Environment

Living on Earth: November 6, 2015

Nov 10, 2015

More Nuclear Power Plants Shutting Down / Shut-Down Nukes Still Worry Neighbors / Sudden Deaths For Endangered Antelopes / Man-Made Barriers to Pronghorn Migration / The Place Where You Live: Wyoming's Red Desert / BirdNote®: Whooping Cranes

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LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Coal Offers Hope For Montana Tribe

Nov 9, 2015
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New York state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman says coal giant Peabody Energy made false and misleading statements to investors about the financial risks it faces because of climate change.

As part of an agreement with Schneiderman's office, the company has agreed to revise the disclosures it makes to investors about the risks in its quarterly report released today, and has promised to include the disclosures in future filings.

Recent scientific discoveries show that the Amazon rainforest might control the climate for much of South America. The theory could mean even more disastrous ramifications for the fragile ecosystem if deforestation continues unabated.

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STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

How The Climate Can Shape The Way We Speak

Nov 8, 2015
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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

State officials have closed both recreational and commercial fishing for Dungeness and rock crab on the California coast north of Santa Barbara to the Oregon border, due to a large algae bloom that's making the crab unsafe for consumption.

The bloom, created by an organism called Pseudo-nitzschia, produces a neurotoxin called domoic acid that can build up in marine life. It causes vomiting, diarrhea and cramping in humans — and even death, in severe cases.

More Nuclear Power Plants Shutting Down

Nov 7, 2015

The Entergy Corporation recently announced it would soon close two aging nuclear power plants in the US Northeast. Yet the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also granted the company a new license to operate a Tennessee reactor. Nuclear energy expert Arjun Makhijani discusses with host Steve Curwood the paradox and the viability of nuclear power in the current energy landscape. (published November 6, 2015)

Shut-Down Nukes Still Worry Neighbors

Nov 7, 2015

Massachusetts residents who live near Entergy Corporation’s Pilgrim Generating Station worry about threats from spent radioactive fuel that remain once the power plant closes. Host Steve Curwood reports. (published November 6, 2015)

Sudden Deaths For Endangered Antelopes

Nov 7, 2015

The saiga, tawny, bulbous-nosed antelopes, have roamed the Central Asian steppe since the days of the woolly mammoth, but they’re dying by the hundreds of thousands. Dr. Richard Kock of the Royal Veterinary College of London tells host Steve Curwood that bacteria reacting to the effects of climate change may be to blame for this catastrophic event. (published November 6, 2015)

Living on Earth: November 6, 2015

Nov 7, 2015

More Nuclear Power Plants Shutting Down / Shut-Down Nukes Still Worry Neighbors / Sudden Deaths For Endangered Antelopes / Man-Made Barriers to Pronghorn Migration / The Place Where You Live: Wyoming's Red Desert / BirdNote®: Whooping Cranes

Man-Made Barriers to Pronghorn Migration

Nov 7, 2015

For centuries, herds of pronghorn have traveled hundreds of miles across the west in the second longest land migration in the North America. But now pronghorn often encounter barbed wire fences on private land that delay or halt their journey. Now, scientists and wildlife managers are developing fencing systems that allow the pronghorn to cross safely. Clay Scott reports from Montana. (published November 6, 2015)

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SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The rejection of the Keystone XL pipeline has prompted some head scratching in Texas. From member station KUT in Austin, Mose Buchele explains why.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

Tonight, environmental activists celebrated at Lafayette Park in front of the White House.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

President Obama has rejected the Keystone XL pipeline. The proposed pipeline which would've carried 800,000 barrels of oil a day from the Canadian tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast had been under review for seven years.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

The West Coast's historic drought has strained many Californians — from farmers who've watched their lands dry up, to rural residents forced to drink and cook with bottled water. Now, thanks to a blazing hot summer and unusually warm water, things are looking pretty bad for salmon, too – and for the fishermen whose livelihoods depend on them.

Preliminary counts of juvenile winter-run Chinook are at extreme low levels. These are salmon that are born during the summer in California's Sacramento River and begin to swim downstream in the fall.

English bursts with consonants. We have words that string one after another, like angst, diphthong and catchphrase. But other languages keep more vowels and open sounds. And that variability might be because they evolved in different habitats.

A region of southeastern Brazil is struggling to cope with a devastating flood, after two dams broke outside an iron ore mine and sent mineral waste and thick red mud over a large valley.

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RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Brazil isn't lying to the world about how bad deforestation is in the Amazon. But it is, according to the very people employed by the government to protect the rain forest, "misleading" the international community.

According to the government figures, the rate of deforestation is down dramatically over the past decade. And there's a general consensus this is true. But critics say the numbers don't tell the whole story because so much of the Amazon has already been damaged or destroyed. And the country is still losing about 2,000 square miles of jungle each year.

New York's attorney general would like to know: Did Exxon Mobil lie to you about the risks of climate change and to investors about how those risks might reduce profits?

Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's office confirms that a New York Times story is correct in reporting that an investigation has been launched into Exxon Mobil. That story said Schneiderman issued a subpoena on Wednesday, seeking financial records, emails and other documents.

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KELLY MCEVERS, HOST:

It's getting harder to see the stars in North Dakota's Theodore Roosevelt National Park, and it's due to flares, drilling rigs and all the lights from the Bakken oilfield.

Since 2010, scientists with the National Park Service have measured a 500 percent increase in the amount of anthropogenic light there — no other national park in America has seen such a rapid increase in light pollution.

Kent Friesen is standing in a dark field in the North Dakota Badlands, peering into a huge telescope.

They call it the "burning season" in the Amazon, and when we arrive in Brazil's western state of Rondonia, it's on fire.

A thick, acrid smoke permeates everything, making it difficult to see. Fire, people say in Rondonia, is part of the culture of the state: The ash from the burned trees is the only way to make the land fertile, argue some. Others say fires are also started to simply clear land for cattle. Or to make space to build a house. Fire allows people to eke out a living off the land in the rain forest.

Episode 661: The Less Deadly Catch

Nov 4, 2015

Halibut fishermen in Alaska used to defy storms, exhaustion and good judgment. That's because they could only fish in these handful of 24-hour periods. It was called the derby, and the derby made fishing the deadliest job in America.

Today on the show, the economic fix that made fishing safer. And why a lot of people hate it.

On the show we introduce you to David Fry, the owner of the Realist halibut boat.

Note: This episode contains explicit language.

When cacao farmers like Emilio Rivera first heard of a government-backed initiative that would help them prune branches and leaves from their trees, they were skeptical.

After all, a lush cacao tree with more, not fewer, branches meant more profits, the farmers said. That's been the traditional way of thinking for generations of cacao farmers here in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

In this part of the Amazon rain forest, they call it "the war over wood."

It has front lines.

One of them is here, in Machadinho d'Oeste in the western Brazilian state of Rondonia.

The self-described "Guardians of the Forest" defending the land don't look like fighters, at least when we first meet them. But they are pitting themselves against criminal logging gangs that have infiltrated their protected reserves.

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