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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Saving the Bay Area

 

A proposed tax to fund wetland restoration in the Bay Area could help restore crucial habitat for many bird species and protect the Bay Area from the rising seas expected from global warming. But some argue the funding mechanism is unfair.

 

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Climate Benefits if New Federal Fossil Energy Leases are Banned

 

Climate activists are calling on the government to stop leasing federal lands and waters to fossil fuel companies. Now a new analysis sums up the significant benefits that “keeping it in the ground” holds for the climate.

 

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Checking Up on Native Plants

 

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. We took a walk through the woods to find out how the region’s plants are doing.

 

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Exxon, the Climate and Senator Whitehouse

 

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse [D-RI] discusses why he has risen more than 135 times on the Senate floor to alert his colleagues about climate change, and how the pending investigation into ExxonMobil’s alleged climate fraud has a precedent in litigation against the tobacco industry for its civil fraud and racketeering.

 

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King Penguin Chicks Hunger for More

 

Living on Earth’s resident explorer Mark Seth Lender comments on the hunger of the “Oakum Boys” penguin chicks in the South Pacific, as they shed their downy feathers and their parents stop feeding them. From now on, the juveniles must learn to find their own food.

 

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Port Damages Miami Reef

 

The Army Corps of Engineers said a major dredging project in the Port of Miami would have minimal impact on the reef there. But new data from NOAA suggests sediment from dredging could have killed many of the corals that provide the city with natural protection from storm surges.

 

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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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Nuclear Storage Crisis

 

The meltdown at Fukushima in Japan may be grabbing all the headlines, but with the Yucca Mountain project in perpetual limbo the United States has a nuclear storage problem on its hands as well.

 

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Russia Nixes Antarctic Marine Reserve

 

Negotiators from 25 countries met in Germany recently in a bid to create a massive marine reserve in the seas around Antarctica. But at the last minute, Russia backed out of the deal.

 

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Local Impacts of Exxon’s Alleged “Climate Deceit”

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 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.

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Saving the Bay Area

A proposed tax to fund wetland restoration in the Bay Area could help restore crucial habitat for many bird species and protect the Bay Area from the rising seas expected from global warming. But some argue the funding mechanism is unfair.

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SunEdison Falters; Solar Still Sunny

Solar behemoth SunEdison’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing disappointed its investors, yet the sector as a whole is booming, according to an industry leader. We shed light on 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.

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This Week’s Show
May 27, 2016
listen / download


Trump’s Other Wall

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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 -- despite the real estate mogul’s avowed climate skepticism.

Local Impacts of Exxon’s Alleged “Climate Deceit”

listen / download
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 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.

Kids Win Another Landmark Climate Ruling

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A unanimous ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court in favor of youthful plaintiffs and the Conservation Law Foundation and requires the defendant, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, to ramp up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We find out why Massachusetts state law necessitates this action, and the implications of the ruling.

Saving the Bay Area

listen / download
A proposed tax to fund wetland restoration in the Bay Area could help restore crucial habitat for many bird species and protect the Bay Area from the rising seas expected from global warming. But some argue the funding mechanism is unfair.

SunEdison Falters; Solar Still Sunny

listen / download
Solar behemoth SunEdison’s Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing disappointed its investors, yet the sector as a whole is booming, according to an industry leader. We shed light on 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.

Beyond the Headlines

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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.

BirdNote®: Eastern Wood-Pewee

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The Eastern Wood-Pewee is inconspicuous, but its plaintive whistle is unmistakable in the woodlands of east North America. As forests have declined so have the Pewee, and Mary McCann reports that wildlife managers are now trying to save this iconic voice.


Special Features

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

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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