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

EPA Devalues Science To Downplay Chemical Risk

 

The latest EPA action to further ignore sound science is its new assessment of the health risks associated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Epidemiological studies have found that children exposed to chlorpyrifos in utero suffer brain damage. But as pediatrician and epidemiologist Dr. Philip Landrigan tells Bobby Bascomb, the EPA is claiming that data is “inconclusive” because it protects the privacy of study participants.

 

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The latest EPA action to further ignore sound science is its new assessment of the health risks associated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Epidemiological studies have found that children exposed to chlorpyrifos in utero suffer brain damage. But as pediatrician and epidemiologist Dr. Philip Landrigan tells Bobby Bascomb, the EPA is claiming that data is “inconclusive” because it protects the privacy of study participants.

Judge Barrett and Environmental Law

 

Supreme Court nominee and Federal Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a conservative who tends to interpret the law narrowly, meaning that if she is confirmed, she would generally rule against innovative environmental advocacy legislation. Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law at Vermont Law School, joins Steve Curwood to talk about Judge Barrett's record and how she might approach environmental litigation on the high court.

 

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Climate Change Disrupts Major Transportation Corridor

 

I-70 is a transportation lifeline linking East to West and an engineering marvel as it barrels through the Rocky Mountains. Earlier this summer I-70 was closed for two weeks following the Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon. As Colorado Public Radio’s Dan Boyce reports, it’s just one example of the transportation challenges linked to climate disruption. 

 

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Enduring Against Seemingly Impossible Odds

 

In 1914, British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men set sail for Antarctica. Disaster struck when their ship the “Endurance” became trapped in pack ice and later broke up, yet optimism and sheer perseverance carried all 28 men through what seemed impossible odds. Rosamund Zander, the author of Pathways to Possibility: Transforming Our Relationship to Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, joins Steve Curwood to talk about how Shackleton used emotional intelligence to keep his crew going through and how we can all harness an optimistic mindset to carry us through difficult times. 

 

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Scylla and Charybdis on the Zambezi River

 

Living on Earth’s Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender recounts a hair-raising encounter with hippopotamus and Cape buffalo on the Zambezi River and in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

 

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Environment

 

In addition to championing women’s rights, the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left a strong and sophisticated environmental legacy. Harvard Law School Professor Richard Lazarus speaks with Jenni Doering about some of “RBG’s” key environmental votes and written opinions.

 

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The Great Lakes and Climate Change

 

In the last 30 years the largest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area, Lake Superior, has warmed nearly six degrees Fahrenheight. The increased temperature is a boon to some fish but warmer water is also more suitable for some species.

 

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Jim's Bees

 

Bees have remarkable skills to communicate and create wholesome food from flowers. Yet they can also terrify.

 

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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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Prairie Senate Races Show Climate Divide

Iowa’s Senate seat is hotly contested in this election, and the Senate race in Kansas appears tighter than it has been in decades. Both states are experiencing increasingly erratic and destructive weather linked to the warming of the planet. Reporter Georgina Gustin has covered the climate rhetoric of the Iowa and Kansas Senate races for InsideClimate News, and joins Bobby Bascomb to discuss the divide between these mid-America Democratic and Republican senate candidates on climate change.

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China Leads on Climate

At the annual UN General Assembly, President Xi of China pledged that his nation would peak its carbon emissions before 2030 and hit net zero emissions by 2060, without revealing how the nation plans to reach those goals. Joe Aldy, an economist and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School, joins Steve Curwood to discuss what this step by the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter means for international climate policy in the context of the failed climate leadership by the Trump Administration.

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EPA Devalues Science To Downplay Chemical Risk

The latest EPA action to further ignore sound science is its new assessment of the health risks associated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Epidemiological studies have found that children exposed to chlorpyrifos in utero suffer brain damage. But as pediatrician and epidemiologist Dr. Philip Landrigan tells Bobby Bascomb, the EPA is claiming that data is “inconclusive” because it protects the privacy of study participants.

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This Week’s Show
October 16, 2020
listen / download


Prairie Senate Races Show Climate Divide

listen / download
Iowa’s Senate seat is hotly contested in this election, and the Senate race in Kansas appears tighter than it has been in decades. Both states are experiencing increasingly erratic and destructive weather linked to the warming of the planet. Reporter Georgina Gustin has covered the climate rhetoric of the Iowa and Kansas Senate races for InsideClimate News, and joins Bobby Bascomb to discuss the divide between these mid-America Democratic and Republican senate candidates on climate change.

Beyond the Headlines

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In this week’s edition of Beyond the Headlines, Peter Dykstra takes Steve Curwood behind the scenes of the suddenly competitive Senate race in Alaska, where the GOP incumbent faces pushback over the Pebble Mine with its risk of runoff that could threaten the world’s largest sockeye salmon fishery. Next, the pair put on their bug nets and entomologist hats to review the possible ecological dangers which might accompany the arrival of the giant ‘Murder Hornet’ in Washington State and its danger to honeybees. Finally, in a look back at this week in history, Peter marks the passage of the Toxic Substances Control Act of 1976, or TSCA, which strengthened chemical regulation in the US.

Note on Emerging Science: Puffins Use Tools

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Crows are known to use tools, and now the first time, scientists have documented the use of tools by the puffin, a black and white seabird found in the North Atlantic. Don Lyman reports on the finding that puffins use sticks to scratch their beaks and feathers, the first documentation of tool use in seabirds.

China Leads on Climate

listen / download
At the annual UN General Assembly, President Xi of China pledged that his nation would peak its carbon emissions before 2030 and hit net zero emissions by 2060, without revealing how the nation plans to reach those goals. Joe Aldy, an economist and Professor of Public Policy at Harvard's Kennedy School, joins Steve Curwood to discuss what this step by the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter means for international climate policy in the context of the failed climate leadership by the Trump Administration.

California’s Electric Vehicle Future

listen / download
In the wake of climate-fueled fire disasters, California Governor Gavin Newsom recently signed an executive order to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by the year 2035. Paloma Beltran reports on how switching to electric vehicles helps put the California economy on a path to full decarbonization by 2045.

EPA Devalues Science To Downplay Chemical Risk

listen / download
The latest EPA action to further ignore sound science is its new assessment of the health risks associated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Epidemiological studies have found that children exposed to chlorpyrifos in utero suffer brain damage. But as pediatrician and epidemiologist Dr. Philip Landrigan tells Bobby Bascomb, the EPA is claiming that data is “inconclusive” because it protects the privacy of study participants.

BirdNote®: October Migrants

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For many birds, October is a month of migration and movement, as birds of all kinds in the Northern Hemisphere make their way south. BirdNote®'s Michael Stein shares some notable species to keep an eye, and ear, out for this month.

Urban Farming During COVID

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Boston, Massachusetts is home to the United States' oldest, continually-operated Victory Garden, made up of some 500 small plots dating back to World War Two. Today, urban farms throughout the city provide much needed nourishment for the city's residents, but the COVID-19 crisis changed the way these small farms operate. WBUR's Bruce Gellerman reports. 


Special Features

Field Note: Scylla and Charybdis on the Zambezi River
Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender muses on danger and perspective in an encounter with wild hippopotamus and Cape buffalo.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Extended Version: The Sirens of Mars

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The search for life elsewhere in the Universe is focused now on Mars, our closest planetary neighbor, with the Perseverance mission planned to launch sometime between the end of July and the middle of August. Astrobiologist Sarah Stewart Johnson is a Georgetown associate professor and NASA scientist who has spent her career searching for answers to these questions. Her book Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World captures the intersection between planetary science and her life's journey, and she joins Host Steve Curwood to explore the big questions that define space exploration and the human species’ fascination with Mars.
Blog Series: The Podcast from Living On Earth


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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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