273 episodes

News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests and deeper analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the Mongabay.com team, from climate change to biodiversity, tropical ecology, wildlife, and more. The show airs every other week.

Mongabay Newscast Mongabay Podcasts

    • Science
    • 4.8 • 43 Ratings

News and inspiration from nature’s frontline, featuring inspiring guests and deeper analysis of the global environmental issues explored every day by the Mongabay.com team, from climate change to biodiversity, tropical ecology, wildlife, and more. The show airs every other week.

    'Biotic pump’ theory could explain how forests effect weather, wind and climate

    'Biotic pump’ theory could explain how forests effect weather, wind and climate

    The biotic pump theory has been controversial in the climate science community ever since Anastassia Makarieva and Victor Gorshkov published their paper about it to the journal Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics in 2010.
    If true, the theory sheds light on how the interior forests of vast continents influence wind and the water cycles that supply whole nations, flipping traditional hydrological and atmospheric science on its head.
    Anastassia Makarieva joins this episode to discuss the theory and its implications for future climate modeling with co-host Rachel Donald.
    Want more? Read a related Amazon-specific interview with Makarieva and Antonio Nobre here.
    Love this conversation? Please share it with a friend!
    And if you really enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing. Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet, and all support helps!
    See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage, mongabay.com, or follow Mongabay on any of the social media platforms for updates.
    Please send your ideas and feedback to submissions@mongabay.com.
    Image: Physicist Anastassia Makarieva co-developed the biotic pump theory of how forests direct the movement of moisture. Image ZED/Grifa Filmes.
    ---
    Timecodes
    (00:00:00) Introduction
    (00:02:41) Understanding the Biotic Pump Theory
    (00:09:38) Tipping Points
    (00:15:31) The Climate Regulating Function of Ecosystems
    (00:25:51) Lagging Behind the Data
    (00:33:20) Building a Different Climate Model
    (00:41:04) Addressing the Controversy
    (00:45:41) Territory, Boundaries and Water
    (00:52:13) Credits

    • 54 min
    Unmasking the illusion of renewable biomass energy with Justin Catanoso

    Unmasking the illusion of renewable biomass energy with Justin Catanoso

    Burning wood to generate electricity – ‘biomass energy’ – is increasingly used as a renewable replacement for burning coal in nations like the UK, Japan, and South Korea, even though its emissions are not carbon neutral.
    On this episode of the Mongabay Newscast, reporter Justin Catanoso details how years of investigation helped him uncover a complicated web of public relations messaging used by industry giants that obscures the fact that replanting trees after cutting them down and burning them is not carbon neutral or renewable and severely harms global biodiversity, and forests.
    Catanoso lives near biomass industry giant Enviva in North Carolina and has reported on their practices extensively, including the claim that they only use sustainable wood waste in their product, which his investigation disproved. Though it filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy this year, it remains the single largest producer of wood pellets globally.
    “When those trees get ripped out, that carbon gets released. And that comes before we process this wood and ship it…then we burn it and don't count those emissions.  This is just [an] imponderable policy,” he says in this episode.
    Read Justin's coverage of the UK biomass firm Drax and their attempt to open two large wood pellet plants in California to ship 1 million tons annually to Japan and South Korea, where they will be burned in converted coal plants.
    If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing. Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet, and all support helps!
    See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage, mongabay.com, or follow Mongabay on any of the social media platforms for updates.
    Please send your ideas and feedback to submissions@mongabay.com.
    Image: Wood pellets for biomass energy. Image courtesy of Dogwood Alliance.
    ---
    Timecodes
    (00:00:00) Introduction to Biomass and Carbon Emissions
    (00:03:08) Understanding the problems with biomass fuel
    (00:08:18) Clear-Cutting in North Carolina and British Columbia
    (00:12:48) Physics Doesn't Fall for Accounting Tricks
    (00:19:55) Understanding the Arguments from the Industry
    (00:25:30) Picking Apart the Logic
    (00:28:26) Why We Don't Have Long-term Solutions
    (00:34:27) Overcoming an Impossible Situation
    (00:39:55) Post-chat
    (00:49:28) Credits

    • 51 min
    Indigenous economics offers alternative to Wall Street's financialization of nature

    Indigenous economics offers alternative to Wall Street's financialization of nature

    Putting a dollar amount on a single species, or entire ecosystems, is a contentious idea, but in 2023, the New York Stock Exchange proposed a new nature-based asset class which put a price tag on global nature of 5,000 trillion U.S. dollars. 
    This financialization of nature comes with perverse incentives and fails to recognize the intrinsic value contained in biodiversity and all the benefits it provides for humans, argues Indigenous economist Rebecca Adamson, on this episode.
    Instead, she suggests basing economies on principles contained in Indigenous economics.
    "The most simple thing would be to fit your economy into a living, breathing, natural physics law framework. And if you look at Indigenous economies, they really talk about balance and harmony, and those aren't quaint customs. Those are design principles," she says.
    Hear a related Mongabay podcast interview on the connection between nature and financial systems with author Brett Scott, here. We also recently spoke with National Geographic photographer Kiliii Yuyan about what Indigenous knowledge has to offer conservation, here. 
    If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing. Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet, and all support helps!
    See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage, mongabay.com, or follow Mongabay on any of the social media platforms for updates.
    Please send your ideas and feedback to submissions@mongabay.com.
    Image: The doll orchid. Image courtesy of Bhathiya Gopallawa. 
    ---
    (00:00:00) Introduction
    (00:01:30) The Financialization of Nature
    (00:07:35) Indigenous Economic Principles
    (00:14:04) Can Putting a Price on Nature Save it?
    (00:27:15) Redistribution and Reciprocity
    (00:33:15) The Ubiquity of Violence
    (00:38:37) The Wealth Gap and Its Implications
    (00:41:31) The Power of Shareholder Activism
    (00:44:36) Indigenous Economic Systems and Modern Applications
    (00:51:57) A Critical Analysis of the Financialization of Nature
    (01:00:27) Religious Perspectives on Environmental Awareness
    (01:04:24) Credits

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Koala conservation delayed while government pursues faulty offset schemes

    Koala conservation delayed while government pursues faulty offset schemes

    Two experts join the Mongabay Newscast to discuss the decline in koala populations in the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW), even as city councils and the government green light development projects on koala habitats that aren't being replaced by biodiversity offset schemes, ecologist Yung En Chee of the University of Melbourne, explains.
    Meanwhile, the promised Great Koala National Park has been delayed by NSW Premier Chris Minns, even as his state allows logging of koala habitat within the park borders while he tries to set up a carbon credit scheme to monetize the protected area, says journalist Stephen Long with Australia Institute.
    “I'm not sure how long this failure has to persist before we decide that we really ought to change course,” says Chee of the biodiversity credit schemes, which seem to be based on outdated data, and don’t come close to satisfying their ‘no net loss’ of biodiversity goals.
    See related coverage: How a conservation NGO uses drones and artificial intelligence to detect koalas that survive bushfires, here.

    If you want to read more on biodiversity offsetting and 'no net loss,' please read this resource from the IUCN.
    If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing. Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet, and all support helps!
    See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage, mongabay.com, or follow Mongabay on any of the social media platforms for updates.
    Please send your ideas and feedback to submissions@mongabay.com.
    Image: Gumbaynggirr Country is home to the dunggiirr, the koala (Phascolarctos cinereus), one of the totem animals for the Gumbaynggirr people. Koalas numbers are estimated to be in the tens of thousands in the state of New South Wales. Image by Steve Franklin via Unsplash (Public domain).
    --
    Timecodes
    (00:00) Introduction
    (01:34) The Koala Crisis in New South Wales
    (04:33) Where is the Great Koala National Park?
    (06:39) Logging Activities and Government Delays
    (09:53) The Problem with Carbon Credits 
    (16:46) Interview with Yung En Chee
    (18:38) Biodiversity Offsets: Concept and Criticism
    (20:15) Failures in Biodiversity Offset Implementation
    (31:23) Double Dipping and Offset Market Issues
    (35:22) Conclusion

    • 38 min
    Can the 'Right to Roam' boost nature connection and restoration?

    Can the 'Right to Roam' boost nature connection and restoration?

    On this episode of Mongabay’s podcast, Rachel Donald speaks with campaigner and activist Jon Moses about the ‘right to roam’ movement in England which seeks to reclaim common rights to use private and public land to reconnect with nature and repair the damage done from centuries of exclusionary land ownership.
    In this discussion and the new book Wild Service: Why Nature Needs You he's co-edited with Nick Hayes, Moses recounts the history of land ownership change in England ('enclosure') and why re-establishing a common ‘freedom to roam’—a right observed in other nations such as the Czech Republic or Norway—is needed. English citizens currently only have access to 8% of their land, for example.
    “There needs to be a kind of rethinking really of [what] people's place is in the landscape and how that intersects with a kind of [new] relationship between people and nature as well,” he says on this episode.
    If you enjoy the Mongabay Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing. Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet, and all support helps!
    See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage, mongabay.com, or follow Mongabay on any of the social media platforms for updates.
    Image credit: Participants of the 'Love Your River' event on the River Derwent. Image courtesy of Jon Moses.
    ---
    Timecodes 
    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:19) The 'Right to Roam'
    (06:06) The historical context of 'enclosure'
    (13:42) The modern struggle to reclaim access to nature
    (27:49) Cross cultural perspectives, and breaking the barriers
    (38:32) Post-chat
    (50:19) Credits

    • 51 min
    What's unique about Canada's environment? 'The Narwhal' brings top news and views

    What's unique about Canada's environment? 'The Narwhal' brings top news and views

    On this episode of Mongabay’s podcast, we speak with a co-founder of the award-winning Canadian nonprofit news outlet ‘The Narwhal,’ Emma Gilchrist.
    She reflects on Canada’s unique natural legacy, her organization's successes, the state of environmental reporting in the nature-rich nation, how she sees ‘The Narwhal’ filling the gaps in historically neglected stories and viewpoints, and why something as universally appreciated as nature can still be a polarizing topic.
    She also details a legal battle her organization is involved in that could have significant implications for press freedom in Canada.
    If you enjoy the Newscast, please visit www.patreon.com/mongabay to pledge a dollar or more to keep the show growing, Mongabay is a nonprofit media outlet and all support helps!
    See all our latest news from nature's frontline at Mongabay's homepage, mongabay.com, or follow Mongabay on any of the social media platforms for updates.
    Image credit: Bow Lake in Banff, Canada. Photo credit: Rhett A. Butler.
    ---
    Timecodes 
    (00:00) Introduction
    (02:30) The mission and impact of 'The Narwhal'
    (05:16) The Canadian environmental paradox
    (24:40) Fighting for press freedom
    (29:31) An uncertain political landscape
    (34:50) Post-chat: independent outlets make waves
    (45:58) Credits

    • 47 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
43 Ratings

43 Ratings

Tahoe Brenda ,

Pleasure!

I’ve found your reporting so very interesting & essential to survival for many! Keep reporting!

T Drinker ,

Environmental stories that deserve our attention

The interviews and background information provided with each podcast is a wonderful approach to highlighting important stories that often overlooked. Episode 44 about Mexico’s Ejidos community for instance. Great work!

riwri1 ,

Great topical podcast!

It’s great to find a podcast so focused on the topic of conservation, that goes in depth on issues. Covers a wide range of perspectives from many experts, with great journalistic integrity.

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