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The Promise Of Carbon Capture For Addressing Climate Change

Cover image for podcast episode

PHOTO BY CHARLIE RIEDEL AP

Above: Emissions from a coal-fired power plant are silhouetted against the setting sun in Independence, Mo., in February. President Biden is announcing a new pledge for the U.S. to reduce carbon emissions under the Paris climate agreement.

Some scientists are now saying the only way to achieve a limit to global temperature rise is to pair emission reduction efforts with a massive investment in carbon capture technology. Plus, with a guilty verdict handed down to Derek Chauvin on all counts in the death of George Floyd, legal experts now are now analyzing what the conviction will mean for the former Minneapolis police officer's sentence. And the Tijuana River Valley is frequently swamped with sewage-tainted water, but those cross-border flows also carry trash into an ecologically sensitive region. Then in Southeast San Diego, community art spaces are few and far between. One resident is looking to remedy that with the opening of a new center in Chollas View. Finally, the Old Globe brings the politics, family sagas, ghosts and that epic sword fight in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" to radio audiences.

Speaker 1: 00:01 On this earth day, a new technology to fight climate change.

Speaker 2: 00:05 So the technology is absolutely there. The concerns now I think have shifted to the costs.

Speaker 1: 00:11 I'm Maureen Kavanaugh with Jade Hyman. This is KPBS mid day to day After the guilty verdict, what legal challenges remain in the George Floyd case.

Speaker 3: 00:29 Although the verdict has been rendered, this is not the end in the coming weeks. The court will determine sentencing. And later this summer, we expect to present in another case,

Speaker 1: 00:40 A new creative space blossoms in Southeast San Diego. And this weekend Shakespeare's Hamlet becomes a radio play on KPBS that's ahead on midday edition.

Speaker 1: 01:01 As president Biden and leaders around the world, engage in a climate summit on this earth day, the focus is reducing carbon emissions leaders are discussing ways to slash CO2 emissions as quickly as possible to avoid a disastrous increase in global warming. But some scientists are now saying the only way to achieve a limit to global temperature rise is to pair emission reduction efforts with a massive investment in carbon capture technology, basically removing some of the existing CO2 concentrations already in the atmosphere. Joining me is Ryan Hannah he's assistant research scientist at UC San Diego lead author of a paper on the emergency deployment of direct air capture as a response to the climate crisis. And Ryan, welcome to the

Speaker 2: 01:51 Program. Thanks for having the Marine.

Speaker 1: 01:53 Now, I remember speaking to a climate scientist several years ago about the idea of using technology to remove carbon from the atmosphere. And at the time it was treated a little bit like science fiction. Do we have the technology now to remove CO2 from the atmosphere?

Speaker 2: 02:11 We do it, it sounds like science fiction, but it's actually based in a process that is mature well-known and has been used in the oil and gas industry for, for decades. It's the process of capturing CO2 either from, from natural geologic sources or from industrial sources, um, from a high level, it's quite simple. It, it just involves using, uh, organic compounds that selectively absorb CO2 from, from gas streams. And so what you get out the back end is on the one hand, a pure CO2 stream that you can use, whether it goes to underground storage to address climate change concerns in the, in the past, it's gone to agriculture, food and beverage industries. So you get pure CO2 on the one hand and then a relatively depleted stream of atmosphere at gases that are mostly free of CO2 that goes back to the atmosphere. So, so the technology is absolutely there. The concerns now I think have shifted to the costs,

Speaker 1: 03:15 But do we know after that carbon is extracted from the atmosphere and the idea is to safely store it under the earth, would it be safe there, would it be safe for the plant?

Speaker 2: 03:28 Geologists are, I think are pretty confident with underground storage. We have a lot of experience with, with injecting gasses, into depleted oil and gas reservoirs. Of course, there's, there's always the chance that leakage can occur. And so there's significant monitoring. Well there, first of all, there's characterization of the geologic formations into which the, the gases are injected prior to injection, but, but then during injections, there's also extensive monitoring of the reservoir and of the plume. Once it's underground, we have experience with injections through a couple of different processes that actually the CO2 has been injected into old oil and gas reservoirs to, to, to basically increase production at the end of the reservoir's life. And in a process called enhanced oil recovery. That's been, that's been happening for decades. Um, more recently with tests around dedicated storage to address climate change. Um, we have been injecting CO2 into, uh, saline reservoirs, uh, for example, in, in, in, in Illinois, there's, there's, there's been ongoing injections and characterization for the past several years. And so I think the consensus amongst geologists is that, is that we're confident that that with monitoring these reservoirs can store gases off, you know, on the timescales that matter for climate change.

Speaker 1: 04:53 So you said one of the big issues right now is the money it would take. And what kind of money would it take to deploy direct air capture technology to make a significant difference in climate

Speaker 2: 05:04 Change? Yeah, the, the, the short answer is we don't quite know yet because no major commercial plan has been built. We, we have a few, a few pilot plants and those give us some initial numbers that could be indicative of what larger in fact much larger plants might do. But the reality is we simply don't know, even at very high costs of storing CO2 through carbon capture and direct air capture. What we do know is that the climate modeling and the energy systems modeling that the IPC carries out shows us that having these options even at very high costs reduces the overall cost of the de-carbonization challenge in the long run.

Speaker 1: 05:49 So if I understand you correctly, what you're saying is that the cost of direct air capture of taking CO2 out of the air would be cost effective because the cost of reducing emissions alone to try to achieve the same level of carbon reduction would be more expensive. Is that right?

Speaker 2: 06:12 That's absolutely right. One way to think about direct air capture and other technology is what we call negative emissions technologies that actually reduce CO2 out of the atmosphere is, is that they act as, as a backstop against all of the conventional mitigation that needs to happen in all of the economic sectors. So in, in, in for any economic sector, one can look at the cost of decarbonizing that sector. So for example, cement production or steel production, which are very hard to decarbonize or aviation, for example, for which we don't really know what the solutions are going to be and what their costs are going to be. We, we, we can't on the other hand, look to these negative emissions technologies as a backstop and say, well, if the negative emissions technologies are cheaper or appear to be less costly than going into the sector and decarbonizing it, then it would make sense to preferentially go with the negative emissions options. Instead for simply from a cost perspective,

Speaker 1: 07:06 How much carbon could these negative emissions options take out of the atmosphere?

Speaker 2: 07:12 In, in theory, I could do quite a lot, the intergovernmental panel on climate change, which is the main international body that does all of the, the modeling and scenario work that kind of tells us, um, how, how quickly we need to reduce emissions overall tells us that we will need something on the order of 200, to a thousand gigatons of CO2 removed from the atmosphere. That's on the order of, at the low end five to six years of, of global emissions on the high end 20 to 25 years of global emissions over the century. And so we know there's absolutely a need for these, for these different means of negative emissions. Um, and really the sky is the limit for them,

Speaker 1: 07:56 But this is not the whole solution, right? We still need to decrease our emissions

Speaker 2: 08:01 100%. There's no way around that. Conventional mitigation actually getting the emissions out of the economic sectors in addition to negative emissions, those need to be seen as compliments.

Speaker 1: 08:12 So where are CO2 levels now in relation to the goal set by the Paris accord? I think they were hoping to limit warming to about one and a half degrees centigrade. Where are we now

Speaker 2: 08:23 Right now because of the inertia of the climate system with our existing emissions baked in about one degree centigrade of, of warming already. And that's obviously set to increase the best estimates that we have for, for warming based on sort of where we are now and where we think we're going to go in, in the future with emissions, given current policies that puts us on track for something like three degrees of warming by the end of the century. So that's, that's obviously too high and dangerous. And so the challenge to, to stop that as is immense as, as we know, every month or, or year of delay in addressing climate change, really just compounds the challenge because we've let more emissions into the atmosphere, which means the task of taking those out later becomes greater.

Speaker 1: 09:18 It doesn't mean if we go higher than that one degree up to even the three degrees that you mentioned, what does that mean to life on earth?

Speaker 2: 09:25 I think the important way to think about global warming is that every increments or incremental degree is worse than the increment before it. And so it's a spectrum, you know, life on earth, doesn't cease at 1.6 degrees where it exists at 1.4 and the same is true at two degrees and three degrees, rather the damages and the effects to human civilization are worsened with each incremental degree. And so the way that we think about the thresholds is, uh, as a target, as a way to, to sort of focus the mind, but the damages of course are continuous rather than say, binary or discreet as

Speaker 1: 10:11 Temperatures rise. What changes would

Speaker 2: 10:13 We see? I think a few of the major changes involve warming in the, in the Arctic and the polls, especially which see drastically higher impacts than the rest of the, the earth warming. So, so certainly glacial melts at the polls, uh, ice cabinets at the polls, thawing of permafrost, think to, to human systems, the warming adds to potential threats of my migration and movement of different peoples due to the, to the additional warming and to the effects that come with that. And that affects for example, their, their livelihoods, whether that's has to do with crops or water availability.

Speaker 1: 11:00 I have hope that this week climate summit will address the subject of direct air capture and maybe move that idea forward.

Speaker 2: 11:08 I think the idea has, has come into the mainstream scientifically. It's hard for me to say whether it's in the mainstream publicly, but I think the idea that negative emissions are critical to the solution is now I think, well, well accepted and various various groups, whether they're scientists and labs or whether they're NGOs or think tanks are calling for massive government investment in these technologies. And so I do have hope that these efforts into improving, improving out the potential for these negative emissions technologies will emerge over the next decade.

Speaker 1: 11:46 I've been speaking with Ryan Hannah and assistant research scientist at UC San Diego. Ryan, thank you very much. Thanks

Speaker 4: 11:54 For having me on bring in celebration of this week's earth day. I love a clean San Diego is hosting an all day cleanup on Saturday. You can choose a block park beach Canyon, or neighborhood near you and remove trash to make sure it doesn't end up in our ocean to register, go to Creek tobay.org. How far reaching could the verdict in the shove trial be after one day of deliberation, the jury and the trial of former Minneapolis police officer Derek, Shovan delivered a guilty verdict on all three counts, including second degree unintentional murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. Here's Minnesota attorney general Keith Ellison.

Speaker 3: 12:43 Although the verdict has been rendered, this is not the end in the coming weeks. The court will determine sentencing. And later this summer, we expect to present another case.

Speaker 4: 12:54 The guilty verdict could set a new legal precedent for police accountability involving in custody deaths. And now the justice department is opening an investigation into the Minneapolis police department for unlawful or unconstitutional policing. Joining me to break down the specifics of the verdict and possible sentence is criminal defense attorney Eugene Iredale of Iredale, and you APC Eugene. Welcome.

Speaker 5: 13:21 Thank you, Jay. So can

Speaker 4: 13:23 You break down the three specific charges Shovan was found guilty of and what differentiates second and third degree murder from second degree manslaughter?

Speaker 5: 13:33 Yes, I can do that. Jade. I need to start by telling you that the Minnesota degrees of homicide are very different from the law of homicide here in California. What they call second degree murder is very close to our first degree felony murder. They, he was convicted of second degree murder, which is a killing that is perpetrated in the course of the commission of another felony. And the felony specifically that was the underlying felony, was a felony assault on the person of George Floyd, which resulted in his death. That's what they call second degree murder in California. We would call it something else. First degree felony murder in Minnesota. They have a third degree murder. We don't have that in California. We have only two degrees of murder there. Third degree murder is the same or very close to what we call second degree murder, which is, uh, the praised indifference abandoned and malignant heart, doing something with reckless disregard to human life. With that action resulting death. That's their third degree murder that he was also convicted of. And then third. And finally they convicted him of second degree manslaughter, which is a killing or a death that results from reckless conduct that causes death with a high degree of negligence, which is very close to our involuntary manslaughter here in California.

Speaker 4: 15:22 Each count carries a different maximum sentence. And prosecutors in the case said, they'll seek a sentence that goes above the typical guideline range on what grounds will they do that?

Speaker 5: 15:33 Uh, as I understand that the guideline range for someone without a previous record is 12 and a half years for the second degree murder charge, they can seek an enhancement and have indicated that they will seek an enhancement for abuse of position of victim, who was in an especially vulnerable position. And for cruelty in the conduct that resulted in the death.

Speaker 4: 16:02 What factors do you think will ultimately affect the length of Shovan sentence?

Speaker 5: 16:07 I think three things. The first is the judge's perception from the trial of the egregiousness of the conduct. The second is the defendant's attitude, Mr. Children's attitude, and what he chooses to say or not to say whether he fully accepts responsibility and expresses contrition, whether he gives some explanation or some thing that mitigates the apparent callousness of the conduct, or whether he shows that he is truly sorry, whether he shows that he appreciates the magnitude and the metaphorical and national significance of this case and does something that a defendant can do to express remorse and to attempt reconciliation by saying in a sincere way, I am sorry. I acknowledge the wrongness of my conduct. And then the third thing is something that everybody will try to avoid saying it influences the result, but which will inevitably influence the sentence as it, I believe influenced the verdict and the rapidity of the verdict, which is the public attention and the public significance of the case and how the actors in the trial perceive its effect will be on the future. Not only in this case, but in other cases, even though it is supposed to be narrowly imposed, only in this case,

Speaker 4: 17:42 Some legal experts are expecting an appeal to the guilty verdict. What would that process look like? Of course will be appeal a

Speaker 5: 17:50 Hundred percent that will be appeal. And on the basis of the briefs, which are written documents, the court of appeals in Minnesota will have an oral argument, which will, I am sure go far longer than the average oral argument in criminal case, and which the judges will question the attorneys as to their legal arguments as to the soundness of their position, as the facts undergirding, those arguments as to the relief they are seeking. And as to the applicability of precedent within the state of Minnesota and any federal court law that would be applicable. And based on that oral argument, which even in this case is not likely to go longer than two or three hours. That panel of judges will then make a decision resulting in a written ruling. And I have to preface this by saying, I am not an expert in the appellate process at Minnesota. I believe that there's an intermediate appellate court, which would decide the case. And then there would be a review by the Minnesota Supreme court. And whether that's a discretionary or mandatory review of the lower appellate courts decision, I don't know,

Speaker 1: 19:10 I've been speaking with criminal defense attorney, Eugene Iredale of Iredale, and you APC Eugene, thank you very much for joining us.

Speaker 5: 19:19 Well, Jay, thank you so much. [inaudible]

Speaker 1: 19:36 This is KPBS midday edition. I'm Maureen Cavenaugh with Jade Heinemann. The Tijuana river Valley is frequently swamped with sewage tainted water, but those cross border flows also carry trash into an ecologically sensitive region, KPBS environment, and reporter Eric Anderson says people on both sides of the border are working to get the trash problem under control.

Speaker 6: 20:00 Chris Peregrine walks down a gentle slope in goat Canyon, just North of the U S Mexico border. He points to a thick steel cable that spans the basin that the cross border flows frequently. Phil.

Speaker 1: 20:14 Yeah, we have an anchor on either side and, um, and then a heavy, heavy duty cable that connects the, um, the trash boom and lets it span across the entire sediment.

Speaker 6: 20:25 The trash boom is fencing. That's designed to stop everything that floats. There are tires here and there, but plastics dominate the trash single use plastic bottles pile up near the barrier, but that's not all,

Speaker 1: 20:39 We're also seeing quite a bit of foam and you can see that there is a couple of different types of phone here. This is a typical polystyrene, but then also,

Speaker 7: 20:48 Um, we see a lot of this type of insulation type thing.

Speaker 6: 20:52 The trash boom was installed in 2005 to keep sediment and the garbage from fouling, the nearby Tijuana river estuary.

Speaker 7: 21:00 We're about a half mile away from an area that is, um, has a saltwater influence of the estuary.

Speaker 6: 21:06 If the sand and trash were allowed to flow unchecked into that area, it could completely choke off the ability of the habitat to function

Speaker 7: 21:15 That mixing that salt water coming in on high tide and going out on the low tide in that that saltwater mixing with the fresh water of the Tijuana river is what makes this place so biologically diverse in so special

Speaker 6: 21:27 Peregrine says, state officials allow the plastics and sediments to accumulate, and then they bring in heavy equipment to remove the trash and scrape off a layer of sediment. The battle against the trash has also being waged in a Tiguan, a community that's about a mile South of the border.

Speaker 4: 21:42 It's basically a Canyon where people have settled and it goes all the way up and it has three different names. [inaudible] and Les Flores. It's one tributary

Speaker 6: 21:55 Fake trevorshay of wild coast says an international grant allow the community there to build a trash boom inside a concrete sediment collector. The idea is to stop the garbage from even reaching the United States,

Speaker 4: 22:09 Stopping the sediment and trash that comes floating with the water and also underwater.

Speaker 6: 22:16 Well coasts Rosario note as a Godrej is helping organize the effort in Mexico. She trades small food items for plastics in an effort to create an economic incentive, to pick up the trash and they urge the community members to protect themselves. If they go into the concrete collector,

Speaker 4: 22:35 The [inaudible] yes, yes, yes, yes. Per the rules per the protocol, the team that arrives to work specifically in the area of the D sander must wear safety

Speaker 6: 22:46 Equipment. She's teaching the community how to manage the trash boom, but that's only part of the equation.

Speaker 4: 22:51 It doesn't [inaudible] the community has to raise awareness regarding such a change of habits, a change in behaviors and how they are currently handling their waste and how it directly creates a contamination problem. Right?

Speaker 6: 23:10 Even with those efforts, the estuary on the U S side of the border remains under assault. Every time it rains trash flows down the Tijuana river Valley, the main channel is Peregrine calls.

Speaker 7: 23:21 There is no formal facility here to capture trash. So when go Canyon, we can clean the trash out of an area with heavy equipment. But when you come to an area like this, that's currently supporting nesting species, right? In amongst these trash flows, it becomes very challenging to clean up.

Speaker 6: 23:39 And while the trash is tough to clean up in the thick riparian habitat, it doesn't necessarily stay in the heavy brush near dairy Mart road. It's going to start making its way further downstream as it makes its way downstream. It breaks up into smaller and smaller pieces. And ultimately it's working its way out into the environment in the ocean. Peregrine hopes that a combination of efforts around the estuary and in Mexico will help reduce the amount of trash that finds its way into the Valley and keeping the trash out of the delicate habitat could go a long way toward allowing the area to be the natural refuge. It was intended to be Eric Anderson, KPBS news.

Speaker 4: 24:26 When the pandemic started, artists had to reconcile with the fact that their ability to publicly display their creative endeavors in person would all but disappear well now with galleries and museums reopening many in the arts world are rejoicing. However, there are still a number of neglected communities in San Diego that suffer from a lack of creative spaces in a story first covered by the San Diego union Tribune. One Southeast San Diego residents sought to remedy that problem by opening the Cali arts connect arts and culture center in joyous view, Kim Phillips P president of the Southeast art team collaborated with a property owner of a vacant one-story residential building to turn the space into a creative Oasis for arts in the area. And she joins us now, Kim welcome.

Speaker 8: 25:16 Yes. Thank you so much for having me.

Speaker 4: 25:19 So first, what led you and your team to open this art center?

Speaker 8: 25:24 Well, uh, just like you said, a lack of creative spaces in the area always left us having to borrow space. We would go to parks. We would go to Malcolm X library, which was no problem because we enjoyed being there, but there is always like we know of no place like home. So we wanted a permanent location with a rooftop where we could be protected, just having the indoor location where we could choose to be indoors or outdoors was just the perfect remedy and solution for us.

Speaker 4: 25:55 And what role has community involvement played in, in setting up this?

Speaker 8: 26:00 Well, we've collaborated with Lincoln high school. Uh, they've got a group called black girls United, and recently they won a grant to install a mural in the community. And they reached out to us Southeast art team. And we were able to not only provide the location, but we helped them through the process of drawing out their mural, which was a beautiful Brianna Taylor. We helped them go to home Depot and buy the paint. And the manager of home Depot loved the project so much. He ended up donating all of the supplies to black girls United, which allowed us, you know, to have even more fun with the murals. So as you can see, we have our arms locked together, not only to build the space, but to also make sure that our youth, our teenagers and artists all have a collective place where we can all work in grow together.

Speaker 4: 26:50 You mentioned the mural of Brianna Taylor, you know, and with so much in the news this week, even regarding the trial of Derek Shovan, uh, it's important to note that so much of the commemoration of figures important to the racial justice movement has been in public art pieces like murals or street. Art has the ongoing focus on racial justice in America had a big impact on your work or the work of your colleagues.

Speaker 8: 27:14 We have just been very happy to be able to play a role. Um, as we know in our communities, it's not necessarily easy to get the approval from business owners. We don't own a lot of businesses, so we don't have a lot of say so in control over what images we see in our neighborhoods and on our walls. So we're very fortunate and thankful to have a space where we're able to control the narrative and tell the stories that we want to tell. We're thankful that Lincoln high school and black girls United, um, reached out to us because we want to be able to have our voices heard because there's so much to be said, you know, in our young people, they have a voice. So this place that we've created is just that a location where they can come for creativity and expression during these times.

Speaker 4: 28:07 And you know, you've said that you identify a distinct lack of creative spaces in Southeast San Diego for artists. How do you hope that this new center will, will help to change that?

Speaker 8: 28:18 Well, it already has the feedback and the response has just been so positive. We've gotten requests to create more murals. We have other community members who have inquired about how they can transform their spaces. The Southeast art team has also collaborated with Jacobs center community for neighborhood innovation in Southeastern San Diego at market Creek Plaza. We have a pop-up art gallery that has been open since October. And then, um, the Elks lodge, which is located at six Hindley street has also agreed to collaborate with the art team to open another art gallery. So as you can see, it is just super inspiring when we see the empowerment and just how uplifted everyone in our community is by the artwork and just by the collaboration of artists and creative energy.

Speaker 4: 29:14 So when people come to this art space, what exactly do they see? What will you find when you walk through there?

Speaker 8: 29:20 So at the art space, you'll see a range of art, um, from abstract art to like acrylic pores, to tributes, to our local hip-hop stars and also celebrity hip hop. You'll also see tributes to our ancestors. It depends on the artist that has contributed work, their style, their, you know, how they were feeling at the time that they created the work. We've got a door that's painted in a mother nature theme. You'll also see a huge giraffe that I painted a couple of years ago for a solo show. We want this to be sort of like a mini world beats center. We're very inspired by Makeda dread and all the artwork and creativity that surrounds the world beats theater. So this is that same type of feeling and space where everywhere you look is just surrounded by artwork.

Speaker 9: 30:12 I've been speaking with Kim Phillips P president of the Southeast art team and honor of Kelly artist connect

Speaker 1: 30:18 Arts and culture center in choice view,

Speaker 9: 30:21 Kim, thanks so much for joining us.

Speaker 8: 30:23 Thank you so much again, and thanks so much to our entire community for supporting this.

Speaker 1: 30:35 This is KPBS mid day edition. I'm Maureen Kevin Hall with Jade Heinemann PAC arts spring showcase had to skip last year because of the pandemic, but this year it's taking place all online. The showcase kicks off tomorrow and KPBS arts reporter Beth Armando speaks with PAC arts, artistic director, Brian hu, about what to expect from the virtual festival.

Speaker 9: 31:00 Brian, you are about to kick off the 10th spring showcase for the San Diego Asian film festival. What is it like kicking this off in the midst of both the pandemic and a rise in anti-Asian hate crimes that we're seeing?

Speaker 10: 31:14 I mean, like after doing this for so many years, it's sort of like, alright, well spring's coming, let's put together a spring showcase, but this year it felt, feels a little different. It feels like we need to do this now. And part of it is like, it's a way to tell our loyal fans, Hey, like we haven't gone anywhere. We may have skipped a year. Um, but the, the pandemic has created challenges. Feel films are aren't as available as they used to be. And then of course the anti-Asian attacks that have been very visible. Remind us that perhaps we need to be thinking about our visibility as a, as a film festival, as a way to combat the dehumanizing images that we often see, or just to show, especially to other Asian Americans, that there's plenty of, that we can still be joyous about that we can kind of commune over that. That was the spirit in which we put together. This program,

Speaker 9: 32:03 We had already discussed this sidebar you're doing, which is songs. Our elders taught me, which addresses the fact that a lot of older Asian Americans have been the victims of some of this anti-Asian hate, but you also have another sidebar focus, which is on Hawaiian documentaries called sovereign cinema. So what is this program going to be about?

Speaker 10: 32:24 I am very excited about this program. I mean, like we, we often think about like, who are the masters of documentary around the world? Like, like the Aero Morris's and Verna Hertz socks, but we never think about the Pacific islands in quite the same way. And perhaps it's because documentarians there have different things on their minds than I dunno, like, like copping, Frederick Wiseman or something, right. It could be about trying to make films that say something about their culture, their culture, their society to politics. And when we were taking that angle, I discovered that there is a, I mean, a film collective that's been around for decades called Namaka Ocarina, and the directors are PUI pal and Joel Nander and they've been making the most incisive committed political documentaries that I've seen anywhere in the world. Let's let's make these films better known. And the timing is kind of right.

Speaker 10: 33:17 Uh, one of their films, uh, Monica temple under siege was recently inducted into the national film registry, which just kind of, for me, kind of ironic because part of the whole mission of these films is to like disassociate themselves with the U S national government. Um, but it's still like quite a moment for Hawaiian cinema to get that kind of recognition. Um, Joe Lander is still around and she's going to join us for a panel. And it's a big part of this is really claiming that there are our tours beyond the usual ones that we are so used to.

Speaker 9: 33:46 And some of these documentaries go back quite a ways. There's one from the nineties. And I think it's fair to warn people, you know, there's some very early video technology and Kyron going on here, but if you look past it, the amount of information that's contained in there is really fascinating and stuff that we don't get to hear about very often.

Speaker 10: 34:06 Yeah. I mean, you're absolutely right, right. I mean, these films are dense. I mean, we should call them videos. So are, they really are videos. Right. And I think these makers, when they were making them, they thought themselves as video makers rather than filmmakers, but yeah, you're right. It's so dense with information and information that I sort of knew, but the details are actually much more regulatory than the conclusions that we all know the conclusion. We all know how the story ends. That Hawaii becomes a part of the United States becomes a 50th state, but what are the weird machinations that led to this moment? And once you know, those things, it changes your entire perspective on Hawaii's notion of sovereignty.

Speaker 9: 34:42 Now I think people sometimes forget that a country like Iran is considered part of this Asian cinema that you're looking at. And I was so happy to see a film by Majeed McGeady sun, children. And I feel like it's been too long since I've seen an Iranian film and this one is great.

Speaker 10: 35:00 It's so good. And then when she met Jeannie, like he was one of the, like the shining lights of Iranian cinema, about 20 years ago, this is his like he's back in a big way. I think a lot of people don't their perspective, but their, their perceptions of writing cinema are often about poverty, poor kids in the streets and central is, but he has the spin on it, which is a heist film. It's still grounded in realism, but there's like, it's Cassis jolt of energy of like a, are they going to find the treasure that makes us really stand out, not just in Iranian cinema, but for Asian cinema more broadly.

Speaker 9: 35:34 And I want to end on what is always my favorite

Speaker 11: 35:38 Note of the festivals. Something I look forward to, which is your mystery Kung Fu theater. And as the title implies, you may not be able to reveal much, but give people who are unfamiliar with this, a sense of what they can expect

Speaker 10: 35:50 As you know, very well. Uh, Mr. Comfort theater was conceived, uh, probably a decade ago now, or soon to be a decade. Like they're always at classic or, and not so great. Also old martial art films that are best consumed or appreciated in a movie theater with a bunch of other people. And so, so we all sit together, we can all hear and feel each other's reactions to movies that are very violent, sometimes inadvertently funny. And so much of the energy comes from each other as much as it's emanating from the screen. And the pandemic is, has not been kind to these kinds of events. But what we discovered last year at our film festival, which is also virtual, is it's a reminder that this whole discovery of martial arts films, especially amongst our generation, it happened via video. Anyways, it happened in our homes, happened through like broadcasts of a movie. They call that come through theater on television. And so why not? Why not? You evoke the, the home context of this, um, in doing mystery comfort theater. And I think our audiences are going to have a blast with it, with the two films that we've chosen for this program. It's going to be a double feature that you can watch from home and it's gonna be streamed via Twitch.

Speaker 11: 37:03 Well, I want to thank you very much for talking about the spring showcase.

Speaker 10: 37:06 I thank you as always, that

Speaker 11: 37:08 Was Beth haka, Mondo speaking with PAC arts, Brian, who the spring showcase

Speaker 4: 37:13 Runs this Friday through May 2nd

Speaker 11: 37:15 With all events happening online

Speaker 4: 37:25 This weekend Shakespeare's classic play Hamlet gets a pandemic era refresh of an old art form. The radio drama, the old globe worked with actors from their 2017 stage production and expert sound crews to transform the work into an audio production for KPBS audiences, the Globes artistic director, Barry Edelstein joined KPBS arts editor, Julia Dixon, Evans, to discuss how they pulled it off and why Hamlet is still relevant. Now,

Speaker 11: 37:54 Barry, you're a Shakespeare scholar and Hamlet is arguably the most famous play of all time. Can you tell us something we might not know about this play or, or even something that we think we know, but keep getting wrong.

Speaker 10: 38:11 Hamlet is a play that continues to reveal new things about itself each time you return to it. So I have found coming back to it now four years after we did it outside at the little Davies festival stage that I hear different resonances and that's because I've changed. So the thing I would say about it, and think one could say

Speaker 12: 38:36 This of any great masterpiece of literature, of, of another great Shakespeare play like King Lear or something like that is that they become partners in our journey through life because they have a seeming endlessness about them. And coming back to this play in the middle of the pandemic themes in the play about loneliness and isolation and loss and grief seem more prominent than they did four years ago. And I would imagine that 10 years from now when I pick up the play and read it again, I'll find all kinds of other resonances in it. That's one of the things I think that has given it, its ability to endure over the centuries is that it always has more layers, more levels, more depths to reveal of itself.

Speaker 11: 39:29 And what is something you were mindful of in producing this classical play right now in this mid pandemic, in this continuing racial and social justice crisis, this new and evolving society. I mean, beyond having to do it for the radio, but things like, like the style, the tone and the nuance.

Speaker 12: 39:54 When we did the show in 2017, over half the company were actors of color. The entire Royal family is black. Hamlet is black, the King, the queen, the ghost of his father. Um, our MFA actor training program, which we run with the university of San Diego is in most years. And I think now over 50% actors of color. So at the time in 2017, the production was notable for the diversity of representation on stage. And it also happened to be the most successful Shakespeare at the box office in the history of the old globe and the first Shakespeare in the Globes, 85 year history to sell more than a million dollars worth of tickets. So it has an important place in the life of the old globe in that it demonstrates that diversity and public success go hand in hand. And we knew we wanted to capture that in the radio version in particular, in light of the upheavals of 2020 and the great reckoning that institutions like the globe are doing with questions of equity, diversity, inclusion, access, belonging. We felt that this Hamlet put the Globe's best foot forward and demonstrated to our audience both live and on the radio. That Shakespeare is for everyone that the experience gets more rich, the wider, the diversity that it can embrace

Speaker 11: 41:23 The actor who will play Hamlet, grant them Coleman performed in this role with the old globe in 2017. And we have a clip from a recent where he talked about what changes he made between those massive outdoor sets with, uh, 40 performances to making this into a radio play.

Speaker 12: 41:45 We played around very early on with this, this, the very intimate, very close to the microphone Hamlet inside his mind production, or do we hold true to what worked on stage, which was loud and aggressive and fast. Um, and we realized that the best is, is always going to be a mix. It's always going to be a little bit of this, a little bit of that.

Speaker 11: 42:09 So that's Grantham Coleman in a recent interview he did with the globe. Can you expand on that a little bit about making radio, right?

Speaker 12: 42:18 Is one of the most exciting classical actors we have in the United States after doing Hamlet at the globe in 2017, he went on to star in much ado about nothing at Shakespeare in the park, in central park, in New York city. He's got just a, an exploding career. And, uh, it's been such an honor to do this work with him and to watch him adjust to this medium, the microphone is a strange thing. It, it will lure you into a sense of, um, intimacy and quiet and closeness. And that is extremely fun. And, and in its own way, expressive, and as Grantham said, we did a lot of experimentation and thought, well, why don't we take advantage of the medium that we're in and try and exploit the fact that the microphone can draw the audience closer to us than they're able to get outdoors.

Speaker 11: 43:13 And Barry, do you have a favorite line or a scene from Hamlet?

Speaker 12: 43:20 I do. There's a line that's been ricocheting through my head in particular, in the last couple of weeks because governor Newsome has announced that on June 15th, all the pandemic restrictions are going to be lifted. And we're all going to be able to start to return to things. We remember full houses, full of audiences watching a live performance. And as we put those plans in motion, this one line of Hamlet where he says the readiness is all, there was a special Providence in the fall of a Sparrow. If it be now, it's not to come. If it be not to come, it will be now. It'd be not now. Yeah, it will come. The readiness is all

Speaker 11: 44:15 Very, thank you so much. Thank you.

Speaker 12: 44:17 That's the old Globes Barry Edelstein speaking with KPBS arts editor and producer Julia Dickson Evans Hamlet on the radio. Well, Aaron KPBS in two parts this weekend to celebrate Shakespeare's birthday and death day tune in Friday at 7:00 PM for part one and Saturday at seven for part two.

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KPBS Midday Edition

KPBS Midday Edition is a daily talk show hosted by Maureen Cavanaugh and Jade Hindmon, keeping San Diegans in the know on everything from politics to the arts.