Most of the current reporting on climate change is neglecting to ask a critical question: What should we do to prepare ourselves to live in a warmed world? “Plan B: Adapting to Warmer World,” a six-part radio series by Marketplace in association with CIR, begins to answer this question. If the investments, lifestyle changes and technologies the world is looking toward to stave off climate catastrophe don’t pay off, what do we have to do today to prepare to live with tomorrow’s consequences?

These radio stories were broadcast on Marketplace Morning Report and Marketplace on January 28, 29, and 30. For a list of stations and broadcast times for these shows, visit

>> Visit the Marketplace Plan B website for more information and to listen to the complete radio stories.

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Under dry sky, Aussies turn to the sea
With climate change reducing reliable rainfall in Australia, many cities are tapping the ocean as a water source. Nate Dimeo reports on Australia’s “Plan B” to desalinate seawater to provide clean water for drinking, agriculture, and recreation. Australia is promoting a new desalination technology that is less energy-intensive than the typical desalination plant.

Seeing opportunity in rising oceans
Conservative projections say rising seas from climate change would displace hundreds of millions of people and cost hundreds of billions of dollars over the next century. Sam Eaton travels to Bahia Kino, Mexico to meet with atmospheric physicist Carl Hodges, who is transforming abandoned agricultural fields into green pastures by diverting the fertile wastewater from the region’s industrial shrimp farms (which is usually pumped back into the Sea of Cortez and is already causing massive dead zones).

WEB EXTRA: Another view of Plan B
Dennis M. Bushnell, chief scientist at NASA’s Langley Research Center, talks with Marketplace’s Sam Eaton about Plan B visions of living with climate change.

Tuesday, January 29: TOWN AND COUNTRY

Dutch homes float with the climate
Marketplace Morning Report visits the Netherlands where a majority of the country is below sea level. Estimates indicate that climate change could raise water levels an additional 25 percent. Dutch engineers are building houses that float as needed to cope with flooding. Innovators plan to export the technology. Rico Gagliano checks out the climate-proof homes and looks into whether it will work.

Dutch plan for flooding: Higher ground
Marketplace returns to the Netherlands to report on “extreme landscape architecture.” The Dutch are welcoming flood waters into valleys that are now home to Dutch farms and building them a new one … higher in the sky.

Wednesday, January 30: THE BIG FIX

More ice helps save polar bears
Ice melting in the Arctic is forcing polar bears to go farther to hunt for food or forage inland, making many of them starve. In our last installment of the Plan B series, Janet Babin explores how scientists are combating their extinction.

Engineering solutions to climate change
Scientists have come up with several potentially viable solutions to the climate crisis that could change things without you having to change your lifestyle. These “geo-engineering” initiatives are varied: from enormous mirrors to reflect the suns rays, to tiny particles that bolster a depleted atmosphere, to creating algae fields that will work overtime at consuming CO2. Marketplace reports on why the scientists don’t want you talking about these solutions.

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For a list of stations and broadcast times, visit