Environment

Poaching and destruction of habitat have decimated wild tiger populations around the world, especially in Cambodia.

There are no longer any breeding tigers left in the wild in that country, and the species is considered "functionally extinct" there, according to the World Wildlife Foundation.

Renewable energy and new technologies that are making low-carbon power more reliable are growing rapidly in the U.S. Renewables are so cheap in some parts of the country that they're undercutting the price of older sources of electricity such as nuclear power.

The impact has been significant on the nuclear industry, and a growing number of unprofitable reactors are shutting down.

When the first nuclear power plants went online 60 years ago, nuclear energy seemed like the next big thing.

Deep in the forests of Hawaii, a native tree called 'ōhi'a reigns king. The tall canopy tree dominates the island's forests, especially on the Big Island. 'Ōhi'a makes up approximately 80 percent of Hawaii's native forests and more than half of 'ōhi'a grows on Hawaii Island.Often the first plant to grow from a fresh lava flow, 'Ōhi'a is known for its resilience. That's what makes a recent discovery all the more tragic: 'ōhi'a is dying.

The tiny Samoan islands have among the highest rates of obesity and Type 2 diabetes in the world — and diet and weight-related health issues have been rising in these Pacific nations since the 1970s. Now 1 in 3 residents of American Samoa suffers from diabetes.

Sardines, herring and other small fish species are the foundation of the marine food web — they're essential food for birds, marine mammals and other fish. But globally, demand for these so-called forage species has exploded, with many going to feed the livestock and fish farming industries.

Residents of Flint, Mich., may tell you lead is a serious menace, but for most of the last 5,000 years, people saw lead as a miracle metal at the forefront of technology.

"You can think about lead as kind of the plastic of the ancient world," says Joseph Heppert, a professor of chemistry at the University of Kansas. He says it was because lead is easy to melt — a campfire alone can do it. Unlike iron, lead is malleable.

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

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

Greenpeace and Bernie Sanders' campaign continue to hammer at Hillary Clinton's ties to what the environmental group calls the "fossil fuel industry." NPR did a fact-check last week; this is a follow-up.

Ever watch The Beverly Hillbillies and wonder why Jed Clampett moved to Beverly Hills and not Texas or some town that we more closely associate with oil?

Even Angelenos forget sometimes that the Clampetts came first, then the swimming pools and movie stars. Think J. Paul Getty or Edward Doheny, men who made their fortunes on oil and then made LA.

Americans throw away about a third of our available food.

But what some see as trash, others are seeing as a business opportunity. A new facility known as the Heartland Biogas Project is taking wasted food from Colorado's most populous areas and turning it into electricity. Through a technology known as anaerobic digestion, spoiled milk, old pet food and vats of grease combine with helpful bacteria in massive tanks to generate gas.

Renewable energy like solar and wind is booming across the country as the costs of production have come down. But the sun doesn't always shine, and the wind doesn't blow when we need it to.

This challenge has sparked a technology race to store energy — one that goes beyond your typical battery.

Heat Storage: Molten Salt And A Giant Solar Farm

Batteries are often used to store solar power, but it can be a costly endeavor.

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

Don Rush

The Maryland state senate has approved a measure that would require the University of Maryland to set harvesting levels for the oysters in the Chesapeake Bay.

The aim is to create a sustainable stock of oysters for the future.  

The measure’s supporters say that the state’s oyster population is being over harvested.

But the seafood industry says the new measures would be too costly and are unnecessary.

The legislation is now pending in the House of Delegates.

Women in some divisions of the Forest Service and Park Service are now coming forward with disturbing stories of sexual harassment in the work place, ending public silence about years of abuse and official neglect. An investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior has now confirmed that there has been a long-term pattern of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment in Grand Canyon National Park.

New York Confronts Exxon On Climate Risks

Apr 3, 2016

Thomas DiNapoli iis the Comptroller of New York State and trustee of its $178.3 billion Pension Fund. He won an appeal to the Securities and Exchange Commission to force ExxonMobil to report the risks the oil giant will face from climate change and likely increased fossil fuel regulation. Comptroller DiNapoli tells host Steve Curwood that states and their pension funds can help shape industry’s response to global warming. (published April 1, 2016)

Two major financiers of the Agua Zarca dam project in Honduras have suspended their financial support in the wake of the high-profile murders of Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia, activists who opposed the dam. Peter Bosshard of International Rivers and host Steve Curwood discuss the potential far-reaching consequences for development international aid programs. (published April 1, 2016)

Clearing The View For The Grand Canyon

Apr 3, 2016

Cement plants are big air polluters and in 2009 industrial giant Cemex wanted to build a new plant near the Grand Canyon, causing concern about increasing the haze that already plagues the national park. We revisit a report by Arizona Public Radio’s Laurel Morales, and host Steve Curwood catches up on the story with environmental engineer Bill Auberle who discusses current threats facing the iconic attraction and hopeful signs for its future. (published April 1, 2016)

Living on Earth: April 1, 2016

Apr 3, 2016

New York Confronts Exxon On Climate Risks / Dam Funders Halt Support After Murders In Honduras / Beyond the Headlines / Clearing The View For The Grand Canyon / Sexual Harassment Blights National Parks and Forests

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

If you've been following any of the big news stories on food fraud lately, you'll know that it's tough to know what exactly is in our food — and where it's been before it makes it onto our dinner plates.

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

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

Two major financiers of the Agua Zarca dam project in Honduras have suspended their financial support in the wake of the high-profile murders of Berta Cáceres and Nelson Garcia, activists who opposed the dam. Peter Bosshard of International Rivers and host Steve Curwood discuss the potential far-reaching consequences for development international aid programs. (published April 1, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 2, 2016

Peter Dykstra’s weekly round-up with host Steve Curwood discusses the US lag in high-speed rail system development, the decline in workplace deaths over the past few decades, and how famed crime boss “Lucky” Luciano was never convicted of murder, but fined for one death he caused--by shooting a pheasant out of season. (published April 1, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Clearing The View For The Grand Canyon

Apr 2, 2016

Cement plants are big air polluters and in 2009 industrial giant Cemex wanted to build a new plant near the Grand Canyon, causing concern about increasing the haze that already plagues the national park. We revisit a report by Arizona Public Radio’s Laurel Morales, and host Steve Curwood catches up on the story with environmental engineer Bill Auberle who discusses current threats facing the iconic attraction and hopeful signs for its future. (published April 1, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Living on Earth: April 1, 2016

Apr 2, 2016

New York Confronts Exxon On Climate Risks / Dam Funders Halt Support After Murders In Honduras / Beyond the Headlines / Clearing The View For The Grand Canyon / Sexual Harassment Blights National Parks and Forests


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Women in some divisions of the Forest Service and Park Service are now coming forward with disturbing stories of sexual harassment in the work place, ending public silence about years of abuse and official neglect. An investigation by the Inspector General of the Department of the Interior has now confirmed that there has been a long-term pattern of sexual harassment and a hostile work environment in Grand Canyon National Park.

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

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