The Meaning of Green reveals why environmental policies succeed, fail, or fall in between failure and success.

The Meaning of Green reveals why environmental policies succeed, fail, or fall in between failure and success.

The Meaning of Green reveals why environmental policies succeed, fail, or fall in between failure and success.

With help from others, podcast host Dr. Vivian Thomson analyzes why some environmental problems have been solved and others have not. At the end Season 1, we apply these lessons to the biggest environmental challenge of our time, climate change. The goal is to figure out which policies stand the best chance of being adopted and of working effectively.


Background and theme music composed by Percy Grainger, recorded by Vivian Thomson. The Meaning of Green is an independent production of Cedar Closet Studios, which is located in Charlottesville, Virginia.

About Professor Thomson

The Meaning of Green reveals why environmental policies succeed, fail, or fall in between failure and success.

The Meaning of Green reveals why environmental policies succeed, fail, or fall in between failure and success.

Professor Thomson taught environmental policy for 20 years at the University of Virginia, from 1997 to 2017. She retired early so she could devote herself to speaking out in public about environmental issues, which have been her life's work. 


Professor Thomson offers policy insider scoops from her work as an air pollution official at the state and national levels. She has published articles, editorials, and three books, on garbage transport, climate change politics, and how power is wielded in the air pollution policy arena.  In 2018 she and a U. Va. student team published research on who might suffer the most from the Trump Administration's air pollution rollbacks.


For botany buffs: the striking tree above is a 70-year-old fig tree (Ficus drupacea var. pubescens (Roth)) that was one of the first plants landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx added to his incredible tropical preserve in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 



Topics covered in Season 1

The Meaning of Green reveals why environmental policies succeed, fail, or fall in between failure and success.

Topics covered in Season 1


Acid rain

Leaded gasoline

Environmental justice

Trash

Endangered species

Renewable energy

Lessons from other countries

Climate change 

Partisanship

Social movements

Nuclear power




Preview Episodes

October 1

Preview

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November 1

Sneak Peek

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Season 1 Episodes: 7 November 2019 t0 21 February 2020

November 7

Rachel Carson and Richard Nixon

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November 14

Whatever Happened to Acid Rain?

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November 21

"Bad Mothers" and Bad Drivers: Getting the Lead Out of Gasoline

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November 21

"Bad Mothers" and Bad Drivers: Getting the Lead Out of Gasoline

December 5

Trash Matters and Moves

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December 20

Water: "Undoing the Wrongs Caused by Earlier Generations Doing What They Thought Was Right."

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December 20

Water: "Undoing the Wrongs Caused by Earlier Generations Doing What They Thought Was Right."

January 9

The Legacies of Fossil Fuels

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January 9

The Legacies of Fossil Fuels

Twists and turns in the US's dependence on coal, the ripple effects of oil crises, and a coal miner's daughter describes the devastation in ...

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January 22

Renewables and Nuclear Power: There Is No Free Lunch

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January 22

Renewables and Nuclear Power: There Is No Free Lunch

Energy efficiency and renewables are unquestionably the waves of the present and future. But we must keep our eyes wide open for collateral ...

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February 1

Rescuing Endangered Species

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February 1

Rescuing Endangered Species

Disappearing birds and oaks, disputes over the Endangered Species Act, the comeback of the endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, and clima...

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February 12

Climate Change: Past Actions

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February 12

Climate Change: Past Actions

Bad housemates, the global commons, policy reversals at the national level in the US, counteracted by policy action in the states.

February 21

Climate Change Policy: Throwing Open the Policy Window

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February 21

Climate Change Policy: Throwing Open the Policy Window

A memorable landlord, a summary of lessons from previous episodes, and how the ideological rifts in the US could affect the climate change p...

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Preview