Climate Change

Centre County dairy farmer Ron Reese says he's only been affected "on the margins" by climate change.
Anne Danahy / StateImpact PA

For Ron Reese, a dairy farmer in western Centre County, a tour of the farm on a warm fall day includes a short history lesson. 

After World War II, the family bought stalls for dairy cows from Sears and Roebuck, and started shipping whole milk.

“In 1946, Sears and Roebuck was the Amazon of the world,” Reese said.

 The property where Reese and his wife, Jane, live is about 650 acres. That includes about 400 acres that’s farmed, along with picturesque rolling hillsides and forested land.

A CNG fueling station at the Centre County Recycling and Refuse Authority site.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

The November election will likely have big consequences for climate policy in the United States.

President Donald Trump recently said he doesn’t “think science knows” about climate change during a visit to wildfire-plagued California. His administration has rolled back Obama-era climate initiatives.

Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is promising to put the country on a path toward a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions from the U.S. no later than 2050.

Doctoral student Steph Herbstritt shows the hairy ligule in switchgrass that's growing on Penn State research plot in Centre County.
Anne Danahy / WPSU

 

When COVID-19 hit Pennsylvania in March, universities moved to shut down in-person classes and suspend some lab work work and field research. For environmental scientists, that’s meant changes and delays in how work gets done.

In her book, “Rising: Dispatches from the New American Shore,” Elizabeth Rush takes readers around the country to see rising tides . Rush talks with people around the country who have lost their homes and communities; with scientists who study what’s happening; and with conservationists trying to find ways to restore wetlands. Rush’s book was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with Rush, who will be in State College March 23 to give a talk at 7 p.m. at Schlow Library to celebrate Earth Day.

Doug Wentzel, program director at the Shaver's Creek Environmental Center, and retired Penn State researcher Greg Grove sitting in studio
Anne Danahy / WPSU

A recent study published in the journal Science found the number of birds in North America is plummeting. The bird population dropped by more than a quarter over the past 50 years. Grassland birds, shore birds and songbirds are all affected. WPSU's Anne Danahy spoke with Greg Grove, editor of Pennsylvania Birds, and Doug Wentzel, president of the State College Bird Club, about bird watching and those trends

Jenni Evans sitting in front of a microphone
Anne Danahy / WPSU

Wildfires continue to burn in parts of Australia. So far, more than 30 people have died and about 41,000 square miles have been burned. It’s estimated that hundreds of millions of animals have perished. WPSU’s Anne Danahy spoke about the fires with Jenni Evans, professor of meteorology and atmospheric science at Penn State and 2019 president of the American Meteorological Society.

Project Drawdown Executive Director Jonathan Foley and Director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State Tom Richard.
Penn State

We hear a lot about global warming, but not necessarily about how effective different proposed solutions actually are.

We talked with Tom Richard, the director of the Institutes of Energy and the Environment at Penn State, who helped organize the first ever Project Drawdown conference – which looked at the top 100 actions to reverse climate change.

And we talked with Jonathan Foley, the executive director of Project Drawdown, about the conference and the book it’s based on.  

TRANSCRIPT:

What Will Climate Change Cost Pennsylvania?

Nov 13, 2019
Matt Rourke / Associated Press

(Harrisburg) -- Pennsylvania’s auditor general, Eugene DePasqule, is attempting to quantify what climate change will cost Pennsylvania.

Davidson College

Climate change one of the most pressing issues of our time, but it's so big that it can be difficult to imagine how you as an individual can make an impact — or even know how to talk about it with other people in a meaningful way. This episode offers a few creative suggestions for addressing both of those things.

Our guest is Graham Bullock, associate professor of political science and environmental studies at Davidson College. His work covers everything from public policy to deliberative democracy, and the ways those things interact when it comes to climate and sustainability.

Kristine Allen / WPSU

Student activists around the globe skipped school on Friday, September 20 to call for action on the issue of climate change.

In State College, a couple hundred activists of all ages participated, including many students.  They gathered at the Allen Street gates and marched to the steps of Penn State's Old Main.  Many of them held homemade signs with slogans like "Save the Earth," "Unite behind science," and "There is no planet B."

Penn State professors Esther Obonyo and Erica Smithwick will be speakers at the Project Drawdown conference Sept. 16-18.
Emily Reddy / WPSU

Penn State will host the Project Drawdown conference Sept. 16-18. It’s based on a book that outlines the 100 top actions to reverse climate change.

We talked with two conference presenters about “Drawdown” and the research they’re doing into fighting global warming.

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale hosted a public hearing on how the state is responding to climate change on Penn State's University Park campus on Thursday. It's the first of three hearings DePasquale plans.
Min Xian / WPSU

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale hosted a public hearing on Penn State’s University Park campus on Thursday, to gather input for a special report looking into the state’s response to climate change.

 

DePasquale said climate change is both an environmental challenge and an economic challenge for the state and the country.

 

Katharine Hayhoe
Ashley Rodgers / Texas Tech University

An atmospheric scientist and evangelical Christian, Katharine Hayhoe is known for her ability to communicate science to everyday people, including skeptics of climate change. She is an award-winning professor at Texas Tech University and is involved in a number of educational initiatives, including hosting "Global Weirding," a public media program on YouTube.

A new report out of Penn State University says corn production in the Southeastern part of the state could be especially vulnerable in the coming decades.
Photo provided by Greg Roth/Penn State

Last month, Pennsylvania saw the most recorded rainfall in a July. For many farmers in the state, the intense precipitation is part of a pattern of weather changes they are trying to adapt to.

A new report out of Penn State University says corn production in the Southeastern part of the state could be especially vulnerable in the coming decades.

Don Voigt is a retired a research associate for Penn State’s Ice and Climate Exploration group. During his career, he logged 18 seasons in Antarctica, seven in Greenland and two in Alaska. We’ll talk with him about his research with the Penn State Ice and Climate Exploration, his experiences at the ends of the earth, and his advice for aspiring scientists.  

Scientists agree that climate change is happening here and now--and that the sooner we act, the lower the risks and costs of catastrophic climate impacts. The documentary "Managing Risks in a Changing Climate," examines how scientists advised the Louisiana coastal region's decision-makers and citizen-stakeholders to create an action plan--something proactive cities across the globe are undertaking as well.

Republican Bob Inglis, a former South Carolina Congressman, lost his bid for reelection in 2010 for what many of his colleagues considered heresy: saying publicly that not only is climate change real, but that it's our duty to do something about it.  Slate magazine says his about-face on climate change makes him, "America's best hope for near-term climate action."  In 2012, Inglis launched the Energy and Enterprise Initiative, which promotes conservative and free-enterprise solutions--not subsidies and government regulations--to address climate change.