Green Planet Monitor Podcast


David Mivasair paddles Cootes Paradise (David Kattenburg)

GPM Podcast # 11

The US anti-abortion movement portrays itself as “pro-life,” “pro-family” and traditionally conservative – whatever that may mean.

Not far beneath the surface, however, something darker bubbles – a wellspring of misogyny, racism, hatred of immigrants and antipathy for individual freedom of all sorts – among these, the freedom of a woman to control her own body.

The GPM speaks about the history of women’s reproductive rights with Lauren MacIvor Thompson. Lauren Thompson is an Assistant Professor of History at Kennesaw State University, in Kennesaw, Georgia, and a historian of early-twentieth-century women’s rights and public health at Georgia State University College of Law’s Center for Law, Health & Society.

Listen to my conversation with Laura MacIvor Thompson. Click on the audio link above, or go here.

Tys Theysmeyer in Cootes Paradise (David Kattenburg)

Intact, natural ecosystems are home to a wide range of plants and animals. Cities are ecosystems too. The healthiest ones coexist with nature. On the edge of one of Canada’s largest cities, the benefits provided by natural ecosystems and the importance of protecting them are on full display.

Here’s a story from Hamilton, Ontario – a place called Cootes Paradise.

Click on the audio link above, or go here.

You gotta laugh to keep from crying sometimes. The bluesman who wrote those words could have had today’s climate news in mind: epic rains and floods from Somalia to south Asia; savage wildfires in Spain and the western Canadian province of Alberta; eye-popping heat in Vietnam and Thailand, that actually kills.

Last year was Europe’s hottest ever, swept by heat waves that killed an estimated twenty thousand.

And, greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise.

Methane — shorter lived but more powerful than CO2 — reached its highest recorded level in 2022.

So did the energy content of Earth’s oceans, where 90% of atmospheric heat goes.

As oceans heat, they expand. Ocean levels reached a record high in 2022, and their rate of rise has doubled since satellite records began. Fast melting glaciers accelerate the rate of rising seas.

All this, two years into what would normally be a cooling, La Niña phase. As warmer El Niño conditions kick in, the next few years promise to be even warmer, pushing Earth surface temperatures above 1.5 degrees, the ideal limit established at the 2016 Paris climate summit.

These are the findings of the World Meteorological Organization, in its State of the Global Climate report for 2022. I spoke with the report’s lead author, John Kennedy. Kennedy is the Chair of the World Meteorological Organization’s Expert Team on Climate Monitoring and Assessments.

Listen to my conversation with John Kennedy. Click on the audio link above, or go here.

Thanks to Dan Weisenberger for his wonderful guitar instrumentals.