Environment

A team of atmospheric scientists researching pollution in China say they've cracked a 60-year-old mystery — with research that explains not only the haze over Beijing, but also the remarkably toxic Great Smog of London from 1952.

By examining conditions in China and experimenting in a lab, the scientists suggest that a combination of weather patterns and chemistry could have caused London's fog to turn into a haze of concentrated sulfuric acid.

The good news for those worried that the U.S. will lose its leadership role in confronting climate change: President-elect Donald Trump said Tuesday, "I have an open mind to it. ... I do have an open mind."

At a meeting Tuesday with New York Times journalists and executives, Trump said he thinks "there is some connectivity" in terms of human activity causing climate change.

A woman protesting the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline who was wounded earlier this week might lose her arm as a result of the injury, her family says. Sophia Wilansky's injury is the most gruesome to date of the months-long standoff at Standing Rock, N.D.

"The doctor just said she may need as many as 20 surgeries over very many months to have any hope of saving her arm and her hand," Wilansky's father, Wayne Wilansky, told a group of reporters outside a Minneapolis hospital.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

India may be overtaking China as the world's most polluted country. Even now, which country is worse depends on the day. NPR's Julie McCarthy joins us from New Delhi with new figures about the city's horrific smog, if she can talk through the smog. Hi, Julie.

When the asteroid believed to have killed off the dinosaurs smashed into Earth some 66 million years ago, its sheer force made the planet's surface momentarily act like a liquid.

The asteroid ripped open a 60-mile-wide hole. From miles deep in that abyss, rock hurtled upward to a height twice that of Mount Everest and then collapsed outward to form a ring of mountains.

And it all happened within 5 minutes — 10 tops, as Sean Gulick, a geophysicist at the University of Texas, Austin, tells The Two-Way.

It's around 6 o'clock on a Sunday evening, and Anne-Charlotte Mornington is running around the food market in London's super-hip Camden neighborhood with a rolling suitcase and a giant tarp bag filled with empty tupperware boxes. She's going around from stall to stalll, asking for leftovers.

Mornington works for the food-sharing app Olio. "If ever you have anything that you can't sell tomorrow but it's still edible," she explains to the vendors, "I'll take it and make sure that it's eaten."

As resistance to the Dakota Access Pipeline in Standing Rock, N.D., concludes its seventh month, two narratives have emerged:

  1. We have never seen anything like this before.
  2. This has been happening for hundreds of years.

Both are true. The scope of the resistance at Standing Rock exceeds just about every protest in Native American history. But that history itself, of indigenous people fighting to protect not just their land, but the land, is centuries old.

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AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Police and demonstrators opposed to the Dakota Access Pipeline clashed overnight on a bridge that has been a flashpoint in the ongoing protests.

"Police say protesters set fires in the area Sunday night and threw rocks at officers," Prairie Public Broadcasting's Amy Sisk reported. But an activist said in a live-stream video that projectiles fired from the police side started the fires and that demonstrators, who call themselves water protectors, were trying to extinguish the flames.

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

In the Florida Keys on Election Day, along with the presidential race, one of the most controversial items on the ballot dealt with Zika. In a nonbinding vote countywide, residents in the Florida Keys approved a measure allowing a British company to begin a trial release of genetically modified mosquitoes. Armed with that approval, local officials voted Saturday to try out what they hope will be a new tool in the fight against Zika.

Copyright 2016 Georgia Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit Georgia Public Broadcasting.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

The BagShare Project offers a creative and simple solution to the global problem of plastic bags: sewing and sharing handmade, reusable bags from scrap materials.

The project is the brainchild of Leni Fried, an artist from Cummington, Massachesetts. She began BagShare in 2007, and since then, she estimates, volunteers have made about 15,000 bags at community sewing events. Bags are donated to local stores, where customers can borrow them — instead of using disposable bags.

Copyright 2016 Alaska Public Telecommunications Inc.. To see more, visit Alaska Public Telecommunications Inc..

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

The Obama administration has removed the Arctic Ocean from any new offshore oil and gas leasing for the next five years.

This month's Marrakech Climate Change Conference, the first major meeting to follow a landmark climate agreement last year in Paris, had been billed as a gathering of "action." But a day after the conference began, the surprise election of Donald Trump as U.S. president threw the action into doubt, as representatives from about 200 nations struggled to regroup and assess the future of last year's climate deal.

On Election Day, Donald Trump swept many traditionally Democratic Rust Belt states. One of those was Pennsylvania.

For the first time in more than two decades the Keystone State went red. The Democrats' upset in a once-reliable blue state was fueled by working-class voters who have seen their communities hit hard over the decades-long decline of coal, steel and manufacturing in their areas.

How Does Food Become A Tool For Connection?

Nov 17, 2016

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Food We Eat

About Pam Warhurst's TED Talk

Community leader Pam Warhurst says we can enjoy and relate to our food not only by buying it in supermarkets, but by growing it in our town's public spaces and engaging our communities.

About Pam Warhurst

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Food We Eat

About Mark Bittman's TED Talk

Food writer Mark Bittman says long before Cheez Whiz and Pop Tarts, Americans ate simple food that was grown close to home. He says we need to get back to that time by eating locally, seasonally, and sustainably.

About Mark Bittman

It's a cool August morning as I ride in Magnus Hansen's dented pickup truck through the verdant hills of south Greenland. We're in search of his flock of 500 sheep grazing on the slopes. Soon we encounter three animals grazing by the gravel on the dirt road. The two ewes and a lamb first eye us warily from the bushes, then scurry across the road. Nearby is a shimmering fjord, but less than 10 miles away, though we can't see it, lies Greenland's mighty ice cap, a mile thick in the center of the island.

Hundreds of businesses such as Starbucks, General Mills and Hewlett Packard are asking President-elect Donald Trump to follow through on U.S. commitments to combat climate change. They argue it's good for business.

More than 360 companies and investors made their plea in an open letter to Trump, President Obama and members of Congress. They called on Trump to "continue U.S. participation in the Paris agreement," which he has threatened to scrap, and invest in the "low carbon economy at home and abroad."

The U.S. Geological Survey says a deposit in West Texas is the largest continuous oil and gas deposit ever discovered in the United States.

On Tuesday, the USGS announced that an area known as the Wolfcamp shale contains 20 billion barrels of oil and 16 trillion cubic feet of natural gas.

That is nearly three times more petroleum than the agency found in North Dakota's Bakken shale in 2013.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

For months now, demonstrators have protested against the Dakota Access oil pipeline in North Dakota, and they've drawn inspiration from a big win last year. President Obama blocked construction of another pipeline, the Keystone XL.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Activists engaged in a national "day of action" Tuesday to protest the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline. Native American groups' opposition to the project has gotten a lot of attention recently, but it's just one of many pipeline battles going on across the country.

Florida conservation officials say a female panther has crossed a river, and it could be a big deal for the survival of the species.

Florida panthers are endangered — about 200 of the large cats live in south Florida, in an area that's less than 5 percent of their original range. If the animal is to thrive, it needs to do two things: expand its territory and breed.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said Monday that it needs more information before it can decide whether to allow the Dakota Access Pipeline to be built along its planned route.

In a joint statement by the U.S. Army and Department of the Interior, the Corps announced it had finished a review of the route, and concluded that more study was needed before it could grant the pipeline company the easement it needs to cross under a section of the Missouri River.

"No one can remember a wildfire as peculiar as the monster gnawing through the gorge above the village of Chimney Rock," began an article Monday in the Charlotte Observer.

Is Birdfeeding Just, Well, For The Birds?

Nov 12, 2016
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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Time now for some Talkin' Birds.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "ROCKIN' ROBIN")

UNIDENTIFIED SINGERS: (Singing) Tweedly-deedly-dee (ph).

UNIDENTIFIED WOMAN: A bird show - I like that. I love birds.

(SOUNDBITE OF WHISTLING)

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