New Podcast, Insincerely Yours, Earth, to Explore Environmental Impact of Local Laws

By Suzi Morales
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A new podcast hosted by Albany Law School Professor Jonathan Rosenbloom will explore the impact of local communities and individuals on climate change, equity, and sustainable development.

The first episode of Insincerely Yours, Earth will be released March 18, with new episodes coming every two weeks for the first season.

Insincerely Yours, Earth Podcast Cover paper.jpeg

According to Rosenbloom, the podcast will include a mix of theoretical discussions on environmental issues and practical tips that individuals can apply in their local communities. The podcast also will discuss social issues that are often intertwined with environmental issues. Guests include nationally-recognized experts on sustainability, social justice, and more. The first episode will feature real estate developer and urban revitalization strategy consultant Majora Carter.

A Message from Earth

The title of the podcast is a tongue-in-cheek reference to what a snarky planet Earth might write to its inhabitants. Rosenbloom notes that such a letter also might include a sarcastic, “Nice of you to think about me,” as much current local law that impacts the environment arises from zoning laws that were originally driven by market development, with environmental concerns as an afterthought. The title sets the tone for a podcast that was made to be both educational and entertaining.

The podcast fills a need to consider environmental issues on a local level. “We often talk about the environment from the federal scale, but … there's 39,000 local governments in the United States … and they're all doing stuff with the environment,” Rosenbloom notes. “They're the ones providing water, they're the ones regulating stormwater management, they're the ones regulating local transportation, they're the ones regulating different foods. … All of these things have deep connections and impacts on the local environment and yet, we don't talk about them.”

Many of the zoning laws in the United States were passed in the 1950s through 1970s and largely did not consider environmental implications, Rosenbloom said. In addition, he says many zoning laws also embed racially unjust conditions. Nonetheless, these laws have an outsized impact on environmental justice today.

Professor Jonathan Rosenbloom

A Collaborative Effort

The podcast is a collaboration between Sustainable Development Code and Albany Law School, with editing by public access media nonprofit Junction Arts & Media. Rosenbloom is also the executive director of Sustainable Development Code, which provides model zoning laws and best practices to communities on climate change, biodiversity, and related issues. 

Albany Law students were involved with every phase of developing and creating the new podcast. Zachary Evans ’24 and Austin Burke ’24 researched potential topics and guests, drafted scripts, and worked on marketing. Both had been in Rosenbloom’s Land Use and Racial Justice course. According to Burke, when the professor asked them to be research assistants for the podcast, “We gave him a resounding yes.” 

Prior to law school, Evans had been on the digital engagement team for the National Wildlife Federation and had been interested in a legal career after interacting with lawyers and other policy experts. He brought his experience to bear on the marketing and social media campaign for the podcast.

Community Impact

Season two is already in the works, and will include guests with expertise in wildlife biodiversity, wildfires, and what Rosenbloom calls “water whiplash,” the rapid cycle between drought and flood conditions. He is eager to hear from listeners about what is going on in their communities. “From our standpoint, it’s about a dialogue in a way that gets information out to more people,” he said. “So one community is experiencing something, it's quite possible there are dozens if not hundreds of communities experiencing the same thing.”

While Rosenbloom believes architects, lawyers, and city planners will be interested in the podcast, he would like the audience to be much broader. “In an ideal world,” he said, “it would be the average accountant, school teacher, police person, just the average person out there because [the podcast is] trying to say this is your world. This is happening in your community and you should know about it, because if it's not what you like, you can change it.”