Tag: wildfires

Background Briefing: August 17, 2023


Canada on Fire

We begin with the devastating fires in Canada that now surround the capital of the Northwest province Yellowknife that is under an evacuation order. This, following earlier fires in Quebec and Ontario provinces, smoke from which polluted the northeast as smoke from the current fires is now filling the skies over the twin cities in Minnesota and in Chicago. Joining us is Dr. Mike Flannigan, the BC Research Chair for Predictive Services, Emergency Management and Fire Science at Thompson Rivers University. He worked as a meteorologist then as a physical scientist, research scientist and senior research scientist with the Canadian Forest Service. His primary research interests include fire and weather/climate interactions including the potential impact of climate change, lightning-ignited forest fires, landscape fire modeling and interactions between vegetation, fire and weather.


Rights-Based Environmentalism as a Legal, Political and Moral Movement

Then we look into how fossil fuel companies are trying to dismiss a lawsuit before the Hawaii Supreme Court today that charges companies like Chevron for the steep costs of abating damages from extreme weather caused by climate change made apparent by the deadly fires in Maui. Joining us to discuss rights-based environmentalism as a legal, political and moral movement is Amber Polk, a Professor of Law at Florida International University. A legal philosopher with a primary interest in our collective environmental crises, we discuss her article at The Conversation, “The Montana Youth Victory Set a Powerful Precedent for Climate Litigation.”


Trump’s Only Path to Victory in 2024

Then we look into Trump’s only path to victory in 2024 and speak with Lawrence Douglas, the James Grosfeld Chair in Law, Jurisprudence and Social Thought at Amherst College and a contributing opinion writer for the Guardian. HIs latest book is Will He Go? Trump and the Looming Electoral Meltdown in 2020.  We discuss his article at The Guardian, “Trump’s indictment can’t solve the real threat: our undemocratic electoral system.”


Anti-Democratic Rules Hold up Biden’s Diplomatic, Judicial and Military Nominees

 Then finally we investigate the many antiquated anti-democratic tools Republicans are using to further the tyranny of the minority as Biden’s diplomatic, judicial and military nominees are being held up by single senators like Rand Paul and Tommy Tuberville. Joining us is Toni Aguilar Rosenthal, a Senior Researcher with the Revolving Door Project where she co-leads their climate and environment work and also works on their governance team on issues related to administrative law, contracting oversight, and the Department of Defense. We discuss her new report at The Revolving Door Project, “Delayed Confirmation of Biden Nominees Both Common and Costly.”