102 episodes

There are technologies that decouple human well-being from its ecological impacts. There are politics that enable these technologies. Join me as I interview world experts to uncover hope in this time of planetary crisis.

Decouple Dr. Chris Keefer

    • News
    • 4.9 • 34 Ratings

There are technologies that decouple human well-being from its ecological impacts. There are politics that enable these technologies. Join me as I interview world experts to uncover hope in this time of planetary crisis.

    COP26: When Decarbonization won't cut it Geoengineer feat: Darth Vader

    COP26: When Decarbonization won't cut it Geoengineer feat: Darth Vader

    Watch the video on Decouple's YouTube channel.
    Decouple runs into Jamen Shively, former Microsoft executive and early investor in legalized cannabis turned geoengineering advocate, dressed in full Darth Vader garb at COP26.
    For an argument against Marine Cloud Brightening, here's a briefing from Geoengineering Monitor: www.geoengineeringmonitor.org/2021/04/marine_cloud_brightening/

    • 16 min
    COP26: Can you dig it? All about mining feat. Dr. Richard Herrington

    COP26: Can you dig it? All about mining feat. Dr. Richard Herrington

    In this episode, I was joined live in the New York Times Climate Hub at COP26 by Dr. Richard Herrington, an academic geologist and Head of Earth Sciences at the Natural History Museum in London, to dig deep on the topic of mining. Mining underpins nearly everything in our modern lives. Essentially, if we didn't grow it, we mined it. Yet in terms of public visibility, mining is perhaps even more hidden from view than agriculture in rich nations. Dr. Herrington offers a brief history of materials use, from a time when we used only a few minerals to the present, where we regularly use many dozens of different elements in a single product due to their varied and unique properties. We discuss the environmental and human impacts of mining as well as important processing stages, which often have hard-to-avoid impacts, such as the inherent formation of carbon dioxide in concrete making and iron smelting. Among Dr. Herrington's research interests are more environmentally-benign industrial processes, such as using lower temperatures or microbes. We move onto geological topics relevant to the energy transition, touching briefly on Deep Geological Repository for used nuclear fuel before discussing Cobalt, Lithium, and the utter certainty that renewable technologies will lead to increases in mining and mineral requirements. Other topics include why much of the mining and processing for rare earth metals and electric motors takes place in China and, finally, prospects for deep sea mining.

    • 1 hr 29 min
    COP26: Indigenous Climate Action feat. Eriel Tchekwie Deranger

    COP26: Indigenous Climate Action feat. Eriel Tchekwie Deranger

    I was joined live at COP26 by Eriel Tchekwie Deranger, a member of the Athabasca Chipewyan First Nation and the Executive Director of the organization Indigenous Climate Action.

    Eriel offers reflections on COP26 from an indigenous perspective, pointing out that wealthy countries engaging in "climate action" tend to do so from a co-optive or colonial framework rather than one of "decolonizing."

    She argues this tendency has pervaded environmentalism from the outset, as a philosophy originating from the upper and middle classes that views nature as something external that must be protected from humans.

    From an indigenous perspective, Eriel says, nature is not an externality. She emphasizes the importance of solutions to environmental and climate issues "guided by relationships not only with each other but across species and with the natural world itself."

    We go on to discuss Eriel's personal grievances with the uranium mines in northern Canada, the impacts of uranium mining on indigenous communities, and how to balance the unavoidable mining requirements of energy production with the wellbeing of people and ecosystems.

    Eriel argues that by changing our attitudes on consumption, the land, language, culture, food systems, etc. to value relationships and reciprocity over extraction, we might become less dependent on the energy systems that many can't imagine living without.

    Learn more about Eriel's work with Indigenous Climate Action at https://www.indigenousclimateaction.com/

    • 1 hr 4 min
    COP26: Is African Poverty a Climate Solution? feat. Shirly Rodriguez and Princess Mbthobeni

    COP26: Is African Poverty a Climate Solution? feat. Shirly Rodriguez and Princess Mbthobeni

    Special Decouple Studios mini-doc from inside the walls of COP26. Decouple's Jesse Freeston follows two young nuclear energy advocates, Shirly Rodriguez and Princess Mbthobeni, as they roam the conference searching for evidence of a meaningful plan to reduce emissions AND raise living standards in Africa and beyond. Shirly Rodriguez is a nuclear engineer, and Princess Mbthoneni is the Nuclear Stakeholder Management Advisor for South Africa's Department of Mineral Resources and Energy, as well as the founder of Africa4Nuclear. Watch the original video version here https://youtu.be/WjbvxwSy3O8

    • 10 min
    COP26: A sober sitdown with the German delegation's spokesperson feat. Stephan Haufe

    COP26: A sober sitdown with the German delegation's spokesperson feat. Stephan Haufe

    We arrive at the COP26 German Pavilion for a scheduled interview with the German delegation's spokesperson, Stephan Gabriel Haufe, right as a press conference titled "Joint Declaration for a Nuclear-Free Green Taxonomy" is wrapping up. Mr. Haufe and I discuss Germany's Energiewende, expedited nuclear phaseout, ongoing reliance on coal until 2038, and the Nordstream 2 gas pipeline. 

    • 30 min
    COP26: France’s coming nuclear renaissance? Feat: Carine de Boissezon

    COP26: France’s coming nuclear renaissance? Feat: Carine de Boissezon

    Dr. Keefer sits down in Glasgow with Carine de Boissezon, who is the Chief Sustainability Officer at the French electric utility Électricité de France. Carine brings a valuable inside perspective on nuclear power in France, a country that Decouple has frequently regarded as an exemplar of rapid decarbonization. Reversing intentions to reduce France's share of electricity from nuclear from 75% to 50%, President Macron recently announced that France would "relaunch" its construction of nuclear reactors to meet growing electricity and decarbonization needs. 
    In this special in-person interview at COP26, we discuss how France has benefitted from nuclear power, what the nuclear "relaunch" means for the country, French public opinion, how renewables and nuclear interact, and more. Stay tuned for more COP26 content!

    • 34 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
34 Ratings

34 Ratings

Barryk108 ,

Brilliant host - brilliant guests

Love the podcast l. Learned a lot about nuclear energy but also some other things. Keep up the great content and please include some more of the GMO and other content as well

Ryan A Pickering ,

The nuclear podcast for everyone

As someone new to the nuclear power industry, this podcast has given me me the perspective I needed to get up to speed.

While this podcast hosts nuclear experts, I have been impressed by Dr. Keefer’s ability to keep the conversations tethered to the real world.

While I occasionally need to 30 second rewind in order to understand some of the dialogue, the content is exciting enough to make the active listening worth my time.

nkatuhn ,

Great perspective and great guests

I really appreciate this podcast as it is actually working on finding a positive way forward rather than just more dark green doom and gloom. I am one of those “libertarian types” that Chris likes to disagree with, but I appreciate seeing another perspective from a smart guy. In spite of the politics, I agree with the thinking big, technology and innovation first approach that this podcast is full of. One of my favorite listens each week.

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