Environment

Where the Water Goes

Jul 12, 2017

36 million people rely on the Colorado River for water, but how often do they think about what happens downstream? Journalist and New Yorker staff writer David Owen wanted to understand the ecosystem, culture, and politics that surround the crucial waterway, so he trekked from the headwaters to the once-lush, now desert terminus. The result is his latest book, and Wednesday, Owen joins Doug to explain “Where the Water Goes.”

Friday we’re asking whether the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show would leave Salt Lake City because of the public land agenda of state lawmakers. Peter Metcalf, the founder of the outdoor company Black Diamond, says the trade show should consider leaving if state leaders don’t back off from their attempt to take ownership of public land. But these kinds of warnings have been made before. What’s different this time, and what is the economic value of public land in Utah? Metcalf and others join us.

© Cory Richards/National Geographic

  Science writer David Quammen says if there’s any hope to preserve wild landscape while reconciling the needs of humans and nature - that hope lies in Yellowstone. Quammen wrote the May issue of National Geographic, which is dedicated to the world’s first National Park and its greater ecosystem. The story of Yellowstone is a microcosm of the battle for the American West, and Monday, Quammen joins Doug to talk about what wilderness means, how to keep it alive and healthy, and who owns the land.

Downwind

Jan 19, 2016

Tuesday, we’re talking about the effects of nuclear weapons on people who lived near uranium mines and downwind from testing sites during and after the Cold War. Historian Sarah Alisabeth Fox says that all wars happen where people live, grow their food and raise their children. So to understand what happened, she talked to ranchers, farmers, and housewives who suffered from cancer and economic ruin. Fox joins Doug to talk about “A People’s History of the Nuclear West.” (Rebroadcast)

Rain

Aug 3, 2015

  The environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett says humans have always tried to control rain. We’ve burned witches at the stake to stop it. We’ve sacrificed children to bring it. Now we’ve used technology to change it, with results we weren’t intending. Barnett has written a book she calls a natural and cultural history of rain. And whether you love a rainy night or rainy days bring you down, Barnett joins us Monday to explain how the story of rain is one we all share. (Rebroadcast)

Nature Needs Half

Jul 27, 2015

For centuries, humans have used technology to alter the planet, with dramatic consequences for the environment. Some think technology can also be used to manage our way out of these problems. It’s an approach that places humans at the center of everything. But conservationist Harvey Locke builds his work around a different idea: we do not control the world; we are part of it. Locke advocates a "wiser" relationship with nature, and Monday, he joins Doug in studio to talk about his goal to conserve half the world’s land and water. (Rebroadcast)

Between Earth and Sky

Jun 26, 2015

Whether you are sitting at your desk, in the kitchen, or walking down the street, you’re likely near something that came from a tree. But biologist and world-renowned tree expert Nalini Nadkarni says that our relationship with trees goes much deeper than the resources they provide. From spirituality and recreation to medicine and the arts, trees play many roles in our lives. Friday, Nadkarni joins Doug to discuss what trees can teach us about our place in the world. (Rebroadcast)

A Climate for Change

Jun 19, 2015

Why is it that conservative Christians are more likely to be climate change skeptics than any other religious group in America?  Katharine Hayhoe doesn’t see any reason why science and religion should be mutually exclusive. She’s a leading climate scientist, but she’s also an evangelical who’s married to a minister. She says part of the problem is that we’ve confused politics with faith. Friday, Hayhoe joins us to talk about religion, the environment, and bridging the divide between them. (Rebroadcast)

The Water Knife

Jun 1, 2015

In his new novel, the writer Paolo Bacigalupi imagines what would happen if our greatest fears for water in the West came true. He sets his story of speculative fiction in a near future when extreme drought has the poor paying $6 for a gallon of water while the rich live in lush high-rise cities. Western states war with each other for dwindling water shares and hire mercenary “water knives” to claim the few sources left. Bacigalupi is coming to Utah, and he joins us Monday to talk about his novel The Water Knife.

The New Wild

May 19, 2015
"Tamarisk Forest" by Rachel Zurer, CC via Flickr

  When journalist Fred Pearce set out to write a book about the role invasive species play in our environment, he imagined it would be about the havoc they cause. What he found surprised him though. He says the horror stories are overblown and that these resourceful plants and animals are often responding to the damage that humans have wrought. They push their way through concrete and thrive in pollution. Tuesday, Pearce joins Doug to explain why he says invasive species could be nature’s salvation.

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