A short update from the Warm Regards team and a preview of what you can expect from us in our new season, launching in early 2020. Thanks for your continued support!
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Transcript by Joe Stormer
[Instrumental theme music]
Jacquelyn: Welcome to Warm Regards, conversations from the . . . well, I dunno, what is Warm Regards? What are we? What have we been up to lately? I sense there is some change in the air, Ramesh, what about you?
Ramesh: Yeah. You know, we’ve been having these conversations from the front lines of climate change, but I think we’re going to need to switch up our tactics, switch up what we’re doing a little bit. And um, so we’ve got some ideas brewin’.
Jacquelyn: Yeah. So from the very beginning, we have always had this goal with Warm Regards of telling the unexpected stories, injecting some real heart and empathy into the conversation about climate and really humanizing the science of climate change (humanizing the people behind the science) and, you know, uplifting the voices who are the most affected by climate change. And none of that is going to change; that’s still a core of our mission. But when we first started this podcast a few years ago, there weren’t really any other climate podcasts in the ecosystem. And since then we’ve been joined by some incredible other voices. Climate podcasting is actually a thing now, which is really exciting. And with any project it’s good to kind of take a moment, take a breather, take stock and decide what are we trying to do and what is the most effective way for us to do that.
Ramesh: Right, yeah, and now that there’ve been so many other voices that have entered this and (like you said) it’s great because people need to hear a variety of messages and a variety of perspectives on something as complex and as big as climate change, we really wanted to make sure that when we approach this project we were bringing our best to the table, that we were bringing our unique perspectives to the table and bringing our strengths to the project. That’s what we’ve done with a little bit of this break. I know it’s been a while since we’ve put anything out. We took that break deliberately to really make sure that we were headed in the right direction and we were focusing in the right places.
Jacquelyn: You know, Ramesh and I are both scientists, but we often have tried to expand the scope of this podcast beyond the sciences. Originally we had journalists as part of our team and the rotating hosts that have been part of the show have kind of changed over time. And through that time we’ve also heard from our listeners and one of the things that we often hear is people want to hear more of what we already do well, which is to have hard, raw, honest and real conversations about climate change with a diversity of experts and non-experts. But we also have had people who have just wanted more content about how the climate system works or how climate policy works — little bit more of the nuts and bolts. And as we sort of worked our way through this podcast, we’ve often had to kind of check in with ourselves and try to figure out: what are we? What are we trying to accomplish here? Who is our audience? Are we reaching that audience as effectively as we can? These are all good conversations to have if you’re trying to do an outreach or communication project. While we think that this has been a really valuable project, we think we can take it to the next level with a new focus. And so we are going to be shifting to a new model here on the podcast where every season we are going to approach climate change from a particular theme. And our first theme is Ramesh?
Ramesh: Our first theme is data, all things data!
Jacquelyn: It’s way cooler than it sounds!
Ramesh: Yeah, it’s way cooler than it sounds. And this should provide, for those of you who have followed Jacquelyn on Twitter, this should provide some clarity around her somewhat cryptic tweet that she made a few weeks ago where she highlighted data from Star Trek: The Next Generation.
Jacquelyn: Data the character, not like data on viewership.
Ramesh: Yeah, so we’re going to be really wrestling with data as an idea, but we’re really going to not just talk about graphs and charts. What we want to do is take that data and really humanize that data. We want to make sure you understand what goes into collecting that data. We want you to understand who is collecting that data. We want you to understand who that data is affecting and what those data look like on the ground.
Jacquelyn: If you imagine a climate graph that is influencing some people’s decision making process. Or if we have all this data, why do so many people argue about it? Or what are those arguments? What’s the history of campaigns that have deliberately tried to create an atmosphere of uncertainty or doubt around that data? Or what does it even mean to communicate uncertainty about data effectively? So within the theme of data, we’ll be doing really everything that I think we do well on this show, but we’ll just be doing it within a really focused framework. We’ll be still doing all of the things that we’ve always done on this show. We’ll be having heartfelt conversations, exploring the unexpected angles on how climate change affects people — whether that’s someone who’s experiencing it in your backyard, whether that’s someone who’s experiencing it in your backyard or someone who’s studying it, what it’s like. What are the decisions are being made about data that affect your daily life? What are the dramas and the sort of inside scoops and backstories behind different data controversies? We’re going to be covering everything within this broader framework of data.
Ramesh: Yeah and as we were having these conversations thinking about this idea of bringing a theme to the season, we all immediately glommed onto this idea of data because there’s so many different ways to look at it. So one thing you as our listeners shouldn’t be worried about is that we’re just going to be highlighting one scientific study after another scientific study. We want to make sure that there’s a mix of science and humanity, but we’re just seeing it through data.
Jacquelyn: Yeah, exactly. So much of the climate crisis is a response to numbers and wiggles on graphs. Those numbers in and wiggles on graphs came from somewhere and we want to help you understand where they came from, what the challenges are in generating those graphs, why a graph is difficult to parse if you’re not an expert or even if you are, all the creative ways in which people have tried to communicate data in other ways, and also just what does it mean when your life is a data point or when a data point is saying something that then affects your life — because every single dot or line on a graph tells a story. This podcast has always been about storytelling and so we want to talk to the people behind the graphs, we want to talk to the people who are affected by the graphs, we want to talk to the people who may not even understand or believe the graphs, and we want to bring those conversations to you.
Ramesh: So to our listeners, you want to keep an eye out. Eye out?
Ramesh: You want to keep an ear out in 2020 for this new structure around Warm Regards and we’re hard at work getting that season ready for you so that you can really get the most from us.
Jacquelyn: And you won’t have to wait very long.
Ramesh: And you won’t have to wait very long; that correct. It’s almost 2020. So, yeah, keep all eyes and ears out for it.
Jacqulyn We’re really excited. We can’t wait to talk to you again. See you next year.
[Instrumental theme music]
Jacquelyn: We’re excited to announce that we’ve been nominated for “Best Green Podcast” by iHeartRadio. Congratulations to our fellow nominees: Climate One, Drilled, Sustainability Defined, and Terrestrial; definitely check them out. As you wait for Warm Regards to return, we encourage you to subscribe to all the amazing climate podcasts out there and keep the climate conversation going at work and at home.