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This episode delves into the murky world of cryptocurrency and its impact on our planet. Join Katharine and Leah as they discover how digital currencies are breathing new life into previously shuttered coal plants across the United States.  This episode features Alex de Vries, data scientist and founder of Digiconimist, an online platform that tracks Bitcoin’s energy consumption; Anne Hedges, the director of policy and legislative affairs at watchdog organization Montana Environmental Information Center; and New York State Assemblymember Anna Kelles, who sponsored a bill to establish a two-year moratorium on crypto mining in New York. Leah mentions this White House report about the climate impacts of cryptocurrency. Alex points out how famous cryptographer Hal Finney foresaw crypto’s huge emissions from the start. Anne mentions how China cracked down on cryptocurrency, which has pushed companies to operate in other nations, including the United States. Assemblymember Kelles warns that Bitcoin won’t deliver on equity or access to wealth: roughly 0.01% of wallets hold 27% of the currency. On the bright side, Ethereum, the second-largest cryptocurrency, just reduced its energy consumption 99% by switching to proof-of-stake.  Next time, we’ll look at the fight for climate accountability within corporate America. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and don’t miss a single episode this season!
This episode is all about feelings. You’ve heard the phrase “climate grief,” right? But how do we deal with what it does to our hearts, minds, and bodies? And how might it impact the climate action we take? This episode features Dr. Britt Wray, a Stanford-based author and researcher on climate and mental health; somatic coach and climate grief worker, Selin Nurgün; and Zen priest and Environmental Defense Fund senior scientist, Dr. Kritee Kanko. Check out Britt’s weekly newsletter Gen Dread and her recent book Generation Dread. And learn more about the grief rituals Kritee facilitates through Boundless in Motion and the Rocky Mountain Ecodharma Retreat Center.  In this episode, we discuss Joanna Macy and The Work That Reconnects, as well as public rituals such as the glacier memorial created by Dr. Cymene Howe and Dr. Dominic Boyer. And we quote some wise folks whose work you should check out: Resmaa Menakem, Sherri Mitchell, and Dr. Susi Moser. If you’re struggling with climate distress, you might want to explore the Climate Psychology Alliance’s directory of climate-aware therapists, the Good Grief Network’s 10-step program, Plum Village’s online retreats, or the embodied approaches of Generative Somatics. If you’re looking for an approach based in conversation and community, try All We Can Save Circles, Climate Cafes, or Climate Awakening (created by Dr. Margaret Klein Salamon). The guided meditation at the end of the episode was created by Katharine for The All We Can Save Project’s Climate Wayfinding program. Next time, we’ll look at the climate impact of crypto. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and don’t miss a single episode this season.
"We must understand that we are in a very specific moment in time, and this window is going to shut on us. But it doesn’t have to shut on us, if we act.” — Vice President Kamala Harris on A Matter of Degrees Ahead of the 2022 midterm elections, we had the honor of joining Vice President Harris live in San Francisco for a conversation about climate leadership, justice, and solutions. She underlined the critical importance of the current moment, and the need to act with urgency in service of what’s still possible. This episode covers a lot of ground, from electric school buses and job creation to the direct link between reproductive justice and climate justice. Vice President Harris shares her personal motivation for doing environmental work, and explains what the Biden-Harris administration is doing on the policy front. Leah cites this academic study on the intergenerational impacts of prenatal exposure to air pollution and points us to a tool for calculating EV and heat pump rebates in the Inflation Reduction Act. Katharine references the Pentagon’s 2014 report describing climate change as a “threat multiplier.” We hope you find the conversation informative and inspiring. Fun fact, this is our first appearance in front of a live audience!
The third and final installment of our miniseries considers the question “What can I do?” from a political perspective. Our expert guests share stories of nailbiter elections for local office and the victorious legislative campaign to ban gas in new buildings in New York City. We lay out a four-step guide to getting pro-climate candidates elected, supporting them in office, and keeping them accountable. This episode features Caroline Spears, founder and executive director of Climate Cabinet, which helps local leaders run, win, and legislate on the climate crisis, and Sonal Jessel, the director of policy at WE ACT for Environmental Justice. We cite this Canadian study on the carbon emissions reductions of a single vote. We also hear about Erin Zwiener in Texas and Lauren Kuby in Arizona as examples of local climate policy leaders. You can find more state and local climate champs at Climate Slate.  Subscribe to A Matter of Degrees wherever you get your podcasts and don’t miss a single episode this season!
In this episode, we continue to unpack the question “What can I do?” The second installment of our miniseries zeroes in on our professional lives — ways to approach climate action within the workplace. We learn that almost any job can be a climate job. And, if need be, we can pursue “career divestment.” This episode features Amanda Suter Gallardo, deputy petroleum administrator for the City of Los Angeles and former Terra.do fellow, and Jamie Alexander, founding director of Drawdown Labs at the climate solutions nonprofit Project Drawdown.  For more info on the online climate school Amanda attended, head to Terra.do. For more info on making your job a climate job, check out Jamie’s TEDx Talk and Drawdown Labs’ guide to Climate Solutions at Work. Want to build community and seed climate action with colleagues? Try All We Can Save Circles tailored for the workplace. Need help glimpsing your professional future? Take the Green New Careers assessment from the Sunrise Movement.  We also mentioned The Drawdown Review (free to download!), Dr. Beth Sawin’s Twitter wisdom, the company Canopy (formerly RightHandGreen), the Instagram account Future Earth, co-curated by Max Moinian, and UndauntedK12, started by Jonathan Klein. Next time, our miniseries will turn from the realm of The Professional to the realm of The Political. Are you digging the show? Be sure to subscribe, and leave us a rating or review!
As climate people, we hear this question again and again: “What can I do?” Many of us are trying to figure out how to help address the climate crisis. So, we’re taking on that critical question in a three-part miniseries. The first episode is all about The Personal — key ways we can act on climate in our own lives and create meaningful, durable change. Hint: it involves stoves and cash. This episode features Sarah Lazarovic, artist, writer, and head of communications and brand at Rewiring America, and Marilyn Waite, managing director of the Climate Finance Fund and author of Sustainability at Work.  For more info on electrifying your home, head to Rewiring America’s guide to Electrify Everything in Your Home. For more info on moving your money, turn to Marilyn’s guide to Sustainable Banking and Investing. Also mentioned: Carbon Collective, Sphere, Atmos Bank, and Earth Equity Advisors. Be sure to check out Sarah’s comic “100 Things You Can Do to Help in the Climate Crisis,” her book A Bunch of Pretty Things I Did Not Buy, and her newsletter Minimum Viable Planet. We quoted from Leah’s essay “A Field Guide for Transformation,” in the anthology All We Can Save that Katharine co-edited, and Bill McKibben’s invaluable newsletter The Crucial Years. Next time, our miniseries will turn from the realm of The Personal to the realm of The Professional. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and don’t miss a single episode this season!
Welcome back, climate-curious friends — it’s time for Season 3 of A Matter of Degrees. This season we’ll tackle some critical topics and big questions, starting with one we’re all asking when it comes to the climate crisis: “What can I do?” Season 3 kicks off (September 15!) with a three-part miniseries to answer that question. We’ll talk with some brilliant folks and illuminate what we can do personally, professionally, and politically. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg...in a good way. Subscribe wherever you get your podcasts and don’t miss a single episode this season! You can follow us on Twitter @degreespod, @leahstokes, and @DrKWilkinson, and on Instagram @drkwilkinson.
Welcome back to A Matter of Degrees! While we’ve been hard at work producing season three of the show, the climate movement has been going through a lot of twists and turns. Most recently, after announcing he would not support climate investments in a budget reconciliation deal, Senator Joe Manchin abruptly made a historic climate deal with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer: the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA). The bill includes $369 billion of climate investments. We can’t overstate the significance of this opportunity — modeling shows the IRA, if passed, would cut emissions 37-41% below 2005 levels by 2030. That gets us 80% of the way to cutting emissions in half this decade and meeting President Biden’s climate goals. In this bonus episode, we acknowledge the harmful flaws in the deal, lay out the modeling of its climate impacts, and call on first the Senate, then the House of Representatives to vote and pass it now. This episode features a live conversation co-hosted by Evergreen Action, featuring Senator Ed Markey, Representative Pramila Jayapal, and Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr. Resources: Evergreen Action: What Is the Climate Impact of the Inflation Reduction Act? Call4Climate.com (a free and easy tool to call your Congressmembers) Rhodium Group: A Congressional Climate Breakthrough (initial IRA modeling) Energy Innovation: Modeling the Senate Reconciliation Bill Using the Energy Policy Simulator (comprehensive IRA modeling) Abbie Dillen, President of Earthjustice (on the real world impact of the harmful fossil fuel concessions in the IRA) Hip Hop Caucus (using the power of our cultural expression to empower communities who are first and worst impacted by injustice) Follow our co-hosts and special guests:: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Evergreen Action Rev. Lennox Yearwood, Jr. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
This episode is a collaboration between A Matter Of Degrees and the Gimlet podcast How To Save A Planet. Take a look at many of the spaces where climate-related decisions are being made — from government to business to media — and you'll notice a numbers problem. Despite being roughly half the people on the planet, women rarely have equal representation in critical climate decision-making spaces. This isn’t just bad for women. It’s bad for everyone.  In this episode, Dr. Katharine Wilkinson (our host) and Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson (host of Spotify's How To Save A Planet)  take a deep dive into the data behind this idea. They speak with two sociologists about how gender inequality in climate leadership can deepen the harmful impacts of climate change, and also hinder policy changes.  They also speak with someone who has seen firsthand how women can transform an entire nation when they lead on climate. This episode features Dr. Christina Ergas, Anne Karpf, and Wanjira Mathai. Resources: We Do’s Gender Climate Tracker Emily's List (an organization that helps Democratic women and non-binary people run for office) Higher Heights (invests in Black women’s leadership) She The People (focused on helping women of color run for office) Matriarch (focused on helping progressive women run for office) She Should Run (helps women regardless of political affiliation) Global Witness (organization that assists environmental defenders) Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser Dalvin Aboagye A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes, visit our website.
Paid in Blood

Paid in Blood

2021-09-1635:074

In the jungles of the Brazilian Amazon, groups of farmers and their families get by on what they can grow with the land beneath their feet. They're known in Brazil as “landless workers,” a social movement with the goal of increasing land access and ownership for the country’s rural poor.  These landless workers -- sometimes called land guardians or protectors -- are a symbol for the power imbalances that have destroyed the Amazon. Atmos Climate Editor Yessenia Funes brings us a story about one landless worker named Fernando dos Santos Araújo. In 2017, Fernando witnessed the massacre of his fellow landless workers on a small farm in Pará, Brazil. His story illustrates the violent tactics that the government and wealthy landowners use to protect their power. This episode features Ana Aranha, a documentary filmmaker in Brazil, and Ivi Oliveira from the nonprofit Frontline Defenders.  Resources: The Print Version Of Yessenia’s Story Frontline Defenders Global Witness 2020 Environmental and Land Defenders Report The Frontline, Yessenia’s bi-weekly newsletter  Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser Dalvin Aboagye A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes, visit our website.
This episode is a collaboration between A Matter Of Degrees and the Gimlet podcast How To Save A Planet. Coal-fired power plants are closing at record rates. But many are still scheduled to remain operational for the foreseeable future -- despite losing lots of money every year. How do we shut these uneconomic coal plants down faster? One answer: coal debt securitization. Coal debt securitization is like refinancing a mortgage. States across the country are considering policies that would make it easier for owners of coal-fired power plants to restructure their debt. In this episode, A Matter Of Degrees Host Leah Stokes and How To Save A Planet Host Alex Blumberg team up to explore how securitization would work -- and why utilities are getting behind it. This episode features Ashok Gupta, a Senior Energy economist for the Natural Resources Defense Council and Jason Klindt, the Senior Director Of Government Affairs for Evergy.  Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser Dalvin Aboagye A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes, visit our website.
Since the Paris Climate Agreement was signed in 2015, banks and large investors have dumped $3.8 trillion into fossil fuels. It's a staggering number. This is why writer and activist Bill McKibben calls money the "oxygen" that fuels the fire of global warming. While the wildfires burning around the world are getting worse each year, it’s like the world's bankers are blowing on those fires, making them even bigger. For this episode, we have a story about two people who are trying to cut off that supply of oxygen to global lenders and the insurance companies backing them. It comes from our executive editor, Stephen Lacey. We’ll hear from Ulf Erlandsson, founder and chief executive of a non-profit called the Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute. Ulf is a former bond trader who calls out deals in corporate and government lending that would be a disaster for the climate. He’s helping bond traders “short” these bad investments. We’ll also hear from Elana Sulakshana, an energy finance campaigner with the Rainforest Action Network, about why insurance companies are enabling trillions of dollars to pour into new fossil fuel infrastructure. Resources: Anthropocene Fixed Income Institute Stop the Money Pipeline Banking on Climate Chaos report Insure Our Future climate scorecard Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser Dalvin Aboagye A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes, visit our website.
Advocates are turning their attention to a new front in the climate war: the fossil-gas hookups in our homes that fuel burners, boilers, and other household appliances. If we want to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, we need to electrify the hundreds of millions of machines inside our homes and buildings as fast as possible. But the gas industry won’t go down without a fight. Gas industry front groups are infiltrating neighborhood groups, hiring social media influencers, and barraging citizens with messages in order to stir up controversy around local bans on new fossil gas connections. That’s exactly what happened to the residents of Santa Barbara, California last year.  This week, we'll hear from activists, reporters, and industry professionals who are following the gas industry’s battle to keep fossil fuels in our homes.  How far will gas companies go to stop electrification? And where does the electrification movement stand? Leah Stokes speaks with Sierra Club's Santa Barbara Chapter Chair Katie Davis; EarthJustice Senior Attorney Matt Vespa; Earther Staff Writer Dharna Noor; and Former BlocPower Senior Strategist Associate Rose Stephens-Booker. Resources: RMI research on the dangers of gas stoves Dharna Noor on why gas is so problematic in our homes Saul Griffith on electrifying everything, starting now Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser Dalvin Aboagye A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes and transcripts, visit our website.
When Hurricanes Maria and Irma hit Puerto Rico in 2017, they destroyed the island’s fragile food system. Farms of all sizes were battered, with around 80 percent of the island's crop value wiped out. But a group of Puerto Rican farmers practicing an old way of farming, called agroecology, saw their operations bounce back much faster than conventional farms. What does their experience tell us about how to build and protect food systems in a rapidly warming world? Producer Dalvin Aboagye brings us a story about a collective known as Guakia in Puerto Rico working to clean up the food system as a part of a larger worldwide movement to adapt farms to local ecosystems.  We’ll also talk to an expert about how agroecology works as a climate solution. At scale, agroecology could help us shrink the 24 percent share of global emissions attributed to food, agriculture, and land use. And it's an important line of defense in protecting our ability to feed people as extreme weather makes food systems more vulnerable.  Resources: Puerto Rico’s agroecology revolution after Maria Agroecology’s impact on European emissions Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes and transcripts, visit our website.
Green Jobs...For All?

Green Jobs...For All?

2021-07-2643:142

President Biden’s American Jobs Plan promises big investments in the clean-energy economy, including clean energy workforce and education programs. Economic progress and clean climate action are inextricably linked.  But how can we make sure that those dollars go to communities of color who have already been most impacted by climate change and consistently shut out of past federal programs promising transformational change? And to gender minorities who are underrepresented in certain green fields? This week, we hear from folks in government, the nonprofit sector, the renewable energy space and academia about what it will really take to usher in a just transition. Katharine Wilkinson speaks with solar entrepreneur Bob Blake; The Partnership for Southern Equity’s Chandra Farley; New Jersey Deputy Secretary For Higher Education Diana Gonzalez; and Brooking Institute Fellow Christina Kwauk. Resources: More on Bob Blake’s Company, Solar Bear The Partnership for Southern Equity More about Diana Gonzalez and her work in NJ Christina Kwauk’s Green Learning Agenda Christina’s ‘Education Moonshot’ Plan Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes and transcripts, visit our website.
Abuse of soil, the atmosphere, and communities of color have gone hand in hand. Through reclaiming ancestral connection to the soil, Black farmers are healing the entangled harms of colonization, capitalism, and White supremacy and moving agricultural climate solutions forward in the process.  In this episode, we feature an audio essay that wrestles with these themes. The essay is titled “Black Gold” by Leah Penniman, an activist, farmer, and founder of Soul Fire Farm.  As Leah puts it: “In healing our relationship with soil, we heal the climate, and we heal ourselves.” This is an excerpt from the audiobook version of All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, an anthology of essays, poetry, and art co-edited by Katharine Wilkinson and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson. The audiobook version of this essay is read by award-winning audiobook narrator Bahni Turpin.  Resources: Order your copy of All We Can Save here RSVP for the All We Can Save paperback book launch Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes and transcripts, visit our website.
Baked into the American Jobs Plan is an ambitious proposal to set a federally-mandated Clean Electricity Standard of 100% carbon-free electricity by 2035. It would put the US on track to get emissions under control and avoid the worst impacts of climate change. That is, if it gets through Congress.  In this episode, Co-host Leah Stokes speaks with a variety of guests who are part of the broad coalition supporting the proposal. What would this ambitious policy mean for America's energy system and climate movement? The episode features Jamie DeMarco and Quentin Scott from Chesapeake Climate Action Network; Lauren Maunus from The Sunrise Movement; Hip Hop Caucus CEO Rev. Lennox Yearwood; and West Virginia Rivers Coalition Director Angie Rossers.  Resources: The #Call4Climate homepage Chesapeake Climate Action Network Homepage  The Data For Progress Poll Results on Voter Support for a CES Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes and transcripts, visit our website.
Fossil fuel companies are tapping into America’s “best and brightest” at top banks, public relations and advertising firms, law firms, and strategy consulting firms. These organizations supply critical services to keep the fossil fuel industry humming: creative work, strategy, legal representation, financing. They’re services that oil and gas companies need to remain powerful. In this episode (our first of the second season!) Dr. Katharine Wilkinson and Dr. Leah Stokes explore the different ways this “prestige problem” influences America’s white-collar workforce. And they’ll explore efforts to push back. Katharine speaks with Camila Bustos, the co-founder of Law Students for Climate Accountability. She also speaks with Jamie Henn, director of Fossil Free Media. Resources: Law Students for Climate Accountability scorecard NY Times: How One Firm Drove Influence Campaigns Nationwide for Big Oil DeSmog: The Climate-Conflicted Directors Leading the World’s Top Banks Follow our co-hosts and production team: Leah Stokes Katharine Wilkinson Stephen Lacey Jaime Kaiser A Matter of Degrees is a production of Post Script Audio. For more episodes and transcripts, visit our website.
We're back with another live edition of the show! So much is happening in the Biden era. We didn't want to wait until our second season to unpack all the activity. This week, we feature a conversation with Julian Brave NoiseCat that we recorded at the Crosscut Festival.  Julian is a writer, activist, and policy expert with a deep understanding of Washington climate politics. Julian was actually a guest correspondent in season one — go episode 7 from our first season: “Changing Woman: One Navajo’s Fight for a Just Transition." The protagonist of amazing episode, Wahleah Johns, is now working in the Biden Administration as a senior official at the Department of Energy! Julian is the Vice President of Policy & Strategy at the think tank Data For Progress and a Fellow at the Type Media Center. He’s also a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Paris Review, Vox, Vice and many other outlets. In this episode, we look at all the action happening in Washington on climate change: big-name hires, big-ticket policies, and the potential high-impact outcomes.
As we work on season 2, we're sharing a live episode of the show that we just recorded at the Bloomberg Green Summit. The conversation is all about where things stand in the lead-up to global climate talks in the fall.  We were fortunate to get Mary Robinson, the former President of Ireland, to talk about this topic with us. Mary served as the President of Ireland from 1990-1997 and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights from 1997-2002. She’s now the chair of the Elders. Mary has dedicated much of her career to solving the climate crisis. She’s the author of two moving memoirs, “Everybody Matters” which was from 2012 and “Climate Justice: Hope, Resilience and the Fight for a Sustainable Future,” was published in September 2018. She is also co-host of a podcast on the climate crisis, called “Mothers of Invention.”  In this episode, we go deep with Mary on what we can expect from this year's international climate negotiations.
Comments (3)

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Nov 23rd
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Happy⚛️Heritic

🌎Facts & information that everyone can benefit from.

May 25th
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Frank Castle

Our atmosphere works on negative feedback systems.

Dec 11th
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