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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Drought Threatens Hydropower

 

Amid extreme drought and record low water levels in the Colorado Basin, the federal government has decided to retain more water in Lake Powell and release less to Lake Mead and beyond, which preserves hydropower generation for the short term. But as reporter Luke Runyon explains, the Colorado River basin still faces a long-term water shortage that imperils the future of cities and farms in the Southwest.

 

Read More »

Amid extreme drought and record low water levels in the Colorado Basin, the federal government has decided to retain more water in Lake Powell and release less to Lake Mead and beyond, which preserves hydropower generation for the short term. But as reporter Luke Runyon explains, the Colorado River basin still faces a long-term water shortage that imperils the future of cities and farms in the Southwest.

How to Save the Climate

 

The Earth is hurtling toward climate disaster as evidenced by many scientific studies, including the latest results from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Yet the world continues to rely heavily on fossil fuels and drag its heels on transitioning to clean energy. Harvard University Professor of the History of Science Naomi Oreskes notes climate change science is unequivocal and why the paths to solving the climate crisis are political and social.

 

Read More »

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The Hawk’s Way

 

Falconry, also known as the practice of hunting with birds, can be traced back perhaps as far as the Ice Age. Many modern aficionados, like author Sy Montgomery, consider the sport to be more about the interaction with these hawks, falcons, and owls, rather than about the hunting itself. Sy’s newest book is The Hawk’s Way: Encounters with Fierce Beauty, where she talks about learning the art of falconry. Sy joined us for the latest Living on Earth Book Club Event to discuss the wondrous world of these birds of prey.

 

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How Purpose Trusts Can Support Corporate Sustainability

 

For many corporations it’s all about the bottom line, and that can come at the expense of the environment, employees and consumers alike. But there’s another way to structure a for-profit company for a higher purpose. Sarah Joannides, the managing director of Alternative Ownership Advisors, explains how perpetual purpose trusts can help companies uphold core values like sustainability.

 

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200 New Freshwater Fish Species Discovered

 

More than 200 new species of freshwater fish were discovered worldwide in 2021, including a blind eel found in Mumbai and a fish dubbed the Wolverine pleco for its hidden spines. Harmony Patricio is conservation program manager at Shoal, which compiled the report, and she joins us for details.

 

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An Interview with the Ocean

 

As we close out Poetry Month, we share the timeless poem “I Go Down to the Shore” read by the late Mary Oliver, and a sound rich performance of a creative piece it inspired. Author Kate Horowitz wrote “An Interview with the Ocean” and joined Aynsley O’Neill to bring it to the airwaves.

 

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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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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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Tibetan Monks Saving Snow Leopards

 

Snow Leopards are among the most endangered of the world’s big cats, but now Tibetan monks are giving the leopard hope. (Camera trap photo of a snow leopard on the Tibetan plateau (photo: Panthera))

 

Read More »

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Drought Threatens Hydropower

Amid extreme drought and record low water levels in the Colorado Basin, the federal government has decided to retain more water in Lake Powell and release less to Lake Mead and beyond, which preserves hydropower generation for the short term. But as reporter Luke Runyon explains, the Colorado River basin still faces a long-term water shortage that imperils the future of cities and farms in the Southwest.

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“SmartICE” Helps Inuit People Adapt

For thousands of years the Inuit people of Northern Canada have relied on stable sea ice for travel and hunting, but as the climate warms the ice is growing dangerously thin. Now, some Inuit communities are working with SmartICE, an organization that uses sensor and GPS technology along with Inuit traditional knowledge to help find safe passages over sea ice in real time, explains Rex Holwell, an Inuit man working as the North Production Lead for SmartICE.

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How to Save the Climate

The Earth is hurtling toward climate disaster as evidenced by many scientific studies, including the latest results from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Yet the world continues to rely heavily on fossil fuels and drag its heels on transitioning to clean energy. Harvard University Professor of the History of Science Naomi Oreskes notes climate change science is unequivocal and why the paths to solving the climate crisis are political and social.

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This Week’s Show
May 13, 2022
listen / download


Drought Threatens Hydropower

listen / download
Amid extreme drought and record low water levels in the Colorado Basin, the federal government has decided to retain more water in Lake Powell and release less to Lake Mead and beyond, which preserves hydropower generation for the short term. But as reporter Luke Runyon explains, the Colorado River basin still faces a long-term water shortage that imperils the future of cities and farms in the Southwest.

BirdNote: The Zone-tailed Hawk

listen / download
Turkey vultures soar over the landscape, searching for dead animals. But the Zone-Tailed Hawk, an American raptor that’s a vulture look-alike, soars with them, its sharp eyes searching for mice and birds that ignore the carrion-seeking birds.

Beyond the Headlines

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On this week's trip beyond the headlines Environmental Health News' Weekend Editor Peter Dykstra and Host Bobby Bascomb consider a record-setting heat wave in India and Pakistan. Then, the two check in on a positive trend in solar and wind power in the United States. Finally, a look in the history books at the fate of the law behind the Scopes Monkey Trial which prohibited the teaching evolution in Tennessee public schools.

“SmartICE” Helps Inuit People Adapt

listen / download
For thousands of years the Inuit people of Northern Canada have relied on stable sea ice for travel and hunting, but as the climate warms the ice is growing dangerously thin. Now, some Inuit communities are working with SmartICE, an organization that uses sensor and GPS technology along with Inuit traditional knowledge to help find safe passages over sea ice in real time, explains Rex Holwell, an Inuit man working as the North Production Lead for SmartICE.

Invasive Jumping Worms

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Jumping worms, native to Korea and Japan, are spreading quickly across several states within the U.S. The invasive worms degrade soil texture as they eat and deplete it of nutrients, causing problems for gardens and lawns. This week, Kara Hollsopple from the Allegheny Front reports on how to spot and avoid jumping worms and what to do if you encounter them.

How to Save the Climate

listen / download
The Earth is hurtling toward climate disaster as evidenced by many scientific studies, including the latest results from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Yet the world continues to rely heavily on fossil fuels and drag its heels on transitioning to clean energy. Harvard University Professor of the History of Science Naomi Oreskes notes climate change science is unequivocal and why the paths to solving the climate crisis are political and social.


Special Features

Field Note: The Impala Imperative
Living on Earth's Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender provides additional insight on how impala markings help confound predators and buy the antelope crucial extra time to escape.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender Field Notes

Field Note: “To Fly, To Live:” Osprey of Long Island Sound
Living on Earth's Explorer-in-Residence Mark Seth Lender shares a reflection on how the availability of prey shapes the lives of young ospreys.
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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