A recurring segment on Resources Radio is “Top of the Stack,” when podcast hosts Daniel Raimi and Kristin Hayes ask each guest what is on the top of their literal or metaphorical reading stack. It’s a fun part of each episode, when researchers’ eyes wander from more typical academic papers published in academic journals.
Here’s a handful of their personal recommendations.
Rising, a book by Elizabeth Rush
Susan Clayton, Professor, College of Wooster
“For this book, the author traveled around the United States, essentially looking at specific individuals’ stories as a way to examine how we will be affected by a changing climate—and how we can respond. She really personalized the experience of climate change.
“The book demystified climate change a little bit. It was like, ‘Okay, let’s face it. It’s happening. Here’s what it looks like. Here’s what people are doing in response.’”
The Anthropologist, a documentary film
Susie Crate, Professor, George Mason University
“I’m in this documentary with my daughter, along with Margaret Mead and her daughter. My daughter and I went and talked to watermen, who are Chesapeake Bay oyster and crab harvesters, and got them to talk about the changes they’re seeing. I was amazed when one gentleman talked about how they used to get 2,000 pounds of lobster out of the Chesapeake Bay, and they don’t catch any anymore.”
“The Mush in the Iditarod May Soon Be Melted Snow,” an article by John Branch in the New York Times
Arvind Ravikumar, Assistant professor, Harrisburg University of Science and Technology
“I’m a huge fan of mushing, and I follow the Iditarod very carefully every year. It’s a 1,000-mile race with about 50 to 80 contestants who go from Anchorage, Alaska, to Nome, which is on the Bering Sea coast of Alaska. The race happens in March, and large portions of the trail are on sea ice. But what happened this year was the sea ice off the coast of Nome in the Bering Sea was completely absent, so they were forced to move the racing trail to land. This has never happened in the history of the race.
“It’s something that often gets lost in the news— that climate change is affecting Alaskan communities so much these days.”
“So, Should We Recycle?,” episode 926 of NPR’s Planet Money podcast
Sharon Shewmake, Associate professor, Western Washington University Representative, 42nd Legislative District, Washington State House of Representatives
“The thumbnail sketch is that recycling is difficult. The episode makes the argument that what you put in the recycling may be more likely to end up in the Great Pacific Garbage Patch than if you just put it in the garbage. So, there’s a suggestion that recycling is not as environmentally beneficial as we think.
“It was a little bit depressing, but it also suggested that we need to find ways to deal with our waste streams that aren’t counterproductive. And I thought it was a useful reality check.”
Mothers of Invention, a podcast
Amelia Keyes, Research associate, Resources for the Future
“It’s a really cool podcast hosted by two women; one of them is the former President of Ireland. It features women who are leading efforts to address climate change and environmental justice issues. I love it because it exposes you to women from all over the world, from many different backgrounds, and they’re all addressing climate problems in innovative ways, informed by their own unique perspectives. I find it really fascinating and empowering.
“It’s also a good reminder of the extent to which climate change touches every element of society, and how the types of solutions emerging in different places address not just environmental issues, but also important social issues.
“I only listen to it in my free time after I’m done listening to Resources Radio, of course.”