Living on EarthAuthor: World Media Foundation
01 Aug 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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    The Climate Emergency Warning from Extreme Weather, Eco-Justice40, Imagining Wolves Returning to Scotland and more

    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.    

  • Posted on 30 Jul 2021

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

    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.    

  • Posted on 23 Jul 2021

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

    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.

  • Posted on 16 Jul 2021

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

    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.    

  • Posted on 09 Jul 2021

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    DNA Barcoding for Quick Species ID, Ubuntu and Unity for Healing, The Butterfly Effect and more

    Roughly 1.3 million species have been identified and recorded, but that’s just a fraction of life on our planet. A recent advancement known as DNA barcoding samples small but key parts of genomes to ID species. Also, the U.S. is extremely divided in many ways, from politics to race to wealth. But for a model of unity, we might look to the African concept of Ubuntu as a way to heal the many broken relationships in America. And insects far outnumber us on this planet, and they’ve shaped the course of human history. Stories about the ancient relationship between human society and insects, and the critical need to preserve insect biodiversity for future generations.    

  • Posted on 02 Jul 2021

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