Episodes
With CO2 in the atmosphere now reaching levels 50% higher than when humanity began large-scale burning of fossil fuels during the industrial revolution, time is running out and some ecosystems are on the brink of collapse. In light of this, some scientists and engineers are asking the question, can we act in time to save them? What do we do if we cannot reduce emissions in time? What tools will we have to save humanity? This week we talk to Elizabeth Kolbert, Pulitzer-Prize winning author,...
Published 03/25/21
A bonus episode for you this week! With science demanding that in order to stay below 1.5C we must reach “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 at the absolute latest, how do we get there? We know we can’t keep emitting as we currently are and just offset to balance it out. We need radical cuts and that means a complete reshaping of the global economy and most business models. Arguably, anyone could shape their net zero goals differently, unless we can compare these (literally)...
Published 03/22/21
This is the second episode in our Race To Zero series! All evidence points to the tipping point for electrification of road transport, and the end of the internal combustion engine. But will this happen fast enough?  One of the key pillars of the Race to Zero is to accelerate the adoption of Zero Emissions Vehicles. Today, transport accounts for about 16% of global emissions, but is a much higher share of total emissions in industrialized countries. For example in the United States,...
Published 03/18/21
This week we get into Republicans and climate change, faith and climate change, and some exciting news in climate philanthropy! And our guest for this episode is CEO of Occidental Petroleum, Vicki Hollub. Not only is she the first and currently only female CEO of a major oil and gas company, but Occidental - or Oxy as the company is fondly known - is the first US oil and gas major to announce their strategy to reach Net Zero across emissions scopes 1,2 and 3. We explore with Vicki the...
Published 03/11/21
Welcome to the first episode of our new Race To Zero series! With COP26 as the vital milestone for climate action in November 2021, the promises and pledges made by governments must be converted into meaningful action beginning today. We know the EU, the UK and many other countries have net zero pledges but can they achieve them without a global collective effort?  And it’s not just up to governments - history has shown that political actors need the real economy to place wind in their...
Published 03/05/21
With a deep freeze in Texas leaving a wake of devastation, a UN Security Council Meeting weakly addressing climate change as the planet’s “gravest threat”, and massive investment for offshore wind in Denmark to produce green ammonia, there’s no shortage of things to be outraged by or optimistic about this week! We are at a new political moment where we are seeing the ambition for a cleaner world, and we are seeing the economics weigh more and more towards phasing out fossil fuels. We’re even...
Published 02/25/21
On Friday, The United States will officially be back in the Paris Climate Agreement! *cue appropriate volume of fanfare* And while in a week where Dallas, Texas is colder than Anchorage, Alaska - our co-host Paul Dickinson takes us on a short list of topics discussing the social cost of carbon recently updated by Joseph Stiglitz and Lord Nicholas Stern to match the severity of the climate crisis, as well as a listener question regarding the unregulated growth and steadily growing emissions...
Published 02/18/21
According to new research by a team of U.S. and U.K. scientists published in Environmental Research, Fossil fuels alone are responsible for more than 8 million premature deaths annually. That’s 1 out of 5 deaths. Let that sink in for a moment. 1 out of 5. This figure underscores a fact absent from much public debate and discussion about climate change. While the fight to stop greenhouse gas pollution by curtailing fossil fuel use is framed in terms of how it would improve the future, it’s...
Published 02/11/21
This is our fourth and final episode of an Outrage + Optimism investigative series on The Future of Transport. In 2019, UN Secretary General stated that “cities are where the climate battle will largely be won or lost” and he couldn’t be more right. With seven out of ten people expected to live in urban areas by 2050, and cities currently consuming ⅔ of the world’s energy, the need to transition off of fossil fuel based urban transport has never been more urgent. But how do we solve deadly...
Published 02/04/21
Welcome to Season 3! With a renewed sense of optimism felt around the world with the inauguration of President Joe Biden in the United States this month, our collective sigh of relief is quickly met with the sobering reality of the moment - Nature’s systems are collapsing and we are running out of time to stop irreversible changes to our planet. The science is clear. If we do not rapidly cut global greenhouse gas emissions by at least 50% in 2030, we will push our Earth beyond the...
Published 01/28/21
Today we witness history, the 59th United States Presidential Inauguration. And a long time coming, right? It’s been 4 years of destructive and incompetent leadership on climate from the United States federal government, but today the U.S. is BACK. Not only formally back in the Paris Climate Agreement, but back at the table with leadership and new positions in the White House creating the policy, action, and messaging around climate action. So who better to talk to on this historic day than...
Published 01/20/21
This is our third episode of an Outrage + Optimism investigative series on The Future of Transport. With 2020 barely in the rearview mirror, the pandemic rages on across the globe, new variants bringing concern and unified collective action to the forefront as a rapidly developed vaccine begins being administered as we speed into 2021. That same resolve needs to be applied to climate change and the sectors in most urgent need of decarbonisation. And this week, we dive into the future of...
Published 01/15/21
A special bonus episode for a little inspiration as 2021 begins! Christiana Figueres and the Outrage + Optimism gang chat with Andrew Higham, Chief Executive of Mission 2020 as its mission comes to a close. Mission 2020 was born out of the Paris Agreement to harness the momentum it brought about to ensure the urgency of the global climate conversation would be followed up by ambitious and daring action. Despite the coronavirus pandemic, 2020 did mark a turning point in tackling the climate...
Published 01/06/21
With the first year in the most decisive decade in history coming to a close, we wrap up Season 2 of Outrage and Optimism by being visited by 3 Christmas Ghos...ahem...Scientists. ...That’s a Charles Dickens joke. But all joking aside, you are in for a real treat this episode. The Royal Institution Christmas Lectures have taken place every Christmas since 1825 in the UK. Started as a way to educate the public about science, it has become an annual tradition loved by families across the...
Published 12/25/20
The Climate Ambition Summit this week announced some of the most ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions we have seen to date. And so with the European Commission announcing it’s target of 55% GHG reductions by 2030, the world has optimistically moved even closer to limiting warming to only 1.5C. So, what set of actual policies, financing, social protections and market incentives will guide the EU towards achieving this ambitious target? The European Green Deal. It’s a set of bold...
Published 12/18/20
Show notes: The Paris Effect   On December 12th, 2015 the landmark Paris Agreement was adopted by 195 countries as the first unanimously agreed climate change treaty. It has become a symbol of collaboration, a spirit of shared interest merging harmoniously with enlightened self-interest. This weekend is the 5th anniversary of the Paris Agreement’s adoption and, as we near the end of an extremely challenging 2020, it’s time to celebrate the phenomenal changes that have happened and are...
Published 12/11/20
Around the world In 2020, we saw an unprecedented rise in activism surrounding Black Lives Matter and the call for racial and social justice. But if there’s one enormous takeaway for those marching for the climate, it is that our fight for climate justice is inextricably linked to our fight for racial justice. BIPOC have suffered, are suffering, and will continue to disproportionately suffer the harshest effects of climate change. Unacceptable. So what clear actions can organizations,...
Published 12/04/20
This is our second episode of an Outrage + Optimism investigative series on The Future of Transport. There’s no denying that for over a century, fossil fuels have played a key role in humanity’s progress. But at a cost. They account for two-thirds of global greenhouse-gas emissions, and the pollution from burning them kills more than 4 million people a year. So in a year where cars sat unused, and oil prices crashed...what is the future of fuels? We know that in order to meet the Paris...
Published 11/27/20
After 4 intolerable years of you-know-who in the US, this week there seems to be a brief moment of calm. But while many of us are catching our breath, the world is transforming how it will conduct business as usual by pressing the proverbial ‘reset’ button on what appears to be “everything we do and how we do it.” - to quote Lindsay Levin. And this is the perfect moment to reset everything, right? We’ve seen economic inequality grow exponentially, we’ve seen the gender gap resist closing,...
Published 11/20/20
With young voter turnout in the US election the highest it has been in 40 years, President-Elect Joe Biden is heading to the White House with a mandate to address the climate crisis head on, following on his promises he made during his campaign. So along with the shock of having a President that acknowledges the climate crisis poses some absolutely crucial questions: What do we do with someone in power who is listening to climate activists? What do we focus on achieving first? How do we work...
Published 11/13/20
The US election winner has all but been formally declared, with Joe Biden on the cusp of electoral victory. But after all the votes are counted, we see that there was record turnout for both Democrats and Republicans. What mandate does a Biden administration have to lead again globally on climate action? This week we talk with two experts with first hand experience in US climate policy. Ben Rhodes, former Deputy National Security Advisor for President Obama, and Todd Stern, who was the...
Published 11/07/20
Election Day is next Tuesday, November 3rd. It cannot be ignored - How the US will vote next week will have global consequences. What does the outcome look like as we see it just before Election Day, and how on Earth did we get here to this one single decision that will shape what feels like everything for generations to come? In our search for understanding (and peace of mind) we pose all of our concerns, worries, and questions to one of the leading experts in US politics and US climate...
Published 10/30/20
This week on Outrage + Optimism, Prince William is here!   With just under 10 years to cut global emissions by 50%, the future of our planet depends on a raising of ambition we have not seen since JFK’s Moonshot. A conservationist at heart and in practice, Prince William is on the hunt to find and finance the solutions that will get us there.   Enter The Earthshot Prize - Five, one million-pound prizes awarded each year for the next 10 years, providing at least 50 solutions to the world’s...
Published 10/22/20
This is the first of an Outrage + Optimism investigative series on The Future of Transport. Today our cars, planes, trains and ships cause nearly 30% of global carbon pollution. We think the pioneering spirit that got these industries and forms of transport underway more than 120 years ago will have to be reinvigorated to get to a transportation sector that is fit for a low carbon future.  This first episode tackles The Future of Flight. COVID-19 has dealt the airline industry a devastating...
Published 10/16/20
On the eve of TED Countdown, Christiana and Tom sit down for an in-depth conversation with TED's Chris Anderson and Lindsay Levin, CEO of Leaders' Quest, detailing an exclusive sneak-preview of what we can look forward to during the epic virtual climate event scheduled for Saturday, 10.10.20 at 11 AM ET You can find all the details and livestream the event at Countdown.TED.com as well as on TED's YouTube Channel --- Our special musical guest this week is Cosmo Sheldrake! Facebook | ...
Published 10/09/20