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182: COP 15: Nothing Without Nature!

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About this episode

Welcome to another episode of Outrage + Optimism, where we examine issues at the forefront of the climate crisis, interview change-makers, and transform our anger into productive dialogue on building a sustainable future.

In this jam-packed episode, co-hosts Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac, and Paul Dickinson catch up on news from the Earthshot Prize awards ceremony in Boston, the United Nations Biodiversity Conference (COP 15) in Montréal, insights from Conservation International’s Dr. M. Sanjayan, and music from Boyish.

Christiana opens by recounting her time at the award ceremony for the Earthshot Prize一the world’s most prestigious environmental award. Highlights include the “green carpet” with such A-listers as Prince William, Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox, and David Beckham, among others, £5 million in prizes, and the extraordinary winners themselves. Christiana was actually brought to tears.

The team also previews the UN Biodiversity Conference COP15, which started Dec. 7. Conference dynamics are bound to be interesting since it’s being chaired by the Chinese delegation (a holdover from the cancellation of the in-person conference in 2020) but hosted by the Canadians in Montréal. Listen for all the details on “30 by 30,” the significance of biodiversity for global GDP, and more.

Later, Conservation International CEO Dr. M Sanjayan shares his thoughts on the connection between climate and nature, why the nature agenda is一counterintuitively一running behind the climate agenda, and the forthcoming nature economy.

We close the episode with music from the indie duo, Boyish. They’ve amassed more than 15 million streams across their catalog, received praise from publications including Billboard, Paper, Office Magazine, and Pigeons and Planes, and were the recipient of the 2021 LGBTQ+ Emerging Artist Award.

Enjoy their beautifully evocative track, “Mom I think I'm Gay.”

Listeners, this is your last chance to complete our listener survey. Your feedback is important to us, and we’re deeply grateful for your ongoing support. You can find the details in our social media feeds in the show notes below. Thank you!

Bye for now!


NOTES AND RESOURCES 


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Please complete our listener survey here


Catch up with The Earthshot Prize 2022


Learn more about the UN Biodiversity Conference: COP15 in Montréal


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MUSIC

Boyish

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Full Transcript

Tom: [00:00:00] Hi, listeners. So just before we jump in this week, this is the last opportunity to provide feedback via our listener survey. We have had so many responses and we're really excited to delve into them and see what you said. Paul, they have free text boxes, which I think is something you've long advocated.


Paul: [00:00:13] I love free text boxes. Tell us anything. Say whatever you like.


Tom: [00:00:14] Okay? And and you may have noticed Outrage + Optimism doesn't have adverts. That's because we are generously supported by foundations. You do not need money, but they do need data saying what's the impact and how it's working. And we need that to to make the podcast great. So hopefully you will respond and provide us with information and we can make the podcast better and we can respond to our funders. Thanks so much. Here's the episode. Hello and welcome to Outrage + Optimism. I'm Tom Rivett-Carnac.


Christiana: [00:00:51] I'm Christiana Figueres.


Paul: [00:00:52] And I'm Paul Dickenson.


Tom: [00:00:53] This week we catch up on news from the Earthshot Prize in Boston. We discuss what's at stake at COP15 in Montreal. We hear from the incredible Dr M. Sanjayan CEO of Conservation International and we have music from Boyish. Thanks for being here. So, friends, we're going to kick off, first of all with Christiana, your incredibly exciting trip to Boston that I was very jealous of as I kept watching videos come through on social media of Prince William and somehow you were always in the video.


Paul: [00:01:32] You saw the most famous people in the whole world, reddest of red carpets that they have ever been.


Tom: [00:01:36] But just before we do.


Christiana: [00:01:37] Oh, no, no, not red. It's green.


Paul: [00:01:39] Green, green. Forgive me for green is the green. The green. It's the green carpet.


Tom: [00:01:42] Just before we do, it's that time of year again. And Spotify have been sending us some statistics about how the podcast has done this year. And I have a question for you both. There are hundreds of thousands of podcasts out there, probably millions, in fact, many of them covering topics of the day, issues that are in popular culture, etc.. And so we in our little eddy focusing on the climate crisis, are probably never going to be the biggest podcast in the world, but we're always in the charts top 100 in the UK and the US, which is pretty good, although we think we can go further. But my question is what percentile do we reside in? For people who have shared podcasts this year? Are we in the top 15%, the top 5% or the top 1%?


Christiana: [00:02:21] For people who have shared podcasts?


Tom: [00:02:24] Most shared podcasts in the world?


Christiana: [00:02:27] Well, because you've asked the question leads me to think that we're actually pretty high.


Tom: [00:02:32] Or it could be because we're pretty low.


Christiana: [00:02:34] Or it could be pretty low, but I don't think so!


Paul: [00:02:36] Hope you're in the 100%. That's where I want to be.


Christiana: [00:02:39] So top ten.


Tom: [00:02:42] That wasn't an option. It was top 15, or top five or top one.


Christiana: [00:02:48] All right, top five.


Tom: [00:02:50] You would never have said if it wasn't top one.


Tom: [00:02:52] It's top one.


Tom: [00:02:53] Oh, isn't that amazing?


Tom: [00:02:55] Top 1% of the podcast in the world. And it's the metric I like the best because it's the most shared. So people listen to it and thank you listeners. People listen to it and they decide they want to share it with their friends, share it with their family, which is why we're seeing the numbers go up. And I just felt that really made my day when I saw that statistic.


Christiana: [00:03:11] That makes my day also.


Paul: [00:03:13] Thank you for sharing. Thank you for sharing.


Tom: [00:03:17] I don't think you're talking to me, but you're welcome.


Paul: [00:03:19] I'm not actually. I'm talking to the many thousands of people out there. Thank you for sharing.


Tom: [00:03:22] Thank you for sharing. Now, the Earthshot Prize, the world's most prestigious environmental prize, had its second prize giving ceremony this week in Boston at the JFK Library. You were there. We were all watching you, as we said. How was it? What happened?


Christiana: [00:03:39] Well, actually, we did have a few events at the JFK Library because you will know that the Prince of Wales was inspired by President Kennedy's moonshot 60 years ago and said, if we could do a moonshot 60 years ago, why can't we not do an Earth shot or, in fact, five Earth shots? Now, 60 years later. So in honor of the original inspiration, we did take the Earthshot Prize award ceremony.


Tom: [00:04:08] To say, Christiana, because you are actually the chair of the board and the prize giving council, correct?


Christiana: [00:04:13] Correct. Correct. Correct. Correct. So this was actually quite exciting because we did do a couple of events at the JFK Library, which is a beautiful, beautiful museum and library in case anyone hasn't been there. And you're in the vicinity of Boston, very recommended, but much more exciting, I must say, is the fact that the award ceremony was held at the MGM Concert Hall, which is adjacent to Fenway Park. And so we did an amazing, amazing event at the concert hall and then moved over to Fenway Park for the reception. And it's it's very different to be standing there in long dress and black tie looking out at Fenway Park, all lit up in green with Earthshot Prize, etc., etc.. Very different from the usual sports driven Fenway Park view. So quite, quite exciting. And I must say what an amazing array of people came out to the green carpet. So we had Ellie. Yeah, we had Ellie Goulding, who has been on our podcast, Billie Eilish, Annie Lennox with her piano and everything. Oh my gosh, that was so.


Paul: [00:05:28] Ferocious talent.


Christiana: [00:05:29] And her ferocious talent. And just to mix things up a little bit, David Beckham was there as well to give out one of the prizes. The duo that I am sorry to say, I had never seen, heard of, but never seen the Chloe and Halle Bailey duo. Amazing pair of sisters with by far the two most impressive dresses. If listeners, if you go to the Earthshotprize.org website and you just want to have a visual of what this all was, do look for the two dresses of those two sisters. Just amazing. But but really beautiful. Fantastic. Very, very exciting award ceremony. We awarded five prizes as as we know, 1 million GBP to each one. And perhaps the most germane, the most relevant for our conversation today that has to do with the upcoming COP15 of the Biodiversity Convention. The most of the five prizes. The most relevant to our conversation today is the one that totally teared me up. Now you all know it doesn't take too much to tear me up, but this this was like streams of salt water pouring down my cheeks, ok? Now obviously I knew that they were going to get the prize, but we saw them in live receive the news of the prize and that was the Queensland in Australia, the Queensland Indigenous Women Rangers Network, a group of of Indigenous women who are training other women and children now to conserve the Barrier Reef. And it is such a moving and I would say really pushing the boundaries effort that they are having because they are bringing together traditional Indigenous knowledge of the reef and everything that affects the reef. But they're also combining it with top technology drones that go out and all kinds of top monitoring technology. And so that combination of the indigenous knowledge, passion, guardianship of the commons combined with top, top technology to protect the Barrier Reef and all of this in the hands of women and children is just more than my eyes could bear. So really, really.


Paul: [00:08:12] And by the way, Christiana, not the only ones Mukuru having sold 200,000 clean stoves, Isn't that amazing? What about that? This extraordinary company, 40.01, actually advanced selling carbon capture storage technology to companies like Spotify.


Paul: [00:08:29] What about having Katy with more than 1000 farmers as part of the greenhouse revolution with an aim to get 50,000 farmers involved by 2027 and even finding a solution to the plastics problem. What amazing companies. I hope that an organisations that will scale wonderfully. Congratulations on great selection.


Christiana: [00:08:48] Very exciting.


Tom: [00:08:49] It's one of the few sort of moments of prominence of the climate issue that's all about solutions and joy and possibility and connection and entrepreneurship. I think it's the most amazing thing, which actually I mean, we should of course have the Prince of Wales back on, but we should have Hannah Jones, the CEO of the Earthshot Prize, also back on or on at some point in the new Year to talk about this. Now we are going to move on to COP15, the biodiversity COP in a minute, but just before we do, there was one other slightly less happy thing that happened last week, and that was the release of a Netflix trailer about what's going on with Harry and Meghan and the palace intrigue and where they cut out and who was briefing against who. And of course, this is all well above our pay grade to discuss any of this.


Paul: [00:09:27] Not good timing, I wouldn't have thought.


Tom: [00:09:29] That's the point. So Christiana and I are both on the sustainability advisory board at Netflix. And I'm also an advisor to the Earthshot Prize, and Christiana is the chair of the board. And so we felt that we needed to speak out not about the content but about the timing, because to release that trailer at the moment that the Prince of Wales was trying to draw attention not to himself but to the winners of these prizes and elevate this entrepreneurship and momentum we felt was not consistent with stated leadership on climate change. So Christiana, do you want to say anything about that before we move?


Christiana: [00:10:04] Yeah, well stated and actually already exercised right because Netflix several years ago decided that it would be the broadcast company that really brings environmental content, top notch environmental content and really gets it out there to every kitchen table. And they've been doing an amazing job about that. So to see Netflix then try to pull the rug from underneath the Earthshot Prize, which as Tom said, is the most distinguished environmental prize in the world, is actually very disappointing to not say annoying, frankly.


Tom: [00:10:42] Yeah, so so that's we said our piece that will that will move on it was in the media but people may have seen that. I was talking to Zoe. My daughter who listens to this podcast, may know a bit this morning and she came up with a brilliant question because of course Netflix also make the series The Crown, which is all about the history of the British monarchy, etc. She said, are Netflix going to have to make another series of the crown in which they feature the fact that Netflix torpedoed the Earthshot Prize with a different series, which I thought was the most sort of like incredible circular logic and so we'll find out if that's the case.


Christiana: [00:11:17] I like that. I like the way she thinks there.


Paul: [00:11:19] Yeah. 100% good jobs Zoe.


Tom: [00:11:21] All right, now. Cop 15 This is a very big moment for our planet. The world is meeting in Montreal, Canada for the biodiversity COP. This is, of course, has been scheduled to happen since December 2020, when it was due to take place in Kunming, China, that COVID put paid to that, but the Chinese remain in the chair. However, the Canadians are hosting. So negotiators have arrived. There were opening speeches today, Wednesday, the 7th of December, from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who didn't pull any punches, as he never does. But let's just think for a minute about what's at stake here.


Christiana: [00:11:59] No, hold on. He pulled all the punches.


Tom: [00:12:02] No, pull the punches means he didn't he didn't stop himself from piling in. So he didn't. He he he did. Yeah. Yeah. My favorite was we are now in an orgy of destruction, which I thought. I mean, I don't know who his speechwriter is at the moment, but that was. Would you go to an orgy of destruction organized by Antonio Guterres. Let's move on. Right. Who wants to tell us what's at stake at the biodiversity COP?


Christiana: [00:12:28] Well, you know, Tom and Paul, there are many things that are very interesting about this COP. They have been dubbed the the twin COP's or the duo COP's, the COP 20, the climate and the biodiversity. And as Tom says, they've been trying to hold this in person for years and finally, it's it is happening in this split fashion, which is not unique. It has happened before, certainly on climate, but does make it much more difficult to to orchestrate because when you have political leadership on one side from the Chinese and then you have all of the hosting leadership on the other side on the part of Canada, it does make it very, very difficult. And the decision that apparently came from the Chinese government several months ago to not invite heads of state was a very, very sad and counter effective decision not to bring the heads of state to assume responsibility as they should, because as we know, we are so running out of time, not just on climate change but on biodiversity, because the two of them are interlinked and because we don't yet have, just like we have from the Paris Agreement, we have a big, big climate goal which is net zero by 2050 and half emissions by 2030.


Christiana: [00:13:54] But we don't have the equivalent big long term goal ambition on biodiversity and this is when it ought to be coming out and it is dubbed the 30 by 30. We've had a couple of conversations about this on the podcast and it is about halting and reversing biodiversity loss by 2030 and protecting 30%, at least 30%. There are some that would want much more, but at least 30% of the surface of this planet, whether that is land or ocean by 2030, that's why it's called the 30 By 30. There is a group called the High Ambition Coalition that takes a page out of the Climate Change High Ambition Coalition that was formed for for the Paris Agreement. And we already have over 100 countries in that coalition that are definitely going to push for the adoption of the 30 by 30. And honestly. Right, let's all light our candles and do everything possible for that to be adopted, which doesn't guarantee that it will occur as we know, but at least we should have in paper, in a multilateral treaty, we should know what our what our long term goal is in order to guide efforts over the rest of the decade.


Tom: [00:15:24] Yeah.


Paul: [00:15:25] Yeah. I mean, I've been sort of preparing to talk today. I've had the opportunity to research all of this. And, you know, obviously I've worked in climate change for quite a long time and I, I knew about kind of biodiversity and I know that ultimately, you know, the Earth system is, is is kind of emitting and absorbing CO2 in a sort of gigantic living breathing process. But it really brought it home to me to start to see the figures and the, the image that came to me absolutely, repeatedly is really an accounting metaphor, and it's quite literal in a sense. It's funny how seriously we take accounting. You know, like huge companies have to produce these accounts with a profit and loss accounts, a balance sheet. But, you know, even the sweet shop across the road, even the little sweet shop, you know, tiny, any business in any country has to, by law, produce a profit and loss account and a balance sheet. Right. But whole nations produce a kind of GDP number that's a bit like a profit and loss account. But whole nations do not have balance sheets. So we take our sweet shops more seriously than a whole nations. Now, people like the OECD produced a report in 2019. I mean, the OECD is the secretariat of the richest countries in the world. They're not hippies. They talked about us doing somewhere between 1 to 3, even up to sort of $6 trillion a year of damage to our balance sheet. So what's happening? We've got this GDP that seems to be rising, but we're destroying our assets.


Paul: [00:16:58] And this is just you know, this is what happens to companies like Enron. You know, they went bust. You know, you don't Enron, Earth. It feels me. We can't take like a sweet shop more seriously than we take the countries we live in, the horrific destruction of nature from basically industrial processes. It's almost like the whole commercial system is at war with the whole natural system. And and, you know, frankly, the commercial system is winning that war. And this conference is is an opportunity for governments to step in and say, you know, red alert. I mean, I was laughing because I think it was Swiss reinsurance said something like half of global GDP depends on the function of the natural world. Well, if you're in a spaceship, what percentage of the GDP of the spaceship is dependent upon the life life support system? It's not 50%, it's 100%. We entirely depend upon nature to survive. And therefore, this. This conference is an opportunity. And the last point I want to make is it's going to require a cultural shift for us. We are going to have to fundamentally, culturally change the priorities of our societies if we're going to be able to deal with this. That doesn't mean we've all got to go and kind of live in caves, but it means we've got to focus relentlessly on how massive consumption of of of of products and services that require digging up the natural world must end. Now.


Christiana: [00:18:17] Here, here, Paul Dickinson. Good job. I like the way you explain that. Fantastic.


Tom: [00:18:25] So, Absolutely. And we will talk in a minute to Dr M. Sanjayan and the CEO of Conservation International, who is one of the world's.


Paul: [00:18:32] Such an expert.


Tom: [00:18:33] In such an expert on this. So so let's let's we're going to actually speak to him in about 10 minutes. Just one question following on from what you said, Paul, but digging into what the structure of this agreement is going to look like, I appreciate that 30 by 30 is like the core central piece of this. But just so I understand and listeners understand, Christiana, do you know, is the idea that that is more like what we would think of in climate as the Kyoto Protocol, where everyone comes together, negotiates an agreement and then goes back and ratifies it in countries? Or is it like the Paris Agreement where everyone agrees to the objective, then goes back and makes national commitments in order to achieve that objective?


Christiana: [00:19:14] Do you know what it's more like? Yes, It's more like the like the Paris Agreement. Yeah. Okay. The Kyoto Protocol model was helpful at the time, but proved itself not to be so helpful in the long term. So it's more like the Paris Agreement in the sense that you need to have a global goal. And then every country would would come up with how they are contributing to it. And let's understand that because the natural ecosystems of every country are different and there is a different relationship between land and sea, etc., etc.. It's not that every single country would have to protect 30% of their land and 30% of their oceans, right?


Tom: [00:19:56] It's like a nationally determined commitment in climate. It's nationally relevant to what makes sense for them. And so have most countries already come forward with these national commitments on nature? Or is this a question for Sanjayan?


Christiana: [00:20:09] Yeah, it would be a question for Sanjayan, but there actually have been very few I hate to tell you that Costa Rica has one, but that's okay. We'll just.


Tom: [00:20:18] Has Costa Rica come forward with one?


Paul: [00:20:20] Costa Rica. Costa Rica.


Christiana: [00:20:28] Yeah, right. Well well, we'll just jump over that one.


Paul: [00:20:32] You're basically the biodiversity superpower.


Christiana: [00:20:34] Very few. Right. Very few. Very few. I mean, really pretty pathetically few, I would say.


Tom: [00:20:40] Okay. So that's an important context as we go into this to make sure it gets implemented.


Paul: [00:20:45] Right. Can I just mention, like one thing on the on the backlash side? Amazing. I mean, you know, we can talk about how seriously the UN secretary general governments are taking this incredibly important conference in these unbelievably serious issues. And yet just today, some tiny little hedge fund has tried to to attack Larry Fink from BlackRock for for thinking about things like this. So, you know, I just wanted to acknowledge that there's a censorship movement that's grown up now. Lots of right wing Republican typically Republican Party political figures in the US are censoring now investors. Not only is there a question about what they publish, like kind of is it greenwash? But there's a specifically a suggestion now that investors shouldn't be allowed to think about certain things. They shouldn't be allowed to think about climate change, they shouldn't be allowed to think about biodiversity. And and I think that the smarter minds and the more balanced spirits of the Republican Party need to push back against this idea that, you know, in the great nation of the USA, they would try and censor investors from thinking about certain things. It's absolutely extraordinary. You know, actually, we know climate change is a very legitimate financial issue. Biodiversity is a legitimate financial issue. As I said, it's about the balance sheet of the world. And we've got to stop this this movement to censor people from thinking, I've never heard of anything like it.


Christiana: [00:22:05] Yes, I agree. I agree again with you, Mr. Paul Dickinson. The Paul Dickinson.


Tom: [00:22:11] Now Dr M. Sanjayan is waiting for us so we can let him in now and we can actually do this on air. We normally do this without listeners, but Christiana, I'm assuming you'll ask the first question.


Christiana: [00:22:22] Ok.


Tom: [00:22:23]  Yeah. You've got to sort it out. What you going to say? Clay.


Clay: [00:22:27] I think we should let him in first.


Tom: [00:22:29] Let's let him in first.


Paul: [00:22:30] Exposing the kind of secrets.


Tom: [00:22:32] Exposing the inner workings.


Paul: [00:22:33] Yeah. Okay, so we've got.


Tom: [00:22:35] So anyway, Dr M. Sanjayan is the CEO of Conservation International, formerly Executive Vice President of Conservation International. He is a conservation scientist as well as the CEO. He is one of the global leaders on biodiversity, and he's joining us while I'm introducing him. Hi, Sanjayan.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:22:51] How are you? Good to see you.


Tom: [00:22:53] Nice to see you. Hey there.


Christiana: [00:22:54] Hey, Sanjay. Good. Good to see you. Now. Now on monitor on screen, Sanjayan. And just for our listeners, Sanjayan is a trustee of the Earthshot Prize. So we were together in Boston in in the physical, which is quite unusual for these days. We've just shared with listeners, Sanjayan, a little bit about the Earthshot Prize and how fantastic it was.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:23:18] Great.


Christiana: [00:23:18] But what now we would love to move over to COP15. Yeah, guided by you. You do know that you are now our official guide and guru on COP15. So are you ready for that challenge?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:23:33] I'm definitely not ready for that challenge. Can you hear me? Okay? Does that sound okay to you?


Clay: [00:23:37] Yes.


Tom: [00:23:37] Very good.


Clay: [00:23:38] Yeah, And we're recording now, so if you're ready to go, we're okay.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:23:42] That's fine.


Clay: [00:23:42] Okay, great. We'll just jump in.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:23:44] Okay, great. Well, I'm glad you. Well, I'm honored to think that I'm your guide to COP 15. I'm nervous because, you know, it's COP15. I'm kind of nervous about it.


Christiana: [00:23:57] Well, so. So is everyone else. Yeah, but. But maybe just to share the nervousness and make all our listeners equally nervous. Why don't you speak to me, Sanjayan, and sort of from your gut right here. Here we are faced with this huge challenge. I sort of feel like this challenge is greater even than the recent climate COP, just because we don't have yet the the ultimate goal, the long term goal. So it seems to me that there are two things here that are that go hand in hand traditionally in all of these negotiations. One is can the High Ambition Coalition of Biodiversity now over 100 countries, can they actually get the multilateral processes to agree to the 30 by 30 goal? And as we know, that will come hand in hand with. And, what financial support would there be for developing countries to contribute to that? So, you know, this is a similar pattern, very well known in the climate space, that mitigation has to come with support, technical and financial support for developing countries. And it is no different in the biodiversity discussion where a 30 by 30 protection would have to come with financial and technical support for developing countries. So knowing that that is the balance that has to be reached. Sanjay, in your gut, how are you feeling about the possibility of reaching those two hand in hand agreements?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:25:41] In my gut, I think both of those are feasible. They're both possible. They within the realm of my imagination and the realm of the world we operate in, I am not sure it would be a negotiated agreement. And that's the piece that I think all bets are off. We'll have to see how the next week and a half goes. To have confidence that we are either getting there or we got there. If you genuinely ask me at this moment, kind of at the early part of this COP, the chance of getting both of these things as an agreement, I'd say complete honesty. Chances are very low. But can we make tremendous progress for sure? And in some ways, that progress was already happening even before this moment. That is the trend that I'm seeing. So there are a couple of things I'd take. I'd like to give you a slightly different spin on the way you set this up. Right. So if you look at the climate negotiations, you'd have to live under a rock. And have you heard you say that sometimes to not know about the impact of climate change and our role in it? Like there is a general understanding, even though there are some corners of this planet that that almost voluntary, not voluntarily, almost by by force, ignore it.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:27:06] There is a general understanding and uplift of information and ideas floating around called the climate space. If you open a newspaper, go on any website, talk to any company, talk to any government today, and that is there. It may even be front and centre of their minds. And you have seen a enormous shift in financing that has now followed these ambitions that we started and put on the table, you know, quite literally 27 years ago. COP21 and that's been amazing. So it's no longer a question of if, it's a question of when and whether it's going to be soon enough. That's where the now the, the bulk of the argument is around around the climate COP. In fact, President Macron and if you heard what he was here in DC just a few days ago and if you see what the EU is now saying, they're actually protesting that the US has gone too far in providing investments for for for turning its technological prowess into the Race for the Top. That's a pretty amazing space.


Christiana: [00:28:13] Through their bills. Through their bills.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:28:15] Through that.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:28:17] Exactly. Through the you know, the US is now providing too much subsidy and jobs are going to flee out of Europe and come here to which some people in the administration say, great, and why don't you do more? So why don't we all Race to the Top?


Christiana: [00:28:30] Race to the top?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:28:32] Exactly. So that's a pretty amazing moment. The same cannot be said about nature. It is not in the general consciousness of people, even though it is far more of a bipartisan issue here in the US and generally abroad. So most people around the world will have less to quarrel about when it comes to nature than they did with climate. And yet.


Christiana: [00:28:55] Interesting point.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:28:57] Yeah. And yet we do not have anywhere close to that kind of intensity and focus that we're seeing with climate. And the problem with that is if we don't get the nature piece right, all the rest, all the green revolution that you're seeing, the energy transition that you're seeing to some extent will be for naught. Because without the underlying premise of protecting nature, the climate agenda also fails.


Paul: [00:29:22] Are they even the same agenda?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:29:24] They are, in my opinion, they're the same agenda. They have different framings and maybe different focus. You might focus on heavy industry and cement in one, and you might focus on carbon rich ecosystems, but both of them ultimately are about managing our planet to be livable for us and all the species of life that we find ourselves surrounded by.


Clay: [00:29:46] Hang on one second. Sorry to interrupt. Christiana just sent a message in the chat here.


Tom: [00:29:49] Sorry, Christiana. She's telling us she's got a mandatory update that her computer is going to close down in a minute. So this may be good. Goodbye, Christiana, in which case, we hope to see you again.


Paul: [00:29:56] Well, you should speak well, Christiana.


Tom: [00:29:59] Sanjayan, this is so fascinating and I mean, completely agree also that nature conservation is by definition a conservative issue. And the fact that we fail to kind of keep the politics of these two things together speaks to the mess we're in on climate and also the fact that we've now brought the nature agenda and the climate agenda largely in the COP's back together, which has been happening for a while. But I think last year in Glasgow was a big step in that direction. But a couple of questions both on how that's happened in the climate agenda and also now this COP. My understanding is that there's a somewhat unhappy history of the world meeting its nature and conservation targets. We've seen various attempts to create these frameworks to create conservation, halt and reverse deforestation loss, but we've never really seen a successfully implemented set of plans that have done what they were supposed to do. Is that fair? Why is that? And how can this time be different?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:30:55] Completely fair. That's a fair statement. And why it really has to do with the money. At the end of the day, you know, it is about political will, but it really is about the financing. So what we've seen in climate, it's kind of a stunning thing, what you just said. Right. It's actually stunning to me. Nature is far more unifying than the initial debates were about climate like it was literally telling people, you can't do this or you have to give up what looked like a better life in order to preserve, you know, a livable earth. That's a hard proposition. It's a hard proposition. People like you and I who have it, and it's a really hard proposition for people who don't and aspire to it. Nature is unifying it. Very few people want to go out and destroy nature. You know, I've spent time with people who are cutting down tropical forests in Liberia in order to make charcoal that they then drag out to sell at the side of the road. That is not an easy job. They make very little. There's no we're going to do this and we're going to be able to afford an air conditioner next year. This is like basic survival. Load More

Christiana: [00:32:04]  Survival, right.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:32:07] People who are on the quote unquote, coal face of nature, on the frontlines of nature, who are forced to destroy nature in order to make a living, are really on the margins of survival already. Right. So this should be a unifying theme. The reason is we have not yet quite figured out, well, being able to demonstrate at scale that there is a restoration economy, there is a nature economy, and that, you know, that it is in your own enlightened self-interest in order to invest in these things so that we can all provide for more jobs, etc.. That is starting to happen now. It's just too slow. So what.


Christiana: [00:32:42] Sajjan, is it fair to say that those that are struggling with their survival and do have to cut down trees or whatever, that they're actually not substantially responsible for the destruction is actually more the organized industry that is causing most of the destruction of nature? Is that fair or not?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:33:06] I think it's a bit bit of both. So I think it's certainly organized industry. So the big battles that happen often happen without any of the folks who are right in nature actually having any agency to change that pathway. That's the organized business, the bigger macro forces that that make a country destroy its forest or exploit oil or build a dam. But then on the front lines, too, there is a rural survival issue and there is the lack of jobs and lack of opportunities, you know, does trickle into into saving nature. I mean, the Liberia example I gave you, I mean, I literally went to a 300,000 hectare forced concession, which was supposed to have a small amount developed into palm oil and the rest set aside for nature. That was the sort of general agreement, but for a variety of factors that had very little to do with the people who live within that forest, the plantation never really materialized. The company who started it pulled out of Liberia. The palm oil could not be sold in Europe. And then all that the 20 villages that were in this forest were forced because there are no jobs to go out and cut the forest down for charcoal. So, you know, it's it's more complex than than only saying it's the big industries. It's both.


Tom: [00:34:27] Yeah. And sorry, Paul, do you want to come in with one more question? Yeah. Yeah. So I just wanted to follow this on. So it's really interesting what you say about the fact that this is about the finance that we see, the political world, which is more naturally there. And I would add to what you say, I mean, Christiana and I are often asked, what will it look like when we've done this on climate and people don't get that inspired about. The idea of efficient lighting systems and more and more effective motors. But what they want is a regenerated natural environment that they can live in. It's the thing that that lights us up, right? It's the prize where we're aiming for. But it's fascinating to hear you say that the political will has been there. The native constituency of this exists, which it doesn't necessarily exist for climate. There are people that care passionately about restored nature, but the financing hasn't quite worked. So what how do we know now? We hear a lot of talk about things like biodiversity credits and integrating conservation with sustainable livelihoods. What are the through lines there to provide a platform for conservation while also allowing the finance to access these solutions so they can be delivered at scale?


Paul: [00:35:28] Yeah, that was also my question. Basically, the investment returns I've heard you speak of, we've got thousands and thousands of entrepreneurs listening to this podcast. You know, how should they look at the business case and how they can get involved?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:35:40] I mean, there is a nature economy coming. It's essentially here. We can't hire fast enough within Conservation International for the new types of jobs that have been created. They are in restoration, they in carbon, they're in forest management. I mean, that's a real field. And it's amazing what I'm seeing happening there. So to answer your question, though, take a step back. There are two parts of this. One is getting rid of all the subsidies that go into destroying nature right now. Right. It is hard to just it's easy to say. It's a bit hard to do because you've got to untangle it out from real subsidies that help people get to that next stage. But there are enormous amounts of funding that goes into subsidizing things that provide actually quite poor return on investment already and they often protectionist around a particular industry, etc.. Getting rid of that, that's about $500 billion of subsidies that flow into destroying nature. We could dramatically reduce that and make it a much easier task to get to a net positive world, nature positive world, and then the restoration economy. So I see three quick areas that come into mind. One is we've been talking about natural capital for a long time. It's finally starting to be actualized. So it's cities protecting watersheds, it's communities investing in coral reefs to protect them from storm surges or insurance companies getting into that. So it's about risk management and resource management at a time of scale mitigation.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:37:12] Mitigation as well as creating so.


Paul: [00:37:14] Long term adaptation. So I got it exactly the wrong word. Adaptation, business cases, it's adaptation.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:37:20] It's some, some of it's mitigation, some of it's adaptation, some of it is just simply understanding that, you know, 40% of Mombasa is drinking water comes from one mountain range called the Tulu Hills. And if you don't protect that, that water is going right. So that's one part of it. But we've been talking about that for a long time. It's been slow to emerge as a real scalable field. The other two parts have scaled much quicker. One is restoration, putting back things grazing, grassland restoration, forest restoration, timber management. You know, wood products are having a rebirth. They're seen as potentially the new, new, new product of building for the future. Right. It's amazing what we're now doing with wood that we never imagined possible, you know, 50 years ago. And so there is an interest in in both harvesting timber but also restoring forests you know at scale. So in Brazil, for example, there's a really interesting initiative done by a private bank to buy up degraded land, restore half of it to natural conditions and use the other half for sort of FSC certified timber. So one side pays the other and kind of keeps it growing. The other third part about it is carbon, and I know that's a bit controversial at time, but the truth of the matter is, you know, there's living carbon on this planet.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:38:46] There are some parts of the planet that are chock full of living carbon, carbon and trees, carbon in the soil, carbon under water. If we lose it, it's essentially game over for everything else we're trying to do. Countries ought to be able to monetize that and protect it just as they would protect an oil an oil deposit, Right. I mean, and I see that like for Africa and the Americas and some parts of Asia, I see that as the new commodity, like Africa should be a carbon exporter, but green carbon. Right. And green carbon. And there is a real reason why we should care about protecting the forests of the of DRC or the forest of Indonesia or the force of the Amazon or Amazonia, because if we don't do that, it's going to make everything else much harder. In fact, it's going to make a climate goals essentially impossible. That economy is absolutely booming. Like any new new field, there are shenanigans. There are bad actors. But they're also good actors, and I think we ought to promote the good ones and make sure the bad ones are exposed.


Tom: [00:39:53] So that's really interesting. I mean, that's I assume that's what you're talking about there is biodiversity credits. Christiana, do you want to come in? You're about to be chucked out.


Christiana: [00:40:00] Actually, my computer gave me just in the last second the option not to be kicked out.


Tom: [00:40:05] Oh, it gave you a pass.


Christiana: [00:40:07] Sanjayan, I am old enough to remember when debt for nature swaps were the thing, right? And Costa Rica did several. Ecuador did several. I remember several Latin American countries said that it and given the fact that we're not going to have any handouts on this or on the climate issue, for sure, no handouts. So obviously we need to come up with innovative financial models that make sense to both sides in order to be able to funnel the funding that is necessary to protect these ecosystems. You speak a lot about biodiversity credits. I would love to know what is the relationship between that at a conceptual level and debt for nature swaps, which are of course, I'm assuming that one is more private sector related, the other one is more public sector. And if that is the case, are these two financial models, do they go hand in hand? And should we pursue be pursuing both at the same time?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:41:20] You know, Christiana, you're the first person to link the two in my conversations. And you're right, they are related. You know, both of them put a value on nature and then find a way to monetize that value and encourage countries to protect it for some kind of monetary value. Right. Biodiversity is a little bit more fine scale, but ultimately they are the they're the same essential thing. You're right that debt for nature is mostly the province of governments, whereas how we think about carbon credits is probably more the province of the private sector. But governments play a role in, even in the private sector. Feel like you see with carbon debt for nature swaps certainly work. Conservation International started with a debt for nature swap in Bolivia and I've been to that protected area more recently. It's still there. The indigenous communities that work there are still there, still protecting it. And so it does have a long this was 35 years ago. It's got a good long track record. The Nature Conservancy is quite keen on some debt for nature swaps in the in the marine space. For example, the challenge with debt for nature swap right at this moment is that the cost of borrowing has gone up. So when we're talking about seven, 8% or more, it makes it harder to do these swaps. So that's a temporary pause because of of of the cost of borrowing that has skyrocketed in the in more recent terms, biodiversity credits, a new instrument.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:42:51] They try to do the same thing. But by engaging the private sector, so many companies have made these pledges to go, you know, nature positive or do no harm when it comes to nature. Some of them have made very concrete promises. So WalMart, for example, you know, the CEO of WalMart has stood on stage and said, we are going to protect I forgot exactly what it is, but sort of like 50 million hectares of land and water in order to meet our targets. Right. Where should he do that? How what what form should that protection restoration actually take? That's where carbon, that's where biodiversity credits can come to play, where we can quantify the biological value of a place and find a way to swap it with an ambition that a company has made either for their own supply chain or because their consumers are expecting it. It is much harder than carbon credits to to make happen because one tonne of carbon is the same no matter where it is. Whereas biodiversity obviously has by its very name, it's diverse, but that is a technical problem and I feel confident we can overcome it. So my feeling is biodiversity credits are coming. I'd rather get in front of it than behind it and I'd rather figure out a way to get the private sector engaged in this idea of protecting nature, protecting biodiversity.


Christiana: [00:44:18] And how do we protect biodiversity credits from going down the path of carbon, credits of the temptation to greenwash? How do we protect that? In this case, we actually have to green wash the planet with green. Sorry, that's.


Tom: [00:44:33] Not a good thing.


Christiana: [00:44:34] Exactly. It's a good thing. Yeah, from my perspective. But but. But you see, how do we protect biodiversity credits from the temptation to game the system? Let me use that one.


Paul: [00:44:45] Integrity.


Christiana: [00:44:46] Integrity.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:44:47] I think that happens in every sector. It certainly happens in any new sector. Just look at what the papers are writing about. Or however you can use. Just look at what's been written about. About any new sector that's out there. Right. You'll see this and everything from WeWorks to FDX. So it is nothing new to think that here we are creating a new class of investment. Of course, they're going to be people who come in to try to tame it. The way to get this on the right track is to have the role of government clearly defined. So I think one of the big mistakes that was made with the carbon sector, so carbon credits, which which my organization does participate in under quite narrow rules, is that the rules were left to the nonprofit sector to define. I mean, the US was completely missing from establishing guardrails or establishing guidance for many years. They're doing it now. But without that. So the role of government is not to say no. And the role of government is also not to never be present in the room. The role of government is to provide guardrails in order to ensure that a new class of investments or assets play by a fair playing field.


Paul: [00:46:06] So it starts with the game and starts with the game, and then we get the rules.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:46:09] It starts with the game. Yes. And then nearly always behind the scenes, they nearly always too late. Right? Like, look what happened to Bitcoin. Look what happened to all of that industry. Like, just scrambling to catch up. So, of course, we're going to see the same happen in biodiversity credits. Of course, we're going to see the same happen in carbon. But that's where the governments, particularly developed countries, particularly the global North Europe, the US, the UK and others, ought to play some role in defining those guardrails. You cannot leave it to either the country that is trying to get the credits out of their door. They just want the highest price. And if an oil and gas company comes and says, Give it to us, they'll say, Sure, nor can you leave it actually to the nonprofit sector. That's not ever our role.


Paul: [00:46:54] So presumably, if governments craft really great policy, they can then be central to these growing markets. But it's the quality of the policy we have actually often seen. For example, stock exchanges have grown up around the world in history because of good laws and good governance. But can I just ask a slightly different question? I mean, reading about the biodiversity issue, many authoritative sources talk about the need for a sort of cultural change in how we produce and consume. Would you say that the challenge that we're facing is kind of a little bit about communications and framing, you know, our culture and the way we produce and consume.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:47:35] I think it is about that, but I think that's a lot harder. It takes a lot longer to do than moving money. So I think that most of us who are in conservation or environmentalism, you know, look around and think, gosh, if only I could get this on television. It's going to change the world. I've been doing TV programs for 25 years, everything from Discovery Channel to the BBC. Is it really changing a lot of minds? I'm sure it's changing a few, but not anywhere near the amount of effort that I've put into doing that. In a way, it's almost like displacement behavior. What is going to make a difference is either either strong policies by a country, right? So a country like Colombia or Costa Rica, you know, over successive governments have had a generally positive view towards climate and towards biodiversity or nature protection. Right? And you can see that or because the financial flows, you know, that spigot gets turned on, which is what we're seeing, you know, with with the energy transition now, you know, when when President Trump pulled us out of the Paris climate agreement, I mean, the most amazing thing to me and I remember discussing this, Christiana, was the front what's the full page ad in The New York Times by a host of companies from Tiffany's to Walmart? Like, think about those two brands alone and look at what different audiences all saying we're in it, we're here to stay. They weren't doing that because all of a sudden, you know, they're just they're doing it because it made sense for that business. It made sense for their consumers. But most importantly, because what what's impressive with with that happening was that the financial sector, the business sector was sending a clear message.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:49:18] And I think that's what sustained us through those Trump years. And now we're seeing kind of almost the reverse where government is saying, we're going to pour all this money in to make it even more fertile ground here in the United States, certainly in order to attract investments. So, yes, communications are hugely important. So is the messenger. I mean, Christiana is an unbelievably talented messenger at that time when it came to the Paris Climate agreement. Right. It's not just the message. It's also the messenger and the medium by which you're doing it. But don't put too don't believe that somehow revolutions are going to be caused. And I know this is going to get me in some level of trouble because, you know, people on the streets marching or because kids are protesting from school, they help. But power is incredibly sticky. Every revolution we've seen in the past, the same people who were in power before it somehow managed to hang on to power afterwards. I mean, look, I'm from Sri Lanka. I never thought I would see a revolution like we saw about a year ago. Like. I mean, they burnt the previous president's house down. They burnt his museum down. People celebrate in the streets. Look at really what's happening now and who are back there and who are somehow now managing to still hold on to power. Kind of the same clique, right? So power is sticky. So to make this change, we've got to go much deeper than just messaging.


Christiana: [00:50:47] Wow, Sanjayan. Well, that's a sobering thought. Thank you for that. We really appreciate that. Yeah, because it makes us dig deeper in and analyzing where are the opportunities for progress. So thank you for bringing us back down to to Earth. And Sanjayan, sadly, very sadly, we need to come to a close, but cannot do so without asking you our proverbial two questions. What makes you outraged? And where are your rays of optimism?


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:51:28] The cheapest, most effective thing that we can do to change the lives in a positive way of my three year old daughter is protecting and restoring nature at scale. It will provide jobs in rural areas that are hard to find. It will create a more sustainable environment for everything from businesses to infrastructure to people's lives. And it is the bedrock, the foundation upon which the climate argument, the climate challenge has been built. We are now trying to get in there deep under the Earth and literally change our foundation. shored up. And I think this COP is a crucial moment to do that. And yet I feel that this moment is going to pass. It is not only because we haven't done the work to get us there and because of COVID and because of the strange leadership that we have right now at CBD with with multiple countries trying to move things forward and the whole organisation of it. But the piece that it's not, it's like it's what really makes me cry. Is that this is the cheapest, best way we can save our planet and save our lives and save all of the lives that we have evolved with. And yet we are figuring this moment away. Yeah, there's another CBD that's going to happen in Turkey in two years, and whatever happens out of this one, we've got to make sure we're prepared for that one. Right. Ray of optimism. The energy transition. Like what an amazing moment to be here in DC. I was in the room with President Macron where he's sort of both pleading with and cajoling and slightly berating a group of congressional leaders that the US has gone too far by providing too many subsidies to, you know, renewables. Amazing.


Christiana: [00:53:37] It's a problem we should all have.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:53:39] It's a great problem to have. And he and he said it as well.


Paul: [00:53:42] It's like telling someone they ran a marathon too quickly. You can't do that.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:53:45] Exactly. Like, you know, like we gave him better shoes, right? Like, it's fantastic. What a wonderful problem to have. And what he's he's not saying don't do it. He's saying synchronize better. Right. Synchronize Europe and the US. We get we all for that. But a wonderful place to do that rather than simply it's now levelling up Europe rather than leveling down someplace else. Right.


Tom: [00:54:08] That's a great way to put it.


Christiana: [00:54:13] And Sanjayan, how did they try to synchronize with Europe? They would have missed the political window to do so.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:54:18] 100%. This was the right way to do it. They go do some negotiation with Europe and come and try to sell it here in the US. Wouldn't have happened.


Christiana: [00:54:25] Yeah, wouldn't have happened.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:54:27] Yeah.


Christiana: [00:54:28] Right. Well, it's been such a delight. It's such a delight to have you here on the podcast. We will be very attentive to everything that is happening on COP15. Thank you so much for so many years Sanjayan. So, so, so, so, so many years of of really carrying this torch as you and everybody at CI have been doing. So here is our gratitude to you, to your whole team and to everyone in that space. Right. Because those of us who are more in the climate space have educated ourselves that actually that boundary between the two spaces needs to be torn down. And you have always been pleading for that. So thank you so much for for everything that you have done also on on that one. Delightful to talk to you.


Dr M. Sanjayan: [00:55:24] Well, thank you, Tom and Paul and Christiana, thank you so much for this opportunity and for everything you guys do.


Tom: [00:55:31] Great to have you. See you soon. Bye. See you, Clay. Happy? Got everything you need?


Clay: [00:55:38] Yes, we got everything. Everything that we need. And we're still recording, so we can just go ahead.


Tom: [00:55:42] Okay. So. So good to talk to Sanjayan. I mean, what a leader he has been for so long on so many different issues. What we should do a pretty quick wrap up because we this has already been a long episode, although very fun. What do you both leave the conversation with?


Paul: [00:55:55] I was really struck about, well, it's a point that had been made earlier that, you know, 30% of global action on climate change is is, you know, needs action on nature. But only 3% of funding is going to that. It seems to me that the climate change movement and the biodiversity movement are the same movement. We've got very, very technical in climate change. We think about renewable energy and windmills and costs of solar falling and we think about smart grids. And I've been saying like the Internet's going to be laid over the energy infrastructure, but probably the Internet is going to be laid across nature as well. And actually, we should see this as a single integrated movement. That was that was the thing that stand out for me.


Christiana: [00:56:30] The stand out for me is something that I hadn't thought about and was amazed that I hadn't thought about before, which is his comment that nature or the protection of nature is less politicized than climate because everyone wants to protect nature. That is, I'm not sure if that is factually true, but let's say just out of my gut, I would say that is a true statement. And I'm a little bit concerned about the fact that that is a fact because of the following. In climate, we know that we have politicized the conversation incredibly, and there is no factual reason why climate ought to be more politicized than nature, because we're all feeling the effects of climate impacts. So I'm a little bit concerned about which way are we going, are we going to go the way of politicizing nature unnecessarily and and and against all of our interests? Or will the climate discussion be inspired by the non politicized nature of nature discussion? And do we move in that direction? So I'm a little bit concerned about which direction are we going to follow.


Tom: [00:57:55] Yeah, that's such an interesting point. I've had that thought before and I think that, you know, we could talk about this a lot, but arguably this issue of climate came to a certain degree from those who sounded the alarm on the left. And the solution proposed was a regulatory solution. So those who proposed deregulation resisted and that got embedded and entrenched to the point where it then became systemic. But I really hope I mean, certainly here in the UK and across Europe and I think even in the US, I mean, you know, the cities tend to be left leaning voters and the rural areas tend to be right leaning voters. And people who live in those rural areas tend to want to not see them destroyed and change. So I think it is true that we see a right of center interest in the concepts of conservation, local conservation in particular, and that can have dark elements to it as well for sure, but it can also be positive. So I took that away from it too. And I think that that's really, I think, an encouraging thing, if we can see it both as local as well as global, because that's often where that fault line lies.


Paul: [00:58:59] But just to say also that companies are coming to to realise this now, we actually had 7700 companies talking on biodiversity this year to us, but less than 50% are taking action. So there's a gap between awareness and action.


Tom: [00:59:13] I also think that we should set a new target for legislation in the US that if it makes the French President come over claim about how good it is, then it's successful.


Paul: [00:59:22] So you are going to fast. But I admire you.


Tom: [00:59:28] So thank you very much, everyone. This has been a great episode. We will be watching what's happening in Montreal with great interest and enormous respect and admiration for all of the brilliant people who will be there negotiating away over the next two weeks. We live with a piece of music this week from Boyish. The song is Mom, I Think I'm Gay. So I hope you enjoy this and there will be a bonus that will be out on Tuesday, where Christiana has had a wonderful conversation with a group called HERO. You'll learn more about that on Tuesday, so please tune in for that. Other than that, I think this is our last episode of the year?


Paul: [01:00:04] Not quite. No.


Tom: [01:00:05] We got one more. All right. Other than that. Other than that, We'll see you next week. All right. So see you next week by everyone.


Paul: [01:00:10] Bye bye for now. Bye.


Boyish: [01:00:14] Hi. This is boyish. We're an indie duo based in Los Angeles. The song we're playing today is called Mom I Think I'm Gay. It's a song that was off our first album, Garden Spider, that came out in 2020, right before the pandemic. It's a song about struggling to come out of the closet and being afraid that people that you love won't accept you. When it comes to the current climate crisis, we're optimistic by the passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, which will lend itself to significantly cutting the emission of greenhouse gases. We're outraged by the lack of urgency that it will take to actually bring climate solutions to the world at scale. 


Clay: [01:03:24] So there you go. Another episode of Outrage + Optimism. Boyish. Boyish is new to me, but a Christmas treat. Boyish is the collaboration between singer songwriter India Shorr and guitarist Claire Altendahl. The track that you just heard was Mom, I Think I'm Gay. And I was actually just thinking about this as advice to our listeners. If you're about to go spend some time over the holidays with some younger millennials or Gen Zers. Boyish is a great band to bring up, saying, Hey, I heard this artist. Check them out. They're picking up steam as a duo, and now is actually the time to start adding them to your Apple Music or Spotify follows because their time is coming. I went on their YouTube channel and I found four videos that I'm going to recommend to watch. So here they are. First one, Smithereens. Number two, Legs. Number three, Congratulations. And number four, Superstar. Now, you don't have to memorize that. And those aren't in any particular order. But actually, I think Smithereens is my personal favorite. There are links you can click in the show notes to just go there. You can go watch all of them. And for my favorite listeners who make it all the way to the credits at the end, a fun fact.


Clay: [01:04:48] Last week's artist Belle did a track with Boyish that's off her latest record titled Jet Lag, which I recommended that album last week. Link in the show notes to that as well. You can go. Listen, would you look at that artist we've had on the podcast working together. Can't take credit for the collaboration, but I think I'm going to. You're welcome. I'm just kidding. Please go check out the show notes for all of Boyish's socials. Links to their music, of course. They are planning more releases in spring 2023. More music. More stuff to enjoy. Boyish. So good. Thank you to our guests this week, Sanjayan. You can keep up to date with Son John and the work of Conservation International by clicking around in the show notes. It's all there. Thank you, Sanjayan. Moving right along, we mentioned it at the top of the episode, but the listener survey is closing soon, so please make it a priority to fill out those open text boxes. They call them just in places where you can type whatever you want instead of just clicking like strongly agree, strongly disagree. Now, I should mention we're reading all your responses and those responses will shape the podcast next year. So I promise it's really short.


Clay: [01:06:18] There's no grade at the end of it. You don't pass or fail. You just complete its open response. It's it's an open book. You can have your notes with you. It sounds like I'm prescribing an at home test or something, but I'm not. We seriously can't wait to hear from you, and time is of the essence. Please check the link below and fill out that survey. It will help us out so much and it'll make the podcast better for you. You'll enjoy it more. Okay. That is everything. Thank you so much for sticking with us for the entire episode this Friday, The Way Out is In is posting an episode on generosity, and next week, Tuesday, we'll have another episode of Outrage + Optimism on HERO Circles. We just finished recording that, I think, a couple of days ago. It was fantastic. Can't wait for you to hear that. And generosity is also a part of that episode. You won't want to miss it. And next Thursday, our last episode of the year, we have a special guest. You won't want to miss it. I keep saying you won't want to miss it. There's so much going on you're not going to want to miss. Just hit subscribe. We'll see you next week. Bye.

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