Scene on Radio Podcast

In 2015, CDS audio director John Biewen launched the Scene on Radio podcast, which goes out of the studio and into the field to “explore human experience and the society we’re making for ourselves in America,” Biewen says. Scene on Radio features audio work made at CDS—his own new stories, the best pieces by his students, and an occasional gem from the archives.

Season 2 of Scene on Radio featured the 14-part series "Seeing White," which was nominated for a Peabody award.

Season 3 of the Scene on Radio podcast—MEN—launched July 11, 2018; episodes will post every other Wednesday. The podcast’s producer, CDS audio director John Biewen, describes the upcoming season: “Co-host Celeste Headlee and I will take a similar approach to the Seeing White series, which explored the history and meaning of whiteness. With MEN, we’ll be asking questions like, What’s up with this male-dominated world? Is male supremacy inevitable? How did we get sexism/patriarchy/misogyny, and what can we do about it?”

Scene on Radio episodes are posted every other Wednesday. Subscribe on the podcast website, and follow Scene on Radio on social media: @SceneOnRadio.

Scene on Radio Episodes

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...

Engraving from Herrera, 'Historia General De Los Hechos De Los Castellanos,' 1601. Edited photo has ships and weapons in red.

S5 E2: To the Victor

How Western Europe really broke bad in its understanding of humanity’s place in the natural world, starting in the Middle Ages. Part 2 of our series, The Repair, on the climate crisis. By host and...

A photo taken of Genesis 1:28 in the Christian Bible with several words glowing red. Photo: John Biewen. Edit: Mara Guevarra.

S5 E1: In the Beginning

The climate emergency is here. In the first four episodes of our series, we explore the questions: How did we break so bad? How did we become the kind of society that would unleash so much...

Scene On Radio: Season 5. The Repair. A black inky sun sits on a corroded red horizon.

Season 5 Trailer: The Repair

This season will explore the cultural roots of our current ecological emergency, and the deep changes Western society will need to make to save the Earth and our species. Through interviews with...