Knowledge is power, and step one to doing anything is to get informed. And if, like me, you do most of your learning these days via headphones, here’s some suggestions to get you started!
This comes in two forms – longer, 40-ish minute episodes where they do deep dives into a topic, and short, snappy, ‘quickies’ where they do key points, expert summaries and quick reactions to ongoing events in 8 minutes or less. In a time when everything can feel overwhelming and scary, Climate Curious deliverers intelligent but accessible content in short, charming bursts. A really nice place to start if you’re looking for an entry point to learning about the climate.
Outrage and Optimism
At the opposite end of the spectrum from Climate Curious in terms of presentation, Outrage and Optimism comes in longer episodes and can run the risk of being a bit rambly. But when the rambles are from some of the authors of the Paris Climate Agreement and guests include top government officials, international negotiators and corporate CEOs, it can be a really good place to go for a deep dive into topics vital to our time. Unsurprisingly it has a strong international politics bent, mingled with a dose of Buddhism (one of the presenters was a monk) and a range of investigations into grassroot causes and local stories of people combating climate change across the world.
The Climate Denier’s Playbook
As someone who talks about climate a lot, I am constantly infuriated by the ‘gotchas’ thrown at you by climate deniers. ‘The sun is getting hotter’ or ‘we’re in a mini-ice age’ or ‘it’s not caused by humans’ etc. – the trend is to have latched onto just one thing deniers say ‘proves’ climate change isn’t real/vital/terrifying, regardless of the overwhelming evidence from literally every area of scientific endeavour to the contrary. But if you can’t immediately turn round to directly disprove their one, very specific, almost invariably misinformed or plain wrong point, that just demonstrates even further that they’re right and you’re wrong and the entire thing is a hoax.
Enter, the Climate Denier’s Playbook, which has become one of my absolute favourite podcasts as it largely does the work, not merely of analysing and debunking these ‘gotcha’ myths one at a time, but also exploring how to talk to deniers in a meaningful way. It helps that the presenters are funny as well as hugely well-informed, so if you’re a frustrated climate activist looking for a helping hand, this is the one for you.
39 Ways to Save the Planet
Stopping the climate crisis isn’t actually hard. A bit less meat, buy a few fewer things, take fewer short-haul flights, invest in renewable energy. 39 Ways to Save the Planet covers all of these, and a few more besides – including regenerative agriculture, carbon tax, oceanic rewilding etc.. It’s an interesting snapshot of a whole range of actions ranging from the immediately achievable right now by individuals to long-term goals requiring decades of investment, all delivered in short, 15 minute episodes.
Tech Won’t Save Us
Not a climate-specific podcast, but never-the-less important in how it examines the role of technology in society, and how ready it is to bust the myth that tech will save us. Wearing its left-of-centre politics clearly on its sleeve while being hugely interesting and informative, Tech Won’t Save Us has no time for billionaires telling everyone else to take action as they fly around in their private jets, or entrepreneurs who will talk a good greenwashing talk while throwing extraordinary amounts of cash after destructive, polluting, dangerous projects. Never shouty but always passionate, it’s an excellent entry point for anyone looking at the modern world and wondering just why it doesn’t seem to work for the rest of us.