Why don’t mainstream TV and radio rock the climate change boat?
One Change: It has been mainly left to podcasts to address the climate crisis we face
Maybe the best One Change we can make is to lobby RTÉ and the other national stations to start creating programmes like the excellent podcasts on climate change.
Radio and television have been slow to inform audiences about the challenges of climate change and the potential actions we can take to alleviate the problem. With so much of their advertising coming from airlines, car companies and retail conglomerates, it’s no wonder they don’t want to rock the boat. It has been left to podcasts to address the crises we face and one of the more witty and engaging ones is Mothers of Invention, in which former President Mary Robinson and comedian Maeve Higgins celebrate women doing remarkable things in pursuit of climate justice. The rapport between these two total opposites is one of the most enjoyable elements – both obviously bemused by each other’s oddities. The show’s tag line is that “Climate change is a man-made problem – with a feminist solution!” and within this refreshing feminist agenda they manage to be surprisingly informative.
While Robinson has recently spoken out about how the fossil fuel industry will not change unless forced to do so by government, the series focuses on ways to empower ordinary individuals to enact change, through the examples of some extraordinary women driving climate innovation. All 14 episodes are worth checking out, but be sure not to miss the bonus episode in which Higgins phones her bank to ensure they don’t invest her personal savings in companies that are actively destroying the planet. She doesn’t fare well, but it’s something we should all try doing, nevertheless.
For a more Irish-focused view on sustainability, check out the 180 Degrees podcast by the SEAI (Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland). The series explores the ecological and humanitarian challenges surrounding homes, business, travel and technology; with the first episode looking at whether it’s worth investing in an electric car yet. Subsequent programmes explore energy upgrades to housing, which businesses are best at tackling climate change, and the future opportunities that may arise from implementing clever solutions today. Contributors include architect Dermot Bannon, economics professor Liam Delaney, and meteorologist Liz Walsh, who works in the future forecasting division of Met Éireann.
Finally, for an informal youth-orientated podcast check out Climate Queens podcast, in which two young women who work in the fashion industry embark on rambling, chatty meanders through issues of fast fashion, food waste, climate justice, global warming, etc. The show’s tone and content is best summed up by their tagline “We are just two Dublin gals who met volunteering and have been best pals ever since. We only have one planet and we need to know more, so we can do more! Come join the journey and channel your inner Climate Queen!”
Maybe the best One Change we can make is to lobby RTÉ and the other national stations to start creating programmes like these.