Environment

Since October, a leaking underground natural gas storage facility near Los Angeles has released vast amounts of methane, its main ingredient, into the atmosphere, becoming one of the nation’s worst environmental accidents, as methane starts off 100 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Host Steve Curwood and Anthony Ingraffea, a civil and environmental engineer at Cornell University discuss the blowout, including. Professor Ingraffea's belief that this disaster may be a harbinger of what's ahead for these aging storage facilities. (published January 8, 2016)

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In sunny Nevada, solar panel companies are shutting down operations. It's a protest of sorts because state regulators changed the rules.

Here's NPR's Jeff Brady.

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Two teams of geologists say portions of the seafloor along the Aleutian Islands in southwestern Alaska could produce tsunamis more devastating than anything seen in the past century. They say California and Hawaii are directly in the line of fire.

The California Air Resources Board has rejected Volkswagen's plan to recall cars with 2-liter diesel engines that trick emissions tests, saying the company's plan is incomplete. The Environmental Protection Agency says it concurs.

The bananas you find in the average U.S. grocery store are pretty much the same: They're the genetic variety known as Cavendish.

In the market in Mayagüez, Puerto Rico, though, you have choices.

A new traffic law has some New Delhi residents wondering: "How the heck do I get to work?"

Following the lead of Beijing and Mexico City, the Delhi government put into effect an "odd-even" policy for cars starting Jan. 1. Residents can only drive their cars on either odd or even days, based on the last digit of their license plate numbers — though everyone gets a pass before 8 a.m., after 8 p.m. and on weekends.

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We have a glimpse this morning of a community facing environmental disaster. It's an affluent area in the far reaches of Los Angeles. And for months now, it's been the site of a massive natural gas leak.

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The drought in California has been going on for five years now. But if you've turned on the TV recently, or, for that matter, if you live in California, you may have noticed it's raining there - a lot.

Republicans and Democrats passed a federal budget at the end of 2015 which lifted a 40-year-old ban on crude oil exports and extended renewable energy tax credits for 5 years. As host Steve Curwood hears from Harvard energy expert Joe Aldy, this compromise has implications for the climate. (published January 8, 2016)

Living on Earth: January 8, 2016

Jan 9, 2016

Massive Natural Gas Disaster Hits Los Angeles / Renewable Energy Boosted in Federal Budget Compromise / Cleaning Up A Coal-Fired Power Plant / Beyond the Headlines / Debunking the Myths About Hunger

Since October, a leaking underground natural gas storage facility near Los Angeles has released vast amounts of methane, its main ingredient, into the atmosphere, becoming one of the nation’s worst environmental accidents, as methane starts off 100 times more potent than CO2 as a greenhouse gas. Host Steve Curwood and Anthony Ingraffea, a civil and environmental engineer at Cornell University discuss the blowout, including. Professor Ingraffea's belief that this disaster may be a harbinger of what's ahead for these aging storage facilities. (published January 8, 2016)

Cleaning Up A Coal-Fired Power Plant

Jan 9, 2016

Coal-fired power plants must clean up their emissions to comply with expected EPA air rules. The Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier visits the Homer City Generating Station in Indiana County, Pennsylvania as they install upgrades to reduce toxic mercury emissions. (published January 8, 2016)

Debunking the Myths About Hunger

Jan 9, 2016

In their new book, World Hunger: 10 Myths, Frances Moore Lappé and coauthor Joseph Collins make the case that there’s plenty of food to go around, but it’s just not getting to those who need it most. Lappé and host Steve Curwood discuss how tackling inequality and expanding democracy can feed the world. (published January 8, 2016)

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The armed militants occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon come from as far away as Texas and Montana. But they are hardly the refuge's first out-of-state visitors.

There were high-fives this week from Detroit to Washington, D.C., as carmakers celebrated record auto sales.

Americans bought 17.5 million cars and trucks in 2015. That's a huge turnaround from 2009, and the Obama administration cheered the rebound as vindication of the president's decision to rescue General Motors and Chrysler from bankruptcy.

"Because of the policy decisions that were made by this administration to place a bet on those workers, America has won, and our economy has been better for it," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.

At the end of every year, U.S. meteorologists look back at what the nation's weather was like, and what they saw in 2015 was weird. The year was hot and beset with all manner of extreme weather events that did a lot of expensive damage.

December, in fact, was a fitting end.

Mary’s New Year’s Eve

Jan 7, 2016

Jay O’Callahan sat down with host Steve Curwood and shared some tales about his family and how an imaginative young girl creates her own special celebration as the guest of honor at a very exclusive party. (published January 1, 2016)

Christmas Candles

Jan 7, 2016

Master storyteller Jay O’Callahan joins host Steve Curwood to share some tales about his family during the holiday season. O’Callahan recalls his community’s tradition of Christmas caroling and how it brought hope to his mother in a time of darkness and for Christmases to come. (published January 1, 2016)

Living on Earth: January 1, 2016

Jan 7, 2016

Christmas Candles / Mary’s New Year’s Eve / Superbowl Sundae / A Green Message for the Next Generation / A Mainer's Family Wintertime Traditions

A Green Message for the Next Generation

Jan 7, 2016

Tem Blessed, an environmentally and socially-conscious hiphop artist, sat down with host Steve Curwood to discuss how contemporary music can communicate the importance of the environment and sustainability to young audiences. He illustrates this with two of his own pieces: “I am the bee” and “Now is the time.” (published January 1, 2016)

A Mainer's Family Wintertime Traditions

Jan 7, 2016

Denny Breau, a singer/songwriter from Maine, joins host Steve Curwood during these cold winter months to discuss some of the moments that warm his heart. He shares stories about one of his favorite holiday meals, ice-fishing, his Acadian family origins, and traditions of song that span the generations. (published January 1, 2016)

Superbowl Sundae

Jan 7, 2016

For many children, some vital grown-up rituals can be very tedious. So, as storyteller Jay O’Callahan shares with host Steve Curwood, the imaginative youngster Mary creates her own unusual but delicious version of Superbowl Sunday, with sundae toppings. (published January 1, 2016)

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More than two months after a natural gas storage well in Southern California began uncontrollably spewing methane gas, the governor of California has declared a state of emergency.

A few days back, All Tech got a question from an NPR listener that got us curious.

Tim Callahan from Seattle wrote:

"A friend asked how texting — in all its forms (admittedly a squishy thing to corral) — is contributing to global warming? After saying, 'minimally...', I thought about how to answer that question. Putting aside the sunk contribution caused by the manufacture and transport of the device you text with, how much does the battery emit / generate while a person does a typical or somehow average text? ... Can you help quantify?"

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Oh, the irony.

Historically, when political tensions increased in the Middle East, the price of oil rose too. Buyers of oil worried that conflicts could interrupt drilling or interfere with oil-tanker access to waterways. In theory, when risks rise, so do prices.

But in recent days, even as tensions have been growing between two key oil producing nations — Iran and Saudi Arabia — oil prices have been falling. They slipped below $36 a barrel on Tuesday.

Why?

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