The sheer quantity of information we are exposed to before our morning coffee is enough to leave anyone feeling overwhelmed. Factor in the negative framing of climate issues, and it’s no wonder many people switch off entirely. But according to a new podcast from Cate Blanchett and Danny Kennedy, we don’t need to stop engaging with climate issues; we just need to change the way we talk about them.
“It’s that feeling of immensity that gets us down and that’s why we disconnect,” co-host Kennedy explains in episode one. Kennedy is a climate activist, clean technology entrepreneur and long-time pal of Blanchett (who needs no introduction). The pair created the podcast – aptly named Climate of Change – to reframe the climate conversation through a more optimistic lens and showcase stories of innovation and resilience from around the world.
While the refreshingly honest six-episode series is ultimately uplifting, it also deals with the challenges of being hopeful “in a hopeless world” in a relatable way. Blanchett plays the climate pessimist: an average consumer who is concerned about the climate and is taking actions in their daily life, but who ultimately feels cynical about their ability to affect widespread change. She is overwhelmed, anxious and actively avoids the news (relatable much?).
Drawing on his career in climate activism, clean technology and energy, Kennedy naturally takes on the role of climate optimist. The shoe fits, to say the least. Kennedy lives in Oakland, California where he heads up the California Clean Energy Fund and New Energy Nexus, a company that supports start-ups providing solutions to the climate crisis. He’s uniquely positioned to see what a world that solves climate change looks like – and how exciting it can be. “There are literally tens of thousands of entrepreneurs, scientists, organisers and innovators all working to solve this massive problem, and they are going to succeed.”
You won’t just be hearing from Blanchett and Kennedy though. In each episode, they are joined by climate experts, innovators and thought leaders from around the globe, including the social historian and author of Humankind: A Hopeful History, Rutger Bregman; Prince William; Don’t Look Up director Adam McKay; and the author of The Big Switch, Saul Griffith. Their discussions combat eco-anxiety with insightful advice and examples of progress that will make even the most cynical feel hopeful about the future.
Listen now via Audible.