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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Steve Curwood


Photo of Mr. Curwood Steve Curwood
Host / Executive Producer

Steve Curwood is Executive Producer and Host of Living on Earth. Steve created the first pilot of Living on Earth in the Spring of 1990, and the show has run continuously since April, 1991. Today, Living on Earth with Steve Curwood is aired on more than 300 National Public Radio affiliates in the USA. Steve's relationship with NPR goes back to 1979 when he began as a reporter and host of Weekend All Things Considered. He also hosted NPR's World of Opera. Steve has been a journalist for more than 30 years with experience at NPR, CBS News, the Boston Globe, WBUR-FM/Boston and WGBH-TV/Boston. He shared the 1975 Pulitzer Prize for Public Service as part of the Boston Globe's education team. Steve Curwood is also the recipient of the 2003 Global Green Award for Media Design, the 2003 David A. Brower Award from the Sierra Club for excellence in environmental reporting and the 1992 New England Environmental Leadership Award from Tufts University for his work on promoting environmental awareness. He is president of the World Media Foundation, Inc. and a Lecturer in Environmental Science and Public Policy at Harvard University. He lives in Southern New Hampshire on a small woodlot with his wife Jennifer and children Noah and Amira, and loves whatever time he can get with his adult progeny, Anastasia and James.

From the show of April 21, 2000, Steve writes:

Thirty years ago, when the first Earth Day rallies got underway, I was slow to get in line. As an African-American I was busy marching about civil rights and fighting poverty. As the son of a single mother, I was busy marching for equal rights for women. As a concerned citizen and Quaker, I was busy marching against the war in Vietnam. Let the white guys march for the environment, I said. Let them rally to keep open space so they can ride to hounds, while I work for a better world.

But over the next 20 years things changed, and I changed, too. As a society, we made a lot of progress on many of the problems of 1970. Poverty and racism didn't disappear, but far more African-Americans and other minorities won more good jobs and acceptance. There is now a national holiday for Martin Luther King, Jr. Women started to close the pay gap with men. Many run companies, serve in government, and enjoy more protection from gender discrimination. And while it still haunts our memories, the Vietnam War ended and we learned important lessons.

Meanwhile, I became a journalist and a parent. By Earth Day 1990, my own young son was telling me that environmental change was the most important, under-covered story going. And I realized that he was right. Of all the issues Americans marched about in 1970, only the environment has gotten worse. Population has almost doubled since the first Earth Day. Species are going extinct faster and faster. Open space and wilderness are disappearing. Evidence is mounting that pollution not only causes cancer but a host of other disorders, including asthma, heart attacks, immune system breakdowns, reproductive problems, and even criminal behavior.

Pollution is also changing the climate in ways that scientists could barely imagine back in 1970. In short, life as we know and love it is changing profoundly. Living on Earth doesn't advocate any particular point of view, except that our relationship to our environment, and what we do to it, is as important as any other part of our lives. And it's our job to bring you the information you need to make the choices that will determine our future.

 

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