29 episodes

CPR's "Connect the Dots" with Rob Verchick launches engaging, accessible discussions with top policy experts, helping listeners "connect the dots" between real issues in their lives and new developments in climate change, environmental protection, worker and consumer safety, and social equality.

CPR’s Connect the Dots Center for Progressive Reform

    • News
    • 5.0 • 21 Ratings

CPR's "Connect the Dots" with Rob Verchick launches engaging, accessible discussions with top policy experts, helping listeners "connect the dots" between real issues in their lives and new developments in climate change, environmental protection, worker and consumer safety, and social equality.

    S6: Season 6 Trailer - Climate Resilience

    S6: Season 6 Trailer - Climate Resilience

    CPR’s Connect the Dots has been distilling complex policy issues for listeners for five seasons. In Season 6, coming early 2022, we’ll explore climate resiliency—that is, our ability to handle the stresses caused by climate disruption and adapt to changing conditions. The crisis may be stark, but there are ways we can create viable systems that look towards the future.

    • 2 min
    Season 5, Episode 4: That's an Order

    Season 5, Episode 4: That's an Order

    President Biden put climate policy front and center on his campaigning platform and wasted no time in pushing his agenda when he took office. The president has proposed $14 billion in spending on initiatives to fight the crisis in the nation’s 2022 budget, and he has appointed cabinet officials with informed backgrounds to offer guidance. He’s also altered tax incentives to favor clean energy over fossil fuels and promised to spur a job revolution that will protect workers in this sector. 

     

    But the U.S. is operated by three branches of government and federal powers are limited. It’s often the case that the "real work" is done on state and local levels. So, how do those plans coalesce with national strategy? Some states may take a different approach or "drive" a little slower, others prefer the fast lane — how does it all add up?

    In this episode of CPR's Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick explores energy policy at different levels of government and who's leading the way in the clean energy journey. 

    Joining Rob Verchick in this episode are: 






    Alice Kaswan, CPR Board Member and professor and associate dean at the University of San Francisco

    Hannah Wiseman, CPR Member Scholar and professor at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State University

    Laura Zapata, founder and CEO of Clearloop 

    Flozell Daniels, Jr., CEO and President of the Foundation for Louisiana

    Wendy Gao, an environmental activist and co-founder of the youth environmental nonprofit, Earth Uprising

    • 44 min
    Season 5, Episode 3: Banking on the Planet

    Season 5, Episode 3: Banking on the Planet

    A couple weeks ago, Elon Musk hosted Saturday Night Live, a gig typically reserved for A-list movie stars, Grammy Award winners, and stand-up legends. But Musk has risen to fame through his electric vehicle and clean energy company Tesla. 

     

    Musk and Tesla have become a social, political, and cultural force in our country, driving an interest in environmental business, investing, and innovation. Through his company, Musk has put renewable energy on the map. His creations may be notoriously expensive, exclusive, and well beyond the reach of many Americans, but the movement he’s leading is growing. And mainstream investors are starting to put money behind it. 

     

    When it comes to innovation and clean energy, there’s a wide range of players building new technology and sourcing terrains to scale renewables. Funding for those projects comes from a host of financiers, from banks to private equity firms to, perhaps, everyday consumers. 

     

    In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick and his guests discuss the fiscal complexities of successfully transitioning to renewable energy and achieving energy justice. They note that the newfound drive to do so results from a dedicated consortium of political agendas, business prerogatives, and consumer demand. 

     

    When the stakes get high, supply moves fast, and hopefully, it moves forward to a clean, equitable energy future for us all. 

    Joining host Rob Verchick in this episode are: 






    Lawrence Early, engineering graduate at Yale University

    Pete Hellwig, co-founder of Atmos

    Alice Kaswan, CPR Board Member and professor and associate dean at the University of San Francisco

    Hannah Wiseman, CPR Member Scholar and professor at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State University

    Laura Zapata, founder and CEO of Clearloop 

    • 39 min
    Season 5, Episode 2: Capturing the Enemy

    Season 5, Episode 2: Capturing the Enemy

    Companies using fossil fuels like oil, natural gas, and coal are facing heavy pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. If they don't, they could get hit with financial penalties or be completely shut down. In response, these corporations have come up with a treatment of sorts — it's called carbon capture and sequestration, or CCS for short. 

     

    The idea is that the industry can continue operating as it always has, but as a caveat, it will install a system to strip carbon from emissions. The carbon will be funneled through pipelines deep into the ground, where it will be buried forever. As a result, plants can keep running, businesses rally on as usual, there's less pollution in the air, everyone wins. Right?

     

    Not exactly. As Connect the Dots host Rob Verchick and his guests discuss in this episode, CCS is not nearly comprehensive enough to reduce emissions at a level and rate necessary to make a difference. Also, the logistics are complex and questionable, and the whole process could end up burning more energy than it saves. 

     

    Should we really be using a strategy that relies on fossil fuels when there are better alternatives available? Are we banking on the "old way" instead of trying something new? Rob and his guests discuss these questions and more. 

    Joining host Rob Verchick in this episode are:

     



    Flozell Daniels, Jr., CEO and President of the Foundation for Louisiana

    Alice Kaswan, CPR Board Member and professor and associate dean at the University of San Francisco

    Alex Kolker, associate professor for the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium

    Karen Sokol, CPR Member Scholar and associate professor of law at Loyola University in New Orleans

    Hannah Wiseman, CPR Member Scholar and professor at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State University 

    • 45 min
    Season 5, Episode 1: Fight the Powers That Be

    Season 5, Episode 1: Fight the Powers That Be

    In 2020, the world banded together to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, in 2021, the world continues to change, and we seem to be progressing forward. In turn, the spotlight shifts to another great calamity: climate change. The environmental crisis has made headlines with the Biden administration making climate mitigation and renewable energy top priorities. 

     

    With these advancements, researchers, corporations, innovators, and activists around the world are being tasked to follow suit. To stay united and take on another challenge: the transition to clean energy. But what does that entail exactly? How does a shift to renewables affect the average American household? 

     

    Scientists and engineers are hard at work creating systems that run efficiently, withstand various constraints, and won’t pollute the air. However, as this episode of Connect the Dots explains, it's also important to look at how we implement these new innovations in a way that’s equitable and purposeful to all. 

    Joining host Rob Verchick in this episode are:



    Flozell Daniels, Jr., CEO and President of the Foundation for Louisiana 

    Lawrence Early, an engineering graduate at Yale University 

    Wendy Gao, an environmental activist and student at the University of Virginia 

    Cheryl Johnson, Executive Director of People for Community Recovery in Chicago 

    Hannah Wiseman, CPR Member Scholar and professor at the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences and Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State University

    • 35 min
    Season 4, Episode 5: Working to Death

    Season 4, Episode 5: Working to Death

    In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick discusses one of the more perplexing challenges facing those working to mitigate climate disruption: industrial workers, the people laboring in factories, farms, coal mines, and other businesses directly affecting or affected by the climate crisis. 

    On the one hand, industrial workers need jobs. They depend on these jobs to feed their families and support themselves. On the other hand, they’re suffering because of it. So is our planet. The industrial worker tends to work long hours under harsh conditions. Many struggle to make ends meet. Due to climate breakdown, these working conditions and spaces have become grave. They’re hot, toxic, and frequently unregulated. Going to work can be unbearable at times, and as a result, not only livelihoods but lives are at stake. 

     

    The conflict of the industrial worker presents a tough duality: an appeal to restore health and salvage the Earth versus the need to sustain a living. Can both be achieved? The answer is yes, with some caveats and conditions. Listen now to find out more.

     

    Joining Rob in this episode are:



    Neza Xiuhtecutli, Research Coordinator for the Farmworkers Association of Florida

    Leslie Fields, Senior Director of Environmental Justice and Healthy Communities at the Sierra Club

    Maxine Burkett, Member Scholar of Center for Progressive Reform and Professor of Law at the University of Hawaii

    Vicki Arroyo, Executive Director of the Georgetown Climate Center

    Dr. Aaron Bernstein, Interim Director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard University

    • 41 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
21 Ratings

21 Ratings

Hc73268044--- ,

Love this

Love this podcast! A lot of great information! Hope you do more!!

StabbingEaglesWithSteelyKnives ,

Great listen

Please do more of these. It's great to see important legal issue covered in a lively way that connects to the real world.

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