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Uniting People to Protect the Planet with Keya Chatterjee (World Wild Life Fund)

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In 2011, Earth Hour saw hundreds of millions of people across 135 countries switch off for an hour. But it also marked the start of something new – going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action on climate change. In 2012, Earth Hour celebrated its largest event to date with more than 6,950 cities and towns in 152 countries and territories switching off their lights, and with hundreds of thousands of people accepting an IWIYW challenge to take their commitment to the planet beyond the hour. Find out what is in store for 2013 and be part of the change.

Show Highlights: 

  • Part 1: The latest and Greatest on Climate Change: For some, Climate Change is just plain physics and logical.  A warmer atmosphere creates more moisture, which creates extreme weather. Why do some still argue with whether Climate Change is real?  In the environmental community and factions within the business community there is a consensus on what policies (tax on pollution via carbon tax, emissions trading) need to be enacted but politics seem to be stymieing any meaningful policy changes.  While 70-80% of Americans want some type of action, few are demanding their elected officials to take action.  What can you do to move the ball forward? Listen to Part 1
  • Part 2: Earth Hour Challenge: How can your city get involved with expanding it’s renewable energy sources, and educate and prepare the public for Climate Change?  How can you get involved? Listen to Part 2
  • More: Climate Change happening at the local level

About our Guest: 

Keya Chatterjee has a unique spin on the ‘big picture.’ In her case, she’s talking about satellite images of planet Earth. Before joining WWF, she worked for NASA and used the images to communicate research results on climate change. The detailed images of deforestation, sea ice loss and development gave her a unique perspective on the state of the planet. This visual representation of our human impact motivated Keya to shift her focus from plot-level projects to the planet as a whole.

Today, Keya is part of WWF’s climate team, working on every level – local to global – to bring awareness about climate change to the masses and facilitate progress at the highest levels of government toward a new global climate treaty. She can talk in amazing detail about the climate change impacts we are already experiencing; the need to drastically reduce emissions worldwide; the links between climate change and poverty; and the barriers we need to overcome to reach a real global climate agreement.

When you look at the science on which the WWF climate program is based, it can appear daunting. The impacts are increasingly visible –longer forest fire seasons in the US West, hurricanes that are more and more damaging, sea level rise, coral bleaching, and melting sea ice just to name a few. Yet Keya remains optimistic, “We’re in control of our fate here” she likes to say, and WWF is on the front lines talking about the sustainable choices we can make as individuals, corporations and governments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for what’s to come.

Whether it’s learning from people in lowland communities how to adapt to rising sea levels or being part of a delegation to multilateral climate discussions, Keya is looking at the big picture – for people and conservation around the world.