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Published April 22, 2021
A program that focuses on climate change will air on the Discovery Channel tonight (April 22), and a University of Wyoming economic and environmental expert was interviewed for commentary.
Rob Godby, acting associate dean of UW’s Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, will provide commentary and insight for the program “Action Planet: Meeting the Climate Challenge” that will air as an Earth Day special on the Discovery Channel at 8 p.m. MDT. The program also will air at 7 p.m. MDT on OWN and 9 p.m. MDT on the Science Channel. The special is produced in association with NowThis, described as the No. 1 mobile news brand in the U.S.
The program will focus on the climate crisis’s impact on public health, environmental justice, jobs and infrastructure, and national security.
While he is not sure how much of his interview will actually be aired, Godby says Wyoming will be featured as the example of the economic challenge faced when dealing with climate change. During his 1.5-hour interview, Godby says he discussed the history of energy production in the state; the challenges proactive climate change policy will have for fossil fuel production in Wyoming; and the opportunities renewable energy sources, such as wind and solar, offer communities in the state.
“The challenges of addressing climate change are especially tough in a fossil fuel-producing state like Wyoming, where they are the state’s most important economic sector in terms of production and employment,” says Godby, a UW associate professor of economics. “We are all aware of the declines in the coal and, now, natural gas sectors due to competition between fuels in the electricity sector and the fact that other states produce natural gas more cheaply than we do, and addressing climate change will almost certainly make those challenges more acute.”
The magazine-style special will feature a one-on-one interview with Vice President Kamala Harris and NowThis host and correspondent Zinhle Essamuah. Also interviewed are Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland, Secretary of State Antony Blinken, White House National Climate Advisor Gina McCarthy, and a host of scientific experts, business leaders, government leaders and individuals impacted by the climate crisis.
“The question is: ‘How do we adapt?’ We really can’t avoid these changes and, therefore, the challenge is to get ready,” Godby says. “Whether that is shifting our economy to new activities and finding new revenue sources to fund schools and important public services, to developing renewable sources of energy we have in abundance, these are the choices we face. And Wyoming is a microcosm of the challenges the country and the world face as we grapple with the questions of how to address climate change caused by our current and past levels of fossil fuel use.”
For a trailer of tonight’s program, go to www.youtube.com/watch?v=RcAjLxBBThs.