Environment

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Many people are wondering whether climate change has anything to do with Harvey's size and impact. NPR's science correspondent Christopher Joyce covers climate issues, and he is with us now. Hi, there.

CHRISTOPHER JOYCE, BYLINE: Hi, Kelly.

The rain just won't stop. More than two days after Hurricane Harvey made landfall on the Texas coast, the downgraded storm continues to dump water across the region.

So much rain has fallen in the Houston area that the National Weather Service has had to revamp its charts.

Climate researchers agree that climate change can be partially to blame for the devastation. Here's how it has (and hasn't) shaped the course of the storm.

No matter where you go in Kenya — from the vast expanses of the Great Rift Valley to the white-sand beaches off the Indian Ocean — one thing is a constant: plastic bags.

They hang off trees and collect along curbs. And in Kibera, a sprawling slum in Nairobi, there are so many of them that they form hills.

The catastrophic flooding in southeast Texas from now-Tropical Storm Harvey is grim, but amidst the disaster, there's also some good news.

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High Floods Trap Houston Residents In Home

Aug 27, 2017

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And we are continuing our special coverage of the storm in Houston by talking to the mayor of Houston, Sylvester Turner. He's with us on the line now. Mr. Mayor, thank you so much for speaking with us.

SYLVESTER TURNER: Thank you for having me.

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Houston Weather Forecast Update

Aug 27, 2017

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As we said earlier, Harvey has been downgraded from hurricane to tropical storm, but the rain is still falling and causing lots of problems, as we've been hearing. Joining us now is Eric Berger. He is a meteorologist of Space City Weather. Eric, thanks so much for joining us.

Assessing Houston-Area Damage

Aug 27, 2017

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So as all this continues, a big question will be what to do with all the people who are being displaced by floodwaters. We're joined now by NPR's Debbie Elliott. She's in Beaumont, Texas, which is east of Houston. Debbie, thanks so much for joining us.

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We return to our main story, the catastrophic flooding in Texas, where rains from Tropical Storm Harvey are pouring down. We've reached Andrew Schneider, reporter with Houston Public Media. He's trapped in a building in Houston. Andrew, welcome.

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Hurricane Harvey left a lot of damage — not only along the Texas coastal towns where it made landfall Friday, but also in communities like Sienna Plantation, in Missouri City, about 20 miles south of Houston.

"It's true when they tell you that it sounds like a freight train coming through," Linda Varnado says, "because that's what it is ... and it's a sound that I don't want to hear ever again."

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One Last Hike Of Summer

Aug 26, 2017

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Summer's winding to an end. Children are headed back to school. But there's still time for a weekend escape. Let's go for a hike - ouch, my bunions - in New York's Adirondack Mountains with North Country Public Radio's Brian Mann.

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Cambodia needs energy. Almost half of this Southeast Asian country is without electricity. Work will soon be completed on the country's largest hydropower project to date, the Sesan 2 dam, on the Sesan River, a tributary of the Mekong River near the border with Laos.

The dam is an $800 million joint Chinese-Cambodian venture from a company called Hydro Power Lower Sesan 2 Co. Ltd. When it's finished, two nearby villages, Srekor and Kbal Romeas, will be underwater.

In Northern Colorado, there are growing concerns in neighborhoods and communities about oil and gas wells sitting too close to their homes and schools. Last Spring, the danger became clearer when a home exploded in Firestone, Colo., killing two people, after a small pipeline connected to a well began leaking odorless gas into the basement.

Part 2 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Moshe Szyf's TED Talk

Many think genetic makeup is fixed from the moment we're born. But Moshe Szyf says this understanding is incomplete because our experiences and environment have the power to change our basic biology.

About Moshe Szyf

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Robert Sapolsky's TED Talk

Neuroscientist Robert Sapolsky says nearly all aspects of human behavior are explained by biology: from developments millions of years in the past to microscopic reactions happening in the present.

About Robert Sapolsky

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Hardwired.

About Brian Little's TED Talk

Are you introverted or extroverted? It depends. When it comes to personality, psychologist Brian Little says we can actually act against our biology — especially if we pursue a "core life project."

About Brian Little

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Twenty-five years ago today, we were monitoring one of the strongest hurricanes to ever make landfall in the U.S.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED BROADCAST)

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