Environment

Housing
8:45 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Too Little Affordable Housing in Connecticut, Says Report

An apartment building on Spring Street in Hartford.
John Phelan Wikimedia Commons

A new report from the Partnership for Strong Communities, a housing advocacy organization, says that Connecticut continues to suffer from a lack of affordable housing.

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Oil Drilling Protest
7:59 am
Fri October 18, 2013

Connecticut Man Among "Arctic 30" Still Held in Russia

The seized Greenpeace ship Arctic Sunrise.
Credit Greenpeace

With Tom Hanks getting good reviews for his portrayal of a ship captain taken over by Somali pirates, it might be a good time to note that there could be a future Hollywood script being written right now in the Russian port city of Murmansk. 

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Mobility
12:06 pm
Wed October 16, 2013

Staying Put: Why Income Inequality Is Up And Geographic Mobility Is Down

Transcript

MICHEL MARTIN, HOST:

I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. Coming up, former San Diego mayor Bob Filner pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of false imprisonment and battery. We'll ask the Beauty Shop ladies to weigh in on that story as well as on other news of the week. That's in just a few minutes.

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Pet Shop Ban
7:54 am
Wed October 16, 2013

State Task Force Examines Puppy, Kitten Sales in Connecticut

Credit Ildar Sagdejev / Wikimedia Commons

Puppies and kittens are a big draw at pet stores. Their cuteness draws customers in and helps pet store owners make money. However, that may not be the case in the future. A state task force is holding the first of two public hearings on Wednesday on whether to ban the sale of cats and dogs in pet stores.

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Government Shutdown
11:20 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Connecticut Farmers are Hurt by the Shutdown, Too

Connecticut farmers rely on certain government agencies for financial and technical support.
Credit Coventry Farmer's Market

Connecticut farmers say their business has been disrupted during the ongoing government shutdown. Bonnie Burr, assistant director for Cooperative Extension at the University of Connecticut, said farmers are frustrated by the closure of agencies run by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Burr works with communities around the state on economic development opportunities. 

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Transportation
8:52 am
Tue October 15, 2013

Amtrak Boasts Rosy Figures

Amtrak broke records this year.
Credit Mark Fischer / Flickr Creative Commons

Ridership on Amtrak is up for the year, the company reported, despite the disruptions in service during and after Sandy. Amtrak transported a record 31.6 million riders in the past year ending September 30, and made a record $2.1 billion in ticket sales.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
9:50 am
Mon October 14, 2013

Here's How to Feel Less Guilty When You Buy Stuff

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, AndrewBrownNWA

Consumer activism is older than the nation. The colonists’ rejection of British imports started a tradition of voting with your knife, fork, teacup and credit card. But it’s complicated! Whole Foods isn’t perfect. And maybe you should reward Wal-Mart for at least trying to improve.

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Something Smells Crude
11:14 am
Sun October 13, 2013

North Dakota's Delay In Reporting Oil Spill Raises Questions

Cleanup went on Friday at the site of an oil pipeline leak and spill north of Tioga, N.D. Officials took nearly two weeks to tell the public about the break in a Tesoro Corp. pipeline.
Kevin Cederstrom AP

Originally published on Sat October 12, 2013 4:25 pm

The handling of an oil spill in North Dakota is raising questions, after a state agency waited to tell the public it had taken place. A wheat farmer was the first to recognize the spill had happened; it became public knowledge nearly two weeks later.

Here's how the AP describes the spill's discovery:

"Farmer Steve Jensen says he smelled the crude for days before the tires on his combines were coated in it. At the apparent break in the Tesoro Corp.'s underground pipeline, the oil was 'spewing and bubbling 6 inches high,' he said in a telephone interview Thursday."

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Where We Live
7:22 am
Thu October 10, 2013

One Life in Afghanistan and Another at Sea

Qais Akbar Omar and Roz Savage
Picador/Chion Wolf

This week marks the 12 year anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. But war in this country pre-dates the U.S.’s involvement. In his memoir A Fort of Nine Towers, Qais Akbar Omar recounts his life in Kabul, pre-9/11 when Afghanistan was engulfed in civil war and Taliban rule.  Qais recently stopped by our studios to talk about life in war-torn Afghanistan and some of the happier moments.

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Extreme Weather
10:48 am
Tue October 8, 2013

October Tornadoes: Rare, But Not Unheard of

The damage caused by the 1979 tornado in Windsor Locks cost more than $800 million in today's dollars.
Credit Windsor Locks Fire Department

Although Connecticut is not in tornado alley, it still has a place in the record books for violent twisters.

Last week's EF-4 tornado in Nebraska was the first violent October tornado to strike the United States in 34 years. Back in 1979, three people died when a F4 tornado hit Windsor Locks, Connecticut. It was one of the costliest tornadoes in U.S. history.

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Environment
9:16 am
Tue October 8, 2013

From Population Bomb to Inconvenient Truth

A stranded ship in the former Aral Sea, near Aral, Kazakhstan, in 2003.
Credit Staecker / Wikimedia Commons

If I were to tell you a story about the long-term outlook for the world -- our people, our resources, our air, water and food -- and what we should do about it, you might expect that the story would start with climate change. It has become the lead issue of the environmental movement, and according to many, the most important issue of our time.

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Where We Live
8:44 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Ehrlich and Simon: Gambling on the Environment

Biologist Paul Ehrlich became famous in the 1970s with his book The Population Bomb, which outlined a doomsday scenario in which the world’s supply of food and resources couldn't keep up with overpopulation.

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Shellfish History
11:21 am
Sat October 5, 2013

Any Month with an “R” in It: Eating Oysters in Connecticut

An Oyster Supper, 1852-1853. Hand-colored lithograph by Elijah Chapman Kellogg . Oysters were a popular food in Connecticut during the 19th century.
Connecticut Historical Society, 1980.43.2

An old myth maintains that you should only eat oysters during those months with the letter “R” in their names. This was both because of the higher bacteria content—and therefore the greater chance of disease—during summer months, and because of the health hazards associated with shipping raw seafood in an age before refrigeration.

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Tropical Storm Karen
12:30 pm
Fri October 4, 2013

Still-Powerful Tropical Storm Karen Set For Saturday Landfall

Workers pump water from the parking lot of the Dadeland Plaza shopping center on Thursday after heavy rains triggered by Tropical Storm Karen in Pinecrest, Fla., a suburb of Miami.
Wilfredo Lee AP

Originally published on Fri October 4, 2013 3:12 pm

A weakened Tropical Storm Karen, the first named system this year to threaten the U.S., still has its sights set on the Louisiana coast, but the National Hurricane Center has shifted the system's path a bit.

At 10 a.m. CDT, the storm was about 250 miles south southwest of the mouth of the Mississippi River, moving at about 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 50 mph.

NOLA.com says:

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Government Shutdown
4:14 am
Thu October 3, 2013

National Parks Close As Other Public Lands Stay Open

The road to Lee's Ferry, Ariz., is blocked by barricades and national park rangers. Lee's Ferry is the launching point for river trips down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park.
Scott Lee NPR

Originally published on Thu October 3, 2013 12:53 pm

From Acadia in Maine to Zion in Utah to the North Cascades in Washington, America's 401 national park areas have gates blocking entrance roads.

The last remaining campers and hotel guests in the parks must leave Thursday, and park rangers will patrol to keep others out.

The national parks "belong to the American people, and the American people should have the right to come in," says National Park Service Director Jonathan Jarvis. "But the only way I can protect these places during this period is to shut them down."

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Oil Drilling Protest
4:24 pm
Wed October 2, 2013

Russia Charges Greenpeace Activists With Piracy

Originally published on Wed October 2, 2013 7:56 pm

Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Russian prosecutors have filed charges of piracy against 14 people who were aboard a Greenpeace boat during a protest last month in the Russian Arctic. Under Russian law, piracy is punishable by as much as 15 years in prison. Greenpeace says it was peacefully protesting the dangers of oil drilling in the Arctic and that the Russian government is violating international law.

NPR's Corey Flintoff reports from Moscow.

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10:29 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Putnam Bans Non-Essential Water Use

Lead in text: 
Putnam has banned non-essential water use as of today because the water level in the Little River is low. Residents may not water lawns and gardens or wash cars, and they are urged to conserve water for showers and household cleaning. No rain is expected for several days, which means the ban could last a week or longer.
Beginning today, Putnam residents are banned from watering lawns and gardens, washing cars and other non-essential water uses. The Putnam Water Pollution Control Authority instituted the ban because the water level in the Little River has fallen below a level that lets the town produce water under state Department of Energy and Environmental Protection regulations, according to a news release from Public Works Director Jerry Beausoleil.
Plum Island
8:57 am
Tue October 1, 2013

Cuomo Calls for Further Study of Plum Island

The Plum Island Animal Disease Center in 2007.
Credit Joelmills / Wikimedia Commons

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said Monday that questions about the environmental condition of Plum Island need further study before the federal government proceeds with its sale. The island, off eastern Long Island, has been home to a federal research facility that studies infectious diseases that could threaten the nation’s livestock industry.

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Arctic Thaw
5:28 am
Mon September 30, 2013

Forum Discusses Arctic Oil And Gas Searches

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 2:52 pm

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

On the first Monday of the rest of your life, it's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Steve Inskeep.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

And I'm David Greene. Climate change is melting ice in the Arctic. And that is opening up the top of the world to drilling, shipping traffic, and also concerns about the environment. Earlier this month, Greenpeace activists were arrested trying to board an oil platform that's owned by Russia's state gas company.

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Food
7:03 am
Sat September 28, 2013

Birch For Breakfast? Meet Maple Syrup's Long-Lost Cousins

Beyond maple: Sap drips from a pine tree. Around the nation, producers are making syrup from the sap of pine, birch, even black walnut trees.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Mon September 30, 2013 3:17 pm

Americans have a longstanding love affair with maple syrup. According to the USDA, production of the sticky stuff in the United States totaled 3.25 million gallons this year. However, it isn't the only tree syrup that's available to drizzle on your short stack or sweeten your latte.

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Climate Change
7:08 am
Fri September 27, 2013

It's Clear Humans Are Changing World's Climate, Panel Says

The Larsen B ice shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula, which is among the places where such ice has been breaking off.
Mariano Caravaca Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 10:56 am

Declaring that "human influence on the climate system is clear," a U.N.-assembled panel of scientists reported Friday that "it is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century."

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Recycling
3:06 am
Fri September 27, 2013

How Recycling Bias Affects What You Toss Where

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Fri September 27, 2013 6:07 am

During an experiment, marketing professor Remi Trudel noticed a pattern in what his volunteers were recycling versus throwing in the garbage. He then went through his colleagues' trash and recycling bins at Boston University for more data.

He found the same pattern, says NPR's Shankar Vedantam: "Whole sheets of paper typically went in the recycling, but paper fragments went in the trash."

Same type of paper, different shapes, different bins.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:15 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Why Playing 'The Dating Game' Adds To A Rose-Bowl-Sized Pile Of Trash

The average household is throwing out $275 to $455 per year of good food because of confusion over date labels, according to a recent report from the NRDC.
Flickr Creative Commons, seangregorcreative

Maybe you've heard the numbers. An estimated 40 percent of food in the United States never gets eaten. Americans waste 160 billion pounds of food a year. Every day, that amounts to enough food to fill the Rose Bowl. Twenty-five percent of America's freshwater use goes into the production of food that is then wasted.

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Birds of Prey
1:56 pm
Thu September 26, 2013

Falconers Among Us

A Falconer and Red-Tail
Credit Courtesy of CT Falconers Association

The popular "Saturday Night Live" skit performed by Will Forte introduced us to falconers but hunters in Connecticut actually practice this centuries-old sport. The U.S Fish and Wildlife Service has federal guidelines for states which then set up their own regulations. Connecticut legalized falconry in 2005.

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Moose Alert
3:57 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

Moose Sightings in Connecticut Prompt Warning

Credit Paul J. Fusco / CT DEEP

Seen a moose lately? Connecticut's Department of Energy and Environmental Protection wants to know if you have -- and to let you know to be on the lookout while you're driving, as well. If you spot a moose, you can call (860) 642-7239 between 8:30 am and 4:30 pm, or use this handy online moose sighting report form.

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Grand Theft Apples
7:57 am
Tue September 24, 2013

It's Apple Picking (and Stealing) Season

It's prime-apple season, and we're not talking about the new iPhone.
erin_can_spell Flickr Creative Commons

Welcome to autumn in New England. The weather is getting crisper, you can get pumpkin flavored lattes, beer and donuts, and it's prime apple-picking season. 

Most apple pickers do it the legal way. You get a bag, pick the ripest, biggest apples you can find, and then you pay for them. Apparently, some people are forgetting that last step.

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Climate Change
4:01 am
Tue September 24, 2013

How Many Scientists Does It Take To Write A Climate Report?

An iceberg floats through the water in Ilulissat, Greenland, in July. Researchers are studying how climate change and melting glaciers will affect the rest of the world.
Joe Raedle Getty Images

Originally published on Tue September 24, 2013 10:53 am

Scientists and government representatives are meeting in Stockholm this week to produce the latest high-level review of climate change. It's thousands of pages of material, and if it's done right, it should harbor very few surprises.

That's because it's supposed to compile what scientists know — and what they don't — about climate change. And that's left some scientists to wonder whether these intensive reviews are still the best way to go.

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Energy
8:13 am
Mon September 23, 2013

Two Clean Energy Projects Selected for Connecticut

Credit Oregon Department of Transportation

The state of Connecticut is choosing two clean energy projects to help diversify its energy portfolio. Governor Dannel Malloy announced Friday that a solar installation planned in Sprague and Lisbon, and a wind energy farm in Maine, have signed long-term contracts with electricity distributors Connecticut Light & Power and United Illuminating. The contracts require regulatory approval, and together will provide 3.5 percent of Connecticut’s total energy load.

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The Colin McEnroe Show
4:30 pm
Fri September 20, 2013

What Happens When Private Groups Save Public Parks?

Henry Hester is the Vice President of the Friends of Keney Park. He was also one of the founders of the group back in 1988.
Chion Wolf

New Havenites reclaiming a beautiful park in their city got us thinking about urban parks in general. Frederick Law Olmsted is the undisputed father of American city parks, including Central Park itself. He came from Hartford, and he is buried here.

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Oil Drilling Protest
4:25 pm
Thu September 19, 2013

Greenpeace Vessel Is Boarded By Russian Coast Guard

Greenpeace's ship the "Arctic Sunrise" in 2005.
Samuel Aranda AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri September 20, 2013 3:14 am

Greenpeace reports that its vessel, the Arctic Sunrise, has been boarded by the Russian Coast Guard after a protest against oil and gas drilling in the Russian Arctic.

The crew of the vessel tweeted throughout the drama. A tweet by Greenpeace HQ indicated that everyone was safe but that the crew was not "in control of the ship at this point."

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