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Science & Technology

WKDU’s Newest Show Is a Call to Arms for Climate Change

By: Ben Seal

January 4, 2018

Climate change

Diane Davis wants everyone to know they can play a role in limiting the effects of climate change. She also wants everyone to know just a little bit more about climate change so they can find that role. Her new show on WKDU, Drexel University’s student-run radio station, aims to accomplish both goals at once by providing an informative and inspiring look at global warming and the environment.

The hourlong program, “1.6°C, Rising, and Your Critical Role in Climate Change,” launches Jan. 8 at 9 a.m. on 91.7 FM, and will be broadcast in that timeslot every Monday throughout the winter quarter. Each episode will feature an interview with a guest (most of whom will be Drexel researchers, faculty members and students) with a particular expertise in an area tied to climate change.

Davis, who has a master’s in energy engineering and environmental science and is a doctoral candidate in civil and nuclear engineering in the Goodwin College of Professional Studies, said she has seen early interest in her show, and she thinks it’s tied, in part, to a prevalent feeling of helplessness.

“Everyone realizes how dire the climate change issues are, but no one knows exactly what the solution is or how to effect change,” Davis said. “Many people express their feelings of impotence on these issues, although they very much want to do something because they realize how critical the situation is.”

Davis came up with the idea for the show in March and, after getting approval from President John Fry, Drexel’s trustees and WKDU’s program manager, she began recording interviews in June. Among her planned guests are Mary Katherine Gonder, PhD, director of the Bioko Biodiversity Protection Program and associate professor in the College of Arts and Sciences’ Department of Biology; Hilton Oymaguchie, PhD, a postdoc in Gonder’s lab who specializes in frogs; Patrick Gurian, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering in the College of Engineering; Matt Wang, president of FossilFreeDrexel, an environmental group on campus; and Caroline Burkholder, state director for the nonprofit organization Defend Our Future, who will speak about what she is doing to bring environmental protection laws to the public’s attention.

For Davis, the best way to raise awareness and understanding of environmental concerns is to go directly to experts in the field and ask for their perspectives.

“What are the in-field scientific facts telling us what we must do to save our precious planet from utter destruction by our own hands?” she said. “Right now is when we have an opportunity to turn back and take responsibility for our own human activity and stop burning fossil fuels.”

Addressing climate change will take a concerted effort by the entire planet, and Davis hopes that the new program can serve to alert a few more people to the problems — and what can be done to fix them.

“In having the truth presented to each listener, that person should have a sense of empowerment that he or she as an average citizen can do something positive to effect a change for the better, arresting climate change and stopping the upward trend of atmospheric temperature,” Davis said.