Environment

Environment
6:00 am
Tue October 7, 2014

We Energies Revises Rate Change Proposal, Gives Solar Producers More Time to Adjust

Credit S Bence

If the proposal is approved, all customers will still see a jump in the fixed charge on their electric bills,  from $9 a month to $16.

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Environment
6:21 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Conservation Advocates Work to Keep National Fund Alive

Dick Steffes on a bit of the Ice Age Scenic Trail as it meanders through the Lapham Peak unit of the Kettle Moraine State Forest
Credit S Bence

The Land and Water Conservation Fund, according to Dick Steffes is “probably the most important land protection program that people have never heard of.”

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Science
4:02 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Soil Doctors Hit Pay Dirt In Manhattan's Central Park

The Bronx may be up and the Battery down, but Central Park is where an amazing wealth of different sorts of microbes play.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 8:14 am

Manhattan's Central Park is surrounded by one of the densest cities on the planet. It's green enough, yet hardly the first place most people would think of as biologically rich.

But a team of scientists got a big surprise when they recently started digging there.

They were 10 soil ecologists — aka dirt doctors. Kelly Ramirez from Colorado State University was among them. "We met on the steps of the natural history museum at 7 a.m. with our collection gear, coolers and sunblock," she recalls.

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Science
4:07 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

When Can A Big Storm Or Drought Be Blamed On Climate Change?

Melbourne visitors and residents took to the waters of Australia's St. Kilda Beach in January 2013 to escape a fierce heat wave.
Scott Barbour Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:52 pm

Nowadays, when there's a killer heat wave or serious drought somewhere, people wonder: Is this climate change at work? It's a question scientists have struggled with for years. And now there's a new field of research that's providing some answers. It's called "attribution science" — a set of principles that allow scientists to determine when it's a change in climate that's altering weather events ... and when it isn't.

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The Two-Way
8:01 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Death Toll From Japanese Volcano Rises

Japan Self-Defense Force (JSDF) soldiers and firefighters conduct rescue operations near the peak of Mount Ontake on Wednesday.
KYODO Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 11:50 am

Updated at 12:50 p.m. ET

The number of dead from a volcanic eruption in Japan has climbed to nearly 50 after more victims were recovered from Mt. Ontake, which unexpectedly spewed toxic gas last week as people hiked near the 10,000-foot summit.

The Japan Times says:

"Precarious conditions at the summit have made the search an on-off effort, and other bodies may still be undiscovered.

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Around the Nation
4:10 am
Wed October 1, 2014

California Enacts Ban On Single-Use Plastic Bags

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 7:01 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Now to California where a new law will ban single-use, plastic bags at grocery and convenience stores. It's the first state to do it, and plastic bag manufacturers are not happy. NPR's Sam Sanders reports.

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The Two-Way
2:07 pm
Tue September 30, 2014

Ban On Single-Use Plastic Bags Is Enacted In California

California Gov. Jerry Brown has signed the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. Here, mixed plastic items are seen at a recycling plant in Vernon, Calif., earlier this year.
Reed Saxon AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 3:23 pm

Gov. Jerry Brown has signed SB 270, the first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags in the U.S.

"This bill is a step in the right direction — it reduces the torrent of plastic polluting our beaches, parks and even the vast ocean itself," Brown said. "We're the first to ban these bags, and we won't be the last."

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The Two-Way
11:57 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Aral Sea's Eastern Basin Has Dried Out, NASA Photos Show

Images from August 2000 (left) and August 2014 (right) show the drop in water levels in the Aral Sea.
NASA

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:07 pm

"For the first time in modern history, the eastern basin of the South Aral Sea has completely dried."

That's the word from NASA, which has released images showing the progressive decline of the water levels in the Aral Sea, which straddles the border between Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan in Central Asia. The space agency captured the striking photographs via its Terra satellite.

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The Salt
11:27 am
Mon September 29, 2014

Everything But The Squeal: How The Hog Industry Cuts Food Waste

The rendering industry likes to call itself the world's oldest recycling system. Nearly 100 percent of processed pigs will eventually get used — as meat and in uses as varied as medicine and pet food.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon September 29, 2014 3:48 pm

A tour of a pork processing plant takes a hard hat, waterproof boots and a strong stomach.

Oh, and hairnets.

Americans eat just half of the meat produced by farm animals. So what happens to the rest of the animal? I arrive at the Farmland Food plant in Milan, a factory in northeast Missouri, for a tour.

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The Salt
5:15 pm
Fri September 26, 2014

GMO Wheat Investigation Closed, But Another One Opens

How did that genetically modified wheat end up in a field in Oregon? Investigators still don't know, but now they've found GMO wheat in Montana, too.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri September 26, 2014 6:38 pm

Investigators from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) say that they cannot figure out how genetically engineered wheat appeared, as if by magic, in a farmer's field in eastern Oregon in the spring of 2013.

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