Living on Earth

Sunday 4PM
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Hosted by Steve Curwood, the award-winning environmental news program "Living on Earth" delves into the leading issues affecting the world we inhabit. As the population continues to rise and the management of the earth's resources becomes even more critical, "Living on Earth" examines the issues facing our increasingly interdependent world.

"Living on Earth" presents riveting features and commentary on everything from culture, economics and technology to health, law, food and transportation. It covers topics from the small challenges of everyday life to the future state of the environment and the health and well-being of the world's inhabitants.

Curwood and company draw from an impressive array of experts, commentators and journalists, including Neil deGrasse Tyson, director of New York's Hayden Planetarium; Mark Hertsgaard, author of "Earth Odyssey"; Janet Raloff of "Science News"; author Sy Montgomery; and award-winning producer Terry Fitzpatrick.

"Living on Earth" is a truly compelling hour of radio journalism.

Living on Earth Website

Beyond the Headlines

May 23, 2016

In this week’s trip beyond the environmental news headlines, Peter Dykstra fills in host Steve Curwood about faltering “clean coal” and carbon capture projects and how critics say chemicals manufacturing safety measures are falling short of protecting the public. The history calendar this week brings a tale of how superstition saved lives, when tornadoes battered one Kansas town on the very same date three years in a row. (published May 20, 2016)

The Politics of Teaching Climate Science

May 23, 2016

The majority of Americans are worried about climate change, yet the subject is barely covered in public school science classes. The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant reports on the powerful forces and opinions that make global warming a potential minefield for teachers. (published May 20, 2016)

In the US political conservatives often express less concern about environmental issues than liberals. But eco-psychologist Christopher Wolsko of Oregon State University tells host Steve Curwood this is due in part to the liberal framing of issues. His studies indicate reframing environmental topics in ways that reflect conservative values such as respect for authority and patriotism can better engage conservatives. (published May 20, 2016)

Checking Up on Native Plants

May 23, 2016

Spring brings the first native blooming plants, and native wildflowers are springing up at the New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods near Boston. But climate change, aggressive invasive species and insects are stressing some iconic plants, so a group of experts assessed the state of New England’s plants now. We revisit a conversation between host Steve Curwood and the Wild Flower Society’s senior research ecologist Elizabeth Farnsworth, as they walked in the woods to find out what’s going on. (published May 20, 2016)

BirdNote®: Drinking on the Wing

May 23, 2016

Most birds drink standing up, but swallows and swifts dip down over ponds to drink on the wing. In this week’s BirdNote® Michael Stein examines where this adaptation come from. (published May 20, 2016)

In the US political conservatives often express less concern about environmental issues than liberals. But eco-psychologist Christopher Wolsko of Oregon State University tells host Steve Curwood this is due in part to the liberal framing of issues. His studies indicate reframing environmental topics in ways that reflect conservative values such as respect for authority and patriotism can better engage conservatives. (published May 20, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Living on Earth: May 20, 2016

May 21, 2016

Trump: Climate and Paris Skeptic / Conservatives Tend To Ignore Liberal Talk About Climate / The Politics of Teaching Climate Science / Climate Benefits if New Federal Fossil Energy Leases are Banned / BirdNote®: Drinking on the Wing / Beyond the Headlines / Checking Up on Native Plants


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Beyond the Headlines

May 21, 2016

In this week’s trip beyond the environmental news headlines, Peter Dykstra fills in host Steve Curwood about faltering “clean coal” and carbon capture projects and how critics say chemicals manufacturing safety measures are falling short of protecting the public. The history calendar this week brings a tale of how superstition saved lives, when tornadoes battered one Kansas town on the very same date three years in a row. (published May 20, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Checking Up on Native Plants

May 21, 2016

Spring brings the first native blooming plants, and native wildflowers are springing up at the New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods near Boston. But climate change, aggressive invasive species and insects are stressing some iconic plants, so a group of experts assessed the state of New England’s plants now. We revisit a conversation between host Steve Curwood and the Wild Flower Society’s senior research ecologist Elizabeth Farnsworth, as they walked in the woods to find out what’s going on. (published May 20, 2016)


Trump: Climate and Paris Skeptic

May 21, 2016

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, says he doubts the reality of man-made climate change and if elected he would renegotiate the December 2015 landmark Paris climate agreement. (published May 20, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Gas Boom Goes Bust

May 17, 2016

The boom in natural gas released through fracking has bought new business and jobs to many communities, including some in Western Pennsylvania. But now oversupply linked to a mild winter means some of those businesses are going bust, as the Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports. (published May 13, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Living on Earth: May 13, 2016

May 17, 2016

Exxon, the Climate and Senator Whitehouse / Senate Energy Bill / Gas Boom Goes Bust / Beyond the Headlines / Back to the Land in the Flower Power Era / King Penguin Chicks Hunger for More


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Back to the Land in the Flower Power Era

May 17, 2016

In the 1960s and 70s, many idealistic young Americans left cities and suburbs to build their own version of the American dream together on communal farms, often without a clue how to farm sustainably. Kate Daloz, author of “We Are As Gods: Back to the Land in the 1970s and the Quest for a New America”, brings us stories of this movement from the homesteaders who lived near the geodesic dome in Vermont that was her childhood home.  (published May 13, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Senate Energy Bill

May 17, 2016

A coalition of environmental organizations that lobbied Congress for years to reform current energy policies now expresses misgivings about a recently passed Senate bill. The Natural Resources Defense Council’s Marc Boom tells host Steve Curwood why he sees provisions like expanding biomass and exploring methane hydrates as steps in the wrong direction. The NRDC endorses some provisions in the bill including measures to expand energy efficiency and protect public lands, but Boom says that on balance the bill could do more harm than good. (published May 13, 2016)


King Penguin Chicks Hunger for More

May 17, 2016

Living on Earth’s resident explorer Mark Seth Lender visited a King Penguin nesting colony on South Georgia Island in the South Pacific. Early whalers called the chicks ‘Oakum Boys’ because their tan-colored coats reminded the sailors of the tarred cotton twine used for caulking. Mark comments on the hunger of the Oakum Boys, as they shed their downy feathers and their parents stop feeding them, so the juveniles can learn to find their own food. (published May 13, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera, an environmental scientist from Puerto Rico, has been awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for the Islands and Island Nations for his work protecting a strip of undeveloped coast on his home island called the Northeast Ecological Corridor.

Huge $$ Advantage from Renewable Energy

May 7, 2016

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that doubling the world's renewable energy capacity by 2030 could save the global economy trillions of dollars every year. IRENA's Dolf Gielen tells host Steve Curwood why renewables are already so competitive, and how the world might cash in these savings. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

US-EU Trade Deal Controversy

May 7, 2016

The EU division of nonprofit Greenpeace released the negotiation text of a partnership between the US and the EU that’s meant to loosen trade barriers. Host Steve Curwood sat down with Jorgo Riss, Greenpeace EU director, for his views on the possible risks for key environmental, labor and consumer protection policies. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Living on Earth: May 6, 2016

May 7, 2016

US-EU Trade Deal Controversy / Huge $$ Advantage from Renewable Energy / Suing to Save the Monarch / The Monarch Needs More Than Milkweed / Beyond the Headlines / Port Damages Miami Reef / Coral Bleaching in Kiribati


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

The Monarch Needs More Than Milkweed

May 7, 2016

The past decade has seen steep declines of the Monarch butterfly populations. To save this iconic insect, many people have focused on protecting milkweed, the primary source of food for Monarch caterpillars across North America. Cornell biologist Anurag Agrawal recently studied the various drivers of the species’ decline, and tells host Steve Curwood that to save the Monarch, it will need more than just planting milkweed. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Coral Bleaching in Kiribati

May 7, 2016

Abnormally warm waters in the equatorial Pacific are devastating the coral reefs in the Pacific, including Kiribati, triggering a mass coral bleaching event and die-off on these remote islands. UMass Boston coral scientist, Jessica Carilli, and her PhD student, Sean McNally, just back from a recent research expedition in Kiribati, discuss the coral bleaching with host Steve Curwood and suggest how we can prepare coral reefs for the changing climate. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

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)

A 50-year, $50 billion plan is underway to rebuild as much as 33,000 acres of wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta. But questions about funding the project remain unresolved and even if the plan is fully implemented, the delta will be far smaller than it used to be.

Nevertheless, a lot has already been achieved, says Paul Kemp, a geologist, marine scientist and wetlands expert at Louisiana State University.

Next-Gen Climate Activism

Apr 23, 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)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

The 2016 Goldman Environmental Prizes

Apr 23, 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)


Living on Earth: April 22, 2016

Apr 23, 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


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

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