8 Great Global Warming Podcast Episodes / Series

I’ve been looking for Podcasts that discuss Global Warming and that aren’t a waste of time. After doing all my research, here is a set of podcasts that I believe are the best around.

Please leave a comment here on this post if you have other favorites to add — or if you disagree about one of the podcasts linked here.

1. Global Warming podcast from PRI’s “The World”

Special Tech Podcast #146 [MP3]

This is a podcast from the radio show The World.

The World is a well known radio program from Public Radio International. Here is the description from their program guide:

“A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change looks at the impacts of global warming. This podcast explores how climate change is affecting our world: from Africa, to South America, to Europe. And what global warming could mean in your neck of the woods.”

2. Are Americans ready to believe in global warming?

Here is the link to the podcast page.

This is a podcast from Earth & Sky that is an interview with Michael Mann, one of the originators of the ‘Hockey Stick Graph’ we discussed a few days ago. This podcast is part of the A Clear Voice For Science podcast.

From the show description:

“Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University is well known for his work in paleoclimate: the study of climate over Earth’s history. His work led to the famous hockey stick graph, where temperatures are seen to climb rapidly in modern times.

In this special audio interview, Lindsay Patterson is speaking to Michael Mann for Earth & Sky. They’re talking about global warming … about whether Americans are ready to accept the reality of it, in light of the recent report by the IPCC (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) hundreds of scientists in 130 countries working under the auspices of the United Nations. “

3. Interview of Dr. David Oppenheimer by the Carnegie Council

The podcast is here.

The Carnegie Council positions itself as The Voice for Ethics in International Policy.

Their description of this excellent podcast is “Michael Oppenheimer explains climate change and discusses ways to deal with this mounting crisis. A self-described optimist, he believes that we can change our behavior and prevent complete catastrophe.”

They’ve also posted a transcript of the podcast so you can read it as well (I wish more people did this). Here’s a short preview — as you can read, Dr. Openheimer is an optimist:

“So an optimistic view—and I am an optimist—is that we are at long last on the verge of really grappling with this problem in a comprehensive, first national way, and then a global way.

Will things happen that we don’t want to see happen? Yes. Because there are big uncertainties, are there risks of big changes, like the loss of big chunks of the ice sheets and a spectacular sea level rise, big changes that maybe can’t be avoided, or will we cross some tipping point we didn’t even realize? It’s possible. I’d say the chances are quite a bit less than 50/50 at this point. I think that every year that we wait and add emissions to the atmosphere the chances grow. If we do nothing for the next 10 or 15 years, I think the chances are we will miss one of those tipping points and we will have truly unfortunate consequences.

But we do have this chance, and I think we will likely grab it. I was born an optimist, and I could be wrong, but that’s the way I see it now.”

4. Global Warming podcast course from U. Cal Berkeley

Here’s the link to the podcast series.

The University of California-Berkeley streams videos and podcasts of a select number of its courses for everyone to use. Here’s the podcast of their course on Global Warming. It’s actually a series of 28 podcasts — each representing one lecture topic. It’s published by webcast.berkeley at learnoutloud.com

From the course description:

This lower division course introduces global warming as both a scientific and social issue. We will introduce the physical science that sets the stage for the problem, from the basic concepts of climate (carbon cycle, greenhouse effect, climate feedbacks) through to the climate model projections of future climate changes and their impacts. Social scientific perspectives will be integrated throughout, including the history of climate science, the geographical and political-economic implications of fossil fuels and industrial production, and the challenges posed to existing regulatory and governance systems by the current and prospective impacts of global warming.

We aim to provide students with a solid understanding and information base with which to analyze and evaluate ongoing developments and (often heated) debates surrounding global climate change.

5. Podcast: Report from the Climate Frontier – From Popular Mechanics

Here’s the link to the podcast

Popular Mechanics has been emerging as a great place to go for unbiased, science-based information on environmental issues. And this podcast is a good example of why that is.

From the description: “Leading global warming experts Gavin Schmidt, Trevor Williams and Meredith Nettles join us for a roundtable discussion about the science behind climate modeling as we learn more about the frightening facts we already know, as well as the frightening ones we don’t know yet.”

6. Combating Global Warming with… Community

Here’s the link to the podcast

This podcast is an interview with Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature”. The End of Nature is a book that was written for broad general audiences and is available in over 20 languages.

Here’s more from the program description:

If rising sea levels, melting glaciers and intensifying tropical storms have you shouting at all those in power who are still ignoring global warming, take heart.

Environmentalist and author Bill McKibben believes much of the potential for positive change resides in the average American mindset.

His six other books include “Enough,” “Hope, Human and Wild,” “Long Distance,” and “Maybe One.” The working title of his next book is “Deep Economy.” A former staff writer for the New Yorker, his work appears regularly in the Atlantic, the New York Review of Books, the New York Times, Harpers, Outside, and many other national publications.He has been a fellow at the Harvard University Center for the Study of Values in Public Life and is the recipient of Guggenheim and Lyndhurst fellowships. In 2000, he won the Lannan Prize in Nonfiction Writing. McKibben holds honorary doctorates from several institutions.

7. IT Conversations interview with Mark Lynas, Author of High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis

Here’s the link to the podcast

Mark Lynas is the author of High Tide: The Truth About Our Climate Crisis. IT Conversations, of course, is one of the best and oldest podcasts around.

From the program description:

With global temperatures higher now than they have been in 5,000 years, and greenhouse gas levels higher than they have been in over 20 million years, Mark Lynas argues that the problem of global climate change is now impossible to ignore.

Using Google Earth, Mark takes his Pop!Tech 2005 audience on a world tour from his Oxford home to areas he visited in researching his book “High Tide”, highlighting the damage already evident from global warming.

As projections show a rise in temperature of between 1 and 6 degrees over the next century, Mark reflects on the “crisis of biodiversity” that accompanies such a rise, including the death of the coral reefs and committing a third of all species alive today to extinction.

This talk was from the People, Place and Planet session at Pop!Tech. The other speaker in this session was Suketu Mehta. The question and answer period can be heard at the end of Suketu Mehta’s talk.

8. A Podcast from John Edwards, Democratic Presidential Candidate, on Global Warming

Here’s the link to the podcast.

This is not a political website and I won’t often link to the pages of any candidates, but I think it’s appropriate to make an exception when a candidate takes a stand on an issue that’s important to us and our readers.

I looked at all the websites from the major candidates from both parties, and John Edwards is the only candidate who had published a podcast specifically on global warming; I figure that effort should be rewarded by a link from our site.

Why is this on my list of ‘great’ podcasts? To me, if any of the major candidates for President of the United States takes a positive, action-focussed stand on global warming — that in itself is a great thing and should be promoted. Let’s reward them for their efforts at leadership on this critical issue.

From the program description:

John Edwards has called for America to embrace three great goals for this generation:

* Halt global warming by capping and reducing greenhouse gas pollution and leading the world to a new global climate change treaty.
* Create a new energy economy and 1 million new jobs by investing in clean, renewable energy, sparking innovation, a new era in American industry, and life in family farms.
* Meet the demand for new electricity through efficiency for the next decade, instead of producing more power.

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