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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Rethinking Our Relationship to Palm Oil

 

Palm oil production has long contributed to climate change by fostering rainforest and peatland clearance in Southeast Asia. But new solutions to the problems are on the rise. Living on Earth’s Shannon Kelleher investigates alternative oils that might come to share palm oil’s market niche and how processors are being encouraged to use more sustainable sources of palm oil.

 

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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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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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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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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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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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EPA Fails To Properly Regulate Fracking Waste

Over 27 years ago, the EPA pledged to update its regulation of toxic waste from oil and gas drilling, including fracking, but it has yet to do so. Current disposal methods can expose the public to carcinogenic and radioactive materials. Seven environmental groups have now filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the EPA for failing to keep its promise.

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Rethinking Our Relationship to Palm Oil

Palm oil production has long contributed to climate change by fostering rainforest and peatland clearance in Southeast Asia. But new solutions to the problems are on the rise. Living on Earth’s Shannon Kelleher investigates alternative oils that might come to share palm oil’s market niche and how processors are being encouraged to use more sustainable sources of palm oil.

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The Place Where You Live: Cowee, North Carolina

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.

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This Week’s Show
September 4, 2015
listen / download


EPA Fails To Properly Regulate Fracking Waste

listen / download
Over 27 years ago, the EPA pledged to update its regulation of toxic waste from oil and gas drilling, including fracking, but it has yet to do so. Current disposal methods can expose the public to carcinogenic and radioactive materials. Seven environmental groups have now filed a 60-day notice of intent to sue the EPA for failing to keep its promise.

The Beef With Ground Beef

listen / download
Americans love ground beef, but an investigation into dangerous bacteria in the product may have us putting down our burgers. A new Consumer Reports suggests that not all ground beef is equally safe and explains why sustainably-sourced hamburgers may healthier for consumers and the environment.

Cheerios Go Green

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Extreme weather events and drought threaten the world’s food supply as well as the profitability of large food companies. Some multinationals have already adopted practices to fight global warming. Now, General Mills has put forth a business model that will drastically cut its global warming emissions, and those of its suppliers and consumers.

Rethinking Our Relationship to Palm Oil

listen / download
Palm oil production has long contributed to climate change by fostering rainforest and peatland clearance in Southeast Asia. But new solutions to the problems are on the rise. Living on Earth’s Shannon Kelleher investigates alternative oils that might come to share palm oil’s market niche and how processors are being encouraged to use more sustainable sources of palm oil.

"Tropical" Diseases Reappearing in the U.S.

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Tropical diseases such as Chagas disease, dengue fever, usually found in South America, Africa and Asia, are increasingly affecting people in the US, with debilitating and even deadly consequences. Despite years of medical advances in other fields, complacency and a lack of research have allowed these diseases to spread in the U.S, especially among poor people in The South.

Beyond the Headlines

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In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, we hear about fossil-fueled FOIA requests, the perfect website to show a climate denier and the history of the term “treehugger”.

The Place Where You Live: Cowee, North Carolina

listen / download
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.


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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