Environment

Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera, an environmental scientist from Puerto Rico, has been awarded the Goldman Environmental Prize for the Islands and Island Nations for his work protecting a strip of undeveloped coast on his home island called the Northeast Ecological Corridor.

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Waiting quietly in the living room of a home in an upscale New Delhi neighborhood are a dozen people of all ages — maids, security guards, construction workers, all of whom earn at most a few dollars a day. The elegant, plant-filled room is hushed except for the sound of coughing.

Over in the next room, Dr. Gita Prakash is at her dining table with a stethoscope pressed to a pregnant woman's chest. Prakash has been treating indigent patients here for 30 years, six nights a week, in the evenings after she finishes her rounds at the local hospital where she works.

It's not easy being a dung beetle.

Besides the obvious fact that they eat, well, dung, the act of just getting a meal is an involved process.

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A prominent and outspoken fisheries scientist at the University of Washington is under attack from Greenpeace for not disclosing industry funding in several scientific papers stretching back to 2006.

Sugar, you might think, is just sugar, no matter where it comes from. But not anymore.

About half of all sugar in the U.S. comes from sugar beets, and the other half comes from sugar cane. Now, for the first time, sugar traders are treating these as two different commodities, with two different prices.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

With the weather warming, it's the season for spring cleaning. But before you reach for the broom and mop, consider who else is sharing your home. The variety of uninvited guests in your dustpan may surprise you.

A fire crackles along the banks of the Yamuna River: a cremation of a young mother, struck by a car while she was fetching water.

The stench of the river engulfs the sad assembly.

Before the hissing funeral pyre, floating down the river, white blocks of what looks like detergent appear like icebergs. It is 95 degrees in Delhi this night. This is chemical waste from factories that have sprung up across the city, manufacturing leather goods, dyes and other goods.

Downstream, the living reside along garbage-strewn banks.

The newest building in Facebook's Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters sits right on San Francisco Bay. Its location offers a spectacular view, but an uncertain future.

By the end of the century, scientists say, sea level could rise three, four, maybe even five feet, depending on how climate change plays out.

Facebook says the company has planned for that, by building above the flood plain.

But roads, freeways and other crucial infrastructure around the bay — $62 billion worth, according to one study — are at risk.

Miami Beach is one of the nation's cities most vulnerable to climate change — and its leaders are doing something about it. The city, a national leader in addressing climate, has begun to make improvements aimed at protecting residents from rising sea levels.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

We hear a lot about the size of a person's carbon footprint — how much they use electricity, drive a car, fly on airplanes.

In India, some people are trying to shrink the carbon footprints of the dead.

At least 20 times a day, Braj Kishore Pandey sings a mantra as he lays a human body on a pile of firewood to burn. "There is a request from god for the freedom for the release of the soul, and also for the happiness for the family," he says.

The chef picked up the nubby stick of fresh wasabi. Through a translator, he explained the good ones are straight and deep green in color. It was the first time I had seen it fresh. The green dab you get at most American sushi restaurants is almost always horseradish and food coloring squeezed from a tube. While that may have been my introduction to freshly harvested wasabi, it wasn't my first time seeing something far more precious — Pacific bluefin tuna.

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How does a country bring its people into the 21st century without pumping huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere? This challenge is more acute in India than anywhere else. Though India already has the third-largest carbon footprint in the world, around 400 million people still don't have access to reliable electricity.

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Just a few months ago, the price of a barrel of crude oil reached a 30-year low. That price has inched up since then, but still, it remains 60 percent lower than it was in the summer of 2014.

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Huge $$ Advantage from Renewable Energy

May 7, 2016

The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) reports that doubling the world's renewable energy capacity by 2030 could save the global economy trillions of dollars every year. IRENA's Dolf Gielen tells host Steve Curwood why renewables are already so competitive, and how the world might cash in these savings. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

US-EU Trade Deal Controversy

May 7, 2016

The EU division of nonprofit Greenpeace released the negotiation text of a partnership between the US and the EU that’s meant to loosen trade barriers. Host Steve Curwood sat down with Jorgo Riss, Greenpeace EU director, for his views on the possible risks for key environmental, labor and consumer protection policies. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Living on Earth: May 6, 2016

May 7, 2016

US-EU Trade Deal Controversy / Huge $$ Advantage from Renewable Energy / Suing to Save the Monarch / The Monarch Needs More Than Milkweed / Beyond the Headlines / Port Damages Miami Reef / Coral Bleaching in Kiribati


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

The Monarch Needs More Than Milkweed

May 7, 2016

The past decade has seen steep declines of the Monarch butterfly populations. To save this iconic insect, many people have focused on protecting milkweed, the primary source of food for Monarch caterpillars across North America. Cornell biologist Anurag Agrawal recently studied the various drivers of the species’ decline, and tells host Steve Curwood that to save the Monarch, it will need more than just planting milkweed. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Coral Bleaching in Kiribati

May 7, 2016

Abnormally warm waters in the equatorial Pacific are devastating the coral reefs in the Pacific, including Kiribati, triggering a mass coral bleaching event and die-off on these remote islands. UMass Boston coral scientist, Jessica Carilli, and her PhD student, Sean McNally, just back from a recent research expedition in Kiribati, discuss the coral bleaching with host Steve Curwood and suggest how we can prepare coral reefs for the changing climate. (published May 6, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Editor's Note: This story has been updated to reflect Strava's latest figures for the number of GPS-tracked activities uploaded to its database.

Cyclists often find themselves pedaling between huge trucks and speeding cars or stranded when protected bike lanes abruptly end at busy intersections.

Chris Cassidy moved to San Francisco in 2005. He used to cycle through Market Street, a busy downtown thoroughfare.

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