Poppy Hour is our California native plant internet mashup. Part interviews, part garden tour, part happy hour, we explore the amazing diversity of people and ideas that connect to Southern California plants and landscapes. Join us!

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Season 2 Episode 8: Climate Change – Thursday, April 22, 5:30-7:00 PM

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We’re on a planet with an urgent problem. How shall we respond?

Robert Haw and Roger Klemm from NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory join us for a talk that explains climate science in easily understood terms, discusses why human-induced climate change is real and alarming, and illustrates growing manifestations of global warming. Many of the changes in our world are evident in the biosphere, and we will address local effects, especially on native plants.

While it’s easy to despair at the magnitude of the problem, everybody who is responsible for a piece of land can do something. Incorporating native plants into your yard can transform your space into a vital piece of support for our biosphere.

Robert Haw is a physicist by training and a graduate of Stanford University, Robert has been employed at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory for 25 years as an interplanetary navigation engineer. For 6-years he worked on SMAP, an (on-going) Earth-orbiting spacecraft continuously monitoring soil moisture levels around Earth. Since last year Robert has become busy with Mars Sample Return, the follow-on program to Mars 2020 that is tasked with returning soil samples collected by “Percy” to Earth.

In 2011 Robert co-founded the Pasadena Foothills chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby, an organization devoted to building the political will for a livable planet. He has spoken frequently to elected representatives and public audiences in the San Gabriel Valley about both the urgency of addressing global warming, and practical, affordable, and bi-partisan solutions to the climate crisis.

Roger Klemm is instigator and primary caretaker of the Sunland Welcome Nature Garden, a community entrance garden in Sunland, renovated 8 years ago from an invasive exotic monoculture of Fountain Grass to a showcase of the local native flora. Klemm is an engineer at JPL and finds his passion for landscaping with native plants to be a beautiful, tangible, and meaningful balance to the ethereal nature of software for space vehicles.

Over the past ~30 years he has landscaped two yards and two community gardens with native plants, has planted native trees in public parks, and done considerable guerrilla gardening at the campus where he works. He lives in Shadow Hills with his wife (also a JPL engineer) and their son, who has in the past couple years gotten him seriously into mountain biking.