Environment

The armed militants occupying Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Eastern Oregon come from as far away as Texas and Montana. But they are hardly the refuge's first out-of-state visitors.

There were high-fives this week from Detroit to Washington, D.C., as carmakers celebrated record auto sales.

Americans bought 17.5 million cars and trucks in 2015. That's a huge turnaround from 2009, and the Obama administration cheered the rebound as vindication of the president's decision to rescue General Motors and Chrysler from bankruptcy.

"Because of the policy decisions that were made by this administration to place a bet on those workers, America has won, and our economy has been better for it," White House spokesman Josh Earnest told reporters Wednesday.

At the end of every year, U.S. meteorologists look back at what the nation's weather was like, and what they saw in 2015 was weird. The year was hot and beset with all manner of extreme weather events that did a lot of expensive damage.

December, in fact, was a fitting end.

More than two months after a natural gas storage well in Southern California began uncontrollably spewing methane gas, the governor of California has declared a state of emergency.

A few days back, All Tech got a question from an NPR listener that got us curious.

Tim Callahan from Seattle wrote:

"A friend asked how texting — in all its forms (admittedly a squishy thing to corral) — is contributing to global warming? After saying, 'minimally...', I thought about how to answer that question. Putting aside the sunk contribution caused by the manufacture and transport of the device you text with, how much does the battery emit / generate while a person does a typical or somehow average text? ... Can you help quantify?"

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Teams of middle school students around the country have taken on the challenge of “waste not, want not.” It’s the theme of this year’s Future City Competition.

The annual challenge is designed to inspire students to latch onto engineering and math. 115 teams representing 20 Wisconsin schools hope to have a chance to compete at the national finals in February.

Longfellow Middle School in Wauwatosa gets into Future City in a big way. It boasts 21 teams.

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Each year, Americans toss out nearly 34 million tons of food – and the vast majority of it ends up in landfills. On Monday, WUWM looked at local efforts to transform food waste to compost. Today, we talk with people converting food into energy.

The sun is about to rise as the first customers straggle into Sendik’s grocery store in Mequon. Inside, Jeff Schutte just finished prepping the produce.

As technology advances, many industries are being disrupted by increased automation. But when it comes to managing and protecting the water supply, there are many tasks that still require a combination of people and technology.

That's where reservoir caretakers come in. Some cities and counties employ these workers to live in remote locations and watch over the water supply.

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