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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

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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Coral Bleaching in Kiribati

 

Abnormally warm waters in the equatorial Pacific are devastating the coral reefs in the Pacific, including Kiribati, triggering a mass coral bleaching event and die-off on these remote islands. We hear from a graduate student recently back from Kiribati and his professor about the devastation and how we can prepare coral reefs for the changing climate.

 

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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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Baby Polar Bear Rescue

 

Climate Change is making life difficult for polar bears across the world. But an orphaned Alaska bear cub is about to get a new home, and a new sibling, at the Buffalo Zoo in upstate New York.

 

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Deepwater Disaster Three Years On

 

Just three years ago, the Deep Water Horizon oil spill poured 200 million gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. Now, a team of chemists, engineers, and biologists is attempting to assess the damage to the Gulf ecosystem.

 

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Trump: Climate and Paris Skeptic

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, says he doubts the reality of man-made climate change — and he says that if elected, he would renegotiate the December 2015 landmark Paris climate agreement.

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Conservatives Tend To Ignore Liberal Talk About Climate

In the U.S., political conservatives often express less concern about environmental issues than liberals. But this may be due in part to the liberal framing of issues — and reframing in ways that reflect conservative values such as patriotism and respect for authority can better engage conservatives.

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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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This Week’s Show
May 20, 2016
listen / download


Trump: Climate and Paris Skeptic

listen / download
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee for President, says he doubts the reality of man-made climate change — and he says that if elected, he would renegotiate the December 2015 landmark Paris climate agreement.

Conservatives Tend To Ignore Liberal Talk About Climate

listen / download
In the U.S., political conservatives often express less concern about environmental issues than liberals. But this may be due in part to the liberal framing of issues — and reframing in ways that reflect conservative values such as patriotism and respect for authority can better engage conservatives.

The Politics of Teaching Climate Science

listen / download
The majority of Americans are worried about climate change, yet most public school science teachers only spend about an hour on climate change every year. And even that can get them into a lot of trouble.

Climate Benefits if New Federal Fossil Energy Leases are Banned

listen / download
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.

BirdNote®: Drinking on the Wing

listen / download
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 unique adaptation comes from.

Beyond the Headlines

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In this week’s trip beyond the environmental news headlines, we dig into 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.

Checking Up on Native Plants

listen / download
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.


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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