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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Up-Close With Massive Elephant Seals

 

Northern Elephant Seals, the size of SUVs, haul out on the beaches of Año Nuevo State Park in California by the thousands in February to give birth and mate. The park has set up a live webcam so anyone can tune in to see the drama.

 

Read More »

Northern Elephant Seals, the size of SUVs, haul out on the beaches of Año Nuevo State Park in California by the thousands in February to give birth and mate. The park has set up a live webcam so anyone can tune in to see the drama.

An Elephant Seal Pup Nurses

 

Elephant seal milk is high in calories, well-suited for feeding fast-growing pups in a short amount of time. Living on Earth’s Resident Explorer Mark Seth Lender watches an Elephant Seal mother off the coast of Antarctica nurse her hungry pup, and finds the infant’s cries somehow familiar.

 

Read More »

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A Carbon Dividend Plan

 

Conservatives could support a carbon tax if it also reduced EPA regulations and made payments to consumers to offset the costs, say advocates led by Republican elder statesmen, including former Secretary of State James Baker. They have proposed an ambitious Carbon Dividend plan that could entice bipartisan support, pay families $2000 a year, and cut greenhouse gas emissions more than Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

 

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Sex and Sustainability in the Sea

 

The extensive ecosystem under the waves depends upon the intricate, complex and mysterious mating rituals of its inhabitants. Lobster urine spraying, clownfish sex changes and coral’s mass sperm and egg expulsion are only a few clever and unusual reproductive strategies unique to sea-dwellers, and as author and marine biologist Marah Hardt says, understanding these methods is critical for maintaining these resources.

 

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Standing Down at Standing Rock

 

President Trump's new executive order advances plans to complete the Dakota Access and Keystone XL pipelines. At the same time, Standing Rock Sioux leadership now wants DAPL protestors to go home. But many who opposed DAPL with the Native Americans in North Dakota for months are not ready to accept defeat. Reporter Sandy Tolan returned to the Standing Rock Camp to listen to the small band of “water protectors’’ still braving the winter elements.

 

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Golden Gobi Grizzlies

 

Just a few dozen grizzly bears with bright yellow coats live in the forbidding Gobi Desert in Mongolia. Writer and wildlife biologist Douglas Chadwick has returned to the Gobi desert season after season to track these astonishing bears, and recently authored a book on how they survive and what can be done to better protect them.

 

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Migrations Off Schedule

 

The monarch butterflies are late, the wildebeest have turned around, and the North Atlantic right whales are missing. What’s going on with the world’s great animal migrations?

 

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Nicaraguan Canal

 

The first ships sailed down the Panama Canal in 1914. Now, nearly one hundred years later, Nicaragua has an agreement with a Chinese company to build a canal of its own to link the Pacific and Atlantic. (photo: Tim Rogers)

 

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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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Pruitt and Conflicts of Interest

Scott Pruitt, former Oklahoma attorney general, is President Trump’s new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. He has brought multiple lawsuits against the agency, some of which are still pending -- and these potential conflicts of interest are raising questions about how he will lead EPA.

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Catholic Call Against Corruption

President Trump has signed the repeal of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s transparency rule regarding extractive industries’ payments to foreign governments. And the Catholic Church is paying attention: Bishop Oscar Cantú, who has visited developing countries to understand how corruption fueled by foreign cash exacerbates poverty and misery, comments on the significance of this repeal.

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Coal Mines and the Stream Protection Rule

The new GOP-controlled Congress acted quickly to overturn the Department of Interior’s recent Stream Protection Rule. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports on how the rule might have affected coal mines and protected streams in Pennsylvania and the rest of Appalachia, had it survived.

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This Week’s Show
February 17, 2017
listen / download


Pruitt and Conflicts of Interest

listen / download
Scott Pruitt, former Oklahoma attorney general, is President Trump’s new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator. He has brought multiple lawsuits against the agency, some of which are still pending -- and these potential conflicts of interest are raising questions about how he will lead EPA.

Catholic Call Against Corruption

listen / download
President Trump has signed the repeal of the Securities and Exchange Commission’s transparency rule regarding extractive industries’ payments to foreign governments. And the Catholic Church is paying attention: Bishop Oscar Cantú, who has visited developing countries to understand how corruption fueled by foreign cash exacerbates poverty and misery, comments on the significance of this repeal.

Coal Mines and the Stream Protection Rule

listen / download
The new GOP-controlled Congress acted quickly to overturn the Department of Interior’s recent Stream Protection Rule. The Allegheny Front’s Reid Frazier reports on how the rule might have affected coal mines and protected streams in Pennsylvania and the rest of Appalachia, had it survived.

A Coal Miner’s Take on Stream Protection

listen / download
Coal has deep roots in Appalachia and its local communities, but this way of life too often comes with persistent water pollution. With the recent overturn of the Stream Protection Rule, coal companies are under less pressure to control and clean up their environmental impact. Former miner Gary Bentley describes the murky future of coal country’s water and its future.

Beyond The Headlines

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This week, we discuss the costs and benefits of a proposed Uranium mine to a small fishing community in Greenland, and environmental justice and the pig industry in North Carolina. Then we reflect on a famed Swedish chemist who was one of the first to calculate the global warming potential of CO2.

Radiation Spikes At Fukishima

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Almost six years after a tsunami caused a meltdown at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant, the facility’s operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) faces overwhelming problems to clean up the site. Tepco now reports radiation in reactor 2 that would kill a worker in thirty seconds, and even destroys robots.

Up-Close With Massive Elephant Seals

listen / download
Northern Elephant Seals, the size of SUVs, haul out on the beaches of Año Nuevo State Park in California by the thousands in February to give birth and mate. The park has set up a live webcam so anyone can tune in to see the drama.

An Elephant Seal Pup Nurses

listen / download
Elephant seal milk is high in calories, well-suited for feeding fast-growing pups in a short amount of time. Living on Earth’s Resident Explorer Mark Seth Lender watches an Elephant Seal mother off the coast of Antarctica nurse her hungry pup, and finds the infant’s cries somehow familiar.


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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