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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Up Close with Penguins, Our Fellow Pedestrians

 

On the Falklands and South Georgia islands, curious Gentoo and King Penguins waddle up to Living on Earth’s Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender to take a closer look.

 

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The Great White Shark Scientist

 

Scientists are tagging and videotaping Great White Sharks in the waters off Cape Cod, Massachusetts to try to determine the size of their local population. Tags let members of the public get in on the tracking, too, and follow some charismatic sharks. Author-adventurer Sy Montgomery’s new book is about this research and she tells us why the risks these majestic creatures pose to humans are in fact quite small, and why we’re a much bigger threat to them.

 

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The Puffin TV Show

 

Each year as wild birds nest, millions of viewers watch via nest cams. From the Seal Island National Wildlife Refuge in Maine there’s a live video stream of puffins raising chicks in an underground burrow, and hanging out on the rocks.

 

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Air Pollution and Mental Illness

 

We know that air pollution is bad for the lungs and the heart, but new research from Sweden of more than a half million people has shown that bad air is also likely bad for childhood mental health.

 

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Opening Glen Canyon

 

Glen Canyon is one of the Colorado River dams that made the rapid development of the West in the 20th century possible. But in recent years the prolonged Western drought has caused increased loss of water due to evaporation and leaks from the Lake Powell reservoir, and now some are proposing a radical solution—open up the dam’s gates and let the water flow.

 

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Mothers Raise the Alert on Gas Leaks

 

In Massachusetts alone consumers pay over $100 million each year for natural gas that escapes from 20,000 leaks. So grassroots group Mothers Out Front is flagging those leaks to warn residents of the costly and dangerous methane being wasted right by their homes.

 

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Australia May Scrap Carbon Tax

 

China is the world’s largest emitter, and much of its coal comes from Australia. With the election of a new Prime Minister, Australia looks set to revoke its carbon tax, leaving many environmentalists worried about their country’s contribution to climate change. (photo: Bigstockphoto.com)

 

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Antarctic Volcano

 

Many scientists are concerned about the impact global warming is having on Antarctica, and now scientists from Washington University in St. Louis have discovered a new kind of threat lurking beneath the vulnerable West Antarctic ice sheet—an active volcano. (Photo: Doug Wiens)

 

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Climate Departure Date

 

A group of scientists at the University of Hawaii have figured out a way to project when the climate at a given location will move outside the range of anything we’ve known in modern times. It’s sooner then you think.

 

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US Helps India Finance Solar

Millions of people in rural India still don’t have access to electricity, and using coal reserves to electrify the Indian countryside could be devastating for the climate. But a new collaboration with the United States government and private foundations to leverage $1 billion for solar power development in India shows how developed countries can help advance renewable energy in the developing world.

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The Nautilus at Risk

The chambered nautilus, with its spiral shell and up to ninety tentacles, is a bizarre and beautiful cephalopod. It’s remained largely unchanged through five hundred million years and five major extinction events. But with global demand for nautilus shells driving it to the brink, some are calling for the nautilus to be given Endangered Species Act protection.

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The Great White Shark Scientist

Scientists are tagging and videotaping Great White Sharks in the waters off Cape Cod, Massachusetts to try to determine the size of their local population. Tags let members of the public get in on the tracking, too, and follow some charismatic sharks. Author-adventurer Sy Montgomery’s new book is about this research and she tells us why the risks these majestic creatures pose to humans are in fact quite small, and why we’re a much bigger threat to them.

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This Week’s Show
June 24, 2016
listen / download


US Helps India Finance Solar

listen / download
Millions of people in rural India still don’t have access to electricity, and using coal reserves to electrify the Indian countryside could be devastating for the climate. But a new collaboration with the United States government and private foundations to leverage $1 billion for solar power development in India shows how developed countries can help advance renewable energy in the developing world.

Counting Horseshoe Crabs to Save Them

listen / download
Horseshoe crabs hold an important role in the Atlantic ecosystem, and also in medicine. A Massachusetts Audubon Society tagging program is working to provide an accurate census and reliable information to understand how many can be safely harvested.

The Nautilus at Risk

listen / download
The chambered nautilus, with its spiral shell and up to ninety tentacles, is a bizarre and beautiful cephalopod. It’s remained largely unchanged through five hundred million years and five major extinction events. But with global demand for nautilus shells driving it to the brink, some are calling for the nautilus to be given Endangered Species Act protection.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
Fluctuating blue crab populations take center stage in this week’s trip beyond the headlines. We also discuss efforts by the US Chamber of Commerce that seem intended to thwart the solar industry, and -- on the 65th anniversary of its publication -- the importance of famed environmentalist Rachel Carson’s early book, “The Sea Around Us.”

The Great White Shark Scientist

listen / download
Scientists are tagging and videotaping Great White Sharks in the waters off Cape Cod, Massachusetts to try to determine the size of their local population. Tags let members of the public get in on the tracking, too, and follow some charismatic sharks. Author-adventurer Sy Montgomery’s new book is about this research and she tells us why the risks these majestic creatures pose to humans are in fact quite small, and why we’re a much bigger threat to them.

Up Close with Penguins, Our Fellow Pedestrians

listen / download
On the Falklands and South Georgia islands, curious Gentoo and King Penguins waddle up to Living on Earth’s Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender to take a closer look.


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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