This summer, the United States celebrated the 50th anniversary of the historic Apollo 11 moon landing. Fifty years later, many people wonder: If we can get to the moon, surely we can fix the environmental issues here on Earth?

In this episode of Political Climate, we get NASA astronaut Scott Kelly’s perspective on fighting climate change, which is informed by the fact that he's seen the challenge we’re up against from the unique vantage point of space.

Kelly has spent a whole lot of time in space — 520 days, to be exact. Upon his return from a continuous one-year mission, scientists were keen to study the impacts of spaceflight on his body, and to compare the results to his identical twin, astronaut and politician Mark Kelly, who remained on Earth. Scott, meanwhile, used his time in orbit to study the impacts of humanity on the planet.

The Political Climate team sat down with Scott Kelly to discuss technology, politics and the unique perspective that traveling to space offers on the climate crisis. We also ask if he would ever run for office like his twin brother Mark, husband to former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is currently campaigning for U.S. Senate in Arizona as a Democrat.

Recommended reading:

  • Newsweek: Scott Kelly Says View From Space Shows Earth Is Covered in Pollution and 'We Need Leadership to Protect It'
  • NYT: Scott Kelly Spent a Year in Orbit. His Body Is Not Quite the Same.

Political Climate is produced in partnership with the USC Schwarzenegger Institute.

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