conservation

Global Warming
10:24 am
Sun April 13, 2014

Climate Change Adjustments Must Be Fast And Major, U.N. Panel Says

The world must cut its greenhouse gas emissions to meet its goals, climate experts said Sunday. Members of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (left to right) Youba Sakona, Ramon Pichs Madruga, Ottmar Edenhofer and Rajendra Pachauri hold copies of their new report in Berlin.
John MacDougall AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 14, 2014 7:33 am

A new report from the United Nations' panel on climate change says major action is needed, and fast, if policymakers want to limit global warming to acceptable levels.

There's an international target to control climate change: keeping the global temperature rise to just 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — that's 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change now says it's technically possible to meet that goal. But doing so will require rapid, large-scale shifts in energy production and use.

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Agriculture
4:18 pm
Wed April 9, 2014

Malloy Announces Agreement to Preserve Connecticut Farmland

Dairy farmer Robin Chesmer, center, sees farmland investment as essential in the state.
Tess Aaronson

Governor Malloy announced on Wednesday that the U.S. Department of Agriculture will allow Connecticut to use more than $8 million of federal funding to preserve and protect the state's farms. 

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Climate Change
7:15 am
Mon March 31, 2014

U.N. Report Raises Climate Change Warning, Points To Opportunities

The U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's report.
ipcc.ch

Originally published on Mon March 31, 2014 10:07 am

  • From 'Morning Edition': NPR's Geoff Brumfiel on the U.N. panel's report

"The effects of climate change are already occurring on all continents and across the oceans," and the world is mostly "ill-prepared" for the risks that the sweeping changes present, a new report from the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change concludes.

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Gone Solar
11:59 am
Fri March 21, 2014

Bridgeport Town Council Gives OK to Solar Project

After the solar project works its way through PURA, construction should begin. Bridgeport Mayor Bill Finch estimates the project will bring about $7 million to the city over the next 20 years.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

With a 15-5 vote, Bridgeport's City Council approved a massive solar energy project this week that could bring thousands of solar panels to a former city landfill. Since dumps are no longer allowed in Connecticut, that's left a lot of city leaders wondering what to do with that old space. 

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Spring Forward
2:47 pm
Wed March 12, 2014

Hate Daylight Saving Time? Blame the Man From Filene's Basement

If you think about why you fiddle with your clock twice a year, there are probably two things that spring to mind: farmers and energy savings. Neither are the reasons why we have Daylight Saving Time, so I called Michael Downing, the author of Spring Forward: The Annual Madness of Daylight Saving Time, and asked him why these myths persist.

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Make It MIRA
7:37 am
Tue February 11, 2014

Bill Proposes Radical Overhaul of CRRA

A new bill written by Governor Dannel Malloy's office proposes overhauling CRRA and changing its name.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

A new bill is proposing a major overhaul to the Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, which handles waste for more than 50 towns.

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Connecticut First
7:13 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Medical Marijuana Producers Announced; State Park Lands Could Be Sold

Utilities
6:01 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

Officials Delay Decision On Fate of UI's Ambitious Tree-Cutting Plan

A downed power line following an ice storm in 2011.
Chion Wolf / WNPR

According to the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, PURA will now delay their decision on United Illuminating's ambitious tree-cutting plan past Wednesday, January 29, due to a public hearing request from UI to discuss "technical issues."

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Open Season On Open Land?
2:12 pm
Tue January 28, 2014

State Parks and Forests Aren't as Protected as You Think

Credit Flickr Creative Commons / ChrisHConnelly

If you think Connecticut's roughly 270,000 acres of forests and parks are protected forever, you're wrong. That's according to a new report from Connecticut's Council on Environmental Quality claiming state conservation lands aren't always preserved forever.

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Wildlife
4:11 pm
Thu January 16, 2014

To Save Threatened Owl, Another Species Is Shot

A northern spotted owl in a Redwood forest.
Michael Nichols Getty Images/National Geographic Creative

Originally published on Fri January 17, 2014 12:19 pm

In desperation to save the rare northern spotted owl, biologists are doing something that goes against their core — shooting another owl that's rapidly taking over spotted owl territory across the northwest.

"If we don't do it, what we're essentially doing, in my view, is dooming the spotted owl to extinction," says Lowell Diller, senior biologist for Green Diamond, a timber company.

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Rubbish
3:11 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

A Compost Professional Explains How It's Done

Composting can be complicated. But you should try it.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

As we began working on a Colin McEnroe Show about composting, Colin made sure we included Susannah Castle, who runs Blue Earth Compost. She provides pails to subscribers in the Hartford area, and for a monthly fee, picks up the pails full of food scraps and other compostable materials from the household once a week. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
10:04 pm
Tue January 14, 2014

Why Compost?

Susannah Castle runs Blue Earth Compost.
Chion Wolf WNPR

You may think that composting all your kitchen waste sounds like a good idea, but you probably don't realize how many things really can be composted, what services are available if you can't get yourself organized to do it, and if you do have a compost pile, which animals visit it at night, and for what purpose?

This hour, a heap of information about compost!

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NIMBYISM, Considered
7:00 am
Tue January 14, 2014

Wind Turbines Have Little Impact on Property Values, Study Finds

A new study observing 122,000 home sales in Massachusetts says nearby wind turbines have little impact on residential property values.
Credit Flickr Creative Commons / lamoix

A new UConn report looked at more than 120,000 Massachusetts home sales and found wind turbines have little impact on prices. Carol Atkinson-Palombo is co-author of the paper, which tracked the data spanning a 14-year period.

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Architecture
5:25 am
Sat January 11, 2014

Historic House Is Yours Free, But There's A Catch

Architects at Paolasquare International are giving away this historic house in Arlington, Va. for free.
Sarah L. Voisin The Washington Post/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat January 11, 2014 12:53 pm

This little house is looking for a home.

In the past five years, 600 single-family homes have been demolished in Arlington, Va., many to make way for larger houses, according to a preservation group. One architectural firm is so determined to save one 1920s Sears kit house from demolition, it's giving the house away for free. But there's a catch: the buyer would need to pay to move it to a new location.

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Genetic Modification
12:39 pm
Fri January 10, 2014

A Green-Movement Website Shakes Up The Debate Over GMOs

After Grist's six-month-long series on genetically modified foods, some loyal readers accused the site of changing directions in the debate.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri January 10, 2014 12:52 pm

A 26-part series on genetically modified food was not Nathanael Johnson's idea. And he didn't realize it would take six months, either.

Last year, Johnson was hired as the new food writer for Grist, a website for environmental news and opinion. Grist's editor, Scott Rosenberg, was waiting with an assignment: Dig into the controversy over GMOs.

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Food Waste
7:00 am
Tue January 7, 2014

How a Compost Pile in Danbury is About to Get Richer

Jeff Demers stands on a hill overlooking New England Compost in Danbury, one of three licensed food residual composting facilities in the state. A new law aims to increase that number by targeting large-scale food waste generators.
Patrick Skahill WNPR

A new law went into effect January 1 requiring certain businesses to start recycling their food waste. According to the state, the legislation is aimed at gradually bringing more composting facilities to Connecticut.

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Magic Carpet Ride
6:36 am
Tue December 24, 2013

Connecticut Weighs Feasibility of Carpet Recycling Law

Credit Flickr Creative Commons, stevendepolo

Earlier this year, Connecticut became the first state in the nation to pass a law requiring manufacturers to recycle unwanted mattresses generated in the state. Now, the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection is reviewing similar rules for things like carpet and batteries. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Tue December 17, 2013

Dan Esty on Fracking, Wind Power, and Natural Gas

Commissioner Dan Esty speaking with WNPR's John Dankosky at the Mark Twain House.
Credit Tucker Ives / WNPR

Dan Esty, Commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, has a plan for energy security that includes a huge investment in natural gas. But what about the effects of natural gas extraction methods like fracking and the uncertainty of future low prices? What about the need for renewable sources of energy?

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Innovation
11:13 am
Thu December 12, 2013

North Haven Company Joins Smart America Challenge

Solar panels on building tops are part of smart grids, which give real-time data about energy usage and are part of the "Internet of Things."
Credit National Institute of Standards and Technology

A Connecticut company was among those at the White House Thursday for a summit about the emerging Internet of Things. 

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Environment
7:00 am
Thu December 5, 2013

CRRA Proposes Freezing Worker Salaries

CRRA says it plans to freeze salaries for its workers beginning in 2014.
Credit Heather Brandon / WNPR

The Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority, also known as CRRA, announced plans this week to freeze worker salaries. The agency handles waste for more than 50 towns. CRRA says the salary freeze would save the agency $1.5 million and help close a projected budget gap of $12.6 million for the next five years.

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Drillin' Holes
11:30 pm
Mon November 18, 2013

Geothermal Projects Expand Across Connecticut

Workers drill a hole into the ground in advance of installing geothermal piping. Geothermal technology uses ambient ground temperatures to heat and cool buildings.
Patrick Skahill / WNPR

The town of Tolland said two of its schools will switch to geothermal technology in the coming months. According to the Connecticut Geothermal Association, that project will join a list of nearly 60 active projects in Connecticut.

One of those projects is in South Windham, at Horizons, a camp for developmentally disabled children and adults. I met up with Guy Wanegar, President of the Connecticut Geothermal Association, as a crew dug a hole for geothermal piping outside a new dining hall. The ground was muddy, and gallons of water spewed up as the drill worked its way vertically through hundreds of feet of dirt and bedrock.

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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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Environmental Sustainability
12:33 pm
Thu August 8, 2013

Connecticut College Sustainability Office Seeks to Solve Problems in Holistic Way

Social History of Art, Flickr Creative Commons

Connecticut College's new Office of Sustainability allows students and staff to think about sustainability in an original way. The office looks at sustainability in three connected parts: environmental, economic, and social.

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Wilderness
9:26 am
Tue August 6, 2013

New England Trail Has Something for Everyone

Andy Neale, Flickr Creative Commons

Congress designated the New England Trail as a national scenic trial in 2009. The 215-mile trail winds through 39 communities in Connecticut and Massachusetts. The trail's website has launched a new interactive map. 

"Folks really like to start their hike at home," said Clare Cain, trail stewardship director for the Connecticut Forest & Park Association. 

Morning Edition Host Ray Hardman talks to Cain about the ways the trail has improved since 2009, dramatic views, and its artist-in-residence.

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Energy
12:20 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Connecticut Launches Nine Microgrid Projects

WNPR Files

Superstorm Sandy and Tropical Storm Irene has promoted state officials and utility companies to come up with ways to minimize massive power outages.

This week, United Illuminating announced upgrades and retrofits to its elictric substations. Yesterday, Gov. Dannel Malloy and Department of Energy and Environmental Protection Commissioner Daniel Esty announced funding for nine microgrid projects. 

The projects will allow cities and towns to keep critical services going in the event of another super storm.

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Wildlife Conservation
6:58 pm
Tue July 9, 2013

Bald Eagles' Nest Brings People Together

Michael Lejeune

For the past few months a group of people has been gathering each night along an industrial stretch of Route 5 in Hamden. 

There, next to a nondescript building they lift their binoculars,  focus their telescopes and gaze across the street, past the traffic, over the railroad tracks, and up, up about 70 feet high.  Nestled in a crook of two branches in a tree sits a large nest.  Inside is a bald eagle chick, with a watchful adult hidden nearby.

"This is the only bird watching I’ve ever done."

Michael Lejeune works at the town library. 

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The Colin McEnroe Show
3:30 pm
Mon July 1, 2013

How Parking Can Be Greener, Better Designed, and More Available

Flickr Creative Commons, taberandrew

Some of you may actually be in moving cars right now, listening to this show, but the average automobile spends 95 percent of its life parked somewhere. 

Your car might be parked at work for a while, and that big employee parking lot uses up a lot of valuable space and throws off a lot of heat on summer days.

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Plum Island
3:36 pm
Thu June 27, 2013

Plum Island Sale Moves Forward; Environmental Imact Questioned

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The Faith Middleton Show
8:16 pm
Wed June 19, 2013

Lawn Gone!

Ian T. McFarland/flickr creative commons

We'll look at the basics of replacing a traditional lawn with a wide variety of easy-care, no-mow, drought-tolerant, money-saving options that will appeal to today's busy, eco-conscious homeowner. Whether you’re a beginner or expert gardener, green thumb or black, Pam Penick's Lawn Gone! provides realistic choices, achievable plans, and simple instructions for renovating your yard from start to finish.

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Shoreline
12:10 pm
Tue June 18, 2013

Coastal Communities Adapt to Change By Razing and Raising

Mike Gambina

Click here to read more in the Connecticut Mirror and view a photo gallery of damage in Milford after Sandy. 

As the region prepares for a new hurricane season, Connecticut’s shoreline is still suffering from the devastation of previous storms. Irene and Sandy have changed the nature of coastal neighborhoods in Fairfield County.

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