Environment

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RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

Editor's note: A version of this post first appeared in January 2015.

Many people will see the snow currently blanketing much of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard as a nuisance coating sidewalks and roads. Others are celebrating it as an excuse to spend the day swooshing down a hill.

As for me, I like to think of snow as food.

At $1.22 a gallon, a gas station on Columbus, Ohio's southwest side is drawing customers from all parts of the city. Stan Cartwright drove there from across town.

"I came for the gas price. I live on the East Side, and so, you know, I had to make a little bit of a commute, but it was worth it," he says.

The bargains aren't just in Columbus; drivers all around the state are saving money.

"Prices in Ohio tend to be very, very competitive," says GasBuddy.com petroleum analyst Patrick DeHaan.

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ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

On the surface, Flint, Mich., and Kabwe, Zambia, don't seem to have a lot in common.

They're half a world away from each other. One is a city of 99,000 in one of the richest countries in the world. The other is a city of 203,000 in a lower-middle-income country.

From the way we speak to the things we do, few things spark cliches like the threat of a winter storm. For days now, we've been talking about Jack Frost's plans. And as people hunker down, staples like bread, milk and toilet paper have been flying off store shelves.

Many of us are already sick of hearing about the white stuff — and we haven't even felt the wrath of Ol' Man Winter yet. (Side note: What did we ever do to this man to make him so vengeful?)

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Maybe El Niño isn't as bad as its reputation.

El Niño is an ocean-warming phenomenon in the Pacific that crops up every few years and alters world weather patterns. And the world is in the middle of a big El Niño that roughly began in May 2015 and will continue for at least several more months this year.

This El Niño has already been linked to a series of weather-related disasters: Massive flooding in Paraguay. Drought in Ethiopia. Another looming food crisis in Madagascar and Zimbabwe.

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ROBERT SIEGEL, HOST:

Favianna Rodriguez

When people and organizations take to the street to protest an event or policy, you often see many homemade signs and banners. However, Milwaukee artist Nicolas Lampert believes that through creating unique and professional signage, a cause can get more attention and validation.

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