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101
Crazy Town

Post Carbon Institute: Sustainability, Climate, Collapse, and Dark Humor

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With equal parts humor and in-depth analysis, Asher, Rob, and Jason safeguard their sanity while probing crazy-making topics like climate change, overshoot, runaway capitalism, and why we’re all deluding ourselves.
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How have humans become powerful enough to disrupt the world's climate, trigger the sixth mass extinction, and cause serious harm to the biosphere? And with all the abilities and technologies we've accrued, why do we so often oppress instead of uplift one another? Join us as we explore the hidden driver behind the converging crises of the 21st century. It all comes down to power - our pursuit of it, overuse of it, and abuse of it. Learn how different forms of power arose, what they mean for u ...
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Kathy Hannun, president and cofounder of Dandelion Energy, introduces an untapped heating and cooling capacity source for homes -- geothermal energy. Typically associated with high temperatures and geologically active areas such as hot springs or locations at the intersections of tectonic plates, geothermal heat pumps tap into the consistent year-r…
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LaUra Schmidt visits Crazy Town to discuss her work with the Good Grief Network and her book, How to Live in a Chaotic Climate: 10 Steps to Reconnect with Ourselves, Our Communities, and Our Planet. Along the way, she shares wisdom and insights on courage, taking meaningful action, terror management theory, and practices for processing the strong e…
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Clothing and textile recycling has historically been scarcely available to consumers. It has yet to be successful, with clothing piling up in warehouses or being sent overseas instead of becoming a new generation of apparel. Stacy Flynn, CEO and co-founder of Evrnu, a textile innovations B Corporation, works to reduce the fashion industry's environ…
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Chance Cutrano is director of programs at the Resource Renewal Institute in Fairfax, California. He and his team are experimenting with blending two activities, rice and fish farming, to reduce the emissions from rice fields while creating additional income for farmers. It's a practice recovered from antiquity that led to the launch of the Fish in …
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As we enter 2024, closing the books on 2023's record heat, economic and geopolitical turmoil, and a raft of climate change stories in the mainstream press, we're fortunate to have Project Censored's Andy Lee Roth return to the show to discuss the most under-reported environmental stories of the last year. Andy last visited with us to discuss 2022's…
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Despite its other environmental impacts, including toxic waste that requires centuries or millennia of storage in facilities designed to protect future generations from the genetic and acute effects of radiation, nuclear power is considered by some influential environmentalists an essential component of the post-fossil fuel economy. For example, Ja…
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Asher, Jason, and Rob reflect on 2023 – a year filled to the brim with Crazy Townisms like the COP climate conference being held in Dubai, an anti-aging nutbag who parasitizes his own son, and the hijinks of the world’s dumbest billionaires. After a few predictions (all with money-back guarantees), they turn to some personal resolutions that might …
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2023 was a challenging year for environmental, social, and governance (ESG) investing, even though more capital continues to flow into ESG-reporting companies. In 2024, as inflation cools, consumers are expected to continue migrating to sustainable products and services, fueling higher returns for ESG-aligned stocks. Explore the first steps you can…
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How do you kickstart an industry? The $100 million XPrize for Carbon Removal recently announced its 15 winners in the first competition stage to achieve gigaton-scale carbon removal. With more than 1300 entrants in the XPrize process, the carbon removal prize may be the largest experiment in innovation in human history. The goal is to lower the cos…
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Nutritional supplements, which the Centers for Disease Control report that 57.6% of adults consume, have significant environmental impacts. One family of supplements, Omega-3 oils, the healthy fats about 20 million Americans take each month to support brain and circulatory health, is responsible for the decline of krill in the Southern Ocean around…
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The most vomit-inducing document of 2023 has to be the "Techno-Optimist Manifesto," written (oh so obviously) by a billionaire Silicon Valley venture capitalist. Join Jason, Rob, and Asher if you feel like sharing in some outrage and learning about a WAY better manifesto that just so happens to focus on the world's smallest monkeys. Warning: This p…
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Fashion makes us feel elegant and affluent, creating unique looks that allow people living in crowded societies to set themselves apart with unique styles. But fashion also comes at a substantial environmental cost. According to many estimates, 10% of the world's carbon emissions and 20% of wastewater are generated by making, shipping, and selling …
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Drinking water is at risk of becoming scarce in the face of climate change. More than 50% of the nation has experienced drought since 2000. Rich “Raz” Razgaitis, CEO of Bluewater North America, a water purification company, joins the conversation to discuss the rising incidence in the water of per- and polyfluorinated alkyl substances, or PFAS, the…
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The volume of electronic waste doubles about every six years as technology plays a more significant role in daily life. In 2019, the United Nations estimated that only 17.4% of electronics were recycled. The United States recycled only 9.4% of its e-waste that year. But in Europe, the recycling rate was 42.5% in 2019. There are many ways to improve…
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Electric vehicles are taking market share away from internal combustion competitors, with new plugin vehicle registrations in 2023 growing 45% yearly and accounting for 18% of all vehicle sales worldwide this year. U.S. EV sales hit 7.9% of all new car sales over the past three months. In Silicon Valley-speak, EVs are nearly across the chasm, the p…
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Business may be the most potent force in the world, perhaps more poweful than government. The largest corporations—only 20 companies— are responsible for one-third of carbon emissions, and some firms carry more economic heft than many nations. For example, Apple earned $99 billion in net income in 2022, and if Apple were a nation, it would rank 67t…
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Savannah Seydel, vice president of sustainability and impact at Better Earth, a maker of compostable tableware and food service packaging, is on a mission to remove petroleum-based plastics and PFAS-treated fiber from our food packaging choices. Food packaging and service ware are two of the largest sources of plastic pollution. The rise of compost…
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Trek Bicycle has introduced a certified pre-owned bike program, Red Barn Refresh, and recently published its 2023 Sustainability Report. Eric Bjorling, Trek's Director of Brand Marketing and Public Relations, returns to Sustainability In Your Ear to discuss the company's progress and what it has learned on the path to greater sustainability. Two ye…
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The rise of fast fashion resulted in a tidal wave of clothing in the world’s landfills. Even traditional fashion choices can increase your environmental footprint if not selected using sustainable criteria, cared for and washed correctly, and worn until you donate or recycle it. Meet Erin Houston, cofounder of Wearwell, a woman-owned company that h…
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Investigative journalist Leah Sottile writes articles teeming with insights, and she produces and hosts podcasts filled with ah-ha moments. Rob tries not to sound like too much of a fanboy as he interviews Leah about political extremism, environmentalism, and the craft of storytelling during the Great Unraveling. Resources: Leah's website Leah's Su…
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Measuring greenhouse gas emissions, sometimes known as "carbon accounting," is the hottest topic in business. Regulators now require companies to report their emissions along with other environmental impacts. Consumers have also made clear that they want low-impact products and services. Meet Lucas Fraser, founder of Breeze, a carbon tracking tool …
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Reducing the number of solo drivers in and around cities and the emissions associated with commuting and shopping make a positive difference for the environment and human health. Meet Nanci Fitzgerald, President and CEO of The Rideshare Company. This nonprofit organization develops ridesharing services for companies, governments, and residential fa…
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Meet Vivian Tai, Director of Innovation at GS1 US, the American division of GS1, a nonprofit organization you interact with daily and probably do not know by name. Its product, the Universal Product Code, or UPC barcode, is on virtually everything you buy and could power your participation in the circular economy. The original UPC barcode transform…
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Water is getting more expensive as drought spreads due to climate change, and in the Western U.S., scarcity continues to drive water prices higher. Meet Shane Dyer, CEO of Irrigreen, a precision irrigation company that recently released its first product for the home. Think of the Irrigreen sprinkler system as inkjet printing applied to putting wat…
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The rise of electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles will require a transformation in battery technology, the charging infrastructure, and the electric grid. Sam Abuelsamid, Principal Analyst for E-Mobility at Guidehouse Insights, joined the conversation to discuss electrification issues, from battery technology and mobility to smart cities and the dis…
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For many of us, the Climate Crisis looks like a brick wall, something the internal combustion-driven economy will slam into and total the system we grew up in. John J. Berger, Ph.D., author of Solving the Climate Crisis: Frontline Reports from the Race to Save the Earth, explored the path forward without getting up with the doom-saying that discour…
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Smart homes are commonplace today. Now, the intelligent yard is poised to join the mix. Meet Graham Hine, CEO of ePlant, which recently introduced the TreeTag. This solar-powered monitor is attached to a tree to monitor its health and send updates wirelessly to a phone. TreeTags are placed onto the side of trees using a screw and measure minor size…
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The circular economy is a vision for a world in which the materials used in the products and packaging we purchase flow perpetually through the economy, used over and over instead of being tossed into landfills and replaced with newly mined, refined, and processed stuff. Recycling, an industry with about 50 years of history, is considered an essent…
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Just how much has the extractivist growth mindset come to dominate Phoenix and other cities in the desert Southwest of the United States? Prepare to turn your indignation meter up to 11 as Jason, Rob, and Asher consider desalination, pipelines, and the folly of pursuing infinite growth in a dry climate. Support the show…
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We are pleased to share the new podcast from Post Carbon Institute, Holding the Fire. Award-winning journalist and author Dahr Jamail hosts in-depth interviews with leaders from around the world to uncover Indigenous ways of reckoning with environmental and societal breakdown. Support the showBy Post Carbon Institute: Sustainability, Climate, Collapse, and Dark Humor
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Robin Wiener, president of the Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI), joins the conversation to explore the evolution of the circular economy and how the role of recycling will evolve. Today’s recycling infrastructure is closely aligned with the waste management system. There are growing signs that the reuse of products is essential and th…
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Society is moving from sustainability naive to sustainably native, a new era in which the language, practices, and values of sustainable thinking will be taken for granted. When we have a shared language, changes start to happen- a trend we can see emerging now. Solitaire Townsend, author of The Solutionists: How Businesses Can Fix The Future, has …
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The average American home produces 533 million microfibers annually, according to a 2019 study by Ocean Wise. CiCLO, a new polyester and nylon additive, promises to make those microfibers biodegrade in landfills or water, potentially eliminating these microplastic pollutants. Meet Andrea Ferris, CEO and cofounder at Intrinsic Advanced Materials, ma…
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Scott Graybeal, CEO of Caelux, sits down to talk about perovskites-based nanotechnology that can improve the performance of silicon solar panels to produce 30% more power from the sun at a 10% lower cost than traditional panels. Caelux recently closed an additional $12 million in funding to build a manufacturing facility that will produce up to 100…
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What is the most used material in the world? Cement, the basis for building most of the modern world, was invented during the Roman Empire and remains the most used material worldwide. In 2021, cement accounted for 1.6 billion tons of carbon dioxide emissions globally, about 4.3 % of all greenhouse gas generated that year. Meet Grant Quasha, CEO of…
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Farmed salmon has been touted as a solution to food scarcity as the world turns to eating more seafood. The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization estimates that seafood production must increase 29.3% by 2030 to meet demand. Our guest today is Simen Sætre, who coauthored The New Fish: The Truth about Farmed Salmon and the Consequences We …
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The pace of renewable energy investments has gained momentum over the past decade. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA) World Energy Investment 2023 report, $2.8 trillion will be invested this year in energy, including fossil fuels, with almost 61% dedicated to clean energy. Meet investor Ben Wolkon, a founding partner at MUUS Climate…
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The landscape of environmental disclosure is changing fast. Go behind the scenes at Climate Week in New York to hear the introduction of a potentially transformative environmental reporting tool, the Ecological Benefits Framework (EBF). Created by the environmental storytelling studio The Lexicon, led by Douglas Gayeton, the EBF aims to go beyond E…
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Dams are more common than you think. Author Steven Hawley reports that 58,500 large dams worldwide have trapped 3,155 gigatons of sediment, meaning they are rapidly filling up and will eventually become useless for storing water or generating electricity. Steven's new book, Cracked: The Future of Dams in a Hot, Chaotic World, was published by Patag…
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Wildlife ecologist and communicator extraordinaire Rae Wynn-Grant visits Crazy Town to talk human-wildlife interactions, the social side of environmentalism, diversity and equity in the sciences, and ideas for young people (don't worry if you're older—the ideas apply to you, too). Rae is the host of the PBS Nature podcast "Going Wild" and will soon…
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Since it started measuring waste diversion from landfills in 2006, when it recycled only 4.6% of materials collected, Seattle's Lumen Field has increased its recycling, composting, and donations efforts to avoid sending 90% of the waste generated by fans to the dump. Meet Christy Briggs, Logistics and Sustainability Manager at First & Goal Incorpor…
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Owen Barrett, cofounder and president of Rayven, is working to make it easy for individuals to invest in apartment buildings to accelerate the pace of energy upgrades and renewable energy adoption. Electrification of the nation's apartment buildings, moving them away from heating and energy generated from fossil fuels, is critical to achieving nati…
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Supermodel Georgie Badiel Liberty, who has graced the covers of magazines and in advertising worldwide, turned her celebrity to solving water scarcity challenges in her native country, Burkina Faso. In 2015, she launched the Georgie Badiel Foundation to bring wells, sanitation, solar-generated electricity, and community gardens to 10 million Burkin…
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What do Saddam Hussein’s information minister and the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board have in common? Hint: it starts with a “d,” ends with “enial,” and isn’t just a river in Egypt. A new and virulent strain of climate denial could be called “doomer shaming.” Instead of acknowledging how logical it is to be distressed about the state of the c…
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After hearing a story of woe on the streets of Portland, Oregon, Jason, Rob, and Asher cover the four critical ways of cultivating personal resilience to navigate the Great Unraveling. The report we reference several times is Welcome to the Great Unraveling: Navigating the Polycrisis of Environmental and Social Breakdown. Warning: This podcast occa…
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The founder of the national Green Amendments movement, Maya van Rossum, returns to discuss Held vs. Montana, a lawsuit brought by 16 teenagers demanding the enforcement by state agencies of regulations that ensure their right to a clean and healthy environment. Montana is one of three states that have a Green Amendment in its state constitution. Sh…
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The UN's International Maritime Association reported in 2020 that the shipping industry — the ships moving freight between the continents — accounts for 2.89% of annual global CO2 emissions. Between 1990 and 2020, shipping volumes "more than doubled," according to Statista, and during the COVID-19 pandemic, shipping grew faster, at as much as 16.4%…
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SuperCircle, a textiles recycling startup, has cracked the circular economy code for fashion brands. Meet the cofounders, Chloe Songer and Start Ahlum, who cofounded SuperCircle, which provides clothing takeback and recycling services to leading clothing brands, including tentree, Reformation, Mate the Label, and the circular sneaker brand Thousand…
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Welcome to the hottest part of Summer, when the heat and smoke season may have you looking at your yard and thinking that it's time to upgrade from gas lawn equipment to electric, or to go back to manual tools. Tobie Stanger, a senior editor at Consumer Reports, joins the conversation to talk about the independent, nonprofit product review site's d…
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How does a small startup launch a mail-back recycling program to deliver circular products that massive brands struggle to make? Meet innovator Lindsey McCoy, who started Plaine Products with her sister, Alison, in 2017. Today, Plaine Products offers 16 fully circular personal care products, including shampoo, conditioner, moisturizer, and lotion. …
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