Go green with the latest in sustainability news.
Scientists Say Disasters Are Teaming Up During Time Of Climate Change
"It's been a record shattering year for heat in the American West and this weekend is going to be hot too. If it seems like heat drought and wildfires are all piling together it's not your imagination scientists say climate change makes them more likely to happen at the same time. As NPR's Laura Summer reports. It takes a lot for heat to make headlines in Tucson. Arizona as Stephanie Small, House realize listening to the radio recently a couple days ago he said well, no warning for today it's only be one hundred six. Apparently. We're not over a hundred ten everybody should join the weather but this year is getting people's attention. Small House says she's president of the Arizona Farm Bureau Federation, and she also runs a cattle ranch outside of Tucson in the twenty years that I've been here on the ranch. This is probably just the second time that I remember a summer that's dry on top of the heat the entire Colorado River, which is key for Arizona's water supply has been in a twenty year drought. Is there tension in the Vermont Community Right? Now ranchy community absolutely is their stress absolutely these rare events. Are simply becoming more common says, Mogi Sunday professor of Civil Engineering Boise State University in a study in the journal Science advances he says that trend is clear over the past few decades basically routes or getting more intense and hot years or getting more hud, and the cycle between them is intensifying droughts and heat waves feed each other. He says when the soil is dry more of the sun's energy heats up the air then it's hotter making more water evaporate causing more drought. It's climate change driven cycle via have to move past that traditional thinking of heat waves and droughts and fires separately. Because they would work together they. They are the reason that we are seeing so many disasters, happening disasters like the extreme. Across the West this year, what is happening in California is a preview of what we'll see every. We need to act. Now we do not have any more minute I'm not talking about the years we do not have any more minutes to cut our emissions because in a hotter climate he says disasters are teaming up lauren summer NPR news.
What Will 2021 Hold For U.S. Climate Diplomacy?
"What does the president's decision to leave? The Paris Agreement meant for Climate Science Rebecca Hersher is with NPR's clients. I'm science team, good morning becky good morning. So, we have this agreement that the US has now out of but two hundred other countries are still in it. How is humanity broadly doing on carbon emissions? Well humidity broadly is not doing great when you look at the hard numbers that scientists look at, it's bad. Global emissions are still going up, which is a nightmare if you studied global warming because the earth is already about two degrees Fahrenheit hotter than it was last century. So humans are on track for catastrophic warming in the next few decades. Okay how is the US specifically doing? Well to answer that I want to go back a little bit. So if you add up all the co two in other carbon that countries have spouted since industrialization, the US has omitted the most and I, think that's really important because the US emissions have been going down slightly for a while now but they've never fallen really dramatically and that's different from European countries, which also omitted a lot of carbon historically but had slashed their missions in the last few decades. So there's another piece of context here. That is really important, which is that president trump announced three and a half years ago that he was going to pull the US out of this agreement. Today. November, it'll be official but in the meantime in those three and a half years have his administration's policies led to more climate emissions. It's a good question. It's hard to be definitive, but here's what scientists say it probably made a difference. So the US promised under the Paris agreement to reduce emissions by about twenty-five percent by twenty twenty-five most analysts say that if the policies of the Obama administration is like limits from on emissions from cars and trucks and power plants if those it continued for the last four years, the country would likely be on track for that goal. Instead, the US seems to be looking at more like a sixteen or seventeen percent decrease in emissions, which is not insignificant. How is the US on track to reduce emissions by sixteen seventeen percent if the federal government and its policies are working in the opposite direction? Right, I think that's a really interesting question. So one thing is that the global economy is changing. Renewable Energy is getting cheaper. The market for electric vehicles is growing so that cut some emissions right off the bat and more than half of US state say they're trying to meet the twenty twenty, five percent goal that the US originally set under the Paris Agreement and especially in the last year, there's been a huge movement by corporations promising to decarbonised their operations and that's become a really big question in the science community where they're trying to model future warming. And asking this interesting question, which is what will be the main driver of emissions reductions in the next ten years will it actually be national policies? The things we tend to focus on the Paris Agreement or will it be corporate policies state policies even city policies? Oh I bet the engine, the answers to that will be interesting and let me ask you Leslie say Joe Biden Does Win the election could he put the US back in the Paris climate agreement? Yes yes. So As we said we'll be formerly out the day after the election president trump wins a second term. The US will remain out of the agreement US missions will fall slowly if. He said he will reenter. He can do that. As soon as he takes office. If he wins, the big thing would be trying to work with Congress to pass new renewable energy and transportation policies, and that would have to happen pretty quickly to avoid the most catastrophic warming. Rebecca Hersher with NPR's climate team. Thanks becky. Thanks so
Wildfire Ignition is Solvable
"Right. Now, if I look out my window, I, see a very Brown's guy. It looks like it's twilight but you know it's ten o'clock in the morning and it should be a bright and sunny grew up in California I'm Californian for almost my entire life. And you know I have many graduate students in my lab at Stanford that come here from all over the place and they sort of assumed that it's normal. And I had to tell him now I mean I don't remember this ever when I was growing up I mean you'd hear about. Fires every once in a while on the on the news but it certainly in the last couple years has become a completely regular thing. So I can certainly understand your eagerness to to help solve this problem, solve ables about how you're GonNa do it what's your solvable for dealing with these fires? Many many millions of gallons of retardant. So used every year right the iconic red stuff you see being dropped from planes. And that's really only ever used reactively. So once a fire has started. Our main approach is trying to stop them before they start. Now one of the limitations that we're trying to address is if you want to go and pre treat areas where you know fires are going to start. One of the primary limitations of the current hardens that they don't stay where you put. A high wind or heavy do is enough to wash the retardants off the vegetation. So they stopped working off. So what we sought to do was to to not create a new retardant let's say 'cause we're using the same active fire retarding agent but instead tweaking the performance additives so that the retarded stays on the vegetation. Throughout the duration of the fire season. So you can spray one time in June. Let's say and have protection against fire starts. All the way through until the rainy season comes. So can you describe this stuff? What's it like if you touch it how does it feel? It's not quite a lot of people think of Jello and they think of a gel in it's not thick like that. It looks Kinda like cream really So what we developed in my lab improves the adherence. So more of what you spray actually sticks on the vegetation and it improves the durability. So it's really only once you get into the ratings season that the materials will wash away and simply biodegrade on the soil. Yeah. The evidence in I mean you know it works yes. So we did pilot scale studies to test ourselves and we tried to burn it It was actually. Kinda fun because you know we would do the experiments and and see the fire would not actually ignite even through extensive weathering. So we rain to half an inch on it and let it sit in the environment for six weeks. The treated grass, it wouldn't burn. So some of the folks that we're working with started just drawing funny faces in the grass with the with a torch because even if you took a torch to, it wouldn't ignite. Wow. Then we were able to step it up and actually do some full scale pilot studies in and treated a number of roadside segments in southern, California many of them are small but every one of these ignitions requires crews to go out and put him out. So they use a lot of resources that take a firefighter time that they could be spending doing things like controlled burns. And we reported that they were zero fires in the treated areas Eric, this targeted intervention, right? You don't need to treat the whole forest. You just go where the fires most likely to happen. Yeah. Exactly. I think that's An important misconception that I see a lot of places know we're not talking about treating the entire forest like you would with a controlled burn. We're talking about treating only right where the fires likely to start, and so if you envision a roadside where if you have a car that overheats and it pulls over into the grass, right next to the roadway or somebody throws a cigarette out of their window, it only lands right next. To the roadway, and so you only have to treat right there and what's beautiful about that is that let's say a twenty foot wide treatment protects all of the forest beyond it. Yeah and this cream that you're spraying is it is it safe for plants and trees and birds and animals and people I mean something about the look of that read stuff coming out of planes I always think I would not like to be underneath it. Yeah. So we when we were developing this, we specifically designed it to be safe. That was one of the the primary concerns because anything you're putting out in the environment, you want to be one hundred percent certain that it's safe and effective. We designed it using cellulose, adjust plant matter, and a thing called Colloidal Silica, which you can think of as Nanna sand. So it's just primarily sand and
Clean energy transition will strengthen national security, Navy veteran says
"Dan. Mitch. Spent five years in the navy. When he left for civilian life, a career clean energy was not on his radar. I did not know very much about clean energy or climate change when I got out of the navy. But he got a job at the Department of Energy and as he learned more, he became passionate about the benefits of solar and wind. The clean energy transition is going to strengthen our future national security by reducing our reliance on foreign fuels, diversifying energy sources and our investments in those energy sources and mitigating the worst impacts of climate change today missions a senior fellow at the Atlantic, council and founder of the Veterans Advanced Energy Project, which recruits veterans for clean energy jobs. Most military veterans for one reason or another how a mission oriented service nature to contribute to society and defend their country both while wearing the uniform after they take the uniform off. So mich- helps them understand how working for clean energy can support national security. We hope to help make veterans feel good about what they choose to do in their post military careers.
'Hard, Dirty Job': Cities Struggle To Clear Garbage Glut In Stay-At-Home World
"This is certainly true at my house. American staying home during the pandemic or eating more at home doing more at home ordering more deliveries that arrive in boxes at home and some cities are struggling to keep up with the trash NPR's Scott horsely reports. It's not like garbage collector yogi military's spying on the people whose trashy picks up, but he can't help notice some changes along his residential route in northeastern Ohio. Tell you about. The biggest thing is everybody at home from work and home from school more people means more trash. CEESAY. That dimitrius target has also felt the weight of extra trash along his route in Alfa Reta Georgia, tart us to pick up seventeen or eighteen tonnes each day. Now it's more like twenty two tonnes the cans over field we gotta get clean love some time when they hit the ground tart one of those semi automated trash trucks, but he can't always stay. Arm's length away from the garbage. He worries some of the extra trash he's handling carry traces of the coronavirus scary I hate it. I have to get out and stuff that I see after. That's the biggest. Fear my job is. Take home. Nationwide residential trash volumes spiked as much as twenty five percent during the spring lockdown since then it's dropped a bit, but it's still well above pre pandemic levels. Garbage collectors that means longer workdays and more trips to the dump. Some sanitation workers have gotten sick or had to quarantine. Baltimore's faced a severe shortage of trash collectors acting public works director Matthew Bark says, it's not easy to find replacements. It is just a hard dirty job. It is quite common for someone to walk off the job within a day or two because they just don't realize. How hard the work is there is less garbage these days at vacant office buildings and Hotels Guard says the commercial trash trucks that typically empty those dumpsters are not easily reassigned to residential neighborhoods. We actually use a specially designed trash truck that can fit in the narrow alleys. The contractors don't have that Baltimore temporarily halted curbside recycling this month. So short handed crews can concentrate on trash pickup. Nashville is also making adjustments. Assistant Public Works Director Sharon. Smith says that city will start collecting trash five days a week. Instead of four it'll be shorter days shorter route and much more manageable. Particularly, if the changes we've seen with people working from home continues on into the future trash collection is overwhelmed garbage piles up in the street drawing rats, flies than lots of complaints from residents, Ohio. Garbage Collector Yogi Miller says, nobody wants that they don't realize how much they need until something happens where their trash doesn't get picked up. That's what people want. They want to put it out in the morning and when. They come home in the afternoon and they wanted to be gone. There may be a silver lining to this garbage Glut David. Biedermann who heads the Solid Waste Association of North America says it has led to newfound appreciation for some frontline workers who were often invisible in the past could as garbage day in my neighborhood and mine neighbor has a sign on her garbage and thanking the sanitation workers dimitrius Tar has seen similar signs on his route in Georgia along with a child. Thank you. Note drawn in Crayon they say, Hey, you know we really appreciate it I mean the sanitation, the world stop we stopped. Scott horsely NPR news Washington.
The Cultural and Ecological Implications of the Salep Orchid Trade
"Take those steps in and do something professionally with your career to actually. Contribute to the world of conservation, which brings us to the topic of Salad, and if anyone listening has heard of salad at all is probably as an ingredient, which is interesting. Because often times I hear people saying, Vanilla is the only culinary viable orchid on the planet, which is not true. So let's talk about sal up what is it? What is it used for, and where does it come from? When Salad Salad? Actually, it's not only an arcade ashamed Larkin it's like a big group of four kids. If you go through literature, you can find more than thirty five species. SLEAFORD Silane it's also depending on when a whether you are what exactly two different species or group species in Greece different one in Turkey or other countries. So when we talk about the If we see all the countries together faced in weekend, say that the most common once belonged to Janet like or he's like that filariasis also mccown. And infected, maybe it's off races when. So what's smoke one between solid core kids as their root system they most often have obeyed Bob's or? Huber's along one that look like little fingers. If. You see those on the rises. So this is actually a a salad porchet and being driven is coming through the dried and ground Cuba's that's what you get the. Fowler and the Susan Shelley Different. If you see, for example, in Greece, they like days they're just washed with water and dry. But if you go to Durkin also boy in either walking on me, it depends on very Jim. So that's what's giving you the final product of salad father. In what is sell generally used in? I mean, if someone's looking to see if it's an ingredient, what kind of food are they looking at generally or is it a lot just like the orchids that gives us it If you look at it as any greeted Bailey actually there are a lot of things you can find it most often is the traditional beverage. Back. The. Actually it's not always clear product that sometimes makes the cornstarch. Bob Is the one that you make the beverage hot beverage also techie you can find the acid thickening ingredient for they additional ice cream called on the. One that stick you on. an increase is also used or traditional ice cream, but this call, Kai Mikey by this mixed with mustard powder. The one that comes from the must be healthy. So this is more I don't mind. And less. But issue see that he starts Suzanne Masters you can not a fine sapping the most stains places even as an ingredient or bombs. So. Mrs I leave. I much. Boy. While an okay. So these are all terrestrial orchids for anyone that's not familiar with the Genera, and when you talk about harvesting routes, that immediately brings to mind issues that we have with harvesting plants here in North America for instance, panics and high dressed us. Those are two plants that are highly sought after further routes, but the very act of pulling up a plant. By. Its roots kills it right. So this is where you can kind of see the connection with conservation. If you're harvesting the roots of a plant, you're you're taking its life away from it right and so that's where you start to come into issues with biodiversity endangerment with a lot of these orchids correct yet because the production of Saleh Pro Juarez, the use of the entire. Plans. So basically in the overwhelming majority of aces harvesting salad means the destruction of the orchestras selves. Now to make one kilo solid requires a by two and a half thousand plans. To the half thousand individuals, Wallin kilo. Of. Salam powder ouch. Yeah. That's a lot of orchids. Now, if you think about one cup of sal but of the equivalent to Cappuccino or something but drinking salad beverage. you need five grams for that. So if you do the math works as Iran thirteen plans for a single cup of salad drink. Does a pretty expensive kind of process in terms of of orchids. and. There are certain people told you know taking one of the to chew birds and putting the other back but all this is all this is just talk really because the amount of work required harvesting these things it's very hard were, and that's one of the reasons why are studied we found a lot of people that actually stopped elected. Elected Saleh. But It's a bypass were talking about something between. Ten. In Turkey and the launch ed very variable. The amount of used something between twenty and AC tones in a single year. Yeah. And that I remember talk from Professor Cramps Zeke, he mentioned that every year and thirteen one, hundred, twenty, million arcades are being kids in order to produce missile of the year. So it's like a tremendous amount of individuals and as able say that it is like you're actually bringing up a whole mountain that say a huge number. Yeah and again, we wouldn't be talking about conservation here. If this was something that was produced agriculturally, right these are all being taken from the wild they're harvested and those numbers are mind blowing I had no idea what we were getting into when. We started talking about this just in terms of quantity and like you said, it's not just the fact that they're pulling these plants out of the ground and them for this it's your digging the whole time you're also disrupting habitats and that's something I never see talked about when it comes to harvesting foraging anything like that is the fact that if you're digging things up your
ON The Frontlines Of The Youth Climate Strikes
"This week we go to the frontlines of the youth climate strike movement. There are hundreds of protests going on all around the world today as young people, school children from Australia to Iceland come together to protest about what they're calling the crisis of their lifetime climate change. Of course, what they see is politicians inability or unwillingness to do anything about it to the global protests that is underway right now, students and workers all around the world of flooding the streets demanding action on climate change, Maggie, Rulli that a demonstration in London with the latest Michael with thousands of protesters, right underneath parliament, and what's so striking besides just the sheer size of protesters here are. The age of people who are demonstrating almost all of them are students that's hiding just nine years old. We spoke to a group of seventeen year olds who said they're here today to fight for their future. Now, the goal of this strike, really all these strikes around the world it's a send a clear message to world leaders ahead of the UN climate summit happening this week in New York climate change protests happening right now in lower Manhattan this is video from chopper four showing the massive crowd marching from Foley Square the courthouses down to the battery among the people flooding city streets were students who were allowed to skip class today to join this 'cause. I told with Jerome Foster. who had seven sounded watching documentaries about our planet go activated and started climate blogging creating virtual reality platforms social justice. He's now eighteen has been climate striking for eighty one weeks in front of the white. House. He founded one million of us to get youth to vote this November Jerome is one of eleven million people from over one hundred and forty countries the climate striking and skipping school to tell us we need to act now. I stopped by asking Jerome where he is now. I'm visiting New York City I just moved here for college, but I was born and raised in Washington DC. I'm going to college at Peace University and Columbia Columbia basically majoring in computer science specializing artificial intelligence. are distance-learning others are like mixed waken coming class in? Their dorm near the off his classes, some of them, most of my classes right now are digital. Have One. Now. So tell me about growing up in DC and kind of what led you to get into the place where you founded the organization one, million US. So where I grew up in Washington DC right around like places. And forests and those like a huge place for me to explore my neighborhood. So I kinda grew up getting in touch with nature and after years of like understanding what nature wasn't had really appreciate it. I started watching documented by astrophysics and learning about like what are world's about like what a black holes water were imposed all these cool late science things, and after that, I started watching documentaries about my own planet and how our planet fit into. Astrophysics. into the rest of the world that every time they talk about something else beautiful it's like but humans are burning it down and but. Are Continuing to extract coal and an oil and natural gas to power earth than is going to continue to see species go extinct and like that was kind of a wake up call for me understanding that our earth is actually has like trouble going on but still being like six or seven years old was like. This isn't that big of an issue. Adults are GonNa fix this adults definitely going to step up and take action but Learning later on like it didn't happen. That's that's not the story as the navy faded it. kind of grew into another understanding that like if the corruption is the unwillingness to have moral clarity won't stand up to corporations and that they don't have the political leadership to acting say, we need to hold you accountable and like as older I was like, how can I get into? Really. Getting their attention actually taking action when my friends kind of toby lunch table they're like, Hey, you should start into pitch. Okay. Cool. So like for sixth seventh and Eighth Grade I posted every single day. and. Like facts and got to like and I was like I got to convince that climate change because back then like global warming is a hoax and everyone believed that that was the big struggle and like today it's not that same conversation. It's about how do we take action but back then it was all about is it real? And I did that for six eighth grade in ninth grade I trying to transition. To. More technology and building I reality environments. So I mean when you say like it's ten years, it has been view like if he started when you seven that. Yeah. I started virtuality company called Vr, and basically it was the idea that like we can use virtuality. Gaming Place, but actually civic engagement accident building empathy only a few people will be able to see it because it's so expensive to create and it's so hard. Tribute it out. So I, kind of transition into. into journalism and it was because I started watching my documentaries again. It was Leonardo DiCaprio's before the flood and like in the last five minutes he said we need commentators then covered as if it's a lot we need young people we need people to come out here and start talking about time change in a new way. So I was like I can do that. There's like I'm I'm I'm with around blood so like two hours. Later I I email my English teacher in accurate a blog called the climb reporter and one hundred, sixty, five articles like eight months and determine about climate change from east perspective sounds like we need young people in this movement because our future is directly at stake people will say their children's children but we're the Stojan. At this point we waited fifty years to take action. Our Future. Now,
Why you should expect the unexpected with upcycling
"Cycling expect the unexpected sometimes, I think of cycling has limits and then I get the unexpected when I mean by this is that while just stumbling around since as I sometimes wonder is there anything I can do with an item or even leftover receives? Well, here are a few inches in flatts I found what I was like doing what I call stumbling around I was eating some food with With olives in it, and after I finished the pits, I put them in A. Pot with soil wishes what I do with a lot of my. To see if anything will grow but then I started wondering, is there anything that can be made from these buddy? Haughty look in pits in his Irish more I've found a jury has not made from these pits seemingly for a very long time. Asian cultures have used them and so have other cultures to cover up beat for religious rosaries. In other types of jewelry I also found out recently that insane some research has taken place where these are used. To transform out to serve as would cleaners I know that the process is not excessively this it does show it reuse a what was formerly a waste into something much more useful. The uses for this pit range from using it as fuel and as a products for the. As its Williams maybe on a small level these fits could be drawn used for a range of products I. Guess. The point of all this is that up cycling gives you ideas to always expect the unexpected from what would normally be considered garbage in a world where resources are already difficult to come by it was served as well to rethink of anything we want to dispose of I believe me that is what most. exciting is a about old, is I think up settling has the ability to up help us think outside the box to think with innovation expect the unexpected. Just, always. Make, sure you do research and make sure that the item is safe to be used.
Scientist seeks old vacation photos from Acadia National Park
"If you've ever taken a fall trip to Acadia national park in Maine a climate scientist wants to see your photos don't worry. She won't judge outdated fashion. She just wants to see the trees behind you Stephanie. Sparrow of the University of Richmond is studying how rising temperatures and changing rain patterns affect the timing of fall foliage and Acadia she and her team have been analyzing satellite photos and scouring old newspapers and reports, and our preliminary research suggests that fall foliage has been occurring one day later a decade on average but she needs more historical data to confirm a trend because we don't have satellites. Eight that are consistent and robust before the year two thousand, we'd love if people would send in photos, the snapshots people submit by email can help establish a longer time line and verify other reports. She says surveys show that many people visit Acadia to see the colorful fall foliage. So knowing how it's timing is changing is important for park management and local tourism. It fall foliage peak particularly is occurring later and later, and later in time you can imagine that'll change some things for the way local businesses plan. So you're all snapshots could help this much love park and nearby communities adapt to climate change.
What Are The Costs Of Climate Change?
"The Gulf coast faces catastrophic flooding after yet another hurricane this when Sally London to shore. Early this morning meanwhile, record setting fires have been burning in the West for weeks. These climate fueled disasters are not only dangerous. They're costly billions of dollars have been lost so far. This year NPR's climate team has been looking into what that means for the economy and for families nate. Rot is an Oregon and Rebecca Hersher is just back from the Gulf Coast Natan Rebecca. Hello to both of you hither. And Becky, let's put this first question to you. We know that climate change makes a year like this one more likely to occur. That's because hotter temperatures helped drive bigger more damaging wildfires and hurricanes. But what do we know about the economic toll that takes? Well, you know unfortunately, this isn't the first year that the US has had this kind of back to back situation with fires and storms, and that's kind of thing as you said, global warming helps fuel and the federal government and actually tracks the status. So we have some idea of how expensive. These things are and the cost is just huge. So in the last five years, the US has experienced more than five hundred billion with a B., dollars in losses directly from climate fueled weather disasters, and that's not including twenty twenty s disasters that will likely be in the tens of billions five, hundred, billion dollars in the last five years enormous amount of money nate outside Eugene Oregon near one of the major fires burning give us some sense of what those fires mean for the local economy there. Well, they've just been devastating businesses here in Eugene. Up. and down the state that it had to close just because of the smoke and a lot of these businesses were already just hanging on by a thread because of the pandemic then you've got the direct damages from the fires lost homes timber buildings lost infrastructure I talked to a telecom worker the other day at the incident command post with a firearm near, and he had just gotten back from being in the burnt area His name is Rob Robertson and he described the scene where like a ghost forest he said they lost something. Like sixty miles worth at telephone poles, it had been built and he says each of those poll costs about ten thousand dollars we're looking at you know multimillions worth of infrastructure to replace I. Mean it's just there's so much infrastructure out there that that's been destroyed now, and that's just in one valley from one fire in a state that's got fires in. You know basically from north to south and Robinson was frustrated because he said, he felt like there were things that we could do right now decrease risked infrastructure, but we haven't because it costs money. On that point when it comes to wildfires, for example, what can be done to decrease their long-term costs. So it's going to take a big change in the status quo right now, we spend billions of dollars just about every year fighting fires, you know trying to put him out and fire colleges, land managers even firefighters will tell you that money would be way better spent on the front end. Here's Sara ultimate pope, a former smoke jumper who now runs a force collaborative in southern Oregon we do have a lot of work that we need to do on our forest to get them back to. A more healthy state where they're going to be resilient in the face of climate change and resilient to disturbance, and to do that, we're going to have to invest in them. So she says, we're going to need more prescribed fire thinning more management of these places, and that is going to cost a lot of money. You know billions of dollars. So that's wildfires. Then there's hurricanes and Rebecca as we mentioned, you just got back from the Gulf Hurricane Sally is dumping rain on the Gulf Coast and Hurricane Laura destroyed towns along the Louisiana Texas border. Late last month gives sense about the hurricane cost. Well. You know hurricanes are consistently the most expensive disasters that we see especially hurricanes that caused a lot of flooding like sally and that's really bad news because that's exactly the kind of storm that's more common as the earth gets hotter this year has been really bad. There have already been ten climate driven disasters that cost more than a billion dollars each that was as of July. One thing to remember is that where people live really matters you know the number of homes in flood prone areas, it's skyrocketed in las three decades. So the seam disaster today is going to cause more damage hurt more homes than if it had happened previously. So zoning laws building codes, they are really important and climbing experts say that there are economic benefits to be had if we build in more resilient ways. Rebecca innate. We've been talking about the overall economic costs of climate fueled disasters, but let's go to a more personal level. How does this affect families and what do we know about how surviving a fire or flood affects people financially Well. The effects are really dramatic for a lot of people especially poor people if you don't have savings to fall back on or gave can't afford adequate insurance, a disaster can totally derail a family's finances for decades people whose home is their only source of wealth. For example, they're more likely to end up renting even years later, bankruptcy is more likely there. are other costs to like for example, research suggests that young people who survive a hurricane, they're less likely to enter college. It takes longer to graduate if they do go and survivors also have long term mental and physical health problems often, and that can interfere with work that obviously hits income or create new costs of their own. These are extreme weather disasters. We've been focusing on, but what about the financial hit from less dramatic or less immediately noticeable climate impacts like the gradual rise of temperatures. So yeah, I mean rising temperatures and heat waves hurt agriculture health certainly electrical bills. You know you have warmer waters affecting fisheries and then there's just the down the road impacts ecological decline you know are in extinction crisis. Right. Now that climate change is only going to make worse and we depend on ecosystems for everything from clean water and air or two places to go where we can just escape from it all and I don't really know how you put a price tag on something like that. That's NPR's climate team nate rot and Rebecca. Hersher. Thank you both of you. So. Much. To be here.
Wyoming Doubles Down On Its Long Support For Carbon Capture
"US coal production is down to its lowest level in half a century, but the country's largest coal-producing state is desperate to keep the industry going with support from the trump administration. Wyoming is investing big to try and clean up Kohl's carbon emissions. Wyoming public radio's Cooper has more the largest utility in Wyoming Rocky Mountain power has found. It makes economic sense to start retiring. It's coal plants early, an invest heavily and renewables across the West. That isn't going over well in a state whose economy is tied to call. At a recent public hearing county commissioner can't Connolly said when a plant is shutdown, it's not just jobs that are lost by lose. Fifty percent of the taxes is just as simple. Connolly says it doesn't have to be like this coal plants in Wyoming could stick around if utilities just considered retrofitting them to capture the carbon they emit we will change how goal America. There's no doubt about it we'll get. The idea a coal plant would be retrofitted with new tack. Its emissions would be removed and then sold, but rocky mountain power says right now that technology is too expensive and not proven utilities rick, link says its decision is an economic one. Is Driven by. Changes in the heart condition even so Wyoming is doubling down on its long support for carbon capture. This year lawmakers mandated that by twenty thirty utilities produce a certain amount of electricity from coal plants using carbon capture technology ratepayers bear the expensive that the trump administration is also trying to boost carbon capture. It's passed a federal tax credit in his funding research projects. Holly crude cut oversees several through the University of Wyoming. She envisions capturing co two emissions for a variety of profitable uses including turning them into new products. Building Materials asshole replacement. The problem is many others think the moment for Carbon Capture to help Cole has come and Gone Arizona State University's Klaus Lochner remembers giving presentations promoting carbon capture to the coal industry twenty years ago without that, he warned that climate change would be the industry's demise. Is it look if the comes around, you are not going to be allowed to build a new new coal plant because every bank in the country will know that they will not get their money back. So you bid or buy twenty trinite have the ability to build power plants that. Completely carbon neutral but that hasn't happened Energy Economists Rob. God. Says part of the reason could be politics the Republican Party which strongly supports coal actually may have hurt the industry by downplaying climate change climate change doesn't exist. There's no justification to develop low-carbon technologies like carbon capture. So in an ironic way, the Republicans, kill carbon capture as much as anybody else only one coal plant in the US created a successful business model for carbon capture. It's called Petra Nova in Texas, but that fell apart after the pandemic led to an oil price. Crash analysts, Dennis Wanstead with Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis says he can no longer imagine utility saying, Hey, we really WanNa do this. We really want to build a carbon capture facility and we really WANNA put it on our thirty five year old forty-year-old coal plant improve. It's GonNa. Make Money Wyoming Governor. Mark Gordon isn't put off though he points to wind energy, which also needed help early on, but is now a fast growing industry. He says that means you don't give up for NPR news I'm Cooper mckim
Visiting California Fires, President Trump Denies Climate Change
"The wildfires in the West have burned down entire towns and up ended the lives of millions of people many of last homes. So many more just can't even go outside because the air is thick with ash and smoke. The fires have also forced president trump to confront the realities of climate change, which he has so far refused to do. He was in California yesterday getting a briefing from state officials and Cake Ud's Katie or was there she joins us now from Sacramento Katie Good Morning, you're out this event with the president. The press was there and asking questions and you actually asked him straight up about climate change, right? I did I asked the president what role he thinks climate change plays in these fires and he insisted as he has for years that it's all about forest management that years of letting the forest become overgrown and not well-tended have turned them into tinder boxes. The president's argument was met with resistance from officials here on the ground including California Governor Gavin. NEWSOM, who urged the president to reconsider his stance in? Light of what the state has experienced in recent years hottest August ever history of the state, the ferocity, these fires, the drought five plus years losing one, hundred, sixty, three, million trees to that drought. Something's happened to the plumbing of the world. So there's governor newsom wearing a mask. We should say president trump not wearing a mask there in this kind of intense conversation. How did the President respond to that? he didn't seem to appreciate it in one exchange California's Natural Resources Secretary Wade Crow Foot repeated the central role of climate change in these fires and trump pretty much dismissed him. As we can hear, it'll start getting cooler. You just watch I wish science. Science knows actually. And it's interesting. We're less than two months from the presidential election but the president's comments were not really intended for voters in California and that's for two reasons. First everyone assumes California will vote Democratic in November and here in the state pretty much across the political spectrum climate change and the science behind it are not in dispute by politicians or by voters the. President's message that California is itself to blame for the massive wildfires seems directed at his supporters in other states, and by the way we should mention it's worth noting that governor newsom pointed out the federal government owns close to sixty percent of the forest land in. California. While the State owns just three percent the implication being that it's actually under president trump's purview. So. Can you just give us the latest on the fires this morning? Where do they stand? There are twenty eight major fires burning throughout the state right now with more than sixteen thousand firefighters working to contain them, and we have people who've gone through these fires and are waking up to a landscape marked by worry my colleague in Fresno Alex Hall spoke with Lee Zeldon, Suwa and her husband David they feared their house had burned down. What can you say it's scary. Especially, the first couple of days the fire was moving. So quickly that you know we had no idea if the house would survive. So I think that's how everyone feels and I know there are several houses. On the next street on Auburn road that were completely destroyed. So. Many people dealing with so much loss Katie or of. We appreciate it. Thanks you're welcome.
Carmakers rev up electric truck, SUV production
"You, see them everywhere nearly fifty percent of all vehicles sold in the US, our sport utility vehicles the International Energy Agency reports SUV's are second only to electric power for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the last decade. But there are a new wave of all electric SUV's and trucks is coming and these new vehicles may be more powerful and boasted longer driving range than many of today's gas-powered SUV's trucks. So, how quickly will high tech these take hold in the next decade Chelsea Sexton is an electric car advocate and consultant hi. Chelsea their quick. Sketch here, how close are we to the next wave of electric vehicles and what will their capabilities be? We're going to start to see more of them in the next year or two obviously things are slightly influx with the pandemic but most of the automakers are still trying to be within a few months of their original targets and we're seeing everything from plug in hybrid jeep wrangler with thirty miles of electric range for around town driving and. Gasoline after that, all the way up to f one, fifty and riven with a few hundred miles of expected range and I'm interested in that F one fifty story because that Ford truck is the top selling truck in America I think there were nine hundred thousand f-series trucks sold last year and I see that they're retooling a factory in Michigan to build the first all electric f one fifty. What do we know about that role? Not very much. We're expecting it late twenty, twenty, one, early twenty, twenty, two something to that effect and they've not released really any specs other than videos of hauling trains and things to try to prove that electric vehicles really do have as much more performance than gasoline trucks, what other electric pickups SUV's Few years I'm watching all of them. There still are some open questions about everyone of them in that most vs today of any model have been sold only in California or the carb states owens have mandates requiring evt's there's not that many vehicles that are available across the country, and that will be a huge thing to prove what the trucks regarding who's serious, and WHO's not. That's an open question for folks like Ford, will they make these things in volume and sell them nationwide and really get behind them with the marketing and dealer support or is this going to be more of what we refer to as a compliance car which is basically Will sell as many as we have to in the places we have to, but not really in it with their hearts well, and part of the answer to that might be consumer attitudes. Right? I mean you helped launch an electric vehicle for GM back in the nineties. Have you seen consumer attitudes change in that time and if they changed enough to bring in the truck SUV drivers ironically that generation in the nineties had more trucks than SUV's in it than than small cars everyone knows the ev one that was the one I was involved in but Chevy and Ford made pickups at the time and Honda and Toyota made small SUV's so it's Sort of feels like we're yanking the automakers back toward where they started. There's still a lot of education that's needed. There are lots of people that are not even aware of electric vehicles, but in part that's because they've never seen one and they've never been available and so people can't buy what they don't know as even possible. So there's a lot of education required on that front but the interesting thing about electric vehicles in general is that it is the only example in the history of the automotive industry in which the industry itself has required demand to predate and continually exceeds supply. What. That sounds like is every time you hear it automaker executive say when we see demand for electric cars will start to build them. So it's always been the market polling for from the automakers versus the automakers trying to build their own market for something. So it's a parallel. Yes. Of course, we need to do more education, but we also need to start building things that people can see our else. They're never going to be aware of them in want to buy one. What about the politics of this? How much do you see that playing into the success of the next generation of truckin SUV models I mean we'll some people just not wanNA drive one because of their political beliefs it's possible however. The irony is that there has always been a fair amount of right wing support for electric vehicles because they use domestic energy, they keep more money in the local economy. We're not sending money overseas before an oil, and so it doesn't always get talked about in this administration because the politics kind of ebb and flow depending on the administration but there is a fair amount of conservative support and they're not just sort of this liberal technology that they're made out to be. So all politics tend to be kind of transient and. I've watched it shift back and forth over the years. So I don't expect the current politics will be permanent But at the same time, this has always been if not politically driven certainly policy driven it is those external incentives and mandates that have helped compel with the advocates and market asking for them electric vehicles for twenty five years, and it will probably remain. So for the next several at least are there any other barriers you see to electric truck an SUV sales? The single biggest barrier today is lack of product. The second biggest is lack of marketing and awareness and education and people not being able to buy what they don't know about and the third biggest dealerships across the board with any EV model if dealers aren't comfortable and wanting to sell vs they're not going to be successful at it, and so we can put billions of dollars into those first two things. But at the end of the day, if someone walks into a Ford dealer in his told well now, you'd really rather have the gasoline f one, fifty, not the electric one that one's Kinda goofy. All of that money and effort is wasted what about the pace of change and I know we're focused on electric vehicles today on the transportation emissions but overall with climate emissions I mean you you live in California you've been watching this for decades. We've got these terrible fires in California and Oregon this week are we moving fast enough now? We're not and that is not a widespread enough opinion yet. But regardless of why they come to the table, the best thing we can do is make more options available and attractive. So it doesn't matter if someone is coming to an AV because of climate change or air pollution or any other reason if they're coming for Torque and horsepower I'm fine with that. The goal is to build more of the table as we have more seats at it not be so concerned about why people come and sit down I'm all about the Torque and horsepower Chelsea, Sexton electric-car advocate and consultant. Thanks so much for sharing your perspective on climate cast today. Thank you for crash your party
Carmakers rev up electric truck, SUV production
"You, see them everywhere nearly fifty percent of all vehicles sold in the US, our sport utility vehicles the International Energy Agency reports SUV's are second only to electric power for the increase in greenhouse gas emissions in the last decade. But there are a new wave of all electric SUV's and trucks is coming and these new vehicles may be more powerful and boasted longer driving range than many of today's gas-powered SUV's trucks. So, how quickly will high tech these take hold in the next decade Chelsea Sexton is an electric car advocate and consultant hi. Chelsea their quick. Sketch here, how close are we to the next wave of electric vehicles and what will their capabilities be? We're going to start to see more of them in the next year or two obviously things are slightly influx with the pandemic but most of the automakers are still trying to be within a few months of their original targets and we're seeing everything from plug in hybrid jeep wrangler with thirty miles of electric range for around town driving and. Gasoline after that, all the way up to f one, fifty and riven with a few hundred miles of expected range and I'm interested in that F one fifty story because that Ford truck is the top selling truck in America I think there were nine hundred thousand f-series trucks sold last year and I see that they're retooling a factory in Michigan to build the first all electric f one fifty. What do we know about that role? Not very much. We're expecting it late twenty, twenty, one, early twenty, twenty, two something to that effect and they've not released really any specs other than videos of hauling trains and things to try to prove that electric vehicles really do have as much more performance than gasoline trucks, what other electric pickups SUV's Few years I'm watching all of them. There still are some open questions about everyone of them in that most vs today of any model have been sold only in California or the carb states owens have mandates requiring evt's there's not that many vehicles that are available across the country, and that will be a huge thing to prove what the trucks regarding who's serious, and WHO's not. That's an open question for folks like Ford, will they make these things in volume and sell them nationwide and really get behind them with the marketing and dealer support or is this going to be more of what we refer to as a compliance car which is basically Will sell as many as we have to in the places we have to, but not really in it with their hearts well, and part of the answer to that might be consumer attitudes. Right? I mean you helped launch an electric vehicle for GM back in the nineties. Have you seen consumer attitudes change in that time and if they changed enough to bring in the truck SUV drivers ironically that generation in the nineties had more trucks than SUV's in it than than small cars everyone knows the ev one that was the one I was involved in but Chevy and Ford made pickups at the time and Honda and Toyota made small SUV's so it's Sort of feels like we're yanking the automakers back toward where they started. There's still a lot of education that's needed. There are lots of people that are not even aware of electric vehicles, but in part that's because they've never seen one and they've never been available and so people can't buy what they don't know as even possible. So there's a lot of education required on that front but the interesting thing about electric vehicles in general is that it is the only example in the history of the automotive industry in which the industry itself has required demand to predate and continually exceeds supply. What. That sounds like is every time you hear it automaker executive say when we see demand for electric cars will start to build them. So it's always been the market polling for from the automakers versus the automakers trying to build their own market for something. So it's a parallel. Yes. Of course, we need to do more education, but we also need to start building things that people can see our else. They're never going to be aware of them in want to buy one. What about the politics of this? How much do you see that playing into the success of the next generation of truckin SUV models I mean we'll some people just not wanNA drive one because of their political beliefs it's possible however. The irony is that there has always been a fair amount of right wing support for electric vehicles because they use domestic energy, they keep more money in the local economy. We're not sending money overseas before an oil, and so it doesn't always get talked about in this administration because the politics kind of ebb and flow depending on the administration but there is a fair amount of conservative support and they're not just sort of this liberal technology that they're made out to be. So all politics tend to be kind of transient and. I've watched it shift back and forth over the years. So I don't expect the current politics will be permanent But at the same time, this has always been if not politically driven certainly policy driven it is those external incentives and mandates that have helped compel with the advocates and market asking for them electric vehicles for twenty five years, and it will probably remain. So for the next several at least are there any other barriers you see to electric truck an SUV sales? The single biggest barrier today is lack of product. The second biggest is lack of marketing and awareness and education and people not being able to buy what they don't know about and the third biggest dealerships across the board with any EV model if dealers aren't comfortable and wanting to sell vs they're not going to be successful at it, and so we can put billions of dollars into those first two things. But at the end of the day, if someone walks into a Ford dealer in his told well now, you'd really rather have the gasoline f one, fifty, not the electric one that one's Kinda goofy. All of that money and effort is wasted
After 2011 Disaster, Fukushima Embraced Solar Power. The Rest Of Japan Has Not
"Before the earthquake before the NAMI and the nuclear disaster Japan got nearly a third of its energy from nuclear power. But after the Fukushima nuclear disaster in two thousand eleven, the country took all of its nuclear reactors off line, which has led Japan to increasingly rely on fossil fuels and also solar power. NPR's cat ORF continues our series on recovery and Fukushima. She only endo is saying a final goodbye. To the home she once shared with her husband and three kids and for Cosima it's less than a mile from the Daiichi nuclear power plant where three reactors overheated and exploded in two thousand eleven. They left fast only taking what they could carry. Their things left nearly exactly as they were the day everything changed to coffee, Cup sit on the kitchen table her daughter's old school uniform is laid out on a bed a calendar on the wall is still flipped to March two thousand eleven. clueless you the kit ago. Muluzi. Nice. This is sad. She says this House System Nice, but we can't come back. She looks around your moon to Ni life is so different diddle do remind us. To start from nothing even less than. A totally reinvent ourselves after the disaster digging up this. She's here to give the keys to government officials. This house will be bulldozed soon and the land used as part of a storage site for radioactive topsoil scraped from the earth and the massive cleanup effort Tschumi heads upstairs. And takes one last look at the bedroom shoes to share with her husband Hitter Yuki. He died a few years ago suddenly. And then she walks back down to hand over the keys. The thing is pretty unceremonious though in reality she only says, she said goodbye to this part of her life. Disaster when her family piled into a car and drove as far south as they go to the southern tip of Japan on the island of Kyushu. Here, she's a single mom to her bubbly ten-year-old son Cagey who was just a baby when the disaster happened, he doesn't remember Shema at all her other two children are grown and live nearby, and she only has found herself within unlikely job running a small solar farm. On a big hill overlooking the tropical landscape Ma hidden is yet. She never imagined. My life would be like this guy when we first moved here, I was in my late thirties my husband was in his forties unanue issue we were like, okay. Do we get new jobs? So we decided to do this. We saw as investment for the future month on her husband worked at the Nuclear Power Plant for over twenty years and for him, the switch to solar was purposeful. He felt that nuclear power had betrayed him do on didn't He grew up really believing nuclear power was safe and then he lost his home to come see today the energy collected by these panels has allowed her to build a new life. The power is sold to the local utility company and brings in thousands of dollars a month when her husband died suddenly a few years ago she only took over the work and the family placed his grave in the center of the solar panels show me walks over to tall marblestone. Hook. With an inscription that says. Good you send do essentially remember that this family is here because of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in two thousand eleven cocoa use. A message to future generations she explains looking away device. My biggest wish is for renewable energy to take over I mean look at my old home, it's going to be a storage site for nuclear waste. We can't deal with that kind of wasted drivers go. Joey's wish might not come true though her family started their business at the right time. The price was so generous and also delegration was sold loose. So anyone can register. Naida is the executive director of the Institute of Sustainable Energy Policies. In Tokyo, he says in the early years after the disaster Japan pushed renewables to help fill energy gap left after fifty four nuclear reactors were taken off line the. Government offered big incentives, new investors, lots of people like me and her husband jumped on board to build smaller operations. incorporations rushed in to build massive solar and wind farms but also the liberation was more strict compensation dropped. It got increasingly harder for alternative energy producers to connect into the power grid edith says, this was partly due to the big utility companies trying to maintain control and the government allowing. It to happen the sitting kind of a body of to north to Laputa increase anymore, the institutions make a big difference that's Jennifer Sclerosis of George. Mason University she studies energy policy in Japan, and she says, there is technology an interest for renewables in Japan, but the bigger power companies in government need to commit if people in place do not watch to implement policies to empower the economics and the. Technology innovation then it can't happen regardless of how advanced technologies earn regardless of how good the economics look many of the major utilities as well as the Japanese government are still waiting to see if nuclear power can make a comeback and renewables just aren't that reliable yet. So in the meantime, I would assume the defaults going to import gas import coal eater agrees is the most the early sick and Not so optimistic future, but one place in Japan that is optimistic about Renewables Hookah Shema the local government here has set a goal for the entire prefecture. The third largest in Japan to be completely fueled by renewable energy by twenty forty. It's a real turnaround for a place where nuclear power ruled only a decade ago especially in the former exclusion zone near Daiichi, there are solar panels everywhere from small ones on roofs and hillsides to massive mega-farms along highways making use of land available after the disaster some of these panels are run by big developers and others are not. Lake the solar panels on farmer. She get Yuki Corneau's field. He's seventy four years old and this land has been in his family for generations he gestures around it. This is all my land, but it's nonsense. Nonsense because it's relatively useless the wind carried radioactive material here after the disaster and the government has scraped off all the topsoil in decontamination efforts. The farmers here can't really far much anymore. So small local power company came and asked sugar. Yuki if they could rent land for solar panels, he said, yes could you go I was really worried after the nuclear accident how would we get power most of his neighbors also agreed but that means everything is different. Now he says there were Rice patties all around here with tiny frogs that created a kind of soundtrack for his life now it's quiet. He misses the frogs a lot and he says, and he doesn't make nearly the same amount of money as he did farming. But She Yuki says he sees this as a necessary change. He has nine grandkids they all live far away now but they were just in town the other weekend for visit running through the fields. Suze my grandparents farmed here my parents do. But now it's time for Change I've realized it's a new season pitcher. This he says looking out over the solar panels is for future. Generations Khatlon store NPR News Fukushima Japan.
California Creek Fire Zero Percent Contained, Chief Firefighter Says
"The People Fighting California's wildfires include our next guest chief. Chris Donnelly is spent twenty two years as a volunteer firefighter in Huntington Lake California. Good, morning sir. Good. Morning Steve. How are you this morning I'm okay. We've reported a lot on the sheer extent of the fires. How have you been spending your days where you are? Well we we began this this fight probably on Saturday morning about six am and what we did I was get all of our people out of Huntington Lake. Huntington has about probably five hundred and fifty summer cabins in an additional hundred and ten. Condominiums, we had thousands of people at Huntington and Once I had is on the fire, very clear to me that he was going to burn into Huntington and lives were at stake. So we spent most of the time getting people out. Well, I'm glad you've been able to do that. But of course, because of course, we have been following stories of some other resort areas, vacation areas where. There for the summer there for vacation there camping have had to be evacuated emergency ways. you said you got is on the fire can you describe the landscape the way it looks to somebody who's never been there and what the fire looked like. Yeah. Honey. Lake is quite unique word seven thousand feet, and we are the reservoir for a very large electric generation facility. That's two thousand feet below us. Virtually down a steep just just a cliff. and. So when I heard a sheriff's deputies go through our area to begin evacuations about five thirty in the morning on Saturday. I called our dispatch and and and they told me where the fire was. I drove down there about fifteen to twenty minutes away. And look down into the Canyon to about a thousand feet below us and saw flames and new as soon as the morning wins started upslope of Valley. That that was going to be a threat to Huntington. So I recommended that we do a mandatory evacuation at Huntington and began that vacuum evacuation about seven thirty. Our our teams, we we knew this was coming eventually with so much deadened down and the droughts over the years. And temperatures have been drier and well, it's been hotter and humidity's dryer. So said so much deadened down is this mostly forested area that we're talking about This heavy forest. Read for in white for as much as eight feet in diameter. And Bark Beetle infestations probably killed a third of that forest and Ecorse was. Caused by not not too much water much hotter temperatures in the last ten or fifteen years. and. So we have a lot of lot of fuel out there in the forest. You you focused a lot clearly on the evacuation is everybody out safely so far as you know from your area of responsibility. Absolutely. We made several passes through our small community. And we verified that everyone was gone, and then at that point, we had lots of strike teams which are groups of fire engines each. Totaling about thirty five engines by about two PM. At which time is started releasing our personnel to get their families and get out. So right now, the the only members of our fire department, our one company officer, which we will keep their throughout the battle. But it's simply not safe to be there. Well this helps to explain number that we've been hearing the past couple of days we're told this fire is zero percent contained. Is this a circumstance and of course, it's true of all wildfires to some extent circumstance where it's abundantly clear that the massive -ness of dead vegetation that you've described that the extreme dryness means that you really this is something that is beyond human control. At this point I think that's a that's a good statement. I don't know what the future of Huntington Lake is. But at this point to it does not look good. Has. The fire actually reached the the what had been the settled area of Huntington Lake. Yes. We have loss cabins of on the western end of the lake. All communications are down into the area I am not there at this moment. So it's very difficult to get serious information but about six PM last night, all crews were pulled out to about the middle of the lake. And we don't know if they re engaged or not. You said, all crews have been pulled out to the middle of the lake. Do you mean that they went out on the water? No. Okay this is copulated on the north side of the lake, and so a mid mid way on the shore you retreat retreated to a more defensible place is what you're saying. Thank you for much much better said, yes, Gotcha Gotcha I want people to know if they don't that you are as you describe it a brother in the Catholic church maybe a layman would think of you as a monk that is another thing that you do besides volunteer firefighting for twenty two years. How does that inform the way that you think about an event like this? Well you know I'm a teacher at Saint Mary's College and I've worked with kids since probably nineteen seventy. So it for me, it's all about caring people and touching hearts and. It's it's that center of people that I worry about the most you can rebuild cabins and you can go somewhere else but it's the people. So you know just a a little. Thirty second bit for you. Yesterday morning, I drove by a cabin and made a PA announcement directly to people about you need to get out now. Yesterday I called her and told her cabin was gone. And she shared with me that are great. Grandfather that cabin in one, thousand, nine, hundred, twenty. And her grandmother talked about the moments out playing in the woods and collecting pine cones and. As she broke into tears. I. Thought. How many stories like this am I going to be hearing? And how hurtful this all is. Income on their summer cabins, they gotTA someplace to go, but it's the hurt and the loss and. Tens of thousands of girl and boy scouts that. Were at Huntington. And Church camps and private Anson. There's so many lives. So many memories that probably won't be there in the future. So for me, that's what it's about. It's about the people. And all the all the loss. Donnelly thanks very much for your insights. I really appreciate it and we'll continue following the news to see if you begin to reach a point where you're able to battle back. Well, we'll look for that moment to. Chris Donald is chief of the Huntington Lake Volunteer Fire Department, one of many areas in California facing massive
Farm Workers Face Double Threat: Wildfire Smoke And COVID-19
"Farm workers do not have the option to work from home in California. They faced the elements not just covert. But also record heat and wildfires Eric Mahoney of K.. A. Z.. You reports from a strawberry field in Salinas California. farmworkers swiftly picks a row of strawberries. He tosses to the ground, the bruise berries that won't sell the others into their plastic clam shells. The, air quality is better on this day but just a few weeks ago the sun glowed orange and ash family. The Sky after a wildfire erupted nearby has do sell Mata. The foreman says the smoke was so thick in mid August that it hurt the cruise sinuses for. We must. Be We. Stop for our safety. He says, we had to stop for one day and that wasn't easy call. He's in charge of sixty five people who are paid more money. The more they pick it's been a tremendously difficult year Dr Caroline Kennedy Cares for farmworkers. She directs nine clinics in Monterey County where agriculture is a leading industry you they home when the air quality doesn't make you feel well or do you just go back to work these are markers who are predominantly Latino feed the world yet they're struggling to feed their own families and They've been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus in Monterey County alone more than seventy percent of cases are among the Tino's often they go back to very congested living situations and everyone in the family is infected cove nineteen patients tell Kennedy. They just can't take a deep breath that's compounded by wildfire smoke under a California regulation that took effect last year employers must provide proper masks to outdoor workers when air quality degrades to a certain level whether or not the workers are required to actually put on the mask depends on how bad the air quality is. The messaging is confusing says Richard Steadman who runs the regional air resources district when the air is bad the general public is told to stay indoors what I see workers being advised that can go out into the field and exert themselves as long as they have in their possession, a mask that's not very protective. The united farm workers says even so enforcement of the regulation is a problem Armando Alana's is with the UAW? The vast majority of farmers were not provided have not been provided and ninety five mass. You W conducted a statewide poll in August to get a better understanding of the situation workers told Atlanta's there is felt like they were burning, but you know they were they were more worried about. Trying to make ends meet trying to pay the rent with multiple wildfires in California and pandemic. That's making and ninety five's hard to find the state answered calls for help and shipped around one point four million masks two counties throughout the State Henry Gonzales the Agricultural Commissioner for Monterey County says he's received over three, hundred, thirty, thousand were. Really the odds and we were able to get those considering their scarcity. Back. At the strawberry field in Salinas Gonzales watches worker is snapped closed the fruit containers he says showing up to this job can be a risk, but the produce can't wait. They're ready when they're ready and if you're not there to harvest, they're going to go to waste which means less money for companies, smaller paychecks, farmworkers, and fewer strawberries in grocery carts losses that might be necessary to protect farm workers help. For NPR News America Mahoney in Salinas
Sen. Debbie Stabenow says farmers can help reduce global warming
"From flooded cornfields to cherry crops damaged by a radical spring weather climate change is hurting Michigan farmers but democratic US Senator Debbie. Stab of Michigan says, farmers can help reduce global warming folks in the agricultural community are very, very interested in what they can do and many are already taking action. For example, some farmers install wind and solar or capture the methane emitted. By manure and use it to generate electricity they're using what they create on the farm to the power, the fire and not create pollution. She says, farmers can also store a great deal of carbon in their soil, for example, by reducing tilling and planting cover crops in the off season. There's a lot that they're already doing that. We can wrap it up much more. So stamina is pushing for federal policies that help farmers invest in climate-friendly land use practices. She helped write the most recent farm bill which removes some barriers to cover cropping, and she helped introduce a new bill designed to encourage better. So a management by helping farmers participate in carbon offset markets she says with adequate support farmers can play a vital role in addressing the climate crisis.
Costly refined coal subsidy is failing to achieve air pollution goals
"Every year, the US government provides about a billion dollars in tax credits to companies that produce what's known as refined coal. It's chemically treated coal that when burned supposedly admits less than the pollution that can harm human health but there's a problem companies qualify for the tax credit using lab tests, which could differ dramatically from what's actually happening in the field at the power plants where the coal is burned. Brian pressed is a post doctoral fellow at a research nonprofit called resources for the future he studied the actual air pollution emitted when companies burn refined coal we look at actual field missions you know what's happening at the power plant and we're finding that the emission reductions fall far short of what the tax law says that they should be getting. What's more he says, the tax credit can make it profitable for. Some older power plants to keep burning coal for longer. So it may actually increase carbon pollution and worsen global warming. He says, it's a timely issue because the tax credit is set to expire at the end of twenty twenty one and is a immediate policy question about whether we're going to renew this or whether we should take the funds that would be used for this subsidy, and perhaps he's for a better purpose.
Impact Of Climate Policy On 2020 Presidential Election
"On the most recent Pew Research Survey of top issues for voters this year climate change despite even make the top ten. But not for Varsity precaut-, she's executive director of the Environmental Justice Groups Sunrise Movement. She helped editor book called winning the Green New Deal and her organization gave, Joe. Biden's initial climate platform, an f rating but as Biden became the likely democratic. Nominee for president precaut-. Joined his climate change task force to make sure aggressive climate policy had a place on the ballot this year when we spoke earlier today, I asked her about how you seen his climate policy shift while she's been helping shape it. We have seen his client plan improve considerably over the last three months now, championing policies to decarbonised our power. Sector by twenty, thirty, five, we've seen him increase the level of investment from a one point, seven trillion dollar green jobs and infrastructure plan to a two trillion dollar plan over the next four years on the whole our core goal was to go in and increase Joe Biden's ambition and the Taiwan upon which these benchmarks are happening to decarbonised economy and ensure that. Environmental Justice and climate justice except core and at the heart of his agenda climate seems to have fallen out of the headlines Lately. That's even with record breaking heat fires hurricanes. Instead, the news is dominated by pandemic and economic collapse racial justice. What's your level of concern that climate change may not be getting sufficient political attention and and how do you get that attention? I think the key here is to understand the climate crisis is essentially connected to every single one of crises that are emerging whether it is the uprisings against white supremacy or whether it is the tens of millions of jobs that are been lost in this economic downturn in large part I believe the climate crisis is even thinking because we have racial and economic inequality in this country for example, I believe that after hurricane. Katrina. We would've had a green new deal past fifteen years ago and yet here we are. Fifteen years later, we've got a double header storm and communities engulfs out. That are still suffering We would have had green new deal following hurricane. Maria when thousands more were ricans perished but because we do not value black lives and brown lives, indigenous lives, poor lives as much as others, we have not taken the drastic unnecessary measures to prevent suffering. Do you think climate plays out in local political races as well or do voters think of it mostly as something that has to be addressed on a national issue? Now, I think it absolutely plays out at the local level. The climate crisis take so many different forms in different communities in Iowa overseeing the role that corporate agriculture and factory farming plays as being really detrimental to communities for Detroit. The level of fuel infrastructure contributing to asthma and disease for the majority black community. Earlier, we have seen the election of drama. Or Eliot Angle in New York which Jamal Boom and actively ran and champions agree new deal when his opponent refused to do. So the climate crisis is affecting people at the local and state level not chest. Politics. So, have you thought ahead to if president trump is reelected? What will you approach be to try to advance your climate goals with a presidential administration that may be less receptive Joe Biden would have been. We're still figuring that out. What I'll say is everything that has happened with the green new deal at the federal level and many of the substantive state legislative battles that have been one have been under the shadow of the trump administration, and so I do believe that there is absolutely still space to fight and contests and win, but it will be far far easier. If we have item presidency, Vaujany precaut- is Executive Director of the Sunrise Movement and her new book is called winning the green new deal partially, thanks for coming on the program. Thank you so much
How Climate Change Is Fueling Hurricanes And Wildfires
"Last week Hurricane Laura made landfall in Louisiana as one of the strongest storms to hit the region in decades to be clear scientists say climate change doesn't cause a weather event, but it is playing a role in increasing the severity of them to understand why we called climate scientists Catherine Heyhoe in a warmer world hurricanes are not getting more frequent, but they are getting stronger they're intensifying faster they're getting bigger and slower, and they have a lot more rainfall associated with them, and they would've fifty or one hundred years ago Heyhoe Co director of the Climate Center at Texas Tech University. She says a warmer world also affects the size of wildfires in. California and elsewhere since the nineteen eighties due to climate change wildfires have burned over twice the area than they would have normally because of course, you get wildfires out west that's just part of life those ecosystems but climate change the great threat multiplier. It's making them worse Professor Heo taking everything into account you just described we also can't ignore that these events are happening during a pandemic. That's already killed more than one hundred and eighty thousand people just in the United States and I wonder is that also what you're talking about when the Department of Defense views climate change describes climate change as a threat multiplier is that part of it as well? It is. So climate change takes issues that we already have that we already care about, and it exacerbates them are makes them worse issues like poverty even age for example, one of my colleagues her parents live in the Houston area they were very concerned about getting in the car and driving you know when when everybody's evacuating, it could take hours to get one hundred miles away because of corona virus. What if they ended up exposing themselves to Corona virus as they drove in for people who are sheltering in shelters typically quite crowded, we are all vulnerable and climate change is exacerbating the risk that we already face today corona virus included. And if you don't mind my raising this, you've written about being a person who considers herself an evangelical. Christian. And you're also a scientists sounding the alarm about climate change. Some Christians. Do seem to see those things in conflict and you just say that this is not true. You say that these two different commitments are actually in harmony. Could you just as briefly as you can just say why you're absolutely right in the United States and that qualifier is very important. The people who are least concerned about climate change are white conservative Protestants and white Catholics but the interesting thing is. That the most concern people in the United States by denomination are Hispanic Catholics, and of course, the Pope Roten encyclical five years ago explaining why climate change is such global issue. So that sort of shows us hey, what's going on here? It turns out when social scientists dig deeper rejecting climate the reality of climate change and the need for climate solutions is exclusively tied to people who have bought into. A right. Wing ideology that somehow this planet doesn't matter but it does it matters to everyone of us if for Christians at the very beginning of the Bible. It talks about how God gave us humans responsibility over every living thing on this planet as well as how we are to care for those less fortunate than us you know the Bible talks about the widows and the orphans and the poor. And today. Those are the very people being most affected by changing climate. So if we take the Bible seriously, we are out at the front of the line demanding climate action, not dragging our feet at the end. All right. That's Catherine Heyhoe. She's a climate scientist and co-director of the Climate Center at Texas Tech University professor. Hey. Thanks so much for talking to us once again thank you for having me.
Water, Water, Every Where And Now Scientists Know Where It Came From
"Water is everywhere on Earth the clouds, the rain, the oceans and rivers even our own bodies were all that water originally came from is a bit of a mystery NPR's Nell. Greenfieldboyce reports that scientists may have found the answer inside some rare meteorites the earth formed four and a half billion years ago, compared to other planets in emerged pretty close to the sun there hot temperatures would mean, no water ice no ice to join with the swirling bits of rock and dust that we're running into each other and building up our young planet. That's. A. We do not know exactly were the what on Earth from why we need to find a source of water on Earth Laurette Peony works at a French research lab called CRP PG. She says that source of water could have been farther out in the solar system like maybe icy comments or water rich asteroids that hit the newly formed earth and watered it. This has long been the prevailing view to explain the the of the ocean and of the water engine on she wondered though if water could have been there at the start Sushi and. Some colleagues recently took a close look at a rare kind of meteorite. It doesn't look like anything special. It's like a gray rock, but it's also thought to have formed near the sun and is the same kind of primordial stuff that glommed together to create our planet and it turns out it contains plenty of hydrogen that's an indicator of its ability to contribute water to a planetary mix. In fact, if you built a planet out of this material, you'd have at least several oceans worth of water these findings described in the journal Science made on. Pay Liaise feel really happy I was happy because it makes it nice and simple. She's a planetary scientist at NASA's Johnson. Space Center in Houston Texas who wasn't part of the research team she says this old idea that Earth's water came from the outer solar system would have required something unusual like Jupiter having a little trip through the inner solar system to send water rich asteroids headed our way. So here we just don't need Jupiter. We're told me to do anything weird. We're just grabbed the material that was their form and that's what who are. Still, she says, even if most of the water was there at the beginning comets and such probably did deliver some of Earth's water later on Nell Greenfieldboyce NPR news.
Growing Food And Community: Urban Farming Institute, Boston
"Describe how you came to be President and CEO of the Urban Farming Institute and how long You have been there before we get into its history and mission. Well, I was actually the first employed. There was a grant that the board had put together to to get the first director in that, and that was me and. I don't know it certainly was not actually because of my gardening abilities. So that came accurate to friends of mine that were on the board they were looking for someone that for all intensive purposes was a jack-of-all-trades I think could do fundraising marketing presentations, little bit of everything, and that was me, and so that is what this particular job did need So that's actually how I came on board. In the beginning and what year was that March, Fourth of two thousand fourteen, right so give us the history of urban farming institute. Where is it? Why is it urban farming institute? Really an admission then the mission today is really the same is to develop and promote urban farming to engage individuals neighbors in growing food and building a healthier community, but also within that mission is to teach. Adults to become urban farmers. So that's really a key component of our mission as well, and we do that by running a full fought farm operation in in the in the urban farming institute. So where is that exactly and what do the physical facilities and and site? Consists of and look like. The Urban Farming Institute is growing on approximately six farm sites in there really micro farm sites in Boston we're talking about ten twelve, thirteen, thousand square feet so so we do very intensive farming and there's a certain skill set that that must be learned to do this type of farming. You've got to do all crop rotation each year irrigation systems are a little bit different. It's a different entity when you're doing this inside a city we also two years ago in April two, thousand, eighteen with wonderful partners historic Boston Inc we were able to restore. A beautiful farm site, it was a farm. Two hundred years ago it was three hundred, thirty, acre farm, in Boston. So back in the day. So the original house dates back to seventeen, eighty, six, the barn. Dates back to eighteen, thirty seven. So we were able to. Completely restore this wonderful facility. It has become our headquarters and has basically we call it the hub of urban farming. In Boston and Boston itself the city has been wonderful to us many of the thought leaders of our organization and this goes back to two thousand eleven two, thousand ten worked with the city of Boston to develop a program to basically legalize urban farming in Boston for us. It's called article eighty nine, and now people can legally far. We were the test case. The city of Boston allow us to work on Similan to see you know this urban farming thing real can it really be done and since then we've had a wonderful relationship are farm. The garrison trotter farm was actually the first legal farm under article eighty nine. So our board, our staff is extremely diverse. The majority people of Color on as well as our board and we're all working on a mission to build a healthier community to create economic opportunity becoming becoming far entrepreneurs. To provide training so that folks leave us are able to work in other food related businesses and then just creating a culture throughout our city a culture of eating a healthy manner. And also in our area as we, we often lack a key supermarkets. So this is another way through our farm stands that we can really feed folks really good nutritious food no chemicals no pesticides all done freshly. So. As these neighborhoods became residential as the city grew and developed out, it was a zoning issue that would have made. A business of farming Rog illegal. Okay. I'm with you tell us any history you can of how the original board formed around this idea that they saw as a gap in these these neighborhoods well, it all actually, there wasn't distinct starting point here the story we often tell one of our board members who Had a wonderful business called city fresh foods. was always concerned about a folks eating a healthy meal and having healthy vegetables and good food, and how can we get get that two people? So they do a lot of work with. Kind of meals on wheels, food elders of Institutional meals, etc, and the bottom line was as he was walking to work one day in Roxbury. He was actually going through many vacant lots on his way to work and the idea went through his head. Why do I have to order MIC Salad Greens from California Why can't why can't I just use these vacant lots in actually grow food for the business. You know and and clean up the lots and it's a better thing for the environment and that's kind of that's a piece of the impetus that started all of this and so he and many other thought leaders certainly got together and you know work with our state legislature etc and that's how article eighty nine came about and again as I said. The city was able to Allow us at that time to work on a couple of vacant lots just to see if this experiment would work and yes.
Restoring Our Reefs
"So you began this story by sitting down and talking to Scott, he shared a little bit with you about why coral reefs were such an important topic. Yes. He spoke a lot about how our reeves today affected. By a lot of things and why is it necessary that we should go out there and raise their voices and protect our coral reefs today and kind of the bummer of it is that the type of work that Mote Marine laboratory aquarium is doing is so incredibly important and yet it is just. infamously underfunded research. So that's what makes partnerships like this kind of lifeline for different research programs. It's kind of just the nature of the beast. Really, yes absolutely I mean today a conservation program and research funding is extremely limited. Let's just jump right into it. Let's hear what's to say. We searched the world over for what nature provides and and and what we look at is is the efficacy in the quality that mother earth gross for us since she has been so beneficial to humans into the products that ends American makes, but one of the things that. I think might be important to your audience is why are the reefs important to us and that's something that you know I think of us really need to take a step back because as we're reading about things like coronavirus and and all of the challenges with that. What what we don't realize is is that there has been a even more aggressive epidemic happening under the seat and what do I mean by that is you know when when you when you look at At the at the coral reefs and what they provide us, it's actually quite shocking because nuclear reefs you and I were were were breathing were we're breathing oxygen. and. Most people think oxygen comes from rainforest it does but the biggest contributor to. You're breathing. Is actually coming from coral reefs. In fact, over fifty percent of the planet's oxygen is produced from coal res and yet they only occupy one percent of the ocean floor. and. That's something that when you look back over the last thirty years or so you have seen a die off. That is second to none and in in that die off is advancing more and more every day as the environmental conditions Really impact. The survival rate of. Of ancient reefs that have existed for centuries and and to put the sent into perspective in two thousand, seventeen alone twelve percent think about this twelve percent of the world's greaves became bleached and it just just in that period alone and all of the models predict that. Let. Alone will disappear forever for forty six hundred square miles. That's huge it is it is absolutely huge and when you go back the last thirty years There has been a substantial portion of the ocean reefs that have already died off and so when you project that out. By twenty fifty. Noah and other leading scientists are projecting that the majority of the ocean reefs will no longer exist. And putting that in again to perspective you and I were breathing air I, think that's the real news story here that everyone needs to be talking about is what does that mean all of us but not just us it's really about the legacy that our generation is leaving behind for the next generation because they have to bring it to survive. And that's why enzymatic part of our people and planet really took on this partnership in mission with Mote Marine is to help them number one raise raise the awareness of this challenge and to actually do something about it. Absolutely, Scott a marine ecosystem is definitely downplayed I. mean it hardly gets the same importance as the Amazons, the rainforests for that matter. In fact when when you look at at Coral it's actually a living animal and if you look at the extinction charts now it is number one at in the rate of extinction in a when you look at the cause, this you know which is is is is really where everyone needs to point to i? In it's coming from in concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere dude commissions of of fossils. That's all all all human. Driven Right. In an and you also look at the changing in a Ph rates of of the the water. As temperature rises and in you get glacier runoff. All of that combined you know really makes it a tough environment. If if you are a wreath yourself, you're the animal rights and you've got to be able to eleven. And and you know especially within the US but around the world. We all love our our manicured lawns and golf courses and all of those things, and what's happening is that development and use of various chemicals. Are, are really driving nutrient In a from farms, lawns, etc, and all that combined is all human driven. And we're all doing it in little ways each and every day. But at the end of the day, it's the aggregate that that is really causing this systemic die off throughout the world.
Ancient Tennessee River floods hold a warning for the future
"In eighteen sixty seven after several days of rain the Tennessee River surged over its banks and water rushed in Chattanooga Tennessee. The devastating flood remains the worst in the rivers history since recordkeeping began. But Lisa Davis of the University of Alabama, his digging in the dirt and finding evidence of even larger floods in the more distant past when floodwaters recede, they leave behind minerals, and so we searched for these deposits and we date them and we build a chronology of events and in some cases were actually able to reconstruct with the height or the size of the flood was. Answer Research signed in northern. Alabama. Her team has found evidence of several Tennessee river floods larger than the flood of eighteen, sixty seven and she says, such events could happen again. As the climate warms extreme rainfall is growing more common in the Tennessee River valley. So Davis. Says it's important for planners to understand what they could be up against in the future that information can be used to figure out whether or not dams have been adequately designed has anything happened. That's bigger than what they have imagined not just in the past two centuries but over millennia