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Commonwealth Club: Climate One Podcast

Commonwealth Club: Climate One Podcast

Description

Climate One is a dialogue among prominent leaders from business, government and civil society who are illuminating the path toward a global, low-carbon economy. Achieving that vision will require new thinking. And new relationships that transcend traditional boundaries and organizations. We can get there from here. If we get going now.


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Elizabeth Kobert and David Roberts: Covering Catastrophe

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 13, 2017


Communicating about climate change and convincing the public that something needs to be done about it is a complicated proposition, one that reporters Elizabeth Kolbert and David Roberts face daily in their jobs of covering the looming catastrophe.

Elizabeth Kolbert
Journalist, The New Yorker

David Roberts
Staff Writer, Vox

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, CA on September 22, 2017.

Music courtesy: Harbor by Kai Engle



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California's Climate Crusade

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 06, 2017


Some environmentalists said the law extending California’s cap and trade system to 2030 is a sellout to the oil industry and it shortchanges disadvantaged communities that breathe the dirtiest air. How do California’s climate moves play into national politics and policy? Will climate and energy play a meaningful role in the upcoming midterm elections? Will companies make energy policy more of a priority? We look back at how Gov. Schwarzenegger set the tone and how his past leadership continues to influence California’s policies today.

David R. Baker
Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle

Mike Mielke
Sr. Vice President, Environment & Energy, Silicon Valley Leadership Group

Parin Shah
Senior Strategist, Asian Pacific Environmental Network

Studio segment: US Senator Brian Schatz

A majority of this program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, CA on August 29, 2017.



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Happening with James Redford

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 29, 2017


Fossil fuels are in favor again in Washington. New opportunities are opening to mine coal and drill for oil despite the fact that the costs for fossil fuels continue to rise in real terms--and in terms of our health and environment. The markets ultimately drive investments, and while regulatory rollbacks and continued subsidies for fossil fuel may slow it down, our guests are certain the energy revolution is coming. Documentarian James Redford declared that, “You don’t have to worry about the future being green, that is inevitable.” He then added, “It is just a matter of when.”

James Redford, Filmmaker

Emily Kirsch, Co-founder & CEO, Powerhouse

Gia Schneider, CEO Natel Energy

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, CA on September 6, 2017.



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Greening Professional Sports

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 22, 2017


People who are involved in the sports world have seen the benefits of greening their professions. Many athletes and executives gathered at the Green Sports Alliance Summit in Sacramento, CA where they shared ideas for reducing food waste, running stadiums on clean energy and encouraging fans to reduce their carbon impact.

Justin Zeulner, Executive Director of the Green Sports Alliance
Julia Landauer, Championship NASCAR Driver
Dusty Baker, Manager, Washington Nationals
Jennifer Regan, Chief Sustainability Manager, We Bring It On
Chris Granger, former president, Sacramento Kings
Vivek Ranadive, owner, Sacramento Kings

Portions of this program were recorded at the Green Sports Alliance Summit in Sacramento, CA on June 27, 2017.



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Harvey and Irma: A Hurricane’s Human Fingerprints

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 15, 2017


From Katrina and Sandy to Harvey, Irma and Jos? - how is climate change fueling these increasingly destructive hurricanes? Greg Dalton and his guests delve into the politics, costs and human causes of the megastorms pummeling our planet.

Brian Schatz, US Senator, (D-HI)

Ben Santer, Climate Researcher, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

John Englander, Author, High Tide on Main Street: Rising Sea Level and the Coming Coastal Crisis (Science Bookshelf, 2012)

Angela Fritz, Manager, Weather Underground

Kathryn Sullivan, former NOAA Administrator

Hunter Cutting, Director of Strategic Communications, Climate Nexus

Don Cameron, Manager, Terranova Ranch

Barton Thompson, Professor of Natural Resources, Stanford Law School

Portions of this program were recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California.



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Yvon Chouinard

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 08, 2017


The explorer, climber, surfer and founder of sporting goods company Patagonia, Inc., has spent a lifetime welcoming adventure – and risk - of all kinds.

Yvon Chouinard, Founder and Owner, Patagonia

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 27, 2016
front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club on July 27, 2017.



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Aligning Profits with the Planet

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Sep 07, 2017


It is possible to protect profits and the planet. Despite claims that a win for the environment is a loss for the economy, corporations are finding innovative ways to have it both ways. They are quickly realizing that protecting watersheds and ecosystems can also protect their business.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club on July 27, 2017.



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Jane Mayer: Behind Dark Money

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 25, 2017


Who is bankrolling our political system? Jane Mayer takes us behind the scenes to expose the powerful group of individuals who are shaping our country.

Jane Mayer, Staff Writer, The New Yorker and Author, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Doubleday, 2016)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Louis B. Mayer Theatre at Santa Clara University on April 4, 2017.



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Tesla: Impossible Until It's Not

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 18, 2017


Tesla is the most valuable car company in the US, recently surpassing even the auto giant, General Motors. But this high valuation is not due to the number of cars they make and it is certainly not due to profits which are incidentally non-existent. So what is it all about?

Ashlee Vance has written the preeminent biography on the genius driving Tesla, SpaceX and Hyperloop, Elon Musk, with insights gained from his unprecedented access to the eccentric entrepreneur. Peter Henderson talks about Tesla’s make or break moment as with the arrival and scaling of the S model, aimed at average American families.

Peter Henderson, West Coast Deputy Bureau Chief, Thomson Reuters
Ashlee Vance, Reporter, Bloomberg Businessweek

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on July 12, 2017.



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Jane Goodall in Conversation with Jeff Horowitz and Greg Dalton

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 11, 2017


Noted conservationist Jane Goodall talks about her life’s work, the link between deforestation and climate change and why she sees reasons for hope.

Jane Goodall, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute; United Nations Messenger of Peace
Jeff Horowitz, Founder, Avoided Deforestation Partners

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 3, 2017.



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Al Gore and An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 04, 2017


Former Vice President Al Gore joins Climate One to talk about his tireless fight, training an army of climate champions and influencing international climate policy. Joined by co-directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenk, this conversation covers the making of their new movie AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER and the solutions that it offers.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Marines' Memorial Club on July 24, 2017.



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Is Climate Denial Destroying Our Planet?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Sun, Jul 30, 2017


Climate denial has become both a psychological and a political problem. Can better communication help us expand common ground and move on to solutions?

Renee Lertzman, Climate Engagement Strategist, Author and Speaker
Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, Penn State University
Cristine Russell, Freelance Science Journalist
Tom Toles, Editorial Cartoonist, The Washington Post

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 12, 2016.



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Chain Reaction: Why Two Wheels are Better than Four

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 21, 2017


Getting out of a car and onto a bike is one of the best things you can do for the climate and your personal health. Bike lanes are growing in American cities from New York City to Houston, the country’s oil and gasoline capitol.

Guests:
Amy Harcourt, Co-Founder/Principal, Bikes Make Life Better, Inc.
Caeli Quinn, Co-founder and Executive Director, Climate Ride
Brian Wiedenmeier, Executive Director, San Francisco Bicycle Coalition

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on June 8, 2017.



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Trumping the Climate: Coming in Hot

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 14, 2017


The Trump administration’s determination to revive coal mining and domestic oil drilling is causing concern that international efforts to combat climate change will crumble. How much change will the Trump administration really bring to the climate change fight? Join a conversation about energy, the mainstream news media, and markets.

Guests:
Gil Duran, Former Spokesman for Gov. Jerry Brown and Sen. Dianne Feinstein
Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director, Energy and Sustainability, UC Davis Graduate School of Management
Jim Sweeney, Director, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Stanford

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on June 1, 2017.



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Rounding up the Facts on GMOs

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 07, 2017


Are GMOs the answer to our planet’s food shortage? Or are they jeopardizing our crops by creating a destructive cycle of Roundup resistance? Like many issues these days, it depends on who you listen to. Supporters of genetically modified organisms say that altering the DNA of corn and other crops is just another tool in the farmers’ toolbox. While, opponents maintain that modified crops are dangerous to our health.

Guests:
Scott Kennedy, Filmmaker, ""Food Evolution""
John Purcell, VP and Global R&D Lead, Monsanto Company
Austin Wilson, Environmental Health Program Manager, As You Sow
Dr. Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Senior Scientist, Director Grassroots Science Program, Pesticide Action Network

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on May 25, 2017.



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Youth in the Streets and in the Courts (Update)Youth in the Streets and in the Courts (Update)Youth in the Streets and in the Courts (Update)Youth in the Streets and in the Courts (Update)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jul 05, 2017


As Buffalo Springfield sang in 1967, “There’s something happening here…” But today’s youth revolution is happening far beyond the Sunset Strip. The Trump administration’s dismissal of climate change as a legitimate concern is energizing a new generation of teenage activists. Emboldened and supported by groups like Earth Guardians, Heirs to Our Oceans and the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE), young people are taking their knowledge of climate science into the streets and into the courts, pressing for environmental change and for more government action now to protect their future and ours.

UPDATE: Since this discussion was held the fossil fuel trade association, which aligned itself with the federal government, changed their minds, and asked to withdraw from the case. Phil Gregory, one of the attorneys representing the 21 young people suing the federal government, explains what that withdrawal means.

Guests:
James Coleman, High School Senior; Fellow, Alliance for Climate Education
Lou Helmuth, Deputy Director, Our Children's Trust
Corina MacWilliams, Co-director, Earth Guardians 350 Club, South Eugene High School

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on March 16, 2017.



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Water Whiplash

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 30, 2017


Californians are accustomed to living through wet times and dry times, but lately things are getting more extreme and much more difficult to predict. After five years of severe drought, Californians are now talking about what it means to have too much water at once. The end of the drought is a blessing, but the state may need to find $50 billion to repair dams, roads and other infrastructure threatened by floods. The damaged spillway at Oroville dam highlighted what happens when the state doesn’t keep its water system in good working order.

How is California preparing for the whiplash of going from really dry to really wet years? What will it take to fix the system that delivers the water that keeps us alive and lubricates our economy? How will the state and federal governments work together to modernize the water system that grows food that lands on dinner tables across the country?

This program is made possible by support from the S.D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation.

Guests:
Don Cameron, General Manager, Terranova Ranch Inc.
Felicia Marcus, Chair, State Water Resources Control Board
Buzz Thompson, Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on May 24, 2017.



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Banking on Change at Standing Rock

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 16, 2017


They were an unlikely group of activists; Native American youths concerned about teen suicide sparked the movement against the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL)—a movement which ultimately spread across the country. Veterans and others joined in, traveling to the construction site and showing solidarity with activists. Protesters objected to the $3.8 billion pipeline route, which they say threatens freshwater supplies and disrespects ancestral lands.

Guests:
Pennie Opal Plant, Co-founder, Idle No More SF Bay
L. Frank Manriquez, Indigenous California artist and activist
Lynn Doan, Bloomberg News

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on May 11, 2017.



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Inheriting Climate Change

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 09, 2017


Do the baby boomers owe millennials a clean planet? Or is it every generation for itself? Consumption-crazed baby boomers are leaving their younger counterparts with a mountain of debt and a destabilized climate. Yet they still rule the roost politically. In his new book “A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America,” Gen-Xer Bruce Gibney argues that the aging baby boomers who make up most of congress are holding up progress -- and it’s time they got out of the way. How do we span the generation gap? What can boomers do to engage future generations and help empower them in the fight against climate change?

Guests:
Carleen Cullen, Founder and Executive Director, Cool the Earth Bruce Gibney, Author, A Generation of Sociopaths: How the Baby Boomers Betrayed America
Professor Michael Ranney, Department of Psychology, Graduate School of Education, U.C. Berkeley
Wilford Welch, Speaker on Sustainability and Resilience

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on May 8, 2017.



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How Cities can Solve the Climate Challenge

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 02, 2017


Cities around the country are reshaping their economies for a greener future. Mayors and chambers of commerce are promoting smart growth and moving toward cleaner energy, cleaner cars, and cleaner buildings, with or without support from Washington. On today’s show we discuss how local businesses and political leaders in red states and blue states are growing their economies, cutting carbon pollution, and preparing for the challenges of climate disruption in their own communities.

Guests:
Diane Doucette Co-Founder and Executive Director, Chambers for Innovation and Clean Energy
Elizabeth Patterson, Mayor, Benicia, CA
Carl Pope Former Executive Director, Sierra Club
Rod G. Sinks City Council Member, Cupertino, CA

This program was recorded live at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on May 4, 2017.



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Texas Surprise

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 26, 2017


The Lone Star State leads the country in wind power, thanks to legislation signed by Governor Bush; clean energy has breathed fresh air into Texas’ economy.

Kip Averitt, Former Chair, Texas Clean Energy Coalition
Stephanie Smith. COO, Greencastle LLC
Pat Wood III, Principal, Wood3 Resources

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 25, 2017.



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#Resist with Annie Leonard and Shanon Coulter

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 19, 2017


What can you do if you care about putting your money to work toward a cleaner economy? Join us for a conversation on pressuring companies and personal brands.

Host: Greg Dalton
Guests:
Shannon Coulter, Co-founder, #GrabYourWallet
Annie Leonard Executive Director, Greenpeace USA

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 19, 2017.



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Amory Lovins: Peak Car Ownership

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 12, 2017


Will the arrival of robotic cars lead to the blissful end of traffic? Or will they instead put drivers out of work and clog our streets more than ever before?

Amory Lovins, Cofounder and Chief Scientist, Rocky Mountain Institute
Emily Castor, Director of Transportation Policy, Lyft
Gerry Tierney, Associate Principal, Perkins + Will

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 12, 2017.



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The New Political Climate

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 05, 2017


Can the far right and far left come together on clean energy? Join us for a meeting of the minds between staunch members of both the Tea Party and 350.org.

Debbie Dooley, President, Conservatives for Energy Freedom, Co-founder, Tea Party Movement
May Boeve, Executive Director, 350.org
Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator (D) Rhode Island

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 29, 2017.



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C1 Revue: Does Greening The Economy Leave Some People Behind?


Mon, May 01, 2017


Cities are leading the way in the greening of America’s economy. From urban parks and farms to microgrids and living buildings, dynamic urban planning can adapt to changing coastlines and severe weather delivered by a volatile climate. But there’s a risk that green-living innovations become solely the domain of a privileged urban elite. On today’s show we hear how issues from transit to housing to jobs are all affected by our changing climate, and how states like California are working to ensure that everyone benefits from a greener economy.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California.



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Jane Mayer: Behind Dark Money

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 28, 2017


Who is bankrolling our political system? Jane Mayer takes us behind the scenes to expose the powerful group of individuals who are shaping our country.

Jane Mayer, Staff Writer, The New Yorker and Author, Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right (Doubleday, 2016)
This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 4, 2017.



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Jane Goodall in Conversation with Jeff Horowitz and Greg Dalton

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 21, 2017


Noted conservationist Jane Goodall talks about her life’s work, the link between deforestation and climate change and why she sees reasons for hope.

Jane Goodall, Founder, Jane Goodall Institute; United Nations Messenger of Peace
Jeff Horowitz, Founder, Avoided Deforestation Partners

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 3, 2017.



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Sea Heroes: Extreme Edition

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 14, 2017


Our planet’s oceans drive our weather and generate much of our oxygen -- and they’re being severely impacted by climate change. What can be done about it?

Liz Taylor, President, DOER Marine
Peter Willcox, Captain, Rainbow Warrior, author, Greenpeace Captain: My Adventures in Protecting the Future of Our Planet (Thomas Dunne Books, 2016)
Stiv Wilson, Director of Campaigns, Story of Stuff

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 12, 2016



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Cigarettes & Tailpipes: Tales of Two Industries

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 07, 2017


Cigarette makers downplayed the dangers of smoking for decades with distracting science. How close is the link between tobacco denial and climate denial?

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C1 Revue: Can Our Connected Lives Be Green and Safe?


Tue, Apr 04, 2017


California has committed to getting one-half of its electricity from renewable sources by the year 2030. But clean energy advocates say the state could be more ambitious and shoot for 100% clean electricity. Still, not everyone agrees on how the existing energy grid can integrate new technologies, or whether getting to 100% is even technically possible yet. On today's program, we hear how smart technology and the "Internet of things" can be part of the solution, while making our lives greener, safer, and more convenient.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California.



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Youth in the Streets and in the Courts

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 31, 2017


Do teenagers have a chance to be heard and make an impact on an issue so complex and massive as the world’s energy system? How are young advocates using social media to advance their cause? Join us for a conversation about kids confronting powerful institutions and finding their own power and voices.

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Climate Equity

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 24, 2017


Will a green economy be more equitable than the brown economy? As California transitions to renewable energy, the result will be green jobs, cleaner communities and lower carbon emissions. But will underserved communities get shafted again? The environmental justice community has been concerned that the state’s cap and trade program puts Brazilian rainforests over communities near refineries and factories. Will Sausalito and Vallejo get the same protection from rising seas and other impacts of a destabilized climate?

A conversation about increasing equity while reducing carbon pollution.



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Why Facts Don’t Trump the President

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 16, 2017


An information war is raging in our country, in mainstream news and on social media. What is factual and what is an “alternative fact?” Do facts even matter?

George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics, UC Berkeley
Robert Rosenthal, Executive Director, The Center for Investigative Reporting

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 23, 2017.



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Killing the Colorado

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 09, 2017


Every year, 41 million Americans take more water out of the Colorado than nature puts into it. How can we continue to share an ever-shrinking resource?

Kevin E. Kelley, General Manager, Imperial Irrigation District
Abrahm Lustgarten, Reporter, ProPublica
Fran Spivy-Weber, Vice Chair, CA State Water Resources Control Board

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 15, 2017.



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Remaking the Planet

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 10, 2017


Geoengineering may sound like science fiction, but there are many who believe we can — and should — be taking drastic measures to cool our planet down.

Oliver Morton, Briefings Editor, The Economist; Author, The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World (Princeton University Press, 2015)
Kim Stanley Robinson, Author, 2312 (Orbit, 2012)
Ken Caldeira, Climate Scientist, Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 28, 2016.



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C1 Revue: Republican Renegades on Climate


Wed, Mar 01, 2017


The Trump administration has moved quickly to reverse some of the previous administration’s energy and climate policies. But not all Republicans are on the same page when it comes to climate. Those on the so-called eco-right say action is needed to promote clean energy and prevent climate disruption. On today’s program we hear how Republican renegades find climate solutions in conservative principles, and what we can do when climate denial isn’t just present in the halls of government, but actually controls the levers of power.

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Bread, Wine and Chocolate in a Warming World

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Feb 24, 2016


Connecting the dots between the foods we love and our environment may be one way to engage people in the climate change fight – one cup of coffee at a time.

Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences
Simran Sethi, Author, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love
Helene York, Global Director, Responsible Business, Compass Group@Google

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 18, 2016.



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Can Clean Tech Clean Up Our Future?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Feb 16, 2017


The clean tech sector is on the rise - what areas are most promising for growth, jobs and “gee-whiz!” innovation? What will the new administration bring?

Danny Kennedy, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund
Holmes Hummel, Founder, Clean Energy Works
Andrew Chung, Founder & Managing Partner, 1955 Capital

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 6, 2017.



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Doubt, Deny or Defend: Republicans on Climate Change

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 10, 2017


Much has been made of the partisan divide on climate change. But there are Republicans out there who believe it’s real – and they have solutions in mind.

Jeremy Carl, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University
John Hofmeister, Former President, Shell Oil Company
Bob Inglis, Former Republican U.S. Representative, South Carolina

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 24, 2017.



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Green Latinos (02/07/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Feb 02, 2017


What are the issues that link the Latino community to the environmental movement? For many, it comes down to la familia. Latinos, who make up nearly 40 percent of California’s population, still tend to live in the state’s most polluted areas, in close proximity to freeways and ports. That translates to increased rates of asthma among Latino children. Other community issues include lack of green space, reduced access to bus service and the internet, and economic barriers to things like electric cars and home ownership. According to Adrianna Quintero of the Natural Resources Defense Council, for Latinos, climate change is less a political issue than personal: it’s “about protecting family members…about thinking about the ties that bind us to people in other parts of the world, whether we arrived two years ago, 10 years ago, or were here before the borders were drawn.” As the three panelists note, Latinos have long embraced the culture of conservation. They point to examples from their own experience – reusing foil, taking grocery bags to the store, sharing resources with extended family members. “I think most Latinos are conservationists,” says Orson Aguilar, Executive Director of The Greenlining Institute, “and I think the question is, is it something cultural, is it something in our DNA, or have we been forced to conserve given our economic circumstances?” Whatever their reasons, Quintero points out that 9 out of 10 Latinos surveyed support action to fight climate change. “Those are enormous numbers,” she says. “It shows that we've underestimated this community for years. We've underestimated the power, we've underestimated the commitment to protecting the environment and we're doing that to our own disservice truly. We need to recognize that there's a tremendous amount of awareness and power in this community.” In this election year, how can the environmental movement engage the diverse community of Latinos to demand change in their own communities, and beyond?

Catherine Sandoval, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
Orson Aguilar, Executive Director, The Greenlining Institute
Adrianna Quintero, Senior Attorney, The Natural Resources Defense Council.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 7, 2014



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C1 Revue: The Future of Oil and Nuclear Power


Wed, Feb 01, 2017


In 2006, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger launched California's attack on climate change by signing a pioneering law to reduce carbon pollution across the state’s economy. That law, known as AB 32, has put California at the forefront of the global move to protect the climate that supports our economy and lifestyles. More recently, California’s energy utility announced plans to close the state's last remaining nuclear power plant. But will such a move reduce or increase carbon pollution? On today’s program we explore the future of oil and nuclear power through the lens of California’s fight against climate disruption.

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Ecological Intelligence

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 27, 2017


What’s really preventing us from enacting environmental change? Blame our brains, says Daniel Goleman, author of Ecological Intelligence. As he explains it, “The problem comes down to a design flaw in the human brain.” Evolution fine-tuned our brains to protect us from immediate survival threats – lions, tigers and bears. But long-term dangers, such as those that threaten our planet today, don’t register. “The problem is that we don't perceive, nor are we alarmed by, these changes,” says Goleman. “And so we're in this dilemma where we can show people, "Well, you know, your carbon footprint is this," but it doesn't really register in the same way as “there's a tiger around the block.” Facts alone aren't enough, he adds, “We need to find a more powerful way of framing them…a way which will activate the right set of emotions and get us moving.”
George Lakoff, a linguistics professor at U.C. Berkeley, sees the issue as a moral, rather than environmental, crisis: “…the greatest moral crisis we have ever been in. It is the moral issue of our times and it’s seen just as an environmental issue.” But morality can mean different things to different people. This sets up a debate that quickly goes from the political to the personal, as Josh Freedman, author of Inside Change, points out. “When we start saying, "okay, they're good, and they're bad," what happens is we're actually fueling this threat system that is what's in the way of us actually solving these problems.”

So what is the solution? How do we retune our primitive brains – and those of our political and business leaders -- to focus on a less than clear, less than present danger?

Throughout the discussion, several key avenues rose to the top: economics, education and emotional appeal. If major institutions can be persuaded to divest from environmentally unsound companies, says Lakoff, “then what will happen is that the prices of the stocks will go down for those energy companies. When they go down that way, they stay down…you have an opportunity to shift investment away in a way that has an exponential feedback loop.”

Educating today’s youth was a powerful and recurring theme for all the speakers. “What kids learn and tell their parents is important,” Goleman said. “Schools are a big counterforce that we can do a much better job of deploying in this battle for minds and heart.”

Despite our primitive wiring, the speakers concluded, we humans do have the capacity for the ecological intelligence – and the morality – to effect global change.

“Your morality is what defines who you are as a human being,” says Lakoff, “it's who you are emotionally and morally as a human being that matters in your life, what you do every day. This isn't a matter of compromise…we have, like, 35 years to turn this around, period. That's not long.”

“All change starts on the inside,” says Freedman, “If we can support children and adults to connect with that capability and to develop what's already there, then things are going to get a lot better.”

Daniel Goleman, Author, Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy (Crown Business, 2010)
Joshua Freedman, CEO, Six Seconds; Author, Inside Change: Transforming Your Organization With Emotional Intelligence (Six Seconds, 2010)
George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and author of many books, including The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics (Penguin Books, 2009)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 1, 2014.



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Nature's Price Tag (07/25/13) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 20, 2017


An emerging area of economics aims to put a price on nature as a way of justifying preserving it in societies dominated by the wisdom of markets. A mountain stream, for example, provides many economic benefits beyond people who own property near it or drink water from it. The same is said of bees that pollinate our food, wetlands that cleans water, and trees that drink up carbon dioxide. If nature were a corporation it would be a large cap stock. Putting a precise tag on something long seen as free is a conceptual leap. However many large companies are starting to realize the extent to which their profits rely on well operating ecosystems.

Larry Goulder, Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, Stanford
Tony Juniper, Associate Professor, University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership; Special Advisor to The Prince of Wales International Sustainability Unit

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on July 25, 2013



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Is Climate Denial Destroying Our Planet?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 13, 2017


Climate denial has become both a psychological and a political problem. Can better communication help us expand common ground and move on to solutions?

Renee Lertzman, Climate Engagement Strategist, Author and Speaker
Michael Mann, Distinguished Professor of Meteorology, Penn State University
Cristine Russell, Freelance Science Journalist
Tom Toles, Editorial Cartoonist, The Washington Post

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 12, 2016.



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The Sixth Annual Stephen Schneider Award: Naomi Oreskes and Steven Chu

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 06, 2017


Science historian Naomi Oreskes has had her share of hate mail from climate deniers. But, she says, “We can't give up on the challenge of explaining science.”

Naomi Oreskes, Professor of History of Science and Director of Graduate Studies, Harvard University, author of “Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco Smoke to Global Warming.” (Bloomsbury Press, 2011)
Steven Chu, Former U.S. Secretary of Energy; Professor of Physics and Molecular & Cellular Physiology, Stanford

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 15, 2016.



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C1 Revue: Political and Climate Disruption


Sun, Jan 01, 2017


2016 began in the afterglow of the Paris climate accord, and ended with the triumph of a presidential candidate who has labeled climate change a hoax. So what will 2017 and the Trump administration mean for the future of clean energy? On today’s show we look ahead at how environmentally-conscious lawmakers and businesses might move forward now that Republicans control the White House and both chambers of Congress, and how big blue California might continue to lead the fight against climate change in spite of what happens in Washington.

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Fighting Fossil Fuels All the Way to Prison

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 30, 2016


Radical protesters Tim DeChristopher and Georgia Hirsty put the “active” in “activism.” But is civil disobedience the best way to effect real change?

Tim DeChristopher, Founder, Climate Disobedience Center
Georgia Hirsty, National Warehouse Program Manager, Greenpeace
Brendon Steele, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Future 500

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 19, 2015.



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2016: From Paris to Trump

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 23, 2016


2016 began in the after-glow of the Paris climate summit and ended with the election of Donald Trump. A look back at the year’s energy triumphs and setbacks.

2. Speaker List
David R. Baker, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Katie Fehrenbacher, Former Senior Writer, Fortune
Cassandra Sweet, Reporter, Wall Street Journal

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 7, 2016.



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What Now for California?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 16, 2016


As Donald Trump moves into the West Wing and the GOP takes control of congress, what will become of California’s environmental trailblazing?

Christine Pelosi, Superdelegate for Democratic Party; Political Strategist
Duf Sundheim, 2016 Republican Candidate for U.S. Senate
Tony Strickland, Former California State Senator; California Chairman, The Committee for American Sovereignty
Tony Thurmond, California State Assemblymember (D-15)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 1, 2016.



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Nicholas Stern and Steve Westly

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 09, 2016


While federal experts warn that it will cost $44 trillion to rid the U.S. economy of carbon, Citibank counters that failing to act on climate disruption could result in over $44 trillion in public and private losses over the next 25 years. The true cost of either keeping or ditching fossil fuels was up for discussion at a recent Climate One event.

Nicholas Stern, Chair, Center for Climate Change Economics and Policy, London School of Economics
Steve Westly, Founder and Managing Partner, The Westly Group

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 5, 2016.



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Will Trump Force One Run Clean?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 02, 2016


A recent agreement is designed to curb emissions from international plane flights. But what if the new administration doesn’t clear it for takeoff?

Erin Cooke, Sustainability Director, San Francisco International Airport
James Macias, President and CEO, Fulcrum BioEnergy, Inc.
Sean Newsum, Director of Environmental Strategy, Boeing Commercial Airplanes
Annie Petsonk, International Counsel, Environmental Defense Fund

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on November 16, 2016



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C1 Revue: Climate Change on Your Kitchen Table


Thu, Dec 01, 2016


Climate change is as much about what we eat as what we drive or where we live. Rising heat is hitting chocolate, wine, beer, bread and other foods we love, while our appetites for meat, fish, and dairy are responsible for a host of unsustainable farming practices. So what’s a climate-conscious eater to do? On today’s program we'll look at how climate change affects us at the kitchen table. We’ll ask whether all those craft beers, fair-trade coffees, and single-batch chocolates are part of the solution, or whether going vegan is the key to a climate-friendly diet.

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Yvon Chouinard: Founding Patagonia and Living Simply

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 25, 2016


The explorer, climber, surfer and founder of sporting goods company Patagonia, Inc., has spent a lifetime welcoming adventure – and risk - of all kinds.

Yvon Chouinard, Founder and Owner, Patagonia

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 27, 2016



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Redefining National Parks and Family Farms in a Changing Climate

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 18, 2016


America’s National Parks are struggling to find a balance between the needs of a growing population and the desire to preserve our natural heritage.

John Hart, Author, An Island in Time: 50 Years of Point Reyes National Seashore (Pickleweed Press, 2012)
Jordan Fisher Smith, Author, Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature (Crown, 2016)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on July 19, 2016



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Bread, Wine and Chocolate in a Warming World

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 11, 2016


Connecting the dots between the foods we love and our environment may be one way to engage people in the climate change fight – one cup of coffee at a time.

Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences
Simran Sethi, Author, Bread, Wine, Chocolate: The Slow Loss of Foods We Love
Helene York, Global Director, Responsible Business, Compass Group@Google

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 18, 2016.



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McKibben & Tamminen: Disruptive Climate and Politics

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 04, 2016


Climate change seems to have taken a backseat in this year’s presidential campaign. What’s ahead for the climate movement in the next administration?

Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org
Terry Tamminen, CEO, Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 21, 2016.



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C1 Revue: Surviving a Megadrought


Tue, Nov 01, 2016


After last winter’s rains, Californians breathed a collective sigh of relief. But short-term weather is not the same as long-term climate. And state water watchers understand that this rainfall did not break the worst drought in over a thousand years. With the effects of climate change being felt around the country – droughts in some areas and flooding in others – the nation is looking to California as a model for how to handle a new normal. Today we’ll dig into the water woes of this bellwether state. How is California planning for a hotter, drier climate in the cities and down on the farm?

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Villaraigosa, de Le?n, and Mason: Power Politics

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 28, 2016


California has been proudly fighting the war on climate change for over a decade. But can it can grow its economy and tackle climate change at the same time?

Kevin de Le?n, President pro Tempore, California State Senate
Melanie Mason, Reporter, Los Angeles Times
Antonio Villaraigosa, Former Mayor of Los Angeles

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 5, 2016.



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Future Cities

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 21, 2016


As the world’s population increasingly moves into cities, what is the future of urban life? How can we build in the ability to weather a changing climate?

Jonathan F.P. Rose, Co-Founder, Garrison Institute
Peter Calthorpe, Principal Architect, Peter Calthorpe Associates

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 21, 2016.



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Rising Seas: Is San Francisco Ready?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 07, 2016


San Francisco developers are planning billions in new construction with a Bayfront view. Yet seas are predicted to rise nearly a foot by 2050. Are we ready?

J.K. Dineen, Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Michael Stoll, Executive Director, San Francisco Public Press
Lauren Sommer, Science and Environment Reporter, KQED
Charles Long, Principal, Charles A. Long Properties, LLC
Margie O’Driscoll, Competition Advisor, Resilient by Design
Will Travis, Sea Level Rise Planning Consultant

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 13, 2016.



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Taking the Temperature of California’s Climate Law

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 14, 2016


It’s been ten years since California enacted a landmark law that put it at the forefront of the global war on climate change. Has AB 32 been a boon or a bust?

Fran Pavley, Senator, California State Senate
Catherine Reheis-Boyd, President, Western States Petroleum Association
Dan Sperling, Member, California Air Resources Board

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 20, 2016.



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Can the Pacific Coast Lead the Transition to a Clean Economy?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 30, 2016


The Pacific states and British Columbia have all pledged to reduce carbon emissions. Can they help accelerate the global transition to a green economy?

Kate Brown, Governor, Oregon
Jay Inslee, Governor, Washington
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, Legislative Assembly of British Columbia

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 1, 2016.



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Tom Steyer & Andy Karsner: Making Good on the Promise of Paris

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 23, 2016


The Paris climate agreement was signed by 196 countries and endorsed by corporate America. But will political rancor sink the ship of progress?

Andy Karsner, Managing Partner, Emerson Collective
Tom Steyer, Business Leader, Philanthropist and Clean Energy Advocate

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 2, 2016.



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Can California Get to 100% Clean Power?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 16, 2016


California is on track to reach 50% renewable energy by the year 2030. But can we do better? What would it take to get us to 100% clean power by 2050?

Mark Ferron, Board of Governors, California Independent System Operator
Mark Jacobson, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University
Steve Malnight, Senior Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, PG&E

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on August 23, 2016



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Earning Green

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 09, 2016


We will discuss the hot prospects for building a climate-conscious career. New jobs and avenues for advancement are being created as companies strive to grow cleaner and governments figure out what a disrupted climate means for water, food, transit and housing systems. The young Americans entering the workforce today will create the cool new products, technologies and cities that will grow our economy and stabilize the climate. What are the best career paths for people who want to take advantage of that huge opportunity? What sectors are most promising? Will doing good entail making less? A conversation about building a thriving career based on reducing carbon while increasing social and economic value.

Leonard Adler, CEO, Green Jobs Network
Charlotte MacAusland, Commercial Channel Partner Manager, SolarCity
Lyrica McTiernan, Sustainability Manager, Facebook
Keely Wachs, Director of Communications, Clif Bar
Katherine Walsh, Director, Student Environmental Resource Center, UC Berkeley

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 23, 2016



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Learning Green

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 02, 2016


We discuss how doctors, teachers and parents are framing climate change as a children’s issue. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement saying children’s health will be disproportionately affected by climate. The California Parent-Teacher Association is raising its voice about carbon risk and the Boy Scouts are teaching kids about sustainability.

Giana Amador, Research Analyst, Center for Carbon Removal
Minda Berbeco, Programs and Policy Director, National Center for Science Education
Ryan Condensa, Action Fellow, Alliance for Climate Education
Luis Martinez, Student Activist
Alexander Zwissler, Principal, Einstellung Labs

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 23, 2016



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C1 Revue: Human Health and Social Equity in a Hot World

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Sep 01, 2016


Fossil fuels have lifted nations into the modern era, bringing wealth and well being to many. But as we turn away from these carbon intensive energy sources, will the promise of jobs and prosperity from a clean energy society, be fulfilled? Or will the gulf between the haves and have-nots simply widen? And how will we protect everyone from the health impacts of a hot world?

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Will Closing Diablo Canyon Increase Carbon Pollution?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 26, 2016


PG&E recently announced plans to close the Diablo Canyon nuclear plant by 2025 and replace it with renewable energy. What does this mean for Californians?

David R. Baker, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
John Geesman, Attorney, Dickson Geesman LLP
Dian Grueneich, Former Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
Michael Shellenberger, President, Environmental Progress

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on August 9, 2016



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Can the Internet of Things be Green and Safe?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 19, 2016


Today’s smart homes can be managed from your phone; banking can be done with the swipe of an app. But how vulnerable are we to hackers and cyberterrorism?

General Keith Alexander (Ret.),Former Director, National Security Agency; Founder and CEO, IronNet Cybersecurity
Alfred Berkeley, Former Director, World Economic Forum USA
David Mount, Partner, Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on July 20, 2016



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Redefining National Parks and Family Farms in a Changing Climate

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 12, 2016


America’s National Parks are struggling to find a balance between the needs of a growing population and the desire to preserve our natural heritage.

John Hart, Author, An Island in Time: 50 Years of Point Reyes National Seashore (Pickleweed Press, 2012)
Jordan Fisher Smith, Author, Engineering Eden: The True Story of a Violent Death, a Trial, and the Fight over Controlling Nature (Crown, 2016)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on July 19, 2016



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Is California Entering a Megadrought?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 05, 2016


As the dry spell continues, studies show that California could be facing a megadrought lasting decades. How do we adjust to the “new normal” in our climate?

Noah Diffenbaugh, Associate Professor, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University
Peter Gleick, President and Co-founder, Pacific Institute
Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on July 7, 2016



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The Health Hazards of One Degree

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 29, 2016


Global warming is hitting closer to home than we think, from a neighborhood child gasping with asthma to a parent collapsing from heatstroke. These realities led U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to assert in April that climate change presents the most complex threat to public health in U.S. history.

Rachel Morello-Frosch, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Linda Rudolph, Director, Center for Climate Change and Health, Public Health Institute
Robert Gould, Director of Health Professional Outreach and Education, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, UCSF
Katrina Peters, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 5, 2016



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Getting Baked: Can Legalizing Pot Help Fight Climate Change?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 22, 2016


In November California voters have the chance to legalize marijuana. Could bringing one of our biggest industries out of the shadows help our environment?

Scott Greacen, Executive Director, Friends of the Eel River
Roger Morgan, Executive Director, Coalition for Drug Free California
Michael Sutton, Former President, California Fish & Game Commission

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 14, 2016



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Sea Heroes: Extreme Edition

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Jul 14, 2016


Our planet’s oceans drive our weather and generate much of our oxygen -- and they’re being severely impacted by climate change. What can be done about it?

Liz Taylor, President, DOER Marine
Peter Willcox, Captain, Rainbow Warrior, author, Greenpeace Captain: My Adventures in Protecting the Future of Our Planet (Thomas Dunne Books, 2016)
Stiv Wilson, Director of Campaigns, Story of Stuff

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 12, 2016



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After El Ni?o Now What?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 08, 2016


Many Californians are wondering if El Ni?o has saved the Golden State from its historic drought. The snowpack in Sierra Nevada is more robust, reservoirs in Northern California are more full, and Folsom Lake even rose 10 feet in the month of March. However, the state is nowhere near pre-drought conditions. Three experts joined Greg Dalton at the Commonwealth Club to discuss the future of water in the Golden State.

Ashley Boren, Executive Director, Sustainable Conservation
Max Gomberg, Climate Change Manager, State Water Resources Control Board
Gabriele Ludwig, Director, Sustainability & Environmental Affairs, Almond Board of California
Barton Thompson, Director, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 5, 2016



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C1 Revue: Climate Control

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 01, 2016


When talking about the natural world, we often refer to the beauty that we see around us. But what do we smell, touch, taste - and most importantly hear? Today we’ll take a look at what nature sounds like. We’ll also explore the role of imagination in finding solutions to environmental threats – from fantasy films to engineering the sky to control the Earth’s climate.

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Old Nukes, New Nukes

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 01, 2016


A two-part conversation about the present and future of atomic power in a hot and crowded world.

David R. Baker, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Caroline Cochran, Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, Oklo
Lucas Davis, Associate Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Jessica Lovering, Director of Energy, The Breakthrough Institute
Jose Reyes, Chief Technology Officer, NuScale Power
Ray Rothrock, Partner Emeritus, Venrock

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 15, 2016.



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Can the Pacific Coast Lead the Transition to a Clean Economy?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 24, 2016


The Pacific states and British Columbia have all pledged to reduce carbon emissions. Can they help accelerate the global transition to a green economy?


Kate Brown, Governor, Oregon
Jay Inslee, Governor, Washington
Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, Legislative Assembly of British Columbia


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 1, 2016.



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Tom Steyer & Andy Karsner: Making Good on the Promise of Paris

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 17, 2016


The Paris climate agreement was signed by 196 countries and endorsed by corporate America. But will political rancor sink the ship of progress?

Andy Karsner, Managing Partner, Emerson Collective
Tom Steyer, Business Leader, Philanthropist and Clean Energy Advocate

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 2, 2016.



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Nicholas Stern and Steve Westly

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 10, 2016


While federal experts warn that it will cost $44 trillion to rid the U.S. economy of carbon, Citibank counters that failing to act on climate disruption could result in over $44 trillion in public and private losses over the next 25 years. The true cost of either keeping or ditching fossil fuels was up for discussion at a recent Climate One event.

Nicholas Stern, Chair, Center for Climate Change Economics and Policy, London School of Economics
Steve Westly, Founder and Managing Partner, The Westly Group

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 5, 2016.



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Remaking the Planet

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 03, 2016


Geoengineering may sound like science fiction, but there are many who believe we can — and should — be taking drastic measures to cool our planet down.

Oliver Morton, Briefings Editor, The Economist; Author, The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change the World (Princeton University Press, 2015)
Kim Stanley Robinson, Author, 2312 (Orbit, 2012)
Ken Caldeira, Climate Scientist, Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology at Stanford University

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 28, 2016.



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C1 Revue: Doubt, Deception, Defiance

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jun 01, 2016


Today, we’re going to extreme ends of climate change debate... and action. While most of us are still comfortable sitting in the center – perhaps accepting the science, but not doing much about it – there are some organizations and individuals who are willing to jump off a bridge to convince us of the peril we face. And there are others who are using misinformation and deception to try to sow doubt in our minds about whether there is any problem at all.

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U.S. Energy Secretary and Business Leaders

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 27, 2016


Nearly 200 countries have pledged to go on a carbon diet. But does what happens in Paris, stay in Paris? How does the US plan to keep its climate promises?

Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Hal Harvey, CEO, Energy Innovation
Danny Kennedy, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund
Lyndon Rive, Co-founder and CEO, SolarCity

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 26, 2016.



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Earning Green

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 20, 2016


We will discuss the hot prospects for building a climate-conscious career. New jobs and avenues for advancement are being created as companies strive to grow cleaner and governments figure out what a disrupted climate means for water, food, transit and housing systems. The young Americans entering the workforce today will create the cool new products, technologies and cities that will grow our economy and stabilize the climate. What are the best career paths for people who want to take advantage of that huge opportunity? What sectors are most promising? Will doing good entail making less? A conversation about building a thriving career based on reducing carbon while increasing social and economic value.

Leonard Adler, CEO, Green Jobs Network
Charlotte MacAusland, Commercial Channel Partner Manager, SolarCity
Lyrica McTiernan, Sustainability Manager, Facebook
Keely Wachs, Director of Communications, Clif Bar
Katherine Walsh, Director, Student Environmental Resource Center, UC Berkeley

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 23, 2016



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Learning Green

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 13, 2016


We discuss how doctors, teachers and parents are framing climate change as a children’s issue. The American Academy of Pediatrics issued a statement saying children’s health will be disproportionately affected by climate. The California Parent-Teacher Association is raising its voice about carbon risk and the Boy Scouts are teaching kids about sustainability.

Giana Amador, Research Analyst, Center for Carbon Removal
Minda Berbeco, Programs and Policy Director, National Center for Science Education
Ryan Condensa, Action Fellow, Alliance for Climate Education
Luis Martinez, Student Activist
Alexander Zwissler, Principal, Einstellung Labs

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 23, 2016



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Liccardo, Schaaf and Ting vs. Global Warming

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 06, 2016


The global effects of climate disruption will have local impacts on the Bay Area. The political leaders of this region are already planning for a future with a new normal.

Sam Liccardo, Mayor, San Jose
Libby Schaaf, Mayor, Oakland
Phil Ting, California State Assemblymember (D-19)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 20, 2016



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Cowspiracy

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 29, 2016


In the quest for a carbon-neutral lifestyle, it can be difficult to sort out which activities have the greatest negative impact on our climate, from driving a car to eating animal products. The documentary Cowspiracy, produced by Leonardo DiCaprio, contends that animal agriculture is the number one source of climate killing pollution, and environmental non-profits are colluding to keep this information from the American public.

Kip Andersen
, Founder, AUM Films and Media
Nicolette Hahn Niman, Author, Defending Beef
Jonathan Kaplan, Director, Food and Agriculture Program, Natural Resources Defense Council

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 20, 2016



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C1 Revue: Living on Sunshine

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Sun, May 01, 2016


You know that cartoon where the guy has a light bulb over his head and then “bing” it goes on? Well, America is having a collective “light bulb” moment these days. And it’s powered by solar energy. Solar panels are 50% cheaper than just 5 years ago. And energy from the wind is looking just as bright. Today, we’re taking a look at the explosion of clean energy alternatives, how we’re pumping it into new cars and our plans for carrying it over a new electric grid.

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The Health Hazards of One Degree

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 22, 2016


Global warming is hitting closer to home than we think, from a neighborhood child gasping with asthma to a parent collapsing from heatstroke. These realities led U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy to assert in April that climate change presents the most complex threat to public health in U.S. history.

Rachel Morello-Frosch, Professor, University of California, Berkeley
Linda Rudolph, Director, Center for Climate Change and Health, Public Health Institute
Robert Gould, Director of Health Professional Outreach and Education, Program on Reproductive Health and the Environment, UCSF
Katrina Peters, Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, UCSF

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 5, 2016



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Fighting Fossil Fuels All the Way to Prison

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Apr 07, 2016


Radical protestersTim DeChristopher and Georgia Hirsty put the “active” in “activism.” But is civil disobedience the best way to effect real change?

Tim DeChristopher, Founder, Climate Disobedience Center
Georgia Hirsty, National Warehouse Program Manager, Greenpeace
Brendon Steele, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Future 500

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 19, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Climate Science: Hope & Worry

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 01, 2016


The historic climate summit in Paris is behind us. And nations around the world are turning their attention to the lofty promises made. Yet scientists and politicians agree that these goals for dialing back global warming are only the tip of the iceberg. With 2015 breaking the record for the hottest year ever, and 2014 holding the number two spot, plans for coping with an increasingly hot and dry world need to be part of the strategy as well. And facing this future can be scary, so we’ll also explore ideas for how to handle the anxiety and stress that many of us are feeling about all this.

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Today's EV Market

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 25, 2016


Today’s electric cars are more fun to drive than ever. And for many, they’re more affordable too. Will California reach its goal of a million EVs by 2020?

Sherry Boschert, Co-founder, Plug In America; Author, Plug-in Hybrids: The Cars That Will Recharge America (New Society, 2006)
Eileen Tutt, Executive Director, California Electric Transportation Coalition
Charlie Vogelheim, Principal, Vogelheim Ventures

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 24, 2016.



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Beans and Brew

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 18, 2016


Coffee, beer and chocolate – oh my! How is global warming affecting our beloved guilty pleasures? Can growers and producers adapt to a changing climate?

Ken Grossman, Co-Founder & CEO, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Paul Katzeff, Founder & CEO, Thanksgiving Coffee Company
Brad Kintzer, Chief Chocolate Maker, TCHO Chocolate

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on November 20, 2014.



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Cigarettes and Tailpipes

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 11, 2016


Cigarette makers downplayed the dangers of smoking for decades with distracting science. How close is the link between tobacco denial and climate denial?

Lowell Bergman, Investigative Journalist
Stanton Glantz, Director, Center for Tobacco Control Research and Education, UCSF
Kenneth Kimmell, President, Union of Concerned Scientists
William K. Reilly, Senior Advisor, TPG

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 18, 2016.



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Climate Equity

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 04, 2016


Communities of color are most affected by pollution, yet they’ve been overlooked by the green movement. How can we ensure environmental justice for all?

Manuel Pastor, Director, University of Southern California Program for Environmental and Regional Equity
Vien Truong, National Director, Green for All
Miya Yoshitani, Executive Director, Asia Pacific Environmental Network

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 9, 2016.



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C1 Revue: Food and Climate Change

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Mar 01, 2016


Our host Greg Dalton went to the climate summit in Paris to learn what food and energy solutions were being proposed – outside of the closed door negotiations. Coal made from grass. Burgers made from fruit. He came back with food for thought. When the Paris summit was over and the dust settled, Greg sat down with U.S. Secretary of Energy, Ernest Moniz, to get his perspective on the summit’s success – and the prospects for countries actually making good on their promises. Innovating our way to a clean economy, on Climate One.

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Handling Your Feelings About Climate Change

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Feb 18, 2016


If climate change makes you feel anxious, depressed or powerless, psychologists say you’re not alone. Can talking it out help drive change?

Joshua Freedman, CEO, Six Seconds; Author, Inside Change: Transforming Your Organization with Emotional Intelligence (Six Seconds, 2010)
Renee Lertzman, Climate Engagement Strategist
Joan Blades, Co-founder, LivingRoomConversations.org

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 27, 2016.



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U.S. Energy Secretary and Business Leaders

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 12, 2016


Nearly 200 countries have pledged to go on a carbon diet. But does what happens in Paris, stay in Paris? How does the US plan to keep its climate promises?

Ernest Moniz, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Hal Harvey, CEO, Energy Innovation
Danny Kennedy, Managing Director, California Clean Energy Fund
Lyndon Rive, Co-founder and CEO, SolarCity

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 26, 2016.



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Fighting Fossil Fuels All the Way to Prison

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 05, 2016


Radical protestersTim DeChristopher and Georgia Hirsty put the “active” in “activism.” But is civil disobedience the best way to effect real change?

Tim DeChristopher, Founder, Climate Disobedience Center
Georgia Hirsty, National Warehouse Program Manager, Greenpeace
Brendon Steele, Director of Stakeholder Engagement, Future 500

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 19, 2015.



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How We Roll

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 29, 2016


Ride-sharing, biking, bussing – when it comes to getting around, there’s a growing menu of ala carte wheels to choose from. Can we curb our cars for good?

Tom Nolan, Chairman of the Board, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Jeff Hobson, Acting Executive Director, TransForm
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, Staff Reporter, San Francisco Examiner
Padden Murphy, Head of Public Policy & Business Development, Getaround
Chakib Ayadi, Executive Board Member, San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance
Ozzie Arce, driver for Lyft

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 22, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Cars of the Future

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 29, 2016


We’ll never win the climate change challenge if we don’t change the way we make and drive cars. In the U.S. personal vehicles account for nearly one fifth of all our greenhouse gas emissions. And if you add in trucks, trains, planes and ships, it’s more than a quarter of our contribution to climate pollution. So how do we cut down on carbon coming out of the tailpipe? Or... maybe it’s time to give up on gasoline altogether. Is the carbon-free, electric vehicle ready for primetime?

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Greening Asia

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 22, 2016


As the Asian economy booms, its people have paid the price in polluted air and water. Can business and government solve Asia’s environmental problems?

Mark Clifford, Author, The Greening of Asia: The Business Case for Solving Asia's Environmental Emergency (Columbia University Press, 2015)
Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society in New York
Stella Li, Senior Vice President, BYD Company Ltd.



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Juli?n Castro

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 15, 2016


The new American Dream is an energy-efficient home in a healthy, green community, and HUD Secretary Juli?n Castro wants to make it affordable for everyone.

Juli?n Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)



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Dr. Chris Field – The Stephen Schneider Award

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 08, 2016


The latest recipient of the Stephen Schneider Award calls COP21 “a turning point,” but warns that there’s still much to be done to combat global warming.

Chris Field, Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science
Ken Alex, Director, Governor Brown's Office of Planning and Research
Jane Lubchenco, University Distinguished Professor and Advisor in Marine Studies, Oregon State University and U.S. Science Envoy for the Ocean

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 15, 2015.



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Down and Dirty

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 01, 2016


The meat industry has been much maligned for its part in climate change. But can raising cattle in pastures help turn global warming into global greening?

Diana Donlon, Director, Cool Foods Campaign, Center for Food Safety
Nicolette Hahn Niman, Author, Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production (Chelsea Green, 2014)
Whendee Silver, Professor of Ecology, University of California, Berkeley

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 29, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Racing to Zero

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Dec 30, 2015


The path towards a clean energy future entails reducing our carbon footprint. But can we actually shrink that footprint down to nothing? That’s the idea behind “net zero” – using no more energy than the clean, green energy we can create. Landfills are another target of the zero movement; put nothing at all in the trash bin. Solutions range from recycling competitions to carrying your trash on your back – just to feel how garbage is weighing us down. Around the country, states, communities and individuals are racing to zero.

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Net Zero Homes and Waste

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Dec 21, 2015


Conservation begins at home. Is a Net Zero Energy home in your future? And what steps can we take to reduce the trash on our backs – and in our backyards?

Ann Edminster, Author, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet (Green Building Press, 2009)
Daniel Simons, Principal, David Baker Architects
Sven Thesen, Owner, Net Zero Home
Diana Dehm, Founder, Trash on Your Back
Kevin Drew, Zero Waste Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment
Lauren Hennessy, Sustainability Outreach Manager, Stanford University

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 15, 2015.



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T. Boone Pickens

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 18, 2015


Will the U.S. oil boom cripple OPEC? Could oil reach $100 a barrel again? What’s ahead for renewables? A conversation with the Oracle of Oil, Boone Pickens.

T. Boone Pickens, Chairman and CEO, BP Capital Management

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 24, 2015.



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Climate One in Paris

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 11, 2015


Climate One went on the road to check out the action in and around the UN Climate Summit in Paris. While negotiators from 180 countries drilled down on the details of the treaty, a number of side events buzzed with activity. Entrepreneurs and innovators brought their ideas for green technology to the Sustainable Innovations Forum. At the Global Landscapes Forum, agriculture and food security was the focus, with farmers taking a soil-to-table approach. And in the nearby Green Zone, artists and activists gathered to share the eco-excitement and make their voices heard.

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The Road to Paris: Christiana Figueres and William Reilly

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 04, 2015


Past conferences have failed to reach consensus on addressing climate change. Can the Paris summit produce a lasting, effective and equitable solution?

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
William K. Reilly, Senior Advisor, TPG Capital

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 16, 2015.



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C1 Revue: The Changing Oceans

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Nov 30, 2015


Human activity has touched every corner of the Earth. The Arctic, the Amazon, the bottom of the deep, blue sea. Places you and I will most likely never visit – and can hardly even imagine. Yet oil drilling and industrial fishing are changing even these places. And changes there are impacting us at home as well. It’s a small world.

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Atmosphere of Hope

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 27, 2015


Climate change awareness and action are growing. Solutions are being implemented, with more in the wings. Are we experiencing an “atmosphere of hope?”

Tim Flannery, Scientist, Explorer, Author, Atmosphere of Hope (Atlantic Monthly Press, 2015)
Ben Santer, Climate Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
Rebecca Shaw, Associate Vice President and Lead Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Exploratorium with the Commonwealth Club of California on November 10, 2015.



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Power Drive

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 20, 2015


California has an ambitious plan to reduce carbon emissions. Can EVs and driverless cars save the day? Or will they just add to our already clogged roads?

Shad Balch, Environment and Energy Communications Manager, General Motors
Alexandre Bayen, Liao-Cho Professor of Engineering and Director, Institute of Transportation Studies, UC Berkeley
Hector De La Torre, Member, California Air Resources Board
Diarmuid O’Connell, Vice President of Business Development, Tesla

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Exploratorium with the Commonwealth Club of California on November 2, 2015.



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Charging Ahead: PG&E Tony Earley

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 13, 2015


PG&E hopes to become 50% renewable by 2030 by transitioning to renewable power sources and investing in a 21st century grid. Can they reach their goal?

Anthony Earley, Jr., Chairman, CEO and President, PG&E Corporation

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Exploratorium with the Commonwealth Club of California on October 15, 2015.



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Drilling in the Amazon and Arctic

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 06, 2015


Big Oil spends billions to squeeze fossil fuel from every nook and cranny of the globe. But is drilling in the Arctic and Amazon as profitable as they’d hoped?

Lou Allstadt, Former Executive Vice President, Mobil Oil
Danielle Fugere, President, As You Sow
Ren? Ortiz, Former Ecuador Oil Minister; Former OPEC Secretary General
Leila Salazar-Lopez, Executive Director, Amazon Watch

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Exploratorium with the Commonwealth Club of California on October 13, 2015.



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Resilient Cities

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 30, 2015


El Ni?o is waiting in the wings, and heat waves, sea level rise and drought are in the forecast as well. How prepared are we to weather the next big disaster?

Nile Malloy, former Director, Communities for a Better Environment
Patrick Otellini, Chief Resilience Officer, San Francisco
Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director, SPUR

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Exploratorium with the Commonwealth Club of California on October 5, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Global Carbon

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Oct 26, 2015


Pope Francis – in his new encyclical, and in his recent talks at both the U.N. and U.S. Congress – says that it is our moral obligation to the poor to address climate change. This time, the world may be listening. In preparation for the upcoming climate talks in Paris this December, China, along with most major nations around the globe, has announced a plan to cut down on fossil fuel pollution. Some say it’s too little, too late. Others are hopeful that we can begin to move the ball forward. China, the Pope and Paris: on the next Climate One.

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Voices of the Wild

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 23, 2015


Thanks to climate change, the wild corners of the planet are shrinking or disappearing altogether. How can we preserve the natural world and its creatures?

Bernie Krause, Soundscape Artist; Author, Voices of the Wild: Animal Songs, Human Din, and the Call to Save Natural Soundscapes (Yale University Press, 2015)
Jason Mark, Editor, Earth Island Journal; Author, Satellites in the High Country: Searching for the Wild in the Age of Man (Island Press, 2015)
Tanya Peterson, Director, San Francisco Zoo

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 24, 2015.



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Competition for Power

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 16, 2015


Consumers in Marin and Sonoma already have freedom of choice when it comes to renewable power. Now San Francisco voters are about to have their say.

Dawn Weisz, CEO, Marin Clean Energy
Geof Syphers, CEO, Sonoma Clean Power
Matthew Freedman, Staff Attorney, The Utility Reform Network
Phil Ting, California State Assemblymember (D-19)

London Breed, President, Board of Supervisors, San Francisco
Barbara Hale, Assistant General Manager, San Francisco Public Utility Commission’s Power Enterprise
Hunter Stern, Business Representative, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 24, 2015.



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Arctic Melting & Rising

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 09, 2015


Few of us will ever venture to the faraway Arctic. But our entire planet is affected by environmental and economic changes happening in the frozen north.

William Collins,Director, Climate and Ecosystem Science Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Alex Levinson, Executive Director, Pacific Environment
Sergey Petrov, Consul General of the Russian Federation in San Francisco
Hilde Janne Skorpen, Consul General for Norway in San Francisco

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 22, 2015.



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Sylvia Earle (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 02, 2015


As the health of our oceans go, so goes the health of our planet. But climate change, overfishing and pollution have taken their toll – what can we do to help?

Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 27, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Climate Fantasy & Denial

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Sep 24, 2015


Today we look at fact and fiction in our approach to the climate challenge. A handful of scientists want to tinker with the sky in a process called geo-engineering. Others call this arrogance. Most Americans simply aren’t talking about climate change at all. Why not? Meanwhile, Hollywood has taken notice. It’s rolling out movies depicting a climate catastrophe. Science fiction thrillers describe people resorting to eating bugs after the climate apocalypse. Is truth stranger than fiction?

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Hacking the Climate

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 25, 2015


Spray painting the sky to deflect sunlight and cool the earth sounds like science fiction. But could geoengineering buy us time against global warming?

Ken Caldeira, Atmospheric Scientist, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University
Albert Lin, Professor, UC Davis School of Law
Jane Long, Co-chair, Task Force on Geoengineering, Bipartisan Policy Center
Armand Neukermans, Physicist and Inventor

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 8, 2015.



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Pope Francis: Climate Changer?

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 18, 2015


Pope Francis’ bold statement on global warming has prompted a discussion of stewardship across faiths. Can his upcoming visit change the climate in Congress?

Rev. Canon Sally Bingham, Founder and President, Regeneration Project
Father Paul Fitzgerald, President, University of San Francisco
Sam Liccardo, Mayor, San Jose, California

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 10, 2015.



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EPA Chief Gina McCarthy (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 11, 2015


From fisheries to food safety, California drought to Toledo tapwater, the EPA is waging the battle against climate change both domestically and globally.

Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 13, 2015.



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Hank Paulson: Dealing with China (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 04, 2015


China is both our economic competitor and an ally in the climate change fight. But can it reduce its carbon footprint while lifting its people out of poverty?

Henry Paulson, Former United States Secretary of the Treasury and author of “Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower” (Twelve, 2015)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 28, 2015.



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Weather Whiplash (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Aug 27, 2015


From hurricanes and superstorms to drought, fire and floods — what’s causing our country’s extreme weather events, and how can they be prevented?

Louise Bedsworth, Deputy Director, California Governor's Office of Planning and Research
Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Hunter Cutting, Director of Strategic Communications, Climate Nexus

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 3, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Alfalfa & Lawns

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Aug 24, 2015


Our next program is all about water. We love gold. We fight over oil. But we can not live without water. And as snowpacks melt and aquifers drop, water is slipping through our fingers. How can we make the best use of this most precious resource in our cities and down on the farm? We can’t find solutions if we can’t face the issues. And talking about climate change can be a conversation killer. But it’s easy to talk about the weather. And the increasingly wild weather can give us an opening to talk about the bigger issue of climate disruption.

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Climate Cognition (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 21, 2015


Sure, there are climate deniers – but even those who accept global warming as reality often fail to act on it. What will inspire both awareness and change?

George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics, UC Berkeley; Author, Don’t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (Chelsea Green, 2004)
Kari Norgaard, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Oregon; Author, Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life (MIT Press, 2011)
Per Espen Stoknes, Economist; Psychologist; Author, What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming (Chelsea Green, 2015)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 12, 2015.



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Reinventing Water

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 14, 2015


As the drought drags on, water is becoming an ever more precious resource. It’s time to rethink the ways that we use, reuse, share, sell and save every drop.

Anna Michalak, Faculty Member, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science
Martha Davis, Executive Manager for Policy Development, Inland Empire Utilities Agency
Abrahm Lustgarten, Reporter, ProPublica
Tamin Pechet, CEO, Banyan Water and Chairman, Imagine H2O
David Sedlak, Professor of Mineral Engineering and Co-director of Berkeley Water Center, UC Berkeley



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Greening Asia

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 07, 2015


As the Asian economy booms, its people have paid the price in polluted air and water. Can business and government solve Asia’s environmental problems?

Mark Clifford, Author, The Greening of Asia: The Business Case for Solving Asia's Environmental Emergency (Columbia University Press, 2015)
Orville Schell, Arthur Ross Director, Center on U.S.-China Relations, Asia Society in New York
Stella Li, Senior Vice President, BYD Company Ltd.



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Cli-Fi 2015 (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Sun, Aug 02, 2015


Climate change is more than a plot device – it’s our reality, and thesigns are all around us. Can Cli-Fi help rally the troops in our battle to save the planet?

Jason Mark, Editor, Earth Island Journal
Kim Stanley Robinson, Author, 2312 (Thorndike Press, 2015)



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C1 Revue: Clean and Cool

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Jul 28, 2015


Fossil fuels are at the core of the climate challenge. Even Saudi Arabia’s oil minister has said the fossil fuel merry-go-round will wind down one day. But are companies actually going to leave their oil, coal and gas assets in the ground? That won’t make stock holders very happy. As we look for ways to reduce our carbon footprint familiar culprits come to mind: the car’s tailpipe, the air conditioner, even our hamburger. But our laptops? Really? How much of a carbon impact are we making from posting, liking, tweeting and buying online? Climate One explores the path to a clean and cool planet.

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Almonds and Lawns

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 24, 2015


Who’s really wasting our water? As the state heats up, so is the finger-pointing. Can Californians come together to find solutions to the drought?

Ellen Hanak, Senior Fellow and Center Director, Public Policy Institute of California
Felicia Marcus, Chair, State Water Resources Control Board
Paul Wenger, President, California Farm Bureau Federation
Marguerite Young, Director, Ward 3, East Bay Municipal Utility District Board

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 30, 2015.



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How We Roll

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 17, 2015


Ride-sharing, biking, bussing – when it comes to getting around, there’s a growing menu of ala carte wheels to choose from. Can we curb our cars for good?

Tom Nolan, Chairman of the Board, San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency
Jeff Hobson, Acting Executive Director, TransForm
Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez, Staff Reporter, San Francisco Examiner
Padden Murphy, Head of Public Policy & Business Development, Getaround
Chakib Ayadi, Executive Board Member, San Francisco Taxi Workers Alliance
Ozzie Arce, driver for Lyft

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 22, 2015.



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Clean Cloud (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 10, 2015


Many Silicon Valley companies have committed to going 100% renewable. What are Facebook, Ebay and Yahoo! doing to build a cleaner, greener digital world?

Gary Cook, Senior Policy Analyst, Greenpeace International
Lori Duvall, Global Director, Green, eBay
Christina Page, Global Director, Energy and Sustainability Strategy, Yahoo!
Bill Weihl, Sustainability Guru, Facebook

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 3, 2015.



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The Road to Paris: Christiana Figueres and William Reilly

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 03, 2015


Past conferences have failed to reach consensus on addressing climate change. Can the Paris summit produce a lasting, effective and equitable solution?

Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
William K. Reilly, Senior Advisor, TPG Capital

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 16, 2015.



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The Carbon Bubble (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 26, 2015


As supply grows and demand decreases, oil prices are dropping by the barrel. Are we truly in a “carbon bubble”? What can we do to protect our investments?

Kurt Billick, Chief Investment Officer, Bocage Capital
Anthony Hobley, CEO, Carbon Tracker Initiative
Anne Simpson, Director of Global Governance, CalPERS

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 12, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Hank Paulson and Gina McCarthy

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jun 24, 2015


Climate change is impacting much more than the environment. It’s also slowly changing the political landscape – in Washington and beyond. What’s the best way to move our economy towards a renewable future? More environmental regulation or less? More financial oversight or freer markets? And with mega economies like China and India creating ever-increasing carbon pollution, how do we bring our international friends – and foes – along with us?

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Sylvia Earle

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 19, 2015


As the health of our oceans go, so goes the health of our planet. But climate change, overfishing and pollution have taken their toll – what can we do to help?

Sylvia Earle, National Geographic Explorer in Residence

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 27, 2015.



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Climate Cognition

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 12, 2015


Sure, there are climate deniers – but even those who accept global warming as reality often fail to act on it. What will inspire both awareness and change?

George Lakoff, Professor of Linguistics, UC Berkeley; Author, Don’t Think of an Elephant! Know Your Values and Frame the Debate (Chelsea Green, 2004)
Kari Norgaard, Associate Professor of Sociology, University of Oregon; Author, Living in Denial: Climate Change, Emotions and Everyday Life (MIT Press, 2011)
Per Espen Stoknes, Economist; Psychologist; Author, What We Think About When We Try Not to Think About Global Warming (Chelsea Green, 2015)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 12, 2015.



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EPA Chief Gina McCarthy

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 05, 2015


From fisheries to food safety, California drought to Toledo tapwater, the EPA is waging the battle against climate change both domestically and globally.

Gina McCarthy, Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 13, 2015.



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Hacking the Climate

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, May 28, 2015


Spray painting the sky to deflect sunlight and cool the earth sounds like science fiction. But could geoengineering buy us time against global warming?

Ken Caldeira, Atmospheric Scientist, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford University
Albert Lin, Professor, UC Davis School of Law
Jane Long, Co-chair, Task Force on Geoengineering, Bipartisan Policy Center
Armand Neukermans, Physicist and Inventor

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 8, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Power Plays

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, May 26, 2015


Despite soggy prices the outlook for American oil and gas is still promising. Cycles of boom and bust have always been part of the energy industry, which delivers big profits. At the same time, clean energy is creating jobs and clean communities. Rooftop solar for home owners is increasing rapidly and electric cars are gaining cache. In this episode of Climate One’s National Magazine we are looking at the power brokers who are moving the ball forward on renewable energy and those still making a bundle on fossil fuels.

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Hank Paulson: Dealing with China

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 22, 2015


China is both our economic competitor and an ally in the climate change fight. But can it reduce its carbon footprint while lifting its people out of poverty?

Henry Paulson, Former United States Secretary of the Treasury and author of “Dealing with China: An Insider Unmasks the New Economic Superpower” (Twelve, 2015)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 28, 2015.



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Coal Wars

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 15, 2015


Coal provides cheap energy and economic prosperity – along with greenhouse gases and lung disease. Can we wean ourselves, and our planet, off coal for good?

Richard Martin, Author, Coal Wars: The Future of Energy and the Fate of the Planet (Palgrave Macmillan Trade, 2015)
Bruce Nilles, Senior Director, Beyond Coal Campaign, Sierra Club
Frank Wolak, Director, Program on Energy and Sustainable Development, Stanford University
Brian Yu, Senior Analyst, Citi Research

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 22, 2015.



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Net Zero Homes and Waste

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 08, 2015


Conservation begins at home. Is a Net Zero Energy home in your future? And what steps can we take to reduce the trash on our backs – and in our backyards?

Ann Edminster, Author, Energy Free: Homes for a Small Planet (Green Building Press, 2009)
Daniel Simons, Principal, David Baker Architects
Sven Thesen, Owner, Net Zero Home
Diana Dehm, Founder, Trash on Your Back
Kevin Drew, Zero Waste Coordinator, San Francisco Department of the Environment
Lauren Hennessy, Sustainability Outreach Manager, Stanford University

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 15, 2015.



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Beans and Brew

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 01, 2015


Coffee, beer and chocolate – oh my! How is global warming affecting our beloved guilty pleasures? Can growers and producers adapt to a changing climate?

Ken Grossman, Co-Founder & CEO, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Paul Katzeff, Founder & CEO, Thanksgiving Coffee Company
Brad Kintzer, Chief Chocolate Maker, TCHO Chocolate

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on November 20, 2014.



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C1 Revue: Fuel Forward

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Apr 27, 2015


Low gas prices are pumping up sales of SUVs and trucks. And since transportation accounts for almost a third of America’s greenhouse gasses, that’s bad news for the climate. But America is awash in big ideas for how to create a healthy economy and healthy communities. One idea is to put a price on carbon. Everyone from oil companies to environmentalists are talking about what might happen if consumers paid the real price for coal and gasoline. Some think it just might boost the economy while also trimming carbon pollution.

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New Food Revolution

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 24, 2015


The amount of food needed to feed the earth’s growing population is expected to double by mid-century. How will we manage the world’s food supply?

Karen Ross, California Secretary of Food and Agriculture; former Deputy US Secretary of Agriculture
Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences
Helene York, Director, Google Global Accounts at Bon App?tit Management Company

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on November 28, 2014.



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T. Boone Pickens

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 17, 2015


Will the U.S. oil boom cripple OPEC? Could oil reach $100 a barrel again? What’s ahead for renewables? A conversation with the Oracle of Oil, Boone Pickens.

T. Boone Pickens, Chairman and CEO, BP Capital Management

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 24, 2015.



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Climate Denial

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 10, 2015


Do you believe in climate denial? According to climate scientists, it’s all around us. How can scientists learn to communicate to a skeptical public?

Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard; Co-Author, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming (Bloomsbury Press, 2011)
Joe Romm, Founding Editor, Climate Progress; Author, Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga (CreateSpace, 2012)
Eugenie Scott, Chair, National Center for Science Education

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 16, 2014.



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The Carbon Bubble

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 03, 2015


As supply grows and demand decreases, oil prices are dropping by the barrel. Are we truly in a “carbon bubble”? What can we do to protect our investments?

Kurt Billick, Chief Investment Officer, Bocage Capital
Anthony Hobley, CEO, Carbon Tracker Initiative
Anne Simpson, Director of Global Governance, CalPERS

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 12, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Future Food

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Mar 30, 2015


Unpredictable weather has always been the farmer’s Achilles heel. And the weather is getting wilder, stressing water supplies and changing where crops can grow. How do we address food security for a growing global population? One approach is getting back to basics. Protecting the soil, growing food for people – not for cows – and cutting down food waste. Simple solutions can create a big pay-back.

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Clean Cloud

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 27, 2015


Many Silicon Valley companies have committed to going 100% renewable. What are Facebook, Ebay and Yahoo! doing to build a cleaner, greener digital world?

Gary Cook, Senior Policy Analyst, Greenpeace International
Lori Duvall, Global Director, Green, eBay
Christina Page, Global Director, Energy and Sustainability Strategy, Yahoo!
Bill Weihl, Sustainability Guru, Facebook

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 3, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Water World

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Mar 23, 2015


Climate disruption is changing weather around the world. Parts of America are seeing fierce droughts and then punishing storms and flooding. Scientists say the wets will get wetter and the dry periods will get drier. Water systems are stressed and farmers, city dwellers and fish are all affected. In response, new farming methods are being tried out. Creative conservation practices and new technologies are helping stretch each gallon. But the question remains: How much water will we have in the future? What will it cost?

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Weather Whiplash

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 20, 2015


From hurricanes and superstorms to drought, fire and floods — what’s causing our country’s extreme weather events, and how can they be prevented?

Louise Bedsworth, Deputy Director, California Governor's Office of Planning and Research
Kathryn Sullivan, Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Hunter Cutting, Director of Strategic Communications, Climate Nexus

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on March 3, 2015.



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Cheap Gasoline

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 13, 2015


Gas prices are plunging, and Americans can get back on the road again. What are the economic, geopolitical and environmental consequences of cheap oil?

Jason Bordoff, Founding Director, Center on Global Energy Policy, Columbia University; Former Special Advisor to President Obama, National Security Council Staff
Kate Gordon, Senior VP and Director, Energy & Climate Program, Next Generation
Bill Reilly, Former Board Member, ConocoPhillips; Senior Advisor, TPG Capital

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on February 27, 2015.



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C1 Revue: Resource Revolution

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Mar 09, 2015


The global energy economy is undergoing tectonic shifts. America is poised to be an oil exporter - something unthinkable a decade ago - and severe weather and climate disruption are driving a push toward clean fuels. On the next Climate One, Host Greg Dalton talks with business leaders, scientists and authors about the path toward a prosperous and sustainable economy. He will also talk about what is driving the droughts, floods and other freaky weather around the country.

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Chasing Water (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 06, 2015


Climate change exacerbates effects of both drought and flood conditions worldwide. Too much, then too little – how do we make sense of “water whiplash”?

Brian Richter, Chief Water Scientist, The Nature Conservancy; Author, Chasing Water: A Guide for Moving from Scarcity to Sustainability (Island Press, 2014)
Peter Gleick, President, Co-Founder, The Pacific Institute; Author, Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water (Island Press, 2011)
Brooke Barton, Director, Water Program at Ceres

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 28, 2014.



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C1 Revue: Power and Population

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Mar 03, 2015


The Red/Blue divide in American politics is really a rainbow of perspectives. And they are colored by who you are, where you live and what you believe. How does this color our discussion on the economy and the environment?

Today, our guests will look at how issues of big government, population growth and the growing Hispanic vote influence our views on climate change. While Texas Governor Rick Perry maintains that regulation by big government is hindering, not helping energy innovation, leaders in the Latino green movement think that preserving the environment is linked to issues of inequality.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California.



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Cli-Fi 2015

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 27, 2015


Climate change is more than a plot device – it’s our reality, and thesigns are all around us. Can Cli-Fi help rally the troops in our battle to save the planet?

Jason Mark, Editor, Earth Island Journal
Kim Stanley Robinson, Author, 2312 (Thorndike Press, 2015)



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C1 Revue: Generating Innovation

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Feb 25, 2015


Today’s Climate One program looks at innovative policies and products that could power a new era of clean and affordable energy. Is it possible to capture the CO2 pouring out of coal smokestacks? Can we make plastic bottles that break down in the ocean and become fish food? What if drivers paid the true cost of burning fossil fuels? These are some of the solutions that could create a new path to both a sound economy and a healthy environment.

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Juli?n Castro

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Feb 19, 2015


The new American Dream is an energy-efficient home in a healthy, green community, and HUD Secretary Juli?n Castro wants to make it affordable for everyone.

Juli?n Castro, Secretary, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)



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C1 Revue: Settled Science

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Feb 12, 2015


We tackle the facts and fantasies of clean energy. Using satellites in space to peer into the ocean deep; untangling the knot of oil, coal, nuclear and green power; and learning how storytelling can be a scientist’s best friend.

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Down and Dirty

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 13, 2015


The meat industry has been much maligned for its part in climate change. But can raising cattle in pastures help turn global warming into global greening?

Diana Donlon, Director, Cool Foods Campaign, Center for Food Safety
Nicolette Hahn Niman, Author, Defending Beef: The Case for Sustainable Meat Production (Chelsea Green, 2014)
Whendee Silver, Professor of Ecology, University of California, Berkeley

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 29, 2015.



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Lisa Jackson and Rajendra Pachauri

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 06, 2015


Apple tries to make conservation cool with energy-efficient products and green manufacturing practices. Can they lead the way to cleaner capitalism?

Lisa Jackson, Vice President, Environmental Initiatives, Apple; Former Administrator, US Environmental Protection Agency
Rajendra Pachauri, Chair, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 14, 2015.



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Oil Ahead

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 30, 2015


With gas prices plummeting and support growing for a reduction on fossil fuels, what does the future hold for the oil industry? Must they adapt or perish?

Lou Allstadt, Member, Citizens Climate Lobby; Former Executive Vice President, Mobil Oil
Angus Gillespie, Vice President for CO2, Shell Oil Company
Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on January 12, 2015.



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GMOs: Necessary in a Hot and Crowded World? (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 23, 2015


Biotechnology promises weed-resistant crops, bigger yields, more food for a growing population. But are genetically modified fruits and vegetables safe? Are they healthy? “Man has been improving crops from the beginning of time, whether it's the tomato or the corn or all of our fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Robert Fraley of Monsanto. “There's a whole set of tools that we're going to need to be able to meet the challenge of food production for the future.” “This is about chemical companies selling chemicals,” says Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety. “It's not about feeding the earth. We have yet to see a GMO crop that has greater yield, that does anything about malnutrition, about a better taste, a lower cost.” In the face of climate change and its agricultural challenges, is biotechnology the answer? Should we be working to strengthen the world’s rural farming communities? Or is there a sustainable balance between Big Ag and the family farm?

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 11, 2014.

Robert Fraley, Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto Company
Nathanael Johnson, Food Writer, Grist; Author, All Natural: A Skeptic's Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier (Rodale, 2013)
Andrew Kimbrell, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Food Safety
Jessica Lundberg, Seed Nursery Manager, Lundberg Family Farms



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C1 Revue: Fueling Wealth

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Jan 20, 2015


The way we think influences what we think about wild weather. The human brain shapes how we see the risks of fossil fueled storms and the opportunities of clean energy. Our next program looks at the stories we tell ourselves – and each other. And how these stories can protect the climate and the economy.

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Dr. Jane Lubchenco

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 16, 2015


Jane Lubchenco oversaw NOAA during the worst 4-year weather period in U.S. history. What can we do to predict – or mitigate – future weather disasters?

Jane Lubchenco, Ph.D. Ecology, Harvard; Former Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration; Former President of American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Alex Bakir, Director of Business Development, Planet Labs

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 16, 2014.



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Climate Denial

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 09, 2015


Do you believe in climate denial? According to climate scientists, it’s all around us. How can scientists learn to communicate to a skeptical public?

Naomi Oreskes, Professor of the History of Science, Harvard; Co-Author, Merchants of Doubt: How a Handful of Scientists Obscured the Truth on Issues from Tobacco to Global Warming (Bloomsbury Press, 2011)
Joe Romm, Founding Editor, Climate Progress; Author, Language Intelligence: Lessons on Persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga (CreateSpace, 2012)
Eugenie Scott, Chair, National Center for Science Education

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on December 16, 2014.



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Powering Innovation (09/28/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 19, 2014


Companies big and small are conjuring up new technologies, production methods and delivery systems to capitalize on the trend towards a green economy.

Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One
David Crane, CEO, NRG Energy, Inc.
Katie Fehrenbacher, Reporter, GigaOm.com
Adam Lowry, Co-Founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products PBC
Arun Majumdar, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University; former Vice President for Energy, Google

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 15, 2014.



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C1 Revue: Climate on our Minds

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 12, 2014


The way we think influences what we think about wild weather. The human brain shapes how we see the risks of fossil fueled storms and the opportunities of clean energy. Our next program looks at the stories we tell ourselves – and each other. And how these stories can protect the climate and the economy.

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Beans and Brew (11/20/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 12, 2014


Coffee, beer and chocolate – oh my! How is global warming affecting our beloved guilty pleasures? Can growers and producers adapt to a changing climate?

Ken Grossman, Co-Founder & CEO, Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.
Paul Katzeff, Founder & CEO, Thanksgiving Coffee Company
Brad Kintzer, Chief Chocolate Maker, TCHO Chocolate

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on November 20, 2014.



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Climate on the Brain (09/12/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 05, 2014


Despite abundant evidence that climate change threatens our planet, public concern is on the decline. How do we foster awareness of the imminent danger?

Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley
George Marshall, Author, Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change (Bloomsbury USA, 2014)
Greg Dalton, Host and Founder, Climate One – Moderator

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 12, 2014.



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New Food Revolution (11/24/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 28, 2014


The amount of food needed to feed the earth’s growing population is expected to double by mid-century. How will we manage the world’s food supply?

Karen Ross, California Secretary of Food and Agriculture; former Deputy US Secretary of Agriculture
Jonathan Foley, Executive Director, California Academy of Sciences
Helene York, Director, Google Global Accounts at Bon App?tit Management Company

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on November 28, 2014.



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Keystone and Beyond (10/30/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 21, 2014


By land, by sea or via the Keystone Pipeline, Canadian oil is coming to satisfy our energy thirst. But is our need for fossil fuel a foregone conclusion?

David Baker, Energy Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
John Cushman, Author, Keystone and Beyond: Tar Sands and the National Interest in the Era of Climate Change (Inside Climate News, 2014); former New York Times reporter
Dan Matross, Trade Commissioner on Science and Sustainable Technologies at the Consulate General of Canada

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 30, 2014.



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Chasing Water (10/28/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 14, 2014


Climate change exacerbates effects of both drought and flood conditions worldwide. Too much, then too little – how do we make sense of “water whiplash”?

Brian Richter, Chief Water Scientist, The Nature Conservancy; Author, Chasing Water: A Guide for Moving from Scarcity to Sustainability (Island Press, 2014)
Peter Gleick, President, Co-Founder, The Pacific Institute; Author, Bottled and Sold: The Story Behind Our Obsession with Bottled Water (Island Press, 2011)
Brooke Barton, Director, Water Program at Ceres

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 28, 2014.



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U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz (10/23/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 07, 2014


How can America balance its energy boom with the need to reduce carbon pollution? A discussion with U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz.

US Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 23, 2014.



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Water Politics (09/12/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 31, 2014


It’s a big year for water politics in California. Will voters approve a $7.12 billion bond for water projects to help get us through a record drought?

John Coleman, president, Association of California Water Agencies; board member, East Bay Municipal Utility District
Danny Merkley, director of water resources, California Farm Bureau Federation
Anthony Rendon, California Assemblyman (D-63); Chairman, State Water Parks and Wildlife Committee
Lauren Sommer, reporter, KQED Science

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California in Lafayette on September 12, 2014.



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Oil on Rails (10/03/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 24, 2014


Crude oil is riding the rails to East Bay refineries at an increasing rate. How can local communities safeguard themselves against potential disaster?

Speakers
John Avalos, Member, Bay Area Air Quality Management District and San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Jess Dervin-Ackerman, Conservation Program Coordinator, Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter
Molly Samuel, Reporter, KQED Science
Tupper Hull, Vice President, Strategic Communications Western States Petroleum Association
Greg Dalton, Host and Founder, Climate One – Moderator

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on October 3, 2014.



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Climate on the Brain (09/12/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 17, 2014


Despite abundant evidence that climate change threatens our planet, public concern is on the decline. How do we foster awareness of the imminent danger?

Dacher Keltner, Professor of Psychology, UC Berkeley
George Marshall, Author, Don’t Even Think About It: Why Our Brains Are Wired to Ignore Climate Change (Bloomsbury USA, 2014)
Greg Dalton, Host and Founder, Climate One – Moderator

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 12, 2014.



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Creating Climate Wealth (09/16/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 10, 2014


Transitioning from fossil to solar power means jobs, profits and an energy renaissance. How can businesses and investors profit from the solar economy?

Brad Mattson, CEO, Siva Power; Author, The Solar Phoenix: How America Can Rise from the Ashes of Solyndra to World Leadership in Solar 2.0
Jigar Shah, Founder, SunEdison; Author, Creating Climate Wealth: Unlocking the Impact Economy
Greg Dalton, Host and Founder, Climate One – Moderator

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 16, 2014.



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Deepak Chopra and Rinaldo Brutoco: Changing Energy, Changing Consciousness (09/15/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 03, 2014


Will a change in consciousness help us end our dependence on fossil fuels? Yes, according to well-known author and speaker Deepak Chopra and investor and entrepreneur Rinaldo Brutico, the guests of this week’s episode of Climate One. The two have joined forces to create Just Capital, an organization dedicated to helping executives of financial institutions and members of the public sector make sustainability a number one priority. “Our collective consciousness is what creates a change in behavior,” Chopra says. “There was a time when everybody was smoking in public spaces, but collective consciousness chose to change that. There was a time when you could drive and drink at the same time, but collective consciousness changed that. And that's the only solution.”

Deepak Chopra, MD, Founder, The Chopra Foundation; Author
Rinaldo Brutoco, President, Chopra Foundation; Founding President, World Business Academy; Author, Freedom from Mid-East Oil
Greg Dalton, Host and Founder, Climate One – Moderator

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 15, 2014.



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Powering Innovation (09/28/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Sep 26, 2014


Companies big and small are conjuring up new technologies, production methods and delivery systems to capitalize on the trend towards a green economy.

Greg Dalton, Founder and Host, Climate One
David Crane, CEO, NRG Energy, Inc.
Katie Fehrenbacher, Reporter, GigaOm.com
Adam Lowry, Co-Founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products PBC
Arun Majumdar, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Stanford University; former Vice President for Energy, Google

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on September 15, 2014.



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Water Underfoot (08/13/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 29, 2014


During dry times, water is a precious liquid asset – and our savings are depleting. Will historic drought drive us to improve our conservation habits?

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on August 13, 2014

Debbie Davis, Community & Rural Affairs Advisor, Office of Planning and Research, State of California
Felicia Marcus, Chair, State Water Resources Control Board
Barton Thompson, Jr., Professor of Natural Resources Law, Stanford Law School



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Green Latinos (02/07/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 08, 2014


What are the issues that link the Latino community to the environmental movement? For many, it comes down to la familia. Latinos, who make up nearly 40 percent of California’s population, still tend to live in the state’s most polluted areas, in close proximity to freeways and ports. That translates to increased rates of asthma among Latino children. Other community issues include lack of green space, reduced access to bus service and the internet, and economic barriers to things like electric cars and home ownership. According to Adrianna Quintero of the Natural Resources Defense Council, for Latinos, climate change is less a political issue than personal: it’s “about protecting family members…about thinking about the ties that bind us to people in other parts of the world, whether we arrived two years ago, 10 years ago, or were here before the borders were drawn.” As the three panelists note, Latinos have long embraced the culture of conservation. They point to examples from their own experience – reusing foil, taking grocery bags to the store, sharing resources with extended family members. “I think most Latinos are conservationists,” says Orson Aguilar, Executive Director of The Greenlining Institute, “and I think the question is, is it something cultural, is it something in our DNA, or have we been forced to conserve given our economic circumstances?” Whatever their reasons, Quintero points out that 9 out of 10 Latinos surveyed support action to fight climate change. “Those are enormous numbers,” she says. “It shows that we've underestimated this community for years. We've underestimated the power, we've underestimated the commitment to protecting the environment and we're doing that to our own disservice truly. We need to recognize that there's a tremendous amount of awareness and power in this community.” In this election year, how can the environmental movement engage the diverse community of Latinos to demand change in their own communities, and beyond?

Catherine Sandoval, Commissioner, California Public Utilities Commission
Orson Aguilar, Executive Director, The Greenlining Institute
Adrianna Quintero, Senior Attorney, The Natural Resources Defense Council.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 7, 2014



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Texas Governor Rick Perry: Energy Independence in America (06/11/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Aug 01, 2014


Governor Rick Perry believes a Texas-style spirit of innovation and competition could solve America’s economic woes and lead to energy independence.

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Aquatech (03/11/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 25, 2014


From Egyptian irrigation systems to Roman aqueducts to the dikes and canals of The Netherlands, the world’s civilizations have long found innovative ways to harness and conserve their water supply. But with California entering the third year of an historic drought, what 21st century technologies are on the horizon to help us deal with an ever-shrinking pool of water? Peter Yolles is the CEO of Watersmart Software, which takes a grass-roots approach to the issue by educating residential and commercial customers on how to save water. For most residential customers, says Yolles, saving water is part of the social compact. “Research tells us that only 1 out of 10 people will change their behavior to save money.” Yolles says. “Only 1 out of 10 people will change their behavior to save the environment. But 8 out of 10 will do so because of what's happening around them.” Comparing water usage within a community, he says, is the first step. “That really motivates people to say, "Gosh, I'm using a lot more than my neighbors. What can I do to save water?" Tamin Pechet is the Chairman of Imagine H20, which seeks out and funds start-ups in the water industry. He says the need for new ideas is greater than ever. “Over the past couple of decades, the pressures on our water system have increased,” says Pechet. “When we face an acute event, like a drought or…a heavy series of rains that causes more water to enter into our storm and sewer systems, we don't have the same level of excess capacity to deal with that as we used to. We essentially need a new wave of innovation to address those problems.”

And a new wave of entrepeneurs and innovators are out there, exploring solutions from desalination to wastewater treatment to mining satellite data. Despite dire predictions for California’s reservoirs and rivers, Pechet says the future of water technology is promising. “There's a lot of really cool stuff out there,” he told the Commonwealth Club audience. “The history of water in civilization is one of innovation. And so just about anything that you dream up…is something that someone could innovate and come up with. If you look hard enough, you can find a company doing it.”

Steven Hartmeier, CEO, mOasis
Tamin Pechet, CEO, Banyan Water, Chairman, Imagine H2O
Peter Yolles, CEO, WaterSmart Software

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on March 11, 2014



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Climate Cartoons (07/08/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 18, 2014


What’s so funny about climate change? Stand-up economist Yoram Bauman uses humor to explain carbon tax, cap and trade and the ‘Five Chinas’ theory.

Yoram Bauman, PhD., Co-author, The Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change (with Grady Klein) (Island Press, 2014)
Jonah Sachs, CEO, Free Range Studios

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on July 8, 2014.



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Ecological Intelligence (04/18/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 11, 2014


What’s really preventing us from enacting environmental change? Blame our brains, says Daniel Goleman, author of Ecological Intelligence. As he explains it, “The problem comes down to a design flaw in the human brain.” Evolution fine-tuned our brains to protect us from immediate survival threats – lions, tigers and bears. But long-term dangers, such as those that threaten our planet today, don’t register. “The problem is that we don't perceive, nor are we alarmed by, these changes,” says Goleman. “And so we're in this dilemma where we can show people, "Well, you know, your carbon footprint is this," but it doesn't really register in the same way as “there's a tiger around the block.” Facts alone aren't enough, he adds, “We need to find a more powerful way of framing them…a way which will activate the right set of emotions and get us moving.”
George Lakoff, a linguistics professor at U.C. Berkeley, sees the issue as a moral, rather than environmental, crisis: “…the greatest moral crisis we have ever been in. It is the moral issue of our times and it’s seen just as an environmental issue.” But morality can mean different things to different people. This sets up a debate that quickly goes from the political to the personal, as Josh Freedman, author of Inside Change, points out. “When we start saying, "okay, they're good, and they're bad," what happens is we're actually fueling this threat system that is what's in the way of us actually solving these problems.”

So what is the solution? How do we retune our primitive brains – and those of our political and business leaders -- to focus on a less than clear, less than present danger?

Throughout the discussion, several key avenues rose to the top: economics, education and emotional appeal. If major institutions can be persuaded to divest from environmentally unsound companies, says Lakoff, “then what will happen is that the prices of the stocks will go down for those energy companies. When they go down that way, they stay down…you have an opportunity to shift investment away in a way that has an exponential feedback loop.”

Educating today’s youth was a powerful and recurring theme for all the speakers. “What kids learn and tell their parents is important,” Goleman said. “Schools are a big counterforce that we can do a much better job of deploying in this battle for minds and heart.”

Despite our primitive wiring, the speakers concluded, we humans do have the capacity for the ecological intelligence – and the morality – to effect global change.

“Your morality is what defines who you are as a human being,” says Lakoff, “it's who you are emotionally and morally as a human being that matters in your life, what you do every day. This isn't a matter of compromise…we have, like, 35 years to turn this around, period. That's not long.”

“All change starts on the inside,” says Freedman, “If we can support children and adults to connect with that capability and to develop what's already there, then things are going to get a lot better.”

Daniel Goleman, Author, Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy (Crown Business, 2010)
Joshua Freedman, CEO, Six Seconds; Author, Inside Change: Transforming Your Organization With Emotional Intelligence (Six Seconds, 2010)
George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and author of many books, including The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics (Penguin Books, 2009)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 1, 2014.



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GMOs: Necessary in a Hot and Crowded World? (06/11/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 04, 2014


Biotechnology promises weed-resistant crops, bigger yields, more food for a growing population. But are genetically modified fruits and vegetables safe? Are they healthy? “Man has been improving crops from the beginning of time, whether it's the tomato or the corn or all of our fresh fruits and vegetables,” says Robert Fraley of Monsanto. “There's a whole set of tools that we're going to need to be able to meet the challenge of food production for the future.” “This is about chemical companies selling chemicals,” says Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety. “It's not about feeding the earth. We have yet to see a GMO crop that has greater yield, that does anything about malnutrition, about a better taste, a lower cost.” In the face of climate change and its agricultural challenges, is biotechnology the answer? Should we be working to strengthen the world’s rural farming communities? Or is there a sustainable balance between Big Ag and the family farm?

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 11, 2014.

Robert Fraley, Chief Technology Officer, Monsanto Company
Nathanael Johnson, Food Writer, Grist; Author, All Natural: A Skeptic's Quest to Discover If the Natural Approach to Diet, Childbirth, Healing, and the Environment Really Keeps Us Healthier and Happier (Rodale, 2013)
Andrew Kimbrell, Founder and Executive Director, Center for Food Safety
Jessica Lundberg, Seed Nursery Manager, Lundberg Family Farms



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Resource Revolution (06/09/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 27, 2014


Today’s two billion middle class consumers will more than double globally over the next two decades. But while cities in China, India and other developing countries will be teeming with citizens in need of housing, cars and electronic gadgets, natural resources are dwindling. The silver lining? Consumer demand has sparked a third industrial revolution - one that is driving massive innovation, from Teslas to smart meters to less wasteful building methods. How are companies adapting to meet the demands of a changing world?
Matt Rogers co-authored “Resource Revolution: How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century.” “If you see two and a half billion new people entering the middle class, you say, my goodness, we are going to run out of resources,” says Rogers. But in researching the book, he says, they found enormous potential instead. Changing the way we both produce and use resources, Rogers adds, will avert the economic and environmental disasters that seem to threaten us.
“Companies and technologies are in fact changing fast enough,” concludes Rogers. “It's going to be one crazy ride for the next 20 years, but…we’re going to end up in a very good place.”

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on June 9, 2014.

John Hofmeister, Former President, Shell Oil Company
Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director, Energy and Sustainability, UC Davis Graduate School of Management
Matt Rogers, Director, McKinsey & Co.; Co-Author (with Stefan Heck), Resource Revolution: How to Capture the Biggest Business Opportunity in a Century (New Harvest, 2014)



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Stormy Science, Rocky Investments (06/03/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 20, 2014


Climate change is risky business – but how risky is it for business? With temperatures predicted to rise anywhere from one to four degrees this century, droughts, floods and extreme weather present risks that will impact American families, businesses and habitats.
Rebecca Shaw of the Environmental Defense Fund sees a global attitude shift towards adaptation. One example is the wine industry. “As climate shifts, there will be some places where wine grapes are grown today that won't be suitable in the future,” she says. A move north may be imminent, and some growers are already doing that. But as competition for resources heats up between agribusiness, communities and wildlife, sacrifices may be in order. “We're really going to have to think about what we're going to grow here,” cautions Shaw. “Some crops are going to be less viable because water will be more scarce in the future.”

Later in the program, financial industry experts discuss shifts on Wall Street wrought by climate change. As Lisa Goldberg of Aperio notes, climate change awareness is nothing new. “But in terms of its impact on economic markets, I think that it's just really now coming to the consciousness of mainstream investors.”

Recent high-profile divestments have put large-cap fossil fuel companies under Wall Street’s microscope. But is shareholder pressure an effective tool for change? “Just having that conversation publicly is a huge step,” says shareholder advocate Andrew Behar. “I think it’s a real milestone.”

Guests - Part I:
Stephen Bennett, Senior Vice President, Verisk Climate
Noah Diffenbaugh, Associate Professor, School of Earth Sciences, Stanford University
Rebecca Shaw, Associate Vice President and Lead Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund

Guests - Part II:
Andrew Behar, CEO, As You Sow
Lisa Goldberg, Director of Research, Aperio Group; former Director of Research, MSCI
Josh Schein, Senior Portfolio Manager, Morgan Stanley



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Meatonomics (02/24/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 13, 2014


Tim Koopman is a fourth-generation rancher; his family has been raising cattle on their ranch in Alameda County since 1918 and he now heads the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). David Robinson Simon is the author of a book that lambasts industrialized meat production. What did these two advocates from “opposite sides of the steer” have to say to each other when they sat down to debate the ethical, nutritional and environmental costs of animal agriculture?

Host Greg Dalton started things off on the hot-button topic of animal cruelty. According to Simon, large factory farms have lobbied heavily to eliminate anti-cruelty protections for their industry. “So what we’ve seen the last several decades is that literally, anti-cruelty protections that once protected farm animals from abusive behavior have simply been eliminated in virtually every state in this country.” Koopman said that the demonization of his industry is based on inaccuracies; ranchers, he says, care about their animals. “It’s disturbing for us as livestock producers to have this perception that production basically lives on the backs of animals that are abused from the time they’re born until the time they’re slaughtered.” He was quick to point out that his 200-some head of cattle are treated with respect, nurtured and allowed to roam freely. And he adds that the 3,000 members of the CCA are equally vigilant. “Our membership is very cognizant of and very aware of… animal treatment, all the good things that go along with the nurturing of these animals. We will fight against the mistreatment of animals just as much as David or anybody else would.”

Dalton next brought up the connection between livestock, methane emissions and climate change. According to the UN publication Livestock’s Long Shadow, nearly twenty percent of all greenhouse gases can be attributed to the livestock industry. Koopman challenged that figure, saying it was closer to three percent; Simon, not surprisingly, contends that the UN figures are conservative. Both men agree, however, that methane emission is a problem that needs to be addressed. Ironically, grass-fed cattle may be making things worse, not better, says Simon: “The unfortunate result is that they produce four times as much methane as grain-fed animals and so we get this very bizarre result that organically-fed cattle are not necessarily more eco-friendly than inorganically raised animals.” One solution, says Koopman, is genetic improvement, which has led to an overall reduction in the number of cows nationwide. Fewer cows, he points out, means less gas.
But there are other reasons to believe ranching is straining our resources. “It takes on average, five times as much land to produce animal protein as it does plant protein,” says Simon. “It takes 11 times the fossil fuels and it takes 40 times or more water to produce animal protein than plant protein… that’s a major sustainability problem.” Koopman disagrees. With two-thirds of the land in the U.S. not farmable, he sees cattle ranching as a necessary part of global food sourcing. “We’ve got an increasing world population with huge demand for protein as a part of their diet. And on the absence of grazing livestock and having that land available to produce food, I think we would be in a lot worse shape than we are.”

Simon is an avowed vegan. His days as a burger-eating junk-food junkie ended at the age of 44, and it wasn’t mainly for health reasons. “I spent a day watching videos about factory farming and animal testing..It was like an epiphany. A switch clicked in my head. Suddenly, I simply had no way to eat animal foods anymore.” During the question and answer period, some of the audience members concurred, citing health reasons for giving up meat. Koopman, on the other hand, believes that “meat in moderation can be part of anybody's healthy diet. “ Whether you believe the ads that tout “beef – it’s what’s for dinner!” or just someone who enjoys the occasional steak, it’s hard to ignore the impact our food choices have on the environment, our health and our economy.

David Robinson Simon, Author, Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much – and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter
Tim Koopman, President, California Cattlemen’s Association

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 24, 2014



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Nature's Price Tag (07/25/13) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 06, 2014


An emerging area of economics aims to put a price on nature as a way of justifying preserving it in societies dominated by the wisdom of markets. A mountain stream, for example, provides many economic benefits beyond people who own property near it or drink water from it. The same is said of bees that pollinate our food, wetlands that cleans water, and trees that drink up carbon dioxide. If nature were a corporation it would be a large cap stock. Putting a precise tag on something long seen as free is a conceptual leap. However many large companies are starting to realize the extent to which their profits rely on well operating ecosystems.

Larry Goulder, Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, Stanford
Tony Juniper, Associate Professor, University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership; Special Advisor to The Prince of Wales International Sustainability Unit

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on July 25, 2013



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Beyond Plastic (01/30/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 30, 2014


Who should take responsibility for reducing the amount of plastic debris that litters our cities, waterways and oceans? While many consumers have given up their plastic grocery bags, most still rely on the convenience of plastic water bottles, liquid soap and fast food in styrofoam containers. “Many of our companies are looking at bio-based materials and other kinds of plastics,” says Keith Christman of the American Chemistry Council. “High density polyethylene, made from sugarcane, is one of the largest uses today of bioplastics.” But is plant-based plastic the answer? As Molly Morse of Mango Materials points out, without oxygen to break them down, bioplastics can last as long as or longer than conventional plastic. Her company is working to create plastic out of methane gas harvested from wastewater treatment plants. “It can break down in the ocean,” she says. Bridgett Luther, President of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, helps steer companies toward more responsible solutions for design, manufacturing and packaging their products. She points out that this approach led to market success for one company that eschewed the use of non-recyclable foam in their chairs. “ [Herman Miller] developed one of the fastest selling office chairs ever, the Aeron Chair. The end of use of that Herman Miller chair was a lot of super valuable materials that can be easily recycled.” The household cleaning company Method Products has been harvesting discarded plastic from beaches in Hawaii to produce their Ocean Plastic bottle. “Using the plastic that's already on the planet is a solution that we have today,” says co-founder Adam Lowry. “So I tend to favor solutions that we can employ right now rather than saying, “Yes. The technology is coming.” Despite these promising steps, all agree that it’s going to take a village -- manufacturers, consumers and legislators -- to work together if we’re going to rid our world of plastic waste.

Keith Christman, Managing Director for Plastics Markets, American Chemistry Council; Co-chair, Global Action Committee on Marine Litter
Adam Lowry, Co-founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products PBC
Bridgett Luther, President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Molly Morse, CEO, Mango Materials

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on January 30, 2014



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Rising Seas, Rising Costs (02/11/14) (Rebroadcast)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 23, 2014


Swelling sea levels used to be a concern associated with future generations and faraway lands. Then Superstorm Sandy poured the Atlantic Ocean into the New York subway. Here on the west coast, we’re no less vulnerable to the rising tide, and it’s not only our coastal communities that will be affected. From shoreline to bay to Delta and beyond, California’s economy is bound together by highways, railways and airports. Cities and states are beginning to realize they need to start planning now for tides heading their way. The citizens of Redwood City have already made the issue of rising sea levels a priority. But as Alicia Aguirre, that city’s former mayor, points out, the problem is not limited to one community. “It's not just fixing what's happening in Redwood City, it's fixing what's happening all along the bay and along the coast as well. How do you work with developers and politicians and county government…and say, "This is what we can do?” Larry Goltzband, Executive Director of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, agrees that for Californians, focusing on one area is short-sighted. “Those ships you see…docking at the port of Oakland, many times carry product that employs people in Redding or employs people in Tulare County…. So, it is in the best interest of all of California, whether you touch the bay, whether you see the bay on a daily basis, to actually invest in the bay for economic and environmental reasons.” Adding to the big picture, Julian Potter of San Francisco International Airport points out the ripple effect that damage to the region’s airports would cause worldwide. “The economic impact is not singular to any one side -- everybody gets impacted by it, whether or not you’re near water. Chicago will be impacted by it, any of these hub cities.” Goltzband says retreating from the shoreline is not an option. “People will always want to build near the water,” he says. “I think that's probably just part of our DNA after thousands of years. The question that we…have to figure out is, how do we ensure that as the water rises, economic vitality and our community's vitality continues to grow?” Whether it’s due to a hurricane, tsunami or just the slowly rising tide, it’s inevitable that our coastline will be changing dramatically in the coming decades, and with it our economy, our environment and our way of life. Sandbags and levees aren’t enough – Californians must come together to create and enact real solutions, or we’ll all be in over our head.

Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
Larry Goldzband, Executive Director, Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Alicia Aguirre, member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, former Mayor, Redwood City
Julian Potter, Chief of Staff, San Francisco International Airport

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 11, 2014



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Ecological Intelligence (04/18/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, May 16, 2014


What’s really preventing us from enacting environmental change? Blame our brains, says Daniel Goleman, author of Ecological Intelligence. As he explains it, “The problem comes down to a design flaw in the human brain.” Evolution fine-tuned our brains to protect us from immediate survival threats – lions, tigers and bears. But long-term dangers, such as those that threaten our planet today, don’t register. “The problem is that we don't perceive, nor are we alarmed by, these changes,” says Goleman. “And so we're in this dilemma where we can show people, "Well, you know, your carbon footprint is this," but it doesn't really register in the same way as “there's a tiger around the block.” Facts alone aren't enough, he adds, “We need to find a more powerful way of framing them…a way which will activate the right set of emotions and get us moving.”
George Lakoff, a linguistics professor at U.C. Berkeley, sees the issue as a moral, rather than environmental, crisis: “…the greatest moral crisis we have ever been in. It is the moral issue of our times and it’s seen just as an environmental issue.” But morality can mean different things to different people. This sets up a debate that quickly goes from the political to the personal, as Josh Freedman, author of Inside Change, points out. “When we start saying, "okay, they're good, and they're bad," what happens is we're actually fueling this threat system that is what's in the way of us actually solving these problems.”

So what is the solution? How do we retune our primitive brains – and those of our political and business leaders -- to focus on a less than clear, less than present danger?

Throughout the discussion, several key avenues rose to the top: economics, education and emotional appeal. If major institutions can be persuaded to divest from environmentally unsound companies, says Lakoff, “then what will happen is that the prices of the stocks will go down for those energy companies. When they go down that way, they stay down…you have an opportunity to shift investment away in a way that has an exponential feedback loop.”

Educating today’s youth was a powerful and recurring theme for all the speakers. “What kids learn and tell their parents is important,” Goleman said. “Schools are a big counterforce that we can do a much better job of deploying in this battle for minds and heart.”

Despite our primitive wiring, the speakers concluded, we humans do have the capacity for the ecological intelligence – and the morality – to effect global change.

“Your morality is what defines who you are as a human being,” says Lakoff, “it's who you are emotionally and morally as a human being that matters in your life, what you do every day. This isn't a matter of compromise…we have, like, 35 years to turn this around, period. That's not long.”

“All change starts on the inside,” says Freedman, “If we can support children and adults to connect with that capability and to develop what's already there, then things are going to get a lot better.”

Daniel Goleman, Author, Ecological Intelligence: The Hidden Impacts of What We Buy (Crown Business, 2010)
Joshua Freedman, CEO, Six Seconds; Author, Inside Change: Transforming Your Organization With Emotional Intelligence (Six Seconds, 2010)
George Lakoff, Professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley and author of many books, including The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics (Penguin Books, 2009)

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on May 1, 2014.



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Climate in the Classroom (03/25/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, May 15, 2014


Today’s teenagers, also known as Millenials or Generation Y, now have a new moniker: Greenagers. That’s because they are coming of age in an era plagued by the effects of climate change. Severe floods, storms and fires on the rise and are forecast to increase further as carbon pollution increases.

What are high school students learning about the causes and consequences of climate volatility? And what steps can they take now to secure a more optimistic future for the earth’s ecology?

In this episode of Climate One, panelists cite changing the planet for the better can come from “doing one thing,” sourcing cafeteria food locally, and fighting apathy.

“We need a transformation of the way we teach these things because it's not just a matter of getting the information out there about climate change and energy and food,” says Mark McCaffrey, Program and Policy Director at the National Center for Science Education. “We need to be able to get that information out in a way that is building knowledge and know-how…to be able to transform the world, to be able to minimize the impacts, and be able to be ready for whatever changes (are) in store for us.”

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Lick-Wilmerding High School in San Francisco on March 25, 2014.

AshEl Eldridge, Education and Leadership Manager, Alliance for Climate Education
Heather Frambach, Statewide Food Systems Coordinator, Community Alliance with Family Farmers
Mark McCaffrey, Program and Policy Director, National Center for Science Education



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Nuclear Power (04/03/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 25, 2014


Three years after Fukushima is nuclear power dead in the water? Or is it poised for revival due to the world’s desperate need for carbon-free energy?

Every day the Fukushima reactors dump 70,000 gallons of radioactive water into the Pacific Ocean, and there is no end in sight. In the United States, the industry faces more systemic challenges - abundant and cheap natural gases are making new nukes uneconomic, despite the efforts of the Obama administration to jumpstart a nuclear renaissance.

Per Peterson, a professor of Nuclear Engineering at UC Berkeley and a former member of the Blue Ribbon Commission on America’s Nuclear Future, says the Fukushima disaster has had a significant impact on how engineers design the nuclear power plants of the future, and their safety systems. He says it has led to the development of what is called “passive safety” – the ability for the plant to shut down without needing external sources of electrical power.

Two new plants are currently being constructed in South Carolina and Georgia, but at a staggering cost - $10+ billion per project. Peterson says that cost is due in part to major improvements over previous designs.

“One of them is the passive safety…but the other is the use of modular construction technology which now does the majority of the fabrication of the buildings and the equipment modules and factories.” Peterson says. “And the implementation of modular construction does have the potential to give you much better control over schedule and cost. This said, it's still a puzzle why the construction prices are as high as they are…there must be some way to bring these numbers closer together.”

Dozens of old plants are receiving a new lease on life from regulators who have approved letting them run another decade or two. But what happens when plants are run beyond their expected lifetimes?

“We've had nuclear power plants in the United States get into trouble in far shorter than their lifetimes.” says Dave Lochbaum, Director of the Nuclear Safety Project at the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We've also had some nuclear power plants running longer than 40 years. So it's not what the calendar says; it's how well you maintain the plant and ensure that safety measures are maintained, whether it's one year or 41 years.”

Jon Koomey, a research fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford, and author of the book "Cold Cash, Cool Climate" says it’s important to recognize that all energy technologies have risks. “We need to figure out a way to innovate not just in technology but also in our institutional structures, in our incentives, in the ways that we encourage people to report problems,” Koomey says. “And if we don't do institutional innovation as well as technological innovation, then we're not going to be able to count on many of these technologies that we would like to count on to reduce climate risks.”

Dave Lochbaum, Director, Nuclear Safety Project, Union of Concerned Scientists
Jon Koomey, Research Fellow, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University
Per Peterson, Member, Blue Ribbon Commission on America's Nuclear Future; Professor of Nuclear Engineering, UC Berkeley

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 3, 2014.



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Fracking Boom (04/01/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Sun, Apr 06, 2014


America is in the midst of a fracking boom. Most new oil and gas wells in this country are drilled using hyrdraulic fracturing, the injection of a cocktail of water and chemicals at high pressure to release bubbles of oil or gas trapped in shale rock. Thanks to fracking, America is awash in cheap natural gas and is poised to become the world’s largest petroleum producer next year. That would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. "People thought that the United States was tapped out." says Russell Gold, a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, and author of The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World. "There's more energy than we frankly know what to do with right now." But some say the boom comes with a cost. Opponents of fracking cite risks to groundwater supplies, and argue that it’s not climate friendly. Mark Zoback, a professor of Geophysics at Stanford agrees that when dealing with a large industrial process like fracking, things can go wrong, but that fracking itself isn't the problem. "The real problem is well construction," Zoback says, "and if you do a good job of building a well, and we know how to build wells, we really can prevent the kinds of problems we should worry about below the earth’s surface, and that is the leakage that could contaminate aquifers that could leak gas to the atmosphere and obviate the benefit of using natural gas instead of coal, for example, for greenhouse gas emissions." Gold and Zoback recently sat down at the Commonwealth Club to weigh in on the costs and benefits of fracking, along with Trevor Houser, co-author of Fueling Up: The Economic Implications of America's Oil and Gas Boom. Houser speaks to the economic benefit of fracking, but cautions against believing any hype. "The climate consequences of the gas boom have been oversold by environmentalists, the climate benefits of the gas boom have been oversold by the industry," Houser says. "Same as the economic story….it's not as good as you think, it's not as bad as you think." Hype or not, it's a boom that's taking place right in our own backyard, says Russell Gold. "This is not an energy boom that's happening above the Arctic Circle in Alaska or way off in Gulf of Mexico over the horizon," Gold says. "This is happening in county after county in many places. And while that is intrusive and while we are talking about an industrial process, if we’re not doing it here in the United States, it's going to be done somewhere else."

Russell Gold, Reporter, The Wall Street Journal; Author, The Boom: How Fracking Ignited the American Energy Revolution and Changed the World
Trevor Houser, Partner, Rhodium Group; Co-Author, Fueling Up: The Economic Implications of America's Oil and Gas Boom
Mark Zoback, Professor of Geophysics at Stanford, former member of the Secretary of Energy’s Committee on Shale Gas Development from 2011 to 2012

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California on April 1, 2014.



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Aquatech (03/11/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 20, 2014


From Egyptian irrigation systems to Roman aqueducts to the dikes and canals of The Netherlands, the world’s civilizations have long found innovative ways to harness and conserve their water supply. But with California entering the third year of an historic drought, what 21st century technologies are on the horizon to help us deal with an ever-shrinking pool of water? Peter Yolles is the CEO of Watersmart Software, which takes a grass-roots approach to the issue by educating residential and commercial customers on how to save water. For most residential customers, says Yolles, saving water is part of the social compact. “Research tells us that only 1 out of 10 people will change their behavior to save money.” Yolles says. “Only 1 out of 10 people will change their behavior to save the environment. But 8 out of 10 will do so because of what's happening around them.” Comparing water usage within a community, he says, is the first step. “That really motivates people to say, "Gosh, I'm using a lot more than my neighbors. What can I do to save water?" Tamin Pechet is the Chairman of Imagine H20, which seeks out and funds start-ups in the water industry. He says the need for new ideas is greater than ever. “Over the past couple of decades, the pressures on our water system have increased,” says Pechet. “When we face an acute event, like a drought or…a heavy series of rains that causes more water to enter into our storm and sewer systems, we don't have the same level of excess capacity to deal with that as we used to. We essentially need a new wave of innovation to address those problems.”

And a new wave of entrepeneurs and innovators are out there, exploring solutions from desalination to wastewater treatment to mining satellite data. Despite dire predictions for California’s reservoirs and rivers, Pechet says the future of water technology is promising. “There's a lot of really cool stuff out there,” he told the Commonwealth Club audience. “The history of water in civilization is one of innovation. And so just about anything that you dream up…is something that someone could innovate and come up with. If you look hard enough, you can find a company doing it.”

Steven Hartmeier, CEO, mOasis
Tamin Pechet, CEO, Banyan Water, Chairman, Imagine H2O
Peter Yolles, CEO, WaterSmart Software

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on March 11, 2014



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Meatonomics (02/24/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Mar 05, 2014


Tim Koopman is a fourth-generation rancher; his family has been raising cattle on their ranch in Alameda County since 1918 and he now heads the California Cattlemen’s Association (CCA). David Robinson Simon is the author of a book that lambasts industrialized meat production. What did these two advocates from “opposite sides of the steer” have to say to each other when they sat down to debate the ethical, nutritional and environmental costs of animal agriculture?

Host Greg Dalton started things off on the hot-button topic of animal cruelty. According to Simon, large factory farms have lobbied heavily to eliminate anti-cruelty protections for their industry. “So what we’ve seen the last several decades is that literally, anti-cruelty protections that once protected farm animals from abusive behavior have simply been eliminated in virtually every state in this country.” Koopman said that the demonization of his industry is based on inaccuracies; ranchers, he says, care about their animals. “It’s disturbing for us as livestock producers to have this perception that production basically lives on the backs of animals that are abused from the time they’re born until the time they’re slaughtered.” He was quick to point out that his 200-some head of cattle are treated with respect, nurtured and allowed to roam freely. And he adds that the 3,000 members of the CCA are equally vigilant. “Our membership is very cognizant of and very aware of… animal treatment, all the good things that go along with the nurturing of these animals. We will fight against the mistreatment of animals just as much as David or anybody else would.”

Dalton next brought up the connection between livestock, methane emissions and climate change. According to the UN publication Livestock’s Long Shadow, nearly twenty percent of all greenhouse gases can be attributed to the livestock industry. Koopman challenged that figure, saying it was closer to three percent; Simon, not surprisingly, contends that the UN figures are conservative. Both men agree, however, that methane emission is a problem that needs to be addressed. Ironically, grass-fed cattle may be making things worse, not better, says Simon: “The unfortunate result is that they produce four times as much methane as grain-fed animals and so we get this very bizarre result that organically-fed cattle are not necessarily more eco-friendly than inorganically raised animals.” One solution, says Koopman, is genetic improvement, which has led to an overall reduction in the number of cows nationwide. Fewer cows, he points out, means less gas.
But there are other reasons to believe ranching is straining our resources. “It takes on average, five times as much land to produce animal protein as it does plant protein,” says Simon. “It takes 11 times the fossil fuels and it takes 40 times or more water to produce animal protein than plant protein… that’s a major sustainability problem.” Koopman disagrees. With two-thirds of the land in the U.S. not farmable, he sees cattle ranching as a necessary part of global food sourcing. “We’ve got an increasing world population with huge demand for protein as a part of their diet. And on the absence of grazing livestock and having that land available to produce food, I think we would be in a lot worse shape than we are.”

Simon is an avowed vegan. His days as a burger-eating junk-food junkie ended at the age of 44, and it wasn’t mainly for health reasons. “I spent a day watching videos about factory farming and animal testing..It was like an epiphany. A switch clicked in my head. Suddenly, I simply had no way to eat animal foods anymore.” During the question and answer period, some of the audience members concurred, citing health reasons for giving up meat. Koopman, on the other hand, believes that “meat in moderation can be part of anybody's healthy diet. “ Whether you believe the ads that tout “beef – it’s what’s for dinner!” or just someone who enjoys the occasional steak, it’s hard to ignore the impact our food choices have on the environment, our health and our economy.

David Robinson Simon, Author, Meatonomics: How the Rigged Economics of Meat and Dairy Make You Consume Too Much – and How to Eat Better, Live Longer, and Spend Smarter
Tim Koopman, President, California Cattlemen’s Association


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 24, 2014



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The Goldman Prize at 25 (03/06/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Mar 11, 2014


Since 1989, The Goldman Environmental Prize has honored more than 150 grassroots heroes who are fighting on the front lines to deliver clean water, clean air and preserve the world’s ecosystems. Brothers John and Douglas Goldman are carrying on the work of their parents, environmental activists Richard and Rhoda Goldman, who founded the prize. “My mom was a recycler before the term was ever coined,” remembers John. “She was far ahead of her time.” The most important impact of the award, says Douglas, is its role in spotlighting the often unrewarding work of environmental activism. John adds that there’s a common thread among the past winners: “[These are] individuals whose force of nature really made a difference, their impact was significant, and they may have had significant personal risk.” One of those people is Maria Gunnoe, who received the prize in 2009.

Beginning with her successful effort to stop the coal industry from devastating the hollows of her native Appalachia, she has become a leading voice in the push to expose the environmental hazards of coal production. But, she says, she didn’t start out to be an activist. “I didn't really get into fighting the industry; the industry took me on,” she laughs. “They challenged me and my love for my property.” Kimberly Wasserman’s battle to close toxin-spewing coal-fired power plants in southwest Chicago was an equally personal one. “Feeling the impacts that countless parents in our community feel, of having children with asthma, just triggered that voice in me to…want to do something about it,” says Wasserman, adding, “there is no greater threat than a mom who's mad!” She was awarded the prize in 2013. Both women have continued to fight for clean air and water, and have even linked their causes together, stressing that, no matter which end of the coal conveyer belt your family is on, we’re all in this together. “Environmental impact doesn't just happen to any singular community,” says Wasserman. “It's happening across the board to low-income people, and we need to be united and be coming together to fight this.”

John Goldman, President, Goldman Environmental Foundation
Douglas Goldman, Vice President, Goldman Environmental Foundation
Maria Gunnoe, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, Goldman Environmental Prize Winner, 2009
Kimberly Wasserman, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization, Goldman Environmental Prize Winner, 2013


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on March 6, 2014



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Condoms and Climate (02/25/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 28, 2014


Breathing, eating and consuming, an individual human being produces tons of carbon every year – population may be the key to curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Populations are expected to skyrocket in developing areas like sub-saharan Africa, generating even more carbon pollution. Reducing population growth could also help fight climate change, but in the wake of India’s forced sterilizations in the 1970s and China's mandatory one-child policy, nationwide family planning has a stigma.

Malcolm Potts, a professor of family planning at UC Berkeley, believes talking about condoms should be as natural as talking about cabbages. “They're not a medical thing. They are choices, they should be available. Like cabbages, they should be where your vegetables are.” Alan Weisman’s most recent book Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth addresses the question of the world’s teeming masses head on. Weisman and Potts recently sat down at The Commonwealth Club to tackle the sensitive topic of our growing population and its part in straining the earth’s resources.

Both Weisman and Potts emphasized that education is key to reducing growth rates, and in particular, the education of girls. And the reverse is true as well. “People in developing countries want fewer children,” says Potts, “because they all know the power of education and they all know if you have a smaller family, your kids are more likely to get educated. But if we remove the barriers between family planning, the knowledge and means to do it, then even illiterate people will have fewer children.”

Equating the world’s bourgeoning population with climate change, says Weisman, is a no-brainer. “We’ve jet propelled society. We can do all these incredible things. We have electricity but we also have these waste products and they float up into the atmosphere. And the more of us demanding this stuff, the more carbon dioxide is up there. There's more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere right now than there has been in 3 million years.”

Solving our climate problem could be simpler – and less expensive – than we think. “Carbon-free energy, we don't know how to do that really well yet, but even if we did, it would be really expensive.” Weisman says. But birth control? “This doesn't involve any technological leaps. To make contraception universally available, it's been calculated that it would cost about a little over $8 billion per year.”

“For 200,000 years, there was not a population explosion. We were roughly in balance with our environment” says Potts. “We've done wonderful things to reduce infant mortality. And we're being blind and stupid and curious about not offering people family planning at the same time.”

Alan Weisman, Senior Radio Producer, Homelands Productions; Author, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? (Little, Brown & Company, 2013)
Malcolm Potts, Fred H. Bixby Endowed Chair in Population and Family Planning, School of Public Health, UC Berkeley



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 25, 2014



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Going to Paris: Ambassador Todd Stern (02/19/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Feb 20, 2014


The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland last year achieved modest progress toward an international agreement on reducing carbon pollution. In 2015, the heads of nearly 200 nations will again meet, this time in Paris, and the hope is that they can seal a deal that would take effect in 2020. But rich and developing countries are still far apart on who should bear responsibility for increasing human impacts of severe weather. Even some of the most vigorous proponents of moving away from fossil fuels doubt the UN process will ever produce a treaty with teeth.

Ambassador Todd Stern is US Special Envoy for Climate Change, a position he also held during the Clinton administration. Stern started his talk at the Commonwealth Club with a summary of where we are in a process that started two years ago: “[At the] Conference of the Parties, the COP in South Africa, there was a decision to start a new negotiation that would cover the period of the 2020s, in which the parties would negotiate an agreement, legal in some way.” And its due date is 2015. “As it turns out, the big climate meeting at the end of 2015 is going to be in Paris. So we sit right in the middle of that process, about halfway through.”

Ambassador Todd Stern, United States Special Envoy for Climate Change

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 19, 2014



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Going to Paris: Todd Stern (02/19/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 21, 2014


The United Nations Climate Change Conference in Warsaw, Poland last year achieved modest progress toward an international agreement on reducing carbon pollution. In 2015, the heads of nearly 200 nations will again meet, this time in Paris, and the hope is that they can seal a deal that would take effect in 2020. But rich and developing countries are still far apart on who should bear responsibility for increasing human impacts of severe weather. Even some of the most vigorous proponents of moving away from fossil fuels doubt the UN process will ever produce a treaty with teeth.

Ambassador Todd Stern is US Special Envoy for Climate Change, a position he also held during the Clinton administration. Stern started his talk at the Commonwealth Club with a summary of where we are in a process that started two years ago: “[At the] Conference of the Parties, the COP in South Africa, there was a decision to start a new negotiation that would cover the period of the 2020s, in which the parties would negotiate an agreement, legal in some way.” And its due date is 2015. “As it turns out, the big climate meeting at the end of 2015 is going to be in Paris. So we sit right in the middle of that process, about halfway through.”

Todd Stern, United States Special Envoy for Climate Change

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on February 19, 2014



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Rising Seas, Rising Costs (02/11/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 21, 2014


Swelling sea levels used to be a concern associated with future generations and faraway lands. Then Superstorm Sandy poured the Atlantic Ocean into the New York subway. Here on the west coast, we’re no less vulnerable to the rising tide, and it’s not only our coastal communities that will be affected. From shoreline to bay to Delta and beyond, California’s economy is bound together by highways, railways and airports. Cities and states are beginning to realize they need to start planning now for tides heading their way. The citizens of Redwood City have already made the issue of rising sea levels a priority. But as Alicia Aguirre, that city’s former mayor, points out, the problem is not limited to one community. “It's not just fixing what's happening in Redwood City, it's fixing what's happening all along the bay and along the coast as well. How do you work with developers and politicians and county government…and say, "This is what we can do?” Larry Goltzband, Executive Director of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, agrees that for Californians, focusing on one area is short-sighted. “Those ships you see…docking at the port of Oakland, many times carry product that employs people in Redding or employs people in Tulare County…. So, it is in the best interest of all of California, whether you touch the bay, whether you see the bay on a daily basis, to actually invest in the bay for economic and environmental reasons.” Adding to the big picture, Julian Potter of San Francisco International Airport points out the ripple effect that damage to the region’s airports would cause worldwide. “The economic impact is not singular to any one side -- everybody gets impacted by it, whether or not you’re near water. Chicago will be impacted by it, any of these hub cities.” Goltzband says retreating from the shoreline is not an option. “People will always want to build near the water,” he says. “I think that's probably just part of our DNA after thousands of years. The question that we…have to figure out is, how do we ensure that as the water rises, economic vitality and our community's vitality continues to grow?” Whether it’s due to a hurricane, tsunami or just the slowly rising tide, it’s inevitable that our coastline will be changing dramatically in the coming decades, and with it our economy, our environment and our way of life. Sandbags and levees aren’t enough – Californians must come together to create and enact real solutions, or we’ll all be in over our head.

Laura Tam, Sustainable Development Policy Director, San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association
Larry Goldzband, Executive Director, Bay Conservation and Development Commission
Alicia Aguirre, member of the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, former Mayor, Redwood City
Julian Potter, Chief of Staff, San Francisco International Airport


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 11, 2014



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Beyond Plastic (01/30/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 20, 2014


Who should take responsibility for reducing the amount of plastic debris that litters our cities, waterways and oceans? While many consumers have given up their plastic grocery bags, most still rely on the convenience of plastic water bottles, liquid soap and fast food in styrofoam containers. “Many of our companies are looking at bio-based materials and other kinds of plastics,” says Keith Christman of the American Chemistry Council. “High density polyethylene, made from sugarcane, is one of the largest uses today of bioplastics.” But is plant-based plastic the answer? As Molly Morse of Mango Materials points out, without oxygen to break them down, bioplastics can last as long as or longer than conventional plastic. Her company is working to create plastic out of methane gas harvested from wastewater treatment plants. “It can break down in the ocean,” she says. Bridgett Luther, President of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, helps steer companies toward more responsible solutions for design, manufacturing and packaging their products. She points out that this approach led to market success for one company that eschewed the use of non-recyclable foam in their chairs. “ [Herman Miller] developed one of the fastest selling office chairs ever, the Aeron Chair. The end of use of that Herman Miller chair was a lot of super valuable materials that can be easily recycled.” The household cleaning company Method Products has been harvesting discarded plastic from beaches in Hawaii to produce their Ocean Plastic bottle. “Using the plastic that's already on the planet is a solution that we have today,” says co-founder Adam Lowry. “So I tend to favor solutions that we can employ right now rather than saying, “Yes. The technology is coming.” Despite these promising steps, all agree that it’s going to take a village -- manufacturers, consumers and legislators -- to work together if we’re going to rid our world of plastic waste.

Keith Christman, Managing Director for Plastics Markets, American Chemistry Council; Co-chair, Global Action Committee on Marine Litter
Adam Lowry, Co-founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products PBC
Bridgett Luther, President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Molly Morse, CEO, Mango Materials

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on January 30, 2014



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Beyond Plastics (1/30/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 07, 2014


Who should take responsibility for reducing the amount of plastic debris that litters our cities, waterways and oceans? While many consumers have given up their plastic grocery bags, most still rely on the convenience of plastic water bottles, liquid soap and fast food in styrofoam containers. “Many of our companies are looking at bio-based materials and other kinds of plastics,” says Keith Christman of the American Chemistry Council. “High density polyethylene, made from sugarcane, is one of the largest uses today of bioplastics.” But is plant-based plastic the answer? As Molly Morse of Mango Materials points out, without oxygen to break them down, bioplastics can last as long as or longer than conventional plastic. Her company is working to create plastic out of methane gas harvested from wastewater treatment plants. “It can break down in the ocean,” she says. Bridgett Luther, President of Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, helps steer companies toward more responsible solutions for design, manufacturing and packaging their products. She points out that this approach led to market success for one company that eschewed the use of non-recyclable foam in their chairs. “ [Herman Miller] developed one of the fastest selling office chairs ever, the Aeron Chair. The end of use of that Herman Miller chair was a lot of super valuable materials that can be easily recycled.” The household cleaning company Method Products has been harvesting discarded plastic from beaches in Hawaii to produce their Ocean Plastic bottle. “Using the plastic that's already on the planet is a solution that we have today,” says co-founder Adam Lowry. “So I tend to favor solutions that we can employ right now rather than saying, “Yes. The technology is coming.” Despite these promising steps, all agree that it’s going to take a village -- manufacturers, consumers and legislators -- to work together if we’re going to rid our world of plastic waste.

Keith Christman, Managing Director for Plastics Markets, American Chemistry Council; Co-chair, Global Action Committee on Marine Litter
Adam Lowry, Co-founder and Chief Greenskeeper, Method Products PBC
Bridgett Luther, President, Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute
Molly Morse, CEO, Mango Materials


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on January 30, 2014



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Fluid State (01/10/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jan 15, 2014


“For us, a drought means human misery, economic devastation to some natural assets and certainly an unproductive living standard for the majority of our people,” said California state senator Jean Fuller (R), who represents the Central Valley. With the state’s rainfall hitting record lows in 2013, California’s drought is a pressing issue in this election year. The shortage will be felt most by farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, and while many fields have been converted to water-conserving drip irrigation, “there’s still a large percentage of crops in California that are irrigated by flood irrigation,” according to Matt Weiser, senior writer at The Sacramento Bee. But conservation can’t be limited to agriculture – all sectors need to recognize that water is a limited resource, according to state senator Lois Wolk (D). "If you tie the amount of water to the price, you create an immediate incentive for conservation," Wolk said. Experts debate management and policy opportunities as California faces its third year of drought.

Lois Wolk, California State Senator (D-Davis)
Jean Fuller, California State Senator (R-Bakersfield)
Matt Weiser, Senior Writer, The Sacramento Bee

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on January 10, 2014



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Fluid State (1/10/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jan 15, 2014


“For us, a drought means human misery, economic devastation to some natural assets and certainly an unproductive living standard for the majority of our people,” said California state senator Jean Fuller (R), who represents the Central Valley. With the state’s rainfall hitting record lows in 2013, California’s drought is a pressing issue in this election year. The shortage will be felt most by farmers in the San Joaquin Valley, and while many fields have been converted to water-conserving drip irrigation, “there’s still a large percentage of crops in California that are irrigated by flood irrigation,” according to Matt Weiser, senior writer at The Sacramento Bee. But conservation can’t be limited to agriculture – all sectors need to recognize that water is a limited resource, according to state senator Lois Wolk (D). "If you tie the amount of water to the price, you create an immediate incentive for conservation," Wolk said. Experts debate management and policy opportunities as California faces its third year of drought.

Lois Wolk, California State Senator (D-Davis)
Jean Fuller, California State Senator (R-Bakersfield)
Matt Weiser, Senior Writer, The Sacramento Bee


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on January 10, 2014



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U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus (1/6/14)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jan 08, 2014


"A clean-energy economy, I think, is the future,” according to 75th U.S. Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, who leads America’s Navy and Marine Corps. One of the world’s largest fuel consumers, the Navy has committed to obtaining 50 percent of its total energy consumption from alternative sources by 2020. Mabus said he's “absolutely convinced” that goal will be met. “Now is exactly the time that we have to do this,” Mabus said. “A tightening budget situation makes it even more urgent, even more critical.” He discussed concerns about sea level rise in the Pacific, melting ice in the Arctic and the Navy’s power to help move the market into a lower carbon future. "We don't pick and choose what we protect right now – we protect the world," Mabus said. This conversation covers the Navy’s outlook on the road toward a cleaner energy economy, as well as its political challenges. “I have been sort of honored by the push back," Mabus said about the Navy’s move to use biofuels. "What it says to me is that what we're doing is working."

U.S. Navy Secretary Ray Mabus


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on January 6, 2014



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Metro Revolution (9/19/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Sep 23, 2013


"I will attest to the fact that the federal government actually has left the building," said Kofi Bonner, president of Lennar’s Bay Area Urban Division. Rather than depending on funding from Washington, successful cities and metropolitan areas are taking development into their own hands. As rising sea levels threaten coastal communities, sustainable planning is an “economic imperative,” said Bruce Katz of the Brookings Institution, author of The Metropolitan Revolution. San Francisco is a great example of how a city can thrive without national assistance, according to Mayor Ed Lee. "When we talk about innovation, this city's had a history of innovation," Lee said. This captivating conversation offers a refreshing view on how cities and metropolitan areas power the global economy. “America is the most resilient society and the most innovative economy...this time around it will come from the communities,” Katz said.

Kofi Bonner, President, Bay Area Urban Division, Lennar
Bruce Katz, Vice President, Brookings Institution
Ed Lee, Mayor, San Francisco


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on September 19, 2013



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Skeptics & Smog (12/10/13)


Tue, Dec 17, 2013


"We could end up being part of the problem, even when we're right," said Jim Hoggan, co-Founder of the DeSmog Blog and chair of the David Suzuki Foundation. "Self-righteousness is like a virus, and a lot of the time, it's so subtle you don't know you have it." Hoggan discussed the challenges of communicating climate science and bridging the chasm between skeptics and supporters. "I think we're at a real risk of furthering the information gap," said Bud Ward, editor of the Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media. Skeptical Science founder John Cook said climate change denial isn't the result of lack of knowledge; it's driven by cultural factors and political ideology. “I tend to examine the behavior, rather than the motive behind it,” Cook said. “If someone’s misinforming people, you can’t comment on whether they’re lying or whether they genuinely believe it.” In this conversation on climate change media, experts discuss current coverage and how to address global issues for a clean energy future.

Bud Ward, Editor, Yale Forum on Climate Change & The Media
Jim Hoggan, Co-Founder, DeSmog Blog Chair, The David Suzuki Foundation
John Cook, Founder, Skeptical Science; Co-Author, Climate Change Denial: Heads in the Sand

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on December 10, 2013



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Forest Wars (12/04/13)


Tue, Dec 17, 2013


“I wish more companies would come out of the closet, so to speak, and talk about what they’re doing,” said Sissel Waage, director of biodiversity and ecosystem services at Business for Social Responsibility. Climate change is happening and carbon-emitting businesses need to hold themselves accountable, she said. Some companies are getting on board by investing in forests and their communities. "It's the least expensive way for us to reduce emissions today," said Mike Korchinsky, project developer for REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation), and founder and CEO of Wildlife Works. Microsoft made a pledge to be carbon neutral in July 2012 and "the organization got behind it very quickly," said TJ DiCaprio, senior director of environmental sustainability at Microsoft Corporation. "We're driving efficiency." This discussion looks at how some business leaders are overcoming risks to take a stand for the trees.

Mike Korchinsky, Project Developer, REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation); Founder and CEO, Wildlife Works
TJ DiCaprio, Senior Director, Environmental Sustainability, Microsoft Corporation
Sissel Waage, Director of Biodiversity & Ecosystem Services, Business for Social Responsibility

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on December 4, 2013



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Lord Nicholas Stern: The 2013 Stephen Schneider Award (12/11/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 13, 2013


"I don't think there's any right to emit, I think there's a right to development," said former World Bank chief economist Lord Nicholas Stern, a professor at the London School of Economics. “To emit is to damage – I don’t see that there's a right to damage.” Stern spoke about the economics of climate change, alternative energies, the carbon bubble and the growing global population before accepting the 2013 Stephen Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. Few people have impacted the discussion of the economics of carbon pollution more than Stern, who authored the highly influential 2006 “Stern Review,” which concluded that the costs of inaction were far greater than the costs of action when it comes to climate change. “Having no policy of any serious strength on climate change is essentially to do nothing about the biggest market distortion, the biggest market failure the world has ever seen,” he said. The $10,000 Stephen Schneider Award is given every year in memory of the late Stanford researcher Stephen H. Schneider, a founding father of modern climate science. The award recognizes people that create new understanding in the physical and social sciences, and communicate to a broad public.

Lord Nicholas Stern, former World Bank Chief Economist, Professor of Economics, London School of Economics

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on December 11, 2013



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Carbon Curves (12/11/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 13, 2013


"Climate change is not some academic thing, it's pervasive – you see the signs of change everywhere,” said Ben Santer, a climate scientist at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. “It’s profoundly sad that future generations may not experience the coral reefs or these fragile, high alpine environments in the same way that we did, and we’ve experienced these changes over a human lifetime.” Santer joined Jane Lubchenco, former administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, to discuss extreme weather and the future of the warming planet. While hurricane and tsunamis will become more intense, heat waves are among the most damaging natural disasters, according to Lubchenco. But there’s still hope. “Many more people are beginning to see climate not as an economic issue, not as a political issue, but as a moral issue,” Lubchenco said. “Changing the way we think about the problem, I think, is part of the solution.”

Jane Lubchenco, Former Administrator, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Ben Santer, Climate Scientist, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on December 11, 2013



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Power Year in Review (12/2/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Dec 04, 2013


“Fear of fracking is rampant,” said KQED science editor Craig Miller when asked about California’s energy headlines of 2013. But more electric vehicles are on the road and the cap-and-trade market is about to enter its second year – the rest of the country is watching California’s approach to a clean energy future. “Part of this is a response to lack of federal leadership,” said Andrew McAllister, a member of the California Energy Commission. “We’re having to go down this route because there’s not a federal climate policy.” This conversation covers the ups and downs of power in California during a pivotal year, and what it means for the future. “This pattern where we decide that there’s some competition between jobs and environmental protection – this is a stupid idea,” said Amy Myers Jaffe, executive director of Energy and Sustainability at UC Davis.

Lauren Faber, West Coast Political Director, Environmental Defense Fund
Craig Miller, Science Editor, KQED
Amy Myers Jaffe, Executive Director of Energy and Sustainability, UC Davis
Andrew McAllister, Commissioner, California Energy Commission


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on December 2, 2013



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Ag and Trade (11/18/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Sat, Dec 07, 2013


"This country has forgotten rural America for far too long," said U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack. Although the U.S. has had the best farm economy in the last 5 years, rural America hasn’t done as well, he said. This conversation with Vilsack and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman involved the Farm Bill, the Trans-Pacific Partnership, GMO labeling and other economic tensions. “Our exports are driving about a third of our growth in this country right now,” Froman said, emphasizing the need to keep opening markets, ensuring level playing fields and enforcing our trade rights. But climate change presents problems for agriculture and trade that are intensified by growing populations. “We face a huge global challenge of increasing food production by 70 percent in the next 40 years with less water, with more intense weather patterns – it is going to require a global commitment,” Vilsack said.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack & U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on November 18, 2013



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Parched California (11/14/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Nov 21, 2013


"The Bay Delta debate sucks all the oxygen out of the water discussion," according to Lester Snow, executive director of the California Water Foundation. While the Bay Delta needs to be addressed, it doesn’t fix California’s long-term problems, Snow said. With population increasing in a parched state, California needs to focus on efficiency, groundwater policy and wastewater recycling. Some areas will eventually turn to desalination plants, but "there is a real risk to doing it too soon," according to Heather Cooley of The Pacific Institute. This conversation explores the solutions and resilience the state needs to prepare for extreme weather and declining snowpack. When it comes to climate change, “water’s going to be the thing that translates it for people into a real experience,” said Bob Wilkinson, an adjunct associate professor at UC Santa Barbara.

Heather Cooley,Water Program Co-Director, The Pacific Institute
Brandon Goshi, Manager of Water Policy and Strategy, Metropolitan Water District of Southern California
Lester Snow, Executive Director, California Water Foundation (invited)
Bob Wilkinson, Adjunct Associate Professor, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California, Santa Barbara


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on November 14, 2013



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Graham Nash (11/7/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Nov 07, 2013


In 1968, Graham Nash left his native England and flew to Los Angeles to visit his enchanting, brilliant girlfriend, Joni Mitchell. With one jet-lagged impromptu jam session in her house in Laurel Canyon, the magic of Crosby, Stills and Nash was born. After that, his life would change forever.

From the sounds and feelings to the girls and parties, Nash conveyed the unforgettable adventures of his life through his autobiography, Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life. But it's not just a relic of history. His lyrics inspired generations to "teach your children well," and Nash is a living reminder that we are the stewards of our own future. He came onto the music scene in a generation that was pushing social norms and has since become a true renaissance man. Nash co-founded Musicians United for Safe Energy and lead its famous No Nukes concerts. He maintained a parallel career in photography as a collector, a pioneer of digital imaging and an artist, capturing the often overlooked elements of everyday life.

An exclusive peek into the wild tales and issues facing today's environmental movement with one of the greats of rock and roll, art and social activism.

Graham Nash, Singer; Songwriter; Author, Wild Tales: A Rock & Roll Life

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on November 15, 2013



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U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell (11/7/13)


Wed, Dec 18, 2013


“We could start by being rational about how we spend the money that we have,” said U.S. Secretary of Interior Sally Jewell about taking care of national parks. She discussed programs for engaging youth and veterans on public lands, and how to balance our energy needs and carbon reduction goals. According to Jewell, climate change is everywhere and it’s very real. “This is a job where you actually have an opportunity to do something about it,” Jewell said. “And it’s important for all of us to do something.” She covered Obama’s plans to mitigate global warming, her opinions on fracking, water problems in California, and fielded a long line of live audience questions. “I’ve had nothing but support from my boss and the administration broadly on the conservation agenda,” Jewell said. “There’s tremendous interest in doing what’s right for the American people.”

Sally Jewell, U.S. Secretary of the Interior

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on November 7, 2013



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Fracked State (11/05/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Nov 07, 2013


"We have been fracking in California for 60 years and we have done it safely," according to Paul Deiro, an energy lobbyist with KP Public Affairs. "We believe in transparency, disclosure, notification." The state is on the verge of a huge energy boom, poised to hydraulic fracture, or frack, across much of the coast and Central Valley. Signature of a new fracking regulation bill, SB4, has upset advocates and opponents alike. "Investing in getting more fossil fuels out of the ground is just bass-ackward right now," said Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director with NRDC. But fracking is already occurring, and the purpose of the bill was to create oversight and transparency, argued State Senator Fran Pavley. “What I’m trying to do is put a public face on this,” Pavley said. This conversation reveals diverse opinions on the state’s evolving fracking debate. "This is not your father's fracking,” Notthoff said. “This is a new day."

Fran Pavley, Senator, California State Senate
Annie Notthoff, California Advocacy Director, NRDC
Paul Deiro, Energy Lobbyist, Western States Petroleum Association


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on November 5, 2013.



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Deep Blue (10/28/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 01, 2013


"Every second breath comes from the ocean," said Mary Hagedorn, a research scientist with the Smithsonian Institution and the Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology. Many people don’t realize how much we depend on the ocean for food, health and jobs. With climate change and pollution altering seas and coastlines, the speakers agreed we need to do a better job of monitoring these systems. Scientists and businesses have to work together, according to Michael Jones, president of The Maritime Alliance in San Diego. “There’s always going to be uncertainty with climate change, but uncertainty can’t be an excuse for inaction,” said Jason Scorse, Director of the Center for the Blue Economy at the Monterey Institute of International Studies. "This is immediate, this is now, this is accelerating, and the good side is people realize that."

Jason Scorse, Director, Center for the Blue Economy, MIIS
Mary Hagedorn, Research Scientist, Smithsonian Institution/Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology
Michael Jones, President, The Maritime Alliance, San Diego


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 28, 2013



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Mountain Meltdown (10/22/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 29, 2013


“We want skiers to literally help save the world,” said Porter Fox, editor at Powder Magazine. Climate change has already impacted the length and intensity of winters and reduced snowfall means many of the nation's ski centers will eventually be forced to close, especially those at lower temperatures. Jeremy Jones, professional snowboarder and founder of Protect Our Winters, reminisced about a spot he revisited in Chamonix: “I used to be able to snowboard here.” This two-panel conversation first explores the science and personal experiences behind shorter winters, then looks at how ski resort CEOs are dealing with the problem. “If you're going to allow carbon emissions to be free, in the end nobody's really going to do anything,” said Mike Kaplan, president and CEO of Aspen/Snowmass. With the popularity of winter sports, the ski industry may be able to help communicate the impacts of climate change. “This industry gets it,” Kaplan said.


Porter Fox, Editor, Powder Magazine; Author, The Deep: The Story of skiing and the Future of Snow (November 2013)
Anne Nolin, Professor, Geosciences and Hydroclimatology, Oregon State University
Jeremy Jones, Founder and CEO, Protect our Winters; Professional Snowboarder
Dave Brownlie, President and CEO, Whistler Blackcomb
Mike Kaplan, President and CEO, Aspen/Snowmass
Jerry Blann, President, Jackson Hole Mountain Resort


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 22, 2013



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Paul Hawken & Andy Revkin: Carbon Gift (10/18/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Oct 23, 2013


“Humans are problem-solving animals – you would never know it reading the press,” said environmentalist Paul Hawken. He and NY Times writer Andy Revkin discussed how attitudes have changed in the 25 years since NASA scientist James Hansen testified before Congress about human-caused climate change. “Right now, the attitude is that climate change is happening to us...instead of the idea that actually climate change is instead happening for us,” Hawken said. Some problems stem from lack of education, while others can be attributed to policies and mindsets. “It’s our social systems that impede progress,” Revkin said. “The technologies are there, to some extent, but how do you facilitate them?” The speakers presented a hopeful outlook in the face of rising seas and extreme weather. “Carbon is the element that holds hands and collaborates in nature,” Hawken said. “We’re going to have to be like carbon and hold hands and collaborate.”

Paul Hawken, Author and Entrepreneur
Andy Revkin, Writer, The New York Times Dot Earth Blog


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on October 18, 2013



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OPEC Oil Embargo +40 (10/18/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 22, 2013


“You would much rather breathe the air in any American city than breathe it in Beijing – thank you, EPA,” said former Secretary of State George Shultz, who served as Secretary of Treasury under President Nixon during the 1973 OPEC Oil Embargo. Although gas shortages shocked Americans 40 years ago, the drive to become more energy independent has since lost momentum. “Crises are not enough,” said former CIA Director Jim Woolsey. “Whether they’re potential crises or existing crises, people will ignore them after a little bit of time.” They discussed the need for choices at the gas pump, how innovation can lead the economy and the impacts of human-caused climate change. “If you don’t like the science, use your eyes – a new ocean has been created in the Arctic,” Shultz said. “We should be taking out a strong insurance policy.” Unlike past environmental policies that came from Republican presidencies, the divided, accusatory politics of today are fundamentally wrong, he said. “I’m sick of it, frankly,” Shultz said. “We’ve got to find things that improve our security, make economic sense and deal with this climate issue together.”

George Shultz, Former U.S. Secretary of State
Jim Woolsey, Former CIA Director


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on October 18, 2013



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Bay Delta: A Grand Bargain? (10/15/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 15, 2013


"The Delta is not just a canteen to supply water...it’s a place that a lot of people live and work and call home," said Kip Lipper, Chief Councilor for Energy and the Environment at the Office of the Senate Pro Tempore. California’s water future will lead to higher prices and higher uncertainty, and “the climate change piece is a huge part of that,” according to Former Deputy U.S. Secretary of Interior David Hayes. The Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta requires restoration, but can it meet the conflicting demands of Californians? "You're looking at an enormous bill and that's going to push up the price of water," said Los Angeles Times reporter Bettina Boxall. This discussion with politicians, a reporter and a researcher from the UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences tackles the challenges surrounding the West Coast’s largest estuary.

Bettina Boxall, Reporter, Los Angeles Times
David Hayes, Former Deputy US Secretary of Interior
Jay Lund, Director, UC Davis Center for Watershed Sciences
Kip Lipper, Chief Councilor for Energy and the Environment, Office of the Senate Pro Tempore

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on October 15, 2013



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Grazing, Grass and Gas (10/3/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Oct 10, 2013


“We have the potential to use grazing lands and use cattle and livestock to help slow climate change,” according to UC Berkeley professor Whendee Silver. Grasslands are under-represented in land conservation, yet they cover about 40 percent of the Earth’s surface and have a big impact by storing greenhouse gases so they don’t enter the atmosphere. While discussing conservation projects, the speakers turned to the larger problems of overpopulation and consumption. “Our generation and the ones short to follow have to come to terms with the fact that there are other ways of managing human societies, because this one is not sustainable,” said former Patagonia CEO Kristine Tompkins, founder of Conservacion Patagonica. Experts addressed the challenges of land conservation, restoration ecology and growing populations in an era of climate disruption. “We’re working in one of the last four places in the world where these native grasslands remain,” said Pete Geddes, managing director of the American Prairie Reserve.

Kristine Tompkins, Founder and President, Conservacion Patagonica, Former CEO, Patagonia
Whendee Silver, Professor of Environmental Science, UC Berkeley
Pete Geddes, Managing Director, American Prairie Reserve


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on October 3, 2013



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Corn, Cars and Cows (8/21/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Aug 26, 2013


While ethanol burns cleaner than gasoline, some researchers argue its production makes it less than environmentally friendly. University of California, Davis professor of agricultural economics Colin Carter says ethanol is not a low-carbon fuel in part “because of greenhouse gases put out by other countries that have torn down forests to produce corn.” Pacific Ethanol CEO Neil Koehler claims corn-based fuels are cleaner than petroleum and reduce greenhouse gases. Critics say corn that could be used for feeding livestock is now going into gas tanks, and U.S. ethanol policies may have driven up food prices by 20 to 30 percent. Does corn have a place in powering America’s future?

Colin Carter, Professor, Agricultural Economics, UC Davis
Neil Koehler, CEO, Pacific Ethanol
Michael Marsh, CEO, Western United Dairymen


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on August 21, 2013



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Overheated (6/27/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Aug 07, 2013


“Climate change will be the biggest health issue of my grandchild’s lifetime and my great-grandchildren’s lifetime…we will be looking at somewhere in the range of half a billion lives being affected profoundly by the impacts of climate change,” according to Dr. Richard Joseph Jackson, professor at the UCLA School of Public Health. As increasing temperatures amplify natural disasters and impact water supplies, people in the U.S. and around the world will face greater health health risks. Meanwhile, resource scarcity may lead to worldwide conflict, like “putting a vice on an existing crisis – there’s no guarantee it’ll flame up, but it makes it more likely,” said UC Berkeley Law School professor Andrew Guzman. This conversation offers a sobering view of the cost of rising temperatures, along with solutions for a more sustainable future.

Andrew Guzman, Professor, UC Berkeley Law School; Author, Overheated: The Human Cost of Climate Change
Richard Joseph Jackson, Professor, UCLA School of Public Health; Host of the four-part public TV program, Designing Healthy Communities


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on June 27, 2013



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Nature's Price Tag (7/25/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Jul 29, 2013


An emerging area of economics aims to put a price on nature as a way of justifying preserving it in societies dominated by the wisdom of markets. A mountain stream, for example, provides many economic benefits beyond people who own property near it or drink water from it. The same is said of bees that pollinate our food, wetlands that cleans water, and trees that drink up carbon dioxide. If nature were a corporation it would be a large cap stock. Putting a precise tag on something long seen as free is a conceptual leap. However many large companies are starting to realize the extent to which their profits rely on well operating ecosystems.

Larry Goulder, Professor of Environmental and Resource Economics, Stanford
Tony Juniper, Associate Professor, University of Cambridge Programme for Sustainability Leadership; Special Advisor to The Prince of Wales International Sustainability Unit


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on July 25, 2013



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Fracking News (7/19/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jul 26, 2013


Hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, is “the most profound [energy] revolution that we’ve had in decades,” said San Francisco Chronicle reporter David Baker. Thanks to fracking, natural gas is cheap and abundant. However, water contamination may prove to be a huge problem as monitoring efforts are “woefully inadequate,” therefore we don’t really know what’s happening, said ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten. “If you taint somebody’s drinking water, you have destroyed their property value... That should be a big warning sign to people that this is not something you can monkey around with,” Baker said. This conversation with two reporters attempts to explain the fine line between the profits and liabilities associated with hydraulic fracturing, the process of injecting water or steam into shale rock at high pressure to extract petroleum or natural gas.

David Baker, Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Abrahm Lustgarten, Reporter, ProPublica


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on July 19, 2013.



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Environmental Debt (7/8/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Jul 09, 2013


There is a pattern between the way we do business and the changes in our climate. “The companies that are the biggest polluters make the biggest profits,” according to Amy Larkin, author of Environmental Debt: The Hidden Costs of a Changing Global Economy. Companies like McDonald’s and Coca-Cola are changing the rules to run a more socially conscious business. According to John Hofmeister, former President of Shell Oil USA, “social cost could be the game changer that warrants the way we look at future environmental debt.” Both Larkin and Hofmeister agree that the government must play a large role in changing the rules of business if we have any hope of solving the climate crisis. A conversation with a leading environmentalist and former oil executive on the costs of pollution and cleaning up capitalism.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on July 8, 2013.



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Governors Ritter and Whitman: Risk and Resilience (6/19/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Jun 27, 2013


Hurricane Sandy and the devastating Colorado fires of 2012 underscore the idea that climate disruption is amplifying natural disasters, if not causing them. Forest fires in Colorado have been “economically devastating for communities,” says former Colorado Governor Bill Ritter Jr. In the East, Superstorm Sandy and other extreme weather events have caused massive destruction and large bills for coastal communities. “Different states and different countries are going to adapt in different ways,” says Christine Todd Whitman, former Governor of New Jersey. Both former governors emphasized the importance of clean energy sources. There is an “economic development opportunity” in the green energy economy says Ritter. Nuclear energy, says Whitman, is an option that creates lots of jobs and no greenhouse gasses. A conversation with two former state chief executives on bridging the partisan divide and adapting to climate change.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on June 19, 2013



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Sea Surge (6/18/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Jun 24, 2013


Humans have been using their ingenuity to deal with sea level rise, floods, and fluctuating coasts for the past 15,000 years, and recent extreme events have emphasized the need to adapt. “There are no easy solutions to adaptation,” says Brian Fagan, author of “The Attacking Ocean”, but we can learn from historic sea walls in the Netherlands, cyclones in the Indian Ocean, and other major oceanic events over the last 10,000 years. “The global ocean has actually done us this incredible favor by buffering us from a variety of effects of climate change and our fossil fuel addiction,” says Meg Caldwell, Executive Director of the Center for Ocean Solutions at Stanford. However the combination of warming waters, acidification, and lower oxygen levels have have the oceans at their limit. A conversation with an archaeologist and a lawyer on sea level rise, climate refugees, and the impact of climate change on the world’s oceans.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on June 18, 2013



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Power Choice (6/17/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Jun 24, 2013


Rising interest in clean power is presenting electric monopolies with competition for the first time. Community choice aggregation (CCA) gives towns and cities the opportunity to get in on the energy market and decide where their energy will come from. More than a thousand communities across the country are taking electric power into their own hands.

Supporters say that is a great way for communities to get greener electricity. San Francisco’s proposed community power option has a goal of 100% renewables and may be provided by a unit of Shell Oil.
That juice could cost up to 40 percent more than the local monopoly, PG&E. Skeptics are wary of such cost premiums and say local power may not be as green as people think. A conversation with four experts on local and clean power nationally and in the San Francisco Bay Area.



Kim Malcolm, Director, CleanPowerSF
Shawn Marshall, Mill Valley Council Member; Executive Director, Local Energy Aggregation Network
Marcie Milner, Senior Regulatory Manager, Shell Energy North America
Hunter Stern, Business Manager, Brotherhood of Electrical Workers


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on June 17, 2013



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Pandora's Promise (6/15/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 21, 2013


In the wake of the Fukushima disaster, the U.S. is struggling to define its nuclear energy future. The film “Pandora’s Promise” asks whether we should use nuclear energy to deal with global warming. Michael Shellenberger, President of the Breakthrough Institute and featured in the film, says you can’t be an “anti-nuclear activist and an anti-fracking activist.” Nuclear is an invaluable power source that is both scalable and produces no greenhouse gasses, says Shellenberger. However, says Severin Borenstein, Co-Director of the Energy Institute at UC Berkeley, the movie fails to address cost. In order for nuclear to remain a viable part of the energy mix it must become less expensive. The developing world, he says, won’t be willing to adopt something that isn’t “as cheap or cheaper than burning coal.” A Climate One Cinema post-screening conversation on the documentary “Pandora’s Promise” and the future of nuclear power.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on June 15, 2013



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Rebels With a Cause (6/9/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jun 21, 2013


The documentary “Rebels with a Cause” follows “ordinary citizens who did extraordinary things” in the second half of the 20th century to preserve the natural landscape of Point Reyes, California from urbanization. Point Reyes National Seashore in the San Francisco Bay Area was the first national park of major size that was created from private land, says the round table. Over the course of the 1960s and 70s activists brokered an agreement between ranchers and environmentalists that created a model to preserve the land and the ranches on it. The importance of having nature close to home became a topic of national conversation and sparked the creation of parks in numerous states. Today smart urban growth is increasingly important with rapidly expanding populations putting increased pressure on natural resources. Climate change means sea level rise, changing habitats, and extreme weather are straining the ecosystems of the parks. “Activism still matters a lot,” say panelists. A Climate One Cinema post-screening conversation on a local conservation movement with national implications.



Nancy Dobbs, President and CEO, KRCB
Nancy Kelly, Director, Rebels with a Cause
Trent Orr, Staff Attorney, Earthjustice
Will Rogers, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Trust for Public Land


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on June 9, 2013



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Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen (6/4/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jun 05, 2013


Google's Eric Schmidt and Jared Cohen


In the next decade, five billion more people should be able to access most of the world’s information through a mobile device. “The internet is going to wire up the entire world,” says Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman of Google. “The change to people who have no information, no political freedom, no healthcare...is going to be extraordinary.” With this increase of technology comes privacy concerns, greater risks from cyber espionage, and important conversations on how to teach the next generation about data permanence and online privacy. “When you talk about privacy you need to also talk about security. The two concepts are deeply intertwined,” says Jared Cohen, Director of Google Ideas who points out the importance of parents talking to their children about digital privacy. A conversation with two architects of our digital future on innovation and the implications of a connected world.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on June 4, 2013



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Walmart. Emit Less. Live Better (5/6/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jun 05, 2013


Walmart. Emit Less. Live Better


Walmart and other large companies are pushing their suppliers to reduce packaging, waste and energy use to save companies money and reduce carbon pollution. The goals of zero waste and 100 percent renewable energy are big and audacious. According to Aron Cramer, CEO of Business for Social Responsibility such goals are also necessary. “We won’t be able to maintain economic growth if the environment starts to get in the way,” he says. Along with important steps towards a more sustainable supply chain Walmart has an emphasis on energy. “Energy efficiency has to go hand in hand with renewable energy,” says Andrea Thomas, Senior Vice President of Sustainability at Walmart. To Walmart renewable energy is a business opportunity and she says they now in a position to start scaling. Aron Cramer agreed with the significance of renewables saying distributed energy could “be a business opportunity for retailers.” A conversation with two top executives on sustainable capitalism.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on May 6, 2013



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Climate Correspondents (5/3/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, May 08, 2013


Environmental journalists representing Brazil, China, Nigeria and the Philippines tackle the climate news of a developing world. Climate issues have not always been news in these countries. In China it has taken a growing middle class and protests to bring attention to Beijing’s pollution issues, Lican Liu, water director at Greenovation Hub in China, tells the audience. Food and agriculture have also been impacted by climate change, says Michael Simire, Deputy Editor of the Sunday Independent in Nigeria, which has required an adjustment in the planting season in Nigeria. Imelda Abano, President of the Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists, says this has undermined food prices in Philippines. Brazil’s home environmental issues typically revolve around the Amazon, says Gustavo Faleiros, Environmental Journalist and Knight Fellow, but this takes away from equally important urban environmental issues. A conversation with four international journalists on the trials and triumphs of environmental journalism in the developing world.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on May 3, 2013



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Warrior Writers (5/3/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, May 08, 2013


The urgency of the climate crisis has compelled writers such as Bill McKibben and Antonia Juhasz to cross the line into advocacy. “Often facts can be disempowering” if it feels like there is nothing you can do, says Juhasz. “Understanding the direct human impact right now, the real facts, and the sense that you can do something about it” is what you need to get people to change she says. But convincing people is no longer the main battle, according to McKibben who says that “75% of Americans know that climate change is real and want something done about it.” The issue is making their voices heard against the influence of the resources of the fossil fuel industry. The answer to this, he says, is divestment. “We’re not going to bankrupt Exxon,” he says, “but we are going to start morally bankrupting them.” Juhasz agrees that “you can’t undermine the significance of the symbolism of divestment.” A discussion with two of the environmental movement’s leading communicators on speaking up and being heard.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on May 3, 2013



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Water, Food & Energy with Marvin Odum (4/29/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, May 01, 2013


Climate change is “real” and requires action, says Marvin Odum, President of Shell Oil Company. But that doesn’t change his belief that “there is a pretty clear understanding that fossil fuels will be required for quite some time.” Biofuels are an option, says Odum, but corn ethanol is too carbon intensive and sugar cane biofuel from Brazil has more potential to become a viable fuel in America’s transportation fleet. Alternative energy sources aside, Odum says the most impactful thing that can be done over the next decade is “to drive natural gas in and drive coal out.” Odum joins Climate One founder Greg Dalton for a conversation on powering America’s future in a carbon constrained world.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 29, 2013



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Pipeline Paradigm (4/26/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, May 01, 2013


Are the Canadian tar sands and Keystone XL pipeline huge economic drivers or climate killers? Pipeline supporters such as Canadian diplomat Cassie Doyel say it’s better for America to get its energy from Canada than unfriendly nations. But Sam Avery, Author of The Pipeline and the Paradigm, warns that there’s enough carbon in the tar sands “to send Earth’s climate into an irreversible tailspin.” Dan Miller, Managing Director of the Roda Group, looks at the long term saying “as a price on carbon kicks in, and it starts to build over time, the tar sands will be the first things that will be knocked off the list.” Greg Croft, Lecturer at St. Mary’s College of California, points out that “the carbon problem is global and we haven't solved any problem on a global basis.” A conversation on matching energy supply and demand in a carbon constrained world



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 26, 2013



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Global Meltdown: Christiana Figueres (4/17/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Apr 22, 2013


These are tough days for international efforts to put a meaningful price on carbon pollution. It's a tough sell, and many clean-energy advocates say a global deal once dreamed about at Copenhagen will never happen. We have to think about “what have we learned and what is different” since Copenhagen says Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. “I have news for everybody,” she says, “no, there is never going to be one agreement that solves climate [change].” In conversation with Greg Dalton, Figueres discusses the challenges facing negotiation including differences between developing and developed countries and the need for a strong foundation of national regulation before international agreements can be reached. But there is hope, she says, “we are moving toward a tipping point, a technological and economical tipping point...that will allow us to move into a completely different future.” A conversation on the challenges, successes, and goals of international climate change negotiations.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 17, 2013



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Petropoly (4/5/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Apr 12, 2013


The country's energy paradigm is caught between the slogans of “drill-baby-drill” and “oil is evil.” The real problem arguably is that the global oil market is controlled by the OPEC cartel that artificially fixes prices. That could explain why oil prices continue to rise even though the United States, the world’s largest petroleum consumer, is producing more and consuming less. “We can’t be fixated on bringing down the price of oil because that is not going to happen,” said Kate Gordon, Director of the Energy and Climate Program at Next Generation. Alternative fuels advocates say the only way that will change is with other fuels that can compete and give consumers choices for the first time since the early days of the automobile. “The concept of energy independence is misleading,” said Eyal Aronoff, Co-founder of the Fuel Freedom Foundation, “the question is about oil independence.” The most prominent alternative to oil right now in the U.S. is natural gas and Gal Luft, co-author of “Petropoly”, said that “when you look at big oil...they are becoming increasingly natural gas companies.” A conversation with three experts on changing America’s energy security paradigm.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 5, 2013



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Senator Dianne Feinstein: Guns, Drones and Energy (4/3/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Apr 08, 2013


The United States should restrain the use of guns on the street and drones in the air according to U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. “I think we do need a national solution” says Senator Feinstein on gun regulation. The victims of Sandy Hook continue to drive her and she said, “every time I see those faces I say shame on us that we let this happen in this great country.” Drone use is “an enormous privacy question,” states Senator Feinstein. She discusses the need for nationwide drone operating criteria to address the increased use of drones within national borders as well as the importance of continued thorough congressional oversight of international drone use. Transitioning the conversation to the issue of climate change, Senator Feinstein says that “people don’t really understand. They think the earth is immutable. They think we can’t destroy it, that it’s here to stay, that it’s always been this way. It’s not so.” A conversation with California’s senior United States Senator on guns, drones, and carbon.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on April 3, 2013



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Fracking California (4/2/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Apr 08, 2013


Tempting oil reserves trapped in California Monterey shale are raising the possibility of a fracking boom in California. “People began to come to me...asking about what a mineral estate was and how come the oil company that owned the mineral estate could eject them from the surface of the land,” said Steve Craig, a farmer in Monterey County and former director of the Ventana Conservation and Land Trust. Bill Allayaud of the Environmental Working Group explained that California “had regulations about well casings but no regulations about fracking.” But this is changing, said Mark Nechodom, Director of California’s Department of Conservation, “in historical use of fracturing in California we had no evidence that there is any environmental damage...and therefore we had not required reporting. Now we are requiring reporting.” Dave Quast of Energy In Depth, maintained that there could be important benefits to fracking California’s oil, “onshore [American] oil developed under a very highly regulated regime is much preferable to getting it from Venezuela and some places that don’t have environmental protections,” he said. A conversation with four experts on the possibilities and risks of fracking California’s oil.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 2, 2013



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Fracked Nation (4/2/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Apr 08, 2013


With a thriving natural gas market in the U.S., oil and energy companies are in a race for fracking rights across the country. The fracking bonanza has led to concern about the oversight of hydraulic fracturing practices. “We need to regulate,” said TJ Glauthier, former Deputy U.S. Secretary of Energy and a former board member of Union Drilling, “I think that natural gas has a very important role to play in a conversion to a cleaner economy and a cleaner future.” One notable result of the “shale gas revolution,” according to Mark Zoback, Professor at the Stanford University School of Earth Sciences, is that “CO2 emissions from coal are down 20% just in the last few years.” But higher than expected methane leakage could mean that “the actual lifecycle carbon impact of burning natural gas is actually worse than coal,” said Kassie Siegel, Senior Counsel at the Center for Biological Diversity. A conversation with three experts on the state of hydraulic fracturing and regulation in America.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on April 2, 2013



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Tomorrowland (3/22/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Mar 25, 2013


“It’s essential for China to be on a low emissions growth pattern,” said Jian Lin, Chairman of The China Sustainable Energy Program. China’s cities are growing at a breakneck pace and city planners are struggling to keep up, “we are racing against time,” said Lin, “people just don’t wait until you figure out how to solve a sustainable design.” Ellen Lou, Director of Urban Design and Planning at SOM, says that the money the Chinese government spent on building out transit infrastructure “is one of the best things that they have done.” The question, she said, is “how do you make higher density livable?” Two experts discuss China’s new cities and sustainable development.

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Clean Communities (3/22/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Mar 25, 2013


Coastal cities “are facing an existential threat that we are not prepared to deal with,” said Gabriel Metcalf, the Executive Director of San Francisco Planning and Urban Research Association (SPUR). The California Bay Area is wrestling with a challenge as it tries to develop sustainably to accommodate a growing population in a warming world. One way to deal with population rise and reduce emissions is to create “zones of high density” says Alex Mehran Jr., Senior VP and General Manager at Sunset Development. Carl Shannon, Managing Director at Tishman Speyer says “you have to find the right balance of economic desire and political will” to develop high density zones in traditionally suburban environments. The experts agree that the key to sustainable growth in the Bay Area is rebuilding for a more walkable and livable urban environment. Three leaders in sustainable building and development discuss Bay Area development goals.

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Game Change (3/19/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 21, 2013


“We are already paying significant economic costs” of climate disruption and they are “only going to increase,” says democratic strategist Chris Lehane. Republican strategist Steve Schmidt agrees that climate change is an economic concern but says it has to be addressed in a low cost fashion. “You need to grow the economy in order to protect the environment,” says Schmidt, “the fossil fuel economy and the energy companies have lifted more people out of poverty more than any other industry in the history of the world ever.” Lehane argues that “it has been the U.S. that has lead on global issues” and it is the U.S. that should lead in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Two seasoned political veterans discuss Keystone XL, the fossil fuel economy, and bridging the partisan divide on climate change.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on March 19, 2013



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Bracing for Impact: Bay Area Vulnerabilities and Preparedness (3/18/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Mar 20, 2013


"If we do not take the rational approach to this problem [of climate disruption] we are all facing really catastrophic impacts," said Ezra Rapport, Executive Director of the Association of Bay Area Governments. As the world warms Bay Area agencies are racing the clock to develop adaptation strategies to identify and manage risks. But with complicated and widely variable climate models it can be hard to agree on the numbers. Melanie Nutter, Director of the San Francisco Department of the Environment explained that “we as a city [San Francisco] don’t yet have an agreed upon risk scenario.” This is because “we are a very diverse region...there is no one dominant player,” said R. Zachary Wasserman, Chair of the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, “we’re going to have to figure out how to do this together.” Leaders of Bay Area agencies discuss strategies to protect our built environment and adapt to challenges in the future.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on March 18, 2013



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Bracing for Impact: America’s Risks and Resilience (3/18/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Mar 20, 2013


“The Bay Area will be here 200 years from now. It will look different. There will be some things that have changed...but you’re going to be here. Miami won’t be here 200 years from now,” said John Englander, author of High Tide on Main Street. Englander discusses how sea levels are rising putting coastal communities at risk for flooding, larger storm surges, and erosion. Drought, superstorms and other extreme weather events hit the U.S. hard in 2012. “We are seeing more extreme weather, and we likely will continue to see more extreme weather, and not only that but it will probably last longer,” says Angela Fritz, an Atmospheric Scientist at Weather Underground. A conversation on the impacts of climate change on communities in a warming world.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California March 18, 2013



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American Turnaround (3/12/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Mar 13, 2013


No private investor in the world would put money into General Motors when it was going bankrupt, says former GM CEO Ed Whitacre. “The government did exactly the right thing” bailing out the company. The politically charged electric Chevy Volt made headlines during Whitacre’s tenure at GM, but in spite of the political hits the car took, Whitacre believed and still believes that “there’s a real future for electric vehicles.” To Whitacre, the Chevy Volt is an example of “a responsible corporation attempting to do the right thing and explore new technology.” As American manufacturing moves forward Whitacre believes we need to accept that “it’s a global economy” and adapt to it. A conversation with a global CEO on General Motors about his role in the 2009 bailout and the state of American manufacturing.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on March 12, 2013



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Borrowed Wheels (3/5/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 07, 2013


As of 2013 car sharing has over a million participants in North America, says Susan Shaheen, Co-Director of the Transportation Sustainability Research Center at UC Berkeley. Are car sharing and ride sharing finally going mainstream? Panelists cite benefits such as reduced congestion and emissions. Certain car sharing startups like Lyft even give members the chance to earn some income on a car that might otherwise be sitting idle, says Kristin Sverchek, Head of Public Policy at Lyft and Zimride. To Sunil Paul, CEO of Sidecar, safety and trust are key to the ride sharing model, with 71% of Sidecar users claiming they feel safer using Sidecar than a cab. But hurdles are everywhere for this new business model and Rick Hutchinson, CEO of City Car Share, points out that innovative ideas are often hindered by slow moving insurance regulations and public policy. A conversation on the new mobility society.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on March 5, 2013



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Sharing Economy (3/5/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 07, 2013


“The distribution centers of the future are our closets and garages,” says Andy Ruben, co-founder of sharing start-up Yerdle. Entrepreneurs like Ruben are tapping into social media circles as a way to connect members to a wealth of sharing options. “Data, in many ways, is the gateway drug to the sharing economy,” says Lisa Gansky, Author of “The Mesh”. Other entrepreneurs like Billy Parish, Co-Founder and President of Solar Mosaic, are “unlocking the ability of individuals to participate in the investment process.” Crowdfunding seems to be the next wave of the sharing economy with opportunities ranging from peer-to-peer investment and Solar Mosaic’s own solar investment projects. A conversation on the exciting possibilities of a growing sharing economy.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on March 5, 2013



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February: Living a Low Carbon Lifestyle

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 01, 2013



Living a Low Carbon Lifestyle features tips on living a low carbon lifestyle and what motivates individuals to make energy smart choices. Our guests include a reverend, a Stanford psychology professor, an environmentalist, a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and drivers who love their electric cars. On the next Climate One.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California



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Individual Matters (2/12/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Feb 13, 2013


What matters more when addressing climate change: individual action, corporate action, or policy change? In all cases, the key to change is disrupting default behaviors. Target, Walmart, and American Airlines are all very good at using "nudges" to disrupt our behavior and get us to buy more stuff, says Gernot Wagner (Author, 'But Will the Planet Notice?'; Economist, EDF). "The trick,” he says, “is to use behavioral nudges on a policy level to move everyone in the right direction [for sustainable behaviors.]" Individual action matters too, says Christopher Jones (Co-Chair, Behavior, Energy & Climate Change Conference; Researcher, CoolClimate Network), once you take one small action you are far more likely to take another in an “on-ramp” to collective action. But “there are some decisions that matter more than others,” contends Glen Low, (Principal, Blu Skye). By reaching decision makers in corporations that have a lot of influence, such as Walmart, he says you can get “systemic change with a handful of people.” A conversation between experts on motivating change.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 12, 2013



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Solar Flares (2/5/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Feb 06, 2013


Through all the growing pains and political attacks, the U.S. solar industry is still moving ahead. But it still only accounts for 1 percent of all U.S. electricity. With the market driving down cost going solar “makes perfect economic sense,” says Marco Krapels.

Founders of three large solar firms and a banker talk about tapping the sun to create jobs, investment opportunities, and the shadow of China.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 5, 2013



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Driving Growth (2/4/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Feb 05, 2013


An energy “renaissance” is happening in the U.S. and Rhonda Zygocki, Executive VP of Policy and Planning at Chevron, says it is “driven by innovation” and the natural gas and oil reserves trapped in slate. This renaissance is not without its issues and Fred Krupp, President of the Environmental Defense Fund, warns that “while the economic benefits [of fracking] are obvious, the environmental implications of not doing this right in some cases are equally obvious.” Krupp warns that the fragmented nature of the industry makes it resistant to change and regulation. Zygocki walks us through some of the innovations and changes Chevron is introducing for safer and more efficient energy production. To find a way to reduce emissions in the future “we need to look at solutions at scale,” says Zygocki who questions the ability of renewables such as solar to scale up in time. Krupp sees California as the future of renewable technology and says that there’s “nothing like a profit motive” to boost innovation. A conversation between Chevron and EDF on the issues surrounding the hydraulic fracturing industry and powering America’s economy.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on February 4, 2013



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Generation Green (1/29/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jan 30, 2013


Social entrepreneurs and youth advocates are reaching out to schools across the country to engage the next generation in the climate dialogue. It’s not just about facts and numbers, but “comes down to telling the story right,” says Mike Haas, Founder of the Alliance for Climate Education. Engaged kids mean engaged families and entrepreneurs like Carleen Cullen, Founder & Executive Director of Cool the Earth, are building on this “symbiotic” relationship to educate communities. Skeptics might discourage some, but youth advocate Rosemary Davies says, “like with any idea there is going to be some resistance, but there is a consensus that climate change is real.” A conversation about how youth can build a better future, starting now.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on January 29, 2013



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Clean Clothes (1/25/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 25, 2013


From organic cotton to recycled zippers many clothing brands are trying to establish their bona fides with consumers who care about the health of their bodies and the planet. To reduce impact, leaders of the $200 billion U.S. clothing industry are calling for collaboration between companies and a two-way dialogue with consumers. “No one company, no matter how big it is, can change the world itself on an issue this complex,” says Chip Bergh, CEO of Levi Strauss & Co. In efforts to reduce the footprint of the clothing industry, Patagonia and Levi’s are calling for conscious consumerism. “We want to encourage our customers to use [our product] as much as they can as long as they can,” said Rick Ridgeway, VP of Environmental Affairs at Patagonia, “capitalism based on growth is not sustainable.” Listen to a conversation between Levi’s and Patagonia on making America’s clothing industry more sustainable.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on January 25, 2013.



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Power Mix (1/15/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jan 16, 2013


Power Mix


Cheap natural gas is changing the energy mix in America. Energy companies are increasingly making the switch from coal to cheaper, cleaner natural gas to fuel their power plants. These companies “are paying far more attention to the price of natural gas than environmental regulations,” says Trevor Houser, partner at the Rhodium Group. Shrinking domestic markets have America’s coal industry looking overseas to surging economies in China and India. Bruce Nilles of the Sierra Club Beyond Coal Campaign and Ross Macfarlane, Sr. Advisor at Climate Solutions, say developing these coal reserves would mean “game over” for global warming. Trevor Houser points out that the lower sulfur content of American coal could go a long way in reducing particulate pollution in China that drifts to the West Coast of the United States. Listen to a conversation between experts on the future of coal and natural gas.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on January 15, 2013



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Lost In The Wash (1/11/13)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Jan 11, 2013


Lost In The Wash



With everything from hand soap to glass cleaner labeled as “eco-friendly” or “sustainable” consumers are suffering from green fatigue. We are just starting “to align our spending with our values,” says Dara O’Rourke, co-founder of Good Guide. Transparency is the name of the game and social media “hashtags” mean brands “don’t get to control the message anymore,” says O’Rourke, “I don’t think they get to tell us what to believe or not to believe.” The roundtable, including William Brent, Executive VP of Weber Shandwick, and Aron Cramer, President and CEO of BSR, points out that consumer behavior is critical to understanding (and reducing) the lifetime carbon footprint of a product. Listen to a conversation between experts on the next step towards a greener marketplace.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on January 11, 2013



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Congregation Power (12/12/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Dec 13, 2012


Congregation Power

Rabbi Yonatan Neril, Founder and Executive Director, Interfaith Center for Sustainable Development, Jerusalem
Reverend Sally Bingham, Founder, Interfaith Power and Light
Reverend Ng, First Chinese Baptist Church, San Francisco

“As a priest, if I’m going to start talking about what humans are doing to the planet...I need scientific backing. I need to be in close communication with the scientific community or I have no business making those remarks,” said Rev. Canon Sally Bingham. Leaders from many religious traditions are acting as stewards of creation by powering their congregations with clean energy and encouraging smart policies in their communities. Leaders of this movement contend that all major religions have a mandate to care for creation. “Being at the top of creation we have a particular responsibility to treat it with respect,” Rabbi Yonatan Neril says.

Religious leaders come together at Climate One to discuss how their faith impacts their approach to climate change and what they are doing about it. “Solar panels and solar energy is achievable,” Rev. Don Ng told us. Listen in to hear how communities of faith around the world are getting involved to build a more sustainable future.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on December 12, 2012



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James Hansen: Stephen Schneider Climate Science Communication Award (12/4/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Dec 06, 2012


James Hansen: Stephen Schneider Climate Science Communication Award



Blurb: Dr. James Hansen, NASA climatologist, on communicating climate change to the next generation, human fingerprints on Superstorm Sandy, and inspiring action.



"I'm very disappointed [California] chose a half-baked system like cap-and-trade, with offsets," said NASA climatologist James Hansen. He prefers a carbon fee and dividend and, in the absence of a strong carbon price, says the risks of reaching climatic tipping points that could bring catastrophic consequences rise. He also said people spreading disinformation about climate change “are smart enough to know what they are doing” and perhaps should be sued "for crimes against humanity.”



Dr. Hansen is the recipient of the 2012 Stephen Schneider Award for Climate Science Communication, a $10,000 award in memory of the late great Stanford climate scientist and former member of the Climate One Advisory Council.


James Hansen joins Climate One founder Greg Dalton to discuss recent wild weather, communicating climate change to the younger generation, climate change in politics, human fingerprints on Superstorm Sandy, and inspiring action.



James Hansen, Head, NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies; Adjunct Professor, Columbia University's Earth Institute; Author, Storms of My Grandchildren



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on December 4, 2012



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Political Science (12/4/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Dec 06, 2012


Political Science


Blurb: Michael Mann, Katharine Hayhoe, and Bill Anderegg tackle the political nature of climate science and their experiences as ‘climate warriors.’



Michael Mann warns that "we can't allow science to be killed. We can't allow the scientific agenda to be set by those that have vested interests to not have the truth be unveiled." Over the past decade climate science has become increasingly politicized. Today many candidates claim the science is unsettled and scientists are the targets of smear campaigns. Climate scientists who have taken on public roles cope with personal threats, hacking attacks and assaults on their professional integrity. "We are not in this because we value people's opinions of us. We are not in this because we want to receive pleasant emails in the morning. We are in this because this is the truth and we have to tell it," said evangelist climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe.


Michael Mann, Katharine Hayhoe, and Bill Anderegg discuss their experiences as climate scientists in a field under the magnifying glass of politics, economics and amplified emotions



Michael Mann, Professor of Geosciences, Penn State; Author, The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars
Katharine Hayhoe, Professor of Atmospheric Sciences, Texas Tech University
Bill Anderegg, Doctoral Student, Stanford



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on December 4, 2012



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Carbon Math (11/9/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 09, 2012


Carbon Math



Bill McKibben, Founder, 350.org, Author, Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet
John Hofmeister, CEO, Citizens for Affordable Energy; Former President, Shell Oil Company



Activist Bill McKibben and former president of Shell Oil Company John Hofmeister come together at Climate One to discuss the current state of the rhetoric around energy and the technology behind it. While both McKibben and Hofmeister agree that the world needs better energy alternatives, they disagree on the timeline.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on November 9, 2012



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GMO: Label or Not? (10/25/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 26, 2012


GMO: Label or Not?


Jesus Arredondo, Principal and Founder, Advantage Government Consulting LLC
Kent Bradford, Ph.D., Director of the Seed Biotechnology Center, University of California, Davis
Ken Cook, President, Environmental Working Group
Jessica Lundberg, Lundberg Family Farms
Greg Dalton, Founder of Climate One, Moderator


Proposition 37 on the upcoming California ballot is a high-stakes food fight with national implications. The measure would bring California, and by extension the United States, in line with the various GMO disclosure requirements already in place in Europe, Australia and Japan. Advocates for GMO labeling say consumers have a right to know if they are eating "Frankenfood." Food companies, led by Monsanto, Cargill, and General Mills, along with other critics, say disclosure would be misleading and alarm consumers.


A Reuters story recently reported the proposition “could upend the U.S. food business from farm to fork if it prompts makers of popular foods to dump GMO ingredients.” What do we know about the safety of food with GMO ingredients? How would labeling impact the national food system? How much would it cost? Polls indicate voters favor GMO disclosure, but opponents, led by Monsanto, have a hefty war chest. Join a lively debate about one of the most controversial issues in the upcoming election.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on October 25, 2012



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Tear Down that Dam? (10/15/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 16, 2012


Tear Down that Dam?


Susan Leal, Former General Manager, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission
Mike Marshall, Executive Director, Restore Hetch Hetchy
Spreck Rosekrans, Director of Policy, Restore Hetch Hetchy
Jim Wunderman, CEO, Bay Area Council
Greg Dalton, Founder of Climate One, Moderator


A measure on the San Francisco ballot asks voters to consider a two-phase plan that could lead to draining the Hetch Hetchy reservoir. Leaders on both sides of the debate will tackle this thorny issue and look at other regional water issues in the age of climate disruption.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on October 15, 2012



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Energy and the Election (10/9/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Oct 11, 2012


Energy and the Election


Donnie Fowler, Founder and CEO, Dogpatch Strategies
Bob Inglis, Former Republican U.S. Representative, South Carolina
Bill Reilly, Former Administrator, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Tom Steyer, Managing Partner, Farallon Capital
Greg Dalton, Founder of Climate One, moderator


High gasoline prices, hydraulic fracturing and the Keystone XL Pipeline have kept energy in the headlines. How will that play this election cycle? What national policies should be pursued to advance American competitiveness? How is natural gas changing energy politics in America? Are Democrats sanctimonious and Republicans delusional about climate change, or is this unfair stereotyping? South Carolina Representative Bob Inglis lost a 2010 primary election after saying his party needs to stop denying mainstream climate science. What lessons can be draw from that, and what does it augur for bipartisan action on carbon pollution? Join us for a conversation on powering America's future.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on October 9, 2012.



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Clean Money (9/28/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Oct 03, 2012


Clean Money



Dennis McGinn, President, American Council on Renewable Energy
Clint Wilder, Author, Clean Tech Nation
John Bohn, CEO, Renewable Energy Trust


The funding outlook is cloudy for parts of the clean energy sector. Production tax credits for wind energy may expire at the end of the year, and some members of Congress are taking aim at military spending on innovative biofuels as Pentagon budget cuts loom. Since the Solyndra disaster, there's been vigorous debate about what level of risk government should take with taxpayer money. Yet many major advances in American energy and transportation – from jet engines to interstate highways and nuclear power – involved public-private partnerships.


Can government and business partnerships around clean fuels be forged in the current political climate? What technology areas are most promising? What policies are having the most impact? Join a discussion about getting the money flowing so clean energy can flow.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 28, 2012



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Green New Deal (9/17/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Sep 18, 2012


Green New Deal


Michael Grunwald, Senior National Correspondent, Time; Author, The New New Deal
Nancy Pfund, Managing Partner, DBL Investors


Is the Obama stimulus package working to create promised jobs? What is politics and what is truth?


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on September 17, 2012



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Building Green Cities (9/7/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Sep 17, 2012


Building Green Cities
David Gensler, Executive Director, Gensler
Craig Hartman, Design Partner, SOM
Michael Deane, Chief Sustainability Officer, Turner Construction
Phil Williams, Vice President, Webcor Builders


How are some of the largest building design and construction firms meeting client goals for more efficient resource utilization and cleaner built environments?


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on September 7, 2012



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Building Innovation (9/7/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Sep 17, 2012


Building Innovation
Gary Dillabough, Managing Partner, Westly Group
Ann Hand, CEO, Project Frog
Kevin Surace, Founder, Serious Energy


Cleantech entrepreneurs are changing the way buildings are designed and manufactured, saving time, costs, and energy -- but they face many challenges.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on September 7, 2012



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EV Riders (8/20/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Aug 22, 2012


EV Riders


John Kalb, Founder, EV Charging Pros; Owner of a BMW ActiveE
Andrea Kissack, Senior Editor for Quest, KQED
Felix Kramer, Founder, CalCars; Owner of a Chevy Volt and Nissan LEAF


What makes electric cars so appealing to drive? Is range anxiety really a serious concern? Climate One asks three Bay Area electric vehicle owners what it’s like to be ahead of the curve of the transportation frontier.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on August 22, 2012



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Story Wars (7/10/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Jul 19, 2012


Story Wars

Carrie Armel, Researcher, Stanford; Co-Chair, Behavior, Energy and Climate Change Conference
Jon Else, Cinematographer, Last Call at the Oasis; Professor of Journalism, UC Berkeley
Jonah Sachs, Co-founder, Free Range Studios; Author, Story Wars
Greg Dalton, Founder of Climate One, moderator


What's more powerful in shaping human perceptions--facts or stories? Where does the truth lie, and how will we know it?


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on July 10, 2012



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Richard Muller: Skeptical Climate Science (6/21/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Jun 26, 2012


Richard Muller, Professor of Physics, UC Berkeley
In conversation with Greg Dalton, Found of Climate One, moderator


Physicist Richard Muller challenges scientific data used in deductions about global warming, and comes to his own conclusions on a variety of energy issues.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on June 21, 2012



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Nuclear Revival? (6/11/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Jun 18, 2012


Nuclear Revival?



Jim Boyd, Former Commissioner, California Energy Commission
Marv Fertel, CEO, Nuclear Energy Institute
Joe Rubin, Reporter, Capital Public Radio/Center for Investigative Journalism
Greg Dalton, Climate One founder, moderator


"For the first time in 30 years, two new nuclear plants are in the works in the US. But in light of the Fukushima plant disaster in Japan, along with shifting energy markets, is there a future for nuclear power?"


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on June 11, 2012



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Innovation Power (6/4/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Jun 12, 2012


Innovation Power


Dan Adler, President, California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF)
Jeff Byron, Vice Chair, Clean Tech Open; former Commissioner, California Energy Commission
Matt Scullin, Founder & CEO, Alphabet Energy, Inc.
Cathy Zoi, Partner, Silver Lake Kraftwerk; former CEO, Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection


"What's on the horizon for clean tech? What are the barriers to innovation and what role should the government play? Climate One speaks to Dan Adler (President, California Clean Energy Fund), Jeff Byron (Vice Chair, Clean Tech Open; former Commissioner, California Energy Commission), Matt Scullin (Founder & CEO, Alphabet Energy, Inc.), and Cathy Zoi (Partner, Silver Lake Kraftwerk; former CEO, Al Gore’s Alliance for Climate Protection) on innovation in the clean tech world.”



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on June 4, 2012



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Green Myths Busted (5/21/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, May 22, 2012


Green Myths Busted


Diana Donlon, Cool Foods Campaign Director, The Center For Food Safety
David Friedman, Deputy Director, Union of Concerned Scientists
Betsy Rosenberg, Radio Host, On The Green Front

Concerned citizens who seek to reduce their individual impact on climate change are often misguided in their choices. Transportation? Household energy use? Food? Where can the individual make the greatest impact? Our panel of experts pokes holes in current myths and reveals how we can truly create change.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on May 21, 2012



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Steve Coll: ExxonMobil and American Power (5/8/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, May 09, 2012


Steve Coll: ExxonMobil and American Power


Steve Coll, Author, Private Empire: ExxonMobil and American Power; former Managing Editor, The Washington Post
In Conversation with Greg Dalton, Climate One, The Commonwealth Club


ExxonMobil CEO Lee Raymond said in 2000 that there was "no convincing scientific evidence" that carbon dioxide would disrupt the Earth's climate. Nine years later, CEO Rex Tillerson changed course and announced support for a carbon tax if it was revenue neutral and did not increase the size of government.



ExxonMobil's maneuvers on pricing carbon are just one theme running through Steve Coll's book Private Empire. He writes that ExxonMobil spends more money lobbying Congress than any other corporation and in some countries its influence towers above the US Embassy. Within the energy industry, it is regarded as a highly efficient and profitable corporate machine with strong safety standards and relatively low rates of accidents and spills.



Join us for the inside story of one of the world’s most secretive and powerful companies as told by a Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on May 8, 2012



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Crash Course (4/24/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Apr 25, 2012


Crash Course

Chris Martenson, Ph.D., Futurist; Author, The Crash Course
Tom Van Dyck, Senior Vice President, RBC Wealth Management

In the midst of all the doom and gloom about the economy, where's the hope for building resilience back into family and community finances? Which personal choices will make a difference in regaining prosperity? Join two experts speaking about where we've been and where we're headed.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on April 24, 2012



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Covering Electric Cars (4/23/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Apr 25, 2012


Covering Electric Cars

Chelsea Sexton, EV expert featured in Who Killed the Electric Car?
Katie Fehrenbacher, Senior Writer, GigaOM
Ucilia Wang, Contributor, Forbes

What's driving electric car sales? Who's buying, and which manufacturers understand how to market to these buyers? Does VC capital and government funding help or hinder progress? Listen in as three experts debate the issues.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on April 23, 2012



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Power Poll (4/19/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Apr 25, 2012


Power Poll

Donnie Fowler, Clean Tech Strategist
Loren Kaye, President, California Foundation for Commerce and Education
Dave Metz, Pollster, FM3

"When Americans step into the voting booth, what influences their decisions on energy issues? Join us as we explore public attitudes underlying America’s energy future.”

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on April 19, 2012.



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Water World (3/29/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 30, 2012


Water World


Laurent Auguste, CEO, Veolia Water Americas
Jonas Minton, Water Policy Advisor, Planning and Conservation League
Jason Morrison, Program Director, Pacific Institute


Wild weather and growing population are increasing stress on global fresh water supplies. Scientists project more extremes of both too much and not enough water in some places and times. In the United States, aging infrastructure is in need of upgrade, but cash-strapped governments have little appetite for big-ticket items these days. And then there’s the need to adapt California’s water capture and storage systems to the climate-driven "new normal." Is there a global water crisis? What role should corporations and governments play in stewarding water resources in the American West and in a growing and thirsty world? Join us for a look into the future of the essence of life.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on March 29, 2012



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Speaking Youth to Power (3/26/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 29, 2012


Speaking Youth to Power


Abigail Borah, student, SustainUS.org
Tania Pulido, Green For All Fellow; Brower Youth Award winner
Adarsha Shivakumar, Stanford student, litigation plaintiff


From courtrooms to diplomatic enclaves, youth advocates are clamoring to make their voices heard. Climate Progress dubbed 21-year-old college student Abigail Borah the “Durban Climate Hero” by for her appeal for faster action at a recent UN climate conference. Other advocates are filing suits claiming the U.S. and state governments have a legal responsibility to protect the atmosphere for future generations. Join us for a conversation with youth trying to build a cleaner future starting now.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on March 26, 2012



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Going Local (3/23/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Mar 26, 2012


Going Local



Dan Rosen, Founder and CEO, Solar Mosaic
Michael Shuman, Author, Local Dollars Local Sense
Andrew Swallow, Founder, Mixt Greens; Author, Mixt Salads: A Chef's Bold Creations



After decades of globalization there’s a new current pulling the other direction. Local food caught on and now people are thinking about buying other products from another county instead of another continent.



This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on March 23, 2012.



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GM CEO Dan Akerson (3/7/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 08, 2012


GM CEO Dan Akerson

Dan Akerson, Chairman and CEO, General Motors


THaving posted the most profitable year in it history, General Motors seeks to drive technology toward a cleaner future. GM CEO, Dan Akerson says the “new GM” wants to be
part of environmental solutions not the problem. He also talks about the Chevy Volt, climate-driven business risk, and funding of the controversial Heartland Institute.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on March 7, 2012



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Covering Carbon (3/02/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 08, 2012


Covering Carbon


Felicity Barringer, Reporter, The New York Times
Marc Lifsher, Reporter, Los Angeles Times


California’s scheme to reduce carbon pollution is forging ahead even though Washington DC and other states have hit the brakes on similar efforts. How is the state’s main climate law (AB 32) holding up in a national political environment hostile to any environmental regulations? How well is the mainstream news media covering the complex and murky world of carbon trading? Is the media giving people who deny basic climate science too much voice? We’ll discuss the news media and energy markets and politics with leading reporters on the beat.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on March 2, 2012.



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From Durban to Rio (2/29/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Mar 02, 2012


From Durban to Rio


Tom Heller, Executive Director, Climate Policy Initiative; Professor, Stanford Law School
Marc Stuart, Co-Founder, EcoSecurities
Mark Schapiro, Senior Correspondent, Center for Investigative Reporting


None of the experts gathered for this Climate One conversation expect much to come from the United Nations climate change negotiations.That’s not to say they think action has stalled. Rather, the panel, which included an international environmental lawyer, a clean energy investor, and a muckraking journalist, say to expect countries to continue investing in clean energy and carbon-cutting projects within their borders.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California in San Francisco on February 29, 2012



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Cruising 55 (2/13/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Feb 24, 2012


Cruising 55


Shad Balch, Environment and Energy Communications, General Motors
Roland Hwang, Director of Transportation Programs, NRDC
Mary Nichols, Chair, California Air Resources Board
Chris Paulson, VP of Strategy, Coda Automotive


Have regulators, environmentalists, and automakers reached d?tente on the need to boost the fuel efficiency of America’s vehicle fleet? If one judges by the bonhomie displayed on stage by California’s top climate official, a transportation advocate, and two auto-industry executives during this Climate One panel, the answer is a resounding yes.The panel convened two weeks after the California Air Resources Board unanimously approved new rules that will require nearly 1.5 million zero-emission vehicles to be on the road by 2025.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on February 13, 2012



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Power Plays: Media Roundtable (2/3/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Feb 08, 2012


Power Plays: Media Roundtable


David Baker, Reporter, San Francisco Chronicle
Dana Hull, Reporter, San Jose Mercury News
Cassandra Sweet, Reporter, Dow Jones


Clean energy has boomed in recent years, but to guarantee its continued growth investors need stable, long-term policy support, according to three of the Bay Area’s leading energy journalists.The panel also warns consumers to brace themselves for higher energy prices, predicting that California drivers could be paying $5 per gallon for gas as early as this summer.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on February 3, 2012



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Sun Spots (1/30/12)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Feb 02, 2012


Sun Spots


David Hayes, Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Interior
John Laird, Secretary, California Resources Agency
David Festa, West Coast Vice President, Environmental Defense Fund
Michael Hatfield, Director of Development, First Solar


Can large solar farms and the California desert co-exist? Yes, says this expert panel, which includes state and federal policymakers, California Resources Agency Secretary John Laird and Deputy Interior Secretary David Hayes; an environmental advocate, David Festa, with the Environmental Defense Fund; and a project developer, Michael Hatfield, with First Solar. All agree that the Obama administration is on the right track with its commitment to bring relevant stakeholders together early in the process and in its preference for reviewing projects on a landscape scale.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on January 30, 2012



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Wild Weather (12/13/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Dec 16, 2011


Wild Weather

Chris Field, Director, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science
Dave Friedberg, Founder & CEO, The Climate Corporation
Karen O'Brien, Professor of Sociology and Human Geography, University of Oslo
Michael Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton


2011 has been marked by extreme weather. In the U.S. alone, a record dozen disasters caused more than $1 billion in damage. This, and the release last month of a special UN report on extreme weather, was the backdrop for this Climate One panel featuring three leading climate scientists. Chris Field, Professor of Environmental Earth Sciences, Stanford University, is Co-Chair of the IPCC working group that produced the extreme weather report. He says the report reached three main conclusions: that extreme weather events are increasing; that losses are increasing; and that there’s a lot we can do about it: “smart things that don’t necessarily cost a lot that can be protective of assets and protective of lives.” What the extreme weather events tell us, says Michael Oppenheimer, Professor of Geosciences and International Affairs, Princeton University, is that “the climate is changing, and we have to learn how to deal with that. The good news, as Chris said, is that there are a lot of specific examples where we have been successful. We’re falling behind right now. But, at certain places, at certain times, people have done a very good job.” One area acutely threatened by climate change is food production, where decades of steady gains could be reversed. Chris Field notes that global food production has increased by a predictable 1% to 2% per year over the past 50 years. But, he warns, “I see food security at the heart of a perfect storm.” One proven hedge against this uncertainty is resiliency, says Karen O'Brien, Professor of Sociology and Human Geology, University of Oslo. “A lot of people think of resilience as going back to what it was before, but it’s also about being adaptive, being able to deal with these changes that are coming in a way that has a short- and long-term perspective.” The reality of extreme weather is forcing impacted individuals – whatever their personal beliefs about climate change – to acknowledge that something is amiss. “What we hear a lot from farmers, for example, is that they don’t really think about climate change by reading headlines about climate change forecasts,” says Dave Friedberg, Founder and CEO, The Climate Corporation. “They think about climate change when they’ve had a significant loss two, three years in a row. I think the psychology of risk and the psychology of loss is such that you don’t necessarily think about it unless it is something you can relate to, or there’s an experience you’ve had associated with it.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on December 13, 2011



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Dr. Richard Alley, Winner of the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication (12/6/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Dec 07, 2011


The Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication


Dr. Richard Alley, Professor of Geosciences, Penn State


The event is a moving tribute to the late Stanford University climatologist Stephen Schneider, as Richard Alley is honored as the inaugural winner of the Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. Alley, the Evan Pugh Professor of Geosciences at Pennsylvania State University, is also host of the PBS documentary "Earth: The Operators Manual." Alley and Climate One’s Greg Dalton talk about the challenges confronting scientists who carry on Schneider’s legacy of communicating climate science to the public and policymakers. The intent of the PBS series and companion book, Alley says, is to present both the risks and opportunities presented by climate change, and to use different messengers to tell the story. “We’re hoping to communicate more, not only the imperatives of doing something, but the amazing opportunities that are out there,” he says. The good news is that we have the tools we need to get started. “The first place to start is that we know we can get there without game-changers. This is the wonderful thing. If you can get a hundredth of a percent of the sun’s energy, that’s all of humanity’s energy. If you can put a wind farm on the windiest 20% of the plains and deserts of the world, that is far more than humanity’s energy needs.” And it helps if that message isn’t coming solely from him: “‘Climate change matters to you,’ I can say that. But why now have an admiral in the U.S. Navy say it, because climate change matters to them.” He also doesn’t want to prescribe policy solutions. “I would like very much to bring forward what we know, why it matters, and what opportunities are attached to that knowledge. And then stop and say, ‘It’s yours,’” he says. That handoff invariably involves asking policymakers, and the public, to grapple with the tricky concept of scientific uncertainty. Fortunately, Alley says, Stephen Schneider excelled at explaining uncertainty, using techniques that Alley has made his own. “You have to say: ‘This is what we know. And this is as good as it can get. And this is as bad as it can get.’ And make that very clear to people,” he says. And though his inbox is sometimes the target of skeptics’ screeds, Alley’s preferred response is to engage. “There may be bad people out there, but I don’t talk to them,” he says. “Even the ones who call me names, when you can actually sit down with them, they care. Usually they’re arguing about things that are not really what they care about. What they really care about are their grandkids.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on December 6, 2011



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Dan Miller: Boom or Bust? (11/18/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Nov 22, 2011


Boom or Bust?


Dan Miller, Managing Director, The Roda Group


Climate change “is going to dominate our world in the next century. It’s a very big risk, but it’s also a tremendous opportunity, if we make the right choices,” says Dan Miller. Miller, Managing Director at the venture capital firm The Roda Group, notes here that climate change is also treated much differently than other global threats. We spend billions on counterterrorism, to combat AIDS and other infectious diseases, to prevent a nuclear reactor meltdown, “but these kinds of risks have very low probabilities of actually affecting you. Yet we still worry about them a lot and are willing to take government action to combat them.” “Climate change, on the other hand, if we don’t address it, has the likely outcome that it will have catastrophic effects for nearly everyone,” he says. After reciting a depressing list of climate change impacts that are likely to or are already damaging the Earth’s natural systems – among them sea-level rise, drought, wildfires, melting permafrost, collapse of ice sheets , ocean acidification – Miller asks the salient question: “Why do we not act? Why, when we know the problem is huge, do we totally ignore it?” Evolutionary psychology offers some answers, he says. He identifies the factors working against action on climate change: CO2 and other planet-warming pollutants are invisible; the challenge is unprecedented; the causality is complex; the impacts are unpredictable and indirect; and all of us are complicit. Once one acknowledges the reality of climate change, there is a corresponding obligation to act, Miller says. He adds that individual action begins with asking our children for forgiveness, before moving on to reducing your carbon footprint, and believing, learning and engaging. What can countries do? Miller offers four recommendations: move to 100% carbon-free electricity in 10 to 20 years; keep tar sands and oil shale in the ground; expand R&D into geo-engineering, especially carbon capture and storage; and put a price on carbon. Miller’s preferred carbon-pricing vehicle is a so-called Clean Energy Dividend. A carbon fee would be added upstream, at the mine, power plant, refinery, or factory – enough to gradually raise the price of gasoline by $1 per gallon. Then, the federal government returns 100% of the proceeds on a per capita basis to citizens via a monthly check, with parents receiving one-half shares for up to two children.“That would drive a new economy of renewable energy and energy efficiency. I think most people would like it. I think conservatives would like it. It doesn’t raise any money for the government,” says Miller.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on November 18, 2011



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Sun Up (11/17/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Nov 18, 2011


Sun Up

Dan Shugar, CEO, Solaria
Tom Dinwoodie, CTO, SunPower

In the wake of the collapse of solar panel maker Solyndra, the solar industry has received front-page treatment for the first time. Unfortunately, most of the coverage has been negative and ill-informed. In danger of being lost, industry veterans Dan Shugar and Tom Dinwoodie tell this Climate One audience is the good news – that solar is one of the fastest-growing industries in the United States. Dan Shugar, CEO, Solaria, offers a sense of the scale of the growth. “Solar is, for the last 10 years, the fastest-growing energy technology,” he says, recording 69% annually compounded growth, 10 years in a row. “Last year, our industry manufactured, shipped, and installed for homes, businesses, and power plants 17 gigawatts of power. That’s the daytime equivalent of what 17 nuclear power plants put out,” he says. Tom Dinwoodie, CTO, SunPower, adds that even assuming a slower annual growth rate, say 15%, solar could supply 100% of the United States’ electricity requirement by 2040. “In the last three years, if you just look at North America, there’s been three times more wind and solar installations, in megawatts installed, than coal,” says Dan Shugar. Dinwoodie and Shugar also address two recent events that have buffeted the industry – German firm SolarWorld’s WTO complaint alleging that Chinese state support has facilitated the flooding of the market with low-cost panels, and the bankruptcy of Solyndra. Yes, the SolarWorld dumping complaint has divided the industry, says Dinwoodie. But “you’ll see demand in the world pick up as a result of these low costs, and there will be more a supply-demand balance in the future.” Overlooked in media coverage of the issue, Dan Shugar adds, is that China maintains a 17% import duty on foreign panels. “We think having a conversation and trying to level the playing field would be the right way to go about equalizing that,” he says. On Solyndra, Dinwoodie says the firm “is basically a victim of the success of the solar industry.” Remember, adds Dan Shugar, that Solyndra’s loan guarantee, even at $535 million, represented just 2% of the Department of Energy loan guarantee portfolio. The real issue, he argues, is that “in a capital-starved economy, which is what we are now, it’s very difficult to get loans for proven manufacturing entities.”

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on November 17, 2011



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The Great Disruption (11/7/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Nov 08, 2011


The Great Disruption

Paul Gilding, Professor, Cambridge University Program for Sustainability Leadership
Richard Heinberg, Senior Fellow, Post Carbon Institute

Growth as we’ve known it is over, say Paul Gilding and Richard Heinberg. “The idea that we can keep on growing the economy up against the physical limits of the Earth” – water, oil, and land – “is not physically possible,” says Gilding, author, The Great Disruption. “We’re in a trap really. If we grow the economy, then we’ll hit those limits again. Prices will go up. Oil prices will go up. Food prices will go up. And the economy will go down,” he says. “If we don’t grow the economy, we’re going to drown in debt. We’re going to take a while to find our way out of this morass that we’ve dug ourselves into.” Richard Heinberg, author, The End of Growth, has written that it took decades for nominal GDP to recover after the Great Depression. But the fallout of the Great Recession, he says, will be much worse. “I don’t think we’ll ever see growth the way we experienced during the decades of the 20th century.” “We have to create an economy that exists within nature’s limits,” he says. “We’ve been borrowing from the past, by way of fossil fuels. We’re also borrowing from future generations, by way of debt – all so that we can consumer as much as possible right now.” Gilding highlights one industry, solar, for which projections are increasingly optimistic. Globally, the industry is growing 40% each year, he notes, and every time the industry doubles, the price per watt falls by 20%. By 2020, he expects solar to be cheaper than coal. That’s not to say that energy incumbents will be easily swept aside. Oil firms are using every known trick, and developing more, to secure new deposits, Heinberg says: “We’re getting better and better at scraping the bottom of the barrel.”“They are fighting tooth and nail,” says Paul Gilding. “They are going to do whatever it takes to defend their cash. It’s up to government to overcome that, and to have the courage to stare them down and to enforce the change.” Such a stand is underway in Gilding’s native Australia, where parliament just passed legislation placing a price on carbon. Yes, the legislation is a compromise, with some carve-outs for energy-intensive industries, says Gilding, but “the key thing is that we’re going to cross that dreaded line that you haven’t crossed yet, which is that we’re saying nationally: you have to deal with the issue.” “I think our country has a larger capacity for denial,” says Richard Heinberg, an understatement that draws laughs. “I think we’re going to have to hit the wall before we see fundamental change.”

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San francisco on November 7, 2011



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Energy Innovation: Overhaul or Tweak? (11/3/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Nov 03, 2011


Energy Innovation: Overhaul or Tweak?

Severin Borenstein, Co-director, Energy Institute, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Richard Lester, Director, MIT Industrial Performance Center
Dan Reicher, Executive Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford


America’s innovation engine is the envy of the world, yet it struggles to deploy new technology at the scale commensurate with its economic might. This panel of experts from three of the nation’s leading universities says that the U.S. risks falling behind if it refuses to address the technical, financial, and political barriers slowing energy innovation. Richard Lester, Director, MIT Industrial Performance Center, lays out what he calls the three waves of energy innovation: energy efficiency in this decade; the scaling of low- or de-carbonized energy supply technologies beginning in 2020 and running through about 2050; and breakthroughs we don’t even know about today, or may know about but are in the lab stage, but that can take decades to mature. Dan Reicher, Executive Director, Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance, Stanford University, is especially bullish on the promise of Lester’s first wave, energy efficiency. “It is the low-hanging fruit, and it’s also the low-hanging fruit that grows back. We don’t use it up,” he says. Reicher says that energy efficiency and other low-carbon technologies are needlessly held back because we ignore one or more critical criteria: technology, policy, and finance. And even when easy efficiency gains are there to be had, such as in new cars, says Severin Borenstein, Co-Director, Energy Institute, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley, we are slow to act. “The technologies are getting better, but gasoline, for the most part, remains cheap. When you ask people how much they need to save to drive a smaller car, it’s a lot more than most people are willing to give up,” he says. These difficulties and more – think our broken political system – have convinced Richard Lester that a new approach, one not dependent upon raising the price of energy, is necessary. “It may be time for a shift in the policy debate to focus less on what is certainly the key requirement of increasing the price of energy to reflect these costs and focusing more on the other half of the equation, which is figuring out how to reduce the cost of the things that we actually want, which are low-carbon energy technologies and efficiency,” he says. Dan Reicher shares Lester’s concern about our broken politics, particularly as it is manifested in the GOP focus on the bankruptcy of Solyndra. “We may be demanding that anything that we put money into has got to show very reliable, very quick success. And not allow for what innovation requires, which is placing bets,” he says. Severin Borenstein urges policymakers to ramp up funding for basic science research, in part because he is pessimistic that existing renewable energy technologies will be sufficient. “The technologies that are going to solve this problem don’t exist yet,” he says, adding that “most of the technologies that exist don’t have the potential to be cost-effective with fossil fuels.” “We can’t take our eye off the price on carbon,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on November 3, 2011



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William Clay Ford, Jr. (10/27/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 28, 2011


William Clay Ford, Jr.

Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Co.

It might sound strange coming from the scion of a family whose name is synonymous with cars, but Bill Ford is worried about a world with too many automobiles. “Even if we clean up our cars, 4 billion clean cars is still 4 billion cars,” he tells this Climate One audience. “Most everybody has been focused on CO2 and fossil fuels and the effect that has on us politically and environmentally. That’s absolutely an appropriate focus,” says William Clay Ford, Jr., Executive Chairman, Ford Motor Co. “But I have started to realize that there is this other looming issue lurking out there that nobody was focused on, and that’s what I started calling ‘global gridlock.’” In a world of 4 billion cars, “How are they going to move? How are we as mobility providers going to provide solutions, and not be part of the problem?,” he asks. His answer, to a large degree, is technology. Ford gives an example. His company is testing a fleet of demonstration vehicles outfitted with vehicle-to-vehicle information technology. Say you are about to enter an onramp for the freeway. Five miles ahead of you, another car rolls to a halt in stop-and-go traffic. You would receive an alert about the traffic jam and be given an alternate route to save time and prevent a larger back-up. Climate One’s Greg Dalton asks if Ford and other automakers feel threatened by the increasingly popular trend of urban car-sharing such as Zipcar. Without hesitating, Ford says: “I think it’s a great opportunity. People don’t have to own cars; they want to have access to cars.” Beyond giving customers access to mobility, Ford stresses his company’s commitment to changing the way cars are fueled. It is investing in R&D in compressed natural gas, hydrogen, fuel cells, and biofuels. But “we are making big bets on electric,” he says, with an all-electric Focus coming later this year and a plug-in model next year. Ford says that his company is also committed to improving the fuel economy of every model it makes. Four years ago, the company set a goal of being the fuel economy leader in every model category. Ford is investing in a suite of technologies, Bill Ford says, because “we really don’t know how the world is going to break out.” He adds: “Until this nation has an energy policy, which we desperately need, all of this is going to be sub-optimized.”

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 27, 2011



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US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR) (10/26/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Oct 27, 2011


US Senator Jeff Merkley (D-OR)


America should wean itself from foreign oil and invest in clean energy technologies and infrastructure. Join us for a broad conversation about what Congress could do to promote electric cars, create jobs and spur development of biofuels from forests and agricultural lands.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 26, 2011



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Beyond Petroleum: Lessons from the Gulf of Mexico (10/21/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 25, 2011


Beyond Petroleum: Lessons from the Gulf of Mexico


Bill Reilly, Co-Chair, National Oil Spill Commission
Bob Graham, Co-Chair, National Oil Spill Commission


More than a year after oil stopped gushing into the Gulf, the co-chairs of the commission tasked with investigating the Deepwater Horizon oil spill appear together in this Climate One panel to assess the nation’s response to the disaster. Bill Reilly and Bob Graham commend the Obama administration for overhauling regulation of the offshore oil industry, and praise the oil industry for initiating internal reforms, but they blast Congress for doing next to nothing to respond to the spill. Former EPA Administrator Bill Reilly says that the administration and the oil industry have heeded the call for reform. “The systemic reforms that we recommended are underway, certainly in the Interior Department under the direction of Michael Bromwich at BOEMRE and Secretary Salazar. They’ve issued any number of new rules on safety and environmental management that are long overdue, I think, and very defensible, very professional, and very appropriate.” Less expected has been the aggressive push by the oil industry to take control of its own conduct. “Very promising, and to some extent surprising, has been the response of industry,” says Reilly. “Frankly, industry has done more than Congress to respond to our report,” he says. Asked by Climate One’s Greg Dalton to grade the government and industry implementation of commission’s report, former U.S. Senator Bob Graham says: “Probably, in both places, it would be ‘incomplete.’ The actions that have been taken at the executive level in the federal government are very encouraging.” As for Congress, Graham is less than impressed. “The Congress would not get a very good grade because they have essentially done nothing, and in some instances have gone backward.” Reilly and Graham express frustration that the five Gulf states have been unable to reach agreement to settle monetary damages and fund restoration. “We’re still waiting to see what the final settlement looks like, where the money goes,” says Reilly, but “one hopes it goes to restoration when it’s finally allocated.” Graham and Reilly also want money dedicated to monitoring potential health impacts of the spill for residents and those who consume Gulf seafood. “To fully assess the health implications of this event, and the environmental implications, we’re going to require an extended period of time and a substantial investment in research,” Graham says. Graham and Reilly also agreed that we need to reduce the demand for oil – and hence the need for more drilling – altogether. “I don’t see the United States engaged in any serious thinking about what its economy is going to be in the post-oil era,” Graham says.This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 21, 2011


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 21, 2011



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Beyond Petroleum: Navy Seals Leading the Charge (10/21/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 25, 2011


Beyond Petroleum: Navy Seals Leading the Charge


Jackalyne Pfannenstiel, Assistant Secretary of the Navy, Energy & Installations
Jeremy Carl, Research Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University


The U.S. military has ambitious plans to reduce its dangerous dependence on oil and other fossil fuels. Can the buying power of the Pentagon drive innovation in new energy technologies and create markets? This conversation explores how the U.S. Navy and other military branches can align their intellectual and financial capital to accelerate and broaden the transition to cleaner sources of electricity and transportation fuels for American forces and the American economy.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 21, 2011



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Saltworks and Beyond (10/18/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Oct 19, 2011


Saltworks and Beyond

Peter Calthorpe, Principal Architect, Peter Calthorpe Associates
David Lewis, Executive Director, Save the Bay
Jack Matthews, Mayor, San Mateo


The debate over Saltworks, a proposal to build 12,000 homes on former salt ponds in Redwood City, is a harbinger of coming development fights in the age of climate change. In this October 18 Climate One debate, architect Peter Calthorpe argues that the need for housing in the San Francisco Bay Area is so great that infill development alone can’t meet demand; conservationist David Lewis counters that developing one of the region’s last unprotected wetlands is not worth the cost. “This is not a site for housing,” says Lewis, Executive Director, Save the Bay. “This one area in Redwood City was held onto by the Cargill Salt Company because they wanted to develop it,” he says. “They have no entitlement to develop it. The city’s general plan says it should remain as open space. It’s a priority area for acquisition by the federal wildlife refuge.” “I do have some concerns about it,” says Jack Matthews, He concedes that the development, as planned, seems isolated. Peter Calthorpe, Principal Architect, Calthorpe Associates, argues that Saltworks needs to be assessed not as a stand-alone development project but as a response to regional pressures. “The larger context is that for a very long time we’ve been building more jobs than housing—particularly in the west side of the Bay, in Silicon Valley and the Peninsula. The jobs housing balance has been so askew that we have people commuting from outside the nine-county Bay Area. We’ve been pushing housing way to the periphery.” Citing the Association of Bay Area Governments, Calthorpe says the region will need 72,000 new housing units to keep up with expected demand. There is no way to satisfy demand by only building transit-oriented development along El Camino Real, the region’s main north-south artery, he says. Calthorpe challenges David Lewis to answer how the region can reach a jobs-housing balance without employees moving to sprawling developments in Tracy or Livermore or Gilroy, if projects such as Saltworks aren’t built. “When you push housing farther and farther to the periphery because you don’t want to face up to the challenge in these jobs-rich areas, the environmental footprint, carbon emissions, VMT [vehicle miles traveled], energy consumption, and land consumption—because we all know it’s lower density once it gets out there – all of that, in many cases, is on pristine habitat or farmland.”We do it by building on already developed land and re-configuring our cities, Lewis answers. Saltworks “should have been dead on arrival in the beginning because it’s not the right place,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 18, 2011



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Daniel Yergin: On Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World (10/13/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 18, 2011


On Energy, Security and the Remaking of the Modern World


Daniel Yergin, Executive Vice President and Chairman, IHS Cambridge Energy Research Associates; CNBC Global Energy Expert; Author, The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World


Bullish on technology’s ability to tap previously unreachable oil and gas, energy analyst Daniel Yergin tells this Climate One audience to expect the age of fossil fuels to continue well into this century. Yergin is author of The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World, sequel to the Pulitzer Prize-winning history of the oil age The Prize. A pivotal year for Yergin is 2004 when, he says, the world woke up to the surge in energy demand in emerging markets, notably China. After Yergin’s opening remarks, Climate One’s Greg Dalton reads a 2010 statement from International Energy Agency Chief Economist Fatih Birol expressing concern over rising global oil demand and urging a transition from oil. Yes, the statement was reasonable, Yergin says, we will run out of oil someday. But “we’ve run out of oil – and I don’t say this facetiously – five times.” Referring to the oil shocks of the 1970s, Yergin says, “There are people in this room who know very well that we were going to fall off the oil mountain – and production is now up 30%. We haven’t used up half the world’s oil; we’ve maybe used up 20% of the world’s oil.” Keeping up with demand isn’t just about making new discoveries, Yergin says. Also important are extensions and additions to existing oil fields, prolonging the life of oil plays thought to be exhausted. “It’s technology,” he says. “There’s a tendency to think that technology stagnates, that where you are is where you are going to be. But, in fact, the industry is basically run by scientists and engineers who are trying to push the technology along.” During the audience Q&A, Yergin is asked if he agrees fossil fuel subsidies needed to be reduced to level the playing field for renewables entering the market. “The subsidies question is very complex, and it really depends upon definition,” he says. Jobs are being created in the renewable industry, he says, “but I think the thing we’ll probably see in the next month or so is the fact that in the last three or four years – and this seems counterintuitive – a lot more jobs have actually been created in the conventional energy industry than in the green industry. That doesn’t mean that’s going to be the case five years or 10 years from now when those industries are much more mature.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 13, 2011



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Red Alert: China Time, China Scale (10/12/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 18, 2011


Red Alert: China Time, China Scale


Peter Greenwood, Executive Director of Strategy, China Light and Power Group
Stephen Leeb, Co-author, Red Alert
Alex Wang, Visiting Professor, UC Berkeley School of Law
Julian Wong, Attorney, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati; Former Advisor, U.S. Department of Energy


The four China watchers assembled for this Climate One panel debate the motives for, and the implications of, China’s domestic climate action, particularly its abundant clean energy investments. Stephen Leeb, co-author, Red Alert, is the panel’s contrarian. “I don’t think China does anything with the world’s interest at hand; I think they do everything with China’s interest at hand. Climate change is very much a mixed bag for them. Much more important to them is the issue of resource scarcity.” Leeb was suspicious of the intent of China’s renewable energy investments. China, he says, aims to control the solar market to the detriment of foreign players, including the United States. Julian Wong, an attorney with Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, agrees with Leeb, up to a point. Yes, energy is a pivotal issue in China’s economic growth, he says, and scarcity issues are “high in the minds of China’s leaders.” He also cites the increasing importance of environmental protection in preventing unrest. “Ultimately, this Communist Party is in power as long as the people allow it to be. If you are getting protests by citizens, by residents, on very fundamental needs, that’s going to get the attention of leaders.” Alex Wang, a visiting professor at the UC Berkeley School of Law, emphasizes the importance of the environmental protest movement, citing events this summer at a chemical plant in the city of Dalian and at facilities operated by Jinko Solar. “People are getting more wealthy. They are getting better educated about environmental issues, and they realize that is impacting their health, their children’s health,” he says. Counter to Stephen Leeb, Peter Greenwood, Executive Director of Strategy, China Light and Power Group, says we should vaunt not vilify China’s investments in wind and solar. “It’s not actually, necessarily, a bad story for the rest of the world. Wind turbine prices have fallen in the last couple of years by about 20%. A lot of that is due to the efficiency and scale of Chinese manufacturing,” he says. “What does that do? It means that wind projects that were previously uneconomical become economical. Sites that were previously not feasible become feasible. Subsidies that might otherwise have to be paid by Western and other governments can perhaps operate at lower levels. That’s a beneficial story.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 12, 2011



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Drop In, Scale Up? (10/6/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 07, 2011


Drop In, Scale Up?


Ed Dineen, CEO, LS9
Alan Shaw, CEO, Codexis
Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme


Next-generation biofuels are on the verge of a breakthrough but aren’t ready to displace conventional fuels, three Bay Area biofuel company CEOs say in this Climate One talk. The CEOs insist that their fuels must compete on price with conventional gasoline or diesel, with or without government support, or a price on carbon, which means they have to scale up, fast. For biofuels to scale, all agree, they must be drop-in fuels. Meaning, says Jonathan Wolfson, CEO, Solazyme, “a fuel that fits directly into the existing infrastructure without modification.” “You’ll not replace mass transportation, internal combustion engines, in our lifetime – not at mass scale,” says Alan Shaw, CEO, Codexis. “What drives it is a liquid transportation fuel. We need an alternative to that. We’re still in the very early days. And that’s because the technology is not ready to be deployed at scale.” Ed Dineen, CEO, LS9, says “for the type of technologies we’re practicing” – second-generation biofuels – “I think three years you’ll start to see plants be established. And once the initial plants get established, and we learn the technology, the acceleration will pick up,” he says. “The bigger issue is the capital intensity of these plants,” he adds. “If we see a world of $150 [per barrel] crude, I think that’s going to accelerate the pace of this technology,” he says. Agreeing with Jonathan Wolfson, Shaw says that “the key driver of economics here is feedstock costs” – in this case, sugars. Promisingly, he says, the second-generation cellulosic sugars that he and fellow panelists’ are developing run about a tenth the cost of their first-generation predecessors. The larger price competition, biofuels pitted against conventional crude, would be a fairer one, Wolfson says, if the two sides were evenly matched. “There is one thing people forget, which is that the big integrated oil companies have had 100 years to bury subsidies in all kinds of places. People are talking about Industry should stand up, and We should all be dependent on alternative and renewable fuels meeting parity with petroleum. But the truth is parity isn’t parity because of all these hidden subsidies.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 6, 2011



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Truckin' (10/5/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Fri, Oct 07, 2011


Truckin'

John Boesel, CEO, CALSTART
Mike Tunnell, Director, Environmental Affairs, American Trucking Associations
Alan Niedzwiecki, CEO, Quantum Technologies


In August, the Obama administration announced the first-ever fuel efficiency standards for heavy-duty trucks and buses. The three experts convened at this Climate One panel say that the trucking industry is ready to meet the new rules, which require semi-trucks to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2018. “What’s exciting now is that we have some decent public policy in place,” says John Boesel, CEO, CALSTART. “The engineering talent that was dedicated to cleaning up the criteria emissions is going to be applied to helping reduce our dependence on oil and cut greenhouse gas emissions. I think we’re going to see a lot of innovation in this space.” The new rules “will encourage fleets over this short term to develop best-available technology that is there today. It won’t really be technology forcing,” he says. At the same time, he adds, fleets will be looking at alternative fuels, especially natural gas, when they make economic sense. Mike Tunnell, Director of Environmental Affairs, American Trucking Associations, agrees, pointing out that with diesel prices hovering in $3 to $4 gallon range, “fleets are beginning to look more, in America, at alternative fuels and natural gas in an effort to cut some of the fuel costs.” But, he cautions, there is a flip side: the upfront costs for equipment are higher, and fuel availability becomes a concern. Climate One’s Greg Dalton picks up on the supply worries later, asking if fleet operators are concerned energy firms might not meet California’s Low-Carbon Fuel Standard, which aims to reduce the carbon intensity of California’s transportation fuels by 10% by 2020. “There will be some concerns,” says John Boesel, “but this is a regulation that will encourage them to be more innovative and more creative than they have been in the past.” David Mazaika, Chief Operating Officer, Quantum Technologies, says that plenty of examples, including hybrid buses now in service, prove that the fuel standards can be met. “It certainly can be done; the industry just needs to focus on that. Now, with the new legislation, there are some targets out there that the industry can focus on and really strive to meet.” “The technology is out there to be able to support these types of levels,” he says. “It will be a wide spectrum – everything from aerodynamic improvements to hybrid-drive systems and different fuels.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 5, 2011



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Jeremy Rifkin, President, Foundation on Economic Trends (10/3/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Oct 04, 2011


Jeremy Rifkin


President, Foundation on Economic Trends; Author, The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy and Changing the World


The world is doomed to repeat four-year cycles of booms followed by crashes if we don’t get off oil, Jeremy Rifkin warns in this Climate One talk. The solution, what he calls the Third Industrial Revolution, is the “Energy Internet,” a nervous system linking millions of small renewable energy producers. For Rifkin, author of the new The Third Industrial Revolution: How Lateral Power Is Transforming Energy and Changing the World, a seminal event occurred in July 2008, when the price of oil hit $147 a barrel. “Prices for everything on the supply chain went through the roof, from food to petrochemicals. Purchasing power plummeted all over the world that month. An entire economic engine of the Industrial Revolution shut down,” he says. “That was the great economic earthquake,” he goes on. “The collapse of the financial markets 60 days later was the aftershock. Our world leaders are still dealing with the aftershock, and have not gone to the nub of the crisis.” The reason this is happening now, Rifkin says, is that the “world is made out of and moved by fossil fuels.” “Every time we try to re-grow the economy at the same growth rate we were growing before July 2008, the price of oil goes up, all of the other prices goes up, purchasing power goes down, and it collapses.” This is a wall we can’t go beyond under the current energy regime, he says. “We’re in this wild gyration of four-year cycles, where we’re going to try to re-grow, collapse, re-grow, collapse.” The solution is a plan based on five pillars, which is being implemented in the European Union: 1) Renewable energy targets: such as the EU’s 20% by 2020 mandate 2) Green buildings: over the next 40 years, Europe plans to convert its 191 million buildings into energy-efficient, micro power plants 3) Energy storage: batteries, flywheels, and hydrogen used to smooth the intermittency of renewables 4) “Energy Internet”: create a central nervous system so that buildings can talk to the grid and sell or store power depending on prices 5) Plug-in electric and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. “This is power to the people,” he says. “This is the democratization of energy.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on October 3, 2011



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Big Green (9/28/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Sep 28, 2011


Big Green


Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club
Felicia Marcus, Western Director, Natural Resources Defense Council
Karen Topakian, Board Chair, Greenpeace USA


It would not seem a fruitful time to be on the frontlines in the fight to protect the environment in the United States, with the EPA under daily attack and climate legislation stalled. But the three environmental leaders participating in this Climate One panel note that many fronts exist outside of Washington, with at least one formidable adversary, utilities operating coal fired-power plants, forced to play defense. Until recently, says Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club, “every single conversation was about, Will we get 60 senators to pass comprehensive climate legislation – when that really represented just the tip of the iceberg, part of the conversation about climate change.” Brune and fellow panelists Felicia Marcus, Western Director, Natural Resources Defense Council, and Karen Topakian, Board Chair, Greenpeace USA, agree that D.C. politics will force environmental groups to play defense in the near term. They also stress that building grassroots support and presenting a positive vision of the future will be critical. “We’re trying to create a future in which we have clean energy, clean communities, and clean food. We have to deal not just with playing defense; we have to create a vision of the future that people are for,” says Marcus. Over the next three to five years, the Sierra Club will, as Brune puts it, focus on getting real and getting local. “It’s hard to motivate people around an issue where they get the moral imperative, but they don’t really understand what it is that you’re trying to do, and how your solutions will address the problems you’re identifying,” he says. For the Sierra Club, this means a return to its roots, a focus on the grassroots, says Brune, with the most visible manifestation of that effort its Beyond Coal campaign. Recently buttressed by a $50 million donation from New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, the campaign aims to force the retirement of one-third of the nation’s 600 coal-fired power plants over the next five years. Greenpeace likewise aims to retire old, dirty coal plants, says Karen Topakian. Its goal is 150 plants taken offline by 2015. “We’re making it tangible to people,” she says. “If you start talking about fuel in a way that’s abstract, people don’t get it.” “We are in alignment in fighting dirty fuels, and then creating an opening for clean fuels,” adds Felicia Marcus. “We’re at a place where we can use [clean energy] as a way to create and talk about a future that is at some level complex but at another much more clear to the average person.” For example, she says, NRDC is “doubling down” on an issue it has focused on for 30 years: “the very low-glamour, high-value issue of energy efficiency.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 28, 2011



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Carbon & Courts II: Cap and Trade: Fixable or Fatally Flawed? (9/14/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Sep 20, 2011


Carbon & Courts II: Cap and Trade: Fixable or Fatally Flawed?


Edie Chang, Office of Climate Change, California Air Resources Board
Brent Newell, General Counsel, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment
Bill Gallegos, Executive Director, Communities for a Better Environment
Kristin Eberhard, Legal Director, Western Energy and Climate Projects, Natural Resources Defense Council


It might be the only reference to Star Wars you’ll ever hear at Climate One. Reaching for an analogy to drive home the impact of a shrinking cap on carbon emissions in California, Kristin Eberhard, Legal Director, Western Energy and Climate Projects, Natural Resources Defense Council, asks the audience to remember the trash compactor scene from the original Star Wars.“This is the cap for Chevron. That cap is coming down on them year after year after year. And they have to figure out what they’re going to do,” she says. “In the trash compactor, there’s no out. They’re in it. And that’s what we’re finding. These regulated facilities are realizing that the cap is not changing.”“The problem with Kristin’s analogy,” interjects Brent Newell, General Counsel, Center on Race, Poverty and the Environment, to big laughs, “is that R2-D2 actually stopped the trash compactor. And they got out.” Replace R2-D2 in the analogy with political meddling and market manipulation and the two poles of this spirited Climate One exchange on the future of California’s cap-and-trade program come into focus. Eberhard and Edie Chang, Office of Climate Change, California Air Resources Board, argue that a regulated cap-and-trade system, coupled with renewable energy targets and improved fuel economy standards, will dramatically reduce carbon emissions and give communities relief from harmful localized pollutants. Newell and Bill Gallegos, Executive Director, Communities for a Better Environment, argue that regulators at CARB are choosing not to use their authority under AB 32 to target pollution at major industrial facilities, usually sited next to neighborhoods home to low-income people of color. After reiterating that environmental justice groups firmly support AB 32, Bill Gallegos says that the lawsuit these groups filed to force CARB to scrap the cap-and-trade system was a last resort. “We wanted to ensure that, as we’re reducing greenhouse gas emissions, let’s get the other stuff that is really choking people and killing them right now. We had a chance to do something good and, unfortunately, the Air Resources Board has not seized that opportunity,” he says. In response to Newell and Gallegos’ concern about local sources of pollutants, Edie Chang says, “We’re also initiating a rulemaking to ensure that the seventeen largest industrial sources in the state are going to have to implement the cost-effective greenhouse gas reductions. Programs like that will make sure that localized communities experience air-quality benefits.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 14, 2011



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Carbon & Courts I: Atmospheric Trust (9/14/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Sep 20, 2011


Carbon & Courts I: Atmospheric Trust


Phil Gregory, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy
Pete McCloskey, Former Congressman
David Takacs, Associate Professor, UC Hastings College of the Law


With climate legislation dead in Congress, and the international climate talks years from resolution, some proponents of climate action are turning to the courts in the hope that judges will compel governments to act. This Climate One panel brings together three attorneys who are pursuing climate action through a novel concept: atmospheric trust litigation. In May, Our Children’s Trust filed the first atmospheric trust suits, with young people named as the plaintiffs. The strategy couples lawsuits, which have now been filed in all 50 states and in federal courts, with the mobilization of youth. Phil Gregory, Principal Attorney, Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy and co-counsel for the federal suits, explains the strategy. “You have to say to the courts, you, the judge, need to declare that there’s a problem here, and that the government, the sovereign, is not doing enough to protect the trust.” Gregory insists that that aim of the suits is not to turn judges into policymakers. “What we want the court to do is not itself institute a regulation, or not itself say, this is what you must do, this particular act, but you, the state agencies, you, the federal departments, need to come forward with a plan that works,” he says. David Takacs, Associate Professor, UC Hastings College of the Law, concedes that atmospheric trust is a novel application of the public trust doctrine. “Part of why the atmosphere has never been considered a public trust resource is because we’ve never had to think about climate change or the atmosphere as being a renewable resource,” he says. “Nonetheless,” he continues, “if you look at what the public trust doctrine actually says, the atmosphere is no different than those other resources [water, wildlife, and land] in terms of how fundamental it is to human life for present and future generations.” Retired California Congressman Pete McCloskey notes that these suits will require judges to make a leap. But judges have done so before in our history when politicians weren’t ready to act, he says, citing the Supreme Court’s role in desegregating schools. “Never trust the government to adhere to the doctrine of the public trust,” he says. “You’ve got to force them. It’s going to be the courts that take the lead. And it’s going to be the young people that force politicians to act.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 14, 2011



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Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior (9/19/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Sep 19, 2011


Ken Salazar, Secretary of the Interior


California reservoirs are at healthy levels this year, but the state’s water system remains in crisis. Projected changes in the Sierra snowpack and precipitation patterns, along with a growing population, present challenges for hydrating the state’s citizens and economy. How will the federal government help the state secure future water supplies by aiding ambitious projects such as the restoration of the California Bay Delta and the San Joaquin River? How will it keep rivers healthy and balance the water needs of humans and ecosystems?


Prior to joining the Obama administration in 2009, Ken Salazar was a U.S. Senator from Colorado active on issues including renewable energy, food and fuel security, and the concerns of ranchers and rural Americans. Join us for a conversation with Secretary Salazar about fresh water, fishing and farming, and other resource concerns in California and the American West.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 19, 2011



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Ecosystem Services (9/12/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Sep 15, 2011


“Humanity needs nature to thrive.” For Peter Seligmann, who delivers that line, and Jib Ellison, who shares the stage with him at this Climate One panel, the abundant services provided by nature too often go unrecognized. So what are those services?, asks Climate One’s Greg Dalton. In basic terms, replies Seligmann, CEO, Conservation International, ecosystem services are what we get from the natural world. He assigns those services to one of four categories: provisions – food, freshwater, and medicine; regulating – climate, flood control on coasts; supporting: the soil and nutrient cycles; and cultural – the places we live, the places that shape our belief systems. All of them are essential for people, he says, but “we’ve lost track of the relationship that we have with nature and ecosystem services because we don’t think about our foods coming from a forest or a farm; it comes from the supermarket. There’s a real disconnect now.”Jib Ellison, CEO, Blu Skye, a sustainability consultancy, emphasizes that business is just as indebted to the natural world. “If you think about all the goods and services that you can buy in a store, all of it ultimately is coming from somewhere down the line out of nature.” “The big companies in the world with visionary leaders are realizing,” he says, “that the security of supply to serve their customers is at risk.” The grave threat to natural systems around the globe has convinced both men of the need for environmentalists to preach beyond the converted, and to engage with business, including giants such as Wal-Mart. “What I’ve always felt,” Seligmann says, “is that if the environmental community focuses on the fifteen percent of the world that are true, ardent environmentalists we’re losing, losing, losing. We’ve got to make the tent big enough for everybody. Over time, that creates trust.” An absolutely critical element to get us there, says Ellison, is transparency on costs. “The sustainable economy is only going to come under one condition: When the lowest-priced good –the lowest-priced T-shirt at Wal-Mart – is lowest priced precisely because it does the least harm,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 12, 2011



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Blessed 350: Paul Hawken & Bill McKibben (9/8/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Sep 15, 2011


In this Climate One conversation, two of the most influential environmentalists of the past 30 years share the same stage for just the second time in their long careers in public life. Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org and author of Eaarth, and Paul Hawken, entrepreneur and author of Blessed Unrest, talk about the ailing economy, the economy we must build to succeed it, and the forces that stand in the way. Climate One’s Greg Dalton opens by asking Hawken and McKibben how the United States ended up mired in recession. “We get into this predicament by artificially stimulating consumption for the past 40 years,” replies Hawken. The bursting of the credit bubble should tell us, he says, that consumerism, our longtime economic crutch, won’t get us out of this mess. McKibben agrees. Since the end of World War II he says, “the basic animating force of that economy was the task of building bigger houses farther apart from each other. It’s a project that ended up being environmentally ruinous, and socially ruinous, too.” And yet those ruins give us something to build upon. “The economy we’re moving towards looks less to growth than to durability and resilience and security. The trajectory will be more in the direction of local, instead of the ever-expanding outward globalism that’s relied on an endless supply of cheap fossil energy to make it possible.” “My only real worry,” he says, “is that climate change is happening so fast that it may knock the props out from under the whole thing before we can get to where we need to go.” The way forward is studded with challenges, Hawken says. First among them, the fear that individual actions won’t, by themselves, be enough. Small acts are rational and helpful, he says, but in the doing you don’t step back and ask: What do we really need to change? “What we need to change,” he answers, “is the system. And the system cannot change until there is a manifest crisis that is shared.” The problem, McKibben explains, is that the fossil fuel industry is actively working to block systemic change. “Most people understand that climate change is an incredibly serious problem about which we need to do something,” he says. “Our problem is far and away caused by the fact that the fossil fuel industry, which is the most profitable industry on Earth, has all of the financial means at their disposal to keep us from taking action.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on September 8, 2011



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Canada’s Oil Sands: Energy Security, or Energy Disaster? (8/30/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Sep 01, 2011


Canada’s Oil Sands: Energy Security, or Energy Disaster?


Cassie Doyle, Consul General, Canada; Former Canadian Deputy Minister of Natural Resources
Jason Mark, Earth Island Institute
Carl Pope, Chairman, The Sierra Club
Alex Pourbaix, President of Energy and Oil Pipelines, TransCanada


The 1,700-mile Keystone XL pipeline would carry heavy crude oil from Alberta to America’s Gulf Coast refineries. In this Climate One debate, a panel of experts argues for and against the controversial pipeline. For Alex Pourbaix, President of Energy and Oil Pipelines, TransCanada, the pipeline builder, and Cassie Doyle, Canada’s Consul General in San Francisco, the merits of the project are clear: America would bank a stable, secure supply of crude from a friendly neighbor. Why would the United States opt to buy crude from anyone other than Canada if given a choice?, asks Pourbaix. “To suggest that those other countries are more responsible environmental citizens than Canada begs comprehension. It is far more compelling to be getting your oil needs from Canada, rather than getting it from other countries such as Libya, Nigeria, or Venezuela,” he says. Cassie Doyle downplays the environmental impact of processing the Alberta oil sands’ heavy crude. “We assume that the oil sands production is static when it comes to environmental performance. When, since 1990, we’ve seen a 30% improvement in the carbon intensity per barrel.” Sierra Club Chairman Carl Pope and Jason Mark, Editor of the Earth Island Journal, dismiss both claims – that Keystone XL crude will stay in the United States and can be extracted without exacerbating climate change – as implausible. “This is really an export pipeline. It’s not really an import pipeline,” says Pope. “The United States is going to be used as a transit zone and a refining zone. We’re going to take the environmental risks.” Jason Mark faults the State Department environmental review for not acknowledging the pipeline’s contribution to climate change. “The U.S. State Department said that this pipeline would have ‘no significant environmental impact.’ As a journalist, that felt to me like the classic example of the headline writer not actually reading the story.” Mark highlights what is, to him, the even larger issue. “Is the United States going to be complicit in burning megatons more carbon dioxide that’s going to fuel run-away climate change?” We have a choice, he says, “Do we continue to make investments that leave us on the path of a carbon-intensive economy? Or, when do we make the hard decision that says we’re going to stop using oil?”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on August 30th, 2011



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Power Down (7/22/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Jul 25, 2011


Power Down


The Rev. Canon Sally G. Bingham, President, The Regeneration Project
Chris King, Chief Regulatory Officer, eMeter
Gregory Walton, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stanford University


Energy underpins our civilization. It’s hardly surprising that convincing people to use less of something so tied to their comfort and survival is challenging. Smart policy has given California a head start, but it’s not enough. We need to dig deeper to reap energy savings, say these three experts convened by Climate One. “I think there’s a downside in focusing too narrowly on money,” says Gregory Walton, Assistant Professor of Psychology, Stanford University. Instead, Walton and his team focus on creating the sense that saving energy is a community movement. We need to reach a point where saving energy becomes the social norm, he says, as is the case with wearing seat belts and recycling. “There’s a psychological transformation that happens,” Walton says. “It’s the same behavior, the same experience, but it comes to feel very different by virtue of its social need.” There are still other levers to pull. “I have a bit of an advantage, in that most religions can use guilt,” jokes Rev. Sally G. Bingham, President and Founder, California Interfaith Power & Light. “Sometimes it works. But mostly our congregations that are cutting their energy use are doing it for the right reasons,” she says. “Fairly often a congregation will begin this process for money saving reasons, but also because they feel they are doing the right thing” Chris King, Chief Regulatory Officer, eMeter, says customers need better information. “There’s this strong desire for more information and ability to do something,” he says. “What they really want to know: How much energy does each of my appliances use?” It’s helpful to know that electricity consumption spiked when I plugged in my toaster, he says, but without comparing it to the total, the bigger picture is lost. A better solution is to give customers a monthly breakdown for electricity use by all appliances, which he says can be done with up to 90% accuracy using a combination of the smart meter and algorithms.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on July 22nd, 2011



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Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council (6/16/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Jun 20, 2011


Robert F. Kennedy, Jr.

Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council


The fact that Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is so readily embraced by progressives can conceal that his message is an inherently conservative one. Listen to Kennedy talk for an hour and you’ll hear the words “free market” invoked more often than in any Milton Friedman tome. “Show me a polluter, and I’ll show you a subsidy,” Kennedy is fond of saying, as he does here. The market is flawed, he says, by polluters who “make themselves rich by making everyone else poor” – externalizing their costs and internalizing the profits. Kennedy, Senior Attorney, Natural Resources Defense Council, was in San Francisco to promote The Last Mountain, a new film that features his efforts to end mountaintop removal coal mining in West Virginia. If dirty fuels were forced to cover their full costs, Kennedy says, not only could they not compete in the market, renewable energy would win. “Right now, we have a marketplace that is governed by rules that were written by the incumbents – coal, oil, and nukes – to reward the dirtiest, filthiest, most poisonous, most destructive, most vindictive fuels from hell, rather than the cheap, clean, green, wholesome, safe, and patriotic fuels from heaven,” he says, to the loudest applause of the night. How did we get here? “Our democracy is broken,” Kennedy argues, with a campaign finance system “which is a system of legalized bribery.” And the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision will only hasten the decline. “The Citizens United case is the end of civilization, the end of democracy, with a 100-year-old law that said corporations cannot contribute to federal political candidates or officeholders. The Supreme Court just wiped that out, and we have a tsunami of corporate wealth that is now flooding into the political process.” Even so, Kennedy remains optimistic. “We built, in this country, more wind and solar last year than all the incumbents combined. That is a critical milestone in the adaptation of disruptive technologies,” he says. “Nobody notices it because the other one is so dominant in the market.” This is going to happen with clean energy, he says, not because government tells it to, but because the market is going to drive it there. “We can produce electric cars that cost six cents a mile to drive over the life of the car versus an internal combustion car that costs 60 cents. How long can they maintain that?”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on June 16, 2011



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Crops, Cattle and Carbon (6/14/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Jun 15, 2011


Crops, Cattle and Carbon


Cynthia Cory, Director of Environmental Affairs, California Farm Bureau Federation
Paul Martin, Director of Environmental Services, Western United Dairymen
Jeanne Merrill, California Climate Action Network
Karen Ross, Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture


Making California’s farms more energy efficient, and ensuring that farmers can adapt to a warmer planet, will be a decades-long challenge, agrees this panel of experts gathered by Climate One. That a serious conversation on the linkages between agriculture and climate change even exists in California is largely thanks to passage of the state’s landmark climate change law, AB32. Cynthia Cory, Director of Environmental Affairs, California Farm Bureau Federation, says the way to sell this new reality to her members, most of them family farmers, is to focus on the bottom line. “What they think makes sense, is energy efficiency,” she says. Jeanne Merrill, Policy Director, California Climate and Agriculture Network, elaborates on what AB32 could mean for farmers. The proposed carbon trading system, currently under development by the California Air Resources Board, would enable a farm, she says, “to reduce its own emissions, voluntarily, by being part of the carbon market.” Still other opportunities await farmers. A cap-and-trade system would generate revenue, a portion of which, her organization argues, “should go for the key things that we need to assist California agriculture to remain viable when temperatures rise and water become more constrained.” Paul Martin, Director of Environmental Services, Western United Dairymen, says farmers should be guided by a three-legged stool of sustainability: ethical production, scientific and environmental responsibility, and economic performance. His distilled message: “We need organic food because people want it. We need grass-fed because people want it. We need natural because people want it. And we need conventional because people want that kind of food.” California’s new Department of Food and Agriculture Secretary, Karen Ross, is encouraged that food had finally entered the policy debate, and expresses optimism that young people will carry it forward. “There’s a renewed interest in where our food comes from, how it’s produced, and who is producing it.” She highlights the role of cities in shaping a more sustainable food policy. “It’s the real intersection of agriculture, food, health, and nutrition,” she gushes. “Cities are saying, ‘We can do something about this.’ It’s about identifying open plots for community gardens. It’s about making sure access to nutritious, locally grown food is available. It’s about understanding what it takes to help those farmers on the urban edge, or right in our local communities.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on June 14, 2011



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Salmon Odyssey (6/3/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Jun 06, 2011


Salmon Odyssey


Phil Isenberg, Chair, Delta Vision Task Force
James Norton, Filmmaker, Salmon: Running the Gauntlet
Jonathan Rosenfield, Ph.D., Conservation Biologist, The Bay Institute


In the post-World War II boom, previous generations prioritized cheap electricity and economic development over salmon. On the West Coast, huge dams blocked rivers and sprawl fragmented habitat. If wild salmon are to survive, in California and elsewhere, we must acknowledge that well-intentioned human ingenuity has failed and that tough choices wait, says this panel of experts.“We overestimated our ability to mitigate the impacts of that dam construction,” says James Norton, writer and producer of Salmon: Running the Gauntlet. Fish ladders, hatcheries, barging – all have been deployed in an attempt to work around Mother Nature. “It’s turned out to be much more complicated than that, and it’s never really worked,” he says. The complications don’t end there. In trying to sustain a commercial salmon fishery even as dams killed fish and sprawl chewed up habitat, salmon and fisherman both lost. The result: commercial fishing is “remnant industry,” Norton says, with 30,000 jobs lost on the West Coast in past 20 years. To Norton, the lessons of this troubled history are clear. “I’d get out of the business of managing complex ecosystems. We’ve learned, over the last 150 years, there’s no appropriate surrogate for the natural productivity of these systems. We’ve learned that abundance – true abundance – is the default condition of these places. It’s not something that we tease out of them by being really clever.”For Phil Isenberg, Chair, Delta Stewardship Council, it’s all about our establishing priorities. He notes that in California demands for water and ecosystems are on equal footing, which should work to the benefit of salmon. “We have fought since before WWII the question of whether the human use of water is always more important than anything else. At least in California, the answer is No, it’s not.” Jonathan Rosenfield, a conservation biologist with The Bay Institute, cautions against pitting salmon against people or jobs. “It doesn’t need to be framed in terms of either farmers in the Central Valley have water, or we have salmon.” We do, he says, need to heed the message sent by the salmon’s decline. “Salmon are a hardy, adaptable, incredibly creative species that have survived for millions of years, through several ice ages, in every watershed up and down this coast. The fact that we can’t maintain them in the system says that we have way, way overreached any semblance of balance between human use and what our ecosystems need.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on June 3rd, 2011



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Sustainable Urbanism (5/25/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, May 31, 2011


Sustainable Urbanism


Stuart Cohen, Executive Director, TransForm
Mike Ghielmetti, President, Signature Development Group
Ezra Rapport, Executive Director, Association of Bay Area Governments


Infill development is hard. Even in California, one of the few states to have given local officials guidance on how to plan for growth, building smart, sustainable projects close to transit is a challenge, says this panel of experts.“People say, ‘We can’t do enough infill.’ There are too many obstacles to doing it right,” says Stuart Cohen, Executive Director, TransForm. “But those are obstacles we have control of. I am hopeful for the future, but we need to create a vision for the future that people can believe in. Infill development, if done right – and it’s a big if – can actually enhance our communities.” Mike Ghielmetti, President, Signature Properties, a Bay Area developer, describes a process riddled with uncertainty and risk. Will city council members be in office and planning officials their jobs over the five to 10 years it may take to build a project? Who will pay for schools and parks? Does the project site contain historic buildings? Is the site contaminated? Despite the challenges, “We have to push this vision forward,” Ghielmetti says. “We have to figure out a way to accommodate growth, so that we can provide housing for all levels of society. We can provide for new jobs and economic vitality.” Realizing that California could not meet its greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction goals under AB32 without tackling emissions from cars, lawmakers, in 2008, passed SB375. The law directly confronts emissions from transportation by forcing cities to plan for growth that reduces miles driven and clusters new development near existing transit and services. Ezra Rapport, Executive Director, Association of Bay Area Governments, says the process outlined in SB375 should help reduce uncertainty and insulate planning decisions from local political considerations. Under the law, 18 metropolitan planning organizations (MPO) will set regional 2020 and 2035 GHG reductions targets for cars. Each MPO will then prepare a Sustainable Communities Strategy that demonstrates how the region will meet its greenhouse gas reduction target. Rapport says those plans will remove some of the project-by-project uncertainty. “The election cycle is obviously paramount in all politicians’ minds,” he says. “But when they’re sitting on the city council, talking about the plan for growth that will take place over the next 10 to 20 years, they’re not really challenged in their election cycles by those decisions.” “In my point of view, if a project is properly planned, and it has community buy-in, and it’s continually refreshed, you will get support,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on May 25th, 2011



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Peter Calthorpe, Founder, Calthorpe Associates; Author, Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change (5/25/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, May 31, 2011


Peter Calthorpe, Founder, Calthorpe Associates; Author, Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change

It’s a love story gone horribly wrong. Big cars, ever-bigger homes, distant suburbs – all of it kept afloat by cheap oil. If this American arrangement ever made sense, it certainly doesn’t now, Peter Calthorpe says. Tragically, we’re perpetuating this failed system in much of the country, ignoring a cheaper, greener alternative: urbanism. “It’s better than free,” says Calthorpe, founder of Calthorpe Associates and author of Urbanism in the Age of Climate Change. “It costs less money to build smart, walkable, transit-oriented communities than it does to build sprawl. It takes up less land, it uses less energy, it uses less infrastructure, less roads … less of everything.” For Calthorpe, the ruptured housing bubble revealed a broken system but offers a chance to rethink how we build. “The real estate recession was a sign not just of perverse bank financing,” he says, “it was also a manifestation that we’d been building too much of the wrong stuff for too long, specifically large-lot, single-family subdivisions.” Why did we overbuild? “Habit and inertia,” Calthorpe says. “There’s tremendous institutional inertia” – banks, homebuilders, and zoning. “We have land-use maps that dictate low density in many areas and single use in most areas.” Calthorpe dismisses the notion that every American yearns for a piece of suburbia. Households with kids represent just 24 percent of the total, he says. The rest – singles, empty nesters, young couples – have different needs. “There are a whole range of needs out there and lifestyles that the one-size-fits-all subdivision just doesn’t satisfy,” he says. Calthorpe gives an example from his firm’s work, Stapleton, the nation’s largest redevelopment project. There, 12,000 units are going up on 4,500 acres – four times the density of the typical suburb – at the site of Denver’s old airport. “People spend more dollars per square foot for a smaller house and a smaller lot,” Calthorpe says, “but it’s in a walkable community; they’re willing to make that trade.”Change will require hard choices. Calthorpe challenges environmentalists to accept that infill alone won’t be able to meet the demand for housing; in some areas, projects cited near transit, for instance, building on greenfields may be necessary. We must also be willing to partner with developers. Development can help pay for a lot of the things we need, Calthorpe says: levees, transit extensions, flood control projects, parks, open space, and schools. “Quite frankly, the Bay Area should be thankful that we have the growth to deal with because it’s what we can use to repair so much of what we’ve misdesigned,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on May 25th, 2011



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Edward Humes: Wal-Mart; Force of Nature or Greenwashing? (5/16/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, May 18, 2011


Wal-Mart: Force of Nature or Greenwashing?


Edward Humes, Author, Force of Nature


Greg Dalton, Vice President of Special Projects, The Commonwealth Club; Founder, Climate One - Moderator


Wal-Mart is not a sustainable company, says author Edward Humes. But the mega-retailer is making money by investing in sustainability. The story of how Wal-Mart made the pivot toward green is well told by Humes, author of Force of Nature: The Unlikely Story of Wal-Mart’s Green Revolution. The unlikely hero is Jib Ellison, an elite river guide-turned sustainability consultant. Through connections, Ellison wrangled a meeting with then-Wal-Mart CEO Lee Scott. Ellison’s message for Scott: Wal-Mart’s practices are riddled with waste and it’s costing you money. The retort: Prove it. A series of early successes won over Scott and, it’s not a stretch to say, changed the direction of the company. Wal-Mart added auxiliary generators to its 7,000-truck fleet. Fuel savings netted the company hundreds of millions of dollars. Next, someone suggested that a toymaker reduce the size of the box holding a toy truck. One year, and 497 avoided shipping containers later, Wal-Mart had saved $2.5 million on fuel and materials. “That was an early proof of concept that doing something that was lowering the footprint and more sustainable – baby steps, obviously – had a big return,” he says. Executives now asked, “‘What if we go across all of our products and start looking for those kinds of opportunities,’” says Humes. “And it began to snowball. It stopped being a hippy proposition that some river guide came up with, and started being more of a no-brainer business proposition.” When Climate One’s Greg Dalton asks the inevitable question about greenwashing, Humes is ready. “It sounds like we’re up here singing Wal-Mart’s praises.” But, he goes on, “this isn’t a chorus of ‘Wal-Mart is fabulous.’ It’s a very specific change in the way they’ve decided to do business, which is to try and be more sustainable because it makes economic sense to do so.” Humes credits Lee Scott and Wal-Mart for giving peers cover to follow their lead. “They made it safe for other companies to have the same conversation about sustainability because they’ve shown maybe it’s not so crazy and risky after all. I think they are a large reason why sustainability is even a word that big businesses talk about.” For Humes, the stakes are too high to quibble over Wal-Mart’s motivations. “I think they’ve been pretty careful about saying, ‘We’re not a green company.’ They never will be a green company. They’re an out-sourced, big-box retailer that wants you to buy ever-more amounts of stuff,” he says. But “if you’re driving 60 miles-an-hour towards oblivion and slow the car down to 20 miles-an-hour, is that a good thing? I think it is.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on May 16th, 2011



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Charge It (5/12/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, May 16, 2011


Charge It?


Rob Bearman, Director, Global Alliances, Utilities and Energy, Better Place
Mike DiNucci, VP of Strategic Accounts, Coulomb Technologies
Jay Friedland, Legislative Director, Plug In America
Jonathan Read, CEO, ECOtality


Consumers are ready for electric vehicles. Entrepreneurs and policymakers just need to hustle to work out the kinks in the nationwide networks that will charge the cars, says this panel of experts assembled at Climate One. Automakers see a chance to free their customers from expensive oil, says Mike DiNucci, VP of Strategic Accounts, Coulomb Technologies: “Car companies see a golden opportunity to re-set that paradigm, and become more sustainably connected to their customers.” One company working to re-set the driving experience is Better Place, which plans to sells consumers miles through a network of charging and battery-swapping stations. “Better Place’s philosophy is we sell miles. The customer, the driver, should never have to think about kilowatt-hours. They should never have to plan, or have a timer at their charge spot,” says Rob Bearman, Director, Global Energy Alliance. Jonathan Read, CEO, ECOtality, says his company is working with utilities to develop real-time charging rates as low as $0.05 or $0.06 per kilowatt-hour during off-peak evening hours. “We’re always going to be competing between two minds: home charging and the price of gas. The consumer is always going to be making value judgments in between there. It’s our job as private-sector entrepreneurs to figure what is the tipping point” – at what point will consumers ditch gas cars for electricity, and how will they decide whether to charge in public or at home. Jay Friedland, Legislative Director, Plug In America, who has driven an electric Toyota RAV4 for a decade, says he’s confident consumers will get the price signals. He pays the equivalent of $0.75 per gallon to drive his EV, he says, cheaper than a gas-powered car by a factor of five in California, where gas is averaging over $4 per gallon. “EVs consumers will certainly get the pricing signal that comes from the utility, which is: If I get a bill, and my bill is high because I’ve been charging during the day time, and I know I can get cheap electricity at night, I’m going to go with the cheap electricity,” he says. Friedland and Rob Bearman both emphasize that EVs aren’t just cleaner and cheaper to drive; they are an important part of what Friedland calls a “virtuous cycle” – all-electric cars powered by renewable energy, stored and distributed, in part, by batteries. “Electric vehicles have the promise of taking cars off oil, and electric vehicle batteries have the promise of making the grid more renewable. As far as a cleantech solution that spans a lot of sectors in the cleantech industry, electric vehicles are really powerful,” says Rob Bearman.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on May 12th, 2011



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Pole Position (5/12/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, May 16, 2011


Pole Position

Forrest Beanum, Vice President of Government Relations, Coda Automotive
Oliver Kuttner, CEO, Edison2
Bill Reinert, National Manager, Toyota
Michael Robinson, VP for Environment, Energy and Safety Policy, General Motors
Dan Sperling, Member, California Air Resources Board; Professor, UC Davis

Fifteen years have passed since a major automaker has attempted to market an electric vehicle. Within five years, rare will be the auto showroom that lacks one. But before EVs dominate the market, industry, policymakers, and consumers will have to grapple with some unresolved questions, says this panel of industry giants and start-ups. Those questions are a primary reason why “in pure electric cars, there’s very little first-mover advantage,” says Bill Reinert, National Manager, Toyota, “when you’re out there trying to figure out where the infrastructure’s going to go, and how the tow service works, and what happens when the charger doesn’t charge your car.” Dan Sperling, member, California Air Resources Board, disagrees that carmakers should avoid positioning themselves as a leader in the EV race. Yes, there are technology and scaling challenges, he says, but being first “does create a hallo for the entire company, which Toyota understands better than anyone – what the Prius did.” Michael Robinson, VP for Environment, Energy and Safety Policy, General Motors, is coming to see the benefit of that green hallo. His company has sold 2,000 units of its extended-range electric car, the Chevy Volt, since it went on sale in late 2010. Half of those sales have come in California, Robinson says, and 90% of total sales have been to Prius owners. Oliver Kuttner, CEO, Edison2, says carmakers need to figure out how to design electric cars to be lighter and more efficient. “If we were to re-think the way a car is built, and built the car in a more efficient way, like an airplane,” you could downsize the battery – the most expensive piece of an EV, costing upwards of $10,000 to $15,000 per car. During the Q&A, an audience member asks if automakers might be underestimating the demand for EVs. “Absolutely,” responded Forrest Beanum, Vice President of Government Relations, Coda Automotive. He cites Coda’s reading of independent studies finding that 40% of consumers want to own or drive an electric vehicle. What might make the difference this time is that carmakers appear to want EVs to succeed. It might seem counterintuitive, says GM’s Michael Robinson, but “we’re actually pulling for one another to be successful. We want the technology to be successful.” Dan Sperling agrees. “We’re way ahead of the regulatory process. We’re way ahead of the market process. Standardization issues are a challenge. This is a big adventure – and hugely important. We have to make this successful,” he says.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on May 12th, 2011



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Dr. Tim Flannery: A Natural History of the Planet (5/4/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, May 09, 2011


Tim Flannery

Professor of Science, Maquarie University; Chair, Copenhagen Climate Council; Author, Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet


Greg Dalton, Vice President of Special Projects, The Commonwealth Club; Founder, Climate One - Moderator


Tim Flannery doesn’t do pessimism. Flannery explains the source of his optimism, a major theme of his new book, Here on Earth: A Natural History of the Planet, in this Climate One conversation at the Hoover Theatre, in San Jose. It stems from what he says is a popular misunderstanding of what natural selection actually is. “This is not a ‘survival of the fittest world,’” he says, referring to the phrase used as shorthand for Darwin’s perceived worldview. “This is a world where evolution has spawned extraordinary interrelationships, interactions, and co-evolutionary outcomes.” Over the last 10,000 years humanity has built what Flannery describes as a “super-organism” – a level of organization similar to that of ants, termites, or bees. And the glue that holds the super-organism together is the division of labor, interdependence. “That means,” says Flannery, “that the survival of the super-organism becomes all-important to us. We can’t afford to back up the planet.” And as “we form this one great super-organism, where we are all interconnected, we gain the capacity to deal with environmental challenges.” And for the biggest environmental challenge of all, climate change, Flannery sees reason for hope where others despair. Take COP15, the momentous United Nations climate change conference convened in Copenhagen in December 2009. Conventional wisdom holds that COP15 was a failure. Flannery disagrees. “I think it is self-evident it wasn’t a failure,” he says. The meeting was the setting for the largest-ever gathering of heads of state. Countries accounting for 80% of global greenhouse gas emissions made reduction pledges. Flannery sees progress across the map. China is a global leader in wind and solar energy, and is preparing to launch regional carbon cap-and-trade systems. India has enacted a small tax on coal and recently launched an aggressive energy efficiency trading scheme. South Korea is spending 2% of GDP on green growth. The European Union raised its 2020 emissions reduction target from 20% to a minimum of 25%. The United States is halfway to reaching its goal of reducing emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. “The job now for us,” Flannery says, “is to knuckle down and make sure that our countries carry their fair share of the burden. We need to have hope. We need look at things over the right time scale. And we need to re-gather the energy that’s required to carry this further.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Historic Hoover Theatre in San Jose, CA on May 4th, 2011



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Senator Dianne Feinstein, Member, United States Senate (D-CA) (4/27/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California
Fri, Apr 29, 2011


Senator Dianne Feinstein, Member, United States Senate (D-CA)

In conversation with Greg Dalton, Founder of Climate One at The Commonwealth Club

In this Climate One conversation at the Mark Hopkins Hotel, in San Francisco, Senator Dianne Feinstein touches on some longtime pursuits – national security experience and protecting the California desert from development. She also pledges to investigate the safety of the US nuclear fleet, protect children from toxins, and continue to shield California’s coastline from oil drilling. Feinstein is clear that clean energy is California’s future. “Energy is the largest source of new jobs for this state,” she says, citing an estimate placing the number at 100,000 additional jobs. Those new energy jobs – such as building large solar thermal power plants – should not be located, however, in the state’s undeveloped desert. “There is plenty of land in the desert that is disturbed that can be used. I think all of these [solar] companies are essentially finding other places to build, where there is no real environmental challenge to things that are endangered like desert tortoises,” says Feinstein. A trickier problem, especially in the wake of the disaster at the Fukushima nuclear complex, is how to ensure the safety of, and store spent fuel from, America’s nuclear reactors. Insufficient attention has been paid to the full nuclear fuel cycle, Feinstein says. “I believe very strongly that we need either regional or centralized nuclear fuel storage. It’s asking for trouble to keep hot rods in spent pools for decades and dry casks right along the side of nuclear reactors. I think they should be moved right away.” She also pledges quick action on plant safety. “I’m going to try to push as far and as fast as I can push to see that we really take a good look, a real examination, of all the facilities,” says Feinstein. Feinstein warns against the danger posed by exposure to chemicals, especially for infants. Of particular concern is Bisphenol A (BPA), a known endocrine disruptor, which, she says, is added to the inside of canned goods and baby bottles. “I become very interested in chemicals that are added that we know very little about,” says Feinstein. Though a proponent of greater energy efficiency (in the Q&A, Feinstein cites her decades-long quest to boost fuel efficiency standards for new vehicles as her proudest Senate achievement) Feinstein says now is not the time to raise the gas tax. “I’d go slowly on that. We have very long commutes for workers in this state,” she says. “This is not the time, when gasoline is this high, with the nation trying to pull itself out of recession. We need to keep gasoline below the $4 mark right now,” Feinstein says. She blamed speculators for the high prices: “Demand is down, and supply is even – so what can it be?” She reaffirms that oil companies should not look to California’s coast for additional supply. “The people of California have spoken through initiative. They don’t want oil drilling off the coast.”

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club in San Francisco on April 27, 2011



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Measure What? (4/15/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Apr 18, 2011


Measure What?


Michel Gelobter, Chief Green Officer, Hara
Eric Olson, Senior Vice President, Advisory Services, BSR
Glen Low, Principal, Blu Skye


Forward-thinking companies are coming to realize that sustainability isn’t just good for their bottom lines; it makes it easier to win over customers and compete in the market, say three corporate greening experts. As new tools such as carbon accounting software become more sophisticated and widely adopted, the panelists say, benefits will accrue not only to more efficient companies but to customers better able to trust companies’ green claims. First, says Eric Olson, Senior Vice President, Business for Social Responsibility, companies need to figure out whether they should they be listening to their customers, or leading them. Olson leans toward the latter. “There is a school of thought that says what we are talking about is so complex that what consumers want is for us to solve the problem for them,” he says. “They’re not going to sit down and ask for fair trade coffee – they don’t even know what that is. But they do know that they want a product that doesn’t have practices behind it that they wouldn’t believe in,” he adds. In a relatively recent shift, companies aren’t making green strides just because regulators forced them to. “Sustainability leadership about five years ago was very compliance oriented. Sustainability leadership today is about competitive advantage. It’s about innovation,” says Glen Low, Principal, Blu Skye, a sustainability consultancy. In a rapidly changing landscape, smart companies that pivot toward efficiency now, be they small firms or industry giants, will be big winners, says Michel Gelobter, Chief Green Officer, Hara.“There are a lot of companies, like a Wal-Mart, that are taking pretty aggressive actions right now,” he says. “The biggest value of scale is the size of the bets that you can win. The best use of large capital is winning big-risk bets. There’s a history of very big industries emerging from these kinds of pivotal moments.” Sustainability represents one of those pivotal moments, he says. All the positioning among agile companies looking to gain a green edge has led to a relatively new development, says Eric Olson: companies influencing policy in a progressive direction. These companies, Olson says, are clamoring for Congress to act, by stating: “We need a level playing field. We need incentives. We need long-term, predictable signals around the cost of energy sources in order to be as competitive as we should be.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on April 15th, 2011



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Cell Power: Sprint CEO Dan Hesse (4/15/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Apr 18, 2011


Cell Power: Sprint CEO Dan Hesse


Dan Hesse, CEO, Sprint Nextel


Sprint wants to be recognized as the green leader in the wireless industry, says CEO Dan Hesse in this return visit to Climate One. Hesse warns against the proposed merger of AT&T and T-Mobile and announces the release of the fourth phone in Sprint’s green series, the Samsung Replenish. “As we meet here today,” Hesse says, “the innovative power of the wireless industry is under serious threat” by the proposed AT&T acquisition of T-Mobile. Much had already been written about the possible implications of the move for consumers and pricing, he says, “but to my surprise, very little attention had been paid to its potential impact on the wireless industry’s ability to foster innovation” – including innovation in the green space. “Wireless technology helps consumers by providing new ways to reduce, re-use, and recycle,” says Hesse. Take telecommuting. Just 3.9% of Americans regularly work outside the office, he says, even though wireless technology gives them access to the same information at their office desks. Hesse says Sprint is also working to address one of the industry’s lingering dilemmas: waste. Just 10% of mobiles phones are recycled each year in the United States, he says, meaning some 140 million phones end up in landfills. In 2008, Sprint set a goal to recycle 90% of the phones it sells. The new Samsung Replenish “is as green as we could make it,” says Hesse – energy-efficient, housed in recycled plastics, and made from 82% recyclable materials. In an effort to “take green really mainstream,” Hesse says, Sprint is lowering the monthly rate for the Replenish by $10 per month. The green moves and others – including connecting ECOtality’s Blink electric vehicle charging network, purchasing wind energy for its corporate headquarters, and upgrading the energy efficiency of its network – are done to improve the company’s brand, Hesse says, but also to motivate employees. “The thing about green is your people want to make it. They’re excited and love the fact that this is what we’re really focusing on, and that we have made it to a goal they care about,” Hesse says. “I’ve had zero pushback in getting people aligned and wanting to do it.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on April 15th, 2011



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Nuclear Power: Setting Sun? (4/8/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Mon, Apr 11, 2011


Nuclear Power: Setting Sun?


Jacques Besnainou, CEO AREVA Inc.
Lucas Davis, Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Jeff Byron, Former Commissioner, California Energy Commission


This panel agrees that nuclear power, despite offering the promise of carbon-free electricity and safer next-generation reactors, is challenged by steep upfront costs and where to store spent fuel. Jeff Byron, formerly a member of the California Energy Commission, says the Fukushima tragedy offers the nuclear industry and its regulators a sobering learning opportunity. “The Nuclear Regulatory Commission just can’t go ahead and rubber-stamp license renewal applications,” says Byron. Uncertainty over how to proceed has put the United States in a bind, he adds. The US nuclear fleet is aging, with every reactor at least 30 years old. “We really want to retire them,” Byron says. “We’re extending the license of every one of these existing plants well beyond their intended design life. These are 50-year-old designs. I wouldn’t get on a 50-year-old aircraft if you paid me.” Lucas Davis, an energy economist based at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, warns against the prohibitive expense required to replace all of those aging plants. “If you look at lifetime costs, including waste disposal at the end, the levelized cost of nuclear, with updated cost and fuel numbers, is about $0.10 per kilowatt-hour compared to $0.05/kWh for natural gas. That’s a big gap,” he says. Despite the obstacles, Jacques Besnainou, CEO of US-based AREVA Inc., insists that policymakers maintain nuclear in the energy mix. ”I’m not saying nuclear is the solution. But there is no solution without nuclear energy,” he says. Lucas Davis agrees, offering that he’d welcome to be proved wrong on the question of costs. “Get in there and prove to us that you guys can build reactors on budget and an on time. That would change everything. But, to be fair, for 60 years the industry has been saying that costs are going to come down and the empirical evidence on it is pretty mixed,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on April 8th, 2011



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Energy Policy: What’s Next? (4/5/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Apr 07, 2011


Energy Policy: What’s Next?


T.J. Glauthier, Former Deputy Secretary, U.S. Department of Energy
James Sweeney, Director, Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, Stanford
Tony Knowles, Chair, National Energy Policy Institute; Former Governor, Alaska


The United States does not have a national energy policy. In this panel convened by Climate One three experts long involved in the US energy debate conspire to shape their own. The plan: steadily increasing the cost of gasoline at the pump, replace diesel with liquefied natural gas for heavy trucking, harvest cost-effective energy efficiency opportunities, and boost the production of shale gas.“These are not new issues,” says former Alaska Governor Tony Knowles. “Unfortunately, I think Tom Friedman said it best: ‘Our national energy policy is more the sum total of our best lobbyists, rather than our best wisdom.’”
Politics, not science or economics, has shaped our energy policy, Knowles says. A proposal recently put forward by the California Secure Transportation Energy Partnership, where Stanford University’s Jim Sweeney is a member, would add a penny per month to the state’s gas tax for 10 years. Tony Knowles cited a similar proposal recommended by the National Energy Policy Institute, which would increase the federal gas tax by $0.08 per gallon each year for 20 years with the goal of reducing oil consumption by 1.5 million barrels per day. Knowles and T.J. Glauthier, a former Deputy Secretary at the US Department of Energy, advocate for retrofitting the country’s heavy trucking fleet to run on domestic liquefied natural gas (LNG). “We’ve got truck stops all over the country. If we spent some money helping build out the natural gas refueling parts of those truck stops, and provide some help to trucking companies for the conversions, there’s a huge benefit,” says Glauthier. Jim Sweeney, Director of Stanford’s Precourt Energy Efficiency Center, emphasizes the abundant opportunity that exists for consumers to save money with energy efficiency improvements. We just have to get the incentives right. “People talk about those as the ‘low-hanging fruit.’ Unfortunately, some of that fruit has been low-hanging for decades now and hasn’t been picked, which means there’s a reason,” he says. Knowles and Glauthier also recommend that shale gas be a part of the energy mix. “It’s great for the American public, it’s great for the energy sector, to have natural gas supplies that are much larger, and they’re all domestic,” says Glauthier.

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on April 5th, 2011



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Jim Rogers: Duke of Energy (4/5/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Apr 07, 2011


Duke of Energy


Jim Rogers, Chairman and CEO, Duke Energy


Outside of the Oval Office, one of the most influential voices in the energy debate is Jim Rogers, Chairman and CEO of Duke Energy. Here Rogers talks about the future of energy policy in the United States in the wake of the Fukushima nuclear plant disaster. Rogers says Duke Energy will continue to pursue new nuclear power, despite movements by some governments to rethink their nuclear strategy. “With respect to Japan,” he says, “we will pause. We will learn. And that will make us stronger and better in the future.” Rogers emphasizes the safety record of US nuclear plants and the fact that nuclear plants supply 70% of America’s carbon-free electricity. “If you’re serious about climate legislation, you have to be serious about nuclear because of the role it plays in providing zero greenhouse gases, 24/7,” he says. Rogers emphasizes that Duke Energy is investing in advanced coal, solar, wind, and energy efficiency, in addition to nuclear. “From an investor’s perspective, and from our customers’ perspective, developing a portfolio is a smarter way to move forward than making a bet on any single fuel,” he says. Even though today’s Congress appears incapable of tackling climate change, Rogers says he is making decisions now in anticipation of the day a future Congress acts to limit carbon. A critical first step is junking old, dirty coal plants. Rogers notes that the United States electricity mix includes 300,000 megawatts (MW) of coal; 100,000MW comes from plants more than 40 years old and never retrofitted to remove sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, or mercury. “In my judgment those plants should be shut down, and will be shut down over the next decade,” Rogers says. Many of those obsolete coal plants will be pushed into retirement when greenhouse gas rules being drafted by the US Environmental Protection Agency come into force. Rogers prefers that Congress, not the EPA, show companies the way forward. “My hope, and the reason I don’t oppose [the EPA] doing it, is they act, and you see their rules – very limited because the Clean Air Act wasn’t written to do this. It will become obvious that Congress has to act. And maybe it will force Congress to do its job,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on April 5th, 2011



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Ted Danson: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them (3/22/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Wed, Mar 23, 2011


Ted Danson: Our Endangered Oceans and What We Can Do to Save Them

Ted Danson, Actor; Environmentalist; Author, Oceana

In the mid-1980s, actor Ted Danson was walking along a Santa Monica beach when he noticed a sign: “Water polluted, no swimming.” "Trying to explain that to my kid was hard," he says. Already wealthy and famous from playing Sam Malone on “Cheers,” Danson decided then to use his celebrity to raise awareness about the plight of the world’s oceans. “It sunk in that there is a lot that has come before us, there is a lot that will come after us, and that this time were are here is not just about us. It’s about stewardship,” he says. At Climate One, Danson talks about his life in activism and the manifold threats to oceans, the subject of his new book, Oceana. “No one disagrees that we’re headed in the direction where we could conceivably commercially fish out our oceans – no more fish, jelly fish soup – if we do not stop fishing destructfully and wastefully,” he says. Danson shares a statistic that points to one culprit: rampant overfishing by big boats. Ninety percent of the world’s fishermen are small-scale operations, harvesting from the sea as they have for millennia, he says. These fishermen account for 10% of the global take. The other 90% is harvested by the remaining 10% of boats, commercial-scale trawlers, some with nets big enough to snare a 747. Once the nets are hauled up to the boat, “a third of what the world catches is thrown overboard dead or dying because it’s not the fish they’re after.” The situation is dire, but Danson cautions against despair. He published Oceana, he says, to leave those concerned about the oceans feeling hopeful and empowered to act. “When you show up en masse in an email, you literally change policy around the world,” he says. “And it’s the best feeling. To not be overwhelmed by headlines, and to know you are doing something about it. You will know, in your children or grandchildren’s lifetime whether you succeeded. And that’s cool. That’s exciting. That’s not overwhelming or depressing.”

This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on March 22nd, 2011



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Cloud Power: Microsoft + Google (3/11/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Tue, Mar 15, 2011


Cloud Power: Microsoft + Google (3/11/11)


Rob Bernard, Chief Environmental Strategist, Microsoft
William Weihl, Green Energy Czar, Google
Greg Dalton, Climate One Founder, Moderator


Arch rivals Microsoft and Google find common cause at Climate One promoting the energy efficiency of the cloud. Efficiency alone won’t solve the climate crisis, Rob Bernard of Microsoft and Google’s William Weihl say, but smart IT can reduce emissions, help green the grid, and save money companies and consumers money. “The very simple thing is that we can save money by using less electricity. So by investing engineering effort, investing capital in making our systems more efficient, we save money in the end,” says Weihl, Google’s Green Energy Czar. Google and Microsoft operate power-hungry data centers around the globe, so they have good reason to promote energy efficiency, but Weihl and Rob Bernard, Microsoft’s Chief Environmental Strategist, insist that their efficiency gains will be shared as IT becomes ever-more integrated into the global economy. “I would actually bet that as a percentage of global electricity use that information and communication technology will use a higher percentage over time. But in the process it will make the entire economy more energy efficient. So, yes, that 2% will grow, but the other 98% will shrink, and shrink faster,” says Weihl. Bernard cites an example. Stanford researcher Jonathan Koomey, had, he says, looked into the carbon footprint and energy use resulting from the switch from CDs to digital music. “Even in the worst case, it was a 40% to 50% reduction in the amount of energy,” Bernard says. During the Q&A, an audience member asks Bernard and Weihl what can be done to overcome the barriers holding up even bigger efficiency gains. “Most energy efficiency work I would say actually is a no brainer. But people don’t seem to have brains,” Weihl says. One big problem, he says, is the disjointed decision-making practiced at many companies. “If you focus people on total cost of ownership, lifetime cost – capital, plus operating cost – and get everybody to think in those terms, not just in terms of their own budget, you can make a lot of progress,” he says. Bernard agrees. “More and more when I go and talk to customers, the challenge is much if not more governance and behavior than it is technology,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at the Commonwealth Club of California, San Francisco on March 11th, 2011



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Generation Hot (3/9/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 10, 2011


Generation Hot


Mark Hertsgaard, Author, Generation Hot
Scott Harmon, Sustainability Advisor to Boy Scouts of America
Alec Loorz, Founder, Kids-vs-Global-Warming.com
Greg Dalton, Founder of Climate One, moderator


The climate change debate in America appears hopelessly stuck. If the US is to have any chance to break the stalemate, young people must get involved and force their voice to be heard, says this panel of activists convened by Climate One. For Alec Loorz, the 16-year-old founder of www.Kids-vs-Global-Warming.com, change will come because his generation and those that follow demand it. What’s needed, he says, is “revolution” one that “ignites the compassion in people’s hearts so that they realize that the way we are doing things now is not right and it doesn’t live with the survival of my generation and future generations in mind.” Loorz is organizing the iMatter march, planned for this spring, which aims to mobilize 1 million young people in all 50 states on the same day. “Youth have the moral authority to say to our parents, our leaders, and our teachers, ‘Do I matter to you? Does my future mater to you?” he says. Mark Hertsgaard, author, Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth, welcomes the activism of youth because the forces arrayed against them are so powerful. Oil companies “are the richest business enterprise in the history of humanity. It is not surprising that they have enormous political power,” but, he says, “the only way that you overcome that kind of entrenched money power is through sustained and very determined people power.” Scott Harmon, sustainability advisor to Boy Scouts of America, is mobilizing youth by harnessing the power and reach of the world’s largest youth organization: scouting. Scouts may march, Harmon said, but even more important is “to get them educated. I want to get their hands dirty doing projects that teach them about the solution.” He wants youth to do two things: wake up the parents and, when they enter the workforce in five or ten years, force their companies to become more sustainable. “We’re not going to get it done in our generations, even your generation probably [to Alec Loorz], so we better get the next generation, and the one behind that ready, otherwise we’re really toast,” he says.


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club on March 9, 2011



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American Wasteland (3/7/11)

Author: Commonwealth Club of California/Climate One
Thu, Mar 10, 2011


American Wasteland


Jonathan Bloom, Author, American Wasteland
Michael Dimock, President, Roots of Change
A.G. Kawamura, Former Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture
Greg Dalton, Founder of Climate One, moderator


The ubiquity of food in the United States blinds the mind to a tragic fact: much of it is wasted. Exact numbers are elusive, but estimates suggest that at least a quarter and as much as half of the food produced in this country is never consumed. A panel of food experts convened by Climate One says that much of the waste is unnecessary. Lest consumers think most of the waste ends up in supermarket or restaurant trash bins, Jonathan Bloom, author, American Wasteland, cites a study from New York State, which found that households account for 40% of wasted food. “In terms of the American consumer’s psyche, we’ve gotten to this point where we see beautiful food everywhere – the rise of food TV and glossy magazines – everywhere we turn, it seems, we’re constantly seeing images of food that looks pretty. Appearance trumps taste,” he says. “We have tremendous inefficiencies on both sides, pre-harvest and post harvest,” says A.G. Kawamura, former Secretary, California Department of Food and Agriculture. If prices collapse, he says, a farmer might not be able to afford to pay for the fuel and labor needed to harvest a crop. Fortunately, he says, groups such Farm to Table are partnering with farmers to offset the cost of a second or third harvest to prevent food from wasting in the field. For Michael Dimock, President, Roots of Change, the primary driver of waste in the food system is how we think. “It’s really changing our consciousness about what is waste and what is not. That’s the first step in combating this problem,” he says. There are reasons to be optimistic that the system is evolving, he says, citing the food separation and composting efforts underway in San Francisco and Sonoma County. Also encouraging, he says, is the increased interest in “food sovereignty.” Everything from families and communities planting and tending gardens to consumers “mining” trash bins at supermarkets and restaurants for green waste to feed to backyard chickens. “I’m thankful that we have a system of abundance,” says A.G. Kawamura. “Can we make it a system of efficiency? We’re lucky we don’t have a system of scarcity.”


This program was recorded in front of a live audience at The Commonwealth Club of California on March 2, 2011