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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Seeking Justice for the Ogoni Nine

 

In 1995, the Nigerian government executed a group of environmental activists known as the Ogoni Nine, allegedly at the encouragement from The Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company. Now, nearly 25 years later, the widow of one of the Ogoni Nine, Esther Kiobel, is one step closer to justice. Supported by Amnesty International, she will finally have her case for reparations and the clearing of her husband’s name heard by a District Court in the Netherlands. Steve Curwood speaks with Amnesty’s Head of Business and Human Rights, Mark Dummett.

 

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In 1995, the Nigerian government executed a group of environmental activists known as the Ogoni Nine, allegedly at the encouragement from The Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company. Now, nearly 25 years later, the widow of one of the Ogoni Nine, Esther Kiobel, is one step closer to justice. Supported by Amnesty International, she will finally have her case for reparations and the clearing of her husband’s name heard by a District Court in the Netherlands. Steve Curwood speaks with Amnesty’s Head of Business and Human Rights, Mark Dummett.

Horizon by Barry Lopez

 

Barry Lopez, author of National Book Award-winning Arctic Dreams, took around 30 years to write his latest book, Horizon. It’s a sweeping account of his lifetime of traveling the world and seeking the perspectives of diverse cultures. Barry Lopez speaks about the importance of acknowledging “the horrors” of our past and present, and striving towards a more humane and hopeful future.

 

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Recomposing the Departed

 

For most of recent human history, we’ve laid our dearly departed to rest through burial and cremation, which can pose an environmental burden through land use and greenhouse gas emissions. Now, Washington State residents have a new green option: human composting, also known as natural organic reduction. Katrina Spade, CEO of Recompose, talks about the process of human composting and her mission to help families turn lost loved ones into fertile soil.

 

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Green Wave Sweeps European Parliament

 

The European Parliament ushered in a new wave of Green party members for its 2019 election. Jon Henley, Europe correspondent for the Guardian, talks about what’s on the Green party agenda and how deconsolidated power in the European Parliament will encourage parties to compromise.

 

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The Law of Languages

 

Zipf’s Law is a linguistic pattern that exists in every human language that’s been tested. Now researchers are looking to see if non-human languages, like that of dolphins and whales, follow a similar structure. Laurance Doyle from the SETI Institute shares some of his surprising results.

 

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Our Planet

 

Our Planet is an inspiring nature documentary series narrated by the renowned Sir David Attenborough. The eight-episode Netflix original provides viewers with majestic scenes of our natural world, through the sobering lens of climate change. Keith Scholey, a lead producer of the series, discusses what it took to produce the series and why Our Planet calls viewers to action.

 

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Tibetan Monks Saving Snow Leopards

 

Snow Leopards are among the most endangered of the world’s big cats, but now Tibetan monks are giving the leopard hope. (Camera trap photo of a snow leopard on the Tibetan plateau (photo: Panthera))

 

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Baby Polar Bear Rescue

 

Climate Change is making life difficult for polar bears across the world. But an orphaned Alaska bear cub is about to get a new home, and a new sibling, at the Buffalo Zoo in upstate New York.

 

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Trout Are Speaking

 

Commentator Mark Seth Lender contemplates the rainbow trout.

 

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Moving the Paris Climate Deal Ahead

2,000 delegates representing 185 countries gather in Bonn, Germany to refine rules and procedures for the Paris Climate Agreement, with an emphasis on boosting carbon reduction ambitions before the 2020 deadline. Aynsley O'Neill has more.

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Rating the Climate Promises of 2020 Prexy Candidates

Although climate wasn’t discussed much in the 2016 presidential election, this time around it’s turning out to be a much hotter topic. Greenpeace has put together a climate scorecard, evaluating each presidential hopeful on their commitment to a Green New Deal and to phasing out fossil fuels, but not a single candidate earned a Greenpeace A+. To hear more about the scorecard, Steve Curwood speaks with Janet Redman, Climate Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA.

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Seeking Justice for the Ogoni Nine

In 1995, the Nigerian government executed a group of environmental activists known as the Ogoni Nine, allegedly at the encouragement from The Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company. Now, nearly 25 years later, the widow of one of the Ogoni Nine, Esther Kiobel, is one step closer to justice. Supported by Amnesty International, she will finally have her case for reparations and the clearing of her husband’s name heard by a District Court in the Netherlands. Steve Curwood speaks with Amnesty’s Head of Business and Human Rights, Mark Dummett.

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This Week’s Show
June 21, 2019
listen / download


Increasing World Climate Ambition

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The United Nations is preparing for the Climate Summit this September, where many countries are expected to boost their Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs, under the Paris Climate Agreement. Luis Alfonso de Alba, the United Nations Secretary-General's Special Envoy on Climate Change, shares concerns and hopes of keeping planetary warming from increasing more than 1.5 degrees centigrade.

Moving the Paris Climate Deal Ahead

listen / download
2,000 delegates representing 185 countries gather in Bonn, Germany to refine rules and procedures for the Paris Climate Agreement, with an emphasis on boosting carbon reduction ambitions before the 2020 deadline. Aynsley O'Neill has more.

Beyond the Headlines

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This week, Peter Dykstra and Steve Curwood dive beyond the headlines to note the fall of an iconic Monterey Cypress tree in San Diego, California, which was said to have inspired Dr. Seuss’s Truffula trees in “The Lorax”. Next, they discuss the European far-right’s apparent shift away from climate denial, as climate-driven immigration hits home. Finally, the pair notes the 50th anniversary of the infamous Cuyahoga River fire, which helped prompt the passage of the Clean Water Act.

Bringing Back Butternut Trees

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Butternut trees used to be abundant in the forests of the Northeast and Midwest but have, in recent years, been devastated by a fungus. But help for the butternut may soon come, as Allegheny Front reporter Andy Kubis tells us about a recently-discovered stand of healthy butternuts that resisted the fungus.

Rating the Climate Promises of 2020 Prexy Candidates

listen / download
Although climate wasn’t discussed much in the 2016 presidential election, this time around it’s turning out to be a much hotter topic. Greenpeace has put together a climate scorecard, evaluating each presidential hopeful on their commitment to a Green New Deal and to phasing out fossil fuels, but not a single candidate earned a Greenpeace A+. To hear more about the scorecard, Steve Curwood speaks with Janet Redman, Climate Campaign Director for Greenpeace USA.

Seeking Justice for the Ogoni Nine

listen / download
In 1995, the Nigerian government executed a group of environmental activists known as the Ogoni Nine, allegedly at the encouragement from The Royal Dutch Shell Oil Company. Now, nearly 25 years later, the widow of one of the Ogoni Nine, Esther Kiobel, is one step closer to justice. Supported by Amnesty International, she will finally have her case for reparations and the clearing of her husband’s name heard by a District Court in the Netherlands. Steve Curwood speaks with Amnesty’s Head of Business and Human Rights, Mark Dummett.

BirdNote®: Brewer’s Sparrow, Sageland Singer

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One of the most musical and complex bird songs in the US is that of the Brewer's Sparrow. It's a veritable aria, ringing out from the sagebrush of Eastern Washington's Columbia Basin. BirdNote®’s Mary McCann has more about this sageland singer.


Special Features

The Mighty Condor

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Living on Earth’s Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender encounters one of Earth’s most impressive birds: the California Condor.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Field Note: Leopard Seal Says Hello
Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender was astounded when a huge leopard seal swam right up to his small Zodiac boat on a trip to Antarctica. He muses on the rare close encounter.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes


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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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