Scene on Radio Podcast

Scene on Radio is a two-time Peabody Award–nominated podcast from the Center for Documentary Studies (CDS) at Duke University that dares to ask big, hard questions about who we are—really—and how we got this way. Launched in 2015, the podcast is produced and hosted by CDS audio director John Biewen, along with collaborators, and distributed by PRX.

+ Season 1 featured a mix of stand-alone and multiple-episode stories.
+ Season 2, Seeing White, explored the history and meaning of whiteness and was nominated for a Peabody Award.
+ Season 3, MEN, delved into sexism, patriarchy, and misogyny.
+ Season 4, The Land That Never Has Been Yet, earned another Peabody nomination for its exploration of democracy in America—past and present.
+ Season 5, The Repair, looked at the cultural roots of the climate crisis and the deep changes Western society will need to make to save the Earth and our species.

Find out more, and subscribe, on the podcast website; follow Scene on Radio on social media: @SceneOnRadio.

Scene on Radio Episodes

Season 5 art by Mara Guevarra. Episode image: Merriam-Webster online Dictionary, image editing by Mara Guevarra.

S5 E11: Change Everything

In our Season 5 finale: What’s the cultural transformation we need to make—in the West, and the U.S. in particular—to live in good health with the rest of the natural world and with each other?...

Climate activists, led by Indigenous elders, at a People Vs. Fossil Fuels march on Indigenous People’s Day in October '21, D.C.

S5 E10: The Power Structure, Not the Energy Source

The first of two concluding episodes in Season 5, in which we focus on solutions. In Part 10 of The Repair, we look at the actions and policies that people need to push for —now — to avoid the most...

Episode image: A tulip poplar in Orange County, North Carolina. Photo by John Biewen. Image editing by Mara Guevarra.

S5 E9: Pachamama

In several countries around the world, including Ecuador, New Zealand, and the U.S., some people are trying to protect the planet using a legal concept called “rights of nature”—infusing the law with...

In the Cromarty Firth at the edge of Nigg, Scotland, retired oil rigs (left) and wind turbine supports (right).

S5 E8: Last Orders

Among the wealthy, industrialized Western countries that created the climate crisis, Scotland is one of the leaders in pivoting away from fossil fuels—or promising to. Just how quickly will Scots be...

Episode image: A neighborhood in Dhaka; Bangladesh’s capital is home to thousands of climate refugees. Photo by Muhammad Rabbi.

S5 E7: Deluges and Dreams

The climate crisis is not new to Bangladesh. For decades, global warming has exacerbated storms and flooding and turned many thousands of people into refugees in their own country. Yet, even though...

Episode image: Photo by Tim Cuttings Agber.

S5 E6: “We Don’t Have the Power to Fight It”

Earth’s changing climate is already displacing millions of people, worsening tension and conflict, and sometimes violence—for example, between farmers and traditional nomadic herders in Nigeria. Part...

Text: Scene On Radio. Bonus Episode. Drilled: The Madmen of Climate Denial. Image: A minimalist vector image of a suit and tie.

Bonus: Manchin on the Hill, and Introducing Drilled

Co-hosts John Biewen and Amy Westervelt discuss the U.S. Congress’s effort to pass its first major climate bill ever, and Senator Joe Manchin’s (D-WV) move to block the bill, seemingly on behalf of...

Episode image: People on top of the Giant Sea Wall, North Jakarta, Indonesia, August 2021. Kevin Herbian/Shutterstock.

S5 E5: Jakarta, the Sinking Capital

Southeast Asia is especially vulnerable to storms, rising oceans, and other climate effects—though countries in the region did very little to create the crisis. How does the climate emergency look...

E. Bruce Harrison in Indonesia, 1970, working for the American mining company Freeport McMoRan.

S5 E4: Up to Heaven and Down to Hell

Why has the United States played such an outsized role in the creation of the climate crisis? As a settler nation, the U.S. emerged from the colonizing, capitalist West, but what did America and its...

Photo of a painting of Gifford Pinchot by artist Stan Galli, 1955, with image editing by Mara Guevarra.

S5 E3: "Managing" Nature

If the Enlightenment was so great, why was it not a course correction? Did newer cultural values that took hold in the West in this period speed up our race toward ecological suicide? Part 3 of our...