• picture
  • picture
PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Air Pollution Chokes Out Happiness

 

Nitrogen dioxide is known to harm health, especially the lungs and heart, and now a new study finds that it can take a heavy toll on life satisfaction, too. Even if NO2 pollution levels are below the EU legal limit, an individual’s life satisfaction may decrease as much as with the death of a spouse. And parts of the UK far exceed the EU legal pollution limit.

 

Read More »

Nitrogen dioxide is known to harm health, especially the lungs and heart, and now a new study finds that it can take a heavy toll on life satisfaction, too. Even if NO2 pollution levels are below the EU legal limit, an individual’s life satisfaction may decrease as much as with the death of a spouse. And parts of the UK far exceed the EU legal pollution limit.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

 

Neil Degrasse Tyson, the Pop-Science rock star, aims to make his discipline accessible to non-scientists with a slim new volume titled Astrophysics For People In A Hurry. He joined host Steve Curwood for a flash-course on all things celestial, with topics ranging from spaghettification by black hole, dark matter and energy, to how the periodic table encompasses, so far as we know, everything in the universe.

 

Read More »

icon

Big Plans For and Against Big Oil

 

North American oil and gas producers are rushing to build new pipelines as part of bid to gain more power in the international oil and gas markets. But they are running into fierce opposition at home -- including in Louisiana's Bayou country, where residents are standing up against the hotly debated Bayou Bridge pipeline.

 

Read More »

icon

The Charm and Mystery of ‘Steve’

 

When a group of “Aurora Chaser” photographers approached a physics professor with images of a purple streak in the sky, he had no idea what it was. So the unknown phenomenon was dubbed ‘Steve’ in the absence of an official name, and a quest to unravel its mystery ensued.

 

Read More »

icon

The Place Where You Live: Chadron, Nebraska

 

Living on Earth gives voice to Orion magazine’s longtime feature where readers write about their favorite places. In this week’s edition, Abigail McFee takes us back to her childhood in a small town in Nebraska and describes how the place echoes with history in every corner.

 

Read More »

icon

Marching for the Climate, Before and In Trump’s Era

 

Hundreds of thousands worldwide rallied for the People’s Climate March on April 29th, but the mood was bleaker than the First People’s Climate March in New York City in 2014, when citizens demanded nations craft an international climate treaty. Now, a year after some 200 countries signed the landmark Paris Climate Agreement, marchers worry that the Trump Administration might pull the U.S. out of the accord.

 

Read More »

icon

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.

 

Read More »

icon

Solar Powered Ship

 

The world’s largest solar powered boat made history by circumnavigating the globe. The ship is now busy in the Atlantic collecting data about the Gulf Stream.

 

Read More »

icon

Deepwater Disaster Three Years On

 

Just three 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.

 

Read More »

icon

Air Pollution Chokes Out Happiness

Nitrogen dioxide is known to harm health, especially the lungs and heart, and now a new study finds that it can take a heavy toll on life satisfaction, too. Even if NO2 pollution levels are below the EU legal limit, an individual’s life satisfaction may decrease as much as with the death of a spouse. And parts of the UK far exceed the EU legal pollution limit.

picture

BirdNote: American Robins are Exceptional Singers

The American Robin is often the first bird to sing in the morning, and the last bird to trill into the evening air. BirdNote’s Michael Stein describes how robins’s wide repertoire of caroling phrases and notes creates a unique serenade every time.

picture

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

Neil Degrasse Tyson, the Pop-Science rock star, aims to make his discipline accessible to non-scientists with a slim new volume titled Astrophysics For People In A Hurry. He joined host Steve Curwood for a flash-course on all things celestial, with topics ranging from spaghettification by black hole, dark matter and energy, to how the periodic table encompasses, so far as we know, everything in the universe.

picture

This Week’s Show
May 19, 2017
listen / download


Air Pollution Chokes Out Happiness

listen / download
Nitrogen dioxide is known to harm health, especially the lungs and heart, and now a new study finds that it can take a heavy toll on life satisfaction, too. Even if NO2 pollution levels are below the EU legal limit, an individual’s life satisfaction may decrease as much as with the death of a spouse. And parts of the UK far exceed the EU legal pollution limit.

Air Pollution Transformed into Renewable Energy

listen / download
The WHO reported in 2014 that over 90% of the world’s population live with polluted air. But now Belgian researchers using solar-powered nanomaterials have decontaminated small amounts of polluted air with a process that generates hydrogen at the same time. The tiny photo-electrochemical prototype device shows promise, but to make an impact it needs to be scaled up.

Science Note: The Power of Dust

listen / download
In the Sierra Nevada mountains, heavy runoff and erosion can steal precious soil nutrients from the ecosystem. New research shows replacements come from an unlikely source: dust flying in from far away, as Noble Ingram explains on this week’s Note on Emerging Science.

Solar Eclipsing Coal in Jobs

listen / download
Coal still produces much more energy in the U.S. than solar, which powers less than 1 and a half percent of the grid. Yet there are now twice as many solar jobs as those in coal. As the Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports, some former coal miners are becoming solar technicians, though it may involve a pay cut.

BirdNote: American Robins are Exceptional Singers

listen / download
The American Robin is often the first bird to sing in the morning, and the last bird to trill into the evening air. BirdNote’s Michael Stein describes how robins’s wide repertoire of caroling phrases and notes creates a unique serenade every time.

Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

listen / download
Neil Degrasse Tyson, the Pop-Science rock star, aims to make his discipline accessible to non-scientists with a slim new volume titled Astrophysics For People In A Hurry. He joined host Steve Curwood for a flash-course on all things celestial, with topics ranging from spaghettification by black hole, dark matter and energy, to how the periodic table encompasses, so far as we know, everything in the universe.

Sounds of Space: The Songs Of Uranus And Neptune

listen / download
As they passed through the outer reaches of our solar system on the way to interstellar space, NASA’s twin Voyager spacecraft recorded electromagnetic vibrations from Uranus and Neptune and other outer planets. And NASA transformed that data into sounds we humans can hear.


Special Features

A River Town in Transition

listen / download
Wrangell, Alaska is a small, isolated town at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River and a former a timber capital. But since the saw mills shut down in the ‘90s, the small town has reinvented itself as a tourist destination and a commercial fishing hub. Since both of these industries are dependent on the Stikine, some locals worry that a mining development upriver could put the whole town’s livelihood at risk.
Blog Series: Alaskan River Riches

Cowee, North Carolina

listen / download
Living on Earth is giving a voice to Orion magazine’s longtime feature in which people write about the place they call home. In this week’s edition, songwriter Angela-Faye Martin uses her words and music to picture her North Carolina valley on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Blog Series: The Place Where You Live


picture

...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.

Donate to Living on Earth!
Living on Earth is an independent media program and relies entirely on contributions from listeners and institutions supporting public service. Please donate now to preserve an independent environmental voice.

Newsletter
Living on Earth offers a weekly delivery of the show's rundown to your mailbox. Sign up for our newsletter today!

Major funding for Living on Earth is provided by the National Science Foundation.

Committed to healthy food, healthy people, a healthy planet, and healthy business.

Innovating to make the world a better, more sustainable place to live.

Kendeda Fund, furthering the values that contribute to a healthy planet.

The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment: Committed to protecting and improving the health of the global environment.

Contribute to Living on Earth and receive, as our gift to you, an archival print of one of Mark Seth Lender's extraordinary hummingbird photographs. Follow the link to see Mark's current collection of photographs.