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Living on Earth
World Media Foundation
As the planet we call home faces a climate emergency, Living on Earth is your go-to source for the latest coverage of climate change, ecology, and human health. Hosted by Steve Curwood and brought to you by PRX.
3 days ago
Biden's Climate Summit, "Stooping" Turns Trash to Treasure, Poetry In the Time of Climate Trouble, and more
Biden's Climate Summit / Beyond the Headlines / "Stooping" Turns Trash to Treasure / When a Gas Plant Moves in Next Door / BirdNote®: The Power Of Albatross Partnerships / Poetry in the Time of Climate Troubles President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate this Earth Day, a key moment in the international effort to address climate change. Also, when people move out or clean up their apartments, many leave discarded items on the stoop or curb for others to claim before it goes to the landfill. The Instagram page Stooping In Queens helps connect this free stuff with new owners. And poet Catherine Pierce grapples with unfolding climate disaster and other 21st century perils, and the ways they reframe parenting. She shares poems from her books Danger Days and The Tornado Is the World, and reflects on finding beauty and calls to action during the Anthropocene. Thanks to our sponsors this week: Giving Multiplier And Christiana Figueres' podcast Outrage + Optimism And Democracy in Danger, a podcast from the University of Virginia
Apr 9, 2021
Why I Wear Jordans in the Great Outdoors, Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands, The Wonders of Spring Migration, and more
Exploring the Parks: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve / Why I Wear Jordans in the Great Outdoors / Exploring the Parks: Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands / Spring Awakening / A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration Some stereotypes about who can be "outdoorsy" can leave people of color out, but a pair of beloved Air Jordan "Bred" 11 sneakers is helping one environmental educator encourage young American people of color to feel that they belong in the outdoors. Also, Arizona's Sky Islands are home to heat and cactus, but also many species that you're more likely to find far north of the desert Southwest - and even considerable snow. And a veteran field guide author discusses the incredible phenomenon that happens every spring and fall, as a journey of thousands of miles begins with a single wing flap. Thanks to our sponsors this week: Giving Multiplier And Christiana Figueres' podcast Outrage + Optimism
Apr 2, 2021
Restoring Life in the Oceans, Boosting US Wind Power, Tips for the Casual Gardener and more
Biden Boosts Offshore Wind / The Ocean as Solution, Not Victim / Restoring Life in the Oceans / Beyond the Headlines / Tips for the Casual Gardener Enric Sala's love for the ocean drew him into a career in marine biology. But as he studied damaged marine environments, he began to feel he was writing the "obituary of the ocean." Now he advocates for marine protected areas that support ocean biodiversity and bring big economic benefits. Also, President Biden recently announced a plan to dramatically expand offshore wind power along the East Coast, with 30 gigawatts along the U.S. coasts by 2030, backed up by billions in federal loan guarantees. How this key part of Biden's infrastructure plan may especially help New York City meet its clean energy demands. Also, spring is the perfect time to start gardening -- and growing your favorite fresh produce doesn't have to feel like a chore! Tips for the casual gardener and more. Thanks to our sponsor: Giving Multiplier
Mar 26, 2021
[Broadcast] Damaged Amazon Adds To Global Warming; Prehistoric Magnetic Flip Shook Up Life On Earth; Birch, Beech And Other Unusual Syrups; and more
Damaged Amazon Adds to Global Warming / Belo Monte Dam Disrupts Amazon Floodplain Balance / Horse of a Different Color / Beyond the Headlines / Prehistoric Magnetic Flip Shook Up Life on Earth / Not Just Maple Syrup: Birch, Beech and Other Sappy Trees The first broad study of all greenhouse gases in the Amazon rainforest reveals that the damaged ecosystem is now a net contributor to climate change, due mostly to warming and other human activities like logging, dam-building, and cattle ranching. Also, Earth's magnetic poles wander around and flip every now and then, and now scientists have evidence for how these flips impact life on Earth. Linking a magnetic pole reversal about 41,000 years ago to megafauna extinctions, climatic changes, and even a rise in ancient cave art. And it's maple syrup season, but these aren't the only sappy trees that can be tapped to make syrup. A trip to a syrup producer in New Hampshire to taste syrups made from birch, beech, walnut, and other trees.
Mar 19, 2021
[Broadcast] One In Five Deaths From Fossil Fuels, Families Sickened By Fracking, Carbon Bomb Fridges and more
Madam Secretary Haaland / One in Five Deaths from Fossil Fuels / Note on Emerging Science: Oldest DNA Ever Sequenced / Families Sickened by Fracking / Beyond the Headlines / Carbon Bomb Fridges Ultrafine particulate matter produced from fossil fuel combustion is known to cause numerous health issues. A recent study finds that this pollution is responsible for one in five deaths worldwide, or about 350,000 excess deaths in the U.S. every year. Also, the fracking boom transformed rural towns from idyllic to industrial and is threatening the physical and mental health of many inhabitants. The stories of families whose lives have been completely upended by fracking. And when climate reporter Phil McKenna needed a new fridge, he tried to steer clear of any appliance that would use super-potent greenhouse gases to cool his groceries. But he ended up with a "carbon bomb" containing a greenhouse gas thousands of times more potent than CO2. Why industry has made it so hard to find climate-friendly appliances.
Mar 12, 2021
[Broadcast] Warming Planet Slows Ocean Currents, 30x30 to Save Species, Regenerative Farming for Soil Health and more
Warming Planet Slows Ocean Currents / Beyond the Headlines / 30x30 To Save Species / Protecting Badger-Two Medicine And The Grand Canyon / Regenerative Farming for Soil Health / Regenerative Farming In Action The climates of North America and Europe depend on tropical heat circulated by massive system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean. But research shows that climate change is slowing this thermal conveyor belt, which is currently the weakest it has been in at least a thousand years. Also, President Joe Biden has set an official goal of protecting 30% of US land and ocean for conservation by 2030 to help avert species extinction and fight climate change. We take a look at two conservation campaigns that are being led by Native American tribes: Badger-Two Medicine in Montana and part of the Grand Canyon in Arizona. And regenerative agriculture practices that store carbon in the soil are a "win-win-win" for farmers, the economy and the environment, say advocates. Advocates claim widespread adoption of no-till, cover cropping, and other practices could perhaps store as much carbon as the global transportation sector emits every year.
Mar 5, 2021
[Broadcast] The New Climate War, Radioactive Water Dilemma at Fukushima, Hard Times for Ginseng Farmers and more
Radioactive Water Dilemma at Fukushima / The New Climate War / Hard Times for Ginseng Farmers / Beyond the Headlines / Nature and the Beat Despite rising global temperatures and an increase in climate disruption-related natural disasters, climate denial still runs rampant. Renowned climate scientist Michael Mann's latest book describes how fossil fuel companies have spent decades deflecting blame and responsibility in order to delay action on climate change. Also, ten years after the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, Japanese authorities are planning to release some of the contaminated cooling water into the Pacific Ocean. What the release of this water means for marine and human health. And consumers in China and the U.S. prize American ginseng, most of which is grown in just one Wisconsin county, as a health food and traditional medicine. But demand has dried up in the midst of America's ongoing trade war with China, economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-Asian rhetoric, and farmers are struggling.
Feb 26, 2021
[Broadcast] No Power for the People in Texas, A Civilian Climate Corps, Searching for Life on Mars and more
No Power For The People In Texas / Beyond the Headlines / Note on Emerging Science: Wild Bees a Boost to Crops / A Civilian Climate Corps / Searching for Life on Mars The coldest air to visit Texas in a decade killed dozens, crippled the state's power grid and revealed the risks of extreme deregulation. How America's electric power system has grown more unstable in recent decades. Also, Washington Governor Jay Inslee shares a vision for a climate corps that could aid conservation, combat climate disaster, and save energy while harnessing the energy of youth volunteers in America. And after a spaceflight of over 200 days, NASA's Perseverance rover has landed safely on Mars. Perseverance is the first in a series of missions with the goal of finding signs of ancient life on the red planet, with hopes of returning samples to Earth by the 2030s.
Feb 19, 2021
[Broadcast] India Climate Activist Jailed, A New Leader For USDA, The Butterfly Effect, and more
India Climate Activist Jailed / Beyond the Headlines / A New Leader for USDA / The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World Amid ongoing massive farmer protests, the Indian government is cracking down on activists including Disha Ravi, the young climate activist who founded Fridays for Future - India. How climate activism connects with the Indian farmer protests, and the government's attempts to silence activists and journalists. Also, President Biden's pick for Secretary of Agriculture is Tom Vilsack, who would be reprising the role after his 8 years in the Obama administration. "Vilsack II" is showing signs that since then he's become more supportive of food assistance programs and reforming historically racist programs at USDA. And insects far outnumber us on this planet, and they've shaped the course of human history. A conversation with the author of "The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World" on this legacy and the critical need to preserve insect biodiversity for future generations.
Feb 12, 2021
[Broadcast] India’s Farm Crisis and Climate Change, Angry Birds and the People's Climate Vote, Modernizing Mobility and more
India's Farm Crisis and the Climate Emergency / Beyond the Headlines / Angry Birds and the People's Climate Vote / Bottlenose Whales in the Arctic / Modernizing Mobility / BirdNote®: Here Come the Barred Owls / In Honor of Black History Month: Harriet Tubman and the Barred Owl India is experiencing dramatic climate impacts that are hitting farmers especially hard. On top of that, the Indian government recently passed legislation that could make it harder for farmers to get a fair price for their crops, leading to massive protests. Also, games like Angry Birds meet climate policy through the work of the People's Climate Vote, a United Nations survey of more than a million people around the world. And in the United States transportation infrastructure is falling deep into disrepair with $2 trillion of deferred maintenance costs. President Joe Biden is seeking to modernize mobility infrastructure in a way that supports the broader overall goal of net zero carbon emissions by 2050. And as we celebrate Black History Month: Harriet Tubman was an unsung naturalist who used bird calls and her knowledge of woods and wetlands to lead some 70 people out of bondage.
Feb 5, 2021
[Broadcast] Biden’s Pen and the Climate, GM in the EV Fast Lane, Teddy Roosevelt's Conservation Legacy, and more
Biden's Pen and the Climate / Beyond the Headlines / GM in the EV Fast Lane / The COVID Biking Boom / An Owl-Inspired Hearing Test / Teddy Roosevelt's Conservation Legacy President Biden has signed detailed executive orders focused on protecting the environment and fighting against climate change, laying the groundwork for strong climate policy and green investment. And the private sector is already moving in that direction: General Motors recently announced a bold plan to phase out gas-powered cars by 2035, signaling a major step towards decarbonizing the economy and creating thousands of green jobs. Also, a look back at President Theodore Roosevelt's complicated legacy for conservation in a time when it's being reimagined with more diversity and inclusivity.
Jan 29, 2021
[Broadcast] Whole Govt For Climate Action, Covid Risk For Tribal Cultures, Becoming Wild and Culture Among Animals
The Whole of Government For Climate Action / Resisting Line 3 Pipeline / COVID Risk for Tribal Cultures / Beyond the Headlines / Vista: A Break in the Storm / 'Becoming Wild' and Culture Among Animals The Biden Administration is making big and early moves to tackle the climate crisis and show the rest of the world and major investors that the U.S. is committed to decarbonization. Also, Native American communities have been hit especially hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with nearly twice the mortality rate of white Americans. The deaths of tribal elders are also leading to losses of language and other cultural knowledge. And biologists are finding that many animal species from sperm whales to birds use language and other hallmarks of culture.
Jan 22, 2021
[Broadcast] U.S. Back In Paris, Biden Reverses Trump Rollbacks, Ubuntu and Unity For Healing, and more
U.S. Back in Paris Agreement / Biden Reverses Trump Rollbacks / Little Time Left to Save Right Whales / Beyond the Headlines / Ubuntu and Unity for Healing At his inauguration on January 20th President Biden called for unity at a time when America faces multiple crises. For a model of unity, Mr. Biden might look to the African concept of Ubuntu as a way to heal the many broken relationships in America. Also, hours after taking the oath of office, President Biden signed several executive orders to restore environmental protections removed by his predecessor, and recommitted the U.S. to the Paris Climate Agreement. The Executive Director of Greenpeace International joins us to talk about how the U.S. can get back on track with the rest of the world, after 4 years of turning its back on climate diplomacy. And the North Atlantic right whale is one of the world's most endangered species. With ship strikes and entanglement in fishing nets threatening its survival, environmental organiz…
Jan 15, 2021
[Broadcast] Merrick Garland and the Environment, Deb Haaland: 'Fierce For Our Planet', Interior’s Next Frontiers and more
Merrick Garland and the Environment / Deb Haaland: 'Fierce for our Planet' / Interior's Next Frontiers / Beyond the Headlines / A Mayan Bee Guardian / Ice Visions President-elect Biden's Attorney General pick, Judge Merrick Garland, has ruled over many environmental rules and regulations while on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. What an AG Garland could mean for environmental policy and enforcement. Also, after four years in pursuit of extraction at the expense of conservation, the Department of the Interior is about to undergo a major change in how it manages federal public lands and relates to Native Americans. Biden's nominee for Secretary of the Interior, Congresswoman Deb Haaland, will be the first Native American to lead DOI if confirmed and would bring a strong conservation, climate action, and tribal rights perspective to the Department. And former Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell joins us to discuss how the Biden administration can pause oil and gas…
Jan 8, 2021
[Broadcast] Georgia's Green and Brown Voters, ANWR Oil Leasing, Remembering Barry Lopez, and more
Georgia's Green and Brown Voters / ANWR Oil Leasing / BirdNote®: The Oilbird's Lightless Life / Activism Cuts Plastic Waste in the Bahamas / Beyond the Headlines / Remembering Barry Lopez The Democratic victories for both of the Senate seats in Georgia's runoff elections are thanks in part to the state's environmental voters, who are more likely to be people of color and young, and to live in urban centers. Also, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge likely has billions of gallons of oil under it and for decades it's been one of the most high-profile environmental battles. Despite opposition from conservationists and native peoples, a judge allowed the Trump Administration to proceed with a last-minute auction of oil and gas drilling leases in the refuge. And the late Barry Lopez is being remembered as a beloved environmental writer who authored National Book Award-winning "Arctic Dreams" and many other works. We share a conversation with Barry Lopez from 2019, when his final book…
Jan 1, 2021
[Broadcast] Wildly Magical: Stories of Animal Encounters
Care for the Common Critter / 'It Could Be the Last One': Stories of People Helping Rare Critters / Wildly Magical: Animal Encounters in the Galapagos / Native American Stories of Human and Animal Kinship From one woman's dream of swimming with marine iguanas, to uncommon encounters with common rabbits, to a Native American tale of how the dog came to be our loyal companion, and much more, this Living on Earth holiday storytelling special features stories of how other species on this Earth touch human lives. "Wildly Magical: Stories of Animal Encounters", a storytelling special from PRX.
Dec 25, 2020
[Broadcast] Holiday Season Stories of Warmth and Light
The Power Of Stories / Native American Tales / Stories of the Night Sky and an English Wassail Native American myths and tales help us endure or even enjoy the short days and long nights of winter. Living on Earth's annual celebration of stories helps connect people with the natural world, and includes an Iroquois explanation of why the constellation Pleiades twinkles overhead and an Abenaki custom that asks forgiveness for any wrongs of the previous year. Seasonal stories and more, in this holiday special from Living on Earth from PRX.
Dec 18, 2020
[Broadcast] The Reindeer Chronicles: Working With Nature to Heal the Earth, UN Moves Forward With Paris Climate Agreement, Keeping Coal From Going to the Bank, and more
UN Moves Forward with Paris Climate Agreement / China's Bold Climate Action Plan / Keeping Coal from Going to the Bank / Microfiber Pollution: Note on Emerging Science: Denim / Beyond the Headlines / The Reindeer Chronicles: Working with Nature to Heal the Earth / Story Time Environmental destruction and habitat loss can feel overwhelming, but the trend can be reversed, as people around the world reclaim land and help mother nature heal herself. That's the focus of a new book called "The Reindeer Chronicles." Also, the coronavirus pandemic has postponed important UN climate meetings, but the vital work of ramping up international ambition on climate must go on. The virtual "Climate Ambition Summit" recently showcased what nations are doing on that front, led by China. And French environmental activist Lucie Pinson, a 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize recipient, recognized that the most efficient way to stop new climate-damaging coal development wasn't tackling projects one by one.…
Dec 11, 2020
[Broadcast] Africa's Low COVID Deaths, Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail, Produce and Microplastics, and more
Africa's Low Covid Fatality Rate / Beyond the Headlines / Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail / Produce and Microplastics / 'Tis the Season for Green Gifts Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Africa has shown a surprisingly low fatality rate. Underreporting may not fully account for the discrepancy, so scientists are looking further to see if there may be other factors. Also, every year, several hundred intrepid hikers walk all the way from Mexico to Canada, on the Pacific Crest Trail. Along their 2600-mile walk they encounter bears, trail magic, and the tight-knit community of the PCT. And microplastics are everywhere, including in farm soil. They can range in size from the width of a strand of spaghetti, to as small as a virus. How microplastics get into our soil and the risks they could pose for food. Those stories and more in this episode of Living on Earth from PRX.
Dec 4, 2020
Author Charlotte McConaghy, The Pandemic and Hunger, A Climate Leader from Ghana, and more
The Pandemic And American Hunger / Beyond The Headlines / Ghanaian Climate Leader Wins Goldman Prize / Troubles For Science Research In The Pandemic / The Road To Darwin / Migrations: A Powerful Novel About A World Losing Life / BirdNote®: What In The World Is A Hoopoe? The 2020 novel Migrations is set in a future world where polar bears, chimpanzees and wolves are extinct, though not all is lost. For the novel's protagonist, this mass extinction is personal, sparking her perilous journey to follow what might be the very last migration of the Arctic Tern from pole to pole. Also, the coronavirus pandemic has exposed the perilous economic state of many households in America, with one in four U.S. households experiencing food insecurity in 2020 despite an abundance of food overall. And we talk with a Ghanaian environmental activist whose grassroots youth campaign helped stop a coal plant that would have threatened a coastal fishing community and the climate. He's a recipient of the…
Nov 27, 2020
[Broadcast] Mustering Georgia's Environmental Voters, Planetary Health, Making the Pill from Yams to Fish, and more
The Climate & Georgia Senate Showdown / Mustering Georgia's Environmental Voters / Beyond the Headlines / Making the Pill from Yams to Fish / The Dark / Note on Emerging Science: Sea Otters Protect Alaskan Reefs / Planetary Health The 2020 Presidential election had a historic turnout, especially with voters under age 30 and voters of color, who are more likely than others voters to list climate or the environment as their top priority when casting ballots. We look at how turnout among these voters might influence Georgia's run-off elections in January. Also, a new book drills down on the intersection of environmental change and human health. Why saving the planet can also save human lives. And most formulas for the birth control pill use the synthetic hormones progestin and estrogen, derived from crude oil and even plants such as yams. Once these hormones make their way through a human body and into wastewater systems, they can affect fish and other animals in the environment.…
Nov 20, 2020
[Broadcast] How Biden Can Keep It in the Ground, Sustainable Thanksgiving on the Half-Shell, A Trip to the Pawpaw Patch, and more
How Biden Can Keep It in the Ground / Beyond the Headlines / Down Yonder in the Pawpaw Patch / Native American Traditions of Giving Thanks / Sustainable Thanksgiving Fare from the Sea How President-elect Joe Biden can "keep it in the ground" by halting or reducing fossil fuel extraction on federal lands for a new climate protection agenda. Also, oysters can be eaten in many ways beyond the half-shell, and when farmed correctly they help nourish local economies and ecosystems. Celebrity chef Barton Seaver whips up some oyster stuffing for Thanksgiving. And the pawpaw, which is the largest edible fruit native to the U.S., ripens in the late fall, after many of the better-known local fruits like apples. Tips for growing pawpaw trees and enjoying their fruits. Those stories and more in this episode of Living on Earth from PRX.
Nov 13, 2020
[Broadcast] Climate and the Biden Transition, Lead in Hunted Meat, "Tree Stories" Written in Rings, and more
Climate and the Biden Transition / Beyond the Headlines / Lead in Hunted Meat / Midtown Coyote / Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings How the Biden transition team can best plan to fight climate disruption after four years of policy disruption while in incoming Administration also prepares to address the crises of the Covid-19 pandemic, the economy, and equal justice. Also, millions of American families who eat game could get lead poisoning from the bullets that killed the animal. Patrons of some food banks are also at risk as hunters also donate some 2 million pounds of venison and other hunted meat to food banks across the U.S. each year, with no inspection in some states that detect lead contamination. And the author of "Tree Story: The History of the World Written in Rings" joins us to talk about how tree rings hold clues to the ancient climate on Earth, and human history too. Those stories and more in this episode of Living on Earth from PRX.
Nov 6, 2020
[Broadcast] Joe Biden and Bipartisan Opportunities on Climate, Preparing for COVID-19 in Winter, Tales of Two Planets and more
Biden, Republicans and the Climate / Green Questions on the 2020 Ballot / Beyond the Headlines / Ice Hockey COVID Outbreaks / Tales of Two Planets: Stories of Climate Change and Inequality In A Divided World Some Republicans see opportunity for bipartisanship with a Democratic president, especially on the climate. How climate solutions can find support on both sides of the aisle if Congress remains divided amid a Biden presidency. Also, advice about getting through the Northern winter safely during the coronavirus pandemic. And a new anthology collects poems, short stories, essays, and reportage about the relationship between social inequality and the climate emergency. Those stories and more in this episode of Living on Earth from PRX.
Oct 30, 2020
[Broadcast] All We Can Save, Arctic Sea Ice Overdue, Fall Gardening Tips, and more
Arctic Sea Ice Overdue / Beyond the Headlines / All We Can Save / How Wildfires Benefit Wildlife / Remembering Mario Molina / Fall Gardening Tips An influential new collection of essays seeks to elevate women's voices in the climate movement and makes a strong case that diversity and inclusion are fundamental to addressing the climate crisis. Also, after record heat in the far north this summer, Arctic sea ice is unusually late to re-form this year. What this delay could mean for the Arctic ecosystem, volatile weather, and the climate system. And when the COVID-19 pandemic began, people found themselves stuck at home, and many turned to gardening as a way to pass the time. Tips from a gardening expert about how to continue this new hobby into the fall and winter months. Those stories and more in this episode of Living on Earth from PRX.
Oct 23, 2020
[Broadcast] Climate and the Elections, Melting Ice and Rising Seas, Overcoming Climate Anxiety, Hiking in Six-Inch Heels and more
Environmental Justice Debated / Climate and Senate Races in North Carolina and Georgia / Rapid Ice Melt and Rising Seas / Overcoming Climate Anxiety / Beyond the Headlines / Hiking in 6-Inch Heels The final presidential debate and US Senate races in North Carolina and Georgia underscore the growing climate concerns of voters. The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting at alarming rates thanks to climate change, and will continue to do so for decades even if the Paris Climate Agreement goals are met. Why their melting necessitates both climate mitigation and adaptation to protect vulnerable coasts. Also, climate disruption is causing deep anxiety, especially for the young people organizing to address it. A new book called A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety lays out strategies for addressing climate-fueled anxieties and moving beyond them to help Gen Z activists envision a resilient future. And a queer environmental activist finds his calling and breaks down barriers with a…
Oct 16, 2020
[Broadcast] EPA Devalues Science, China Leads on Climate, Prairie Senate Races Show Climate Divide, and more
Prairie Senate Races Show Climate Divide / Beyond the Headlines / Note on Emerging Science: Puffins Use Tools / China Leads on Climate / California's Electric Vehicle Future / EPA Devalues Science To Downplay Chemical Risk / BirdNote®: October Migrants / Urban Farming During COVID Studies show that children exposed in utero to the pesticide chlorpyrifos suffer brain damage. But in a new risk assessment the EPA is claiming that data is "inconclusive" because it protects the identities of study participants. Also, China takes the lead on climate as President Xi pledges that his nation will peak its carbon emissions before 2030 and hit net zero emissions by 2060, without revealing how it plans to reach those goals. Also, as the prairie states experience increasingly destructive weather linked to climate change, the Senate races in Iowa and Kansas reflect a sharp divide between the Democratic and Republican candidates' talk on climate change. Those stories and more in this episode…
Oct 9, 2020
[Broadcast] Amy Coney Barrett and Environmental Law, VP Debate on Climate, Endurance Against Tough Odds, and more
Judge Barrett and Environmental Law / Vice Presidential Debate on Climate / The Environment in Western Senate Races / Climate Change Disrupts Major Transportation Corridor / Beyond the Headlines / Enduring Against Seemingly Impossible Odds Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is a textualist who tends to interpret the law narrowly, meaning that if she is confirmed, she would generally rule against innovative environmental advocacy legislation. Also, Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Kamala Harris clashed on the debate stage over fracking, the Green New Deal, and whether climate change poses an existential threat to humanity. And in 1914, British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men set sail for Antarctica. Disaster struck when their ship the "Endurance" became trapped in pack ice and later broke up, yet optimism and sheer perseverance carried all 28 men through what seemed impossible odds. How Shackleton used emotional intelligence to keep his crew going throu…
Oct 2, 2020
[Broadcast] Maine Senate Race and the Environment, John Kerry Cochairs Biden Climate Plan, Beavers Return to England, and more
Maine Senate Race and the Environment / BirdNote®: Swallows on Wires / Climate on Chaotic Debate Stage / John Kerry Cochairs Biden Climate Plan / Black Lung and COVID-19 / Scylla and Charybdis on the Zambezi River / Beavers Return to England One of the key races in the 2020 elections is for the US Senate in Maine, where the environment is consistently rated as a priority issue for voters. Incumbent Senator Susan Collins is known for having a strong environmental record compared to her Republican colleagues, but many environmental groups focused on the campaign for a more environmentally-friendly Democratic majority in the Senate have switched their support to Democratic challenger Sara Gideon. Also, Democratic nominee for President Joe Biden is offering a $2 trillion climate plan as part of his "Build Back Better" economic recovery agenda. Former Secretary of State John Kerry, one of the plan's architects, discusses how it connects climate action to public health protection and ec…
Sep 25, 2020
[Broadcast] Southern Senate Candidates on Climate, A Win for Tribal Sovereignty, RBG and Environmental Law, and more
Key Southern US Senate Races and the Climate / Beyond the Headlines / A Win for Native American Sovereignty / BirdNote®: Eastern Whip-Poor-Will - Bird of the Night Side of the Woods / Megafire Hard Times / Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Environment Climate and the environment are controversial subjects in several closely-watched US Senate races in the South this fall. The South faces significant climate impacts, and residents are concerned, but candidates are taking low key approaches to the issue. Also, a recent Supreme Court ruling recognized Native Americans sovereignty over millions of acres of tribal lands in Oklahoma. What the ruling means after decades of ignored rights of Native American tribal members living in Oklahoma and the implications for Indian country as a whole. And in addition to championing women's rights, the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg leaves a strong and sophisticated record of votes and written opinions regarding environmental law.