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Playlist: Science

Compiled By: Jeff Conner

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Big Picture Science (Series)

Produced by Big Picture Science

Most recent piece in this series:

Make Space For Animals

From Big Picture Science | Part of the Big Picture Science series | 54:00

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Long before Yuri Gagarin became the first human to go into space, Laika, a stray dog, crossed the final frontier. Find out what other surprising species were drafted into the astronaut corps.

They may be our best friends, but we still balk at giving other creatures moral standing. And why are humans so reluctant to accept the fact that we too are animals? 

Guests:

Featuring music by Dewey Dellay and Jun Miyake

Big Picture Science is part of the Airwave Media podcast network. Please contact sales@advertisecast.com to inquire about advertising on Big Picture Science.

You can get early access to ad-free versions of every episode by joining us on Patreon. Thanks for your support!

Sidedoor (Series)

Produced by Smithsonian

Most recent piece in this series:

Wild Orchid Mystery

From Smithsonian | Part of the Sidedoor series | 22:47

Side_door_logo_640x640_small You probably know orchids as the big, colorful flowers found in grocery stores and given as housewarming gifts. But those tropical beauties represent only a fraction of the estimated 25,000 orchid species worldwide. While their showy relatives fly off the shelves, North America’s more understated native orchids are disappearing in the wild. Scientists at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center are working to protect these orchids and their habitats, but first they need solve a surprisingly difficult problem: how to grow one.

Planetary Radio (Series)

Produced by Mat Kaplan

Most recent piece in this series:

Curiosity rolls on: Mars Science Laboratory project scientist Ashwin Vasavada

From Mat Kaplan | Part of the Planetary Radio series | 28:50

Curiosity_morning_evening_panorama_small_small We are approaching the 10th anniversary of Curiosity’s arrival in the Red Planet’s Gale crater. The rolling laboratory is still making profound discoveries as it reveals beautiful vistas and closeups. Project scientist Ashwin Vasavada shares some of the most significant finds in the last year. We’re deep into winter in the northern hemisphere, making Orion, Mat Kaplan’s favorite constellation, hard to miss in the night sky. Bruce Betts tells us there’s much more to see in this week’s What’s Up. Discover more at https://www.planetary.org/planetary-radio/2022-ashwin-vasavada-curiosity-update

Climate One (Series)

Produced by Climate One

Most recent piece in this series:

2022-01-21 Corporate Net Zero Pledges: Ambitious or Empty Promises?

From Climate One | Part of the Climate One series | 58:55

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Host: Greg Dalton

Guests: 

Simon Fischweicher, Head of Corporations and Supply Chains for CDP North America 

Kristina Partsinevelos, Reporter, CNBC 

Darrel Stickler, Global Lead for Environmental Sustainability, Cisco Systems

Mike Cannon-Brookes, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, Atlassian

One-fifth of the world's 2000 largest publicly traded firms have committed to net zero targets. Critics argue that such pledges are mere greenwashing, and even if pledges are fulfilled, the balance sheets usually utilize carbon offsets, which can be of questionable quality and accountability. Proponents of corporate net zero pledges say we’ll never get to net zero emissions without corporate action, and pledges represent legitimate ramping up of ambition and commitment. 

How can consumers, investors and policy leaders determine if these pledges are genuine attempts at hitting net zero goals? And is it possible for third party auditors to hold companies accountable? 

On this week’s Climate One, Head of Corporations and Supply Chains for CDP North America Simon Fischweicher, CNBC Reporter Kristina Partsinevelos, and Global Lead for Environmental Sustainability at Cisco Systems Darrel Stickler discuss the actions corporations are taking and how meaningful they are. 

Partsinevelos is skeptical that offsets used in the accounting, and the metrics by which they are measured, are sufficient. 

“What stops a guy that owns a big forest to sell his forest five times to different companies and just say, oh, I’m gonna keep these trees going for you or else they would have been cut down,” she says.

Darrel Stickler believes the big changes required are only possible through big business adaptation:“I tell people hey listen, if you want to hug trees go work for a nonprofit.  If you want to take on the challenge of figuring out how to fit sustainability profitably into business, come work for a big company.” 

Companies are increasingly utilizing  ESGs – environmental, social, and governance standards – to assess how well they are doing in these areas. 

Simon Fischweicher tells us about the STOXX, a climate change leadership index.

It actually uses CDP data to create several ESG-focused industries.  And one in particular is the climate change leadership index that actually map CDP’s A-list and over a five-year period outperformed its global benchmark, which was a sort of global index about 1800 companies by 5.4%.  Correlation, causation, can't say for sure and I do think the companies that tend to do well on CDP disclosure A-list companies tend to be well-managed businesses who are thinking about all elements of their business and managing those well.  But I think it does send that good signal to the market that if you're investing in companies that are managing ESG issues at the top of their class, they are likely to be managing across the business as well.” 

In 2019, 21% of Australia's forest burned in a single summer, and an estimated 3 billion animals were killed. For Mike Cannon-Brookes, co-founder and co-CEO of Atlassian, witnessing this devastation was both heartbreaking and galvanizing. 

“You sort of think about these things like which fire is happening a long way away from you and it was like right up in, you know, Sydney the center of the city.  And then as it spread to Mallacoota in the coastline area it sort of went through it sort of four, five different megafires that formed.  If you haven’t seen the footage of the residents sort of fleeing to the beach and just the red wall behind them and they all got in boats and watched.  It was just staggering to watch for anyone to watch.  So, it’s very, very hard to see.” 

He also discusses how the companies he’s involved with handle climate issues. 

“I’d argue we are probably our hardest critics, it’s not a PR exercise to try to tell people how good we are.  Trying to be as honest as possible and tell ourselves and the world where we’re actually at.”

This program is generously underwritten by the Erol Foundation.

Related Links:

https://carbon.ci/insights/companies-with-net-zero-targets/


Sound Ecology (Series)

Produced by Jessica Eden

Most recent piece in this series:

Sound Ecology: Apapane

From Jessica Eden | Part of the Sound Ecology series | 01:00

Sound_ecology_logo_small The apapane is a forest bird native to the Hawaiian islands. It is a member of the honeycreeper family and an important pollinator.

Got Science? (Series)

Produced by Got Science

Most recent piece in this series:

Hurricane Season 2021: the Bad, the Worse, and the Unexpected

From Got Science | Part of the Got Science? series | 29:05

Got-science-podcast_small Senior Climate Scientist Astrid Caldas elaborates on Ida—and the many other deadly and damaging 2021 storms made worse by climate change.