How We Survive


The Colorado River feeds us and powers our lives, irrigating millions of acres of farmland and generating billions of kilowatt-hours in hydroelectric power. Forty million people get drinking water from the Colorado River. Cities from Denver to Los Angeles couldn’t exist without it. It supports 30 Tribal Nations.

But we’re using more water than the river has to give. The Colorado River has already lost trillions of gallons to rising temperatures over the last two decades. Meanwhile, rampant growth and water-intensive farming have depleted groundwater supplies. This means Western states must fundamentally rethink how water is divided up and used. In the latest season of “How We Survive,” we unpack the water crisis in the American West and investigate the solutions that could help us survive.

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Our Editor's Take

How We Survive is a podcast that explores potential solutions to the climate crisis. The show hosts are journalists for Marketplace Media, a public radio outlet.

Climate change is causing unpredictable weather patterns and extreme events. There are more wildfires, more floods, and more droughts than ever before. How We Survive examines emerging technologies and how they might help humans stop and reverse climate change.

Many episodes of How We Survive focus on lithium. It's currently the best way to store energy. Electric cars operate on lithium batteries. Climate activists see electrification as a key part of reversing climate change. Lithium is also an ore, and mining it can be challenging. The people who live on the land are resistant to this challenge to their way of life.

The podcast hosts also examine insurance agencies' role in the climate crisis. What the companies choose to cover and not to cover affects where developers choose to build. Rising sea levels and extreme weather aren't dampening consumer demand for waterfront living. Who is responsible when disasters happen? Is it the developers, the insurance companies, or the residents? The podcast aims to find out.

Another episode focuses on fast fashion. Elizabeth Cline is a professor at Columbia and an expert on the industry. She explains how the fast fashion model profoundly impacts the climate. Food choices and how they affect the climate are also covered on How We Survive. Restaurateur Anthony Myint describes a zero-footprint diet from seed to compost. Artificial intelligence is emerging as a powerful tool to combat climate change. However, like with any new technology, there are also risks involved. The podcast discusses them.

Reversing climate change can seem like an insurmountable task for an individual. How We Survive educates listeners about the impact their choices have on the planet. People who want to make a change but don't know what to do may find ideas by listening to the podcast. New episodes arrive on Wednesdays.

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Season 4

Season 3

Season 2