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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Senator Tom Udall Takes on Plastic Waste

 

As more and more plastic waste escapes into our environment, recent research estimates that as much as a credit card’s worth of plastic makes its way into our bodies each week. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) aim to curb the plastic waste crisis with a draft bill that would ban certain single-use plastics, institute a 10-cent nationwide container deposit, and compel producers to take the lead on recycling, and they invite the public to comment by November 21. Senator Udall discusses why federal action is needed to address the growing plastic waste crisis.

 

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As more and more plastic waste escapes into our environment, recent research estimates that as much as a credit card’s worth of plastic makes its way into our bodies each week. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) aim to curb the plastic waste crisis with a draft bill that would ban certain single-use plastics, institute a 10-cent nationwide container deposit, and compel producers to take the lead on recycling, and they invite the public to comment by November 21. Senator Udall discusses why federal action is needed to address the growing plastic waste crisis.

Good Housekeeping

 

Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender braves the crystalline cold of a tiny Antarctic island to watch a Gentoo penguin pair as they go apartment hunting.

 

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Rainforests ‘Worth More Alive Than Dead’

 

Earth’s rainforests are astonishingly biodiverse ecosystems that can even drive the climates on faraway continents. But they’re disappearing in the name of the kind of economic development that values rainforests more when logged, mined, or turned into farmland. Tony Juniper, author of the book Rainforest: Dispatches from Earth’s Most Vital Frontlines explains the amazing science of how rainforests work and why leaving them intact offers more, not less, economic benefit.

 

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Healthy People Equal Healthy Forests

 

Gunung Palung National Park on the island of Borneo is beloved by the people who live on the Indonesian island, but like many people who live near tropical forests, they have at times had to resort to illegal logging to pay for healthcare. Now the nonprofit Health in Harmony is providing healthcare that patients can pay for with a simple trade of labor, seedlings or manure, so that no one ever has to log to pay cash for essential health services. Founder Kinari Webb and Bobby Bascomb discuss the importance of listening to what forest communities say they need in order to stop logging.

 

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Fighting Fire with Prescribed Fire

 

A century of fire suppression has turned much of the West into a tinderbox. Prescribed fire could help bring nature back in balance, but it’s currently far more common in the Southeast than in the West, where it’s sorely needed, says Pyrogeographer Crystal Kolden of the University of Idaho. She joins Steve Curwood to talk about the opportunities to get communities involved in prescribed burns, and the challenges of building fire-resilient communities.

 

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The Economic Value of the National Parks

 

The National Parks have been famously called “America’s Best Idea,” but they may also be “America’s Best Investment”, thanks to the valuable services they provide such as recreation, carbon storage, and educational programs. In the new book "Valuing U.S. National Parks and Programs," John Loomis and Linda Bilmes attempt to sum up the vast value of the National Parks. Linda Bilmes teaches Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and joins Steve Curwood in the Living on Earth studios.

 

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Climate Departure Date

 

A group of scientists at the University of Hawaii have figured out a way to project when the climate at a given location will move outside the range of anything we’ve known in modern times. It’s sooner then you think.

 

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Trout Are Speaking

 

Commentator Mark Seth Lender contemplates the rainbow trout.

 

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Hummingbirds in the Canyon

 

Watching hummingbirds in Arizona's Madera Canyon gave Mark Seth Lender an up close view of their interactions, and a chance to take spectacular photos.

 

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EPA Seeks Confidential Health Records

To help protect public health the Environmental Protection Agency sets standards for safe limits of pollutants in our air and water, based in part on the evidence provided by epidemiological studies. Now leaked documents say the agency is seeking to require any study used for its health and safety rulemaking to disclose all of its raw data, including confidential medical records. Philip Landrigan, Founding Director of the Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory at Boston College and one of the world’s leading experts on public health, discusses the implications of this policy and the fierce opposition it has provoked.

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Senator Tom Udall Takes on Plastic Waste

As more and more plastic waste escapes into our environment, recent research estimates that as much as a credit card’s worth of plastic makes its way into our bodies each week. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) aim to curb the plastic waste crisis with a draft bill that would ban certain single-use plastics, institute a 10-cent nationwide container deposit, and compel producers to take the lead on recycling, and they invite the public to comment by November 21. Senator Udall discusses why federal action is needed to address the growing plastic waste crisis.

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The Pan-Borneo Highway

The 2,000-km Pan-Borneo Highway will connect the remote regions of the three nations that make up the island, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. But conservationists worry that this highway will fragment crucial habitat for rare species like pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, and the banded langur. Mongabay staff writer John Cannon traveled the paved and yet-to-be-paved portions of the highway and spoke to Bobby Bascomb about his experience.

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This Week’s Show
November 15, 2019
listen / download


EPA Seeks Confidential Health Records

listen / download
To help protect public health the Environmental Protection Agency sets standards for safe limits of pollutants in our air and water, based in part on the evidence provided by epidemiological studies. Now leaked documents say the agency is seeking to require any study used for its health and safety rulemaking to disclose all of its raw data, including confidential medical records. Philip Landrigan, Founding Director of the Global Public Health Program and Global Pollution Observatory at Boston College and one of the world’s leading experts on public health, discusses the implications of this policy and the fierce opposition it has provoked.

The Bottle Deposit Debate

listen / download
Plastic pollution has been found nearly everywhere on this earth, from the tops of remote mountains to the very bottom of the sea floor. It’s a daunting problem but one proven way to reduce plastic in the waste stream is a bottle deposit system, which puts a nickel or dime fee on beverage containers. Bobby Bascomb looks at the people who are cashing in on collecting containers, and those preventing others from doing so.

Senator Tom Udall Takes on Plastic Waste

listen / download
As more and more plastic waste escapes into our environment, recent research estimates that as much as a credit card’s worth of plastic makes its way into our bodies each week. Senator Tom Udall (D-NM) and Congressman Alan Lowenthal (D-CA) aim to curb the plastic waste crisis with a draft bill that would ban certain single-use plastics, institute a 10-cent nationwide container deposit, and compel producers to take the lead on recycling, and they invite the public to comment by November 21. Senator Udall discusses why federal action is needed to address the growing plastic waste crisis.

Beyond the Headlines

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Peter Dykstra and Steve Curwood discuss an EV start-up replacing a shuttered GM plant in Ohio and the upcoming arrival of Polestar, an EV financed by Volvo and manufactured in China, to the Montreal market. They also consider an idea to convert the outer areas of massive parking lots into urban farms. In the history calendar they look back to the Law of the Sea Treaty, which took effect 25 years ago.

The Pan-Borneo Highway

listen / download
The 2,000-km Pan-Borneo Highway will connect the remote regions of the three nations that make up the island, Malaysia, Indonesia and Brunei. But conservationists worry that this highway will fragment crucial habitat for rare species like pygmy elephants, proboscis monkeys, and the banded langur. Mongabay staff writer John Cannon traveled the paved and yet-to-be-paved portions of the highway and spoke to Bobby Bascomb about his experience.

Good Housekeeping

listen / download
Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender braves the crystalline cold of a tiny Antarctic island to watch a Gentoo penguin pair as they go apartment hunting.


Special Features

Field Note: Good Housekeeping
Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence contemplates a seemingly human gesture made by two Gentoo penguins as they test out promising nesting sites.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Free Event -- Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America
Join best-selling author Christopher Leonard and nationally syndicated environmental radio show Living on Earth for a discussion on Leonard’s new book, “Kochland: The Secret History of Koch Industries and Corporate Power in America.”
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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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