State of the Planet

News from the Columbia Climate School

Introducing Pod of the Planet

The Earth Institute is a remarkable place. I’ve been working here for more than 10 years and it is truly a place where you learn something new everyday. That’s entirely because of the people who make up this organization and their underlying dedication to helping solve some of the most complex issues going on. But who are all these people?

Altogether there are more than 1,500 people affiliated with the Earth Institute ranging from scientists, faculty, staff, and students of all levels. Not to mention the hundreds who have passed through here and continue to work with us. With that, I’d like to introduce Pod of the Planet. This podcast, which is a bit of an homage to State of the Planet, is an opportunity open to everyone at EI looking to explore some big questions: What is sustainable development? Why do we do what we do? And ultimately who we are.

Who is this podcast for? We’re hoping for everyone — from teens too young to vote but looking where to direct their energy, to postdocs headed to Antarctica for field research. This podcast is for everyone because we will be talking with everyone and taking this shared journey to understand how better to communicate which each other.

The first episodes will be hosted by Professor Jason Smerdon who co-directs the Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development and myself. Subsequent episodes will feature different hosts, interviewers and guests, with the intention of helping to show the diversity of people, expertise and thought that exists here.

You can listen to Pod of the Planet wherever you find your podcasts —on Apple iTunesSpotifySoundclould, and Stitcher. Please send your ideas, comments and suggestions to and happy listening!

Banner featuring a collage of extreme heat images.

Recent record-breaking heat waves have affected communities across the world. The Extreme Heat Workshop will bring together researchers and practitioners to advance the state of knowledge, identify community needs, and develop a framework for evaluating risks with a focus on climate justice. Register by June 15

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4 years ago

I remember when I had a textile mill in Italy in the ’80s, every wrapping in plastic that we shipped to Germany, we had to take back, via the same forwarder used. It was a headache but a good way to say: keep your plastic wraps. Today in the U.S.A. where I live now, everybody can dump anything. 50 years later! To the point that a German company Karcher, ships a floor cleaner and if it doesn’t work says: dump it, you’ll get a new one for free…..