Countering Climate Change, from the Heartland to the Great Barrier Reef

Countering Climate Change, from the Heartland to the Great Barrier Reef

Editor's Note: This is the latest episode of Energy NOW!, A video program dedicated to energy and environmental issues. You can see the full video at the bottom of this post, and archived episodes are online at

Greenhouse gas emissions are changing the Earth's atmosphere and oceans, putting critical ecosystems in peril. Can the effects of climate change be countered? This week energyNOW! explores potential solutions in two very different locations – America's heartland and Australia's Great Barrier Reef.

Changing the Conversation to Conservation

Polling data shows the percentage of Americans who worry about climate change is falling, and in some parts of the country, the term "global warming" is practically taboo. So why are some of the states where global-warming skeptics live also making big investments in renewable energy?

Correspondent Lee Patrick Sullivan visits Kansas, where some clean energy advocates say they've figured out what it takes to convince climate-change skeptics to invest in renewables and energy efficiency. Their advice: Stop talking about global warming and change the conversation to energy conservation.

Saving The Ocean's "Rainforests"

Coral reefs, considered the "rainforests" of the oceans by marine biologists, are home to a quarter of all marine life. These ecosystems are cornerstones for both the world's food chains and coastal economies. But scientists say carbon dioxide emissions are making oceans warmer and more acidic, and those problems could contribute to the complete demise of the world's coral reefs by the end of this century.

Correspondent Josh Zepps travels to a research station on the world's largest coral reef, Australia's Great Barrier Reef, to learn more about what's at stake, and to meet scientists working on ways to save the ocean's ecosystems.

The Mix: Phillippe Cousteau

Anchor Thalia Assuras speaks with environmental advocate Phillipe Cousteau about how to restore oceans and seas threatened by climate change and other environmental hazards. Cousteau also responds to Republican presidential candidate Rick Perry's recent criticism of climate scientists.