In lockdown, podcasts are proving a great way to be inspired, get new ideas and learn from others’ real-life experiences – especially when it comes to taking action on climate change. So we asked seven of Lewes’s environmental movers and shakers what they’re listening to.
Helen Meade – Programme Manager, Railway Land Wildlife Trust
Mothers of Invention – episodes 55 mins
One podcast I have been really enjoying recently is Mothers of Invention. It covers everything from the crucial role of indigenous communities to how microbes can help in carbon capture, with great humanity and a good dose of humour.
The Wild – episodes 10 mins-30 mins
I’ve never been very good at picking favourites, so would also mention The Wild with Chris Morgan, especially the fabulous soundscape episodes, which are like a balm for the soul.
Tim Rabjohns – Plastic Free Lewes and Lewes Open Eco Houses
How To Save a Planet – episodes 45-60 mins
I really like this podcast partly because the two presenters are very personable but also because they look at climate issues in a very human way. For example the episode called ‘Trying To Talk To Your Family About Climate Change? Here’s how.’ – is something that I struggle with and they illustrated the point by interviewing a US senator and his son. The former is very conservative and was anti climate change at first and his son talks about how he won him over, over time. They also give practical tips in the show notes
There are many good episodes, including Breaking Building’s Addiction To Fossil Fuels, where a business man retrains to offer financial products for the greening of buildings affordable to low-income households in New York
People Fixing The World – episodes 25 mins
This show is not only about the environment, but many of the episodes are about solutions people have found to specific environmental issues e.g. saving Dolphins in Cape Cod, new solar technology, solar railways, building with fungi etc. I always come away having learnt something and feeling better because I know the solutions are out there. Friendly, no nonsense style that you’d expect from the BBC!
Mark Engineer – Organiser, Extinction Rebellion Lewes
The End Of The World Has Already Happened – episodes 28 mins
Don’t be put off by the title! This BBC three-parter is a lot more positive that it sounds. Actually, that’s not true. It pulls no punches about the fact we’re in deep trouble. Which is fine – because we’re in deep trouble. But it’s not without hope, and is particularly interesting on dealing psychologically with the scale of the crisis and the helplessness we all feel. Plus some William Blake poetry.
Lesley Healey – Director, Common Cause Cooperative
What Planet Are We On?’ – episodes 60 mins
This series presented by Liz Bonnin talks about solutions. Not pie in the sky, far in the future things (though they often get a mention), but practical actions on lots of different fronts that will make a difference to our planet and our ability to occupy it kindly and carefully. More to the point, things that individuals can achieve.
English Pastoral – episodes 14 mins
I also recommend listening to ‘English Pastoral’ by James Rebanks, farmer and author of the best-selling ‘A Shepherd’s Life’. I was just about teenaged when the farmer ripped out the hedges and trees along the field behind our house to make one enormous field. Sitting crouched under piled up straw bales, listening to the mice is a cherished childhood memory and one that I hope future children may experience.
Matthew Bird – Cabinet Member for Sustainability, Lewes District Council; Climate Lead at Sussex Wildlife Trust
The Climate Question on the World Service is wide ranging and very listenable. I listen to Costing the Earth regularly which picks some really interesting subjects and Crossing Continents has the odd climate change episode from a Finnish perspective or something!
I’m really interested in climate adaptation as I don’t think there’s enough public examination of what we need to do now to deal with locked-in climate change. Listened to a few episodes of America Adapts which annoys me in style as much as it interests me in content! Generally I watch/listen to Ted Talks especially the two Georges, Monbiot and Marshall!
Audrey Jarvis – Chairperson of Friends of Lewes Trees Committee, Lewes Urban Arboretum
Tweet of the Day – episodes 5 mins
I enjoy Tweet of the Day, BBC Radio 4 and available on Sounds as a back catalogue. I like it because it reminds me of how good it is to be out and about in Lewes and hear and see the birds singing.
Dinah Morgan – Management team, Lewes Climate Hub
Not a podcast per se, but I strongly recommend this talk by George Monbiot recorded in February 2020 exploring the forces that have led to the dire state our world is in. In three-quarters of an hour, it explained so much that was just an unclear shape in my mind and turned it into a coherent form. As usual Monbiot was eloquent with loads of interesting references. I cannot recommend it enough!
Got a recommendation that we’ve missed? Let us know in the Comments below.