Climate Change

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

Republican legislators who control energy-related House and Senate committees want to halt work on a plan to comply with federal climate change regulations now that the U.S. Supreme Court has put a temporary stay on the requirements.

But some of their colleagues say it would be prudent to keep preparing the plan in case the court ultimately rules against the state. And environmentalists say the state should move to reduce carbon emissions regardless of federal law.

Cody Newill / KCUR

Around 100 activists didn't let cold rain dissuade them from marching through the Country Club Plaza Sunday to voice their support for more strict environmental regulations before the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Paris.

The group, organized by environmental advocacy groups 350KC and the KC Climate Coalition, wove through the Plaza chanting, "Turn on clean energy, turn off fossil fuels." They were part of the Global Climate March, which encompassed more than 2,000 events in 175 countries over the weekend.

Bryan Thompson / Heartland Health Monitor

Climate change is real and must be addressed head-on to prevent future food shortages. That’s the message Cargill Executive Director Greg Page delivered Monday night to an audience at Kansas State University in Manhattan.

Andy Marso / Heartland Health Monitor

A Kansas committee formed to vet a federally mandated plan to cut carbon emissions met for the first time Thursday in a hearing dominated by criticism of the plan.

Rep. Dennis Hedke, chairman of the Clean Power Plan Implementation Study Committee, blasted the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for putting forth the rule, which is intended to prevent climate change.

“They have overstepped so many bounds it’s just almost unconscionable,” Hedke said.

Jim McLean / Heartland Health Monitor

Gov. Sam Brownback criticized the approach of the federal government in fighting climate change Thursday as he signed a bill asserting state authority over new U.S. Environmental Protection Agency power plant rules.

House Bill 2233 stipulates that the state will form a plan to comply with the new federal regulations but places several administrative hurdles in the way of that plan.

A recent report finds climate change is threatening dozens of birds that call Missouri home.

The National Audubon Society says more than half of the 588 North American bird species studied over the course of seven years are at risk. About 50 species common to Missouri are identified in the report as being threatened.

Cody Newill / KCUR

The tree and shrub population in the Kansas City metropolitan area saves residents nearly $14 million a year, according to a new study.

The United States Department of Agriculture's Northern Research Station (NRS) examined plant life in nine counties in the Kansas City metro area.

The NRS found that by blocking winds in the winter, shading buildings in the summer, and providing natural evaporative cooling all throughout the year, trees and shrubs significantly cut down residential energy costs.

Cindy Taylor

The nine-banded armadillo has been naturally expanding its habitat north from Central America since 1849. They're common in the southeastern part of the country, but throughout the century they’ve started to move further north and east.

Sightings in Missouri started about 40 years ago. They use to be rare, but now they’re a lot more common.

“Hundreds, we’ve had hundreds so far this year it’s safe to say," says James Dixon, a wildlife damage biologist for the Missouri Department of Conservation.

Rising numbers and rising frustration

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed the first-ever rules to cut carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. The proposal sparked immediate debate over the impact, especially in states such as Missouri that depend heavily on coal.

The new regulations would reduce carbon pollution from the power sector by 30 percent nationwide by 2030, compared to 2005 emissions levels.

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

The White House’s new climate change report predicts threats to agriculture, including severe weather, more pests and greater demands for water and energy.

The third National Climate Assessment is a summary of the current science about the nation’s climate and how it’s changing written by a panel of expert scientists.

The U.S Department of Agriculture announced Wednesday it plans to set up seven new research hubs across the country to help farmers adapt to climate change.

In the past few years, farmers across the Midwest have grappled with epic drought, mega-blizzards and crippling heat.

“The combination of all those factors convinces me that the climate is changing and it will have its impact,” said Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack.

virtualwayfarer/Flickr-CC

When you write about climate change, you have to be able to take the heat from all sides— those who deny what scientists are saying and those who think you’re giving too many concessions to that group. 

On Up to Date, we speak with a New York Times reporter about his coverage of the environment.

Guest:

  • Justin Gillis, New York Times reporter

Fossil Facebook: Digitization of Fossils Going Public

Jun 26, 2012
Una Farrell

If some people are worried about pictures from freshman year surfacing on the internet, imagine this: a 290 million year old organism gets put on a publicly accessible database, from its specific location all the way to a picture from its deathbed.

Coming soon to your newsfeed:  Fossil Facebook.

Most Americans believe that global warming has played a role in a series of unusual weather events during the past year.

A poll released today by the Yale Project on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication found that 72 percent of Americas believe global warming played a role in the very warm winter the United States just experienced.

A worker at Dixon Ridge Walnuts in Lodi, Calif., prunes a tree.
Kathleen Masterson / Harvest Public Media

No matter your personal opinion on the subject, talk of climate usually conjures up images of warming, floods and rising sea levels.  Those are the ecological changes predicted from coast to coast.

The Great Immensity: The Fine Art Of Edutrainment

Feb 29, 2012
Don Ipock / KC Rep

Can any topic make a good song – even climate change? On this leap day edition of Central Standard, meet the cast from a musical mystery about the environment showing now at the Kansas City Repertory Theater.

Indigenous Approaches To Climate Change

Apr 21, 2010

Lawrence, Kan. – Scientists, politicians and skeptics are all talking about climate change. But a professor at Haskell Indian Nations University says some voices have been left out of the debate. Daniel Wildcat's book Red Alert! Saving the Planet with Indigenous Knowledge addresses the issue of how indigenous peoples around the world are being forced to deal with a changing ecosystem. He recently spoke with KPR's Laura Lorson.