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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Undue Corporate Influence on UN Climate Rules?

 

The 2017 Climate session in Bonn, Germany was part of a series of sessions to develop the detailed rules of the Paris Agreement. A hot topic was alleged undue influence of industry lobbyists on international climate rule-making.

 

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The 2017 Climate session in Bonn, Germany was part of a series of sessions to develop the detailed rules of the Paris Agreement. A hot topic was alleged undue influence of industry lobbyists on international climate rule-making.

Trees On the Move

 

The big old oak in your backyard might be solidly planted in place, but its acorns can travel. New research in the Eastern US finds that, as the planet warms, seeds of broadleaf trees including maples and oaks are heading West of their historical ranges, while pines and other evergreens are heading North.

 

Read More »

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The VW Pollution Scandal

 

In 2014, investigators found that cars the popular car company Volkswagen had sold as “clean diesel” vehicles were actually pumping high levels of dangerous nitrogen oxides into the environment. A new book, Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal, dissects the emissions cheating scandal and the corporate culture that may have led to it.

 

Read More »

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Air Pollution Chokes Out Happiness

 

Nitrogen dioxide is known to harm health, especially the lungs and heart, and now a new study finds that it can take a heavy toll on life satisfaction, too. Even if NO2 pollution levels are below the EU legal limit, an individual’s life satisfaction may decrease as much as with the death of a spouse. And parts of the UK far exceed the EU legal pollution limit.

 

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Astrophysics for People in a Hurry

 

Neil Degrasse Tyson, the Pop-Science rock star, aims to make his discipline accessible to non-scientists with a slim new volume titled Astrophysics For People In A Hurry. He joined host Steve Curwood for a flash-course on all things celestial, with topics ranging from spaghettification by black hole, dark matter and energy, to how the periodic table encompasses, so far as we know, everything in the universe.

 

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Big Plans For and Against Big Oil

 

North American oil and gas producers are rushing to build new pipelines as part of bid to gain more power in the international oil and gas markets. But they are running into fierce opposition at home -- including in Louisiana's Bayou country, where residents are standing up against the hotly debated Bayou Bridge pipeline.

 

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Prairie Rattlesnake

 

A few months ago writer Mark Seth Lender met his first Prairie Rattlesnake up close and personal, and found the snake fascinating, and though venomous, not a threat.

 

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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))

 

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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?

 

Read More »

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Undue Corporate Influence on UN Climate Rules?

The 2017 Climate session in Bonn, Germany was part of a series of sessions to develop the detailed rules of the Paris Agreement. A hot topic was alleged undue influence of industry lobbyists on international climate rule-making.

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A Corporate Way to Meet the Paris Climate Goals

Curbing carbon emissions in time for the world to stay “well below” the 2-degrees-Celsius-warming limit agreed on at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference is going to require significant political will and economic change. Leaders including Al Gore, Lord Stern and the head of Shell Oil have created an ‘Energy Transitions Commission’ that has mapped a clear path to halving global carbon emissions by 2040.

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Trees On the Move

The big old oak in your backyard might be solidly planted in place, but its acorns can travel. New research in the Eastern US finds that, as the planet warms, seeds of broadleaf trees including maples and oaks are heading West of their historical ranges, while pines and other evergreens are heading North.

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This Week’s Show
May 26, 2017
listen / download


Undue Corporate Influence on UN Climate Rules?

listen / download
The 2017 Climate session in Bonn, Germany was part of a series of sessions to develop the detailed rules of the Paris Agreement. A hot topic was alleged undue influence of industry lobbyists on international climate rule-making.

A Corporate Way to Meet the Paris Climate Goals

listen / download
Curbing carbon emissions in time for the world to stay “well below” the 2-degrees-Celsius-warming limit agreed on at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference is going to require significant political will and economic change. Leaders including Al Gore, Lord Stern and the head of Shell Oil have created an ‘Energy Transitions Commission’ that has mapped a clear path to halving global carbon emissions by 2040.

Emerging Science Note: Brazilian Peppertree

listen / download
The Brazilian Peppertree is considered an invasive nuisance in the American South, but Emory University researchers have isolated a compound from the tree’s berries that appears to fight the superbug MRSA, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus.

Trees On the Move

listen / download
The big old oak in your backyard might be solidly planted in place, but its acorns can travel. New research in the Eastern US finds that, as the planet warms, seeds of broadleaf trees including maples and oaks are heading West of their historical ranges, while pines and other evergreens are heading North.

The Early Bird Breeds Fast

listen / download
The early bird, the proverb says, catches the worm. But new research suggests that for many migrating birds in Western Pennsylvania, the changing climate means that they are arriving and breeding earlier so they don’t miss the insects their nestlings need. And some birds are adapting well and thriving, while others are producing fewer chicks.

Baby Tern Goes Exploring

listen / download
On Falkner Island off the coast of Connecticut, new common and roseate tern parents can raise their offspring in peace, thanks to the protection of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. But as our Resident Explorer Mark Seth Lender describes, one adventurous baby tern gives his anxious parents a fright as he sets out to dip his little feet into the ocean.

The VW Pollution Scandal

listen / download
In 2014, investigators found that cars the popular car company Volkswagen had sold as “clean diesel” vehicles were actually pumping high levels of dangerous nitrogen oxides into the environment. A new book, Faster, Higher, Farther: The Volkswagen Scandal, dissects the emissions cheating scandal and the corporate culture that may have led to it.


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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