88 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.

    The Environmental Appeal of Green Steel, with Chris Bataille

    The Environmental Appeal of Green Steel, with Chris Bataille

    This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Chris Bataille, associate researcher at the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations in Paris. Steel accounts for almost 10 percent of the world's greenhouse gas emissions, and Bataille considers the potential for reducing and perhaps eliminating carbon dioxide emissions from the steelmaking process. Bataille also discusses how the industry currently works, which approaches and technologies can reduce emissions, and how policy can help drive innovation.

    References and recommendations:

    "The Entrepreneurial State" by Mariana Mazzucato; https://marianamazzucato.com/entrepreneurial-state/

    "Doughnut Economics" by Kate Raworth; https://www.chelseagreen.com/product/doughnut-economics-paperback/

    "U.S. renewable energy consumption surpasses coal for the first time in over 130 years" from the US Energy Information Administration’s "Today in Energy;" https://www.eia.gov/todayinenergy/detail.php?id=43895

    • 31 min
    Driving Behavior: How COVID-19 Pumped the Brakes on Transportation, with Abel Brodeur

    Driving Behavior: How COVID-19 Pumped the Brakes on Transportation, with Abel Brodeur

    This is the third episode in an ongoing webinar series, which is providing Resources Radio listeners the chance to listen to a podcast recording live and ask guests their own questions about pressing energy, environment, and economics issues.

    In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Abel Brodeur about how the coronavirus lockdown orders have affected the transportation sector. Brodeur, an associate professor at the University of Ottawa's Department of Economics, talks about his recent research on the decrease in car collision incidents during the lockdowns, along with his recently coauthored literature review about the economic impacts of the pandemic across a range of other dimensions.

    References and recommendations:

    "On the Effects of COVID-19 Safer-At-Home Policies on Social Distancing, Car Crashes and Pollution" by Abel Brodeur, Nikolai Cook, and Taylor Wright; http://ftp.iza.org/dp13255.pdf

    "A Literature Review of the Economics of COVID-19" by Abel Brodeur, David M. Gray, Anik Islam, and Suraiya Jabeen Bhuiyan; https://ideas.repec.org/p/iza/izadps/dp13411.html

    "English Passengers" by Matthew Kneale; https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/93872/english-passengers-by-matthew-kneale/

    • 36 min
    Getting Filled In on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, with Annalise Blum

    Getting Filled In on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, with Annalise Blum

    In this episode, Annalise Blum fills us in on the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. Blum, a policy fellow with the American Association for the Advancement Science, has worked for years on the technical and geopolitical aspects of hydropower. Host Daniel Raimi talks with Blum about the controversial dam project on the Blue Nile River in Ethiopia, whose reservoir could begin filling as soon as this week. The Renaissance Dam has been the subject of international negotiations for years, and has even prompted some threats of armed conflict. The issues surrounding the dam are complex, important, and discussed infrequently here in the United States—but Blum and Raimi jump right into the topic.

    References and recommendations:

    "Timbuktu" film; https://www.reuters.com/article/us-awards-oscars-timbuktu/oscar-nominee-timbuktu-tackles-everyday-view-of-radical-islam-idUSKBN0LI0HV20150214

    Aaron Wolf’s research about international agreements; https://www.texastribune.org/2017/07/11/q-aaron-wolf/

    "William Mulholland and the Rise of Los Angeles" by Catherine Mulholland; https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520234666/william-mulholland-and-the-rise-of-los-angeles

    "Chinatown" film; https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0071315/

    • 27 min
    Air Quality Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A View from Two Epicenters, with Valentina Bosetti

    Air Quality Impacts of the COVID-19 Pandemic: A View from Two Epicenters, with Valentina Bosetti

    This is the second episode in an ongoing webinar series, which is providing Resources Radio listeners the chance to listen to a podcast recording live and ask guests their own questions about pressing energy issues.

    In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Valentina Bosetti, a Bocconi University professor and a senior scientist at the RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economics and the Environment, who has closely studied air quality in Northern Italy. Bosetti finds that, while air pollution decreased in the region during the pandemic lockdowns, pollution did not fall nearly as much as expected, largely because lockdown measures hardly impacted agricultural emissions. In addition, Bosetti warns that the public health benefits of improved air quality pale in comparison to the lives lost from COVID-19, and unless governments take action, pollution will surge again once economic activity returns to pre-pandemic levels.

    References and recommendations:

    "Spillover: Animal Infections and the Next Human Pandemic" by David Quammen; https://wwnorton.com/books/spillover/

    "When Breath Becomes Air" by Paul Kalanithi; https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/258507/when-breath-becomes-air-by-paul-kalanithi/

    • 38 min
    AC/DC: Unequal Access to Air Conditioning, with Kelly T. Sanders

    AC/DC: Unequal Access to Air Conditioning, with Kelly T. Sanders

    This week, host Daniel Raimi talks with Kelly T. Sanders, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Southern California. With her coauthors, Sanders has recently published a series of studies on air conditioning use in southern California, with a focus on who does—and does not—have access to cooling on hot days. This work, which touches on issues of energy and environmental justice, has big implications for managing the COVID-19 pandemic this summer—and managing climate change in the decades to come.

    References and recommendations:

    "Utilizing smart-meter data to project impacts of urban warming on residential electricity use for vulnerable populations in Southern California" by Mo Chen, George A. Ban-Weiss, and Kelly T. Sanders; https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1748-9326/ab6fbe/meta

    "Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities" by Vaclav Smil; https://mitpress.mit.edu/books/growth

    "These Truths: A History of the United States" by Jill Lepore; https://wwnorton.com/books/9780393357424

    • 33 min
    Resources Radio Live: How COVID-19 Has Powered Down the US Economy, with Steve Cicala

    Resources Radio Live: How COVID-19 Has Powered Down the US Economy, with Steve Cicala

    This is the first episode in an ongoing webinar series, which is providing Resources Radio listeners the chance to listen to a podcast recording live and ask guests their own questions about pressing energy issues.

    In this episode, host Kristin Hayes talks with Professor Steve Cicala of the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy (soon to be moving to Tufts University’s Department of Economics). Expounding on research recently highlighted in the New York Times, in which he undertook one of the earliest looks at electricity demand during the peak of the pandemic lockdowns in the United States, Cicala details how electricity demand can serve as a valuable—if incomplete—tool to assess the health of the economy and the outlook for recovering from a recession. Cicala notes that the current crisis has shifted renewable penetration and affected energy consumption, but researchers remain uncertain about the duration of the pandemic and its long-term impacts on the electric grid.

    References and recommendations:

    "Another Way to See the Recession: Power Usage Is Way Down" by Quoctrung Bui and Justin Wolfers; https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/04/08/upshot/electricity-usage-predict-coronavirus-recession.html

    "Early Economic Impacts of COVID-19 in Europe: A View from the Grid" by Steve Cicala; https://home.uchicago.edu/~scicala/papers/real_time_EU/real_time_EU.pdf

    "What Is Owed: It Is Time for Reparations" by Nikole Hannah-Jones; https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/06/24/magazine/reparations-slavery.html

    • 36 min

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