Environment

Next-Gen Climate Activism

Apr 25, 2016

Student activists calling for a shift away from fossil fuels say that institutions that refuse to act forfeit their status as moral leaders. Harvard Law student Ted Hamilton discusses with host Steve Curwood the lawsuit that’s attempting to compel Harvard to divest its portfolio of fossil fuels, and the connections between divestment and the broader climate movement. (published April 22, 2016)

The 2016 Goldman Environmental Prizes

Apr 25, 2016

The Goldman Foundation annually honors six activists from around the world who have fought for the protection of the environment. The murder of one of last year’s winners, Berta Cáceres from Honduras, has put this year’s awards in an even brighter spotlight. Host Steve Curwood profiles this year’s winner from Latin America, Máxima Acuña of Peru, who fought a proposed gold mine on her farm, at the expense of being sent to jail and having her house knocked down and her potato crop destroyed. (published April 22, 2016)

UN Climate Chief Calls for Urgent Action

Apr 25, 2016

Earth Day 2016 brought a significant milestone for the Paris Agreement, as some 175 nations signed on at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Yet the ambitious goals of this climate agreement are not guaranteed without aggressive moves to curb carbon pollution. Host Steve Curwood sits down with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to discuss what’s required to give civilization a fighting chance. (published April 22, 2016)

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 25, 2016

Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood look at a remote indigenous tribe in Guyana that used the internet for plans to build a drone to monitor illegal deforestation, discuss Republican lawmakers and right-wing media who once accepted climate change, but have since flip-flopped, and look back at things that have gotten better, worse or stayed the same since the first Earth Day in 1970. (published April 22, 2016)

Living on Earth: April 22, 2016

Apr 25, 2016

UN Climate Chief Calls for Urgent Action / Paris and Climate Justice / Next-Gen Climate Activism / Beyond the Headlines / Happy Birthday, Living on Earth! / The 2016 Goldman Environmental Prizes / The 2016 North American Goldman Prize Winner, a Student from Baltimore

Michael Mroziak, WBFO

On Earth Day 2016, officials from the City of Buffalo delivered statistics showing an increase in recycling by residents. Leaders are hopeful the upward trend will continue as the city looks to reach the goal of an initiative introduced one year ago.


Western New York is receiving mixed grades in a new report on air pollution.

For years, women in the US Forest Service and at some national parks have complained about a hostile work environment.

Now, an investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior has confirmed that at one iconic site, Grand Canyon National Park, there has been a long-term pattern of sexual harassment.

Fighting the haze at the Grand Canyon

Apr 17, 2016

Back in 2009, industrial giant Cemex wanted to build a new plant near the Grand Canyon. Opposition forced the company to relocate the project farther away. Nevertheless, the battle to preserve air quality and visibility at the canyon is ongoing.

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 16, 2016

This week, Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood discuss the fact that the numbers of wild tigers are growing, that responses to replacing lead water pipes differ from city to city and look back on Aaron Burr, who proposed a municipal water system for New York City in the 18th century, but later as vice-president shot Alexander Hamilton. (published April 15, 2016)

BirdNote: Spider Silk and Birds’ Nests

Apr 16, 2016

In nesting season, ingenious birds make use of many objects they find to construct a snug home for their eggs. But as Michael Stein reveals, some small birds like kinglets and hummingbirds have found that spider silk collected from webs is just the thing to hold nests together, the bird equivalent of duct tape. (published April 15, 2016)

Living on Earth: April 15, 2016

Apr 16, 2016

Youth Win Right to Sue Feds Over Climate Change / Beyond the Headlines / I Feel the Earth Move / Controversial Arctic Cruise / BirdNote: Spider Silk and Birds’ Nests / Revisiting Africa’s Great Green Wall / Great Green Wonder of the World / Elephant Matriarch Puts Her Foot Down

Revisiting Africa’s Great Green Wall

Apr 16, 2016

As human activity puts pressure on land in Africa and the planet warms, the Sahara desert threatens to overtake the arid Sahel region. But a bold initiative to plant a wall of trees 4,300 miles long across the continent could keep back the sands of the Sahara, improve degraded lands, and help alleviate poverty. We return to a 2012 Living on Earth story on the Great Green Wall, reported by Living on Earth’s Bobby Bascomb in Senegal. (published April 15, 2016)

I Feel the Earth Move

Apr 16, 2016

Climate change is doing more than melting ice sheets. It’s actually changing the Earth’s rotation. NASA’s Erik Ivins tells host Steve Curwood that the planet resembles a large top wobbling on its axis as the weight of ice lifts, but the wobble has no major effects for humans. (published April 15, 2016)

A federal judge in Oregon has found that 21 young people have the right to sue the federal government for failing to properly protect future generations from the dangers of climate change. Vermont Law Professor Pat Parenteau tells host Steve Curwood it’s a surprising and perhaps landmark decision that shows climate change is a unique challenge for the legal system. (published April 15, 2016)

Great Green Wonder of the World

Apr 16, 2016

Africa’s Great Green Wall is making slow progress, and helping provide employment to keep young people on the land. Living on Earth’s Helen Palmer reports on the hopes for the project to help local economies and the environment. (published April 15, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Elephant Matriarch Puts Her Foot Down

Apr 16, 2016

On a blistering day at an African watering hole, Living on Earth’s Resident Explorer Mark Seth Lender witnesses a confrontation between basking crocodiles and a small herd of elephants seeking to quench their thirst. (published April 15, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Two major financiers of the Agua Zarca dam project in Honduras have suspended their financial support in the wake of the high-profile murders of Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia, activists who opposed the dam.

What's the story behind the famous London Fog?

Apr 13, 2016
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REUTERS/Toby Melville

Cities have unique signatures — and for London, it's fog. A century ago, acrid, corrosive, soot-laden smog killed thousands and shrouded the city in darkness. Yet some Londoners felt affection for the fog, dubbing it “the London Particular.”  

New research suggests that the snowiest winters on the East Coast are fueled by moisture being pumped out of the Arctic Ocean.

The study, which drew on more than 40 years of water samples taken at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in New Hampshire, found that much of the precipitation in snowy years in that New Hampshire forest, originated in the Arctic.

In the US, the cost of illnesses triggered by air pollution is falling

Apr 12, 2016
C
Robert Galbraith/Reuters

In the endless tug-of-war between industry and regulators over air pollution, industry issues repeated warnings about the economic costs of regulation, but rarely mentions costs of pollution to society. Yet, according to the World Health Organization, air pollution causes 3.3 million premature deaths worldwide.

In the US, where more than 200 coal-fired power plants have been retired in recent years, data indicates that lowering the amounts of fine particle pollution is generating significant public health dividends and lowering the overall cost to society.

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 9, 2016

In this week’s edition, Peter Dykstra shares encouraging news about India’s ambitious electric vehicles goal with host Steve Curwood, before complaining about the decline of the DC Metro system and BP’s tax breaks. (published April 8, 2016)

Louisiana has long been a friendly state to the oil and gas industry, but after the 2010 BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina, Louisiana residents are more aware of the risks associated with the fossil fuel industry. Hundreds of people recently rallied at the Super Dome in New Orleans to protest the sale of new federal leases in the Gulf of Mexico for oil and gas extraction. Anne Rolfes of the Louisiana Bucket Brigade tells host Steve Curwood that the oil industry is losing its sheen in the Bayou State. (published April 8, 2016)

Living on Earth is giving a voice to Orion Magazine’s longtime feature in which readers write about their favorite places. In this week’s edition, Lauren Platte takes us to Morro Bay on the California coast, where the estuary is a refuge for people and wildlife alike. (published April 8, 2016)

Women in some divisions of the Forest Service and Park Service are now coming forward with disturbing stories of sexual harassment in the work place, ending public silence about years of abuse and official neglect. An investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior has now confirmed that there has been a long-term pattern of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment in Grand Canyon National Park.

New York Confronts Exxon On Climate Risks

Apr 3, 2016

Thomas DiNapoli iis the Comptroller of New York State and trustee of its $178.3 billion Pension Fund. He won an appeal to the Securities and Exchange Commission to force ExxonMobil to report the risks the oil giant will face from climate change and likely increased fossil fuel regulation. Comptroller DiNapoli tells host Steve Curwood that states and their pension funds can help shape industry’s response to global warming. (published April 1, 2016)

Two major financiers of the Agua Zarca dam project in Honduras have suspended their financial support in the wake of the high-profile murders of Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia, activists who opposed the dam. Peter Bosshard of International Rivers and host Steve Curwood discuss the potential far-reaching consequences for development international aid programs. (published April 1, 2016)

Clearing The View For The Grand Canyon

Apr 3, 2016

Cement plants are big air polluters and in 2009 industrial giant Cemex wanted to build a new plant near the Grand Canyon, causing concern about increasing the haze that already plagues the national park. We revisit a report by Arizona Public Radio’s Laurel Morales, and host Steve Curwood catches up on the story with environmental engineer Bill Auberle who discusses current threats facing the iconic attraction and hopeful signs for its future. (published April 1, 2016)

Living on Earth: April 1, 2016

Apr 3, 2016

New York Confronts Exxon On Climate Risks / Dam Funders Halt Support After Murders In Honduras / Beyond the Headlines / Clearing The View For The Grand Canyon / Sexual Harassment Blights National Parks and Forests

Chris Caya WBFO News

In Buffalo's Delaware Park on Monday, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer said a proposed 30% cut would devastate the Clean Water Act.

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