Midnight Oil: The Big Thaw 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.
Midnight Oil: The Big Thaw

Midnight Oil: The Big Thaw

From Alaska Public Media

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.

Most Recent Episodes

Bonus: The Neighbors

Alaska is on the verge of a new oil boom — and the village of Nuiqsut is right in the middle. Oil development is affecting Nuiqsut more than any other indigenous community in Alaska. And the village faces tough choices. How do you maintain a way of life when the oil industry is knocking on your door?

Bonus Episode: Coming Soon

Midnight Oil is back! Alaska is on the verge of a new oil boom — and the village of Nuiqsut is right in the middle. Oil development is affecting Nuiqsut more than any other indigenous community in Alaska. And the village faces tough choices. How do you maintain a way of life when the oil industry is knocking on your door? Reporter Elizabeth Harball tells the story in a bonus episode of Midnight Oil coming May 9, 2019.

Paying Dividends, Ep 1: Making Good

Alaska's new governor promised to pay dividends of more than $6,000 when he was running for office. But delivering on that promise isn't going to be simple. It might not even be possible, because the legislature that holds the permanent fund's purse strings. What do lawmakers think about Dunleavy's promise? Will they work with him or against him to balance the budget and pay big dividends?

Our new podcast: Paying Dividends

Midnight Oil listeners know that Alaska's an oil state and that Alaskans get a personal cut of the state's oil wealth every year in the form of a dividend. But oil prices are way down and the state has a multi billion dollar budget deficit. Our new podcast 'Paying Dividends' explores the struggle our governor and lawmakers face to keep paying those oil checks and also keep the state running.

Ep. 5: The Culprits

Climate change is now an undeniable reality for the oil industry. It threatens their reputations, their business models - and in some cases, the actual physical infrastructure they've built to extract all that oil in the first place. That's forcing the industry to confront some uncomfortable questions.

Ep. 4: The Visitors

As polar bears lose their habitat in the Arctic, they have no choice but to come to shore and try to live part of their lives on land. That means they come into the village of Kaktovik sometimes, breaking into people's houses or food storage at the risk of getting shot. But it also means they are more visible and accessible than ever for tourists who are willing to pay a lot of money to see them before they're gone.

Ep. 3: The Fishermen

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.

Ep. 2: The Senator

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?

Ep. 1: The Village

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?

Coming Soon: The Big Thaw

On August 9, Alaska's Energy Desk launches our second season of Midnight Oil. It's called The Big Thaw. And it's about one of the biggest challenges facing the state right now and in the years ahead: climate change.

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