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

Harvard Finally Divests

 

Harvard University announced that it will no longer invest in fossil fuel companies, following years of refusal in the face of a prominent and vocal divestment campaign. Harvard is the richest University in the world with an endowment totaling nearly 41 billion dollars. And it is now among the largest organizations to divest from fossil fuels, joining thousands of pension funds, faith groups, and other institutions. Host Steve Curwood spoke to Isha Sangani, a student organizer, and Caleb Schwartz, an alumni coordinator of the campaign.

 

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Harvard University announced that it will no longer invest in fossil fuel companies, following years of refusal in the face of a prominent and vocal divestment campaign. Harvard is the richest University in the world with an endowment totaling nearly 41 billion dollars. And it is now among the largest organizations to divest from fossil fuels, joining thousands of pension funds, faith groups, and other institutions. Host Steve Curwood spoke to Isha Sangani, a student organizer, and Caleb Schwartz, an alumni coordinator of the campaign.

The Hummingbirds' Gift

 

Hummingbirds are truly superlative creatures - relative to their size, they are both the world's fastest avians and have some of the longest migratory journeys of any creature. Sy Montgomery focuses on these incredible birds in her latest book, The Hummingbirds' Gift, where she looks back on her harrowing but rewarding time raising two orphaned baby hummingbirds alongside Brenda Sherburn LaBelle, an artist and hummingbird rehabilitator. Living on Earth's Bobby Bascomb visited Sy Montgomery at her home in New Hampshire to learn more. 

 

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A Living Earth Called “Gaia”

 

Next, Host Steve Curwood and the Living on Earth team explore Earth as a complex and self-sustaining organism called Gaia. Over billions of years life has interacted with the air, water and rocks of this planet to keep life in the sweet spots for temperature and resource supplies. With the help of scientists, deep ecologists, children, an astronaut and more, we explore our place on this living planet.

 

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Ecological Conversion and Solidarity

 

Science and policy are vital in building a more sustainable world, but they often don’t convey the values we need in order to engage people to do so. With spiritual guides who carry diverse traditions and teachings, Host Steve Curwood surveys the values that can guide us along this path towards ecological harmony. Indigenous stories, holy scriptures, East Asian cosmologies, papal encyclicals and divine revelation all shed light on our duties and relationship to each other and to our common home.

 

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A Block on Oil Drilling in Alaska

 

A major Alaska drilling project to tap 600-million-barrels of oil has been blocked. A federal judge ruled in favor of Indigenous and environmental groups, finding that the permitting process has yet to fully consider impacts on the climate and polar bears.

 

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Chemicals and Breast Cancer Risk

 

Higher levels of the hormones estrogen and progesterone lead to a greater risk of breast cancer. Researchers at the Silent Spring Institute have shed new light on how chemical exposure can raise those hormone levels in women and found that nearly 300 chemicals increased one or both hormones.

 

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White House Confronts Climate Deniers

 

Some skeptical pundits have used the recent deep cold snap to suggest that climate change isn’t real. White House Science Advisor John Holdren says not so fast.

 

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The Great Lakes and Climate Change

 

In the last 30 years the largest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area, Lake Superior, has warmed nearly six degrees Fahrenheight. The increased temperature is a boon to some fish but warmer water is also more suitable for some species.

 

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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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Call To Delay UN Climate Summit

As COVID-19 spread continues and vaccine access remains limited in some of the countries most vulnerable to climate impacts, civil society is calling for a delay of the much-anticipated COP26 climate summit planned for Glasgow, Scotland this November. Host Steve Curwood talks to the Executive Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) International, Tasneem Essop, to understand why her coalition, which has official observer status at the UN Climate negotiations, is calling for the postponement, the injustices of institutional racism, and what can be seen as a vaccine apartheid.

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Rejecting Recall, California Keeps Its Cool On Climate

California voters roundly rejected a Republican bid to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, who has set the state on a path to a low-carbon future. Living on Earth’s Jenni Doering discusses with Host Steve Curwood why the stakes for the climate were so high in this recall election.

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Remembering Our Colleague Thurston Briscoe

On August 16th Living on Earth lost a dear friend and colleague, producer and public radio executive Thurston Briscoe. Host Steve Curwood spoke with former colleagues to look back on Thurston’s life and long career as a jazz and arts producer at NPR and WBGO, the nation’s premier public radio jazz station.

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This Week’s Show
September 17, 2021
listen / download


Call To Delay UN Climate Summit

listen / download
As COVID-19 spread continues and vaccine access remains limited in some of the countries most vulnerable to climate impacts, civil society is calling for a delay of the much-anticipated COP26 climate summit planned for Glasgow, Scotland this November. Host Steve Curwood talks to the Executive Director of Climate Action Network (CAN) International, Tasneem Essop, to understand why her coalition, which has official observer status at the UN Climate negotiations, is calling for the postponement, the injustices of institutional racism, and what can be seen as a vaccine apartheid.

Getting The US Grid To 40% Solar

listen / download
The Biden Administration's goals include decarbonizing the energy sector by 2035 and a recent report by the Department of Energy provides a blueprint for how solar power can produce up to 40% of the nation's electricity by then. To reach that goal, the United States will need to quadruple its annual solar installation, a project that will require significant investments and a transformation of the grid. DOE’s Becca Jones-Albertus joined Living on Earth's Bobby Bascomb to discuss this overhaul and how it can be equitable. 

Rejecting Recall, California Keeps Its Cool On Climate

listen / download
California voters roundly rejected a Republican bid to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, who has set the state on a path to a low-carbon future. Living on Earth’s Jenni Doering discusses with Host Steve Curwood why the stakes for the climate were so high in this recall election.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
For this week's trip beyond the headlines, Host Steve Curwood and Environmental Health News editor Peter Dykstra take a look at manatees and the decline of their crucial food source, sea grass. Then, the two discuss a survey showing Generation Z's proclivity towards green, climate-focused jobs. Finally, Steve and Peter think back to President John F. Kennedy's first address to the United Nations.

Harvard Finally Divests

listen / download
Harvard University announced that it will no longer invest in fossil fuel companies, following years of refusal in the face of a prominent and vocal divestment campaign. Harvard is the richest University in the world with an endowment totaling nearly 41 billion dollars. And it is now among the largest organizations to divest from fossil fuels, joining thousands of pension funds, faith groups, and other institutions. Host Steve Curwood spoke to Isha Sangani, a student organizer, and Caleb Schwartz, an alumni coordinator of the campaign.

Remembering Our Colleague Thurston Briscoe

listen / download
On August 16th Living on Earth lost a dear friend and colleague, producer and public radio executive Thurston Briscoe. Host Steve Curwood spoke with former colleagues to look back on Thurston’s life and long career as a jazz and arts producer at NPR and WBGO, the nation’s premier public radio jazz station.


Special Features

Field Note: Sea Lion Cave
Photographer and Living on Earth's Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender takes us behind the scenes of his encounters with sea lions, at sea and behind the lens.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Field Note: Mother and Son: Sea Otter Bonding
At Elkhorn Slough in Monterey Bay, California, an attentive mother sea otter grooms her young pup's thick fur, and grooms him for the independent life he will someday lead. Living on Earth's Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender observes and explains.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes


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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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