170 episodes

Planet: Critical is the podcast for a world in crisis. We face severe climate, energy, economic and political breakdown. Journalist Rachel Donald interviews those confronting the crisis, revealing what's really going on—and what needs to be done.

www.planetcritical.com

Planet: Critical Rachel Donald

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0 • 12 Ratings

Planet: Critical is the podcast for a world in crisis. We face severe climate, energy, economic and political breakdown. Journalist Rachel Donald interviews those confronting the crisis, revealing what's really going on—and what needs to be done.

www.planetcritical.com

    Reimagining A.I | John Wild

    Reimagining A.I | John Wild

    What does artificial intelligence have in common with eugenics?
    The first person to float the idea of a "general intelligence" was a eugenicist who was determined to rank intelligence according to race. This is just one of the legacies of A.I., a technology which Silicon Valley vehemently promises will transform the world, but which for now only consumes enormous quantities of energy. Despite the warnings from technologists around the world, for-profit companies are racing to develop A.G.I. no matter the costs.
    Artist John Wild has traced the deep history of A.I., finding its roots in disturbing schools of thought which seek to raise the dead. He's also found where these histories are alive and kicking in C-Suite boardrooms. He joins me to reveal the disturbing imaginaries associated with A.I., and how we can begin to reimagine it as an entangled, decentralised, collaborative tool to create new ways of being.
    Planet: Critical is 100% independent and community-powered. If you value it, and have the means, become a paid subscriber today!



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    • 1 hr 3 min
    The Reduction Roadmap | Dani Hill-Hansen

    The Reduction Roadmap | Dani Hill-Hansen

    Who takes the initiative when governments fail to ask?
    Amazingly, in Denmark, an industry is lobbying its government for much tighter regulations to absolutely reduce emissions in order to meet the Paris Agreement. Stakeholders across the entire Danish building industry have agreed to an ambitious reduction roadmap tafter a team of architects undertook an independent review of government policies. They found that global building emissions must be reduced by 96% to limit global warming, and are currently lobbying for an emissions cap of carbon dioxide kilograms per meter squared.
    I'm joined by Dani Hill-Hansen, sustainable design engineer, architect at EFFEKT, and co-author of the Reduction Roadmap. She explains the findings of their research, the ambitious targets of the roadmap, how they got 540 stakeholders across the industry to sign on, and the methodology of "brand activism" they've developed alongside this project to kickstart other industries across the globe to initiate necessary climate action.



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    • 1 hr 7 min
    The Politics of Food | Chris Smaje

    The Politics of Food | Chris Smaje

    What’s the future of food?
    Last year, two of my former podcast guests had a long and very public disagreement about the politics of food, locking horns over the utility of farming in a densely-populated world. Activist and writer George Monbiot has written extensively about lab-grown food and the need to revolutionise our food systems with technology so that we can better feed everyone. Farmer and academic Chris Smaje has argued that farming is a critical component of community autonomy, and wrote a book in response to George’s own, Regenesis, criticising the vision as “eco-modernist”. George hit back that Chris’ proposal is a “cruel fantasy”.
    I watched this unfold online, worried to see two experts disagree so deeply on something fundamental to how we organise society, and invited Chris back to talk about this second book, Saying No To A Farm-Free Future. Chris explains how our food production systems are emblematic of our crisis of relationship to the earth. He argues that de-materialising our food supply plays into the colonial history of uprooting people from the land and denigrating agriculture. This leads us to discuss land, language, and culture, decentralising power, and the political binaries that could be dissolved by grounding our thinking in the land.
    Correction: The previous version of this interview stated that the debate between George Monbiot and Chris Smaje was around lab grown meat instead of lab grown food.



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    • 54 min
    Designing Collective Security | Olivia Lazard

    Designing Collective Security | Olivia Lazard

    We’re breaking all kinds of records at the moment: cities are boiling at 62C, ocean temperatures are literally off the charts, and governments have increased the global defence budget to an alarming $2440 billion.
    War costs life, and not just human life. The environmental impacts of war are colossal, with one study already showing that the first few months of Israel’s assault on Gaza emitted more carbon dioxide than 20 climate-vulnerable nations do in one year. Our ecosystems are at their breaking point, with six of nine planetary boundaries crossed. We need global collaboration to commit the huge systems overhaul necessary to survive the planetary crises and mitigate the catastrophic decisions of the last centuries.
    Olivia Lazard, research fellow at Carnegie Europe, joins me to discuss just how complex that task is, detailing the five steps of the Anthropocene and how violence increases at each step. We discuss these legacy systems of extraction and violence and how they are embedded into decisions being made around A.I., creating security risks in a resource-scarce world. We also cover the dematerialisation of our economies, the myths that blind us to energy and materials, before discussing the balance of power tipping our planet and human systems further into crisis.
    Planet: Critical is 100% independent and community-powered. If you value it, and have the means, become a paid subscriber today!



    Get full access to Planet: Critical at www.planetcritical.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 31 min
    Global Carbon Reward | Delton Chen

    Global Carbon Reward | Delton Chen

    Can the market do the right thing?
    Not without supportive policy. Market-based solutions do not have a good track record when it comes to climate, stuck as they are within an exploitative economic framework. But, equally, we cannot just do away with markets, which have existed for millennia in many different forms. They need revolutionised, not abandoned.
    Civil engineer and geo-hydrologist Delton Chen joins me to discuss the Global Carbon Reward, a policy for managing climate-related risk. Described as a “carrot policy”, Delton says the GCR incentivises polluting industries to reduce their emissions whilst encouraging the private market to invest in research and development of mitigation technologies. This conversation is filled with nuance, technicality, analysis and discussion on the viability of market-based solutions in a market that drives perverse incentives.
    Planet: Critical is 100% independent and community-powered. If you value it, and have the means, become a paid subscriber today!

    You can also listen to my latest episode of the Mongabay Newscast where I spoke with Dahr Jamail about the resource wars driving climate-fuelled conflict.



    Get full access to Planet: Critical at www.planetcritical.com/subscribe

    • 1 hr 44 min
    Social Tipping Points | Erin Remblance

    Social Tipping Points | Erin Remblance

    Here’s the good news: People can change—quickly.
    Sometimes it feels impossible to imagine anything other than collapse with the way our energy systems are designed, the corruption in governance, and the financial motives which skew the present system towards profit over everything else. It’s true that if nothing changes, the global system will collapse. But it’s also true that people are capable of amazing feats of imagination and adaptation—especially social imagination.
    This week I’m joined by Erin Remblance, degrowth advocate and co-founder of ReBiz, an “un/school” designed to equip all people with the worldview and skills to create regenerative and pluriversal post-growth futures. ReBiz offers a core course on social tipping points and Erin joined me to discuss exactly that: What are social tipping points? And, importantly, how do we create them? This is a conversation about technology, economy, imagination, politics and a just transition—because most people are good people.
    Planet: Critical is 100% independent and community-powered. If you value it, and have the means, become a paid subscriber today!



    Get full access to Planet: Critical at www.planetcritical.com/subscribe

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
12 Ratings

12 Ratings

Antipododian ,

One of the best…

Not just another climate podcast. Rachel prods and pushes her guests, digging into their thoughts and ideas, often challenging and expanding them to everyone’s benefit. Erudite and honest discussion with a stellar range of thinkers and doers about the critical state of our planet.

NateKinch ,

Beautiful conversations about some of the topics that matter most

Highly recommended for anyone who wants to spend time exploring the diverse and nuanced topics that have contributed to the current state of humanity, whilst also considering actionable pathways that will hopefully help carry us forward (together).

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