This American Life has done a great job in investigating why Climate Change and man's influence on it is such a "hot" topic and why we all duck and jump to avoid the collision when it is brought up. Their presentation, Hot in My Backyard which aired May 17, is one of the best we have heard that explains why the discussion about climate change is difficult and helps explain the view of doubt that still shrouds this very important issue. Listen here.
In the first part, reporter Julia Kumari Drapkin tells the story of Colorado’s State Climatologist, Nolan Doesken. Doesken has long believed the humans are driving climate change, but never connected it to his own life. Even after several years of some of the most devastating weather his state has ever seen, Nolan considered climate change a worry for the future. Then, last year, he watched as his state experience some of the most extreme weather it ever has. For the first time, Nolan felt like he was looking at what the future would be like where he lives. He felt scared. Julia tells the story of how this has all changed Nolan, and changed what he’s saying to the people of his home state.
In the second part, Producer Ben Calhoun tells the story of a former Congressional Representative from South Carolina, Bob Inglis. Inglis is a conservative Republican who once doubted climate science. After he looked at the research, he changed his mind, and decided to speak out. In 2010, he was mocked by people in his own party and trounced in by a Tea Party-backed candidate. Since then, Bob has dedicated himself to the issue even more — and he’s now trying to create a conservative coalition for climate change action.
In the third part, host Ira Glass tells the story of writer turned activist Bill McKibben. McKibben is trying to reinvent progressive politics when it come to climate change. He’s attempting to create a divestment campaign modeled after the successful campaign against apartheid in South Africa. The campaign is designed recast the discussion of climate change with fossil fuel companies as the villains.