June 15, 2021

EP. 109 — 12,000 Years of Humans Altering Earth with Dr. Jacquelyn Gill

As nature lovers, we prize the idea of places untouched by human influence. But new research shows that such places were few and far between as long as 12,000 years ago. This week paleo-ecologist Dr. Jacquelyn Gill is on the show to talk about the surprisingly strong effect humans have had on nature for thousands and thousands of years, and how knowing this changes our relationship with the natural world.


FACT-109-20210610-JaquelynGill-ACv01-ALT-DYN.mp3 Speaker 1 [00:00:02] Hello, welcome to Factually, I’m Adam Conover. It’s so wonderful to have you listen to the show once again. We thank you for being here. This week, let’s talk about nature. If you’re a nature lover like I am (and I’m guessing you are); I think all humans have deep down, the love of nature in their hearts. What are you looking for when you go out to the national park, into the wilderness: on your camping trip, on your birdwatching expedition? What is the perfect experience of the natural world for you? Well, for me, I think what I’m looking for is the wildest possible space: some place untouched by the hairy monkey hand of humanity. As nature lovers, we want to see the most remote mountain, the deepest ocean. We want to be like John Muir: stepping into an untouched wilderness that hasn’t been touched by human hands for tens of thousands of years. That’s what we’re

Recent Episodes

July 26, 2022

How can we best help animals, when it’s we humans who cause their suffering? Animal Crisis authors Alice Crary and Lori Gruen join Adam to explain how the same systems that hurt and kill animals also harm humans. They discuss the human rights abuses that happen in industrial slaughterhouses and how palm oil monocrops are devastating the world’s rainforests. They also share how we can have solidarity with animals in our daily lives. You can purchase their book at http://factuallypod.com/books

July 19, 2022

In times of turmoil, it can be useful to take a longer view of history. Like, a LOT longer. Paleontologist and author of “The Rise and Reign of the Mammals” Stephen Brusatte joins Adam to explain how mammals took over the Earth hundreds of millions of years ago, and why we survived and achieve sentience when dinosaurs died out. Stephen goes on to discuss why taking a deep look at our history can help prepare us for the crises of the near future. You can purchase Stephen’s book at http://factuallypod.com/books

July 13, 2022

Trans people have existed as long as, you know, people have. But the barriers to legal inclusion and equality are still higher than most people realize. “Sex is as Sex Does” author Paisley Currah joins Adam to discuss why institutions have been slow to give legal recognition to trans identities, why Republicans have shifted their attacks from bathroom policies to trans youth in sports, and why the struggle for trans equality is tied to feminism and women’s liberation. You can purchase Paisley’s book at http://factuallypod.com/books