UCL: #UCLGenerationOne climate action podcast launches

A brand new podcast explaining the science behind the actions we need to take to save our planet has been launched as part of UCL’s Generation One campaign.

Co-hosted by a rolling team of world-leading climate crisis experts from UCL, each episode of Generation One: The Climate Podcast is an informal mixture of in-depth discussion on topical issues like sustainable fashion or climate finance and a look at the week’s climate news.

The presenter line-up will include physicist and oceanographer Dr Helen Czerski (UCL Mechanical Engineering), activist-in-residence Ashish Ghadiali (UCL Sarah Parker Remond Centre) Professor of Earth System Science Mark Maslin (UCL Geography), and climate economist and comedian Dr Matt Winning (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources).

Together with invited guests, they take a light-hearted look at deadly serious subjects while demystifying climate science and answering questions from students and the public.

Dr Matt Winning, author of the soon to be released funny and informative book on climate change Hot Mess, is the host of Episode 1:

“I’m an expert in climate and economics at UCL and I’m also a stand-up comedian because, let’s face it, what we’ve been doing to the planet over the last several decades means that if you don’t laugh about it, you have to cry. But that’s not what we’re doing here. Our podcast is all about action, and turning science into action.”

Co-host Dr Helen Czerski, who’s an engineer, oceanographer and broadcaster, agrees:

“We have all these huge societal problems – climate change is one – and UCL is this amazing mixture of different areas of expertise. This podcast is about bringing all of that out and connecting ideas in a practical way, not just the theoretical stuff. What can we actually do about climate change? What are the pros and cons, and how do we actually get stuff done quickly with the best knowledge available?”

The first edition of UCL’s Generation One podcast includes updates from the UN’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow and gets under the bonnet to explore the science around how we generate, transport and store electricity (what’s behind a plug?) and what might be possible in future when it comes to better batteries, chargers and electric cars, with special guest Dr Nick Hughes (UCL Institute for Sustainable Resources).

UCL COP26 lead and media commentator Professor Mark Maslin, author of How to Save Our Planet, hopes the podcast will help galvanise action on a range of interconnected issues:

“The key thing about having a better, safer, wealthier future is actually solidarity. We need countries to pull together and actually address some of the major issues of the world, and yes, climate change is a major one. But we also have environmental degradation, we have huge losses of biodiversity. We also have to deal with the poverty issues and lifting loads of people out of extreme poverty. And we have to look at global security. These are the four big things that we need to deal with this century.”

The Generation One podcast will be released weekly and be available on Soundcloud under ‘UCL Minds’, or search for UCL Generation One on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts or Acast.

UCL Campaigns Officer Halle McCarthy said:

“Our goal for the podcast was to create something informative and accessible. Often climate conversations can feel distant – and fear inducing – but with this podcast we wanted to create a series that could entertain and educate people, breaking down the science and encouraging them with actions they can take at home. We also wanted it to tie into our wider Generation One campaign goal, which is to create a movement of people committed to taking action to combat the climate crisis. We hope as many as people as possible will listen and interact, we’re really keen to hear and answer your questions.”

UCL’s Generation One campaign is creating a collective of people committed to a new era of positive climate action. By turning science and ideas into action, it is inviting everyone working towards creating a positive, fair and progressive future, for now and for generations to come.

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