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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Marching for the Earth and Science

 

As Earth Day celebrates its 47th year on April 22 a billion people gather around the globe to celebrate our green planet. Thousands also meet on the National Mall to defend science as well with teach-ins on climate change and scientific literacy. Host Steve Curwood discusses the elements that galvanized this planetary celebration with Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers and why this year’s theme is so vital.

 

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As Earth Day celebrates its 47th year on April 22 a billion people gather around the globe to celebrate our green planet. Thousands also meet on the National Mall to defend science as well with teach-ins on climate change and scientific literacy. Host Steve Curwood discusses the elements that galvanized this planetary celebration with Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers and why this year’s theme is so vital.

How to Save Most Species

 

Within decades Earth may lose as many as 50% of the species currently living on our planet. To avert ecological disaster, renowned conservationist and Harvard Professor E.O. Wilson has proposed a radical idea in his book Half-Earth: to set aside half of Earth’s land and sea for nature. Wilson describes his vision and why it could save 80% of species in this conversation with host Steve Curwood.

 

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EPA Boss Under Fire from Left and Right

 

Even before Scott Pruitt was sworn in as EPA Administrator conservation groups had a litany of complaints against the former Oklahoma attorney general, who sued the EPA 14 times. But now some conservative voices are also expressing displeasure with Mr. Pruitt’s on-the-job performance to date.

 

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Climate Change and Your Health

 

Scientists and most Americans are concerned about climate change and its effects on our environment, economy, and society. But a growing number of US physicians see a wide gap in the public’s grasp of how global warming does, and increasingly will, affect human health – and that’s prompted the founding of the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health.

 

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Death and Life of the Great Lakes

 

The five mighty Great Lakes, separated from the ocean for millennia, hold twenty percent of the world’s surface freshwater. Dreams of trade spurred construction of the St Lawrence Seaway, opening the lakes to intercontinental shipping -- but transforming their ecosystems, thanks to unintended biological hitch-hikers such as Quagga and Zebra mussels. Environmental journalist Dan Egan details the changes in his new book, “The Death and Life of the Great LakeS."

 

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Keystone Fight Renewed

 

Fulfilling a campaign promise, President Trump’s State Department has approved completion of the Keystone XL pipeline. But pipeline builder TransCanada still faces significant hurdles in federal court and in the state of Nebraska. Many citizens, farmers, ranchers, and Native American tribes are uniting to oppose the pipeline’s route through Nebraska’s sensitive Sandhills area.

 

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Nuclear Storage Crisis

 

The meltdown at Fukushima in Japan may be grabbing all the headlines, but with the Yucca Mountain project in perpetual limbo the United States has a nuclear storage problem on its hands as well.

 

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Otters and Climate Change

 

Sea Otters are known for their playful demeanor and cuddly appearance, but scientists at the University of California at Santa Cruz think that the cuddly creatures could help reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. (Photo: Imtiaz333 Flickr Creative Commons)

 

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Romance and Spring Harvest At Paradise Lot

 

For most gardeners, springtime means a few seedlings on a window sill. But for perennial gardeners spring is a time of harvest. The new book, Paradise Lot, is a personal and heartwarming account of finding romance and growing a permaculture food forest on a degraded backyard plot in a gritty neighborhood of Holyoke, MA.

 

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Lead Safety Budget Cuts

Childhood lead poisoning remains a great threat to young children, and even low levels can stunt development and increase the risk of delinquency and crime later in life. State, local, and federal programs aim to reduce lead exposure, but the Trump Administration proposes to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead programs and leave the task to the states. Living on Earth’s Jenni Doering reports.

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How to Save Most Species

Within decades Earth may lose as many as 50% of the species currently living on our planet. To avert ecological disaster, renowned conservationist and Harvard Professor E.O. Wilson has proposed a radical idea in his book Half-Earth: to set aside half of Earth’s land and sea for nature. Wilson describes his vision and why it could save 80% of species in this conversation with host Steve Curwood.

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We Are All In This Together

To honor Earth Day’s 47th birthday, host Steve Curwood recalls how the first sight of our small, fragile blue planet from space gave urgency to the push to fight widespread pollution, and helped launch a movement. And, he notes, despite many environmental gains, serious threats remain that we have to resolve together.

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This Week’s Show
April 21, 2017
listen / download


Marching for the Earth and Science

listen / download
As Earth Day celebrates its 47th year on April 22 a billion people gather around the globe to celebrate our green planet. Thousands also meet on the National Mall to defend science as well with teach-ins on climate change and scientific literacy. Host Steve Curwood discusses the elements that galvanized this planetary celebration with Earth Day Network President Kathleen Rogers and why this year’s theme is so vital.

Passing Up the March for Science

listen / download
The March for Science recruited students, researchers, professors and other science-enthusiasts from across the country. But some decided to opt out of the event, including Dean Robyn Hannigan of the University of Massachusetts, Boston School for the Environment, where Living on Earth is based. Dean Hannigan shares her view of the risks a politicized march poses for science.

Lead Safety Budget Cuts

listen / download
Childhood lead poisoning remains a great threat to young children, and even low levels can stunt development and increase the risk of delinquency and crime later in life. State, local, and federal programs aim to reduce lead exposure, but the Trump Administration proposes to cut funding for the Environmental Protection Agency’s lead programs and leave the task to the states. Living on Earth’s Jenni Doering reports.

Beyond The Headlines

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We discuss news reports about international recycling smugglers, as well as high-level meetings between the Trump administration and federally regulated industry executives who want rules changed. Then it’s time to look back 50 years, when the ugly but majestic California Condor nearly flew its last wild flight.

Science Note: Ant First Aid

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After a fierce battle with termites, ants in Sub-Saharan Africa rescue their wounded, according to researchers from the University of Wurzburg in Germany. Kit Norton explains in today’s Note on Emerging Science how this altruistic act makes the ants’ hunting raids on termite colonies more sustainable.

How to Save Most Species

listen / download
Within decades Earth may lose as many as 50% of the species currently living on our planet. To avert ecological disaster, renowned conservationist and Harvard Professor E.O. Wilson has proposed a radical idea in his book Half-Earth: to set aside half of Earth’s land and sea for nature. Wilson describes his vision and why it could save 80% of species in this conversation with host Steve Curwood.

We Are All In This Together

listen / download
To honor Earth Day’s 47th birthday, host Steve Curwood recalls how the first sight of our small, fragile blue planet from space gave urgency to the push to fight widespread pollution, and helped launch a movement. And, he notes, despite many environmental gains, serious threats remain that we have to resolve together.


Special Features

A River Town in Transition

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Wrangell, Alaska is a small, isolated town at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River and a former a timber capital. But since the saw mills shut down in the ‘90s, the small town has reinvented itself as a tourist destination and a commercial fishing hub. Since both of these industries are dependent on the Stikine, some locals worry that a mining development upriver could put the whole town’s livelihood at risk.
Blog Series: Alaskan River Riches

Cowee, North Carolina

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Living on Earth is giving a voice to Orion magazine’s longtime feature in which people write about the place they call home. In this week’s edition, songwriter Angela-Faye Martin uses her words and music to picture her North Carolina valley on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Blog Series: The Place Where You Live


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...Ultimately, if we are going prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we are going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them...

-- President Barack Obama, November 6, 2015 on why he declined to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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