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Opening monologue: climate and weather

Opening monologue from Saturday Night Special on WGN Radio (listen to full show):

With Hurricane Irma making landfall in mere hours in Florida after devastating the Caribbean… and with wildfires raging through significant patches of land west of the Mississippi River, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by all the environmental-related events happening in our world. And, indeed, until we recognize that the role of social media and individual updates play a role in the cycle of news, emotion and rumor will always get involved. And, let’s face it, in the chaos of large disasters and big news stories, much less when there are several at once, facts are more important than ever.

Tonight we’ll take a look at the Hurricanes currently in the gulf, the devastation hurricane Irma has already caused in the Caribbean and is due to make landfall in heavily populated areas of Florida as we speak… we’lll also take a look at the facts surrounding wildfires spread out around much of the western united states. — at what we do and do not know about the role of our changing climate, and about how vulnerable we are to hazards.

Indeed it is hard to watch disaster or impending potential disaster from afar but as our climate shifts — and let me add here — let us agree climate is changing with the vast majority of scientists in agreement and warning us that climate change is real — so i say that because tonight will not be a discussion or debate about climate change btu rather a discussino about increatingly severe weather and environmental behavior and how climate is and is not factoring in– because tonight we will be talking with experts and dealing in science, facts and data.

BUT Throughout the program we are also mindful of the potentially the life-threatening conditinos unfolding in South Florida and of the casualties we just saw in the Caribbean including several islands that even now days later have not been heard from due to constraints of infrastructure and communications

We’re not focusing just on United States lives or land or property damage — but human ones- and looking at climate and weather around the globe because it’s not concentrated or held to any border or any people or any citizenship but in fact something the entire world must address or continue to suffer consequences in weather, in temperatures, in resources and in lives like conditions we are just now beginning to see

Tonight we’ll be talking with a gulf-based meterologist about hurrican data we’re seeing this evening and the latest as Irma takes aim at Florida, with former spokesperson from the natinoal parks service about wildfires in the west… with a northwestern uiveristy professor who led a study about climate and it’s impact on our lives and environment, and with a professor who wil discuss the natural hazard vulnerabilities of our most popualted areas.

We’ll be right back to get this conversation underway, on 720-WGN.