We've heard a lot about the negative effects of climate change in the arctic and subarctic. But some Alaskans, like farmer Tim Meyers, are seeing warming temperatures as an opportunity.

Now that potato harvest is underway at his Bethel farm, Meyers uses a giant potato washer, like a washing machine for root vegetables, to clean California white potatoes.

They're some of the only commercially produced vegetables in this southwestern Alaska region, about the size of Oregon.

Meyers says the warming summers are a big part of his success.

Virunga National Park, home to roughly a quarter of the world's remaining 880 mountain gorillas, was featured in Dian Fossey's Gorillas in the Mist.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. On Fridays, we highlight some of the best stories.

This week, we bring you four items.

From Weekend Edition host Rachel Martin:

Jane Goodall has learned a lot about chimpanzees in her 55 years of studying them. She has learned a lot from them, too.

And she's putting those lessons into practice.

That's what she explains after giving a lecture at the U.S. State Department.

Cod was once so plentiful in New England that legend had it you could walk across the local waters by stepping on the backs of the fish.

Now, though, this tasty species is in such trouble there that cod fishing is practically shut down.

And scientists say it looks like rapid warming in the Gulf of Maine explains why regulators' recent efforts to help the cod while allowing fishing were a failure.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.



Climate change is a big issue for scientists and politicians and everyone else. Astrophysicist and NPR blogger Adam Frank says we're thinking about this whole thing wrong. He suggests a different approach.

Would you be able to tell if the wild Alaskan sockeye salmon you ordered for dinner was swapped out for a less expensive piece of farm-raised salmon?

For the observant, the color difference between the two would likely be the first giveaway. (Sockeye has a deeper red-orange hue.) Or maybe you'd notice the disparity in the thickness of fillet. (Sockeye is flatter and less steaky in appearance.)

Unless you’re a sailor or you work on an oil rig, you’ve probably never seen a common murre. These black and white birds live nearly their entire lives at sea, but this summer starving murres washed up on the Pacific Coast from Southern California to Alaska.

Just about every day since the beginning of August, Eve Egan has gotten a call from a confused beachgoer saying: “I know this is going to sound crazy, but I see a penguin on the beach.” Egan calmlly explains that it’s almost certainly a common murre, a seabird that looks like a mix between a small penguin and a loon. 

For the past 15 years, the battlefield at Gettysburg, Pennsylvania — the scene of the bloodiest fights of the US Civil War — has been undergoing major changes. 

In the late 1990s, the National Park Service began to rehabilitate the natural landscape at Gettysburg, to make it look more like it did in July 1863, when the battles took place. In areas that saw heavy fighting, like the Peach Orchard, the Park Service decided to replant peach trees; in the meadows that had grown into forest since the battle, they removed the trees and restored the meadows.

Copyright 2015 Colorado Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.cpr.org.



From the rim of Ecuador's Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve, it's at least a 45-minute drive (no, more like plunge) down a winding, bone-crushing dirt road to the floor of the crater. But it's well worth it. After all, how often do you get to say you've traveled to what's billed as the world's only inhabited, cultivated volcano?

Writer Bill McKibben was so shocked and angered by the revelations of Exxon’s early knowledge of climate change that he protested at his local Exxon filling station and was arrested. He tells host Steve Curwood why he thinks everyone should know about the allegations of Exxon’s misconduct. (published October 23, 2015)

Exxon Denied its Own Climate Research

Oct 24, 2015

Investigations by InsideClimate News and the Los Angeles Times reveal that Exxon’s scientists and top management, informed by the company’s own ambitious climate research, had grasped the import of climate change by the early 1980s. ICN reporter Neela Banerjee tells host Steve Curwood how they discovered the research and how top Exxon management nevertheless cast doubt on the facts of global warming, starting in the late 1990s. (published October 23, 2015)

Canada Shifts Left and Greener

Oct 24, 2015

The newly elected Canadian Prime Minister is Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau, taking the reins from the Conservative Party’s Stephen Harper. Host Steve Curwood speaks with Reuter’s investigative resources correspondent Mike De Souza about the status of Canada’s environmental policies and how incoming Prime Minister Trudeau might reconcile Canada’s extraction-based economy with more of a conservation ethic. (published October 23, 2015)

The Creole Pig

Oct 24, 2015

In Haiti, the creole pig was a staple of the peasant economy, bringing families economic stability, devouring food waste and occasionally becoming an religious sacrifice. But as Allison Griner reports, disease killed many creole pigs and American efforts to control the swine flu took the rest. Efforts to replace the pig failed, but now peasant farmers are slowly rebuilding the creole pig herd. (published October 23, 2015)

Beyond the Headlines

Oct 24, 2015

In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra tells host Steve Curwood that Americans are using the money saved from low gas prices to buy pricier petroleum, and how the fallacy of “green diesel” polluted Europe’s fuel landscape. And twenty-five years ago, the British Royal Geographic Society announced their pick for the “worst environmental disaster”, the Aral Sea, drained to irrigate cotton fields. (published October 23, 2015)

Hurricane Patricia Makes Landfall In Mexico

Oct 23, 2015

Updated at 6:05 a.m.

Hurricane Patricia has calmed to a Category 1 storm overnight, with maximum wind speeds of 75 mph. Still no fatalities or significant damage has been reported.

As The Associated Press reports, Patricia is "expected to dissipate over Mexico's inland mountains, becoming a tropical storm later in the day. Its center was about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Zacatecas."

The AP adds:

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Updated at 8:05 p.m. ET

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of Hurricane Patricia has made landfall near Cuixmala on Mexico's southwestern Pacific coast. Its winds were measured at 165 mph, somewhat weakened but still a Category 5 storm capable of catastrophic damage.

Our original post continues:

What's better than parachuting beavers?

Video of parachuting beavers.

Boise State Public Radio, KBSU, has the story:

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When you go out with friends to a bar or a restaurant, there's always this awkward moment when the waiter shows up with the check and you've got to figure out how to split the bill. Well, something similar is happening right now in climate change negotiations.

The United Nations is trying to get nearly 200 countries to agree on a plan for how to fight global warming. This week negotiators are in Bonn, Germany, for their last meeting before the final summit starts Nov. 30 in Paris.

New research about sunscreen's damaging effects on coral reefs suggests that you might want to think twice before slathering it on.

An airport — crowded, smoggy and rife with security concerns — seems like an unlikely locale for a farm.

But JetBlue was intent on growing potatoes and other produce at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. It took three years of jumping through hoops before the T5 Farm, named for its location outside Terminal 5, came to fruition in early October, the company says.

China, the biggest emitter of global warming gases, announced it would soon implement a nationwide cap-and-trade program, and partner with the US, the world’s second biggest emitter, on other ways to reduce emissions.  

According to Jennifer Morgan, the director of the Climate Change Program at the World Resources Institute, the new commitments from China and its willingness to join forces with the US are significant.

When energy booms go bust, the public is often left responsible for the cleanup. That's because while most states and the federal government make companies put up at least some money in advance to pay for any mess they leave behind, it's often not enough.

After the methane industry collapse, there were almost 4,000 wells in Wyoming that the company responsible walked away from. Now, the state has to pay the price.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.