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The Best Environmental Podcasts About Climate Change Solutions
6
min read | last updated:
August 2, 2021

The Best Environmental Podcasts About Climate Change Solutions

Six great environmental podcasts to learn more about how we can save our planet
Forrest Brown
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Environmental podcasts are great resources for learning more about what you can do for the planet. Many people will start out by recommending books and documentaries (and we have recommendations for those too!), but if you’re looking for something more bite-sized, these podcasts are chock-full of information and entertaining as well.

1. How to Save a Planet by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson & Alex Blumberg

This is usually the first resource we recommend to people. Hosted by marine biologist Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and journalist Alex Blumberg, How to Save a Planet is the perfect mix of entertaining and informative, giving you the facts without sending you into a depression. Plus, it has great theme music!

Are electric cars really that green? Is your carbon footprint just oil company propaganda? (Spoiler alert: yes.) Does recycling actually make an impact? If you’ve had a question about anything related to climate change or sustainability, chances are Johnson and Blumberg have covered it.

The only downside of this podcast is that it’s very US-centric. That doesn’t mean all of the information isn’t relevant to a global audience—Johnson and Blumberg frequently interview experts from around the world. But keep in mind that some of the tips for making a positive impact may not apply to you if you don’t live in the US.

Our favorite episodes:

  • “Recycling! Is it BS?”
  • “Kelp Farming, for the Climate” (two-part episode)
  • “Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Climate?”

2. Drilled by Amy Westervelt

Alright, you true-crime junkies, this one’s for you!

Created by climate journalist Amy Westervelt, Drilled takes a deep dive into the many ways fossil fuel companies have sowed doubt about climate science to protect their business interests. If you’ve been curious about the hashtags #ExxonKnew or #FreeDonziger, this podcast provides a wealth of knowledge while keeping you on the edge of your seat.

For the full experience, we recommend starting from the beginning, but we’re big fans of season five. This is all about the legal battle between Chevron and the American lawyer Steven Donziger, who helped win a landmark environmental case against Chevron by indigenous people and farmers from Ecuador. This story continues to develop as Chevron has retaliated against Donziger in a heated lawsuit, so these episodes are especially helpful for providing context.

Our favorite episodes:

  • “Weaponizing False Equivalence”
  • “S5 Ep2| The Colonizers”
  • “Climate Guilt, Brought to You by Big Oil”

3. The Ezra Klein Show by Ezra Klein

This one is not strictly a climate podcast, but it frequently features interesting guests from the world of climate action. Plus, Ezra Klein is a great interviewer—he asks pointed questions while keeping the conversation natural and engaging.

If you’re familiar with Klein’s work, you might be confused to see his podcast published by the New York Times. It used to be published by Vox, but when Ezra left Vox for the New York Times in 2020, The Ezra Klein Show followed suit. Vox now publishes a similar podcast called Vox Conversations hosted by various writers and editors, but some of our favorite episodes of The Ezra Klein Show are in the archives of this show.

In 2019, Ezra did a series with Vox he called the “climate cluster,” but he continues to have climate-relevant conversations in new episodes published by the New York Times. Honestly, every conversation from the climate cluster is worth your time, but these are some of our favorites:

4. Facing It by Jennifer Atkinson

Climate change is the biggest threat humanity has ever faced, not just from a technological, political, and societal perspective, but also from an emotional and psychological perspective. Facing It by University of Washington, Bothell associate professor Dr. Jennifer Atkinson seeks to address the latter.

In this six-part series, Atkinson shares what she’s learned studying and teaching the environmental humanities and how this can help us face growing issues like climate anxiety and grief. From diving into the origins of climate grief, or solastalgia, to taking on the controversial topic of hope, Facing It is a short series that packs a powerful punch, helping listeners move from despair to action.

This is a short series that you could probably finish in an afternoon, making it great for binging. However, it’s good to go back and listen to certain episodes again to soak up all they have to say. For that, we recommend:

  • “Episode 3: Eco-Grief: Our Greatest Ally?”
  • “Episode 4: Coping with Climate Despair in Four Steps”
  • “Episode 5: Is Hope Overrated?”

5. Green Dreamer by Kamea Chayne

Last but not least is Green Dreamer by Kamea Chayne. If you love in-depth interviews, this might be one of the best environmental interview-style podcasts.

Chayne lands some amazing interviews, the likes of which include Dutch historian and author Rutger Bregman, University of British Columbia Professor of Forest Ecology Dr. Suzanne Simard, and Michael Brune of the Sierra Club. But one of the most consistently impressive features of this podcast is the diversity of perspectives and voices it represents.

You’ll find episodes about political organizing and ecology, but you’ll also find some more philosophical episodes that challenge us to rethink our relationship with nature, the ways we understand human nature, and our imagination of a truly sustainable society. Green Dreamer is sure to provoke your curiosity and widen your climate horizons.

Our favorite episodes:

  • “Revitalizing Native American Foods And Re-Identifying North American Cuisine (Interview With Sean Sherman Of The Sioux Chef)”
  • “Tackling Our Waste Crisis While Accepting People Are Inherently Selfish” - interview with Tom Szaky of Terracycle
  • “Charles Eisenstein [PART 1]: Beyond the war mentality against climate change, criminal justice, coronavirus”

6. Upstream

Economics is an important facet of environmentalism and climate action, but the current state of economics is killing the planet.

The endless growth model of capitalism increases consumption on a planet with limited carrying capacity. Failing to hold corporations accountable for environmental damage enables companies to go on polluting. Ignoring sustainability in production costs shifts negative externalities to poor communities (often in the Global South) that don’t benefit from the end products.

Through expert interviews, Upstream explores a brighter future for economics. This isn’t an environmental podcast, but many episodes feature interviews with forward-thinking economists who want to see a more sustainable world. We recommend the episodes with Kate Raworth, Jason Hickel, and Gail Bradbrook of Extinction Rebellion.

Our favorite episodes:

  • “Jason Hickel on International Development and Post-capitalism (In Conversation)”
  • “Extinction Rebellion’s Gail Bradbrook (In Conversation)”
  • “Kate Raworth: Doughnut Economics (In Conversation)”

Inspired by what you’re learning?

Put your knowledge and professional skills to work for the climate by joining our volunteer community on Jointly. When you join our community, environmental non-profits can view your profile to reach out about volunteering opportunities. Likewise, you can browse our database of available volunteer projects at any time.

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