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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


Oil Chief to Lead Climate Talks, Burning Sugarcane Pollutes Communities of Color, Dolphin Casualties of Russia’s War and more

Activists are outraged by the United Arab Emirates’ decision to appoint a high-ranking oil executive to lead the 2023 UN climate treaty negotiations in Dubai. It’s the latest example of how fossil fuel interests are deflecting progress in the treaty process. Also, some Florida sugarcane growers near the Everglades still burn their fields to make harvesting easier, and people of color downwind claim adverse health effects from the smoke and ash. And in addition to the devastating human toll...


Pink Snow and the Climate, Extreme Weather and the Jet Stream, Saving Bats From Deadly Cold and more

Pink snow, also known as “watermelon snow” or “glacier blood,” is the result of a late summer bloom of pink colored algae that flourish in melting snow. And although snow algae are still very understudied, scientists are worried that darker snow will absorb more of the sun’s heat than white snow and cause the snowpack to melt more quickly, amplifying climate change. Also, weather records are routinely being shattered across the United States, with recent severe rainstorms in California,...


Environment and the Law in 2023, Midnight in the Everglades, The Accidental Ecosystem and more

Cases like West Virginia v. EPA and legislation like the Inflation Reduction Act made 2022 a landmark year for environmental law, and now as 2023 gets underway there are even more legal actions and decisions on the horizon including on clean water, environmental justice, and climate racketeering. Also, to learn what alligators in Florida’s Everglades eat, a team of scientists ventures out in the dead of night to catch them and pump their stomachs. And many non-human animals call cities home...


Wildly Magical: Stories of Animal Encounters

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. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit


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...


Averting the Biodiversity Crisis, Cloud Forest Bird Count, Holiday Décor from Your Own Backyard and more

To try to address the biodiversity crisis that threatens as many as 1 million species with extinction, thousands of delegates from around the world are meeting in Montreal with a goal of updating the United Nations treaty on biological diversity. The stakes are high for places like Palawan in the Philippines, which is one of the most biodiverse places on Earth and has been protected by the Indigenous Batak people for thousands of years. Also, cloud forest ecosystems are biodiversity hotspots...


Drafting a Treaty for the Plastic Waste Crisis, Bipartisan Support for Offshore Wind, Ancient Stories of Sea Level Rise and more

The United Nations is working towards creating a treaty to tackle the plastic crisis all the way from production to disposal – its full “life cycle”. Also, as the Biden Administration moves forward with plans for offshore wind, in Congress there is a bipartisan effort called the Breeze Act that would update offshore revenue sharing rules dating back to the early days of oil and gas production. And the seas are rising because of climate change, but this isn’t the first global sea level rise...


Lobster Industry on the Hook to Save Right Whales, Climate Change and Your Health, Battle for the Sepik River and more

Entanglement in lobster fishing gear is one of the biggest threats to endangered whales, so the Marine Stewardship Council has suspended its sustainability certificate for the lobster fishery in the Gulf of Maine prompting Whole Foods to halt sales of Maine lobsters. Also, shallow water linked to years of drought has severely limited navigation on the Mississippi River, making it harder for farmers to get their corn, soybeans and wheat to market. We discuss the climate connections with the...


Low Ambition Climate Summit, Breakthrough for Loss and Damage, Cleaning Up Crypto and more

The United Nations climate talks in Egypt produced an unprecedented agreement for rich nations to pay for loss and damage from climate disasters in poor countries. But no money has been provided yet to stricken nations and many details still need to be worked out. And COP27 added no new brakes to keep the Earth from hurtling past the 1.5 degrees Celsius warming target of the Paris Agreement. Also, cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin typically involve massive amounts of computation needing lots of...


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

As Americans prepare to gather to give thanks over a feast, a look at how embracing the plant world in our diets connects to climate, health, and democracy. Also, 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. And “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...


Climate at the Ballot Box, Ozone-Killing Chemicals Declining, Extreme Wildlife Loss and more

California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom handily won re-election and now has 4 more years to work towards his goal of achieving carbon neutrality in the state by 2045. Mr. Newsom and other Governors have billions of dollars in climate funding at their disposal that was allocated by the U.S. Congress this summer. These state governments will play a crucial role in helping cities, universities, and the private sector make the most of it. Also, emissions of chemicals that tear holes in the...


Toxic Air In Utero, New President to Protect Amazon, An Immense World: How Animal Senses Reveal the Hidden Realms Around Us and more

Before they’ve even taken their first breath, most babies are exposed to air pollution that passes from their mother’s blood stream through the placenta and has now been found in fetal tissues. Also, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva, a.k.a. “Lula,” is headed back to the Brazilian Presidency. In sharp contrast to defeated incumbent Jair Bolsonaro, Lula has pledged to protect the Brazilian Amazon and indigenous communities from illegal mining, agriculture and land grabbing. And every animal species...


Fishing for Plastic, Climate Disasters and Debt, Cool Season Gardening and more

By some estimates there could be more plastic, by weight, than fish in the oceans in less than 30 years. A UN “Young Champion of the Earth” is helping Greek fishermen be part of the solution by collecting plastic along with their fishing haul. Also, the rich nations of the global north are primarily responsible for greenhouse gas emissions. But some of the poorest nations are being crippled by debt related to loss and damage from storms, fires, droughts, and more. And for gardeners based in...


California Wind Power Breakthrough, Saving Big Forests to Save the Planet, Fat Bear Week and the Salmon Behind It All, and more

The federal government is leasing sites for innovative floating offshore wind farms in the deep waters along the California coast, and the oil and gas industry has expertise that can be put to good use for this untapped resource. Also, Fat Bear Week celebrates the bears of Katmai National Park in Alaska who stock up on plenty of fat reserves to get them through the long frigid Alaskan winter, and salmon are the unsung heroes. And protecting “megaforests,” the remaining intact big forests on...


Wetlands on the Line at Supreme Court, Building Codes and Hurricane Resilience, Protecting Coral Reefs with “Sponge Bobbie” and more

In 1972, Congress passed the Clean Water Act, the first significant federal regulation to protect the waters of the United States, or “WOTUS.” The rules that define WOTUS, however, have often been contested over the years. Now, WOTUS is back with the Supreme Court case Sackett v. EPA. Also, some homes in the direct path of powerful Hurricane Ian were left intact and mostly unharmed thanks to strong doors, windows, and roofs mandated by newer building codes. We’ll hear about how to build more...


Hispanic Heritage Month: Powering Puerto Rico With the Sun, Many Hazards for Farmworkers, Ecological Farming, and more

Puerto Rico’s antiquated power grid has repeatedly failed catastrophically after hurricanes. Rooftop solar offers a more reliable way to power the island. Also, as extreme heat, wildfires, and severe storms intensify, the already hazardous work of farmworkers is likely to become even more dangerous. But these essential workers continue to be excluded from crucial safety protections. And young Puerto Ricans are working to improve the sustainability of farming on the island by applying...


Steady Light for Solar, Extinction Threatens 1 in 6 U.S. Trees, The Grand Canyon of the Atlantic Ocean, and more

For years solar and wind power have had on again, off again financial support from the US government, limiting renewable energy development to fight the growing climate crisis. A utility scale solar CEO explains how the Inflation Reduction Act gives solar and wind a new day. Also, as many as 1 in 6 U.S. tree species are at risk of extinction, largely due to pests, disease, and climate change. Even well-known species could face extinction: oaks, ash trees, and the Frasier fir, a common...


Victory in ‘Cancer Alley,’ Fiona and Landslides, Methane Supercharges Climate Change and more

Environmental justice advocates are declaring victory after a Louisiana judge canceled permits for a plastic factory in the region known as ‘cancer alley’ for the high rate of the disease linked to emissions from some 150 petrochemical plants. Also, the new climate law contains billions of dollars aimed directly at addressing environmental and climate injustice. What it will take to ensure low-income communities and people of color can access those funds. And Puerto Rico was still recovering...


The Green King, Greening the Golden State, “Forever Chemicals” Are Now Everywhere, Too – and more

King Charles III, the former Prince of Wales, has acceded to the throne and brings with him a lifelong passion for nature and environmental causes. As His Majesty takes on a new role as sovereign, the environment and climate torch now passes to his son William, the new Prince of Wales. Also, California has been a national leader on tackling climate change and recently announced two changes to further green the golden state. First, California will ban the sale of most new gas-powered vehicles...


Extreme Weather and Climate Science, Renters and Climate Change, Green Voters and the 2022 Midterms and more

Scientists have understood for decades how global warming would put more moisture in the atmosphere, promoting climate disruption and extremes such as floods, wildfires and record-breaking heat. But there may be more impacts to come as climate models haven’t captured all the complex interactions of a warming world. Also, as climate change brings higher temperatures and extreme weather to American cities, our rental and affordable housing stock remains largely under-equipped to deal with...