For anyone worried about a little thing called climate change, the news this past month has been truly dreadful.
As in, the dread and anxiety induced by endless sensational images of towns burnt to the ground in Oregon and California and smoke so thick one couldn’t see across the river in Portland has literally kept us awake at night worrying about whether having children is still a morally acceptable choice.
Here’s the good news: If you’re reading this newsletter, we’re pretty sure you’ve also seen the pictures and read the stories and don’t need us to bring it all up again. So we’re not going to.
Instead, this month’s newsletter is all about our favorite environmental podcasts!
We are super excited because we’ve been looking forward to sharing these with you for some time. Personally we listen to these shows every week because they cheer us up when we’ve got the climate blues and help us appreciate the beauty and complexity of the world around us.
These excellent shows offer in depth story telling about specific wild places and weekly updates about what people are doing to address to our most existential climate problems.
If you’re sitting there thinking, “what the blistering inferno, SFR, you promised us soothing and hopeful news—why are we still talking about climate change??” Well, here’s the thing: Hope is not about ignoring our problems and hoping they go away. Sticking our heads in the sand isn’t hopeful. What is, though, is learning more about the people who care and are out there trying to get the story straight and trying to make a difference.
Read on to the bottom for local environment reporting from SFR and others. If you love our environment newsletter, we’d love your help spreading the word! If you’ve got a story about something happening on the local environmental front that we should know about, write firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Our Favorite Podcasts
HOW TO SAVE A PLANET: This is, hands down, our favorite podcast right now. It might even be our favorite podcast OF ALL TIME. And that’s saying something for a news junky. Each episode focuses on a different aspect of the climate crisis and how people are addressing and trying to solve the problem. How to Save a Planet is cohosted by veteran journalist and CEO of Gimlet Media Alex Blumberg, and Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, a marine biologist and conservation strategist who specializes in finding social justice-informed climate solutions and is hands down on the list of most baddass ladies in the universe. Our favorite episode this month is “20 Million Trees.”
THE REFUGE: “The Refuge” is a five-part series that aired last year on the podcast Threshold. The series takes a deep dive into the decades long debate about whether or not we should drill in for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska. “The Refuge” explores the history of the conflict, the various political ties of oil executives and politicians in DC, the incredible biodiversity of the arctic and what’s at stake, and the perspectives of local people including the Gwich’in indigenous communities.
CARBON REMOVAL NEWSROOM: This super specific podcast is created by Nori, a company that is on a mission to reverse climate change by hosting an online platform for buying and selling carbon offsets. As the name suggests, the podcast is all about the latest discoveries in how to remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. It looks at everything from big oil investments in carbon removal infrastructure to agricultural strategies for absorbing more carbon into the ground to strange rocks that absorb carbon slowly over time. Our favorite recent episode was about what it would take to make carbon removal technology available to everyone through common air filters. The episode is called, “Will Direct Air Capture Be Centralized or Distributed?”
FLOODLINES: Forget everything you think you know about what happened during Hurricane Katrina and settle in for a long drive, then hit play on the first episode of Floodlines. A road trip is really the best way to listen to this podcast, because once you get started there’s a good chance you’ll get hooked. In eight episodes, Floodlines sifts through what happened when the levees broke and many layers of truth and lies that shaped our perception of the chaos that followed. Our favorite episode, “Through the Looking Glass,” explores the role the national media played in spreading racist misinformation that ultimately put thousands of lives at risk.
AMERICA ADAPTS: While we all need to throw our weight behind trying to solve climate change, the reality is that it’s already here. Even if we stop all carbon emissions right now., there are already enough greenhouse gasses in the air to create immense shifts in the climate of our planet. In order to not only survive, but thrive in this changing world, we need to change also. This podcast explores how Americans are creating extreme heat emergency plans and cooling strategies for cities like Phoenix, Arizona, and coordinating managed retreat from rising sea levels in small coastal towns. Our favorite recent episode, “Adapting Conservation to Climate Change at WWF,” follows an international conference of wildlife conservationists as they discuss how conservation strategies for endangered species all over the world need to change to account for the impacts of climate change.
PLANET RE-IMAGINED WITH ADAM MET: This is a new podcast hosted by musician Adam Met from from the band AJR. According to the description in the preview, the people Met talks to will include guests who have “invented molecules, written constitutions, created a new kind of toilet, eaten tarantulas, inspired millions to march, and even run for president” in the name of sustainability. The podcast airs on September 24, and we’re excited to check it out.
Could the Caja Del Rio wildfire have regenerative effects for the flora and fauna of the Caja Del Rio plateau? New Mexico conservationists think it might.
Hundreds of migratory birds have been found dead of mysterious and unknown causes. Large numbers of dead birds have been reported in clusters all across the state. Wildlife biologists at New Mexico State University who studied some of the carcasses suspect massive wildfires across the West may be responsible for the birds' demise.
Methane capture and mitigation industry could be a new Economic driver for southern New Mexico. One oil and gas pipeline inspection company recently announced that it plans to create 80 new jobs in New Mexico over the next five years. The state is estimated to lose $275 million worth of natural gas in the form of methane is lost from leaks every year.
Two Santa Fe organizations are among the 25 inaugural recipients of New Mexico’s new Outdoor Equity Grant designed to create equal access opportunities for kids from all different backgrounds to spend time outdoors. The winners are Mountain Kids! Local Outdoor Learning Adventures and River Source, Inc.: Getting Hands Engaged in Outdoor Pathways Project.
SFR’s Environment News
Ojos y Manos del Angeles
Kitchen Angels and the Santa Fe Botanical Garden work together to keep folx fed
Farming Without Rain
Growers who feel the impacts of drought and virus look for ways to adapt
A Closer Look at the Medio Fire
SFR gets a first hand glimpse at the work crews have done to stop the wildfire in the Santa Fe National Forest
The Buck Stops Here
Fire operations chief keeps public calm as the face of the Medio Fire
Medio Fire Almost Done
Incident management team shifts to local control
Eyes on the West Edge of the Medio Fire
Rain helped slow fire and keep 55% containment for 3,438 acres, but western flank is still moving
Curiosity impedes the fight against the Medio Fire
Civilian drone pauses aircraft delivering water to the lightning-caused fire now at 37% containment
Fire Lines are Holding
Updated: Medio Fire progresses to 21% containment of 2,845 acres
Flames on the Ridgetop
At night flames from both wildfire and burnout operations are visible west of Rio En Medio as crews fight to gain control of the Medio Fire
Fire on Two Fronts
Medio Fire grows to 2,700 acres and is 18% contained; Caja Fire estimated at 600 acres on the west side
Forest Fire Grows
Updated: Medio Fire north of Santa Fe is still only 5% contained, but crew members say containment efforts are starting to pay off