America Adapts - The Climate Change Podcast
About This Show
A changing climate presents humanity with only one option: adapt. On the America Adapts podcast, we explore the challenges presented by adapting to climate change and the approaches that the field's best minds believe are already working. Join climate change adaptation expert Doug Parsons as he talks with scientists, policymakers, planners and journalists about the choices we face and the people who make them. The climate adaptation conversation, and the movement, starts here. America Adapts - your voice to talk adaptation!
Most Recent Episode
The One Thing: Developing simple narratives to communicate coral reef conservation, climate change adaptation and much more. A Conversation with Scientist turned Filmmaker Dr. Randy Olson
5 days ago
Subscribe to America Adapts on Itunes Randy Olson joins Doug Parsons on America Adapts to discuss the dire state of coral reefs; storytelling as a technique to communicate complex science; and what we can learn from Donald Trump’s vexing, but intuitive narrative instincts. Randy has had a fascinating career arc. He is a scientist-turned-filmmaker who earned his Ph.D. in Biology from Harvard University (1984) and became a tenured professor of marine biology at the University of New Hampshire (1992) before changing careers by moving to Hollywood and entering film school at the University of Southern California. The first part of the discussion focuses on the state of coral reefs in the world and how the conservation and science communities have done a poor job communicating the dire state of coral reefs. Randy highlights some of his early career research, diving on some of the most pristine spots in the Caribbean and the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Doug and Randy talk about how in the 1980s through the 1990s, the coral reef systems begin to really fall apart due to pollution and bleaching events. Randy explains the concept of shifting baselines, which demonstrates how we lose track of the past by resetting what we consider an existing baseline. People diving for the first time on coral reefs in the 1990s would have no idea they are viewing a highly degraded system, hence the ‘shifting baseline.’ This makes communicating the urgency of coral conservation that much harder. Randy then discusses the critical need to develop simple narratives to communicate complex subjects (such as coral reef conservation!). The coral reef community has struggled to communicate in a cohesive manner the current state of this diminishing ecosystem. Doug and Randy also discuss the diverse and contradictory nature of the coral reef community: scientists, conservationists, and the tourism industry, each of which has its own agend