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How to Save a Planet

Gimlet Media

Does climate change freak you out? Want to know what we, collectively, can do about it? Us, too. How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: What do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? Join us, journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, as we scour the earth for solutions, talk to people who are making a difference, ask hard questions, crack dumb jokes and — episode by episode — figure out how to build the future we want.

Does climate change freak you out? Want to know what we, collectively, can do about it? Us, too. How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: What do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? Join us, journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, as we scour the earth for solutions, talk to people who are making a difference, ask hard questions, crack dumb jokes and — episode by episode — figure out how to build the future we want.

Location:

United States

Networks:

Gimlet Media

Description:

Does climate change freak you out? Want to know what we, collectively, can do about it? Us, too. How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: What do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? Join us, journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, as we scour the earth for solutions, talk to people who are making a difference, ask hard questions, crack dumb jokes and — episode by episode — figure out how to build the future we want.

Language:

English


Episodes

Like The Monarch, Human Migrations During Climate Change

7/22/2021
Human migration is nothing new, but the scale at which people will need to relocate due to climate change will be different than ever before. A World Bank report estimates that over the next thirty years, 143 million people will be displaced within three of the most vulnerable regions alone: sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. To handle such shifts in population, our governments and immigration systems will have to evolve. This challenge, and the stakes, are illustrated...

Duration:00:43:48

Fighting Fire with Fire

7/15/2021
From California’s crimson skies to smoke so thick along Colorado’s front range that sent people indoors for days, wildfires in the US have becomes more and more extreme. On today’s episode, we ask, how did the wildfires get so bad – and what can we do to address them? This episode originally aired in October of 2020. Call(s) to action Help build fire adapted communities. If you're interested in learning more about the range of small, wonky, zoning-type solutions to reduce pressures driving...

Duration:00:40:57

Soil: The Dirty Climate Solution

7/8/2021
On this week's episode, we meet two farmers who, at first glance, seem very different. One is a first-generation farmer in upstate New York raising fruits and vegetables for the local community. The other is a third generation farmer in Minnesota who sells commodity crops—corn and soybeans—to big industrial processors. But they share something in common. They’re both bucking modern conventions on how to farm. And they're paying close attention to something that is frequently overlooked: the...

Duration:01:07:57

Drs. Jane Goodall & Ayana Elizabeth Johnson Talk About Hope

7/1/2021
If you’re curious to know how Drs. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Drs. Jane Goodall first fell in love with the natural world, both on land and underwater, this week’s episode is for you. Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace is an ethologist and conservationist best known for her long-term study of chimpanzees in the forests of Tanzania. Today, Jane hosts a podcast called  ​The Jane Goodall Hopecast and is a global activist for holistic...

Duration:00:44:28

Recycling! Is it BS?

6/24/2021
The recycling bin — many of us have learned to view this humble container as an environmental superhero. It is, after all, the critical first step in turning our trash into… well, not treasure, but at least more stuff. Or is it? In this episode, we take a look at the science to help you understand whether recycling is an environmental boon or hindrance, and we open up the Pandora's box that is plastic. We also dive into what recycling has to do with tackling climate change. (This episode...

Duration:00:51:19

An Origin Story of the Blue New Deal

6/17/2021
This week, the inside scoop on how a climate policy gets made. In 2019, when the Green New Deal resolution was unveiled, How to Save a Planet co-host Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson noticed something big (and blue) was missing: the ocean. The ocean is not just a victim of climate change, it’s also a hero, offering many climate solutions. Ayana, along with a bunch of other ocean policy nerds, didn’t want these solutions to go ignored. So how does a plea to remember the ocean become federal...

Duration:00:51:14

Presenting: Gastropod

6/10/2021
Over the past century, we've transformed the arid lands of the American west into year-round, well-irrigated agricultural powerhouses. Today, fruits, nuts, and nearly all of our leafy greens are grown in the desert, using water diverted, stored, and supplied at taxpayer expense. This intense irrigation is having an impact: Reservoir levels are dropping, rivers are drying up, and the state of Arizona is literally sinking. All of which raises some big questions, like should we be farming in...

Duration:00:58:43

Can I Really Switch to Renewables as a Renter?

6/3/2021
This week, we look at a company offering “100% clean, pollution-free power” to renters and homeowners alike. All you have to do is sign up – no solar panels, no upfront costs, you can even keep your same utility. Is it actually that easy to switch to renewable energy, or is this too good to be true? Guest: Michael Gillenwater Check out our Calls to Action archive for all of the actions we've recommended on the show. Send us your ideas or feedback with our Listener Mail Form. Sign up for our...

Duration:00:38:29

How Amazon Workers Got Serious About Climate (and How You Can, too)

5/27/2021
A common piece of career advice is to bring your whole self to work. But what if your whole self includes a deep concern for the climate? Can you bring that part of yourself to work, even if it makes your workplace uncomfortable? This week we talked to a couple of people, Emily Cunningham and Eliza Pan, who had that same question. They were deeply concerned about the climate crisis and they felt that their workplace, Amazon - yes that one - was part of the problem. So they, along with some...

Duration:00:50:39

Encore: Are Electric Cars Really Better for the Climate?

5/20/2021
We love listener mail! You've sent us some amazing notes. Some made us laugh, some made us cry, and some made us say – hey, that’s a great question! We should answer it. So this week, we dig into one of your questions, and in the process, resolve an argument for a couple who can’t decide what kind of car is better for the climate. (This episode first aired on November 12, 2020.) Guests: Ami Bogin, Harry Bishop and Nikolas Hill Take Action If you’re in the market for a new car...test drive an...

Duration:00:46:08

Is Biden’s Jobs Plan a ‘Skinny Green New Deal’?

5/13/2021
The Biden Administration's American Jobs Plan is billed as an "infrastructure" package. But it's also something else: the most ambitious climate plan a U.S. president has ever proposed. So what's in it? And how can we make sure this plan avoids the fate of the last big climate bill (hint: it didn’t go well)? We talk to an architect of the Green New Deal and one of our favorite energy policy experts — and then Alex and Ayana make a terrifying phone call. Guests: Leah Stokes, Julian Brave...

Duration:00:42:40

Presenting: No Place Like Home

5/6/2021
This week, we’re sharing some wisdom from Sherri Mitchell. Sherri is an Indigenous rights attorney, author, activist, and contributor to the book Ayana co-edited, All We Can Save. In this conversation, which originally aired on the podcast No Place Like Home, Sherri speaks about indigenous knowledge, prophecy and Mother Earth. We’re excited to share it with you. No Place Like Home is hosted by Mary Anne Hitt and Anna Jane Joyner. You can listen to other episodes of their podcast on Spotify,...

Duration:00:39:47

Listener Mail: Is Renewable Natural Gas a Scam?

4/29/2021
It’s listener mail time! This week, we’re digging into a mysterious email one listener received from their utility about renewable natural gas. Can natural gas actually be renewable, or is this just a marketing scheme? We also take a look at Venn diagrams sent by listeners after our episode, "Is Your Carbon Footprint BS?" to see what kind of climate actions you’ve got planned! Calls to Action Check to see if your city has a building electrification effort you can support – the Building...

Duration:00:42:35

Where’s Our Climate Anthem?

4/22/2021
Social movements are often bolstered by anthems, songs that help unite people and remind them of what they are fighting for. In this episode, we take a look at one of the most famous anthems in US history. We ask what lessons it holds for the climate movement. And we investigate: does the climate movement already have an anthem? Reporter Kendra Pierre-Louis scours the charts to find what’s out there and brings the best (and worst) contenders to hosts Alex and Ayana. In the process, we talk...

Duration:00:54:35

The Fight to Stop Oil Pipelines: "For Water. For Treaties. For Climate."

4/15/2021
This week, we’re talking about oil pipelines. From the fight against Keystone XL to Standing Rock, pipeline protests have been central to the climate movement in the U.S. But they’ve always been about more than just the climate -- they’ve also been a battle for Indigenous rights, demanding that Native American people and Tribes should have a say over what happens in their historic territories. This week, we look back at how pipeline protests have transformed climate activism in the U.S., and...

Duration:00:50:57

Presenting: Stolen

4/8/2021
This week, we’re sharing a Spotify Exclusive from another Gimlet podcast, Stolen: The Search for Jermain. In 2018, a young Indigenous mother named Jermain Charlo left a bar in Missoula, Montana, and was never seen again. After two years and thousands of hours of investigative work, police believe they are close to solving the mystery of what happened to her. Stolen goes inside the investigation, tracking down leads and joining search parties through the dense mountains of the Flathead...

Duration:00:52:21

Presenting: Outside/In

4/1/2021
It's one of the most important Supreme Court cases you may never have heard of: Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency. The ruling held that the U.S. government could regulate greenhouse gases. Today we’re sharing the wild backstory of this critical Supreme Court case, from a podcast we love,“Outside/In,” from New Hampshire Public Radio. If you don’t believe a legal case in all its intimate details can be riveting, take a listen. And be sure to check out all the other great...

Duration:01:08:10

The Beef with Beef

3/25/2021
A quarter of global greenhouse gas emissions come from agriculture and land use – and a big portion of those emissions come from producing meat. Adopting a plant-based diet is one of the biggest steps an individual can take to reduce their own carbon footprint. So, should we all stop eating meat? Or is it more complicated than that? This week, we take a tour through the bodily functions of cows, millions of acres of corn, and the hidden policy that shapes the American food system to answer...

Duration:00:43:04

Is Your Carbon Footprint BS?

3/18/2021
We're tackling a sibling debate: Do your individual actions matter when it comes to climate change? Or is it all about big, systemic change? In this episode, we break down both sides of the argument. We lay out the actions that have the biggest impact on your carbon footprint – and then ask if there's a better way to think about our individual role in climate change. Guests: Katharine Wilkinson, Anthony Leiserowitz and Steve Westlake Calls to Action Draw your Climate Action Venn Diagram –...

Duration:00:45:18

Solving a Rooftop Solar Mystery, and What’s a Nurdle?

3/11/2021
If you put a plastic bag in a bin outside your grocery store - will it really end up being recycled? Are some utilities trying to sabotage the solar industry? We've got answers to these questions and more incredible info about kelp (we are glad you love it as much as we do!) If you have a burning climate-themed question, send us a voice memo to via our Listener Mail Form! Guests: Tatiana Homonoff Calls to Action Find a drop off location for the plastic bags collecting under your sink by...

Duration:00:48:04