This week on NEXT, some scientists believe the Northern Star coral in New England’s cold oceans could hold valuable secrets for fighting climate change. And we look at what it would take to create an effective public transit system and cut back personal car use in Vermont. Plus, how a drummer influenced a generation of female rockers.

Studying Northern Star Coral For Climate Change Solutions

This species of coral, called “Astrangia poculata,” may hold genetic secrets that could help tropical corals threatened by climate change. (Patrick Skahill/Connecticut Public Radio)

When we think about animals that inhabit the cold New England ocean, sharks, seals or lobsters may spring to mind. But there’s another critter lurking in the deep off our coast, and it’s one that may hold valuable secrets that could help its tropical cousins survive a changing climate: Northern Star coral.

Maine Lobstermen Skeptical Of Proposal To Tie ‘Whale-Safe’ Seafood Label To Use Of New Fishing Gear

A juvenile male right whale entangled in fishing gear was rescued off Campobello Island Aug. 13, 2016. (Courtesy Campobello Whale Watch)

About 400 North Atlantic right whales are left in the world, and federal scientists say the top reason they’re dying is because they’re getting caught in fishing gear. New types of gear has been designed to protect these endangered whales, and a movement is emerging among conservation groups to create a seafood label that tells consumers if a lobster has been caught using that “whale-safe” gear. But it could be a tough sell in Maine, where some say the iconic fishery is already sustainable.

Punk rocker Paloma/Palmolive helps inspire a generation of female rock bands

Paloma McLardy with her old drum kit in Hyannis, Massachusetts. November 2019. (Andrea Betanzos)

A whole generation of female rock ’n’ roll musicians –bands like “Bikini Kill” and “Sleater-Kinney”– say they were inspired by a little-known punk band from the 1970s “The Slits.” The drummer for “The Slits” lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts. Her name is Paloma McLardy, but she’s better known as Palmolive. Producer Andrea Betanzos brings us a profile of the punk rock musician.

“Here to Be Heard: The Story of the Slits” is a documentary about Palmolive and The Slits. You can watch the trailer here.

Andrea Betanzos is an ex-filmmaker, terrible drummer and audio storyteller based in New York City. She produced this piece for Atlantic Public Media through their media training program, The Transom Story Workshop.

How Can Vermonters Drive Less?

Vermonters drive. A lot. (Elodie Reed/VPR)

Many Vermonters pride themselves on being environmentally ethical, but the ugly truth is more than 43 percent of Vermont’s greenhouse gas emissions come from transportation like cars, trucks, and buses, and it’s rising while public transportation isn’t making much headway. This next story grapples with the big questions surrounding public transportation: how to make it more convenient, how to encourage people to use what’s already there and how to get people to change their habits.

Brave Little State is a podcast where listeners ask  questions and Vermont Public Radio investigates.

Also on the show this week:

About NEXT

NEXT is produced at Connecticut Public Radio
Host/Producer: Morgan Springer
Senior Director: Catie Talarski
Contributors to this episode: Shannon Dooling, Fred Bever, Patrick Skahill, Angela Evancie, Peter Hirschfeld, Andrea Betanzos and Diane Orson.
Music: Todd Merrell and “New England” by Goodnight Blue Moon.

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