Episode #18: Phil Plait

In Episode 18, Quinn & Brian talk with Phil Plait, the “Bad Astronomer”, astronomer (obviously), author, and science communicator extraordinaire about rebuilding the foundations of American science. And that, friends, starts with enthusiasm. Science — fuck yeah!

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Episode #17: Jason Friesen

In Episode 17, Quinn & Brian talk to Jason Friesen about the current and future state of emergency medical systems in the age of climate change. Because the big one's coming.

Jason is the founder and executive director of Trek Medics, a 501 c3 registered NGO dedicated to creating or improving emergency medical systems in communities without reliable access to emergency care through innovative mobile phone technologies. They make their services available to all communities, regardless of race, religion, or creed. He's saved six lives since you woke up.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #16: Dr. Kate Marvel

In Episode 16, Quinn & Brian talk to Dr. Kate Marvel about the present and future of climate modeling. It’s super rad.

Dr. Marvel is a climate scientist and a writer. A theoretical physicist by training, she is now an associate research scientist at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and Columbia University’s Department of Applied Physics and Applied Mathematics. Kate's research focuses on how human activities affect the climate and what we can expect in the future, using satellite observations, computer models, and basic physics to study the human impact on variables from rainfall patterns to cloud cover.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #15: Akshat Rathi

In Episode 15, Quinn and Brian talk with Akshat Rathi, a reporter for Quartz in London. Akshat wrote a series last year called The Race to Zero Emissions about carbon capture, and we dig into that, and the next 10 years of CCS, today.

Akshat’s resume is fine-ish: he’s worked at The Economist and The Conversation. His writing has appeared in Nature, The Guardian and The Hindu. He has a PhD in chemistry from Oxford University and a BTech in chemical engineering from the Institute of Chemical Technology, Mumbai, and if that isn’t enough to convince you, well I’m sorry.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #14: Emily Cassidy

In Episode 14, Quinn talks with Emily Cassidy, the Sustainability Science Manager at the illustrious and beautiful California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, and a leading member of their new climate action initiative, Planet Vision. Emily's the co-author of a highly cited paper called “Solutions for a Cultivated Planet”, investigating how to sustainably feed 9 billion people.

Today we put Emily’s long background in natural resources science to use and discuss the steps America, and Americans, need to take to improve our food system, and make it healthier. For the air, for the land, for the water, and for each of us, inside our bodies.

Also: Jane Goodall, and cow farts vs. cow burps.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #13: Serge Dedina

In Episode 13, Quinn and Brian talk to Mayor Serge Dedina of tiny Imperial Beach, California, one of the first cities to sue fossil fuel companies for climate change damages.

We discuss what led to their suit, but more importantly, actions other cities should be taking to plan for the future, including taking their own legal action.

Also: surfing, Nazis, and grandmas.

Listen to the episode here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #12: Dr. Sam Scarpino

In Episode 12, Quinn and Brian talk with Dr. Sam Scarpino, Assistant Professor of Marine & Environmental Sciences and Physics and a core faculty member in the Network Science Institute at Northeastern University. We discuss whether, and if so, how advanced algorithms and data science can help predict and prevent the next major pandemic. 

Also: the importance of a liberal arts education, bad wifi in 2018, and my wife’s iPhone.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #11: David Hawkins

In Episode 11, Quinn & Brian talk with David Hawkins, director of the climate program at the National Resources Defense Council, and the man basically responsible for you breathing clean air most days. So, you’re welcome. 

We discuss David’s history of working to safeguard the planet, but more specifically, his thoughts on the futuristic but necessary technology that is carbon capture, and whether we can pin our hopes on it. Stay tuned for his thoughts on using your voice and vote to move the needle.

Also: yodeling

Listen here, or read the transcript here

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Episode #10: Megan Herbert

In Episode 10 (we made it!), Quinn & Brian talk with Megan Herbert, Aussie co-author and illustrator of The Tantrum That Saved The World — the popular new children’s book about climate change activism. We talk about the book, her co-author, esteemed climate scientist and science communicator Michael E, Mann, as well as modeling behavior for our kids, providing them with tools now and in the future to become agents of change, and also drinking. 

Order Megan and Michael’s book right now at WorldSavingBooks.com!

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #9: Dr. Nahid Bhadelia

In Episode 9, Quinn and Brian talk with Dr. Nahid Bhadelia, an infectious diseases physician, Assistant Professor at Boston University, and the Director of Infection Control and Medical Response at National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratory. We discuss historical pandemics, modern-day factors in the growth of new and return of old infectious diseases, our current level of preparedness, zombies, Minority Report, hand washing, and of course, anti-vaxxers.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #8: Don Duggan-Haas, Therese Etoka, Jai Bansal

In Episode 8, Quinn and Brian talk with Don Duggan-Haas, a lifetime advocate for science education standards (he literally wrote the textbook, and yes, this is the correct use of “literally”), as well as Therese Etoka and Jai Bansal, two immigrant high school students who fought to keep climate chance science a part of the Boise, Idaho public school curriculum. Together, we form a game plan to ensure every American student gets a comprehensive science education.

Also: Black Panther, Shuri (swoon), the Justice League, James T. Kirk, thoughts on Parkland, and more.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #7: Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson

In Episode 7, Brian and Quinn talk with Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, marine biologist, policy expert, and conservation strategist extraordinaire. And like a hundred other things, because her hobbies include saving the planet, what about you?

Find out how the ocean’s doing, who should be responsible for keeping it clean, how representation is a nightmare on ocean conservation boards just like everywhere else, and finally, the seafood you definitely should and should not be eating. 

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #6: Jess Phoenix

In Episode 6, Quinn and Brian talk with Jess Phoenix, volcanologist, geologist, and Congressional candidate for CA-25. We discuss her experience in the field, her unlikely move into politics, and the lessons she’s learned as a female scientist that might help others to come. Also, Voltron, and Star Trek, because obviously.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #5: Bob Inglis

In Episode 5, Quinn and Brian conclude (for now!) their conversations with conservative climate activists, finishing with former Congressperson Bob Inglis of South Carolina. Bob’s the founder of RepublicEN.org, a small government, free-enterprise, "we need to save the world" climate action group. Hear how he’s trying to move the (very heavy) GOP needle, and what could possibly persuade current conservatives to risk their seat to save the planet.

Also discussed: sailing, Brian running a marathon vs. Bob, ill-timed construction, and angry juice cleanses.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #4: Reverend Mitch Hescox

In Episode 4, Quinn and Brian continue with the second in their "trilogy" of conversations with conservative climate activists, and talk with the one and only Reverend Mitch Hescox of the Environmental Evangelical Movement.

Descended from generations of coal miners, Mitch helps us understand our role — or lack of one — in helping the religious right become green advocates. Because nobody wants the Sierra Club yelling at them all the time. Not even us.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #3: Jerry Taylor

In Episode 3, Quinn and Brian have a conversation with Jerry Taylor, former professional climate denier turned good guy. Like Darth Vader, or The Terminator, or Severus Snape. Anyways.

We discuss the moment Jerry knew he was wrong, and his ambitious plan to drag Republicans into sensible action — action they should actually be excited about, because it means throwing all of the regulations out the window.

Also don’t miss: details on Jerry’s award-winning board games. FOR REAL.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #2: Dr. Heidi Steltzer & Anne Christianson

In Episode #2, Quinn introduces his co-host, Brian Colbert Kennedy, the mad genius (ugh) behind IMNIM’s infographic game. 

After, Quinn and Brian have a conversation with Dr. Heidi Steltzer and Anne Christianson, two female climate scientists who joined 74 others on a women-only trip to Antarctica. We catch them after their visit to Congress, and discuss ways to get more ladies involved in science, and finally, what we can all do to to support those efforts.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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Episode #1: David Schmidt

In this impromptu first episode of the Important, Not Important podcast, host Quinn Emmett is joined by childhood friend David Schmidt for a conversation about the longest thirty-eight minutes of David’s life — what he said, did, and feared the morning the Hawaii emergency alert system went very, very wrong.

Listen here, or read the transcript here.

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