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Points North
Fridays on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, or wherever you hear podcasts

Points North is a biweekly podcast about the land, water and inhabitants of the Upper Great Lakes. It’s about where we've been, where we are and how we move forward.

Latest Episodes
  • Lyme disease is increasing in the Upper Midwest. The illness is caused by a bite from an infected black-legged tick. But the disease can be hard to spot. If left untreated, it can spread to other parts of the body and cause arthritis and nervous system problems.
  • After years of rapid growth, experts are trying everything they can to push back the leading edge of invasive Asian carp in the Illinois River. Their most recent strategy? A new name.
  • A deadly fungal infection is pushing some bat species to the brink of extinction. As scientists scramble to track the spread of white nose syndrome, they’re also testing novel ways to treat it.
  • Dick Mallery is tired of quick fixes to his 50-year-flooding problem; he wants a nearby culvert replaced. But even that will only keep floodwaters away if it’s designed to withstand the new normal. As climate change brings heavier rainfall and more frequent floods to the Upper Great Lakes, our infrastructure needs an overhaul.
  • The Constitution refers to treaties with other sovereign nations as “the supreme law of the land.” But what happens when promises have been made that are potentially in conflict? Two different treaties with the U.S. could lead to very different outcomes for Line 5 – a controversial pipeline in the Straits of Mackinac.
  • In 2013, a train carrying crude oil derailed and exploded in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec. The dangers of oil trains are part of the controversy around Enbridge Line 5 – a pipeline running through the Straits of Mackinac in Michigan. In part two of this series, we look at the risks of transporting crude oil by pipe and by rail.
  • There’s no safe way to move crude oil across an entire continent. So what risks are we willing to take? And who bears the brunt of that risk? Over the next couple episodes, we'll be looking at two times when transporting oil went horribly wrong. Today, we’ll hear about a pipeline that ruptured. Next time, we’ll consider the alternative.
  • Most of the freshwater in the U.S. is in the Great Lakes. That’s why some in the region worry western states will come after it. But others say the real danger is commodifying water. Next time on Points North, the ethics and economics of trading water futures.
  • On Lake Charlevoix, a landowner is seeking permits to build a controversial boathouse. But conflicts arise where public waters meet private property.
  • This week we’re featuring an episode of Outside/In from New Hampshire Public Radio. It’s a podcast about the natural world and how we use it. Whether you grow them, collect them or grind them up and swallow them, antlers are one of the most astonishing sets of bones on the planet.