Green

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

President Trump today announced sweeping changes to one of the country's most consequential environmental laws, one that he argues has for years blocked improvements to the nation's infrastructure.

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For three decades, Georgia and Florida have been battling over how to share a precious resource: water. Georgia has it, and Florida, which is downstream, says it's not getting its fair share. The dispute is once again headed to the U.S. Supreme Court, where Florida wants the justices to cap Georgia's water use. But a court-appointed special master recently rejected that idea.

More than 6 million people depend on water that starts at Lake Lanier, a reservoir northeast of Atlanta. It generates hydropower as its water is released from a dam into the Chattahoochee River.

On a December day in Lahore, Pakistan's second-biggest city, the smog concealed tall buildings. Men on motorbikes seemed to push through it as they rode. It reeked of diesel and charcoal, compelling the Nadim family to go to the hospital.

"I can't breathe," said Mohammad Nadim, 34. He gestured to his wife, Sonia. "My wife can't breathe." She held their 3-month-old daughter Aisha, who pushed out wet, heavy coughs. "But we are here for our children."

The outbreak of wildfires in Australia has reached a tipping point. Thousands of residents were evacuated this week, as bush fires reached the suburban fringes of Sydney, the skies turning blood-red. Coastline towns in the states of New South Wales and Victoria were consumed by the blaze, leaving thousands homeless. Many are stuck behind fire lines, trapped without power or cell service.

California has gone through several difficult fire seasons in recent years. Now, some cities are investing in unconventional fire prevention methods, including goats.

Anaheim, a city southeast of Los Angeles, has recently re-upped its contract with the company Environmental Land Management to keep goats grazing on city hillsides nearly year-round.

The goats are stationed in places like Deer Canyon Park, a nature preserve with more than a hundred acres of steep hills. Beginning in July, roughly 400 goats worked through the park, eating invasive grasses and dried brush.

Genaro Moreno Bonilla has been fishing off the coast of Coqui, Colombia, for 53 years.

"I remember that I would paddle out in my canoe and propose to myself to catch 50 or 100 fish that day, and it happened," he says. Life was good. Colombia had a reputation for having one of the greatest variety of fish on the planet.

But things have changed. The plentiful supply of fish Bonilla depended on has dwindled dramatically in a changing world. And efforts to make his life better in the long run are actually exacerbating the problems he faces today.

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Hawaii is known as a natural paradise. It's also known as the endangered species capital of the world. One of the state's most threatened seabirds, the Newell's shearwater makes its home on the island of Kauai, where a small group of environmentalists is working to keep the iconic seabird from disappearing because of collisions with power lines and confusion from artificial light.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

For the past year and a half, a plague of locusts has been making its way across the Middle East. And more recently, they've been carried by the wind into Africa. NPR's Eyder Peralta reports on the largest infestation in a quarter century.

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AILSA CHANG, HOST:

As hard as it may be to believe, the bushfires ravaging large swaths of Australia are likely to get worse in the coming days.

1A’s goal is to act as a national mirror — taking time to help America look at itself and to ask what it wants to be. That means talking and listening to the people that the national media often just likes to talk about.

That’s why we launched our project 1A Across America in collaboration with six public radio stations around the nation last fall.

Wildfires are a regular occurrence in Australia, but on New Year's Eve, residents of the state of New South Wales experienced blazes stronger and more destructive than they had in years. In several of the southeastern towns, smoke blocked out the sky, houses were destroyed, and thousands of tourists and locals were forced to flee to nearby beaches.

In a desert far from any city, farmers use groundwater to grow lush green hay. The hay fattens livestock all over the world. But there's a big problem: The water is drying up. Now scientists warn it will take thousands of years for an aquifer in southeastern Oregon to recover, while residents there are already hurting.

At Marjorie and John Thelen's house, the well ran dry in 2015.

"We're not ranchers. We're not growing hay. We're just retired in the country," said 72-year-old Marjorie Thelen, who moved to Oregon with her husband, John, 12 years ago.

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