As the climate crisis affects more and more parts of our daily lives, even mainstream podcasts have started covering our favorite topics on a semi-regular basis. GreenBiz’s previous podcast listings (here and here) have focused on shows that specialize in sustainability. But in this pivotal decade for climate change, I decided to expand our list to identify key climate episodes from non-climate podcasts. In addition to more general podcasts, which increasingly deal with the topic of climate, there has also been a start of new series or limited series that focus heavily on environmental issues.
Here are some great audio samples perfect for the upcoming summer road trip:
1. How to save a planet
Planet Money and Gimlet’s Alex Blumberg started this podcast in 2020 with the goal of making the fight against climate change hopeful, fun and entertaining. The podcast focuses on solutions to the climate problem and highlights where we have made impactful changes. With so much depressing and upsetting climate news, How to Save a Planet can feel like a breath of fresh air. Blumberg and (in the early years before she left the podcast) his co-host Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist and climate policy expert, delve into topics like kelp farming, California’s carbon credit program, and even attempt to identify a climate anthem.
Notable Episodes (all on Spotify)
2. Vox Conversations (formerly The Ezra Klein Show)
Before Ezra Klein took his eponymous show to the New York Times and began focusing much more on politics and politics, the Vox version of the show liked to delve into a variety of other topics, including psychedelics, parenting, and climate. Klein’s lengthy discussions with experts, sometimes lasting an hour and a half, allowed him to pick out the nuances of arguments and strip away the layers in a way a shorter show wouldn’t allow. Klein was not afraid to bring his own expert positions into the discussion and asked very specific questions about the climate crisis that demanded answers.
Notable Climate Episodes (all on Spotify and Apple)
- We live in The Good Place. And we screw it up.
- How to solve climate change and make life more awesome
- Republicans against the planet
3. External Podcast
Sometimes the most radical and powerful climate action is simply to appreciate and share nature. The Outside Podcast, a production of the historical magazine of the same name, spends most of its time telling tales of adventurers. But the outdoor industry is at the forefront of climate change and has understood that it is at the core of its business before many other sectors, and the episodes exploring the impact of climate change are some of the most immersive audio narratives of the climate crisis that to be told by the people on the front lines.
Notable climate episodes (all on Spotify and Apple):
- How it feels to fight wildfire
- How a fight over trees changed American politics
- Science of Survival: The sky is on fire
- Science of Survival: Fight fire with fire
- Science of Survival: The Future of Fire
4. Science vs
Another Gimlet production, Science Vs, feels like listening to a fact-checker’s process. While Wendy Zuckerman and her team cover much more than just climate issues, the episodes provide a great, factual look at the facts and help break down the confusing language and conflicting accounts.
Notable climate episodes
The full archive is available on Spotify and the five most recent are available on Apple Podcasts
You may already know and have subscribed to Emily Atkin’s climate newsletter Heated. And if not, you should. But her April 2020 limited series of the same name addressed the two greatest crises of our modern world: the COVID-19 pandemic and climate change. The seven episodes show how the two issues are intertwined and how the pandemic was a signal of the climate catastrophe to come.
Notable Episodes (all on Spotify and Apple)
- COVID-19 is the dress rehearsal for the climate apocalypse
- Anger only gets you so far
6. Catalyst with Shayle Kann
For the pure business man, this Postscript Media and Canary Media co-production has investor Shayle Kann grappling with the sustainability innovations that could transform business and our economy. Kann is very focused on climate technology, but everything from biowaste to battery materials to carbon removal is up for discussion.
Notable Episodes (all on Spotify and Apple)
- What technology is overrated, underrated, and just right?
- The future of natural gas
7. The copy
Another show from Postscript Media and Canary Media traces each story to a climate issue. Host Stephen Lacey is like the Michael Barbaro of climate, and his show is like listening to The Daily for sustainability nerds. He looks at breaking news, current events and the daily breaking news from a climate perspective.
Notable Episodes (on both Spotify and Apple)
- How bad is the Supreme Court decision on climate?
- How the Glasgow Climate Agreement almost failed
Of course, don’t forget GreenBiz’s own podcast, GreenBiz 350, where our intrepid executives Heather Clancy and Joel Makower go over the top stories of the week and provide interviews with corporate sustainability executives from every major sector. Listen to it on any podcast platform.