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    Seven must-listen climate podcasts that pack a punch
    By SWS staff

    Podcasts are everywhere, and they offer a unique opportunity to connect with an ever-growing audience. Here are seven podcasts covering the climate crisis and how to communicate about it that are worth lending your ears to.

    The podcast era is here. According to Statistia, 504.9 million will listen to podcasts this year. Many podcasts are conversational in tone and format, and because they use the medium of audio they form an intimate relationship with the listener, speaking straight into their ear. You can listen to podcasts anywhere, whatever you’re up to, which means they fit well into our always-on-the-go world, enabling busy folk to keep up to date with all manner of subjects, including theclimate crisis and how to use communications to inspire action.

    But with so many podcasts available, working out which to listen to is increasingly difficult. Here are seven podcasts that are well worth lending your ears to.

    1. Communicating Climate Change

    This podcast from the endlessly interesting Dickon Bonvik-Stone digs deep into the best practices, the worst offences and the pitfalls of climate communications. Of the episodes already aired, scientist Hugo Mercier’s fresh take on why climate change is so hard to grasp and why communicating about it is so challenging is both insightful and entertaining. Also worth listening to is Dickon’s conversation with advocate Josephine Latu Sanft on why words matter, brilliantly demonstrated by her refusal to use the phrase ‘small island developing nations’, preferring ‘big ocean sustainable states’ instead in an attempt to give these territories the power and standing they deserve.

    1. Hot Take

    Meet your new best friends Mary Annaïse Heglar and Amy Westervelt, an accomplished climate essayist and award-winning investigative reporter who take an irreverent, honest look at the climate crisis and all the ways media and society are talking—and not talking—about it. Dip into their back catalogue by starting with Season Two, Episode Five, which delves into the aspirational world of food media to show the many ways climate change underpins every issue in our world, and how communicators working on seemingly unrelated topics can connect the dots.

    1. Changing the Climate Conversation

    This five-episode series from our very own Small World Stories explores why climate change is still such a divisive topic, and how communicators can change the climate conversation to inspire action. Stand-out conversations include Episode 4 in which Australian journalist Sue Stephenson talks about how covering the perspectives and solutions put forward by people in rural communities, who are often on the frontline of climate change, can help to reframe the discussion. And Episode 5 in which social researcher Rebecca Huntley, who has spent decades listening to what people from all walks of life think about climate change, shares some practical tips on how to cut through when climate denial narratives abound in the public discourse.

    1. The Climate Pod

    This weekly conversation on all things climate hosted by brothers Ty and Brock Benefiel features leading names from the worlds of politics, economics, entertainment, activism and science, including Jane Goodall, Ted Danson, Katharine Hayhoe, Adam McKay and Bill Nye. With the Hollywood Climate Summit taking place at the end of June [2024], the episode in which guests Anna Jane Joyner and Matthew Schneider-Mayerson ask why climate change is missing from our movies feels particularly pertinent, as does the discussion with Countering Digital Hate CEO Imran Ahmed on why climate denial is gaining new ground on social media.

    1. Climate One

    This podcast from The Commonwealth Clubhas been going for over 15 years, and it is still covering the most important aspects of the climate crisis in surprising ways. A good place to start is this conversation with scientist Faith Kearns and researcher Katerina Gonzales about the need to move from an ‘information deficit’ model of communication, which assumes audiences simply need more information to act, to a ‘relational’ model designed to tap into empathy and common ground. Also good is this episode with journalist Meera Subramanian and author Nathaniel Rich on how our values shape the way we understand other people’s climate experiences, and the role writers can play in capturing emotional responses to climate disruption.

    1. How to Save A Planet

    Join journalist Alex Blumberg and a crew of self-confessed climate nerds to rake through a host of smart, inspiring climate stories in one of the top-ranking educational climate podcasts around. This episode takes us to a small town in Canada where the Eco Society project has gone door-to-door talking to thousands of people about possible climate solutions that can get us out of the mess we’re in. While in this episode, we spend time with an ingenious campaign designed to convince weathercasters in the USA that climate change is real and make local TV news the go-to source for climate information.

    1. The Last City

    For something different, this gripping climate fiction series is audio storytelling at its best. Set in a future where the Earth has been ravaged by environmental disasters and societal collapse, The Last City follows a group of survivors as they navigate the remnants of civilization and grapple with the challenges of rebuilding society, to explore themes of resilience, survival and the enduring nature of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

    All of the resources mentioned in this blog – and many more – can be found on the Climate Communications Resources Hub, a collaborative initiative led by Small World Stories to help everyone communicate more effectively about the climate crisis and its solutions.