Environment

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 23, 2016

Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood look at a remote indigenous tribe in Guyana that used the internet for plans to build a drone to monitor illegal deforestation, discuss Republican lawmakers and right-wing media who once accepted climate change, but have since flip-flopped, and look back at things that have gotten better, worse or stayed the same since the first Earth Day in 1970. (published April 22, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

UN Climate Chief Calls for Urgent Action

Apr 23, 2016

Earth Day 2016 brought a significant milestone for the Paris Agreement, as some 175 nations signed on at the UN Headquarters in New York City. Yet the ambitious goals of this climate agreement are not guaranteed without aggressive moves to curb carbon pollution. Host Steve Curwood sits down with Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, to discuss what’s required to give civilization a fighting chance. (published April 22, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

Happy Birthday, Living on Earth!

Apr 23, 2016

Twenty-five years ago, Living on Earth started its weekly broadcasts with the mission to tell the story of climate change, though few in the public cared at that time, along with pollution, human health and habitat loss issues. Over the years, the threat of global warming has grown more acute and increasingly prominent in popular awareness, but as host and Living on Earth founder Steve Curwood tells us, we are nearly out of time to avoid plunging into the climate abyss. (published April 22, 2016)


Next-Gen Climate Activism

Apr 23, 2016

Student activists calling for a shift away from fossil fuels say that institutions that refuse to act forfeit their status as moral leaders. Harvard Law student Ted Hamilton discusses with host Steve Curwood the lawsuit that’s attempting to compel Harvard to divest its portfolio of fossil fuels, and the connections between divestment and the broader climate movement. (published April 22, 2016)


From Living on Earth ©2016 World Media Foundation

The 2016 Goldman Environmental Prizes

Apr 23, 2016

The Goldman Foundation annually honors six activists from around the world who have fought for the protection of the environment. The murder of one of last year’s winners, Berta Cáceres from Honduras, has put this year’s awards in an even brighter spotlight. Host Steve Curwood profiles this year’s winner from Latin America, Máxima Acuña of Peru, who fought a proposed gold mine on her farm, at the expense of being sent to jail and having her house knocked down and her potato crop destroyed. (published April 22, 2016)


#NPRreads is a weekly feature on Twitter and on The Two-Way. The premise is simple: Correspondents, editors and producers from our newsroom share the pieces that have kept them reading, using the #NPRreads hashtag. Each weekend, we highlight some of the best stories.

Earth Day got you thinking about how your diet impacts the planet?

The World Resources Institute has news to ease a meat-lover's conscience: In a new report, it says you don't have to bid burgers bye-bye in order to reduce the environmental footprint of what you eat. Cutting back could go a long way, it says.

In the report, the nonprofit calculates the planetary effect of various possible changes in how the world eats.

World leaders have celebrated Earth Day today by gathering in New York to sign a historic climate agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But some of the most vital environmental work is being done by ordinary citizens with extraordinary courage. People like subsistence farmers and tribal leaders in the poorest countries are standing up to some of the world's most powerful industries. And a growing number of them have been attacked — and sometimes murdered — for trying to protect the environment.

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

The experimental plane called Solar Impulse 2 has taken off in Hawaii after a nine-month delay for repairs.

The team on the ground and at mission control let out exuberant cheers as the cutting-edge aircraft rose up into the early morning skies.

They're aiming to circumnavigate the globe using only the power of the sun.

A buyback of emissions-cheating cars was one solution Volkswagen offered in federal court Thursday, outlining an agreement between the carmaker and the Justice Department over hundreds of thousands of diesel vehicles that were sold in the U.S. despite not meeting pollution standards.

Car owners would be able to choose between having their vehicle fixed or accepting a buyback; financial details weren't revealed about the plan, which both the government and VW are calling an "agreement in principle."

On Friday, most of the world's governments are set to sign the most sweeping climate agreement in history. Their signatures will codify promises they made in Paris last December to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

The two largest sources of those gases are the U.S. and China. Whether they keep their promises will in large part determine whether the Paris deal succeeds. And it is by no means clear that they'll be able to keep their promises.

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

Copyright 2016 Michigan Radio. To see more, visit Michigan Radio.

San Francisco will soon begin requiring new buildings to have solar panels installed on the roof.

It's the first major U.S. city to have such a requirement, according to Scott Weiner, the city supervisor who introduced the bill.

For millions of Americans, climate change is making the weather nicer. That's the conclusion of a new study that points out winters are getting quite a bit milder, while summers aren't getting that much worse.

The study's authors say the mild temperatures might be one reason some people aren't so worried about climate change.

For most of the U.S., the hottest temperatures in July haven't gone up much — scientific consensus is about half a degree over the past 40 years. Same for sticky humidity — not much change, if any.

After Fires In West, Mushroom Hunters 'Chase The Burn'

Apr 20, 2016

Right now, and in the coming weeks, from Northern California to Alaska, commercial and amateur mushroom hunters will be scouring hills that were ravaged by fires last summer and fall. Their prey? Morel mushrooms.

"Sometimes we call it 'chasing the burns,' " mushroom enthusiast Kevin Sadlier says, in search of the black morel mushrooms that grow in the springtime after a forest fire.

Three people — two officials with the state Department of Environmental Quality and a water official from Flint — are facing criminal charges as a result of an investigation into the lead-contaminated water case in Flint.

The three men face felony charges including misconduct, neglect of duty and conspiracy to tamper with evidence. They've also been charged with violating Michigan's Safe Drinking Water Act.

Appearing to drown all hope that the U.K.'s new $300 million research vessel will be named "Boaty McBoatface," Science Minister Jo Johnson says the ship needs a more "suitable" name.

creative commons

HAGERSTOWN, Md. (AP) - Maryland is going back to basics, with an ink pen and paper ballot, for the presidential primary elections.

State Board of Elections Administrator Linda Lamone says that despite advances in digital technology, nothing safeguards a secret ballot like marking a piece of paper. The ballots are tabulated by an optical scanning machine.

The system replaces touch-screen terminals that became popular after the hotly disputed 2000 presidential election. You might remember the "hanging chads" from Florida's punch-card ballots.

Hidden Brain host Shankar Vedantam takes you on vacation with him to Alaska. You'll hike on top of a glacier, drink from a cool stream, and talk with fellow tourists from around the world. But the trip comes with an upsetting observation: Glaciers in Alaska are retreating. The Mendenhall glacier, visited by tens of thousands of tourists each year, has receded more than a mile and a half in the last half century.

"It's sort of just collapsed in on itself," says John Neary, director of the Mendenhall Glacier Visitor Center.

Outside Reno, in Nevada's high desert, Tesla is building what it says is the world's largest battery factory. The Gigafactory, as it's called, will churn out batteries for the company's electric cars. But it's also making something new — a battery for the home.

Tucked away in a dusty valley near Sparks, Nev., the Gigafactory is kind of like Willy Wonka's chocolate factory: It's mysterious, it's big and few people have been inside.

Actually, "big" may not do it justice.

Yellowstone National Park, a wilderness recreation area stretching for nearly 3,500 square miles atop a volcanic hot spot in Wyoming and parts of Montana and Idaho, may be in trouble.

Each year, Yellowstone attracts millions of visitors and provides a home to countless animal species, including the once-threatened grizzly bear and bison. But finding the right balance between tourism and preservation can be tricky.

Environmental activist Luis Jorge Rivera Herrera has worked to protect a pristine section of Puerto Rico's coastline. Now he's being honored with the Goldman Environmental Prize.

Your Brain On LSD Looks A Lot Like A Baby's

Apr 17, 2016
Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit NPR.

A federal judge in Oregon has found that 21 young people have the right to sue the federal government for failing to properly protect future generations from the dangers of climate change. Vermont Law Professor Pat Parenteau tells host Steve Curwood it’s a surprising and perhaps landmark decision that shows climate change is a unique challenge for the legal system. (published April 15, 2016)

BirdNote: Spider Silk and Birds’ Nests

Apr 16, 2016

In nesting season, ingenious birds make use of many objects they find to construct a snug home for their eggs. But as Michael Stein reveals, some small birds like kinglets and hummingbirds have found that spider silk collected from webs is just the thing to hold nests together, the bird equivalent of duct tape. (published April 15, 2016)

Beyond the Headlines

Apr 16, 2016

This week, Peter Dykstra and host Steve Curwood discuss the fact that the numbers of wild tigers are growing, that responses to replacing lead water pipes differ from city to city and look back on Aaron Burr, who proposed a municipal water system for New York City in the 18th century, but later as vice-president shot Alexander Hamilton. (published April 15, 2016)

I Feel the Earth Move

Apr 16, 2016

Climate change is doing more than melting ice sheets. It’s actually changing the Earth’s rotation. NASA’s Erik Ivins tells host Steve Curwood that the planet resembles a large top wobbling on its axis as the weight of ice lifts, but the wobble has no major effects for humans. (published April 15, 2016)

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