The Takeaway

Imagining a World Without Birds

Friday, April 17, 2015

When he's not busy fielding nominations for Pulitzers, Jonathan Franzen is involved in a passionate fight against the poaching of endangered songbirds.

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The Takeaway

Future of Coal Industry Before Supreme Court

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

The EPA says power plants that run on coal and oil emit too many harmful chemicals like mercury and arsenic. But industry backers say reducing emissions is too expensive. 

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Bushwick Warehouse Is Mecca for Climate Activists

Friday, September 19, 2014

There's a flurry of preparation underway for the People's Climate March on Sunday, and at the center of it is a  warehouse in Bushwick.


99% Invisible

123- Snowflake

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Well before the early 1500s, when Sir Thomas Moore first coined the term "Utopia," people have been thinking about how to design their ideal community. Maybe it's one that doesn't use money, or one that drops traditional family structures and raises ch...



EPA, Environment Groups Want Further Review of Tappan Zee Loan Proposal

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Environmental advocates are already asking a state panel to delay a vote on the governor's proposal to use more than $500 million in loans from the Clean Water Fund to help pay for construction of the new Tappan Zee Bridge.



Supporters of NJ Tax Say Recycling Down When Fund Altered

Thursday, September 05, 2013


Nearly 30 years ago, New Jersey was one of the first states in the nation to require its residents to recycle. But today, New Jersey recycles less than it did in the 1990s. Why? Some blame the little-known recycling fund, one of Gov. Chris Christie's go-to accounts when it comes to shoring up the state budget.


Transportation Nation

Feds Gives Final OK to Tappan Zee Bridge Replacement

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

(photo by duluoz cats via flickr)

The federal government has given its final approval to New York State's plans to replace the Tappan Zee Bridge. It's the final regulatory hurdle the $5 billion project had to cross before the state could award a contract and begin construction.

In a conference call with reporters Tuesday morning, Governor Andrew Cuomo was elated by the Department of Transportation's decision, which is the result of a year-long sprint by his administration to fast-track plans to replace the 56-year old bridge linking Westchester and Rockland Counties.

"From my point of view, that was the most difficult step all along here," Cuomo said. "Building the bridge is actually the easy part. Relative to the environmental review, it's a straightforward task. "

The environmental review is a 10,000 page document laying out the environmental impact the project will have on the surrounding Hudson River area -- and demonstrates how the state will conform to federal law.

"It doesn't build the bridge -- we still have to pick a contractor, we still have to work out the financing," said the governor, "but the environmental review is basically completed."

The state is currently reviewing bids from three contractors. Once a team is picked, which is expected to be later this year, it will be constructing the bridge under New York's new design-build legislation. Last week, the governor named a design team to help review the bids and provide aesthetic guidance.

But one big question has yet to be answered: how the state will pay for the new bridge. New York is in the process of requesting a low-interest loan from the federal government, and Cuomo has said that the basic source of financing will come from tolls. But the state has yet to release a comprehensive finance plan.

Still, the governor said, the hardest step was in the rear-view mirror. "I'm going to exhale today," he said.


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The Takeaway

Learning from Environmental Conservation's Successes and Failures

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A new study finds that more than 50 species are at risk for extinction each year. Environmental conservation programs have succeeded in preserving wildlife in some areas, including humpback whales, white rhinos and dozens of others. Why do some conservation efforts succeed while some fail?



Hungary Tries to Stop Flow of Toxic Waste

Thursday, October 07, 2010

The Associated Press reports that toxic waste that spilled from a reservoir at a Hungarian refining plant about 100 miles southwest of Budapest on Monday has made its way to the Danube River, and authorities are carefully testing water samples to determine whether the waste could be carried to other countries.


Studio 360

Creative Minds Go Green

Friday, November 14, 2008

Studio 360 saves the planet. Kurt Andersen asks a priest about the Vatican’s declaration that pollution is a modern sin. Then we explore design solutions for a changing environment. Kurt visits a solar-powered subway station in Coney Island and talks to an engineer making biofuel from bacteria. Plus, the creative thinkers behind a hand-cranked street generator, the adobe house of the future, carbon-neutral rock shows, and the Eco Art movement.


Studio 360

Michael Pollan on Gardens

Saturday, September 29, 2001

Kurt Andersen and environmental journalist Michael Pollan talk about the garden and the relationship artists have to the botanical world. 

Pollan is the author of The Botany of Desire: A Plant’s Eye View of the World. Pollan has been gardening since he was a boy and has been writing about ...


Studio 360

Mel Chin's Revival Field

Saturday, August 18, 2001

Kurt Andersen talks with conceptual artist Mel Chin about Revival Field, his sculpture to transform a landfill with plants that extract toxins from the soil.

(Originally aired: March 17, 2001)


Studio 360

Mel Chin's Revival Field

Saturday, March 17, 2001

Kurt Andersen talks with conceptual artist Mel Chin about Revival Field, his sculpture to transform a landfill with plants that extract toxins from the soil.