Outrage and Optimism Podcast

Outrage and Optimism is a weekly podcast hosted by Global Optimism founders Tom Rivett-Carnac and Christiana Figueres and their long-time friend and collaborator Paul Dickinson.

Our aim with the podcast is to highlight how we need both the outrage we see on the streets as well as the deep conviction that we CAN address climate change to break through the current status quo. It’s not always easy to bring these two sentiments together, but we strongly feel that outrage without optimism leads to defeatism, and optimism without outrage leads to unacceptably incremental approaches. Instead, we endeavor to show how they can be forged into effective action.

Each week, we start with a round-up of what has made us feel either outraged or optimistic that week in the climate debate. This is followed by an in-depth interview with guest for the week, which to date have included David Attenborough, Ellie Goulding, Jane Goodall, Greta Thunberg, Richard Branson, Theresa May and David Miliband.


Latest episodes:


40. John Kerry is Here and He’s Not Messing Around

The most consequential event this year in climate is the 2020 U.S. Election. Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry gets real with us on why some people should be held criminally liable for not acting on climate science, why he’s optimistic about the future, and how climate as a voting issue can beat Donald Trump.

39. Science! Leadership! Action! with Rainn Wilson, Dr. Gail Whiteman, and David Perry

First, we meet up with Rainn Wilson (Dwight Schrute / The Office U.S.) and Dr. Gail Whiteman to talk about @ArcticBasecamp’s new campaign, “Speak Science To Power” and how we can give power to scientists and bring science into corporate boardrooms everywhere. Later on David Perry (Indigo Ag / Terraton Initiative) tells us why carbon shouldn’t be vilified and how we can solve the climate crisis by looking right where we’re standing.

38. Not All Superheroes Wear Capes with Oliver Bäte

This week a special guest drops in to chat with the gang! Hint: He’s a “High Level Climate Action Champion” (what a title!) They talk what is crucial to the lead up to COP 26 and why ambition is the heart of driving results this year on climate. Later on we’re joined by Oliver Bäte, CEO of Allianz. Oliver is boldly charging the insurance industry to divest from fossil fuels, and leading by example.

37. The Courage and The Clear Sight of Luisa Neubauer

At just 23 years of age, Luisa Neubauer is fighting for our future in ways that will shape the future of activism and corporate responsibility forever. A best selling author and #FridaysFor Future activist, Luisa got the attention of the CEO of Siemens over an investment they have in the infamous Adani coal mine in Australia. After Siemens offers her a position an advisory board for their new energy company, Luisa is faced with a decision.

36. The Great Australian Inferno with Kevin Rudd

It’s the “super year” for climate and the most consequential decade in human history! This week Tom and Christiana talk with former Prime Minister of Australia, Kevin Rudd. Kevin shows us the roots of why the Conservative Party in Australia and the Murdoch media empire are perpetuating a state of climate inaction, and why he’s optimistic that the Australian fires are the turning point for humanity and our climate.

35. Richard Curtis Has an Optimism That Comes From His Outrage

Tom and Christiana interview producer Richard Curtis. Richard is the creator of Bridget Jones Diary and Love Actually, but Richard’s social work with Comic Relief, Make Poverty History, and the 10:10 campaign are equally as inspiring.

34. A Live Conversation with Chris Anderson from TED

Tom has a in-depth conversation with Chris Anderson of TED. They speak on the history of The Paris Agreement and the ambition that TED has in new global TEDCountdown initiative for 2020.

33. The Green Belt Movement with Wanjira Mathai

This week we have an inspiring conversation with Wanjira Mathai as she talks about The Green Belt Movement, the interconnection of sustainability, and how to combat corruption & greed. We discuss the announcement by the European Investment Bank to stop funding fossil fuels, how psychology professionals plan to work on climate change, and Paul takes us on his trip to the Magic Kingdom.

32. Closing the Emissions Gap with Patricia Espinosa

After a devastating UNEP Emissions Gap report details how governments are not doing enough to meet the 1.5C Paris Agreement target, Tom and Paul ask the question, “Can we still do this?” Later, Christiana joins her successor at the UNFCCC, Executive Secretary Patricia Espinosa, for the scoop on what we should expect out of COP25 beginning Monday in Madrid.

31. How to Face The Mess We’re in Without Going Crazy with Joanna Macy

As the US approaches Thanksgiving week, we quiet ourselves for an intimate chat with environmental activist, Buddhist scholar, and deep ecologist, Joanna Macy. She shares why we should suffer with the world as we experience the climate crisis, and why that’s a tall order for our current political economy.

30. Banking on the Climate with Mark Carney

This week we drop in to talk money with the Governor of The Bank of England, Mark Carney. Mark is leading the way on banking with the climate in mind, keeping banks accountable for investments towards a Net-Zero 2050. We also discuss the ramifications of the US withdrawing from The Paris Climate Agreement, and we find out why Paul has been intentionally watching Fox News.