Sustainababble

Sustainababble

A funny podcast about the environment, sustainability, and all the total guff people talk in the name of saving the planet.

Episodes

December 24, 2022 73 mins
Well, this is it. Yer last ever Babble. Thank you - seriously, thank you - if you've lent us your attention over the years. It's been a pleasure. Herewith a valedictory episode in which we reveal the real reason we're binning the babble, Ol serenades Dave with an original tune, and we humbly compare ourselves to one of the finest sitcoms this or any country has ever produced. Mostly though we consume far too much of the Chris...
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For our final interview, we're joined for a second time by the majestic Chris Packham, our first 'proper' guest all the way back in 2015. We discuss all that has changed in those seven and a half years, not least some pretty hardcore stuff for Chris personally, and we chew over what the world of activism and protest might look like seven years hence, given things continue to go so spectacularly to shit. Talking of shit, we di...
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December 11, 2022 62 mins
If there wasn't twitter, would we have solved climate change by now? Might we at least have got round to thinking about solving climate change? Would Ol have had more sleep? Sure, loads of important eco connections and organising and other useful stuff have happened via the site, but so too has a prodigious amount of titting about (trust us, we know of what we speak) let alone all the hate and bile and BS and conspiracy that sus...
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December 5, 2022 47 mins
Bat-chomping bird-slicing eco-crucifixes* are making a comeback! A mere eight years after some Tories effectively banned anyone from erecting wind turbines in England, some other Tories now look poised to overturn that ban. Which sort of tells you everything you need to know about Westminster politics. So this week we transport ourselves to a time when David Cameron was both a thing and someone who professed to like the planet, ...
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Look, we're quitting, so if there ever was a leash we are now firmly off it. Problem is, while unleashed Dave might follow his nose into the bushes of podcasting misadventure, unleashed Ol... well, he's not that interesting is he? So having cast aside any editorial imperative to stay vaguely relevant or entertaining, herewith 45 minutes of a sad old man wanging on about hot water cylinders and heat pumps. Don't say you weren't w...
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November 20, 2022 55 mins
Now then, we have Some News about the babble. Listen to the show to find out precisely what (don't worry, we haven't been bad), but suffice to say this year's Sustainabauble will be particularly valedictory. But before we get too festive and emotional, there's work to be done. Like trying to gather our thoughts on there being 8 billion humans alive. Or indeed what we make of the increasingly ballsy climate protests sweeping t...
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November 14, 2022 73 mins
Chances are you’ll have read David Roberts’ superlative writing on climate – at Vox or more recently Volts – and thought ‘coo, that’s sensible and right and interesting’. We certainly have, so we’re delighted to finally have him on the show. David natters with us about US politics (are things potentially *not* totally naused?), progressives’ inability to be happy, the usefulness of COPs and the role of protest. We also goad him ...
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November 6, 2022 50 mins
If we said "name the weirdest, most mystical & inexplicable creature on earth" you would rightly say "80s English footballer Peter Beardsley". But pause for a moment to consider instead the 'umble eel, a fish(ish) so unknown and unknowable that no human has observed one shagging in the wild. In fact no-one's totally sure that they even DO shag in the wild. A bit like Peter Beardsley. It's an astonishing tale, the eel's, at the h...
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October 31, 2022 49 mins
Loathe though we are to be scatological, it's time to face faecal facts: the astonishing amount of human excrement on the planet presents a honking environmental challenge. When you think about it, with nearly eight billion of us crimping one out most days, the fact that humans aren't all swimming in the stuff is an impressive log-istical achievement, especially when flush toilets have only existed for 150 years. And despite ...
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October 23, 2022 47 mins
Britain has lost a lot of things lately: international standing; economic credibility; its collective shit. But we've also mislaid something more fragile, dank and extraordinary than even Liz Truss's premiership: our precious and hitherto largely unknown temperate rainforests. In his new book, The Lost Rainforests of Britain, author and campaigner Guy Shrubsole sets out to right that wrong. He's mapped every last rainforesty rem...
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October 17, 2022 40 mins
Who knew climate conferences had corporate sponsors? 183,295 people, that's who, for they have signed a petition telling the UN suits to ditch the sponsor of this year's jamboree in Egypt which is... Coca-Cola. That's Coca "oh hi! we're the biggest plastic polluter in the world!" Cola. Producers of 200,000 plastic bottles EVERY MINUTE coca-cola. Corporate lobbyists supreme, Coca-Cola. Everyone's favourite pilferer of scarce fres...
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October 9, 2022 50 mins
Mistakes have been made, lessons learned. Yet again, us being away for a few weeks coincided with the ass falling out of everything that is good. In fact Blighty's new "Government" has done so many dastardly things that even usually mild-mannered bird watchers are losing their shit. Worse still, Dave & Ol's reputation is in tatters after we (*cough* Dave *cough*) said the Trussticular era probably wouldn't be much worse than wha...
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September 11, 2022 45 mins
What, or who, is a Liz Truss and why does anyone care? Well buckle up because approximately 17 old white men from the rich bits of England have just made her boss of Blighty and there are, we fear, going to be some changes around here. Or, er, are there? Because while Liz Truss is an MP with as many environmentalist bones in her body as a jellyfish, and as much as it's very, VERY tempting to get all shouty about her un-banning f...
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August 28, 2022 53 mins
'Intersectional environmentalism' is a) a lot of syllables, b) a brilliant concept explained simply and powerfully by writer and environmentalist Leah Thomas, and c) coincidentally also the title of Leah's new book. Part activist toolkit, part theory, and part history of environmental (in)justice, The Intersectional Environmentalist acknowledges and explores the overlap between systemic harm against Black, Indigenous, and people...
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August 21, 2022 45 mins
Rupert Read is an author, philosopher, and activist, perhaps best known for his prominent role in Extinction Rebellion. He's written more than a dozen books and his most recent - Why Climate Breakdown Matters - is, well, full on. Full on in that it argues that unless we confront the full horror of the situation we're in, and the very high likelihood that that situation will unravel towards some sort of societal collapse, then we ca...
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August 15, 2022 43 mins
If you ever encounter a Sloane's Viperfish, you're in for a treat. The charming creature has a bite so ferocious that its first vertebra has to act as a shock absorber. When it chomps, it unhinges its skull, opens its jaw 90 degrees, and expands its stomach to eat things up to 50% bigger than itself. Its absurd fangs act as a cage, trapping anything trying to escape. Luckily for us, Viperfish are found in the high seas, which is...
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August 7, 2022 55 mins
"WHY HAVEN'T YOU BABBLED ABOUT EVIL EVIL POO-BUM ROADS?!?!" yells twitter. Well, your bellowed word is our grudging command. But while we're delighted to go truffling for babble in tarmac territory, there is no way on god's earth we are picking sides in the internecine war that is anti-roads campaigners vs anti-HS2 campaigners. But still. It is true, is it not, that comparatively little fuss is made about comparatively bolloc...
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August 1, 2022 49 mins
Fans of our feathered friends, look away now...If you've been to the coast recently there's every chance you'll have seen, how can we put this delicately, an exceptionally dead bird washed up on the shore. Or, more likely, dozens of the bastards. Bird flu has been around for ever, but evidently got the hump while Covid hogged the viral limelight. Now it's back with a vengeance, ensuring everyone and H5N-y-1 knows its name. Pr...
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July 26, 2022 38 mins
Famously soggy, predictably chilly. Well, not any more, cos Blighty has joined the global combustability club after turning in a world-beating and very much oven-ready 40.3 degrees C of scorchiosity in its latest heatwave. So how freaked out should we feel? Cos like, this was always going to happen wasn't it? And, as sure as tropical night follows sweltering day, it's only going to get hotter from here. But does extreme weath...
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July 18, 2022 49 mins
How much, precisely, is one whale worth? Half an elephant? Three dozen gibbons? "Don't be silly, Ol and Dave, you can't put a price on nature" we hear you cry. Well tell it to the IMF, because they say our blubbery friends retail for $2m, a big figure which, in the world of excel spreadsheets and cost benefit analyses, means whales are worth saving. Unlike, say, earwigs, who aren't priced up and therefore can extinctify themselv...
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