What On Earth

What on Earth, a new CBC Radio series about climate change, is hitting the airwaves

What on Earth launches this Sunday, July 5. Every week, it will give listeners the opportunity to learn something surprising about the climate crisis.

The 9-week series, hosted by Laura Lynch, launches July 5 across Canada

What on Earth is a new CBC Radio series hosted by Laura Lynch, which explores the experiences, challenges and solutions when it comes to matters of the environment. (Ben Shannon/CBC)

It's life and death. It's an existential crisis. It crosses international borders and will test all of us eventually in one way or another.

This is not an article about the pandemic. It is about climate change and a first for the CBC — a new radio program dedicated entirely to investigating climate change: its impacts and potential solutions. 

What on Earth launches this Sunday, July 5. Every week, it will give listeners the opportunity to learn something surprising about the climate crisis.

Some scientists argue that climate change has made a pandemic more likely as habitats change, animals move and pathogens jump to new hosts — including humans.

How to find What on Earth

"There are reasons to fear we will leap from the COVID frying pan into the climate fire," said Cameron Hepburn, one of the authors of a new U.K. study urging governments to use post-pandemic stimulus spending on projects that will push countries closer to a low-carbon future. Hepburn will also be a guest on the first episode of What on Earth

Indeed, that is the jumping-off point for our first program: how the pandemic has affected climate and how governments might shape change in the months and years to come.

In future programs, we will seize on a different piece of the climate change puzzle. We hope to talk about melting ice, fire and floods and the staggering effects on people who have lived in these conditions. 

We also intend to go in unexpected directions. We'll look at climate change through the lens of the arts — music, literature, photography — as well as business and race. Each week, we also want to highlight potential solutions, scrutinizing them to determine if they offer real hope or if they really only exist as a mirage in the desert. 

What on Earth comes to you from Vancouver, and I will be your host. I was born and raised here and covered the environment in B.C. when I was a junior reporter many years ago. Since then, I've travelled the world reporting on conflict, war, natural disasters and national crises. 

I have also covered climate change and the environment from abroad. I have told stories about the destruction of a way of life on a river delta in Pakistan; the increasing numbers of baboons invading vineyards in Cape Town, South Africa, as their habitat shrinks; and a Danish island — Samso — that has become a global model for sustainable living after switching its power generation from oil and coal to wind and solar power, along with biomass. 

We are excited to bring this new program to you. We want you to think about what questions you have around climate change since we hope to answer listener questions in a future episode. 

There is so much to explore. 


Laura Lynch is the host of CBC Radio's What on Earth. She is best known for her award-winning work as a globe-trotting foreign correspondent and her political prowess from decades spent covering different governments, both in Canada and abroad. 

Listen to What on Earth every Sunday at 10:30 a.m., 11 a.m. in Newfoundland. You can also subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Play or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also listen anytime on CBC Listen.


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