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Threshold

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Threshold is a public radio show and podcast that tackles one pressing environmental issue each season. We report the story where it's happening through a range of voices and perspectives. Our goal is to be a home for nuanced journalism about human relationships with the natural world.

thresholdpodcast.org

Season 1 -- "Oh Give Me a Home"
Can we ever have wild, free-roaming bison again?

Season 2 -- "Cold Comfort"
Climate change in the Arctic through the eyes of people who live there.

Season 2 Extra Miniseries -- "The Refuge"
The controversy over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Subscribe at thresholdpodcast.org or wherever you get your podcasts.

Ways to Connect

The Refuge E5: Path Dependence

Jan 7, 2020
Vebjorn Reitan on the coastal plain of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Nick Mott / Threshold

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.

The Refuge E4: Do It In A Good Way

Dec 22, 2019
Sarah James in Arctic Village, Alaska
Amy Martin / Threshold

The Gwich’in have lived and hunted in the 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 E3: Listen To The People

Dec 17, 2019
Polar bear outside Kaktovik, Alaska
Nick Mott/Threshold / Nick Mott/Threshold

We continue our reporting from 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. 

The Refuge E2: To Secure the Blessings of Liberty

Nov 20, 2019
Sign in Kaktovik, Alaska - the only town inside the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge
Nick Mott/Threshold

For 40 years, the fight over drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge has been waged mostly from afar, in Washington, D.C. But what would oil development mean to the people who live closest to the proposed drilling area?

Threshold's The Refuge E1: Sibling Rivalry

Nov 12, 2019
A polar bear outside Kaktovik, Alaska - the only village within the boundaries of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
Nick Mott / Threshold


The question for whether or not we should drill for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge is one of the most contentious public lands debates in the United States. Even though most Americans would have a hard time finding it on a map, just about everyone seems to have very intense feelings about oil exploration in the refuge.

Threshold S02 Episode Thirteen: Try Harder

Dec 18, 2018
Sisimiut, Greenland at sunset
Amy Martin

18 months of reporting. All eight Arctic countries. So many fascinating people. On the final episode of season two of Threshold, we pull back a little and try to see the big picture. Join us as we bust some myths, travel back in time in a Swedish forest, and search for roadmaps into the future.

Threshold S02 Episode Twelve: Here Be Dragons

Dec 11, 2018
Camp on the Greenland ice sheet
Amy Martin

The Greenland ice sheet is basically a giant ice cube the size of Alaska. What happens when it melts? We spent five days camping out on the ice with a team of scientists who are trying to find out.

Iqaluit, the capital city of Nunavut, in far northeastern Canada
Nick Mott

All across the Arctic, indigenous languages are on the decline. But in many communities, people are finding new ways to reclaim both language and culture. Join some Inuit rockers in northern Canada in the recording studio, singing in their own language and making their first new studio album in more than 30 years.

Threshold S02 Episode Ten: Nickel For Your Thoughts

Nov 27, 2018
The nickel smelter in Nikel, Russia
Amy Martin

Half of the Arctic is in Russia, and half of Russia is in the Arctic. Oil, minerals, pollution -- it's a web of complicated environmental stories that need to be told. But in Russia, investigative journalists have become an endangered species. Spend some time around a nickel smelter and meet a veteran journalist fighting to do his job.

Threshold S02 Episode Nine: Who Asked You?

Nov 20, 2018
Anna Kireeva in Murmansk, Russia
Amy Martin

Russia has more land in the Arctic than any other nation. It's also a regime that does not tolerate dissent. What does this mean for residents of Murmansk, the Arctic's largest city?

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