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I'm a freelance journalist, currently based in Madrid. I used to be a News Producer at CNBC in London before, but I thought a little bit more sun might do me good. Now I write for several news organizations, covering a range of topics, from Spanish politics and human rights for Deutsche Welle to climate change for La Marea.
I don't quite remember how I stumbled upon Global Optimism. I guess I must have bookmarked it at some point, because one day it was just sitting there (in my bookmarks). This four-episode podcast series is not on the usual platforms, or at least not on Stitcher, iTunes or Ivoox. You can only listen to it from the web (or download the episodes in mp3), and it's supposed to be a pilot for what could become a permanent program.
This apparent obscurity feels weird to me, because this podcast features, and I'm not afraid to say it, the most impressive line-up that you could think of. It's hosted by Christiana Figueres (former UNFCCC boss), Tom Rivett-Tarnac (her former advisor) and Paul Dickinson (CDP founder). The four guests, one per episode, are Carlos Alvarado (President of Costa Rica), Jane Goodall (yes, THE Jane Goodall), Nigel Topping (CDP and We Mean Business) and Greta Thunberg, the 16-year old activist who has taken the world by storm.
The conversations all revolve around optimism in times of change. However, the show is not naïve. The hosts and their guests don't ignore the gravity of the situation, but, for once, they focus on the bright side, and the little steps we're actually taking towards the light at the end of the tunnel. The four episodes are great, and they look at different aspects of climate action: policy, science, business and activism.
My favorite episodes were those with Goodall and Thunberg, but I may be partial here, because I knew them best before. That doesn't change the fact that it's absolutely heartwarming to hear people like Goodall being excited about the future. Now I know what I'll listen to when I'm anxious about climate.
Each show is around 40 minutes, except for the last one, which goes to the 50-minute mark. A bit on the long side, but totally warranted this time.