Radioactivity Tuesday: Preparing for the Climate Crisis; Creating a National Popular Vote for President

Tampa Electric Apollo Beach Big Bend Power Station CO2
Apollo Beach Nature Preserve with TECO plant in the background. By Seán Kinane (2010).

February 2, 2021

Good Morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I’m Rob Lorei.  Our first guest is author and New York Times contributor David Pogue. He is a five-time Emmy Award-winning technology and science correspondent for CBS Sunday Morning and host of 20 science specials on PBS NOVA. 

Pogue has written a new book called HOW to PREPARE for CLIMATE CHANGE (Simon & Schuster). It’s a look at what steps to take as what David calls “climate chaos” becomes the norm. What states are safest? How can I prepare my house to withstand the new environmental conditions? What kind of insurance should I have? Will food be available? What should I say to my children? David Pogue joins us now.

Our second guest today is Patrick Rosensteil with the group National Popular Vote.  There is a movement to elect presidents by the popular vote. Because of the Electoral College and winner-take-all statutes in most states, five of our 45 Presidents have come into office without having won the most popular votes nationwide.  The 2000 and 2016 elections are the most recent examples of elections in which a second-place candidate won the White House.  A shift of 59,393 votes in Ohio in 2004 would have elected John Kerry despite President Bush’s nationwide lead of over 3,000,000 votes.

The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact will guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes across all 50 states and the District of Columbia.  The Compact is a state-based approach that preserves the Electoral College, state control of elections, and the power of the states to control how the President is elected.

The National Popular Vote bill has been enacted by 16 jurisdictions possessing 196 electoral votes, including 4 small states (DE, HI, RI, VT), 8 medium-sized states (CO, CT, MD, MA, NJ, NM, OR, WA), 3 big states (CA, IL, NY), and the District of Columbia. The bill will take effect when enacted by states with 74 more electoral votes.

The bill has passed at least one chamber in 9 additional states with 88 more electoral votes (AR, AZ, ME, MI, MN, NC, NV, OK, VA).  A total of 3,408 state legislators from all 50 states have endorsed it.

Listen to the full show here:

League of Women Voters forum on National Popular Vote compact:

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