Environment

Where We Live
12:18 pm
Fri June 8, 2012

Connecticut Was Built By Rock (and Roll), Glaciers and Lava

Chion Wolf

We take certain things for granted. Like the mountains, rivers and rocks around us.

So what made Connecticut look the way it looks today? As you kayak on the Connecticut River, drive over Talcott Mountain, or swim in Long Island Sound...there are millions of years of history underneath you.

Today we look at the geography and geology of Connecticut and New England. According to at least one geologist, we live on some of the most diverse land in the country. 

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Where We Live
10:25 am
Mon June 4, 2012

Paved Paradise

Picabu (Wikimedia Commons)

Picture a parking lot....what comes to mind? A sea of asphalt, white lines, birds pecking at discarded food. Don’t forget the stray shopping carts, bright lighting at night, and blinding glare by day. Not the most pleasant place.

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Great Outdoors Initiative
3:08 pm
Thu May 31, 2012

Connecticut River First to Receive National Blueways Designation

Mike Cline (Wikimedia Commons)

The Connecticut River has been designated the country's first National Blueway. 

The National Blueways System is part of the Obama administration's America's Great Outdoors Initiative, which aims to conserve natural resources while encouraging recreational use of the land. The National Blueways system recognizes river systems that through various public and private advocates work together for the benefit of both the river and watershed.

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That Midnight Train
8:32 am
Wed May 30, 2012

Connecticut Department of Transportation Examines Rail Environmental Impact Report

Keene/Cheshire Cty (NH) Historical Photos (Creative Commons)

Connecticut's Department of Transportation has released an environmental impact report for the proposed high speed rail line between New Haven and Springfield Massachusetts. 

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RAWR!
11:25 am
Tue May 22, 2012

Bear Sightings On the Rise in Connecticut

dvwtwo (Flickr Creative Commons)

Bear sightings in Connecticut are on the rise this year, and their numbers are growing. Appearing to talk about black bears and what you should do if you come across a bear is Paul Rego, a wildlife biologist with the state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.

The core of the black bear population in the state is in the northwestern area, Rego says, in Litchfield County and western Hartford County. They're heading south in dramatic fashion, and somewhat to the east. Rego estimates their numbers at around 500.

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Renewable Energy
11:32 am
Tue May 15, 2012

A Call to Close Bridgeport Coal Plant

Environmentalists have been trying for years to shut down Connecticut’s last remaining coal-burning power plant. They could make more headway on that goal this year, since the power plant’s operating permit is up for renewal. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports on a public hearing held on the matter last night in Bridgeport, where the plant is located.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:56 pm
Wed April 25, 2012

Just Talkin' About Shad

Wikimedia Commons

It seems clicheed, but here in Connecticut, shad is more than a fish.

First of all, it's our official state fish. Second, it's linked to a peculiar fishing culture that barely exists any more. If you've driven down along the lower Connecticut River, you've probably seen those sad shacks and wondered about them. And the Windsor Shad Derby is still a giant event as is the selection of a Shad Derby Queen.

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Where We Live
10:03 am
Fri April 13, 2012

Robert Ballard on the Titanic

Inst. for Exploration & Inst. for Archaeological Oceanography

Dr. Robert Ballard is probably the world’s most famous explorer - in part because of his Titanic discovery - in part because of his tireless mission to uncover secrets of the deep.

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Hartford
3:54 pm
Tue April 3, 2012

New Residential Plans for Old Office Building

A vacant 26-story office tower in downtown Hartford may get a new life. A Fairfield developer has plans before the city to turn the old Bank of America building into nearly 300 apartments. The project is in the early stages, and the city says there's no public or private financing committed to it yet. But it's worth noting the ambition -- the building at 777 Main Street has nothing happening inside of it, and developer Bruce Becker has an idea: He wants to build 286 apartments and a bunch of retail space near Hartford's State House Square.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:33 pm
Mon March 12, 2012

Rats!

Chion Wolf

Rats are political. Yes, I know all the jokes. But what I really mean is that the decisions about where there will be rats and where there won't be are all snarled up in politics.

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Environmental Protection
4:13 pm
Thu March 8, 2012

Broadwater Withdraws LNG Project

A controversial plan to build a massive liquefied natural gas plant in the middle of Long Island Sound is over for good. Broadwater Pipeline LLC has asked to withdraw from its federal certificates.

Broadwater, a partnership of Royal Dutch Shell and TransCanda Corporation, wanted to construct a 20-story high floating LNG platform tethered to the bottom of Long Island Sound.

"It was four football fields long. It was going to have an accompanying 27-mile long pipeline."

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Where We Live
9:33 am
Mon March 5, 2012

Imagine Your Town Without Trees

Chion Wolf

After a series of bad storms, Governor Dannel Malloy declared a “War on Trees!” Or, at least, that’s what it seemed like at the time. The governor was reacting to the hundreds of thousands of power outages caused by downed trees after a tropical storm and a freakish October snowstorm.

In his defense of more aggressive tree-cutting he coined this signature phrase: “Trees grow, ladies and gentlemen of the state of Connecticut, they grow.”

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Where We Live
10:47 am
Wed February 29, 2012

Scraping the Sky

Jay Zhang (Flickr Creative Commons)

A hundred years ago, the tallest building in the world was 700 feet. Today, the record is 2,000 feet taller than that...and this trend isn’t slowing down. Skyscrapers have gone from being merely “tall” to “supertall.” Seven of the world’s ten tallest skyscrapers were built since the turn of the millennium.

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Where we live
12:38 pm
Mon February 27, 2012

Your Connecticut Story

myctstory.com

The state of Connecticut is asking residents for their “Connecticut Stories” today...part of a new marketing push.

It may not prove to be “I Love New York” - the highly memorable 1970s campaign that rebranded a city and a state - and that had a young Dannel Malloy working on.  But Connecticut’s brand new effort to market itself is a big step up from the days of Governor Jodi Rell’s $1 promotion budget - which helped get the state wiped off of tourism maps of New England.  We’ll talk about the new campaign with state tourism director Randy Fiveash. 

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Income and Housing
2:58 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

Low-Income Renters Struggle to Find Housing

Home values continue to fall, and yet housing is becoming increasingly difficult to afford. As WNPR’s Neena Satija reports, a new study from the Center for Housing Policy shows the situation is particularly dire in Connecticut.

In 2010, nearly a quarter of all working households suffered from what’s called a “severe housing cost burden.” That means more than 50 percent of households' income goes toward housing. The problem is worst for people who are renting. Megan Bolton is a senior research analyst at the National Low-Income Housing Coalition.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:26 pm
Mon February 13, 2012

The Science Of Dust

Gilles San Martin/flickr creative commons

There was a time when nobody studied dust. In fact, two kinds of nobody studied two kinds of dust. Astronomers were annoyed by interstellar dust because it got in the way of what they were looking at. It took a long time for them to realize the dust itself was worth looking at.

Same goes for earthbound particulate dust. Dust might creep into a sample on a slide if somebody got sloppy. And that was a problem. Only recently did scientists start looking at the dust itself and even cataloging it in, off all things, a dust library.

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Where We Live
10:45 am
Tue January 31, 2012

The Urban Metabolism

compujeramey

Having a “high metabolism” is seen as a positive for humans...what about cities?

The idea of “urban metabolism” comes from a new book by Austin Troy, associate professor at the University of Vermont’s Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources.  He’s the author of The Very Hungry City: Urban Energy Efficiency and the Economic Fate of Cities

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The Colin McEnroe Show
2:21 pm
Mon January 23, 2012

Wolves In The World

The Colin McEnroe Show
4:15 pm
Tue January 17, 2012

Inside Gov. Malloy's Two-Storm Panel

Chion Wolf

We tell ourselves that Connecticut weathered huge storms last year, and that's both true and not true. Irene, for example, never struck Connecticut as a hurricane.  Any kind of hurricane. Irene's sustained winds reached about 50 mph.

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Where We Live
10:55 am
Fri January 6, 2012

Fracking In 2011

Adrian Kinloch (Flickr Creative Commons)

2011 was the year fracking “cracked the public consciousness” - and it stands to be an environmental and political issue in 2012. We get an update from Nick Kusnetz who was recently a reporting fellow for ProPublica, focusing on fracking.

Here is an excerpt from ProPublica's reflection on fracking in 2011 by Abrahm Lustgarten:

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Where We Live
10:37 am
Fri December 30, 2011

A Year of Wacky Weather

Chion Wolf

The big story of 2011 was the weather: epic snowstorms, dangerous ice storms, a deadly tornado, a tropical storm...

And that was all before a freakish October Nor’Easter that snapped leaf-laden trees, downing power lines and - for a week - took us back to a kind of pre-Colonial Connecticut. Today, where we live, meteorologist Ryan Hanrahan helps us take a look back at an unpredictable year - and we’ll find out if climate change foretells an “apocalyptic” 2012.

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Where We Live
10:52 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Environmental Priorities

citizenswaine

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Where We Live
10:40 am
Thu December 8, 2011

Studying The Chaos Theory

Gardener41, creative commons

Mark Demers is a Fairfield University Professor who just got a grant to study “chaos theory.” Could the gentle flap of a butterfly wing in China set off a tornado in Texas? He’ll study the evolution of systems that change over time and attempt to understand their stability and predictability.

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Where We Live
12:13 pm
Wed December 7, 2011

Where Are The Fish Going?

Chris Deacutis (Flickr Creative Commons)

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Where We Live
10:40 am
Mon November 21, 2011

Preparing for Future Storms

Chion Wolf

We’ve been hearing for years that Connecticut has an aging electricity infrastructure - along with some of the highest electric rates in the country.

So, there’s a problem - how to upgrade without sending costs through the roof? It’s a problem that the state has been able to kick down the road for years - but now consecutive, massive storms have brought these questions into the fore.

First Tropical Storm Irene knocked out power to around three-quarters of a million customers...then a few months later, a freakish October snowstorm did even more damage.

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Where We Live
10:48 am
Mon November 14, 2011

Measuring The World

Chion Wolf

“A pint’s a pound, the world around.” Except...what’s a pint? And, for that matter, what’s a pound?

Here in America, we take for granted our feet, our inches, our Fahrenheit temperatures...we even watch our pounds.

But, leave this country, and it’s pretty clear we’re on an island - an island the rest of the world would measure in meters...an “international standard” that we’re still resistant to.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:36 pm
Tue November 8, 2011

Human & Animal: An Ever-Changing Coexistence

Flickr Creative Commons, Chi King

"You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity."

So said Ralph Waldo Emerson who saw, even in the 19th century, the way civilization puts artificial spaces in the natural order of things. Nature is wild. Wild animals are savage. The livestock business is brutal. Pigs are sentient. All of these things are true, but we prefer to have them orbit around, flung as far into space as possible.

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Unusual Nor'easter
8:15 am
Tue November 8, 2011

Morning Edition: Federal Response To The Fall Storm

Chion Wolf WNPR

It's been 10 days since the unusual Autumn Nor'easter rocked Connecticut with heavy snow and massive power outages, and Connecticut is still feeling the effects. Joining us by phone to talk about the recovery efforts is 1st District Congressman John Larson.

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