Life Raft In a podcast from WWNO, WRKF and PRX, comedian Lauren Malara and reporter Travis Lux explore your questions about living with climate change. How bad will the flooding get? Is it ever going to be too hot to live here? Have I had my last good oyster? We'll tackle it all.
Life Raft

Life Raft

From WWNO - New Orleans Public Radio

In a podcast from WWNO, WRKF and PRX, comedian Lauren Malara and reporter Travis Lux explore your questions about living with climate change. How bad will the flooding get? Is it ever going to be too hot to live here? Have I had my last good oyster? We'll tackle it all.

Most Recent Episodes

What If We Just...Made Our Houses Float?

With flood risk increasing and flood insurance rates likely following suit, it seems like there's got to be a better way to tackle the challenge. For example: could we make our homes float when the water comes? This week we talk to an architect who has devoted her professional life to that question, and we visit a Louisiana community where some people have decided that it makes more sense to temporarily float a house than to elevate it on stilts. — Want to help shape the future of Life Raft? We're looking for feedback on our first season. Filling out this (super short) survey will really help us understand how we can best serve you. If you include your contact info, you'll be entered into a raffle to win a prize from WWNO or WRKF. While we figure out what the future holds, we'd love to extend the biggest and warmest thank you to everyone who made this possible. Thanks, especially, to everyone for listening, and for submitting the questions that made this show possible. In the meantime, follow us on social media. We're on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. And if you like what you hear from Life Raft, consider making a donation to WRKF or WWNO to help keep the show going! — Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and listeners like you.

Could Flood Insurance Sink Us Before The Water Does?

Everyone knows flood insurance isn't the most exciting topic. What this episode presupposes is: maybe it should be? It's not difficult to imagine a future in which climate change-fueled storms and floods depopulate our coastal communities. Generations of Louisianians have been moving northward for decades, after all. But could the rising cost of flood insurance actually drive people away sooner? That's the question we're exploring this week. We talk to two experts who explain the history of flood insurance in the United States, where the program is headed, and why flood insurance affordability is a political problem. Rebecca Elliott is an assistant professor of sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. Her book is called Underwater: Loss, Flood Insurance, and the Moral Economy of Climate Change in the United States. Andy Horowitz is an assistant professor of history at Tulane University. His book is called Katrina: A History, 1915-2015. Do you have a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There's a super simple form on our website. Follow us on social media for bonus pictures and occasional memes. We're on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and listeners like you. If you like what you hear from Life Raft, consider making a donation to WRKF and WWNO to help keep the show going!

What Would It Take For Louisiana To Go Carbon Neutral By 2050?

Gov. John Bel Edwards wants Louisiana to dramatically cut its emissions by 2050. What would it take to get there? This week on Life Raft, reporter Tegan Wendland breaks it down for us. We talk about where Louisiana's emissions come from, what changes need to be made to reduce them and the hurdles standing in the way, and do a little imagining about what New Orleans might look like in 2050. Do you have a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There's a super simple form on our website. For bonus pictures and extra fun vibes, follow us on social media. We're on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and listeners like you. If you like what you hear from Life Raft, consider making a donation to WRKF and WWNO to help keep the show going!

How Much Can We Blame The 2020 Hurricane Season On Climate Change?

The 2020 Hurricane Season was intense. It set all kinds of records: most named storms in a season,and most to rapidly intensify, among others. Five storms hit the Louisiana coast. How much of this can we chalk up to climate change, and how much has to do with normal weather patterns? What's the link between hurricanes and climate change? This week on Life Raft we revisit interviews with people who survived Hurricane Laura this summer, take a road trip across Louisiana, and learn the latest science about climate change and hurricanes. Do you have a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There's a super simple form on our website. For bonus pictures and extra fun vibes, follow us on social media. We're on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and listeners like you. If you like what you hear from Life Raft, consider making a donation to WRKF and WWNO to help keep the show going!

Bonus Episode: Confronting The Loss That Climate Change Promises

Happy New Year, Life Raft listeners! We're busy readying the second half of the Life Raft season, but we still wanted you to feast your ears on some climate content, so here's a story for you. It's all about our attachment to place in the face of climate change — our connection to the land, our ways of life, and how we emotionally process what it means for those places to be threatened by climate change. This story was originally produced by Davis Land for Houston Public Media. Davis is currently a senior producer for Slate's daily news podcast, What Next. Got a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There's a super simple form on our website. For bonus pictures and extra fun vibes, follow us on social media. We're on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Support for WWNO's Coastal Desk comes from the Greater New Orleans Foundation, the Walton Family Foundation, and local listeners.

HumaNature: Afrovivalist

Doomsday prepping seems more and more logical to us on the Life Raft team. Climate change-induced weather disasters are only getting worse, and it never hurts to be prepared, right? Today on the show we're going to get a glimpse into the world of prepping through the eyes of Sharon Ross, who wanted to be prepared for anything, but later found herself the odd one out. This story comes to us from our friends at Wyoming Public Media. It's from a terrific podcast called HumaNature, which tells stories about human experiences in nature. You can read more about Sharon Ross and her efforts here, and you can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

How Can I Reduce Flooding In My Neighborhood?

When it rains, it pours. And when it pours, it floods. More and more, that appears to be the situation down South. In New Orleans, several big rain storms in recent years have turned streets into rivers and flooded homes and cars. This week on Life Raft: flooding. What can we do about it? We speak drop by a bar that regularly floods, get the latest science on climate-induced rainfall, and visit with a New Orleanian who decided to get her hands dirty and take some action. Here are some great resources for how to help reduce flooding in your neighborhood: This workbook from WaterWise Gulf South is a great how-to guide for getting started on your own green infrastructure. The Urban Conservancy has a program that reimburses New Orleanians for ripping up concrete in their yards. Healthy Community Services (run by Angela Chalk, who you heard in Episode 1) also does lots of work around green infrastructure in New Orleans. Got a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There's a super simple form on our website. For bonus pictures and extra fun vibes, follow us on social media. We're on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. P.S. Here's the legendary photo of "Darryl." P.P.S Climate change is scary, but Life Raft is not!

So You've Got Climate Anxiety. Here's What You Can Do With It.

No matter where you fall on the eco-anxiety spectrum, on a scale from low-key stressed to lying up at night in a dread spiral, you could probably use some advice on doing something about it. Climate change can be scary, after all. We talk with science writer Britt Wray, who has been researching the overlap of mental health and climate change. She defines some terms, offers some tips and tricks, and shares her personal experience with feelings of climate dread. Plus, she tells a fun story of that time she gave a presentation on climate denial and eco-stress to a bunch of energy executives. Here are some great resources for digging deeper on climate change feelings: Gen Dread (Britt Wray's newsletter) Good Grief Network (here's the Facebook link) Climate Psychology Alliance (North America) Climate Psychology Alliance (UK) Climate Psychiatry Alliance (US) Psychology for a Safe Climate (Australia) Got a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There's a super simple form on our website. For bonus pictures and extra fun vibes, follow us on social media. We're on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Climate change is scary, but Life Raft is not!

Have I Had My Last Good Oyster?

Is climate change coming for oysters? This week on Life Raft we take a dive into the world of food. We drop by a famous New Orleans oyster bar, and visit with an oyster scientist to get a better feel for the ways a changing climate threatens oysters, and what's being done to help 'em out. Got a question you want us to explore? Send it to us! There's a super simple form on our website. For bonus pictures and extra fun vibes, follow us on social media. We're on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Climate change is scary, but Life Raft is not!

Is It Ever Gonna Be Too Hot To Live Here?

In this debut episode of Life Raft we're digging into extreme heat: is it ever gonna be too hot to live here? We talk to a doctor about what happens to the human body when it starts to overheat, and to a New Orleans resident on a mission to cool off her neighborhood by planting hundreds of trees. We share laughs with both. Follow Life Raft on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram (@liferaftpod). Give Lauren (@laurenmalara) and Travis (@travislux) a follow while you're at it. Do you have a question you want us to explore? Submit one to us! You can do that on our website. The question for this episode came from New Orleans-based comedian Kamari Stevens (IG: @supermaribro).