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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

New Orleans Still Vulnerable To Storms

 

Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans ten years ago, even though that storm was weaker than other hurricanes the city had survived before. Years of wetlands loss amplified the storm surge and the levees collapsed under the weight of engineering errors and poor maintenance. Hurricane expert Ivor van Heerden warned of the dangers in 2001 and, despite repairs, cautions that the city is still at risk.

 

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Racism and NOLA's Recovery

 

New Orleans is celebrating a healthy recovery in some places ten years after Katrina, but many black residents tell a different story. Prof. Beverly Wright of Dillard university and the Deep South Center on Environmental Justice says that while many on the outside have applauded the recovery, it’s actually created opportunities for outside developers to pump money into the city and push black New Orleanians out.

 

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World Islamic Leaders Call For Climate Action

 

Muslim political leaders, scholars and scientists from 20 countries have issued an “Islamic Declaration on Global Climate Change.” Islam teaches that it’s a sin to ignore climate change, and the declaration calls on the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims to act as a matter of duty. This declaration challenges other peoples and faiths to top these aggressive climate actions.

 

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Freeing The Arteries of The Planet

 

The restoration project along the Elwha River is part of a broader movement to bring down unnecessary dams and let rivers run their natural course. Many of the world’s rivers are in crisis as hydroelectric mega-dams disrupt their flow and fish stocks.

 

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Alaskan River Riches: Fly fishing and Salmon Science

 

Southeast Alaska has one of the healthiest salmon fisheries in the world, but fisherman are increasingly worried that mining development in British Columbia could threaten the wild rivers that salmon depend on. Living on Earth's Emmett FitzGerald traveled there last summer for a lesson in casting and salmon science from a fly-fisherman with a conservation ethic, and he reports on progress of Canadian metal mines in development upstream today.

 

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Encountering Black Bear

 

During the Fall salmon run, writer Mark Seth Lender kayaked along a river in British Columbia. As he watched, a large black bear stepped out upon a nearby promontory, attention on the fish in the river. A mother and baby bear also hungry for salmon make way for the massive male, like a rock diverting a stream.

 

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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

 

New research finds that every 1 degree Celsius of temperature rise eventually equates to 2.3 meters of sea level rise. Anders Levermann tells host Steve Curwood about the expectations for sea level rise over the next 2,000 years.

 

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Ancient Underwater Forest in the Gulf of Mexico

 

Sixty feet beneath the water off the coast of Alabama is a forest of cypress trees that is more than 50,000 years old.

 

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Jim's Bees

 

Bees have remarkable skills to communicate and create wholesome food from flowers. Yet they can also terrify.

 

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New Orleans Still Vulnerable To Storms

Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans ten years ago, even though that storm was weaker than other hurricanes the city had survived before. Years of wetlands loss amplified the storm surge and the levees collapsed under the weight of engineering errors and poor maintenance. Hurricane expert Ivor van Heerden warned of the dangers in 2001 and, despite repairs, cautions that the city is still at risk.

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Racism and NOLA's Recovery

New Orleans is celebrating a healthy recovery in some places ten years after Katrina, but many black residents tell a different story. Prof. Beverly Wright of Dillard university and the Deep South Center on Environmental Justice says that while many on the outside have applauded the recovery, it’s actually created opportunities for outside developers to pump money into the city and push black New Orleanians out.

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Endangered Porpoise Caught in the Web of Illegal Fishing

The vaquita (Spanish for little cow) is the world’s smallest whale and also the most endangered. It lives in the Gulf of California, a region notorious for lax enforcement of fishing regulations. Now, caught in the crosshairs of an Asian medicine trade for another protected marine species, the vaquita may be two seconds away from midnight.

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This Week’s Show
August 28, 2015
listen / download


New Orleans Still Vulnerable To Storms

listen / download
Hurricane Katrina drowned New Orleans ten years ago, even though that storm was weaker than other hurricanes the city had survived before. Years of wetlands loss amplified the storm surge and the levees collapsed under the weight of engineering errors and poor maintenance. Hurricane expert Ivor van Heerden warned of the dangers in 2001 and, despite repairs, cautions that the city is still at risk.

Racism and NOLA's Recovery

listen / download
New Orleans is celebrating a healthy recovery in some places ten years after Katrina, but many black residents tell a different story. Prof. Beverly Wright of Dillard university and the Deep South Center on Environmental Justice says that while many on the outside have applauded the recovery, it’s actually created opportunities for outside developers to pump money into the city and push black New Orleanians out.

Turning up the Heat on Frigid Offices

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To combat summer’s hot and sultry weather, many US office buildings crank up the air-conditioning. But this sparks conflicts, as men feel comfortable but women shiver and don fleeces. Lou Blouin of the Allegheny Front reports on how these arctic offices became ubiquitous, and Jennifer Amann of the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy discusses how much companies could save if they turned the thermostat up a few degrees.

Beyond the Headlines

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In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, we discuss how California takes the top honors on the American Lung Association’s list of “Most Polluted Cities,” but caution that there’s more than one way to define “polluted.” Also, while American lawns are our biggest “crop,” they're far from our greenest. Traveling back in history, we mark the anniversary of a seminal environmental book authored by the “father of the environmental movement.”

Endangered Porpoise Caught in the Web of Illegal Fishing

listen / download
The vaquita (Spanish for little cow) is the world’s smallest whale and also the most endangered. It lives in the Gulf of California, a region notorious for lax enforcement of fishing regulations. Now, caught in the crosshairs of an Asian medicine trade for another protected marine species, the vaquita may be two seconds away from midnight.

Unseen Ocean Migrations

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As summer winds down, migratory birds in the Northern Hemisphere begin their trips south. Many species head down flyways that cross the US, but as BirdNote’s Michael Stein reports, many travel unseen offshore.


Special Features

East Claridon, Ohio

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In this week’s trip to the place where you live, Anne Kelsey takes us to East Claridon, Ohio, where her family has owned land for 100 years and the morning quiet on the pond is sacred.
Blog Series: The Place Where You Live

A River Town in Transition

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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


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You know, Alaska is the jewel of the world when it comes to fisheries management. This state is second to none, and that's because you don't see dams on our rivers. You don't see a lot of development that will have a negative impact.

-- Mike Erikson, CEO of Alaska Glacier Seafoods

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