Brian Lehrer: Brian Lehrer on WNYC. We end today with our climate story of the week, which we're doing every Tuesday all this year on the show. Today, it's a climate call in on the question, "How is your work, your job being affected by climate change, or how is your job affecting it?" 212-433-WNYC, 212-433-9692. Again, how is your work, your job being affected by climate change, or how is your job affecting the climate, for better or for worse? 212-433-WNYC. Tell us a story. 212-433-9692, or text it. We can take your calls on several tracks with this. For example, do you have a job in a green industry like installing solar panels, manufacturing wind turbines, selling electric vehicles?
The group Climate Power estimated the Inflation Reduction Act had created 170,000 new jobs in its first year, which doesn't even count the jobs already in existence, and with estimates of over a million jobs in those fields in the decade. Are you working in a green new job of any kind? Call us, tell us about it. 212-433-WNYC. Tell about your job making the world safer from climate change, or if you work in a very climate-polluting industry, you can call and tell us how you or your employer deal with that fact as extreme weather events and their impact on people become more severe. 212-433-9692.
Of course, the flip side of opportunity as green jobs and green products emerge could be crisis. We're hearing that electric vehicles will disrupt businesses not only of car manufacturers, we've talked about that a lot on the show with respect to the UAW strike recently, but those that support gas-fueled cars and trucks as well. If you're in any of those lines of work, are you already seeing it? Are you having to learn as an auto mechanic how to service and install heat pumps instead of oil-- or, I should say not as an auto mechanic in that case, but an engineer who works on buildings, how to service and install heat pumps instead of oil- or gas-burning furnaces, or any example? Give us a call, 212-433-WNYC. Tell us a story of how climate change is affecting your job or how your job is affecting climate change. 212-433-9692.
Alternatively, another category, is climate change affecting how you do your work? Do you work outside, and now you are negotiating for protection from the extreme heat in ways that you or your company didn't have to before? Gothamist, our local news website, recently reported on the lack of federal or state regulations protecting the 25,000 farm workers in New Jersey from the heat with shade or breaks. If your job requires you to be outside, has your employer made accommodations for extreme temperatures or any other way that climate change is affecting your existing job?
With any stories in any of those lanes, you're invited to call in and create today's climate story of the week by answering the question, "How is your work, your job being affected by climate change? How is your job affecting the climate?" For better, for worse, for mixed, whatever story you have to tell. 212-433-WNYC, 212-433-9692. We'll take texts on this as well, and we'll take your calls on the air right after this.
Brian Lehrer on WNYC, now to your calls creating our climate story of the week for this week on the question, "How is your work, your job being affected by climate change or how is your job affecting the climate?" 212-433-WNYC, and we'll start with Eric in Maplewood. Hi, Eric. You're on WNYC. Thank you for calling in.
Eric: Hi. Yes. I grew up working in construction and went into architecture school and was planning on becoming a standard architectural designer, but found historic preservation. One of the mantras that we've always used in historic preservation is 'the greenest building is the one that already exists'. You've probably heard that quite a bit these days. Lately, I moved to a firm about four years ago that also is even more specific, and we are adapting historic buildings, whether they're landmark or just very old, to high energy efficiency and technology called passive house that was really founded in [unintelligible 00:05:25], but it adds insulation in a very sensitive way, [unintelligible 00:05:31].
Brian Lehrer: Yes. Your line is breaking up, but I guess one of the challenges, and maybe this is the heart of what you're saying, is to take pieces of architecture that you don't want to change the feel of for the sake of historic preservation, but updating them for modern energy requirements because of the climate, right?
Eric: Right. Utilizing local [unintelligible 00:06:00] and we're talking about a very high efficient, we're not just talking about adding three inches of insulation. We're talking about buildings that can effectively turn their heat system off.
Brian Lehrer: Eric, thank you very much for your call. I appreciate it. Maggie in Washington, DC. You're on WNYC. Hi, Maggie.
Brian Lehrer: Hello.
Maggie: I'm calling because I work in museum conservation and I think it's one of the most interesting industries that people don't usually think about in terms of climate change. Valuable objects that we place in museums and other kind of storage are increasingly threatened by climate disasters. Conservation is also one of the highest polluting industries because it requires so much energy to keep these valuable objects climate-controlled, and we rely heavily on plastic-based materials to do this preservation work. People in the conservation fields are extremely resistant to change and refuse to make any real progress. Their work continues to perpetuate the problem and really puts their own work at greater risk.
Brian Lehrer: When you say museum conservation, I think I'm familiar with that field. You're talking about the work of preserving works of art, whether it's old pieces of paper or-- a friend of mine was a paper conservator in the art field, or other things, paintings, whatever it is, right?
Maggie: Yes. It really undoes the work that we're doing because the reason that we preserve these works is to create a long-lasting legacy and invest in their accessibility for future generations. We are destroying that legacy when we compromise the life of future generations with this pollution.
Brian Lehrer: It is a paradox and a conflict. Maggie, thank you for laying it out. Jane in Queens, you're on WNYC. Hi, Jane.
Jane: Hi. Can you hear me?
Brian Lehrer: I can hear you.
Jane: I work for Instacart and I'm doing this two years now. Long story, lost my job in the pandemic. The ridiculous amount of miles that I drive per day when I deliver to a customer and they say, "There's a supermarket four blocks away, why are you coming from Queens to Brooklyn to bring me my bag of lemons?," or whatever the case may be. It makes me feel so bad. This is my job and sometimes that's the conflict that I have, is the amount of emissions and mileage just to deliver groceries when there are supermarkets very close to the customers, sometimes within blocks. I don't understand why they would assign a supermarket in Long Island City, Queens, and I have to go to like Corona or somewhere to deliver it.
Brian Lehrer: There's something following up on. What's the Instacart algorithm and why does it make people like Jane pick up a bag of lemons, to use her example, from a further away store that's in the Instacart network than some other store to the people they're delivering to. Jane, thank you for raising that. Well, here's a different caller, I think. Robert in Times Square. You're on WNYC. Hi, Robert.
Robert: Hi, Brian. Long-time listener. I've never called. I'm actually a big Trump guy, and it seems like everything you say is the opposite of what I think. Also, I am not the type of person I don't care. I get along with everyone. My aunt and uncle are very same way. Anyway, I'm also the naked Cowboy from Times Square, so I'm in the weather naked every day. I just had a 25-year anniversary there.
Brian Lehrer: You're that guy?
Robert: As much as I [crosstalk]. Yes. As much as I'm [crosstalk].
Brian Lehrer: Not totally naked, in underwear, just so people don't misunderstand. Correct?
Robert: Yes, I wear underwear, boots, and a hat. I just had a 25-year anniversary on August 30th, literally every day unless I was traveling to another part of the country or world, in fact, as a naked cowboy doing an appearance everywhere, Japan, everywhere. I go everywhere as an ambassador of New York City. Again, I'm [crosstalk]--
Brian Lehrer: What's your climate angle?
Robert: I don't know. What's the difference when you're in your underwear if it's 30 or 20? Anything below your body temperature starts to feel cold. One thing I feel like I do notice is that it's summer and it's extremely hot the whole summer. Then the fall and the spring where you usually have a little [unintelligible 00:10:56] where it actually is underwear weather, where it's comfortable, it just doesn't seem to exist anymore. It goes straight from hot to freezing.
I don't know if that would be substantiated as climate change as a difference, but in 25 years, I always look forward to the fall and the spring and it just seems like they don't exist anymore. I don't know what you would--
Brian Lehrer: Robert, thank you. Thank you. The Naked Cowboy calling the Brian Lehrer Show. Stay warm or cool or whatever's the right thing to say out there. Thank you very much for being part of our show. Sarah in Westchester, you're on WNYC. Hi, Sarah.
Sarah: Yes, I wanted to piggyback off of that comment. My husband's a teacher and in September [crosstalk]
Brian Lehrer: He doesn't teach naked, does he?
Sarah: [laughs] No.
Brian Lehrer: Just making sure.
Sarah: He wouldn't be teaching for very long. It gets very unbearable in the classroom. A lot of the school buildings just aren't equipped with air conditioning to deal with these hot summer-like temperatures in the fall or even an early heat wave in the spring. Not only is that unbearable for the teachers, but it also affects the students. I've noticed over the years, it just gets worse and worse. In fact, there have been some days where the students haven't been allowed to have outdoor recess because it's too hot.
Brian Lehrer: Sarah, thank you very much. A report from the school teacher front. One more. Michael in Massapequa, you're on WNYC. Hi, Michael.
Michael: Hi. First-time caller. I work at a beach, a public beach in New York State. It's obviously very outdoors. We're doing manual labor all day, every day, rain, snow, sometimes shine, hot weather, cold weather. With climate change, the weather is becoming almost unbearably hot during the high points of summer in August. Because of this, our staff and ourselves, we were having to pull them in more often, give them water breaks more often. On occasion, we just can't send them out to do very much at some points during the day, during the week. It's just a very tenuous situation and it's really noticeable, especially when you're working outside at a beach all day, every day in the extreme heat.
Brian Lehrer: That is a good place to end, Michael, because, ironically, people tend to go to the beach for relief from the heat very frequently, but even the beach workers are feeling it. Thank you for your call. Thanks to everybody for your calls. That's the Brian Lehrer Show for today, produced by Mary Croke, Lisa Allison, Amina Srna, Carl Boisrond, and Esperanza Rosenbaum. That's also our climate story of the week for this week. Thank you all for creating it.
Zach Gottehrer-Cohen creates our daily politics podcast. We had Juliana Fonda and Milton Ruiz at the audio control. Stay tuned for Alison.
New York Public Radio transcripts are created on a rush deadline, often by contractors. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of New York Public Radio’s programming is the audio record.