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Living on Earth

News & Politics Podcasts

As the planet we call home faces a climate emergency, Living on Earth is your go-to source for the latest coverage of climate change, ecology, and human health. Hosted by Steve Curwood and brought to you by PRX.

As the planet we call home faces a climate emergency, Living on Earth is your go-to source for the latest coverage of climate change, ecology, and human health. Hosted by Steve Curwood and brought to you by PRX.


United States


As the planet we call home faces a climate emergency, Living on Earth is your go-to source for the latest coverage of climate change, ecology, and human health. Hosted by Steve Curwood and brought to you by PRX.




Fixing America’s Water Crises, Gardening for Abundance and Generosity, Secrets of the Whales and more

Fixing America's Water Crises / Beyond the Headlines / Young Climate Activists / Gardening for Abundance and Generosity / Secrets of the Whales In a bipartisan vote the U.S. Senate approves $35 billion to address the public health hazards of lead pipes and overflowing wastewater. Why water infrastructure improvements to protect public health are long overdue and where the money would be spent. Also, as northern springtime advances, gardeners look forward to carefully tending to what's...


Methane and Swift Climate Action, Getting Bushmeat Off the Table, Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in an Age of Extinction, and more

Methane and Swift Climate Action / Senate Votes for Strong Methane Rules / Biden, LOE and Dykstra / Getting Bushmeat Off the Table / "Planet" by Poet Catherine Pierce / Beloved Beasts: Fighting for Life in An Age of Extinction Methane is a very potent greenhouse gas that doesn't last long in the atmosphere, so reducing it can have almost immediate benefits for the climate. But weak Trump administration standards allowed the oil and gas industry to leak massive amounts of methane. Now the...


The Way Forward For People And Our Planet: An Earth Day Special

Greening the Economy / A Living Earth Called "Gaia" / Ecological Conversion and Solidarity As Living on Earth celebrates 30 years on the air, we share an Earth Day special that examines this decisive moment for the human species and our challenging relationship with our planet. We meet people who envision a future reshaped by an emerging energy system and new power structures, as we wean off of fossil fuels. Next we take a big-picture view of Earth as a complex and sustaining...


Biden's Climate Summit, "Stooping" Turns Trash to Treasure, Poetry In the Time of Climate Trouble, and more

Biden's Climate Summit / Beyond the Headlines / "Stooping" Turns Trash to Treasure / When a Gas Plant Moves in Next Door / BirdNote®: The Power Of Albatross Partnerships / Poetry in the Time of Climate Troubles President Biden has invited 40 world leaders to a virtual Leaders Summit on Climate this Earth Day, a key moment in the international effort to address climate change. Also, when people move out or clean up their apartments, many leave discarded items on the stoop or curb for...


Why I Wear Jordans in the Great Outdoors, Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands, The Wonders of Spring Migration, and more

Exploring the Parks: Aniakchak National Monument and Preserve / Why I Wear Jordans in the Great Outdoors / Exploring the Parks: Cactus and Snow in the Desert Sky Islands / Spring Awakening / A Season on the Wind: Inside the World of Spring Migration Some stereotypes about who can be "outdoorsy" can leave people of color out, but a pair of beloved Air Jordan "Bred" 11 sneakers is helping one environmental educator encourage young American people of color to feel that they belong in the...


Restoring Life in the Oceans, Boosting US Wind Power, Tips for the Casual Gardener and more

Biden Boosts Offshore Wind / The Ocean as Solution, Not Victim / Restoring Life in the Oceans / Beyond the Headlines / Tips for the Casual Gardener Enric Sala's love for the ocean drew him into a career in marine biology. But as he studied damaged marine environments, he began to feel he was writing the "obituary of the ocean." Now he advocates for marine protected areas that support ocean biodiversity and bring big economic benefits. Also, President Biden recently announced a plan to...


[Broadcast] Damaged Amazon Adds To Global Warming; Prehistoric Magnetic Flip Shook Up Life On Earth; Birch, Beech And Other Unusual Syrups; and more

Damaged Amazon Adds to Global Warming / Belo Monte Dam Disrupts Amazon Floodplain Balance / Horse of a Different Color / Beyond the Headlines / Prehistoric Magnetic Flip Shook Up Life on Earth / Not Just Maple Syrup: Birch, Beech and Other Sappy Trees The first broad study of all greenhouse gases in the Amazon rainforest reveals that the damaged ecosystem is now a net contributor to climate change, due mostly to warming and other human activities like logging, dam-building, and cattle...


[Broadcast] One In Five Deaths From Fossil Fuels, Families Sickened By Fracking, Carbon Bomb Fridges and more

Madam Secretary Haaland / One in Five Deaths from Fossil Fuels / Note on Emerging Science: Oldest DNA Ever Sequenced / Families Sickened by Fracking / Beyond the Headlines / Carbon Bomb Fridges Ultrafine particulate matter produced from fossil fuel combustion is known to cause numerous health issues. A recent study finds that this pollution is responsible for one in five deaths worldwide, or about 350,000 excess deaths in the U.S. every year. Also, the fracking boom transformed rural...


[Broadcast] Warming Planet Slows Ocean Currents, 30x30 to Save Species, Regenerative Farming for Soil Health and more

Warming Planet Slows Ocean Currents / Beyond the Headlines / 30x30 To Save Species / Protecting Badger-Two Medicine And The Grand Canyon / Regenerative Farming for Soil Health / Regenerative Farming In Action The climates of North America and Europe depend on tropical heat circulated by massive system of currents in the Atlantic Ocean. But research shows that climate change is slowing this thermal conveyor belt, which is currently the weakest it has been in at least a thousand...


[Broadcast] The New Climate War, Radioactive Water Dilemma at Fukushima, Hard Times for Ginseng Farmers and more

Radioactive Water Dilemma at Fukushima / The New Climate War / Hard Times for Ginseng Farmers / Beyond the Headlines / Nature and the Beat Despite rising global temperatures and an increase in climate disruption-related natural disasters, climate denial still runs rampant. Renowned climate scientist Michael Mann's latest book describes how fossil fuel companies have spent decades deflecting blame and responsibility in order to delay action on climate change. Also, ten years after the...


[Broadcast] No Power for the People in Texas, A Civilian Climate Corps, Searching for Life on Mars and more

No Power For The People In Texas / Beyond the Headlines / Note on Emerging Science: Wild Bees a Boost to Crops / A Civilian Climate Corps / Searching for Life on Mars The coldest air to visit Texas in a decade killed dozens, crippled the state's power grid and revealed the risks of extreme deregulation. How America's electric power system has grown more unstable in recent decades. Also, Washington Governor Jay Inslee shares a vision for a climate corps that could aid conservation,...


[Broadcast] India Climate Activist Jailed, A New Leader For USDA, The Butterfly Effect, and more

India Climate Activist Jailed / Beyond the Headlines / A New Leader for USDA / The Butterfly Effect: Insects and the Making of the Modern World Amid ongoing massive farmer protests, the Indian government is cracking down on activists including Disha Ravi, the young climate activist who founded Fridays for Future - India. How climate activism connects with the Indian farmer protests, and the government's attempts to silence activists and journalists. Also, President Biden's pick for...


[Broadcast] India’s Farm Crisis and Climate Change, Angry Birds and the People's Climate Vote, Modernizing Mobility and more

India's Farm Crisis and the Climate Emergency / Beyond the Headlines / Angry Birds and the People's Climate Vote / Bottlenose Whales in the Arctic / Modernizing Mobility / BirdNote®: Here Come the Barred Owls / In Honor of Black History Month: Harriet Tubman and the Barred Owl India is experiencing dramatic climate impacts that are hitting farmers especially hard. On top of that, the Indian government recently passed legislation that could make it harder for farmers to get a fair price...


[Broadcast] Biden’s Pen and the Climate, GM in the EV Fast Lane, Teddy Roosevelt's Conservation Legacy, and more

Biden's Pen and the Climate / Beyond the Headlines / GM in the EV Fast Lane / The COVID Biking Boom / An Owl-Inspired Hearing Test / Teddy Roosevelt's Conservation Legacy President Biden has signed detailed executive orders focused on protecting the environment and fighting against climate change, laying the groundwork for strong climate policy and green investment. And the private sector is already moving in that direction: General Motors recently announced a bold plan to phase out...


[Broadcast] Whole Govt For Climate Action, Covid Risk For Tribal Cultures, Becoming Wild and Culture Among Animals

The Whole of Government For Climate Action / Resisting Line 3 Pipeline / COVID Risk for Tribal Cultures / Beyond the Headlines / Vista: A Break in the Storm / 'Becoming Wild' and Culture Among Animals The Biden Administration is making big and early moves to tackle the climate crisis and show the rest of the world and major investors that the U.S. is committed to decarbonization. Also, Native American communities have been hit especially hard by the Covid-19 pandemic, with nearly twice...


[Broadcast] U.S. Back In Paris, Biden Reverses Trump Rollbacks, Ubuntu and Unity For Healing, and more

U.S. Back in Paris Agreement / Biden Reverses Trump Rollbacks / Little Time Left to Save Right Whales / Beyond the Headlines / Ubuntu and Unity for Healing At his inauguration on January 20th President Biden called for unity at a time when America faces multiple crises. For a model of unity, Mr. Biden might look to the African concept of Ubuntu as a way to heal the many broken relationships in America. Also, hours after taking the oath of office, President Biden signed several...


[Broadcast] Merrick Garland and the Environment, Deb Haaland: 'Fierce For Our Planet', Interior’s Next Frontiers and more

Merrick Garland and the Environment / Deb Haaland: 'Fierce for our Planet' / Interior's Next Frontiers / Beyond the Headlines / A Mayan Bee Guardian / Ice Visions President-elect Biden's Attorney General pick, Judge Merrick Garland, has ruled over many environmental rules and regulations while on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit. What an AG Garland could mean for environmental policy and enforcement. Also, after four years in pursuit of extraction at the expense of...


[Broadcast] Georgia's Green and Brown Voters, ANWR Oil Leasing, Remembering Barry Lopez, and more

Georgia's Green and Brown Voters / ANWR Oil Leasing / BirdNote®: The Oilbird's Lightless Life / Activism Cuts Plastic Waste in the Bahamas / Beyond the Headlines / Remembering Barry Lopez The Democratic victories for both of the Senate seats in Georgia's runoff elections are thanks in part to the state's environmental voters, who are more likely to be people of color and young, and to live in urban centers. Also, the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge likely has billions of gallons of oil...


[Broadcast] Wildly Magical: Stories of Animal Encounters

Care for the Common Critter / 'It Could Be the Last One': Stories of People Helping Rare Critters / Wildly Magical: Animal Encounters in the Galapagos / Native American Stories of Human and Animal Kinship From one woman's dream of swimming with marine iguanas, to uncommon encounters with common rabbits, to a Native American tale of how the dog came to be our loyal companion, and much more, this Living on Earth holiday storytelling special features stories of how other species on this Earth...


[Broadcast] Holiday Season Stories of Warmth and Light

The Power Of Stories / Native American Tales / Stories of the Night Sky and an English Wassail Native American myths and tales help us endure or even enjoy the short days and long nights of winter. Living on Earth's annual celebration of stories helps connect people with the natural world, and includes an Iroquois explanation of why the constellation Pleiades twinkles overhead and an Abenaki custom that asks forgiveness for any wrongs of the previous year. Seasonal stories and more, in this...