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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Victory in Cancer Alley

 

Environmental justice advocates are declaring victory after a Louisiana judge canceled permits for a plastic factory in the region known as ‘cancer alley’ for the high rate of the disease linked to emissions from some 150 petrochemical plants. RISE St. James director and founder Sharon Lavigne explains what the ruling means for this majority black community in the parish and the pursuit of environmental justice.

 

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Environmental justice advocates are declaring victory after a Louisiana judge canceled permits for a plastic factory in the region known as ‘cancer alley’ for the high rate of the disease linked to emissions from some 150 petrochemical plants. RISE St. James director and founder Sharon Lavigne explains what the ruling means for this majority black community in the parish and the pursuit of environmental justice.

Federal Funds For Environmental Justice

 

The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act contains billions of dollars aimed directly at addressing environmental and climate injustice. Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts was one of the architects of those provisions and discusses how to ensure low-income communities and people of color can access those funds and programs.

 

Read More »

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Fiona and Landslides

 

When Hurricane Fiona recently struck Puerto Rico the island was still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017 and the swarm of earthquakes that started in 2019. Hurricane Fiona’s extreme rainfall and flooding triggered landslides in areas destabilized by the quakes, adding to the disaster. Marin Clark, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, explains.

 

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‘Forever Chemicals’ Are Now Everywhere, Too

 

PFAS, or per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a class of over 12,000 chemicals known as “forever chemicals” because they hardly break down in the environment. And they’re now found everywhere from microwave popcorn to drinking water supplies to human blood. Laurel Schaider, Senior Scientist at the Silent Spring Institute, talks about the research on how these chemicals are affecting us and what we can do about it.

 

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Extreme Weather Events and Climate Science

 

Scientists have understood for decades how global warming would increase moisture in the atmosphere promoting climate disruption and extremes such as the floods, wildfires, and record-breaking heat waves 2022 has brought to many regions. But there may be more impacts to come as climate models haven’t captured all the complex interactions of a warming world. Michael Mann, Professor of Atmospheric Science at the University of Pennsylvania, joins us to discuss.

 

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Renters and Climate Change

 

As climate change brings higher temperatures and extreme weather to American cities, our rental and affordable housing stock remains largely under-equipped to deal with these new challenges. Todd Nedwick of the National Housing Trust joins Jenni Doering to discuss what renters and landlords can do to fortify homes against a changing climate while transitioning to cleaner energy.

 

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Guardians of the Trees

 

Indonesian Borneo is home to Gunung Palung National Park, which hosts diverse species found nowhere else and is beloved by the people who live on the island. But like many people who live near tropical forests, they have at times had to resort to illegal logging to pay for healthcare. To combat this, physician Kinari Webb founded the nonprofit Health in Harmony, which aims to keep the forest healthy by keeping people healthy. Dr. Webb writes about this in her memoir Guardians of the Trees: A Journey of Hope Through Healing the Planet, which she spoke about with Hosts Steve Curwood and Bobby Bascomb at a Living on Earth Book Club event.

 

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Captive Audience

 

Cooperative hunting among birds is rare but Living on Earth’s Explorer in Residence, Mark Seth Lender, shares an unexpected instance among yellow-billed storks in Kenya.

 

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Celebrating 30 years of Living on Earth!

 

Host Steve Curwood in the Living on Earth studio

 

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Victory in Cancer Alley


Environmental justice advocates are declaring victory after a Louisiana judge canceled permits for a plastic factory in the region known as ‘cancer alley’ for the high rate of the disease linked to emissions from some 150 petrochemical plants. RISE St. James director and founder Sharon Lavigne explains what the ruling means for this majority black community in the parish and the pursuit of environmental justice.

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Federal Funds For Environmental Justice


The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act contains billions of dollars aimed directly at addressing environmental and climate injustice. Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts was one of the architects of those provisions and discusses how to ensure low-income communities and people of color can access those funds and programs.

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Methane Supercharges Climate Change


Scientists are sounding the alarm about a recent uptick in methane emissions. Methane is roughly 85 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas when it’s first emitted and reducing methane releases now may be one of the fastest ways to slow down climate change. Kristofer Covey, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Skidmore College, discusses the sources of this surge and how they can be addressed.

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This Week’s Show
September 23, 2022
listen / download



Victory in Cancer Alley

listen / download
Environmental justice advocates are declaring victory after a Louisiana judge canceled permits for a plastic factory in the region known as ‘cancer alley’ for the high rate of the disease linked to emissions from some 150 petrochemical plants. RISE St. James director and founder Sharon Lavigne explains what the ruling means for this majority black community in the parish and the pursuit of environmental justice.

Federal Funds For Environmental Justice

listen / download
The 2022 Inflation Reduction Act contains billions of dollars aimed directly at addressing environmental and climate injustice. Democratic Senator Ed Markey of Massachusetts was one of the architects of those provisions and discusses how to ensure low-income communities and people of color can access those funds and programs.

Upcoming Live Event on the Climate Debt Crisis

listen / download
Living on Earth and ProPublica welcome you to join us online on October 4, 2022 at 3 p.m. Eastern for a free event, "The Climate Debt Crisis: How punishing debt stands in the way of small islands protecting themselves from climate change." Host Steve Curwood will moderate an in-depth discussion with ProPublica reporter Abrahm Lustgarten; Avinash Persaud, advisor to Barbados' Prime Minister Mia Mottley and leading thinker on development finance; and Colin Young, executive director of the Caribbean Community Climate Change Center.

Fiona and Landslides

listen / download
When Hurricane Fiona recently struck Puerto Rico the island was still recovering from Hurricane Maria in 2017 and the swarm of earthquakes that started in 2019. Hurricane Fiona’s extreme rainfall and flooding triggered landslides in areas destabilized by the quakes, adding to the disaster. Marin Clark, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Michigan, explains.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
This week, Environmental Health News Editor Peter Dykstra and Bobby Bascomb discuss the discovery of harmful PFAS “forever chemicals” in some brands of dental floss, the re-introduction of cheetahs to India, and a look back to Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan’s attempted circumnavigation of the world.

Methane Supercharges Climate Change

listen / download
Scientists are sounding the alarm about a recent uptick in methane emissions. Methane is roughly 85 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas when it’s first emitted and reducing methane releases now may be one of the fastest ways to slow down climate change. Kristofer Covey, Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies and Sciences at Skidmore College, discusses the sources of this surge and how they can be addressed.


Special Features

Field Note: Captive Audience
Cooperative hunting among birds is rare but Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender shares an unexpected instance among yellow-billed storks in Kenya.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Field Note: Big Dog, Soft Mouth
Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender reflects on how our limited perspective influences our perception of nature.
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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