Outside/In | New Hampshire Public Radio

Outside/In

Outside/In is NHPR's podcast about the natural world and how we use it. Click here for podcast episodes and more.

Maja Dumat, https://bit.ly/3nMmp2J

The 8th season of the reality television show North Woods Law – a show that follows  conservation officers from New Hampshire’s Fish & Game Department – kicks off with a skunk rescue, a nosey bear being chased out of town, and a multi-day search and rescue operation that ends with a drowning victim being pulled out of the Androscoggin River. 

In this episode of Outside/In, a closer look at the people who police the natural world and how we use it, as depicted by reality television. 

Roel Wijnants, Creative Commons

One of the most visible participants in the Capitol riot on January 6 was a shirtless man dressed in a fur headdress and Viking horns. 

A “QAnon Shaman,” by his own definition, Chansley is also perhaps the most visible representation of an overlap between New Age communities and Q-Anon conspiratory theorists. 

Depending on who you ask, astrology is a science, an art form, a spirituality, a form of therapy … or, a pseudo-science, a scam, fortune-telling. 

But astrology’s recent popularity is only the latest iteration in several millennia of humans looking to the stars for meaning. What does contemporary Western astrology say about this cosmic moment?

This episode was originally published in January 2020.

The landmark Supreme Court ruling known as Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency held that greenhouse gases were pollutants that could be regulated by the executive branch, and defined de facto federal climate policy in the United States for a decade.

Could it soon be reversed? 

Courtesy Photo

The Outside/In team offers suggestions for a happy and healthy winter 2021, inspired by two Norwegian concepts: friluftsliv, or embracing the outdoors with open-air living; and koselig, getting as cozy as possible.

Phoenix Yung

On dating apps like Tinder and Bumble, plenty of folks describe themselves as "outdoorsy" on their profiles. But "outdoorsy" can mean very different things to different people.

In 2019, the Outside/In team ventured onto the dating apps to ask people about the role of the outdoors in their love lives. Plus, a year and a half later, the team wondered: where are they now?

The Aurora Beacon News | December 23, 1970 | Page 1

In the late '60s, a soap factory in suburban Illinois discovered one of its outflow pipes had been intentionally clogged by an industrial saboteur. Does environmental damage ever demand radical action? And when does environmental protest cross the line and become eco-terrorism?

maurizio mucciola on Flickr.

In the coming decades, the scale of migration linked to climate change could be dizzying. In ProPublica’s projection, four million people in the United States could find themselves “living at the fringe,” outside ideal conditions for human life.

From the ancient charcoal animals of France's Chauvet Cave, to 17th century Dutch windmill paintings, art history can tell us a lot about our evolving view of the natural world. In this episode, producer Taylor Quimby (self-described art-world neophyte) searches for individual works and genres through history that reveal something interesting about human society and the outdoors.  

Martin Bamford, https://bit.ly/3lRH8BU

What if, instead of lowering emissions, a large company could pay someone else to do it instead? That's the basic idea behind carbon offsets: a market-based approach to buying and selling reductions in atmospheric carbon dioxide. In this episode, Sam talks our producers through the scientific hoops required to verify one type of popular carbon offset (planting or conserving trees) to better understand whether offsets are a solid piece of the climate puzzle - or sort of a scam. 

Plus, we remember a singular feline: Marty, the Mount Washington mouser. 

Taylor Quimby

Devastating wildfire seasons have become the normal on the West Coast of the United States - a result of drought (exacerbated by climate change) and poor management practices. But one way to fight out of control burning, is with under control burning. In today’s edition of 10X10, an up close look at a wooded ecosystem that doesn’t just benefit from fire, but actually needs it to survive.

 

And you’ve maybe heard that we’re in the midst of a mass extinction. But not every species suffers equally. On the second half of the show, a tale of two birds: one, a rare specialist that’s struggling to survive … and the other, a grosser species that’s adapting just fine.

Yellowstone National Park

The National Parks are seen as a national treasure, touted by some as “America’s Best Idea.” But restricting access to the natural world as a method of conservation is also part of a history of indigenous erasure. 

 

On this episode, we trace the history of the prejoratively-termed “fortress conservation,” from Robin Hood to Fort Yellowstone and the global spread of national parks and preserves.

 

Plus, what the likelihood of another four years of divided government means for climate action.

Laconia Evening Citizen

Scary stories are often set in the dark and wild woods, but why does nature inspire fear? We look for answers in the forests, cemeteries, and witch trials of New England.

Alex Torrenegra via Flickr.

There are places on the map where the roads end. The Darién Gap, or el Tapon del Darién, is one of them.

Plus, how maps change the world.

Megan Tan

We're sharing a selection of stories from the show's early days, including an edition of Eat the Invaders and our earliest installments of our 10x10 series looking at vernal pools and traffic circles.

Public domain

Not too long ago, four Outside/In producers waged an epic fruit fight: a good-natured debate of culinary and cultural history, aimed at deciding which seed-bearing delicacy ought to be crowned the GFOAT, or the Greatest Fruit of All Time: the pepper, the gourd, the coconut, or the vanilla bean. 

The debate inspired a handful of well-argued (and listener-submitted) write-in candidates, as well as a thoughtful conversation about the deep connections between food, culture, and colonialism. 

 

Taylor Quimby

This week, during their highly anticipated “Battery Day” event, Tesla CEO Elon Musk laid out the company’s plan to have a $25,000 electric vehicle on the market within three years. He also mentioned that the company will be breaking into the lithium mining business.

 

Experts are skeptical. But why?

James Cridland, https://bit.ly/2DRn1mT

To become a more inclusive movement, environmentalists are re-examining the past. Today on Outside/In, part two of our series looking back at the environmental movement's problematic anxiety around "overpopulation." 

 

Because when people talk about overpopulation … what are they really talking about? 

 

 

James Cridland, https://bit.ly/2DRn1mT

To become a more inclusive movement, environmentalists are re-examining the past. Today on Outside/In, we’re talking about how history is and isn’t remembered, and we’re looking back at a problematic topic that, in environmental circles, used to loom larger than stopping nukes and saving whales: over-population. 

 

But when people talk about over-population … what are they really talking about? 

The open world environment of Skyrim is beautiful, and one of the most celebrated video game landscapes of all time. But an imagined world can be transformative ... and contain ideas about nature that are quite real.

Nick Mott

When the debate over drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge first emerged, most people had never heard of global warming. So over the last four decades, the controversies over oil in the Refuge and climate change evolved on different tracks.

Now, those tracks are intersecting. In the final episode of The Refuge miniseries -- a dive into the resulting tensions and contradictions around oil and climate.

For the month of August, Outside/In is featuring Refuge, a four-part Peabody award-winning documentary series from Threshold. This is part four.

Amy Martin

The Gwich’in have lived and hunted in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge long before it was carved out as federal protected land. Their territory spans a huge swath of northeastern Alaska and northwestern Canada, and their health and culture depends on the Porcupine caribou herd—a group of animals 200,000 strong that calve on the area of the coastal plain slated for drilling.

The Refuge team spends this episode in Arctic Village, a community just over the southern border of the Refuge, and hear from the Gwich’in about what’s at stake for them as development looms in the 1002 area.

For the month of August, Outside/In is featuring Refuge, a four-part Peabody award-winning documentary series from Threshold. This is part three.

Nick Mott

The Threshold team visits Kaktovik, Alaska, the only town within the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, to find out how the conflict over drilling for oil in the refuge feels to the people who live there. But the heart of the issue isn’t just over oil extraction and development, wilderness and wildlife. Whatever side people took, their focus is on their community, sovereignty, and survival.

For the month of August, Outside/In is featuring Refuge, a four-part Peabody award-winning documentary series from Threshold.

Nick Mott

The Arctic National Wildlife Refuge began as a bold vision to preserve enough land to sustain a whole web of Arctic animals. Today, these 19 million roadless acres are home to moose and caribou, wolves and foxes, and birds that fly in from around the world to nest. Polar bears are using the coastal areas as a true refuge as the world warms and the sea ice retreats.

But shortly after ANWR was created, an enormous oil deposit was discovered nearby, and a different vision for the far north took hold.

For the month of August, Outside/In is featuring Refuge, a four-part Peabody award-winning documentary series from Threshold. This is part one.

Are snow-making machines an example of climate adaptation, or an example of an emissions feedback loop? Does the fire risk posed by planting trees outweigh the benefits of their use as a carbon sink? Can the team talk big planet problems and still leave room for bad puns?

We’ll answer these questions and more climate queries on this special edition of Ask Sam.

Mass. Office of Energy and Environment Affairs

Over forty years since the release of the film Jaws, sharks are returning to Cape Cod. But the fear and the narrative around the danger of sharks could be changing.

This episode was originally published in 2019.

Kevin Gibbs, https://bit.ly/3eDwJW8

Ever since the threat of climate change was first made public, scientists have offered the possibility of a get-out-of-jail-free card: geoengineering. Reducing emissions is hard, so why not just engineer the Earth's atmosphere more to our liking?  Decades later, the science of geoengineering is still in its infancy, but a growing number of researchers are trying to change that. Should they?

Reverend Don Ruggles, courtesy Chisasibi Heritage & Cultural Centre.

On July 6, a federal judge ordered the shutdown of the Dakota Access Pipeline -- a victory for the resistance movement led by the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

But pull on the thread of this moment and you'll find it’s connected to a long and complicated history, of treaties made, kept, and violated, as well as the Supreme Court decisions that constitute so-called “native law."

A story about crickets that isn't actually about crickets at all.

There’s a tendency to think of “the natural world” as everything beyond the asphalt. But soil often lies just a couple inches below the concrete, and the design of our cities represents choices about how much space we give to “built environment” and how much we give to “grown environment" -- and specifically, to trees.

 

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