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Can't Take the Heat

Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

The 'Can't Take the Heat' podcast explores how people will adapt to a warming world. Host Roop Singh approaches the biggest challenges posed by climate change, like more intense and frequent heatwaves, from a humanitarian perspective. How will the impacts of climate change affect people around the world? What are the big solutions that are in the works? How do we make them happen? The podcast features experts from around the world including leading scientists developing climate solutions, and humanitarian volunteers telling stories of climate change from the frontlines of disasters. Contact us at podcast@climatecentre.org
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What does it take to keep people in one of the largest cities in the world safe from extreme heat? I interview Kizzy Charles-Guzman, the Deputy Director of the New York City Mayor's Office of Resiliency, about what the City does every time a heat advisory is issued. With COVID-19 some of the advice NYC would typically give on heat ("go outside", "visit senior centers", etc.) is no longer feasible or safe. So, the City is undertaking a massive effort to provide cooling where people live by handing out air conditioners to low-income residents, and helping people pay their electric bills. Kizzy says, "air conditioners are life-saving medical equipment, not a luxury!" Listen to the episode to learn more.
This is part one of a two-part series. The second part of this episode focuses on why heat is an environmental justice issue in NYC and what can be done to address underly inequities. It is coming up next Tuesday.
References and Supplemental Materials:

Lane, K., Wheeler, K., Charles-Guzman, K. et al. Extreme Heat Awareness and Protective Behaviors in New York City. J Urban Health 91, 403–414 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11524-013-9850-7

The intro music is Welcome to the Show, and the background music is Beauty Flow, both by Kevin MacLeod and is used under a creative commons license. The podcast art is by Melinda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

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How many times have you been to a meeting that could have been an email? Or you are listening to someone give a powerpoint, and you have something interesting to add, or a question to ask, but theres simply no time for interaction? There is a team at the Climate Centre trying to reimagine virtual engagements to make them "Virtually Amazing."
Pablo Suarez, Director for Research and Innovation, argues that there is is simply too much to do on climate change and disasters for us to be wasting our time passively listening. Instead, he says, we should be better at (respectfully) calling "bullshit" when processes don't lend themselves to candid conversations and problem solving.
According to Margot Curl, Learning Coordinator, if everyone who was holding a meeting thought clearly on two aspects - the objective of the meeting, and the audience - we would be having fewer meetings and the ones that did happen would be much more interactive. A quick tip to make a more interactive meeting is to get every person to say one (short) thing right at the beginning, to creative an atmosphere of sharing.
Carina Bachofen, Manager Policy and Partnerships, added that we need to find new and innovative ways of connecting digitally that don't require everyone to be online simultaneously, with sound and video. Working asynchronously, in a distributed, collective manner could potentially solve connection issues, by designing to the available technology.
References and Supplemental Materials:

The intro music is Welcome to the Show, and the background music is Beauty Flow, both by Kevin MacLeod and is used under a creative commons license. The podcast art is by Melinda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

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Meteorologists have been forecasting the weather for centuries. Our ability to predict how hot it will be, or how much it will rain has improved a lot over time! Now, scientists are going a step further. They want to predict the impacts of extreme weather events. In other words, not the amount of rain, but what the rain will do.

This idea come from the realization that good weather forecasts or warnings are not enough to prevent impacts. People need tailored information about what to do to ensure their safety and protect their livelihoods. For example, this could be a specific warning indicating that an incoming storm will likely result in power outages in certain parts of town, flooded streets in another part of town, and will require evacuation in a particularly exposed and vulnerable area.

The podcast features Catalina Jaime, Senior Risk Advisor at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, who is writing guidelines to get all of the stakeholders on the same page on Impact-based Forecasting. We also hear from Maurine Ambani, who is working with Red Cross and Red Crescent national societies around Africa on implementing early warning and early action. This podcast is written, edited and hosted by Roop Singh.

The intro music is Welcome to the Show, and the background music is Beauty Flow, both by Kevin MacLeod and is used under a creative commons license. The podcast art is by Melinda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

References and Supplemental Materials:

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In this episode we discuss the ground-breaking work of one group of humanitarians determined to act early, before disasters happen. We follow the story of Forecast-based Financing (FBF) - a term that was coined at an Oktoberfest in 2012 - that eventually changes how the humanitarian world approaches disasters. Ten years ago humanitarian action meant responding to disasters, but now forecasts can be used to anticipate a potential disaster and act early to reduce its impacts. The episode follows the evolution of FBF from the first pilot projects in Uganda and Peru, to the current system which is supported by the government in Mongolia and Mongolia Red Cross.
Dr. Thorsten Klose-Zuber of the German Red Cross tells us how FBF filled a major gap in available financing for anticipatory action. Dr. Liz Stephens shares how FBF presented a novel opportunity to directly apply forecasting science to save lives and what she learned in the process. Dr. Meghan Bailey talks about why the Mongolia FBF project is a model for the future of FBF.
This podcast is written, edited and hosted by Roop Singh. Voices featured in this podcast include Dr. Thorsten Klose-Zuber, German Red Cross, Dr. Elisabeth Stephens, University of Reading and Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR), and Dr. Meghan Bailey, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.
References and Supplemental Materials:

The intro music is Welcome to the Show, and the background music is Beauty Flow, both by Kevin MacLeod and is used under a creative commons license. The podcast art is by Melinda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

Contact us at podcast@climatecentre.org
Follow us on Twitter: @heat_podcast

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In part-two of our series on what it takes to keep people safe from extreme heat in New York City, I interview Sonal Jessel, Policy and Advocacy Coordinator at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. She talks about how decades old policies and decisions create systemic, environmental racism in New York. Black and brown residents often tend to live in areas with less green space, more air pollution and have less access to public services. This puts them at greater risk of hazards like extreme heat and COVID-19.
Listen to the episode to learn more about what can be done to address underlying inequities.
This is part two of a two-part series. The first part of this series features Kizzy Charles-Guzman from the NYC Mayors Office of Resiliency. It focuses on how New York City is addressing extreme heat in COVID-19 times, including through their new air conditioning program.
References and Supplemental Materials:

The paper mentioned at the beginning of the episode is:
Matthews, T., Wilby, R.L. & Murphy, C. An emerging tropical cyclone–deadly heat compound hazard. Nat. Clim. Chang. 9, 602–606 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-019-0525-6

The intro music is Welcome to the Show, and the background music is Beauty Flow, both by Kevin MacLeod and is used under a creative commons license. The podcast art is by Melinda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

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Two of the biggest trends of this century are urbanisation and climate change. In fact, by 2050 more than two-thirds of the world’s population will be living in urban areas, and 90 percent of this increase will be in Asia and Africa. At the same time, climate change is resulting in bigger storms, hotter temperatures, and higher sea-levels. These two colliding trends will undoubtably shape the world in the 21st Century.
How do city-dwellers take advantage of the incredible opportunities that urbanisation creates, while remaining mindful of and anticipating potentially increased risks? And how does the Red Cross and Red Crescent support this work? I talked to Eddie Jjemba, Urban Advisor at the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, and Aynur Kadihasanoglu, Senior Urban Advisor at the IFRC/Global Disaster Preparedness Centre to learn more!

References and Supplemental Materials:
Check out the *new*
Urban Action Kit a quick start, low-cost, do-it-yourself guide to urban resilience! It comesin 12 languages and contains activities across 6 different areas:

  • Urban Agriculture
  • Water Sanitation and Hygiene - WASH
  • Nature-Based Solutions
  • Liveable Cities
  • Early Warning Early action
  • Creative Communications

The intro music is Welcome to the Show, and the background music is Beauty Flow, both by Kevin MacLeod and is used under a creative commons license. The podcast art is by Melinda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

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In our pilot episode we are discussing heatwaves! Heatwaves are surprisingly deadly, killing thousands of people every year... that we know of. There are probably many more deaths that aren’t counted, especially in places where it's hot all year.

The science is also clear: heatwaves are already getting worse because of climate change. But, it’s not all doom and gloom. We can forecast heatwaves days or weeks in advance and take action to reduce the risk of death or illness. Most importantly such actions are simple and cost-effective so we can start today!

Here are three things you can do right now to save lives during a heatwave:

  1. Plan your day around the heat. Reschedule outdoor activities or work early in the morning or late in the evening. Take water with you if you need to go outside during the afternoon, and wear lightweight and light-coloured clothing.
  2. Call the older people (more than 65 years) that you know (like your neighbours and grandparents) and make sure they have a way to cool down, especially at night. Remind them to drink lots of water throughout the day, even if they don’t feel thirsty.
  3. Recognise the signs of heat illness in yourself and others! This is a handy graphic on what to look out for.

This podcast is written, edited and hosted by Roop Singh. Voices featured in this podcast include Julie Arrighi, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and American Red Cross, Dr. Erin Coughlan de Perez, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Dr. Vincent Luo, Science for Humanitarian Emergencies and Resilience (SHEAR) and the University of Reading, and Bithika Biwas, World Food Programme.

The intro music is Welcome to the Show, and the background music is Beauty Flow, both by Kevin MacLeod and is used under a creative commons license. The podcast art is by Melinda.

You can listen to the episode by clicking the “play” button in the audio player above or downloading it through your favorite podcast platform. If you are new to podcasts, learn how to listen.

References and Supplemental Materials:

Contact us at podcast@climatecentre.org.

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