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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Environmental Protection on the Chopping Block

 

Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, says deep budget cuts and staff reductions would damage the agency’s mission to protect the public with sound science, and harm communities that need the greatest environmental protection. McCarthy tells host Steve Curwood why she believes EPA’s Obama-era climate regulations are on firm legal footing, and why dozens of programs slated for gutting or total elimination by the Trump Administration are essential to ensure clean air and water for all Americans.

 

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Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, says deep budget cuts and staff reductions would damage the agency’s mission to protect the public with sound science, and harm communities that need the greatest environmental protection. McCarthy tells host Steve Curwood why she believes EPA’s Obama-era climate regulations are on firm legal footing, and why dozens of programs slated for gutting or total elimination by the Trump Administration are essential to ensure clean air and water for all Americans.

Inoculating the Mind from Climate Misinformation

 

Concerns about so-called ‘fake news’ have never been higher. Google searches for the term have quintupled since the November 2016 election, and these days it’s hard to be sure what information out there is true. A new study suggests that ‘inoculating’ the public against false ideas can help protect citizens from buying into climate disinformation.

 

Read More »

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Lessons From Mexico About the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

 

In 1979, the Ixtoc oil well blew out off the coast of Mexico – and an oil slick spread in the Gulf over the next nine months. When the Deepwater Horizon blowout happened in 2010, with its ensuing millions of gallons of oil released, scientists noted striking similarities to the Ixtoc spill. And now ocean floor expeditions near the Ixtoc site seek to find out how the ocean is recovering, three decades out, hoping their findings shed light on the future of Deepwater Horizon.

 

Read More »

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Ryan Zinke, Interior Secretary, Sportsman and Conservationist

 

The new Interior Secretary, Ryan Zinke, is a keen outdoorsman who advocates multiple uses for federal public lands and keeping them in federal control, not the states. Dale Hall, CEO of Ducks Unlimited and former Director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, describes the challenges ahead for the former Navy Seal and former Congressman from Montana who’s now in charge of one in every five acres of US soil.

 

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Dangerous Drifting Particles

 

Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons are toxic air pollutants produced by combustion linked to lung cancer and other serious health problems. They’re mostly seen as a local bad air issue, but recent findings suggest that these tiny particles travel long distances and significantly increase overall health risks.

 

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Women and Bicycling

 

Women in the US face many hurdles when it comes to traveling around on two wheels. Living on Earth’s Savannah Christiansen reports on problems at the intersection of gender and bicycles, from personal safety concerns to the availability of bike paths separated from road traffic.

 

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Otters and Climate Change

 

Sea Otters are known for their playful demeanor and cuddly appearance, but scientists at the University of California at Santa Cruz think that the cuddly creatures could help reduce the amount of carbon in the atmosphere. (Photo: Imtiaz333 Flickr Creative Commons)

 

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The Great Lakes and Climate Change

 

In the last 30 years the largest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area, Lake Superior, has warmed nearly six degrees Fahrenheight. The increased temperature is a boon to some fish but warmer water is also more suitable for some species.

 

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White House Confronts Climate Deniers

 

Some skeptical pundits have used the recent deep cold snap to suggest that climate change isn’t real. White House Science Advisor John Holdren says not so fast.

 

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Environmental Protection on the Chopping Block

Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, says deep budget cuts and staff reductions would damage the agency’s mission to protect the public with sound science, and harm communities that need the greatest environmental protection. McCarthy tells host Steve Curwood why she believes EPA’s Obama-era climate regulations are on firm legal footing, and why dozens of programs slated for gutting or total elimination by the Trump Administration are essential to ensure clean air and water for all Americans.

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Gov. Perry Takes Over the Energy Dept

Former presidential hopeful and Texas Governor Rick Perry now heads the Department of Energy, which he once said should be abolished. The challenges of leading this department are many: they include managing the country’s nuclear arsenal to meet such threats as Iran and aggressive North Korea, a robust research program that the President’s budget proposes to defund, and energy efficiency.

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Lessons From Mexico About the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

In 1979, the Ixtoc oil well blew out off the coast of Mexico – and an oil slick spread in the Gulf over the next nine months. When the Deepwater Horizon blowout happened in 2010, with its ensuing millions of gallons of oil released, scientists noted striking similarities to the Ixtoc spill. And now ocean floor expeditions near the Ixtoc site seek to find out how the ocean is recovering, three decades out, hoping their findings shed light on the future of Deepwater Horizon.

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This Week’s Show
March 17, 2017
listen / download


Environmental Protection on the Chopping Block

listen / download
Gina McCarthy, former administrator of the US Environmental Protection Agency, says deep budget cuts and staff reductions would damage the agency’s mission to protect the public with sound science, and harm communities that need the greatest environmental protection. McCarthy tells host Steve Curwood why she believes EPA’s Obama-era climate regulations are on firm legal footing, and why dozens of programs slated for gutting or total elimination by the Trump Administration are essential to ensure clean air and water for all Americans.

Inoculating the Mind from Climate Misinformation

listen / download
Concerns about so-called ‘fake news’ have never been higher. Google searches for the term have quintupled since the November 2016 election, and these days it’s hard to be sure what information out there is true. A new study suggests that ‘inoculating’ the public against false ideas can help protect citizens from buying into climate disinformation.

BirdNote: Swallows of Capistrano

listen / download
Every spring, Cliff Swallows returned to Capistrano in Southern California, delighting locals and visitors alike. Then, as Mary McCann explains, renovation work drove them from their historic nest-sites, but now there’s hope they’ll come back.

Gov. Perry Takes Over the Energy Dept

listen / download
Former presidential hopeful and Texas Governor Rick Perry now heads the Department of Energy, which he once said should be abolished. The challenges of leading this department are many: they include managing the country’s nuclear arsenal to meet such threats as Iran and aggressive North Korea, a robust research program that the President’s budget proposes to defund, and energy efficiency.

Lessons From Mexico About the Deepwater Horizon Disaster

listen / download
In 1979, the Ixtoc oil well blew out off the coast of Mexico – and an oil slick spread in the Gulf over the next nine months. When the Deepwater Horizon blowout happened in 2010, with its ensuing millions of gallons of oil released, scientists noted striking similarities to the Ixtoc spill. And now ocean floor expeditions near the Ixtoc site seek to find out how the ocean is recovering, three decades out, hoping their findings shed light on the future of Deepwater Horizon.


Special Features

A River Town in Transition

listen / download
Wrangell, Alaska is a small, isolated town at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River and a former a timber capital. But since the saw mills shut down in the ‘90s, the small town has reinvented itself as a tourist destination and a commercial fishing hub. Since both of these industries are dependent on the Stikine, some locals worry that a mining development upriver could put the whole town’s livelihood at risk.
Blog Series: Alaskan River Riches

Cowee, North Carolina

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Living on Earth is giving a voice to Orion magazine’s longtime feature in which people write about the place they call home. In this week’s edition, songwriter Angela-Faye Martin uses her words and music to picture her North Carolina valley on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Blog Series: The Place Where You Live


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...Ultimately, if we are going prevent large parts of this Earth from becoming not only inhospitable but uninhabitable in our lifetimes, we are going to have to keep some fossil fuels in the ground rather than burn them...

-- President Barack Obama, November 6, 2015 on why he declined to approve the Keystone XL Pipeline.

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