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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Alaska Acts on Climate

 

Temperatures in the polar regions are rising faster than in the rest of the world, and in Alaska the warming is melting permafrost and bringing stronger storms and rising seas that are eroding coastlines. Yet 90% of the state’s economy is linked to oil and gas extraction, a major source of global warming pollution, so the state has begun a public dialogue on the dilemma.

 

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Temperatures in the polar regions are rising faster than in the rest of the world, and in Alaska the warming is melting permafrost and bringing stronger storms and rising seas that are eroding coastlines. Yet 90% of the state’s economy is linked to oil and gas extraction, a major source of global warming pollution, so the state has begun a public dialogue on the dilemma.

No Refuge in Wildlife Refuges

 

National Wildlife Refuges are intended to offer safe havens for native and migrating species. But in some of these protected areas, roughly half a million pounds of chemical pesticides are sprayed yearly, to support commercial agriculture.

 

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Free the Beaches: Desegregating America’s Shoreline

 

The US civil rights movement to end racial segregation in the 1960’s took place not only in the South, but in the North as well. In Connecticut, just about all of the beaches were off-limits to people of color -- until a creative protestor named Ned Coll came along, and helped ensure all children could cool off on hot days at the beach.

 

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Copperheads at Shawangunk

 

The steep blocky edge of Shawangunk Ridge towers like a fortress above a broad plain in southern New York state. The old, eroding rock of “The Gunks” provides plenty of challenges to climbers and also niches to protect small creatures, like copperhead snakes. Living on Earth’s Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender observes three copperheads intertwined on a stone ledge, and marvels at their languid retreat into the rock.

 

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FDA Scientist Finds Weed Killer on Many Foods

 

The common herbicide glyphosate is considered to be a probable carcinogen by a World Health Organization agency. New e-mails uncovered through a FOIA request reveal that an FDA scientist found glyphosate residue on nearly every food item tested, including cereals, crackers, and honey, but the FDA hasn’t made the key results public.

 

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UN Climate Talks Gear Up for December

 

The 190 or so nations in the Paris Climate Agreement will come together in December at a summit in Poland aimed at agreeing on rules to implement the Paris Climate Agreement of 2015. Negotiators recently met in Bonn to try to iron out any disagreements in advance of the high-level session.

 

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Hummingbirds Citizen Science Project

 

The Rufous hummingbird follows the Rocky Mountains to migrate from Alaska to Mexico (Photo: Diana Douglas for Hummingbirds at Home).

 

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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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Trout Are Speaking

 

Commentator Mark Seth Lender contemplates the rainbow trout.

 

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Alaska Acts on Climate

Temperatures in the polar regions are rising faster than in the rest of the world, and in Alaska the warming is melting permafrost and bringing stronger storms and rising seas that are eroding coastlines. Yet 90% of the state’s economy is linked to oil and gas extraction, a major source of global warming pollution, so the state has begun a public dialogue on the dilemma.

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No Refuge in Wildlife Refuges

National Wildlife Refuges are intended to offer safe havens for native and migrating species. But in some of these protected areas, roughly half a million pounds of chemical pesticides are sprayed yearly, to support commercial agriculture.

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Free the Beaches: Desegregating America’s Shoreline

The US civil rights movement to end racial segregation in the 1960’s took place not only in the South, but in the North as well. In Connecticut, just about all of the beaches were off-limits to people of color -- until a creative protestor named Ned Coll came along, and helped ensure all children could cool off on hot days at the beach.

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This Week’s Show
May 25, 2018
listen / download


Alaska Acts on Climate

listen / download
Temperatures in the polar regions are rising faster than in the rest of the world, and in Alaska the warming is melting permafrost and bringing stronger storms and rising seas that are eroding coastlines. Yet 90% of the state’s economy is linked to oil and gas extraction, a major source of global warming pollution, so the state has begun a public dialogue on the dilemma.

The Most Toxic Town in America

listen / download
Kotzebue, Alaska is one of the most industrially-polluted communities in the US: it topped an EPA ranking of toxic towns in 2017. Millions of pounds of poisonous dust laden with heavy metals are released annually from mining zinc and lead at the nearby Red Dog Mine.

Beyond the Headlines

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This week we head to the coast of New Jersey, where North Carolina fishermen are following their catch as fish species head for cooler waters. Also, we learn why a stalled solar farm in Kentucky is linked to a coal operation; and peering back into history, we note the arrival of invasive zebra mussels in the Great Lakes and look back on the career of an environmental news legend.

No Refuge in Wildlife Refuges

listen / download
National Wildlife Refuges are intended to offer safe havens for native and migrating species. But in some of these protected areas, roughly half a million pounds of chemical pesticides are sprayed yearly, to support commercial agriculture.

Copperheads at Shawangunk

listen / download
The steep blocky edge of Shawangunk Ridge towers like a fortress above a broad plain in southern New York state. The old, eroding rock of “The Gunks” provides plenty of challenges to climbers and also niches to protect small creatures, like copperhead snakes. Living on Earth’s Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender observes three copperheads intertwined on a stone ledge, and marvels at their languid retreat into the rock.

Free the Beaches: Desegregating America’s Shoreline

listen / download
The US civil rights movement to end racial segregation in the 1960’s took place not only in the South, but in the North as well. In Connecticut, just about all of the beaches were off-limits to people of color -- until a creative protestor named Ned Coll came along, and helped ensure all children could cool off on hot days at the beach.


Special Features

Lawmakers Call for Pruitt to Resign

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EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt is under heavy fire for alleged legal and ethical violations, and a record number of lawmakers say "enough is enough." Some 140 House members and 39 senators, all caucusing with Democrats, have signed on to a non-binding resolution introduced by Representative Kathy Castor of Florida and Senator Tom Udall of New Mexico calling for Mr. Pruitt’s resignation. Senator Tom Udall discusses with host Steve Curwood Pruitt's ethical red flags that have recently come to light, and the EPA rollbacks the Senator says are harmful to human health.
Blog Series: LOE Updates

Field Note: Eagles At Play
In this field note, Living on Earth’s Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender remarks on the powerful hold the American Bald Eagle has on our collective awe, and on how severely we have decimated their numbers in the centuries since Europeans landed on North America’s shores.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Sexual Misconduct in the U.S. Forest Service: Michaela Myers' Story

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Michaela Myers finished college in 2017 and landed what she thought was a dream job: working with the US Forest Service fighting wildfires in Oregon. But a pattern of sexual harassment and hazing by her boss and colleagues turned that dream into a nightmare. She tells her story to Living on Earth host Steve Curwood.
Blog Series: LOE Updates


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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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