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Planet Policy Pals Podcast

Science Podcasts

Friends discussing environmental policy, science and community

Friends discussing environmental policy, science and community


United States


Friends discussing environmental policy, science and community






EP 44: Ocean Acidification with Katrina Dutton

This week our guest is a professor, marine biologist, and fellow FL Tech alum, Katrina Dutton. Surface waters are now 30 percent more acidic than they were at the start of the industrial era. Projections show that by the end of this century, ocean surface waters could be more than twice as acidic as they were at the end of last century if we do not reduce our carbon emissions. How are we doing this? What are the effects? Are there any solutions? Will we implement them? Listen now to get into...


EP 43: Climate Finance Resources in Pakistan with Risham Amjad

Agriculture provides employment for roughly 25 million people in Pakistan and is the main income source for 34% and 74% of economically active men and women respectively in the country. The sector is taking hit after hit due to our rapidly changing climate and the resources for adaptation and mitigation are limited here, as they are in most developing nations, even though the country is considered a low emitter and contributor to the climate crisis. Our guest, Risham Amjad, is an...


EP 42: Textile Waste in Abia State with Ken Ajah

An estimated 70–80% of the MSW generated in Africa is recyclable, yet only 4% of MSW is currently recycled. 5% of all textiles go to the dump every year, according to the World Economic Forum, enough to fill Sydney Harbor annually. In a state with growing businesses and clothes manufacturers, the issue of fast fashion that is quickly disposed of is adding to a dire solid waste management crisis. We speak with Ken Ajah, owner of fabrics by Nonso, on the solutions, what he sees happening with...


EP 41: Integrity in Green Finance with Ibrahim Pam PT 2

The conversation with Mr. Pam, who is the head of the independent integrity unit at the GCF, continues in this episode. This time we talk about projects, the process for handling reports, the tools that ensure accountability and more. Links used for references are below: How can we meet the urgency of financing climate action in cities? The broken $100-billion promise of climate finance — and how to fix it Who Funds th e Fight Against Climate Change? - Means and Matters FP095:...


EP 40: Discussing Integrity in Green Finance with Ibrahim Pam (Part 1)

Mr. Ibrahim Pam, head of the Independent Integrity Unity (IIU) at the Green Climate Fund joins the policy pals to discuss how sustainable projects can be financed with integrity. The GCF is currently the world’s largest dedicated multilateral climate fund and the main multilateral financing mechanism to support developing countries in achieving a reduction of their greenhouse gas emissions and an enhancement of their ability to respond to climate change. As such managing large funds across...


EP 39: Discussing Soot in Port-Harcourt with Ibim Semenitari PT 2

Mrs. Semenitari is back for part 2 to get into the details of the causes behind the soot issue in Port-Harcourt, Nigeria. How effective are the government’s strategies? How valid are the claims of transitioning to greener energy? What do the people in the Niger Delta community get as a response to their worsening environmental issues? We tackle these difficult questions together and we want to hear what you think as well! Links used for references are below: Africa's largest refinery,...


EP 38: Discussing Soot in Port-Harcourt with Ibim Semenitari PT 1

There is a literal cloud hanging over the city of Port Harcourt, Nigeria that has existed for several years. For the local people of Port Harcourt, the soot has made life hell. In our first ever interview, Ibim Semenitari joins us to discuss an issue she and other members of her community are working to tackle. Mrs. Semenitari worked for over three decades as a journalist, in public service as Honorable Commissioner, Ministry of Information and Communications, Rivers State, Nigeria as well...


EP 37: Ozone Depletion (What Happens When?)

The ozone layer filters out incoming radiation in the "cell-damaging" ultraviolet (UV) part of the spectrum. One example of ozone depletion is the annual ozone "hole" over Antarctica that has occurred during the Antarctic spring since the early 1980s. The effects of ozone depletion range include poor air quality, imbalance in bio-geo-chemical cycles, loss of biodiversity and a negative effect on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. However, tackling the issue of ozone depletion is one of the...


EP 36: Climate Crisis is More than Global Warming (What Happens When?)

It has been 1 year exactly since we launched our first official episode and we are so grateful to all our listeners, so although we made sure to cover an environmental topic this week, we went real big picture and decided to just tackle the entire climate change issue in one go! LOL not even. It took nearly a century of research and data to convince the vast majority of the scientific community that human activity could alter the climate of our entire planet and still not everyone is...


EP 35: Polar ice melts Pt 2 (What happens when?)

In this episode, we continue our discussions on polar ice melting by shifting our focus to the Arctic and water. Changes to the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are of considerable societal importance, as they directly impact global sea levels, which are a result of climate change. Sea level rise will reshape coastlines as incoming water floods dry areas and erodes coastal features like beaches, cliffs and dunes. Policies and regulations governing this area are tricky because the region is...


EP 34: Polar ice melts Pt 1 (What happens when?)

In this episode we are going to talk about what happens when the polar ice caps melt, with a focus on effects seen in the earth’s crust and permafrost loss. Ongoing ice loss in West Antarctica has increased over the past few decades. Measurements since the 1950s indicate that the amount of sea ice in the Arctic has been declining. Permafrost in the Arctic alone is estimated to hold nearly twice as much carbon as exists in the atmosphere now, as well as a sizable amount of methane, and losing...


EP 33: What happens when we do bad things?

WE'RE BACK! Series 4 is coming and we are tackling some more big picture environmental dilemmas based on feedback from our loyal listeners. In this mini episode, we catch up with you all and discuss what we are looking forward to this year personally and for the planet policy pals podcast. Captions of transcript available on our Youtube Page



We have had an amazing year and series sharing stories with our policy pals and now in this last episode of the year, we would like to share two more oil spill stories that reflect what this series was about- how human negligence and rash actions can be detrimental to our continued existence. The Exxon valdez oil spill was the largest oil spill in the US until Deepwater Horizon and was caused by one man's irresponsibility. The Gulf war oil spill is our pettiest disaster on this list and...


EP 31: The Worst Oil Spill in US History (Story time)

About 17 percent of the U.S.’s total crude oil production comes from offshore projects in the Gulf today and the region provides more than a fifth of U.S. oil and gas production. The BP Deepwater Horizon rig capsized 36 hours after an explosion, on the morning of April 22, which is coincidentally Earth Day, a globally recognized day promoting environmental protection. As the rig sank, it damaged the pipe leading down to the well. Oil began spilling from the well and did not stop for 87 days,...


EP 30: EXTRA POLICY- The World is Burning

In August, an alarming UN report blamed human activity for “unprecedented” changes to the climate. Scientists from across the globe said humanity will experience more extreme weather in the coming years and will suffer the consequences of rising sea levels and melting Arctic ice. Our hope is that highlighting this will further drive home the importance of climate change mitigation because it’s important. Please donate your time and effort to communities still recovering from the tragedies...


EP 29: Dioxin in Seveso (Storytime)

An unforeseeable accident on July 10, 1976, in northern Italy, led to an environmental contamination with caustic reaction products and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Original contamination of vegetation was in the order of O.5 ppm TCDD. The tragedy in Seveso led to changes in hazardous waste policy that reached from Europe to the rest of the world. Join us as we discuss one of the major reasons most of the world no longer produces dioxins. Follow the link for show notes and...


EP 28: The Great Smog of London (Story Time)

Smog had become a frequent part of London life, but nothing quite compared to the smoke-laden fog that shrouded the capital from Friday 5 December to Tuesday 9 December 1952. The Met Office says though that “While it heavily affected the population of London, causing a huge death toll and inconveniencing millions of people, the people it affected were also partly to blame for the smog.” The crazy thing is the effects of this smog were not realized until 3 weeks after the event. It was a...


EP 27: Blue Carbon Policy

The coastal ecosystems of mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows contain large stores of carbon deposited by vegetation and various natural processes over centuries. These ecosystems sequester and store more carbon – often referred to as ‘blue carbon’ – per unit area than terrestrial forests. The ability of these vegetated ecosystems to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere makes them significant net carbon sinks, and they are now being recognized for their role in...


EP 26: EXTRA POLICY- Shell V The Niger Delta

Oil was first found in Nigeria in 1956, then a British protectorate, by a joint operation between Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum. A major 1970 oil spill in Ogoniland in the south-east of Nigeria led to thousands of gallons being spilt on farmland and rivers, ultimately leading to a £26m fine for Shell in Nigerian courts 30 years later. With thousands of oil spills and multiple law suits, the situation has continued to worsen and we discuss this example of how reckless exploration...


EP 25: EXTRA POLICY- IPCC Assessment Report Update

The IPCC is now in its sixth assessment cycle, in which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is producing the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) with contributions by its three Working Groups and a Synthesis Report, three Special Reports, and a refinement to its latest Methodology Report. The Synthesis Report will be the last of the AR6 products, currently due for release in 2022. We briefly discuss just a few of the hard warnings issued by this report and why governments and...