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Business & Economics Podcasts

We’re living through a climate emergency; addressing this crisis begins by talking about it. Host Greg Dalton brings you empowering conversations that connect all aspects of the challenge — the scary and the exciting, the individual and the systemic. Join us.

We’re living through a climate emergency; addressing this crisis begins by talking about it. Host Greg Dalton brings you empowering conversations that connect all aspects of the challenge — the scary and the exciting, the individual and the systemic. Join us.


Hoopa, CA


We’re living through a climate emergency; addressing this crisis begins by talking about it. Host Greg Dalton brings you empowering conversations that connect all aspects of the challenge — the scary and the exciting, the individual and the systemic. Join us.






The Commonwealth Club 555 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94102 4155976728


Risky Business: Underinsured Against Climate Disaster

In recent years, hundreds of thousands of people in high-risk disaster areas across the US have been dropped from their insurance policies, leaving them both physically and financially vulnerable. At the same time, premiums have sky-rocketed, making insuring homes and businesses out of reach for many. And federal insurance and relief programs have come under scrutiny for payouts that contribute to inequality. The insurance industry wasn’t set up to account for climate change, which is...


The Inflation Reduction Act Passed. Now What?

In August, President Biden signed the Inflation Reduction Act into law. The IRA allocates around $370 billion over ten years to invest in renewable energy, make EVs more affordable, address climate inequities, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help mitigate the climate crisis. But like any law, the way the money is doled out matters, and the law’s implementation will ultimately determine its success. Some of the IRA money moves through state governments, including some that are outright...


Molly Wood on Tech, Money and Survival

After a 20-year career as a tech reporter for CNET, the New York Times, and the public radio program Marketplace, Molly Wood has come to see the climate crisis as an engineering problem requiring an acceleration of investment. And so, after producing the acclaimed climate podcast “How We Survive” for Marketplace, she recently left that program to begin a new career in venture capital. Now, in conversation with Climate One Host Greg Dalton, Molly Wood explores the limits of media in changing...


No Going Back: EVs and Clean Tech Tipping Points with Albert Cheung

In the tech world, there’s a common belief that once a new device hits 5% market penetration, it rapidly goes from a niche to mass adoption. According to Bloomberg, the US has just passed that critical 5% tipping point for new EV purchases. Norway, an oil-rich country, was first to hit that 5% mark in 2013 and today boasts a stunning 86% of new cars being fully electric. Now California is driving the US along a similar road away from gasoline and diesel by passing a new law that will only...


Bridging The Great American Divide

Most Americans support climate action, but you wouldn’t know it from Congress or the courts – or from most of the media. People on both the left and the right experience the same devastating floods, the same life-threatening heatwaves and the same catastrophic wildfires. Yet individuals tend to socialize within insulated political tribes, operate in completely different information bubbles and see the problems and solutions through different lenses. How can we learn to bridge ideological...


Ukraine and the Middle East: Climate Action in Conflict Zones

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused horrific damage and casualties, in spite of Ukraine’s remarkable efforts to defend itself. The conflict has disrupted energy markets, grain shipments and is still destabilizing the global economy. All of this has shoved climate further down the list of international priorities, as has happened so many times before. Yet within conflict zones, many brave individuals and organizations work every day to stave off the even greater threat of climate...


Will Sustainable Aviation Ever Take Off?

For those of us who love to travel, climate guilt weighs heavily. Civil aviation accounts for about 3% of global greenhouse gas emissions, and that number is going up. But while electrifying cars and trucks is already well underway, flying planes on anything other than liquid fuels remains devilishly difficult. Despite that difficulty, there are options. Sustainable aviation fuels, or SAFs, hold the most promise, as they can theoretically drop right into existing engines and infrastructure....


The Inflation Reduction Act: What’s in the Sausage?

For nearly six decades, the US government passed no comprehensive climate legislation. Now that’s changed. The Inflation Reduction Act contains approximately $370 billion of investments in clean energy and climate solutions. But not everyone is happy. To get through the Senate, the bill offered carrots to entrenched fossil fuel interests, along with investments in renewable power. Many in disadvantaged communities, who so often bear the brunt of climate-induced disasters, feel they’ve been...


REWIND: Climbing, Conservation and Capitalism

Rick Ridgeway estimates he’s spent about five years of his life sleeping in tents, often in the world’s most remote places alongside fellow outdoor adventure luminaries. Ridgeway worked for Patagonia for 15 years and was behind the company’s infamous “Don’t Buy This Jacket” ad campaign, which paradoxically advocated sustainability and increased sales. Outdoor companies like Patagonia may push for sustainability, but they largely still present a mostly white, wealthy experience with nature,...


Patti Poppe: Reinventing Utilities During a Climate Emergency

As the CEO of the California utility giant PG&E, Patti Poppe is charged with navigating the company through massive wildfires, disrupted energy markets, and lingering public distrust of the utility. The company is undergrounding 10,000 miles of electric lines, working with GM and Ford on incorporating power from electric vehicles into homes and the grid, deploying batteries at large power plants, and pushing to change net metering rates that pay homeowners for electricity generated on their...


Turning Down the Heat: Decarbonizing Cement and Steel

Along with aviation, the construction industry is one of the hardest to decarbonize sectors in the global economy. Cement and steel production together are responsible for about 15% of global CO2 emissions. But look around our modern world and it’s hard to imagine doing without these materials. Carbon-negative cement has been talked about for years, and innovations in steel production show promise as well, but is either technology ready for primetime? And what about replacing these materials...


On The Run: Voluntary and Forced Climate Migration

The climate crisis is a growing driver of human migration, exacerbating the misery of already struggling communities. According to the UN Refugee Agency, climate change typically creates internal displacement within countries before it pushes people across national borders. While much of this displacement is involuntary, many with wealth and foresight are able to move before they personally feel the most devastating effects. How well are governments prepared to handle an influx of people...


REWIND: Firefight: How to Live in the Pyrocene

We’re on track for yet another summer of record wildfires in the western U.S., endangering lives, displacing communities, and sending unhealthy smoke across the nation. The science is clear: human-caused climate change is making lands more conducive to burning, and we are increasingly living in flammable landscapes. Forest experts say there are tools to help reduce the risk of catastrophic fires, keep forests alive as valuable carbon sinks and make communities more resilient to megafires....


Wanjira Mathai on Sustainable Development and the Power of Women

Africa is responsible for only less than 4% of global greenhouse gas emissions. Yet its people are already suffering some of the world’s most devastating climate impacts. For Wanjira Mathai, Regional Director for Africa and Vice President at the World Resources Institute, and the daughter of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Wangari Maathai, this raises a central moral question: When those most affected are those least responsible, how can those most responsible address that injustice? Guest:...


Rebuilding for Climate: Successful City Strategies

83% of people in the United States live in urban areas. And these days that’s where important climate progress is happening. Cities all over the country and globe are experimenting with climate resilience projects specific to their local environments and challenges. In many cases, these projects also look to address historic injustices and provide more equitable models for transportation, housing, green space, and more. This week, we feature stories from a few different cities around the...


REWIND: Climate Miseducation

Climate change science isn’t taught accurately — or equally — across the country. Investigative reporter Katie Worth dug into textbooks and talked with dozens of children and teachers to find out why. In her book, Miseducation: How Climate is Taught in America, Worth unpacks the influence of the fossil fuel industry, state legislatures and school boards on school curricula in their effort to spread confusion and misinformation about the climate crisis. Some organizations skip the textbook...


Digging Deep into the Next Farm Bill

Roughly every five years, the U.S. designs and implements a new farm bill, which sets federal policy on agriculture across a huge swath of programs, including subsidies, food assistance, land practices and more. As the discussion around what to include in the 2023 farm bill intensifies, many are pushing for climate mitigation and adaptation measures to be a primary focus of the legislation. Then there’s equity. Since the 1930s, the Federal Government has supported farmers with subsidies,...


Disrupted Energy Markets: Fossil Revival or Renewable Opportunity?

As Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and other economic pressures disrupt global energy markets, even insiders are scrambling to make sense of this moment. Ahead of the midterm elections, the Biden administration has signaled it wants more oil and gas now to ease the pain of surging fuel prices while maintaining support for cutting carbon emissions. Oil and gas aren’t the only commodities affected by market chaos. The supply chain, including for clean energy technology, has also been disrupted....


Indigenous Insights on Healing Land and Sky

According to the World Bank, land managed by Indigenous peoples is associated with lower rates of deforestation, reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and better biodiversity protection. But in many places, Indigenous people have been displaced from their ancestral lands through outright theft, land grabs, violence and war — sacrificing both indigenous livelihoods and the traditional knowledge that has protected their lands for centuries. Still, across the U.S. we can find examples of land...


Coping with Climate through Music

Music and social movements have historically gone hand in hand. Folk music played a unifying role for the labor movements in the United States. Music was central to the protests against the Vietnam War and in favor of Civil Rights. As more people become aware of the climate crisis, music is starting to reflect that. But there is still no one song or artist inspiring climate action the way music catalyzed other movements. Why aren’t more musical artists raising the alarm over the growing...