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Society & Culture
Science
Natural Sciences

Midnight Oil

Updated 1 day ago

Society & Culture
Science
Natural Sciences
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The world is getting warmer. The weather is getting weirder. And in Alaska, we have a front row seat. This summer, Alaska’s Energy Desk returns with all-new episodes of our podcast, Midnight Oil. Season Two is called The Big Thaw. Last season, we looked back -- at the state’s roller-coaster history with oil. This time, we're looking forward, to one of the biggest question marks ahead: climate change. What does it mean to be an oil state in a warming world?

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The world is getting warmer. The weather is getting weirder. And in Alaska, we have a front row seat. This summer, Alaska’s Energy Desk returns with all-new episodes of our podcast, Midnight Oil. Season Two is called The Big Thaw. Last season, we looked back -- at the state’s roller-coaster history with oil. This time, we're looking forward, to one of the biggest question marks ahead: climate change. What does it mean to be an oil state in a warming world?

iTunes Ratings

119 Ratings
Average Ratings
112
5
0
1
1

Keep up the great work

By Arthur:in:AK - Feb 23 2019
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It is fantastic to hear such relevant and professional journalism being produced in state👍👍

Energy policy nerds! Check out this show!

By Svorp - Oct 26 2018
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Fantastic storytelling and great information from so many angles. Please make another season!

iTunes Ratings

119 Ratings
Average Ratings
112
5
0
1
1

Keep up the great work

By Arthur:in:AK - Feb 23 2019
Read more
It is fantastic to hear such relevant and professional journalism being produced in state👍👍

Energy policy nerds! Check out this show!

By Svorp - Oct 26 2018
Read more
Fantastic storytelling and great information from so many angles. Please make another season!

The Best Episodes of:

Cover image of Midnight Oil

Midnight Oil

Updated 1 day ago

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The world is getting warmer. The weather is getting weirder. And in Alaska, we have a front row seat. This summer, Alaska’s Energy Desk returns with all-new episodes of our podcast, Midnight Oil. Season Two is called The Big Thaw. Last season, we looked back -- at the state’s roller-coaster history with oil. This time, we're looking forward, to one of the biggest question marks ahead: climate change. What does it mean to be an oil state in a warming world?

Rank #1: Ep. 2: Take Our Land, Take Our Life

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When Alaska became a state, the federal government agreed to hand over more than 100 million acres. There was just one problem. Alaska Native people already claimed that land. Then Alaska struck oil, and the question of who owned what land in the 49th state went all the way to the White House.

Jun 27 2017

24mins

Play

Rank #2: Ep. 3: How environmentalists won by losing the pipeline battle

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Environmental groups fought hard to stop the trans-Alaska pipeline. Ultimately they lost. But along the way they turned an obscure bit of federal code into required environmental scrutiny for every major construction project.

Jul 04 2017

17mins

Play

Rank #3: Ep. 4: Fast times and fat wallets - how Alaska got its pipeline

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The trans-Alaska pipeline was the largest privately-funded construction project in the world, built across the biggest U.S. state and faced with unprecedented natural obstacles. It came with an $8 billion price tag, but true costs and benefits of the pipeline are still being calculated.

Jul 11 2017

21mins

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Rank #4: Ep. 5: How Alaska decided to give its oil wealth to everyone in the state

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In Alaska, we don’t pay income tax. We don’t pay state sales tax. But once a year every man, woman and child gets a cut of the state’s oil wealth. There are plenty of other oil states in the world, but Alaska is the only one that treats residents like shareholders and sends them dividend checks every year.

Jul 18 2017

21mins

Play

Rank #5: Ep. 7: Foretold Disaster - the Exxon Valdez oil spill

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The Exxon Valdez oil spill in 1989 killed hundreds of thousands of seabirds and brought commercial fishing in some of Alaska’s most productive waters to a standstill. It’s often talked about as an unprecedented, unthinkable event, but it was, in fact thinkable, and people tried to prevent it.

Aug 01 2017

22mins

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Rank #6: Ep. 6: When the lights went out - Alaska’s great recession

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Less than ten years after oil started flowing, Alaska’s economy cratered. The recession was quick and deep. Ten banks failed, real estate values plummeted and tens of thousands of people fled the state. It was Alaska’s great recession, 20 years before the rest of the country went through almost the same thing.

Jul 25 2017

19mins

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Rank #7: Ep. 8: The future of an oil state - What's next for Alaska?

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Today, the trans-Alaska pipeline carries a quarter of what it did in its heyday. And so Alaska is facing the question its been ducking for forty years: Will we always be an oil state?

Aug 08 2017

19mins

Play

Rank #8: Ep. 1: The Village

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The Alaska Native village of Newtok is disappearing. It’s rapidly losing ground to a combination of thawing permafrost and coastal erosion and residents worry their traditional way of life could disappear with the land. Newtok’s residents are some of the first Americans to face this problem, but they won’t be the last. And their predicament raises the question: What do we owe communities in the path of climate change?

Aug 09 2018

28mins

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Rank #9: Ep. 2: The Senator

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Which side is Lisa Murkowski on? Alaska’s senior senator faces an impossible balancing act: How to reconcile her state’s dependence on the oil industry with the fact that Alaska is extremely vulnerable to climate change. She says we need to reduce carbon emissions but remains an ardent advocate for more oil production. She straddles both sides of the debate. But in her straddling, she also represents us all: how do we come to terms with our dependence on the very products that are threatening the globe?

Aug 16 2018

26mins

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Rank #10: Ep. 3: The Fishermen

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For years, fishermen in Alaska have worried that climate change would threaten their livelihoods. Now, it has. In late 2013, a strikingly warm mass of water arrived in the Gulf of Alaska and stayed for three years. Scientists called it "the blob." Fishermen started to notice a drastic drop in the population of cod- an unassuming fish that’s been an economic powerhouse for the community of Kodiak. As fishermen struggle to adjust to the lowest cod numbers on record, scientists are asking if it’s a preview of what’s to come as the ocean warms.

Aug 23 2018

20mins

Play