Author: Critical Frequency

Subscribed: 18,435Played: 265,310


A true-crime podcast about climate change, hosted and reported by award-winning investigative journalist Amy Westervelt.

86 Episodes
Just as the fossil fuel industry was starting to worry about demand for single use plastics, along comes a global pandemic that they could leverage to push more of the stuff. And they did! But was it enough to save them entirely?
Diane Wilson couldn't keep Formosa out of her town, but down the coast in Louisiana the community in St. James Parish, led by Sharon Lavigne, is fighting like hell to keep them out.
This time we're doing something a little different: a season in three parts, all about the gas industry and how it's managed to embed itself into society. First up, Part 1 Plastic Pipelines: A look at how the fracking boom led to a plastics boom, through the story of one petrochemical company operating on the Gulf Coast, and the two women—one in Texas, the other in Louisiana—taking them on.
A new season about the natural gas industry, presented in three parts. Coming soon, Part 1: Pipelines to Plastic about the direct connection between the fracking boom and the plastics boom, told through the story of Formosa Plastics, a company with an environmental record so bad it couldn't get permits in its own country so it searched the globe for a new home, with weaker environmental regulations, and found it in the American South.
Steven Donziger went to trial for the criminal contempt charge that's kept him on house arrest for 600 days and counting. Paul Paz Y Mino of Amazon Watch brings us an update on the trial
A new study out from Harvard University explores the health impacts of transitioning from coal to other combustible fuels. The findings are important for climate policy, particularly the fact that biomass is a huge contributor to air pollution despite representing only a small percentage of energy generation and that natural gas still contributes significantly to air pollution and its associated health impacts.
It's Earth Day 2021 and the first Congressional hearing of the day is focused on fossil fuel subsidies. Their elimination was written into Biden's infrastructure bill, and House Democrats want to make sure that provision stays in the bill. Today's hearing will detail what those subsidies are, why getting rid of them is critical to climate action, and how the government can pull it off without raising the cost of living for average Americans. Watch the hearing at 10am ET:
Steven Donziger, the American attorney we profiled in S5 is scheduled for trial May 10th, but his lawyers have filed another motion to dismiss, alleging vindictive prosecution. Karen Savage joins for an update on this story.
We talked about rights of nature a bit in the Ecuador-Chevron season, the Latin American country was the first in the world to integrate the concept of rights of nature in its Constitution. Now the Constitutional Court is reviewing its first rights of nature case. U.S. communities are pursuing the idea as well, and the fossil fuel industry is trying to block rights of nature laws from ever passing. Josh Boaz Pribanic and Melissa Troutman, co-founders of Public Herald join to talk about their new documentary on the rights of nature, Invisible Hand. Check out Invisible Hand:
The Biden Administration has rolled out its Build Back Better plan and it includes a lot of progressive wishlist items, but the left is still pushing for more scale. The THRIVE Act, reintroduced by Sen Markey and Rep Dingell last month is what they're pushing towards and Peoples Action Climate Justice director Kaniela Ing joins to walk us through the asks, and what he's hearing from folks on the ground. Learn more:
Local activists and legislators have been fighting the Enbridge natural gas compressor in Weymouth for years. It's too close to residents and businesses, and poses too many health risks to a community that's already borne the burden of too much pollution, they say. The project was approved by FERC in 2019, built and became operational in 2020. Then it had an emergency shutdown. And another. Now FERC is considering the unprecedented move of re-thinking its permit, a decision that could have broad ramifications. Check out Miriam Wasser's ongoing reporting on this at WBUR:
Fossil fuel-backed anti-protest laws have been passed in 14 states and are making their way through statehouses in several more states, including six different bills in Minnesota, the only state with a big pipeline fight this year: Line 3. Researcher Connor Gibson joins to talk us through how this all started and where it's at. Read more:
When a report makes oil and gas companies—and the politicians they help elect—this mad, you know the author is on to something. Researcher Sean O'Leary, with the Ohio River Valley Institute, joins us to talk about his new report, which found that the local economic benefit of fracking to communities in the Ohio, Pennsylvania, West Virginia gas corridor was slim to none.
A special presentation of the podcast Hot Take, featuring investigative journalist Antonia Juhasz on all the many ways oil, war, and climate change intersect. Read more: Subscribe to the Hot Take newsletter:
Stanford researcher Ben Franta joins to talk about a bombshell new discovery: the American Petroleum Institute not only knew about climate change back in the 70s, it started pushing climate denial as early as 1980. Read Ben's article:
S5 Ep 11 | ¿Ahora Que?

S5 Ep 11 | ¿Ahora Que?


Donziger is still on house arrest and disbarred, the settlement seems impossible to collect, now what? In this episode we look at what this case says about accountability and the power of oil companies, and what options remain for the Ecuadorians seeking justice. Support our work:
S5 Ep 10 | The Kill Step

S5 Ep 10 | The Kill Step


Chevron makes good on its promise to fight the Ecuadorian judgement until hell freezes over ... and then fight it out on the ice. Donziger loses his appeal of the RICO judgement, then finds himself facing contempt charges and disbarment.
S5 Ep9 | The Judge

S5 Ep9 | The Judge


Corruption charges against both the Ecuadorian judge and the American judge fly as the RICO gets underway. Support our work:
S5 Ep 8 | Damages

S5 Ep 8 | Damages


Chevron's legal team shocks the Ecuadorian plaintiffs with a massive racketeering claim in the U.S. alleging fraud, witness tampering, and even bribery. Patreon:
S5 Ep7 | The Linchpin

S5 Ep7 | The Linchpin


Chevron's attorneys go after Joe Berlinger, the filmmaker behind the documentary about the case, Crude. They subpoena his outtakes, kicking off a years-long First Amendment battle. Support our work:
Comments (19)


This is one of those podcasts that sometimes I really don't want to listen to! But for all the right reasons. It's such an amazingly made podcast but it breaks my heart. There is truly nothing more terrifying than all the work these people did to suppress science and take us all (and the world) down this terrifying road. Thank you so much for this podcast. It's so important and so amazingly made and I'm so glad you're taking the time to teach us all this

Jul 5th

Andrew Kozma

Thank you for this, but it is so infuriating.

Dec 29th

Gordon Faulkner

I think this could get the ultimate accolade of any literature or journalism. I think it is Important. Opened my eyes and made me cry. (not literally). Everyone should listen to this podcast and like, take notes and share it far and wide.

Dec 14th

Jon Hart

This is one of the most enlightening podcasts I have had the pleasure of listening too.

May 11th

Joe Campbell

The smug tone is too annoying to listen to - I couldn't make it through the first edition.

May 6th


makes me sad and furious listening to this, but my gosh is it a fantastic podcast. Great Work!

Apr 19th

Amanda Joy

why is the sound quality so terrible? I wish I could listen but this is unbearable.

Apr 8th

kWide Vidsb

don't have kids. kids have bigger co2 footprint than all your flights in your whole lifetime and beyond combined

Apr 4th

N Me

this show is very well done, it lays bare the calculated steps taken by the "titans of industry" along side DC, to manufacture a disinformation campaign in order to deny climate science. (warning: nausea is a possible side effect of listening.)

Mar 2nd


Why only criticize Bernie Sanders?

Sep 5th
Reply (1)

Michael Jiggens

I sent your podcast to a friend of mine and he blocked me. I just sent him this: "Dear _______. You've obviously blocked me on WhatsApp. As this is going to make for (at best) some awkwardness at karate, maybe we should sort this out before tomorrow. I sent you a genuinely fascinating link to a very well researched and totally fact checkable podcast (sent to most of my friends in fact, as it's really quite good) as I thought you would be interested. We had discussed the topic before in a friendly manner and I had promised I would provide you with evidence to back up my assertions. I compiled quite an exhaustive body of evidence, but realised you would be unlikely to wade through it and apply the critical thinking it requires. No insult intended there, I appreciate you're a busy man and the time and effort required to properly assess these studies could be used for doing other things. Personally, I am always ready for friendly debate and I am always prepared to admit I'm wrong if shown a more convincing argument. I like being proved wrong, it helps me evolve as a person. I live by the adage 'show me a man of fifty who still holds the same opinions he did at thirty and I'll show you a man who wasted twenty years of his life'. I find the frankly childish tactic of blocking anyone I don't agree with (I used to do it too, part of why I left social media) to be a toxic and divisive behaviour that does no good to anyone. It suggests a lack of faith in one's convictions leading to an unwillingness to be proved wrong. 'Lalalala I'm not listening' kind of thing... There really is no shame in admitting you're wrong, the real shame is insisting you're right despite strong evidence to the contrary. This applies as much to me as to you. I consider you to be a good friend and therefore I implore you to not throw away a valuable friendship for no reason at all. Your friend, Michael. " No reply yet. He's a middle aged white Conservative. We live in the UK.

Jul 28th
Reply (2)


Such important investigative journalism. I will be subscribing to Drilled! Thank you

Jun 4th

Mike Hansen

So refreshing what a talented young woman!

May 17th


really good content! thanks

Mar 1st



Mar 1st
Reply (1)
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