About TED Climate
We get it. You care about the climate crisis—but sometimes thinking about it is just too overwhelming. Well, we’re here to help with that. Host Dan Kwartler unpacks the problems and solutions behind big systemic issues in bite-sized episodes. You’ll find out which bag is best for the planet, imagine our world without humans, and follow the international journey of the very shirt on your back. Yes, we’re going to talk about the bleak stuff—it’s a crisis after all—but we’ll also share little ways you can make changes in your daily life, in your towns and cities, and at your workplaces to help change climate change. Ultimately we’re aiming for some HOPE through a focus on solutions, instead of just, you know, tumbling towards inevitable doom. You can also get involved by joining Countdown, TED’s global initiative to accelerate solutions to the climate crisis in collaboration with Future Stewards. Find out more at countdown.ted.com
Not Too Late, written by Rebecca Solnit and Thelma Young Lutunatabua, offers us the tools to tackle this current wave of disinformation, and provides tangible stories of hope. On this episode of Outrage + Optimism, hear how the project aims to invite newcomers to the climate movement, as well as providing climate facts and encouragement for people who are already engaged but weary. Listening to these two incredible women speak about Not Too Late, which ‘rang a bell of truth’ for hosts Tom Rivett-Carnac, Christiana Figueres, and Paul Dickinson. Outrage + Optimism is another member of the TED Audio Collective. For more episodes that help you understand that you DO have the power to solve this, follow the podcast wherever you're listening to this.
Many people across the world don't have access to healthy food -- while in other places tons of food go to waste. Social entrepreneur Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli thinks we can take bold steps to fix this problem. She lays out what it would take to build a more equitable, sustainable food system that nourishes all people and asks us to widen our perspectives before eating our next meal.
"Breathing clean air is every child's human right," says grassroots campaigner Rosamund Adoo-Kissi-Debrah, sharing the heartbreaking story of her seven-year-old daughter, Ella Roberta, whose asthma was triggered to a fatal point by air pollution. Now, Adoo-Kissi-Debrah is on a mission to raise awareness about the harmful effects of unsafe air on our health and the planet. In this moving talk, she details why governments have an urgent responsibility to take action on air pollution -- and ensure that all children have a chance to live full and healthy lives.
Over the last two decades, the wind power industry has grown at a dizzying pace. (Fun fact: a single rotation from one of the world's most powerful wind turbines can generate enough electricity to charge more than 1,400 cell phones.) Building off this exponential growth, Denmark's climate minister Dan Jørgensen lays out his plan to end the country's oil industry by 2050 and transition to a fossil-free future powered by wind energy.
"The way we cool things down is heating the planet even more," says sustainable development expert Rachel Kyte -- and the solutions go well beyond just fixing air-conditioning. She identifies four major areas with transformative solutions -- from roofs painted with bright white paint to solar control glass to more efficient cold chains for vaccines -- that can be implemented in fair and sustainable ways. Learn more about what a community designed for cool could look like.
What do woolly pigs have to do with climate change? They're part of a vital, ingenious and evolving strategy to take carbon out of the sky and store it safely -- in trees, soils, the ocean, buildings, rocks and deep underground. Every carbon removal approach takes some combination of natural resources, human ingenuity and technology, says climate thinker Gabrielle Walker. If we get the mix right, we can clean up the environmental mess we've made, reverse the processes behind climate change and give nature a chance to heal. "What goes up must now come down," she says.
Bjørn Otto Sverdrup leads the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative (OGCI), which gathers the CEOs of twelve of the world's largest oil and gas companies around an ambitious goal: to get one of the sectors contributing most to climate change to drastically lower their own carbon emissions. He describes a possible path for the industry to pivot to net-zero operations, reimagining the role it could play in helping decarbonize the economy and changing how we consume energy -- and he calls for setting a price on carbon. (Followed by a Q&A with Countdown cofounder Lindsay Levin)
Most scientific literature is written only in English, creating an alarming knowledge gap for the 75 percent of the world who don't speak it. That's a big problem for climate change -- because it's hard to take action on something you don't understand. With Climate Cardinals, an international youth-led nonprofit that's working to make the climate movement more accessible, activist and social entrepreneur Sophia Kianni is furthering the global transfer of knowledge by translating and sourcing crucial climate resources into more than 100 languages. A barrier-breaking talk about the collective effort we'll need to protect the future of our planet.
As chairman of the world's largest maritime shipping company, Jim Hagemann Snabe thinks a lot about how goods get where they need to go and the impact their journey has on the planet. Leading the effort to decarbonize shipping by 2050, he shares a plan to convert green electricity into green liquid fuel to power vessels in a process called "power-to-X" -- and urges global leaders to join the voyage towards an innovative, sustainable and fast-approaching future.
By 2100, the UN estimates that the world's population will grow to just over 11 billion people. Architect Vishaan Chakrabarti wants us to start thinking about how we'll house all these people -- and how new construction can fight climate change rather than make it worse. In this visionary talk, Chakrabarti proposes a "Goldilocks" solution to sustainable housing that exists in the sweet spot between single-family homes and towering skyscrapers.
There's been explosive investment in new technologies aimed at decarbonizing the planet. But climate investor Dawn Lippert says something key is missing from this strategy: investment in the local people these solutions would most affect. She shares how she's bridging the gap between investment in new tech and local communities -- by getting closer to the places where these ideas are being put into action.
The doctrine of "first, do no harm" is the basis of the Hippocratic Oath, one of the world's oldest codes of ethics. It governs the work of physicians -- but climate and health campaigner Shweta Narayan says it should go further. In this essential talk, she highlights the interdependence of environmental and human health and emphasizes the necessity of placing health at the heart of all climate solutions.
"How much more damage do we have to endure before we realize that it's cheaper to save this planet than to ruin it?" asks engineer and investor John Doerr. In conversation with Countdown cofounder Lindsay Levin, Doerr and systems innovator Ryan Panchadsaram lay out six big objectives that -- if pursued with speed and scale -- could transform society and get us to net-zero emissions by 2050. An action plan to solve the world's climate crisis, backed up by a proven system for setting goals for success.
The financial sector often talks of decarbonizing investment portfolios as a way to fight climate change. But portfolios can be "cleaned" without having any real impact on the problem, says investment expert Nili Gilbert. Bringing science to finance, she unpacks how investors can actually help decarbonize the world -- a costly endeavor, estimated at three to five trillion dollars per year between now and 2050 -- and ensure the climate transition is just, global and interconnected. "Changing the markets can be a way to change the world," she says.
What we know today about global greenhouse gas emissions is mostly self-reported by countries, and those numbers (sometimes tallied manually on paper!) are often inaccurate and prone to manipulation. If we really want to get serious about fighting climate change, we need a way to track carbon pollution in real-time and identify the worst culprits, says high-tech environmental activist Gavin McCormick. Enter Climate TRACE: a coalition of scientists, activists and tech companies using satellite imagery, big data and AI to monitor and transparently report on all of the world's emissions as they happen -- and speed up meaningful climate action. A powerful, free, global tool to match the scale of a civilization-threatening crisis.
When it comes to tackling climate change, the size of a country doesn't matter -- it's their ambition that counts, says First Minister of Scotland Nicola Sturgeon. In a rousing talk, she shares examples of small nations -- from Bhutan and Fiji to her own Scotland -- whose leadership and climate action are galvanizing change on the international stage. (Followed by a brief Q&A with TED's global curator Bruno Giussani about the Cambo oil field project)
A net-zero future is possible, but first we need to flip a mental switch to truly understand that we can stop the climate crisis if we try, says Nobel laureate Al Gore. In this inspiring and essential talk, Gore shares examples of extreme climate events (think: fires, floods and atmospheric tsunamis), identifies the man-made systems holding us back from progress and invites us all to join the movement for climate justice: "the biggest emergent social movement in all of history," as he puts it. An unmissable tour de force on the current state of the crisis -- and the transformations that will make it possible to find a way out of it.
Today we're featuring a preview of a new show you might enjoy: Guardians of the River, the winner of the 2021 Best Narrative Nonfiction Podcast Award at Tribeca Film Festival. This is the story of the guardians of the Okavango water system. These guardians have a monumental task: safeguard a remote, near pristine environment facing threats from all sides. This podcast follows what happens when worlds connect, and at times collide, with the common goal of protecting a place. Hosted by Angolan biologist Kerllen Costa, this series includes immersive sound and is best listened with headphones.
Climate action can be a vehicle to deliver dignity, opportunity and equality for all. UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed invites us to reimagine what the journey to net-zero could look like if we invest in people's climate efforts while prioritizing the 17 Sustainable Development Goals -- a blueprint of interlinked global goals to protect humanity and our warming planet. "It's time to make some serious noise to transform our world," she says.
"Cutting methane is the single fastest, most effective opportunity to reduce climate change risks in the near term," says atmospheric scientist Ilissa Ocko. That's because, unlike carbon dioxide, methane's warming power doesn't come from a gradual buildup over time but is almost entirely from recent emissions. Ocko identifies three main sources of methane pollution which, if addressed, could dramatically slow down the rate of global warming within years -- not decades. "This is the methane moment," Ocko says.
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