Cloning Brings Black-footed Ferret from Brink of Extinction, Thirty Thousand Armenian Students Get Digital Climate Education, Costa Rica Ups Its Climate-Saving Goals, “A Hard Day on the Planet” Revived

by | Mar 29, 2021 | Podcasts, The Climate Daily

Cloning brings black-footed ferret from the brink of extinction, plus thirty thousand Armenian students to get a digital climate education. Costa Rica ups its climate-saving goals, and Loudon Wainwright’s “A Hard Day on the Planet” finds a new audience.



Talk about a massive community project, Armenia’s Ministry of Environment is aiming to create a digital climate education platform for over 30,000 high school students, as part of a wider effort to increase future resilience.

At the center of the project is the development of a gamified learning app compatible with iOS and Android, as well as an online contest where winning students will be rewarded a financial prize and the opportunity to present their ideas to a wider audience of regional authorities, international organizations, and environmental donors.

This matters to us because, if successful, it provides a blueprint for a modular, and scalable way to using gamification technology. the application of typical elements of game playing (e.g. point scoring, competition with others, rules of play) to other areas of activity, typically as an online marketing technique to encourage engagement with a product or service.

“Participation of communities in the process of debates on climate adaptation practices is extremely low in the Republic of Armenia,” said  Lusine Hovhannisyan, International Projects Cooperation Manager , adding that “critical learning and awareness-raising components contribute to the increased knowledge and participation of the whole population.”

There is also a plan to establish a map of national climate adaptation “hot-spots” to understand where engagement in climate activities is lowest, so to be able to better assist specific regions going forward.

The approach of designing interconnected sets of activity components is aimed at creating digital education modules for pupils of high schools with the purpose of nurturing an environmentally cultured generation of future change-makers.


DEEPER DIVE: Climate Home, Adaptation Fund



Costa Rica takes ambitious action to tackle climate change. The nation aims to reach complete decarbonization by 2050, a notable step further from net-zero emissions. Reported by the Guardian, Costa Rica has already taken steps to reach this goal.

To date, the nation has regrown once deforested tropical rainforests and played major roles in facilitating key international environmental policies. Now, Costa Rica is focusing on finalizing international agreements to end biodiversity loss this decade.   

In an interview with the Guardian, Costa Rican president Carlos Alvahrado Quesada said, “conservation is one of the key factors that scientists point out as relevant for protecting biodiversity and also for addressing the climate crisis. But working alone, it’s not as effective.” The nation hopes to lead by example and hopes others take inspiration and follow with climate action. Looking towards the future, President Alvarado Quesada hopes to work with U.S. President Joe Biden to take global action on the environment following the pandemic.

DEEPER DIVE: The Guardian




Fifty years ago, Motown released Marvin Gaye’s classic, “What’s Going On,” a song just as relevant today as it was then, given the need for the BLM movement and environmental justice. Just as eerily relevant is singer/songwriter Loudon Wainwright’s “Hard Day on the Planet,” a song he penned back in 1986. I recently spent some time lost in my headphones listening to those lyrics. It felt like he might have recorded it just the other day:

A new disease every day and the old ones are coming back Things are looking kind of gray, like they’re going to black. (Refrain) It’s been a hard day on the planet How much is it all worth? It’s getting harder to understand it Things are tough all over on earth. It’s hot in December and cold in July When it rains it pours out of a poisonous sky In California the body counts keep getting higher It’s evil out there, man that state is always on fire.”

Since 1986, an increasing number of musicians have incorporated climate change into their musical expression. Now it seems, Musicians today are speaking out on the climate crisis like never before. Climate change music spans generations and genres, musicians worldwide increasingly recognize the threat of climate change and are expressing themselves as they know best: through their music. Loudon Wainwright the Third’s “Hard Day on the Planet” is a humorous take on a very real problem, and he does offer reasons for gratitude despite the situation:

“I got clothes on my back and shoes on my feet. A roof over my head and something to eat. My kids are all healthy and my folks are alive. It’s amazing but sometimes I think I’ll survive.

Sometimes a sense of humor is the only way through real problems. That’s why I recommend adding “Hard Day on the Planet” to your climate change playlist. 

DEEPER DIVE: Hard Day on the Planet




For the time ever, scientists have cloned a U.S. endangered species from the genes of a black-footed ferret that died over 30 years ago. Once thought to be extinct, the black-footed ferret have been at-risk of diminishing genetic diversity and target of habitat loss across U.S. grasslands. 

Cloning works by copying the genes of an existing animal to make a new plant or animal. “Biotechnology and genomic data can really make a difference on the ground with conservation efforts,” said Ben Novak, lead scientist with Revive & Restore, a biotechnology-focused conservation nonprofit that managed the cloning. 

Scientists hope cloning can help endangered species including a Mongolian wild horse. Looking towards the future, scientists suggest cloning could potentially bring back extinct species, such as the passenger pigeon.

DEEPER DIVE: The Associated Press, Futurism