Category Archives: Environment

Distillations podcast: Smoke and Mirrors

You may know of smog as the haze seen on hot, sticky days above a big city. You may also have witnessed it in a beautiful sunset (you can thank smog for those bright oranges and deep reds). But did you know that it can choke a city and bring it to its knees in a matter of days? That’s what happened in Donora, Pennsylvania, back in 1948.

We bring you that story and pack in some of the science behind particulate air pollution in a short piece we recently produced for Distillations, a podcast by the Chemical Heritage Foundation in Philadelphia, PA.

Check out the episode here!

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Public Transit: Commuters, Communities, and Costs

In part 2 of our series on the public transit funding crisis in Pittsburgh, we answer these questions: How might these cuts affect people with disabilities? And are other cities going through similar cuts, too? How are they handling it?

During the program, we speak with Lucy Spruill at United Cerebral Palsy, Holly Dick at ACCESS, college student Cathy Mikolay, and residents at the Allegheny Independence House in Wilmerding. We also talk to Dianne Williams from Metro St. Louis.

This work is a collaboration between I Wonder… and History for the Future, public affairs programs on WRCT-Pittsburgh 88.3FM, and is produced by Ellis Robinson, Kevin Brown, and Daniel Tkacik.

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Public Transit: Past, present, and future…

This week’s episode is a special co-production between I Wonder… and History for the Future, a public affairs show hosted by Kevin Brown on WRCT-Pittsburgh that critically explores history, politics, and society.

With 35% service cuts looming for Port Authority transit, we answer three big questions: What is wrong with public transit in Pittsburgh? Where did public transit even come from in the first place? And what could it look like in the future?

During the program, we speak with “transit guru” Michael SypoltPost-Gazette transportation writer Jon Schmitz, Columbia University historian Kenneth Jackson, and Sustainable Pittsburgh executive director Court Gould.

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Episode 2: Are cities good or bad for the environment?

In our second episode of I Wonder…, a caller’s asthma leads him to wonder whether cities are good or bad for the environment. We discuss this inquiry with an environmental historian, an atmospheric chemist, and random pedestrians to try to understand how cities affect our lives, whether we live in them or not.

During the episode, we reference Dr. Seuss’s The Lorax,  Joel Tarr’s Devastation and Renewal, Ed Glaeser’s Triumph of the City, and the air quality research of Neil Donahue.

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