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189: We Are in Listening Mode

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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 about building a sustainable future.

This week, co-hosts Christiana Figueres, Tom Rivett-Carnac, and Paul Dickinson discuss the amazing reviews they’ve received on the podcast and take the opportunity to thank listeners for participating with us in trying to save our planet. The team also announces an upcoming special project they’ve been working on and chats about the nomination of Ajay Banga as World Bank President. A frightening new study on the accelerating rates of extinction is also discussed, and there’s music from Bailen. 

Paul starts with highlights from the results of a listener feedback survey. First, a whopping 87% of respondents said they’d taken action on climate change since listening to the podcast, which includes sharing the podcast一a key part of our mission一and for which we’re deeply grateful. Plus, only 43% of those listening work in the climate space. That means we’re breaking out of the climate bubble and bringing people outside of climate into the conversation. “Astonishing!” declares Christiana. Wait until you hear the rest! 

Next, Tom introduces a fresh theme on O+O related to personal projects each of the co-hosts will work on individually and bring to the podcast. Over the next few weeks, Tom will begin the series on different approaches to change一momentum and perfection. He’ll explore whether they can work together, and if so, how? Exciting stuff is on the way!

In the following segment, our co-hosts weigh in on the World Bank presidential nomination of Ajay Banga, previously President and CEO of MasterCard. They agree he’s a hopeful choice for, among many other things, bringing climate issues back to the World Bank, which stands in contrast to the positions held by outgoing president David Malpass, a climate denier. 

Finally, the trio discusses the alarming new study by lead author Dr. Yuangeng Huang of the China University of Geosciences on the steady destruction of biodiversity and how it’s likely to suddenly tip over into total ecosystem collapse. All agree the study didn’t get the coverage it should have, and that it’s critical we’re focused now on strategies and capital allocations to protect and reverse habitat destruction. Climate won’t matter if this doesn’t get done.

Again, thank you for taking the time to respond so thoughtfully to our listeners’ survey and to help us improve the podcast.

And before you leave please don’t miss the beautiful three-part family harmonies of Bailen on their moving ballad “Eyelashes.”

Correction: We would like to apologise for the mispronunciation of Dr Yuangeng Huang's name during the episode.


To learn more about our planet’s climate emergency and how you can transform outrage into optimistic action subscribe to the podcast here.


Find out more about Ajay Banga, the U.S. nomination to lead the World Bank.

Here is The Guardian’s coverage of Dr. Yuangeng Huang’s study on ecosystem collapse

Here is Dr. Yuangeng Huang’s study itself.

More on Elizabeth Kolbert’s The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History referenced in the episode.

GLOBAL CLIMATE STRIKE on FRIDAY MARCH 3 - Click here to find a strike near you. #TomorrowIsTooLate



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Full Transcript

Tom: [00:00:12] Hello and welcome to Outrage and Optimism. I'm Tom Rivett-Carnac.

Christiana: [00:00:15] I'm Christiana Figueres.

Paul: [00:00:17] And I'm Paul Dickinson.

Tom: [00:00:18] This week we discuss the fantastic reviews you provided to our podcast and say thank you for participating in everything we're trying to do. We talk about the nomination of Ajay Banga as the new President of the World Bank and the concerning data around rapidly accelerating rates of extinction. Plus, we talk about an upcoming special over the next two weeks, and we have music from Bailen. Thanks for being here. So it's so nice to see you two. And first of all, before we delve into these amazing reviews that we've gotten for our podcast over the last few weeks, cracking job last week, it was an amazing podcast. How brilliant to have those two guests back, Sandrine and Johan Rockström, an incredible job, great music. It was fantastic. I feel like I can basically retire and I'm not really needed here anymore. Hello, Clay.

Paul: [00:01:07] Hmm. You're very kind, Clay raising his eyebrows because the very good music was from Clay himself, and his extraordinary son.

Tom: [00:01:15] I know.

Christiana: [00:01:16] I know, Clay and Emrys, that was so sweet. I totally loved it.

Tom: [00:01:20] So good.

Christiana: [00:01:21] I listened to it several times, like tuning my ear into Emrys' little voice. So cute.

Paul: [00:01:28] That's my Emrys impersonation.

Tom: [00:01:29] If you haven't heard it from last week, pause this and go back now and listen to it because it was fantastic. So thank you, Clay.

Clay: [00:01:35] Oh, thank you. We had the best time, so thanks for having us on.

Tom: [00:01:40] And we're going to get into some of the topics of the week that have been happening. Obviously, big week as ever for climate. Lots of interesting things going on. But first of all, several months ago we asked you, the listeners, to Outrage and Optimism to provide us with some feedback on the podcast, how you find it, which bits you like, which bits you don't like. And we got an enormous number of responses. It was really rich delving in to what's working and how we can improve. And I think we're going to start, Paul, you're going to give us some highlights.

Paul: [00:02:06] I am. I am going to give you some highlights. Lots of highlights. You know, when I was a younger person, I used to work as a market researcher and I used to ask people questions about all sorts of different things. And one thing I really noticed was that the text, the free answers where people just speak their minds, I found tremendously helpful. And so we had free questions in the survey and hundreds and hundreds of people typed in hundreds and thousands of sentences. And I read them all. And I just want to thank you all so very much for taking time to help us. Lots of advice, some of it contradictory. Many people saying make the podcast longer. Many, many people, probably more people saying make it shorter. Many people saying.

Christiana: [00:02:49] I'm not going to comment on that one. We all know which way I want to lean.

Tom: [00:02:55] Lots from Costa Rica saying make it shorter was that.

Paul: [00:02:57] But really, and we're not going to read out any individual things because we haven't got your permission to do so. But one thing I really wanted to pick up on was alongside the incredible action so many people are taking, which is very, very inspiring and and a great honour for us to be a part of what we're all doing together.

Tom: [00:03:16] 87%, right? 87% of listeners say they have taken action on climate change as a result of listening to the podcast. That was a stunning statistic.

Paul: [00:03:23] And 13% of listeners said they felt absolutely terrible that they hadn't taken action on it. No, I made that up. But but, but the one I'm going to highlight is a lot of people saying what what can practically we do with regard to climate change? You know, it's all very fine and fancy for us to be able to interview all sorts of super people on this podcast, but what can everybody do? And so I've got some thoughts on that and we could talk about that. But what did you, Tom and Christiana think? Load More
Christiana: [00:03:51] Wow. Ok, I'm trying to catch my breath after all of that, Paul. So a couple of things first, it does take time to fill out these surveys. So thank you very much to everyone who did and we're quite touched and grateful for that. I wanted to go into a little bit detail about this astonishing 80% of respondents taking action because it, the detail is what actually counts. So, yes, 87% said they take some form of action. Now, 65% said that the action that they take is sharing the podcast. That may sound glib, but actually it is really important because what we're striving to do here is to communicate to broader and broader audiences. And in fact, we now know that we're in the top 1% of most shared podcasts globally. That is astonishing. And particularly what I particularly like is that our audience seems to be only 43% people who directly work on climate. And here's the important piece 73 who are only indirectly or not at all linked to the climate crisis. That's really wonderful because we will remember the three of us when we had this idea of launching a podcast that what we wanted to do was break out of the climate bubble and have conversations that are accessible to people who are not climate nerds. And so it seems that we are actually accomplishing our goal, which is to be able to break out of that bubble and bring other people who are not working on climate into this conversation. So I am thrilled about that. The other thing I'm thrilled about is that beyond sharing the podcast and helping us to break out of the climate bubble, 58% of our respondents have taken action in their personal lives.

Christiana: [00:06:05] Now, I would and 44 have taken action in their professional lives. I am just so touched by that because that, again, is another of our goals, not just to inform people and change their attitude toward the fact that if we contribute, we can actually solve this. But to go beyond the attitude change and actually engage people in the desire and the action that they take in their own lives, whether it be personal lives or professional lives. So I am really touched by that. And it does seem that people who who take action in their personal lives have done community organizing. They've changed their investment decisions, they are increasing their philanthropy to climate, they're doing home renovations, Paul Dickinson will be very happy about that. And and listeners, professional lives have been changed because some people have actually changed their careers.

Paul: [00:07:08] Many. 

Christiana: [00:07:09] So exciting and they're influencing their workplace environmental policies. Certainly having mindset shift. Doing, starting environmental start ups. I mean it is really, I am just honestly on my knees with gratitude that this is the impact that we're having because that's what we wanted. And so I'm just really grateful that these numbers show that we are reaching the the goals that we set ourselves to. And that February of this year was our highest download month ever. So we are continuing to increase in downloads. So I'm just thrilled, thrilled, thrilled, thrilled to see to see this survey.

Tom: [00:07:59] Yeah, no, I completely share all of that. And would chime in on the appreciation to everybody for listening and participating in this, and we will stop talking about ourselves in a minute. But just a couple of other data points before we do that.

Paul: [00:08:12] I'm not going to.

Tom: [00:08:14] A couple of other things, from, beyond what you say, Christiana, that really struck me. One is that 70% of listeners feel more hopeful that transformative change is possible if they listen to the podcast on a regular basis. And one that I really liked was, again, 74% said that as a result of listening to the podcast, they are more open to listening to the views of others and collaborating on change. That was really wonderful. And then the final one for me is two thirds of listeners feel like they're part of a community listening to Outrage and Optimism. And that one made me really happy because that's what we try to do. And we'll continue to try to do. So, thank you for being part of this community. We really value having you listening and engaging with you and look forward to doing it for a lot longer. Paul.

Paul: [00:08:59] And The New York Times actually mentioned us as one of six podcasts that can help you beat climate denial. They said that although sometimes our optimism could seem pollyannaish, it was based in reality. But I just wanted to say a little bit about that, I'm going to say something very inappropriate, but I can't resist it. I had a friend who said, look, imagine climate change kills all the humans and just imagine it kills like pretty much all the animals. He said there'll be something in a pond somewhere, right? And each tonne we take out of the atmosphere gives that thing in the pond more chance. So it doesn't matter how doomy or positive or negative you are, we're doing the right thing for the future of life on earth. But I'm going to just respond to that very quick point and I'm going to spend only a few seconds on it. But things like what can you do? People know climate change is caused by combustion of coal, oil and gas and cutting down trees. Those are the four main drivers. And you can just look at those activities and see where they show up. Often it's in electricity use, but for example, in finance, in business, there are all these climate opportunities, in government there's education, procurement and businesses like insulation, Christiana mentioned. Or what about food? Everybody needs to, we need to change the way the food that we eat. Even if you were like running a hotel or something like that, if you get people to come from your country to your hotel and not people from other countries, you're cutting down on air travel. So in a sense and there are so many jobs in NGOs helping to people understand about the great transition, the great decarbonisation that we need to undergo. So I didn't want to talk about this for hours, but just look at the causes.

Tom: [00:10:30] Oh, please, please, that would be wonderful. 

Paul: [00:10:30] Okay, all right, well Tom, that's good. We'll pivot now, you can go and make some tea and coffee you two and I'll, I'll, I'll extempore, I'll cascade, I'll cascade on this theme.

Tom: [00:10:39] Very nice to hear and to talk to people about what they can do. Have I cut you off? You're looking awfully sad.

Paul: [00:10:44] No, no, it's fine. You know, I'm sure our listeners have heard enough from me for on this topic. It's not a problem. It's fine. Carry on Tom.

Christiana: [00:10:53] Could you please hand him a tissue?

Paul: [00:10:56] It's something in my eye. It's not. I'm not upset. It's just that, it's just dust. Tom, carry on.

Tom: [00:11:01] All right. Thank you for that. And thank you listeners again. This has been wonderful. Now, very quickly, we're going to we're going to move now to topics of the week. But I just want to share with you, the next couple of weeks are going to be a little bit different of Outrage and Optimism. Should we talk about that now? Fellow co hosts for a minute before we dive on.

Christiana: [00:11:17] Please do unveil the mystery, because this is a mystery to everyone, including Paul and myself.

Paul: [00:11:23] Yeah, I know. No listeners. You know, Tom's basically up to something and nobody knows what it is. And now is the big reveal. Mr Tom Rivett-Carnac, explain yourself what's happening next. Why have Christiana and I been locked out of the podcast?

Tom: [00:11:33] You haven't been locked out.

Paul: [00:11:35] Well, we're not appearing for the next two weeks, are we?

Christiana: [00:11:36] Oh, yes, we're locked out. Something's going on here.

Tom: [00:11:40] No, no, no, no. Now, if you remember friends, a few months ago, we thought about and every year with the podcast, we try and do something a little bit fresh and different building on what we've got, but also evolving it and taking it further. And the three of us decided that we would each do a personal project, at least one where we go off and explore over a couple of episodes, something that we are really passionate about. And I know I know that Paul is already working on his, so that will be revealed later.

Paul: [00:12:04] I'm working on several actually.

Tom: [00:12:07] So Christiana, a few years ago when we were working together in the UNFCCC, we had a theory of change around creating the Paris Agreement. And you were very straightforward about this. You said, we're going to celebrate every time a tonne is reduced, every time a tree is planted, every time someone else gets on board with this transformation. And that enabled us to build a wave of possibility and momentum and optimism. And my assessment of those years is that ultimately that wave crashed over us and carried us forward, which enabled the breakthroughs that everybody thought were impossible. Now, much has changed in the years since then, but one of the big things that's changed is the climate impacts have just gotten so much worse. We haven't done what we're supposed to do. Now as a result of that, everybody is getting this breathless anxiety and rather than building a sense of optimism and possibility and let's get going, there's more of a sense of, well, is it really happening? And do we really believe those leaders who are saying that change is possible, shouldn't we be a bit more skeptical about what they're saying? And that's a good thing, because what that means is that we can ensure that people who commit to action are really taking action. But what I have been worried about for a while is that that attitude stops our momentum and stops our positivity before we really get going. So I see these two different approaches as potentially complementary, but potentially in conflict, let's call one momentum and one perfection. How can the two of them work together? Because that's necessary. And what we do in the series is we go back to talk to direct descendants of the founders of the suffragettes around how this worked historically. We talk to activists, we talk to business leaders about these two different philosophical approaches, how they can come together and how they often don't, and what we can do to ensure that we can move forward together.

Christiana: [00:13:54] Well, Tom, that's very exciting. And I'm thrilled that you have gone into somewhere, into podcast hiding and recorded all of these chats with from from what I'm hoping are different perspectives, because I definitely agree with you that there is on the one side, an expectation not just of perfection, but of immediate perfection. It's like no matter what you've been doing, you have to be perfect by 6 p.m. this evening. So that is a pretty prevalent expectation that is being put out there that is very understandably coming, as you have mentioned, from the urgency that science has been has been touting and screaming from the rooftops for such a long time. And then there is the other piece that is perhaps a more realistic and less ambitious attitude of, well, actually change takes time and policy is always very slow. And, you know, I can't do things because my shareholders or my clients or my whatever. So those two are operating at the same time. How do we bring those two together into a constructive space? I would call it into a constructive contrast there that where they mutually support each other and where we are able to find the middle ground, where we are adamant about continuous improvement. But that improvement needs to have a sense of urgency. And so how how do we do that? So I'm delighted actually, and very interested and exciting about hearing the conversations that you've been having.

Paul: [00:15:50] Hmm. No, I agree 100%, Christiana, and very exciting, Tom well done. I'm I've been thinking recently that the world is dividing into people who are thinking about the long term and they're looking at this great big wall of these kind of terrifying stats about greenhouse gases and biodiversity loss and then people who are operating in the here and now with that momentum and sort of dancing about different topics like surfers, and they can they can feel like, you know, one, if one is from Mars and the other is from Venus you know, but actually we're just the same people. But we're looking at different time horizons, we're looking at different tactics, we're looking at different ways of operating. So congratulations to you and trying to dig into that and give us some some clarity about how we can be more effective.

Tom: [00:16:31] Well, we'll see. And hopefully. So, I'm looking forward to seeing what you think of the episodes. They'll be out next week and and exactly as you say, Christiana, one of the interesting things that I learned talking to people who've done this historically and really deep thinkers about this is is at times you just need to accept attention and you need to work out how that exists together. But also and this isn't giving away the sort of outcome of the series. A lot of this is about human relationships. If you have trust between people who take different approaches, then you can find ways to collaborate and accelerate the outcome. So what I'm really hoping will come out of these series is that we realize that actually, even if people take a different approach to change to ourselves, we still need to find a way to build strong human relationships, because ultimately everybody from school strikers to corporate leaders who are trying to make change should be allies in this. And the fact that we've allowed those two to feel like they are polar opposites and are not always allies is part of our problem. So more on that next week and really look forward to hearing what listeners say.

Tom: [00:17:30] Now, we've managed to spend quite a bit of this episode talking about ourselves in one way or another. So let's end that now and talk about the world. And I wonder if we should start with the interesting nomination of Ajay Banga to the position of President of the World Bank by President Biden. Now, listeners may wonder why we're sort of giving so much credence to this, but the reality is that the US is the majority shareholder in the World Bank, and whoever they nominate ultimately gets appointed. So it's all but certain that Ajay Banga will now be the new President of the Bank. He's an interesting character. He used to be CEO of MasterCard, and there's already indications that actually he will be a stronger leader on climate for the Bank than David Malpass. And the first thing I would say is, thank god for Al Gore. He actually was the one who raised this issue initially that David Malpass was theoretically a climate denier. And this has changed very quickly. So, Christiana, what do you want to say?

Christiana: [00:18:20] Yeah, I was going to say it's not difficult to be more climate responsible than David Malpass.

Tom: [00:18:25] That's true.

Christiana: [00:18:25] That is not a difficult.

Paul: [00:18:27] Assuming, of course climate change is real, Christiana, which you know, I'm not a scientist.

Tom: [00:18:31] That's true. Yeah, I look forward to the remove Paul Dickinson from Outrage and Optimism campaign.

Christiana: [00:18:37] No, I'm actually very excited about Ajay taking over. The one concern that I have seen from some people is of course that Ajay is not a woman and it is time for women to be in these in these positions. But I must say, from my perspective, that is the one thing that that I'm sad about everything else about Ajay, I am so excited because yes, it is completely true what you just said, Tom, that it is the United States that nominates the President of the World Bank and and Europe usually gets the nomination for the International Monetary Fund. So it's usually a European and a US person there, that duet. But how interesting that who they have nominated is an Indian born US citizen. So tipping their hat from a political perspective toward developing countries because developing countries have been banging on the table for years saying, hold on, the purpose of the World Bank is to support developing countries. And we have never had a developing country person at the presidency of the World Bank. So staying within the rules, but tipping their hat toward not just any developing country, but one of the largest and most important developing countries. So kudos for for that factor that Ajay brings. But beyond that, Ajay is a member of the B Team Leader Group, as am I, and hence I know him personally and I have huge trust in him. He has always demonstrated that he is what I would call on the right side of history, whether it is about social and financial inclusion and fighting for the opportunities for those most vulnerable having been made most vulnerable by the current system, whether it is climate, whether it is women's rights, whether it is about understanding that there is a very important collaboration that is necessary between public and private sectors for most challenges that we have, but especially on climate.

Christiana: [00:21:06] Absolutely, a leader on that. I am thrilled with the nomination of Ajay. Absolutely thrilled. And I will divulge that he let me know when I wrote to him to congratulate him. He wrote me to say that the way that he is starting is he is traveling to the countries that are members of of the World Bank in a listening mode. Friends, this is so important because he is not going to tell them what he thinks they ought to do. Dah dah, dah, dah. No, he is going to the different governments that are members of the of the World Bank, all basically all governments, some in the as directors and some as as clients of the bank. But he is going to listen, to listen to them about what do they think the role of the World Bank ought to be. How is the World Bank performing now in 2023 with respect to the challenges that everybody is facing and this that he starts, although he hasn't been formally appointed yet, because that has to happen later on this year, but that he is preparing for the formal appointment by going and listening to governments and to people of the different countries. I just think that is brilliant, absolutely brilliant and speaks very highly of him. So I have to say, friends, that our Outrage and Optimism newsletter was a little bit on the balanced side of the appointment and and that's not how I personally feel.

Tom: [00:22:53] No.

Christiana: [00:22:53] With the exception of the fact that he is not a woman, but everything else is actually spot on. And I am thrilled to have him as the new President of the World Bank.

Tom: [00:23:07] Yeah, I actually feel like we should apologize a bit for that newsletter, Christiana, just going back to that point.

Christiana: [00:23:14] Yes.

Tom: [00:23:14] I feel like it came out and I don't know, many listeners may be subscribers to our newsletter. It came out with an implication that there was a negative slant on that and we don't need to go into what happened there, but I don't feel like that represents how we want to acknowledge and receive this news, because I actually felt like it was incredibly positive that he was recommended, first of all. And secondly, I feel like just philosophically, we should give him a chance anyway. So there are those out there who are saying because he has a corporate background, therefore that's suspicious, I don't share that perspective at all. And I think he could be a transformative President of the World Bank. And I think it's great that he's come from MasterCard, where he has a strong record of actually having been impactful as well.

Christiana: [00:23:57] Now, I totally agree. And I actually think the fact that he does have that private sector background is a strength, because I fundamentally do not believe that we're ever going to be able to address climate change without the private sector doing its job. There is no way that this is going to be done only with public sector. There's just no way. And so the fact that someone who is now in the most powerful public financial institution with the mandate to support the development of developing countries, it's very critical that they understand the logic of the private sector because presumably that person will be able, Ajay in this case, will be able to bridge a gap that has been pernicious. The gap between public and private is absolutely not serving us at all. So I am delighted, as I said before.

Tom: [00:24:58] Yeah.

Paul: [00:24:58] The the private sector being five times the size of the government and the NGOs, at least in the US and in most countries. So yeah, it's obviously got to be about the, the, the rules for the private sector or, or creating enabling frameworks to unleash that extraordinary power.

Tom: [00:25:13] Yeah. Okay. So anything else on that one or shall we move on?

Paul: [00:25:18] Let's move on.

Tom: [00:25:19] So the next thing I just wanted to bring up here is that there was a study that came out this week that came out of the China University of Geosciences, and the woman there, Dr. Guangzhou Huang, who was the lead author, has been in the news this week talking about this. And, you know, this is the kind of thing that we are used to seeing in the news, but we need to try to allow ourselves to see the red light flashing. This was, to me quite shocking and it did not receive the pickup that it should have done. It looked at tipping points in the natural system and the point it makes is that the steady destruction of wildlife can and looks like it's likely to suddenly tip over into total ecosystem collapse. And it looked at the Permian-Triassic extinction event, which is known as the great dying and occurred 252 million years ago was driven by global heating, which came from volcanic eruptions and wiped out 95% of life on earth. Species today are being lost faster than that. Wildlife is being destroyed due to changes in natural habitats, farming, pollution, etc.

Tom: [00:26:20] And we are getting to the point where we are likely to precipitate this type of wholesale wholesale ecosystem collapse. And I just think it's hard to underline enough. It really matters very little what we do on climate unless we get on top of this issue. We need to be absolutely on the front foot in terms of capital allocations, in terms of strategies to prevent and reverse these destructions of habitats, because if we actually follow what this study says and that it happens slowly, then all of a sudden you get widespread shifts that can lead to massive changes in whole ecosystems. That in itself will precipitate the types of devastating impacts we've talked about in climate change. This has to be done at the same time, we have to get nature based solutions to work, for example, for capital to flow into this. This needs to be a wake up call to demonstrate just how critical it is that we deal with the nature issue along with climate, as if we didn't know it already but. Either of you have any thoughts on that?

Christiana: [00:27:19] Well. So this report underlines yet again what we have known for a long time, Tom. And I'm thinking, of course, about Elizabeth Kolbert's book, The Sixth Mass Extinction, which was published in 2014, a year before the Paris Agreement. I'm thinking of all of the work of Johan Rockström, a friend of this podcast, and so many other scientists who have been, as I say, screaming from the rooftops and really warning us about these tipping points, about the cascade, irreversible cascade of destruction and disappearance that we may have already precipitated or have already precipitated. And and and when you said nothing on climate that we can do is going to matter. Well, the fact is that it is only us little humans in our infinite wisdom who have decided that climate is one thing and biodiversity is another. I mean, honestly, when nature hears us say that, she just laughs because it has they are absolutely, absolutely intertwined. Absolutely one and the same, or, if you will, two sides of one very, very, very thin piece of paper. And there's no way that you can carve a wedge into that thin piece of paper because they are both intertwined. There is no way, it is what is happening on climate plus deforestation that is killing these species.

Christiana: [00:28:52] And without the buffer that these different ecosystems, both land and ocean, provide us to be absorbing all of this CO2, we would be in much, much harder situations. So the two of them are totally interlinked. I have no idea what point, you know, in Rio '92, we created a convention for climate change, a convention for biodiversity. Really, they should have been one and the same, you know, from the start. But we didn't know that. We didn't understand that. And the way to wrap our heads around the complexity was to separate them. So, you know, this this is yet another call for all of us to understand that these two things are nothing other than not just the survival of the planet as a collection of ecosystems, but the survival of humanity. And I want to bring that in. It's not just that biodiversity and climate are intertwined. We humans depend on that healthy relationship between those two, and otherwise we are a goner. Which, in the history of the planet is not a big deal because the planet has been here for 4.5 billion years, 99.9% of that time without us humans. And it's us who are getting in the way now. So.

Paul: [00:30:19] I think it's like 99.9999% of the time without us humans. I mean, Christiana, you are, of course, completely right. And you know, somebody pointed out to me that humanity is not going to be destroyed in the next five years and therefore nobody really cares. Right. And the key point is that five years isn't very long, and 100 years is really quite a long time. And, you know, biodiversity loss is going to affect us. You know, what's that thing people say? People underestimate what they can do in five. Overestimate what they can do in five years and underestimate what they can do in 100 years or ten years. This is the situation we're facing here. We are overestimating what might happen today or tomorrow. But within 20, 30, 40, 50, 60 years, we are facing, you know, unbelievable tragedy for ourselves. And I want to mention particularly the fact that people just don't get it. I was listening to a podcast called The Rest Is Politics with Alastair Campbell and Rory Stewart, who's been on this podcast. And they're wonderful and they talk so eloquently about contemporary affairs and they talked about biodiversity because Rory had asked Alastair to look it up and they had probably about a ten minute discussion about a rhino species that may go extinct.

Paul: [00:31:36] It was kind of interesting, but unbelievably shallow, frankly, and trivial in its analysis. I love the show, don't get me wrong, but they are not experts and the experts are talking to us and they're saying this is really serious. And I don't know, I just kind of wanted to share something that I call, They Are Impostor Syndrome. You know, like people talk about Imposter Syndrome. Sometimes you're in a meeting and, you know, with all these big people and you think, oh, I don't actually, I haven't got the right to be here.

Tom: [00:32:03] I have that, I have that.

Paul: [00:32:04] There is something called They Are Imposter Syndrome, where you're sitting in a meeting with a whole bunch of big people and they have no idea what they're talking about. And it's like, mommy, you know. So this is serious. That's the point that biodiversity loss is a national security issue. It's a global security issue. And we need to just grow up a little bit and treat it as such and get serious about it. That's me.

Tom: [00:32:26] Yeah. Now, sadly, we're running out of time, but I'm glad we were able to highlight that issue yet again, as we often need to, to just remind ourselves of the situation we're facing. And one of the things we didn't go into here is the fact that nature based solutions is one of the mechanisms that can try and deal with this. And for whatever reason, we are deciding that that's not an appropriate response to climate change. We need to find a way to incorporate those elements responsibly to deal with this crisis while we can. Would be my perspective. Right. So unless either of you have any other erudite thoughts to add, I will introduce our music.

Paul: [00:32:58] I have erudite thoughts from other people just two. One is a brilliant article by a Chinese academic called Jing Tsu, and she pointed out that if China and the United States have never been more similar than they are now, so just remember that, as the two countries fall out spectacularly, recognize that they've never been more alike. And then the other thing and I really want to emphasize this, fascinating insight from a sportsperson, a rugby captain. I'm not a sports follower, but Siya Kolisi is the the captain of the Springboks rugby team in South Africa and he's got a political mission and he says it's so brilliant what he says. He says he has a vision for government to be run the same way that rugby is run, he said. We play against each other in different franchises, but then we come together in one team to compete nationally. He said politicians should compete every four years in elections and then come back to work together towards the same plan.

Christiana: [00:34:00] Hear, hear!

Paul: [00:34:00] That's a brilliant idea and and such an insight and something that we could really learn from. So thank you very much for that Siya.

Christiana: [00:34:07] Nicely put. Thanks. Thanks for picking that up, Paul.

Tom: [00:34:11] Okay. So hard act to follow this week on the music, but we've got a great artist who does it. This is Bailen. The song is Eyelashes. This is a amazing piece of music. Three part harmonies from three siblings based in New York. You're going to really enjoy it. Thank you for joining us this week. Thank you for everything. Thank you for the listener survey. We will be back as a team. Three, three, the three of us. Not next week, not the week after, but the week after that. So going to miss you. I hope you enjoy the specials that I've put together.

Christiana: [00:34:37] Bye for a whole two weeks.

Paul: [00:34:41] See you, Tom, next week.

Tom: [00:34:42] Yeah, I'll be there next week.

Paul: [00:34:44] Bye. 

Tom: [00:34:45] Bye.

Bailen: [00:34:47] Hey, this is Daniel from Bailen. Thank you so much for having us on Global Optimism's Outrage and Optimism Podcast. My band is called Bailen and it's a family band. We got my twin brother David on the drums, Julia, our sister on guitar and me on the bass, and we all sing in three part harmony. We grew up in New York City, born and raised, and I'm just going to talk a little bit about the song Eyelashes. The song was inspired by a friend's story who told me that when she was a child growing up on the Lebanese border during the second Lebanese war, her mom told her she could make a wish on an eyelash. Every time she found an eyelash, she wished for peace that never came. So she started tearing out all her eyelashes so she'd have more wishes to end the war. Soon, she had no eyelashes left. With the destructive war in Ukraine passing a year and conflicts all around the globe. Sometimes it feels impossible to imagine a world where her wish could come true. But it's so important to continue to imagine and strive for a world where it does. As creatures of habit, we continue to resort to wars to solve conflicts. In the same way we have difficulty changing our ways when it comes to the environment. It's frustrating how we clearly have the ability to make this world a liveable home for our future generations. But amassing the will to truly change proves to be the hardest hurdle. It's encouraging to see young people taking climate change seriously. There is more passion in saving our planet than there has ever been before, but we need to make up for lost time. We're just visitors on this beautiful planet. And as the song goes, we can't control where the wind blows. But we can definitely harvest its energy instead of using fossil fuels. Thanks so much for having us on and for all the important work you're doing here.

Clay: [00:40:51] So there you go. Another episode of Outrage and Optimism. That was Eyelashes from our new friends Bailen. And what a thoughtful intro and song of the moment. As you heard, they have something really, really special going on between their voices and how locked in they are musically. You can hear that they're family, but just the musical discipline and the work that they have put into it just it takes it over the top. Bailen has some exciting news. They have a new record coming out on May 5th titled Tired Hearts, and they sent along a little note about it. And what caught my eye in the note is that, as you know, they are just spectacular at performing live together. And that's actually how they've approached working in the studio before live tracking, meaning they hit record they perform, and that forms the majority of what you hear on the record. On this new album, they took a quote unquote collagists approach, which means kind of like a bigger focus on adding musical and sound layers and layers over time. So yeah, we get to hear this new progression in their music coming soon. You can hear a tease of the new production and sound that I'm talking about on a single that they just released called, Call It Like It Is. It's really fun. It's very dancey. You you can't sit still and listen to it. I'm actually going to play it for Emrys tomorrow in the car and see if we can both stay in our seats. Bailen, if you're listening, I would love to have you back on once the album comes out.

Clay: [00:42:32] Link in the show notes to pre-save Tired Hearts on Spotify or pre-add on Apple Music. So the album will be basically in your library as soon as it drops if you hit that button. They're also on tour in the US and they have one date in Toronto as well in Canada, and those tour dates are from now until mid May and they actually have a date here in Michigan. So I'm going to add that to my calendar here. Bailen's  a perfect artist for this week's episode because the next two weeks we're not going to be featuring a music artist at the end of the show. And they have this massive video catalogue of music videos and performances for you to enjoy. I've picked two and put them in the show notes. One is, Call It Like It Is, which is this music video that's a bit suspenseful. It's like a thriller movie. It's a very gripping watch. And the second one is I was laughing out loud, alone, sitting here by myself watching it. It's very funny. It's called Something Tells Me. And the music obviously incredible. Those are my two picks for the week. Follow the links in the show notes. You have two weeks of music to enjoy. So yeah, Tom over the next two weeks will be leading us through his mini series on these two theories of change within the climate movement. We have been working around the clock to make this a great two episodes for you to hear the best way you can, make sure that you don't miss it is by hitting subscribe or follow on your podcast player.

Clay: [00:44:06] All right. Now, as you can see on your screen, Outrage and Optimism is a TED podcast part of the TED Audio Collective. You can go to TED.com/podcasts to listen to more podcasts. We are in great company over there and the collective is growing. I can't really say what I heard, but in meetings and in conversations I hear exciting things coming your way that are climate related. So keep your eyes peeled and your ears open. TED.com/podcasts. And if you like this podcast, please leave us a rating and review on Apple Podcasts. You can join us online for more Outrage and Optimism happening out in the world. LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram @ OutrageOptimism. I'm almost at the bottom of my list, so just a couple more things. We get so much feedback from you, the listeners, that you share our podcast via word of mouth, and that includes WhatsApp and texting and stuff. That has been a massive factor in how we stay on the air. I know we covered it a little bit earlier in the episode, but I want to emphasize it's your recommendation to friends, family, colleagues that keeps our podcast and our community growing. So from all of us who are working behind the scenes, thank you for partnering with us on this journey and for sharing Outrage and Optimism with other people.

Clay: [00:45:32] Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. If you're wondering what to do tomorrow, Friday, March 3rd, 2023. There is a global climate strike specifically calling for an end to all financing of fossil fuel projects organised by Fridays For Future. They have a map on their website where you can find the strike closest to you. Some details, contact information. It's a great map. The strike is happening tomorrow. If you're listening to this on Thursday or super early Friday in the morning, go check it now because you've got to get out there and if you do go, be sure. Take a picture, tag us on Instagram or Twitter so that we can see you out there. Go strike! Last thing and then I'll let you go. I received quite a few really, really nice comments and messages about the song that my son Emrys and I shared last week on the show, and I read a few of them over the weekend to him. And so Emrys got to experience what can come from the power of singing and sharing a song. So thank you to everyone who reached out to me, who shared a kind word. This is why we feature music at the end of the show. You know, music has a way to unlock our head and our heart connection in a way that is really unique. Powerful. Thanks for that. Next week, our first episode in Tom's special series, if you don't want to miss, hit, follow or Subscribe, and we'll see you then.


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