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Earth Day 2019 Special: How San Diegans Are Decreasing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Environmental activists occupy the office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pe...

Photo by J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Above: Environmental activists occupy the office of House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi of California, as they try to pressure Democratic support for a sweeping agenda to fight climate change, on Capitol Hill in Washington, Monday, Dec. 10, 2018.

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On Monday's Midday Edition, we are bringing you an Earth Day special. We discuss ways San Diegans are decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and the politics of responding to climate change.

Aired: April 22, 2019 | Transcript

On Monday's Midday Edition, the climate change desk is bringing you an Earth Day special. We'll discuss ways San Diegans are decreasing greenhouse gas emissions and the politics of responding to climate change.

The politics of responding to climate change

Though still not universally embraced, the alarm over human exhaust simmering the planet is blaring from the polar regions to the warmest places on Earth.

Cataclysmic storms, wildfires, droughts and floods in recent years have demonstrated to billions of people that long-predicted climate change is upon us. Armed now with massive amounts of data, scientists across multiple disciplines are able to demonstrate the current effects of our changing climate and what we can expect — unless drastic action is taken now.

Climate expert David Victor will discuss where the U.S. is politically in responding to climate change. Victor is the co-director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation and Center for Global Transformation at UC San Diego.

Can The Green New Deal Be Enacted?

The Green New Deal is a climate proposal that’s received a lot of attention, but what exactly is it?

Lisa Friedman, a reporter with The New York Times Climate Desk, has been covering the non-binding resolution and will discuss what it could achieve and how it is being received.

Success in electric vehicle adoption

Sales of electric vehicles in California last year was a bright spot amid often dismal climate-change news. Market share for hybrid and electric vehicles in our state increased from 9.4% in 2017 to 12% in 2018, according to figures from the California New Car Dealers Association. The increase came largely from deliveries of the Tesla Model 3, a less-pricey sedan from the automaker.

The increase in sales of electric vehicles is gratifying to state leaders who’ve committed $2.5 billion to programs designed to get drivers to switch away from internal-combustion engines.

Brett Williams, senior principal adviser for transportation at the Center for Sustainable Energy, discusses the status of electric cars in the state.

Solar geoengineering as a tool to respond to climate change

UC San Diego researcher Kate Ricke is bringing light to a tool that just may have a big impact on climate change by reversing some of the impacts of fossil fuels. It’s called solar geoengineering.

Ricke will discuss what it is and how it works.

Encinitas family goes low waste

In an effort to get her body as healthy as possible before trying to get pregnant, Encinitas resident Michelle Andrews began paying closer attention to what was in her food, where it came from and how it was packaged. That later expanded to decreasing the overall amount of waste she was creating.

Andrews was pretty far along into her waste-reducing efforts when she learned about the trend of zero waste lifestyles. Michelle prefers to refer to her efforts as living a low-waste lifestyle.

Andrews is now a stay-at-home mom to 5-year-old Tilden and Merrit, who is 1. As part of our First Person series, Michelle and her sons gave producer Brooke Ruth a tour of their home to share some of the ways they reduce the amount of waste the family creates.

Keeping food waste out of the landfill to decrease methane emissions

The Miramar landfill holds more than half of the waste San Diegans dispose of each year. It's expected to reach capacity by 2030. Food and yard waste make up the largest portion of material that goes into the landfill, at 39 percent.

The city does not have a food waste collection program for city residents. That's where Food2Soil, a composting service for urban dwellers, comes in to bridge the gap.

Sarah Boltwala-Mesina, founder and executive director of Inika Small Earth Inc., the nonprofit that started Food2Soil, discusses the service and provides listeners tips on how to compost.

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