Environment

Around the Nation
4:53 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Miami Uses Pumps To Battle Flooding From Sea Level Rise

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 8:05 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A couple times a year, the gravitational pull of the moon and sun produce so-called king tides. Climate change is raising sea levels, which means these big tides are becoming a problem. NPR's Greg Allen reports from Miami Beach.

Read more
Science
6:13 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Climate Change Worsens Coastal Flooding From High Tides

Cindy Minnix waits for a bus in a flooded street on Oct. 18, 2012, in Miami Beach. A changing climate is making floods related to high tides more frequent, scientists say.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 9:58 am

A wave of high tides is expected to hit much of the East Coast this week. These special tides — king tides — occur a few times a year when the moon's orbit brings it close to the Earth.

But scientists say that lately, even normal tides throughout the year are pushing water higher up onto land. And that's causing headaches for people who live along coastlines.

As Bob Dylan might have put it, the tides, they are a changin'.

Read more
The Salt
5:24 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

Love Pine Nuts? Then Protect Pine Forests

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 8:15 pm

A colleague accosted me at the coffee machine the other day with an urgent question. "Why are pine nuts so expensive?"

I promised to find out. And I did. But along the way, I discovered something remarkable about pine nuts.

They connect us to a world of remote villages and vast forests, ancient foraging traditions that are facing modern threats.

Pine nuts don't generally come from orchards, or fields, or plantations. They come from pine forests. (And pine nuts are expensive because most of these areas are so remote.)

Read more
The Two-Way
3:36 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Protests Disrupt Telescope Groundbreaking In Hawaii

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 3:40 am

Promising to be one of the world's largest telescopes, Thirty Meter will be built to help scientists study the universe from a distance of about 13 billion light years. Astronomers chose Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii because the elevation of 14,000 feet was ideal for observation.

Read more
Goats and Soda
5:51 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

So A Global Economist Walks Into A Comedy Club ...

Yoram Bauman jokes about "hyperinflation in hell" and on earth. Case in point: the Zimbabwe hundred-trillion-dollar note.
Lejia Lombardi Courtesy of Inter-American Development Bank

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 8:49 am

Sitting in the empty auditorium, 10 minutes before Yoram Bauman's set begins, I start feeling bad. Low turnout is hard on a stand-up comedian, but what was he expecting for a comedy gig at 6 p.m. on a Monday ... at the Inter-American Development Bank, of all places?

When the event coordinator comes in to make an announcement to the six of us in the audience, I worry she's going to cancel the event.

Read more
Science
5:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Soil Doctors Hit Pay Dirt In Manhattan's Central Park

The Bronx may be up and the Battery down, but Central Park is where an amazing wealth of different sorts of microbes play.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 9:14 am

Manhattan's Central Park is surrounded by one of the densest cities on the planet. It's green enough, yet hardly the first place most people would think of as biologically rich.

But a team of scientists got a big surprise when they recently started digging there.

They were 10 soil ecologists — aka dirt doctors. Kelly Ramirez from Colorado State University was among them. "We met on the steps of the natural history museum at 7 a.m. with our collection gear, coolers and sunblock," she recalls.

Read more
Science
5:07 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

When Can A Big Storm Or Drought Be Blamed On Climate Change?

Melbourne visitors and residents took to the waters of Australia's St. Kilda Beach in January 2013 to escape a fierce heat wave.
Scott Barbour Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:52 pm

Nowadays, when there's a killer heat wave or serious drought somewhere, people wonder: Is this climate change at work? It's a question scientists have struggled with for years. And now there's a new field of research that's providing some answers. It's called "attribution science" — a set of principles that allow scientists to determine when it's a change in climate that's altering weather events ... and when it isn't.

Read more
The Two-Way
9:01 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Death Toll From Japanese Volcano Rises

Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) soldiers and firefighters conduct rescue operations near the peak of Mount Ontake on Wednesday.
KYODO Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 12:50 pm

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

The number of dead from a volcanic eruption in Japan has climbed to nearly 50 after more victims were recovered from Mt. Ontake, which unexpectedly spewed toxic gas last week as people hiked near the 10,000-foot summit.

The Japan Times says:

"Precarious conditions at the summit have made the search an on-off effort, and other bodies may still be undiscovered.

Read more
Around the Nation
5:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

California Enacts Ban On Single-Use Plastic Bags

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:01 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to California where a new law will ban single-use, plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores. It's the first state to do it, and plastic bag manufacturers are not happy. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

Read more
The Two-Way
3:07 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ban On Single-Use Plastic Bags Is Enacted In California

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Here, mixed plastic items are seen at a recycling plant in Vernon, Calif., earlier this year.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 4:23 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB 270, the first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in the U.S.

"This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," Brown said. "We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last."

Read more
The Two-Way
12:57 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Aral Sea's Eastern Basin Has Dried Out, NASA Photos Show

Images from August 2000 (left) and August 2014 (right) show the drop in water levels in the Aral Sea.
NASA

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 2:07 pm

"For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried."

That's the word from NASA, which has released images showing the progressive decline of the water levels in the Aral Sea, which straddles the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The space agency captured the striking photographs via its Terra satellite.

Read more
The Salt
12:27 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Everything But The Squeal: How The Hog Industry Cuts Food Waste

The rendering industry likes to call itself the world's oldest recycling system. Nearly 100 percent of processed pigs will eventually get used — as meat and in uses as varied as medicine and pet food.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 10:34 am

A tour of a pork processing plant takes a hard hat, waterproof boots and a strong stomach.

Oh, and hairnets.

Americans eat just half of the meat produced by farm animals. So what happens to the rest of the animal? I arrive at the Farmland Food plant in Milan, a factory in northeast Missouri, for a tour.

Read more
Cities Project
6:17 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

N.J. Braces For Future Disasters By Fleeing, And Fortifying, The Coast

Artists' renderings of New Meadowland show how the wetland would be designed for human recreational use as well as flood control. The berm shown would be a path through the park when water was low (left). When storms came in, the wetlands would flood, and the berm would protect local development.
Courtesy of New Meadowlands

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 12:58 pm

It has been nearly two years since Hurricane Sandy crashed ashore in New Jersey, devastating cities throughout the region. As cities and towns along the coast consider how to prepare for future weather patterns, and avert the kind of damage that happened in 2012, a two-pronged response has emerged — a kind of municipal fight-or-flight response.

One option is to retreat — encourage residents to move away from the water. The other is to resist — armor the coast so it can take a battering without flooding city streets.

Read more
The Salt
6:15 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

GMO Wheat Investigation Closed, But Another One Opens

How did that genetically modified wheat end up in a field in Oregon? Investigators still don't know, but now they've found GMO wheat in Montana, too.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 7:38 pm

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) say that they cannot figure out how genetically engineered wheat appeared, as if by magic, in a farmer's field in eastern Oregon in the spring of 2013.

Read more
Cities Project
4:52 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

After Hurricane Sandy, N.J. Cities Rethink Proximity To The Water

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 5:51 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Now to the NPR City's Project.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We have to make sure that our cities are safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: How are we going to maintain a city?

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #3: Location, location, location.

Read more
Animals
4:52 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

Florida's Manatees: Big, Beloved And Bitterly Contested

A manatee swims underwater in the springs of Crystal River, Fla. — home to a group of residents who have sued the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, demanding that the agency consider removing the animals from the endangered species list.
Amanda Cotton iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 6:39 pm

They're large, even ungainly. But there may be no animal more beloved in Florida than the manatee.

Sorry, dolphins. It's the manatee that is the state's official marine mammal. But as manatees meander through Florida's shallow bays, rivers and canals, they often encounter people. And that's where problems arise.

Read more
Around the Nation
9:27 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Rethinking The Relationship Between Civilization And Nature

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

It's time for a big think conversation about cities as part of the NPR Cities Project.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #1: We have to make sure that our cities are safe.

UNIDENTIFIED MAN #2: How are we going to maintain the city?

Read more
Environment
10:29 am
Wed September 24, 2014

A Look Back at the Life of Matt Haley

Matt Haley
Credit matthaleycompanies.com

Matt Haley was celebrated as a successful restaurateur and a humanitarian on Delmarva.

He was struck down by a motorcycle accident in India last month.

He was recently given the James Beard Humanitarian of the Year Award in May and was on a humanitarian effort in South Asia when he was killed.

Scott Kammerer was his business partner. And Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush sat down with him to talk about the life of his friend.

Read more
The Salt
9:30 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Scientists Step Up Food Fraud Efforts Following Horse Meat Scandal

The French enjoy horse meat — here's a horse meat butcher in Paris. But even the French were angry that they had been paying beef prices for it last year.
Thomas Coex AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 11:35 am

Last year, the great European horse meat scandal alerted consumers around the world to food fraud.

Read more
NPR Story
5:05 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Can Climate Legislation Pass In Washington's Political Environment?

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

We're going to find out now more about the Obama administration's climate plans from U.S. Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz. Secretary Moniz, welcome to the program.

U.S. ENERGY SECRETARY ERNEST MONIZ: Thank you very much, Audie.

Read more
NPR Story
5:05 am
Wed September 24, 2014

Obama Requests All Nations Participate In Climate Treaty

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 1:31 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Heads of state from over 100 countries are in New York City this week discussing ways to slow climate change. NPR's Christopher Joyce reports it's a dry run for a scheduled effort to draft a new treaty.

Read more
The Salt
3:46 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Before You Take A Bite Of That Mushroom, Consider This

This grocery store packet of porcini mushrooms contained a surprise: three species of fungi never before named or described.
Bryn Dentinger/Royal Botanical Gardens, Kew

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 6:03 pm

If you haven't been DNA-sequencing your dinner lately, you've been missing out. In particular, we suggest examining those spongy, wild fungi before you lay them on your pizza.

Bryn Dentinger and Laura Suz, mycologists with the Royal Botanic Gardens in Surrey, England, were curious about what was in their marketplace 'shrooms. So they bought a packet of dried Chinese porcini and took it to the lab.

Read more
The Two-Way
1:38 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Obama Calls For More Ambitious Approach To Climate Change In U.N. Speech

President Obama speaks at the U.N. Climate Summit on Tuesday. Discussing America's past, Obama told the group, "We recognize our role in creating this problem."
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 4:29 pm

In a speech at the U.N. Climate Summit, President Obama called for a more ambitious global approach to environmental issues, and noted a new push to boost what the White House calls "global resilience" in the face of climate change.

We embedded video of the president's speech here and posted updates below.

Read more
The Salt
10:49 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Your Guide To Dining From The Dump

Bounty from the bin: Thaler says you can find plenty of tasty, edible produce that's tossed out. Plastic-wrapped produce tends to be a safe bet, he says.
Courtesy of Maximus Thaler

Originally published on Thu September 25, 2014 10:35 am

When you think of a dumpster diver, you might think of someone like this:

And while you wouldn't be totally wrong, you also wouldn't exactly be describing Maximus Thaler.

Read more
Environment
5:12 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Calderon: End Fossil Fuel Subsidies, Create Carbon Tax

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:38 pm

Former Mexican President Felipe Calderon leads a group to encourage heads of state to propel climate change. He discusses the obstacles that block aggressive efforts to curb climate change.

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

Read more
Environment
4:27 pm
Mon September 22, 2014

Climate Activists Look For Solutions From Business, Diplomats

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 5:40 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Business
5:16 am
Mon September 22, 2014

Rockefeller Brothers Fund Forsakes Its Legacy

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 4:18 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Read more
Politics
3:26 am
Mon September 22, 2014

All Eyes On Obama, World Leaders At Climate Change Summit

Demonstrators make their way down Sixth Avenue in New York during the People's Climate March on Sunday.
Jason DeCrow AP

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 3:21 pm

The forecast calls for picture-perfect weather Tuesday in New York City as world leaders gather to discuss the challenge of a changing climate.

More than 120 leaders, including President Obama, are expected to attend the one-day climate summit, sponsored by the United Nations. They've been instructed to arrive with "bold ideas" to slow the rise in global temperatures.

Read more
The Two-Way
8:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Large Protests In Hundreds Of Cities Vent Ire Over Climate Change

Demonstrators gather near Columbus Circle before the start of the People's Climate March in New York Sunday. Organizers are hoping 100,000 people worldwide might participate in the rally.
Craig Ruttle AP

Originally published on Mon September 22, 2014 8:07 am

Streets in New York City and other towns were taken over by marchers Sunday in what organizers called the largest climate change protest in history. The People's Climate March was timed to draw the notice of world leaders gathering for this week's U.N. Climate Summit.

Read more
Environment
7:46 am
Sun September 21, 2014

Climate Marchers Try To Build Momentum For 2015

Originally published on Sun September 21, 2014 11:15 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Pages