Freakonomics
Freakonomics
Nov 18, 2020
440. Does Advertising Actually Work? (Part 1: TV)
Play • 41 min
Companies around the world spend more than half-a-trillion dollars each year on ads. The ad industry swears by its efficacy — but a massive new study tells a different story.
How to Save a Planet
How to Save a Planet
Gimlet
Meet Your New Climate Czar
Gina McCarthy will serve as the first-ever National Climate Advisor, heading up the newly formed White House Office of Domestic Climate Policy. So, who is she? We spent time with her before the nomination and talked about her relentless fight to link environmental policy with public health. From her early days inspecting septic systems, to her time leading the Environmental Protection Agency in the Obama administration. Get to know Gina McCarthy. Calls to Action Read up on Joe Biden’s clean energy and environmental justice plans to prepare to push this team to make those promises real If you want to learn the story of how a bunch of outsiders pushed Joe Biden to adopt the most ambitious climate platform in U.S. history, listen to our episode How 2020 Became a Climate Election Learn more about the executive climate actions the Biden-Harris administration is committed to pursuing right off the bat, and what experts suggest they prioritize Check out Gina’s essay, “Public Service for Public Health,” and Maggie’s essay, “The Politics of Policy,” in the climate anthology that Ayana co-edited, All We Can Save: Truth, Courage, and Solutions for the Climate Crisis, at allwecansave.earth If you take an action we recommend in one of our episodes, do us a favor and tell us about it! We’d love to hear how it went and what it felt like. Record a short voice memo on your phone and send it to us at howtosaveaplanet@spotify.com. We might use it in an upcoming episode. How to Save a Planet is a Spotify original podcast and Gimlet production. You can follow us @how2saveaplanet on Twitter and Instagram, and email us at howtosaveaplanet@spotify.com. How to Save a Planet is hosted by Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson and Alex Blumberg. Our reporters and producers are Kendra Pierre-Louis, Rachel Waldholz, Anna Ladd, and Felix Poon. Our senior producer is Lauren Silverman. Our editor is Caitlin Kenney. Sound design and mixing by Peter Leonard with original music by Emma Munger. Our fact checker this episode is Claudia Geib.
48 min
Science Friday
Science Friday
Science Friday and WNYC Studios
COVID Fact Check, Aging Cells, News Roundup. Jan 8, 2021, Part 1
Fact Check My Feed: What’s Up With These COVID-19 Mutations? It’s a new year, and that means there’s a whole slew of new COVID-19 news to dive into, including an overwhelming amount of new information about vaccines and mutations. The U.S. has now administered roughly five million doses of COVID-19 vaccines, far behind the nation’s goal of vaccinating 20 million by the end of 2020. The two approved COVID-19 vaccines, one from Pfizer and one from Moderna, are intended to be given over the course of two doses. But there’s a discussion within the medical community about whether or not both doses are necessary for every patient. Mutations are also an increasing concern. Variants from the U.K. and South Africa are concerning epidemiologists, and appear to be spreading. Though there’s no proof that either are more deadly, they may be more infectious. Joining Ira to explain is Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security, based in Seattle, Washington. Can Cells Rewind The Wrinkles Of Time? As a cell ages, its DNA goes through a process called “methylation”—gaining extra methyl chemical groups. These groups can affect how the genes’ encoded information is expressed, without actually changing the sequence of genes. In work published in Nature, researchers explore whether reversing that methylation can reprogram the cells back to a more youthful state. They used modified adenoviruses to introduce three specific transcription factors into mouse retinal ganglion cells, a type of neuron found in the eye. These transcription factors helped revert the cell to a more immature state—and also seemed to let the cell behave in a more ‘youthful’ way. David Sinclair, a professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and one of the authors of the study, joins Ira to discuss what the work means, and what it could tell scientists about the aging process. Trump’s New EPA ‘Transparency’ Rule Could Hamper Science This week, the Environmental Protection Agency passed the “Strengthening Transparency in Regulatory Science” rule. EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler stated that “the American public has the right to know what scientific studies underline the Agency’s regulatory decisions.” But critics say that this outgoing policy by the Trump administration can be used to hamper new environmental regulations. Amy Nordrum lines out the policy and other science headlines from the week.
47 min
Political Climate
Political Climate
Political Climate
A Blueprint for American Climate Action and a Modern Clean Energy Economy
The past few years have been a mixed bag for climate. U.S. emissions declined to their lowest level in three decade this year, but these reductions came at an incredible cost as the economy shut down amid the coronavirus pandemic.  The challenge now is to make these emissions cuts sustainable for years to come, while getting millions of Americans back to work. We dig into a new analysis on how to put the U.S. on a path to deep decarbonization and economic growth on this episode of Political Climate — the final episode in our "Relief, Rescue, Rebuild" series. Lindsey Walter, senior policy advisor for Third Way’s Climate and Energy program, breaks down the policies and technology pathways to reach net zero emissions by 2050 in an equitable and affordable way.  Plus, we speak to two wind energy technicians who are training the next generation of wind workers in the Midwest about how the industry has affected their region, the opportunities for growth and their message to policymakers.  Mike Gengler is the wind energy coordinator at Iowa Lakes Community College in Estherville, Iowa. Jay Johnson in an assistant professor for the wind energy technician program at the Lake Region State College in Devil’s Lake North Dakota. The "Relief, Rescue, Rebuild" series is supported by the think tank Third Way. The series theme song was created by @AYMusik. Recommended resources: * USA Today: Due to COVID-19, 2020 greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. are predicted to drop to lowest level in three decades * Third Way: Congress Makes a Downpayment on Our Clean Energy Future * Princeton: Big but affordable effort needed for America to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 * Relief, Rescue, Rebuild * Path to Zero Listen and subscribe to Political Climate on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play or wherever you get podcasts! Follow us on Twitter at @Poli_Climate!
52 min
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