Utopia on the radio: climate justice and utopia-related podcasts.

For those times when reading is impractical – chopping vegetables, folding laundry – you can still absorb utopian content through your ears. Have I made that sound appealing? What I mean to say is you can listen to inspiring and funny podcasts about climate justice and the possibility of a better world. Such as these.

Free-Thought Podcast by Shuddhashar

I came to this podcast for an interview with Dr Heather Alberro, an academic working in the area of social and political sciences. Alberro has an interest in green utopianism and the interview discusses the challenges of ‘creating a world that is sustainable and environmentally just’.

Alberro explains with such ease how the good health of economies and the environment are intertwined it makes you wonder how anyone thinks we should have to choose one over the other.

The whole idea behind environmental justice is that these things are very closely intertwined, you can’t have ecological wellbeing and sustainability without guaranteeing social wellbeing, breaking down hierarchies around class, race, gender, access to resources.

Dr Heather Alberro

After the interview with Alberro, I rolled straight into the next episode – an interview with anthropology scholar Avery Delany about decolonisation. I am very intrigued by this podcast series.

Jon Richardson & The Futurenauts

Comedian Jon Richardson, of BBC 6 Music Sunday morning radio show fame (yeah he’s done some telly and stand up since), hosts this podcast with futurists/Futurenauts Ed Gillespie and Mark Stevenson. The structure of each episode on subjects such as food, work, energy and nature is based around two questions. Firstly, how fucked are we? (Invariably, royally.) Secondly, how do we unfuck ourselves?

In series two they consciously invited guests in to break up their all-bloke line up a little. Highlights for me were Kate Raworth, author of Doughnut Economics, on the Future of Economics and an episode on the Future of Shit (yes, human faeces) with Rose George. I think about that one every time I flush the toilet, and every time I don’t.

I have to say though I think I preferred the first series. Three people saying stuff I agree with about topics that worry me and making it funny, with some practical ideas too. I found it reassuring and hopeful.

Mothers of Invention

Climate change is a manmade problem with a feminist solution. Boom! Each episode of this podcast features women around the world who are taking action in their communities to change the world for the better. The show invites them to tell their own stories of inventing sustainable solutions to the climate problems they face.

Learning about these womens’ fights for climate justice is inspiring and inspires hope. This is another hugely uplifting podcast about terrifying issues.

The hosts are former Irish president Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins, joined by their producer Thimali Kodikara in series three.

ASLE EcoCast

This is the literary entrant in my list. The ASLE EcoCast is the podcast of the Assocation for the Study of Literature and Environment, an academic society. Each episode the hosts are joined by a different academic working in the areas of literature and the environment.

I have two favourite features of the show. Firstly, host Jemma Deer exploring the etymology of an apposite word like ‘forest’, ‘scene’ or ‘book’ in a poetic kind of way at the start of each episode. Secondly, I like hearing about the guest’s route into academia and whatever specific area of interest they are currently working on. Hearing their way in gives me a way into their work. It also makes me wonder what story I might tell in the future…

Listening to climate justice and utopia podcasts
That’s it folks, happy listening! Let me know your recommendations in the comments or contact me here.

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