What Comes After What Comes Next


Building political support for the transition with David Axelrod

Season 2, Ep. 6

This week James catches up with the former chief strategist and senior advisor to President Obama, David Axelrod.

James and David talk about the tensions between consensus building and the need for urgent action when it comes to climate action. They also talk about the need to tell a positive story about how climate action will benefit people's lives.

David shares his experience of working on 150 campaigns across the U.S., including Barrack Obama's two historic elections in 2008 and 2012, and highlights the importance of bringing people along on the journey net-zero.

Obama himself has said his administration did not “adapt quickly enough to the fact that there were people being left behind and that frustrations were going to flare up.” This is something we will all need to be aware of. 

As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at james.shaw@parliament.govt.nz

Follow James on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram.

More Episodes


Telling stories with Barbara Kingsolver

Season 2, Ep. 5
This week James catches up with award winning author Barbara Kingsolver, whose work over the last three decades has eloquently and movingly touched on matters of genuine social and environmental concern.Most notably, Barbara's novel Flight Behaviour conveyed the impact of climate change on a community, an ecosystem and a species. The novel also draws out the tension that can exist between one's everyday life and the changes happening around us, of which we can feel powerless to address on our own. This is particularly evident in the life of the novel's main character, Dellarobia, who tries to make sense of the unexpected arrival of a flock of monarch butterflies and what it might mean for the future while struggling with the challenges of poverty and her own family. Running through Barbara's work over the last 30 years has been a real sense of place - from her early books in Arizona, to the Poisonwood Bible, to Flight Behaviour. She has also written a number of books with more than a passing reference to the natural world, including Small Wonder and Animal, Vegetable, Miracle. Most recently Barbara contributed a poem to a Time magazine special report called 2050: The Fight for the Earth, which provides a powerful look at the politics of consumption, equality, and climate change. Halfway through the episode Barbara treats us to a very special reading of the poem. Some of the most popular podcast episodes we've published so far have been those that look at climate change through a slightly different lens. In the last series it was legendary music producer Brian Eno who spoke to James about what different models and structures for making music can teach us about how to organise society and our politics. Today we are delighted to bring you another unique perspective on the role art and literature can play in helping address the climate crisis. As always, we'd love to hear your thoughts and feedback at james.shaw@parliament.govt.nz. Follow James on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.