Planet Policy Pals Podcast

Friends discussing environmental policy, science and community

EP 30: EXTRA POLICY- The World is Burning

November 15th, 2021

In August, an alarming UN report blamed human activity for “unprecedented” changes to the climate. Scientists from across the globe said humanity will experience more extreme weather in the coming years and will suffer the consequences of rising sea levels and melting Arctic ice. Our hope is that highlighting this will further drive home the importance of climate change mitigation because it’s important. Please donate your time and effort to communities still recovering from the tragedies earlier this year however you can.

EP 29: Dioxin in Seveso (Storytime)

November 9th, 2021

An unforeseeable accident on July 10, 1976, in northern Italy, led to an environmental contamination with caustic reaction products and 2,3,7,8-tetrachlorodibenzo-p-dioxin (TCDD). Original contamination of vegetation was in the order of O.5 ppm TCDD. The tragedy in Seveso led to changes in hazardous waste policy that reached from Europe to the rest of the world. Join us as we discuss one of the major reasons most of the world no longer produces dioxins.

EP 28: The Great Smog of London (Story Time)

November 1st, 2021

Smog had become a frequent part of London life, but nothing quite compared to the smoke-laden fog that shrouded the capital from Friday 5 December to Tuesday 9 December 1952. The Met Office says though that “While it heavily affected the population of London, causing a huge death toll and inconveniencing millions of people, the people it affected were also partly to blame for the smog.” The crazy thing is the effects of this smog were not realized until 3 weeks after the event. It was a bizarre and hard time in London’s history, so settle in and join us as we discuss the story that changed air quality regulation forever.

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Captions of transcript available on our Youtube Page

EP 27: Blue Carbon Policy

October 25th, 2021

The coastal ecosystems of mangroves, tidal marshes and seagrass meadows contain large stores of carbon deposited by vegetation and various natural processes over centuries. These ecosystems sequester and store more carbon – often referred to as ‘blue carbon’ – per unit area than terrestrial forests. The ability of these vegetated ecosystems to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere makes them significant net carbon sinks, and they are now being recognized for their role in mitigating climate change. These ecosystems are important and are being damaged by human activity, which is why policies to protect these systems are important now more than ever. Join us as we explore some innovative solutions in policy for using this resource to mitigate climate change. Follow the link for show notes and references 

Captions of transcript available on our Youtube Page

EP 26: EXTRA POLICY- Shell V The Niger Delta

October 18th, 2021

Oil was first found in Nigeria in 1956, then a British protectorate, by a joint operation between Royal Dutch Shell and British Petroleum. A major 1970 oil spill in Ogoniland in the south-east of Nigeria led to thousands of gallons being spilt on farmland and rivers, ultimately leading to a £26m fine for Shell in Nigerian courts 30 years later. With thousands of oil spills and multiple law suits, the situation has continued to worsen and we discuss this example of how reckless exploration can cost human lives.

EP 25: EXTRA POLICY- IPCC Assessment Report Update

October 10th, 2021

The IPCC is now in its sixth assessment cycle, in which the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is producing the Sixth Assessment Report (AR6) with contributions by its three Working Groups and a Synthesis Report, three Special Reports, and a refinement to its latest Methodology Report. The Synthesis Report will be the last of the AR6 products, currently due for release in 2022. We briefly discuss just a few of the hard warnings issued by this report and why governments and corporations cannot continue to take a half baked approach to tackling the problem of climate change.

Captions of transcript available on our Youtube Page

EP 24: EXTRA POLICY- Pacific Blob Making Chile Dry

October 3rd, 2021

During the last four decades, the sea level pressure has been decreasing over the Amundsen–Bellingshausen Sea (ABS) region and increasing between New Zealand and Chile, which created pressure dipoles across the South Pacific. Researchers have now linked the natural phenomenon exacerbated by human activities and climate change to the mega droughts that have plagued South American countries like Chile for over 40 years. In this extra policy, we discuss the science behind their investigation and how crazy it is that seemingly independent events can actually be linked.

Captions of transcript available on our Youtube Page

EP 23: Deforestation in Borneo (Story Time)

September 26th, 2021

The World Wide Fund For Nature (WWF) describes forests as the “lifeblood of our economies and our health.” Forests cover nearly one-third of the global land area and are the source of 75 percent of the world’s freshwater. Nowhere has more native rainforest been wiped out than Borneo. Between 2000 and 2017, 6.04 million hectares of old-growth forest were lost in Borneo, a decline of 14%. It’s time for us to discuss this wonder of nature and how decades of wanton human greed led to it’s decline. Luckily, things have improved, but there is still much work to be done. Join us on this journey of exploration through the Borneo forest. 

Follow the link for show notes and references. 

Captions of transcript available on our Youtube Page

EP 22 Bhopal- The Worst Industrial Disaster (Story time)

September 20th, 2021

This week we unpack the entirely avoidable tragedy that has come to be known as the world’s worst industrial disaster. In the night of December 2, 1984, chemical, methyl isocyanate (MIC) spilt out from Union Carbide India Ltd’s (UCIL’s) pesticide factory turned the city of Bhopal into a colossal gas chamber. It was India's first major industrial disaster. At least 30 tonnes of methyl isocyanate gas killed between 15,000 and 20,000 people and affected over 600,000 workers. The Bhopal gas tragedy is dear to our hearts as it is the perfect example of how innocent people and the environment suffer, when we ignore safety for profit.

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Captions available on our YouTube channel

EP 21: The Chernobyl Disaster (Storytime)

September 12th, 2021

The April 1986 disaster at the Chernobyl nuclear power plant in Ukraine was the product of a flawed Soviet reactor design coupled with serious mistakes made by the plant operators. The accident caused the largest uncontrolled radioactive release into the environment ever recorded for any civilian operation, and large quantities of radioactive substances were released into the air for about 10 days. This accident affected many lives and changed how the world deals with nuclear material, even now. Listen now to hear this story and maybe learn new facts about one of history’s most infamous man-made disasters.

Follow the link for show notes and references 

Captions of transcript available on our Youtube Page

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