Three podcasts for climate learning


Three podcasts for climate learning

When I first started to learn about the climate crisis, I was still working full-time. I needed to find a way to fit my education on this crucial issue around my day-to-day life. Luckily, podcasts exist. So here’s a selection of my favourite podcast series about climate change that I recommend to you.

TED Climate

Average length – 10 mins

Everyone loves a TED Talk. This playlist, curated by TED themselves, covers most of their own (i.e. non-TEDx) talks directly related to climate change and sustainability.

Like all TED Talks, these episodes are good for high-level reviews of a certain topic, such as urban greening and agriculture. The talks are all optimistic, showcasing the huge amount of good work that’s going on to tackle the climate crisis.

I was particularly impressed by the episode “The dreams and details of a green shipping revolution”. I knew nothing about shipping going into it; but in a single episode it taught me about the scale of the shipping industry’s contribution to climate change, as well as the exciting momentum within the industry to transition to a low-carbon global fleet.

Climate Vision 2050

Average length – 30 mins

This is one of the most original podcast concepts I’ve ever come across and I strongly recommend it. Climate Vision 2050 presents eight episodes, each of which showcase the changes required in a certain industry to hit net zero in the next three decades.

Here’s the twist: the episode is presented as a fictional retrospective, following characters living in 2050 about their daily lives interacting with a world that is suffering effects of climate change, but managed to transition to a safe carbon-free future. It also interviews modern-day experts, pretending they are in the future and looking back retrospectively at the steps we took to get to a cleaner, greener future.

I love basically everything about this podcast. It weaves human stories with accessible explanations of the technologies we need to implement at scale. It reminds us that climate change won’t be ‘stopped’; it will merely be adapted to. It also has a great focus on a truly diverse array of characters living in its near-future world, especially queer characters and people from the global south. It fits quite neatly into the ‘solarpunk’ movement (which you can find out more about through this excellent blog post from my colleague Bethany.)

Sustainability Defined

Average length – 60 mins

What I like about Sustainability Defined is that it achieves real depth and expertise, while still remaining very accessible. There are lots of podcasts out there that like to dig into climate policy challenges, but are a struggle due to mediocre hosting and overly-complex interviews. The hosts at Sustainability Defined pick big topics and explore them fully. But they also stay lighthearted and constantly ask their guests to define what they’re talking about as they introduce new concepts.

Trust me – their shownotes declare that the podcasts defines sustainability “one concept (and one bad joke) at a time” and, yes, there is plenty of dad humour weaved into this. Somehow, it works.

I really enjoyed Episode 57, about Energy Storage, which is a really important topic for transitioning our grid to a fully renewable energy supply. The guests introduce the topic and make sure the guest keeps it accessible all the way through the whole hour of the interview.

Image description: Jack, with a thought bubble that depicts trees. Because he’s thinking about trees, I guess.

What do you think? Are there any podcasts you think I’ve missed that are really good for learning about sustainability? Let me know in the comments. Or share your own preferred way for learning about the climate. I’m really keen to hear your thoughts.

By Jack Swan, SGO Projects Officer

Image of trees origin by Downtowngal from Wikimedia Commons under CC3.0 license

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