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

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Ways to Connect

During the second segment, Chris and Nell spoke with Jon Devine, Director of Federal Water Policy for Natural Resources Defense Council to learn about the Trump administration's repeal of the Clean Water Rule, what has motivated this move, and what it means for water quality and drinking water in the United States.

During the first segment of the show, Nell and Chris spoke with journalist and author Eugene Linden who recently published an Op Ed in the New York Times titled How Scientists Got Climate Change So Wrong.  Linden made the case that what was once thought of as far-off worst-case scenarios have now turned out to be - in many cases - reality, leaving cities and countries with little time to prepare for the accelerating changes in weather and ocean levels.  Linden shows that the pressure for scientific consensus and immense political pressure have contributed to the watering-down of climate co

During the second half of the show, Nell and Chris turn their attention to the Citizens Climate Lobby, speaking with Lauren Barros, who is currently representing the Wasatch Back Chapter of the organization while meeting with lawmakers in Washington DC.  They are educating western representatives and senators on  HR763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act of 2019, a national, revenue-neutral carbon fee that would also pay out monthly dividend payments to all Americans.

Last week on This Green Earth, a scientist from the research group Climate Central talked about a recent study showing that rising seas will impact more coastal land than initially thought.  This week, cohosts Chris Cherniak and Nell Larson turn their attention to the resiliency which those vulnerable communities will have to develop in order to address not just rising seas but, in our case, a warmer, dryer mountain west.  They speak with Alice Hill, the author of the book Building a Resilient Tomorrow - How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption.   

Sea level rise is a reality being modeled by scientists and faced head on in many cities and communities now struggling to defend themselves against these changes - and adapt to them.  New research published last week in the journal Nature Communications shows that rising seas could affect three times as many people by 2050 than previously thought, threatening to erase some of the world's great coastal cities.  Benjamin Strauss, the Chief Executive for the research group Climate Central, joined Chris and Nell in the first part of the show to discuss his research.

Keeping with the dark sky theme, Utah Master Naturalist Program Director Mark Larese-Casanova joined Chris and Nell to announce the launch of the new Master Astronomer Program, Dark Sky Observations, which covers everything from dark sky ecology to constellation identification.  It's designed for novices, and includes a short online course as well as a three day field course coming soon!

Over recent decades, light pollution has exploded, impacting wildlife, people, and our view of the night sky.  Over the past few years, however, Utah has become an international leader in dark sky protection, led by the Utah State Parks.  From International Dark Sky Park designations to new programs, there's lots happening and opportunity to get involved.  Justina Parsons-Bernstein, Education Specialist with State Parks, joined Chris and Nell to fill them in.

Carl Moore of PANDOS, a Utah-based native and environmental rights organization, joined Chris and Nell to talk about their work and the film Common Ground: The Story of Bears Ears. The film aims to humanize this very polarizing issue through interviews with people of all perspectives, and will be showing locally at the Santy Auditorium October 22nd at 6pm.  

In 2019, global sea ice reached the second lowest extent of the 41 years on record.  Walt Meier with the National Snow and Ice Data Center joined Chris and Nell to talk about this as well as the other work of the NSIDC and the outlook for a north pole without ice within this generation!

Chris and Nell spoke with Ryan Anderson from Summit Community Power Works who stopped in for a quick update on the County's Bulk Solar Installation Program for Summit and Wasatch County residents.  This year's first bulk solar install took place October 15th,2019, helping the organization close in on their 1000th over 6 years. And then Chris and Nell wrap up with some fun facts and enviormental issues facing us this week.

Chris and Nell spoke with Robert Bilott, the lawyer who spent twenty years building a case against DuPont for its use of the hazardous unregulated chemical PFOA, uncovering a history of environmental contamination that affects virtually every person on the planet, and the cover-up that kept it a secret for decades.  Bilott recently released the book Exposure: Poisoned Water, Corporate Greed, and One Lawyer's Twenty Year Battle Against DuPont, and this will be followed by the major motion picture Dark

This Green Earth - October 8, 2019

Oct 8, 2019

For the past 28 years, residents of Park City and the surrounding communities have delivered to Recycle Utah nearly 100 million glass bottles, aluminum cans, and pieces of plastic, paper, cardboard and electronics.   In addition, over one million pounds of hazardous waste and pharmaceuticals have been collected and diverted from potential disposal at the county landfill or wastewater treatment systems.   This diversion of domestic and hazardous waste benefits our environment in two ways by saving space at the landfill and protecting surface and groundwater from potential contamination.  Ex

This Green Earth - October 8, 2019 Zach Frankel

Oct 8, 2019

Using dams and a 90 mile long pipeline, the state of Utah is proposing to divert 20-25% of the Bear River in northern Utah from it's normal course as the primary source of water feeding the Great Salt Lake and it's critical wetland ecosystem.  In addition, the state and federal government is pursuing an even larger water diversion project down in the southern part of the state.  This one is the Lake Powell Pipeline which would divert approximately 75 million gallons of water per day from the Colorado River to the growing populations and businesses within Washington and Kane Counties.  Zach

Then, during the second half of the show, Nell and Katy spoke with Jordan Rutter of the American Bird Conservancy about their study, just published in the journal Science. The data shows that since 1970, the US and Canada have lost nearly 3 billion birds - one in every four birds - including everything from backyard songbirds to long-distance migrants, indicating an ecological crisis.  Jordan fills them in on the primary drivers of this decline, and the very simple actions that can make a real difference.

Utah Climate Week is September 29 - October 5, and there are a broad range of events and opportunities throughout the state - and beyond.  Nell and guest cohost Katy Wang spoke with Jeff Bousson of Utah Clean Energy about some of these, covering topics from how climate impacts your health to sustainability in the hospitality industry.