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Climate One at The Commonwealth Club offers a forum for candid discussion among climate scientists, policymakers, activists and concerned citizens.

Climate One at The Commonwealth Club offers a forum for candid discussion among climate scientists, policymakers, activists and concerned citizens.


Hoopa, CA


Climate One at The Commonwealth Club offers a forum for candid discussion among climate scientists, policymakers, activists and concerned citizens.






The Commonwealth Club 555 Post Street San Francisco, CA 94102 4155976728


Is California’s Climate Progress Going Up in Smoke?

California has been at the forefront of America’s climate fight since Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger signed the country’s first major climate law in 2006. The state’s suite of policies for decarbonizing the economy survived industry-funded attacks in court and at the ballot box, and remained largely consistent under Democratic and Republican governors. But a recent report by Next 10, an independent think tank, indicates the state will meet its 2030 goals 30 years late. Is California really...


Building a Resilient Tomorrow

Climate-fueled floods, fires and droughts have devastated America’s cities and rural areas. Our natural response is to regroup, recover and rebuild. But should we instead be preparing for managed retreat? In her book Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption, Alice Hill warns that the consequences of failing to prepare for further global warming will be staggering. How will we manage the costs of the growing climate threat? Visit...


Driving Forces: How Climate Fuels Human Migration

From the first humans to venture out of Africa 60,000 years ago to the displaced refugees of today, migration has always been a part of human life. And in parts of the world where immediate threats include violence and poverty, climate change probably isn't a driving motivation to leave home. But with erratic weather, extended droughts, and resource scarcity fueling political conflict and pressures on vulnerable rural livelihoods, it's impossible to leave climate out of the conversation....


What is a Just Transition?

Our nation’s dependence on fossil fuels has led to climate disruption and inequality. Underserved communities are the ones most harmed by pollution, lack of green space and heat-related illness. Transitioning to clean energy would seem to be the obvious answer. But in the process of trying to right old wrongs, do we risk leaving some communities behind? What does a just transition to a cleaner, greener economy look like? Visit for more information on...


REWIND: Drawdown / Solving Climate Change

When it comes to cutting carbon pollution, where do we start? Today’s solutions are doable, but daunting: decrease global meat consumption, improve family planning, shut down coal-fired power plants, or expand solar energy. Some countries have taken concrete steps to replace fossil fuels with nuclear, hydro and renewable energy, but the absence of U.S. climate leadership is causing heads of state to ease off their goals. What are the most impactful steps we can take individually and...


REWIND: Exploring Climate Psychology / Getting Outside in the Digital Age

We all know about the environmental effects of climate change. But what about its impact on our mental health? Therapists report that their patients are exhibiting symptoms of what they call “climate anxiety” – loss of sleep, changes in appetite, feelings of grief, anger and hopelessness. One way to cope with the stress and depression brought on by global warming is to get out into the natural world. Two Climate One discussions from the past year explore the psychology of climate change and...


Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don't Know You Have

Everyday choices – like deciding which shirt to buy or on which platform to binge-watch shows on – may impact the planet more than you think. Tatiana's Schlossberg's new book Inconspicuous Consumption: The Environmental Impact You Don’t Know You Have, looks at how seemingly small choices can have a big impact on the climate. We sit down with experts in the fashion and energy sectors, two industries with a big carbon footprint, to see how far individual actions can take us – and when it's up...


Dr. Robert Bullard: The Father of Environmental Justice

Often described as the father of environmental justice, Dr. Robert Bullard has written several seminal books on the subject and is known for his work highlighting pollution on minority communities and speaking up against environmental racism in the 1970-1980s. Climate One honors Robert Bullard with the ninth annual Stephen H. Schneider Award for Outstanding Climate Science Communication. Visit for more information on today's episode. Guests: Robert...


The Big Climate Stories of 2019

2019 saw a number of significant events in the climate world. Wildfires, floods, wind and extreme weather continued to batter the nation from California to Florida. There were firestorms in Congress and Tweetstorms from the White House. The rise of the youth climate movement, the advance of electric cars… and the emergence of climate as a top-tier campaign issue. Two reporters who cover the climate beat discuss the stories dominated their news feeds this year - and the ones that aren’t...



The 2018 Camp Fire was one of the most destructive in California’s history, resulting in over eighty deaths and destroying the town of Paradise. Dry weather and hot winds fanned the flames - but the spark that lit them came from a faulty transmission line. That and other wildfires have been found to be the result of negligence on the part of California’s biggest utility, PG&E. Their solution? Pulling the plug on millions of customers. But who pays the bill? And with PG&E facing bankruptcy,...


Rewind: Jonathan Safran Foer and David Wallace-Wells

A look back at conversations with two writers confronting the climate challenge in 2019. In The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming, David-Wallace Wells allows fear — along with a storyteller’s appreciation for the human drama involved — to move him out of climate complacency. In We Are the Weather: Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, Jonathan Safran Foer asks how individuals can change their behavior to create new climate-sensitive social norms. Visit...


High Risk, High Hopes: A Year of Climate Conversations

2019 has been a year of climate rising. Youth activists skipped school and took to the streets, the Green New Deal thrust climate equity into the spotlight, and Democratic presidential candidates were forced to respond. Even a few Republicans dared to suggest climate is a concern that needs to be addressed. Join us for a look back on the big ideas that shaped some of our favorite episodes from 2019. Visit for more information on today's...


Shadows to Spotlight: Climate in the Media

Murder, love, and the human experience are the stuff of great stories, as podcasts like Serial and RadioLab have shown us. But climate change? Not so much. The story is overwhelming and the ending is predictable and depressing, say radio producers. But coverage in national newspapers has increased since President Trump took office. It’s also expanded from science and environmental beats to culture, health and finance. And as the conversation shifts further toward companies’ role confronting...


Letters to The Boss: Help Fix Our Climate

Climate change has become a major risk factor for corporations. With groups like the Carbon Disclosure Project grading companies on their carbon footprint, employees, consumers and investors are taking note -- and woe to those CEOs who are slow to pick up the ball. “We’re gonna start to see some efforts where silence is complacency and it’s no longer acceptable,” says Joel Makower of Greenbiz. “You’re gonna have to get off the sidelines, to use the football metaphor, and get into the game...


John Browne: Engineering the Future

Can oil companies reinvent themselves as clean energy providers? John Browne attempted it over more than a decade as CEO of British Petroleum, where he led the company's “Beyond Petroleum” rebranding campaign. In his new book, Make, Think, Imagine: Engineering the Future of Civilization, Browne argues that the solution to reducing emissions and addressing climate change is a mass deployment of engineered technology — and that the tools we need to get there already exist. Join us for a...


California’s Story: How Did It Get Here?

California has long led the country in environmental action. It established strong automobile emission standards; it preserved fragile lands from development; it set energy efficiency standards for buildings and appliances. But as climate change fuels megafires across the state and the state’s largest electric utility shuts off power to more than a million residents, can the state’s legacy of environmental leadership save it from climate disaster? In a state already accustomed to swinging...


Libation Migration: Beer, Wine and Climate Change

America’s most popular alcoholic beverages are about to take a hit from climate. Mild, sunny growing conditions have made California king of a $62 billion wine industry, and more than 7,000 breweries in the U.S. rely on barley, a key ingredient in beer that is partial to the cool temperatures of northwestern states and Canada. But both grapes and barley are sensitive to a changing climate. And years of disruptions from drought, fires, and rising temperatures have brewers and winemakers...


Cities for the Future

Cities around the world are bracing for a growth spurt. With over half of the global population living in urban centers, and another 2.5 billion expected to join them by 2050, it’s time to rethink the traditional car-centric cityscape. How do we redesign our cities to withstand the challenges of cars, climate change and rapid population growth? This week on Climate One, one of our favorite summer 2019 episodes on building sustainable cities that make public life healthier, more inclusive...


Law and Disorder: Climate Change in the Courts

The jury is out on whether our legal system is equipped to deal with climate change. While some parts of the country are inundated by floods, others are resisting the growth of oil and gas infrastructure — and both are running into the law. Do youth have a constitutional right to a clean environment? At what point should disaster preparedness become disaster law? Does water have legal rights? A discussion on how many facets of the climate challenge are pushing, and changing, the law. Visit...


Scorched Earth: Culture and Climate Under Siege

From the Amazon to the Congo to California, our planet’s forests are being decimated. And along with them, the stability of our climate. Why? Because trees are among our most effective weapons against carbon emissions. The Amazon alone is responsible for removing five percent of the world’s 40 billion tons of CO2 emissions from the air each year. When forests burn, carbon storage is lost -- along with biodiversity, indigenous culture, and more. Join us for a conversation about the climate...