Future Perfect

Informações:

Synopsis

Explore provocative ideas with the potential to radically improve the world. Voxs Dylan Matthews tackles big questions about the most effective ways to save lives, fight global warming, and end world poverty to create a more perfect future. Produced by Vox and the Vox Media Podcast Network.

Episodes

  • Sucking the carbon out of the sky

    28/04/2021 Duration: 43min

    Most of our efforts to fight climate change, from electric cars to wind turbines, are about pumping fewer greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. But what if we could pull out the gases that are already there? Akshat Rathi, a reporter at Bloomberg with a doctorate in chemistry, knows more about this technology, called “direct air capture,” than just about anyone. He follows companies like Carbon Engineering and Climeworks that are trying to figure out how to take regular air and pull carbon dioxide out of it. If their plans work, they could mean a world with net negative emissions: less carbon in the sky than there is right now, and a cooler planet. But his reporting has also highlighted how elusive carbon capture can be, and how tricky it can be to make the tech work at an affordable price. Rathi and Vox’s Dylan Matthews discuss how direct air capture works, how it’s different from capturing carbon at a fossil fuel plant, and the struggles of one direct air capture company in particular.     Read more of Aksha

  • Should I still have kids if I’m worried about climate change?

    21/04/2021 Duration: 01h02min

    Climate scientist Kimberly Nicholas co-led a study that showed the single most effective thing an individual can do to decrease their carbon footprint is have fewer kids. Despite that finding, she still says that people who really want to have kids should go ahead with their plans. She explains how she squares that circle to Vox’s Sigal Samuel, and the two discuss how to think about the decision to have kids or not and how to make meaning in a warming world.     Read more of Sigal’s climate reporting: Having fewer kids will not save the planet Where to donate to improve climate policy It’s not just Big Oil. It’s Big Meat too.    More information about Dr. Kimberly Nicholas Find her new book here  Read more of her writing on her website The podcast she recommended called So Over Population   Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  Producer:  Sofi LaLonde (@sofilalonde)   More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world

  • Engineering our way out of the climate crisis

    14/04/2021 Duration: 35min

    In an ideal world, cutting carbon emissions would be enough to stop global warming. But after dithering for decades, the world needs a back-up plan. Kelly Wanser is the leader of a group called SilverLining that works to promote research into what it calls “solar climate intervention.” Also called “solar geoengineering,” this approach involves putting particles into clouds that reflect back the sun, directly cooling the earth. It’s a novel and potentially hazardous policy — but one that Wanser and other experts argue could hold a lot of promise as the world braces for catastrophic climate impacts. Wanser and Vox’s Dylan Matthews discuss how solar climate intervention works, how it could be implemented, and where it fits in with the goal of cutting emissions.   References:  Kelly Wanser is the executive director of SilverLining. You can find more information at Silverlining.ngo, including its 2019 report on climate intervention research. You can also hear more from Wanser in her 2019 TED Talk.   Host: Dylan Ma

  • Unexplainable

    16/03/2021 Duration: 28min

    Unexplainable is a new podcast from Vox about everything we don’t know. Each week, the team looks at the most fascinating unanswered questions in science and the mind-bending ways scientists are trying to answer them. New episodes drop every Wednesday.  This episode: Scientists still don't know how the sense of smell works. But they're looking at how powerful it is — dogs can actually sniff out cancer and many other diseases — and they're trying to figure out how to reverse-engineer it. In fact, one MIT scientist may have built a robot nose ... without completely understanding how his invention works. Learn more:  vox.com/unexplainable  Listen on Apple Podcasts: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/unexplainable/id1554578197 Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/show/0PhoePNItwrXBnmAEZgYmt?si=Y3-2TFfDT8qHkfxMjrJL2g Sign up for our newsletter:  http://vox.com/unexplainable-newsletter Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Rethinking meat

    04/11/2020 Duration: 21min

    How can we convince people to change their relationship with meat? Melanie Joy has been grappling with this question for a long time. To answer it, she takes us back to other points in history when new technology helped make social change palatable. She digs into how the invention of the washing machine and other household appliances, for example, helped make feminism easier to imagine. Then, she looks to the future, at our latest meat technologies — plant-based meat and lab grown meat — and asks: Could they make it easier for us to move away from meat altogether?  Further listening and reading:  Joy’s books, Powerarchy: Understanding the Psychology of Oppression for Social Transformation and Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows.  Vox’s Ezra Klein interviewed Joy for an episode of The Ezra Klein Show in 2018. Hear that interview and read her book recommendations here. We always want to hear from you! Please send comments and questions to futureperfect@vox.com.  Subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple

  • Can we raise better beef?

    28/10/2020 Duration: 24min

    Beef cattle take a huge toll on the environment. In Brazil, a huge chunk of greenhouse gas emissions comes from ranching alone. And a California-sized chunk of the Amazon rainforest has been cut down to provide land for these cattle to graze on. But one man, living on the edge of the Amazon rainforest, has a potential solution. In a series of small pilot projects run in his own small town, he’s demonstrated that he can work with ranchers to make their land healthier and more sustainable, so they don’t have to slash and burn more forest. He’s also shown that, by making the land greener and the cows healthier, he can dramatically reduce emissions from ranching. Further listening and reading:  Christina Selby’s story about Vando Telles’s company can be found at Scientific American. Vox video has an in-depth explainer on deforestation in the Amazon and on the invasion of indigenous land in Brazil. Vox video also has an explainer on why eating beef speeds up climate change. Vox’s Umair Irfan traveled to Brazi

  • How to prevent a factory farmed pandemic

    21/10/2020 Duration: 24min

    What if the next pandemic comes, not from wet markets overseas, but from our own factory farms? Martha Nelson, who studies viruses at the NIH, says we are playing Russian roulette with potentially dangerous influenza strains on our pig farms.  In this episode, we explain what makes these giant farms so likely to breed the next pandemic virus — and spread that virus into the world. And then, we look at solutions — from creating a virus-resistant pig, to developing a universal vaccine, to changing the systems we have for raising meat itself. Further listening and reading:  Sigal Samuel wrote an in-depth explainer on the pandemic risks of factory farms earlier this year. She’s also written about “wet markets.” The Vox video team also made an explainer video on the same subject.  For more on how viruses can spread in the pig population, Martha Nelson has an excellent paper “When Pigs Fly.” The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations wrote a 2013 report on the health risks of factory farm

  • These bacteria wear chicken shoes

    14/10/2020 Duration: 23min

    Right now, we can fight off a wide range of bacterial infections using antibiotics. But those antibiotics are becoming increasingly ineffective, and antibiotic use on factory farms is partially to blame.  In this episode, Lance Price and Cindy Liu, two public health researchers, explain that we give animals a steady dose of antibiotics in their feed, hoping to stave off disease in cramped, unsanitary conditions. But as a result, the bacteria in these animals develop resistance to antibiotics. But they have some suggestions for how we could make our antibiotics last. Further listening and reading:  Sigal Samuel has written in depth about the antibiotic risks posed by our factory farms. Liu and Price’s full study is worth a read, as is this Wired writeup of its findings. The episode mentions some of the work that Canada and Denmark have done to combat this resistance problem. It also digs into the use of the antibiotic Colistin in Chinese farms, and the subsequent spread of resistance. We always want to

  • Life on the fast line

    07/10/2020 Duration: 25min

    Workers in meatpacking plants already process our pigs and beef and chickens extremely fast, but recently, there’s been a push to make the meatpacking factory line move even faster.  Isaac Arnsdorf, a ProPublica reporter, takes us deep into his reporting on why that would be extremely dangerous for workers’ health. Then Jill Mauer, a federal meat inspector, explains why she’s worried that the changes in inspections necessary to make these faster line speeds possible could endanger us all. Further listening and reading:  We based the first half of this episode on reporting in Isaac Arnsdorf’s ProPublica piece on changing line speeds. For more on changing line speeds, there are great background pieces from the New York Times’s Julie Creswell and the Washington Post’s Kimberly Kindi. Jill’s full NBC interview, which we excerpted in the episode The Food Integrity Campaign within the Government Accountability Project pulled together this report with affidavits from federal inspectors in pilot plants. We al

  • Chicken Big

    30/09/2020 Duration: 28min

    In 1992, Craig Watts got into growing chickens for Perdue Farms because he was told he could turn a good profit. Instead, he found himself hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt, and unable to bargain for better working conditions because Perdue was the only game in town. Things seemed hopeless, until, in 2010, President Obama’s Department of Justice announced that they were going to look into the relationship between big poultry companies and their growers.  In this episode, reporter Leah Douglas tells us how farmers like Craig fought to change the balance of power in chicken growing a decade ago — and what has happened since. Further listening and reading:  In his book The Meat Racket, Christopher Leonard outlines the problems with contract poultry growing in much more depth, and goes into the history of the practice. Leah Douglas and Christopher Leonard also did a recent, in-depth investigation into problems with the US chicken industry’s treatment of farmers. You can watch the Department of Justic

  • The paradox on our plates

    23/09/2020 Duration: 25min

    In the US, we spend billions of dollars a year pampering our pets. We have laws to protect them from harm and to punish those who inflict it on them. And yet, we routinely abuse pigs and chickens on farms, cutting off their beaks and tails without anesthesia, and cramming them into cages.  In this episode, neuroscientist Lori Marino helps us understand how arbitrarily we draw the lines between animals as pets and animals as food, and how we might redraw those lines. Further listening and reading:  Lori Marino has done in-depth round-ups of all the research on chicken cognition and pig cognition. You might also enjoy this study, where students who worked with chickens were surprised by their intelligence In the piece, we used clips from this BBC Earth segment on how pig intelligence compares to toddler intelligence, and a Compassion in World Farming piece on pigs and video games Dylan Matthews has written in depth about unnecessarily painful pig castration. He’s also written about the practice of mass

  • Pig poop lagoon

    16/09/2020 Duration: 29min

    North Carolina is home to around 9 million pigs. Many of those pigs live in big factory farms, and all of those pigs produce a lot of waste. On these factory farms, that waste is collected in big outdoor lagoons, and then sprayed out across fields as fertilizer. People living in communities nearby complain their daily lives are disrupted by the stench, and they fear that it’s affecting their health. On this episode, three North Carolinians team up with a lawyer to try and fight back against these lagoon and sprayfield systems.   Further listening and reading:  ProPublica’s Talia Buford has done in-depth reporting on the problems of overflowing pig waste lagoons in North Carolina, and you can see images of the aftermath of lagoon flooding from Hurricane Florence collected here. Pig waste from factory farms is not just a problem in North Carolina. You can read about issues in Iowa, Minnesota, and Ohio.  A profile of the late epidemiologist Steve Wing, whose research into hog waste deeply informs this episo

  • Season 3: The beef with meat

    09/09/2020 Duration: 02min

    The meat we eat affects us all. It affects non-human animals, but also the farmers and factory workers who raise those animals and slaughter them. It affects the communities living around those farms and slaughterhouses. It affects our health care system and our ability to treat infections. And it affects our environment.  On this season of the Future Perfect podcast, we bring you stories about all those effects. And we’ll tell you about some potential changes, big and small, that could make the food we eat more sustainable and more humane.  If you haven’t already, subscribe to Future Perfect on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast app to automatically get new episodes of the latest season each week. Hosts: Dylan Matthews (@dylanmatt), senior correspondent, Vox  Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  More to explore: Follow all of Future Perfect’s reporting on the Future of Meat. Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down big, complicated problems the world fac

  • What the housing crisis means for the climate

    07/09/2020 Duration: 58min

    Dylan Matthews sits down with housing policy experts and advocates Leonora Camner and Annie Fryman to discuss California’s housing crisis, climate catastrophe, and how more sustainable land use policy could help both. Featuring: Leonora Camner (@CamnerLeonora), executive director, Abundant Housing LA Annie Fryman (@anniefryman), housing policy lead for California State Senator Scott Wiener Host: Dylan Matthews, senior correspondent, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Credits: Producer/Editor: Jackson Bierfeldt Executive Producer: Liz Nelson About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas.  Learn more about your ad choices.

  • What MLK and Malcolm X would do today

    19/08/2020 Duration: 01h14min

    Co-host Sean Illing talks to Peniel Joseph, a University of Texas at Austin historian of Black Power movements Relevant resources:  The Sword and the Shield: The Revolutionary Lives of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr. by Peniel Joseph Featuring: Peniel Joseph, a history professor at the University of Texas at Austin Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), interviews writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Credits: Producer/Editor: Jackson Bierfeldt Editor: Elbert Ventura Executive Producer: Liz Nelson About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • The benefits of contemplating death

    12/08/2020 Duration: 59min

    Co-host Sigal Samuel talks to Nikki Mirghafori, a Buddhist meditation teacher and AI researcher, about how to practice mindfulness of death  Relevant resources:  “Our calm is contagious”: How to use mindfulness in a pandemic, by Sigal Samuel It’s okay to be doing okay during the pandemic, by Sigal Samuel Are we morally obligated to meditate? by Sigal Samuel  Featuring: Nikki Mirghafori, a Buddhist meditation teacher and AI researcher  Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Credits: Producer/Editor: Jackson Bierfeldt Editor: Elbert Ventura Executive Producer: Liz Nelson About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having am

  • A nun on the radical possibilities of Christianity

    05/08/2020 Duration: 01h10min

    Co-host Sean Illing talks to Sister Ilia Delio, a Franciscan nun and Catholic theologian, about the power of love and suffering in Christianity. Relevant resources:  The Unbearable Wholeness of Being: God, Evolution, and the Power of Love, Ilia Delio Making All Things New: Catholicity, Cosmology, Consciousness, Ilia Delio Featuring: Ilia Delio, a Franciscan Sister of Washington, DC, and Villanova University theology professor Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), senior interviews writer, Vox More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Credits: Producer/Editor: Jackson Bierfeldt Editor: Elbert Ventura Executive Producer: Liz Nelson About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having a

  • Why Cornel West is hopeful (but not optimistic)

    29/07/2020 Duration: 01h03min

    Co-host Sigal Samuel talks to Cornel West, professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard, about Black liberation theology, existentialism, and other philosophies that can help us through these times. Relevant resources:  Cornel West and Tricia Rose on The Tight Rope, Apple Podcasts   Featuring: Cornel West (@CornelWest), professor of the Practice of Public Philosophy at Harvard Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. Credits: Producer/Editor - Jackson Bierfeldt Editor - Elbert Ventura Executive Producer Liz Nelson About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. Le

  • What Camus’s "The Plague" can teach us about this pandemic

    22/07/2020 Duration: 01h04min

    Co-host Sean Illing talks to Robert Zaretsky, professor of French history at the University of Houston, about Albert Camus’s novel The Plague. Relevant resources:  The Plague, by Albert Camus Simone Weil: An Anthology, by Simone Weil Albert Camus: Elements of a Life, by Robert Zaretsky  Featuring: Robert Zaretsky, professor of history at the University of Houston Host: Sean Illing (@seanilling), senior interviews writer, Vox  More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

  • Muslim mystics on the power of pain

    15/07/2020 Duration: 59min

    Co-host Sigal Samuel talks to Omid Safi, professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University, about the benefits of solitude and suffering, according to Sufis like Rumi. Relevant resources:  Radical Love: Teachings from the Islamic Mystical Tradition, by Omid Safi  Featuring: Omid Safi (@ostadjaan), professor of Islamic Studies at Duke University Host: Sigal Samuel (@SigalSamuel), staff writer, Vox  More to explore: Subscribe to Vox’s Future Perfect newsletter, which breaks down the big, complicated problems the world faces and the most efficient ways to solve them. About Vox: Vox is a news network that helps you cut through the noise and understand what's really driving the events in the headlines. Please consider making a contribution to Vox to support this show: bit.ly/givepodcasts. Your support will help us keep having ambitious conversations about big ideas. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

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