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Trump on Earth

News & Politics Podcasts

Tracking the latest environment-related shenanigans from Trump & his allies.

Tracking the latest environment-related shenanigans from Trump & his allies.


United States


Tracking the latest environment-related shenanigans from Trump & his allies.






Will 2020 be the Year of the Climate Voter?

As Election Day nears, a majority of registered voters in the United States say climate change will be an important issue in making their choice for president. That’s according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted over the summer. And it’s a sharp contrast to the 2016 race when only 2% of likely voters listed climate or the environment as their top priority. But a surprising number of people who say they care about climate change and the environment don’t actually cast ballots. That’s...


Trump vs the Courts

Many of President Trump's environmental actions have faced court challenges. So how’s the administration doing? First we hear from Ann Carlson, professor of environmental law at UCLA about a climate change case just added to the Supreme Court docket. And then we take a look at how the Trump administration has been faring in court with Michael Gerrard, professor of environmental and climate law at Columbia University.


Losing RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a feminist icon in the U.S., as one of the first women in many of the roles and rooms she found herself in over her life. Her death and the subsequent race by the Trump administration to confirm her successor will remake American law for decades, most notably by putting Roe versus Wade in jeopardy. But it could also remake environmental law. On this episode, we look ahead at what the loss of RBG will mean for the environment. But first, we take a look back at her...


Labor Unions and Environmentalists Join Forces to Defeat Trump

President Trump calls himself a "great environmentalist” while at the same time gutting environmental protections and questioning the science around climate change. He often explains his actions by claiming regulations are job killers that hurt the economy. But even with the rollbacks, traditional blue-collar jobs like those in the coal industry are being lost. And some labor unions actually see efforts to stem climate change as their future. Enter the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of...


Why the Trump Administration is Rolling Back a Climate Rule that Big Oil Actually Likes

Trump's EPA recently announced that it was rolling back yet another big Obama-era climate rule. This time, the target was a rule on oil and gas emissions of methane, the powerful greenhouse gas that is the main component of natural gas. The Obama administration created the rule in 2016 and some big oil companies actually wanted the administration to keep it. But the Trump administration did away with it anyway. Why? Our guest is Tim Puko. He covers energy policy at the Wall Street Journal...


@ Interior: Victories and Defeats for Oil Industry

It took 40 years but this week the Trump administration announced that it would open up 1.5 million acres of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling. The administration argues the decision will lead to jobs and generate billions of dollars in revenue, but opponents warn that opening the area to drilling will have a devastating effect on the region - which is a critical habitat for polar bears, migrating caribou and other wildlife. On today’s episode, we talk with Darryl Fears who...


2020: Our last chance to save the planet?

We are now three months away from an election that could determine A LOT, including what our future climate looks like. On this episode, we discuss the 2020 election through the prism of climate change. We talk with Marianne Levelle, a reporter with Inside Climate News, about Joe Biden's evolving climate policy and why he's gotten more aggressive on the issue. And we talk with Time magazine correspondent Justin Worland who recently wrote a cover story for the magazine titled "2020 is our...


Major defeats for pipelines…and Trump.

Federal courts recently handed down major decisions against big pipelines that would transmit oil and gas around the country. And other big pipelines are facing legal challenges that may put them out of business. What do these decisions mean for America's continued oil and gas buildout and the Trump administration's campaign for energy dominance? Our first guest is Ellen Gilmer, who tracks environmental policy & courtroom drama for Bloomberg News. Then, to talk about what the Dakota Access...


Trump issues final rules to weaken NEPA

This week, President Trump announced he was issuing final rules to weaken the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). The new rules will limit public review of federal infrastructure projects to speed up the permitting of highways, power plants & pipelines. Since its passage in 1970, NEPA has been used to ensure that federal agencies consider environmental effects of major projects. When the proposed rules first came out, we spoke about the impact of these rollbacks with Sharon Buccino,...


Living on Earth: Bill McKibben on the Divestment Movement

Harvard is one of the latest in a series of wealthy institutions around the world announcing steps towards pulling their investments in the fossil fuel industry. But Harvard’s announcement has been called too little, too late. Bill McKibben, author of “The End of Nature” and cofounder of, reflects on what the divestment movement has achieved so far and how it all began. Also, why racial justice goes hand in hand with the fight for a cleaner environment, and the big takeaways that the...


Tracking Trump’s Environmental Rollbacks

Harvard Law School is keeping tabs on the regulatory changes of the Trump Administration. What’s the lasting legacy of the nearly 100 environmental rollbacks?


Can the environmental movement address American racism?

There’s a growing understanding that racial disparities in the U.S. extend beyond policing, to public health and the environment. Communities of color are more likely to breathe polluted air, live near polluting industries and be exposed to toxic chemicals. And now COVID-19 is disproportionately threatening these same communities Our guest is environmental justice leader Mustafa Santiago Ali. From 1993-2017, Ali served as Senior Advisor for Environmental Justice and Community...


Can Joe Biden Convince Climate Voters He Is One of Them?

Joe Biden ran considerably to the right of his top rivals on climate policy. But now that he is the nominee, the Biden campaign is trying to convince climate activists that his campaign is taking the issue seriously.


Trump's Executive Order to Keep Meat Plants Open Could Be Risky. Here's Why.

President Trump ordered meat processing plants to stay open despite workers getting sick with the coronavirus. On this episode, Jacob Bunge, agriculture reporter for the Wall Street Journal, talks about the meat industry, worker safety, farmers' fears, euthanizing pigs and other issues with the food supply chain.


If it Ain't Broke What Are We Fixing, Exactly?

Last week the EPA announced a major change to a landmark regulation that has reduced toxic air pollution like mercury from coal-fired power plants. The vast majority of these plants have already complied with the rule. So why did the EPA roll it back now?


Coronavirus is like Climate Change on Steroids

If you've been following climate change, the coronavirus pandemic might feel oddly familiar these days. Many countries have implemented radical policies that would have been unthinkable a few weeks ago to slow the spread of the virus. Is this what it will take to solve the climate crisis? On this episode, climate journalist Emily Atkin on the intersection of climate change and coronavirus.


How Dark Money Fuels Mistrust of Science

How does doubt about science play out in a moment like we’re experiencing now where public health and millions of lives depend on good science and trusting scientists? Our guest is David Michaels, an epidemiologist and author of “The Triumph of Doubt: Dark Money and the Science of Deception.”


EPA to Polluters: Monitor Yourselves

Industry is struggling during the coronavirus crisis and one way the Trump administration has responded is by suspending enforcement of some environmental regulations. The EPA made the announcement on Thursday. Companies are usually required to report when they discharge certain levels of pollution into the air or water. But EPA is now telling them to monitor themselves for an undetermined period of time during the outbreak. Our guest is Rachel Franzin, energy and environment reporter for...


A Dark History

Yes, Trump has cozied up to oil companies. He’s said we should have taken the oil from Iraq. And it does seem like we are cozying up to petro-state strongmen in Russia and Saudi Arabia. But is this any different from how the United States and other western powers have operated over the last 150 years? Our guest is Matthieu Auzanneau, author of the book Oil, Power, and War which looks at the deep history of big oil’s influence over the affairs of the U.S. and other Western powers.


Trump Administration Ending Long-Standing Protections for Migratory Birds

At more than 100 years old, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act was among the first environmental laws in the United States. Until recently, power companies and other industries could be prosecuted by the federal government for causing egregious bird deaths, even accidentally. Not anymore. The Trump administration is proposing that only the intentional killing of birds would be prohibited under the act. This despite recent research that finds a nearly 30% decline in birds from North America -...