Episode Information

WWL: Exploring Environmental Policy
Where We Live - with John Dankosky
Aired:
02/10/2009
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In this episode:

A look at environmental policy under the Obama administration

 

Episode Audio

48:59 minutes (23.51 MB)
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A new "green" economy is supposed to emerge from the Obama stimulus package now being crafted in Congress - but what does "green" really mean? 

The President made billions for environmentally-friendly building and energy infrastructure available in the plan - both as a way to jump-start the economy, and make a long-term transition to a more sustainable America.  But some critics wonder if the plan goes far enough, and if the focus on "shovel-ready" transportation projects might actually slow down our path to "green."

Meanwhile, a new poll by the Pew Research Center puts issues like "Environment" and "Global Warming" near the bottom of the list of people's concerns.  That's not surprising, given the very direct effects of the economy, rising unemployment, and tight credit markets.  The question for environmentalists: How to reframe these issues so that a better environment and a better economic future go hand in hand.  

Today, Where We Live - we'll talk about environmental policy with Yale University's Dan Esty and with Mark Tercek, President of the Nature Conservancy.

Join the conversation.  Add your questions, suggestions and comments below. 


 
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Listener email from Christine

I am one of the lucky folks that answered a few questions on the street Friday for todayʼs show. Though I should know by now that I donʼt think quickly enough to pull something like that off gracefully, I did it because the environment is an issue I feel passionately about. After I answered the questions, I felt I had done and entirely inadequate job! The experience, however, led me to an interesting observation. When asked what my major concerns were in respect to the environment I answered overpopulation and global warming. But when I gave it some thought later I realized how much the ever present sound bite news culture (one that your show does a great job combating) had an impact on my answers. Had I given it more than a momentʼs thought I would have answered much differently. Though I absolutely believe it is our responsibility to reduce and then eliminate both emissions and our use of nonrenewable fuels, I donʼt believe we will know the extent of our impact on global warming for thousands of years. Regardless, we still need to take radical steps to limit our carbon footprint for countless other reasons. The environmental issues we face are extremely complex but most boil down to the rapid consumption of resources and the creation of products (and byproducts) that pollute our air, water and soil. Our culture of consumerism and planned obsolescence is burying us in our own refuse at an alarming rate and that is my primary concern. I think that the growing awareness of our environmental issues is great and much too long in coming but it is becoming dominated by talk of global warming (I contributed to that) and quite often I donʼt think we give enough attention to the details. If we didnʼt produce and ship and need to dispose of so much stuff we wouldnʼt need to produce as much energy. Furthermore, if we didnʼt need to build and heat houses big enough to hold all of our stuff we would be in much better shape in terms of resource consumption. So to me the term global warming has come to represent our consumption of resources and disposal of waste both solid and gas that has an impact on our immediate and our global environment.