Environment

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MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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MICHEL MARTIN: One of the casualties of the drought that may not come to mind immediately - the California soundscape. Bernie Krause is one person who appreciates these sounds. He's a soundscape ecologist.

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Almost Out of Time

Nov 29, 2015

Back in the 1970s, NASA scientist James Hansen was one of the first to recognize the dangerous impacts that rising levels of greenhouse gas emissions could have on the earth’s climate. Now this climate scientist has become an activist in the climate movement, lending his scientific voice to calls for urgent action. On the eve of the UN’s Paris climate summit, he tells host Steve Curwood that emissions reductions need to be much steeper than those being discussed. (published November 27, 2015)

Paving the Path to Paris with Gold

Nov 29, 2015

Around the world, both public and private sources are promising to fund action on climate change, and help vulnerable nations adapt to and mitigate the effects of global warming. An important source of support is the World Bank. Living on Earth’s Helen Palmer spoke with Rachel Kyte, the Bank’s Special Envoy for Climate Change, about the sources and aims of the available finance. (published November 27, 2015)

Each year, Americans travel across the country to share feasts with family and friends, and all of this consumption comes at a cost to the climate. The Allegheny Front's Lou Blouin investigates the carbon footprint of Thanksgiving. (published November 27, 2015)

Beyond the Headlines

Nov 29, 2015

In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra tells host Steve Curwood about some of the things he’s thankful for: US parks and the 35th anniversary of the Alaska National Interest Lands Conservation Act, the destruction of chemical weapons, and the Freedom of Information Act, which has helped improve government transparency over climate and environmental issues. (published November 27, 2015)

Living on Earth: November 27, 2015

Nov 29, 2015

Almost Out of Time / Paving the Path to Paris with Gold / What is the Carbon Footprint of a Typical Thanksgiving? / Beyond the Headlines / What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other

What We’re Fighting For Now Is Each Other

Nov 29, 2015

Wen Stephenson was a moderate liberal and a journalist with NPR before an epiphany about global warming changed everything. Wen speaks with host Steve Curwood about his journey into the climate movement, and his new book about activists on the frontlines of the fight for climate justice. (published November 27, 2015)

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

While others are thinking about the holidays, in Florida November is the beginning of citrus season. Grower Jeff Schorner sells citrus fruit gift boxes by mail order and at his store, Al's Family Farm in Fort Pierce.

"We began our harvest about three weeks ago," he says. "And we'll harvest all the way about until the beginning of June." Right now, it's navel oranges. Next come tangerines, ruby red grapefruit and the popular honeybell tangelos.

The rate of deforestation in Brazil has increased by 16 percent over the past year, the country's Environment Ministry announced.

Brazil has often declared progress in reducing the rate of deforestation in the Amazon, but the government's own figures, released Thursday, show the challenges still facing the country.

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Conjuring images of a dystopia, the shroud of bad air blanketing New Delhi in recent weeks has intensified global pressure on India to curb its greenhouse gas emissions.

India will arrive at the climate change summit in Paris next week as the third biggest generator of fossil fuel pollution blamed for warming the planet, after China and the U.S.

Half of India's emissions come from burning coal. A visit to the coal-rich northeastern Indian state of Jharkhand reveals how this stands to get even worse.

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Got cranberries? How about squash and pumpkin pie? These favorites would not be as bountiful without bees and other wild pollinators.

Honey bees were first imported into the American colonies by early European settlers, who recognized their value in producing fruits and other crops.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Ever been caught telling different stories to different people? It's awkward.

Dow AgroSciences, which sells seeds and pesticides to farmers, made
contradictory claims to different parts of the U.S. government about its latest herbicide. The Environmental Protection Agency just found out, and now wants to cancel Dow's legal right to sell the product.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

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America's beekeepers are having a rough time. They lost an estimated 42 percent of their hives last year.

China is the world's biggest greenhouse gas emitter and drives climate change more than any other country. As the world warms and seas rise, researchers say it stands to lose more heavily populated coastline as well.

Most Chinese, though, don't seem to see climate change as a current threat.

"I'm not really concerned because I think the distant future has little to do with me, because I'll already be dead," said a woman named Yu, who didn't want to give her full name in case government officials didn't like her comments.

During important events in China in recent years — from international summit meetings to sporting events and military parades — the government has resorted to ordering smoggy skies to turn blue. Apparently, the skies dare not disobey.

This involves ordering cars off of the capital's streets, and shutting down factories across much of north China.

But China's leaders seem to realize that clearing skies by diktat is not a solution. As part of its pledge to cap carbon emissions by the year 2030, China is now building what could become the world's largest carbon market.

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World leaders are scheduled to meet in Paris soon, trying to draft an agreement on how to combat climate change. Among the heads of state, you'll also see California Gov. Jerry Brown, who is spearheading his own international climate movement.

Brown has been on an international diplomatic tour the last few months — all about climate change.

"The world faces an existential threat," he told Canadian leaders in July.

Then, he went to the Vatican. "Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap," he said.

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Over the next few weeks, the U.S. and other negotiators will meet in Paris to try to finalize a huge climate deal. My colleague Steve Inskeep spoke with NPR's Shankar Vedantam on a hidden factor in those negotiations.

Diesel trucks used to be known for belching black, polluting exhaust. Over the years, manufacturers have worked hard to shed that image, building cleaner engines. But there's a small group of diesel truck owners who are going in the opposite direction.

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