Environment podcasts are stepping up to the challenge of telling the complicated story of climate change and empowering listeners to drive positive change. This collection, spanning in-depth interviews, journalistic investigations and teachings from Indigenous communities, features voices from around the world, each with a different strategy for telling the story of climate change and connected listeners with their environment.
“A black girl talking about mushrooms? I have to hear it.” This was Amirio Freeman’s thought on coming across forager Alexis Nikole Nelson on TikTok. In this conversation, Nelson and Freeman explore the question, “what does it mean to reclaim all the earth as your home?”
Reflect along with them on the line that Black people often walk between being ‘carefree’ and ‘careful’, and gain inspiration on how to appreciate your local ecology, or to “bloom where you have been planted”.
Loam Listen is the creation of activists who are busy planting the seeds for “regeneration, resilience and joy” in the face of the climate crisis and helping to bring us back into connection with our earth.
“They can’t save the planet without saving us.” In this episode, Beverly Wright, founder of the Deep South Centre for Environmental Justice in Louisiana, speaks about her lifelong commitment to the battle for environmental justice. Interviewer Adam Weymouth (who was named the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year for his book about canoeing down the Yukon River) summarises, “environmental justice sees it all – the poverty, racism, and ill health – as one story.”
As we learn about the Mississippi River communities within which Wright has worked, the politics that drives pollution is revealed. Listen to her inspirational quest to expose the racism within climate change here:
Through in-depth conversations with interesting and unusual environmental thinkers, Spoken Earth explores how we perceive nature and the environment and how we might imagine and fight for better ways of living through such challenging times. Find more here.
For an in-depth look at a single issue, have a listen to Drilled. This podcast, independently reported by climate journalist Amy Westervelt, investigates fossil fuel propaganda. It explores climate change denial alongside people’s first-hand experiences of the impacts of climate change.
“Quarantine looks really different if to really be safe you have to hide in the jungle and hope no-one dumps waste water or oil into the river you drink from.” In episode one of season five, Westervelt tells the story of the decades of struggle between Indigenous peoples in the Amazon and Chevron, exposing how they have been victimised by the impacts of climate change. Find more here.
Force of Nature
“Unleash your inner rebel”: this conversation with Farhana Yamin, a renowned environmental lawyer and a protester with Extinction Rebellion, explores how we can fight against the climate crisis effectively, and how the key to solving climate crisis might lie in community.
Force of Nature is an organisation that supports young people to “step out rather than shut down” when it comes to climate change. Host Clover Hogan sets out to challenge a threat even greater than climate change: “our feeling of powerlessness in the face of it”. Listen here.
How to Save a Planet
“Earthlings, we’ve got work to do.” If climate change freaks you out, How to Save a Planet is here to help. Pairing humour with hard questions, each episode searches far and wide for solutions to the climate crisis.
Going to the front lines of pipeline protests in the USA, where protesters shout, “for water, for treaties, for climate”, this episode explores how the battle for Indigenous rights has gone hand in hand with the climate movement.
If the climate crisis leaves you with a sense of doom and despair, Yikes might help to give you a foothold. Led by the voices of powerful young women, this podcast “leans into the Yikes of the world rather than letting it overwhelm us”. While regularly touching upon environmental issues, Yikes addresses all kinds of injustices.
Host Mikaela Loach might be reason enough to tune in. This young climate justice activist and full-time medical student has been named on BBC Women’s Hour Power List and is now preparing to take the UK government to court, arguing that it has failed to adhere to the Paris Agreement. In this episode, with co-host and fellow student activist Jo Becker, she teaches us all about ‘greenwashing’, so that “we’re ready for… the companies that bully the heck out of us”. Find more here.
Hot Take sets out to give a “holistic, irreverent, no b******t look at the climate crisis”.
This “messy conversation” takes a look a particularly overlooked and under-supported population, prisoners, asking how climate change might be impacting them. Prison abolition and restorative justice become hot topics.
This feminist and intersectional pod is co-hosted by Mary Annaïse Heglar and Amy Westervelt (who is also behind the Drilled podcast featured above). Find more here.
The Wild Voices podcast is devoted to telling the stories of those who “truly give their blood, sweat, tears, sanity and life savings to saving wildlife”.
In this episode, Dr David Bullock, the National Trust’s Head of Habitat and Species Conservation, describes his own “hard-wired” life-long passion for wildlife and the people who nurtured it. Journey back into his childhood with him and perhaps uncover a memory and connection to nature of your own. Find more here.
Dismantled is a podcast for budding intersectional environmentalists, aiming to dismantle systems of oppression within the climate movement. Dismantled places those most impacted by the climate crisis – Black, Indigenous and People of Colour communities – at the heart of discussions about the climate crisis.
This chilled-out chat brings eco-activists together to discuss how they got involved in grassroots activism and how they work to build understanding of environmental issues within their local communities. Along the way they touch upon the historical context of exploitation within the fashion industry and the “opaque” language surrounding sustainability. Find more here.
“Even the little bugs have a purpose”. Full of little sparks of wisdom, this conversation with Janet Rabesca explores her philosophy of appreciating all that is alive, which stems from her Tłı̨chǫ family culture, an Indigenous people of the Northwest Territories. Let yourself be inspired by her community’s understanding and respect for nature.
In this Story-telling/Story-listening podcast, discover new (or, very old) ways to prepare for climate change by listening to Indigenous, pre-colonial oral stories and teachings relating to living alongside our environments. Find more here.
Stories about Climate Change
Ever wondered exactly how climate scientists hope to understand climate change? Future Climate for Africa’s Stories about Climate Change podcast offers windows into the work of scientists working on the front line of the climate crisis in Africa. The podcast explores on-the-ground stories, offering insights you may be unlikely to come across in the mainstream news headlines.
Why is East Africa predicted to become wetter, when in past decades it has been getting drier? In episode one, learn from leading climate scientists about East Africa’s “climate paradox”, along with its early-2020 “triple crisis” of “locust swarms, COVID-19 and flooding” and how these changes impact East African communities.