Connect the Dots

In his "Connect the Dots" podcasts, CPR President Rob Verchick interviews experts on a variety of issues, including CPR Member Scholars and staff. His broad themes include the broad ramifications of climate change, creating harmony between green and grey infrastructure, smart regulatory design and more. Click below to listen, download, or visit our show pages to get more information on the topic of each podcast.

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children and climate change
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Young and Wild and Sick

Episode 4.3 October 2020: Due to the impacts of the climate crisis, children are getting sicker, heavier, and less mobile. They may be forced to stay inside, avoid exercise, or eat poor-quality foods. In more catastrophic instances, they’re losing their childhoods to destructive natural disasters. Either way, the physical and mental consequences of the climate crisis have long-term effects on their futures – and the future of our planet. In episode 4.3 of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick talks about how the climate crisis hurts children – and presents ideas for possible solutions. He's joined by CPR Member Scholar Maxine Burkett, Sierra Club Senior Director of Environmental Justice and Healthy Communities Leslie Fields, mother and NRDC advocate Gina Ramirez, mother and Moms Clean Air Force member Leah Barbor, and Aaron Bernstein, Interim Director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard University.

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smokestack-playground
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Nowhere to Run

Episode 4.2 September 2020: Imagine a world where an afternoon thunderstorm floods your basement with sewage and industrial pollutants. You come to dread the rain. Summer spaces that used to be dedicated to water balloon fights and bike rides become venues for wildfires and hurricanes. A hard day’s work leads to an even harder battle with disease. It all may sound like a nightmare, but then again, it doesn’t compare to the situation your family previously faced, starving and fending off violence when your livelihood was destroyed by drought. These are some of the realities encountered by climate change migrants around the country. The planet is getting hotter, drier, wetter, and weirder. And marginalized groups of many types are in the bull’s eye. In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick talks climate migration with CPR Member Scholar Maxine Burkett, Chicago activist and third-generation Mexican-American Gina Ramirez, and Aaron Bernstein, Interim Director of the Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at Harvard University.

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smokestack and playground
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They Can't Breathe

Episode 4.1, September 2020: This season of Rob Verchick's Connect the Dots podcast focuses on people living in the crosshairs of climate change, those disproportionately carrying the burden of the world and suffering now on a daily basis. In the first episode of this six-episode cycle, Verchick explores the issue with his guests Maxine Burkett, a CPR Member Scholar and professor of law at the University of Hawaii; Leslie Fields, Senior Director, Environmental Justice and Healthy Communities for the Sierra Club, and Mychal Johnson, co-founder of South Bronx Unite, a coalition building support for community-driven solutions.

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Meatpacking
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Essential, Not Expendable: Protecting Workers from COVID-19

Episode 3.7, May 2020: Host Rob Verchick is joined by guests Michael C. Duff, a Professor of Law at the University of Wyoming College of Law in Laramie, Wyoming., and Thomas O. McGarity, who holds the Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long Endowed Chair in Administrative Law at the University of Texas in Austin. They discuss worker safety in the era of the coronavirus – the gaps in law, regulation, and enforcement that leave workers exposed to the virus, while permitting employers to escape accountability for providing an unsafe workplace. The conversation touches on the difficulty of creating foolproof physical transmission barriers, the Trump administration's scuttling of an Obama-initiated rule to prevent transmission of dangerous pathogens in the workplace, and efforts to deny "essential" employees or their surviving family members the right to recover damages for infection.

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coronavirus
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One Doctor's Life in the Time of Coronavirus

Episode 3.6, April 2020: In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick talks with Dr. Andrew Duxbury, about his work as a geriatric physician and professor of medicine amidst the coronavirus pandemic. They also discuss his blog, Life, the Universe and Everything, and his work in local theater. Dr. Duxbury is a geriatrician who is passionate about helping the elderly live their best lives as they age. He specializes in fall prevention, senior mobility, Alzheimer's and dementia care and preventing overmedication in seniors.

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COVID
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The Vital Role of Expertise in Regulation

Episode 3.5, March 2020: Host Rob Verchick talks with CPR's Sid Shapiro and Oxford University professor Liz Fisher about the role and importance of expertise in government agencies, rulemaking, and public policy development. The topic is of particular significance in light of the campaign by the Trump administration and others to ignore or eliminate such expertise in a range of different ways, hindering the ability of agencies to deliver on their legislative obligations. Liz Fisher is a Professor of Environmental Law at Corpus Christi College and the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford; and Sid Shapiro is a CPR Board Member and the Fletcher Chair in Administrative Law at the Wake Forest University School of Law, and Associate Dean for Research and Development.

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Climate
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Youths' Climate Case Dismissed. Now What?

Episode 3.4, February 2020: In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick talks with Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholars Melissa Powers and Karen Sokol about the 9th Circuit's dismissal of the Juliana v. United States youth climate justice case, what it means -- and doesn't mean -- for other climate cases working their way through the courts, and more. Melissa Powers is the Jeffrey Bain Faculty Scholar and Professor of Law and the Director of the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School; and Karen Sokol is Associate Professor of Law at the Loyola University College of Law in New Orleans.

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Impossible Burger
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To Dream the Impossible Burger … and Farm

Episode 3.3, January 2020: In this episode of Connect the Dots, host Rob Verchick talks with CPR Board Members Gilonne d'Origny and Laurie Ristino about the threats to farming as usual. They also taste-test an Impossible Burger. Gilonne D'Origny is the Translational Advisor for the Institute for Protein Design at the University of Washington; and Laurie Ristino is the Principal and Founder of Strategies for a Sustainable Future.

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ticking clock
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Will We Always Have Paris? Can the World’s Climate Agreement Survive the 2020s?

Episode 3.2, December 2019: In this episode of Connect the Dots, Center for Progressive Reform President Rob Verchick interviews CPR Member Scholar Noah Sachs, professor of law at the University of Richmond School of Law, about the future of the Paris Climate Agreement, in the wake of U.S. withdrawal.

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Capitol
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Reorganizing Government: From Pizza to Climate Change

Episode 3.1, November 2020: In this episode of Connect the Dots, Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholars Alejandro Camacho and Robert Glicksman discuss the essential roles of government and regulation -- and how to improve both. It's based on their new book, Reorganizing Government: A Functional and Dimensional Framework.

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Refinery
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A Conversation with Former Sen. Mary Landrieu: Climate, Energy & Coastal Protections

Episode 2.6, October 2019: In this episode, host Rob Verchick talks climate change, energy, and coastal protections with former U.S. Senator Mary Landrieu of Louisiana. The Honorable Mary Landrieu is now Senior Policy Advisor, Van Ness Feldman, LLC.

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hogs
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Floods, Hogs, and Poisoned Air

Episode 2.5, September 2019: Rob Verchick interviews North Carolina attorney John R. Hughes, and Sierra Club Director of Environmental Justice and Community Partnerships Leslie G. Fields. They discuss the horrific impact of factory-style hog farming on nearby communities and the environment more broadly.

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River
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Energy Policy and Public Lands

Episode 2.4, July 2019: Center for Progressive Reform Member Scholar and University of Minnesota law professor Alexandra Klass talks with host Rob Verchick to connect the dots among public lands, energy resources, and climate change. They discuss how land use makes powering our societies possible and the role of the federal government in developing renewable energy resources.

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solar panels
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Working Toward a Just Transition

Episode 2.3, June 2019: Rob Verchick is joined by Sharan Burrow of the International Trade Union Confederation for a conversation about the importance of community involvement in policy making, the idea of a “just transition” away from a reliance on fossil fuels, the role of corporate and federal transparency in encouraging confidence of workers and unions, and the feasibility of the “Green New Deal.”

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Miami
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Building Resilient Cities

Episode 2.2, May 2019: Host Rob Verchick is joined by Shalini Vajjhala of re:focus partners. They discuss the meaning of resilience, consider the impacts of environmental disaster on city infrastructure, and explore how communities can take proactive, rather than reactive, approaches to prompting long-term change.

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pipeline
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Pipeline Wars

Episode 2.1, February 2019: The hydraulic fracturing and tar sands "revolution" in the United States and Canada has left new oil and gas pipelines traversing the lands of indigenous communities. The pipelines are dirty, polluting, dangerous, and built without local consent. CPR President Rob Verchick explores these mounting environmental injustices with Rachel Rye Butler, the head of the Democracy Campaign at Greenpeace.

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drilling
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Fossil Fuels on Trial: Suing Oil Companies for Climate Change Damages (Part 2)

Episode 1.6, September 2018: In the second of a two-parter, Center for Progressive Reform President Rob Verchick continues his conversation with Marin County (CA) Supervisor Kate Sears and CPR Board Member Tom McGarity about city, county, and state climate justice litigation against major oil companies.

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Drilling
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Fossil Fuels on Trial: Suing Oil Companies for Climate Change Disasters (Part 1)

Episode 1.5, September 2018: Center for Progressive Reform President Rob Verchick talks with Marin County (CA) Supervisor Kate Sears about California localities that are suing companies like Chevron, ExxonMobil, and others for hiding the dangers of and damages caused by climate change. This episode also includes short Interviews with participants in the Cultures and Disasters III Conference, held on June 28-29, 2018 in Erlangen-Nurenberg, Germany.

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Worker and water
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Keeping Workers Safe in the Era of Climate Change

Episode 1.4, August 2018: Center for Progressive Reform President Rob Verchick talks with CPR Vice President Sid Shapiro and Policy Analyst Katie Tracy about keeping works safe from heat stress and other hazards in the era of climate change. Their book chapter on climate impacts on workers appears in Research Handbook on Climate Disaster Law: Barriers and Opportunities.

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water pollution
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Preparing for Climate Change and Toxic Floods in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed

Episode 1.3, July 2018: Center for Progressive Reform President Rob Verchick talks with Policy Analyst David Flores about the risks of toxic flooding from hurricanes, severe thunderstorms, and repeated heavy rain events like the ones the Chesapeake Bay watershed experienced during the spring and summer of 2018. This episode also includes a segment called "It’s about the Octopus," performed by David Ossman and Judith Walcutt of Other World Media, based on a December 2016 Miami Herald op-ed by Verchick and CPR Member Scholar Dan Farber.

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Climate dislocation
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The Age of Climate Migration

Episode 1.2, June 2018: Center for Progressive Reform President Rob Verchick talks with Member Scholar Maxine Burkett and intersperses short interviews with participants at the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) Conference on Climate Change and Human Migration, held on November 27-28, 2017, in Busan, South Korea.

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red barn
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Agriculture & Climate Change

Episode 1.1, May 2018: Center for Progressive Reform President Rob Verchick talks with Member Scholar Laurie Ristino of Vermont Law School about the connections between climate change, food security, and policymaking tools like the Farm Bill that could be better used to promote sustainable agricultural practices.

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