Podcast Review: YIKES

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I started listening to the YIKES podcast during quarantine when my understanding of environmentalism was a lot less intersectional than it is now. I believed that environmental disasters were the fault of individuals and that it was everyone’s “job” to make individual changes. Particularly, my previous beliefs surrounding environmentalism were white-centered. I thought everyone could go vegan, zero waste, or off-grid if they really wanted to. The YIKES podcast pushed me to evaluate my perspective and is continuing to help me unlearn a lot of the beliefs I had previously held. The YIKES podcast is cohosted by Mikaela Loach and Jo Becker. Loach is a climate activist, medical student, and writer based in Edinburg; Becker is an MS student in Sustainability and Behaviour Change with a focus on societal transformation also based in Edinburg. Loach and Becker met through Instagram and then in real life at the International Rebellion in October of 2019, and have been inseparable ever since. The YIKES podcast that they co-host can be found on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts. An aspect of the podcast I like is its use of accessible language; Loach and Becker make this material more accessible by focusing on education rather than gatekeeping. At the beginning of every podcast, Loach and Becker go over terminology that listeners may not have access to or education about. As a listener, the accessibility of the podcast has helped me a lot to understand these complex and seemingly nuanced topics about environmentalism. Such as overpopulation myths, environmental racism, and how capitalism is intertwined with environmental destruction. For this reason, and many others, The YIKES podcast has helped me understand how environmentalism is connected to all social issues. This podcast has 4 seasons, 41 episodes in total, ranging on topics from system change to ecofascism. It can appeal to multiple audiences because they breach a wide variety of political conversations that many people may experience firsthand, or may have no experience with. Loach and Becker invite outside expertise to appear on the show as guests, and the guests provide accurate information on their fields of expertise. For instance, in episode 10 “Periods, Trans Rights, and Boundaries,” Kenny Ethan Jones was invited to share his experiences as a trans person. He discussed how cis people can advocate for trans people, and shared his Instagram as an educational platform. Guest speakers like Jones not only give listeners a perspective outside of the hosts, but they are more often than not connected to other organizations. Many of the guests are educators, lawyers, therapists, political organizers, and extremely active community members. I’ve learned a lot about political organizations and educational platforms through these guest speakers.