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Why the next president's judicial appointments will impact climate action

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2024/07/13 - 2:15am

The Supreme Court's recent term illustrates the judiciary's outsized role in government's ability to address climate change. The coming election could shape the judicial landscape for decades to come.

(Image credit: Drew Angerer)

Categories: Environment

These New Mexico fire victims are starting to give up on FEMA

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2024/07/13 - 2:00am

As Ruidoso, N.M., starts recovering from a deadly wildfire, people who survived the state's largest fire two years ago say FEMA still isn't giving them what they need.

(Image credit: Kirk Siegler)

Categories: Environment

Climate change is making Colorado mountain streams more acidic and polluted

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2024/07/12 - 1:54pm

New research says climate change has caused toxic metal pollution to double in some Colorado rivers and mountain streams. It's complicating efforts to clean up abandoned mining sites.

Categories: Environment

AI brings soaring emissions for Google and Microsoft, a major contributor to climate change

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2024/07/12 - 2:13am

The tech giants both report surges in greenhouse gas emissions as they double-down on adding artificial intelligence to all of their products.

(Image credit: Josh Edelson)

Categories: Environment

How to live without plastics for a month, according to the founder of a global movement

NPR News - Environment - Fri, 2024/07/12 - 2:00am

Plastic Free July is upon us! Rebecca Prince-Ruiz, founder of Plastic Free July, encourages people to take the challenge with friends, start small and keep a “plastic-free kit” on hand.

(Image credit: Zayrha Rodriguez)

Categories: Environment

Marathon Oil reaches a $241 million settlement with EPA for environmental violations

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2024/07/11 - 2:35pm

The federal government announced a settlement with Marathon Oil for alleged air quality violations at the company's oil and gas operations on the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation in North Dakota.

(Image credit: Matt Brown)

Categories: Environment

These monkeys were 'notoriously competitive' until Hurricane Maria wrecked their home

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/07/10 - 3:00am

Rhesus macaques on Cayo Santiago are known for being intolerant, hierarchical and aggressive. After 2017's Hurricane Maria destroyed their home, the monkeys' society underwent surprising changes.

Categories: Environment

Sharks often get a bad rap, but oceans need them

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2024/07/08 - 12:00am

It's that time of the year again: Shark Week. The TV program is so long-running that if you're under 37, you've never known a life without it. In honor of this oft misunderstood critter, we revisit our conversation with shark scientist Melissa Christina Marquez. She explains just how important sharks are to keeping the oceans healthy, including their role in mitigating climate change. Plus, there may be some talk about shark poop.

Have another animal with a bad rap you want us to clear the reputation of? Email the show at shortwave@npr.org — we'd love to hear from you!

(Image credit: Cultura RM Exclusive/Richard Robinson)

Categories: Environment

16,000 people remain evacuated due to Thompson Fire in northern California

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2024/07/04 - 3:40pm

Nearly 16,000 people in northern California are still evacuated due to the Thompson Fire. Those staying at local shelters say they're fearful of what they may find when they're allowed to return.

Categories: Environment

To save spotted owls, officials plan to kill a half-million of another owl species

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/07/03 - 11:21pm

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service strategy is meant to prop up declining spotted owl populations in Oregon, Washington and California by killing barred owls that have encroached into their territory.

(Image credit: Don Ryan)

Categories: Environment

Thousands evacuate as Northern California wildfire spreads. More hot weather is expected

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/07/03 - 3:30pm

Firefighters are battling a growing wildfire in Northern California that has forced at least 26,000 people to evacuate. The fire's cause is being investigated.

(Image credit: Noah Berger)

Categories: Environment

A New Mexico city faces drinking water crisis following torrential rains and mudslides

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/07/03 - 1:55pm

Federal officials are hopeful a temporary drinking water system will be in place this week for the city of Las Vegas, N.M. The 13,000 people there have been rationing water for two weeks now.

Categories: Environment

New Mexico village is on alert as devastating flash floods follow June wildfires

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2024/07/02 - 2:12pm

The New Mexico village of Ruidoso is under a flood watch until midnight. This weekend more than 160 people had to be rescued by the National Guard after rains washed debris off hillsides burned in a massive wildfire that started in June.

Categories: Environment

Can the world's largest music festival be sustainable? Glastonbury is trying

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2024/06/29 - 5:26am

Efforts to make the world’s biggest music festival sustainable affect everything from trash pickup to wheelchair access to child safety. Is it possible for 200,000+ campers to "leave no trace?"

Categories: Environment

U.S. Supreme Court blocks the EPA’s plan to combat interstate air pollution

NPR News - Environment - Thu, 2024/06/27 - 2:06pm

The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday temporarily blocked the Environmental Protection Agency’s “Good Neighbor Plan", which was designed to protect downwind states from air pollution.

Categories: Environment

Gassy cows and pigs will face a carbon tax in Denmark, the first country to do so

NPR News - Environment - Wed, 2024/06/26 - 11:10pm

Levels of methane have increased particularly quickly since 2020. Livestock account for about 32% of human-caused methane emissions, the U.N. Environment Program says.

(Image credit: Vadim Ghirda)

Categories: Environment

Receding Midwest floodwater exposes devastation as warnings extend into other areas

NPR News - Environment - Tue, 2024/06/25 - 6:19pm

A vast swath of the Midwest has been under siege from torrential rains while also being hit with a heat wave. Hundreds of people were rescued, homes were damaged, and at least two people have died.

(Image credit: Nick Rohlman/The Gazette)

Categories: Environment

Paris wants an AC-free Olympic Village. Team USA and others aren't so chill with it

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2024/06/24 - 8:24am

The U.S. is among the countries bringing portable AC units to the Paris Olympics this summer since the Athletes' Village won't have any. Many athletes are worried about competing in extreme heat.

(Image credit: Thibault Camus)

Categories: Environment

Earth is more than a planet with life on it. It's a "living planet"

NPR News - Environment - Mon, 2024/06/24 - 12:00am
Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life examines the ways life and Earth have shaped each other.'/>

About ten years ago, science writer Ferris Jabr started contemplating Earth as a living planet rather than a planet with life on it. It began when he learned that the Amazon rainforest doesn't simply receive the rain that defines it; rather, it helps generate that rain. The Amazon does that by launching bits of biological confetti into the atmosphere that, in turn, seed clouds. After learning this, he began looking for other ways life changes its environment. That led to his new book Becoming Earth: How Our Planet Came to Life. He talks to host Regina G. Barber about examples of life transforming the planet — from changing the color of the sky to altering the weather.

Have a story about the environment you'd like us to cover? Email us at shortwave@npr.org.

Categories: Environment

Florida reefs are in trouble. Could the answer lie in coral from the Caribbean?

NPR News - Environment - Sat, 2024/06/22 - 2:30am
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Scientists working to save Florida’s ailing reef hope Caribbean coral thriving in hotter water could bring some relief.

Categories: Environment
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