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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Jellyfish Are Taking Over!

 

Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin has a passion for the jellyfish she studies, and has discovered 200 new species. But the sea creatures she loves are blooming, clogging power plant ducts and beaches as well as overwhelming some marine ecosystems, and even stinging us! And it’s largely because of human impacts like overfishing, plastics pollution, and warming oceans.

 

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Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin has a passion for the jellyfish she studies, and has discovered 200 new species. But the sea creatures she loves are blooming, clogging power plant ducts and beaches as well as overwhelming some marine ecosystems, and even stinging us! And it’s largely because of human impacts like overfishing, plastics pollution, and warming oceans.

Canada Climate Masterplan

 

This week Canada pushed forward on its initiative to rid the country of coal-fired power plants by 2030, and put a minimum national price on carbon by 2019. At the same time, the Trudeau administration rejected a new tar sands pipeline but approved the expansion of two pipelines that already bring oil sands crude to refineries in British Columbia and Wisconsin.

 

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Farming Carbon

 

Carbon farming describes the agricultural practices that bank carbon in the soil and biomass of farmed crops, and thus blunt global warming. Backyard farmer Eric Toensmeier is trying these methods in his own garden, aiming to store as much carbon in his earth as gardeners achieve in warmer climates. Living on Earth’s Helen Palmer took a tour of Eric’s home garden in Holyoke, Massachusetts for a crash course on growing perennial plants in temperate climates.

 

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Blackfeet Tribe Regains Sacred Land

 

Obama Administration has cancelled oil and gas leases on about 30,000 acres of Montana’s Badger-Two Medicine region near Glacier National Park, land that the Blackfeet Nation considers sacred.

 

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Dakota Pipeline High Stakes

 

The movement led by the Standing Rock Sioux to stop the final link of the Dakota Access Pipeline -- construction of a tunnel under the Missouri River -- is standing firm, but DAPL supporters are equally determined. Sandy Tolan has followed the evolving and increasingly contentious protests since April, and reports on what’s at stake.

 

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U.N. Climate Progress in Marrakech

 

The Paris Climate Agreement came into force just before COP22, the 2016 high level UN Climate talks in Marrakech that ended November 18th. Member countries at the meeting in Morocco declared they are determined to push ahead with implementing the Paris deal and work on climate protection, even though U.S. President-elect Trump vowed during his campaign he would ‘rip up’ the Paris accord.

 

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Jim's Bees

 

Bees have remarkable skills to communicate and create wholesome food from flowers. Yet they can also terrify.

 

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Migrations Off Schedule

 

The monarch butterflies are late, the wildebeest have turned around, and the North Atlantic right whales are missing. What’s going on with the world’s great animal migrations?

 

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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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Canada Climate Masterplan

This week Canada pushed forward on its initiative to rid the country of coal-fired power plants by 2030, and put a minimum national price on carbon by 2019. At the same time, the Trudeau administration rejected a new tar sands pipeline but approved the expansion of two pipelines that already bring oil sands crude to refineries in British Columbia and Wisconsin.

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Making Plastic Can Increase Pollution

Ethane is one of the most useful gases to the petrochemicals industry. But it needs some extra processing before it can become the ethylene used in plastics manufacturing, and Reid Frazier reports on how a new “ethane cracker” plant being built by Shell could bring more pollution to the Pittsburgh region’s air.

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Jellyfish Are Taking Over!

Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin has a passion for the jellyfish she studies, and has discovered 200 new species. But the sea creatures she loves are blooming, clogging power plant ducts and beaches as well as overwhelming some marine ecosystems, and even stinging us! And it’s largely because of human impacts like overfishing, plastics pollution, and warming oceans.

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This Week’s Show
December 2, 2016
listen / download


Canada Climate Masterplan

listen / download
This week Canada pushed forward on its initiative to rid the country of coal-fired power plants by 2030, and put a minimum national price on carbon by 2019. At the same time, the Trudeau administration rejected a new tar sands pipeline but approved the expansion of two pipelines that already bring oil sands crude to refineries in British Columbia and Wisconsin.

Beyond The Headlines

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In this week’s Beyond the Headlines, we cover a bizarre incident involving asthma triggered by thunderstorms. Then, Shell’s CEO claims the Paris agreement won’t impact the company’s valuation. In the history calendar, we look back on a series of underground nuclear blast tests in Mississippi.

Making Plastic Can Increase Pollution

listen / download
Ethane is one of the most useful gases to the petrochemicals industry. But it needs some extra processing before it can become the ethylene used in plastics manufacturing, and Reid Frazier reports on how a new “ethane cracker” plant being built by Shell could bring more pollution to the Pittsburgh region’s air.

Note on Emerging Science: Engineering a High-Yield Soybean

listen / download
Legumes are an important part of a balanced diet for billions of people around the world. A new and improved soybean plant may hold the key to greater food production without chemical fertilizers.

Jellyfish Are Taking Over!

listen / download
Dr. Lisa-ann Gershwin has a passion for the jellyfish she studies, and has discovered 200 new species. But the sea creatures she loves are blooming, clogging power plant ducts and beaches as well as overwhelming some marine ecosystems, and even stinging us! And it’s largely because of human impacts like overfishing, plastics pollution, and warming oceans.

BirdNote: Frigatebirds Are Seafaring, But Water-Averse

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Frigatebirds are one of the only seabirds with feathers that are not waterproof, but as Michael Stein explains, their ability to stay airborne for weeks at a time makes up for that trait.


Special Features

A River Town in Transition

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Wrangell, Alaska is a small, isolated town at the mouth of the mighty Stikine River and a former a timber capital. But since the saw mills shut down in the ‘90s, the small town has reinvented itself as a tourist destination and a commercial fishing hub. Since both of these industries are dependent on the Stikine, some locals worry that a mining development upriver could put the whole town’s livelihood at risk.
Blog Series: Alaskan River Riches

Cowee, North Carolina

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Living on Earth is giving a voice to Orion magazine’s longtime feature in which people write about the place they call home. In this week’s edition, songwriter Angela-Faye Martin uses her words and music to picture her North Carolina valley on the edge of the Great Smoky Mountains.
Blog Series: The Place Where You Live


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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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