The Best Climate Change Podcasts

UPDATE: August 2017, This post is updated regularly as new podcasts on climate change are published.  Only the best podcasts make it on this page. Are you hungry for a good podcast on climate change?  I know I am.  Unfortunately the pickings are slim.  But I’m sure that will change in the coming years as climate change comes to dominate the nightly news. Fortunately, there are a few shining stars out there in podcast land, with more coming along every few months. Currently, the two best climate change podcasts out there are – Climate One from the Commonwealth Club in California, and Climate Cast from Minnesota Public News.  America Adapts is a rising star, with great podcasts about climate adaptation, and interviews with people and organizations at the Read More …

Who Survives Extreme Winter Storms?

Winter kills.  Extreme cold weather affects the elderly and very young children who can’t keep themselves warm, the homeless living on the street, and the poor who have to choose between food or heat.  Also, people who get trapped in their cars, or end up in an auto accident due to slippery roads, are also paying the price of extreme winter weather. The homeless are especially at risk.  When I was in medical school during my vascular surgery rotation at the Veteran’s Administration Hospital, one night we amputated both feet of a homeless veteran due to massive frostbite and gangrene.  This happened in a big western city, during a winter storm with temps well below zero.  This is the sort of thing will happen more often in a world of Read More …

Climate Change, Deadly Heat and You

Heat waves kill hundreds to thousands of people around the world every summer.  Global warming is making it worse.  An especially hot summer day today will be a normal summer day in the future.  And the rare, deadly heat wave of today will become common.  In this post we’ll take a deep dive into the medical aspects of heat illness and the link to climate change. According to the CDC, heat is the leading cause of weather related death in the US.  From 1999 to 2009 heat exposure killed 7,800 people.  Not only that, but heat makes chronic medical problems worse, so that more people end up in the emergency department because of the heat. In this post we’ll examine all things heat and climate change Read More …

How to prepare for flooding caused by climate change

In a previous post on extreme weather and flooding we learned that human-caused climate change is driving the increase in big storms and flooding, not just in the U.S., but around the world. People are dying, and more lives and property are at increased risk. Some important questions we could ask, include… What is the link between climate change and flooding? What are the health risks from extreme precipitation and flooding? How can we prepare? What do we do if we get flooded? How do we keep it from getting worse? Linking climate change and flooding Put in simple terms, burning of fossil fuels puts more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere –> more carbon dioxide traps more heat in the atmosphere –> more heat causes more heat Read More …

Climate Change and Deadly Floods: What you need to know

With extreme snowstorms in the northeastern U.S. and extreme rain in Texas, and the southeast, the obvious question arises… are these events linked to climate change? New research shows us the answer is a resounding ‘yes’.  It actually makes perfect sense.  Carbon dioxide traps heat in the atmosphere, and a warmer atmosphere holds more moisture. When you combine warmer, moist air masses with disruption of the Jet Stream cased by a warming Arctic, you get huge, slow-moving weather fronts packed with moisture.  This is the exact recipe for epic, extreme storms. As an example, on Memorial Day in 2015, a massive storm parked over southern Texas and dropped nearly 11 inches of rain on the Houston metro area in less than 24 hours, with devastating results.     Downtown Houston was flooded, 23 counties were Read More …

How are your allergies affected by climate change?

One effect of climate change is that spring comes sooner and summer stays longer.  A longer summer makes ragweed and other plants pump out more pollen — making us miserable. An analysis of pollen data for the past few decades shows that the pollen producing season of ragweed has increased by up to 27 days as you go north from Oklahoma up into Canada. This is undeniable evidence of a warming world. Unfortunately, for folks like me, with a terrible allergy to ragweed, this is bad news.  Fortunately, I don’t have asthma, but for those who do, it’s even worse. Asthma can be triggered by allergies to pollen, and it can be life-threatening. Also, if that weren’t bad enough, recent evidence shows that in a warming world, the combo of increasing levels Read More …