Sustainababble

| 7th January 2020
Microphone
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A comedy podcast about the environment.

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When dark times threaten to become very dark indeed, there’s something deeply therapeutic about having a good laugh about it all. Seriously.

That’s why I find the tagline for the podcast Sustainababble, “Trying to be cheery in the face of impending ecological disaster”, very appealing indeed – particularly because it’s a really funny listen.

This article was first published in Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. 

Pretty much every week since 2015 (apart from a much-lamented three-month break over the summer), podcasting duo Oliver Hayes and David Powell have exchanged bantz over topical themes like Extinction Rebellion, the UN’s “latest lolzfest” report on biodiversity, and fracking.

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Strictly personal 

It can get a bit sweary, but, let’s face it, using a few swear words is pretty excusable when describing the state of our planet. 

They both work for en­­vironmental charities – cue disclaimer that their podcast is strictly personal – and there are enough facts behind the chat to make each episode a rewarding and sometimes very surprising listen.

I hadn’t thought about the carbon footprint of musicians on tour, for instance – apparently U2 have the same carbon footprint in a year as a return flight to Mars. For more on that, I recommend listening to Ol and Dave’s excellent interview from October last year with electronic musician William Doyle.

'Intertwinkled'

To add to the comedy effect, each episode is “intertwinkled” – their word, not mine – with short clips from films and TV shows: a joke from Absolutely Fabulous features in the episode on fast fashion, and a clip from a spoof U2 song from Spitting Image (‘Nobody Knows What I’m on About’) appears in their interview with Doyle, for example.

I have to admit that sometimes I don’t actually know what these clips are on about – the barking dog can get a bit irritating at times – but that doesn’t detract from the enjoyment.

Finding a funny way to talk about serious issues is, in my experience, quite rare, which makes Sustainababble all the more entertaining.

This Author 

Marianne Brown is the editor of Resurgence & Ecologist magazine and a podcaster. This article was first published in Resurgence & Ecologist magazine. 

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