At a Distance cover art, with a black photo of the earth.

Our New At a Distance Podcast Takes a Good Look at the Big Picture

By Aileen Kwun
April 4, 2020
2 minute read

Time has seemingly come to a standstill as countries around the world press pause on economic and cultural life in an effort to contain the coronavirus pandemic. In this precarious and alarming period, we’re taking a step back for a wider look at the planet with the launch of our new podcast series focused on the bigger picture. Hosted by The Slowdown’s co-founders, Spencer Bailey and Andrew Zuckerman, At a Distance calls upon leading minds for a whole-earth, long-view perspective, offering a respite from the fear- and anxiety-inducing, 24-hour news cycle that’s taken ahold of our minds and moods (all the more so the past few weeks).

To kick off the series, Bill McKibben, environmentalist, author, and leader of the climate campaign group, spoke with us about the massive economic and societal changes facing all of humanity today. “The endless return to normal as a response is no longer effective,” he told us. Listen to the first episode here, and Ep. 2, featuring the post-traumatic stress expert Bessel van der Kolk, author of The Body Keeps the Score, here. In the weeks ahead, you’ll be hearing from food urbanist Carolyn Steel, journalist and co-host of Slate’s Trumpcast Virginia Heffernan, economist Chris Canavan, philosopher Simon Critchley, and futurist Thomas Ermacora, among others. We hope it provides a sense of comfort—or, at least, context.