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Environment

Science Friday

As California Dries Up, Locals Hope for El Niño

Thursday, July 17, 2014

A third of California is now clenched by exceptional drought, and this week the state announced $500 fines for water-wasters. But many residents continue to hope for rain.

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Science Friday

App Chat: Plugging In to the Outdoors

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Reporter Bob Parks guides us through his favorite outdoor and camping apps.

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Science Friday

Scientists Call Whales the ‘Engineers’ of the Ocean Ecosystem

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Whales stabilize the ocean ecosystem through a mechanism scientists call the “whale pump,” or fecal plumes.

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Science Friday

Pacemaker Researchers Swap Batteries for Biology

Thursday, July 17, 2014

With gene therapy, scientists reprogram pig heart cells to improve heartbeat.

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Science Friday

Smarty Pants: Testing the Quality of Textiles

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Confidence in how well our garments suit us shouldn't be taken for granted—we owe much to textile quality assurance.

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The Takeaway

On the Frontlines of Wildfires

Thursday, July 17, 2014

It’s the height of wildfire season across the west, with two separate fires burning in Oregon and another reported this weekend in northern California. Retired smoke jumper Jeff Davis explains how the fire management techniques of his generation led to the disastrous conditions of today.

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Australia Repeals An Unpopular Tax On Carbon Emissions

Thursday, July 17, 2014

The tax was imposed on about 350 of the nation's top polluters under the country's previous center-left government.

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Morning Edition

Google Experiments With Mapping Climate Change

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Google and the Environmental Defense Fund have teamed up to detect methane leaks in a few U.S. cities. The leaks don't usually pose an immediate threat, but they do contribute to climate change.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

Why Great White Sharks Are Making a Comeback in NY and NJ

Thursday, July 17, 2014

After decades of decline, the population of great white sharks seems to be increasing off the Northeast coast.

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A Huge New Crater Is Found In Siberia, And The Theories Fly

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

The crater is estimated at 262 feet wide and is in the northern Siberian area of Yamal, a name The Siberian Times says roughly translates as "the end of the world."

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California Approves $500 Fines For Residential Water-Wasters

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Residents will have to pay for wasteful outdoor watering, including hosing down driveways and washing a car without a shut-off nozzle.

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Morning Edition

Underwater Meadows Might Serve As Antacid For Acid Seas

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Marine biologists worry that certain species won't survive the shifts in sea acidity that climate change brings. But research on sea grasses along California's coast suggest marine preserves can help.

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Morning Edition

Coal-Burning Power Plant To Give New Life To Texas Oil Field

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

About 1.6 million tons of carbon dioxide will be captured annually from a coal-burning power plant near Houston. Then the CO2 will be injected into a nearby oil field to help boost crude production.

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The Leonard Lopate Show

The Noise from a Secret Navy Program Was So Awful, Whales Beached Themselves

Monday, July 14, 2014

A crusading attorney stumbled one of the Navy's best-kept secrets. His fight to stop it took him all the way to the Supreme Court.

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The Takeaway

Why Environmental Crime Goes Unpunished

Monday, July 14, 2014

A new investigation finds that existing environmental regulations are rarely enforced — and environmental crimes are almost never prosecuted.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

De Blasio at Six Months: Environment

Monday, July 14, 2014

All this week on the Brian Lehrer Show we're checking in on the de Blasio administration's progress on a variety of key issues, six months into his first term. We'll talk to advocacy groups about how the mayor has lived up to his campaign promises on the environment, crime, housing, and more. Friday, we'll hear from Deputy Mayor Anthony Shorris.

Marcia Bystryn, president of the New York League of Conservation Voters, discusses the mayor's commitment to environmental sustainability and resiliency in his first six months and points out challenges he has yet to address.

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Facing A Toxic Dump In South Africa, He Cleaned Up

Monday, July 14, 2014

Desmond D'Sa fought a landfill that took over a beautiful valley and sickened residents with its awful smell. He lost his job but won the battle — and the Goldman Environmental Prize.

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The Takeaway

Pipeline Leaks Into Native American Land

Monday, July 14, 2014

North Dakota is suffering yet another pipeline leakage—this time into a bay on a Native American reserve. The pipeline had leaked more than one million gallons of saltwater brine, an unwanted byproduct of oil and natural gas production.

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The Brian Lehrer Show

Tours of Duty

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thousands of couples every year have babies using surrogates in the United States. But the practice raises profound ethical and legal questions. Melissa Brisman, a reproductive lawyer and owner of the surrogacy agency Reproductive Possibilities, explains the surrogate pregnancy process and discusses some of the issues that arise in surrogacy. Plus: The authors of the new book The Alliance tell you to stop expecting promotion from within; grading Mayor de Blasio on the environment; and Monday morning politics.

Why A Texas City May Ban Fracking

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Denton, Texas, is considering a ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, and a new study links this process of energy extraction with earthquakes. NPR's Arun Rath considers the risks with science writer Abrahm Lustgarten.

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