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Living on Earth


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.

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.


Cambridge, MA




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.




20 Holland Street Suite 408 Somerville, MA 02144-2749 1-800-218-9988


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

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...


Celebrating Juneteenth, Farming While Black and more

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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”...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...


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

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...