Episode 18:

Climate Change Election Episode: Reporting from Cop22, climate negotiations, Marrakesh, Morocco; the National Adaptation Forum and much more climate election coverage!

Guest: James Stillwell

Broadcast November 15, 2016

Donate to America Adapts! It’s tax deductible.Episode 18: In this episode, America Adapts is hosting James Stillwell, Program Manager for Climate Implementation at the University of Maryland, reporting from Marrakech, Morocco from theCop22 climate change negotiations. Also, I speak with EcoAdapt’s MaryKay Gewiss and Alex Score, on next year’s big National Adaptation Forum. First, I check in with James, who’s in Morocco, following up with his role at the 2016 Paris Climate agreement (previous podcast topic).  We learn what other countries are saying about the climate agreement in light of Donald Trump’s presidential election win.  James seeks to provide a reality check on what happens next. We learn what it might mean if the U.S. exited the agreement; the difficulties involved with such an action; and the rest of the world’s desire to move on even if America does exit the talks.  James also shares his perspective on debating noted climate skeptic, Myron Ebell (available on youtube), the man responsible for the transition at the Environmental Protection Agency. He gives his insight on what Mr. Ebell’s approach might be and offers a broader perspective on potential limits to that approach. Finally, James gives his parting thoughts on what Americans can expect from the Marrakech negotiations.  In a major pivot, I then talk with Alex and WendyKay about next year’s National Adaptation Forum in St. Paul, Minnesota, in May.  No matter what the results of the election are, adaptation planners will continue to work and convene and share information on the best ways to adapt to the impacts of climate change.  We talk about previous forums and what to expect at this forum. There are new themes and plenaries topics, looking to expand what sectors would be interested in attending the event.  We share advice to federal employees who may be concerned about their ability to travel under a new administration.  Also, the deadline to submit oral and poster presentations is December 16th, so please hurry if you are considering doing this.  Finally, I end the podcast with an election discussion with Tim Watkins in the Adaptation and Wine Power hour, trying to find ‘silver molecules’ on what a Trump presidency might mean for the adaptation field.  And stay tuned for next week’s episode, as Dr. Michael Mann, legendary professor behind the ‘hockey stick’ research, and author of “ The Madhouse Effect”, comes on the podcast.  

Additional annotations from James Stillwell:

“Underscoring James’s point about support for the Paris Agreement among the business community, Suzanne McCarron, Vice President of Public and Government Affairs at Exxon Mobil Corporation, has tweeted that, “The Paris agreement is an important step forward by governments in addressing the serious risks of #ClimateChange http://exxonmobil.co/2fgVJoD “. See here for tweet: https://twitter.com/SuzanneMcCarron/status/796747352816156672?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw

– I said in my remarks that I didn’t know what it would look like for the US to re-engage in the Paris Agreement if Trump were to pull us out of it. In my research since, I have discovered that “a new President could instantly re-ratify the Agreement after he or she comes into office.” See here for fuller context: http://www.climatechangenews.com/2016/11/09/the-paris-agreement-will-survive-president-trump/

– Trump’s 2009 participation in an open letter urging action on climate was actually addressed to Pres. Obama and Congress, not businesses:https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2016/06/09/in-2009-donald-trump-endorsed-action-on-climate-change-three-months-later-he-disparaged-it/

– In the podcast, James Stillwell mentioned the imminent launch of University of Maryland’s Research for Climate Action web site. It’s launched! So check it out here!

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