Racing Extinction with Leilani Münter

Credit: Leilani Münter.

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About This Episode

We’re waving two very different green flags this week when Neil Tyson interviews NASCAR driver and environmental activist Leilani Münter. She’s an environmental activist who drives a Tesla Model S and refuses sponsorships from companies that are not environmentally responsible. But she’s also competed at Daytona, and she uses her access to help educate NASCAR’s 75 million fans about renewable energy. Join us as we explore the impact of oil and the transportation sector on our environment, with a little help from guest Don Anair of the Union of Concerned Scientists. You’ll hear about the benefits of alternative energy, even in the pits of NASCAR races, the dangers of diesel fuel with its higher release of particulate matter and N2O emissions, and the political and economic repercussions of stalled and impending legislation. Moving from the racetrack to the environment, Leilani, a vegan who generates more energy with solar panels than she uses and grows her own vegetables and composts her food scraps, talks about fighting to end dolphin slaughter and the sixth mass extinction of plants and animals. Plus, Neil and co-host Eugene Mirman look into the dangers of “one-size-fits-all industrial farming” and the black market trade in endangered species with our other guest, agroecologist Dr. Marcia DeLonge, also from the UCS.

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