Bonus: Socks, Sandals, and Barbecue Fires
This week, we bring you our top environmental news headlines, and then sit down with The Sweaty Penguin’s Producers Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, and Caroline Koehl to share updates and reflections on Beef and Natural Gas Compressor Stations.
Now that we’re eight episodes in, I’m excited that our (consistent) listeners can start putting pieces of this environmental puzzle together. All of these topics are interconnected (which makes it hard to write episodes focused on just one problem!). I was talking with my grandparents last week about solar farms and wind farms and mentioned, “41% of land in the U.S. is just used for livestock. And most of that is for cows grazing. So we’ve got plenty of space for solar farms and wind farms, you don’t even need to move the cows if you don’t want to.” They were shocked, as I’d expect any New York City resident to be. I was shocked hearing it too. But it’s honestly really cool—a problem in one issue might be a solution for another.
I am well aware that a lot of topics we cover may not catch everyone’s interest at face value. I see the download numbers. I still love covering a wide range of topics because they’re interconnected. Methane from a compressor or a cow’s farts in the Amazon rainforest disperses through the atmosphere. Earthquakes and rare earth mineral mining practices ripple through the economy. Lead paint takes a toll on the entire healthcare system. I find it just as interesting to learn about an issue I would never see first-hand as I do learning about traffic or beef which I encounter every day because they do affect me, I just don’t know it.
…which brings us to environmental justice, where low income, minority, and other disenfranchised communities experience disproportionately worse impacts from environmental hazards. We’ve talked about it before in most episodes, and I was glad we could start to discuss how the pieces fit together today. It isn’t just disproportionate with one issue here and there, it’s a pattern. I know it’s a confusing topic for those of us who are fortunate enough to not have first-hand experience, so I hope that our approach of discussing it issue-by-issue can help supplement the larger, broader conversation and perhaps make environmental justice easier to understand.
Here is the link to the PBS Peril and Promise story I reference. Definitely check it out!
Thanks, as always, for listening! See you next week!