International Friday. Anthropause: Perspectives on Climate Crisis

The new podcast Anthropause, co-hosted by Simone Rawal’20, focuses on environmental issues and climate crisis in Nepal and beyond.

Simone Rawal’20 and her friend Sitashma Thapa launched the podcast Anthropause to discuss current environmental issues in Nepal and beyond. They aim to bring diverse perspectives and understandings from many different individuals to bear on the topic. The term Anthropause was coined in 2020 to refer to the global “pause” in overall activities and carbon emissions that resulted from the COVID 19 pandemic.

Simone (right) and Sitashma (left) Simone (right) and Sitashma (left)

Simone graduated from Beloit with a major in environmental geology and a minor in computer science. She is currently pursuing graduate studies at the University of British Columbia, specializing in Resources, Environment and Sustainability with a focus on disaster risk management and mitigation.

Simone’s interest in environmental issues stems back to her childhood, when she saw how changes in rainfall patterns complicated her great grandpa’s ability to run his farm in Nepal. Similarly, she was exposed to glacier retreat through the yearly hikes she took with her dad to up to the mountains. Each year an additional 20 minutes of hiking were needed to reach areas with snow.

The Anthropause podcast began as an initiative to give back to the community the knowledge Simone is gaining from her education. Through the discussions and perspectives of their different guests, Simone and Sitashma hope to share the challenges and success stories of Nepal and the Global South in a way that is accessible to everyone. The idea is not only to hear from scientific experts, but to highlight traditional and indigenous knowledge, as well the experiences of people being affected by these problems first hand. Climate and the environment can be approached through a vast array of disciplines and lenses, which is why the two focus on making their podcast as interdisciplinary and engaging as possible.

Anthropause podcast artwork Anthropause podcast artwork
Credit: Iman Sengupta

The project started in October of 2020. Influential guests have included Dawa Steven Sherpa and Dr. Ghana Shyam Grung. Dawa Steven Sherpa is the Nepali mountaineer, environmentalist, and entrepreneur who launched Eco-Everest Expedition to clean Mount Everest by collecting waste from the mountains. Dr. Ghana Shyam Gurung is a Senior Conservation Program Director with World Wildlife Federation (WWF) Nepal and has served as the WWF Country Representative since 2018.

As the world starts to slowly open up again, Simone hopes the period of Anthropause will remain as a lesson for all of us going forward. The reduction of human activity led to cleaner air and water, and healthier ecosystems overall, demonstrating that change is possible if we commit to improving our habits. This positive outcome, stemming from a terrible time of crisis, should be a reminder of the pressing need for a mindset change away from domination toward co-existence and co-dependence with the natural world.

By: Maria Elvira Lopez'21
April 08, 2021

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