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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Democratic Debaters United on Need For Climate Action

 

At the final Democratic primary debate before the 2020 Iowa caucuses, the six top polling candidates onstage all discussed their concerns about climate impacts and their plans for addressing the problem and broadly agreed on the need to address climate disruption. CNN and the Des Moines Register hosted the debate in Des Moines, Iowa, and Steve Curwood highlights the main climate change moments from the evening.

 

Read More »

At the final Democratic primary debate before the 2020 Iowa caucuses, the six top polling candidates onstage all discussed their concerns about climate impacts and their plans for addressing the problem and broadly agreed on the need to address climate disruption. CNN and the Des Moines Register hosted the debate in Des Moines, Iowa, and Steve Curwood highlights the main climate change moments from the evening.

Senator Lisa Murkowski Talks Up Public Lands

 

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is known for reaching across the aisle to broker bipartisan deals, including the bipartisan 2019 Dingell Act to protect and expand public lands. Steve Curwood and Senator Murkowski discuss the Dingell Act and her plans for her final year as Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. They also cover her views on the Trump Administration’s plans to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the roadless rule, and the need to balance oil drilling and climate concerns in the state nicknamed “The Last Frontier”.

 

Read More »

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Trump Moves to Weaken NEPA

 

The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), forms the bedrock of environmental protection at the federal level. It was signed into law 50 years ago by President Richard Nixon and requires environmental review before federal agencies begin substantial new infrastructure projects that could cause or increase environmental harm. Now the Trump Administration says it wants to streamline procedures under NEPA to make it easier for large federal projects to move forward, but critics say it will gut certain environmental protections. Michael Gerrard, an environmental law professor at Columbia Law School, joins Bobby Bascomb to discuss.

 

Read More »

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Australia's Wildfires Point to the Future

 

Australia is in the throes of its worst fire season in modern history. As thousands of homes are incinerated and an estimated billion animals perish, the world is getting a glimpse of our future in a warming world. Penn State University climatologist Michael Mann speaks from Sydney, where he is taking a sabbatical to study the influence of climate change on extreme weather events. Prof. Mann explains the clear link between climate disruption and wildfire disasters, and discusses Aussies’ frustration with the response of their government to the climate crisis.

 

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Climate Disasters Drive Refugee Crisis

 

2019 was a year of climate-related disasters in the developed and developing worlds alike. More people than ever are being forced from their homes because of climate-linked cyclones, sea level rise, and extreme drought, yet the United Nations has not established special legal protections for those displaced by climate disasters. Jesse Young, the Environmental Policy Lead at Oxfam America, joined Bobby Bascomb to talk about the most vulnerable populations and the responsibility that rich nations have to help low-income countries cope.

 

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The Best Science and Nature Writing

 

The best science writing strives to entertain and educate in equal measures, and to help make the jargon of the scientific world accessible to the general public. To cover some of the most captivating recent science writing, Aynsley O'Neill spoke with Sy Montgomery, a bestselling author and the guest editor for the 2019 edition of The Best American Science and Nature Writing.

 

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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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Hummingbirds in the Canyon

 

Watching hummingbirds in Arizona's Madera Canyon gave Mark Seth Lender an up close view of their interactions, and a chance to take spectacular photos.

 

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Bayou Community Struggles with Sinkhole

 

A huge sinkhole in the tiny swamp community of Bayou Corne is giving residents unique and unpleasant challenges. It is now approximately 20 acres in size.

 

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Democratic Debaters United on Need For Climate Action

At the final Democratic primary debate before the 2020 Iowa caucuses, the six top polling candidates onstage all discussed their concerns about climate impacts and their plans for addressing the problem and broadly agreed on the need to address climate disruption. CNN and the Des Moines Register hosted the debate in Des Moines, Iowa, and Steve Curwood highlights the main climate change moments from the evening.

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Senator Lisa Murkowski Talks Up Public Lands

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is known for reaching across the aisle to broker bipartisan deals, including the bipartisan 2019 Dingell Act to protect and expand public lands. Steve Curwood and Senator Murkowski discuss the Dingell Act and her plans for her final year as Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. They also cover her views on the Trump Administration’s plans to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the roadless rule, and the need to balance oil drilling and climate concerns in the state nicknamed “The Last Frontier”.

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After Coal: Stories of Survival in Appalachia and Wales

Communities in Appalachia have been hit hard economically as coal production has dropped, leaving miners out of work, and their communities with shrunken tax bases and fewer paying customers for local businesses. It’s a story that has also played out in Wales in the UK. The experiences on both sides of the Atlantic are the theme of Tom Hansell’s new book, “After Coal: Stories of Survival in Appalachia and Wales”, also a documentary. The book and film tell the story of the After Coal Project, an initiative that seeks to bridge former Appalachian and Welsh coal mining communities. Tom Hansell joins Steve Curwood to talk about how the After Coal Project is helping breathe new economic and cultural life into these regions.

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This Week’s Show
January 17, 2020
listen / download


Democratic Debaters United on Need For Climate Action

listen / download
At the final Democratic primary debate before the 2020 Iowa caucuses, the six top polling candidates onstage all discussed their concerns about climate impacts and their plans for addressing the problem and broadly agreed on the need to address climate disruption. CNN and the Des Moines Register hosted the debate in Des Moines, Iowa, and Steve Curwood highlights the main climate change moments from the evening.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
In this week’s Beyond the Headlines, even as Australia is plagued by wildfires, torrential rains have caused flooding that have left dozens dead in Indonesia’s capital, Jakarta. Bobby Bascomb and Peter Dykstra also examine the threats to underwater ecosystems posed by deep sea mining of everything from diamonds to metals. And in the history calendar, fifty years ago this week, President Richard Nixon protected the integrity of the Florida Everglades by blocking a proposal to build a jetport in the park.

Senator Lisa Murkowski Talks Up Public Lands

listen / download
Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) is known for reaching across the aisle to broker bipartisan deals, including the bipartisan 2019 Dingell Act to protect and expand public lands. Steve Curwood and Senator Murkowski discuss the Dingell Act and her plans for her final year as Chair of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources. They also cover her views on the Trump Administration’s plans to exempt the Tongass National Forest from the roadless rule, and the need to balance oil drilling and climate concerns in the state nicknamed “The Last Frontier”.

Trump Moves to Weaken NEPA

listen / download
The National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), forms the bedrock of environmental protection at the federal level. It was signed into law 50 years ago by President Richard Nixon and requires environmental review before federal agencies begin substantial new infrastructure projects that could cause or increase environmental harm. Now the Trump Administration says it wants to streamline procedures under NEPA to make it easier for large federal projects to move forward, but critics say it will gut certain environmental protections. Michael Gerrard, an environmental law professor at Columbia Law School, joins Bobby Bascomb to discuss.

Note on Emerging Science: Plastic-Eating Mushrooms

listen / download
Around 300 million tons of plastic is produced annually, and only a tiny fraction of that plastic is recycled. Since most plastic will take about 400 years to decompose, plastic pollution poses a huge threat to the environment. But, as Don Lyman explains, the discovery of a mushroom species that feeds on polyurethane might change all that.

After Coal: Stories of Survival in Appalachia and Wales

listen / download
Communities in Appalachia have been hit hard economically as coal production has dropped, leaving miners out of work, and their communities with shrunken tax bases and fewer paying customers for local businesses. It’s a story that has also played out in Wales in the UK. The experiences on both sides of the Atlantic are the theme of Tom Hansell’s new book, “After Coal: Stories of Survival in Appalachia and Wales”, also a documentary. The book and film tell the story of the After Coal Project, an initiative that seeks to bridge former Appalachian and Welsh coal mining communities. Tom Hansell joins Steve Curwood to talk about how the After Coal Project is helping breathe new economic and cultural life into these regions.


Special Features

Free Event -- Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food and a Green New Deal
This "Good Reads on Earth" event brings you a conversation with author and activist Ronnie Cummins on his new book, "Grassroots Rising: A Call to Action on Climate, Farming, Food and a Green New Deal".
Blog Series: LOE events

Free Event -- Erosion: A Conversation of Undoing with Terry Tempest Williams
This "Good Reads on Earth" event brings you a conversation with "Refuge" author Terry Tempest Williams about her new book, "Erosion: Essays of Undoing".
Blog Series: LOE events


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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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