Episodes
What does gender equality have to do with climate change? A lot more than you might think. Empowering women and girls around the world is one of the most important ways to combat carbon pollution and is projected to reduce CO2-equivalent gases by a total of 80 billion tons. Entrepreneur, scientist and TED Fellow Rumaitha Al Busaidi looks at why women are more likely to be impacted and displaced by climate catastrophes -- and explains why access to education, employment and family planning for...
Published 10/27/21
Activism is a tough job, especially for young people yearning for immediate change -- something climate activist Melati Wijsen has learned over ten years of pushing for environmental protection, starting at age 12 in her home on the island of Bali, Indonesia. How can young changemakers acquire the skills they need and keep from burning out? Wijsen offers three pieces of advice for anybody seeking to make lasting, sustainable progress.
Published 10/20/21
Agriculture has enabled the existence of civilization—today, approximately 40 percent of our planet is farmland. So it goes without saying there’s a LOT to cover when it comes to talking about modern food production. Dan starts small with something a little more digestible: which milk is best, for you and for the planet? He’ll teach us how to sip sustainably, then take us on a journey through a “perfect” sustainable farm of the future and what we can do to make it a reality. Find the text...
Published 09/22/21
Oil: The prehistoric source of fuel that could drive us all into extinction. We need to pivot to renewable sources of energy, like water, wind and solar to save our planet. But is it actually possible to switch ALL energy sources to these renewables? Dan looks at the problems rushing into them can pose, the barriers we currently face, and why we should all have hope for the future. TED Climate is produced and edited by Sheena Ozaki, mixed by Sam Bair, and hosted by me, Dan Kwartler. This...
Published 09/15/21
Trees have proven to decrease carbon in our atmosphere, keep cities clean, and even reduce anxiety … but how exactly do they do it? Dan takes us behind the bark to understand the anatomy of our gentle green giants and how every root, leaf and twig work together to improve our planet, and what we can do to help support them in the fight against climate change. TED Climate is produced and edited by Sheena Ozaki, mixed by Sam Bair, and hosted by Dan Kwartler. This episode adapted two lessons...
Published 09/08/21
THINGS. They’re everywhere! And in our modern age, we’re constantly being pushed to buy more of them, like the hottest fashion or the flashiest new phone. But the true cost of “stuff” is much more than the sticker price we see on the shelf. Dan reveals the hidden fees behind our smartphones, and who’s paying them, and takes us through the life cycle of a simple cotton T-shirt—from seedling to sweat-stained—while sharing tips on how you can be a sustainable shopper. Find the text transcript...
Published 09/01/21
From raging wildfires in Australia to sub-zero winter storms in Texas, we’re seeing a rise in extreme weather across the globe. But how can we tell what’s caused by climate change, and what’s just bad weather? To answer this question, Dan breaks down the differences between weather and climate—what they are, how we predict them, and what those predictions can tell us. And then we visit a country that should LITERALLY be underwater to see how they’ve used human ingenuity to stay afloat, and...
Published 08/25/21
So, in the list of bad actors for the planet there's been the ice age, the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, and then … us? Yeah, it really looks like that sometimes. But we've got hope! So what can humans do to steer clear of steering the planet into seemingly inevitable doom? To find out, we look at the planet from the eyes of geologists millions of years in the future—and at what the world would look like if every human on earth just … suddenly disappeared. Read the text transcript for...
Published 08/18/21
Plastic is everywhere. We know we should cut down on it where we can, but is plastic ever the answer? In this episode, a whole world of plastic you never knew about. Starting with: which bag is best: paper, plastic, or cotton? The answer might surprise you. Dan breaks down the pros and cons of each bag, and which you should carry on your next shopping trip. Then we follow the journey of three different plastic bottles after you throw them away, shedding light on the dangers these disposables...
Published 08/11/21
On his first day as president, Joe Biden signed a letter of acceptance that set in motion the 30-day process for the United States to re-join the Paris Agreement on climate. On the day the US returns to the accord, John Kerry, the US Special Envoy for Climate, sits down with Nobel Laureate Al Gore to discuss the make-or-break decade ahead of us. Listen as Kerry lays out how the US fits into the global plan to get to net-zero emissions, explains why the COP26 UN climate conference could be...
Published 02/19/21
In this perspective-shifting talk, energy researcher Rose M. Mutiso makes the case for prioritizing Africa's needs with what's left of the world's carbon budget, to foster growth and equitably achieve a smaller global carbon footprint.
Published 11/23/20
"The good news is it's now clearly cheaper to save the planet than to ruin it," says engineer and investor John Doerr. "The bad news is: we are fast running out of time." In this conversation with climate policy expert Hal Harvey, the two sustainability leaders discuss why humanity has to act globally, at speed and at scale, to meet the staggering challenge of decarbonizing the global economy (which has only ever increased emissions throughout history) -- and share helpful examples of...
Published 11/23/20
"Business is screwed if we don't fix climate change," says economist Rebecca Henderson. In this bold talk, she describes how unchecked capitalism destabilizes the environment and harms human health -- and makes the case for companies to step up and help fix the climate crisis they're causing. Hear what a reimagined capitalism, in which companies pay for the climate damage they cause, could look like.
Published 11/23/20
Sophie Howe is the world's only future generations commissioner, a new kind of government official tasked with advocating for the interests of generations to come and holding public institutions accountable for delivering long-term change. She describes some of the people-focused policies she's helped implement in Wales, aimed at cutting carbon emissions, increasing sustainability and promoting well-being as a national goal.
Published 11/20/20
Under the leadership of Lisa Jackson, Apple's environment and social VP and former head of the EPA, the company is already carbon neutral within their own corporate and retail boundaries. By 2030, Apple hopes to extend carbon neutrality to their supply chain and consumers. In conversation with urbanist and spatial justice activist Liz Ogbu, Jackson shares thoughts on leadership, tech, the environment and building a green economy.
Published 11/18/20
In 2019, Amazon signed the Climate Pledge, a commitment to become a net-zero carbon business by 2040. Dave Clark, Amazon's chief of consumer retail, and Kara Hurst, head of the company's sustainability efforts, sit down with entrepreneur and activist Lindsay Levin to discuss how the company is planning to reduce its carbon footprint across all aspects of business -- while inviting other companies to join them in this transformation.
Published 11/18/20
Our descendants own the future, but the decisions and actions we make now will tremendously impact generations to come, says philosopher Roman Krznaric. From a global campaign to grant legal personhood to nature to a groundbreaking lawsuit by a coalition of young activists, Krznaric shares examples of ways we can become good ancestors -- or, as he calls them, "Time Rebels" -- and join a movement redefining lifespans, pursuing intergenerational justice and practicing deep love for the planet.
Published 11/16/20
"This decade is a moment of choice unlike any we have ever lived," says Christiana Figueres, the architect of the historic 2015 Paris Agreement. The daughter of Costa Rica's beloved President José Figueres Ferrer, she shares how her father's unwillingness to lose the country he loved taught her how stubborn optimism can catalyze action and change. With an unshakeable determination to fight for the generations that will come after us, Figueres describes what stubborn optimism is (and isn't) --...
Published 11/16/20
The global climate crisis will require us to transform the way we act, says His Holiness Pope Francis. Delivering a visionary TED Talk from Vatican City, the spiritual leader proposes three courses of action to address the world’s growing environmental problems and economic inequalities, illustrating how all of us can work together, across faiths and societies, to protect the Earth and promote the dignity of everyone. “The future is built today,” he says. “And it is not built in isolation,...
Published 10/11/20
"We start this new decade knowing that it is the most consequential period in history," says Prince William, The Duke of Cambridge. Inspired by President John F. Kennedy's "Moonshot," he calls on everyone to rise to our greatest challenge ever: the "Earthshot." A set of ambitious objectives for the planet, the Earthshot goals seek to protect and restore nature, clean the air, revive oceans, build a waste-free world and fix the climate -- all in the next decade. To do it, we'll need people in...
Published 10/10/20
If we don’t act now on climate change, this coming century may be one of humanity’s last, says António Guterres, Secretary-General of the United Nations. As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic, Guterres urges us to use this moment to rebuild with ambitious climate action in mind -- and lays out a blueprint for getting companies, governments and countries to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. “We can only win the race to zero together,” he says. “I urge you all to get on board.”
Published 10/10/20
The secret to using trees to fight climate change is knowing which ones to plant, and where. Ecologist Thomas Crowther — setting the record straight on his own research that led to the viral “One Trillion Trees” movement — introduces Restor, an expansive, informative platform built to enable everyone, anywhere to join and help restore the natural glory of Earth’s biodiverse ecosystems.
Published 10/10/20
"History has shown us that in moments of crisis, society can truly transform," says environmental educator Severn Cullis-Suzuki. Nearly 30 years ago, at just 12 years old, she spoke at the Rio Earth Summit in hopes of reversing the planet's slide into ecological disaster. Some at the summit listened and took radical action, but for the rest of the world, it was business, politics and full-steam-ahead economic growth. Now, Cullis-Suzuki shares another warning about the future, this time...
Published 10/10/20
“For the first time, we are forced to consider the real risk of destabilizing the entire planet,” says climate impact scholar Johan Rockström. In a talk backed by vivid animations of the climate crisis, he shows how nine out of 15 big biophysical systems that regulate the climate -- from the permafrost of Siberia to the great forests of the North to the Amazon rainforest -- are at risk of approaching tipping points, which could make Earth largely uninhabitable for humanity. Hear his plan for...
Published 10/10/20
With the ambitious goal of becoming the first carbon-free continent by 2050, the European Union has committed to creating a greener world for future generations. In this bold talk, Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, details the challenges and opportunities that come with transitioning an entire continent to clean energy -- and shows why fixing climate change calls for everyone to take action.
Published 10/10/20