Finding Home in a Changing Climate

Unruly Planet (start time: 5:31) This week on How On Earth Susan Moran interviews science journalist Madeline Ostrander about her recently published book, At Home On An Unruly Planet: Finding Refuge On A Changed Earth. The author reflects on what it means to reimagine the concept of home, and to literally find a secure home, in this era of upheaval and change. The book, and our conversation today, explore the predicament of climate refugees as well as heroic individuals who are proactively working to preserve and recreate communities.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Headline Contributors: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender

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Recycling: Obstacles and Progress

High angle close-up of pieces of recyclable garbage on conveyor belt inside waste management facility.

Recycling: Obstacles and Progress (start time: 4:35): This week’s How On Earth focuses on the state of recycling and composting in Colorado and well beyond. A newly published report by Eco-Cycle and CoPIRG shows that Colorado ranks well below the national average, and below its own goals, on recycling and composting. But the report also highlights some recently passed legislation that could help dramatically improve the landscape, by holding producers responsible for the waste that their products generate. Host Susan Moran interviews Suzanne Jones, executive director of Eco-Cycle; and Anja Brandon, the U.S. plastics policy analyst at Ocean Conservancy, an environmental nonprofit organization.

Host, Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Shannon Young
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Headline Contributors: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender

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Clean Water Act 50 years later

Photo from Creative Commons

Clean Water Act, Then and Now (start time: 3:38): Two weeks ago was the 50th anniversary of the Clean Water Act.  The landmark law set out to clean up the nation’s lakes, rivers and streams, and to safeguard the water supply for humans throughout the country. While there’s been some progress since the act was signed in 1972, many view the law as a mixed bag, both nationally and here in Colorado.  By some estimates, at least half of the country’s rivers and streams do not meet the standard of the Clean Water Act. The legislation also faces new threats, including one from the U.S. Supreme Court. Host Susan Moran interviews two experts on the topic: John Flesher, a correspondent at the Associated Press; and Danny Katz is executive director of CoPIRG, which is part of the USPIRG network.
Colorado resources:
* CoPIRG new report on industrial polluters
* CoPIRG report Wasting Our Waterways
* State bill tackling lead in schools’ drinking water

Host & Producer: Susan Moran
Executive Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Shannon Young
Headline contributor: Benita Lee

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Beavers: Engineers for Our Planet

Photo credit: Chris Canipe

Today’s show features:
Employing Beavers (start time: 11:12):  Some consider them pests. Others praise them as saviors of the environment. Whatever your impression of these furry swimming rodents, beavers are gaining more proponents for their ability to make landscapes, and thus humans, more resilient to climate change. Through their dams and lodges, beavers raise water levels, moisten fire-prone forest soil, slow water speed, and thus prevent flooding while storing more water. Host Susan Moran talks with Jessica Doran, a wildlife biologist with EcoMetrics Colorado; and Aaron Hall, senior aquatic biologist with Defenders of Wildlife, about the promises and complexities of employing beavers as ecosystem engineers.
Beaver resources:
iBeaver (crowdsourcing App from Defenders of Wildlife)
How On Earth 2018 interview with Eager author Ben Goldfarb
Rewilding the American West (Ripple et al, BioScience, 2022)

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Show Producer: Susan Moran
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Headline contributors: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender, Tom Yulsman

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Colorado River Basin Crisis: Pt. II

Colorado River Basin Crisis Pt. II (start time: 6:19): This week’s How On Earth show focuses on the implications and future prospects after the federal government in June ordered the seven Western states that rely on the river to come up with a plan to save trillions of gallons of water from the shrinking river) — and after the August 15 deadline came and passed without a deal. (Here’s the Bureau of Reclamation’s news release.) How On Earth host Susan Moran interviews Aaron Citron, senior policy advisor with The Nature Conservancy’s Colorado chapter; and journalist Jerd Smith, editor of Fresh Water News. (For background, check out our July 26th show, Pt. I on the Basin’s Basin’s climate, drought, and overuse crisis. Also, see how you can make a difference by taking advantage of this recently signed legislation that helps Colorado residents convert their grass lawns into water-saving landscapes.)

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Headline contributors: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender

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Colorado River Basin Crisis

Lake Mead’s “bathtub ring” (July 2022)
Photo credit: Tom Yulsman

This week on How On Earth:
Colorado River Basin Crisis (start time: 5:31–scroll down for arrow)
The Colorado River is the life blood for about 40 million inhabitants. And it’s in dire straights. The river’s two reservoirs, Lake Mead and Lake Powell, are at historically low levels, due primarily to climate change and overuse. The water-supply crisis is affecting Colorado and six other states, as well as some 30 tribes, that rely on the Colorado River for water and electricity. Last month the federal government ordered the seven states to jointly come up with a plan to dramatically cut their consumption from the river. They have until mid-August to deliver–or they’ll face mandatory cuts. Host Susan Moran discusses with two guests the underlying causes of the water crisis, what’s at stake, and potential solutions. Jennifer Gimbel is a senior water policy scholar at the Colorado Water Center, located at Colorado State University. Formerly she was an undersecretary of the Department of Interior, and executive director of the Colorado Water Conservation Board.  Tom Yulsman is a science journalist focusing on climate change. He runs the ImaGeo visual blog for Discover magazine, and he is director of the Center for Environmental Journalism at CU Boulder.
Some relevant resources for more info and the basin’s water crisis:
*  2022 Science paper, What Will It Take To Stabilize the Colorado River?
* Fresh Water News (Water Education Colorado)
* The Water Desk

Show Host & Producer: Susan Moran
Executive Producer: Beth Bennett
Headline Contributors: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender

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Climate Change: A Laughing Matter?

Image credit: NASA

Comedy+Climate Change: (start time: 5:50)  In this week’s show we look ahead to Earth Day by discussing the latest science about climate change, as reported in the recently released assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. And we explore the role that performing arts, especially comedy, can play in communicating, and processing emotions around, climate change. Our guests are Max Boykoff, a professor in, and the chair of, the Environmental Studies Department at the University of Colorado Boulder, and a contributing author of the recent IPCC report; Beth Osnes, a professor of Theatre and Environmental Studies at CU Boulder, and co-director of Inside the Greenhouse, a project at the university for creative climate communication; and Henrique Sannibale, an undergraduate student at CU Boulder studying environmental studies and business.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Joel Parker
Additional contributions: Benita Lee

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Sounds Wild and Broken

Nature’s Songs and Cries (start time: 0:59) In this week’s show David George Haskell, a biologist at the University of the South, in Sewanee, Tenn., talks with How On Earth’s Susan Moran about his newly published book, Sounds Wild and Broken: Sonic Marvels, Evolution’s Creativity, and the Crisis of Sensory Extinction. The book is at once a meditation and an urgent call to action.

Hosts: Susan Moran, Joel Parker
Producer: Susan Moran
Engineer: Joel Parker
Executive Producer: Susan Moran

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KGNU Fund Drive with The Last Stargazers

On this week’s show  – part of the annual KGNU Spring Fund Drive – we play excerpts of an upcoming interview with astronomer and author Dr. Emily Levesque about her book, The Last Stargazers: The Enduring Story of Astronomy’s Vanishing Explorers. The book is a modern history of observational astronomy, and shares an inside look at the lives and stories of astronomers past, present, and possible future.

Thanks to independent publisher Source Books for offering several copies to KGNU to help with the fund drive, and to those listeners who donated and received copies of the book.

Hosts: Joel Parker, Susan Moran
Headlines: Benita Lee, Beth Bennett
Show Producer & Engineer:
Joel Parker
Executive producer
: Susan Moran

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The Science of Heartbreak

Heartbreak in Our  Bodies: (start time: 6:58) This week on How On Earth, host Susan Moran talks with science journalist Florence Williams about her newly published book, Heartbreak: A Personal and Scientific Journey, in which she goes on a quest to understand why, and how, the heartbreak she felt when her marriage fell apart was wreaking havoc on her body. The book, and this interview, also explore various methods of healing and the science behind them.

Host: Susan Moran
Engineer: Rossana Long
Headline contributors: Beth Bennett, Shelley Schlender

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