42 episodes

Future Perfect explores provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. We tackle big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty to create a more perfect future.In season 3, we explore how the meat we eat affects us all. In eight episodes, Vox's Dylan Matthews and Sigal Samuel examine how the way we eat is shaping animal lives, human lives, and the future of our planet. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network. 

Future Perfect Vox

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.6 • 563 Ratings

Future Perfect explores provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. We tackle big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty to create a more perfect future.In season 3, we explore how the meat we eat affects us all. In eight episodes, Vox's Dylan Matthews and Sigal Samuel examine how the way we eat is shaping animal lives, human lives, and the future of our planet. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network. 

    Sucking the carbon out of the sky

    Sucking the carbon out of the sky

    Most of our efforts to fight climate change, from electric cars to wind turbines, are about pumping fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But what if we could pull out the gases that are already there? Akshat Rathi, a reporter at Bloomberg with a doctorate in chemistry, knows more about this technology, called “direct air capture,” than just about anyone. He follows companies like Carbon Engineering and Climeworks that are trying to figure out how to take regular air and pull carbon dioxide out of it.
    If their plans work, they could mean a world with net negative emissions: less carbon in the sky than there is right now, and a cooler planet. But his reporting has also highlighted how elusive carbon capture can be, and how tricky it can be to make the tech work at an affordable price. Rathi and Vox’s Dylan Matthews discuss how direct air capture works, how it’s different from capturing carbon at a fossil fuel plant, and the struggles of one direct air capture company in particular.
     
     
    Read more of Akshat’s work here:







    Inside America's Race to Scale Direct-Air Capture Technology - Bloomberg

    Crushed Rock Could Capture Billions of Tons of Carbon Dioxide - Bloomberg

    Britain Is Getting Ready to Scale Up Negative-Emissions Technology - Bloomberg

    Planting Trees Isn’t a Simple Climate Change Solution It Seems - Bloomberg

    The story behind the world’s first large direct air capture plant — Quartz (qz.com)

    The ultimate guide to negative-emissions technologies — Quartz (qz.com)

     
    Host:
    Dylan Matthews (@DylanMatt), senior correspondent, Vox 
    Producer: 
    Sofi LaLonde (@sofilalonde)
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them.

    We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com. 

    Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.
     
    Follow Us:
    Vox.com
     
    Support Future Perfect by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 43 min
    Should I still have kids if I’m worried about climate change?

    Should I still have kids if I’m worried about climate change?

    Climate scientist Kimberly Nicholas co-led a study that showed the single most effective thing an individual can do to decrease their carbon footprint is have fewer kids. Despite that finding, she still says that people who really want to have kids should go ahead with their plans. She explains how she squares that circle to Vox’s Sigal Samuel, and the two discuss how to think about the decision to have kids or not and how to make meaning in a warming world.  
     
    Read more of Sigal’s climate reporting:

    Having fewer kids will not save the planet

    Where to donate to improve climate policy


    It’s not just Big Oil. It’s Big Meat too. 

     
    More information about Dr. Kimberly Nicholas

    Find her new book here 

    Read more of her writing on her website


    The podcast she recommended called So Over Population


     
    Host:
    Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox 
    Producer: 
    Sofi LaLonde (@sofilalonde)
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them.
    We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com. 
    Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.
     
    Follow Us:
    Vox.com

    Support Future Perfect by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 2 min
    Engineering our way out of the climate crisis

    Engineering our way out of the climate crisis

    In an ideal world, cutting carbon emissions would be enough to stop global warming. But after dithering for decades, the world needs a back-up plan. Kelly Wanser is the leader of a group called SilverLining that works to promote research into what it calls “solar climate intervention.” Also called “solar geoengineering,” this approach involves putting particles into clouds that reflect back the sun, directly cooling the earth. It’s a novel and potentially hazardous policy — but one that Wanser and other experts argue could hold a lot of promise as the world braces for catastrophic climate impacts. Wanser and Vox’s Dylan Matthews discuss how solar climate intervention works, how it could be implemented, and where it fits in with the goal of cutting emissions.
     
    References: 
    Kelly Wanser is the executive director of SilverLining. You can find more information at Silverlining.ngo, including its 2019 report on climate intervention research. You can also hear more from Wanser in her 2019 TED Talk.
     
    Host:
    Dylan Matthews (@DylanMatt), senior correspondent, Vox 

    Producer: 
    Sofi LaLonde (@sofilalonde)
    Special thanks to Efim Shaprio (@efimthedream)
     
    More to explore:
    Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them.

    We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com. 

    Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.
     
    Follow Us:
    Vox.com

    Support Future Perfect by making a financial contribution to Vox! bit.ly/givepodcasts
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 35 min
    Unexplainable

    Unexplainable

    Unexplainable is a new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know. Each week, the team looks at the most fascinating unanswered questions in science and the mind-bending ways scientists are trying to answer them. New episodes drop every Wednesday. 
    This episode: Scientists still don't know how the sense of smell works. But they're looking at how powerful it is — dogs can actually sniff out cancer and many other diseases — and they're trying to figure out how to reverse-engineer it. In fact, one MIT scientist may have built a robot nose ... without completely understanding how his invention works.

    Learn more: 
    vox.com/unexplainable 
    Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unexplainable/id1554578197
    Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0PhoePNItwrXBnmAEZgYmt?si=Y3-2TFfDT8qHkfxMjrJL2g
    Sign up for our newsletter: 
    http://vox.com/unexplainable-newsletter
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    • 28 min
    Rethinking meat

    Rethinking meat

    How can we convince people to change their relationship with meat?
    Melanie Joy has been grappling with this question for a long time. To answer it, she takes us back to other points in history when new technology helped make social change palatable. She digs into how the invention of the washing machine and other household appliances, for example, helped make feminism easier to imagine.
    Then, she looks to the future, at our latest meat technologies — plant-based meat and lab grown meat — and asks: Could they make it easier for us to move away from meat altogether? 

    Further listening and reading: 


    Joy’s books, Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation and Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. 

    Vox’s Ezra Klein interviewed Joy for an episode of The Ezra Klein Show in 2018. Hear that interview and read her book recommendations here.


    We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com. 

    Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.
    This podcast is made possible thanks to support from Animal Charity Evaluators. They research and promote the most effective ways to help animals.

    Featuring:
    Melanie Joy (@DrMelanieJoy)

    Host:
    Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox 


    More to explore:

    Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat.
    Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them.

    Follow Us:
    Vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 21 min
    Can we raise better beef?

    Can we raise better beef?

    Beef cattle take a huge toll on the environment. In Brazil, a huge chunk of greenhouse gas emissions comes from ranching alone. And a California-sized chunk of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down to provide land for these cattle to graze on.
    But one man, living on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, has a potential solution. In a series of small pilot projects run in his own small town, he’s demonstrated that he can work with ranchers to make their land healthier and more sustainable, so they don’t have to slash and burn more forest. He’s also shown that, by making the land greener and the cows healthier, he can dramatically reduce emissions from ranching.

    Further listening and reading: 

    Christina Selby’s story about Vando Telles’s company can be found at Scientific American.

    Vox video has an in-depth explainer on deforestation in the Amazon and on the invasion of indigenous land in Brazil.

    Vox video also has an explainer on why eating beef speeds up climate change.

    Vox’s Umair Irfan traveled to Brazil last year to report on deforestation and climate change.

    We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com. 
    Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week.
    This podcast is made possible thanks to support from Animal Charity Evaluators. They research and promote the most effective ways to help animals.

    Featuring:
    Christina Selby (@Christina Selby), freelance science reporter

    Host:
    Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox 

    More to explore:

    Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat.
    Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them.

    Follow Us:
    Vox.com
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 24 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
563 Ratings

563 Ratings

Viveca1 ,

Great podcast! A must-listen on topics that matter.

Byrd Pinkerton, Sigal Samuel, and Dylan Mathews are enormously talented producers and storytellers — exceptionally well researched, thoughtful, captivating, funny, and often profound. I look forward to these episodes, have learned a lot by listening, and recommend subscribing to everyone. A must-listen.

R23ndwp ,

Classic neoliberal talking points

Interviewers fall into neoliberal ideological traps and often fail to understand their guests. Basic climate podcast, check out Hot Take if you want actual climate reporting.

jtobin22 ,

Worth a Listen!

One of the few podcasts that cover important things, presently relevant things, but does not get sucked into the stress of the news cycle. I really appreciate Future Perfect, especially season 3!

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