Environment

Krulwich Wonders...
11:38 am
Wed January 2, 2013

Grrr, Said The Grylloblattid. I'm Not Leaving. Not Yet.

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 5:01 pm

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Environment
4:49 pm
Tue January 1, 2013

Shell Faces New Questions After Rig Runs Aground

Originally published on Tue January 8, 2013 2:19 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

A massive deep-sea oil rig is still aground in shallow water near Kodiak Island in Alaska. The rig was being towed from its offshore drilling site in the Arctic to its winter harbor in Seattle when it broke loose in a fierce storm. It ran aground last night. Officials say the rig appears to be stable, and it does not leak any of its 150,000 gallons of diesel, lube oil or hydraulic fluids aboard.

But as NPR's Howard Berkes reports, there continues to be concern about potential environmental damage.

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The Two-Way
10:59 am
Tue January 1, 2013

Oil Drilling Rig Runs Aground In Gulf Of Alaska

Waves crash over the Kulluk oil rig, which washed aground on Sitkalidak Island, Alaska. Officials say aircraft have not spotted any signs of a fuel leak from the rig, which reportedly does not contain crude oil.
PA3 Jon Klingenberg Coast Guard

Originally published on Wed January 2, 2013 6:44 am

An oil drilling rig holding more than 150,000 gallons of diesel, lubricating oil, and hydraulic fluid has run aground near Kodiak Island in the Gulf of Alaska, after it was being towed during a storm. The crew was evacuated before the rig was incapacitated.

"The rig ran aground in a storm, with waves up to 35 feet and wind to 70 miles per hour," reports Jeff Brady, on NPR's Newscast. The Shell Oil rig is "about 250 miles south of Anchorage," Jeff says.

Update at 6:13 p.m. ET. No Sign of a Leak.

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Environment
3:29 am
Mon December 31, 2012

A Busy And Head-Scratching 2012 Hurricane Season

This satellite image from Oct. 28 shows Hurricane Sandy in the Atlantic Ocean before making landfall.
NASA via Getty Images

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 5:46 am

Superstorm Sandy is what most people will remember from the 2012 Atlantic hurricane season. But Sandy was just one of 10 hurricanes this year — a hurricane season that was both busy and strange.

Late summer is when the hurricane season usually gets busy. But Greg Jenkins, a professor of atmospheric science at Howard University, says this year was different.

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Environment
5:32 pm
Sun December 30, 2012

2013: A Tipping Year For Climate Change?

Cracks form in the bed of a dried lake in Waterloo, Neb. The drought withered crops and dried out lakes across the nation's midsection in 2012.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:55 pm

This year's extreme weather was one for the record books; 2012 is slated to be the hottest summer on record.

The worst drought in 50 years struck the South and Midwest, devastating the U.S. agriculture industry. Deadly floods and superstorms paralyzed the northeast and other parts of the country.

While the public is in shock by extreme weather events that have taken place, environmentalist Bill McKibben and other members of the science community say it is a result of climate change.

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Shots - Health News
7:42 am
Sat December 29, 2012

As Biodiversity Declines, Tropical Diseases Thrive

Mosquitoes like this one can carry the virus that causes dengue fever, which may become a bigger problem in some regions as biodiversity is lost.
James Gathany CDC Public Health Image Library

Originally published on Mon December 31, 2012 9:24 am

Global health advocates often argue that the tropical diseases that plague many countries, such as malaria and dengue, can be conquered simply with more money for health care – namely medicines and vaccines.

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U.S.
4:18 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

Is It Morally Wrong For U.S. To Export Coal?

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 5:06 pm

The Seattle area is seeing widespread, well-organized opposition to an export industry: coal. Thousands of people have turned out to express their disgust with a plan to build export terminals on Puget Sound to ship American coal to Asia. Opponents cite noise, traffic delays, coal dust and global warming.

The Picture Show
3:32 pm
Fri December 28, 2012

This Milk Production Was Brought To You By A Robot

Photographer Freya Najade journeys into the weird sci-fi world of Europe's agricultural production. In one cow-milking facility she visited, "two people are needed to milk twice a day 300 cows," she writes.
Freya Najade

We all have an inkling of how our food is grown these days, but increasingly we don't really know what it looks like. You'd probably recognize a tomato plant or a cornfield — but these photos offer a perspective that a lot of us haven't seen.

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Environment
6:37 am
Fri December 28, 2012

Administrator Lisa Jackson To Leave EPA

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 3:32 pm

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Also last month, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency joked to an environmental law conference: Everyone who wants my job, stand up. Yesterday, Lisa Jackson turned serious and made it official: She's leaving the EPA next month.

As NPR's Selena Simmons-Duffin reports, there are mixed feelings about Jackson's departure.

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U.S.
3:59 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

EPA Chief Announces Resignation

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Audie Cornish.

The head of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that she's stepping down. Lisa Jackson won praise from environmentalists for efforts to cut air pollution and greenhouse gases. But she faced fierce opposition from the coal industry and congressional Republicans. And she sometimes found herself at odds with the White House.

NPR's Veronique LaCapra has our story.

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U.S.
3:31 pm
Thu December 27, 2012

An Abundance Of Extreme Weather Has Many On Edge

A parking lot full of yellow taxis is flooded as a result of Hurricane Sandy on Oct. 30 in Hoboken, N.J.
Charles Sykes AP

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 9:40 pm

Opinion polls show 2012's extreme weather — producing wildfires, floods and drought — has more people making a connection with climate change. For Marti Andrews in southern New Jersey, a turning point was the summer's hurricane-like derecho.

"I don't want to say I freaked out about it, but holy crap, it scared me," she says. It packed winds up to 90 miles per hour and nonstop lightning, which Andrews says looked like some wild disco display in the sky.

"I've never seen anything like that," she says. "I sat there on the couch thinking, 'Oh my God, we're all gonna die!' "

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The Two-Way
10:38 am
Thu December 27, 2012

EPA Administrator Jackson Stepping Down

EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Lisa Jackson, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, is stepping down.

The Associated Press reports that:

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Environment
5:18 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Storm Pummels Nation's Midsection As It Heads East

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Bad winter weather is making life difficult for hundreds of thousands of holiday travelers. Yesterday and today, much of the middle and eastern half of the U.S. was hit with blizzard-like conditions. As NPR's Pam Fessler reports, the storm's next stop is New England.

PAM FESSLER, BYLINE: The band of nasty weather has been working its way up from the South, where on Christmas Day residents of Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama got a rare and destructive surprise.

(SOUNDBITE OF NEWSCAST)

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NPR Story
3:52 pm
Wed December 26, 2012

Climate Change Gets Real For Americans

Originally published on Wed December 26, 2012 7:24 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Now to a scientist looking back at the year that's about to end, commentator Adam Frank is an astrophysicist. And in the category of science, he is confident about the headline for 2012.

ADAM FRANK: Something remarkable has happened that may etch this year into history for centuries to come. Twenty-twelve's importance comes not through elections, economic shifts or the new movements in art. No, 2012 may well be remembered for something far more elemental.

This was the year that climate change got real for Americans.

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Energy
2:25 pm
Tue December 25, 2012

Texas Man Takes Last Stand Against Keystone XL Pipeline

David Daniel, an east Texas landowner, was so determined to block the Keystone XL pipeline from coming through his forest that he built an elaborate network of treehouses eight stories above the ground.
Maggie Starbard NPR

Originally published on Tue December 25, 2012 4:20 pm

An east Texas landowner was so determined to block the Keystone XL pipeline from coming through his forest that he took to his trees and built an elaborate network of treehouses eight stories above the ground.

"It popped into my head a long time ago, actually," says 45-year-old David Daniel. "If I had to climb my butt on top of a tree and sit there, I would. It started with that."

It turned out to be Daniel's last stand in a long battle against the Keystone XL, a pipeline project that would bring oil from Canada all the way to refineries in the Texas Gulf Coast.

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Environment
6:48 am
Sun December 23, 2012

Extreme Weather Was Front And Center In 2012

Originally published on Sun December 23, 2012 12:41 pm

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:45 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

An Urban Tree Farm Grows In Detroit

Mike Score, president of Hantz Farms, shows off a small-scare version of what Hantz Woodlands will look like.
Sarah Hulett for NPR

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 9:21 pm

An entrepreneur says he's got a plan to curb urban blight in parts of Detroit. He's buying up acre after acre of abandoned lots and planting thousands of trees. But where backers of the plan see a visionary proposal, critics see a land grab.

Entrepreneur and Detroiter John Hantz, owner of Hantz Farms and the tree-planting effort called Hantz Woodlands, wants to plant at least 15,000 trees on about 140 acres. Hantz promises to clear out all the trash and keep the grass cut, things the city cannot afford to do now.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Fri December 21, 2012

Birding for the Holidays

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 1:08 pm

The Audubon's 113th Christmas Bird Count is underway, and thousands of volunteers are taking part this year. Ornithologist David Bonter, and Gary Langham, Audubon's chief scientist, share tips on which species to look out for, and how even birding beginners can get involved.

The Salt
3:21 am
Fri December 21, 2012

Drought, Economics And Your Holiday Feast

Think your prime rib holiday dinner is more pricey this year? You're right. But maybe not for the reason you think.
Todd Patterson iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri December 21, 2012 11:16 am

Nobody really wants to think about economics, the famously dismal science, while sitting down at a table loaded with love and calories. Like it or not, though, supply and demand drive food production and set the price of dinner.

So, in a season of feasts, what are the business stories on your holiday menu?

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The Picture Show
2:02 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

An (Amazing) Interactive Tour Of Everest

David Breashears GlacierWorks

Wow. Photographer David Breashears and his team at GlacierWorks are working on an interactive tour of Mount Everest. Basically, you start with a wide view, then click any of the hot spots — or little green boxes — and off you go.

That's all I'll say. Just go look at it and you'll see what I mean.

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Environment
12:34 pm
Thu December 20, 2012

A 3.8 Billion-Pixel Tour Of Mount Everest

A screen grab of an interactive image of Mount Everest by GlacierWorks
GlacierWorks

Originally published on Mon February 10, 2014 2:57 pm

Photographer David Breashears of GlacierWorks was on All Things Considered Monday to talk about a new way of photographing the Himalayan region: By stitching together 400-plus images into one giant, zoomable, interactive image — or a "gigapan" containing more than a billion pixels.

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Environment
5:18 pm
Mon December 17, 2012

Photo Project Tracks Climate Change On Everest

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:18 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

From NPR News, this is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED. I'm Robert Siegel.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

And I'm Melissa Block.

Mount Everest is a symbol of excellence and of danger. The world's highest peak means success to mountaineers. And it's also, according to filmmaker David Breashears, a canary in the coalmine of climate change. Breashears has just returned from a trip to Nepal where he's been gathering extraordinary images of Everest's retreating glaciers.

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Environment
5:35 am
Mon December 17, 2012

EPA Targets Deadliest Pollution: Soot

The Environmental Protection Agency is tightening the standard for how much soot in the air is safe to breathe. Fine particles come from the combustion of fossil fuels by cars and industrial facilities. They're linked to all kinds of health problems, including heart attacks and lung ailments like asthma. States will be required to clean up their air to the level specified by the new standard.

The Salt
11:48 am
Sat December 15, 2012

Your Kitchen Trash Reborn As Abstract Art

Mixed Drinks
Courtesy of Huguette Roe

Originally published on Thu December 20, 2012 1:37 pm

Consider the lowly soda can. After the pop, the fizz, the guzzle, it's dumped into a recycling bin and chucked curbside with the rest of the trash.

But just as it has reached a sort of existential low point — empty, forgotten, discarded — voila! The can transforms into a thing of beauty.

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Environment
6:48 am
Sat December 15, 2012

'Miracle' Tree Stands Tall In Japan After Tsunami

Originally published on Sun December 16, 2012 1:43 pm

Transcript

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Japan's tsunami and earthquake last year essentially erased the village of Rikuzentakata. Also lost, their famous coastal pine forest, all 70,000 trees, except for one. NPR News's Chris Benderev has the story of the miracle pine tree.

CHRIS BENDEREV, BYLINE: Yoshihisa Suzuki is standing on the beach, flipping through old photos, looking for one in particular. Then he finds it.

YOSHIHISA SUZUKI: (Foreign language spoken)

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NPR Story
11:59 am
Fri December 14, 2012

Using Science to Care for Your Christmas Tree

Nothing beats the smell of a live Christmas tree in your home, but how can you keep the needles on your tree and off your carpet? Rick Bates, professor of horticulture at Penn State University, offers tips for how to properly care for your Christmas tree this holiday season.

Environment
2:07 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

Drought Continues: Farmers, Shippers Feel Pressure

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 2:17 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. We're in the worst drought since the 1950s, according to NOAA, and while we associated extended dry spells with summer, conditions out west have remained unchanged since the warm weather ended.

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Environment
12:00 pm
Thu December 13, 2012

The Boom And Bust Of Fracking

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, those apps you've been downloading to keep the kids occupied during car rides and sports practices? It turns out, according to federal regulators, they are collecting all kinds of information that they aren't telling you about. So we will. In a few minutes.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:22 am
Thu December 13, 2012

New York Planners Prep For A 'New Normal' Of Powerful Storms

A woman with the Army Corps of Engineers documents a destroyed home last month in a residential area of New Dorp Beach on Staten Island in New York City.
Robert Nickelsberg Getty Images

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 9:03 am

It will take tens of billions of dollars to repair the damage wrought by Superstorm Sandy. But scientists who study climate change say repair is not enough. As the climate warms, ice sheets and glaciers will melt, raising the sea level. That means coastal storms will more likely cause flooding.

So New Yorkers, local politicians and scientists face a tough decision: How to spend limited funds to defend themselves from what climate experts call "the new normal."

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All Tech Considered
6:00 pm
Wed December 12, 2012

Who Needs College? Young Entrepeneuer Bets On Bright Idea For Solar Energy

Eden Full took time off from her studies at Princeton University to work on her startup full time, after being selected for the inaugural class of the 20 Under 20 Thiel Fellowship.
Della Rollins

Originally published on Thu December 13, 2012 10:44 am

Eighteen months ago Eden Full was finishing up her sophomore year at Princeton University. She was on the crew team as a coxswain. She had spent the previous summer in Kenya building an innovative, low-cost contraption to make solar panels more efficient.

Full was glowingly successful — the kind of college student who ends up profiled in alumni magazines.

But Full had decided to drop out.

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