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Bionic Planet: Your Guide to the New Reality

Earth. We broke it; we own it; and nothing is as it was: not the trees, not the seas – not the forests, farms, or fields – and not the global economy that depends on all of these. Bionic Planet is your guide to the Anthropocene, the new epoch defined by man's impact on Earth, and in each episode, we examine a different aspect of this new reality: sometimes financial, sometimes moral, but always practical.
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Now displaying: November, 2016
Nov 27, 2016

US president-elect ​Donald Trump claims to have an open mind on climate science, but he put an unabashed climate-science denier in charge of his environmental transition team, and he says he'll slash NASA's climate-monitoring capabilities.

Might a president who doesn't believe in climate science still find it worthwhile to stay in the Paris Agreement? And who will pick up the slack if he doesn't?

These are questions we addressed in three stories on Ecosystem Marketplace:

Can Individual US States, The Private Sector, And The International Community Fix The Climate Despite Trump Election?” came the day after the election, and pretty much says it all

Investors See Rockier Road To Low-Carbon Economy Under Trump, But No Dead End” came in one week later.

Hundreds Of US Companies Urge Climate Action As John Kerry, Others Calls For More ‘Business Diplomacy’” came in a day after that.

We harvested all three to generate today's episode of Bionic Planet, which offers an audio mosaic of snippets culled from interviews we conducted in the two weeks after the US Presidential election, as well as audio we harvested from a media call that the World Resources Institute hosted.

Guests, in order of appearance, are:

Yvo de Boer, former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Andrew Steer, President and CEO of the World Resources Institute

Anthony Hobley, CEO of the Carbon Tracker Initiative

Michael Bloomberg, in his capacity as head of the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures

Christian de Valle, Founder and Managing Partner of Althelia Ecosphere

Alden Meyer, Director of Strategy and Policy for the Union of Concerned Scientists

Sam Adams, Director of WRI United StatesMike Korchinsky, Founder and CEO of Wildlife Works

Alan Greenspan, former Chairman of the US Federal Reserve Bank

Andrew Mitchell, Founder and Director of the Global Canopy Programme

Peter Grannis,  First Deputy Comptroller for the New York State Office of the State Comptroller.

Nigel Topping, CEO of the We Mean Business Coalition

Jonathan Pershing, US Special Envoy for Climate Change

Brigadier General Stephen Cheney (ret), CEO of the American Security Project.

Peter Graham, former Canadian negotiator now working as a consultant in Washington, DC. 

Nov 10, 2016

Initial reactions from Marrakesn to Trump Victory in US

I came to year-end climate talks here in Marrakesh with a clear plan to cover the most complicated elements of these talks and break them down for a general audience. I'd intended to focus mostly on how global supply chains would change in response to this process – and I still will – but Donald Trump’s victory in the US presidential election has changed everything.

The talks are continuing, and the Paris Agreement remains in place with or without the United States, but the backroom diplomacy that the Obama administration had proven so adept at – the unofficial talks inside the talks that lay the foundation for the next round – which was credited with getting the treaty ratified so early – that’s gone, and I’ll cover that in more detail in a later piece.

In first hours after Trump's victory, I spoke to some veterans of this process and found something resembling a consensus: namely, that individual US states and the corporate sector can step in to at least partially fill the void in climate competency.

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