It’s been a big year for the environment, what with the 2020 hurricane season and the wildfires and everything else. We wanted to put together a little playlist of climate-related podcasts that you can chip away at over the holidays.
We’ve tried to include a little bit of everything: a breakdown of this year’s record-breaking hurricane season, a historic look at America’s relationship with litter, and —because ‘tis the season — how to talk to your family about climate change. And, as they used to say on TV, that’s not all.
Listen to them all or pick and choose your favorites, and enjoy your holiday listening.
— Travis Lux, coastal reporter and Life Raft co-host
P.S. To cut down on all the clicking I made a handy Spotify playlist with all of these episodes. Enjoy!
Let’s get this out of the way first: what the heck was up with this year’s hurricane season? It broke all kinds of records: number of named storms, number of storms that made landfall, number of storms that rapidly intensified, and so on. So how much of this can we blame on climate change?
This episode of NPR’s daily science podcast Short Wave tries to answer these questions and more, putting 2020’s hurricane season in a little context.
Bonus: New Orleans Public Radio has also reported on this. The Coastal Desk’s Tegan Wendland wrote an autopsy of the 2020 hurricane season, trying to parse out the influence of climate change.
Premium Elevation (There Goes The Neighborhood)
Gentrification is changing neighborhoods across the country — from bustling big cities to scenic small towns. In Miami’s Little Haiti, which sits on higher ground than much of the rest of the city, climate change is one of the contributing factors.
This episode is the first of a terrific three-part series that takes a look at “climate gentrification.” It’s produced by WNYC Studios’ There Goes The Neighborhood and WLRN, Miami’s public radio station.
Oof. Two heavy episodes in a row. It’s time to step back and take control of that simmering anxiety. In this episode of Life Raft, New Orleans Public Radio spoke with science writer Britt Wray about the overlap of climate change and mental health. She tells the story of her own climate anxiety, defines some terms, and importantly, offers some tips for how to deal with it.
The Afrovivalist (HumaNature)
You could also handle your climate anxiety by diving deep into the world of doomsday prepping. In this episode of HumaNature from Wyoming Public Radio, we hear the story of a Black woman in Oregon who joined the prepper movement only to find herself quite different from the rest.
The Litter Myth (Throughline)
But hold on now — how much responsibility do individuals really have in cleaning up the mess of climate change? This episode of NPR’s history podcast Throughline takes a look at how one organization changed America’s relationship with trash, and asks who should be responsible for it.
Plan “B” (Outside/In)
We know that we need to reduce our emissions dramatically in order to get a handle on climate change. But what about in the meantime? This episode of Outside/In from New Hampshire Public Radio takes a look at the controversial topic of geoengineering — the idea that altering the Earth’s atmosphere could be part of the puzzle.
Trying to Talk to Family about Climate Change? Here's How (How To Save A Planet)
Let’s say you’re going to be around family this holiday season and are thinking about bringing up climate change with a skeptical family member. How to go about it? This episode of Gimlet Media’s How To Save A Planet shares a bunch of tips and tricks, and tells the story of a father and son who had a successful go of it.
Support for the Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation