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.
Season 4, Episode 4: In the Line of Fire
In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick explores the ways the climate crisis drives raging wildfires like the ones that have scorched the western United States, killing dozens of people and destroying thousands of homes and businesses. Joining him are firefighter Sam Perkins, Vicki Arroyo of the Georgetown Climate Center, and Cinthia Moore of Moms Clean Air Force.
As of mid-October, unprecedented blazes have destroyed more than 4.1 million acres across California, with firefighters facing up to 40 new blazes across the state on extreme days. Further north, in Oregon, wildfires ruined two cities, killed 23 people, and demolished 600 homes and 100 commercial buildings in September alone. The same month in Washington, a canyon fire torched 76,000 acres, shutting down a major highway, burning several homes to the ground, and causing hundreds of families to evacuate. There’ve been nearly 100 known wildfires in the West since April, and the scorecard is still in play.
Wildfires are the latest cataclysm amplified by climate disruption, burning rapidly and haphazardly across the western part of this nation, along with countries around the world. And unfortunately, many of us are in the line of fire.
Season 4, Episode 3: Young and Wild and Sick
In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick talks about how the climate crisis hurts children – and presents ideas for possible solutions. He's joined by CPR Member Scholar Maxine Burkett, Sierra Club Senior Director of Environmental Justice and Healthy Communities Leslie Fields, mother and NRDC advocate Gina Ramirez, mother and Moms Clean Air Force member Leah Barbor, and Aaron Bernstein, Interim Director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard University.
If you're a parent, you know the value of a backyard playdate or afternoon outing in the park. Fresh air, a space to run wild and free, open terrain with nothing to knock over or stain. Your kids can explore, and perhaps you can get a moment of respite, as well. Unfortunately, outdoor learning and fun isn’t a reality for many families. These days, in neighborhoods around the country, pollution fogs the air, heat penetrates spaces and surfaces, and a deadly alchemy of the two results in terrible contamination. In some parts of our country, sending the kids outside can be dangerous, even deadly.
Due to the impacts of the climate crisis, children are getting sicker, heavier, and less mobile. They may be forced to stay inside, avoid exercise, or eat poor-quality foods. In more catastrophic instances, they’re losing their childhoods to destructive natural disasters. Either way, the physical and mental consequences of the climate crisis have long-term effects on their futures – and the future of our planet.
Season 4, Episode 2: Nowhere to Run
In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick talks climate migration with CPR Member Scholar Maxine Burkett, NRDC advocate and third-generation Mexican-American Gina Ramirez, and Aaron Bernstein, Interim Director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard University.
Imagine a world where an afternoon thunderstorm floods your basement with sewage and industrial pollutants. You come to dread the rain. Summer spaces that used to be dedicated to water balloon fights and bike rides become venues for wildfires and hurricanes. A hard day’s work leads to an even harder battle with disease. It all may sound like a nightmare, but then again, it doesn’t compare to the situation your family previously faced, starving and fending off violence when your livelihood was destroyed by drought. These are some of the realities encountered by climate change migrants around the country. The planet is getting hotter, drier, wetter, and weirder. And marginalized groups of many types are in the bull’s eye.
Season 4, Episode 1: They Can't Breathe
This season on Connect the Dots, we’re looking at people living in the cross hairs of climate change, those disproportionately carrying the burden of the world and suffering on a daily basis.
African Americans and people of color make up one of these communities. Packed into neighborhoods surrounded by smokestacks and highways that are unusually susceptible to floods, blocked from greenspaces and left without a voice, African Americans face a dire physical and mental toll when it comes to climate change, including high rates of cancer and respiratory illnesses. Exploring these and related issues in this episode are CPR Member Scholar Maxine Burkett, the Sierra Club's Leslie Fields, and Bronx resident and activist Mychal Johnson.
Season 3, Episode 7: Essential, Not Expendable--Protecting Workers from COVID-19
In this episode, host Rob Verchick talks with CPR Member Scholars Michael Duff and Thomas McGarity about worker safety in the era of the coronavirus – the gaps in law, regulation, and enforcement that leave workers exposed to the virus while permitting employers to escape accountability for putting workers and the public in danger. The conversation touches on the difficulty of creating foolproof physical transmission barriers, the Trump administration's scuttling of an Obama-initiated rule to prevent transmission of dangerous pathogens in the workplace, and efforts to deny essential employees or their surviving family members the right to recover damages for infection.
Duff (http://www.uwyo.edu/law/directory/mike-duff.html) is a Professor of Law at the University of Wyoming College of Law in Laramie. McGarity (https://law.utexas.edu/faculty/thomas-o-mcgarity) holds the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law at the University of Texas in Austin. He is a member of the board of directors of the Center for Progressive Reform (https://progressivereform.org/about-cpr/cpr-board/) and a past president of the organization.
Season 3, Episode 6: One Doctor's Life in the Time of Coronavirus
In this episode, host Rob Verchick talks with Dr. Andrew Duxbury about being a geriatric physician and medical school professor during the COVID-19 era. Dr. Duxbury teaches at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Customer ReviewsSee All
Please do more of these. It's great to see important legal issue covered in a lively way that connects to the real world.
I would love to hear a law professor's take on water infrastructure issues. From lead poisoning in Flint, to PFOA and emerging contaminants in our water supply, to sewage backups in basements, this seems like an important issue. I'd love to learn more about the legal issues here.