Environment

Americans In Combat

Aug 20, 2018

Journalist C.J. Chivers doesn’t sugarcoat the American war effort in Afghanistan and Iraq.

Environmental activists are using a new strategy to block construction of oil and gas pipelines. It already has worked in New York where construction on the Constitution Pipeline has stalled. Now activists are trying the strategy in Oregon.

The proposed Jordan Cove project includes a pipeline that would transport natural gas across the Cascades mountain range to the Oregon coast. There it would be turned into liquefied natural gas (LNG) for export.

Plastic trash is littering the land and fouling rivers and oceans. But what we can see is only a small fraction of what's out there.

Since modern plastic was first mass-produced, 8 billion tons have been manufactured. And when it's thrown away, it doesn't just disappear. Much of it crumbles into small pieces.

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India's southern state of Kerala may get some much needed relief in the coming days as the forecast shows less rain for the area that has been dealing with deadly monsoon floods for more than a week.

More than 350 people have died and at least 800,000 others have been displaced, according to The Associated Press. But there are fears that the number of dead could increase as rescue and recovery efforts continue.

Reporting from Mumbai, NPR's Lauren Frayer says that, "tens of thousands of people have been rescued from flooded homes ... but many more are stranded."

Less than a month after an earthquake killed hundreds of people, the Indonesian island of Lombok experienced a series of quakes on Sunday.

The U.S. Geological Survey measured a 6.9 magnitude quake late Sunday evening local time. That quake came after two others earlier in the day that registered at magnitudes 6.3 and 5.4 respectively, according to The Associated Press.

Mountain Gets A Downgrade To A Hill

Aug 19, 2018

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It was just after 7:30 p.m. on July 26 when dispatchers heard Jeremy Stoke's mayday call. The fire inspector had been in his pickup heading to evacuate a neighborhood in northwest Redding, Calif., when he was trapped by the blaze himself.

Only silence answered the dispatchers' replies. They found Stoke's body the next day.

Part 5 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Story Behind The Numbers.

About Paul Gilding's TED Talk

Environmental activist Paul Gilding says the world has been growing too fast for too long. And now...the Earth is full. The only solution, he says, is to radically change the way we consume.

About Paul Gilding

Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode The Story Behind The Numbers.

About Steven Pinker's TED Talk

It might seem like the world is getting worse and worse. But psychologist Steven Pinker says that across the board, data suggests we've made a lot of progress. The question is — will it continue?

About Steven Pinker

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Monsoon rains are lashing southern India, where water has overrun riverbanks, submerged city buildings and left a death toll of dozens of people. The chief minister of Kerala, the state hit hardest by the storms, has described the situation as "an unprecedented flood havoc."

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Wildfires are burning across the western U.S. from New Mexico all the way up to Washington. In Montana, the Howe Ridge Fire burning in Glacier National Park destroyed a set of historic cabins. Nicky Ouellet of Montana Public Radio reports.

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When Star Ames was a child there was a flood. The streets were like rivers and the houses like islands. It was 1960 and the village of Odanah, Wis. was up to its neck.

The town had been built on the banks of the Bad River, in the floodplain. "I remember watching the river come up," Ames says. "Every place we thought was high enough, the water kept coming up."

Florida this week declared a state of emergency because of a slow-moving natural disaster — red tide.

Red tide is toxic algae that have persisted off Florida's Gulf Coast for nearly a year. In recent weeks, the algae bloom has worsened, killing fish, turtles and dolphins and discouraging tourism on some of the state's most beautiful beaches.

Watch This Native Pollinator Build Her Bee-Jeweled Nest

Aug 14, 2018

While honeybees and their buzzing hives and hyper-fertile queens get all the press for pollinating our food supply, the hard-working blue orchard bee is one of 4,000 bee species native to North America that does its solitary work in relative obscurity. That is, until now.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia officials have announced the first case of Eastern Equine Encephalitis in a horse this year.

The Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services says it was a Quarter Horse mare from Suffolk. Officials say the horse entered the North Carolina State Veterinary school hospital in late July and subsequently died.

The disease has an 80 to 90 percent mortality rate.

At the World Health Assembly meeting in Geneva this past spring, the United States delegation shocked the assembly by opposing breastfeeding regulations that would encourage nations to limit the use of infant formulas and milk substitutes.

When it comes to feeding newborn babies, the science is settled: Breast milk has myriad health benefits that formula simply can’t rival. This became clear in the 1970s, when Nestlé began to aggressively market infant formula in developing countries and running ads implying it was just as good as breast milk.

Debbie Dobrosky noticed a peculiar hue in the sky on August 6 — "a very ugly yellow casting" — as she peeked outside. A large cloud of smoke had begun to cover the sun.

By the next day, the smoke was so heavy that "even inside my apartment I've had to use my inhaler twice this morning, which is not a normal thing," says Dobrosky, a Riverside County, Calif., resident who lives about 30 miles from a fast-growing fire in the Cleveland National Forest.

Summertime is for road trips. Atlas Obscura and All Things Considered are traveling up the West Coast, from California to Washington, in search of "hidden wonders" — unique but overlooked people and places.

Summertime is for road trips. Atlas Obscura teamed up with All Things Considered to travel up the West Coast, from California to Washington, in search of "hidden wonders" — unique but overlooked people and places.

One morning a few weeks ago, René Corado was so excited that he forgot to eat breakfast.

As 17 fires burn across the state, California's legislature is grappling with what it should do to help residents cope with blazes. The most controversial question facing the state is a decision over who should pay when power lines touch off destructive blazes.

That has set off a huge political fight in the state capitol. On Thursday lawmakers heard hours of testimony on a proposal by Gov. Jerry Brown to tweak state liability laws.

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Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross on Wednesday ordered federal agencies to use any water necessary to fight sprawling wildfires in California. This is the Trump administration's most forceful response to the fire crisis in California, but experts say water is not really the problem.

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The Western Foundation for Vertebrate Zoology in Camarillo, Calif., houses one of the largest collections of birds eggs and nests in the world. As part of our summer road trip collaboration with Atlas Obscura, we explore the collection and meet the scientists who run the foundation.

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