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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

EPA Devalues Science To Downplay Chemical Risk

 

The latest EPA action to further ignore sound science is its new assessment of the health risks associated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Epidemiological studies have found that children exposed to chlorpyrifos in utero suffer brain damage. But as pediatrician and epidemiologist Dr. Philip Landrigan tells Bobby Bascomb, the EPA is claiming that data is “inconclusive” because it protects the privacy of study participants.

 

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The latest EPA action to further ignore sound science is its new assessment of the health risks associated with the pesticide chlorpyrifos. Epidemiological studies have found that children exposed to chlorpyrifos in utero suffer brain damage. But as pediatrician and epidemiologist Dr. Philip Landrigan tells Bobby Bascomb, the EPA is claiming that data is “inconclusive” because it protects the privacy of study participants.

Judge Barrett and Environmental Law

 

Supreme Court nominee and Federal Appeals Court Judge Amy Coney Barrett is a conservative who tends to interpret the law narrowly, meaning that if she is confirmed, she would generally rule against innovative environmental advocacy legislation. Patrick Parenteau, a professor of environmental law at Vermont Law School, joins Steve Curwood to talk about Judge Barrett's record and how she might approach environmental litigation on the high court.

 

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Climate Change Disrupts Major Transportation Corridor

 

I-70 is a transportation lifeline linking East to West and an engineering marvel as it barrels through the Rocky Mountains. Earlier this summer I-70 was closed for two weeks following the Grizzly Creek Fire in Glenwood Canyon. As Colorado Public Radio’s Dan Boyce reports, it’s just one example of the transportation challenges linked to climate disruption. 

 

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Enduring Against Seemingly Impossible Odds

 

In 1914, British explorer Ernest Shackleton and his crew of 27 men set sail for Antarctica. Disaster struck when their ship the “Endurance” became trapped in pack ice and later broke up, yet optimism and sheer perseverance carried all 28 men through what seemed impossible odds. Rosamund Zander, the author of Pathways to Possibility: Transforming Our Relationship to Ourselves, Each Other, and the World, joins Steve Curwood to talk about how Shackleton used emotional intelligence to keep his crew going through and how we can all harness an optimistic mindset to carry us through difficult times. 

 

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Scylla and Charybdis on the Zambezi River

 

Living on Earth’s Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender recounts a hair-raising encounter with hippopotamus and Cape buffalo on the Zambezi River and in Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe.

 

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Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the Environment

 

In addition to championing women’s rights, the late US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left a strong and sophisticated environmental legacy. Harvard Law School Professor Richard Lazarus speaks with Jenni Doering about some of “RBG’s” key environmental votes and written opinions.

 

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Climate Departure Date

 

A group of scientists at the University of Hawaii have figured out a way to project when the climate at a given location will move outside the range of anything we’ve known in modern times. It’s sooner then you think.

 

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Bayou Community Struggles with Sinkhole

 

A huge sinkhole in the tiny swamp community of Bayou Corne is giving residents unique and unpleasant challenges. It is now approximately 20 acres in size.

 

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Nuclear Storage Crisis

 

The meltdown at Fukushima in Japan may be grabbing all the headlines, but with the Yucca Mountain project in perpetual limbo the United States has a nuclear storage problem on its hands as well.

 

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Environmental Justice Debated

The second and final 2020 U.S. presidential debate featured climate and the environment more prominently than ever before in a general election debate, with environmental justice discussed for the first time in such a forum. Hosts Steve Curwood and Bobby Bascomb talk about some of the debate highlights on environmental topics, from “fenceline communities” plagued by pollution, to Donald Trump’s claims about wind energy, to Joe Biden’s plan to phase out fossil fuels. 

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Overcoming Climate Anxiety

Climate change is disrupting lives and causing deep anxiety, especially for the young people organizing to address it. The new book A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet lays out strategies for addressing climate-fueled anxieties and moving beyond them to help Gen Z activists envision a resilient future. Author Sarah Jaquette Ray joined Jenni Doering for a virtual live event to discuss the importance of equipping young activists with the emotional tools they need to bring about change.

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Hiking in 6-Inch Heels

Growing up as a queer person, photographer Wyn Wiley was often told: The great outdoors is for everybody, but only if you look and act a certain way. Now, he works to break down this barrier. His drag queen alter-ego, Pattie Gonia, hikes in 6-inch heels and a full face of makeup, preaching on Instagram that enjoying the outdoors transcends gender identity and sexual orientation. Wyn Wiley speaks with Host Bobby Bascomb as Pattie to discuss her journey as a queer environmental activist and the solace she finds in nature.

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This Week’s Show
October 23, 2020
listen / download


Environmental Justice Debated

listen / download
The second and final 2020 U.S. presidential debate featured climate and the environment more prominently than ever before in a general election debate, with environmental justice discussed for the first time in such a forum. Hosts Steve Curwood and Bobby Bascomb talk about some of the debate highlights on environmental topics, from “fenceline communities” plagued by pollution, to Donald Trump’s claims about wind energy, to Joe Biden’s plan to phase out fossil fuels. 

Climate and Senate Races in North Carolina and Georgia

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Since the 1960’s North Carolina and Georgia have favored Republican candidates, but Senate races there this year show a tight race between Republicans and Democrats. More climate awareness and the growing number of young people migrating to these states is changing the electorate there. InsideClimate News Reporter Marianne Lavelle joins Bobby Bascomb to look at how climate politics is affecting the North Carolina and the Georgia special election Senate races.

Rapid Ice Melt and Rising Seas

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The Antarctic and Greenland ice sheets are melting at alarming rates thanks to climate change, and will continue to do so for decades even if the Paris Climate Agreement goals are met. Steve Curwood speaks with Princeton University climate scientist Michael Oppenheimer about how these massive ice sheets contribute to global sea level rise, and why their melting necessitates both the reduction of global warming gases and adaptation to protect vulnerable coasts.

Overcoming Climate Anxiety

listen / download
Climate change is disrupting lives and causing deep anxiety, especially for the young people organizing to address it. The new book A Field Guide to Climate Anxiety: How to Keep Your Cool on a Warming Planet lays out strategies for addressing climate-fueled anxieties and moving beyond them to help Gen Z activists envision a resilient future. Author Sarah Jaquette Ray joined Jenni Doering for a virtual live event to discuss the importance of equipping young activists with the emotional tools they need to bring about change.

Beyond the Headlines

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This week, Peter Dykstra and Steve Curwood take a peek Beyond the Headlines to look at the New York Power Authority's decision to convert some of their “peaker” plants to clean energy. Then, the two cross the pond to Finland, where a recent study suggests that childhoods spent playing in the grass and dirt might help strengthen immune systems. Finally, they take a trip back in history to the anniversary of Toyota's Prius prototype.

Hiking in 6-Inch Heels

listen / download
Growing up as a queer person, photographer Wyn Wiley was often told: The great outdoors is for everybody, but only if you look and act a certain way. Now, he works to break down this barrier. His drag queen alter-ego, Pattie Gonia, hikes in 6-inch heels and a full face of makeup, preaching on Instagram that enjoying the outdoors transcends gender identity and sexual orientation. Wyn Wiley speaks with Host Bobby Bascomb as Pattie to discuss her journey as a queer environmental activist and the solace she finds in nature.


Special Features

Field Note: Scylla and Charybdis on the Zambezi River
Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender muses on danger and perspective in an encounter with wild hippopotamus and Cape buffalo.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Extended Version: The Sirens of Mars

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The search for life elsewhere in the Universe is focused now on Mars, our closest planetary neighbor, with the Perseverance mission planned to launch sometime between the end of July and the middle of August. Astrobiologist Sarah Stewart Johnson is a Georgetown associate professor and NASA scientist who has spent her career searching for answers to these questions. Her book Sirens of Mars: Searching for Life on Another World captures the intersection between planetary science and her life's journey, and she joins Host Steve Curwood to explore the big questions that define space exploration and the human species’ fascination with Mars.
Blog Series: The Podcast from Living On Earth


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...Ultimately, if we are going prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we are going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them...

-- President Barack Obama, November 6, 2015 on why he declined to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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