Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Podcast review: Hot Mess, Radio National, ABC (2020)

I found this program on the Apple Podcast app while searching randomly for something to listen to while driving. I didn’t specifically go out of my way to find a program about the environment.

It goes a bit fast at times but is otherwise adequately researched. It’s just that because of the faulty editing – you struggle to keep up with the narrative as your concentration wanders due to a sudden, urgent events happening on the road while you’re driving – some important things get lost in the transmission.

Especially at the beginning, before the basic premise – which is, on the face of it, sound – is cemented in your imagination. We do need to have more informed viewpoints on the subject of climate change so that we can – hopefully, with patience exercised on both sides – get away from the trolling and the flame wars. By focusing on why it’s so hard to get through to people this podcast tries to list the reasons why we seem to keep on having the same debates?

‘Hot Mess’ is a suitable place to start to find the answers to this question but it doesn’t go very deep until the final episode, and it also wears its heart on its sleeve. The bit about psychology that opens the show should’ve been placed closer to the end, because the filler – all the stuff about the IPA and the Minerals Council – is so well known as hardly to warrant inclusion. 

In fact, there’s not much in this program that is new until episode four. Most of the show is a slightly reheated dollop of quickly assembled interviews but, then again, you get what you pay for. 

There is plenty of stuff happening in the environment space, especially in research institutions such as universities and in the private sector, and that’s where the makers of this show head in the final ep. But Richard Aedy – who made this program – doesn’t know much about such initiatives, products, systems, or software. Lots of advances are being made all that time, and implemented quietly by people who want to improve the operation and efficiency of the properties they run, but the Australian Broadcasting Corporation is not privy to most of such activity because it routinely only concerns itself with politics. So it thinks that the shitshow that flourishes on Twitter every week when ‘Q and A’ airs is the whole story. It’s not and ‘Hot Mess’ ignores much fascinating detail.

No comments: