climate change

It has been a common belief that low-emissions vehicles, like hybrids and electric cars, are more expensive than other choices. But a new study finds that when operating and maintenance costs are included in a vehicle's price, cleaner cars may actually be a better bet.

The cars and trucks we drive are responsible for about a fifth of greenhouse gas emissions in this country. That's why Jessika Trancik, an energy scientist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, decided it was time to take a closer look at vehicle emissions.

Bertha Vazquez has taught earth science for more than 25 years.

"For many years I covered the basic standard, probably like most people in the country do," she says.

Then one day, she says, she decided to throw that all out the window after seeing former Vice President Al Gore speak at the University of Miami at a screening of An Inconvenient Truth, his documentary about climate change.

"And it really ... hit me. This is 2007 and, I've got to tell you, I lost sleep," Vazquez says.

The floods that hit Louisiana last month were caused by rainfall that was unlike anything seen there in centuries. Most of the southern part of the state was drenched with up to 2 or 3 inches in an hour. A total of 31 inches fell just northeast of Baton Rouge in about three days; 20 parishes were declared federal disaster areas.

Climate scientists and flood managers suspect there could more like that to come — in Louisiana and in other parts of the country.

From anthrax outbreaks in thawing permafrost to rice farms flooded with salty water, climate change seems to play a bigger and bigger role in global health each year.

Shever & Kimmrs / Creative Commons

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Rhode Island and Connecticut both had their warmest summers on record this year. As climate change continues to progress, a panel of scientists is arguing there's an urgent need to improve the way we forecast the impact of climate change. 

Akuppa John Wigham / Creative Commons

We're losing about 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice every week, the Great Barrier Reef - which dates back to the start of civilization - is rapidly dying, fires from heat and dryness are burning in Canada and California, and recent floods in Baton Rouge, Louisiana killed thirteen people and damaged the homes of 40,000 and counting. And let's not forget that our last three summers have been the hottest on record - EVER.  Is it time for America to mobilize our collective force into halting climate change with the same collective force we used to halt Hitler in World War II? 

cjuneau / Creative Commons

Connecticut’s early settlers came to this region in part for our fertile farmland — but what is the state of farming in Connecticut today?

This hour, we explore agriculture in the Nutmeg State.

CaseyPenk / Wikimedia Commons

Comedy Central's "The Nightly Show with Larry Wilmore" came to its hasty conclusion last night, still more than two months before the election. Gawker will shut down next week. And as of next Tuesday, NPR's website will no longer have comments sections.

Brian Williams, on the other hand, is getting a new show on MSNBC. And Jonah Lehrer's got a new book out.

Jeroen Moes, Wikimedia Commons

Most of Connecticut remains in a moderate to severe drought, despite the recent storms. In an average year, many areas would have seen at least eight inches more rain at this point in the season. 

Georg Aumer / Flickr

What can you say about the sun? It sits not only at the center of our solar system but has, over time, been at the center of religions, scriptures, songs, art and countless other aspects of our culture.

ptwo / Creative Commons

Examples of climate change often seem pulled from faraway spots – places like Northern Alaska, Canada, or the mountains of Europe. But what about southern New England?

Ken and Nyetta / Creative Commons

This hour, we look at the impact of climate change on New England's native plant and animal species. We talk with scientists and science journalists, and we hear from you. Have you noticed anything different about the flora and fauna in your backyard? And what can historical records -- like the observations of naturalist Henry David Thoreau -- teach us about our changing environment? 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

No one likes a cloudy sky. A cloud on the horizon is seen as a harbinger of doom. We feel like clouds need to have silver linings.

But here's our thesis: Clouds are unfairly maligned.

Wikimedia Commons

A new report predicts global mergers and acquisitions may drop by as much as $1.6 trillion over the next five years unless Britain quickly agrees to leave the European Union under terms that give it continued access to the single market.

It's really hot in most of the mainland United States right now. The National Weather Service predicts temperatures in the triple digits through the weekend in much of the South, Midwest and along the East Coast.

The culprit: a "heat dome."

It's a real meteorological event — the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration even took the time to define it in the agency's warning this week:

HBarrison / Creative Commons

The northeast congressional delegation is rallying in support of a comprehensive management plan for the Atlantic Ocean -- the nation's first coordinated strategy for federal waters. 

Albert Ter Harmsel / Creative Commons

Drought conditions are affecting much of the northeast. In Connecticut, the entire state is either abnormally dry or experiencing moderate drought, with the driest parts in Hartford County, New Haven County, and most of Litchfield County.

Federal authorities said that large parts of New York and Massachusetts are among the hardest hit by the dry weather. 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

No one likes a cloudy sky. A cloud on the horizon is seen as a harbinger of doom. We feel like clouds need to have silver linings.

But here's our thesis: Clouds are unfairly maligned.

Leif Anderson / Flickr

Animal rights have come a long way over the last century, providing, of course, we're not talking about fish. While other vertebrates have slowly been recognized as social, feeling, even sentient beings, fish remain good for three things: owning, catching and eating.

Lori Mack / WNPR

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon underscored the timeliness and relevance of the U.N. Global Colloquium of University Presidents in the face of the vast destruction of cultural treasures and explained their importance.

Scot Lilwall / Flickr

As golf season begins again there are some troubling signs for the sport's future. The game of presidents past and country-clubbers around the nation is in fast decline according to analysts.  With a decrease in participation,  television ratings,  equipment sales, rounds played and courses being built, are we seeing the end of golf?

Rio Wight / Flickr

Richard Buckminster Fuller may not be a household name. Nevertheless, his contributions to society and to sustainable living through technology and design were both vast and transformative.

By the time of his death in 1983, Fuller had patented 25 inventions, published over 30 books and had chronicled nearly his entire career through a series of papers knows as the "Dymaxion Chronofile."

Upstate New York Town Looks to Microgrid to Avoid Outages

Feb 8, 2016
Pete Jelliffe / Creative Commons

A town in upstate New York is planning to pull its municipal buildings completely off the grid to prevent future power outages.

Rick / Flickr Creative Commons

Did you know that roughly one-third of the food we produce each year is either lost or wasted? This hour, Food Foolish co-author John Mandyck tells us how reducing global food waste could help mitigate the stresses of hunger, water shortages, and climate change. 

Rayandbee / Flickr Creative Commons

When you think of drought, what place comes to mind? California? Texas? How about... Connecticut?

According to the United States Drought Monitor, more than 90 percent of our state is in a moderate drought right now -- and we’re not the only ones in the Northeast experiencing unusually dry conditions.