Environment

Forty years ago, the National Audubon Society began Project Puffin, an attempt to restore the threatened seabird to its native nesting islands off the coast of Maine. Today, you can watch their success live on the internet.  From Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in Maine, a live video stream shows puffins raising chicks in an underground burrow and hanging out on the rocks. These weatherproof cameras provide an intimate look into the homes and lives of puffins. “It’s a remarkable setting...

Robert Sauchelli doesn't have a solar panel, but he's all for the idea — before he retired, he devoted 21 years to energy efficiency work at the Environmental Protection Agency. To show his support, Sauchelli has been paying an extra 7.4 cents per kilowatt-hour to a clean power company, called Green Mountain Energy, through his energy supplier in Brooklyn, Con Edison. The green energy credits Sauchelli was buying helped subsidize cleaner energy production. But Green Mountain Energy is based...

Adelie Penguins In Danger

Jul 3, 2016

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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RFNc9gPi5dA A massive bloom of blue-green algae has hit four southern Florida counties, blanketing beaches in foul-smelling muck and raising health and environmental concerns. The green goo along Florida's "Treasure Coast" prompted Gov. Rick Scott to declare a state of emergency in Martin and St. Lucie counties earlier this week , and he later added Lee and Palm Beach counties. Scott "blamed the federal government for neglecting repairs to the lake's aging dike...

Why Are Diamonds Worth So Much?

Jul 2, 2016

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Paris was at the forefront of public bike-sharing schemes, and it now has electric car-sharing schemes and is something of a laboratory for mobility. As of today, motorists with cars built before 1997, and motorcycles built before 2000, will no longer be able to drive them in the city during daylight hours on weekdays. Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo says keeping old cars out of the city will help lower pollution levels. But not everyone is happy about it. Marc Vernhet makes his living driving...

Environmentalists are demanding that one of the most prized fishes on the planet be listed as an endangered species. Last week, about a dozen environmental groups — including Greenpeace, the Center for Biological Diversity, Defenders of Wildlife and Earthjustice — formally petitioned the U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service to consider listing the Pacific bluefin tuna as endangered under the Endangered Species Act. That status mandates the highest levels of protection from harm. Other...

Every place has its own sound. A small group of scientists is hard at work recording the natural sounds of national parks all across the U.S. — more than 70 soundscapes so far. For our series on the centennial of the national parks, we traveled to Colorado, to find out how they create these portraits of sound. First Lesson: It's Very Hard To Escape The Sound Of Humans. We started at Colorado's Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve . The dunes loom into view like a 30-square-mile patch...

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As the water recedes in West Virginia, residents are taking stock of their losses. At least 23 people died in massive floods that swept across the southeastern part of the state on Friday. According to state authorities, the water damaged or destroyed more than 1,200 homes, and thousands of people who lost power are just getting it back. President Obama has declared three counties — Kanawha, Nicholas and Greenbrier — disaster areas, which gives residents there access to emergency funds for...

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Copyright 2016 West Virginia Public Broadcasting. To see more, visit West Virginia Public Broadcasting .

23 Killed In Historic West Virgina Flooding

Jun 25, 2016

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People talk about a flash of inspiration. But Xavier Helgesen's eureka moment came in the dark. A few years ago, the American entrepreneur was traveling through Malawi to meet with clients for his book-selling company, Better World Books. He stopped in Monkey Bay, a town of about 30,000 people, to spend the night. What made this place unforgettable, he says, was that it was "100 percent off-grid." The streets were pitch black. People carried kerosene lamps to walk around at night. When a...

During his daily bus commute in the bustling Indian city of Hyderabad, there was something that really bothered Narayana Peesapaty. "Everybody was eating something on their way to work," says Peesapaty, who was working as a sustainable farming researcher for a nonprofit organization at the time. But it wasn't his fellow bus riders' snacking habits that troubled him. It was their plastic cutlery. Every day, he'd see hundreds of people chuck their plastic spoons and forks in the garbage....

After 71 hours and 8 minutes of flight time crossing the Atlantic, Solar Impulse 2 has touched down in Seville, Spain. It's a major step toward the team's goal of circumnavigating the globe using only the sun's power. The end of this leg means they've now completed 90 percent of that journey. As The Two-Way has reported, the single-seater plane took off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport early Monday with pilot Bertrand Piccard at the controls. It was a "beautiful flight...

A federal judge in Wyoming has struck down the Obama administration's regulations on hydraulic fracturing, ruling that the U.S. Bureau of Land Management doesn't have the authority to establish rules over fracking on federal and Indian lands. In the ruling on Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Scott Skavdahl said Congress had not granted the BLM that power, and had instead chosen to specifically exclude fracking from federal oversight. Skavdahl made it clear what he was — and wasn't — considering...

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The Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant will be shut down by 2025. The plan was announced today by the power utility operating the plant, along with labor and environmental groups. With its two nuclear reactors operating near several fault lines, safety is a big concern for those who have been calling for the plant's closure. "Right out there, we've got tons of highly radioactive waste, sitting," Linda Seeley tells Lauren Sommer of member station KQED, standing at the front security gate that...

California To Close State's Last Nuclear Power Plant

Jun 21, 2016

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The U.S. Department of Energy is considering the future of a public asset worth tens of billions of dollars: the Strategic Petroleum Reserve . The SPR was created after a 1973-'74 oil embargo of the United States and other countries. Arab oil-producing countries stopped selling crude to the U.S. because they were upset over its support for Israel. The embargo led to steep price increases, rationing and long lines of frustrated drivers at gas stations. The purpose of the reserve is to prevent...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fIqxWhB_OvI A solar-powered airplane took off from New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport early Monday, in a bid to have the Solar Impulse 2 craft cross the Atlantic Ocean and land in Spain on Thursday. The schedule means that the single-seater Solar Impulse, which had been in New York since June 11, would remain airborne for four days and four nights. The plane took off at 2:30 a.m. ET; as of around 9 a.m. ET, it had traveled 260 miles and was over...

Temperatures are expected to reach potentially lethal levels this weekend in parts of the Southwest and the Plains. Forecasters say major cities including Phoenix, Las Vegas and Tucson, as well as parts of Kansas and Oklahoma, will reach highs above 110 degrees Fahrenheit. The National Weather Service has issued widespread excessive heat warnings , and says such high temperatures are "rare, dangerous, and deadly." The agency is urging people in the affected areas to cancel outdoor activities...

If you're a home gardener in most of the country, your tomato plants are probably just getting started. It's not even officially summer. Yet if you go to the grocery store, you'll probably see tomatoes that come from even farther north: Canada! Our cold-weather neighbor sends us more tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers than we send the other way. Despite all the vegetable fields of California and Florida. When I discovered this fact, I was so shocked that I decided to investigate. I drove across...

This is what passes for good news about coral reefs these days: Around the world, some reefs aren't dying as quickly as scientists thought they would. A newly published study in Nature identifies 15 places in the Pacific and Indian oceans where fish populations in coral reefs are doing better than ecological models predict they should be. Around the world, warm oceans and human interference are still causing massive reef "bleaching" — when coral organisms stop feeding themselves and turn...

Russia launched the world's biggest, most powerful icebreaker on Thursday in St. Petersburg. The Arktika is 568 feet long and powered by two nuclear reactors. It can break through ice 13 feet deep, NPR's Mary Louise Kelly reports. The ship set forth early, ahead of its planned 2017 launch, according to Sputnik News and the shipyard where the Arktika was built. "She is one of several new icebreakers planned for Russia's growing fleet — a fleet already bigger than all other countries, combined,...

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST: Secretary of State John Kerry travels to Denmark today and Greenland tomorrow, tending to what is known as Arctic business. In the Arctic Circle, warming temperatures and melting ice are raising the stakes over valuable resources. The U.S. currently chairs the Arctic Council, which is made up of the world's eight northernmost - nations. As NPR's Jackie Northam reports, the U.S. took over the chair at a time when...

Climate change is a global issue. But for Betty Barkha, it's personal. The 25-year-old grew up in the city of Lautoka in Fiji, a couple of minutes from the Pacific, amid the fish markets and flocks of tourists roasting on the beach. The government of Fiji said in a policy report issued in 2012 that the island nation is recording more storms, less rain, higher temperatures and rising sea levels. Barkha's favorite childhood picnic spot on the beach is now perpetually under water. And just three...

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