Animalia strives to connect wildlife enthusiasts with the latest in conservation, animal welfare, sustainability, and climate.
Ep 28: 2020 California Fires - What Happened & What's Next?
By now I'm sure everyone is familiar the terrifying size and scope of the 2020 wildfires in California. Over 9,000 different fires, over 4.5 million acres burned, tens of thousands of homes lost or people displaced, over two dozen firefighters killed and over 15,000 firefighters pushed to their brink, and hundreds of millions of wildlife lost. It's bad.
So why did this happen. Why have the 10 largest fires in California's history all been in the last 8 years? In this episode, we explore all the many factors at play. And we do so with three very different guests:
Jonathan Parfrey - Executive Director of Climate Resolve
Matt Fiorenza - Former firefighter and now mental health advocate and mentor to first responders
Bob Golden - lifelong mechanic for the agricultural industry born and raised in Fresno, CA
In addition to breaking down the causal factors, we explore what we can do to Mitigate these fires going forward and Adapt to the new normal.
In This Episode:
2:40 Intro our Guests
8:45 Quick recap of 2020 California fires
11:59 Diving through the different factors that lead to the 2020 fires
37:42 Recognizing the toll taken on Fire Fighters and first responders
46:50 What can we do to Mitigate wildfires going forward
57:40 How should we Adapt to this new normal?
A Peak Inside the World of Poaching with Author & Journalist Rachel Nuwer
In this episode we discuss the fascinating world of poaching and wildlife trafficking detailed in the booked POACHED with author Rachel Nuwer.
Rachel is an award winning journalist who covers conservation & science for The New York Times, National Geographic, Scientific American and more. We dive in one some of the bigger macro themes from the book and discuss her journey putting it together.
POACHED does a great job of balancing a terrifying look behind the curtains of the wildlife trafficking world while also visiting with incredible people working to stop it and exploring long term solutions. This oscillation between horror and hope makes a for a really compelling read combined with Rachel's sense of urgency and curiosity that weave through her investigative work.
Please get a copy of the book here. We promise you'll come away more informed than ever about wildlife trafficking and how we can stop it!
IN THIS EPISODE
(2:01) RACHEL'S BACKGROUND AND JOURNEY WRITING POACHED
(11:30) WALKING THE FINE LINE BETWEEN HORROR & HOPE
(13:01) COVID IMPACT ON WILDLIFE CONSERVATION
(16:40) WILDLIFE FARMING AND CONSERVATION COMMERCIALIZATION
(23:01) IMPACT OF TRADITIONAL ASIAN MEDICINE
(26:45) THE MANY SHADES OF GRAY OF POACHING CONSTITUENCIES
(34:01) FUN MOMENTS IN THE BOOK FROM THE ELEPHANT STARE DOWN IN CHAD TO GOING UNDERCOVER IN KINGS ROMAN
(43:06) RACHEL'S RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
A Climate Conversation with my Conservative Leaning Father
Just in time for the tail end of election season, in this episode we take a break from our deep dives into core subject matters with scientists, conservationists, and advocates for the natural world. Instead, I share a sit down with my very own father, Jim Veraldi. A man raised in the 60s and 70s, of deep family and religious value, who believes in work ethic and dedication to one’s craft, and has always leaned conservative in his political values.
The climate crisis has sadly become a polarizing political issue in recent years. It shouldn’t be. It impacts all of us regardless of political party, religion, or cultural differences. This summer, I took my father through an online climate course from the University of Michigan. As he’ll explain in the episode, up until this year climate change was never really top of mind or a priority in his day to day life. He just wasn’t that aware of the gravity of it. This class, however, opened him up to new information that started to change his thinking.
It is important that we learn to have more constructive, mutually respectful conversations with those who think differently from us, no matter where you are on the spectrum of climate and conservation. This is the only way to make this movement stronger and wider. Build onramps, not blockades.
For those who are still skeptical on the climate crisis, I hope this episode can make you more open to seeking information and learning more about this issue. For those who are fighting already to combat this crisis and save this planet, I hope this episode can give you a framework for talking to family and friends to join you.
Don't forget to all podcast listeners get 10% off the Animalia merch store! Just use the code 'PODCASTERS' in checkout at www.iloveanimalia.com
IN THIS EPISODE
(3:00) Jim’s Core Values
(10:00) The 2 Macro Spectrum’s of Climate Dialogue
(16:00) Jim’s Upbringing and Early Years at Exxon
(24:20) Jim recalls when he remembers Climate initially being in public discord
(28:29) We discuss how wrong we both have been on this topic at points in our lives
(40:25) Jim’s 2020 Summer School in Climate
(46:30) Is climate factoring into Jim’s Presidential Vote?
(53:47) How do we make the climate crisis more bipartisan?
(1:00:02) What would Jim say to other traditional conservatives about climate today?
Black Birders Week & The Movement Behind It
By now, everyone is familiar with the May 26th incident in Central Park between Christian Cooper & Amy Cooper that went viral. That video and the outcry it spurred was a catalyst to the launch of #BlackBirdersWeek, and incredible virtual event that took place throughout social media in late May and early June celebrating the contributions and value of the work and role of the Black community in Outdoor Exploration & the Natural Sciences.
The group behind it was a collection of of Black science professionals who after putting this on formally created the collective BlackAFinStem. In this episode, we sit down with two of their members - Danielle Belleny & Chelsea Connor - to discuss their love of the outdoors, systemic racism in the outdoor and natural sciences space, and how they turned this disturbing viral video into a powerful, positive movement. If you stand for improving diversity, inclusion, and decision-making representation in conservation, environmental, and science work for BIPOC, you won't want to miss this episode.
We also made a limited run, long-sleeve tee to celebrate Black Birding in collaboration with BlackAFinStem. Get yours today here!
Finally, there are a few awesome figures in the Black scientific community mentioned in this episode we want to highlight:
Dr. Drew Lanham
Kerry James Marshall
Betty Reid Soskin
Roger Arliner Young
In This Episode
(1:17) What does birding represents to both Danielle & Chelsea
(5:00) Falling in Love with the Outdoors
(10:00) Systemic Racism in Outdoor Recreation and Exploration
(21:00) Let’s talk about Birding
(34:18) Improving inclusion and representation of BIPOC in conservation and natural sciences
(42:40) BIPOC Role Models
Gigantic "%*#$"-ing Solutions
What is GiganticFuckingSolutions.com?
You'll have to talk to Gabi & Ben Kay to find out. This incredible couple turned their careers in advertising and content into a powerful mission to solving the puzzle of how to talk about Climate Change. And they are bringing many others in the advertising and communication field with them.
You can access the site and play 'The Game' only if you reach out to Gabi first. And yes, she will 100% respond and give you a half hour of her time to get you started. Here is her email address: email@example.com
Want some insight in how to talk about the climate crisis in a way that gets more people involved and taking action? You won't want to miss this episode.
Gabi & Ben Backgrounds:
Ben Kay has spent over twenty years creating advertising for big brands at agencies such as BBDO, Wieden and Kennedy, Saatchi and Saatchi and RG/A. Most recently he spent six years as Executive Creative Director and International Group Creative Director at Media Arts Lab in London and LA, working exclusively on Apple. Gabi Kay worked for many years in commercial production in the UK, initially heading up sales at HSI and Gorgeous, before also becoming an Executive Producer at Knucklehead and then Sonny London.
In 2017 Ben and Gabi Kay co-founded Invincible Unicorn, an ethical creative communications company and B Corp. They went on to create Gigantic F*****g Solutions on a night out in 2019 (cocktails and Thai food played a crucial role in its inception).
IN THIS EPISODE
(4:32) The name Gigantic F*****g Solutions
(8:50) The story of Gabi & Ben
(15:50) Why is Climate Comms so hard to get right?
(20:55) Movements should be inclusive not exclusive
(40:31) What “The Game”on GiganticFuckingSolutions.com is all about
(53:00) The 9 Climate Briefs you need to know
(1:03:30) Who is playing The Game so far?
(1:10:30) What would you say to a group of recent grads in advertising?
The State of Greenwashing in Fashion
Feeling confused on how to determine what is actually sustainable or not? You're not alone. The issue of greenwashing - exaggerating, embellishing, or downright making up environmental claims - is probably worse in fashion and apparel than any other industry in the world. It's just so easy to trick consumers with the right buzzwords.
We sit down with Sasha Ternent, a former executive at Banana Republic, Gap, and Luxe Brands, and now founder of a new business trying to push the sustainability needs in fashion even further in the right direction, to discuss.
If you care about the climate and are striving to make the right decisions in your own fashion purchases, this episode is for you. We even offer a handy checklist towards the end!
1:02 - What do we mean by Greenwashing?
2:29 - Meet Sasha
9:40 - Environmental Impact of the Fashion Industry
16:40 - The Evils of Fast Fashion
21:00 - The hidden costs of externalities
30:00 - Discussing Brands’ Responsibility
38:25 - Regulation Responsibility
45:40 - Why is Greenwashing a Big Problem
48:54 - 3rd Party Certifications
53:00 - Recycled vs. Sustainable Organic
58:12 - A Checklist for Consumers to avoid Greenwashing Brands
1:11:11 - Why can’t we have a single set of sustainability standards?
1:19:06 - Sasha Rapid Fire Questions
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