Episode 28 – Lawn Culture and Mushroom Scams

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Why are Americans so horny for grass? What happens when you get on a scammer’s bad side? This week we’re taking a closer look at how the lawn care industry of today ties back to colonization, war, and (you guessed it) capitalism. Then Olivia tells us about a one-step climate solution to help YOU reduce YOUR carbon footprint in one easy payment of $125… or not.


Story #1: America’s Obsession with Grass (Elise)
Vintage ad for the Garden Tractor that “does more… with less work… at lower cost”

Sources:
The Lawn: A History of an American OBSESSION by Virginia Scott Jenkins
The Great American Lawn: How the Dream Was Manufactured, New York Times, Aug 2019
More Lawns than Irrigated Corn, Earth Observatory, Nov 2005
Lawns are the No. 1 irrigated ‘crop’ in America. They need to die., Grist, May 2019

Story #2: Magical Lawn Orbs from the Mushroom Scammer
Ad from the NetZero IndieGoGo page

Sources:
This story was researched and reported by Zahra Hirji for Buzzfeed News. Follow Zahra on Twitter because she’s cool and thorough and is probably going to be dealing with the wrath from this story’s protagonist for a while.
Magic Mushrooms: This Scammer Is Twisting Science In A Scheme To Save The World, Zahra Hirji for Buzzfeed News, May 2021
NetZero’s Mycological Snake Oil, Christian Schwarz
The NetZero IndieGoGo campaign is still up as of this episode (May 19, 2021) here

The Dump

Sign the petition to rename Ronald Reagan Airport to Jojo Siwa Washington National Airport!

But if we can’t make that happen, maybe rearranging the sign would be a bit more economical… plus, anagrams of Ronald Reagan are truly a gift: A Granola Nerd, Arranged Loan, Analog Errand, Anal Errand Go, ANAL REAR DONG !!!!

While you’re at it, if you haven’t already, sign the petition to drop all charges against Steven Donziger! If you’re not sure why you should sign, listen to our last episode.

And finally, if you love fashion, hate capitalism, and have something you can’t stop thinking about, Elise has started working with the Clotheshorse.world blog and is looking for stories! Upcoming themes include Body & Beauty and Small Business. Feel free to message her on Instagram or to fill out one of these submission forms to share your thoughts!


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Thanks for listening!

Ep. 60 – Volcanoes and Water Towers World Is Burning

This week we’re taking a closer look at what happens when the government procrastinates on its homework. Olivia tells the story of the “white city” of Armero, Colombia, where a 1985 volcanic eruption resulted in the deadliest mudslides in human history. She recounts the haunting story of 13-year-old Omayra Sanchez, and how the tragedy highlights the need for robust emergency management. Then Elise looks into the ancient origins of water towers, some more recent horror stories, and why we should care about how the government regulates water safety. Other topics include Sally Rooney, having an Oscar Wilde quote for everything, and buying sweaters in a heatwave. Subscribe/follow/press the button to keep up with new episodes every Wednesday! You can also follow us @worldisburnin on Instagram and Twitter, and check out our website worldisburning.com for extended show notes including sources and photos. World Is Burning is hosted by Olivia Hamilton and Elise Nye. Our theme music is by Kaycie Satterfield, and our logo was made by Sonja Katanic. — Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/worldisburning/message
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