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

Mastering Fire with Fire

 

In California, Oregon and Washington, the 2020 fire season is one for the record books, with millions of acres burned and many thousands of people displaced. Fires are inevitable in much of the West due to the region’s ecology, but devasting megafires aren’t, according to Timothy Ingalsbee, founding director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology (FUSEE). He joins Jenni Doering to discuss how fire management can keep megafires from erupting and keep communities safe.

 

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In California, Oregon and Washington, the 2020 fire season is one for the record books, with millions of acres burned and many thousands of people displaced. Fires are inevitable in much of the West due to the region’s ecology, but devasting megafires aren’t, according to Timothy Ingalsbee, founding director of Firefighters United for Safety, Ethics, and Ecology (FUSEE). He joins Jenni Doering to discuss how fire management can keep megafires from erupting and keep communities safe.

Women Hotshot Firefighters

 

“Hotshot” crews perform some of the most physically demanding and dangerous firefighting work, and have long been male-dominated. Freelance journalist Amanda Monthei captured the stories of some of the first women hotshots for Outside Magazine. She’s worked on a hotshot crew herself, and spoke with Bobby Bascomb about the generational link she found between her experience and theirs.

 

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HBO's "Ice On Fire" Offers Climate Solutions

 

The Earth is warming and changing faster than many climate scientists had predicted, and at times the future looks impossibly grim. Yet practical and accessible solutions to climate change are already at hand. The HBO documentary “Ice on Fire”, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, focuses on these solutions and on the scientists who are tackling climate change. Director Leila Conners joined Host Steve Curwood to discuss the making of the documentary and who it aims to reach.

 

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Container Farming in the City

 

Modern industrial agriculture is a resource-intensive endeavor, requiring massive amounts of land, water, and energy. Some urban farmers are thinking outside the box by bringing their farms inside the box in the form of shipping containers. Living on Earth's Jay Feinstein and Aynsley O'Neill took a trip to Corner Stalk Farms, in East Boston, Massachusetts to find out more.

 

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Saving West Africa’s Last Rainforest

 

When an oil palm development in the poor West African country of Liberia threatened indigenous communities and moved to cut down the last major swath of tropical rainforest in the region, lawyer Alfred Brownell jumped into action. He and his colleagues were able to persuade the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil to get the company to back off, but not without great personal risk. Attorney Brownell, who has been recognized with a 2019 Goldman Environmental Prize, explains why the remaining Liberian tropical rainforest is so important to protect, shares his story of a near assassination, and implores American consumers to consider their complicity in the devastation caused by oil palm developments.

 

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Container Farming in the City

 

East Boston, Massachusetts to find out more.

 

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Jim's Bees

 

Bees have remarkable skills to communicate and create wholesome food from flowers. Yet they can also terrify.

 

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Deepwater Disaster Three Years On

 

Ten years ago the Deep Water Horizon oil spill poured 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, a team of chemists, engineers, and biologists is attempting to assess the damage to the Gulf ecosystem.

 

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Beyond the Headlines

 

Peter Dykstra of the Daily Climate and Environmental Health News brings us some far-flung environmental stories from this past week that didn’t make the headlines. This week: salt intrusion in Bangladesh and rare earth mining in Greenland.

 

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Black & Latinx Voters Lean Green

Surveys suggest Black and Latinx voters, along with younger voters, are more likely than white voters to view the environment and climate as their top concerns. However, due to both voter suppression and an enthusiasm gap people of color are less likely to exercise their right to vote. Pete Maysmith, Senior Vice President of Campaigns for the League of Conservation Voters, joins Steve Curwood to talk about how his organization plans to help mobilize Black and Latinx votes this November to boost pro-environment candidates.

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World’s Largest Wetlands on Fire

As wildfires blaze across the West Coast of the U.S., Brazil grapples with its own fires, in its massive Pantanal wetlands and the Amazon rainforest. Steve Curwood speaks with biologist Daniel Nepstad, President of the Earth Innovation Institute, about the role of climate change in the wildfires and how they’re impacting Brazilian biodiversity, ecosystem services, and local communities.

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Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land

Every four years a 6,000-mile marathon run called Peace and Dignity Journeys unites Indigenous runners from all over North and South America, seeking to heal the wounds left from colonization and displacement. In his memoir Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land, Noe Alvarez shares how the communal run helped him reclaim a relationship with the land and reconnect with his parents' migration and life of labor in the agricultural fields of the Northwest, and he spoke with Bobby Bascomb about the journey.

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This Week’s Show
September 18, 2020
listen / download


Black & Latinx Voters Lean Green

listen / download
Surveys suggest Black and Latinx voters, along with younger voters, are more likely than white voters to view the environment and climate as their top concerns. However, due to both voter suppression and an enthusiasm gap people of color are less likely to exercise their right to vote. Pete Maysmith, Senior Vice President of Campaigns for the League of Conservation Voters, joins Steve Curwood to talk about how his organization plans to help mobilize Black and Latinx votes this November to boost pro-environment candidates.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
In this week’s look beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra joins Steve Curwood to discuss a new law passed in California which will allow state inmates who have been fighting wildfires while serving prison sentences to get jobs in those same firefighting organizations upon their release. Later in the segment, the two take a deeper look at the climate costs of plastic manufacturing, and finally, their powers combine to celebrate the 30th birthday of Captain Planet, the blue-skinned, green-haired cartoon environmental champion.

World’s Largest Wetlands on Fire

listen / download
As wildfires blaze across the West Coast of the U.S., Brazil grapples with its own fires, in its massive Pantanal wetlands and the Amazon rainforest. Steve Curwood speaks with biologist Daniel Nepstad, President of the Earth Innovation Institute, about the role of climate change in the wildfires and how they’re impacting Brazilian biodiversity, ecosystem services, and local communities.

BirdNote®: Thick-Billed Euphonia: Deceitful Mimic

listen / download
The Thick-billed Euphonia is a songbird in South America who uses its power of vocal mimicry to hoodwink other birds into chasing off predators. BirdNote's Mary McCann reports on this tiny trickster.

Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America’s Stolen Land

listen / download
Every four years a 6,000-mile marathon run called Peace and Dignity Journeys unites Indigenous runners from all over North and South America, seeking to heal the wounds left from colonization and displacement. In his memoir Spirit Run: A 6,000-Mile Marathon Through North America's Stolen Land, Noe Alvarez shares how the communal run helped him reclaim a relationship with the land and reconnect with his parents' migration and life of labor in the agricultural fields of the Northwest, and he spoke with Bobby Bascomb about the journey.


Special Features

Extended Version: The Sirens of Mars

listen / download
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

Field Note: Crab-Eater Seals Take a Break
Living on Earth's Mark Seth Lender shares a brief reflection about the crab-eater seals he observed enjoying a well-deserved rest.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Extended Version: Jane Goodall on 60+ Years of Conservation and Research

listen / download
The iconic Jane Goodall has spent her life advocating for the conservation of the natural world. Sixty years ago on July 14th, 1960, Jane arrived in what is now Gombe National Park, Tanzania, to begin her groundbreaking research on chimpanzees. In this extended interview version, Jane Goodall joins Steve Curwood to discuss her career studying chimps, the work her organization is doing now, what we can learn about our relationship with the natural world from the current pandemic, and much more.
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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