By: Annalise Chapdelaine
Are you a podcast person? Do you want to be? As students, I know our lives are busy and on-the-go. I listened to six environmental podcasts so I could share them with you! Of course, actively changing and adopting behaviors is vital, but so is simply learning– and these podcasts provide an opportunity to do so.
Length: around 90 seconds
The Director of the Yale’s Program on Climate Change Communication, Anthony Leiserowitz, is the voice of “Climate Connections.” Each episode is roughly 90 seconds long, making it ideal for busy students who want to learn more about climate change. Because the topics are so varied, the episodes are relatable and remarkably enlightening. Episodes range from coffee production to studies about females in sustainability to New York City’s decision to paint its rooftops white. Every episode’s short introduction is followed by an interview with an expert that is then analyzed by Leiserowitz.
Short, succinct and to the point, “Climate Connections” is a simple way to incorporate sustained climate education into your daily routine.
Length: around 30 minutes
PODSHIP EARTH’s goal: to draw connections between humans, nature and the universe. The host? Jared Blumenfeld, former Regional Administrator to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, chair of United Nations World Environment Day and the current California Secretary for Environmental Protection.
As a casual, well-researched podcast hosted by a climate expert, this podcast is ideal for students interested in interview-style podcasts or a more in-depth listen than “Climate Connections.” Blumenfeld interviews experts, friends, family and climate activists to highlight different perspectives. “PODSHIP EARTH” delves into hot button topics like school climate strikes, youth mobilization and the overarching effects of climate change.
- For True Crime Fans: “Drilled”
Length: around 20 minutes
The idea of fusing environmental issues and true crime might seem odd at first, but at second thought it’s brilliant. Perfect for a study break or to fit in between classes, this podcast is told in the same style as your favorite true crime genre. “Drilled” narrates issues central to climate change and environmental policies. The host, journalist Amy Westerveld, notes that there always seems to be pieces missing in official reports: this podcast’s purpose is to fill in those pieces.
Set to thrilling music and meticulously explained, each episode focuses on an issue that is underreported in the news media. The podcast argues that underreporting is the result of propaganda and presents a persuasive case against these corporate and state interests.
An episode I found particularly interesting was the June 14 episode titled “Yes, It’s Still Time to Talk About Climate Change,” in which Westerveld refutes the claim that we must focus on either racial equality or climate change, explaining that the two are inseparable.
Length: around 50 minutes
While the connection between racial inequity and the environment is now discussed more frequently, it is still often overlooked. Kristy Drutman, a Jewish Filipina youth climate activist, uses “Brown Girl Green” to speak on the intersection of climate change and current social and political issues. Rather than treating each as a separate concern, she weaves them together and explores how they impact our lives. Especially in light of this summer’s events surrounding police brutality, this podcast is an important resource in understanding how racial identity seeps into the cracks of our day-to-day activities. While the episodes are longer, the content is full of important analysis and definitely keeps your attention.
- Fashion: “Conscious Chatter”
Length: 30-60 minutes
Fast fashion companies like Forever 21 and H&M have come under fire in recent years for their harmful production practices and pollution. “Conscious Chatter” is the brainchild of Kestrel Jenkins, journalist and founder of the project Make Fashion Fair, a 365-day challenge to only purchase and wear eco-conscious clothing.
While focused on the ecological impact of fashion and the implications it has on the future, Jenkins tackles concepts such as ‘heropreneurship’ and the idea of decolonization in fashion. Like “Brown Girl Green”, this podcast centers itself at the junction of social, political and aesthetic issues, making it a fascinating listen for anyone interested in design, sustainability and globalization.
Length: around 40 minutes
I saved my personal favorite for last! If you like David Attenborough documentaries and National Geographic, this podcast is for you. Winner of a prestigious Peabody Award and recognized for its outstanding coverage of international affairs, “Threshold” spotlights a different critical climate issue each season. Season one: bison. Season two: the Arctic. Season three: oil drilling. My favorite is season one because my mom and I visited Minnesota’s Minneopa State Park this summer to see bison there, and it was fascinating to learn about their decline and subsequent conservation efforts. Bison are “stuck in a liminal state” in America, the podcast describes, because their history is interwoven with ours.
Beautifully narrated and researched, this podcast is best suited for students who are interested in a story-like podcast that operates similar to a TV show. Spread out over many episodes, each topic is fleshed out and considered from all angles.
Cover photo courtesy of Pixabay