The Sweaty Penguin

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.

Hosted ByEthan Brown

More so than ever, liberals and conservatives really don’t like talking to each other right now. In 1994, 21% of Republicans viewed Democrats “very unfavorably” and 17% of Democrats viewed Republicans “very unfavorably.” In 2016, those numbers were up to 58% and 55%. Furthermore, about half the nation finds it “stressful or frustrating” to talk to people on the other side.

Meanwhile, environmental issues continue to mount, requiring swift and intricate solutions, but since we’re not talking to each other, we often struggle to agree on what the problems even are!

Disagreeing on solutions is inevitable (and important!), but if we can’t agree on the problems, it’s hard to make progress.

Each episode focuses on a specific environmental issue. Our host Ethan delivers a late-night-comedy-style monologue (sort of like John Oliver/Hasan Minhaj), which is a thoroughly-researched introduction to what the issue is, why it’s an issue, to what degree it’s an issue, and what steps (individually or politically) we can take to solve the issue. Then he interviews an expert to learn about their research and hear their perspective. The Sweaty Penguin has covered a wide range of topics from traffic to ADHD to vanilla to fast fashion and interviewed experts around the world. Our goal is to make environmental issues more fun and less politicized, so people of any political ideology or interest level can learn, engage, and find common ground.

In bonus episodes starting in season 2, Ethan invites on two guests with minimal experience with environmental issues, one liberal and one conservative. The guests pick a previous episode, and Ethan facilitates a bipartisan conversation to hear their first impressions of the issue and discuss potential solutions.

The Sweaty Penguin is hosted by Ethan Brown, an Environmental Analysis & Policy and Film & Television student at Boston University. The podcast is produced by Brown; Caroline Koehl, an Environmental Analysis & Policy and International Relations student at BU; and Frank Hernandez, a Journalism student at BU.

Welcome to Antarctica’s Hottest Podcast!

All Episodes

12. Rethinking Climate Change

With special guest Dr. Adil Najam: Inaugural Dean of the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies and co-author of the Third and Fourth Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, work for which the panel was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize.

11. Gypsy Moths

With special guest Dr. Valerie Pasquarella: Earth & Environment Research Professor at Boston University.

10. United Nations Environment Programme

With special guest Dr. Henrik Selin: Associate Dean of Studies and Professor of International Relations at the Boston University Pardee School of Global Studies.

9. Asthma

With special guest Dr. Elizabeth Garland: pediatrician and Professor of Environmental Medicine and Public Health at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

Bonus: Socks, Sandals, and Barbecue Fires

Updates on environmental news and episodes 5-8 with The Sweaty Penguin Producers Shannon Damiano, Frank Hernandez, and Caroline Koehl.

8. Natural Gas Compressor Stations

With special guests Nell Curtin (Boston University), Jack Kelly (Northeastern University), and Dr. Nathan Phillips: Earth & Environment Professor at Boston University and Acting Director of BU’s Sustainable Neighborhood Lab.

7. Earthquakes

With special guests Joe LoDuca (University of Connecticut), Mollie McGrann (UCLA), and Dr. Robert Buchwaldt: Earth & Environment Research Professor at Boston University.

6. Rare Earth Minerals

With special guests Joe Perrotta (Marist College), Melani Zuckerman (Boston University), and Dr. Julie Klinger: Professor of Geography at the University of Delaware and author of the award-winning book “Rare Earth Frontiers: From Terrestrial Subsoils to Lunar Landscapes.”

5. Beef

With special guests Sebastian Bishop (Reed College), Adrian Castanon Galicia (Boston University), and Dr. Rachael Garrett: Professor of Environmental Policy at ETH Zürich.