Most days, with the covid-19 pandemic looming and the climate crisis horns signaling an impending doom, I just want to be an ostrich: bury myself in sand and forget about the world. But here's the thing: this is the reality, and it’s happening as I write and as you read. So, in 2023, let the ‘new me’ resolutions include one more: to be more aware of the environment that’s keeping us alive but without the anxiety and uneasiness.
Tapping into the news cycle, understanding why establishing the loss and damage fund at COP27 last year was historic, questioning whether there is a right way to protest climate inaction, and understanding jargon-heavy concepts such as eco guilt, might seem daunting, especially with misinformation seeping into every nook and cranny our digital world.
So, here are some podcasts that you can listen to during your daily travel, a 15-minute break, or whenever it doesn’t feel too heavy. They tell you what you need to know about the environment and climate change, with experts chiming in, and a dash of fun.
This podcast by Mongabay, a nonprofit environment and conservation news platform, focuses on bringing in ‘discussions about India’s environment into mainstream narratives’. There is sustained focus on talking about the issue, the solutions such as how solar power is fueling the rise of rural entrepreneurs, and new discoveries, including whether molluscs can tell us about the changes that occurred in their environment. This is more for those who want a deeper understanding of the environment and climate change solutions.
How to Save a Planet
Produced by Gimlet Media, an award-winning podcasting company, and hosted by journalist Alex Blumberg along with a ‘crew of climate nerds’, How to Save a Planet is for those who feel overwhelmed with news around the climate crisis. The focus is on hope, solutions, and inspiring stories. Episodes such as ‘Feeling Doomed? How to Tackle Climate Anxiety’ addressed the climate feelings that we all feel, the anxiety and grief, with a researcher telling you how to deal with it and something we all like to hear once in a while—you are not alone in this. They also provide you with resources to connect with like-minded people who might be dealing with similar emotions.
At the end of every episode, they shared a ‘Call to Action’, a way for listeners to take climate action. On their second birthday last year in September, they shared stories of actions their listeners took: from a grandmother who helped save her country’s recycling programme to a group of students who took on one of the biggest oil companies in the world.
It was a heartbreak for loyal listeners when Spotify cancelled the podcast last year, but I would recommend newbies to check out their two seasons nonetheless.
The India Energy Hour
Started by 101Reporters, an independent news platform focused on stories by grassroot journalists, this podcast features in-depth discussions about energy, development and climate with experts from academia, civil society, and the government. The episodes have explored climate readiness of Indian states, future of coal and energy transition, climate promises, and demystifying climate change.
If you want to laugh and keep the heavy feelings at bay while listening to people talk about the environment, then you can check this out – a comedy podcast about the environment. The hosts, Ol and Dave, take nature and climate change seriously, but not themselves. With the understanding that everything related to the environment can be confusing, the podcast was started in 2015 to get closer to enlightenment, treating every episode as a baby step. Although discontinued last month, this could be a good podcast to dip in your toes before diving into the pool of environmental podcasts. This is also new to me, so take this recommendation with a grain of salt.