Campus podcast Climate Break recently partnered with radio station KALW 91.7 FM San Francisco Bay Area, an affiliate of National Public Radio, or NPR.
Climate Break tackles climate crises through weekly short segments, during which host Ethan Elkind, director of the Climate Program at Berkeley Law’s Center for Law, Energy and the Environment, or CLEE, interviews climate innovators from across the globe.
Ken Alex, director of Project Climate at the CLEE and a producer of Climate Break, expressed his podcast team’s excitement to work with KALW.
“KALW will work with us to build a nationwide set of radio stations to air the less-than-two-minute segments,” Alex said.
This collaboration will introduce Climate Break to a larger audience across both the Bay Area and online, according to Alex.
Most of the Climate Break program is student run, according to Elkind. He noted that students bring their unique perspectives on climate change to the podcast.
“The best contribution from the students overall has been finding topics that weren’t even on our radar before, even though my colleagues and I at CLEE have been working on climate policy for decades,” Elkind said.
Previous ideas initiated by students include bringing a North Carolina textile recycler to the podcast to discuss greenhouse gas emissions in fashion production, as well as interviewing Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at UCLA, to discuss the risk of California megafloods.
Marie Hogan, a recent campus graduate who worked as a producer for Climate Break from January 2022 until this past May, noted the community and belonging that the podcast provided her as a transfer student.
Hogan expressed her gratitude toward Climate Break for catalyzing her two senior research projects and giving her newfound exposure to energy issues.
“Working on Climate Break exposed me to so many new topics and research ideas, which I brought with me into all my classes,” Hogan said.
There are ways to combat climate change both through political action and the private sector, Hogan noted. She attributed this lesson to her time at Climate Break.
Further, Hogan said climate change is a systemic problem. Although personal responsibility cannot provide a comprehensive solution to climate change, according to Hogan, individual morality still plays an important part.
“We all have a moral responsibility to see climate change as a personal issue and to take ownership of our roles,” Hogan said.
Jericho Rajninger, an assistant producer of Climate Break and former Daily Californian staffer, was one of the first students to join the podcast in 2020.
Rajninger claimed Climate Break was an avenue to take honest climate action. He noted feeling inspired by the podcast’s evolution and growth, as well as the opportunity to learn alongside listeners when conducting research and writing scripts on climate solutions.
“I wanted to get involved in Climate Break because I was frustrated by disingenuous politicians and corporations trampling climate science and obstructing effective climate action,” Rajninger said. “I felt that the accessible (and) concise solutions-oriented approach of Climate Break could help mobilize public opinion.”