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PRI's Environmental News Magazine

Standing Up for Science

 

Early moves by the Trump administration, including gag orders and travel restrictions from some countries, raise fears of political interference in scientific research. In response to what they perceive as “attacks on science,” on a mild Sunday in February, hundreds of scientists and supporters rallied in Boston’s Copley Square to affirm the importance of science, research, and factual reporting of results.

 

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Early moves by the Trump administration, including gag orders and travel restrictions from some countries, raise fears of political interference in scientific research. In response to what they perceive as “attacks on science,” on a mild Sunday in February, hundreds of scientists and supporters rallied in Boston’s Copley Square to affirm the importance of science, research, and factual reporting of results.

Greening the Military

 

Deploying renewable energy helps the U.S. military function better, and saves the lives of soldiers, says Jim Goudreau, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He discusses how green technologies such as solar 'blankets' and hybrid vehicles have improved operations within the Marine Corps and the Navy.

 

Read More »

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Up-Close With Massive Elephant Seals

 

Northern Elephant Seals, the size of SUVs, haul out on the beaches of Año Nuevo State Park in California by the thousands in February to give birth and mate. The park has set up a live webcam so anyone can tune in to see the drama.

 

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An Elephant Seal Pup Nurses

 

Elephant seal milk is high in calories, well-suited for feeding fast-growing pups in a short amount of time. Living on Earth’s Resident Explorer Mark Seth Lender watches an Elephant Seal mother off the coast of Antarctica nurse her hungry pup, and finds the infant’s cries somehow familiar.

 

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A Carbon Dividend Plan

 

Conservatives could support a carbon tax if it also reduced EPA regulations and made payments to consumers to offset the costs, say advocates led by Republican elder statesmen, including former Secretary of State James Baker. They have proposed an ambitious Carbon Dividend plan that could entice bipartisan support, pay families $2000 a year, and cut greenhouse gas emissions more than Obama’s Clean Power Plan.

 

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Sex and Sustainability in the Sea

 

The extensive ecosystem under the waves depends upon the intricate, complex and mysterious mating rituals of its inhabitants. Lobster urine spraying, clownfish sex changes and coral’s mass sperm and egg expulsion are only a few clever and unusual reproductive strategies unique to sea-dwellers, and as author and marine biologist Marah Hardt says, understanding these methods is critical for maintaining these resources.

 

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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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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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Climate Departure Date

 

A group of scientists at the University of Hawaii have figured out a way to project when the climate at a given location will move outside the range of anything we’ve known in modern times. It’s sooner then you think.

 

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Standing Up for Science

Early moves by the Trump administration, including gag orders and travel restrictions from some countries, raise fears of political interference in scientific research. In response to what they perceive as “attacks on science,” on a mild Sunday in February, hundreds of scientists and supporters rallied in Boston’s Copley Square to affirm the importance of science, research, and factual reporting of results.

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Greening the Military

Deploying renewable energy helps the U.S. military function better, and saves the lives of soldiers, says Jim Goudreau, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He discusses how green technologies such as solar 'blankets' and hybrid vehicles have improved operations within the Marine Corps and the Navy.

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“The Book That Changed America”

Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species arrived in New England in 1860, just as the slavery debate raged and civil war loomed. And Darwin’s theories had a profound influence on these discussions that have shaped American history, says Randall Fuller, the Chapman Professor of English at the University of Tulsa.

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This Week’s Show
February 24, 2017
listen / download


Standing Up for Science

listen / download
Early moves by the Trump administration, including gag orders and travel restrictions from some countries, raise fears of political interference in scientific research. In response to what they perceive as “attacks on science,” on a mild Sunday in February, hundreds of scientists and supporters rallied in Boston’s Copley Square to affirm the importance of science, research, and factual reporting of results.

Science Censorship Ended in Canada

listen / download
The new US administration quickly clamped down on scientific government agencies communicating via social media or with reporters. This type of government control is familiar to Canadian scientists like Wendy Palen, who saw a similar crackdown under former Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper that was reversed by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The Simon Fraser University biologist has some advice and lessons learned from the Harper-era censorship of science to share with her American colleagues.

Greening the Military

listen / download
Deploying renewable energy helps the U.S. military function better, and saves the lives of soldiers, says Jim Goudreau, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy. He discusses how green technologies such as solar 'blankets' and hybrid vehicles have improved operations within the Marine Corps and the Navy.

Beyond the Headlines

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This week we reflect on the settlement for health damage from chemical leaks in Parkersburg, West Virginia, size up some chemical and agribusiness mega-mergers, and consider the effects of a Chinese ban on North Korea’s main export -- coal. Then we remember how ignored warnings led to the deadly Buffalo Creek mining waste dam collapse 45 years ago, spurring legislation that’s still in effect today.

BirdNote: Crossbills Nest in Winter

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It may still be winter in parts of the US, but reporter Michael Stein explains that crossbills are already busy eating and nesting thanks to nutritious pinecones.

Science Note: Yellow-Shafted Flickers See Red

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The North American woodpeckers known as flickers have red feathers under their wings in the west, and yellow feathers in the north and east. But some birds in the eastern range have been turning up with red-colored feathers. Scientists thought they were somehow breeding with their red-shafted cousins, but have now discovered they’re actually just feeding on red berries from the invasive Asian honeysuckle.

“The Book That Changed America”

listen / download
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species arrived in New England in 1860, just as the slavery debate raged and civil war loomed. And Darwin’s theories had a profound influence on these discussions that have shaped American history, says Randall Fuller, the Chapman Professor of English at the University of Tulsa.


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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