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Living on Earth


Steve Curwood hosts this weekly environmental news and information program.

Steve Curwood hosts this weekly environmental news and information program.
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Cambridge, MA




Steve Curwood hosts this weekly environmental news and information program.




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


10K Farmers Want a Green New Deal, The Economic Value of the National Parks, Exploring the Parks: Great Smoky Mountains, and more

10,000 Farmers Want a Green New Deal / BirdNote®: Who Likes Suet? / Beyond the Headlines / The Economic Value of the National Parks / Exploring the Parks: Great Smoky Mountains / Arctic Fox Hunting More than 10,000 farmers and ranchers from across the country have signed on to a letter that urges Congress to support a Green New Deal. They're asking for a massive overhaul of food and farming policy in order to address the climate crisis while providing economic security for independent family...


Youth Mental Health Problems From Pollution, Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast, The 2019 Fat Bear Week Champion, and more

Youth Mental Health Problems From Pollution / Beyond the Headlines / Whistleblowers on Trump Science / The 2019 Fat Bear Week Champion / Saving the Planet Begins at Breakfast This week on the podcast, the type of air pollution known as PM 2.5 is all around us from the burning of fossil fuels, and it's linked to strokes and heart attacks. Now there is mounting evidence that it may also be harming the mental health of children by worsening depression, anxiety, suicidality and more. Also,...


Reducing the Price of Electricity by Reducing Emissions, Bison for Sustainable Land Management, DNA Barcoding, and more.

Trump Fights California / Beyond the Headlines / Success of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative / DNA Barcoding for Quick Species ID / Bison and Sustainable Land Management The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, RGGI, has lowered carbon emissions in participating states by roughly fifty percent while at the same time lower electricity rates for consumers. Some 30 million bison once roamed the Great Plains of North America, by the turn of the century there were less than 600. One ranch in...


Silencing Spring, Shipping Container Farms, Celebrating the Fattest Bears and more

Silencing Spring / BirdNote®: Snowy Egrets - Killer Hats / Kids Versus the Climate Crisis / Fat Bear Week! / Beyond the Headlines / Container Farming in the City Scientists have documented a staggering decline in North America's birds in recent decades. As many as 3 billion birds have disappeared since 1970, and grassland birds and shorebirds have been hit especially hard. Also, Fat Bear Week is a yearly competition to celebrate the fattest, healthiest brown bears in Katmai National Park....


Rebooting Puerto Rican Power, Naomi Klein's Case for a Green New Deal, Clean Water Rollbacks, and more

UN Climate Action Summit / Beyond the Headlines / Clean Water Rollbacks / Rebooting Puerto Rican Power / Naomi Klein's Case for a Green New Deal When Hurricane Maria swept through Puerto Rico in 2017, it crippled the island's fossil fuel-dependent electrical grid. To improve resiliency, the territory is aiming for a 100%-renewable grid by 2050. Also, stronger hurricanes are a sign that the world is on fire - but so is the movement that's calling for action. In her new book "On Fire", Naomi...


The Border Wall and Wildlife, Coal Plant Ash Disaster for Workers, Andrew Yang's Climate Plan, and more

Coal Ash Cleanup Allegedly Deadly for Tennessee Workers / Andrew Yang's Climate Plan / Beyond the Headlines / Pronghorn Antelope / How the Border Wall Could Harm Wildlife Dozens of workers who helped clean up a 2008 coal ash spill in Tennessee have died and hundreds more fallen ill from diseases linked to the disaster. Now a fight for justice for these workers has won a round in the courts. Also, how President Trump's border wall could sever habitats and migratory paths for wildlife in the...


Climate Crisis Town Hall, The Amazon's Tipping Point, Underland: A Deep Time Journey, and more

Amazon Tipping Point / Democratic Candidates Talk Solutions at Climate Town Hall / Reviewing the Climate Crisis Town Hall / Beyond The Headlines / Underland: A Deep Time Journey The fires in the Amazon rainforest are illuminating the alarming speed of deforestation in one of the most biodiverse places on Earth - and bringing it closer to a "tipping point" transition into dry savannah. Also, Democratic presidential hopefuls spell out their plans to address the climate emergency at town halls...


Gaza Water Crisis, Saltwater Beavers Promote Estuary Health, Everglades National Park: a “River of Grass”, and more

Saltwater Beavers Bring Life Back to Estuaries / Everglades National Park, a "River of Grass" / Drilling in the Everglades / Fly-fishing Saved From Pollution / Gaza Water Crisis In the Gaza Strip, where every three out of four people are refugees, clean water is scarce and there's a worsening health crisis for Gaza's children. Also, it turns out that beavers, a keystone species in some freshwater ecosystems, could hold the key to help restore degraded coastal habitats, too. And Everglades...


Farming While Black, Toxic Diapers and Sanitary Pads, A Steamy Date for 'Romeo and Juliet' Frogs, and more

Toxicants in Diapers and Sanitary Pads / 'Romeo and Juliet' Frogs' First Steamy Date / Exploring The Parks: North Cascades National Park / Refugees Cultivate Healing Through Gardening / Farming While Black: Soul Fire Farm's Practical Guide to Liberation on the Land A recent study finds that single-use diapers and sanitary pads contain phthalates and volatile organic compounds, chemicals that are known to cause a variety of health complications including birth defects and endocrine...


Re-wilding the English Countryside, Climate Migrant Caravans, Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and more

Climate Migrant Caravans / The Place Where You Live: Anchorage, Alaska / Exploring the Parks: Sequoia and Kings Canyon / Confronting Climate Change Through Sound / Rewilding The English Countryside The recent waves of migrant caravans coming from Central America have a link to climate change: many of the migrants are fleeing their homes in the wake of crop failures, the result of a massive drought that has lasted for five years. Also, the constant onslaught of grim statistics about climate...


No-Show Green Voters, Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands, Desegregating America's Shoreline, and more

No-Show Green Voters / Exploring the Parks: Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands / BirdNote®: Ponderosa Pine Savanna / Fighting Climate Change, Naturally / Free the Beaches: Desegregating America's Shoreline In the United States, approximately 20 million registered voters list the environment as one of their top two priorities. But these "super-environmentalists" tend to stay home on Election Day. Also, Arizona's Sky Islands are home to heat and cactus, but also many species that you're...


An Afternoon with Pete Seeger, Exploring the Parks: Aniakchak, Vegan Generation Gap, and more

Exploring the Parks: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve / BirdNote: Exquisite Thrush Song / Vegan Generation Gap / An Afternoon with Pete Seeger Folk music legend Pete Seeger was renowned for his combination of music and social activism. A year before the first Earth Day, Mr. Seeger and friends built a sloop he christened the Clearwater, because that was his intention: to clear the waters of the Hudson River of pollution and garbage. Also, as part of Living on Earth's series exploring...


Miners Pollute the Sea of Cortez, Raising Monarch Butterflies, Guinea Fowl and Tick Control, and more

Miners Pollute the Sea of Cortez / Beyond the Headlines / How to Raise Monarchs / Taggers at Work / Monarch Migration / The Value of Summer Camp / Guinea Fowl and Tick Control / BirdNote®: Do Birds Use Ants as Tools? Mining company Grupo Mexico has spilled millions of gallons of toxic mining chemicals and waste into the Sea of Cortez and rivers that feed into it, endangering people and the natural ecosystem. Now locals are demanding justice in the wake of the latest disaster. Also, some...


Fracking and Your Health, Offsetting Your Carbon Footprint, "Hadestown" Sings of Climate Disruption, and more

Fracking and Your Health / Beyond the Headlines / Exploring the Parks: Petrified Forest National Park / Offsetting Your Carbon Footprint / "Hadestown" Brings Climate Change To Broadway / Camels at the Henbury Craters / BirdNote®: House Sparrows' Dance In this episode, fracking is a highly efficient method for extracting oil and gas locked up in shale rock, but it comes with environmental and health risks including birth defects, cancer, and asthma. A meta study lays out the evidence from...


"#MeToo” At Nature Conservancy, The Secret and Endangered Lives of Freshwater Mussels, Exploring the Parks: Sequoia and Kings Canyon, and more

"#MeToo" at the Nature Conservancy / Beyond the Headlines / How To Be A Good Creature / The Secret & Endangered Lives of Freshwater Mussels / Exploring the Parks: Sequoia and Kings Canyon In this episode of Living on Earth, with $6 billion in assets The Nature Conservancy is among the world's richest environmental nonprofits and since 1950 it has protected 120 million acres worldwide. But a recent sexual harassment, gender discrimination and workplace misconduct scandal has shaken trust in...


Science at Risk at the US-Mexico Border, HBO's "Ice on Fire" Offers Climate Solutions, US Blocks UN and G20 Climate Action, and more

US Blocks UN and G20 Climate Action / Not Much Presidential Debate About Climate / USDA Kills Thousands of Beavers / Science at Risk at the Border / HBO's "Ice on Fire" Offers Climate Solutions In this episode, scientists working on the US-Mexico border face unique challenges when trying to study borderlands ecosystems, thanks to everything from outright harassment and profiling, to tight restrictions on what can cross the border. Living on Earth's Bobby Bascomb is producing a series of...


Turning Backyards into Pollinator Havens, Resilient Corals Get a Helping Hand, The Trump EPA's Clean Power Plan Replacement, and more

Trump Clean Power Plan / Beyond the Headlines / Resilient Corals Get a Helping Hand / Repairing Puerto Rico's Corals / BirdNote®: The Auklet's Whiskers -- Not Just for Show / Freshwater Under the Sea / Turning Backyards Into Pollinator Havens / The Mighty Condor Minnesota lawmakers have heeded dire warnings about pollinator declines. They've just approved a new program that pays homeowners to convert their lawns to pollinator-friendly habitat, like that favored by the rusty patched...


Rating 2020 Prexy Candidates' Climate Ambition, Seeking Justice for the Ogoni Nine, Increasing World Climate Action Ambition, and more

Increasing World Climate Ambition / Moving the Paris Climate Deal Ahead / Beyond the Headlines / Bringing Back Butternut Trees / Rating the Climate Promises of 2020 Prexy Candidates / Seeking Justice for the Ogoni Nine / BirdNote®: Brewer's Sparrow, Sageland Singer Polls show climate change is a rising concern for Democratic voters looking towards the 2020 presidential election. Greenpeace has a scorecard for each candidate based on commitments to a Green New Deal and phasing out fossil...


Sobering Climate Risks, Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands, Horizon By Barry Lopez, and more

Sobering Climate Risks / Note on Emerging Science: Hot Potato Blues / Beyond the Headlines / Exploring the Parks: Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands / BirdNote®: Ponderosa Pine Savanna / Horizon by Barry Lopez If carbon emissions keep going up until 2030 it will be too late to avoid a 'hot house' Earth with a billion climate refugees starting in 2050, according to the Australia-based Breakthrough National Centre for Climate Restoration. These researchers warn the climate is changing...


NH Fights PFAS Pollution, Global Warming Clues From Henry David Thoreau, Recomposing the Dead and more

New Hampshire Fights PFAS Pollution / Youth Climate Suit Plea / Beyond the Headlines / Recomposing the Departed / Global Warming Clues from Henry David Thoreau / Solid Seasons: The Friendship of Henry David Thoreau and Ralph Waldo Emerson / BirdNote®: Henry David Thoreau and the Wood Thrush New Hampshire may be one of the smallest states in the US, but it's taking on some of the largest chemical companies in the world. The state wants DowDuPont, 3M and six other companies to take financial...