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The history of disasters

It's easy to judge the Pompeiians for building a city on the foothills of a volcano, but are we really any smarter today? If you live along the San Andreas fault in San Francisco or Los Angeles, geologists are pretty confident you're going to experience a magnitude 8 (or larger) earthquake in the next 25 years—that's about the same size as the 1906 San Francisco quake that killed an estimated 3,000 people and destroyed nearly 30,000 buildings. Or if you're one of the 9.6 million residents of Jakarta, Indonesia, you might have noticed that parts of the ground are sinking by as much as ten inches a year, with about 40 percent of the city now below sea level.

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Do individual carbon footprints really matter?

Do we spend too much time thinking about our own carbon footprints and not enough time thinking about bigger factors? Climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert acknowledges it's necessary for individuals to make changes in the way they live, but that isn't the number one priority.

"What would you do to try to move this battleship in a new direction? It requires public policy levers. And it requires … some pretty serious legislation." Ian Bremmer spoke with Kolbert, an award-winning journalist and author and staff writer at The New Yorker, on a new episode of GZERO World, airing on US public television.

Watch the episode: Can We Fix the Planet the Same Way We Broke It?

A history of Earth Day and the climate movement: river on fire

Ian Bremmer explains how a fire on the Cuyahoga River in Cleveland, Ohio, in the summer of 1969, set the conservation movement ablaze in the United States. A TIME Magazine article about the fire led to the Clean Water Act, creation of the EPA, and the first Earth Day—April 22, 1970. Over 50 years later, citizens of the world agree that climate change is a global emergency. But how can nations come together to find solutions that are truly attainable?

Watch the GZERO World episode: Can We Fix the Planet the Same Way We Broke It?

Geoengineering: science fiction or a solution to the climate crisis?

What are the most promising climate solutions? Elizabeth Kolbert discusses the three types of technologies that are being considered to address climate change, which include cutting edge, science fiction-like technologies like geoengineering, pulling carbon out of the atmosphere and nuclear fusion. Kolbert, a Pulitzer Prize winning climate journalist, spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World about the opportunities and unknowns involved in assessing these extreme solutions. "You can say, 'Well, we've unwittingly geoengineered the planet, let's try to think this through rationally and can we come up with technologies like solar geoengineering to mitigate or counteract that?'" The episode is airing on US public television starting April 16.

Watch the episode: Can We Fix the Planet the Same Way We Broke It?

The climate crisis: how screwed are we?

How bad is the climate crisis? Every year, the UN's Emissions Gap Report shows a large gap between the trajectory we're on and the trajectory we ought to be on, explains climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert. "Every decade now is warmer than the decade before. And we're seeing the damage pile up," says Kolbert, whose latest book is Under A White Sky: The Nature of the Future. "We saw the tremendous wildfire season in California last fall. The hurricane season in the Gulf. These are all connected to climate change, and we're just going to keep seeing more of that." She spoke with Ian Bremmer on GZERO World, airing on US public television stations starting April 16. Check local listings.

Watch the episode: Can we fix the planet the same way we broke it?

The Graphic Truth: Crypto-mining sucks up lots of power

As the price of Bitcoin has skyrocketed in recent months, so has the amount of energy that procuring it hogs. Research shows that Bitcoin "mining" now uses 80 percent more energy than at the start of 2020. Billionaire philanthropist Bill Gates recently sounded the alarm on crypto, saying that he would not invest in Bitcoin because mining for the digital currency requires huge amounts of energy, much of which is powered by fossil fuels that harm the environment. So where does Bitcoin rank in electricity consumption compared to nations?

Can we fix the planet the same way we broke it?

Every recent decade has been warmer than the decade before it. And as the climate continues to warm, more nations are looking to extreme measures to slow down the trend. While some of these solutions may sound like science fiction—see: injecting sulfur particles into the atmosphere or shooting millions of tiny orbital mirrors into outer space—do such desperate times call for desperate measures? Elizabeth Kolbert, a Pulitzer Prize-winning climate journalist, joins Ian Bremmer on GZERO World to talk about some of the more extreme climate solutions currently on the table and how likely they are to be used in the coming years.

Podcast: Can we fix the planet the same way we broke it? Elizabeth Kolbert on extreme climate solutions

Listen: In a wide-ranging interview with Ian Bremmer, Pulitzer Prize-winning climate journalist Elizabeth Kolbert assesses the current state of the climate crisis and answers a simple question: how screwed are we? And as the climate continues to warm at a record pace, she unpacks some of the more extreme climate solutions that some increasingly desperate nations are starting to consider. Such measures may sound like stuff of science fiction (see: injecting sulfur particles into the atmosphere or shooting millions of tiny orbital mirrors into outer space) as times become more desperate, their appeal is growing. Can we fix the planet the same way we broke it?

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