Living on Earth

Monday mornings from 9-10 a.m.

The weekly environmental news and information program presenting news, features, interviews, and commentary on a broad range of ecological issues.

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Podcasts

  • Friday, April 2, 2021 9:00am
    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 dramatically expand offshore wind power along the East Coast, with 30 gigawatts along the U.S. coasts by 2030, backed up by billions in federal loan guarantees. How this key part of Biden's infrastructure plan may especially help New York City meet its clean energy demands.

    Also, spring is the perfect time to start gardening -- and growing your favorite fresh produce doesn't have to feel like a chore! Tips for the casual gardener and more.

    Thanks to our sponsor: Giving Multiplier
  • Friday, March 26, 2021 9:00am
    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 ranching.

    Also, Earth's magnetic poles wander around and flip every now and then, and now scientists have evidence for how these flips impact life on Earth. Linking a magnetic pole reversal about 41,000 years ago to megafauna extinctions, climatic changes, and even a rise in ancient cave art.

    And it's maple syrup season, but these aren't the only sappy trees that can be tapped to make syrup. A trip to a syrup producer in New Hampshire to taste syrups made from birch, beech, walnut, and other trees.
  • Friday, March 19, 2021 9:00am
    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 towns from idyllic to industrial and is threatening the physical and mental health of many inhabitants. The stories of families whose lives have been completely upended by fracking.

    And when climate reporter Phil McKenna needed a new fridge, he tried to steer clear of any appliance that would use super-potent greenhouse gases to cool his groceries. But he ended up with a "carbon bomb" containing a greenhouse gas thousands of times more potent than CO2. Why industry has made it so hard to find climate-friendly appliances.
  • Friday, March 12, 2021 8:00am
    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 years.

    Also, President Joe Biden has set an official goal of protecting 30% of US land and ocean for conservation by 2030 to help avert species extinction and fight climate change. We take a look at two conservation campaigns that are being led by Native American tribes: Badger-Two Medicine in Montana and part of the Grand Canyon in Arizona.

    And regenerative agriculture practices that store carbon in the soil are a "win-win-win" for farmers, the economy and the environment, say advocates. Advocates claim widespread adoption of no-till, cover cropping, and other practices could perhaps store as much carbon as the global transportation sector emits every year.
  • Friday, March 5, 2021 8:00am
    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 Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster, Japanese authorities are planning to release some of the contaminated cooling water into the Pacific Ocean. What the release of this water means for marine and human health.

    And consumers in China and the U.S. prize American ginseng, most of which is grown in just one Wisconsin county, as a health food and traditional medicine. But demand has dried up in the midst of America's ongoing trade war with China, economic impacts from the COVID-19 pandemic and anti-Asian rhetoric, and farmers are struggling.