This Green Earth

Tuesday, 9-10 AM

Hosts Chris Cherniak and Nell Larson
Credit Mark Maziarz

This Green Earth is a weekly, hour-long program that focuses on the environment and environmentalism. Co-hosts Christopher Cherniak and Nell Larson explore the science, politics, economics and ethics behind the environment, natural resources, and sustainability.

The program includes interviews with local and national experts in the fields of water resources, air quality, environmental policy, fossil and renewable fuels, climate, conservation, ecosystems, agriculture, aquaculture, and sustainability.

TGE has interviewed a number of individuals from different environmental fields including: writers Andrew Revkin, Terry Tempest Williams, Craig Childs, Richard Louv and Paul Erlich; politicians like the Mayors of Park City and Salt Lake City; policy analysts from the Natural Resources Defense Council and the Environmental Defense Fund; scientists and researchers from the Monterey Bay Aquarium to the National Weather Service; and, local sustainable business owners from Copper Moose Farm, Main Street Olive Oil Company, Whole Foods Market, and Fairweather Natural Foods.

Christopher Cherniak is an environmental engineer with nearly 30 years experience as an environmental consultant. Nell Larson is an environmental scientist, educator, and a graduate of the Yale School of Forestry. Together, they direct This Green Earth's mission: to educate listeners about the importance of environmental preservation, conservation, and stewardship.

Contact Chris and Nell via email at

What People are Saying About This Green Earth

"This Green Earth offers an in-depth analysis of current environmental issues that affect our local and global community.  The conversations between the hosts and their guests is enlightening and challenging, but at the same time has a light touch that makes the issues accessible to a wide listening audience.  An invaluable resource for our community." Katy Wang, Executive Director of Park City Film

"This Green Earth does an excellent job recruiting knowledgeable and interesting guests.  As someone who's been involved in the "green" sector for many years, I'm consistently impressed with the ability of Katie and Nell to introduce me to something new!"  Tyler Paulsen, former Sustainability Office, Park City Municipal

This Green Earth is Sponsored by:

Special SCPW Quarterly Reports Provided by:


Ways to Connect

Over the 20 days of Christmas and New Years Recycle Utah took in approximately a 500,000 plastic bags and 250,000 cardboard boxes.  Carolyn Wawra, Executive Director with RU shares some additional numbers on the other things they processed and how much it cost them to do so. 


  The Utah legislature goes into General Session Monday January 27th.  Hundreds of resolutions and bills will be offered by both the state house of representatives and the state senate.  Some of those address water, natural resources, energy and the environment.  KPCW's Emily Means will be covering this session and she discusses some of the environmental bills and resolutions proposed by the state house and senate. 





During the second half of the show, local resident Mike Stevens joined Chris and Nell to further discuss his recent Park Record letter to the editor.  He wrote about retail stores on Main Street and their practice of leaving their doors open even during very cold weather, a practice which he sees as wasteful - and unnecessary.  Mike and Chris also explored other locations that have implemented education and regulation on this practice.  

During the first half of the show, Celia Peterson from Park City's Sustainability Department joined Chris and Nell to discuss the City's efforts to bolster the number of Electric Vehicle Charging stations and locations in town, as well as preview the plans to update the vehicle anti-idling ordinance in the community.  

An article published last month in the Journal of Applied Ecology found evidence that plan and invertebrate diversity declines - and pest species increase - when lawns are mowed more intensely.  The authors propose that, "in addition to known advantages such as carbon emission reductions, we propose that a reduction in mowing intensity in urban lawns is likely to promote urban invertebrate and plant diversity, and associated ecosystem services."  James Wolfin of Metro Blooms joined Chris and Nell to talk about his research on pollinator communities that forage on lawns, and his work throug

 Walt Meier from the National Snow and Ice Data Center talks about Arctic Sea Ice and how the year 2019 will be one of the lowest for sea ice extent on record.  

Today on This Green Earth, Brian McInerney from the National Weather Service stops by to provide a summary of the weather and climate this past fall.  How did Summit County and northern Utah fare with respect to average temperatures and precipitation and, what's the conditions of our watersheds and reservoirs.

On this episode of  This Green Earth, host Chris Cherniak speaks with two individuals who attended the recent Climate Conference in Madrid, Spain:  Carole Straughn with the League of Women Voters and Kathryn Horvat with the United Nations Association of Utah.  They share their experiences of the COP25 event which occurred earlier this month.  

On this episode of This Green Earth, host Chris Cherniak speaks with  Jonah Kurman-Faber a Senior Research Associate with the non-profit group, Climate-XChange.   The group's mission is to provide research and education for a low-carbon economy using market-based mechanisms.    

On Monday, Goldman Sachs announced that it will not finance new oil drilling or exploration projects in the Arctic, becoming the first US bank to make such a commitment. The bank’s environmental policy framework now includes a ban on financing for new thermal coal mines worldwide.  Here to explain the details is Ben Cushing from the Sierra Club.  We also asked Ben what impact this will have on other major financiers and who might follow suit.  

The United Nations just completed their 25th Conference of Parties on Climate Change, or COP 25, in Madrid.  Who's leading the way and who is lagging behind?  What is required of major countries in order to adequately address climate change?   Jake Schmidt, Managing Director of International Programs for the Natural Resources Defense Council, joined Chris and Nell to cover the key take-aways. 

During the second part of the show, the conversation was all about beavers!  Marshall Wolf, a phd candidate at Utah State University, joined Chris and Nell to cover the rich history of beavers in Summit County, and how they have impacted our local geology and play a key role in native ecosystems.  He also shared information about his project in partnership with Swaner Preserve, using beaver-inspired restoration techniques to restore a healthier ecosystem and carefully monitor the changes taking place.  

The 120th annual Audubon Christmas Bird Count is scheduled to happen this weekend, and the local chapter will be hosting a Christmas Bird Count, which will kick off at Swaner Preserve and EcoCenter before spreading out to local reservoirs and birding hotspots.  Novices and experts are welcome to join in this nationwide citizen science effort to collect data on local bird populations.  Local birder Nate Brown joined Chris and Nell to share the details. Registration at through the calendar.  


 This Green Earth's Chris Cherniak speaks with journalist and author Jon Waterman about his recent Op Ed in the New York Times titled:  Our National Parks are in Trouble.  Mr. Waterman is a former park ranger, and in the piece he describes how over-crowding, invasive species, climate change and budget cuts are threatening the health and welfare of our national parks.