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Act Three: Yes, In My Backyard

The story of the government cracking down on smokestack emissions at a city factory...even though the residents LIKE the emissions. We hear from Jorge Just, who explains the one, magical, special secret about Chicago no one outside Chicago ever believes is true, from Brian Urbaszewski, Director of Environmental Health Programs for the American Lung Association in Chicago; and from Julie Armitage, Manager of Compliance and Enforcement for the Bureau of Air at the Illinois State EPA.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass remembers Hurricane Sandy, and the feeling that we might be getting a preview of what the world would looking like as climate change continues. He talks about how stuck the country’s conversation about climate change has been, but how for the first time in a long time, it seems that might change.

Act One: The CO2 in CO

Reporter Julia Kumari Drapkin tells the story of Colorado’s State Climatologist, Nolan Doesken. Doesken has long believed that humans are driving climate change, but never connected it to his own life.

Act Two: The Right Man for the Job

Producer Ben Calhoun tells the story of a former Congressional Representative from South Carolina, Bob Inglis. Inglis is a conservative Republican who once doubted climate science.

Act Three: Find an Enemy

Host Ira Glass tells the story of writer turned activist Bill McKibben. McKibben is trying to reinvent progressive politics when it come to climate change.

Prologue

A 17 year old Ethiopian girl who is just learning English goes with her teacher to face her fears head-on: She orders tea in a local coffee shop. A woman in America talks to Ira about her husband, in Syria, who is currently negotiating with kidnappers for the release of two of his employees.

Act One: You've Got Shale

Producer Sarah Koenig continues the story Terry Engelder and Dan Volz, their rival calculations about natural gas in Pennsylvania, and how each was treated by his university. She explains how Pennsylvania's universities, politicans and industry have united to develop natural gas.

Act Two: Ground War

Sarah takes us to Mt. Pleasant, PA, where a gas exploration company called Range Resources has leased 95% of the township's land.

Act Four: Solitaire and Everything's Wild

There's a part of Brazil that was almost all rainforest until the 1970s, and over the next few decades a million people moved in, cutting down the forest and building towns and cities. Monte Reel was the South American correspondent for the Washington Post in the mid 1990s, when he started hearing rumors of a "wild man," the last member of a tribe, who lived completely alone in this area's remaining forest. Reel's book about the quest to find and save this man is called The Last of the Tribe.

Act Two: Denying the Invisible

In the wake of the tsunami and nuclear disaster at Fukushima, some people suspected that Japanese government officials have not been forthcoming about the actual level of danger from radiation. No one, however, is suggesting a cover-up as extreme as what happened in the Soviet Union after the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster.

Act Two: Climate Changes. People Don't.

As adults battle over how climate change should be taught in school, we try an experiment. We ask Dr Roberta Johnson, the Executive Director of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, who helps develop curricula on climate change, to present the best evidence there is to a high school skeptic, a freshman named Erin Gustafson.

Prologue

Back in November, two weeks after he was elected president, Barack Obama delivered a pre-taped speech to an international conference on global warming that was convened in Los Angeles by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. It wasn't Obama's most important speech, but the effect it had on the audience was profound—mostly because they heard it through the haze of the last eight years.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass and Albert Donnay read a true ghost story that appeared in a medical journal in 1921. After a "Mrs H" and her family moved into an old rambling house, strange apparitions started appearing...until her brother-in-law figured out the real cause of the ghostly presences.

Act Three: Yes, In My Backyard

The story of the government cracking down on smokestack emissions at a city factory...even though the residents LIKE the emissions. We hear from Jorge Just, who explains the one, magical, special secret about Chicago no one outside Chicago ever believes is true, from Brian Urbaszewski, Director of Environmental Health Programs for the American Lung Association in Chicago; and from Julie Armitage, Manager of Compliance and Enforcement for the Bureau of Air at the Illinois State EPA.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with sailor and researcher Captain Charles Moore about a gigantic area in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, as far away from land as you can get, that is filling with plastic trash. There are five spots like this on the world's oceans.

Prologue

Host Ira Glass talks with people who've been hit by lightning. They describe what happened at the moment the bolt struck ... and how they came to view it later.

Act Five: Waiting For The End Of The World

We end our show with a story of city life and the natural world co-existing peacefully. Iggy Scam went on a mission seeking urban fisherman—guys who throw down fishing poles right down in the middle of the big city, often in the most polluted industrial environments possible.
Serial Season Three: Hear Every Episode