Green

How To Live On A Disappearing Island

Dec 4, 2019

Just off the coast of Louisiana, Isle de Jean Charles is connected to the mainland by a single two-lane road. Most of its residents have moved away due to environmental concerns. Now, only about forty permanent residents remain.

But as climate change continues to shape the world we live in, residents may not have a choice in whether they leave or stay.

The island is the subject of a film called “Lowland Kids.”

Watch the movie here.

At Coquille Point along the remote and rugged southern Oregon Coast, the wind is tumultuous and the sea just as violent. Huge waves crash up against the giant, moss-cloaked rocks perched off the beach.

This particular stretch of the Oregon coastline is famous for being pristine and wild. But train your eyes down a little closer to the beach and sand as Angela Haseltine Pozzi so often does, and even here you'll find bits of plastic.

"I think the most disturbing thing I find is detergent bottles and bleach bottles with giant bite marks out of them by fish," she says.

On a soggy field in eastern North Carolina, Jason Tew and his crew of loggers are cutting trees and sorting logs into piles based on their size and the type of wood. There's a lot of pine, but also hardwoods: poplar, sweet gum, elm and oak. Some piles will go for making plywood; some will become absorbent fiber in baby diapers.

The least valuable pile is full of small hardwood tree limbs. "It's basically trash," Tew says. "We would have normally hauled that back in the woods and just left it."

A catastrophic and premature fire season in Australia has sparked a frenzy around one of the country’s most beloved animals: the koala. But behind many headlines, the story is less dire.

National Geographic‘s Natasha Daly reports:

Call it a tale of science and derring-do. An international team of researchers has spent six years fanning across the globe, gathering thousands of samples of wild relatives of crops. Their goal: to preserve genetic diversity that could help key crops survive in the face of climate change. At times, the work put these scientists in some pretty extreme situations.

Close to 100 rural Montanans are taking on one of the largest corporations in the world Tuesday before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Residents of Opportunity and Crackerville, Mont., say the Atlantic Richfield Co. — owned by BP — needs to go beyond what federal Superfund law requires and clean up arsenic pollution left over from a century of mining.

Copyright 2020 WLRN 91.3 FM. To see more, visit WLRN 91.3 FM.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

The United Nations climate change conference began with a bracing warning: We are running late, and that is going to make this harder.

"Millions throughout the world, especially young people, are calling on leaders from all sectors to do more, much more to address the climate emergency we face," U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said on Monday.

"Do we really want to be remembered as the generation that buried its head in the sand? That fiddled while the planet burned?" he said.

Flight cancellations and delays continued Monday as the winter storm that tore across the United States reached the Northeast, bringing several inches of snow and coastal floods. Travel disruptions are likely, with the National Weather Service warning of hazardous driving conditions.

Bernadette Demientieff hails from a region marked by pristine panoramas, droves of Arctic wildlife and decades of controversy. For millennia, her people, the native Gwich'in Nation, have guarded the precious swath of Alaskan land today known by many as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

Today, the 25th U.N. Climate Change Conference, called COP25, starts in Spain's capital, Madrid. The conference was supposed to be in Chile, but there were big street protests over the economy there, so Spain stepped up. Reporter Guy Hedgecoe is in Madrid.

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

NOEL KING, HOST:

A new phase in the impeachment inquiry starts this week.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Updated at 4:34 p.m. ET

As weary travelers make their post-Thanksgiving trek back home — and back to work — two winter storms continue to disrupt travel plans throughout the nation. Heavy snow and ice accumulation is expected to continue battering regions across the United States on Sunday, the first day of meteorological winter, delaying or cancelling flights of thousands of customers.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

LULU GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

What you're listening to is the soundtrack of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia - a healthy section of the reef. And here's the sound from where the coral has died.

William Ruckelshaus was a conservationist, an Indiana Republican conservative who believed in conserving balanced budgets, limited government powers, constitutional checks and balances, and clean air and water.

"Nature provides a free lunch," he said, "but only if we control our appetites."

He helped write Indiana's first air pollution laws as a state deputy attorney general in the 1960s, and was appointed the first head of the Environment Protection Agency by President Nixon in 1970.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

Now by seaplane, fishing boat and kayak to Southeast Alaska. There, NPR's Anya Kamenetz met a young woman who's trying to reinvent higher education. Her aim, to use the wilderness to prepare diverse students for lives of purpose in an ever more fragile world.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

SCOTT SIMON, HOST:

This story was produced as part of a collaboration with the PBS NewsHour

As the season of big holiday meals kicks off, it's as good a time as any to reflect on just how much food goes to waste.

If you piled up all the food that's not eaten over the course of a year in the U.S., it would be enough to fill a skyscraper in Chicago about 44 times, according to an estimate from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

On Key Largo, to walk to Paul Butler's house it's best to wear rubber boots. "Did you see the 'No Wake' sign?" he asks. The recently installed "No Wake" signs are for drivers, not boaters.

There are several inches of water on his street and others in this low-lying neighborhood. Butler has lived here 25 years and seen this kind of flooding before.

"It used to happen once a year during king tide, but it would only last for like a week or 10 days," he says. "This year, it's been going on for about 75 days, I think." Other neighbors put it at 80 days and counting.

Copyright 2020 CPR News. To see more, visit CPR News.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

We've heard a lot in recent months about how vaping e-cigarettes can harm people. Now some are worried about how vaping harms the environment. John Daley of Colorado Public Radio reports on schools concerned about vaping waste.

Kristin Kimball's first book, The Dirty Life, became a surprise bestseller, telling the story of how she left a publishing career in New York City to start a farm with her husband.

"I had no idea you could be dirty in so many ways," she told NPR.

A decade later, Kimball is back with a new book about farming and how it's shaped her life and marriage into middle age.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

A huge explosion early Wednesday has injured three people at a Texas chemical plant, and the strength of the blast shattered windows and damaged doors of nearby homes, startling sleeping residents.

After dark smoke billowed for hours from the plant after the 1 a.m. blast, another large explosion ripped through the plant in the early afternoon, sending up a huge ball of fire.

This year Thom Hawkins is missing his fourth family Thanksgiving back home in Minnesota, by choice.

The 82-year-old lives in Glendale, Calif., and hasn't visited his extended family of nieces, nephews and cousins since September 2016. That's when he decided he couldn't fly anymore because of environmental concerns. Ever since, he has missed weddings, birthdays and graduations, and he expects to miss funerals.

Updated 10:25 p.m. ET

Firefighters in Santa Barbara County, Calif., are battling a stubborn, wind-driven blaze that started Monday afternoon and has burned more than 4,300 acres, threatening several thousand residents by Tuesday morning.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

AILSA CHANG, HOST:

Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Greenhouse gas emissions have risen steadily for the past decade despite the current and future threat posed by climate change, according to a new United Nations report.

The annual report compares how clean the world's economies are to how clean they need to be to avoid the most catastrophic effects of climate change — a disparity known as the "emissions gap."

A revolution is upsetting the lighting business as LED lightbulbs replace energy-hogging incandescent ones. This is good news for consumers and the environment; using less energy reduces the greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.

But this shift comes with a cost, exemplified by a century-old lightbulb factory in St. Marys, Pa., that is the latest to shut down.

Arctic researchers just starting out face an intriguing but unsettling reality: much of the sea ice that's covered the Arctic Ocean for thousands of years may rapidly melt away over their careers. In fact, some projections say the region may see its first ice-free summer in modern history by 2040.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Pages