Environment

UN Climate Chief Calls for Urgent Action

Apr 25, 2016

Earth Day 2016 brought a significant milestone for the Paris Agreement, as some 175 nations signed on at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Yet the ambitious goals of this climate agreement are not guaranteed without aggressive moves to curb carbon pollution. Host Steve Curwood sits down with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to discuss what’s required to give civilization a fighting chance. (published April 22, 2016)

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 25, 2016

Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood look at a remote indigenous tribe in Guyana that used the internet for plans to build a drone to monitor illegal deforestation, discuss Republican lawmakers and right-wing media who once accepted climate change, but have since flip-flopped, and look back at things that have gotten better, worse or stayed the same since the first Earth Day in 1970. (published April 22, 2016)

If I told you there was a way to keep using your phone forever, would you want to?

In true unscientific form, I surveyed some phone users in downtown Washington, D.C.

A 50-year, $50 billion plan is underway to rebuild as much as 33,000 acres of wetlands in the Mississippi River Delta. But questions about funding the project remain unresolved and even if the plan is fully implemented, the delta will be far smaller than it used to be.

Nevertheless, a lot has already been achieved, says Paul Kemp, a geologist, marine scientist and wetlands expert at Louisiana State University.

Experimental solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 has landed in Mountain View, Calif., after a three-day flight across the Pacific.

"Good morning, California!" the plane's visibly emotional pilot Bertrand Piccard told a cheering crowd at Moffett Airfield, where he landed at 11:44 p.m. local time. He's soon handed an extra large bottle of champagne.

The Solar Impulse team is attempting to fly around the world using only the power of the sun.

Scientists say they have discovered a massive reef stretching for more than 600 miles at the mouth of the Amazon River in South America.

In total, the reef covers some 3,600 square miles — or, as Smithsonian notes, an area larger than the state of Delaware.

Living on Earth: April 22, 2016

Apr 23, 2016

UN Climate Chief Calls for Urgent Action / Paris and Climate Justice / Next-Gen Climate Activism / Beyond the Headlines / Happy Birthday, Living on Earth! / The 2016 Goldman Environmental Prizes / The 2016 North American Goldman Prize Winner, a Student from Baltimore


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 23, 2016

Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood look at a remote indigenous tribe in Guyana that used the internet for plans to build a drone to monitor illegal deforestation, discuss Republican lawmakers and right-wing media who once accepted climate change, but have since flip-flopped, and look back at things that have gotten better, worse or stayed the same since the first Earth Day in 1970. (published April 22, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

UN Climate Chief Calls for Urgent Action

Apr 23, 2016

Earth Day 2016 brought a significant milestone for the Paris Agreement, as some 175 nations signed on at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Yet the ambitious goals of this climate agreement are not guaranteed without aggressive moves to curb carbon pollution. Host Steve Curwood sits down with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to discuss what’s required to give civilization a fighting chance. (published April 22, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Happy Birthday, Living on Earth!

Apr 23, 2016

Twenty-five years ago, Living on Earth started its weekly broadcasts with the mission to tell the story of climate change, though few in the public cared at that time, along with pollution, human health and habitat loss issues. Over the years, the threat of global warming has grown more acute and increasingly prominent in popular awareness, but as host and Living on Earth founder Steve Curwood tells us, we are nearly out of time to avoid plunging into the climate abyss. (published April 22, 2016)


Next-Gen Climate Activism

Apr 23, 2016

Student activists calling for a shift away from fossil fuels say that institutions that refuse to act forfeit their status as moral leaders. Harvard Law student Ted Hamilton discusses with host Steve Curwood the lawsuit that’s attempting to compel Harvard to divest its portfolio of fossil fuels, and the connections between divestment and the broader climate movement. (published April 22, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

The 2016 Goldman Environmental Prizes

Apr 23, 2016

The Goldman Foundation annually honors six activists from around the world who have fought for the protection of the environment. The murder of one of last year’s winners, Berta Cáceres from Honduras, has put this year’s awards in an even brighter spotlight. Host Steve Curwood profiles this year’s winner from Latin America, Máxima Acuña of Peru, who fought a proposed gold mine on her farm, at the expense of being sent to jail and having her house knocked down and her potato crop destroyed. (published April 22, 2016)


#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Earth Day got you thinking about how your diet impacts the planet?

The World Resources Institute has news to ease a meat-lover's conscience: In a new report, it says you don't have to bid burgers bye-bye in order to reduce the environmental footprint of what you eat. Cutting back could go a long way, it says.

In the report, the nonprofit calculates the planetary effect of various possible changes in how the world eats.

World leaders have celebrated Earth Day today by gathering in New York to sign a historic climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But some of the most vital environmental work is being done by ordinary citizens with extraordinary courage. People like subsistence farmers and tribal leaders in the poorest countries are standing up to some of the world's most powerful industries. And a growing number of them have been attacked — and sometimes murdered — for trying to protect the environment.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The experimental plane called Solar Impulse 2 has taken off in Hawaii after a nine-month delay for repairs.

The team on the ground and at mission control let out exuberant cheers as the cutting-edge aircraft rose up into the early morning skies.

They're aiming to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

A buyback of emissions-cheating cars was one solution Volkswagen offered in federal court Thursday, outlining an agreement between the carmaker and the Justice Department over hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that were sold in the U.S. despite not meeting pollution standards.

Car owners would be able to choose between having their vehicle fixed or accepting a buyback; financial details weren't revealed about the plan, which both the government and VW are calling an "agreement in principle."

On Friday, most of the world's governments are set to sign the most sweeping climate agreement in history. Their signatures will codify promises they made in Paris last December to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The two largest sources of those gases are the U.S. and China. Whether they keep their promises will in large part determine whether the Paris deal succeeds. And it is by no means clear that they'll be able to keep their promises.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2016 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

San Francisco will soon begin requiring new buildings to have solar panels installed on the roof.

It's the first major U.S. city to have such a requirement, according to Scott Weiner, the city supervisor who introduced the bill.

For millions of Americans, climate change is making the weather nicer. That's the conclusion of a new study that points out winters are getting quite a bit milder, while summers aren't getting that much worse.

The study's authors say the mild temperatures might be one reason some people aren't so worried about climate change.

For most of the U.S., the hottest temperatures in July haven't gone up much — scientific consensus is about half a degree over the past 40 years. Same for sticky humidity — not much change, if any.

After Fires In West, Mushroom Hunters 'Chase The Burn'

Apr 20, 2016

Right now, and in the coming weeks, from Northern California to Alaska, commercial and amateur mushroom hunters will be scouring hills that were ravaged by fires last summer and fall. Their prey? Morel mushrooms.

"Sometimes we call it 'chasing the burns,' " mushroom enthusiast Kevin Sadlier says, in search of the black morel mushrooms that grow in the springtime after a forest fire.

Three people — two officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality and a water official from Flint — are facing criminal charges as a result of an investigation into the lead-contaminated water case in Flint.

The three men face felony charges including misconduct, neglect of duty and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. They've also been charged with violating Michigan's Safe Drinking Water Act.

Appearing to drown all hope that the U.K.'s new $300 million research vessel will be named "Boaty McBoatface," Science Minister Jo Johnson says the ship needs a more "suitable" name.

creative commons

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Maryland is going back to basics, with an ink pen and paper ballot, for the presidential primary elections.

State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone says that despite advances in digital technology, nothing safeguards a secret ballot like marking a piece of paper. The ballots are tabulated by an optical scanning machine.

The system replaces touch-screen terminals that became popular after the hotly disputed 2000 presidential election. You might remember the "hanging chads" from Florida's punch-card ballots.

Hidden Brain host Shankar Vedantam takes you on vacation with him to Alaska. You'll hike on top of a glacier, drink from a cool stream, and talk with fellow tourists from around the world. But the trip comes with an upsetting observation: Glaciers in Alaska are retreating. The Mendenhall glacier, visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year, has receded more than a mile and a half in the last half century.

"It's sort of just collapsed in on itself," says John Neary, director of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Pages