This is a bonus episode from an interview at one of our Science is Cool conferences. In this interview, Miles O'Brien joins Dave in a discussion focusing primarily on climate change, renewable energy, and potential solutions. He covers various alternative energy sources like nuclear, geothermal, biofuels, and innovative technologies. O'Brien explores the challenges faced by different forms of energy production, including investment, government intervention, and technological advancements needed for sustainability.
They also touch upon the significance of journalism in highlighting solutions to climate problems and express enthusiasm for pursuing stories centered around climate change solutions in their future work. They emphasize the urgency of addressing climate issues and finding feasible solutions to combat the impending crisis.
Alongside the exploration of alternative energy sources and climate solutions, the conversation delves into the limitations and potential advancements in energy storage technologies. They discuss innovative methods, such as repurposing abandoned oil wells for energy storage, illustrating the diverse approaches being explored to address the intermittency issue in renewable energy sources like solar and wind. Furthermore, Dave expresses a strong commitment to journalistic storytelling that focuses on actionable solutions rather than solely highlighting problems, aiming to create a more informed and motivated audience engaged in climate change mitigation.
Miles O’Brien is a veteran, award-winning journalist who focuses on science, technology, aerospace, and the environment.
He is the science correspondent for PBS NewsHour, a producer and director for the PBS science documentary series NOVA, and a correspondent for the PBS documentary series FRONTLINE and the National Science Foundation Science Nation series.
For nearly seventeen of his thirty-two years in the news business, he worked for CNN as the science, environment and aerospace correspondent and the anchor of various programs, including American Morning.
While at CNN, he secured a deal with NASA to become the first journalist to fly on the space shuttle. The project ended with the loss of Columbia and her crew in 2003 – a story he told to the world in a critically acclaimed sixteen-hour marathon of live coverage.
Prior to joining CNN, he worked as a reporter at television stations in Boston, Tampa, Albany, NY and St. Joseph, MO. He began his television career as a desk assistant at WRC-TV in Washington, DC.
O’Brien is an accomplished pilot and is frequently called upon to explain the world of aviation to a mass audience. He has won numerous awards over the years, including a half-dozen Emmys, and a Peabody and DuPont for his coverage of Hurricane Katrina and its aftermath.
In February of 2014, a heavy equipment case fell on his forearm while he was on assignment. He developed Acute Compartment Syndrome, which necessitated the emergency amputation of his left arm above the elbow.
Born in Detroit and raised in Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, he is based in Washington, DC. He has a son at the US Naval Academy and a daughter at Davidson College in North Carolina. He was a history major at Georgetown University.