The Sweaty Penguin

Hosted ByEthan Brown

The most fun you've ever had while learning environmental issues! Episodes include a comedy monologue and expert interview. Welcome to Antarctica's Hottest Podcast.

69. Rubber

Natural rubber is widely considered a more eco-friendly and better product than synthetic rubber, but it still presents some issues. Natural rubber contributes to deforestation, biodiversity loss, pollution, and more. But climate change and disease also threaten natural rubber. And in a global market that already sees volatile prices, impoverished farmers, the stealing of land from Indigenous communities, and an international rubber cartel, these climate challenges just add to a laundry list of concerns. Today, we explore how rubber is made, what environmental, economic, and national security issues rubber presents, and what options we have moving forward. With special guest Dr. Miles Kenney-Lazar: Assistant Professor of Geography at the National University of Singapore.

The Sweaty Penguin is presented by Peril and Promise: a public media initiative from The WNET Group in New York, reporting on the issues and solutions around climate change. You can learn more at

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Writer: Ethan Brown
Fact Checker: Haley Cronin
Editor: Frank Hernandez
Producers: Olivia Amitay, Ethan Brown, Megan Crimmins, Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, Dain Kim, Caroline Koehl
Ad Voiceover: Maddy Schmidt
Music: Brett Sawka



About the Author
The Sweaty Penguin is a digital news source and podcast aiming to make environmental issues less overwhelming and politicized and more accessible and fun.

1 comment on “69. Rubber

  1. Tracey says:

    I thought this was a really good analysis of the complexities around natural and synthetic rubber. Miles Kenny-Lazar did a really great job of bringing the natural and human worlds together. He demonstrated the major problems and abuses that impact upon people who are engaged with, or live on or near rubber tree areas, especially poor communities and people of indigenous areas. It’s all very complex but his responses were effective as well as thought provoking.

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