Each episode of The Sweaty Penguin focuses on one specific environmental problem. We welcome two guests with minimal prior knowledge of the problem, one more conservative and one more liberal. After a late-night-comedy-style monologue explaining the problem and various possible solutions, the host and guests interview a professional with expertise in that particular problem and then have a conversation where the guests form first impressions. In each episode, we aim to find common ground, both on what the problem is and some strategies to solve it.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.