Living on EarthAuthor: World Media Foundation
09 May 2021

Living on Earth

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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.

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    Fixing America’s Water Crises, Gardening for Abundance and Generosity, Secrets of the Whales and more

    Fixing America's Water Crises / Beyond the Headlines / Young Climate Activists / Gardening for Abundance and Generosity / Secrets of the Whales

    In a bipartisan vote the U.S. Senate approves $35 billion to address the public health hazards of lead pipes and overflowing wastewater. Why water infrastructure improvements to protect public health are long overdue and where the money would be spent.

    Also, as northern springtime advances, gardeners look forward to carefully tending to what's growing in their window boxes, raised beds, and greenhouses. How gardening fosters a spirit of generosity.

    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.

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:
    The Crazy Town podcast from the Post Carbon Institute
    And Christiana Figueres' podcast Outrage + Optimism
    And Democracy in Danger, a podcast from the University of Virginia

  • Posted on 07 May 2021

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    Methane and Swift Climate Action, Getting Bushmeat Off the Table, Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, and more

    Methane and Swift Climate Action / Senate Votes for Strong Methane Rules / Biden, LOE and Dykstra / Getting Bushmeat Off the Table / "Planet" by Poet Catherine Pierce / Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in An Age of Extinction

    Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas that doesn't last long in the atmosphere, so reducing it can have almost immediate benefits for the climate. But weak Trump administration standards allowed the oil and gas industry to leak massive amounts of methane. Now the U.S. Senate has voted to return to stronger Obama-era regulation of these leaks, and Democratic Senator Martin Heinrich of New Mexico joins us to discuss.

    Also, the forests of the Congo Basin are among the most biodiverse in the world, but its wildlife is being threatened by huge demand for bushmeat. A new campaign encourages people to cook traditional recipes with protein alternatives to wild meat.

    And animals like the American Bison, bald eagle, and giant panda have come dangerously close to extinction thanks to our own species. But thanks to some visionary humans, these animals and others have been saved from that fate and are now recovering. Science writer Michelle Nijhuis shares the stories of some conservation heroes.

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:
    The Crazy Town podcast from the Post Carbon Institute
    And Christiana Figueres' podcast Outrage + Optimism
    And Democracy in Danger, a podcast from the University of Virginia

  • Posted on 30 Apr 2021

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

    Greening the Economy / A Living Earth Called "Gaia" / Ecological Conversion and Solidarity

    As Living on Earth celebrates 30 years on the air, we share an Earth Day special that 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.

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:
    The Crazy Town podcast from the Post Carbon Institute
    And Christiana Figueres' podcast Outrage + Optimism
    And Democracy in Danger, a podcast from the University of Virginia

  • Posted on 23 Apr 2021

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    Biden's Climate Summit, "Stooping" Turns Trash to Treasure, Poetry In the Time of Climate Trouble, and more

    Biden's Climate Summit / Beyond the Headlines / "Stooping" Turns Trash to Treasure / When a Gas Plant Moves in Next Door / BirdNote®: The Power Of Albatross Partnerships / Poetry in the Time of Climate Troubles

    President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate this Earth Day, a key moment in the international effort to address climate change.

    Also, when people move out or clean up their apartments, many leave discarded items on the stoop or curb for others to claim before it goes to the landfill. The Instagram page Stooping In Queens helps connect this free stuff with new owners.

    And poet Catherine Pierce grapples with unfolding climate disaster and other 21st century perils, and the ways they reframe parenting. She shares poems from her books Danger Days and The Tornado Is the World, and reflects on finding beauty and calls to action during the Anthropocene.

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:
    Giving Multiplier
    And Christiana Figueres' podcast Outrage + Optimism
    And Democracy in Danger, a podcast from the University of Virginia

  • Posted on 16 Apr 2021

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    Why I Wear Jordans in the Great Outdoors, Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands, The Wonders of Spring Migration, and more

    Exploring the Parks: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve / Why I Wear Jordans in the Great Outdoors / Exploring the Parks: Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands / Spring Awakening / A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration

    Some stereotypes about who can be "outdoorsy" can leave people of color out, but a pair of beloved Air Jordan "Bred" 11 sneakers is helping one environmental educator encourage young American people of color to feel that they belong in the outdoors.

    Also, Arizona's Sky Islands are home to heat and cactus, but also many species that you're more likely to find far north of the desert Southwest - and even considerable snow.

    And a veteran field guide author discusses the incredible phenomenon that happens every spring and fall, as a journey of thousands of miles begins with a single wing flap.

    Thanks to our sponsors this week:
    Giving Multiplier
    And Christiana Figueres' podcast Outrage + Optimism

  • Posted on 09 Apr 2021

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