Rank #1: The Pollution Police
What happens when environmental laws and rules aren't enforced? When the environmental cops just aren't on the beat?
Under Trump, EPA inspections have fallen to a 10-year low. On this episode, we hear from Juliet Eilperin who has covered this story for The Washington Post.
Why does the EPA need inspections, penalties and prosecutions? And how is the view of the EPA's role changing under the Trump administration?
Feb 20 2019
Rank #2: Ep. 14: Will This Land Still Be Your Land?
About one-third of the country is federally-owned. That means it belongs to all of us -- the public. But that also gives the President a lot of power over these places. Today on Trump on Earth, we’re taking a closer look at what’s at stake, and what we can expect next for our public lands.
May 11 2017
Rank #3: Ep. 18: Meet the Republican Who is Breaking Ranks with Denial
Only 11 percent of conservative Republicans say climate scientists understand the causes of climate change very well. So, can anything change their minds? One conservative says ‘yes’. Bob Inglis is a former South Carolina Republican congressman who now heads a group called republicEN.org which aims to promote ‘free market’ solutions to climate change.
Jul 25 2017
Rank #4: Ep. 23: Scientists Need Not Apply?
Sam Clovis is Trump's pick for head scientist at the USDA. He has been many things -- Air Force fighter pilot, conservative talk show host, defeated U.S. Senate candidate, co-chair of Trump’s presidential campaign. But one thing not on his resume: scientist. We learn more about why we should be paying attention to what happens with Clovis from Mike Lavender of the Union of Concerned Scientists. Mike focuses on food and environment issues and he’s written that Clovis’s confirmation would be a direct violation of the law and would also risk the safety of our food and water.
Sep 28 2017
Rank #5: A Surge of Black Lung Disease in Appalachia
This week we're bringing you a interview with NPR's Howard Berkes about the proliferation of black lung disease among coal miners in Appalachia. It comes from our sister podcast called Energy Explained, produced by the public radio collaboration StateImpact Pennsylvania The interview covers not just this administration's current policies on coal mine safety but those of previous administrations. And it really is an important piece of reporting that Berkes and his team did.
Feb 08 2019
Rank #6: Standing Up for Science
This weekend, thousands of scientists will be marching to protest the Trump administration. On this episode we hear from three of them.
Apr 21 2017
Rank #7: 'This is no longer about the science. This is somebody's ideology.'
A top climate scientist resigned from the Agriculture Department this month. Lewis Ziska says the USDA buried his research. He's one in a line of researchers who've left the federal government because they claim the administration is censoring climate science.
Aug 30 2019
Rank #8: Ep. 11: Powering Down the Clean Power Plan
Last week — to the surprise of no one — Donald Trump issued an executive order to begin dismantling the Clean Power Plan. But the country's keystone rule on climate change isn't dead yet.
Apr 07 2017
Rank #9: We Watched All Seven Hours of the Climate Town Hall. Here's What You Should Know.
Last time round, climate change got a measly five minutes and 27 seconds of airtime in the debates. During this primary season, it got seven hours in one night alone. CNN’s recent town hall provided each of the 10 candidates an opportunity to lay out their plan to deal with climate change. It was substantive. And it was long. On this episode we talk takeaways with Leah Stokes, a professor of environmental politics at the University of California at Santa Barbara. She read all the candidates' climate plans, watched all 7 hours, and has a lot to say about it all.
Sep 11 2019
Rank #10: Zinke's Out. What's the Damage to Public Lands?
The federal government is the nation's largest landowner, managing 500 million acres under the Department of the Interior. And while some expect that America's public lands are managed for the benefit and enjoyment of the people, others say the Trump administration has allowed interests like energy development to lead land policy.
Trump's first interior secretary, Ryan Zinke, literally rode into Washington on a horse a couple of years ago promising to be a land steward in the style of President Theodore Roosevelt. More recently, he signed his resignation letter in a now infamous, barely legible, chunky red pen. On this episode, we take stock of Zinke's legacy and what it means for the country's public lands. Our guest is Collin O'Mara, president of the National Wildlife Federation. He wrote a recent opinion piece about Zinke in the Washington Post.
Jan 10 2019
Rank #11: Inside the Industry Takeover at the EPA
President Trump says he'll look into a recent UN Climate Change report that predicted we have 12 years to drastically lower our carbon footprint or else the world will witness catastrophic impacts of climate change. He did this as his EPA is actively scaling back Obama-era regulations that would have cut back on America's carbon pollution. A lot of that work has been done in concert with lobbyists from the fossil fuel industry, including some who now work at the EPA. We know this in part thanks to the work of Eric Lipton an investigative reporter for The New York Times. We caught up with Lipton at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference in Flint, Michigan.
Oct 17 2018
Rank #12: Ep. 15: It's Not Pittsburgh or Paris. It's the Planet
In this episode, we talk with Ann Carlson who for years has been watching the UN climate negotiations that led to the Paris agreement. She’s a professor of Environmental Law and the director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA. In her view, pulling out of Paris really isn't doing very much except that it's telling the world what the world should already know.
Jun 06 2017
Rank #13: Ep. 16: And Environmental Justice For All?
In this episode of Trump on Earth, we talk with environmental justice lawyer Lisa Garcia, who was senior adviser to the administrator for Environmental Justice at the EPA during the Obama Administration. Garcia explains just what environmental justice is, why we need it, and how she plans to keep fighting the good fight in spite of the cuts.
Jun 21 2017
Rank #14: How the UK Won its War on Coal
Coal was the engine of the Industrial Revolution and employed nearly 1.2 million people in Britain at its height. But the UK has gone more than 1,000 hours without using coal to generate electricity this year - the longest streak since Thomas Edison opened the country’s first coal power station in 1882. How did they do it? Our guest is Carolyn Beeler who covered this story for PRI's The World.
Aug 09 2018
Rank #15: Ep. 45: Brett Kavanaugh is Trump's Pick. Should Environmentalists Be Worried?
Less than a week after the announcement that Justice Anthony Kennedy would retire, President Trump nominated DC Circuit Judge Brett Kavanaugh as Kennedy’s replacement. In this episode, we learn more about Kavanaugh's environmental record and what cases he'd be weighing in on if confirmed. Our guest is Melissa Powers, a law professor and director of the Green Energy Institute at Lewis & Clark Law School in Oregon.
Professor Powers also talks about Justice Kennedy’s environmental legacy.Kennedy was the swing vote in Massachusetts v. EPA, considered the most consequential ruling on climate change. Without his vote, we might still be fighting to have CO2 recognized as a pollutant at all.
Jul 12 2018
Rank #16: The Green New Deal: Two Takes
Now that a proposal is on the table, some see it as a chance to create jobs and equalize the economy. But critics say it should laser focus on climate action.
Mar 20 2019
Rank #17: Ep. 21: Can We Talk About Climate Change Now?
Increasingly sophisticated climate science is able to tell us a lot more about the role climate change is playing in extreme weather events. But while Hurricane Irma was bearing down on South Florida last week, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt said now is not the time to talk about climate change and its impacts on these terrifying storms. So if not now, when? Ben Kirtman is a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School for Marine and Atmospheric Sciences. We caught up with him in Atlanta where he had evacuated from hurricane Harvey. He says now is exactly the time when it’s most important to talk about climate change.
Sep 13 2017
Rank #18: So Long, Clean Power Plan. It Was Nice Knowing You.
The Trump administration recently rolled out the affordable clean energy (ACE) rule. Critics say it basically does nothing to prevent climate change at a time when global warming is turning into an existential crisis. Our guest is Jody Freeman, a professor at Harvard Law School and founder of the school's environmental and energy law program. She served in the Obama White House as counselor for energy and climate change.
Jun 27 2019
Rank #19: That Time We Could Have Stopped Climate Change. . .
Forty years ago, the U.S. government began to take climate change seriously and for a short time period, politicians from both parties endorsed taking actions to avert what was by then understood to be an existential problem for humanity. So what happened? And what can we learn from the decade we almost stopped climate change but didn’t? Our guest is Nathanial Rich, a writer at large for the New York Times magazine. He wrote about this history in the new book, Losing Earth.
Apr 17 2019
Rank #20: Ep. 24: A Clean Power Postmortem
On Tuesday, administrator Scott Pruitt signed the paperwork to revoke the Clean Power Plan. But what is the case for its repeal? And what happens next in the search to rein in carbon dioxide pollution?We’ve heard from many of the proponents of the Clean Power Plan over the past few months, but on this week’s episode, we talk to someone who opposed it and hear why he thought it should have never been written in the first place. Jeff Holmstead has worked on environmental issues for previous Republican administrations, including a stint as assistant administrator for air and radiation at the EPA under George W. Bush.
Oct 12 2017