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Outrage and Optimism

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Face the climate crisis head on, but understand that we have the power to solve this. From former UN Chief Christiana Figueres and the team who brought you the Paris Agreement, this podcast about issues and politics will inform you, inspire you and help you realize that this is the most exciting time in history to be alive.

Face the climate crisis head on, but understand that we have the power to solve this. From former UN Chief Christiana Figueres and the team who brought you the Paris Agreement, this podcast about issues and politics will inform you, inspire you and help you realize that this is the most exciting time in history to be alive.
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Face the climate crisis head on, but understand that we have the power to solve this. From former UN Chief Christiana Figueres and the team who brought you the Paris Agreement, this podcast about issues and politics will inform you, inspire you and help you realize that this is the most exciting time in history to be alive.






18. Getting Outraged by Lies with Bill Nye

This week: Returning back from holidays and a rumored visit to jail, Christiana, Paul, and Tom talk with living science legend Bill Nye the Science Guy about how we combat climate denialism with both outrage and optimism! Bill shares his thoughts on big, fast, innovative science breakthroughs that can "change the world" and how we accomplish that alongside small and incremental political changes.


BONUS: Outrage and Optimism on The BBC

This week we bring you a bonus episode of an interview we did on the BBC Radio. We talk the origins of Tom, Paul, and Christiana's everlasting friendship and how we got former Prime Minister of the UK, Theresa May, on the podcast. Kind of fun to flip things around and be the ones getting interviewed. Enjoy!


17. How Canada Came Back with Catherine McKenna

With Canada's warming rate blazing at a speed of two times the normal rate of growing global temperatures, the clock is ticking. This week, Paul and Christiana discuss the triumphant return of Canada to the table on global climate talks after a decade of absence, and later in the episode Christiana sits down with Catherine McKenna, the Canadian Minister of the Environment and Climate Change under Justin Trudeau. They get nerdy with it on climate policy and really wrestle with the...


16. "Thank You for Being Late" with Tom Friedman

While we're still all on holiday or out to lunch, the climate is still changing. Our co-host Tom joins us with his daughter, Zoe, and her friend, Bethan, for an insightful brief on what 8 and 10 year olds can be doing to save the environment. Later in the episode Christiana runs into Tom Friedman (Best-selling author and Pulitzer prize winning NYT columnist) and they sit down to discuss why Tom believes the 2020 US election is "the most important election of my lifetime" and why Trump is...


15. Lobbying for "Clean" Coal with John Ashford

This week we confront the argument for clean coal head on in a conversation with famous DC lobbyist, John Ashford. John is the CEO and chairman of Hawthorn Group, an international public affairs and public relations firm he co-founded in 1992. John is an absolute genius at marketing and has had many successful campaigns in the past, including a campaign that brought the brand new idea of "clean" coal to the 2008 US election. We peak behind the curtain and get real with John about a just...


14. Outrage + Optimism LIVE Q+A!

Last week we asked all of you to submit your burning questions on climate change, and this week we answer them LIVE and on the air! Questions came in from all around the world, and we tackle them head on. We discuss if having children is being responsible, what are the chances of Boris Johnson doing a good job as Prime Minister, and "Paul, from London" confronts us on why Paul from London isn't allowed to join for the interviews. This episode was streamed live to our Twitter, YouTube, and...


13. Seeking Fairness in an Unfair World with Angel Gurría

This week we ask, “In a fair world, who shares the responsibility of reducing carbon emissions?” Christiana goes for a run and comes back with an insightful metaphor to help us, Tom shares about his trip to coal country in West Virginia, and Paul Dickinson explains what the OECD is and why you should know about it. Later in the episode we talk with Angel Gurría, Secretary General of the OECD. He shares why a “big, fat, price on carbon.” is how we truly change our behavior, and our world.


12. Learning to Live with Grief and Joy with AURORA

This week we're taking a break from our normal policy discussions to figure out how to embrace both hope and despair in these difficult times. Christiana reveals her inner dialog of wrestling with how to sustain her "stubborn optimism," and Tom and Paul join in to share their thoughts on why the present moment is both the best of times and the worst of times. Later in the episode, Tom and Christiana sit down with AURORA, Norwegian singer-songwriter. She lets us in on how to make every...


11. All about EU with Miguel Arias Cañete

This week we turn our attention to the EU where there has been an attempt to increase the target of all member states to net zero by 2050. We talk about what happened, why this wasn’t adopted, and what can be done to ensure the EU stays in the leadership position we have come to rely on them for. Then, Christiana travels to Brussels where she sits down with EU Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete, the man responsible for climate and energy policy across 28 countries for the last 5 years.


10. Trumps' Roll Back of Science with Gina McCarthy

This week we explore the roll back of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan by the Trump EPA and the replacement with a new rule that will increase emissions and damage human health. We also explore the wider attack on science taking place inside the Trump Administration. Then we talk to Gina McCarthy, former Administrator of the EPA and author of many of the rules in the Clean Power Plan. She lets us in on what is happening, and what still makes her optimistic.


9. Net Zero Legacy with Theresa May

This week we bring you a special episode featuring a conversation between Christiana Figueres and Prime Minister Theresa May. In her final weeks in office, Mrs May has introduced a target of net zero emissions by 2050 for the UK. In this exclusive conversation, we discuss with her why she has chosen to make climate such an important part of her legacy, and what her hopes are for the impact this will have on the international stage. Plus, we discuss the recent decision of the UK and Italy to...


8. Finding Refuge with David Miliband

Ahead of World Refugee Day on 20th June, we explore how climate change is magnifying the impacts of the refugee crisis around the world, and what the future solutions and challenges ahead of us might be. Christiana and Tom also talk with David Miliband, CEO of the International Rescue Committee and former Foreign Secretary of the UK. We ask him what routes he sees to addressing the rising challenges brought about by cross border migration, why he doesn’t like to make economic arguments in...


7. Every Breath Matters with Dr. Arvind Kumar

This week, Christiana, Tom and Paul explore the public health epidemic that is air pollution. We ask why it has taken so long for people to wake up to the fact that air pollution has such a devastating impact, especially on children, and we explore how climate politics are transformed if we bring air pollution into the discussion. We then talk to Dr Arvind Kumar, lung surgeon from New Delhi about finding black lungs inside non-smoking teenagers and what it will take to make a shift.


6. Looking for Leadership with Ben Rhodes

The Paris Agreement requires countries to increase their climate ambition every 5 years and the first test of that arrives in 2020. Christiana, Tom and Paul discuss the political outlook and which countries can lead this with the US so firmly out of the picture. Christiana then discusses the issue with Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Adviser to President Obama, and specifically discusses his experience with Modi and Xi and what it will take for them to lead the world to greater...


5. Everyone is Needed with Bill McKibben

On the day of the second global school strike, Christiana, Tom and Paul discuss momentum so far and the proposed shift to a general climate strike involving everyone on 20th September. We also dig into what happened in the Australian elections that had been dubbed “the climate elections” but then went badly wrong, and we talk to author and activist Bill McKibben about his decades of non violent resistance and what it’s going to take to move us forward.


BONUS: Striking for the Climate with Greta Thunberg

On Friday 24th May the second global School Strike for the Climate will take place. In anticipation of this (and in support of it), we bring you a conversation between Christiana and Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg who started the school strike movement in 2018. This conversation was recorded in Davos at the World Economic Forum in January 2019.


4. Voting for a Future with Jay Inslee

Christiana, Tom and Paul discuss whether campaigning for strong action on climate change can now actually win elections. We look at what’s happening in Australia and the US in relation to this and we sit down with Jay Inslee. Governor of the State of Washington, Governor Inslee is running for President on a platform of climate action. We hear what his plans are, and why he feels the US is ready for that kind of campaign.


3. It's an Emergency with William Hague

This week Christiana, Tom and Paul discuss what has been happening in the UK from mass civil disobedience to the declaration of a climate emergency and the first week without coal since 1882. We then discuss all this with William Hague, former Foreign Secretary under David Cameron and ask him how politicians on the right can get engaged in responding to the climate crisis, and whether he thinks the moment to take to the streets has now arrived.


BONUS: Facing the Extinction Crisis with Jane Goodall

A UN report has issued humanity with the worst news possible; that a massive extinction spasm is underway and unless we take transformative action, it will unfold in the coming decades. Christiana talks with Jane Goodall about how she has approached 60 years of conservation dealt with persistent set backs and takes inspiration for the task we now have before us.


2. Outrage and Optimism with Ellie Goulding

Christiana and Tom meet with Ellie Goulding and discuss how she has worked to integrate her activism and her music, her latest song recorded for the Our Planet documentary, and how young people can manage their mental health in the context of a changing climate.