The Overstory

By Sierra Club

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The Overstory, a podcast from Sierra Club, brings listeners some of the most surprising, heartfelt, and provocative stories from across the American landscape. With each episode our reporters go beyond the latest news headlines as they profile the people and places on the front lines of environmental activism.

Episode Date
The Movement for Black Lives Saves the Planet: S2, Ep. 4
On this episode of The Overstory, we explore the connections between systemic racism and environmental destruction. Hop Hopkins, director of the Sierra Club's strategic partnerships, discusses how the ideology of white supremacy fuels environmental degradation and social injustice. Corina Newsome talks about how she co-organized the online happening, #BlackBirdersWeek. Plus: NASA climate scientist Dr. Kate Marvel explains why the pandemic doesn't have an environmental silver lining and Christy Goldfuss, a former Obama White House official, breaks down the Trump administration's assaults on bedrock environmental laws.
Jul 20, 2020
Resistance is Fertile: S2, Ep. 3
On the latest installment of "The Overstory," we talk with some of the people who are coping with the pandemic by getting closer -- much closer -- to the earth. The co-CEO of Johnny's Selected Seeds discusses the skyrocketing demand for vegetable seeds sparked by "pandemic planting," while urban farmers Kanchan Dawn Hunter and Novella Carpenter answer listeners' gardening questions. Our advice columnist, Ms. Green, talks with her mom about how to grow "zombie" crops on the kitchen counter. Plus: A radio diary from Nicole Hill, a woman in Detroit who is organizing against water shut-offs.
Jun 12, 2020
Getting Out into Nature (Safely) Amid the Pandemic: S2, Ep. 2
In this episode of The Overstory, we're getting out into nature--slowly, safely--and exploring what that looks like in the age of pandemic. We talk with journalist and urban farmer Novella Carpenter about how to grow your own vegetables, while our advice columnist, Ms. Green, talks about how to reduce food waste and shop smart while you're sheltering in place. Reporter Jackie Bryant offers tips for how to recreate outdoors while still maintaining physical distance from others. And investigative journalist Adam Federman discusses how the National Park Service is navigating the pandemic. Plus: Dr. Scott Sampson, executive director of the California Academy of Sciences, shares a personal remembrance about how he fell in love with wild nature.
May 07, 2020
Earth Day in the Time of Pandemic: S2, Ep. 1
The first episode of The Overstory's second season was originally intended as a celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. As the pandemic unfolded, we pivoted to consider what social activism will look like in this season of social distancing. Hear from Denis Hayes, founder of the Earth Day Network; Zero Hour founder Jamie Margolin; author and artist Jenny Odell; and the Reverend Lennox Yearwood, Jr. Plus also: Ms. Green explains her investigation into PFAS in menstrual underwear.
Apr 03, 2020
Ep. 9: Birding For Change
On Episode 9 of The Overstory we go birding with Jason Ward, an impassioned birder in Atlanta, Georgia whose enthusiasm and social media savvy is helping to attract younger and more ethnically diverse groups of people into the world of bird-watching. We also hear from climate activist Patrick Houston about his tips for social change, and talk with Haviland Whiting, the youth poet laureate of Nashville. Plus: Ms. Green discusses the challenges of being a vegan.
Dec 17, 2019
Ep. 8: Rewilding Patagonia
We take listeners to the far reaches of Chilean Patagonia, where U.S. philanthropist Kris Tompkins has overseen the largest act of wildlands philanthropy in history. On a new segment of the show, we hear directly from frontline activists who provide us with tips and hints about effective environmental advocacy. And speaking of advice, we introduce our new sustainable living advice columnist, Ms. Green—aka Jessian Choy. Plus, a conversation with Doria Robinson, a resident of Richmond, California who lives in the shadow of a giant Chevron oil refinery.
Nov 06, 2019
Ep. 7: The Climate Strike
Episode 7 opens with a dispatch from the historic climate strike, as we follow youth climate organizer Daphne Frias while she navigates the New York City march from her wheelchair. We also take listeners to the White Mountains of New Hampshire, where we feed Oreos to a bear (in the name of science, of course!) and learn about the latest findings on animal intelligence. We hear from a West Virginia woman who is using her singing voice as a vehicle for environmental activism. And we say a fond farewell to our longtime advice columnist, Mr. Green.
Oct 04, 2019
Ep. 6: Underwater
We begin this episode with a trip to Miami's "Little Haiti" neighborhood, whichis grappling with "climate gentrification" as rising sea levels and sunny day flooding make the city's high elevation districts attractive to developers. Mr. Green, our advice columnist, talks about the environmental impacts of dogs. And we hear from a cancer survivor who is battling plastic pollution in Great Britain by paddling all of England's rivers.
Apr 18, 2019
Ep. 5: Drawdown
Mar 06, 2019
Ep. 4: The Mighty Mississippi
Jan 29, 2019
Ep. 3: Hiking for Healing
We join a group of single mom veterans from New York City as they take a weekend camping trip with their families — and in the course of their adventure find a respite from the stresses of military-to-civilian transition. We also talk with Ray Smith, a member of the first all African-American team to summit Mount Kilimanjaro. Plus: advice from Mr. Green and a radio diary from Yellowstone's "wild woman."
Dec 10, 2018
Ep. 2: The Last Great Wilderness
This episode of The Overstory includes an in-depth feature story from the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, which is now threatened by oil-drilling. Plus: A radio diary from Olympic snowboarder Justin Reiter, a conversation about equity in the outdoors with Teresa Baker, and sustainable living advice from Mr. Green.
Nov 27, 2018
Ep. 1: Can Cider Save The World?
This is the premiere episode of the Sierra Club's new podcast, The Overstory. We take listeners to some of the most contested ground in the United States, Bears Ears National Monument, talk with Sierra magazine's advice columnist, Mr. Green, and hear from the Lumbee Tribe of North Carolina about how the natural order of things is being changed, even their sacred river. Plus, we learn how cider-making promotes biodiversity!
Oct 29, 2018
The Overstory: Coming Soon!
Coming soon: a new podcast from Sierra Club. The Overstory brings listeners some of the most surprising, heartfelt, and provocative stories from across the American landscape.
Oct 25, 2018