Trump on Earth-logo

Trump on Earth

News & Politics Podcasts >

More Information


United States






The Nuclear Dilemma

Today, nuclear plants provide 20% of US power generation. But according to a report last year by the non-profit Union of Concerned Scientists, of the 99 nuclear reactors nationwide, owners have shut down six in recent years. Seven more are slated for retirement. In the age of climate change, the Union’s director of energy research and analysis, Steve Clemmer, doesn’t want the demise of this carbon-free power source. In this episode, we talk with him about his report, The Nuclear Dilemma.


California v. Trump

The Trump administration has rolled back more than 80 environmental regulations but some states are fighting back. No state has been more active in the resistance against Trump's environmental deregulations than California. Case in point: last week, news broke that four of the world’s biggest automakers brokered a secret deal with the state to make more fuel-efficient cars in coming years, directly undermining the Trump administration. On this episode we talk with Jared Blumenfeld,...


Fact Check: Trump’s Environmental Speech

Surrounding by several members of his cabinet, President Trump recently gave a speech at the White House touting his own environmental record. Even though he’s tried to rolled back environmental regulations at a record pace, Trump painted a picture of a country where economic growth has occurred as the environment has gotten cleaner. On this episode, we fact check the speech with Rebecca Leber of the Mother Jones.


So Long, Clean Power Plan. It Was Nice Knowing You.

The Trump administration recently rolled out the affordable clean energy (ACE) rule. Critics say it basically does nothing to prevent climate change at a time when global warming is turning into an existential crisis. Our guest is Jody Freeman, a professor at Harvard Law School and founder of the school's environmental and energy law program. She served in the Obama White House as counselor for energy and climate change.


Will Climate Change Matter in 2020?

There wasn't a single question about global warming in the 2016 presidential debates. Will 2020 be different? There are 23 Democrats vying for their party's nomination. Who has a plan to fight climate change (and who doesn't)? And what will President Trump's eventual Democratic challenger say on the subject? Today take a look at where the candidates stand on climate change with Emily Holden, environment reporter for the Guardian.


Climate change's big question: Can we get to zero carbon?

Recent reports stress the urgency of reducing carbon emissions to check the worst effects of climate change. On this episode we listen in as some very knowledgable experts wade into the possibilities, obstacles and potential solutions. The panelists: Paulina Jaramillo, associate professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University and co-director of the Green Design Institute; Ivonne Peña, an energy analyst who has worked for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in...


That Time We Could Have Stopped Climate Change. . .

Forty years ago, the U.S. government began to take climate change seriously and for a short time period, politicians from both parties endorsed taking actions to avert what was by then understood to be an existential problem for humanity. So what happened? And what can we learn from the decade we almost stopped climate change but didn’t? Our guest is Nathanial Rich, a writer at large for the New York Times magazine. He wrote about this history in the new book, Losing Earth.


An Explosion in Drilling on Public Lands Driven by 'Energy Dominance'

President Trump's push to have oil and gas drilling on public lands has hit some snags lately. A federal court recently halted leasing on 300,000 acres of public land in Wyoming after the court ruled the administration hadn't adequately considered climate change on its decision to lease the land. And late last week, a federal judge ruled Trump's efforts to lift an Obama era ban on drilling in the Arctic and North Atlantic oceans was unlawful. But despite all this, companies are still...


The Green New Deal: Two Takes

Now that a proposal is on the table, some see it as a chance to create jobs and equalize the economy. But critics say it should laser focus on climate action.


The Pollution Police

What happens when environmental laws and rules aren't enforced? When the environmental cops just aren't on the beat? Under Trump, EPA inspections have fallen to a 10-year low. On this episode, we hear from Juliet Eilperin who has covered this story for The Washington Post. Why does the EPA need inspections, penalties and prosecutions? And how is the view of the EPA's role changing under the Trump administration?


A Surge of Black Lung Disease in Appalachia

This week we're bringing you a interview with NPR's Howard Berkes about the proliferation of black lung disease among coal miners in Appalachia. It comes from our sister podcast called Energy Explained, produced by the public radio collaboration StateImpact Pennsylvania The interview covers not just this administration's current policies on coal mine safety but those of previous administrations. And it really is an important piece of reporting that Berkes and his team did.


Green New Deal. You've Heard the Phrase. Here's What it Means.

If there were a billboard top 100 for policy ideas, the Green New Deal would be at the top of the charts for several weeks running. It’s not a policy, or a bill--more like aspirations that combine swift action on climate change with broad social and economic reforms. Alexander Kaufman has been covering the Green New Deal for the HuffPost, and he joins us to talk about what it tells us about where our politics -- and possibly the climate itself-- are heading.


Zinke's Out. What's the Damage to Public Lands?

The federal government is the nation's largest landowner, managing 500 million acres under the Department of the Interior. And while some expect that America's public lands are managed for the benefit and enjoyment of the people, others say the Trump administration has allowed interests like energy development to lead land policy. Trump's first interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, literally rode into Washington on a horse a couple of years ago promising to be a land steward in the style of...


As the World Burns

Three years ago, most of the world’s nations signed onto the Paris Climate Agreement, which committed countries to do their best to avert a climate catastrophe. Well, things are different now. President Donald Trump has vowed to take the U.S. out of the deal, but the vast majority of countries are still in it, and they met recently in Poland at the United Nation’s annual climate conference to discuss it. NPR’s Rebecca Hersher was there, and on this episode we learn more about the big...


What's at Stake Under the New Trump Water Rule

When President Trump started his tenure he promised to repeal something called the ‘Waters of the U.S.’ rule. And this week he made good on that promise. The revised definition of “Waters of the United States” eliminates protections for half of the nations wetlands and nearly a fifth of streams. On this episode, we spoke with Ariel Wittenberg, who covers the Clean Water Act for E&E News, about the major changes to the Obama-era rule and their implications.


America Voted. How did the Environment Fare?

President Donald Trump’s performance and policies were front and center in many races across the country--whether candidates were for or against them--and the environment was on the ballot, some cases, literally. A least nine states had ballot initiatives focused on environmental issues from banning offshore drilling to ramping up renewals. To get a post-election take on how the environment played into the midterm elections--and what’s next--we talked to George Cahlink,...


Environmentalists Could Change Election Outcomes. They Just Need to Vote.

Historically, polls have shown that environmentalists are terrible at voting. In the 2014 midterm election, more than 15 million environmentalists didn't show up on Election Day. And to be clear, all of them were already registered and already committed to environmental issues. So why are they so bad at voting? And will they turn out in the midterm elections? We dig into the topic with Nathaniel Stinnett, founder of the non-partisan organization, Environmental Voter Project. He has a plan...


Inside the Industry Takeover at the EPA

President Trump says he'll look into a recent UN Climate Change report that predicted we have 12 years to drastically lower our carbon footprint or else the world will witness catastrophic impacts of climate change. He did this as his EPA is actively scaling back Obama-era regulations that would have cut back on America's carbon pollution. A lot of that work has been done in concert with lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry, including some who now work at the EPA. We know this in part...


Climate Change: How Bad Can it Be?

You’ve probably heard by now that, according to a new UN report, the world has just over a decade to get climate change under control before it’s too late. And the report says we need a profound transformation to get there. The report has got us thinking about an episode we aired last year about what life on Earth could look like with the worst case scenario. David Wallace-Wells wrote an article last summer entitled “The Uninhabitable Earth.” It was the most widely read article in the...


Bonus Episode: Michael Mann’s Journey Through the Climate Wars

Today we're bring you an episode of a podcast we've been enjoying lately. Democracy Works, produced by Penn State's McCourtney Institute for Democracy, aims to rise above the daily news grind and take a broader look at issues impacting democracy — which can be just about anything. If you’re looking for partisan bickering or hot takes on the news, this is not the podcast for you. This episode is an interview with one of the most famous and vocal climate scientists. Michael Mann was on one of...