National Geographic devotes full issue to climate change

power plant / Seán Kinane/WMNF News

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Climate change could be the most important challenge of the 21st Century; our guests on MidPoint contributed to the current issue of National Geographic magazine that’s all about the climate. It comes out weeks before major international climate talks in Paris.

Our first guest, Dennis Dimick, is the executive editor for the environment for National Geographic magazine.

We also went slightly off the topic of the climate for a moment to address listener concern about the news item of layoffs at National Geographic. According to AP, “The National Geographic Society says it will lay off about 9 percent of its staff of 2,000 as a deal to sell the magazine and other media properties to 21st Century Fox nears completion.” WMNF asked Dimick how the sale of National Geographic magazine to Rupert Murdoch’s company and the layoffs will affect affect Nat Geo’s environmental coverage.

Later in the show we spoke with Mark Jacobson, a Stanford University engineering professor who has produced a state-by-state road-map of how the U.S. could move away from coal, oil, natural gas and nuclear power.

By Jacobson’s calculations, Florida could reduce its energy demand by 43% by using renewable electricity and improving energy efficiency instead of burning fossil fuels. That’s among the top of the fifty states.

That would save Floridians an average of $5,207 per year because renewables don’t require fuel and health care costs will be reduced.

The total land area of Florida that would be needed to go completely renewable is less than 1 percent of the state: 0.82%.

On Friday President Barack Obama rejected the Keystone XL tar sands oil pipeline, saying some fossil fuels will have to stay in the ground. He noted the uptick in renewable energy sources.

In a front page story Monday, the Tampa Tribune wrote, “As price drops, solar power becomes more widespread” It noted a two megawatt solar array being built on top of a Tampa International Airport garage and a drop in expenses to $3.10/watt upfront project cost for solar array with a 30% federal tax credit.

There could be two competing solar power amendments on the 2016 ballot in Florida: Floridians for Solar Choice and Consumers for Smart Solar.

A new study found that 145 million people in China will be displaced if seas rise 7 feet.

From AP: “The U.N. weather agency says levels of carbon dioxide and methane, the two most important greenhouse gases, reached record highs last year, and that’s continuing the warming effect on the world’s climate. The World Meteorological Organization says CO2 levels rose to nearly 398 parts per million, from 396 ppm in 2013. Scientists say global CO2 levels are now 143 percent higher than before the industrial revolution, and that they’ve been pushed by the burning of coal, oil and gas for energy.”

Information from the Associated Press was used in this report

 Listen to the whole show here: