What I read, listened and loved this month: March 2019 edition.
99% Invisible: Crude Habitat
Oil platforms are bad for marine life – period – right? Well yes, but what happens when these rigs have been around long enough that they’ve essentially become reefs for rockfish and other invertebrates? Should we still force oil companies to destroy these platforms? And as new offshore energy infrastructures (wind, oil, etc) spring up all over the world, can we design these structures in a way that are less destructive to natural habitats? Such a fantastic episode that explores our complicated relationship with nature.
The Ezra Klein Show: Life after climate change, with David Wallace-Wells (interview by David Roberts)
Remember that 2017 New York Magazine article about climate change and how we are all screwed, that EVERYONE and their uncle was sharing on Facebook? Yeah, I was too scared to read it then, and I still haven’t read it. But this month, I finally mustered the courage to listen to an interview with the article’s author David Wallace-Wells. Wells published a book this year titled The Uninhabitable Earth, and in this interview, he discussed themes from his book, such as the science and politics of climate change, why it is “worse, much worse than you think”, and his hopes for the future. It’s not a cheerful conversation, as you might imagine, but a super informative one.
The Ezra Klein Show: Meet the policy architect behind the Green New Deal (interview by David Roberts)
I absolutely loved this interview, not only because it got into some of the nitty gritty of the Green New Deal, but also because it was with the “brain” behind the policy framework. It’s not often that we hear from the people working behind the scenes! In this interview, Rhiana Gunn-Wright, the policy director of the New Consensus, who helped craft the Green New Deal, gave us the rundown of this politically controversial yet commonly misunderstood package of ideas. She talked about why climate policies have everything to do with social and economic policies, and how to gather insights from a broad range of experts (academics, wonks, but also folks working in the frontline communities). I found her incredibly open, genuine, and so very inspiring. (I mean, we are exactly the same age, and she is writing the Green New Deal? That’s soooo cooooool.)
Displaced (second season)
This is a new pod on my radar and I’m really enjoying the new season, which is all about how climate change affects migration, refugees, and conflicts. For example, the 1st episode discusses the “apocalyptical” yet misleading depiction of the “sinking islands,” as if these islands will simply disappear one day, when residents will need to move loooonnnng before due to lack of fresh water, shelters, and livelihood opportunities. Do we have a legal framework to help and protect these climate refugees? And are “climate refugees” even the correct term?
Deep Work: Rules for Focused Success in a Distracted World (Cal Newport)
This book isn’t on the topic of sustainability, but I found it particularly relevant for me as I start this blogging journey. As someone who already spends a vast amount of time distracted on my phone, I’m grappling with how to balance my professional and personal life with creating meaningful content for this blog (and instagram!). Newport’s book was massively refreshing, and gave me lots of new ideas on how to work more deeply. To get a taste of some of his suggested practices, check out this Medium article.
Other pieces/podcasts I also loved:
How to follow Marie Kondo’s method, sustainably (NYTimes): my friend turned me onto the NYTimes’ Climate Fwd newsletter, and I highly recommend everyone go subscribe!
Why can’t I stress about climate change like I do about everything else? (Grist): a great Q&A on how to keep climate change at the top of your agenda, when you’ve got loans to pay and 23746873 other things to worry about.
A scientist on the myth of ugly produce and food waste (Vox): after getting an ad for Misfits Market on Instagram last week, I sought out to understand the ugly produce movement more. This myth-busting Q&A is a great piece!
The Grid: The Fraying Wires between Americans and Our Energy Future (Gretchen Bakke): an insightful history lesson and future outlook on the electric grid as we transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Never taking electricity for granted again!
What did you love this month?