Dec. 28, 2010
The East Coast is struggling to recover from the massive blizzard that slammed into hundreds cities and towns from the Carolinas to Maine. The storm was a grimly fitting end to 2010, which was characterized by extreme weather from start to finish with heat waves, floods, volcanoes, blizzards, landslides and droughts. While TV networks closely follow extreme weather events around the world, they rarely make the connection between extreme weather and global warming. We speak with Dr. Paul Epstein of Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment. [includes rush transcript]
Dr. Paul Epstein, Associate Director of the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School. He is co-author of the forthcoming book, Changing Planet, Changing Health: How the Climate Crisis Threatens Our Health and What We Can Do about It.
AMY GOODMAN: Dr. Paul Epstein, in just the minute we have left, what people can do about it?
DR. PAUL EPSTEIN: We can do a lot. We need to move, as we are, towards electric vehicles and stop burning everything. Even ethanol has its health impacts and affects ozone levels in the ground, the ground photochemical smog. But those vehicles need to be plugged in to a cleanly powered smart grid. And we need to move towards the clean grid, the cleanly powered smart grid. And we can move today rapidly towards a smart grid with technologies that optimize use. And then healthy cities programs, with green buildings, rooftop gardens, tree-lined streets, biking lanes, open space, permeable surface, smart growth, public transport, and cities connected by light rail—these can all make our cities healthier, create jobs, stimulate the economy, and help move us and move climate friendly technologies into the global marketplace.