49 episodes

Does climate change freak you out? Want to know what we, collectively, can do about it? Us, too. How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: What do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? Join us, journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, as we scour the earth for solutions, talk to people who are making a difference, ask hard questions, crack dumb jokes and — episode by episode — figure out how to build the future we want.

How to Save a Planet Gimlet Media

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 1.4K Ratings

Does climate change freak you out? Want to know what we, collectively, can do about it? Us, too. How to Save a Planet is a podcast that asks the big questions: What do we need to do to solve the climate crisis, and how do we get it done? Join us, journalist Alex Blumberg and scientist and policy nerd Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, as we scour the earth for solutions, talk to people who are making a difference, ask hard questions, crack dumb jokes and — episode by episode — figure out how to build the future we want.

    Like The Monarch, Human Migrations During Climate Change

    Like The Monarch, Human Migrations During Climate Change

    Human migration is nothing new, but the scale at which people will need to relocate due to climate change will be different than ever before. A World Bank report estimates that over the next thirty years, 143 million people will be displaced within three of the most vulnerable regions alone: sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and Latin America. To handle such shifts in population, our governments and immigration systems will have to evolve. This challenge, and the stakes, are illustrated beautifully in the essay we’re featuring this week. “Like the Monarch,” written by The New Yorker staff writer Sarah Stillman, explores the complex intersections between the climate crisis and human migration. It is read by actor, producer, director, and activist America Ferrera. 
    Sarah Stillman’s essay, along with 40 other essays appear in the anthology co-edited by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson called All We can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis. To find out more about the book, each of the contributors, and the nonprofit the co-editors founded to carry forward the book’s mission, check out allwecansave.earth.
    Also, we put together a playlist to go with the anthology – each essayist and poet picked a song to go with their writing. Check it out!
    Featuring: Sarah Stillman, America Ferrera
    Calls to action: 

    Keen for more of Sarah Stillman’s writing? Check out her recent piece, When Climate Change and Xenophobia Collide 

    Craving more wisdom from women climate leaders? Pick up a copy and dive into the anthology All We can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis – now out in paperback!


    Want to read this anthology with your climate squad/book club? Here’s a great facilitation guide for reading circles


    Curious what’s next from the All We Can Save crew? Learn more about the new non-profit, The All We can Save Project


    Eager for more from the audiobook? Listen to: If Miami Will Be Underwater, Why is Construction Booming? (here on HTSAP) and Healing the Soil, Healing Ourselves featured on A Matter of Degrees podcast. Or purchase the full shebang!

    Seeking a soundtrack? Check out the playlist featuring songs chosen by each essayist and poet to accompany their writing


    Check out our Calls to Action archive for all of the actions we've recommended on the show. Send us your ideas or feedback with our Listener Mail Form. Sign up for our newsletter here. And follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 44 min
    Fighting Fire with Fire

    Fighting Fire with Fire

    From California’s crimson skies to smoke so thick along Colorado’s front range that sent people indoors for days, wildfires in the US have becomes more and more extreme. On today’s episode, we ask, how did the wildfires get so bad – and what can we do to address them? This episode originally aired in October of 2020.
    Call(s) to action


    Help build fire adapted communities. If you're interested in learning more about the range of small, wonky, zoning-type solutions to reduce pressures driving people to the WUI (pronounced wooie!)and make managed retreat a more palatable option, check out fireadaptednetwork.org, where you can keep track of all the little policy changes that would actually help make a big difference.


    Prepare Your Home for Fire. The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, better known as CalFire, has a great resource to teach you how to prepare your home for wildfire. You can find it at readyforwildfire.org.


    Learn More about Fires from Bobbie Scopa through the audio stories she tells on her website, Bobbie on Fire



    Guests: Bobbie Scopa and Suzy Cagle
    *And one last thing, the anthology that Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson co-edited with Dr. Katharine Wilkinson, All We Can Save, will be published in paperback on July 20th. So, we are using that as a chance to celebrate! On publication day, Ayana and Katharine hosting a celebration featuring a bunch of the contributors to the book – women leading on climate solutions, poets, artists. And you’re invited! Please save the date, July 20th, and head to allwecansave.earth/events to save your virtual spot.*
    Check out our Calls to Action archive here for all of the actions we've recommended on the show. And if you take any of the actions we recommend, tell us about it! Send us your voice message, ideas or feedback with our Listener Mail Form. We might use it in an upcoming episode. Sign up for our newsletter here. And follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    This episode of How to Save a Planet was produced by Kendra Pierre-Louis. The rest of our reporting and producing team includes Rachel Waldholz, Anna Ladd and Felix Poon. Our senior producer is Lauren Silverman. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Sound design and mixing by Peter Leonard with original music by Emma Munger.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 41 min
    Soil: The Dirty Climate Solution

    Soil: The Dirty Climate Solution

    On this week's episode, we meet two farmers who, at first glance, seem very different. One is a first-generation farmer in upstate New York raising fruits and vegetables for the local community. The other is a third generation farmer in Minnesota who sells commodity crops—corn and soybeans—to big industrial processors. But they share something in common. They’re both bucking modern conventions on how to farm. And they're paying close attention to something that is frequently overlooked: the soil. We explore how making simple changes in the way we farm can harness the incredible power of soil to help save the planet. (This episode first aired on January 7, 2021.)
    Guests: Leah Penniman and Dawn and Grant Breitkreutz
    Calls to action

    The new US Congress will be considering the Farm Bill at some point soon, and there are lots of subsidies in there that could incentivize adoption of regenerative practices and restore and conserve agricultural lands. So keep your eyes peeled for windows of opportunity to push your elected officials to get on board with this. For now, there’s a helpful blog post from the World Resources Institute that will get you up to speed.

    Also, keep your eyes out for the Justice for Black Farmers Act to be reintroduced in this new Congress, which would support training and access to land for Black farmers.

    Support farmers of color through the National Black Food and Justice Alliance.

     
    Want to learn more about regenerative farming?

    Check out The Soil Health Institute.

    Watch these videos from Gabe Brown and Dr. Allen Williams, teachers who helped Grant and Dawn learn about regenerative farming.

    Read Leah Penniman’s book Farming While Black, which is brimming with great information on her Afro-Indigenous-inspired approach to farming.

    Watch the new film Kiss the Ground, which is all about how agriculture, and the carbon-sequestering power of soil, is a powerful climate solution. 

    Ayana’s mom, an organic and regenerative farmer, recommends the book Dirt to Soil by Gabe Brown. Her review: “Excellent job of demonstrating best regenerative farm practices. Great for gardeners and every food consumer to know.” She also recommends checking out the farming magazine called Acres and the array of great books published by Chelsea Green.

     
    If you take an action we recommend in one of our episodes, do us a favor and tell us about it! We’d love to hear how it went and what it felt like. Record a short voice memo on your phone and send it to us via our Listener Mail Form. We might use it in an upcoming episode.
    Check out our Calls to Action archive here for all of the actions we've recommended on the show. Sign up for our newsletter here. And follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    How to Save a Planet is a Spotify original podcast and Gimlet production hosted by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg. Our reporters and producers are Kendra Pierre-Louis, Rachel Waldholz and Anna Ladd. Our senior producer is Lauren Silverman. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Sound design and mixing by Peter Leonard with original music by Emma Munger. Our fact checker this episode is James Gaines.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 1 hr 8 min
    Drs. Jane Goodall & Ayana Elizabeth Johnson Talk About Hope

    Drs. Jane Goodall & Ayana Elizabeth Johnson Talk About Hope

    If you’re curious to know how Drs. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Drs. Jane Goodall first fell in love with the natural world, both on land and underwater, this week’s episode is for you. Dr. Jane Goodall, DBE, founder of the Jane Goodall Institute and UN Messenger of Peace is an ethologist and conservationist best known for her long-term study of chimpanzees in the forests of Tanzania. Today, Jane hosts a podcast called  ​The Jane Goodall Hopecast and is a global activist for holistic solutions to the greatest threats facing our planet like biodiversity loss and the climate crisis. One of her recent guests was our very own Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. They discuss their career paths, the role of individuals in the climate movement and then dive deep into Ayana’s tenuous relationship with the word hope.
    Guests: Drs. Jane Goodall and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson
    Call to Action: Check out Dr. Jane Goodall’s global environmental youth program Roots & Shoots, which aims to empower young people to affect positive change in their communities with chapters all over the world.
    Check out our Calls to Action archive for all of the actions we've recommended on the show. Send us your ideas or feedback with our Listener Mail Form. Sign up for our newsletter here. And follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 45 min
    Recycling! Is it BS?

    Recycling! Is it BS?

    The recycling bin — many of us have learned to view this humble container as an environmental superhero. It is, after all, the critical first step in turning our trash into… well, not treasure, but at least more stuff. Or is it? 
    In this episode, we take a look at the science to help you understand whether recycling is an environmental boon or hindrance, and we open up the Pandora's box that is plastic. We also dive into what recycling has to do with tackling climate change. (This episode first aired on January 21, 2021.)
    Guests: Deia Schlosberg, Sarah Paiji Yoo
    Take Action

    Check out the Break Free from Plastic campaign

    Contact your members of Congress and ask them to push for the Break Free From Plastic Pollution Act 


    If there’s a product or a brand that you love, reach out to that company and ask them to change their packaging

    Check out Loop, a store that ships your favorite products to you in refillable containers that they take back, wash, and reuse

    Check out Deia Schlossberg’s film, The Story of Plastic


     
    If you take an action we recommend in one of our episodes, do us a favor and tell us about it! We’d love to hear how it went. Record a short voice memo on your phone and send it to us via our Listener Mail Form. We might use it in an upcoming episode.
    Check out our Calls to Action archive for all of the actions we've recommended on the show. Send us your ideas or feedback with our Listener Mail Form. Sign up for our newsletter here. And follow us on Twitter and Instagram.
    This episode of How to Save a Planet was produced by Kendra Pierre-Louis. The rest of our reporting and producing team includes Rachel Waldholz and Anna Ladd. Our senior producer is Lauren Silverman. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Sound design and mixing by Peter Leonard with original music from Emma Munger.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 51 min
    An Origin Story of the Blue New Deal

    An Origin Story of the Blue New Deal

    This week, the inside scoop on how a climate policy gets made. In 2019, when the Green New Deal resolution was unveiled, How to Save a Planet co-host Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson noticed something big (and blue) was missing: the ocean. The ocean is not just a victim of climate change, it’s also a hero, offering many climate solutions. Ayana, along with a bunch of other ocean policy nerds, didn’t want these solutions to go ignored. So how does a plea to remember the ocean become federal policy? In this episode, we learn from people who made it happen, how the power of the pen (or keyboard) can help catalyze climate action.

    Thanks to our guests Chad Nelsen, Maggie Thomas and Jean Flemma!

    Calls to Action

    In a few of our recent episodes we’ve asked listeners to call congress. You can check out our tips for doing that in the Calls to Action Archive, and also add these tips courtesy of Jean Flemma–co-founder of Urban Ocean Lab and former congressional staffer–to your outreach strategy:

    Follow your congressperson on social media, share what you care about by tagging them, and thank them when they support legislation you support.

    When you reach out via email, write your own note instead of using a form letter or only signing a petition. It’s more time consuming, but much better at actually getting their attention!

    The Ocean Based Climate Solutions Act is finally gaining some traction, so if you care about this issue, call / email / tweet your congressperson!


    Check out our Calls to Action archive for all of the actions we've recommended on the show. Send us your ideas or feedback with our Listener Mail Form. Sign up for our newsletter here. And follow us on Twitter and Instagram.

    This episode of How to Save a Planet was produced by our intern, Ayo Oti. The rest of our reporting and producing team includes Kendra Pierre-Louis, Rachel Waldholz and Anna Ladd. Our senior producer is Lauren Silverman. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Sound design and mixing by Peter Leonard with original music from Emma Munger, Bobby Lord, and Peter Leonard. Our fact checker this week is Angely Mercado.
    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit podcastchoices.com/adchoices

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1.4K Ratings

1.4K Ratings

Nfvdih ,

How to Save a Podcast

Boo! I wish this wasn’t moving exclusively to Spotify; I’ll have to listen to as many episodes here as possible before then, as I don’t plan to switch my podcast app. That said, I have signed up for the newsletter.

Dr. Ayana and Alex have great chemistry, and have often made me laugh out loud with their play. Episodes are relevant and timely, and full of great revelations (for me, anyway). Room for improvement is in the encore episodes, which don’t contribute much in addition to the original episode. However, this podcast has inspired me so much so that I’ve refocused my graduate studies to incorporate conveying environmental risk, in addition to health risk. Thanks for the hard work, HTSAP Team.

chrisalley ,

Too many “encore” episodes

This show started out great. Now they constantly post episodes from other podcasts and re-post old episodes instead of making new content. If I wanted to listen to other podcasts, I would subscribe to them. If I wanted to hear an episode again, I could just replay it from the feed. This show has become so lazy, I’m no longer interested in following it anymore. Unsubscribed.

Nissarocks ,

Great podcast but…

Why so many encore episodes?? Great podcast otherwise, I just hope you guys would make more new episodes.

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