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, which is 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

"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

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Ways to Connect

During the second half of the show, Shawn Peterson, Executive Director of the Green Urban Lunch Box joins Chris and Nell to talk about their new Back-Farms Consulting program as well as their efforts to make organic fresh food accessible and affordable and to educate Utahns about the local food system. 

During the first half of the show, Nell and Chris highlight the new book, The Water Paradox: Why there will never be enough water - and how to avoid the coming crisis.  They speak with author Edward Barbier, Professor of Economics and Senior Scholar in the School of GLobal Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University about the impacts of water scarcity and how it can be managed through effective policy, with a focus on the American West.  

During the second half of the show, Chris and Nell spoke with Nicholas de Pencier, one of the filmmakers of Anthropocene, which just screened as a feature documentary at the SUndance Film Festival.  The film is described as a cinematic meditation on humanity's massive re-engineering of the planet. Amidst stunning imagery , the film follows the Anthropocene Working Group, a group of scientists who, after a decade of study, are arguing that the Holocene Epoch has given way to the Anthropocene, because of the profound and lasting human changes to the earth.


On Tuesday, Nell and Chris spoke with Dr. Lee Frelich about an unexpected benefit of the extreme cold in the midwest: the control of the Emerald Ash Borer, an invasive pest killing millions of trees and threatening the native ecosystems of ash forests throughout the US.

Brian McInerney , Senior Hydrologist, Has a update on the winter snowfall and temperatures to date and how our snowpack is fairing.  Judging from the past few days, it should be fairing well. 

Celia Peterson with Park City Municipals’ Sustainability Department discusses My Sustainable Year programs and measures. 

Over the past 150 years, the Great Salt Lake has shrunk by nearly one third, exposing a significant amount of the dry lake bed.  When storms come from the west the dust that gets picked up is often deposited on the snow pack of the Wasatch Range.  A University of Utah study published last month concludes that dust from the lake is accelerating snow melt by as much as one week each year.  Dr. McKenzie Skiles, the lead author of the report, joins Chris and Nell to discuss the study. 

The 8th Annual Summit County Christmas Bird Count was held earlier this month.  Chris speaks with the director of that event, Nate Brown, about what birds were observed, if there were any unusual species spotted, and what trends in bird types, seasonal variations and populations are occurring in the county. 

In the second half of the program, Momentum Recycling, a glass recycling business in Salt Lake City, is launching a residential, curbside glass pick up program here is Summit County.  We learn about the program, what glass they accept, what it costs and how you can sign up.

The Utah Legislature holds its 2019 session beginning on January 28th.  There are a number of bills and resolutions on the docket with respect to the environment, including one item which involves the legislature developing appropriations for 100-million dollars on air-quality projects and programs.  Joining Chris in the first half of the program to discuss these proposed bills are representatives from HEAL Utah, a non-profit environmental advocacy group that, among other things, tracks the happenings at the state legislature.