Environment

Living on Earth: May 27, 2016

May 28, 2016

Trump’s Other Wall / Local Impacts of Exxon’s Alleged “Climate Deceit” / Kids Win Another Landmark Climate Ruling / Saving the Bay Area / SunEdison Falters; Solar Still Sunny / Beyond the Headlines / BirdNote®: Eastern Wood-Pewee

Trump’s Other Wall

May 28, 2016

Republican Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump says he’ll build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to block undocumented immigrants. Now Trump is planning to build another wall, this one to hold back rising seas at his luxury golf resort in Ireland. POLITICO’s Ben Schreckinger tells host Steve Curwood how the Trump Organization specifically cites climate change as a reason to build this wall, despite the real estate mogul’s avowed climate skepticism. (published May 27, 2016)

Saving the Bay Area

May 28, 2016

In June, San Francisco Bay Area residents will vote on Measure AA, a proposed tax that would fund wetland restoration. Bringing back wetlands would provide habitat for many bird species, and could help save the Bay Area from the rising seas expected from global warming. But some argue the funding mechanism is unfair. Emmett Fitzgerald reports. (published May 27, 2016)

As investigations into ExxonMobil’s public versus private communication about climate change continue, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is pursuing another legal avenue to hold ExxonMobil accountable. CLF President Brad Campbell tells host Steve Curwood his organization has taken steps to sue the company for polluting the Mystic River at Everett, Massachusetts and for failing to prepare its Everett storage facility for rising sea levels and other climate impacts. (published May 27, 2016)

Kids Win Another Landmark Climate Ruling

May 28, 2016

A unanimous ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in favor of youthful plaintiffs and the Conservation Law Foundation requires the defendant, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, to ramp up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We turn again to CLF’s Brad Campbell, who discusses with host Steve Curwood why Massachusetts state law necessitates this action, and the implications of the ruling. (published May 27, 2016)

SunEdison Falters; Solar Still Sunny

May 28, 2016

Solar behemoth SunEdison’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing disappointed its investors, yet the industry as a whole is booming, says Nat Kreamer, CEO of Spruce Finance. Mr. Kreamer explains to host Steve Curwood why one company fell so far within a soaring market, and how public-private partnerships could help the growing solar industry take our energy grid to a low-carbon future. (published May 27, 2016)

The City of Thornton is one of many growing suburbs of Denver, Colo. On a day without much traffic, it's only a 20-minute commute into the state capitol, and its new homes with big yards make it an attractive bedroom community. Nearly 130,000 people live there, and the population is expected to keep booming.

As part of the Going There series, Michel Martin traveled to Fort Collins, Colo. to host a live storytelling event about owning water and dealing with a future where water may be scarce. The conversation was held in partnership with member station KUNC. It tackled the water issues in the Western United States while also highlighting the water crisis in Flint, Mich. and the challenges faced by Native American communities.

As investigations into ExxonMobil’s public versus private communication about climate change continue, the Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) is pursuing another legal avenue to hold ExxonMobil accountable. CLF President Brad Campbell tells host Steve Curwood his organization has taken steps to sue the company for polluting the Mystic River at Everett, Massachusetts and for failing to prepare its Everett storage facility for rising sea levels and other climate impacts. (published May 27, 2016)


Beyond the Headlines

May 28, 2016

In this week's trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood discuss renewable energy news in a Western state that could impact the future of solar around the country, and reflect on the first oil find in the Middle East. (published May 27, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Trump’s Other Wall

May 28, 2016

Republican Presidential candidate Donald J. Trump says he’ll build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border to block undocumented immigrants. Now Trump is planning to build another wall, this one to hold back rising seas at his luxury golf resort in Ireland. POLITICO’s Ben Schreckinger tells host Steve Curwood how the Trump Organization specifically cites climate change as a reason to build this wall, despite the real estate mogul’s avowed climate skepticism. (published May 27, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Kids Win Another Landmark Climate Ruling

May 28, 2016

A unanimous ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in favor of youthful plaintiffs and the Conservation Law Foundation requires the defendant, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, to ramp up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We turn again to CLF’s Brad Campbell, who discusses with host Steve Curwood why Massachusetts state law necessitates this action, and the implications of the ruling. (published May 27, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Living on Earth: May 27, 2016

May 28, 2016

Trump’s Other Wall / Local Impacts of Exxon’s Alleged “Climate Deceit” / Kids Win Another Landmark Climate Ruling / Saving the Bay Area / SunEdison Falters; Solar Still Sunny / Beyond the Headlines / BirdNote®: Eastern Wood-Pewee


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

In many towns in the US, the fracking boom brought new jobs, new businesses and a sense of optimism. But the mild winter has caused natural gas prices to drop and now some companies have laid off workers and shut down their operations — and that means big changes for some local economies.

As interest in sustainable, organic food has grown, so have the numbers of young entrepreneurs taking up farming to grow crops to sell directly to restaurants and at farmers markets. But, the movement is hardly new.

In the 1960s and 70s, many idealistic young Americans left cities and suburbs to build their own version of the American dream together on communal farms, often without a clue how to farm sustainably.

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

She sails by the memory of the stars.

Her bones are lashed together with 6 miles of rope. Her twin wooden masts are lowered and outstretched only by the power of muscled arms. And once fully extended, the red, V-shaped sails announce who she is.

She is the Hokule'a, Hawaii's famous voyaging canoe, built in the double-hulled style used by Polynesian navigators thousands of years ago to cross the Pacific.

Donald Trump marched through the Republican presidential primary field this year on the strength of a focused message: America used to be great. It isn't anymore. And that's mostly the fault of the Obama administration.

On Thursday, Trump applied that same thesis to American energy production. "America's incredible energy potential remains untapped," he told a North Dakota audience in what was billed as a major policy address. "It's totally self-inflicted. It's a wound, and it's a wound we have to heal."

The deep-sea researchers were surveying an ocean ridge off the coast of Hawaii in 2015 and amid ordinary ocean floor fare — a bit of coral, some volcanic rock — they came across something surprising.

"Where did this guy come from? Holy cow!" one researcher said to his colleague.

Andrew Herrington slips on a battered green backpack, stashes a .308 bolt-action rifle under his arm and steps off a boat onto the steep, rocky shores of Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

"It's about a half-mile that we're going to walk up to for those traps," he says.

In almost every circumstance, hunting is strictly forbidden at national parks. But there's an exception to that rule. Herrington's job is to hunt at Great Smoky Mountains National Park for an invasive and hugely destructive species: feral hogs.

Shareholders of Exxon Mobil and Chevron have voted to reject a series of resolutions aimed at encouraging the companies to take stronger actions to battle climate change.

But Exxon Mobil shareholders voted in favor of a rule that could make it easier for minority shareholders to nominate outsiders to the company's board, a potential victory for environmentalists.

Activist shareholders at both companies had placed an unusual number of resolutions on the ballot related to climate change.

The Florida Everglades is a swampy wilderness the size of Delaware. In some places along the road in southern Florida, it looks like tall saw grass to the horizon, a prairie punctuated with a few twisted cypress trees. The sky is the palest blue.

But beneath the surface a different story is unfolding. Because of climate change and sea level rise, the ocean is starting to seep into the swampland. If the invasion grows worse, it could drastically change the Everglades, and a way of life for millions of residents in South Florida.

At the end of 2013, snowy owls started showing up far south of their usual winter range. The big white birds were reported in South Carolina, Georgia, even Florida.

Dave Brinker, an ecologist with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, had never seen anything like it.

Copyright 2016 Southern California Public Radio. To see more, visit Southern California Public Radio.

Checking Up on Native Plants

May 23, 2016

Spring brings the first native blooming plants, and native wildflowers are springing up at the New England Wild Flower Society’s Garden in the Woods near Boston. But climate change, aggressive invasive species and insects are stressing some iconic plants, so a group of experts assessed the state of New England’s plants now. We revisit a conversation between host Steve Curwood and the Wild Flower Society’s senior research ecologist Elizabeth Farnsworth, as they walked in the woods to find out what’s going on. (published May 20, 2016)

BirdNote®: Drinking on the Wing

May 23, 2016

Most birds drink standing up, but swallows and swifts dip down over ponds to drink on the wing. In this week’s BirdNote® Michael Stein examines where this adaptation come from. (published May 20, 2016)

Beyond the Headlines

May 23, 2016

In this week’s trip beyond the environmental news headlines, Peter Dykstra fills in host Steve Curwood about faltering “clean coal” and carbon capture projects and how critics say chemicals manufacturing safety measures are falling short of protecting the public. The history calendar this week brings a tale of how superstition saved lives, when tornadoes battered one Kansas town on the very same date three years in a row. (published May 20, 2016)

The Politics of Teaching Climate Science

May 23, 2016

The majority of Americans are worried about climate change, yet the subject is barely covered in public school science classes. The Allegheny Front’s Julie Grant reports on the powerful forces and opinions that make global warming a potential minefield for teachers. (published May 20, 2016)

In the US political conservatives often express less concern about environmental issues than liberals. But eco-psychologist Christopher Wolsko of Oregon State University tells host Steve Curwood this is due in part to the liberal framing of issues. His studies indicate reframing environmental topics in ways that reflect conservative values such as respect for authority and patriotism can better engage conservatives. (published May 20, 2016)

People in India know the Sundarbans as a beautiful and dangerous patchwork of mangrove islands covering nearly 4,000 square miles extending into Bangladesh. It is also home to a variety of rare and endangered species and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Now, this watery landscape is getting international attention for a different reason.

Some of these islands are disappearing, swallowed up by rising tides. Tens of thousands of people who live in the Sundarbans have lost their homes in recent decades.

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