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Living on Earth

PRI

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.

Location:

Cambridge, MA

Networks:

PRI

Description:

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.

Language:

English

Contact:

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


Episodes

$250 Billion in Costs from Plastics, Exxon Sues Climate Investors, The Crochet Coral Reef and more.

2/16/2024
Hormone-disrupting chemicals in plastics take a yearly economic toll in the hundreds of billions of dollars in the U.S. alone, according to a recent study. Pediatrician Leonardo Trasande discusses the research and explains why PFAS, phthalates, BPA and flame retardants in plastics are so harmful to human health. We also examine the lax regulations around chemicals and plastics and explore ways that people can individually and collectively reduce plastic use and exposure. Also, ExxonMobil recently sued activist investors in federal court in Texas for a repeated effort to bring a climate resolution to a vote at the company’s annual shareholder meeting. The company has persisted even though the activists have withdrawn the petition, raising concerns about a chilling effect on investor engagement. And to raise awareness about the threats facing coral reefs, crafters everywhere are picking up their crochet hooks and contributing to a worldwide “Crochet Coral Reef.” The curator of the Pittsburgh Satellite Reef at the Carnegie Museum of Art describes what it’s like to stand inside the exhibit and how it came together. -- We rely on support from listeners like you to keep our journalism strong. You can donate at loe.org – any amount is appreciated! -- and thank you for your support. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:10

Green Cooling and Heating for Public Housing, Ice Skating on the Rideau Canal, Journeys to the Depths of the Ocean and more.

2/9/2024
To help address the climate crisis the city of Boston is piloting the replacement of natural gas with ground-source heat pumps in a public housing project. The technology also brings clean air, cooling and heating to historically disadvantaged tenants, advancing environmental justice. Also, the warmer winters of climate disruption are bringing shorter and shorter skating seasons on the Rideau Canal in Ottawa, Canada. We head into the Living on Earth archives for a taste of days gone by, when reporter Bob Carty hit the ice to meet locals enjoying the serenity of a skate along the canal. And the oceans cover 70 percent of our “blue planet” yet remain largely unexplored because of the intense pressures at depth. But there are some intrepid few who have descended into this “underworld” and lived to tell of its marvels. -- We rely on support from listeners like you to keep our journalism strong. You can donate at loe.org – any amount is appreciated! -- and thank you for your support. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:10

Biden Pumps Brakes on Gas Exports, Renewable Power Surge in China, Journey to a Melting Glacier in Antarctica and more

2/2/2024
The Biden Administration has paused new export permits of liquefied natural gas over concerns that these enormous facilities would emit millions of tons of greenhouse gases every year. We discuss why LNG exports have been rising in recent years and the impact they are having on the Gulf Coast and the global climate. Also, China surged ahead of other countries in 2023 to add 66% more wind power than it had before and bringing online as much solar energy as the entire world had developed in 2022. We examine the geopolitical and economic implications of China’s dominance in the renewable energy sector. And Thwaites Glacier in Antarctica holds enough ice that its melting could raise sea levels worldwide by 2 feet, but it’s so remote that until recently no one had ever approached where it meets the sea. Elizabeth Rush was a writer-in-residence on board the first research icebreaker to visit Thwaites and chronicles the journey and witnessing the glacier’s unraveling in her new book The Quickening: Creation and Community at the Ends of the Earth. -- We rely on support from listeners like you to keep our journalism strong. You can donate at loe.org – any amount is appreciated! -- and thank you for your support. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:11

SCOTUS Could Strip Agency Power, The New Climate Denial, Phoenix Trees and more

1/26/2024
Two cases in front of the Supreme Court are looking to restrict federal agency power by overturning the longstanding Chevron Doctrine. Environmentalists fear this could limit the ability of federal agencies to set strong environment and climate regulations. Also, a recent report finds that social media platforms like YouTube are amplifying and sometimes profiting from new forms of climate denial that falsely claim it’s too late to act on the climate crisis. We explore how climate disinformation has evolved from attacking science to attacking solutions. And nearly all the tall coast redwoods in California’s Big Basin Redwoods State Park burned in a 2020 wildfire. But within a few months the charred trunks had grown a fuzz of healthy green shoots. A new paper documents how the trees were able to regenerate using energy reserves stored for many decades. -- We rely on support from listeners like you to keep our journalism strong. You can donate at loe.org – any amount is appreciated! -- and thank you for your support. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:10

Feds Power Up EVs, Climate Deception, and Joe Manchin, 3rd Party Candidate?

1/19/2024
The U.S. Department of Transportation recently granted more than $600 million to states and communities across the country to roll out new EV charging stations and tune up existing ones. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg joins us to discuss the connections between EV charging access, environmental justice, and economic growth. Also, when scientists began to warn in the later half of the twentieth century that burning oil, gas, and coal could bring severe consequences for our planet, they touched a nerve in the powerful fossil fuel industry. In this second installment of our series on climate change disinformation, we dive into how the fossil fuel industry infiltrated the political sphere and scientific community to block climate action. And a potential third-party presidential run by West Virginia Democratic Senator Joe Manchin could influence the outcome of the 2024 election. Inside Climate News reporter Phil McKenna is back on the campaign trail in New Hampshire with this report about Senator Manchin’s support of fossil fuels and the climate concerns of New Hampshire voters. -- We rely on support from listeners like you to keep our journalism strong. You can donate at loe.org – any amount is appreciated! -- and thank you for your support. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:37

Nikki Haley on Climate, Electric Car Growing Pains, Fossil Fuel Deception, Wolverines at Risk and more.

1/12/2024
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley sends mixed signals on climate change, acknowledging that it’s real and human-caused while also touting her role in pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement. Also, the electric vehicle industry is undergoing a transformation as US sales lag slightly behind production surges. Domestic manufacturing and sourcing requirements mean that fewer models currently qualify for the $7500 federal tax credit, but the forecast for the long-term future of EVs is bright. And the fossil fuel industry has known its products would cause dangerous warming for decades but chose to deceive the public to stall climate progress around the globe, says history professor Naomi Oreskes. Plus - fierce and fuzzy wolverines are in decline, especially in the Lower 48 states where they were recently listed as a Threatened species due to disappearing snow and habitat. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:05

Climate is a Public Health Emergency, Key Court Cases of 2023, Our Fragile Moment and more

1/5/2024
The climate emergency is creating a public health emergency by increasing risks for heat stress, vector-borne diseases, and traumatic injuries as well as disrupting healthcare access. Also, 2023 saw some notable environmental decisions in U.S. federal and state courts, from the Supreme Court’s removal of some wetlands protections to the landmark win for youth plaintiffs in a Montana climate case. And 2023 is likely to go down in history as the hottest year ever seen by humans. But we still have a chance to rein in global warming before it runs too hot for our civilization, says UPenn Professor Michael Mann, whose latest book is Our Fragile Moment: How Lessons from Earth’s Past Can Help Us Survive the Climate Crisis. -- As a non-profit media organization we could not produce high-quality journalism that educates and inspires you to be fully informed about climate change and environmental issues without your help. Please consider making a donation by going to LoE.org and clicking on donate at the top of the page. Thank you for your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:51:53

Wildly Magical: Stories of Animal Encounters

12/29/2023
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. -- As a non-profit media organization we could not produce high-quality journalism that educates and inspires you to be fully informed about climate change and environmental issues without your help. If you haven’t yet contributed to Living on Earth this giving season, please consider making a donation by going to LoE.org and clicking on donate at the top of the page. Thank you for your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:42

Holiday Season Stories of Warmth and Light

12/22/2023
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. -- As a non-profit media organization we could not produce high-quality journalism that educates and inspires you to be fully informed about climate change and environmental issues without your help. If you haven’t yet contributed to Living on Earth this giving season, please consider making a donation by going to LoE.org and clicking on donate at the top of the page. Thank you for your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:42

Ending the Fossil Fuel Era, Of Time and Turtles with Sy Montgomery, New FDA Rules for Cosmetics and more.

12/15/2023
Nearly 200 nations attending the COP28 UN climate summit in Dubai came to a consensus to declare fossil fuels are on their way out, marking a breakthrough after three decades of climate summits. But much more is needed to turn the words into action. Also, author and animal whisperer Sy Montgomery’s latest book, Of Time and Turtles: Mending the World, Shell by Shattered Shell features miraculous stories of recovery at a hospital for gravely injured turtles. Sy joined us to share these stories and discuss how these long-lived, ancient beings help illuminate the nature of time itself. And a new law updates cosmetics regulations at the Food and Drug Administration for the first time in 85 years. But gaping loopholes remain for ingredient disclosure and safety testing, amid the continued presence of carcinogens, hormone disruptors and other harmful chemicals in cosmetics. -- As a non-profit media organization we could not produce high-quality journalism that educates and inspires you to be fully informed about climate change and environmental issues without your help. If you haven’t yet contributed to Living on Earth this giving season, please consider making a donation by going to LoE.org and clicking on donate at the top of the page. Thank you for your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:33

House Republicans Oppose Environmental Justice Actions, A Traveler’s Guide to the End of the World, Australia’s Climate Visas for Tuvalu and more.

12/8/2023
The very first bill that Speaker Mike Johnson passed through the House would gut many energy and climate projects financed by the Inflation Reduction Act, even though Republican states are massively benefiting from this funding. The repeal would also block environmental justice efforts and deny a “just transition” for disadvantaged communities. Also, even if the world’s nations soon come together to keep temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees, we face a troubling and uncertain future. David Gessner’s 2023 book A Traveler’s Guide to the End of the World: Tales of Fire, Wind, and Water grapples with a complicated relationship with hope amid a warming world. And a lifeboat is offered to the tiny island nation of Tuvalu, which faces inundation from rising seas. A new treaty would allow a limited number of its citizens to study, work or live in Australia under a climate-related visa program with geopolitical implications. -- As a non-profit media organization we could not produce high-quality journalism that educates and inspires you to be fully informed about climate change and environmental issues without your help. If you haven’t yet contributed to Living on Earth this giving season, please consider donating by going to LoE.org and clicking on donate at the top of the page. Thank you for your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:11

Corporate Coopting of COP28? Environmental Racism in Birmingham, Deep-Freezing to Thwart Extinction and more

12/1/2023
Leaked documents from the team leading the COP28 climate talks now underway in Dubai point to corporate coopting of the UN climate negotiations. COP28 President Sultan Al Jaber is also CEO of the UAE national oil company Adnoc, which according to the documents has used the COP process to try to cut oil and gas deals with companies and countries. Also, in North Birmingham, Alabama, racist zoning practices and industrial coke production have plagued Black communities for decades. Despite a growing focus on environmental justice from the federal government, it’s yet to be clear how new funds will help the communities in North Birmingham. And scientists are turning to high tech solutions to preserve genetic diversity of endangered species, including biobanking in which cells and living tissues are frozen. A new project aims to biobank 24 endangered mammals to start, and we explore the science of using biobanked material to restore healthy populations of black-footed ferrets, Mexican wolves and more. -- As a non-profit media organization we could not produce high-quality journalism that educates and inspires you to be fully informed about climate change and environmental issues without your help. If you haven’t yet contributed to Living on Earth this giving season, please consider making a donation by going to LoE.org and clicking on donate at the top of the page. Thank you for your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:10

Unmasking Secret Fracking Chemicals, China and US Restart Climate Diplomacy, Debunking Solar Energy Fears and more

11/24/2023
Many of the chemicals used in fracking for natural gas are hazardous to human health, but loopholes in disclosure laws mean that companies can keep them secret. Pennsylvania’s Governor is moving to change that. Also, the world is way off track from the Paris Agreement goal to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. A new joint statement on fighting the climate crisis from the world’s two biggest emitters, China and the United States, offers a glimmer of hope. And as solar energy costs fall and installations of solar panels rise, some are raising concerns about the materials they’re made from and are promoting disinformation about the safety of recycling these modules. A team at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory clarified this waste from solar panels. -- As a non-profit media organization we could not produce high-quality journalism that educates and inspires you to be fully informed about climate change and environmental issues without your help. In honor of Giving Tuesday please consider making a donation to Living on Earth by going to LoE.org and clicking on donate at the top of the page. Thank you for your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:20

A Native Perspective of the First Thanksgiving, Three Sisters Stew for a Plant-Based Feast, Sustainable Thanksgiving Fare from the Sea and more

11/17/2023
The “Three Sisters” of corn, beans, and squash all grow together in a symbiotic planting relationship. A Chickasaw chef shares recipes and the significance of these crops to many Native American cultures. Also, the story of the “first Thanksgiving” that persists in American culture often stereotypes Native peoples and sanitizes what happened to them as white settlers dispossessed them of their lands. A picture book written and illustrated by Indigenous authors offers a new story of the “first Thanksgiving” that centers the Three Sisters crops. And some like ‘em and others don’t but oysters can be eaten in many ways beyond the half-shell, and farmed correctly they nourish shallow waters. From his coastal Maine kitchen celebrity chef Barton Seaver talks about how oyster farming supports local economies and ecosystems, and whips up an oyster-flavored Thanksgiving stuffing. -- A special thanks to our sponsor this week, MIT’s award-winning podcast, Today I Learned: Climate, or TILclimate. It features 15-minute episodes focused on how real scientists and experts think about the science, technologies, and policies behind climate change. Also as a non-profit media organization we could not produce high-quality journalism that educates and inspires you to be fully informed about climate change and environmental issues without your help. In honor of Giving Tuesday please consider making a donation to Living on Earth by going to LoE.org and clicking on donate at the top of the page. Thank you for your support! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:39

Greenwashing an Oil CEO, Sea Level Risk From Antarctica, A New Dinosaur and more

11/10/2023
The man leading the upcoming UN climate talks in Dubai heads the United Arab Emirates’ state oil company. Sultan Al Jaber is the climate envoy for the UAE and has led the state renewable energy company, but his critics question the substance of his green credentials. Inside the public relations campaign to green Al Jaber’s image and install an oil CEO at the heart of the UN climate process. Also, Antarctica’s ice shelves block glaciers from flowing into the sea, but a recent study found that these ice shelves lost 8.3 trillion tons of ice in the last 25 years raising the risk of sea level rise. A geoscientist sheds light on future ice loss in Antarctica. And a dinosaur fossil discovered in Egypt in the 70s gathered dust in museums for decades and now it finally has a name as a new species, Igai semkhu. A paleontologist explains why fossils from the end of the Age of Dinosaurs are relatively rare in Africa and what this “titanosaur” specimen can reveal about the distant past. -- We’re an independent, non-profit organization and depend on your support to keep us going. Please consider pitching in to ensure we can keep bringing you quality environmental stories. Just go to loe.org and click on “Donate” at the top of the page. Thank you for your contribution in any amount! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:10

Warming Supercharges Hurricane Otis, A Climate Skeptic House Speaker, Auto Workers in the EV Fast Lane and more

11/3/2023
Exceptionally warm waters in the Eastern North Pacific off Acapulco, Mexico appear to have fed the rapid strengthening of Hurricane Otis into a deadly Category 5 storm that weather forecasters failed to understand in time to warn the public. We learn about the science behind the storm and how needed improvements in weather forecasting can help communities better prepare for extreme storms. Also, the new House Speaker, Republican Mike Johnson of Louisiana, has voted for legislation on the environment and some key social issues just 2% of the time, from the perspective of the League of Conservation Voters. He’s also expressed climate skepticism, received generous oil and gas industry campaign contributions, and is already trying to repeal President Biden’s signature climate law. And striking auto workers won higher wages, better benefits, and more ability to unionize electric vehicle battery plants that supply the “Big Three” US automakers. We unpack what the strike’s outcome could mean for the growing electric vehicle industry, its workers, and the public. -- We’re an independent, non-profit organization and depend on your support to keep us going. Please consider pitching in to ensure we can keep bringing you quality environmental stories. Just go to loe.org and click on “Donate” at the top of the page. Thank you for your contribution in any amount! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:10

Rift Over Loss and Damage, Powering Maine’s Decarbonization, Hydrogen Hubs Hope to Power Clean Future and more

10/27/2023
Wealthy nations have agreed to pay low-income countries for some of the loss and damage caused by the climate crisis. But rich and poor nations are divided on key elements of the fund. Also, on November 7th voters in the state of Maine will be able to choose if they want to replace the state’s two existing for-profit electric utilities with a non-profit utility largely governed by an elected board. How the new utility could help the state decarbonize its electricity sector. And the Biden Administration recently announced the recipients of up to $7 billion in grants for seven hydrogen technology “hubs” across the country to help move away from fossil fuels. But any climate benefits depend on the sources of hydrogen. -- We’re an independent, non-profit organization and depend on your support to keep us going. Please consider pitching in to ensure we can keep bringing you quality environmental stories. Just go to loe.org and click on “Donate” at the top of the page. Thank you for your contribution in any amount! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:10

Biden Admin Fast-Tracks Border Wall, How to Make Your Home More Wildfire-Safe, Human Voices and the “Ecology of Fear”

10/20/2023
The Biden administration is invoking special powers to waive more than 20 environmental laws so it can fast-track a new section of border wall. The administration claims it is compelled to spend funds appropriated by Congress, but opponents of the barrier say there could be severe environmental consequences. Also, when a wildfire powered by extreme heat and drought nears a neighborhood, all it takes is a single spark to send homes up in flames. We share some steps homeowners and renters alike can take to reduce that risk. And a study finds that giraffes, zebras, warthogs and impalas are far more afraid of human conversation than even the growls of lions. The research provides new insights into the “ecology of fear.” -- We’re an independent, non-profit organization and depend on your support to keep us going. Please consider pitching in to ensure we can keep bringing you quality environmental stories. Just go to loe.org and click on “Donate” at the top of the page. Thank you for your contribution in any amount! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:11

New Climate Writings from Pope Francis, Kids Sue 30+ European Nations on Climate, Toxic Toll of the War in Afghanistan and more

10/13/2023
Eight years after the encyclical Laudato Si’ Pope Francis published a new text “Laudate Deum” which condemns climate denial and urges the world to act swiftly to avert climate disaster. Also six young plaintiffs from Portugal are suing over 30 European countries they say have violated their rights to life by failing to act on climate change. Patrick Parenteau is an emeritus professor at Vermont Law School and joined us to recap the recent hearing in front of a “Grand Chamber” of judges in the European Court of Human Rights and discuss what it could mean for climate action. And the 20-year U.S. war in Afghanistan brought tens of thousands of direct casualties but also dangerous pollutants that survivors are still living among. Reporter Lynzy Billing describes the hazards and health problems some Afghans link to the war. — To learn more about these stories check out our website loe.org for a full transcript, photos, and links to further reading. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:27

Young Conservatives Tired of Climate Denial, Rocks from Another (Little) World, Living with Cougars on the Olympic Peninsula and more

10/6/2023
As the 2024 campaign season heats up, some young Republicans want their party to move on from climate denial and offer solutions. We discuss policies that align with the environmental roots of the party. Also, the spacecraft OSIRIS-REx has successfully delivered a sample from the asteroid Bennu to Earth. Scientists are eager to study the rocky material and see if it can unveil anything about the origins of our solar system. And when a cougar on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington State makes a meal out of someone’s goat or chicken, it can end up with a bounty on its head. But there are non-lethal methods to deter cougars from taking livestock and pets. -- We’re an independent, non-profit organization and depend on your support to keep us going. Please consider pitching in to ensure we can keep bringing you quality environmental stories. Just go to loe.org and click on “Donate” at the top of the page. Thank you for your contribution in any amount! Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices

Duration:00:52:10