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Outrage + Optimism

Mar 2, 2023

Welcome to another episode of Outrage + Optimism, where we examine issues at the forefront of the climate crisis, interview change-makers, and transform our anger into productive dialogue about building a sustainable future.

This week, co-hosts Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac, and Paul Dickinson discuss the amazing reviews they’ve received on the podcast and take the opportunity to thank listeners for participating with us in trying to save our planet. The team also announces an upcoming special project they’ve been working on and chats about the nomination of Ajay Banga as World Bank President. A frightening new study on the accelerating rates of extinction is also discussed, and there’s music from Bailen.

Paul starts with highlights from the results of a listener feedback survey. First, a whopping 87% of respondents said they’d taken action on climate change since listening to the podcast, which includes sharing the podcast一a key part of our mission一and for which we’re deeply grateful. Plus, only 43% of those listening work in the climate space. That means we’re breaking out of the climate bubble and bringing people outside of climate into the conversation. “Astonishing!” declares Christiana. Wait until you hear the rest! 

Next, Tom introduces a fresh theme on O+O related to personal projects each of the co-hosts will work on individually and bring to the podcast. Over the next few weeks, Tom will begin the series on different approaches to change一momentum and perfection. He’ll explore whether they can work together, and if so, how? Exciting stuff is on the way!

In the following segment, our co-hosts weigh in on the World Bank presidential nomination of Ajay Banga, previously President and CEO of MasterCard. They agree he’s a hopeful choice for, among many other things, bringing climate issues back to the World Bank, which stands in contrast to the positions held by outgoing president David Malpass, a climate denier. 

Finally, the trio discusses the alarming new study by lead author Dr. Yuangeng Huang of the China University of Geosciences on the steady destruction of biodiversity and how it’s likely to suddenly tip over into total ecosystem collapse. All agree the study didn’t get the coverage it should have, and that it’s critical we’re focused now on strategies and capital allocations to protect and reverse habitat destruction. Climate won’t matter if this doesn’t get done.

Again, thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully to our listeners’ survey and to help us improve the podcast.


And before you leave please don’t miss the beautiful three-part family harmonies of Bailen on their moving ballad “Eyelashes.”

 Correction: We would like to apologise for the mispronunciation of Dr Yuangeng Huang's name during the episode.



To learn more about our planet’s climate emergency and how you can transform outrage into optimistic action subscribe to the podcast here.

Find out more about Ajay Banga, the U.S. nomination to lead the World Bank.

Here is The Guardian’s coverage of Dr. Yuangeng Huang’s study on ecosystem collapse

Here is Dr. Yuangeng Huang’s study itself.

More on Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History referenced in the episode.


GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE on FRIDAY MARCH 3 - Click here to find a strike near you. #TomorrowIsTooLate





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