Maine: The Way Life Could Be 4/5/22: Climate Change in Our Lifetime, Part 2 of 2

Producers/Hosts: Jim Campbell and Amy Browne
With assistance from Ann Luther and Matt Murphy
This series is made possible in part by a grant from the Maine Arts Commission:

In a previous program, we began looking at the effects of Climate Change on life in Maine, now and in the future, a topic that almost everyone mentioned who participated in our interest gathering efforts.

Maine is the oldest state in the country, both in median age and in percentage of those over 55, but the people who are going to be dealing with the effects of Climate Change the longest are younger people. And climate change seems to be affecting many of them already.

In December of 2021, The Lancet Planetary Health journal published the results of a survey of 10,000 people ages 16 to 25 year in ten countries. The authors found that “Respondents across all countries were worried about climate change (59% were very or extremely worried and 84% were at least moderately worried). More than 50% reported each of the following emotions: sad, anxious, angry, powerless, helpless, and guilty. More than 45% of respondents said their feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning, and many reported a high number of negative thoughts about climate change (eg, 75% said that they think the future is frightening and 83% said that they think people have failed to take care of the planet). Respondents rated governmental responses to climate change negatively and reported greater feelings of betrayal than of reassurance.”

On today’s program, we talk with several younger people in Maine about their attitudes and expectations of the effects of climate change on their future. We spoke with two pairs of high school students. We will hear first from Joey and Edge, who are from two different schools in Washington County. We’ll follow that conversation with one with Grace and Sophia, who are from the Mount Desert Island area of Hancock County.

Finally, we hear from Hazel Stark, a Millennial, Registered Maine Guide, naturalist educator and cofounder of the Maine Outdoor School. She also hosts the Saturday morning short feature, The Nature of Phenology, here on WERU, co-produced with Joe Horn. The resources Hazel mentions include: iNaturalist , eBird , and Budburst She also recommends UMaine’s Signs of the Seasons: A New England Phenology Program and the USA National Phenology Network


Maine’s Climate Future 2020 – a University of Maine report authored by Ivan Fernandez, Sean Birkel, Catherine Schmitt, Julia Simonson, Brad Lyon, Andrew Pershing, Esperanza Stancioff, George
Jacobson, and Paul Mayewski.

Scientific Assessment of Climate Change and Its Effects in Maine, by the Maine Climate Council Scientific and Technical Subcommittee

Inaction on Climate Change is Taking a Toll on Young People’s Mental Health, Brennan Center for Justice

Climate anxiety in children and young people and their beliefs about government responses to climate change: a global survey, The Lancet, Caroline Hickman, MSc, Elizabeth Marks, ClinPsyD, Panu Pihkala, PhD, Prof Susan Clayton, PhD, R Eric Lewandowski, PhD,Elouise E Mayall, BSc
et al.

About the hosts:

Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.

Amy Browne started out at WERU as a volunteer news & public affairs producer in 2000, co-hosting/co-producing RadioActive with Meredith DeFrancesco. She joined the team of Voices producers a few years later, and has been WERU’s News & Public Affairs Manager since January, 2006. In addition to RadioActive, Voices, Maine Currents and Maine: The Way Life Could Be, Amy also produced and hosted the WERU News Report for several years. She has produced segments for national programs including Free Speech Radio News, This Way Out, Making Contact, Workers Independent News, Pacifica PeaceWatch, and Live Wire News, and has contributed to Democracy Now and the WBAI News Report. She is the recipient of the 2014 Excellence in Environmental Journalism Award from the Sierra Club of Maine, and Maine Association of Broadcasters awards for her work in 2017 and 2021.