Ashes Ashes is a show about systemic issues, cracks in civilization, collapse of the environment, and if we’re unlucky the end of the world. The name is borrowed from the nursery rhyme “Ring a Ring o’ Roses,” a song that children sing while spinning in a circle before collapsing on the floor in heaps of laughter. Some claim that the lyrics were written in response to England’s Great Plague and Black Death, and the line Ashes! Ashes! We all fall down is interpreted as death and the cremation of bodies. Although apocryphal, this interpretation is fitting for our times. While human civilization owes its existence to the unimaginable wealth that nature freely provides, our current growth trajectory is increasingly being fueled by the direct erosion of biodiversity, ecosystem services, cultural heritage, and more, effectively cannibalizing our future for the sake of short-term “progress.” Our show is dedicated to understanding this process, and illustrating its many forms, which includes everything from environmental destruction and unsustainable economic extraction to social atomization and isolation. Although these themes may appear dark, awareness is what can help open the door to collective action through which the strength of our communities can prevent the great falling down of life as we know it.

Episodes, complete transcripts, sources, links, credits, and more for Ashes Ashes are available here.

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Don't know where to start? We love Ep 44, Ep 34, Ep 31, Ep 28, and Ep 23 (but they're all good). Fan favorite: Ep 63

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Episode 87 - Collapse Chat: On the Border

David and Daniel are in person in Tucson, AZ reflecting on their time at the US Border Patrol Museum, running into border patrol agents on New Mexico state road 9, walking into Juarez, Mexico, and much more.

This is a continuation of our chat series covering lighter topics and what's new in our w...

Episode 82 - Cash Out

South Korea is elminating coins and requiring shoppers to upload their cash receipts to a digital database; Indians are still reeling from a 2016 decision that turned 86% of the country's cash worthless in a matter of hours; migrants and refugees are being targeted for new schemes of financial inclu...

Episode 73 - Tear Up, Tear Down

Protests around the world in 2011 gave riot-gear dealers a three-fold increase in sales of tear gas. In 2013, Turkey used up an entire year's supply of tear gas in just two days, before promptly ordering more. 2015 was the year Kenyan police fired tear gas into a group of schoolchildren as young as...

Episode 40 - Land of the Free

Never have as many people been locked up than right now, here in the United States. The US has more prisoners per capita than anywhere else on the planet and that number continues to climb at a terrifying rate. Once within the prison system, inmates are abused and exploited out of sight and out of m...

Episode 24 - Suspect Science

The depiction of forensic science in popular entertainment is ubiquitous. We might be lead to believe that the field utilizes actual scientific methods of crime scene analysis to bring criminals to justice with irrefutable evidence, but a closer look reveals a very different story. This week we draw...