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Living on Earth is a weekly news and information program from PRI about the world's changing environment, ecology, and human health. If there's something new about global warming, climate change, environmental politics or environmental quality and human health, you can count on Host Steve Curwood an…

PRI/World Media Foundation


    • Jun 24, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
    • weekly NEW EPISODES
    • 51m AVG DURATION
    • 5,099 EPISODES

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    Latest episodes from Living on Earth

    Pregnancy and Heat Waves, Putting Coal Miners Back to Work, UN Climate Talks on the Hot Seat

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 24, 2022 54:15

    Extreme heat events such as India and Pakistan recently endured are among the deadliest impacts of climate change, and pregnant women and fetuses are among the most vulnerable to heat stress. Extreme heat is linked to complications of pregnancy including eclampsia, preterm birth and stillbirth. Also, to help revitalize coal country as the mines close, the United Mine Workers of America is teaming up with an electric vehicle battery company on a new factory in West Virginia. And UN climate negotiators recently gathered in Bonn, Germany to prepare for the next climate summit this fall in Egypt, but these talks are not moving as fast as climate disruption itself. -- Support for Living on Earth comes from the I Am Bio podcast, with powerful stories of biotech breakthroughs, the people they help, and the global problems they solve. And from maude. Get a treat from maude! Use the code EARTH to get $5 off your first order on all products. And also getaway.house. Use promo code EARTH to save $25 on your stay — and enjoy more free time in the great outdoors. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Celebrating Juneteenth, Farming While Black and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 17, 2022 54:03

    June 19th marks the holiday known as Juneteenth, when African Americans gather to celebrate emancipation of ancestors from slavery with picnics and cook outs. The voyage from Africa isn't often on people's minds, but it is in their stomachs, by way of the foodways from across the Atlantic. Fast-forward to today, to the farmers who are working to cultivate justice, root out racism, and find liberation on the land, by reconnecting people of color to the earth. And systemic racism has set Black Americans up for far greater exposure to deadly air pollution, and extreme heat brought by climate change. Both environmental concerns have been primarily caused and exacerbated by white Americans, yet it's Black communities that bear the brunt of the harm. Dismantling racism, celebrating Juneteenth, and more, this week on Living on Earth from PRX. -- Don't miss our free, livestreamed Juneteenth celebration on Monday, June 20th at 6:30 p.m. Eastern! Sign up at loe.org/events Our podcast is supported this week by: maude. Get a treat from maude! Use the code EARTH to get $5 off your first order on all products. And also getaway.house. Use promo code EARTH to save $25 on your stay — and enjoy more free time in the great outdoors. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Green Light For Solar, The ‘Danger Season', 1,001 Voices on Climate Change and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 53:36

    Threatened by draconian tariffs, the US solar industry has been largely frozen since April and laid off thousands of workers, stalling crucial progress towards climate goals. But on June 6th, President Biden signed executive orders temporarily suspending tariffs and boosting domestic solar panel production. Also, with the start of the Atlantic hurricane season June 1, Tropical Storm Alex has already flooded Cuba, the Bahamas, and South Florida. Wildfires are already ravaging parts of the western United States, deadly heat waves are predicted, and some scientists say summer in the United States is the 'danger season'. And the stories of real people living through the climate emergency can help us comprehend what a degree of temperature change or a foot of sea level rise actually means. “1,001 Voices on Climate Change” and more. -- Our podcast is supported this week by: maude. Get a treat from maude! Use the code EARTH to get $5 off your first order on all products. And also getaway.house. Use promo code EARTH to save $25 on your stay — and enjoy more free time in the great outdoors.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Climate Hopes Up Down Under, Cutting Up Credit Cards to Stop Coal, Taking the A Train to a National Park and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 54:55

    Australia is a leading coal and natural gas exporter and has stubbornly opposed major climate action for decades, even as climate disasters like fires, floods, and droughts have taken their toll. But now Australian voters have ushered in a more progressive Parliament in the recent elections that signal their country is heading in a new direction on climate. Also, we continue our conversations with this year's recipients of the Goldman Environmental Prize with Julien Vincent, the winner for Islands and Island Nations who led a grassroots campaign that had people cutting up their credit cards in a bid to convince Australia's biggest banks and insurers to stop funding coal. And take the A Train: Gateway National Recreation Area offers green spaces, beaches and recreation just a quick transit ride from New York City. Plus, with inflation driving up food prices, we share some gardening tips to help you save some green with your green thumb. -- Our podcast is supported this week by: Wren, where you can calculate and offset your carbon footprint. And by maude. Get a treat from maude! Use the code EARTH to get $5 off your first order on all products. And also getaway.house. Use promo code EARTH to save $25 on your stay — and enjoy more free time in the great outdoors. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Toxic Pet Collars, Justice After Oil Spills in Nigeria, the Sounds of Mars and more

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 52:14

    In the past decade, the EPA has received over 98,000 reports of harm and over 2500 reports of pet deaths connected to the Seresto brand of pesticide-containing flea collars. But the EPA has never issued any warnings or recalls of these collars. Also, the 2022 Goldman Environmental Prize recipient for Africa is Chima Williams, an environmental lawyer who worked with two communities to hold Royal Dutch Shell accountable for disastrous oil spills in Nigeria. We talk about why Chima and his colleagues brought the case all the way to the Hague in the Netherlands to pursue justice. And in the coming weeks we'll feature more stories of this year's intrepid Goldman Prize winners. And after dozens of missions to Mars over nearly five decades, NASA has finally captured the first ever audio recorded on the surface of the red planet, and we listen in. -- Support for Living on Earth comes from the I Am Bio podcast, with powerful stories of biotech breakthroughs, the people they help, and the global problems they solve.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Climate Risk from ‘Zombie' Rules, Self-Immolation for the Climate, Mass Shooting and Eco-Fascism and more

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 52:34

    The 6-3 conservative majority of the U.S. Supreme Court is expected to constrain climate action by the Environmental Protection Agency in a decision before the end of the SCOTUS term in June. Why a loss for EPA in this one case, West Virginia v. EPA, could limit climate policies across multiple agencies. Also, on Earth Day April 22, Wynn Bruce, a Buddhist and environmental activist, set himself on fire on the steps of the Supreme Court to protest inaction on climate change. A conversation about the urgent message behind this extreme action and moving beyond climate despair. And the suspect of the recent mass murder of Blacks in Buffalo is a self-proclaimed white supremacist and eco-fascist. What the environmental movement must do to delegitimize the eco-fascist movement's use of violence and racist ideology. -- Support for Living on Earth comes from Wren, where you can calculate and offset your carbon footprint.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Drought Threatens Hydropower, “SmartICE” Helps Inuit People Adapt, How to Save the Climate and more

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2022 51:31

    With record low water levels that threaten hydropower generation, the federal government has decided to retain water in Lake Powell and release less to Lake Mead and beyond. But the Colorado River basin still faces a long-term water shortage that imperils the future of cities and farms in the Southwest.  Also, the sea ice that Inuit people rely on for travel and hunting is growing dangerously thin. Now, sensors and GPS technology along with Inuit traditional knowledge are helping to measure sea ice in real time. And as civilization hurtles toward climate disaster, the world continues to rely heavily on fossil fuels and drag its heels on transitioning to clean energy. Harvard University Professor of the History of Science Naomi Oreskes joins us to note climate change science is unequivocal and why the paths to solving the climate crisis are political and social. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Whistleblowers Say EPA Endangers Public Health, No Mow May to Help Pollinators, The Hawk's Way Book, and more.

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 52:35

    Whistleblowers say EPA endangers public health by being too cozy with industry and approving cancer-causing and other unsafe chemicals.    Also, "No Mow May." The movement to leave our lawnmowers in the garage for the month of May and give pollinators a chance to access spring flowers.    And, in her new book, "The Hawks Way" author Sy Montgomery takes a deep dive into the world of hawks and falconry.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    EV Sales Stuck in the Slow Lane, 150-Year-Old Mining Law Robs Public Lands Riches, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2022 51:35

    Electric vehicles are key to decarbonizing the transportation sector but most cars sold in the U.S. are still gas-powered. Even in Massachusetts, where a climate law requires net zero emissions by 2050, EV numbers are nowhere near where they need to be.    Also, the extraction of minerals on U.S. public lands is based on a 150-year-old law that doesn't require royalty payments or adequate protection for the environment and local people. The antiquated law is impacting the future of renewable energy and electric vehicles as companies mine for lithium, an essential component for large battery storage.  And for years Twin Metals Minnesota has sought to mine for copper and nickel just outside the pristine Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, but the Biden administration recently canceled two federal mining leases the company needs to begin operations. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    The Way Forward For People And Our Planet: An Earth Day Special

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 22, 2022 53:11

    Our Earth Day special examines this decisive moment for the human species and our challenging relationship with our planet. We meet people who envision a future reshaped by an emerging energy system and new power structures, as we wean off of fossil fuels. Next we take a big-picture view of Earth as a complex and sustaining organism known as Gaia. Over billions of years life has interacted with the elements of this planet in cycles of constant change and adaptation. With the help of deep ecologists, children, an astronaut and more, we survey our place on this ever-evolving living planet. And while science and policy are vital in building a more sustainable world, they can't convey the values we need as we strive for ecological harmony. Indigenous stories, holy scriptures, East Asian cosmologies, papal encyclicals and divine revelation all shed light on our duties and relationship to each other and to our common home. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    A New Telescope to Unlock Mysteries of the Universe, Massive Government Animal Culling, Climate Risk Disclosure Mandate and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 15, 2022 52:09

    The new James Webb Space Telescope is by far the most powerful space telescope ever built, able to see up to a hundred galaxies at once and detect the light emitted from some of the universe's very first stars while also checking planets near and far for conditions compatible for life.  Also, Wildlife Services, a division of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, killed 1.75 million animals in 2021, including bears, wolves and beavers among 400,000 native animals. USDA claims these exterminations protect agriculture and public health, but opponents say there are better ways to deal with animals that present problems for humans. And trillions of dollars of financial assets are at risk of losses related to the climate, so the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is now moving to require public companies to disclose their climate risk. The Living on Earth Book Club is back! Join us April 25th at 5:30 p.m. Eastern in Concord, New Hampshire or online from the comfort of your own home for a conversation with bestselling author Sy Montgomery about her new book, The Hawk's Way: Encounters with Fierce Beauty. Register at loe.org/events.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Shutdowns in the Solar Industry, Resilience Workers for Climate Disasters, Poetry for the Extinction Crisis and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 8, 2022 51:36

    The U.S. solar installation business has been frozen suddenly in its tracks by a U.S. Department of Commerce investigation into whether China is evading tariffs on solar cells and panels. So at a time when there is more demand than ever for solar power, the solar industry is now experiencing project delays, layoffs, and uncertainty.   Also, as climate related disasters worsen, the people who help rebuild cities afterwards are more vital than ever. But advocates say these “resilience workers” are underpaid, overworked and lack the resources they need to be safe in hazardous working conditions. A new bill aims to change that.   And for poetry month, a look at a collection of poems that peer deep into the past at species long gone to grapple with the extinctions unfolding today. The author of “Dear Specimen” on the role of poetry in revealing and consoling our anxieties about the climate and extinction crises.     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    BPA Asthma Risk for Girls, Conflict Oil and Gas, The Quest for Climate Justice and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 1, 2022 51:30

    Higher levels of BPA plastic exposure while in the womb is associated with increased risk of asthma and wheezing in school aged girls, a new study has found. It's the latest danger sign regarding the estrogen-mimicking chemical, which has also been linked to numerous health problems including heart disease and Type II diabetes.   Also, fossil fuel markets are often volatile, especially around wars, while renewable energy resources tend to be more isolated from conflict. As oil prices surge the world stands on the precipice of a choice between even more climate-killing drilling and a transformational shift towards clean energy that could change the geopolitical landscape.   And communities of color along the Gulf Coast are disproportionately impacted by climate change and industrial pollution. How President Biden's Justice 40 initiative aims to tackle environmental racism. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Nuclear and Net Zero, Record Heat Wave in Antarctica, Trump's Zombie Border Wall, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 25, 2022 52:13

    European nations are taking a fresh look at nuclear power as a more secure and carbon-free source of energy than fossil fuels, compared to Russian oil and gas.  Also, during the March equinox in Antarctica, the eastern portion of the continent recorded temperatures around 70 degrees Fahrenheit higher than typical. At the same time, the Arctic also boasted higher-than-average temperatures.  And while President Biden campaigned on a pledge to not build another foot of the wall along the US-Mexico border, construction has recently resumed to the dismay of some ecologists.  Support comes from the I am BIO podcast Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Heat Pumps for Peace, Aid and Empathy for Climate Refugees, The Comeback Monarchs and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 18, 2022 51:36

    Europe has vowed to quickly wean itself off Russian gas. Electric heat pumps could help and activists say invoking the Defense Production Act, to rapidly manufacture heat pumps for Europe, can weaken Putin's fossil fueled war machine.  Also in light of Ukrainian refugees fleeing their homes, experts note that climate change is expected to displace as many as 200 million people, many of them people of color who often face xenophobia.  And the population of Western Monarch butterflies has increased by more than 100-fold this year after reaching an all-time low last year of just 2,000 individuals. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Nations Vow to Curb Plastic Waste, Redwoods Returned to Tribes, Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught in America and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 11, 2022 51:35

    At a recent UN meeting in Nairobi, Kenya, delegates from over 170 countries committed to come up with an ambitious cradle-to-grave, legally binding agreement to tackle the global plastic pollution crisis. Also, northern California native tribes are now the permanent guardians of more than 500 acres of coast redwood forest in one of the latest examples of “landback.” And the book Miseducation: How Climate Change Is Taught in America reveals the access fossil fuel companies have to American children and how that differs across red and blue states. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    SCOTUS Could Shackle EPA, IPCC's "Atlas Of Human Suffering," Ice Fishing On A Tidal River and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Mar 4, 2022 51:35

    A more conservative Supreme Court has taken up a case that could significantly limit the tools EPA can use to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, even though those rules don't even exist. Why West Virginia v. EPA poses big risks to environmental regulation writ large.  Also, the latest UN climate report is an “atlas of human suffering” that warns of great peril for ecosystems and human civilization.  And winter can be cold and dark, but the bright light reflected from frozen lakes, ponds, and streams can be cheery and warm. And that's the secret of ice fishing. We'll hear about the joys of ice fishing on a frozen river as the tides come in and out. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Carbon in the Congo, A Trip into Black History with George Washington Carver, UN Plastics Treaty and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 25, 2022 51:35

    The Congo Basin is home to one of the largest peatlands in the world and a massive repository of carbon dioxide. Locals have been sustainably hunting and fishing in the area for generations, but the threat of new development has scientists concerned.   Also, in honor of Black History Month, we bring agronomist and humanitarian George Washington Carver back from the past to talk about his famous peanut recipes as well as the intersections between race and agricultural development in the United States. And the United Nations Environment Assembly meets in Nairobi, Kenya to begin drafting a treaty addressing the global crisis of plastic pollution. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Black History on the Mississippi, Green Voter Opportunities, Love Chokes National Parks and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 18, 2022 51:33

    For Black History month: Black Americans rose up from sugarcane slavery and built thriving communities along the lower Mississippi River, only to have the petrochemical industry move in and pollute the air, land, and water in what's been dubbed Cancer Alley. An environmental justice champion shares her memories of what her home of St. James Parish was like before industry turned it toxic and talks about the ongoing struggle to protect its residents. Also, nearly 1 million environmentalists voted in the 2020 presidential election but didn't show for the 2018 midterms. Why these so-called environmental drop-off voters could be decisive in the 2022 midterms if they show up at the polls. And amid the restrictions and stresses of COVID, throngs of visitors seeking the solace of nature at many of our national parks threaten to overwhelm the chronically underfunded and understaffed park system. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Congress and Climate Action, Forest-Friendly Chocolate and More, and Beavers Move Into the Arctic

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 11, 2022 51:33

    The blocked Build Back Better budget bill contains half a trillion dollars of renewable energy and climate resiliency investments. So House Democrats now aim to include them in a revised budget reconciliation bill that can get all Senate Democrats on board. Also, when someone takes a bite of a hamburger or tofu or has a cup of coffee or hot cocoa, it's hard to know if those foods added to the destruction of tropical forests that are so key for biodiversity and climate stability. So as part of the European Union's Green New Deal the EU is moving to ban the importation of six key agricultural products from any newly deforested areas. And beavers are moving north in search of new habitat as the Arctic rapidly warms. These big rodents known as “ecosystem engineers” are bringing big changes to the Arctic landscape. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Biden Oil Leases Blocked, Sustainability and the Beijing Olympics, Winter Olympics in a Warming World, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Feb 4, 2022 52:34

    A federal Judge revokes the largest offshore oil and gas lease sale in U.S. history by the Biden Administration, citing environmental concerns. What the legal battle says about how seriously the White House is taking its promises to phase out fossil fuels. Also, China and the International Olympic Committee say there are many sustainable aspects of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. But critics point to the environmental degradation caused by the creation of an alpine ski resort in an arid region, on the site of a nature reserve. And as Earth warms due to climate change, suitable places to host winter sports are disappearing around the globe. Thanks to our sponsor this week: INKL: curated, ad-free news from the world's best sources. Visit Inkl.com/earth for 25% off your first year. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Unprecedented Fires In Patagonia, Warming Climate and Children's Health, “Don't Look Up” and the Absurdity of Climate Inaction and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 28, 2022 52:36

    Wildfires have been raging in South America's Patagonia, where until recently fires were rare. But invasive species and heat, drought, and dry thunderstorms connected to climate change are altering the natural fire regime. Also, children and adolescents are facing increasing health risks from extreme heat, and a new study looked at heat and pediatric emergency department visits and found that black and brown children are especially impacted. And the hit Netflix movie “Don't Look Up” uses humor and the metaphor of an impending, Earth-obliterating comet to satirize climate denial, the political obstacles to climate action and the false promises of future technological fixes. Thanks to our sponsor this week: INKL: curated, ad-free news from the world's best sources. Visit Inkl.com/earth for 25% off your first year.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Biden's First Year, Financing Net Zero Carbon, Climate Anxiety Therapy and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 21, 2022 52:15

    When President Biden took office a year ago, he laid out bold goals to halt federal oil and gas drilling, reach carbon neutrality by 2050, and rectify environmental injustices. We'll look at where progress has been made on these initiatives and where it's lacking. Also, the world's largest financial institutions have formed an alliance to tackle climate change as pressure mounts to steer capital away from fossil fuels and towards ventures that can put the world on a path to net zero carbon emissions by 2050.  And climate change in the form of things like wildfires, floods, and droughts can have devastating effects on mental health, and therapists are taking note. They are finding creative ways to tackle climate anxiety, often through community action and healing. Thanks to our sponsor this week: INKL: curated, ad-free news from the world's best sources. Visit Inkl.com/earth for 25% off your first year.       Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    "Zen and the Art of Saving the Planet," Lead Pipes and Mental Health, Mapping Cancer-Causing Pollution and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 14, 2022 53:19

    A conversation about how the Zen Buddhist practice of mindfulness can help us break out of a destructive cycle of consumption and live in harmony with the planet. Also, lead contamination in drinking water can have serious impacts on growing brains and even contribute to mental illnesses years down the road. And millions of Americans are breathing carcinogenic air pollution emitted from refineries and chemical plants, but EPA has failed to account for the cumulative cancer risk for people who live near several industrial facilities. Thanks to our sponsors this week: INKL: curated, ad-free news from the world's best sources. Visit https://inkl.com/earth for 25% off your first year. And Climate Talks, a new podcast from Meta. Learn more: https://sustainability.fb.com/blog/2021/10/29/introducing-climate-talks/     Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Remembering Naturalists E.O. Wilson and Tom Lovejoy, Winter Wildfires in a Changing Climate, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jan 7, 2022 52:32

    Two leading naturalists who pioneered the field of conservation biology passed away at the end of December 2021. A look back on E.O. Wilson's big idea to save half of the Earth for nature, and Tom Lovejoy's gift for bringing people together to protect the planet. Also, the wildfire that torched around a thousand homes in the suburbs of Boulder, Colorado in late December highlights the growing risk of wildfires to many neighborhoods year-round. As many as 60 million homes in America are within a mile of a wildfire zone, and we'll discuss what residents can do to reduce their risk. And scientists find that polar bears use tools to hunt formidable walruses as access to other food sources for the bears declines in a warming Arctic. Thanks this week to our sponsor Climate Talks, a new podcast from Meta. Learn more: https://sustainability.fb.com/blog/2021/10/29/introducing-climate-talks/ Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Wildly Magical: Stories of Animal Encounters

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 31, 2021 53:24

    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. Thanks this week to our sponsor Climate Talks, a new podcast from Meta. Learn more: https://sustainability.fb.com/blog/2021/10/29/introducing-climate-talks/ Thanks also to sponsor TenTree. Learn more at https://www.tentree.com/ and use the code EARTH to get 15% off your first order. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Holiday Season Stories of Warmth and Light

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 24, 2021 53:21

    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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Underwater Wild: My Octopus Teacher's Extraordinary World, Plastics and Autism and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 17, 2021 52:26

    Underwater explorer Craig Foster dives nearly every day in the near-shore waters of South Africa and it's here that he befriended an octopus, a relationship captured in the documentary “My Octopus Teacher.” He's coauthor of the 2021 book “Underwater Wild” and joined us for a recent Living on Earth Book Club event to talk about his encounters with cuttlefish, sharks, and Cape clawless otters, and the power of connecting with wild nature. Also, as the autism rate continues to rise among children, scientists and clinicians are connecting the dots between autism, genetics, folic acid deficiency, and chemicals like the endocrine disrupting plastic additives called phthalates. And in their last trip beyond the headlines of the year, Peter Dykstra and Steve Curwood remember environmentally influential people who passed away during 2021. They also talk about an opportunity for Maysfield, Kentucky when the town rebuilds following horrific tornado damage. And the two wonder why the Biden Administration does not make more of the fact that their plans for electric vehicle investments are designed in part to protect consumers from volatile gas prices. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Coping with Covid in the Holidays, Medical Devices Linked to Breast Cancer Relapse, Climate Cyber Games and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 10, 2021 51:36

    As Americans prepare to travel and gather in the end-of-year holiday season, many may be questioning how to do so safely in this era of the pandemic. We'll talk about the best practices for keeping safe during this time of year. Also, breast cancer is the leading cause of cancer death among women worldwide, and endocrine disrupting chemicals are partly to blame. One such chemical is DEHP, a phthalate chemical commonly used in plastic hospital intravenous bags and medical tubing, and a recent study finds that it's interfering with breast cancer treatment and augmenting the odds of relapse. And the video game industry is taking its turn to help fight against climate change by cutting emissions and embedding environmental messages in games. A look at an eco-conscious video game.   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Bad Air Polluting Our Brains, Chemicals and the Obesity Epidemic, Team Seas and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Dec 3, 2021 52:38

    Air pollution causes serious damage to our bodies, sometimes resulting in premature death, and it's also messing with our minds. Depression, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder are among the mental health problems that researchers have linked to air pollution. Also, a groundbreaking meta-study correlates exposures to plastics containing phthalates with a wide variety of diseases including mental health problems as well as obesity and diabetes. And plastic is wreaking havoc on the health of the planet, too, especially in the oceans. Now a group of YouTube influencers calling themselves “Team Seas” are working together to raise $30 million to try to collect 30 million pounds of trash from the world's oceans. Join the next Living on Earth Book Club event on December 9th at 6:30 p.m.! We'll be speaking with diver-filmmaker Craig Foster about his book Underwater Wild, which captures the underwater world of wonder seen in the Academy Award-winning documentary “My Octopus Teacher.” Register at loe.org/events Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    The Reign of Wolf 21, Plant and Planet-Centered Eating, Celebrating the "Seven Sisters," and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 26, 2021 53:29

    “The Reign of Wolf 21” is the true love story of an alpha pair who lead their Yellowstone pack with grace, courage, and an unbreakable bond. What these wolves can teach us about love, loyalty, and leadership. Also, our global food system feeds environmental crises like global warming and water pollution even as it fails to adequately feed billions of people worldwide. So in the 50th anniversary edition of “Diet for a Small Planet,” author Frances Moore Lappé renews her calls for a plant- and planet-centered food revolution for the sake of climate, health, and democracy. And in some Native cultures four more crops join the “Three Sisters” of corn, beans, and squash. The “Seven Sisters” and the importance of saving Native seeds.  Join the next Living on Earth Book Club event on December 9th at 6:30 p.m.! We'll be speaking with diver-filmmaker Craig Foster about his book Underwater Wild, which captures the underwater world of wonder seen in the Academy Award-winning documentary “My Octopus Teacher.” Register at loe.org/events Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    A Generational Investment, Little Progress at COP26, The Seed Keeper and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 19, 2021 52:37

    The bipartisan infrastructure bill sets aside $1.2 trillion dollars in funding for clean water, bridges, and roads, as well as higher-tech infrastructure like EV charging stations and electric school buses. Why the implementation of these projects needs to focus on creating equitable and sustainable systems that will last for generations. Also, the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland brought mixed results with an agreement to phase down coal, side agreements to cut methane emissions and a rulebook for international carbon trading markets. But there was little progress in efforts to help developing countries cope with the effects of climate change and the talks were widely criticized for their lack of inclusivity. Most importantly, COP26 failed to establish a fully credible path to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. And for many Native American communities, seeds are living and life-giving organisms which should be carefully kept and cherished. The 2021 novel “The Seed Keeper” relays the importance of seed keeping across 4 generations of Dakota women. Join the next Living on Earth Book Club event on December 9th at 6:30 p.m.! We'll be speaking with diver-filmmaker Craig Foster about his book Underwater Wild, which captures the underwater world of wonder seen in the Academy Award-winning documentary “My Octopus Teacher.” Register at loe.org/events Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Cashing Out Coal, Saving the Tropical Carbon Bank, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 12, 2021 52:37

    At the COP26 climate talks in Glasgow, the US and European nations agreed to provide $8.5 billion in financing to help South Africa phase out its use of coal power. South Africa, which is experiencing yet another wave of power outages, gets most of its electricity from burning coal and is the largest carbon emitter in Africa. What international aid means for South Africa's energy transition.  Also, tropical forests are a treasure trove of biodiversity and contain vast stores of carbon that threaten the stability of Earth's climate system if released through deforestation. And at the recent COP26 in Glasgow more than 130 countries representing 90 percent of the world's forest cover pledged to end net forest loss by 2030.  Join the next Living on Earth Book Club event on November 18th at 6:30 p.m.! We'll be speaking with Devi Lockwood about her book 1,001 Voices on Climate Change and her quest to bike around the world collecting real, personal stories about how flood, fire, drought, and rising seas are changing communities. Register at loe.org/events Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    COP26 Challenges, Reining In Methane, Guardians of the Trees and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Nov 5, 2021 52:23

    As the UN climate talks called COP26 continue in Glasgow, Scotland, all eyes are on world leaders and negotiators as they face challenges to ramp up ambition and commit to substantial climate finance. Also, new EPA rules would strengthen requirements for the oil and gas industry to prevent, identify, and repair methane leaks. Why tackling methane emissions now is key to limiting global warming. And people who live near tropical forests sometimes resort to illegally logging the trees they treasure to pay for healthcare. A conversation with the founder of a nonprofit working to keep the forest healthy by keeping people healthy. Join the next Living on Earth Book Club event on November 18th at 6:30 p.m.! We'll be speaking with Devi Lockwood about her book 1,001 Voices on Climate Change and her quest to bike around the world collecting real, personal stories about how flood, fire, drought, and rising seas are changing communities. Register at loe.org/events    Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    China's Energy Crunch and Climate, Fast Food with a Side of Phthalates, Plastic Planet and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 29, 2021 51:34

    Roughly 20 Chinese provinces are enduring rolling electricity blackouts amid a coal and natural gas shortage. How the current energy crunch intersects with China's long-term climate commitments and the prospects for China's influence at the UN climate talks. Also, fast food could be even more unhealthy than we knew – laden with phthalates, chemicals that are linked to serious health problems and even early death.  And greenhouse gas emissions from plastic production in the United States are on track to outpace domestic coal emissions. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    The Carbon Offset Illusion, A New African Voice on Climate, Right Whales Struggle to Grow and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 22, 2021 51:38

    More than 170 major companies have pledged to become carbon neutral by 2050, with many counting on carbon offsets to help them reach that goal. But critics say these offsets are often hard to verify and can give these companies a license to continue to pollute.  Also, a conversation with Ugandan climate activist Vanessa Nakate about how the climate crisis is impacting Africa and the discrimination she's faced in speaking up.  And critically endangered North Atlantic right whales are struggling to grow to their full length because of entanglements in fishing gear and other threats.  Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Biden Infrastructure and the Environment, Phthalates Linked to Premature Death, Author Richard Powers, and More

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 15, 2021 51:19

    The multi trillion dollar budget reconciliation bill working through Congress includes billions of dollars to mitigate climate change, improve drinking water safety, and improve resiliency for coastal communities.   Also, a new study finds an association between high levels of phthalate in blood and premature death. These “everywhere chemicals” are linked to elevated risk for cardiovascular deaths for middle-aged Americans.   And Pulitzer Prize winning author Richard Powers on his new book, Bewilderment, about a father and son struggling to survive as the damaged planet does the same. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    "Land Back" For Indigenous Peoples, Warming Arctic's “Pizzly Bear” Hybrids, Rising Seas Threaten Landfills, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 8, 2021 51:38

    For Indigenous People's Day we take a look at the “Land Back” movement that seeks to return land like the Black Hills in South Dakota to its original inhabitants and restore a meaningful connection to the land. Also, with the changing climate, polar bears are moving south in search of food, and grizzly bears are moving north in search of cooler climes. In some cases, the two have mated and created a hybrid animal known as a "pizzly" bear. And until recently landfills in America were often sited in coastal wetlands. Now rising seas are threatening to unleash their trash, toxics, and even nuclear waste into coastal areas.       Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Saving Seven Million Lives from Bad Air, Fall Gardening Tips, Putting Food By for a Sustainable Harvest and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Oct 1, 2021 51:30

    If nations adopt new air quality guidelines from the World Health Organization millions of lives could be saved every year from deadly air pollution. Also, for gardeners in the northern hemisphere, now is the time to take stock of this year's successes and failures. Find out what you can do now to build fertile soil for next spring.  And as the harvest season picks up, we share preservation tips and tricks for keeping the bounty and preventing fresh produce from ending up in landfills. Join us on October 5 for our next Living on Earth Book Club event! “Guardians of the Trees” author Dr. Kinari Webb will join Steve Curwood and Bobby Bascomb to talk about healing the world's rainforests and the communities who depend on them. Register at https://loe.org/events/   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Big Oil Under Fire for Climate Disinformation; “They Knew”: The Feds' 50-Year Climate Failure; Widespread Youth Anxiety About Climate and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 24, 2021 51:15

    Industry and the US federal government have long worked in tandem to sideline climate concerns and continue to promote Earth-warming fossil fuels. Now the US House Oversight and Reform Committee has summoned top executives from Exxon, Shell, BP and Chevron and two affiliated lobbying groups to testify in front of a committee hearing in October, as part of an ongoing investigation into the fossil fuel industry's promotion of climate disinformation.   Also, for the past 50 years, the US government has known about the problem of climate change but has continued to promote fossil fuel development and done little to avert a crisis. Longtime environmental leader Gus Speth joins us to discuss his new book “They Knew.”   And a recent study found that three-quarters of young people surveyed believe the future is frightening because of climate change. What young people are expressing about their eco-anxiety and how parents can safely talk to their kids about climate.   Join us on October 5 for our next Living on Earth Book Club event! “Guardians of the Trees” author Dr. Kinari Webb will join Steve Curwood and Bobby Bascomb to talk about healing the world's rainforests and the communities who depend on them. Register at https://loe.org/events/   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    “Vaccine Apartheid”: A Call to Delay UN Climate Talks, Getting the US Grid to 40 Percent Solar, Harvard Divests Fossil Fuels and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 17, 2021 51:05

    As COVID-19 spread continues and vaccine access remains limited in some of the countries most vulnerable to climate impacts, civil society is warning of a “vaccine apartheid” and calling for a delay of the upcoming UN climate talks. Also, how solar power can produce up to 40% of the nation's electricity by 2035 to meet President Biden's goal of decarbonizing the grid by then.  And Harvard University announced that it will no longer invest in fossil fuel companies, following years of refusal amid a prominent and vocal divestment campaign. Join us on September 23 for our first Living on Earth Book Club event of the season! Richard Powers, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Overstory, will join Host Steve Curwood to talk about his new book Bewilderment. Register at https://loe.org/events/   Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

    Hurricane Ida Adds Misery to Cancer Alley, ‘The Hummingbirds' Gift,' and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 10, 2021 51:22

    Hurricane Ida left people in the Louisiana region known as ‘Cancer Alley' with destroyed homes, no electricity, and polluted water. That's on top of the toxic air they breathe every day because of some 150 petrochemical plants in the area. We hear from grassroots activist Sharon Lavigne, a 2021 Goldman Prize recipient, about what it's like living through these disasters and what drives her to keep fighting yet another plastics plant.  Also, hummingbirds are truly superlative creatures -- relative to their size, they are both the world's fastest avians and have some of the longest migratory journeys of any animal. Sy Montgomery focuses on these incredible birds in her latest book, The Hummingbirds' Gift, where she looks back on her harrowing but rewarding time raising two orphaned baby hummingbirds alongside an artist and hummingbird rehabilitator. And join us on September 23 for our first Living on Earth Book Club event of the season! Richard Powers, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Overstory, will join Host Steve Curwood to talk about his new book Bewilderment. Register at loe.org/events

    The Way Forward For People And Our Planet

    Play Episode Listen Later Sep 3, 2021 51:43

    As Living on Earth celebrates 30 years on the air, we examine this decisive moment for the human species and our challenging relationship with our planet.  We meet people who envision a future reshaped by an emerging energy system and new power structures, as we wean off of fossil fuels. Next we take a big-picture view of Earth as a complex and sustaining organism known as Gaia. Over billions of years life has interacted with the elements of this planet in cycles of constant change and adaptation. With the help of deep ecologists, children, an astronaut and more, we survey our place on this ever-evolving living planet. And while science and policy are vital in building a more sustainable world, they can't convey the values we need as we strive for ecological harmony. Indigenous stories, holy scriptures, East Asian cosmologies, papal encyclicals and divine revelation all shed light on our duties and relationship to each other and to our common home.

    Alaska Drilling Project Blocked, Chemicals and Breast Cancer Risk, Finding the Mother Tree and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 27, 2021 51:35

    A major Alaska drilling project to tap 600 million barrels of oil has been blocked. A federal judge ruled in favor of Indigenous and environmental groups, finding that the permitting process has yet to fully consider impacts on the climate and polar bears.   Also, higher levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone lead to a greater risk of breast cancer. Researchers at the Silent Spring Institute have shed new light on how chemical exposure can raise those hormone levels in women, and found that nearly 300 chemicals increased one or both hormones.   And an intricate web of roots and fungi connects life in an old growth forest, allowing ancient “mother trees” to nourish and protect their kin. A forest ecologist shares her research findings and reflects on how mother trees helped her through the challenges of motherhood and a cancer diagnosis.

    U.N. Report Charts Possible Climate Futures, Investing in Green Infrastructure, Sheltering with Thoreau in the Age of Crisis and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 20, 2021 51:37

    Scientists are once again sounding the alarm about the climate emergency, with a new UN climate report. Hundreds of experts collaborated to bring together the best science on past, present, and future climate change.  Also, the $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill includes some green measures to address and invest in crumbling American infrastructure. But climate and environmental justice advocates say much more is needed now from a much larger budget reconciliation package that's in the works.  And the COVID-19 pandemic slowed the pace of life for many of us, and for writer David Gessner, this era of retreating to our homes brought to mind one famous expert in social distancing. Looking to Henry David Thoreau for guidance on living through a pandemic, a time of racial reckoning, and a climate crisis.

    Tree Deaths and Climate, ‘Forest Bathing', Journeys North: The Pacific Crest Trail and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 13, 2021 51:21

    Earth's complex, interconnected climate system means that changes in one part of the world can impact atmospheric moisture and the climate thousands of miles away. Research shows that when trees die in California from drought, wildfires, and bark beetles, that can hinder plant growth all the way across the continent in Eastern North America. Also, every year, several hundred intrepid hikers walk all the way from Mexico to Canada, along the Pacific Crest Trail. At more than twenty-six hundred miles long, it covers some of the most challenging and spectacular terrain in North America. But with a tight-knit community of thru-hikers, the PCT isn't just about the pretty scenery.  And a walk in the woods might be just what your health care provider ordered. Numerous studies suggest that taking in the peaceful atmosphere of a forest can have significant health benefits. Now the practice of “forest bathing,” which originated in Japan in the 1980s as a form of nature therapy, is becoming more popular around the world.

    Anxiety and Bad Air, Colorado River in Crisis, Planetary Health and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Aug 6, 2021 51:32

    Small particulates from fossil fuels are linked to as many as 300,000 excess deaths in the United States each year. And these small, PM 2.5 particulates may also be harming the mental health of children and teens by worsening depression, anxiety, suicidality and more. Also, the Colorado River that carved the Grand Canyon and now quenches the thirst of much of the American West is parched in a “megadrought.” Two key reservoirs are expected to drop to record low levels this year and trigger a formal water shortage declaration. Why supply continues to shrink as demand holds steady.  And a healthier planet also means a healthier society. We'll look at the intersection of environmental change and human health, and how saving the planet can also save human lives.

    The Climate Emergency Warning from Extreme Weather, Eco-Justice40, Imagining Wolves Returning to Scotland and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 30, 2021 51:29

    As a slew of extreme weather events hits the headlines, the evidence mounts we are headed for dangerous thresholds of climate disruption beyond the reach of adaptation to cope. Why sea level rise could be counted in the dozens of feet by 2100, and how an unchecked climate emergency imperils human civilization. Also, the Biden Administration has now rolled out details of its environmental justice plan called Justice40, which aims to share at least 40% of benefits from federal climate and infrastructure spending with disadvantaged communities. And Charlotte McConaghy, the author of last year's best-selling novel Migrations, talks about her newest book Once There Were Wolves. It's a mysterious tale of a woman-led team working to re-introduce wolves to the Scottish Highlands, the people who confront them and the deadly toll of domestic abuse.    

    Amazon Near Climate Tipping Point, Indigenous People and Forest Care, Deep Time Reckoning: How Future Thinking Can Help Earth Now, and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 23, 2021 51:37

    New research confirms that the damaged Amazon rainforest is now a net contributor to climate change overall, and parts of the Amazon are showing signs of nearing a crucial “tipping point”. But there is hope for protecting the forest: Indigenous people have taken care of these forests for millennia, and now with the help of a nonprofit they're using GPS data to take a stand against illegal deforestation. Also, many of us are fixated on the now, and in fact much of the environmental damage we are causing is an outcome of seeking short-term rewards at the cost of long-term sustainability. But the author of the book “Deep Time Reckoning” is on a mission to get us to think far beyond. He profiles safety experts in Finland working on how to prudently store nuclear power waste, which can be radioactive for millions of years.    

    The Troubling Decline in Fertility, Chemicals and Hormone Havoc, Winning a Fight Against Plastic Bags and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 16, 2021 51:47

    Over the past four decades, sperm counts have dropped by more than 50% in the US, and female fertility is also declining. Some chemicals that disrupt hormones are key culprits, including those found in plastics, cosmetics and fracking solutions. Why this looming fertility crisis hits vulnerable communities especially hard. Also, a recent study finds the toxic class of chemicals called PFAS, also known as “forever chemicals”, is widespread in lipstick, mascara, and other cosmetics. The ugly truth about your beauty products. And worried about the environmental degradation caused by increasing plastic pollution in her home country of Malawi, Gloria Majiga-Kamoto organized a grassroots movement to fight the plastic industry and to support a national ban on thin single-use plastic. She's been recognized with a 2021 Goldman Environmental Prize.

    Ocean Warming Speeding Up, Oyster Shell Recycling, Secrets of the Whales and more

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 9, 2021 51:49

    Recent data show the Earth's oceans are warming much more rapidly than previously reported. That means rising sea levels, stronger storms, and more intense droughts. Also, fertilizer runoff can create massive algae blooms in water that suck up oxygen and create dead zones for most other forms of life. The Chesapeake Bay is particularly vulnerable but restaurants in Pittsburgh are pitching in to help. And a documentary miniseries seeks to unravel the secrets of whale behavior and understand whale cultures of orcas, humpbacks, narwhals, belugas, and sperm whales. “Secrets of the Whales” and more, this week on Living on Earth.    

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