On the Green Fence lives up to its name in looking at complex, often divisive environmental issues from multiple angles. It’s not about greenism, but about delving into the major concerns of our time in an engaging and human way. DW reporter Neil King sits on the fence and explores the role business, society and science play in our transition to a more environmentally friendly world. In so doing, he aims to make sense of issues that affect us all, but which are often over-simplified or convoluted by ideology and lobbyism. On the Green Fence stands for an open-minded, relevant and entertaining approach to the environment.
Can we recycle our way out of the plastic crisis?
Globally only 9% of all plastic waste is recycled. But why are mechanical recycling rates so low? And could chemical recycling help achieve our targets or is this the wrong approach to the plastic waste problem?
21/07/2023 • 43 minutes 35 seconds
Why don't we use more bioplastics?
Substituting fossil-based plastics with compostable ones could help address plastic pollution. But not all bioplastics are eco-friendly or biodegradable. A startup from the UK says seaweed is the answer.
14/07/2023 • 35 minutes 5 seconds
Could plastic-eating enzymes help curb pollution?
Each year, millions of tons of plastic waste ends up in the environment where it can last for centuries. But the discovery of plastic-gobbling enzymes has raised hopes of solving this mounting problem. Some scientists have called these tiny plastic eaters a game changer. But is this really a scalable solution? And does it make economic sense?
07/07/2023 • 35 minutes 25 seconds
The growing microplastics problem: risks and solutions
Microplastics have been found everywhere — from the deepest parts of the ocean to the heights of Mount Everest. A problem that is set to intensify as we produce over 400 million tons of new plastics every year. But just how dangerous are microplastics? And what can we do about them?
30/06/2023 • 37 minutes 3 seconds
The plastics age: How did we get here?
Each year, the world produces 430 million tons of plastics – and that figure is set to triple by 2060. How did plastics become such a big part of our lives? And what needs to be done to limit their environmental impact?
23/06/2023 • 42 minutes 19 seconds
Trailer: The global plastics crisis, new podcast series
Global plastics production has doubled over the past two decades. Despite rising consumer awareness, there is more single-use plastic waste than ever before. Pollutive plastic waste is set to triple by 2060. Microplastics are in our food and water and even entering our bodies. How did we get here and what can we do about it? This series launches on 16 June.
02/06/2023 • 1 minute 55 seconds
More allergies due to climate change?
By 2050, half the world's population could be affected by at least one allergy. Is global warming to blame? Find out more about rising pollen levels and one of the most allergenic plants in the world that is now also spreading in Germany. (This episode has been republished and updated).
25/05/2023 • 24 minutes 49 seconds
How lab-grown meat could help the climate
Global demand for meat is growing, but animal agriculture has a significant carbon footprint. Could cultivating steaks, nuggets and sushi in a lab be a solution? (This episode has been republished and updated).
19/05/2023 • 40 minutes 39 seconds
Climate crisis: Is cli-fi counterproductive?
Climate fiction has become a significant cultural phenomenon, reflecting the urgency of the climate crisis and the need for creative responses to this global challenge. But how does it affect the consumer and is it doing more harm than good?
12/05/2023 • 26 minutes 33 seconds
The rise of climate fiction
Cli-fi is growing increasingly popular as the climate crisis deepens. But could this mainly dystopian genre play a constructive role in tackling the challenge of global warming?
05/05/2023 • 30 minutes 20 seconds
Why more 'edible cities' are a good idea
The German town of Andernach uses its public spaces to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs that anyone can pick free of charge. It's also a social project that has given some residents a new purpose in life. So what would it take to turn your home town into an edible one? (This episode has been republished and updated)
28/04/2023 • 32 minutes 20 seconds
Understanding our food choices
Supermarkets stock thousands of food products flown in from all over the world. And we've become used to this bounty of choice, often at the cost of the environment. But what is driving this excessive food consumption and how can we make better food choices? (This episode has been republished and updated).
21/04/2023 • 33 minutes 28 seconds
AI: 'It will be a wild ride'
Machines that can outsmart humans are the stuff of sci-fi novels. But some in the tech industry believe that if rapid advances in AI continue, there could someday be systems that attain — or surpass — human intelligence. Philosopher Nick Bostrom shares his thoughts on what that would mean for our species and some of the ethical questions that should be settled before we reach that threshold.
14/04/2023 • 39 minutes 10 seconds
AI: What are the downsides for the environment?
Artificial intelligence has tremendous potential to help us reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. At the same time, the technology itself has a big carbon footprint, and in some cases it's being used to accelerate activities that make climate change worse.
06/04/2023 • 30 minutes 14 seconds
How AI can help us protect the planet
The field of artificial intelligence is growing fast. Not only is it bringing profound changes to the way we live and work, it's also proving to be a powerful tool in the fight against climate change.
31/03/2023 • 31 minutes 46 seconds
Climate change: The biggest health threat to humanity
The impacts of climate change are making us sick and claiming the lives of 13 million people every year. According to the World Health Organization, climate change is the single biggest health threat humanity faces. So what does it mean for our health if we fail to meet our climate goals and what can we do about it? (This episode has been republished and updated).
24/03/2023 • 18 minutes 34 seconds
The Rhine: Protecting a precious water source
Ahead of World Water Day, we look at how the Rhine was transformed from a heavily polluted and stinking river into a clean waterway. Today, it supplies over 30 million people with high quality drinking water. But new threats are emerging for Germany's longest artery. (This episode has been republished and updated).
17/03/2023 • 30 minutes 52 seconds
The benefits of a four-day work week
Imagine your work week is reduced from five to four days without a pay cut. That's precisely what some companies in the UK did over a six-month trial period. Apparently, this is good for workers, business and the environment. Is the four-day work week overdue?
10/03/2023 • 22 minutes 6 seconds
Human composting: The push for greener burials
Most Germans choose to be cremated when they die. But this process has many environmental downsides. A green funeral startup from Berlin wants to make human composting the new normal. But just how eco-friendly is this and why hasn't it taken off in Germany yet?
03/03/2023 • 26 minutes 20 seconds
Rationing carbon: A fairer way to fight global warming?
Rationing could be an effective way of reducing carbon emissions rapidly and fairly, according to a recent study by UK scientists. But just how would this work and would people really go along with it?
24/02/2023 • 30 minutes 50 seconds
Europe's appetite for frogs' legs puts species at risk
The trade in frogs legs is thriving. Every year, millions of tons of the delicacy are exported from Asia to the European Union, the world’s biggest customer by far. But scientists warn the trade is unsustainable, and that Europe’s insatiable taste for the amphibian’s limbs could cause some species to die out altogether.
17/02/2023 • 26 minutes 5 seconds
Civil disobedience in environmentalism: past, present, future
From the suffragettes to US civil rights campaigners, there are many examples from history of social movements using direct action to push for change. It's a tactic climate activists in the West are increasingly resorting to today. But do radical acts still work with a challenge as immense as climate change? And how are such protests viewed in other parts of the world?
10/02/2023 • 34 minutes 18 seconds
A turning point for disruptive climate protests?
Disruptive climate protests are encouraging the authorities in some democracies to push for harsher anti-protest measures and new legislation. Civil rights groups fear the right to peaceful protest could come under threat. In Germany, for instance, climate activists from 'The Last Generation' have already been placed in preventive detention. Is more escalation on the horizon?
03/02/2023 • 33 minutes 12 seconds
Climate activist: 'I'm doing this for my son'
Just Stop Oil activist Lora Johnson has been arrested several times for disruptive climate protests in the United Kingdom. She has no intention of stopping, even if it means being separated from her son. But just how far is she prepared to go to achieve her goals?
27/01/2023 • 21 minutes 58 seconds
Noise pollution — the underestimated threat
Exposure to loud noise can lead to health issues in humans. But it can also be harmful for wildlife. The problem is only going to get worse as cities expand. So what can we do about it?
20/01/2023 • 26 minutes 16 seconds
The German farmer who's keeping his village warm
Locally produced biogas could help reduce Germany's dependence on natural gas imports. So why doesn't it play a bigger role? German farmer Henning Varnholt knows all the stumbling blocks. He's been producing biogas since 2009 despite criticism from neighbors. Today, he and his community are self-sufficient and the critics have fallen silent. But is biogas really all it's cracked up to be?
23/12/2022 • 25 minutes 41 seconds
Energy crisis: The comeback of coal in Germany?
Germany is firing up old coal plants to ensure energy supply this winter. What does this mean for the country's coal phaseout and climate targets?
09/12/2022 • 58 minutes 42 seconds
Winds of change: How Germany's renewables push is causing division
Germany's government wants to install thousands of new wind turbines as part of its plan to phase out fossil fuels. But finding a place to put all these windmills is proving controversial - even within green circles. Some critics argue wind is far too volatile a power source, while others warn these massive structures will harm vulnerable ecosystems. So when does this technology make sense?
25/11/2022 • 1 hour 6 minutes 41 seconds
Energy fears rekindle nuclear debate in Germany
The energy crisis triggered by Russia's invasion of Ukraine has forced Germany to delay its long awaited nuclear phaseout. How likely is a renaissance of nuclear power amid blackout fears and increased energy prices? What role can "green" nuclear power play in the climate crisis? And why is there no embargo on Russian uranium?
11/11/2022 • 1 hour 6 minutes 29 seconds
How Germany is preparing for a future without Russian gas
For years, Germany has relied on gas imports from Russia to power its industry. But Moscow's war in Ukraine has left Berlin scrambling to find alternatives. In episode one of DW's new series about the energy crisis, how will Europe's biggest economy replace Russian gas while staying on track to meet its climate goals?
28/10/2022 • 1 hour 59 seconds
Trailer: Germany's energy crisis, new podcast series
Germany's energy policy has been turned upside down by Russia's invasion of Ukraine. But what does this mean for energy security and climate targets? And how are Germans preparing for the winter amid rising energy prices? Join DW reporters Kristie Pladson and Neil King on the road as they explore Germany in crisis mode. This podcast series launches on 28 October.
21/10/2022 • 3 minutes 56 seconds
Why isn't greener housing the new normal?
In Germany, buildings are responsible for around 40 percent of national greenhouse gas emissions. Making housing more sustainable can help save money in times of rising energy costs. But where to start? (This episode has been republished and updated).
05/10/2022 • 33 minutes 13 seconds
Living sustainably — with strangers
Co-housing projects are growing in popularity thanks, in part, to increasing awareness about the impact of our homes on the planet. But how difficult is it to share your living space with strangers? (This episode has been republished and updated).
30/09/2022 • 38 minutes 25 seconds
Do we really need such big homes?
The living space of people in Western countries has been expanding for decades. But tackling housing shortages and the climate crisis may require a rethink of how much room we really need. (This episode has been republished and updated).
23/09/2022 • 40 minutes 34 seconds
The case for a car-free city
Reducing the number of cars in urban areas can bring down pollution and traffic accidents. But the idea of shifting away from cars and designing cities around pedestrians and cyclists instead often meets with fierce resistance. (This episode has been republished and updated).
16/09/2022 • 21 minutes 36 seconds
Low water levels: Is deepening the Rhine a good idea?
While major businesses depending on Rhine shipments are backing a government plan to deepen the river in key sections, towns on the Middle Rhine are fighting an uphill battle to stop it. But why is this project so controversial?
09/09/2022 • 30 minutes 3 seconds
The Rhine as a symbol of identity
The river Rhine has played a crucial role in Europe's history and development, shaping the people and towns along its banks. But just what makes this river so special and how is old Father Rhine's role developing amid climate change?
02/09/2022 • 34 minutes 54 seconds
Reviving the Rhine's wetlands amid drought
A historic drought is drying out the few remaining wetland areas along Germany's Rhine river, putting native wildlife under stress. Conservationists hope that restoring these delicate ecosystems will make them more resilient in the face of future extremes.
26/08/2022 • 34 minutes 28 seconds
The mighty Rhine: A shrinking river?
Climate change is transforming the Rhine. Scant rainfall and above average summer temperatures have caused its water level to drop to near-record lows. Weather extremes are expected to become more frequent, so what does this mean for the iconic river?
19/08/2022 • 31 minutes 40 seconds
Boosting climate resilience with agroforestry
Agriculture needs to adapt to climate change to ensure food security. Agroforestry systems could help make farms more resilient, but they only constitute a fraction of farming in Europe. Is it time for change?
15/07/2022 • 37 minutes 31 seconds
Is it time to rethink air travel?
Staff shortages and flight cancellations have thrown airlines into turmoil at the start of a busy summer holiday season. But that's just one challenge confronting the aviation industry. It's also under growing pressure to shrink its carbon footprint in the face of a much bigger crisis: climate change. (This episode has been republished and updated).
08/07/2022 • 29 minutes 56 seconds
Climate change: Why planting more trees won't save us
Expanding forests can help bring down the amount of CO2 trapped in the atmosphere. But restoring these invaluable ecosystems is a complex business, and planting new trees can sometimes do more harm than good.
01/07/2022 • 27 minutes 16 seconds
Germany's forests: Rising from the ashes
Climate change and monoculture plantations are rendering Germany's forests more vulnerable to forest fires. One solution could be the creation of forests that don't burn so easily. But how is this done, and what does this mean for ecosystems and timber production?
24/06/2022 • 43 minutes 2 seconds
Has climate activism failed?
Global CO2 emissions continue to rise despite the urgent need to decarbonize. What does this failure to tackle climate change mean for climate activism? Is radicalization the next step?
17/06/2022 • 42 minutes 36 seconds
The wood wide web: What is it and how does it work?
Trees are connected to each other by a huge underground network through which they can exchange information. But why is this crucial for the survival of forests and how is climate change affecting connectivity?
10/06/2022 • 28 minutes 15 seconds
Trailer: Forests and climate change
Forests cover 30% of the Earth's land area and are home to 80% of its biodiversity. Forests are our lungs and can help mitigate climate change by storing carbon. But things are changing as temperatures rise and the global population grows. What does this mean for our trees?
03/06/2022 • 2 minutes 13 seconds
How a German 'edible city' is teaching locals about food
The town of Andernach uses its public spaces to grow fruit, vegetables and herbs that anyone can pick free of charge. The project has been a resounding hit with locals keen to learn more about growing food sustainably. For some, it's even been life-changing.
27/05/2022 • 35 minutes 55 seconds
Food choices: Why are we so greedy?
Supermarkets stock thousands of food products flown in from all over the world. And we've become used to this bounty of choice, often at the cost of the environment. Is it time to scale back?
20/05/2022 • 33 minutes 44 seconds
Is lab-grown meat a good idea?
Lab-grown meat could help us decarbonize agriculture and abolish factory farming along with all its environmental and ethical downsides. So why the holdup?
13/05/2022 • 41 minutes 52 seconds
Are GM crops the answer to feeding the world?
The world is going to need about 50% more food by 2050. Has the time come to roll out genetically modified crops that promise higher yields, are more resilient to climate change and reduce the carbon footprint of farming?
06/05/2022 • 40 minutes 23 seconds
War in Ukraine exposes food system flaws
Russia's invasion of Ukraine is threatening global food security and supply chains. The shocks to food systems are set to intensify amid climate change. Is greener farming the answer?
29/04/2022 • 31 minutes 23 seconds
Will climate change lead to water wars?
Water scarcity already affects about 40% of the world's population and droughts could put up to 700 million people at risk of displacement by the year 2030. Are we entering a new era of violent conflict over water?
25/03/2022 • 40 minutes 14 seconds
How clean is your river?
The Rhine used to be a heavily polluted and stinking river. Today, it supplies over 30 million people with high quality drinking water. How was this achieved? And which new threats are emerging for Germany's longest waterway?
18/03/2022 • 32 minutes 3 seconds
Privatizing water: Pros and cons
As global demand for water continues to rise, safeguarding the water supply will likely grow more challenging and costly. Is more privatization the answer?
11/03/2022 • 24 minutes 31 seconds
Living with the existential threat of water scarcity
Of all the world's water-stressed countries, India has the highest population at risk. But despite shrinking water reservoirs and dire warnings that the country could soon run dry, not all Indians are taking this existential threat seriously. Why not?
04/03/2022 • 20 minutes 38 seconds
How to cope with climate anxiety
The psychological impact of climate change is growing across the globe. But how do you know whether you have eco-anxiety and what can you do to keep it at bay?
18/02/2022 • 48 minutes 55 seconds
The rise of allergies
By 2050, half the world's population could be affected by at least one allergy. Is climate change to blame?
11/02/2022 • 26 minutes 10 seconds
Are mosquitoes becoming more dangerous?
Disease-spreading mosquitoes kill more humans than any other animal. They are responsible for 1 million deaths per year. Global heating will expose half the world's population to dangerous mosquitoes by 2050. Time for drastic measures?
04/02/2022 • 29 minutes 4 seconds
Creating a green health care system
The health care sector is responsible for about 5% of global greenhouse gas emissions. It is contributing to climate change, which will create more patients and yet more emissions. Meet the German doctor who's trying to break this vicious circle by decarbonizing health care and convincing his patients of the health benefits of a greener lifestyle.
28/01/2022 • 23 minutes 16 seconds
How climate change is fueling a health crisis
The impacts of climate change are making us sick and claiming the lives of 13 million people every year. According to the World Health Organization, climate change is the single biggest health threat humanity faces. So what would it mean for our health if we fail to meet our climate goals?
21/01/2022 • 25 minutes 5 seconds
How to solve Germany's cheap meat problem
Germany's new agriculture minister Cem Özdemir has caused a stir after speaking out against junk prices in supermarkets, especially for meat - the biggest driver of food-related greenhouse gas emissions. But why is this so problematic in Germany and would higher meat prices really solve the problem?
30/12/2021 • 25 minutes 10 seconds
Co-housing: a green alternative to the family home?
Buying a family home is a major life milestone in many countries. But a lack of affordable housing and a desire to curb carbon footprints has led to the rise of alternative forms of accommodation, including "co-housing." Just how does this model work? And how difficult is it to get people to share their living space?
17/12/2021 • 38 minutes 33 seconds
Housing: rethinking our living space
The average living space in western countries has increased dramatically over the past decades. In Germany, urban sprawl and construction projects are eating away at nature at a rate of 50 soccer pitches per day. At the same time, people here are struggling to find affordable accommodation. How can we break this trend and are tiny houses really the answer?
03/12/2021 • 39 minutes 36 seconds
Keeping homes cool as the planet heats up
Climate change is expected to make heat waves longer and more severe, with catastrophic consequences for our health and economies. The International Energy Agency predicts that energy demand from air conditioners will triple by 2050. But ironically, the more we use these carbon-intensive machines, the more we contribute to global heating. So how do we break that cycle?
19/11/2021 • 27 minutes 28 seconds
Reducing the carbon footprint of houses
In Germany, nearly 40% of national greenhouse gas emissions are caused by buildings. The housing and construction sector will need to change dramatically if there is to be any hope of achieving climate neutrality by 2045. But where to start? Listen in to find out more about passive houses, sustainable construction materials and the carbon footprint of building a family home from scratch.
05/11/2021 • 33 minutes 24 seconds
Living in a flood zone: rebuild or relocate?
Three months after deadly flash floods tore through Germany's Ahr Valley, residents in the village of Dernau are looking to the future. For many, that means rebuilding homes destroyed in the deluge. But how do you build back in a sustainable way? What needs to change to make buildings more flood-resilient? And when does it make sense to move away altogether?
22/10/2021 • 32 minutes 31 seconds
This time On the Green Fence is bringing you an episode from our friends at Outside/In, an American podcast about the natural world and how we use it. In their episode "Scents and Sensibility" the Outside/In team explore the origins, role and transformation of potpourri. Listen in for a unique take on this "old school" air freshener.
08/10/2021 • 39 minutes 32 seconds
'We didn't have the luxury to care about the environment'
Growing up in a working-class neighborhood in western Germany, environmental issues had never really played a role for brothers Adnan and Burak Arslan. But when Adnan was selected to be a part of a citizens' assembly on climate change, his view began to shift — to the surprise of his friends and family.
24/09/2021 • 29 minutes 26 seconds
How can we save our dying forests?
Climate change and severe droughts have weakened forests around the globe. In Germany, where many forests are planted monocultures, about 80% of trees are considered unhealthy. What's even more alarming is that the forest dieback is also affecting younger trees now. So what happens if we lose our forests? And is there anything we can do to stop it?
10/09/2021 • 28 minutes 2 seconds
How young and old see the climate crisis
Germany's demographic setup favors the older generation in this year's crunch election. More than half the eligible voters are above the age of 50 and only 15% are below the age of 30. What does this mean for intergenerational dialogue and future environmental policy? Are older people in Germany really less interested in the environment than the Friday For Futures generation?
27/08/2021 • 30 minutes 18 seconds
'The new people's car will be a small electric vehicle'
Engineering professor Günther Schuh claims to have developed one of the most sustainable e-cars in the world. But can he prevail on Germany's super competitive car market?
30/07/2021 • 38 minutes 14 seconds
The benefits of a car-free future
Most urban centers around the world are designed for cars, with significant chunks of space dedicated to roads and parking spaces. But what if our infrastructure was geared towards pedestrians and cyclists instead? Advocates say shifting away from car-centric cities could bring huge benefits to our health and climate.
16/07/2021 • 34 minutes 13 seconds
E-cars and the new lithium gold rush
Lithium is a critical component of e-car batteries. But what does this mean for the environment and just how far can we get with the world's identified lithium supplies?
02/07/2021 • 25 minutes 35 seconds
Is Germany's car industry finally going green?
Volkswagen Group has announced plans to roll out 70% of the core brand in Europe as e-cars by 2030. But just how sustainable is their new e-car strategy?
18/06/2021 • 38 minutes 23 seconds
Is Germany ready for climate-friendly cars?
There are 1.5 billion cars in the world today. Replacing these with lower-emission alternatives is going to be a huge challenge. Are electric cars really the answer?
04/06/2021 • 39 minutes 3 seconds
Is eco-guilt changing the way we travel?
Humans have long been driven by a desire to explore the planet and visit faraway places. But with tourism's toll on the environment now calling our globetrotting habits into question, some say it's time for change. But just how realistic is this given that people are itching to travel freely again once the Covid-19 pandemic is over?
21/05/2021 • 30 minutes 46 seconds
What does a green hotel look like?
The accommodation you book as a tourist has a major impact on how eco-friendly your holiday is. A Bavarian hotel owner in one of Germany's most popular tourist destinations promises carbon-neutral stays. But how does this work?
07/05/2021 • 28 minutes 34 seconds
Saving a Thai beach paradise from mass tourism
The iconic cove from "The Beach" movie is slowly starting to recover from the onslaught of mass tourism. Thai authorities had sealed it off to the public in 2018 after almost all the coral was destroyed. Now tourism operators and local stakeholders struggling under the pandemic are urging the authorities to reopen the beach. But how can the environmental recovery be secured if this happens?
23/04/2021 • 27 minutes
Does air travel have a green future?
Flying is one of the most polluting and privileged forms of travel. The aviation industry is facing growing pressure to wean itself off fossil fuels to bring down CO2 emissions. Can it succeed? Or do we need to stop flying altogether?
09/04/2021 • 38 minutes 39 seconds
Cruising to a low-carbon future?
Cruises are a dirty and wasteful form of travel. But thanks to large profit margins this sector is also a testing ground for new technologies and alternative fuels. Could cruises help make global cargo shipping greener?
26/03/2021 • 35 minutes 17 seconds
Overcoming our meat addiction
Global meat production is predicted to grow 85% by 2050. If this happens, it will have a cataclysmic effect on the environment. So how are we going to feed 10 billion people - who desire meat - without using more land and increasing atmospheric emissions? The answer to this question will have to include meat alternatives. But which ones have a chance? And what's standing in the way?
20/11/2020 • 42 minutes 32 seconds
Hunting for sustainable meat
Locally hunted game has the smallest environmental footprint of all meat. The downsides of factory farming don’t apply to animals roaming free in the forest. This is why huntress Alena Steinbach won’t eat meat unless it’s killed in the wild. The former vegetarian with a degree in green business management takes Neil and Gabe deep into Europe’s largest forest for a hunt. What will they discover?
13/11/2020 • 38 minutes 32 seconds
Of vegans and men
A vegan diet can cut your food-related emissions by 70 percent, but can you really grow big and strong without meat? Bona fide vegan Patrik Baboumian, once Germany’s strongest man, invites meat eaters Neil and Gabe to his vegan gym in Berlin to prove you don’t need chicken breast to grow muscle. But will this be enough to shake their deep-rooted skepticism towards veganism?
06/11/2020 • 37 minutes 27 seconds
Can you be a good Christian and eat meat?
As the proverb goes, man is at the top of the food chain. Does that give us the right to kill animals? Rainer Hagencord, a vegetarian priest located in the Silicon Valley of German meat production, preaches against this. His exegesis of the Bible is plunging devout Christians into existential crisis. Some are leaving the church. Others welcome him as a prophetic voice the region deeply needs.
30/10/2020 • 37 minutes 47 seconds
How to kill an animal humanely
No transport, no suffering: Farmers Michael and Tina Jansen dignify the lives - and death - of their animals. That's why they've sought out mobile butcher Matthias Kürten. He takes his slaughterhouse on wheels to 300 farms each year. Neil and Gabe head to the Jansen homestead and connect with two calves about to be slaughtered. They're going to learn firsthand where meat comes from.
23/10/2020 • 36 minutes 10 seconds
Prologue: Breaking down the meat machine
Germany's meat industry slaughters over 750 million animals per year, with dire consequences for the environment. After Neil and Gabe's requests to visit meat packing plants are blocked, they talk to both a former food inspector as well as an animal rights activist with a nationwide network of whistleblowers to get the inside story. Their message? Germany's meat industry is out of control.
23/10/2020 • 23 minutes 26 seconds
Degrowth – Is less really more?
A world without growth is what Germany’s leading and most radical degrowth proponent Niko Paech sees as the only option after COVID-19. Is the coronavirus crisis helping us realize what really matters in life?
14/05/2020 • 26 minutes
Change is only possible with the crowd
British social psychologist Steve Reicher believes that all social change happens through the collective. Human beings all over the planet endured a serious infringement of their private rights when governments made the decision to lock down amid the COVID-19 crisis. For the most part, there was consensus that this tough decision was correct. But how was that consensus established?
14/05/2020 • 19 minutes 10 seconds
A philosopher on the existential threat of climate change
Why can't we just change? Germany's leading philosopher Peter Sloterdijk believes that question is at the heart of the climate change conundrum. When the coronavirus pandemic spread across the world, the response by governments was immediate. So there is proof that sweeping change on a global scale is possible. Does this provide the precedent for us to avert the looming climate catastrophe?
14/05/2020 • 21 minutes 52 seconds
Could climate change fuel eco terrorism?
Some radical eco-activists would like to see the collapse of civilization to restore the balance of nature. But how far are they prepared to go to achieve this?
14/05/2020 • 18 minutes 14 seconds
How to build a sustainable global economy?
The global economy has been badly shaken by the Covid-19 pandemic. Indian environmental economist Pavan Sukhdev explains in this podcast why our interconnectedness with wildlife needs to be factored in when rebuilding our economies and businesses. Especially since there are dozens of other pathogens waiting in line for their turn in the viral limelight.
14/05/2020 • 21 minutes 11 seconds
The green transformation of our world
Germany’s leading transformation researcher Maja Göpel explains in this podcast episode how to change our world for the better of all. The coronavirus crisis has proved to us that radical change is possible in a short period of time. But can we harness this awareness to bring about systemic change in a bid to avert the looming climate catastrophe?
14/05/2020 • 20 minutes 18 seconds
A matter of survival
When Neil and Gabe start exploring why Germany's insect population has suffered a 75% decline in recent decades, they meet organic farmers, entymologists and lots of mosquitoes, and discover that even tiny things can make a big difference to the health of the planet.
26/09/2019 • 33 minutes 24 seconds
Why do we waste so much food?
Germany generates 9 million tons of unnecessary food waste per year, Neil and Gabe visit a supermarket to gauge their role in the overall tally. They also team up with two dumpster diving sisters. But the actual root of the food waste problem runs a lot deeper, as they discover when they talk with a leading food economist.
13/09/2019 • 31 minutes 51 seconds
Forever chemicals: The hidden toxins in your water
How would you feel if the water you've been drinking from your tap for years was tainted with a dangerous toxin? Neil and Gabe visit the Bavarian town of Altötting to hear from locals whose blood is filled with PFOA, a persistent chemical that is linked to cancer. How can we minimize the damage we do to our environment given our reliance on industrial chemical production?
06/09/2019 • 27 minutes 4 seconds
How divisive is the return of the wolf in Germany?
Decades after having been wiped off the face of the German landscape, wolves are back. The return of the legendary predator — which enjoys legal protection in Germany — has triggered fierce public debate and stirred emotions up and down the country. Neil and Gabe head to the southern region of the Black Forest to explore the place of wildlife in a world we think we’ve tamed.
30/08/2019 • 33 minutes 13 seconds
On the Green Fence - Audio Trailer
‘On the Green Fence’ looks at some of the most divisive and pressing environmental topics of our time. Two regular guys with no set environmental views — DW reporters Neil King and Gabe Borrud — explore complex and highly controversial issues, talking with climate protesters and wolf psychologists, sorting through household rubbish and fighting mosquitoes. Starts August 25th.
23/08/2019 • 1 minute
Not having children to save the planet
Would you give up having kids to help save the planet? In this episode Neil and Gabe talk about kids and the climate crisis, attend a Fridays for Future rally in Cologne and visit a German high school class to find out which sacrificies teenagers are prepared to make for the environment.