NPR News - Environment

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Breaking news on the environment, climate change, pollution, and endangered species. Also featuring Climate Connections, a special series on climate change co-produced by NPR and National Geographic.
Updated: 12 hours 59 min ago

Mayor Of Wyoming Coal Town Reacts To Trump's Climate Order

Tue, 2017/03/28 - 1:32pm

NPR's Ari Shapiro talks with Louise Carter-King, mayor of Gillette, Wyo., about the impact that President Trump's executive order loosening regulations on coal will have on the the town.

Categories: Environment

Trump Signs Executive Order Rolling Back Regulation On Carbon Emissions

Tue, 2017/03/28 - 1:32pm

President Trump signed a sweeping set of executive orders on Tuesday that aim to dismantle the Obama administration's efforts to combat climate change.

Categories: Environment

What Gave Some Primates Bigger Brains? A Fruit-Filled Diet

Tue, 2017/03/28 - 6:27am

A new study suggests that diet had a big influence in driving the evolution of brain size in primates. Monkeys who thrive on fruit have bigger brains than their plant eating neighbors.

(Image credit: Anup Shah/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Expected Executive Actions On Climate Change Policies Aim To Ensure Focus On Energy Independence

Tue, 2017/03/28 - 2:01am

President Trump will sign executive actions Tuesday that aim to roll back a sweeping set of climate policies put in place by the Obama administration. A moratorium on new coal leases on public lands, a rule designed to address methane emissions from oil and gas operations and the Clean Power Plan, will all get a review.

Categories: Environment

Trump Takes Aim At A Centerpiece Of Obama's Environmental Legacy

Tue, 2017/03/28 - 1:09am

The Trump administration aims to roll back the Clean Power Plan, which limits emissions from power plants, lift the moratorium on federal coal leases and change the "social cost of carbon" policy.

(Image credit: John Amis/AP)

Categories: Environment

Proposed Budget Cuts Slash Funding For Great Lakes Clean-Up

Mon, 2017/03/27 - 1:28pm

Proposed White House budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency and other agencies will end federal spending on Great Lakes clean-up. That includes axing work on invasive species like Asian carp and a public health program that protects drinking water from toxic algae for 11 million residents around Lake Erie.

Categories: Environment

Trump's Plan To Ditch Clean Power Plan Threatens Paris Agreement

Mon, 2017/03/27 - 1:28pm

President Trump is expected to ditch the Clean Power Plan this week. The CPP regulations would reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that warm the planet. Without it, the U.S. won't live up to its pledge, made in Paris in 2015, to make deep cuts in emissions. That could jeopardize the Paris deal, in which nearly 200 nations made similar pledges.

Categories: Environment

EPA Chief: Trump Plans To Kill Obama-era Clean Power Plan

Mon, 2017/03/27 - 2:06am

The Trump administration is expected this week to unveil its executive order undoing President Obama's Clean Power Plan, which aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

Categories: Environment

In Conflict With Trump Agenda, California Sets Stricter Auto Emissions Standards

Sun, 2017/03/26 - 3:26pm

California put itself on a collision course with the Trump Administration as the state's clean air agency moved forward with stricter emissions requirements for trucks and cars.

Categories: Environment

In Chile, Landowner Makes The Largest Private Donation Of Land To A Government

Sun, 2017/03/26 - 5:14am

Kristine Tompkins, whose husband founded The North Face clothing company, tells Lulu Garcia-Navarro about her decision to donate a million acres of land she owns in Patagonia to Chile's government.

Categories: Environment

Science-Loving Teens From Ghana And D.C. Geek Out Together

Thu, 2017/03/23 - 11:35am

They competed in the first World Smarts STEM Challenge. We got to know the team that worked on a water purifier using neem leaves and ... cilantro.

(Image credit: Ryan Eskalis/NPR)

Categories: Environment

Congress Rolls Back Obama-Era Rule On Hunting Bears And Wolves In Alaska

Wed, 2017/03/22 - 10:09am

The Senate voted Tuesday to lift a 2016 ban on certain hunting practices — like trapping and aerial shooting — on national wildlife refuges there. Now the bill heads to President Trump to be signed.

(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

Why More Farmers Are Making The Switch To Grass-Fed Meat And Dairy

Wed, 2017/03/22 - 7:11am

Advocates of grass-grazing cattle say it's better for the environment and the animals. But there's another upside: Grass-fed meat and dairy fetch a premium that can help small farms stay viable.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Maple Hill Creamery)

Categories: Environment

Researchers Test Hotter, Faster And Cleaner Way To Fight Oil Spills

Tue, 2017/03/21 - 8:50pm

The Flame Refluxer is essentially a big copper blanket: think Brillo pad of wool sandwiched between mesh. Using it while burning off oil yields less air pollution and residue that harms marine life.

(Image credit: Courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Categories: Environment

Indonesia's Peat Fires Still Blaze, But Not As Much As They Used To

Sun, 2017/03/19 - 11:00am

Clearing peat land by fire is illegal but remains widespread, since it's the cheapest way to clear land for farming and industry. Still, peat fires were down by more than 80 percent from 2015 to 2016.

(Image credit: Yosef Riadi for NPR)

Categories: Environment

Climate Change As An Issue Of National Security

Sun, 2017/03/19 - 4:52am

Defense Secretary James Mattis called climate change a national security threat. Retired Brig. Gen. Gerald Galloway talks about how the Pentagon will manage challenges presented by climate change.

Categories: Environment

Norwegian Pension Fund Divests From Companies Behind DAPL

Fri, 2017/03/17 - 1:19pm

KLP is pulling millions of dollars it has invested in companies building and owning the Dakota Access Pipeline. The decision was reportedly driven by pressure from Norway's indigenous Sami peoples.

(Image credit: Nati Harnik/AP)

Categories: Environment

#CuriousGoat: Ask Us About Climate Change And Global Well-being

Fri, 2017/03/17 - 11:47am

What questions do you have about the toll that climate change is taking — and about possible solutions?

(Image credit: Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment

California Deserts In 'Super Bloom' Thanks To A Wet Winter

Fri, 2017/03/17 - 1:46am

A rainy winter has brought an early spring to Anza-Borrego Desert State Park in Southern California. Wildflowers are in bloom. How can seeds survive years of drought and then put on such a display?

(Image credit: Nina Gregory/NPR)

Categories: Environment

A New Zealand River Now Has The Legal Rights Of A Human

Thu, 2017/03/16 - 3:09pm

Lawmakers granted the Whanganui River the rights of legal representation on Wednesday. The vote caps over a century of struggle by the local Maori people, who see the waterway as a sacred ancestor.

(Image credit: Chris Jackson/Getty Images)

Categories: Environment