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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Fracking and Your Health

 

Fracking forces water, sand and chemicals into shale rock at high pressures, extracting much more oil and gas than conventional wells. Though highly efficient, this method comes with environmental and health risks including birth defects, cancer, and asthma, as reported in a new meta study that combines the findings of more than 1700 studies, articles and reports on the health impacts of fracking. Co-author Sandra Steingraber discusses the importance of this massive body of evidence.

 

Read More »

Fracking forces water, sand and chemicals into shale rock at high pressures, extracting much more oil and gas than conventional wells. Though highly efficient, this method comes with environmental and health risks including birth defects, cancer, and asthma, as reported in a new meta study that combines the findings of more than 1700 studies, articles and reports on the health impacts of fracking. Co-author Sandra Steingraber discusses the importance of this massive body of evidence.

How To Be A Good Creature

 

From tarantulas to octopuses to the dogs and chickens in her own backyard, naturalist and author Sy Montgomery connects with creatures of all walks of life. They are her friends, her family and especially her teachers. In her latest book, How To Be A Good Creature, she reflects on the lessons she’s learned from her furry, feathered and tentacled friends.

 

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The Secret & Endangered Lives of Freshwater Mussels

 

Freshwater mussels are among Earth’s most fascinating and underappreciated species, but they’re also among the most endangered group of organisms in the United States. Now, in response to legal action by the Center for Biological Diversity, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has agreed to designate critical habitat for four endangered freshwater mussels in 18 states. Tierra Curry of the Center for Biological Diversity shares the enthralling lives of freshwater mussels and why they’re crucial indicators of freshwater ecosystem health.

 

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Exploring the Parks: Sequoia and Kings Canyon

 

This installment in our occasional series on America’s public lands takes us to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks in California, which boast some of the biggest trees in the world and the tallest peak in the lower 48 states. Savannah Boiano of the Sequoia Parks Conservancy discusses the highlights of these jewels of the national parks system, including the giant sequoia trees, as well as hundreds of miles of hiking trails.

 

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Science at Risk at the Border

 

Scientists working on the US-Mexico border face unique challenges when trying to study borderlands ecosystems from outright harassment at the hands of Border Patrol officers to tight restrictions on what natural materials can cross the border. They say it’s gotten much worse in recent years, due to the Trump Administration’s call for a massive border wall, as well as taking a hard line on illegal immigration and asylum seekers. Bobby Bascomb discusses the challenges of doing science on the border with Steve Curwood.

 

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HBO’s “Ice on Fire” Offers Climate Solutions

 

The new HBO documentary “Ice on Fire”, produced and narrated by Leonardo DiCaprio, focuses on accessible solutions to climate change as well as the dangers, and on the scientists who finding those solutions. Director Leila Conners discusses the making of the documentary and who it aims to reach.

 

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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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Romance and Spring Harvest At Paradise Lot

 

For most gardeners, springtime means a few seedlings on a window sill. But for perennial gardeners spring is a time of harvest. The new book, Paradise Lot, is a personal and heartwarming account of finding romance and growing a permaculture food forest on a degraded backyard plot in a gritty neighborhood of Holyoke, MA.

 

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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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Fracking and Your Health

Fracking forces water, sand and chemicals into shale rock at high pressures, extracting much more oil and gas than conventional wells. Though highly efficient, this method comes with environmental and health risks including birth defects, cancer, and asthma, as reported in a new meta study that combines the findings of more than 1700 studies, articles and reports on the health impacts of fracking. Co-author Sandra Steingraber discusses the importance of this massive body of evidence.

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Exploring the Parks: Petrified Forest National Park

In this installment of our series on US public lands, visit Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, where visitors can see the fossilized remains of trees more than six feet in diameter that lived there more than 200 million years ago. Sarah Herve, the acting chief of interpretation for the park, describes the unique geological process that preserved the ancient trees.

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"Hadestown" Brings Climate Change To Broadway

Tony Award-winning musical "Hadestown" retells the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with a Great Depression-inspired industrial post-apocalyptic setting. The show infuses themes like isolationism, exploitation of workers, and even climate change with New Orleans jazz, folk, and pop music. Director Rachel Chavkin illustrates the show’s environmental themes.

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This Week’s Show
July 19, 2019
listen / download


Fracking and Your Health

listen / download
Fracking forces water, sand and chemicals into shale rock at high pressures, extracting much more oil and gas than conventional wells. Though highly efficient, this method comes with environmental and health risks including birth defects, cancer, and asthma, as reported in a new meta study that combines the findings of more than 1700 studies, articles and reports on the health impacts of fracking. Co-author Sandra Steingraber discusses the importance of this massive body of evidence.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
In this week’s trip Beyond the Headlines, Peter Dykstra and Bobby Bascomb look at Native American tribes’ shift from fossil fuels to solar energy. Then, they talk about Germany’s plans to reduce dependence on coal, without sending miners to the unemployment lines. Finally, the pair look back on a couple of post-apocalyptic movies that incorporated environmental themes.

Exploring the Parks: Petrified Forest National Park

listen / download
In this installment of our series on US public lands, visit Petrified Forest National Park in Arizona, where visitors can see the fossilized remains of trees more than six feet in diameter that lived there more than 200 million years ago. Sarah Herve, the acting chief of interpretation for the park, describes the unique geological process that preserved the ancient trees.

Offsetting Your Carbon Footprint

listen / download
Carbon-intensive activities, including global air travel, have been growing for decades. For those interested in reducing their carbon footprints, carbon offsets promise to mitigate the damage through the investment in projects that either sequester carbon, like reforestation or forest conservation, or develop alternative energy infrastructure that reduce future emissions. Cool Effect CEO Marisa de Belloy discusses her non-profit crowdfunding platform that sells these offsets.

"Hadestown" Brings Climate Change To Broadway

listen / download
Tony Award-winning musical "Hadestown" retells the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice with a Great Depression-inspired industrial post-apocalyptic setting. The show infuses themes like isolationism, exploitation of workers, and even climate change with New Orleans jazz, folk, and pop music. Director Rachel Chavkin illustrates the show’s environmental themes.

Camels at the Henbury Craters

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The wild dromedary camels of Australia's Henbury Craters are not native to the area, but they thrive in the dry heat nevertheless. Living on Earth’s Explorer in Residence, Mark Seth Lender, bears witness.

BirdNote®: House Sparrows’ Dance

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Many wild animals go out of their way to avoid humans and our structures, but some seem to thrive in the built environment. Such is the case of the House Sparrow, a common sight and sound from home improvement stores to rural barns and churches. BirdNote®’s Michael Stein has more on this chirpy little bird.


Special Features

Field Note: Camels at the Henbury Craters
Living on Earth's Explorer in Residence, Mark Seth Lender, comments on the relatively minimal habitat needed to support the dwindling populations of non-native dromedary camels now living in Australia.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Field Note: Get the Lead Out!
Living on Earth’s Explorer in Residence Mark Seth Lender muses on an encounter with one of Earth’s most impressive birds: the California Condor.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes


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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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