Environment

Environment
3:18 am
Wed November 14, 2012

A 'Green' Gold Rush? Calif. Firm Turns Trash To Gas

Energy Of The Future? California company Sierra Energy is testing out a reactor that turns garbage — like these wood chips, metal fragments and plastics — into synthetic gas that can then be turned into a low-carbon diesel fuel.
Christopher Joyce NPR

Originally published on Wed November 14, 2012 8:17 pm

Second of a two-part series. Read Part 1

California starts the ball rolling Wednesday on a controversial scheme to keep the planet from overheating. Businesses will have to get a permit if they emit greenhouse gases.

Some permits will be auctioned today; the rest are free. The big idea here is the state is putting a ceiling on emissions.

It's a gamble. And for this top-down climate plan to work, it has to usher in a greener, more efficient economy.

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Environment
5:30 pm
Tue November 13, 2012

Calif. To Begin Rationing Greenhouse Gas Emissions

California begins a new plan to ration greenhouse gas emissions from large companies on Wednesday. Big companies must limit the greenhouse gases they emit and get permits for those emissions. Above, the Department of Water and Power San Fernando Valley Generating Station, in Sun Valley, Calif., in 2008.
David McNew Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 6:18 pm

California begins a controversial experiment to curb climate change on Wednesday: The state will start rationing the amount of greenhouse gases companies can emit.

It's the most ambitious effort to control climate change in the country. Some say the plan will cost dearly; supporters say it's the route to a cleaner economy.

Here's how the climate deal works. Big companies must limit the greenhouse gases they emit — from smokestacks to tailpipes — and they have to get permits for those emissions. The clock starts Jan. 1.

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Environment
2:01 pm
Mon November 12, 2012

Despite Risk, Many Residents Can't Resist The Water

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 9:43 am

Transcript

JACKI LYDEN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Jacki Lyden, in Washington. Neal Conan is away. Come hell or high water, these days, it can feel like the same thing. More than half of Americans live within 50 miles of the coast, and still more live by rivers and lakes. What is this primal human pull to the water's edge?

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Environment
3:23 am
Mon November 12, 2012

Weighing The Prospects Of The Keystone XL Pipeline

President Obama speaks at the southern site of the Keystone XL pipeline in May in Cushing, Okla. Obama is under pressure to make a decision on the future of the pipeline during his second term.
Tom Pennington Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 13, 2012 10:17 am

Among the difficult decisions facing President Obama is whether to give the go-ahead for the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline, which would bring oil from Canada down to refineries in the Gulf of Mexico.

Environmentalists want it blocked. They are concerned about endangering the Nebraska sand hills, under which is the largest aquifer in the country. It provides drinking water and irrigation water for several states.

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The Salt
3:31 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Sky-High Vegetables: Vertical Farming Sprouts In Singapore

Mah Bow Tan, a member of Singapore's Parliament, inspects Chinese cabbage growing at the commercial vertical farm. Troughs of the veggies stack up to 30 feet in the greenhouse.
Courtesy of MNDsingapore.

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 3:44 pm

Singapore is taking local farming to the next level, literally, with the opening of its first commercial vertical farm.

Entrepreneur Jack Ng says he can produce five times as many vegetables as regular farming looking up instead of out. Half a ton of his Sky Greens bok choy and Chinese cabbages, grown inside 120 slender 30-foot towers, are already finding their way into Singapore's grocery stores.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Climate Change Takes Flight in New Novel

Originally published on Fri May 31, 2013 9:53 am

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

Here's a big, giant question for you: Why do we believe what we believe? And how is it that two people can look at the exact same set of circumstances and see two completely different things? That philosophical question is at the center of a new book where, to put it another way, one person's beautiful miracle is another person's ecological crisis.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Claims Thousands of NYU Lab Mice

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:03 pm

Transcript

FLORA LICHTMAN, HOST:

This is SCIENCE FRIDAY. I'm Flora Lichtman, filling in for Ira Flatow this week. Last week, when Hurricane Sandy sent a surge of salty water into cities and towns up and down the East Coast, among the casualties were thousands of research subjects: lab mice. A building at New York University's Medical Center flooded, and thousands of mice and rats that were being used to study cancer, heart disease and all kinds of other medical disorders died.

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NPR Story
12:02 pm
Fri November 9, 2012

Scientists Solve Mystery of Earth's Shifting Poles

Originally published on Fri November 9, 2012 1:03 pm

Did you know that Earth's solid exterior can move around over its core, causing the planet's poles to wander back and forth? Adam Maloof, associate professor of geosciences at Princeton University, discusses the consequences of these shifts, and what may be causing them.

Environment
4:54 pm
Wed November 7, 2012

Can Dumping Iron Into The Sea Fight Climate Change?

John Disney (second from left) looks over the underwater probe used in his company's ocean fertilization project, at a news conference in Vancouver, British Columbia, in October.
Andy Clark Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 5:50 pm

Environmental officials in Canada are investigating what some have called a "rogue climate change experiment." Over the summer, a native village on the coast of British Columbia dumped more than 100 tons of iron sulfate into the ocean. The idea was to cause a bloom of plankton, which would then capture greenhouse gases.

That's the theory, anyway. The reality is a bit more complicated.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
5:08 pm
Tue November 6, 2012

Protection From The Sea Is Possible, But Expensive

Residents of the Colonial Place neighborhood watch as heavy rain from Hurricane Sandy floods the Lafayette River in Norfolk, Va., on Oct. 28.
Rich-Joseph Facun Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed November 7, 2012 9:14 am

While New York City and other places along the Northeast coast are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy, they're also looking ahead to how they can prevent flooding in the future, when sea level rise will make the problem worse. They may be able to take some lessons from coastal Norfolk, Va., which is far ahead of most cities when it comes to flood protection.

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Superstorm Sandy: Before, During And Beyond
3:19 am
Tue November 6, 2012

Norfolk, Va., Puts Flooding Survival Plan To The Test

Motorists drive through standing water at an intersection flooded from the remnants of Tropical Storm Ida in the Ocean View area of Norfolk, Va., in November 2009.
Steve Helber AP

Originally published on Tue November 6, 2012 12:18 pm

Superstorm Sandy got officials in New York and New Jersey talking about how to prevent flooding in a time of global warming and sea level rise.

But the place on the East Coast that's most vulnerable to flooding is several hundred miles south, around Norfolk, Va. — and Norfolk has already spent many years studying how to survive the rising waters.

Scientists say what Norfolk has learned is especially important in light of new research showing that the coastline from North Carolina to Boston will experience even more sea level rise than other areas.

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Around the Nation
1:00 pm
Mon November 5, 2012

Sandy Recovery Effort Faces A New Storm

Originally published on Mon November 5, 2012 2:08 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan in Washington. Since this time last week, parts of the Northeast have been transformed. The lights are back on in many areas, the floodwaters retreated, most public transportation is up and running, and most New York City schools reopened this morning. But wreckage still blocks streets, hundreds of thousands still lack power, gas is still short in North Jersey and on Long Island.

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The Picture Show
6:20 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Interactive: Slide To See Before And After Sandy

Interactive images show the New Jersey coast before and after Hurricane Sandy.
NOAA

Originally published on Mon November 19, 2012 3:50 pm

There's been no shortage of before-and-after imagery portraying the coast in Sandy's wake. One of the more impressive ways to see the storm's impact is by exploring this map assembled by NOAA (the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration).

We took a few screen grabs of the destruction around Seaside Heights, N.J., to create these sliding previews — but you can see much more if you zoom in on NOAA's interactive map.

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NPR Story
12:27 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

As Storm Recovery Continues, Looking To The Future

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:45 pm

Communities along the East Coast are reeling from the impact of Hurricane Sandy, dealing with electric outages, flooded streets, damaged sewage plants and fractured transportation lines. Can cities rebuild stronger, more resilient infrastructure to weather the storms of the future?

NPR Story
12:27 pm
Fri November 2, 2012

Seeing Sandy From Space

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 1:40 pm

Transcript

IRA FLATOW, HOST:

Next stop, our Sandy coverage continues with the Video Pick of the Week. Hi, Flora. Flora Lichtman's here.

FLORA LICHTMAN, BYLINE: Hi, Ira. Yeah, how could we resist?

FLATOW: And how can we add something no one has ever seen?

LICHTMAN: I think we might be able to this week.

FLATOW: Yeah, yeah.

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NPR Story
4:58 am
Fri November 2, 2012

How Obama And Romney Differ On Climate Change

Originally published on Fri November 2, 2012 11:43 am

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

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

Climate change was a big part of the announcement Mayor Bloomberg made yesterday endorsing President Obama for reelection.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

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Around the Nation
4:39 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

In Flooded New Jersey, No Oversight For Levees

An emergency responder helps residents of Little Ferry, N.J., after their neighborhood was flooded due to Superstorm Sandy.
Andrew Burton Getty Images

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 6:42 pm

Residents of Moonachie and Little Ferry, N.J., are beginning to clear the damage after their communities were inundated by floodwaters. The flooding occurred when a system of levees and berms was unable to control the storm surge pushed ashore by Superstorm Sandy.

Geologist Jeffrey Mount of the University of California, Davis, isn't surprised. "There really are only two kinds of levees," he says, "those that have failed, and those that will fail."

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The Salt
3:05 pm
Thu November 1, 2012

Sandy's Damage Under The Sea, Through The Eyes Of Oyster Farmers

What they pull up is discouraging. Normally, 30 seconds under water would bring up a cage full of mostly healthy oysters. This time, Jimmy Bloom pulls up a cage that is barely one-third full. And it's haul is a mix of broken, chipped, meatless oysters.
Jeff Cohen for NPR

Originally published on Thu November 1, 2012 3:09 pm

Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy wrapped up a post Hurricane Sandy news briefing earlier this week by talking about sewage discharges into Long Island Sound. "Suffice to say in the immediate time being, no one should eat the clams or oysters," he said.

That's right. Because of water quality issues, the state put a temporary stop to oyster farming, but that's usually a short-term thing and it happens fairly regularly after a big storm.

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Science
10:36 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Sandy's Two-Fisted Attack: Water From Air And Sea

Adam Cole NPR

Originally published on Wed September 24, 2014 3:48 pm

On Monday, Sandy brought heavy rain, winds and storm surges to the Northeast, causing widespread flooding and extensive damage to hundreds of communities, particularly in New Jersey and New York.

But the drenching from all that water varied greatly by region.

In areas south of Atlantic City, N.J., where the storm made landfall Monday night, the wind was pushing out toward the ocean. This prevented high storm tides along the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware coasts and in Chesapeake Bay. But the same arm of the storm that held the ocean at bay carried a lot of rain.

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Environment
10:33 am
Thu November 1, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Crisis Map

Environment
5:24 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Is Climate Change Responsible For Sandy?

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 6:53 pm

Transcript

ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

The link was inevitably made and you can bet it's the subject of conversations and arguments all over the country. Was Sandy an example of climate change, climate change brought on or intensified by human behavior? New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo seems to think the question is settled. Here's some of what he said today.

GOVERNOR ANDREW CUOMO: Part of learning from this is the recognition that climate change is a reality. Extreme where there is a reality. It is a reality that we are vulnerable.

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Environment
3:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Sandy Raises Questions About Climate And The Future

Taxis sit in a flooded lot in Hoboken, N.J., after Hurricane Sandy caused massive flooding across much of the Atlantic Seaboard.
Michael Bocchieri Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 5:12 pm

If you ask climate scientist Radley Horton, it's difficult to say that Hurricane Sandy was directly caused by climate change, but he sees strong connections between the two. Horton is a research scientist at The Earth Institute at Columbia University. He says that in New York City, the sea level has gone up about a foot over the past century and that researchers expect that rise to continue and even accelerate.

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Environment
1:59 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Photos: Hurricane Sandy

Environment
1:41 pm
Wed October 31, 2012

Videos of Hurricane Sandy in Crisfield

Around the Nation
1:58 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Record-Breaking 'Superstorm' Sandy Hammers Coast

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 2:28 pm

Transcript

NEAL CONAN, HOST:

This is TALK OF THE NATION. I'm Neal Conan, in Washington. We've followed Sandy for more than a week now as the late-season storm developed in the Caribbean, pounded Cuba, Haiti and other islands, brushed past Florida and headed up the East Coast.

Unusually, it's taken a sharp turn to the west. Even more unusually, it's combined with a more winter-like system to become an enormous event that's already dumping snow in the Appalachians, surging water ashore in Lower Manhattan and slashing winds and rain from Virginia to Massachusetts.

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The Two-Way
12:01 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

The Science Of Why Sandy Is Such A Dangerous Storm

A Dare County utility worker checks on conditions along a flooded Ride Lane in Kitty Hawk, N.C., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012.
Gerry Broome AP

Originally published on Tue October 30, 2012 11:33 am

Here are a few reasons government forecasters at the National Hurricane Center and emergency management officials are so concerned about Sandy:

1. Sandy is one of the largest hurricanes ever to strike the U.S. Sandy's winds cover an area of more than 1,000 miles in diameter. That's enormous by hurricane standards. So instead of affecting an area a couple of hundred miles across, Sandy will cut a huge swath. That means many millions of people are probably going to be exposed to high winds, heavy rains, and, for those on the coast, powerful storm surge.

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Krulwich Wonders...
8:59 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Celebrating Autumn All Year Round ... By Becoming A Leaf

Piotr Naskrecki

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 11:04 am

It is autumn, and where I live the leaves are peaking; there is a riot of them everywhere, narrow ones, broad ones, droopy ones, crunchy ones. Leaves come in so many shapes, hues, textures — the closer you look, the more differences you see. Botanists have names for every leaf type, and clumped together, says writer Robert Dunn, they sound like free verse poetry ...

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The Two-Way
5:24 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Sweden Wants Your Trash

In May 2011, uncollected rubbish piled up in Naples, Italy. Sweden hopes Italy might be willing to export the problem.
AFP AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon October 29, 2012 1:59 pm

Move over Abba, Sweden has found new fame. The small Nordic country is breaking records — in waste. Sweden's program of generating energy from garbage is wildly successful, but recently its success has also generated a surprising issue: There is simply not enough trash.

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13.7: Cosmos And Culture
1:46 pm
Sun October 28, 2012

Hurricane CSI: Frankenstorm Sandy And Climate Change

Hurricane Sandy's huge cloud extends up to 2,000 miles based on a satellite image from Sunday.
NASA GOES Project

Originally published on Wed October 31, 2012 3:10 pm

It was not a good year for people, weather and climate. The winter was strangely warm in many places and the summer ridiculously hot. As a large fraction of the country suffered through extreme or even extraordinary drought many folks naturally wondered, "Is this climate change?" Then along came a presidential election in which the words "climate change" disappeared from the dialogue. Now, just a week or so before voting day, the convergence of westbound Hurricane Sandy with a eastbound cold front is creating a massive storm, a Frankenstorm even, that is threatening millions of Americans.

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Environment
6:21 am
Sun October 28, 2012

Hurricane Sandy Roaring Up East Coast

Originally published on Sun October 28, 2012 10:58 am

Transcript

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin. The nation is bracing for Hurricane Sandy, from the East Coast all the way into the Ohio Valley. The storm killed almost 60 people in the Caribbean, and U.S. officials are warning the storm could affect as many as 60 million people NPR's Allison Keyes reports.

ALLISON KEYES, BYLINE: All along the coast people like Carl Stevens in Virginia Beach were getting ready to hunker down for a while.

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