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The Sweaty Penguin

The Sweaty Penguin

By Ethan Brown
Sometimes, climate change IS a laughing matter. Every week, The Sweaty Penguin cuts through the noise and the doom-and-gloom of the climate conversation with late-night-comedy-style monologues and in-depth conversations with leading global experts on a variety of environmental issues. Through a nonpartisan approach, The Sweaty Penguin makes environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun. In partnership with Peril and Promise, a PBS/WNET public media initiative on climate change, The Sweaty Penguin invites you to join the hottest conversation in town.
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84. Housing
For many people, sustainable housing brings to mind either show heads and toilets with zero water pressure or futuristic buildings that look like a spaceship. In reality, sustainable houses can actually look quite normal, and achieve carbon emission cuts, water conservation, and long-term cost savings. But what will it take to make millions of houses sustainable? Today, we explore what sustainable housing could look like, what stands in the way of making it happen, and how any of those hurdles could be overcome. With special guest Dr. Andréanne Doyon: Assistant Professor of Resource and Environmental Management at Simon Fraser University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Hallie Cordingley, Shannon Damiano, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Megan Crimmins Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Lindsay Cronin Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
43:16
May 13, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E14: Climate change is linked to sexual and reproductive health
Last week, Politico published a leaked draft opinion in the Mississippi abortion case facing the Supreme Court, showing the majority of justices in favor of overturning Roe v. Wade’s precedent of a constitutional right to abortion. In the climate world specifically, this draft sparked many conversations about how sexual and reproductive health is, in fact, a climate issue. So what do these two seemingly unrelated topics have to do with each other? Ethan gives a very truncated summary of the links between climate change and sexual and reproductive health and shares some climate solutions that could help both issues in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writer: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Lindsay Cronin Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
25:45
May 11, 2022
83. El Yunque National Forest
Located in northeastern Puerto Rico, El Yunque National Forest is the only tropical forest in the United States, the home to many rare species such as the critically endangered Puerto Rican parrot, and the source of 50% of the water supply for the San Juan metro area. It also is one of the most important destinations in the Caribbean for ecotourism, hosting one million visitors and contributing $5.5 billion to the Puerto Rican economy every year. But between more severe droughts and more extreme hurricanes such as Maria, the forest is undergoing several changes that could put many of these important ecosystem services at risk. Today, we explore the significance of El Yunque, what risks hurricanes and droughts pose to the forest and nearby communities, and how the forest and island can adapt for the future. With special guest Dr. Maria Uriarte: Professor of Biology at Columbia University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Isabel Plower, Maddy Schmidt, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Shannon Damiano Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
44:21
May 06, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E13: Is "emergency" the right word for SoCal's water shortage?
In an unprecedented move, Southern California officials declared a water shortage emergency last week and ordered outdoor water usage be restricted to just one day a week for about 6 million people in parts of Los Angeles, Ventura and San Bernardino counties. From a policy perspective, the move may make sense. But when climate change clearly shows water availability in Southern California is only going to get worse, is framing the problem as an “emergency” giving false hope of a future day where the water shortage is over? Ethan reflects on why it may be less overwhelming to acknowledge the tough reality and put more emphasis on strategic, collaborative, money-saving water conservation solutions in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writer: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Fact Checker: Megan Crimmins Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Frank Hernandez Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
22:13
May 04, 2022
82. Stormwater
When rain or other precipitation runs off to a new location, it usually picks up a lot of gunk along the way. In fact, an estimated 10 trillion gallons of untreated stormwater runoff, containing everything from raw sewage to trash to toxins, enters U.S. waterways from city sewer systems every year. This polluted water can ruin water quality, erode streambanks, and cause algal blooms that devastate marine ecosystems. And with climate change causing more extreme rains, the stormwater issue is poised to get even worse. Today, we explore the problems caused by stormwater, how they affect our economy and health, and how to better manage stormwater moving forward. With special guest Dr. Mitchell Pavao-Zuckerman: Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Technology at the University of Maryland. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Olivia Amitay, Maddy Schmidt, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Isabel Plower Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Maddy Schmidt Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
45:52
April 29, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E12: Reflecting on Earth Day
The first Earth Day was April 22, 1970, and it turned out to be an extremely unifying cause during a time of deep social and cultural division in the United States. 52 years later, as climate change becomes more and more serious, has Earth Day lost a bit of its charm? Ethan shares some reflections on Earth Day 2022 in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writer: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Lindsay Cronin Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
18:44
April 27, 2022
81. Climate Migration
People have always migrated due to changes in their environment, but as climate change has exacerbated droughts, floods, hurricanes, wildfires, crop failures, and more, increasing numbers of people are being forced to move rather than choosing it for themselves. Climate migration disproportionately affects many developing countries in the Global South, but is also increasingly prevalent within the United States after disasters such as the Camp Fire and major hurricanes. On Earth Day 2022, we take a look at this important human dimension of climate change and consider how we prepare for more climate migration in the future. With special guest Dr. Gregory White: Mary Huggins Gamble Professor of Government at Smith College. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Maddy Schmidt Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
44:12
April 22, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E11: Scientists are people too
Over 1,000 scientists in over 25 countries took part in climate protests last week, risking their careers and reputations in the process. Ethan breaks down why this is not normal, why scientists would be compelled to turn to activism, and why these protests are a reminder that climate change CAN be addressed in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writer: Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Isabel Plower Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Shannon Damiano Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
20:12
April 20, 2022
Bonus: Kahoot Is My Villain Origin Story
Ethan sits down with The Sweaty Penguin’s newest team members Hallie Cordingley, Isabel Plower, and Maddy Schmidt to recap season 4. They’ll share what they do behind the scenes, some takeaways from the season, favorite episodes, and then face off in the third ever Sweaty Penguin finale bonus episode Kahoot! See how much you remembered from season 4 and listen to us crown the next Sweaty Penguin Kahoot champion. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
45:28
April 15, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E10: Is the new IPCC report... exciting?
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the third part of their Sixth Assessment Report last week, titled “Mitigation of Climate Change,” and with it, came the usual doom and gloom reactions. But the report itself was overflowing with reasons to be hopeful, and even excited. Ethan breaks down why he came away from the report feeling more optimistic about the climate than ever before in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” Plus, a first-time “Reverse Ask Me Anything” segment with Sweaty Penguin Producer Frank Hernandez that you won’t want to miss! The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Robert Branning Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
27:18
April 13, 2022
80. Rethinking Environmentalism
In 1991, 78 percent of Americans identified as environmentalists. By 2021, it had dropped to 41 percent. Why, in the last few decades, has environmentalism experienced this steep decline in popularity? In the final deep dive of season 4, we consider some of the reasons why environmentalism might have rubbed people the wrong way and where the movement might go from here as it works to generate swift climate progress. With special guest Dr. Jenny Price: Research Fellow at the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis and author of “Stop Saving the Planet: An Environmentalist Manifesto.” The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Hallie Cordingley, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Isabel Plower Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Maddy Schmidt Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
47:23
April 08, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E9: The fossil fuel dilemmas behind lithium's big payday
After pressure from both Democratic and Republican senators, President Biden is invoking the Defense Production Act to encourage domestic production of the minerals used in batteries for electric vehicles and long-term energy storage, minerals such as lithium, nickel, cobalt, and graphite. This move has major implications for U.S. national security and the global climate, and also serves as a reminder of some of the fossil fuel dynamics behind the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Ethan breaks down the reasoning for this bipartisan move in the U.S. and examines some other transformations in the global energy sector in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. Get your environmental questions featured on “Tip of the Iceberg” by contacting us on Patreon, email, or social media. Questions from patrons move to the front of the line! CREDITS Writers: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Shannon Damiano Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
28:05
April 06, 2022
79. Carbon Capture
Although most experts agree that carbon capture and storage strategies cannot combat climate change on their own, carbon capture absolutely has the potential to offset some of the “tough-to-get” emissions and possibly even make the world carbon negative. In order to achieve that potential though, each method of carbon capture has some challenges to overcome. Today, we break down ten methods of carbon capture, discuss the hurdles they face, and consider how they might improve. With special guest Wake Smith: Lecturer at Yale University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. This story has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems. Learn more at solutionsjournalism.org. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Caroline Koehl, Maddy Schmidt, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Megan Crimmins Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Frank Hernandez Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
49:21
April 01, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E8: Scientists' reaction to the latest Antarctica news was surprise, not despair
Last week was a big one for the poles of the Earth, with record-shattering heatwaves in both the Arctic and Antarctica followed by the collapse of the Conger Ice Shelf in Eastern Antarctica. Many headlines suggested scientists were surprised, even flabbergasted! Ethan breaks down why these events were surprising, and why surprise does not mean doom-and-gloom in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Fact Checker: Isabel Plower Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Sabrina Rollings Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
19:56
March 30, 2022
78. Solar Power
Solar energy is clean, cheap, renewable, and surprisingly land-efficient, making it a really exciting technology to scale up. But to do that as effectively as possible, solar has some challenges to confront, from human rights and geopolitical dilemmas in the manufacturing process to siting challenges to the fact that people’s electricity use spikes in the evening when the Sun isn’t shining. Today, we consider the potential of solar power to improve the climate and energy sector overall, contemplate some of the challenges in the supply chain, and consider how solar can achieve its full potential. With special guest Dr. Dustin Mulvaney, Professor of Environmental Studies at San José State University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. This story has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems. Learn more at solutionsjournalism.org. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Caroline Koehl, Maddy Schmidt, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Robert Branning Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
49:05
March 25, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E7: What's the deal with these gas prices?!?!
Gasoline prices have hit record highs over the last month, and understandably, people are not happy about it. But some of the theories floating around social media that it’s because of gas taxes, greedy oil CEOs, or climate policy are actually not all that relevant to today’s high prices. Ethan breaks down why these three explanations make no sense, what has actually caused the price swing, and some short-term and long-term solution ideas in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. Get your environmental questions featured on “Tip of the Iceberg” by contacting us on Patreon, email, or social media. Questions from patrons move to the front of the line! CREDITS Writers: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Sabrina Rollings Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
22:26
March 23, 2022
77. Lab-Grown Meat
Unlike plant-based proteins like Beyond Meat or Impossible Burgers, lab-grown meat is actually meat. Scientists take stem cells from a cow, chicken, or any other animal, culture them in a lab, and create anything from steak to seafood to leather to egg whites. The process hasn’t been perfected yet, and Americans can’t buy lab-grown meat in the supermarket, but startups and investors have flooded this market with the hope that lab-grown meat could become a safer, more ethical, and more sustainable competitor to conventional meat. That said, lab-grown meat still faces many hurdles to get there, from cost to public perception to a part of the production process that still leads to the slaughter of animals. Today, we explore how lab-grown meat is made, what the barriers are, and how the industry could overcome them. With special guest Dr. David Block: Ernest Gallo Endowed Chair of Viticulture and Enology and Professor of Chemical Engineering at University of California, Davis. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. This story has been supported by the Solutions Journalism Network, a nonprofit organization dedicated to rigorous and compelling reporting about responses to social problems. Learn more at solutionsjournalism.org. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Olivia Amitay, Maddy Schmidt, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Robert Branning Music: Brett Sawka The opinions expressed in this podcast are those of the host and guests. They do not necessarily reflect the opinions or views of Peril and Promise or The WNET Group.
44:04
March 18, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E6: The key takeaway from last week’s IPCC report
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released part two of the 6th Assessment Report, leading to several doom-and-gloom headlines and soundbites saying variations of “we need to act now or it’ll be too late.” But haven’t we been hearing that for decades? When is this supposed time that’s “too late?” Turns out, it’s a lot more nuanced than that, and this IPCC report actually helps clarify this “too late” concept through its in-depth analysis of climate adaptation research. Ethan breaks down what this major report is actually about and some key information we can glean from it in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. Get your environmental questions featured on “Tip of the Iceberg” by contacting us on Patreon, email, or social media. Questions from patrons move to the front of the line! CREDITS Writers: Ethan Brown, Maddy Schmidt Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Sabrina Rollings Music: Brett Sawka
20:10
March 11, 2022
76. Ice Sheets
According to measurements from NASA’s GRACE satellites going back to 2002, the Greenland and Antarctica ice sheets are losing 427 billion metric tons of ice per year, equivalent to eight Olympic swimming pools per second. That melting—driven by climate change—is the number two driver of global sea level rise, it harms nearby corals and shellfish, and more. Today, we explore how we know the ice sheets are melting, what the consequences are, and where we go from here. With special guest Dr. Robin Bell: Professor of Marine Geology and Geophysics at Columbia University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Dain Kim, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Sabrina Rollings Music: Brett Sawka
42:43
March 04, 2022
75. Mosquitoes
Between malaria and a long list of other diseases, mosquitoes are responsible for a million global deaths per year, making mosquitoes the most deadly animal in the world. And due to climate change, among other factors, mosquito populations are on the rise. Today, we explore what threats mosquitoes present, why their populations are increasing, and what we might be able to do about it. With special guest Dr. Amanda Tokash-Peters: Assistant Professor of Biology at Centenary University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Haley Cronin, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Frank Hernandez Music: Brett Sawka
40:56
February 25, 2022
74. Carbon Accounting
Companies, cities, and countries are making new climate plans and setting carbon neutral targets left and right. But how does anyone know if they’ve succeeded? That’s where carbon accounting becomes important, and today, the practice is facing some growing pains, not the least of which being that it is completely voluntary. Today, we explore why carbon accounting is important, what challenges it faces, and how the practice can improve. With special guest Dr. Delphine Gibassier: Professor of Finance at Audencia Business School in France. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Isabel Plower, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Robert Branning Music: Brett Sawka
45:27
February 18, 2022
73. Palm Oil
Palm oil is used in close to 50% of packaged products at the supermarket, and according to the 2021 IPCC report, land use change for needs such as conversion from forest to oil farm is the second greatest contributor to human-induced climate change, behind fossil fuel use. The deforestation caused by palm oil causes not just climate change, but habitat loss for endangered species, land conflicts with Indigenous communities, and more. But while there’s some activists pushing palm oil bans/boycotts and other activists pushing sustainable palm oil, both solution proposals face some major challenges. Today, we discuss what palm oil is, why it’s responsible for so much destruction, and where we go from here. With special guest Dr. Janice Ser Huay Lee: Assistant Professor at the Asian School of Environment at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Hallie Cordingley, Ethan Brown Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Sabrina Rollings Music: Brett Sawka
43:41
February 11, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E5: Oil companies are flailing
Two lawsuits against a group of major oil companies have made news in the last couple weeks, both initiated by local governments alleging that these companies misrepresented and buried evidence for the climate damage that their products would cause. The oil companies have responded by essentially trying to move the lawsuits to other courtrooms. Environmentalists are frustrated by this tactic, but honestly, doesn’t it seem like oil companies are grasping at straws here? Ethan breaks down why these lawsuits might actually be shaping up well for environmentalists and gives a hot take on what might be a smarter strategy for oil companies who want to stay profitable in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. Get your environmental questions featured on “Tip of the Iceberg” by contacting us on Patreon, email, or social media. Questions from patrons move to the front of the line! CREDITS Writers: Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Robert Branning, Maddy Schmidt Music: Brett Sawka
17:45
February 04, 2022
72. Solar Geoengineering
More than 60 experts, including several past guests on The Sweaty Penguin, made headlines last week for signing a letter that encourages the international community to adopt a non-use agreement for solar geoengineering—a set of technologies that aim to reflect or block out a fraction of the sunlight hitting the Earth in order to artificially cool the climate. But given the urgency of climate change, why do these experts want to take a potential solution off the table? Today, we explore what solar geoengineering could accomplish at its best, what some of solar geoengineering’s (arguably insurmountable) challenges would be, and what comes next for this technology. With special guest Dr. Elizabeth Chalecki: Associate Professor of Political Science at the University of Nebraska Omaha. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Dain Kim, Ethan Brown, Shannon Damiano, Maddy Schmidt Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Maddy Schmidt Music: Brett Sawka
44:01
January 28, 2022
71. Aerosols
The word “aerosol” might make us think of hairspray and Fabreeze cans, but under the scientific definition, aerosols are a wide range of solid and liquid particles ranging from sea salt to dust to black carbon that end up in the atmosphere. These aerosols actually have a net cooling effect on the climate, but considering their health impacts and their propensity to worsen droughts and rainstorms, excess aerosols are far from desirable. Today, we explore the problems aerosols create, how they are emitted both naturally and anthropogenically, and where we go from here. With special guest Dr. Faye McNeill: Professor of Chemical Engineering and Earth and Environmental Sciences at Columbia University.   The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.   Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.   CREDITS  Writers: Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Ethan Brown, Maddy Schmidt  Fact Checker: Hallie Cordingley  Editor: Frank Hernandez  Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl  Ad Voiceover: Frank Hernandez  Music: Brett Sawka
42:26
January 21, 2022
70. Smart Grids
When people flick a light switch, they expect the light to turn on. And supplying enough electricity to meet that expectation in a climate-friendly, cost-efficient way is a major challenge, which led to the invention of the smart grid—an electrical grid where suppliers also receive data back from customers to help them distribute electricity and avoid power outages. But as promising as this technology seems, there are also some aspects of smart grids that are worth discussing to ensure they don’t become issues, such as cybersecurity and integrating decentralized renewable energy. Today, we explore some of these smart grid dilemmas and consider how to ensure smart grids live up to their full potential. With special guest Dr. Ankit Kumar: Lecturer in Development and Environment at The University of Sheffield. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writers: Caroline Koehl, Maddy Schmidt, Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Isabel Plower Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Robert Branning Music: Brett Sawka
39:40
January 14, 2022
69. Rubber
Natural rubber is widely considered a more eco-friendly and better product than synthetic rubber, but it still presents some issues. Natural rubber contributes to deforestation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and more. But climate change and disease also threaten natural rubber. And in a global market that already sees volatile prices, impoverished farmers, the stealing of land from Indigenous communities, and an international rubber cartel, these climate challenges just add to a laundry list of concerns. Today, we explore how rubber is made, what environmental, economic, and national security issues rubber presents, and what options we have moving forward. With special guest Dr. Miles Kenney-Lazar: Assistant Professor of Geography at the National University of Singapore. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. CREDITS Writer: Ethan Brown Fact Checker: Haley Cronin Editor: Frank Hernandez Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl Ad Voiceover: Maddy Schmidt Music: Brett Sawka
44:25
January 07, 2022
Tip of the Iceberg E4: Melting the Thwaites glacier is worse than the worst-case scenario
Research presented at the American Geophysical Union this month found cracks on the ice shelf holding back the Thwaites glacier: a mass of dense, landlocked ice the size of Florida. When the shelf collapses, which scientists now estimate will happen in five years, Thwaites will start moving toward the ocean, leading to sea level rise that exceeds even our worst-case scenario projections and would threaten coastal cities and communities around the world. Ethan breaks down this new research and contemplates what level of panic is appropriate in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. Get your environmental questions featured on “Tip of the Iceberg” by contacting us on Patreon, email, or social media. Questions from patrons move to the front of the line!
16:50
December 31, 2021
Tip of the Iceberg E3: We don’t know if climate change affected this month’s tornadoes
On December 10th and 11th, historic tornadoes wreaked havoc on Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri, Mississippi, and Tennessee, and almost instantaneously, people made the assumption that climate change played a role. But while tornadoes of this severity in December are unprecedented, scientists have not yet determined a link between climate change and tornadoes. Ethan breaks down what we know, what we don’t know, and why it’s important to stick to the facts in this week’s “Tip of the Iceberg.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. Get your environmental questions featured on “Tip of the Iceberg” by contacting us on Patreon, email, or social media. Questions from patrons move to the front of the line!
18:06
December 24, 2021
68. Sharks
They’re older than the dinosaurs, they’ve survived four mass extinctions, and yet today, in the wake of climate change, pollution, and commercial fishing, sharks are endangered. As an apex predator, this steep decline in sharks also has massive ramifications for marine ecosystems and the economy more broadly, and because sharks don’t produce offspring at nearly the levels of other fish, it’s very difficult to help shark populations get back on track. Today, we explore what challenges face sharks, why sharks are important, and how we can support them moving forward. With special guest Dr. Jodie Rummer: Associate Professor of Marine Biology at James Cook University.  The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise.  Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
47:24
December 17, 2021
67. Policy Development
Why is it so difficult to achieve effective environmental policy in the United States? Is it just a lack of willpower, or is there a little more to it? Today, we explore some of the lesser-discussed procedural barriers to environmental policy development such as the amendment process, the recent preference for omnibus bills, and certain state preemptions, and consider if there are ways around these challenges to allow for more innovative, nuanced, and popular environmental policy in the future. With special guest David Johnson: Lecturer in Law at Stanford University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
46:57
December 10, 2021
66. Influenza
Flu season is fast approaching, and with it comes a Sweaty Penguin episode revealing that temperature rise, air pollution, and wildfires can actually make the impacts of the flu worse. But how can that be? The flu is at its worst in the winter, so shouldn’t a warmer climate help? Unfortunately, and perhaps surprisingly, it doesn’t actually play out that way. Today, we cover how influenza works, what this unexpected connection to climate change is, and what that means for the future. With special guest Dr. Jeffrey Shaman: Director of the Climate and Health Program at the Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
44:14
December 03, 2021
Tip of the Iceberg E2: Phasing “out” coal versus phasing “down” coal
COP26 concluded with the adoption of the “Glasgow climate pact,” which was revised at the last minute due to demands from China and India to change the phrase “phase out coal” to “phase down coal,” which infuriated much of the rest of the world. But are the two phrases really that different? Will phasing “down” lead to a different outcome? Why would China and India make this demand? Ethan breaks all of this down in episode 2 of “Tip of the Iceberg.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. Get your environmental questions featured on “Tip of the Iceberg” by contacting us on Patreon, email, or social media. Questions from patrons move to the front of the line!
17:37
November 26, 2021
65. Coffee
The average American coffee drinker drinks over three cups of coffee per day, and that demand is only getting bigger. But unfortunately, coffee is a ridiculously sensitive plant, meaning even the tiniest changes in climate can eliminate many of the world’s current coffee growing regions and put farmers who often make as little as $2-3 per day in an even more difficult situation. Today, we discuss how climate change affects coffee, how these changes can exacerbate other issues such as poverty, deforestation, and child labor, and how the coffee industry could adapt moving forward. With special guest Dr. Janina Grabs: Assistant Professor of Business and Society at Esade Business School in Spain. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
44:53
November 19, 2021
Tip of the Iceberg E1: COP26 was not dead on arrival
Even before the 26th United Nations Climate Change Conference in Glasgow started, many in the environmental movement were ready to call it a failure, feeling world leaders would just spend the two weeks making empty promises. But while frustration about climate change to this point is warranted, is COP26 the right outlet? In The Sweaty Penguin’s first ever edition of “Tip of the Iceberg,” Ethan breaks down some of the challenges facing global environmental governance and considers why COP26 may be meaningful even if the resulting pledges and treaties don’t seem groundbreaking. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin. Get your environmental questions featured on “Tip of the Iceberg” by contacting us on Patreon, email, or social media. Questions from patrons move to the front of the line!
13:52
November 12, 2021
64. Orangutans
Today, orangutans are confined to just two islands in Indonesia and Malaysia, and due to forest loss, poaching, and climate change, they’re endangered. And although there’s tons of conservationists doing interesting work to protect orangutans, finding a long-term solution for the species may require us to think more outside the box. Today, we explore why orangutans are important, what threats they face, and how we need to reframe these issues in order to identify a path forward. With special guest Dr. Liana Chua: Tunku Abdul Rahman Lecturer in Malay World Studies at the University of Cambridge. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
42:04
November 05, 2021
63. Worker Productivity
We may never notice it ourselves, but climate change and air pollution can actually affect our day-to-day performance at our jobs. Studies ranging from agricultural workers to call center workers to chess players and baseball umpires find measurable decreases in productivity because of these environmental issues. And whether you’re concerned about your health, your paycheck, your career advancement opportunities, your employees if you’re an employer, or you just like your job and want to do it well, we all have cause for concern. Today, we explore the impacts of heat stress, hurricanes, particulate matter, and more on worker productivity, and consider how we might adapt to these challenges in the future. With special guest Dr. Matthew Neidell: Professor of Health Policy and Management at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
41:00
October 29, 2021
62. Nuclear Energy
Is nuclear energy good or is it bad? Is it the answer to our climate woes or is it Chernobyl 2.0? Or, maybe, is it a little bit more nuanced than that? Today, we break down some of the criticisms of nuclear energy such as safety, radioactive waste, water use, and cost, consider to what degree these criticisms are issues, and discuss the future of nuclear energy in a carbon-free world. With special guest Dr. Jacopo Buongiorno: TEPCO Professor of Nuclear Science and Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
45:59
October 22, 2021
61. Chocolate
The chocolate industry is under the control of three companies called the cocoa traders who essentially force the cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana to sell their cocoa at ridiculously low prices. This setup pushes farmers into poverty, and many of them resort to illegal deforestation and child labor in order to grow enough cocoa to survive. And as climate change intensifies, the problems for these farmers only stand to worsen. Today, we explore what issues the chocolate industry faces, how climate change affects them, and why there’s absolutely reason to be optimistic that these problems can be fixed. With special guest Dr. Sophia Carodenuto: Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Victoria. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
45:21
October 15, 2021
Bonus: Tinderbees
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Ethan sits down with The Sweaty Penguin’s Researchers Olivia Amitay, Megan Crimmins, and Dain Kim to recap season 3. They’ll share favorite episodes, biggest takeaways, best behind the scenes moments, and then face off in the second ever Sweaty Penguin finale bonus episode Kahoot! See how much you remembered from season 3 and find out which researcher takes the crown! Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
48:33
October 08, 2021
60. Rethinking UNEP Reform
Despite being the world’s most powerful international body on the environment, the United Nations Environment Programme is anything but powerful: monetary contributions from member countries are voluntary and enforcement of environmental treaties is non-existent. With climate change looming and UNEP struggling to facilitate bold climate action, many scholars have called for UNEP to be reformed into a new type of international organization with more power. But would a more powerful UNEP actually be more effective? Is there an even better way forward? Today, we take a step back to contemplate if the grass would actually be greener on the other side or not, and what considerations we must have in order to meaningfully reform UNEP in the future. With special guest Dr. Maria Ivanova: Associate Professor of Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts, Boston. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
44:45
October 01, 2021
59. Gentrification
The Sweaty Penguin has covered many of the benefits of adding greenspace in an urban neighborhood, building jetties or seawalls to protect a coastal community, or simply living on higher ground in a city prone to floods and hurricanes. But could these seemingly great climate resilience strategies actually cause a problem for the people living in these neighborhoods? Today, we explore what gentrification is, consider how the environment plays a role in gentrification, and wrestle with the historical injustices and economics principles that, put together, make gentrification such a challenging issue to tackle. With special guest Dr. Malo Hutson: Dean of the University of Virginia School of Architecture. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
44:52
September 24, 2021
58. PFAS
Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a class of chemicals used in nonstick pans, food packaging, cosmetics, textiles, firefighting foam, and more common products. Unfortunately, PFAS has terrifying health effects such as liver damage, immune system damage, and even cancer. And to make matters worse, (1) PFAS doesn’t break down, (2) 95% of Americans have already been exposed to PFAS, and (3) climate change could make the PFAS crisis even worse. Today, we discuss what PFAS is, what problems it presents, and how we could address those problems moving forward. With special guest Dr. Cheryl Murphy: Professor in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife and the Director for the Center for PFAS Research at Michigan State University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
44:38
September 17, 2021
57. Wine
Winegrowing is all about controlling the slightest variations of flavor. With climate change causing warmer temperatures that change wine flavor, wildfires that turn grapes smokey, and sudden frosts that can entirely ruin a harvest, wine lovers certainly have reason to be concerned. This week, we discuss how climate change impacts wine, how these challenges fit into the rapidly globalizing wine industry, and what needs to happen to ensure you can still buy your favorite wines in the future. With special guest Dr. Michelle Moyer: Associate Professor of Viticulture and Enology at Washington State University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
42:47
September 10, 2021
Bonus: Scrotum Frogs
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Ethan sits down with Leo Brother and Velina Georgi for a bipartisan conversation on episode 29: “Maple Syrup.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
30:28
September 03, 2021
56. Monsoons
For drought-stricken regions of the world such as India, Australia, West Africa, and the American Southwest, the monsoon rainfall is a welcome gift. But as climate change worsens, the amount of rain may increase, and the actual rainstorms may become less frequent and more severe, leading to less water retention, damage, and even casualties. This week, we explore what monsoons are, how climate change affects them, and what we could do to adapt moving forward. With special guest Dr. Michela Biasutti: Lamont Associate Research Professor of Ocean and Climate Physics at Columbia University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
37:47
August 27, 2021
55. Dugongs
A close relative of the manatee found in the Indo-Pacific, dugongs are a hit for tourists and an important part of coastal marine ecosystems. But between climate change, harmful fishing practices, and a host of other issues, dugongs are under threat. Today, we’ll dive into the challenges facing dugongs, why dugongs matter, and what we can do to protect them. With special guest Dr. Alana Grech: Assistant Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
39:08
August 20, 2021
54. Urban Greenspace
From trees to green roofs to rain gardens, urban greenspace provides a laundry list of environmental, economic, health, and social benefits to their communities. But between upfront costs and regulatory hurdles, missed opportunities for synergies, and a track record of being unequally distributed, urban greenspace has yet to reach its full potential. Today, we’ll discuss why urban greenspace can be so beneficial, where it might be falling a little short, and how we could improve our greenspaces in the future. With special guest Dr. Harriet Bulkeley: Professor of Geography at Durham University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
41:12
August 13, 2021
53. Succulents
As cute plants that survive on very little water, succulents are rapidly gaining popularity as houseplants. But despite their ability to live with minimal water and inhospitable conditions, many succulent species are actually threatened or endangered, facing challenges from climate change, habitat loss, and a global illegal trade market where rare succulents can be poached and sold for up to $1,000 per plant. This week, we discuss these threats to succulents, contemplate if casual plant parents need to be concerned or not, and consider where we go from here. With special guest Dr. Jared Margulies: Assistant Professor of Political Ecology at the University of Alabama. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
41:36
August 06, 2021
Extended Cut! Corn with Dr. Natalie Hunt
Our interview segments in our episodes usually last around 15 minutes, but did you know Ethan talks to the experts for a full half hour? This week, we bring you a behind the scenes look at the FULL interview from one of our top downloaded episodes: “37. Corn” with Dr. Natalie Hunt Enjoy this extended cut? Every month, we are now releasing a new exclusive extended cut for our Patreon supporters ($10 tier and above). Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, new exclusive extended cuts, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
25:37
July 30, 2021
Extended Cut! Brownfields and Superfund Sites with Dr. Lemir Teron
Our interview segments in our episodes usually last around 15 minutes, but did you know Ethan talks to the experts for a full half hour? This week, we bring you a behind the scenes look at the FULL interview from one of our top downloaded episodes: “42. Brownfields and Superfund Sites” with Dr. Lemir Teron. Enjoy this extended cut? We’ve got our first patron-only extended cut coming out on Monday, July 26, exclusive to $10 and above patrons. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, this new extended cut, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
27:57
July 23, 2021
Bonus: The Track Is Lava
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Ethan sits down with Leo Brother and Velina Georgi for a bipartisan conversation on episode 33: “Plastic Straws.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
33:11
July 16, 2021
52. Tropical Cyclones
Hurricanes, cyclones, and typhoons lead to lost homes, wrecked environments, billions in cleanup costs, and even fatalities. And as climate change worsens, these storms are worsening too. Today, we’ll take a look at how tropical cyclones are formed, how climate change is affecting them, and how we can work to minimize the destruction they cause. With special guest Dr. Suzana Camargo: Marie Tharp Lamont Research Professor in the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
45:28
July 09, 2021
51. Investor-State Dispute Settlements
It’s hard to pass policies that aggressively address climate change, public health, and other environmental issues. So when a country does pass them, it’s all the more frustrating that more and more frequently, multinational corporations sue them through an international investment court system for millions, even billions of dollars. And since these cases are decided behind closed doors by a group of commercial lawyers, most of us never even hear about them. Today, we’ll cover what these investor-state dispute settlements are, what threat they pose to climate progress, and how the system could be reformed. With special guest Dr. Kyla Tienhaara: Canada Research Chair in Economy and Environment at Queen’s University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
39:56
July 02, 2021
50. Sea Turtles
After a scientist found a plastic straw lodged in a sea turtle’s nose, sea turtles rose to fame in the environmental world, and became the mascots of anti-plastic campaigns. But the issues facing sea turtles go well beyond plastic. Today, we’ll take a look at how sea turtles are impacted by climate change, commercial fishing, illegal trade, and more issues, what sea turtles mean for our oceans and economy, and what we might be able to do about these challenges. With special guest Dr. Mark Hamann: Associate Professor of Marine Biology at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
40:44
June 25, 2021
49. Chicken
Chickens might not burp and fart methane like cows do, but raising and feeding them still has a significant impact on the climate. And on top of that, chicken production currently faces issues ranging from waste management to antibiotic resistance to a business model that impedes free market competition and places huge burdens on farmers often driving them to bankruptcy. Today, we take a look at the environmental, economic, and health impacts of chicken, and consider where America’s most-consumed meat could go from here. With special guest Dr. Zdravka Tzankova: Associate Professor of Sociology at Vanderbilt University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
37:41
June 18, 2021
Bonus: Alligator on an Airplane
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Ethan sits down with Christian Alberga and Matt Grottkau for a bipartisan conversation on episode 37: “Corn.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
29:58
June 11, 2021
48. Ultraviolet Radiation
Ultraviolet radiation has a few upsides in small quantities, but too much can cause a slew of health effects from sunburns to skin aging to even skin and eye cancer. Luckily, due to an unprecedented international treaty called the Montreal Protocol, the issue is improving, but as climate change worsens, there are still some reasons to be concerned. Today, we discuss where we’re at now with UV, what issues we still need to think about, and where we might go from here. With special guest Dr. Cédric Fichot: Assistant Professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
41:55
June 04, 2021
47. Seagrass
Though we might not think about it much, seagrass is really important. It provides food and shelter for many fish and crustaceans, a source of oxygen for the ocean, and a special ability to absorb carbon that makes it an even more efficient carbon sink than forests. But due to temperature changes, extreme weather, agricultural runoff, and other human activities, seagrass populations are declining fast, which could exacerbate climate change, cost the economy, and destroy marine ecosystems. Today, we discuss what issues seagrass faces, why seagrass is so important, and what we can do to protect it. With special guest Dr. Lina Mtwana Nordlund: Assistant Professor of Earth Sciences, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development at Uppsala University. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
35:37
May 28, 2021
46. The World Bank
As one of the world’s largest international organizations, the World Bank’s economic development activities have far reaching implications for the environment. Of course, the World Bank has done plenty to help the environment, but they also fund projects that contribute to fossil fuel growth, biodiversity loss, and land degradation, all while preaching a steadfast commitment to climate change mitigation and sustainable development. Today, we go over what the World Bank is, why some of their work has led to environmental problems, and how they can improve moving forward. With special guest Dr. Teresa Kramarz: Associate Professor of Global Affairs at the University of Toronto and author of Forgotten Values: The World Bank and Environmental Partnerships. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
40:16
May 21, 2021
45. Tea
There isn’t anything inherently bad about tea, but the current tea agriculture system faces a number of issues, from excessive pesticide use to deforestation to extremely inhumane working conditions. And as climate change progresses, tea flavor and antioxidant content is worsening, tea yields themselves are decreasing, and the aforementioned environmental and human rights issues are poised to worsen. Today, we discuss all these problems, and consider how we can improve the production of the world’s second-most consumed beverage. With special guest Dr. Yixian Sun: Assistant Professor of International Development at the University of Bath. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
36:38
May 14, 2021
Bonus: Cicada Coachella
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Ethan sits down with Christian Alberga and Matt Grottkau for a bipartisan conversation on episode 30: “International Accountability.” Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
32:15
May 07, 2021
44. Jellyfish
While climate change threatens most marine species, jellyfish could be poised to come out stronger than ever. Research remains ongoing, but many scientists suggest the populations of certain species of jellyfish could be increasing, which could lead to more harmful stings, impeded tourism and fishing industries, and disrupted marine ecosystems. Today, we explore what we know about jellyfish so far, why we may have cause for concern, and how we might adapt moving forward. With special guest Dr. Kylie Pitt: Discipline Head of Marine Science at Griffith University and the leader of the Griffith Sea Jellies Research Laboratory. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
39:38
April 30, 2021
43. NGOs
Happy belated Earth Day, and happy almost one year anniversary of The Sweaty Penguin! Earth Day is a special holiday for many reasons, one of which being that it is organized by an NGO, or nongovernmental organization. And there are an estimated 10 million NGOs around the world working on a range of causes, with a prime one being climate change. However, on top of a long list of documented successes, when we look at many NGOs’ strategic decision making, accountability, and fundraising, there are a lot of questions about if environmental NGOs are actually living up to their full potential. Today, we discuss how NGOs create impact, discuss a few of these challenges, and contemplate how NGOs might be able to improve. With special guest Dr. Cristina Balboa: Associate Professor in the Marxe School of Public and International Affairs at Baruch College. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
43:53
April 23, 2021
42. Brownfields and Superfund Sites
From old petroleum sites to chemical dumping grounds, toxic waste sites are disproportionately located in low income and minority communities, and carry lots of adverse health and environmental impacts. And today, climate change threatens to make it even worse, with floods, hurricanes, and wildfires ravaging brownfields and spreading toxins into these communities. Today, we cover what brownfields and Superfund sites are, what problems they create, and some strategies for how to clean them up. With special guest Dr. Lemir Teron: Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. This episode is part of Covering Climate Now’s Living Through the Climate Emergency joint coverage week, reporting on the realities of climate change and its solutions through the week leading up to Earth Day 2021. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
41:59
April 16, 2021
41. Fracking
It’s in the news all the time, but what actually is fracking, and why is it under such heavy scrutiny? To kick off season three, we’re diving into one of the most high profile climate issues, examine how fracking adversely impacts climate, water, land, health, justice, and the economy, and considering some directions we can go to improve the practice and/or sensibly transition away from it. With special guest Dr. Kate Neville: Assistant Professor of Global Environmental Politics at the University of Toronto. The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from PBS flagship station The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at pbs.org/perilandpromise. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
44:40
April 09, 2021
Trailer
Sometimes, climate change IS a laughing matter. Every week, The Sweaty Penguin cuts through the noise and the doom-and-gloom of the climate conversation with late-night-comedy-style monologues and in-depth conversations with leading global experts on a variety of environmental issues. Through a nonpartisan approach, The Sweaty Penguin makes environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun. In partnership with Peril and Promise, a PBS/WNET public media initiative on climate change, The Sweaty Penguin invites you to join the hottest conversation in town. Support the show and unlock exclusive merch, bonus content, and more for as little as $5/month at patreon.com/thesweatypenguin.
01:14
April 08, 2021
Bonus: Mac and Cheese Trees
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Ethan sits down with The Sweaty Penguin’s Producers Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, and Caroline Koehl to recap season 2. They’ll share favorite episodes, biggest takeaways, best behind the scenes moments, plus a surprise bonus segment and some exciting updates about season 3.
47:06
April 02, 2021
40. Rethinking Natural Resources
When we talk about natural resource issues whether they be food, water, energy, land, or materials, we typically discuss them one at a time and craft policy for them one at a time. Because of that, it’s easy to forget that all these resources are interconnected and interdependent. As climate change worsens, those interconnections become more important than ever, as resource scarcity issues can lead to global conflict and even violence. Today, we discuss why resources are so intertwined and what that means for our future. With special guest Dr. Stacy VanDeveer: the Chair of the Department of Conflict Resolution, Human Security, and Global Governance at the University of Massachusetts, Boston.
32:36
March 26, 2021
39. The Amazon Rainforest
The Amazon Rainforest is the largest rainforest in the world, home to 427 mammal species, 1,300 bird species, 378 reptile species, over 400 amphibian species, and 30 million people. It’s also a massive carbon sink, pulling an amount of CO2 out of the atmosphere that’s equivalent to around three years worth of global emissions. But due to cattle ranching and soybean farming among other industries, the Amazon is being chopped down at breakneck speeds, spelling danger for the climate, millions of plants and animals, the economy, and the livelihoods of Indigenous communities that live there. Today, we cover why the Amazon is so important, in what ways it’s threatened, and where we could go from here. With special guest Dr. Adriane Esquivel-Muelbert: Lecturer in Global Forest Ecology at the University of Birmingham.
41:14
March 19, 2021
38. DDT
In 1962, Rachel Carson published the famous book “Silent Spring,” which explored the impacts of the pesticide DDT on the environment and human health and catalyzed a movement that led to the passage of the National Environmental Policy Act, establishment of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the ban of DDT in the U.S. in 1972. But DDT is still poses problems today: all the DDT we used to spray still persists in the environment, and some parts of the world still need to use DDT to control malaria and don’t yet have a viable alternative. Today, we discuss why we’ve used DDT, what impacts it’s had, and how we might improve. With special guest Dr. Jessica Templeton: Associate Professor of Interdisciplinary Social Science at the London School of Economics.
45:29
March 12, 2021
37. Corn
It’s the most produced food commodity in the United States, but only 1% of it is actually sweet corn eaten by humans. The rest is turned into ethanol, animal feed, processed ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, and exported. And making that much corn causes a slew of environmental, economic, and health issues. Today, we cover why corn got so popular, what problems corn agriculture creates, and how we might improve. With special guest Dr. Natalie Hunt: Teaching Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioproducts and Biosystems Engineering at the University of Minnesota.
39:46
March 05, 2021
Bonus: Baby Boomer Polar Bears
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Ethan sits down with Leo Brother and Velina Georgi for a bipartisan conversation on episode 17: “Vanilla.”
30:08
February 26, 2021
36. The Great Barrier Reef
Spanning over 100,000 square miles off the coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World, providing a home to thousands of marine species, sequestering millions of tons of carbon, and creating 64,000 jobs and 56 billion dollars in economic value. But it’s under threat, from climate change, coastal development, and a coral-eating starfish whose population is out of control. Today, we discuss why the Great Barrier Reef is important, what challenges it faces, and what we can do about them. With special guest Dr. Michael Kingsford: Distinguished Professor of Marine Biology at James Cook University in Queensland, Australia.
39:57
February 19, 2021
35. Elementary Education
As climate change becomes more and more pressing, educators have faced the challenge of how to teach it to young children. The Next Generation Science Standards have started to push the needle with a few climate standards, but with many states not adopting the standards or even deleting out the climate ones and many teachers not receiving the training and support they need to teach new information, climate education still has a ways to go. Today, we’ll discuss some of the challenges in integrating climate change into elementary education, and consider some ways to further teach students about climate moving forward. With special guest Kottie Christie-Blick: an Instructor at the University of San Diego and a Climate Education Consultant who helps educators design lesson plans on climate change and sustainability.
35:33
February 12, 2021
34. Mangrove Forests
Mangroves are the only type of tree that can grow in saltwater, but that barely scratches the surface of why they’re special. These tropical coastal forests protect the adjacent land from storms, provide nurseries for young fish, and sequester enough carbon to account for 10% of global emissions. But mangroves are being destroyed left and right from sources like coastal development, wood harvesting, and even shrimp farms, meaning one of our best defenses against climate change could be gone in the not-too-distant future. Today, we explore what mangroves do, why they’re under threat, and where we go from here. With special guest Dr. Margaret Awuor Owuor: Lecturer in the School of Environment, Water, and Natural Resources Management at South Eastern Kenya University.
44:10
February 05, 2021
33. Plastic Straws
It’s the environmental issue everyone’s talking about, with companies and cities banning plastic straws all over the world. But while it’s often played up as either a super simple environmental issue that cities and companies can get tons of clout for single handedly fixing or a stupid issue that we should stop wasting our time on, the reality is that neither of those are really the case. Plastic straws, like every other episode topic on The Sweaty Penguin, are a surprisingly complex problem that demand a nuanced solution. Today, we’ll discuss to what extent plastic straws actually are a problem, and a variety of solutions (beyond the more newsworthy bans, paper straws, and pasta straws) for how the problem can be improved. With special guest Dr. Travis Wagner: Professor of Environmental Science and Policy at the University of Southern Maine.
39:54
January 29, 2021
Bonus: Neptune Balls
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Ethan sits down with episode 3’s Velina Georgi and Leo Brother for a bipartisan conversation on episode 21: “ADHD.”
32:10
January 22, 2021
32. Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence is most often discussed in the environmental world as a sustainability solution capturing invasive starfish and detecting the sound of illegal loggers. But in addition to these exciting developments, AI has the potential to cause environmental problems and inhibit environmental progress. Today, we discuss a few of the many challenges AI poses for the environment, and consider where to go from here to make AI more of an environmental good and less of an environmental bad. With special guest Dr. Peter Dauvergne: Professor of International Relations at the University of British Columbia and author of “AI in the Wild: Sustainability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence.”
45:34
January 15, 2021
31. Landslides
For many living on or by mountains, cliffs, or other slopes, landslides pose a huge risk. The ground itself can come crashing down or slip out from under you. Globally, landslides kill thousands of people per year and rack up costs in the billions. And while they are a natural phenomenon, human activities like deforestation, mining, and climate change could make them more frequent. Today, we discuss why landslides happen, how we’ve exacerbated them, and how we can both mitigate them and prepare for them in the future. With special guest Dr. Žiga Malek: Assistant Professor in Land Use and Ecosystem Dynamics at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
34:25
January 08, 2021
30. International Accountability
International environmental treaties are a fantastic start, but they also regularly struggle because even when a country signs a treaty, they still don’t actually have to do anything. There is no global governing body to enforce agreements, meaning countries often fail to uphold their end of agreements, which is concerning since environmental issues are not isolated to any one country—everyone contributes, and everyone is affected. So how do countries then hold each other accountable? Today, we’ll explore some of the strategies currently used, why they often fail, and some options countries could consider from here to promote environmental progress on the global level. With special guest Dr. Susan Park: Professor of Global Governance at the University of Sydney.
39:17
January 01, 2021
29. Maple Syrup
Maple syrup is a staple for every breakfast on Christmas morning, but with climate change harming the health of maple trees, maple syrup is under threat. Today, we’ll break down how climate change affects maple syrup production, what that could mean for maple syrup’s messy economic situation largely run by a maple syrup cartel wrought with illegal activity (one such crime becoming the largest police investigation in the history of Quebec), and how we can protect the future of this delicious condiment. With special guest Dr. Pamela Templer: Professor of Biology at Boston University.
40:41
December 25, 2020
Bonus: Cyclone Simba
After some of the latest environmental news updates, Matt Grottkau and Christian Alberga sit back down with Ethan for a bipartisan chat about episode 13: “Wild Salmon.”
27:02
December 18, 2020
28. Airplanes
Airplanes are a really tricky issue. They emit greenhouse gases, create air and noise pollution, and operate in a ridiculously unstable business model leading airline after airline to go bankrupt. But airplanes are obviously important too, and certainly don’t need to be banished from existence or be a source of guilt for travelers. Today, we’ll highlight a few of the challenges facing aviation, and discuss some of the exciting technologies and policies that could make airplanes cleaner, healthier, and more economically viable. With special guest Dr. Kevin Lane, Assistant Professor of Environmental Health at Boston University. This episode is part of a four-episode series made possible by the Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant from BU Sustainability and Innovate@BU.
45:42
December 11, 2020
27. Electrification
Powering everything through clean, carbon-free energy to mitigate climate change requires not just decarbonizing electricity, but actually making several things like cars, furnaces, and factories electric. But with the positives of electrification comes some questions. How do you store and transmit clean energy? How do you meet the skyrocketing demand for electricity? How do you avoid blackouts? Today, we’ll dive into some of the challenges of electrification and consider how they can be addressed. With special guest Dr. Peter Fox-Penner: Founder and Director of the Boston University Institute for Sustainable Energy and Professor of Practice at the Questrom School of Business. This episode is part of a four-episode series made possible by the Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant from BU Sustainability and Innovate@BU.
34:26
December 04, 2020
26. Ventilation
To help prevent the indoor spread of coronavirus, buildings around the world have been checking up on their ventilation systems, often for the first time in a while. And unfortunately, many will find old, poorly designed, or otherwise inefficient HVAC systems that waste energy and money. Today, we’ll cover how many ventilation systems are inefficient, why they’re important for preserving indoor air quality, and how we can improve them, both small and large scale. With special guest Dr. Michael Gevelber: Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University. This episode is part of a four-episode series made possible by the Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant from BU Sustainability and Innovate@BU.
37:27
November 27, 2020
25. Carbon Neutrality
When organizations and governments create climate plans, they often contain the same phrase: carbon neutral. And carbon neutrality is a major piece of mitigating climate change. But carbon neutrality plans regularly fail to act quickly on more feasible short-term objectives, offset the amount of carbon they intend to, and actually count every single source of emissions. Today, we’ll discuss some of the issues associated with carbon neutrality, and how plans can sidestep them moving forward to create the most positive impact possible. With special guest Dennis Carlberg, Adjunct Assistant Professor of Earth & Environment and Associate Vice President of University Sustainability at Boston University. This episode is part of a four-episode series made possible by the Sustainability Innovation Seed Grant from BU Sustainability and Innovate@BU.
37:10
November 20, 2020
Bonus: Diners, Drive-Ins, and Yellowstone Hot Springs
As promised, the bipartisan discussion bonus episodes are here! Today, Ethan sits down with episode 1’s Christian Alberga and Matt Grottkau to hear their first impressions and find some common ground on episode 20: “Economic Recovery from Coronavirus.” Plus, some environmental news and yet another update on the John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant.
29:15
November 13, 2020
24. Organic and Fair Trade Certifications
Certifications such as organic and fair trade are great ways to quickly inform consumers that a product they want to buy was made at a high environmental and ethical standard and give producers meeting those standards an edge in the market… that is, if the certifications use proper, well-enforced criteria, producers can actually obtain the certification, and consumers actually know what the labels mean. Today, we break down some of the challenges facing certification schemes, as well as some specific issues with organic and fair trade, and ponder how these programs could improve. With special guest Dr. Graeme Auld: Professor in the School of Public Policy and Administration at Carleton University in Canada and author of “Constructing Private Governance: The Rise and Evolution of Forest, Coffee, and Fisheries Certification.”
39:17
November 06, 2020
23. Old-Growth Forests
Old-growth forests provide a lot of services that are unique from their younger counterparts, from increased carbon storage capabilities to homes for several endangered species. And on Wednesday, the United States announced the rollback of a rule preventing commercial logging and road construction in the Tongass National Forest in Alaska, opening up 9.3 million acres of land in the United States’ largest carbon sink to logging and development. Unfortunately, the Tongass is one of many old-growth forests facing these types of threats. Today, we’ll cover why old-growth forests are important, what issues they face, and where we can go from here. With special guest Dr. Michael Dietze: Associate Professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University.
36:20
October 30, 2020
22. Light Pollution
We often hear about light pollution preventing us from seeing the night sky, but it is responsible for so much more, from massive economic costs to catastrophic human health impacts to disrupting mating and migrations of birds, frogs, and insects to causing the deaths of baby sea turtles. Today, we break down why light pollution causes all these issues, and discuss some ideas for how to mitigate them. With special guest Dr. Douglas Arion: Professor of Physics and Astronomy and Donald D. Hedberg Distinguished Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies at Carthage College.
32:39
October 23, 2020
21. ADHD
October is ADHD Awareness Month, and in addition to genetic and biological causes, ADHD is partly caused by toxins in the environment such as BTEX (benzene, toluene, ethylbenzene, xylene), lead, and mercury, which all have distinct impacts on brain functionality. Today, we’ll break down why these neurotoxins contribute to ADHD, why ADHD costs the U.S. economy hundreds of billions of dollars per year, how ADHD hits low income and minority communities the hardest, and some ways we can address these issues. With special guest Dr. Luz Claudio: Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health and the Chief of the Division of International Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
42:15
October 16, 2020
Bonus: Annoying Orange Jr.
In the final episode of season 1, Ethan sits down with The Sweaty Penguin Researchers Olivia, Megan, and Dain to discuss the most recent four episodes and their reflections on the season. After that, he chats with the Producers Shannon, Frank, and Caroline to recap season 1 and preview season 2, which begins next week on Friday, 10/16. We’ve also got some new environmental news, and some updates on the John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant in Danbury, CT. It’s a jam-packed bonus episode today, so don’t miss it!
33:15
October 09, 2020
20. Economic Recovery from Coronavirus
The coronavirus plunged the world deep into an economic recession, and to recover from a recession, governments typically start spending a lot  of money. Where that money goes has a lasting effect on the economy and the environment, and historically, due to investments in fossil fuels,  neither the environmental nor economic impacts of these stimulus  packages have been stellar. Today, we take a look at a couple of the missteps in the economic recovery from the 2008 financial crisis, and then examine some policy ideas that might create a stronger, more sustainable recovery this time. With special guest Dr. Jennifer Allan: Lecturer in International Relations at Cardiff University in Wales.
34:36
October 02, 2020
19. Mercury
John Oliver seems quite taken by Danbury, Connecticut’s history as the Hat City, but hatmaking came at a price: the mercury used to make felt  for hats caused mercury poisoning. The resulting tremors were even  nicknamed “the Danbury shakes.” But while Connecticut banned mercury for  hatmaking, the mercury previously emitted never actually left the  environment, and new sources of mercury such coal plants and artisanal and small-scale gold mines are still putting new mercury into the  atmosphere, leading to catastrophic environmental, economic, and human health impacts. Today, we break down why we’re exposed to mercury, what effects it has, and how we can improve. With special guest Dr. Noelle Eckley Selin: Associate Professor of Data, Systems, and Society and Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the co-author of “Mercury Stories: Understanding Sustainability through a Volatile Element” which comes out  on October 20th.
39:48
September 25, 2020
18. Wastewater Treatment Plants
Wastewater treatment plants made national news this month after the mayor of Danbury, CT (the city where Ethan was born) responded to a joke on “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” by naming Danbury’s sewer plant the “John Oliver Memorial Sewer Plant.” But in addition to being the ~butt~ of a joke, wastewater treatment plants have been responsible for some environmental issues. Today, we discuss a few of those issues from overflows to energy to microplastic contamination to antimicrobial resistance, what threats they pose to the economy and public health, and how we can improve wastewater treatment to make it the sustainable water sanitation solution it was designed to be. With special guest Dr.  Patricia Keen: Visiting Assistant Professor of Energy Management at the New York Institute of Technology, Vancouver Campus.
37:55
September 18, 2020
17. Vanilla
The global vanilla market is ridiculously unstable, with vanilla prices  swinging from $20/kg to $600/kg in the span of a few years, higher than the price of silver. And 80% of vanilla is grown in Madagascar, an island facing extreme poverty and, increasingly, cyclones which threaten to destabilize the market even further. Today, we break down why the  vanilla price swings so dramatically, how cyclones threaten to impact it, the consequences of these swings for the environment, economy, and Malagasy farmers’ livelihoods, and where we could go from here. With special guest Dr. Julie Zähringer: Senior Research Scientist in the Centre for Development and Environment at the University of Bern in  Switzerland.
36:43
September 11, 2020
Bonus: Queen Methane Emissions
Join us for a conversation with The Sweaty Penguin’s three Researchers  Olivia Amitay, Megan Crimmins, and Dain Kim about mega(n)cities, fast  fashion, salmon, and some of the recent climate-induced hurricanes and  wildfires currently hitting the United States.
26:36
September 04, 2020
16. Fast Fashion
As fibers like cotton and polyester became cheaper to procure, fast  fashion stores began creating items that appeared fashionable at a  fraction of the price. In doing so, they created a culture where people  buy a lot more clothes and wear them for much longer periods of time,  and that over-consumption has spurred countless environmental, economic,  and humanitarian problems. Today, we touch on a few of those problems,  and discuss where governments, companies, and individuals can make  improvements. With special guest Dr. Jennifer Le Zotte: Assistant Professor of U.S. History and Material Culture at the University of  North Carolina, Wilmington.
40:03
August 28, 2020
15. Pellagra
During the coronavirus pandemic, a global economic collapse, and  increasingly frequent and severe droughts, what better time for southern  African countries to see upticks in another disease: pellagra.  Pellagra, a disease caused by chronic deficiencies in Vitamin B3  (niacin), is prevented with nothing more than a half-decent diet. So why  is it still here in 2020? Today, we go on a journey through history to  figure out what caused this vitamin deficiency disease to appear, why it  still exists, and what we can do about it. With special guest Dr.  Christopher Conz: Lecturer in African Environmental History at Tufts University.
31:22
August 21, 2020
14. Megacities
In the last thirty years, the number of cities with a population of over  ten million jumped from 10 to 34. Today, 55% of the world population  lives in a city. And those numbers are only going up, which creates  concerns since megacities face disproportionate effects of climate  change due to their population densities and geographic locations.  Today, we’ll break down some of the many environmental risks facing  megacities, and some strategies to manage them. With special guest Dr.  Madhu Dutta-Koehler: Director of the City Planning and Urban Affairs  program at Boston University.
36:22
August 14, 2020
13. Wild Salmon
We often hear about projects that will harm salmon such as the recently  proposed gold and copper mine in Alaska, but why does it matter? As it  turns out, salmon isn’t just a tasty meal, but a multi-billion dollar  economic engine, a centerpiece of Native American and Alaskan culture,  and a species that rivers, streams, and nearby ecosystems can’t survive  without. Today, we’ll break down four primary human threats endangering  salmon, and discuss a few ways to protect them in the future. With  special guest Dr. Syma Ebbin: Professor of Agricultural and Resource  Economics and the Connecticut Sea Grant Research Coordinator at the University of Connecticut. 
38:43
August 07, 2020
Bonus: Chariot of Chameleons
On this week’s bonus episode, we’re discussing the cancellation of the Atlantic Coast Pipeline, reflecting on last week’s Rethinking Climate Change episode as Frank’s home in Puerto Rico experiences a tropical storm, sharing some behind the scenes stories about the making of “The UNEP Song,” and more. With Sweaty Penguin Researcher Olivia Amitay and Producers Frank Hernandez and Caroline Koehl.
26:01
July 31, 2020
12. Rethinking Climate Change
Climate change is so often framed as a problem for “our kids and our  grandkids,” and that’s true, but climate change is also here right now,  and it’s causing a lot of problems. We’ll take a look at a few of the  countless problems climate change causes today, and how we can better  conceptualize climate change as we move forward and try to adapt to  these issues. With special guest Dr. Adil Najam: Inaugural Dean of the  Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies and co-author of the  Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate  Change, work for which the panel was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.
37:43
July 24, 2020
11. Gypsy Moths
Murder hornets may be getting all the attention, but gypsy moths are another invasive insect species causing a lot of damage by defoliating trees, disrupting wildlife, causing skin rashes, and costing cities, homeowners, and the timber industry millions of dollars. Today, we’re talking gypsy moths: why they’re so harmful and what we can do about it. With special guest Dr. Valerie Pasquarella: Earth & Environment Research Professor at Boston University.
31:29
July 17, 2020
10. United Nations Environment Programme
Aside from some scary climate change reports you may hear in the news, what does the United Nations Environment Programme do? As it turns out, a lot less than you might expect, and that’s because UNEP was designed to have less power than many other UN affiliates. Today, we break down what UNEP has and hasn’t accomplished, some proposed improvements to UNEP, and why international cooperation on the environment is important regardless of one’s foreign policy beliefs. With special guest Dr. Henrik Selin: Associate Dean of Studies and Professor of International Relations at the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies.
39:58
July 10, 2020
9. Asthma
As coronavirus continues to spread, people with asthma have faced a higher death rate. And asthma itself is a huge issue too, killing ten Americans every day. This week, we take a deep dive into the South Bronx in New York City, a low-income, high-density, predominantly Black and Latino community nicknamed “Asthma Alley” due to its high asthma rate, and discuss what causes and triggers asthma, why the South Bronx and other marginalized communities face such high rates, and how we could treat and prevent asthma moving forward. With special guest Dr. Elizabeth Garland: a pediatrician and Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.
39:17
July 03, 2020
Bonus: Socks, Sandals, and Barbecue Fires
This week, we bring you our top environmental news headlines, and then sit down with The Sweaty Penguin’s Producers Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, and Caroline Koehl to share updates and reflections on Beef and Natural Gas Compressor Stations.
22:36
June 26, 2020
8. Natural Gas Compressor Stations
Whether it’s for heat, cooking, or electricity, most Americans use natural gas regularly. But before arriving at your home, natural gas traveling through a long pipeline enters a compressor station, and compressor stations release greenhouse gases, neurotoxins, carcinogens, and an absurd amount of noise. To make matters worse, compressor stations are disproportionately built in low income and minority communities, causing devastating economic and health impacts. Today, we break down what compressor stations are, why they’re harmful, and some ideas to both regulate them and make them obsolete. We’re joined by Nell Curtin (Boston University), Jack Kelly (Northeastern University), and special guest Dr. Nathan Phillips: Earth & Environment Professor at Boston University and Acting Director of BU’s Sustainable Neighborhood Lab.
43:10
June 19, 2020
7. Earthquakes
Most environmental issues we hear about are caused and controlled by humans, but earthquakes happen whether we’re here or not. But just because we can’t stop them doesn’t mean we can’t significantly reduce the injuries, casualties, and economic damages. Today, we discuss why earthquakes happen, why they’re so hard to predict, what problems they cause, and how earthquake-prone cities can better prepare for them. We’re joined by Joe LoDuca (University of Connecticut), Mollie McGrann (University of California, Los Angeles), and special guest Dr. Robert Buchwaldt: Earth & Environment Research Professor at Boston University specializing in geology.
54:33
June 12, 2020
6. Rare Earth Minerals
What do cell phones, computers, airplane engines, and wind turbines have in common? They all require rare earth minerals, and while these minerals can be mined and processed sustainably, they currently are not, leading to environmental, health, and national security issues. Today, we discuss these issues, and consider ways to clean up the supply chain, scale back on our rare earth mineral consumption, and make our phones and computers more eco-friendly. We’re joined by Joe Perrotta (Marist College), Melani Zuckerman (Boston University), and special guest Dr. Julie Klinger: Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Delaware and author of the award-winning book “Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes.”
50:20
June 05, 2020
5. Beef
Wondering why there’s so much fuss in the news over cow farts? We’ve got you covered. This week, we discuss why beef’s environmental impact far exceeds most other food products and consider ways to reduce those impacts without giving up too many of our steaks and burgers. We’re joined by Sebastian Bishop (Reed College), Adrian Castanon Galicia (Boston University), and special guest Dr. Rachael Garrett: Professor of Environmental Policy at ETH Zürich.
46:37
May 29, 2020
Bonus: Plankton Buys a Glowstick
This week, we bring you our top environmental news headlines, and then sit down with The Sweaty Penguin’s Producers Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, and Caroline Koehl to discuss some updates and clarifications on our Traffic, Lawn Pesticides, Yosemite National Park, and Lead Paint episodes, as well as how each issue has developed during the coronavirus pandemic.
26:42
May 22, 2020
4. Lead Paint
We often think of lead paint as a problem of the past, but in reality, any house built before 1978 could have lead paint on the walls, and when they do, the health risks are enormous, especially for young children. We’ll discuss the environmental and health problems lead paint poses and consider ways to test for and abate lead in our homes. We’re joined by Frank Serpe (Boston University), Katherine Wright (Boston University), and Rick Reibstein: Lecturer at Boston University and Founder and Director of the Coalition for a Public Conversation on Lead.
41:41
May 15, 2020
3. Yosemite National Park
Yosemite was set aside as a national park in 1890, and since then, we haven’t done a spotless job preserving and managing it. There’s even a Starbucks in the park! We’ll discuss the economic inefficiencies, inequities, and environmental degradation currently taking place at Yosemite and consider ways to both solve these specific issues and think about the land where we live. We’re joined by Leo Brother (Elon University), Velina Georgi (College of Charleston), and special guest Dr. Sarah Phillips: Professor of History at Boston University and author of “This Land, This Nation: Conservation, Rural America, and the New Deal.”
49:27
May 08, 2020
2. Lawn Pesticides
We often hear “pesticides are safe” or “pesticides are toxic,” but in reality, it’s not that simple. We’ll discuss the impacts of various lawn pesticides on public health and the environment, what improvements could be made from a policy perspective, and how you can safely control weeds and insects on your lawn. We’re joined by Ben Brod (University of Connecticut), Spencer Brown (Quinnipiac University), and special guest Christopher Brown: CEO and Co-Founder of Teed & Brown Lawn Care.
42:54
May 01, 2020
1. Traffic
Not only does traffic contribute to climate change, but it costs the average American $1,377 per year in lost time. We’ll break down the issue, and debate some possible solutions like mass transit renovations, bike sharing, congestion pricing, and smaller market-based mechanisms. We’re joined by Christian Alberga (Williams College), Matt Grottkau (Washington University), and special guest Dr. Cutler Cleveland: Professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University and Associate Director of the BU Institute for Sustainable Energy.
50:31
April 24, 2020