Climate Ambassador Podcast Series

Subscribe and listen as we chat about all things climate change, while exploring overlaps into many other areas of our lives, such as agriculture, food, transport, biodiversity, well-being and much more, with expert guest speakers on each episode.

So if you are just at the beginning of exploring the topics or are a seasoned pro, we hope you will always take away a few nuggets of info with you, and be inspired to change one thing.

Podcast 1 – An introduction to climate change and the Climate Ambassador programme

Gary and Amy chat about climate change and give an outline of what the Climate Ambassador programme is all about.

During this first podcast of the series, they offer plenty of insights about the causes, effects and most importantly the solutions to climate change, how the Climate Ambassador programme is playing it’s part and with lots of suggestions for you to take into your own life.

Podcast 2 – Agriculture, Farming in Ireland & Climate Change 

Gary and Amy chat with Dr James Moran (GMIT) and then head over to Moy Hill Farm to chat with regenerative farmer Fergal Smith.

In this second episode, we cover a wide range of topics including Farming For Nature and how it can reward farmers for providing ecosystem services. We hear about regenerative farming and how it works to build healthy soil. High Nature Value farmland is discussed and how it can be farmed at low intensity to suport biodiversity. Among the other topics discussed are CAP, Farm2Fork, sustainable production and consumption and how farmers can help with flood mitigation measures.

Podcast 3 – Food in Ireland & Climate Change 

In this third episode, Gary and Amy head to the kitchen to chat with food writer and enterpeneur Michelle Darmody and director of Food Space Conor Spacey.

We cover a wide range of foodie topics including the relationship between food and climate change. Keeping it all culinary, Michelle and Conor chat about zero waste, sustainable food systems and food miles within their businesses and offer food for thought to us as consumers. We also hear about food waste and what we can all do to help prevent it, with lots of other sustainable food tips and tricks shared that we can bring into our own daily lives.

Podcast 4 – Historical Connections to Climate Change 

Releasing this fourth episode just before the Christmas break, Gary and Amy go back in time to chat with Professor Conor Murphy, Department of Geography at Maynooth University and Professor Francis Ludlow, Department of Medieval Environmental History, Trinity College Dublin.

Covering a wide range of time, we look at ice ages, what causes them and aren’t we due another one? How did industrialisation of the West have an impact on our climate, historical extreme weather events and what lessons can we learn from the past. As always, we seek out the messages of hope, take away nuggest of wisdom and a call to action for everyone.

Podcast 5 – Sustainable Planning 

Starting the new year with this fifth episode, we pause, to reflect what is going on at present with rural and urban planning, particularly with the pandemic in our midst, to chat with Niall Cussen, Office of the Planning Regulator (OPR) and Jane Hackett, Manager of both Green-Schools Travel and the Climate Ambassador Programme.

We discuss concepts like the 15 Minute City, Doughnut Economics, while also chatting about sustainable transport options and looking into the future, to find out what a sustainable Ireland might look like for our everyday lives, as we go about living in our urban and rural settings. Both speakers provide lots of solutions and give a positive outlook about where we are headed as a country.

Podcast 6 – Biodiversity

Returning with the sixth episode, we look at what is going on at present with Irish biodiversity, focusing the lens through the climate and biodiversity crises. We were delighted to have as our guests for this episode Anja Murray, ecologist and environmental broadcaster on RTE’s Eco Eye and Dr. Meabh Boylan, Green-Schools Biodiversity Officer.

We chat about lots of topics related to Biodiversity and indeed, how all things are connected. Both speakers talk of their love of nature and the many benefits it provides, how having a child-like wonder and curiosity brings real joy to our lives, as well as discussing areas like policy and local community solutions that we can all get involved in.

Podcast 7 – Behaviour Change

In our seventh podcast episode, we discuss behavioural change. Our amiable and engaging guests for this episode are Dave Brooks, Green-Schools Officer and Padraig Walsh, Behaviour Specialist at ChangAble.

We cover a lot of ground, chatting about accepting change and asking why is it sometimes hard to change. We also look at social norms, how we frame narratives around solutions for better outcomes, language & imagery, eco-anxiety and lots more. This is a great podcast to also learn more about how we can bring everyone along with us in the seismic changes all of us in society needs to take.

Podcast 8 – Sustainable Business

For our eight podcast episode, we were delighted to have Ali Sheridan join us to discuss sustainable business. Ali is a senior sustainability consultant and climate advisor, who has been involved in the environmental movement for a long time.

Bringing a wealth of experience and insight into this podcast, Ali shares her thoughts on many topics, including individual consumption; well-being budgets; owner v’s leasing models; green washing; stranded assets; the Irish Climate Action Bill; Doughnut Economics; just transition and risk. If you would like to learn more about these topics and hears Ali’s many nuggets of gold, this is the podcast for you!

Podcast 9 – Student Activism

We were thrilled to have Beth Doherty, Caillum Hedderman and Saoirse Exton join us to discuss student activism. The three secondary students are on the ISSU (Irish Secondary Student’s Union) committee, as well other environmental groups, including Fridays for Future and Saoirse is also a Climate Ambassador, who won an Outstanding Achievement award from us last year.

Holding a space on this podcast to give a voice to the youth movement, the students discuss many topics, including Fridays For Future, climate justice, intersectionality, lockdown, going outside comfort zones, public awareness and engagement, eco-anxiety, role models, heroes and much more! They, like all the other young people involved in climate action are a great source of hope. We are sure you will find this a very engaging podcast, hearing from this group of brilliant speakers!

Podcast 10 – Climate Change in the Media

For this episode, we are delighted to have Caroline O’Doherty, Dr Dave Robbins and Kayle Crosson join us to chat about climate change in the media. Caroline is the environment correspondent for the Irish Independent, Dave is an Assistant Professor at the School of Communications in Dublin City University and Kayle is the editor for Green News.

Covering a wide range of areas, including what the trends are in reporting climate change and in the public’s perceptions. We also chat about how the media is behaving in relation to linking climate change to other issues we see in the news, how interconnected everything is and areas where the media could do better. We discuss the trust levels placed in traditional media and whether media still informs discussions and much more besides. Join us to hear our guests’ thoughts on this fascinating topic.

Podcast 11 – Communicating Climate Change

We are thrilled to have the second podcast series kick off with the amazing Professor Katharine Hayhoe. We are honoured to have Katherine join us for this episode, to share her unique perspectives on communicating climate change, including lots of advice for non-experts to talk about climate change. Sharing her positivity, humour and energy, while outlining why we should all advocate for solutions.

In the build up to the release of Katherine’s new book ‘Saving Us’, this podcast touches on lots of topics, including exploring ‘psychological distance’, ‘solution aversion’, ‘social change’ and the importance of efficacy, all done while sharing stories and anecdotes. Katherine outlines her findings on ‘rational hope’ and also what gives her cause for hope. This is a masterclass for anyone who is interested in learning more regarding talking about climate change.

Podcast 12 – Retrofitting Homes

We are excited to have two very experienced professionals from the world of sustainable homes join us for this podcast on retrofitting homes. With decades of experience between them, Susan Andrews, Programme Manager of SEAI and Mike O’Rourke, Electric Ireland Superhomes senior engineer, share all you need to know about how to make your home more comfortable, healthy and energy efficient.

Going through the grant procedures and what technologies are used, Susan and Mike explain with first-hand knowledge and experience how to make such upgrades as easy as possible. If you are considering retrofitting your home, would like to learn more before making any decisions or perhaps even sharing some of this information with your landlord, then this podcast will be of immense help.

Podcast 13 – Sustainable Fashion

On this podcast we are discussing clothes or to be more specific, sustainable fashion. Looking at climate change and related issues from a fashion point of view, we have super guests for you! We are chatting with sustainable fashion gurus, Geraldine Carton, co-founder of The Useless Project and Rónán Ó Dálaigh, founder & CEO of Thriftify.

Sharing their stories and their passion for sustainable fashion, we hear how clothes tells a story about who we are and we learn of the emotional connections and bonds that are formed through sustainable clothing and communities that grow around it. We have all slowed down during lockdown and connections are made to the revolution of slow fashion, which is ethical, inclusive, communal and helps people connect the dots. Covering a wide range of topics, including the oil and fashion industries, green-washing, labelling, influencers, challenges & opportunites, democracy, differences in demographics and tips to make your wardrobe more sustainable. So, buckle up for an engaging tour of all things connected between the environment and the clothes we wear.

Shout outs included in this podcast are:
The Upcycle Movement – https://theupcyclemovement.com/
Jump the Hedges – https://www.jumpthehedges.com/
Adverts.ie – https://www.adverts.ie/ 
Oxfam Ireland – https://www.oxfamireland.org/
Daisy Blue Vintage – https://www.missdaisyblue.com/
Curiosity Cove – https://www.curiositycove.ie/

Podcast 14 – Future Opportunities

For this podcast we are getting our crystal ball out and looking into the future. We framed this discussion around the work of our two fantastic guests – David Dodd, coordinator of Climate Action Regional Office (CARO) for the Dublin Region and Karen Deignan, co-founder & director of Sustainability Works.

Drawing from their wealth of experience, we hear what risks and opportunities come with sustainable planning and what trends are emerging for local authorities and businesses. Our guests share their insights and vision for a sustainable future, with mitigation and adaptation as the cornerstones of the approaches required to ensure a healthy, thriving, connected and resilient future.

Podcast 15 – Climate Justice

We are delighted to have Sinéad Mercier and Clodagh Daly join us to discuss climate justice. Sinéad Mercier is a lecturer on Environment, Sustainability and Social Justice in Maynooth University and a PhD researcher funded by the UCD Sutherland School of Law and European Research Council, Project PROPERTY [IN]JUSTICE. Clodagh Daly is a research assistant with the Effective Nature Laws project and campaign coordinator for climate case Ireland.

In this insightful discussion, topics tied to climate justice such as social justice, just transition and intersectionality are covered in depth and with compassion. Sometimes looking through a political lens, we hear the story behind Climate Case Ireland as well as a call for a Citizens’ Assembly on the biodiversity crisis.

For more on Clodagh’s work, see here:

https://effectivenaturelaws.ucd.ie/ & https://www.climatecaseireland.ie/

For more on Sinéad’s work, see here: https://www.landlawandjustice.eu/

Podcast 16 – Climate Well-being

If worry about where you fit into the picture in regards to climate change or if your climate anxiety levels are higher than normal, then this is the podcast for you!

We are delighted to have Associate Professor Sarah Jaquette Ray join us for this podcast on Climate Well-being. Drawing on a decade of experience leading and teaching in college environmental studies programs, Sarah shares how she has created an “existential tool kit” for the climate generation. Combining insights from psychology, sociology, social movements, mindfulness, and the environmental humanities, Sarah explains why and how we need to let go of eco-guilt, resist burnout, and cultivate resilience while advocating for climate justice.

Huge thanks to our guest, Professor Sarah Jaquette Ray. I personally feel better equipped to ‘preserve myself for a lifetime of thriving in a climate-changed world’ after listening to her words of wisdom. I hope you do too.

For more practical wisdom on navigating your way through Climate Anxiety, I highly recommend Sarah’s book – A Field Guide To Climate Anxiety, published on University of California Press.

Podcast 17 – Environmental Education

Join us for this Climate Ambassador podcast, with host Gary Tyrrell in conversation with Cathy Baxter, An Taisce Environmental Education Unit manager and Gráinne Ryan, Climate Action Officer working on both the Green-Schools and Climate Ambassador programmes.

Cathy and Gráinne will share insights and stories from their wealth of experience of environmental education in Ireland. During this conversation, we hear about the history of Green-Schools, its mind-blowing impact and the huge amount of collaboration across Ireland, as well as connections internationally. We also hear about the Climate Action Programmes educational aspects and where we are with school curriculums. We will learn more about work they are both involved in, lessons they have learned and their visions for the future.

As part of #ClimateActionWeek this podcast is also available on our YouTube channel as a video.

For more information about Green-Schools, please visit https://greenschoolsireland.org/

Podcast 18 – Food Waste

Do you find yourself throwing out more food than you would like? Did you know that by addressing food waste in your life, you are enabling yourself to take climate action three times every single day! For this podcast our guests are co-founder & Director of Partnerships of Food Cloud Aoibheann O’Brien and environmental scientist with EPA Ireland and manager for their Food Waste Prevention Programme Odile Le Bolloch.

We are talking about one of our favourite things, food! In this discussion we hear of the amazing work that Odile and Aoibheann do and they share so many wonderful insights on focusing on food as opposed to food waste. We learn of the common issues shared across the globe, that local solutions are helping with a global problem, the connections that food brings. Join us to hear the inclusive and positive messages that our guests have, to help you join the food waste revolution!

Podcast 19 – Climate Change & Art

Have you wondered why there is not more culture and the arts used to engage people on climate change? Well, you might be happy to hear that there is indeed great work growing within this area in Ireland. We are talking to two leaders of this field – Chriszine Backhouse, Creativity and Change course coordinator at Munster Technological University and Tania Banotti, the Director of the Creative Ireland Programme.

Chriszine and Tania share a wealth of information from their experiences and learnings, as they forge new paths of climate engagement and inclusivity in creative and thought-provoking ways. We hear about new inclusive art projects – covering all art forms and across Ireland – taking place on the ground that centre on the importance of using local knowledge and community-led messaging; the need to move beyond raising awareness to behaviour change and the instrumental role of Local Authorities. We hear how the arts have the potential to support a sense of connection and inspire us to imagine alternative realities and to take action to make these happen.