Chrysalis with John Fiege

Chrysalis with John Fiege

The climate crisis is a piercing call for us all to change—profoundly and quickly. And it’s not enough to just focus on changing our own habits—we must figure out how to collectively steer the ship of humanity in a completely different direction. The path we’re on now brought us to this moment of climate chaos, mass extinction, and environmental injustice, and we’re definitely not turning the ship fast enough. Hosted by John Fiege, the Chrysalis podcast features’s in-depth conversations with a remarkable group of environmental thinkers about their paths through life and the transformations they’ve experienced along the way. Our guests are great writers, artists, activists, scientists, and spiritual leaders whose stories can help guide us into new ways of relating to our environment, our planet, and the rest of life on Earth. We’re not searching for simple answers or magical solutions. Rather, we are on a quest for ecological wisdom and compassion. On Chrysalis, we embrace complexity and question dogma—in robust dialogue with one another that lights up connections and sparks our imaginations. We need culture change, not climate change, and that transformation starts with the stories we tell each other and tell ourselves. Join us at!


April 15, 2024 34 mins

Art can show us the pain and trauma and suffering of the world, and often it does. But art can also go the other direction. It can reveal the beauty, harmony, and unity of the world.

The canvasses in Salma Arastu’s series of paintings, We Are All One, are full of soft colors, continuous lines, immersive habitats that flow into one another, and—sometimes—two-dimensional representations of humans and animals occupying the same space, ...

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I’m continually amazed by the immensity of the world that a small poem can conjure. In just a few lines or words, or even just a line break, a poem can travel across time and space. It can jump from the minuscule to the incomprehensible vastness of the universe. And in these inventive leaps, it can create, in our minds, new ideas and images. It can help us see connections that were, before, invisible.

John Shoptaw has conjured such ...

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Modern society has removed many of us from an intimate connection to the land, the water, and the elements. Air conditioning in cars and artificial light in our homes allow us to carry on without paying much attention at all to the forces of nature around us.

These relationships to ecological surroundings are something entirely different for those who fish artisanally along the coasts of Peru.

Constanza Ocampo-Raeder is an anthropolo...

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Many assaults on the environment happen slowly and continually, almost invisibly to us: starting a car engine, buying meat at the grocery store, throwing away a plastic straw.

Mountaintop removal is different. It is sudden and violent and intentionally, unmistakably destructive. Coal companies will blow off the tops of mountains with explosives in order to more easily and cheaply access the coal seams underneath vast swaths of fores...

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We’re back!

I’m super-excited about the new series of shows we’ve been recording over the past year here at the Chrysalis podcast.

The new series focus on poets, artists, cooks, and community organizers, and we’ll be releasing them alongside more of our original Conversations series that spans a wide range of environmental thought and storytelling—engaging the climate crisis as a cultural crisis.

I interviewed Pulitzer Prize-winning ...

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Here’s something we hear all the time: if only more people knew more about environmental problems, then they would certainly act in some ecologically beneficial way. But the problem is, it’s not true. We’re now deluged with data about the climate crisis; and yet, this abundance of available environmental information has not led to an abundance of environmental action.

This deficit model of climate communication is flawed, even thoug...

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Each year, we celebrate Earth Day; and each year, our collective actions lead to more greenhouse gas emissions, more habitat destruction, and more species extinctions. It’s hard for Earth Day not to feel like more of a superficial patting of ourselves on the back or a greenwashing opportunity for corporate sponsors than a serious call for transformative change. 

The first Earth Day, on April 22, 1970, was something totally different...

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Environmental activists often focus on facts and data, as if more climate information will lead to more climate action. That strategy may be effective with some communities, but overall it hasn’t prevented global emissions from climbing year after year or habitats from being destroyed day after day.

Many folks in the environmental movement are thinking a lot about how to make messaging more effective. But it’s not just the message w...

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“Forthright but also full of grace”: that could be a mantra for how we should all live our lives. It’s also how Jacqui Patterson has described her ideal as she fights for environmental justice in a world that can feel like it’s submerged completely in environmental injustice.

From the South Side of Chicago, to Jamaica, to South Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina, Jacqui has continually asked what deep, transformative change looks lik...

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October 9, 2021 59 secs

How do we collectively steer the ship of humanity in a completely different direction, away from path that brought us to this moment of climate chaos, mass extinction, and environmental injustice? How do we build a society that is socially just and ecologically vibrant?

Join host John Fiege for conversations with a remarkable group of environmental thinkers about their paths through life. The show’s guests are great writers, artists...

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