Panda Procreation, Y2K, and Acid Rain

MAGGIE KOERTH-BAKER, SENIOR SCIENCE WRITER, FIVETHIRTYEIGHT

In an era of climate change and political chaos, it’s easy to forget that sometimes disasters are averted. FiveThirtyEight Science writer Maggie Koerth-Baker has been looking at examples in history when humans either worked together to avoid an environmental calamity, or just got lucky. What’s the secret to not destroying the planet or ourselves?

Searching for the New University President

University of Minnesota President Eric Kaler has announced he will step down at the end of this academic year. The search was on for a new leader for Minnesota’s premier institution of higher learner. What do you look for in a University president? How do you find qualified applicants? Can anybody apply? We talked with search committee members Matt Kramer, Vice-President of University Relations of the UMN and Adbul Omari, Regent and chair of the search committee.

The Great Minnesota Mining Debate

Kevin Lee, Program Director, Senior Staff Attorney, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy
Isaac Orr, Policy Fellow, Center of the American Experiment

One of the most contentious policy debates in the state circles around whether or not Minnesota should permit more companies to develop new mines, particularly around the Boundary Waters. We have two well-informed guests with two very different ideas on how the state should proceed, Kevin Lee, Program Director, Senior Staff Attorney, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and Isaac Orr, Policy Fellow, Center of the American Experiment.

We Are All Criminals

One in four people in the United States has a criminal record. FOUR in four Americans have done something in their past that had they been caught or in a different circumstance, would be criminal. The organization We Are All Criminals works to get people to think differently about what it means to be a criminal, our justice system, and how we treat one another.

The Great Minimum Wage Debate

Rebecca Noecker, St. Paul City Councilwoman, Ward 2

Veronica Mendez Moore, Co-Director of Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en Lucha

B Kyle, CEO of the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce

St. Paul is currently considering a proposal to raise its minimum wage. Is $15 an hour the right amount? Should tips count toward that $15 for restaurant workers? How quickly should the wage increase for different-sized businesses? Hear what city Councilwoman Rebecca Noecker and two members of the Citizen League’s minimum wage study committee are weighing as they try and come to a final proposal.    

An Evangelical, a Muslim, and an Atheist Walk into an Improv Show

Kyle Roberts, Dean of Academic Affairs, United Theological Seminary

Zan Christ, Coordinator for Religious and Spiritual Life Programs, Hamline University

Chris Stedman, Author of Faithiest and former director of the Yale Humanist Community

Even in the land of the Church Basement Ladies, people’s relationships with faith institutions are changing. More Millennials are religiously unaffiliated than any previous generation. How and why are young people redefining the role of faith in their lives? What do these changes mean for religious institutions? Would it help to update the Old Testament with some well-placed hashtags?

Where've all the Freeways Gone?

Charlie Zelle, Minnesota Commissioner of Transportation

Major road construction has slowed and rerouted traffic on a number of Twin Cities thoroughfares. Minnesota’s Commissioner of Transportation, Charlie Zelle, promises it will get better soon, with newer roads, more accessible bus options, and the groundwork for a self-driving future. We asked him how he made it through all the traffic to join us.

The Best Ends in Life are Planned

Brenda Hartman, Healing Through Life Counseling, 2017 Bush Fellow
Ann McIntosh MD, BSN, FACEP, Emergency Physician, Speaker, and Educator   

We’re ending our season with a show about endings. All of us (hopefully after a long and laugh-filled life) will pass on. Planning for our own or our loved one’s end of life can be intimidating, scary, and ultimately one of the most important ways to ensure a peaceful last chapter.

We talked with two women, Brenda Hartman and Dr. Ann MacIntosh, working to change the culture of fear around end-of-life care and planning. A truly important conversation for us all–except maybe vampires.

In Like a Bull, Out Like a Bear?

Timothy Taylor, Managing editor, The Journal of Economic Perspectives, Macalester College
Chris Farrell, Senior Economics Contributor, Marketplace and MPR

From the massive tax policy changes passed late last year, to new tariffs on steel and aluminum imposed, and wild stock market swings, there hasn’t been any shortage of economic news in 2018. We will talk with two brilliant (yet easily understandable) economists what to make of it all.

Timothy Taylor is both a professor at Macalester College and the professor you hear if you take The Great Course’s lecture series on economics. Chris Farrell is a regular contributor to public radio’s Marketplace, the Bloomberg Business, and the most frequent guest of The Theater of Public Policy

The Climate Change Whisperer

Paul Douglas, Longtime Meteorologist

Most Minnesotans know Paul Douglas from his years presenting the weather on KARE 11, WCCO, and TPT as well as writing the weather column for the Star Tribune. As an evangelical Christian who recognizes the threats of climate change, Douglas often finds himself serving as a bridge between communities that don’t often talk to one another.