Pod Save the Planet?

On my Spotify Wrapped last December, I learned that I listen to an insane amount of music. If you’re a regular reader of Climate Culture, perhaps you have caught onto this. However, when I struck out with today’s New Music Friday playlist (“the lifeboat’s empty” by Chelsea Cutler is a bop, just not about climate change), I realized that I have been neglecting the other half of Spotify’s offerings! Podcasts. 

Some may look at podcasts as just another way to do the news. However, I think of them as much more of a cultural staple than newspapers and magazines. Unlike written media, podcasts whisper right into our ears. They get inside our heads. They are like friends who let us eavesdrop on incredible conversations. Just think — do you know any publication whose fanbase has the fervor of  your favorite podcast’s cult following? I didn’t think so. 

In the climate movement in particular, podcasts play a big role. I imagine that this is because of the lack of gatekeeping. Anyone with the time and skills can create a podcast (in fact, we may have one coming to you soon)! This makes them an especially valuable tool for activists who are confronting the status quo. 

Today, I learned the exciting news that one of the most highly regarded climate podcasts is getting a larger platform! Hot Take, hosted by Amy Westervelt and Mary Annaïse Heglar, has been acquired by Crooked Media, the media company founded by former Obama staffers, Jon Favreau, Jon Lovett, and Tommy Vietor. Crooked Media took the progressive space by storm with their flagship offering, Pod Save America, and has been expanding ever since. The question now is will they help the Hot Take pod save the planet?

I hope that this move will allow even more people to become acquainted with the climate crisis and what they can do about it. It couldn’t come at a better time! Because as much as I love to talk about the good in Climate Culture, it is important to also mention the bad. As I was researching for this story, I saw that Joe Rogan’s podcast “covered” — spread lies — about climate change this week. That’s all I will say on that, because he certainly does not need any more attention (his was the most popular podcast on Spotify in 2021). This really drove home that as great as climate podcasts are, there are just as many people listening to the opposite.

So, today I’d encourage you to check out some climate pods to see if we can’t just tip the scales and build a movement to save the planet. 

Here are some recs!

  • Hot Take — I’m not personally a listener, but I LOVE their accompanying newsletter
  • How to Save a Planet — can’t count how many times this pod comes up in conversation with fellow activists
  • Inheritedlove that this pod is by and for youth activists!
  • Drilledwhile I’m not personally a listener, I am a huge fan of Amy Westervelt and her investigative journalism

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