Climate Change

How A New Limit On Carbon Emissions Could Impact NC

Jun 26, 2013
Duke Energy

President Obama plans to issue an executive order to limit carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. Right now, there is no limit. It could change the mix of energy sources on which North Carolina relies. Coal provides the largest source of the state’s power, including 51 percent in 2011. But, burning coal emits the most carbon-dioxide of the major power sources, so it is most likely to be affected by the order. Other North Carolina businesses could stand to benefit by the scaling back of coal plants.


The world’s thirst for more energy has led us down the path to climate change. Some politicians have said that alternatives to fossil fuels may help us reverse that, but the problem is that alternative forms of energy aren't ready on the scale we need. And recently scientists at UNC Charlotte came to an even more alarming conclusion, that the problem is unsolvable. Two of the people working on that project talk about their troubling conclusion, when Charlotte Talks.

Ben Bradford / WFAE

Duke Energy hosted its annual shareholder meeting in Uptown Thursday, one day before the company releases its first quarter earnings report. CEO Jim Rogers pronounced the company healthy and profitable, but the meeting was also a rare opportunity to berate the CEO.


Blue Ridge Mountains
Ed Brown (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

We have discussed climate change many times on Charlotte Talks but there is a new science emerging in the study of our changing climate. Social scientists are being called upon more and more to study climate's effect on human culture. Entire societies are changing their traditions, the media is covering the issue differently and lawmakers are shaping policy based on our perception to climate change. One local social scientist has discovered fascinating social changes among native Alaskans. He'll share how those changes could affect policy here in our own region. (Note: This show was pre-recorded last week.)

When we think of climate change, we often think the consequences are far off. But doctors and scientists believe it is harming our health now and it will only get worse. Some of the climate's harmful effects to our health can be obvious - extreme weather events and increased temperatures. But many are less so, think asthma and allergies, even food and water borne diseases, on up to cardiovascular disease, stroke and cancer. How does climate impact our health and what can we do about it? We'll talk with people involved in educating the public about the risks of the changing climate to our health, including from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We have discussed global warming and how we can reduce our carbon footprint several times on this show but we generally focused on the debate about whether climate change is real and man-made. Our guest today, film director Peter Byck, decided to forget the debate. He simply traveled the country to meet people who were actively reducing their carbon footprint whether they believed in global warming or not. These people just think it’'s smarter to use less energy or to create it more efficiently. Byck sees these innovators and entrepreneurs as part of “Carbon Nation” and he made a film by the same name. He'’ll join us when Charlotte Talks.

NASA

One of the issues we’ve heard little about during this election campaign is climate change. But Hurricane Sandy has thrust the topic into the spotlight. It is a complex, challenging problem both scientifically and politically but on election day, we step away from the politics and focus on how scientists are communicating with those who make public policy to help them and citizens understand what is happening and the potential consequences.

Flickr/go_greener_oz

Sea levels all over the east coast are rising. There is generally no dispute about that. But there is much debate about how high our Atlantic sea levels will rise, how fast it will happen and what affect it will have on our coast and the eastern seaboard. We begin a series exploring the biggest geological and geopolitical topics in current times. First up, Dr. Rob Young, an expert on sea levels who says that current predictions could be far short of potential rising seas. We meet Dr. Young and learn more about rising sea levels when Charlotte Talks.

Rising Seas Endanger Outer Banks, Atlantic Coast

Aug 30, 2012
swimparallel/Flickr

Large areas of the Outer Banks and elsewhere along the Atlantic Coast are in danger because of rising seas. That’s according to a recent report on climate change by two environmental groups.

Here’s what a beach vacation to Cape Hatteras or Cape Lookout might be like later this century:

"The summers could average as hot as those in Galveston, Texas, and it is well over half of the land out there that is vulnerable to being covered by a rising sea," said Stephen Saunders, the report's lead author.

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