Cold Comfort

A lot of reporting from the Arctic starts with ice and polar bears. On season two of Threshold, we’ll start with people. We’ll take listeners to the homes, hunting grounds, and melting coastlines of Arctic peoples, where thawing permafrost and loss of sea ice aren’t abstract concepts, but important parts of daily life.

Listeners will meet a family of Sámi reindeer herders in northern Norway, a fisherman from Greenland, and the people of Shishmaref, Alaska, who are at risk of becoming among the first climate change refugees in the United States. And we’ll introduce listeners to people living in the urban Arctic as well—places where you’re more likely to find shopping malls and gas stations than whaling ships and dog sleds.

The Arctic isn’t just one kind of place, and there isn’t just one type of Arctic person. But the people of this vast region do have this in common: they’ve developed ingenious ways of surviving and thriving in some of the harshest environments on the planet. Now, with the Arctic warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe, they are being challenged to adapt again. Not somewhere down the line—right here, right now. What do they have to teach the rest of us? What does global warming feel like when it becomes an unavoidable part of your reality? On season two of Threshold, we’ll find out.

Meet the Journalist: Amy Martin

Threshold is a public radio show and podcast tackling one pressing environmental issue each season. The show aims to be a home for nuanced journalism about human relationships with the natural world.