Podcasts about the environment - its beauty, the damage caused to it and how to make a difference.
Nayomi Dave, Writer
Artwork by Neel Ghaghada
Global climate change and environmental deterioration are on the rise and their rates are alarming. According to NASA, Earth’s average surface temperature has risen by about 2.05o F since the late 19th century, a change caused largely by elevated greenhouse gas levels and other man-made emissions. The concentration of carbon dioxide in 2020 alone was 416 ppm. Habitat loss due to global warming and climate change have contributed massively to man-wildlife conflict and the death of the majority of certain animal populations. Melting of glaciers in Antarctica has caused the Adelie penguin populations on the western peninsula to reduce by 90%. While some parts of the world are experiencing floods, others are suffering from long periods of drought and species loss - all owing to climate change. These are just a few of innumerable examples of how capitalistic activities are destroying the environment. They serve as evidence of how desperately we need to create awareness about the environment and sustainability, since the onus is upon us to reverse the damage we have been causing.
However, on the bright side, concerns about environmental deterioration are also gaining momentum worldwide. More and more people, especially the youth, are growing aware of the need to conserve our ecosystem. Albeit by making small but impactful changes in their daily functioning and consumer behaviour. A study by the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley found that nine out of ten millennials would consider switching brands to those that support a cause they believed in, while other findings within the same study confirm consumers’ willingness to pay more for sustainable products.
Perhaps one of the key drivers of sustainability awareness recently has been the growth in sustainability communicators on the internet. Podcasts are a great resource to help one learn from experts and/or well-researched enthusiasts of any given topic, especially one like sustainability. Unlike books and journals, podcasts explain and break down complicated ideas into understandable terms, and can be listened to at any time. Following is a list of podcasts about the environment - its beauty, the damage caused to it and how to make a difference.
1. Bioneers Radio
The Bioneers Podcast & Radio is an award-winning, international free of cost podcast series featuring comprehensive interviews and talks with social workers, environmentalists, and scientific innovators. Bioneers highlight and give a platform to voices, perspectives and topics that are often marginalised by the mainstream media such as climate justice, indigenous knowledge etc. Their podcast series is available across various platforms such as Soundcloud, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts.
2. Think: Sustainability
Think: Sustainability is an Australia based podcast series produced by Julia Carr-Catzel that dives deep into topics surrounding sustainability and practical approaches to making the planet a better place. The series examines environmental issues from an intersectional perspective and digs into the impact of consumption across areas of life. It also discusses breakthroughs, discoveries and technologies that pave the way for a sustainable future. Available on their website and on iTunes, this 137 episode series features diverse and interesting topics such as The Psychology of Climate Change, Ecofascism, Queer Farmers, Food Classicism etc.
3. The Mother Earth News Podcast
The Mother Earth News Podcast is a biweekly series sharing journeys of leaders and workers in sustainable and rural living and linking the listeners to experts in various fields. They implore the listeners to take a step towards a sustainable environment through topics ranging from availing of and implementing renewable energy within city limits, to the construction of homes using natural renewable materials, to green planting methods such as aquaponics and even how to open a farmers market. With a focus on nature and the application of its resources such as medicinal botany and livestock rearing, this series teaches us a lot about how small steps and decisions we take can impact the climate positively.
4. Eyes on Conservation
Eyes on Conservation is a weekly podcast by the Wild Lens Collective featuring interviews and engaging conversations with experts in the fields of conservation, wildlife, and environmental justice - right from scientists, biologists to explorers and researchers, and exploring a vast array of issues regarding conservation across the globe. They focus on every imaginable topic with regards to climate, environment and sustainability such as saving the reefs, large scale migration of species, ecosystems in urban areas and how to protect the same. This podcast is available on their website, iTunes and Stitcher.
ClimateOne brings in policymakers, business leaders, scientists, professors and academics to address climate change and discuss the prospects of a future with clean energy. What is unique to this series is the fact that rather than the usual interviewer and guest aspect, a debate or discussion is featured between two or more guests, often with opposing viewpoints. In the past, they have featured members of the UN, the fossil fuel industry and environment advocacy groups. They address important issues and topics such as inconspicuous consumption of goods, circular economy, and many case studies or plans on turning cities in entirety to 100% renewable energy users.
6. Sustainability Defined
The minds behind Sustainability Defined believe that the idea of sustainability as a whole is too ambiguous and needs to be dissected one issue at a time. Their podcast does exactly this. Each episode deeply analyses and speaks about one single topic that pushes sustainability forward with the help of experts in each field. This 55 episode podcast is available on their website, on Spotify and Apple Podcasts and features a vast array of topics such as sustainable aquaculture, sustainable feminine hygiene products and even a one of its kind, in-depth conversation about careers in sustainable development!
7. Yale Climate Connections
YCC is a daily 90-second podcast series by Dr Leiserowitz of Yale University that investigates how climate change has reshaped all our lives and how we can stop it. This series serves a daily dose of climate change reality and a hope for a better future. They explore in brief, topics such as causes and effects of forest fires, cyclones, fracking, they present findings and technologies enabling a more sustainable approach to various things and processes, as well as case studies. The case studies include those on families practising sustainable living and carbon footprint elimination in order to inspire their listeners and debunk the myths surrounding how going out of your way to live a green lifestyle is difficult or expensive.
8. Sustainababble Podcast
Sustainababble has an extremely unique approach to engaging its listeners and hooking them to the idea of learning about climate change and sustainability. They refer to themselves as a ‘comedy podcast about the environment’ and talk about some extremely serious global issues in a light-hearted, humorous yet impactful manner, as if to remind us that all is not lost yet. With the use of sarcasm and satire, they deliver strong messages on topics such as electronic waste, avalanches and glacier melts, eco-anxiety among many others. This is available on their website, Google Podcasts, Spotify and other platforms.
9. Global Goals Cast
Global Goals Cast is a podcast series that mainly features uplifting and inspiring stories of companies, corporations and individuals that are fighting for and attempting at building a more sustainable future. They have a case-study based approach to raising awareness. In one of their interviews, they spoke about fossil fuel emissions and the transition pathway initiatives by the Church of England's Pension Board allowing investments to be made in companies that are transitioning towards using less fossil fuels and withdrawing them from those that are not, in order to discourage the practice of burning fossil fuels. What makes them unique is how they talk about popular climate issues and innovative, less talked about solutions to tackle the same.
10. The Green Dreamer Podcast
This is hosted by Kamea Chayne, an environment activist working towards raising awareness on ecological destruction through her literary and audiovisual aids.
Green Dreamer is a 150-episode podcast series featuring sustainability topics and conversations featuring change-makers in the environment conservation field. These changemakers include Adrian Grenier of Lonely Whale Foundation, zero-carbon pioneer Bea Johnson, food waste activist Tristram Stuart, 1% For the Planet’s Kate Williams, and more. They also have a newsletter called EMBARK with podcast episode recommendations for new listeners.