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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Protecting the Arctic

 

The Obama Administration is building an environmental legacy—recently proposing to expand wilderness designation for millions of acres of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including the oil-rich Coastal Plain. While this area would be off-limits to energy development, White House plans do allow for new fossil fuel exploration areas in Alaska as well as off shore of the East Coast. But the ANWR wilderness designation requires Congressional approval, and it’s unclear how Democrat President Obama can come to terms with the GOP majority on Capitol Hill.

 

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Alaskan River Riches: A River Town in Transition

 

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.

 

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2015 Target For A Strong Climate Treaty

 

Jennifer Morgan, Global Director of the Climate Program with the World Resources Institute, reflects on 2014’s Lima Climate Talks and what 2015 could bring for a strong new international treaty on climate protection.

 

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Alaskan River Riches At Risk From Mining In Canada

 

With many untouched wild rivers and sensible fishing regulations, Alaska has some of the healthiest salmon fisheries in the world. But as Emmett FitzGerald reports, new gold and copper mines upstream in Canada have the fishing community in Southeast Alaska very concerned about what toxins could be released into the rivers.

 

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Alaskan River Riches: Fly-fishing and Salmon Science

 

In the first of Living on Earth’s three-part series on Alaskan River Riches, reporter Emmett FitzGerald wades through a small stream near Juneau for a lesson in casting and salmon science from a fly-fisherman with a conservation ethic.

 

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The Sound Ring

 

Maya Lin’s Sound Ring—a large, wooden sculpture installed at Cornell’s Lab of Ornithology—plays the sounds of species and habitats that are on their way to silence. Emmett Fitzgerald talks to John Fitzpatrick, Director of the Lab, about the structure and the significance of these endangered soundscapes.

 

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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.

 

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Hummingbirds in the Canyon

 

Watching hummingbirds in Arizona's Madera Canyon gave Mark Seth Lender an up close view of their interactions, and a chance to take spectacular photos.

 

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Otters and Climate Change

 

Sea Otters are known for their playful demeanor and cuddly appearance, but scientists at the University of California at Santa Cruz think that the cuddly creatures could help reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. (Photo: Imtiaz333 Flickr Creative Commons)

 

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Protecting the Arctic

The Obama Administration is building an environmental legacy—recently proposing to expand wilderness designation for millions of acres of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including the oil-rich Coastal Plain. While this area would be off-limits to energy development, White House plans do allow for new fossil fuel exploration areas in Alaska as well as off shore of the East Coast. But the ANWR wilderness designation requires Congressional approval, and it’s unclear how Democrat President Obama can come to terms with the GOP majority on Capitol Hill.

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Alaskan Oil Economics

Although the Obama Administration wants to ensure the vast bulk of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could never be opened to fossil fuel extraction, the Interior Department is offering up new areas for potential fossil fuel leasing elsewhere in Alaska, as well as off the East Coast of the US, as detailed in the Administration’s 5-year plan. But with the low price of oil in 2015, producers are slowing down the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure.

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Alaskan River Riches: A River Town in Transition

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.

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This Week’s Show
January 30, 2015
listen / download


Protecting the Arctic

listen / download
The Obama Administration is building an environmental legacy—recently proposing to expand wilderness designation for millions of acres of Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, including the oil-rich Coastal Plain. While this area would be off-limits to energy development, White House plans do allow for new fossil fuel exploration areas in Alaska as well as off shore of the East Coast. But the ANWR wilderness designation requires Congressional approval, and it’s unclear how Democrat President Obama can come to terms with the GOP majority on Capitol Hill.

Alaskan Oil Economics

listen / download
Although the Obama Administration wants to ensure the vast bulk of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge could never be opened to fossil fuel extraction, the Interior Department is offering up new areas for potential fossil fuel leasing elsewhere in Alaska, as well as off the East Coast of the US, as detailed in the Administration’s 5-year plan. But with the low price of oil in 2015, producers are slowing down the development of new fossil fuel infrastructure.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra tells us all about water—crises, get-rich-quick schemes involving water, and water resources.

The Perfect Protein

listen / download
We hear lots about the nutritional value of fish, but it seems to be getting more and more difficult to eat seafood sustainably. Andy Sharpless' new book The Perfect Protein outlines how we can better manage our fisheries in order to feed our growing population.

Alaskan River Riches: 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.


Special Features

New Orleans, Louisiana

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Living on Earth is giving a voice to Orion Magazine’s long-time feature, The Place Where You Live, where essayists write about the place they call home. This week, we travel to New Orleans, Louisiana, where ecology student Erik Iverson describes the beauty of his state’s fragmented deltas, and how this threatened land unites a people.
Blog Series: The Place Where You Live

Mémé’s Meat Pie
Maine singer/songwriter Denny Breau shares his Mémé’s Meat Pie recipe, a holiday season tradition.
Blog Series: Cooking on Earth


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You know, Alaska is the jewel of the world when it comes to fisheries management. This state is second to none, and that's because you don't see dams on our rivers. You don't see a lot of development that will have a negative impact.

-- Mike Erikson, CEO of Alaska Glacier Seafoods

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