Environment

Environment
4:23 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Shrinking Glaciers Could Squeeze Washington's Water Supply

Originally published on Fri November 21, 2014 6:36 pm

Washington state is home to more glaciers than any other state in the lower 48, and they're receding faster than ever before. That's a problem for the Pacific Northwest, where glaciers are crucial for drinking water, hydropower generation and salmon survival.

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TED Radio Hour
9:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Why Should We Look At The Clouds More Often?

"Clouds are the most egalitarian of nature's displays 'cause we all have a great view of the sky" - Gavin Pretor-Pinney
James Duncan Davidson TED

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet

About Gavin Pretor-Pinney's TED Talk

You don't need to plan an exotic trip to find beauty and perspective. Just look up, says Gavin Pretor-Pinney, founder of the Cloud Appreciation Society. Pretor-Pinney calls for us all to stop for a moment every day and admire the beauty in the sky above and in our everyday lives.

About Gavin Pretor-Pinney

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TED Radio Hour
9:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Why Would Someone Choose Silence For 17 Years?

"I began to learn at least what other people felt and what they wanted to say before cutting them off with my own diatribe. I used to do that." - John Francis
Andrew Heavens TED

Part 4 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet

About John Francis' TED Talk

For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a silent message of environmental respect. For 17 of those years he didn't speak a word.

About John Francis

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TED Radio Hour
9:21 am
Fri November 21, 2014

How Do Years Of Silence Change Someone?

Environmentalist John Francis speaks about the 17 years of his life during which he never spoke a word.
Andrew Heavens Courtesy of TED

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Quiet. Listen to second part of this story here.

About John Francis's TED Talk

For almost three decades, John Francis has been a planetwalker, traveling the globe by foot and sail with a silent message of environmental respect and responsibility. For 17 of those years he didn't speak a word.

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Energy
8:33 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Turkey Looks For Energy In An Abundant Resource: Pistachio Shells

Pistachios, a possible energy source for a Turkish city.
Anadolu Agency/Getty

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 1:13 pm

What would you do with thousands of tons of leftover nutshells? It's a question that Turkey — the world's third-biggest producer of pistachios, behind Iran and the United States — has been asking itself for years.

Usually discarded pistachio shells end up in landfills, but nut-loving Turks think they've found a far better solution by turning it into biogas, an alternative fuel produced by the breakdown of organic matter.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Wed November 19, 2014

WATCH: How Carbon Dioxide Travels Around The Globe

Carbon dioxide is represented by the red on this map.
NASA

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 1:10 pm

We're a few days late on this, but it's too cool not to share.

Here's a NASA video made from a new model that shows how carbon dioxide moves throughout Earth:

NASA explains what you just watched:

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The Two-Way
6:22 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Senate Rejects Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, In A Close Vote

Pipes for Transcanada Corp.'s planned Keystone XL oil pipeline are stacked at a depot in Gascoyne, N.D. The House of Representatives approved the Keystone XL pipeline Friday; the Senate voted against it on Tuesday.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 6:52 pm

The controversial Keystone XL pipeline project to expand an oil pipeline running from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico has failed the approval of Congress, after the Senate voted against the project Tuesday. The House passed its version of the bill Friday.

An early tally showed 35 for and 30 against the bill; subsequent calls for senators' votes failed to net the 60 votes needed for passage. The decisive 41st "No" vote came with 55 votes in favor, and the final tally was 59-41.

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Politics
5:21 pm
Tue November 18, 2014

Sen. Landrieu Takes Up Keystone Cause Ahead Of Runoff Election

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 9:31 pm

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

Energy
6:38 pm
Mon November 17, 2014

What You Need To Know About The Keystone XL Oil Pipeline

Pipes for TransCanada's planned Keystone XL pipeline are stored in Gascoyne, N.D. The U.S. House has voted to approve the proposed project, which would allow crude oil to flow from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico. The Senate plans to vote Tuesday on legislation that would greenlight the project.
Andrew Cullen Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 7:36 pm

Update at 7:35 p.m. ET: The Senate voted against completing the Keystone pipeline.

The remaining portion of the Keystone pipeline project, if completed, will be fewer than 1,200 miles long — just a fraction of the existing 2.6 million miles of oil and gas pipelines running beneath our feet in the United States.

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The Salt
3:47 am
Mon November 17, 2014

To End Food Waste, Change Needs To Begin At Home

Sherri Erkel and her daughter, Asa, cook dinner in their kitchen in Iowa City, Iowa. The Erkel family is part of an EPA study measuring the amount of food wasted in U.S. homes.
Pat Aylward NET News

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:24 pm

It's a hot summer day outside Lincoln, Neb., and Jack Chappelle is knee-deep in trash. He's wading in to rotting vegetables, half-eaten burgers and tater tots. Lots of tater tots.

"You can get a lot of tater tots out of schools," Chappelle says. "It doesn't matter if it's elementary, middle school or high school. Tater tots. Bar none."

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Environment
9:35 am
Sun November 16, 2014

Patch Of Pacific Water Is Warmest In Decades

Originally published on Sun November 16, 2014 12:25 pm

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

Environment
7:49 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Success Record is Mixed For Global Climate Deals

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 10:21 am

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

The Two-Way
11:13 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Climate Change To Make Lightning More Common, Study Says

Lightning strikes near Ben Hill Griffin Stadium at Florida Field in Gainesville, Fla., in August. A new study says a rise in average global temperatures due to climate change will increase the frequency of lightning strikes.
Phil Sandlin AP

Originally published on Sun November 23, 2014 7:46 pm

The likelihood of getting struck by lightning has long been a metaphor for something with an exceedingly remote probability.

But that could be changing.

A new study in the journal Science says that temperature increases due to climate change are ushering in a new era that could mean by the end of the century lightning strikes will be about half again as common as they were at the start of this century.

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The Two-Way
8:11 am
Fri November 14, 2014

Judge Denies BP's Attempt To Avoid Up To $18 Billion In Fines

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 12:20 pm

After a federal judge ruled that BP's "gross negligence" and "willful misconduct" were to blame for 2010's huge Gulf of Mexico oil spill, the company was exposed to billions in federal fines. The company asked the judge last month to reconsider. And on Thursday, he said no.

The ruling against BP could trigger up to $18 billion in fines under the Clean Water Act — far more than the $3.5 billion the oil company has reportedly set aside for that purpose.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports:

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The Salt
5:09 am
Fri November 14, 2014

With Drought The New Normal, Calif. Farmers Find They Have To Change

California sheep rancher Dan Macon had to sell almost half of his herd because the drought left him without enough feed.
Kirk Siegler/NPR

Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 11:37 am

Ask Northern California sheep rancher Dan Macon what this drought is doing to his pocketbook and he'll break it down for you real quick.

"It's like if you woke up one morning and lost 40 percent of the equity in your house," he says. "Our primary investment in our ranch is in these sheep and we just sold 40 percent of our stock."

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Asia
5:08 am
Fri November 14, 2014

China Agrees To Pollution Limits, But Will It Make A Difference?

A jogger goes for a run amid heavy smog in Shanghai on Wednesday. China has for the first time agreed to limit its carbon emissions, but critics are questioning whether the move goes far enough.
AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 18, 2014 5:58 pm

All this week, Beijing residents have had a breath of fresh air. With world leaders in town for a summit meeting, China shut down factories, took many cars off the roads and declared a week-long vacation for many Beijing residents.

If only the skies were always this blue, some residents thought.

But of course no quick fix will solve the problem. China promised for the first time that its emissions will continue to climb until peaking around the year 2030.

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The Two-Way
7:37 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Congress Will Vote On Keystone XL Pipeline, With An Eye On Louisiana

Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., chair of the Senate energy committee, spoke Wednesday about getting congressional approval for the Canada-to-Texas Keystone XL pipeline. With her is Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., a member of the committee.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 11:19 am

Two bills that would authorize building the controversial Keystone XL pipeline will soon come to a vote in Congress, as their sponsors — Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., and Rep. Bill Cassidy, R-La. — head toward a runoff election next month to decide who will win the Senate race.

NPR's Debbie Elliott reports:

"On the Senate floor, Landrieu called for action on the Canada-to-Texas pipeline project, saying, 'I believe with a push we could actually get the votes that we need to pass the Keystone pipeline.'

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Environment
6:16 am
Thu November 13, 2014

Climate Change Deal Requires U.S., China To Overhaul Energy Use

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 7:54 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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The Salt
6:54 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

40 Percent Of The World's Cropland Is In Or Near Cities

These farmers grow maize, onions and other vegetables in a city in Ghana. They use groundwater to irrigate their crops.
Nana Kofi Acquah IWMI

Urban agriculture is clearly taking off around the world — in backyards, on rooftops and on local farms.

But just how much of the world's cropland can we really call urban? That's been a big mystery.

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Science
4:42 pm
Wed November 12, 2014

For U.S.-China Deal On Greenhouse Gases, The Devil Is In The Details

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 5:03 pm

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

The Two-Way
7:08 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China And U.S., Titans Of Carbon Pollution, Move To Cut Gases

Chinese President Xi Jinping and President Obama, seen here during a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, announced pledges to reduce greenhouse gases.
HUANG JINGWEN Xinhua /Landov

Originally published on Thu November 13, 2014 12:30 pm

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

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Environment
6:12 am
Wed November 12, 2014

China, U.S. Pledge To Limit Greenhouse Gases

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 9:36 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

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Animals
4:17 pm
Tue November 11, 2014

Regulators Ban Cod Fishing In Gulf Of Maine As Stocks Dwindle

Fishermen Ed Stewart (left) and Tannis Goodsen mend groundfishing nets on Merrill Wharf, in Portland, Maine, last November.
Robert F. Bukaty AP

Originally published on Wed November 12, 2014 2:13 pm

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is shutting down cod fishing, from Provincetown, Mass., up to the Canadian border, in an effort to reverse plummeting numbers of the iconic fish in the Gulf of Maine.

Starting Thursday, no fishermen — commercial or recreational — may trawl or use certain large nets that might catch cod for the next six months. Local cod fishermen, who now face an uncertain future, say the government hasn't done enough to maintain cod populations, and they challenge NOAA's cod counts.

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Goats and Soda
4:23 pm
Fri November 7, 2014

How Africa's Oldest National Park Can Benefit Both Gorillas And Locals

Chief warden Emmanuel de Merode calls Virunga "the greatest park on Earth" for its remarkable diversity, including rare mountain gorillas.
Courtesy of Virunga Film

Originally published on Fri November 7, 2014 7:42 pm

In a new documentary, Virunga, mountain gorilla orphans play with their handler in a nondescript concrete building in a Congolese national park. They jump. They tackle each other. They hug. They play pranks.

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Politics
4:35 pm
Thu November 6, 2014

What Does A GOP Majority Mean For Environmental Policy?

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 6:33 pm

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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Environment
3:26 am
Thu November 6, 2014

Republican Sweep Highlights Climate Change Politics In Alaska

Oil, carried here by the Trans-Alaska Pipeline, is fundamental to the state's economy. But Alaskans also face the effects of climate change in their daily lives.
Al Grillo AP

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 11:15 am

On election night in a hotel ballroom in Anchorage, Alaska, Sen. Lisa Murkowski picked up a chair and waved it over her head.

"I am the chairmaaaaaaaaaaan!" she shouted.

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Politics
4:21 pm
Wed November 5, 2014

Climate Change Activists Come Up Short In Midterm Elections

Originally published on Thu November 6, 2014 10:23 am

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

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

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The Two-Way
7:44 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Invasive Bug Prompts Quarantine In Pennsylvania Townships

An adult spotted lanternfly is seen, its wings spread to show a colorful hind wing. The invasive pest has sparked a quarantine in Pennsylvania.
Holly Raguza Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 3:07 pm

The spotted lanternfly has officially arrived in the U.S., and leaders in Pennsylvania are hoping it won't be staying long. The invasive pest poses a threat to fruit orchards and grape vines, along with forests and the timber industry. It was detected in Berks County, northwest of Philadelphia.

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The Salt
1:46 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

On The Trail To Preserve Appalachia's Bounty Of Heirloom Crops

Edgar Meadows has been growing Bloody Butcher corn, an heirloom variety, for generations. The name Bloody Butcher refers to the flecks of red mixed onto the white kernels, like a butcher's apron, Meadows says.
Roxy Todd West Viginia Public Broadcasting

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 1:00 pm

Appalachia may be one of the poorest regions of the U.S., but when it comes to heirloom crops, it's got the riches.

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NPR Story
5:04 am
Mon November 3, 2014

U.N. Report Warns Of 'Irreversible' Damage To Earth's Climate

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 8:57 pm

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

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

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