Trump on Earth Trump on Earth is a new podcast exploring the environment in the Trump era.
Trump on Earth

Trump on Earth

From 90.5 WESA

Trump on Earth is a new podcast exploring the environment in the Trump era.

Most Recent Episodes

Series Finale

When he first ran for President, Donald Trump was called the "chaos candidate". And to bitter end, that has been borne out. But another kind of radical change has happened over the last four years, often out of the headlines. So, for our last episode, we take stock of the past four years.

"Sound science is not leading the decisions made by this nation."

There have been a number of changes in how the EPA, under President Trump, uses science. It has come with much criticism, including from former EPA officials. On this episode, we hear from a veteran EPA scientist on what drove him to leave the Trump Administration. Chris Zarba worked at the EPA for close to four decades. He was an official in the administrator's office of the agency and also directed the Agency's Science Advisory Board Staff Office.

Trump's Last Act: Drilling in the Arctic Refuge

The outgoing president has a few orders of business he'd like to take care of before January 20. Among them is a controversial plan to drill for oil in the country's largest stretch of untouched wilderness. The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is 20 million acres of mountains, tundra and coast lands. Underneath it, there are billions of barrels of oil. Similar plans have sparked fights for decades, so why the Trump administration push to drill there now? Our guest for this episode is Tegan Hanlon, a public radio reporter for Alaska's Energy Desk in Anchorage.

What does Biden's win mean for the environment and the fight to rein in climate change?

President-Elect Biden ran as a moderate Democrat, but he also campaigned on an aggressive climate platform. How much of that agenda he can pursue could rest on who controls the US Senate, pending results of two runoff elections in Georgia. We unpack what's coming next with Jody Freeman, law professor and director of the Environmental and Energy Law Program at Harvard Law School. Before that she worked in the Obama White House as counselor for climate and energy where she was the architect of the fuel-efficiency regulations for cars, which were later rolled back under President Trump.

What does Biden's win mean for the environment and the fight to rein in climate change?

How the Environment is Playing in Swing States

On this episode, we're looking at what role climate change and other environmental issues could play in deciding the election. We check in with reporters in three major battleground states--Michigan, Pennsylvania and Florida--to find out. Our guests are Alex Harris, a climate reporter with the Miami Herald; Lester Graham, a reporter with the Environment Report at Michigan Radio; and Susan Phillips who covers energy for WHYY and StateImpact Pennsylvania.

Will 2020 be the Year of the Climate Voter?

As Election Day nears, a majority of registered voters in the United States say climate change will be an important issue in making their choice for president. That's according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted over the summer. And it's a sharp contrast to the 2016 race when only 2% of likely voters listed climate or the environment as their top priority. But a surprising number of people who say they care about climate change and the environment don't actually cast ballots. That's where the Environmental Voter Project comes in. For the past four years, the nonpartisan organization has been building what they call an army of environmental super voters. Their goal isn't to get people to care about the environment more or to change minds about climate change — it's to get already registered environmental voters to vote - in the presidential election, and others. And they do it by precisely targeting these voters. On this episode we talk with Nathaniel Stinnet, founder of the Environmental Voter Project.

Trump vs the Courts

Many of President Trump's environmental actions have faced court challenges. So how's the administration doing? First we hear from Ann Carlson, professor of environmental law at UCLA about a climate change case just added to the Supreme Court docket. And then we take a look at how the Trump administration has been faring in court with Michael Gerrard, professor of environmental and climate law at Columbia University.

Losing RBG

Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a feminist icon in the U.S., as one of the first women in many of the roles and rooms she found herself in over her life. Her death and the subsequent race by the Trump administration to confirm her successor will remake American law for decades, most notably by putting Roe versus Wade in jeopardy. But it could also remake environmental law. On this episode, we look ahead at what the loss of RBG will mean for the environment. But first, we take a look back at her environmental legacy.

Labor Unions and Environmentalists Join Forces to Defeat Trump

President Trump calls himself a "great environmentalist" while at the same time gutting environmental protections and questioning the science around climate change. He often explains his actions by claiming regulations are job killers that hurt the economy. But even with the rollbacks, traditional blue-collar jobs like those in the coal industry are being lost. And some labor unions actually see efforts to stem climate change as their future. Enter the BlueGreen Alliance, a coalition of labor unions and environmental organizations that pushes for green job growth. It was created by a couple of odd bedfellows - the United Steelworkers union and the Sierra Club in 2006. Jason Walsh is the executive director. On this episode, we talk with Walsh about the election and how the future of the labor and environmental movements is tied together.

Why the Trump Administration is Rolling Back a Climate Rule that Big Oil Actually Likes

Trump's EPA recently announced that it was rolling back yet another big Obama-era climate rule. This time, the target was a rule on oil and gas emissions of methane, the powerful greenhouse gas that is the main component of natural gas. The Obama administration created the rule in 2016 and some big oil companies actually wanted the administration to keep it. But the Trump administration did away with it anyway. Why? Our guest is Tim Puko. He covers energy policy at the Wall Street Journal and he explains that there is a legal strategy at play aimed at future climate regulations.

Why the Trump Administration is Rolling Back a Climate Rule that Big Oil Actually Likes