennifer Morgan – On Greenpeace, COP26 and climate activism
In the 9th episode of Planet A’s second season, Dan Jørgensen talks with Jennifer Morgan, the Executive Director of Greenpeace International.
Over the last twenty years, Morgan has worked with climate change at leading NGOs such as World Resources Institute (WRI) and World Wildlife Foundation (WWF).
Moreover, she has participated in every single COP and served as Review Editor for the 5th Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.
During the interview, they discuss the importance of climate activism and how NGOs can influence policy decisions.
Morgan starts out by explaining what Greenpeace hopes to achieve at COP26; More ambitious climate targets, increased support for the world’s poorest countries and to stop what it perceives as “false solutions”, such as using offsets.
Furthermore, Morgan explains how Greenpeace works to advance its causes. The NGO’s campaigns to raise consciousness about environmental issues such as curbing commercial whaling are known around the world.
However, campaigning it is not the only tool that Greenpeace has in its armory – it is also litigating both corporations and countries.
Just last month, it achieved a landmark victory, when the German Supreme Court ruled that the government’s national climate protection measures were insufficient.
Further still, Greenpeace investigates corporate corruption and takes to social media platforms to inform the public. For instance, it has successfully exposed corruption in Indonesia’s coal mining sector and logging.
Finally, Morgan and Jørgensen talk about how the transition to carbon free societies can be just and equitable.
Dr. Lucas Joppa – How can data and AI stem climate change?
In the 8th episode of Planet A’s second season, Dan Jørgensen talks with Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Officer, Dr. Lucas Joppa.
Dr. Joppa has worked at the nexus of data and sustainability throughout his career and is now leading Microsoft’s efforts to become a carbon negative company. Furthermore, he leads the company’s work on data and tech solutions that can help decarbonize the entire world.
Perhaps unbeknownst to many, the use, storage and processing of data emit as much CO2 as the global airline industry.
While Dr. Joppa is keenly aware of the fact that data is contributing to the problem of climate change, he is also a strong believer in its ability to create sustainable solutions.
During the conversation, Dr. Joppa also talks about Microsoft’s investment in carbon removal through both “nature based solutions” and mechanical carbon capture and storage (CCS).
Through Microsoft’s partnerships with NGOs and start-ups, he has also pioneered the use of data solutions and artificial intelligence to advance sustainable solutions.
Most notably, Dr. Joppa founded “AI for Earth” - a computing platform that can predict and thereby help prevent environmental threats.
To him, the global community has not focused enough on how technology and data can help promote sustainability.
In order to create an efficient carbon market, we need to have more data and measurements.
For instance, no one knows exactly how many trees there are in the United States, which would be a prerequisite to analyze the price of both nature based and technological CCS solutions.
Elizabeth Kolbert – On the Perils and Promise of Geoengineering
In the 7th episode of Planet A’s second season, Dan Jørgensen talks with the journalist and author, Elizabeth Kolbert.
Kolbert first achieved international prominence when her bestselling book “The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History” was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2014 and the Guardian named it the best non-fiction book of all time.
She has worked for the New York Times and the New Yorker magazine since the early 1980’s. A recurring theme in her writing has been the consequences of environmental degradation.
On the podcast, Kolbert speaks about the prospect for a mass extinction on Earth, due to the climate and biodiversity crises - and the large-scale interventions that could help turn the tide.
Kolbert has explored the issue in her latest book “Under a White Sky: The Nature of The Future”, which was published just a few months ago.
She studied “solar geoengineering”, the idea of injecting sulfate into the stratosphere to limit how much direct sunlight that would hit the Earth.
This would emulate a volcanic eruption and could lower the global temperature.
However, it can also lead to new problems and raises grave ethical questions. For instance, it would make the sky appear whiter.
The book makes for gloomy reading and Kolbert is certainly no optimist when it comes to the future of the planet.
Nonetheless, she finds some hope in community driven approaches to the climate crisis and is very fond of the Danish Island of Samsø that has been pioneering the green transition through a bottom-up-approach.
Joseph Stiglitz – On Getting Carbon Pricing Right
In the 6th episode of Planet A’s second season, Dan Jørgensen talks with the American economist and Nobel Laureate, Joseph Stiglitz.
Stiglitz explains why he is a strong supporter of a “Cross Border Adjustment tax”, which adds the cost of carbon emissions to the price on imported goods and thus prevents carbon leakage.
The economist underlines the importance of imposing a higher social cost of carbon and believes it should be upwards of 100 US dollars per emitted ton CO2. Stiglitz and Jørgensen precedes to discuss the benefits and disadvantages of different tools to price carbon, including carbon taxation and “cap and trade” systems such as the European Union Emissions Trading System (ETS).
While Stiglitz is a strong proponent of a carbon tax, he advocates for a parallel implementation of political regulation and the use of public investments on research and development, if we are to meet the climate goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement.
Stiglitz currently works as a professor at Columbia University but has also taught at several other institutions of higher education including Cambridge, Oxford, Princeton, Stanford and MIT.
Aside from his academic career, he has worked as President Bill Clinton’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers in the White House and as the Chief Economist of the World Bank.
He is also the author of numerous scholarly articles, op-eds in the New York Times and several best-selling books. Most notably, he has authored “Globalization and its discontents”, “The Price of Inequality” and “People, Power and Profits”.
George Monbiot – Rewilding: How Wolves Changes a River
In the 5th episode of Planet A’s second season, Dan Jørgensen talks with the British writer, activist and environmentalist, George Monbiot.
Monbiot has been a regular columnist for The Guardian since 1996 and authored ten books on social justice, climate change and other environmental issues.
He achieved global acclaim for his award-winning book “Feral: Searching for Enchantment on the Frontiers of Rewilding”. In the book, Monbiot advocates that humanity must “rewild”; that society must free nature from human intervention and allow it to resume its natural ecological processes.
In the interview, Monbiot uses the example of how the introduction of wolves into the Yellowstone National Park helped regenerate the park’s ecosystem and in turn changed the flow of its rivers.
To Monbiot, it is pivotal to promote what he calls “positive environmentalism”. That we need to show how environmental action can make the world a better place, not just “a little less rubbish”.
He argues that we should double down on natural climate solutions, such as the flooding of peatlands and restoration of oceans, to help mitigate climate change.
Furthermore, Monbiot points to the deployment of offshore wind as an example of how renewable energy can promote ecological reserves for fish and marine life.
The offshore wind farms not only creates artificial “reefs”, but also protects the seabed and thus sequesters carbon.
Jonathan Franzen – What if we stopped pretending?
In this 4th episode of the 2nd season of Planet A, Dan Jørgensen talks with the American writer Jonathan Franzen.
Franzen is the author of numerous short stories and essays, but is most widely known for his novels “The Corrections”, “Freedom” and “Purity”. Furthermore, he has been a contributor to “The New Yorker” Magazine since 1994 and written seminal essays on climate change and environmentalism.
During the interview, Franzen talks about his essay “What if We Stopped Pretending?” that sparked controversy due to its argument that humanity may no longer be able to stop climate change. The essay attracted vocal criticism and Franzen was accused of being a climate denier.
Franzen also explains how he first got interested in environmental conservation and what his love for birds has meant for his approach to life. He expands on his views described in another essay; “Has climate change made it harder for people to care about conservation?” explaining how concerns about climate change can overshadow other environmental issues.
Furthermore, the discussion explores the narratives that surround climate change. Franzen argues that climate action should be motivated by a moral imperative, love for nature and the hope of a better future – not by fear mongering.
During the interview Franzen mentions Jem Bendell, a British professor of sustainability leadership and founder of the Institute for Leadership and Sustainability (IFLAS) at the University of Cumbria. He is founder of the Deep Adaptation Forum to support responses to hypothetical societal disruption from the perceived dangers of climate change - also called climate anxiety in more popular terms.
Franzen’s upcoming novel “Crossroads” will be published in October 2021 as the first installment in a trilogy entitled “A Key to All Mythologies?”
Fin podcast og spændende at høre John Kerrys tanker - fint ansporet og ledet af ministeren.
Jeg ærgrer mig dog over, at man i slutningen opfordrer lytterne til at søge mere viden via ministeriets profiler på sociale medier (Twitter, Facebook og Instagram).
De sociale mediers rolle og indflydelse er stærkt tvivlsom, herunder især når det gælder fake news og polarisering i den overvældende strøm af informationer, der hersker på de sociale medier.
Man burde i stedet have henvist til ministeriets hjemmeside som et autoritativt og pålideligt sted at søge viden. Det havde været bedre i tråd med ministeriets fine budskaber i øvrigt.
Mindre podcasting, mere klimahandling, Dan.
Dan er varm luft. Vi står i en accelererende og potentielt altødelæggende klimakrise, hvor Folketinget trods hensigtserklæringer ikke er lykkedes med at vedtage den lovede klimalov. Klimaministeren vælger at bruge sin tid på podcaste for at bygge sit eget internationale netværk og omdømme gennem urealiserede visioner.
Prominente klimastemmer som Greta Thunberg bruges i podcastet til at insinuere at den danske regeringen har sat en tilstrækkelig kurs for dansk klimapolitik.
Regeringen har henover det seneste år vist at business as usual fylder mere end behovet for en omfattende transformation af Danmark.
Lyt til podcastet med forsigtighed, og forstå at der ligger en bestemt politisk agenda bag hvert enkelt ord.