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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Plains Bison

 

Writer Mark Seth Lender surrounds himself with a bison herd in Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park. Bison once numbered in the millions, now their herds dwindle, but Lender is still impressed, recalling a mother nursing and an epic battle between bulls before they settle down for the evening.

 

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Harvesting "Himalayan Viagra"

 

A Tibetan fungus is being sold on the Chinese medicine market as an immune booster and aphrodisiac, bringing lots of income to rural villages on the Tibetan plateau. But now one small village in Nepal is harvesting the resource sustainably.

 

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Beyond the Headlines

 

Peter Dykstra of the Daily Climate and Environmental Health News brings us some far-flung environmental stories from this past week that didn’t make the headlines. This week: salt intrusion in Bangladesh and rare earth mining in Greenland.

 

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Climate Change and Sea Level Rise

 

New research finds that every 1 degree Celsius of temperature rise eventually equates to 2.3 meters of sea level rise. Anders Levermann tells host Steve Curwood about the expectations for sea level rise over the next 2,000 years.

 

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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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White House Confronts Climate Deniers

 

Some skeptical pundits have used the recent deep cold snap to suggest that climate change isn’t real. White House Science Advisor John Holdren says not so fast.

 

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The Great Lakes and Climate Change

 

In the last 30 years the largest fresh water lake in the world in terms of surface area, Lake Superior, has warmed nearly six degrees Fahrenheight. The increased temperature is a boon to some fish but warmer water is also more suitable for some species.

 

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Cape Wind in Doubt

 

Wind turbines in the Irish Sea. The United States has yet to establish offshore wind, but countries in Europe have taken the plunge (photo: Andy Dingley)

 

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Solar Powered Ship

 

The world’s largest solar powered boat made history by circumnavigating the globe. The ship is now busy in the Atlantic collecting data about the Gulf Stream.

 

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Keystone XL and the Price of Oil

Republicans in Congress are expected to try again to force President Obama’s hand in the case of the Keystone XL pipeline. In 2008 TransCanada filed an application for its construction, and with uncertainties about its economic feasibility and the environmental impact of the carbon-heavy tar sands oils it would carry, the project remains as controversial as ever as a flashpoint in the debate over climate action. Energy investment strategist Joseph Stanislaw provides insights on the price of oil, the pipeline and its future.

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The Missing Campus Climate Debate

Students and faculty from universities across the US have called for endowment divestment from fossil fuel companies; mostly to no avail. Legal scholar and commentator Evan Mandery discusses the disconnect between trustees and university communities, and the ethics of divestment refusal in the face of climate science.

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Foods for Health

Food has the power to heal and sustain, providing nutrients for our bodies. Enjoying meals with friends and family feeds the soul. With this in mind, executive chef and Harvard’s Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment co-wrote with nutritionist P.K. Newby Foods for Health-Choose the Very Best Foods for Your Family and the Planet. Seaver discusses how we can eat well, sustainably and mindfully, with some tips for the holiday season.

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This Week’s Show
November 21, 2014
listen / download


Keystone XL and the Price of Oil

listen / download
Republicans in Congress are expected to try again to force President Obama’s hand in the case of the Keystone XL pipeline. In 2008 TransCanada filed an application for its construction, and with uncertainties about its economic feasibility and the environmental impact of the carbon-heavy tar sands oils it would carry, the project remains as controversial as ever as a flashpoint in the debate over climate action. Energy investment strategist Joseph Stanislaw provides insights on the price of oil, the pipeline and its future.

The Missing Campus Climate Debate

listen / download
Students and faculty from universities across the US have called for endowment divestment from fossil fuel companies; mostly to no avail. Legal scholar and commentator Evan Mandery discusses the disconnect between trustees and university communities, and the ethics of divestment refusal in the face of climate science.

A ‘Charming’ New Particle

listen / download
Scientists analyzing data from the Large Hadron Collider have discovered two new particles, called mesons. Professor of particle physics at the University of Warwick and lead scientist Tim Gershon discusses the particles, the ‘charm’-ing quarks that make them up, and how this discovery helps us understand the beginning of our universe.

Modern Gleaning Helps the Hungry

listen / download
Gleaning is an ancient tradition. In the Torah and Old Testament farmers are instructed to leave some food in their fields for the poor to collect. Today volunteer gleaners can go to farmers’ fields at the end of the season to harvest the last of the bounty and then deliver the produce to food pantries for the food insecure.

Plains Bison

listen / download
Writer Mark Seth Lender surrounds himself with a bison herd in Saskatchewan’s Grasslands National Park. Bison once numbered in the millions, now their herds dwindle, but Lender is still impressed, recalling a mother nursing and an epic battle between bulls before they settle down for the evening.

Beyond the Headlines

listen / download
In this week’s trip beyond the headlines, Peter Dykstra explains the disappearance of a promising report on “green” energy jobs, discusses an oil magnate’s expensive divorce settlement, and recalls “Climate-Gate.”

Foods for Health

listen / download
Food has the power to heal and sustain, providing nutrients for our bodies. Enjoying meals with friends and family feeds the soul. With this in mind, executive chef and Harvard’s Director of the Healthy and Sustainable Food Program at the Center for Health and the Global Environment co-wrote with nutritionist P.K. Newby Foods for Health-Choose the Very Best Foods for Your Family and the Planet. Seaver discusses how we can eat well, sustainably and mindfully, with some tips for the holiday season.


Special Features

Listener Haikus
To honor Earth Day 2014 we asked you - our listeners - to tap your own creative muse and send us your haiku. The topic could be anything Earth Day inspired. The response was tremendous. In fact, we received more haiku than we could put on the air. Fortunately we can share them with you here.
Blog Series: Living on Earth

Arctic Reveal
Mark Seth Lender makes it to Greenland in his second dispatch from the arctic for Adventure Canada.
Blog Series: Mark Seth Lender: Farthest North


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Imagine being in a cathedral with stained glass windows and there's light dancing through the stained glass windows onto the floor, and that's what it looks like underwater in a kelp forest. These beautiful amber blades that...the sunlight...dances through on the bottom of the ocean.

-- Nancy Caruso, Marine Biologist and Get Inspired! Founder

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