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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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Jim's Bees

 

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

 

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Romance and Spring Harvest At Paradise Lot

 

For most gardeners, springtime means a few seedlings on a window sill. But for perennial gardeners spring is a time of harvest. The book Paradise Lot, is a personal and heartwarming account of finding romance and growing a permaculture food forest on a degraded backyard plot in a gritty neighborhood of Holyoke, MA.

 

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Hummingbirds Citizen Science Project

 

The Rufous hummingbird follows the Rocky Mountains to migrate from Alaska to Mexico (Photo: Diana Douglas for Hummingbirds at Home).

 

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This Week’s Show
November 8, 1991
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Environmental Justice

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Steve reports on the First National People of Color Environmental Summit, in Washington, DC. The meeting was a watershed for the nascent "environmental justice" movement, bringing together activists from the civil rights, Native rights, and economic and social justice movements.

Building Bridges, Mending Fences

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Steve talks with Ben Chavis, Executive Director of the United Church of Christ's Commission for Racial Justice, and Michael Fischer, the Executive Director of the Sierra Club, about the relationship between people of color and the mainstream environmental movement.

Civil Rights, Environmental Rights

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Gunner Jensen reports on a civil rights lawsuit filed by residents of Kettleman City, California, in an attempt to block a hazardous waste incinerator. The first-of-its-kind suit charges that Chemwaste targeted Kettleman City for the facility because of its poor and minority population. It also charges local officials with violating public participation laws by not translating approval proceedings into Spanish.

Sioux Say No to Trash, and Cash

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Scott Schlegel reports on the decision by the Rosebud Sioux nation in South Dakota to reject a municipal trash landfill that would have brought the impoverished reservation a million dollars a year in revenues.


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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