Podcasts offer a deeper dive into climate issues

By Steve Valk

For knowledgeable climate advocates who want to go beyond the headlines and dig deeper into the issue, podcasts can help quench their insatiable appetite for knowledge, and there’s no shortage of podcasts available now that examine change. climate through the prism of science, politics and politics. To help you get started, here are half a dozen recommendations:

A matter of degrees

Season 3 of this documentary-style podcast launched last month with a three-part series that answers the frequently asked question about climate change: “What can I do?” After watching several episodes, it’s easy to see why “A Matter of Degrees” has landed on many lists of climate podcasts worth listening to. The show’s quality should come as no surprise, given its hosts. Leah Stokes, assistant professor of environmental policy at UC Santa Barbara, was recently named to the TIME100 Next list of rising stars from across industries and around the world. Katharine Wilkinson is the author of several books, including Sampling and All we can save and is the co-founder and executive director of the Project All We Can Save. Be sure to check out previous seasons. Especially, “The Sneaky Plan to Keep Us Hooked on Fossil Gas” reveals the somewhat devious ways natural gas providers are pushing back on community efforts to electrify appliances. another episode, “The Win-Win-Win Strategy for Removing Coal”, looks at the problem of coal-fired power plants that have to keep running to pay off the huge debt incurred by utility operators and how to solve this problem.

Political climate

Looking for something a little more timely that explores “why?” and the “how?” climate-related stories in the news? “Political Climate,” which occupies the space at the intersection of politics and politics, might be the podcast for you. This summer, the passage of the Cut Inflation Act, the largest clean energy investment ever made by the United States, quickly became the hot topic of the climate community. Throughout the month of August, Julia Pyper and her co-hosts dug into historical legislation with a series of episodes on the political roller coaster that led to his move to the Senate, how the IRA will give a huge boost to clean energy innovation and American competitiveness, and how the IRA can help Americans decarbonize our economy by electrifying their devices. Pyper, who works in clean energy finance and is a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council’s Global Energy Center, moderates a conversation from a wide range of policy perspectives with co-hosts Brandon Hurlbut, an alumnus of the Obama administration, and Shane Skelton, who previously worked for Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan as an energy policy adviser.


Achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is one of the greatest challenges facing humanity this century, and Bloomberg journalist Akshat Rathi has just launched a podcast about the people, policies and technologies that help achieve this goal. Innovation, development and scaling of decarbonization technologies that do not yet exist, will be essential in net zero efforts once we move beyond the low-hanging fruit of existing technologies like solar and wind power. In one episode, Rathi talks to Gabriel Kra of Prelude Ventures about the role of venture capitalists to help start-ups with potential in the field of innovation. In another episode, Rathi examines what can be done to decarbonize the steel industry, a sector responsible for approximately 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions. He came across a company, Electra, which is working on a process for making iron from iron ore, 90% of whose emissions come from steelmaking, which uses electricity rather than coal heat. . If you really want to get into the weeds, this podcast might be for you.

Climate A

Presented by the Commonwealth Club and hosted by Greg Dalton, Climate One is a weekly podcast that also airs on 60 public radio stations across the country. The show is often a long conversation about the latest climate-related news. Depending on the topic, host Dalton engages a stellar guest list each week who can break things down to give listeners a better understanding of the topic. A recent episode around the time of hurricanes Fiona and Ian, for example, examined the impact of climate change on the insurance sector. Urban sociologist Junia Howell explained how disaster relief actually increases inequality, and author Carolyn Kousky highlighted how slow insurance claim reimbursements were worsening the already dire situation of disaster victims. The final episode examined whether climate change could be a central issue of the midterm elections, turning to Nathaniel Stinnett of Environmental Voter Project, Chelsea Henderson of RepublicEn and journalist Jean Chemnick of E&E News. The show’s lively, conversational tone gets things moving and holds the listener’s attention.

Outrage + Optimism

The name Christiana Figueres should be familiar to most climate advocates. Between 2010 and 2016, she served as Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, chairing the international climate conference that established the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. founding partner of Global optimism, she hosts Outrage + Optimism with Tom Rivett-Carnac and Paul Dickinson. As its name suggests, the show provides a healthy dose of inspiration for those wondering how we are going to solve the climate crisis. The podcast featured some pretty heavy-handed guests — Greta Thunberg, David Attenborough, Michael Mann, and many more you may not know yet but should. Now in its sixth season, the series’ final episode — “Australia is back!” – goes Down Under, where a change in government is raising expectations that Australia, which has lagged for years on climate action, is on the verge of a turning point in the transition to clean energy. A cool feature of the show’s website is that when you go to the “Browse” tab, you can filter episodes by subject: science, politics, justice, food, energy, and more.

Citizen radio for the climate

A project of Citizens’ Climate Education, the podcast publishes monthly episodes hosted by Peterson Toscano, which features a tight 30-minute show that uses a storytelling format to showcase someone in the climate movement. Each episode also features a quick portrait of an artist whose work addresses climate change and the good news of the month in the climate world. Recent episodes have covered a young curator work on climate solutions, helping climate advocates build personal resiliencehow climate change affects people LGBTQ+ communityand the impact of climate change on domestic and wild animals in South Africa.

Teresa H. Sadler