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

4. Lead Paint

With special guests Frank Serpe (Boston University), Katherine Wright (Boston University), and Rick Reibstein: Lecturer at Boston University and Founder and Director of the Coalition for a Public Conversation on Lead.

3. Yosemite National Park

With special guests Leo Brother (Elon University), Velina Georgi (College of Charleston), and Dr. Sarah Phillips: Professor of History at Boston University and author of “This Land, This Nation: Conservation, Rural America, and the New Deal.”

2. Lawn Pesticides

With special guests Ben Brod (University of Connecticut), Spencer Brown (Quinnipiac University), and Christopher Brown: CEO and Co-Founder of Teed & Brown Lawn Care.

1. Traffic

With special guests Christian Alberga (Williams College), Matt Grottkau (Washington University), and Dr. Cutler Cleveland: Professor of Earth & Environment at Boston University and Associate Director of the BU Institute for Sustainable Energy.

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