The Planet Remade

In 2011, author and editor Oliver Morton wrote a cover article for “The Economist” titled: Welcome to the Anthropocene. Many credit this article with jumpstarting popular interest in the term. On today’s show, producer Miles Traer sits down with Morton to discuss the anthropocene in the context of his new book titled “The Planet Remade: How Geoengineering Could Change The World.” The conversation touches on everything from pitching stories at the Economist to U2 spy planes to why geoengineering doesn’t scare Morton as much as some think it should. Listen along as we explore the Planet Remade.

THIS EPISODE WAS PRODUCED BY LESLIE CHANG, MIKE OSBORNE, AND MILES TRAER.

Scars of the past

Beneath Cambodia’s troubled history with the Khmer Rouge lies a complex agricultural legacy that reaches back centuries. Once the symbol of a thriving region, we see how a prolonged El Nino brought drought and increased human conflict, and how the ruthless Pol Pot and his Khmer Rouge looked back to the temples at Angkor Wat and their proud agricultural heritage to motivate the atrocities of the Cambodian genocide. Producer Miles Traer speaks with mental health and water science experts to see how hundreds of years of agriculture have shaped the region. Traer shares his own thoughts on the relationship between food and conflict, and how he sees the standard historical narrative breaking down within Cambodia’s borders.

THIS EPISODE WAS PRODUCED BY LESLIE CHANG, MIKE OSBORNE, AND MILES TRAER.

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Vanishing Remains

Student reporter Reade Levinson travels to Mongolia in hopes of witnessing a practice known as sky burial, in which bodies of the dead are prepared for the afterlife. But as Reade learns in her journey, in Mongolia the forces of urbanization, modernization, and environmental change may be threatening this sacred ritual.

This piece is a collaboration between Generation Anthropocene and the Stanford Storytelling project.

The Big Data of Nature

As we hear over and over again, environmental issues are mounting, and the stakes are huge. So how might big data be used to tackle the issues of sustainability, climate change, habitat loss, and species extinction? And even more than that, can it offer us new ways of engaging in a relationship with nature? This episode comes from the Raw Data podcast, produced by our own Mike Osborne and Leslie Chang. 

THIS EPISODE WAS PRODUCED BY LESLIE CHANG, MIKE OSBORNE, AND MILES TRAER.