98 episodes

Why we find it so hard to save our own planet, and how we might change that.

The Climate Question BBC World Service

    • Science
    • 4.5 • 101 Ratings

Why we find it so hard to save our own planet, and how we might change that.

    How much can flooding in Pakistan be blamed on climate change?

    How much can flooding in Pakistan be blamed on climate change?

    Floods in Pakistan have destroyed or damaged millions of homes, schools and businesses. So far nearly 1500 people have died and 33 million have been affected. With Pakistan contributing less than 1% to global CO2 emissions, a keen sense of injustice is felt in the country, and demands for international support have been made.
    The Pakistan government has called it a “climate catastrophe” and according to the World Weather Attribution group, it is likely climate change led to intense rainfall. But critics blame mismanagement and say Pakistan should have been more prepared for the inevitable.
    In this programme, we tell the story of the collapse of one building to see how much of the crisis can be blamed on climate change.
    Guests:
    Saher Baloch, Correspondent at BBC World’s Urdu service
    Zarmat Shinwari, owner of New Honeymoon Hotel
    Humayun Shinwari, owner of New Honeymoon Hotel
    Sayed Nabi, manager of New Honeymoon Hotel

    Email us: the climatequestion@bbc.com
    Presenter: Neal Razzell
    Co-presenter: Saher Baloch
    Producer: Lily Freeston
    Researcher: Natasha Fernandes
    Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross
    Series Producer: Alex Lewis
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
    Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell

    • 27 min
    Can animals evolve to deal with climate change?

    Can animals evolve to deal with climate change?

    As climate change brings rising temperatures and shifting patterns of rainfall, animals are adapting to keep pace. Bird’s bodies are growing smaller, their wingspan longer, lizards are growing larger thumb pads to help them grip more tightly in hurricane strength winds, beak size is changing.

    We visit the Galapagos, where evolution was first discovered by Charles Darwin, to investigate the many ways the behaviour and physiology of animals are changing to survive the impact of climate change. But can they do it quickly enough?

    First broadcast – 14 March 2022

    Presenters Jordan Dunbar and Kate Lamble are joined by:
    Kiyoko Gotanda, Assistant Professor at Brock University
    Ramiro Tomala, Expedition leader, Metropolitan Touring in the Galapagos
    Thor Hanson, conservationist and author of Hurricane Lizards and Plastic Squid
    Anne Charmantier, Director of Research at Centre d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Evolutive (CEFE), Montpellier

    With thanks to research carried out by Colin Donihue of Institute at Brown for Environment and Society.

    Producer: Dearbhail Starr
    Reporter: Mark Stratton
    Series Producer: Alex Lewis
    Editor: Nicola Addyman
    Production Coordinators: Sophie Hill and Siobhan Reed
    Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell

    • 27 min
    Does climate change have an ‘image problem’?

    Does climate change have an ‘image problem’?

    Images are a key part of communicating climate change, and shape how we understand the crisis unfolding around us. But while lots of research has been done into the language we use to talk about climate, images are often left out of the conversation.

    As a result, over time, a limited set of images have come to dominate how we think of climate change – like polar bears and melting glaciers - which haven’t kept up with the changing conversation about the crisis. All too often, these images tend to be abstract, removed from our daily lives and typically don’t feature people - when we know that climate change is happening all around us, all the time, and is very much a story with people and communities at its core.

    So how can we develop a new, and more effective visual language for climate change? What kind of images ‘work’ to both convey the urgency of the crisis as well as inspire behavioural change? And what are some of the ways in which photographers are seeking to represent the crisis in a way that transforms apathy into action?

    First broadcast – 27 December 2021

    Guests:
    Cristina Mittermeier, photographer and conservationist
    Arati Kumar-Rao, National Geographic Explorer and photographer
    Toby Smith, Programme Lead at Climate Visuals
    Saffron O’Neill, University of Exeter


    Presenter: Neal Razzell
    Series Producer: Alex Lewis
    Producer: Zoe Gelber
    Researcher: Lizzie Frisby
    Production Coordinator: Siobhan Reed & Helena Warwick-Cross

    • 27 min
    What can we learn from fixing the ozone hole?

    What can we learn from fixing the ozone hole?

    In 1985 British scientist Jonathan Shanklin and colleagues published a study that shocked the world. The study revealed a hole in the Earth’s atmosphere right over Antarctica. It had been caused over time by chemicals known as CFCs, used in things like fridges, air conditioning units and aerosol cans. These were destroying the layer of ozone in the stratosphere which protects us from most of the sun's ultraviolet radiation - without it, cases of skin cancer would soar. Less than two years after the discovery, world leaders signed an agreement called the Montreal Protocol, committing to phase out CFCs. It has been described as the most successful international treaty of all time - every UN country has signed up, and ozone is expected to return to its previous levels around the middle of the century. So what can we learn from how we tackled the ozone hole in how we address climate change?

    First broadcast - 29 Nov 2021

    Presenters Neal Razzell and Kate Lamble are joined by: Jonathan Shanklin, Meterologist at the British Antarctic Survey, Dr Paul Newman, chief scientist for Earth Science at the Nasa Goddard Space Flight Center, Tina Birmpili, former executive secretary of the Ozone Secretariat, Dr Anita Ganesan, associate professor of Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Bristol. Producer: Sophie Eastaugh Researcher: Natasha Fernandes

    • 27 min
    Can we engineer rain to help solve climate change?

    Can we engineer rain to help solve climate change?

    From the Aztecs to the Zoroastrians, humans have always prayed for rain. We’ve tried dances, ritual sacrifices and even blowing up the sky to boost rainfall. This might sound crazy but desperate times call for desperate measures.

    Climate change is making people desperate again, in some regions droughts are becoming more frequent and pervasive whereas in others floods threaten livelihoods and cities. We have already affected our weather cycle but can we control it? Many governments have turned to cloud seeding programmes to try to manipulate rain to fall where they desire it to. But does it actually work, and what are the potential ramifications? We speak to experts about how people are trying to create rain, whether we’re on the brink of a geopolitical nightmare.

    Presenters Graihagh Jackson and Neal Razzell spoke to:

    Cynthia Barnett, Environmental Journalist and author of ‘Rain: a Natural and Cultural History’
    Dr Katja Friedrich, Professor of Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder
    Dr Dhanasree Jayaram, Assistant Professor at the Department of Geopolitics and International Relations, Manipal Academy of Higher Education.


    The team this week:
    Reporter: Valdya Baraputri, Bilingual Reporter BBC Indonesia, reporting in Jakarta
    Researcher: Imogen Serwotka
    Producer: Lizzy McNeill
    Series Producer: Jordan Dunbar
    Production Coordinators: Helena Warwick-Cross & Siobhan Reed
    Editor: Richard Fenton-Smith
    Sound Wizard: Tom Brignell

    • 27 min
    Why can’t we build more wind farms?

    Why can’t we build more wind farms?

    In rural North East Spain, proposals to build hundreds of new wind turbines have sparked opposition and divided communities.

    And it isn’t only Spain. There has been resistance to wind power projects across the world from Mexico to the US. Opposition groups have succeeded in delaying, and sometimes cancelling, the construction of new wind farms.

    To move away from fossil fuels, we will need a huge expansion in renewables. But will wind power be able to meet this challenge in the face of local opposition around the world?

    Guests:
    Oliver Metcalfe, Bloomberg NEF
    Joyce Lee, Global Wind Energy Council
    Alejandra Ancheita, Mexican NGO, ProDESC

    Presenters: Neal Razzell and Graihagh Jackson
    Reporter: Esperanza Escribano
    Producers: Josephine Casserly and Jordan Dunbar
    Sound Engineer: Tom Brignell
    PC: Siobhan Reed and Helena Warwick-Cross

    • 27 min

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5
101 Ratings

101 Ratings

Rtufton ,

Everyone needs this in their life!

Thank you for shining a light onto a really important issue and one that we all need to be talking about. Really complex issues explained in terms a layman like myself can understand. Thank you

jtimothyknox ,

Slickly Produced and Highly Engaging but Too Cheerful?

The BBC World Service has put quite a lot into the production of “The Climate Question,” their weekly podcast on climate change, and what we can do about it. Topics are timely and well-chosen. Field reporting from around the globe is relevant and professional. Keeping the length of the show at 25-30 minutes is generally a good idea. So, what’s the issue? Someone has decided that the show needs to remain light, upbeat, and entertaining no matter what the content. Neal and Graihagh are pleasant hosts but often try so hard to be cute and clever that your eyes can’t help but roll. On one hand, “The Climate Question” successfully avoids the doom and gloom, and getting bogged down in the details of scientific reports and forecasts, but on the other hand, it seems too determined to keep it all “fun” and cheerful. Let’s tone that part down a bit.

Kyzr86 ,

Great show

Very informative.

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