Part 1 of the TED Radio Hour episode Toxic

About Holly Morris's TED Talk

Filmmaker Holly Morris talks about her time with the "Babuschkas of Chernobyl" — the elderly women who decided to stay in Chernobyl, Ukraine, after the worst nuclear accident in history.

About Holly Morris

Remember the California drought? It was all over the news a year ago, when the state took the unprecedented step of mandating statewide water cutbacks. The Sierra Nevada snowpack was at its lowest recorded level. Rivers and reservoirs were getting shallower and shallower. Wells in rural towns were literally running dry.

That drought is still very much a thing.

More than a century ago, the Boundary Waters Treaty established an advisory group made up of representatives from the United States and Canada. The International Joint Commission, it was tasked with preventing and resolving disputes over the use of the waters shared by the two countries.

Today, a primary function of the IJC is to report – to both the U.S. and Canada - how effectively the two countries are restoring and protecting the Great Lakes.

Closing arguments are underway in the trial of seven people accused of illegally occupying Oregon's Malheur National Wildlife Refuge last year.

Nobody loves pesticides, exactly. But one kind of pesticide, called neonicotinoids, is provoking a particularly bitter debate right now between environmentalists and farmers. The chemicals are highly toxic to bees. Some scientists think they are partly to blame for the decline in pollinators.

For the past year, the province of Ontario, in Canada, has responded to the controversy with a novel experiment. Ontario's government is asking farmers to prove that they actually need neonicotinoids, often called neonics. It turns out that "need" is a word that's hard to define.

Amy Goodman — the host of the left-leaning Democracy Now news program will not face criminal charges for her coverage of an oil pipeline protest in North Dakota last month. At least not for now — prosecutors say they may still bring charges later.

On Sept. 3, Goodman and her crew captured images of security teams with dogs trying to keep protesters from entering a pipeline construction site. She wanted to know if security members were "telling the dogs to bite the protesters?"

‘Strict’ Pesticide Rules Fail to Erase Threat to Wisconsin’s Drinking Water

Oct 17, 2016
Coburn Dukehart / Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

In 2014, Doug and Dawn Reeves discovered the well supplying water to their home in rural Stoughton was contaminated with atrazine, despite the fact that they live in an area where use of the pesticide has been banned for 20 years.

During an Easter celebration that year, their son Jacob, fell ill, his body swelling up. Then he developed an unusual rash. After multiple hospital visits, a doctor at American Family Children’s Hospital in Madison diagnosed Jacob, now 11, with juvenile dermatomyositis.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

A pair of storms brought strong winds and heavy rain to parts of Washington state and Oregon this weekend.

The National Weather Service reported the remnants of a typhoon caused wind gusts around 50 mph on Saturday evening in Washington state, and heavy rain flooded some roads. More than 25,000 people lost power.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


More than 150 countries have reached a landmark deal in Kigali, Rwanda to reduce emissions of a powerful chemical used in refrigeration and air conditioning.

The U.N. calls this a "breakthrough" against climate change because the pact signed Saturday could prevent global temperatures from rising "up to 0.5 degrees Celsius by the end of this century" – though some experts say the impact may fall short of 0.5 degrees.

About one-third of all the food produced globally is either lost or wasted. Pests and infections destroy fruits and vegetables. Grains often rot in storage or during transport. And then there's food in consumers' kitchens and refrigerators that doesn't get eaten, and eventually discarded.

Such losses amount to more than $900 billion globally, according to the UN's Food and Agriculture Organization.

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.


Haiti will hold the first round of its long-delayed presidential election on November 20, reports Reuters. The country's electoral council postponed the vote after Hurricane Matthew devastated the country last week.

At least 500 people in Haiti died in the storm.

Haiti's electoral council president Leopold Berlanger said, despite the storm damage, large portions of the population should be able to vote, according to Reuters.

You will likely pay more to heat your home this winter than you did last winter, the federal government says.

The yearly winter fuels outlook report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration finds higher fuel prices and a colder weather forecast than last year will add up to an increase in heating costs.

NPR's Jeff Brady reports natural gas prices have a particularly big effect because nearly half of American households rely on it for heat: