We're going to look now at an animal whose habitat is slowly disappearing. Polar bears live on sea ice. But Arctic sea ice, which used to stay frozen in the summertime, is now slowly disintegrating. This poses a unique challenge for scientists, government officials and others. How do you preserve the polar bear and prevent it from going extinct decades from now? Juliet Eilperin of The Washington Post has been reporting on this issue. And she joins us now to talk about what she's learned.
There's a line of work where the risks include toxic layers of hydrogen sulfide and maze-like passageways. (No, we're not talking the halls of Congress.) It's the exploration of underwater caves and blue holes. Many consider survival to be is the mark of a successful dive ... so, are the risks worth it?
Thin Film Solar Panels developed at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
This solar thermal system heats domestic water at the Jefferson County Jail by a glycol ethylene system which circulates through the parabolic trough collectors into a coil system in the 4000 gallon tank.
In his State of the Union speech, President Obama said "nowhere is the promise of innovation greater than in American-made energy." But how close are we to large-scale use of alternative energy sources?
Two hundred years ago today, a massive earthquake the shook the country stretching from the Missouri Bootheel to as far away as Boston, where ground motion caused church bells to ring. Could it happen again?
Recycling efforts at KU hospital have cut down the amount of waste it sends to local landfills by more than a half million pounds. The two-year decline has caught the attention of the Environmental Protection Agency, which recently awarded the hospital a national achievement award for waste reduction.
Jim Callier, the EPA’s pollution prevention and solid waste program manager for this region, says such efforts are critical for saving valuable resources and curbing harmful emissions.
Perhaps your New Years' resolutions include weight loss, more exercise, and being more organized. Do they happen to include "reduce, reuse, and recycle?" How about "I will drive less" or "I vow to take public transportation more often?"
A natural gas drill high on a hilltop over Marcellus Shale deposits in the eastern U.S. Shale-gas production is booming across the country, driven in part by the expanded use of a drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing, or fracking.
After finding success and controversy in other states, horizontal fracking is bringing a new angle to the oil and gas business in Kansas, along with environmental concerns.
“It’s just now starting here in Kansas. We probably have a handful of horizontal drilling operations currently going on, but we anticipate that to grow,” said Doug Louis, director of the conservation division with the Kansas Corporation Commission, which regulates the state’s oil and gas industry.
Wednesday on Central Standard, we drive our proverbial Chevy to Missouri River levees, and ask where the funds went dry.
Our guest Jud Kneuvean, Chief of Emergency Management for the US Army Corps of Engineers, will tell us about their plans to fix 11 of the 68 Missouri River levees in time for the Spring, and how they determined the crucial sites for repairs.
On today's show, a conversation about the influence of 17th Century Renaissance poets on modern environmental thought. Modern environmental thought breaks down into two different schools. One says science can create new technology to solve the environmental crisis, and the other school of thought calls that approach pure hubris, and argues for a more ethical treatment of nature in the first place. We'll speak with Johnson County Community College English professor Anthony Funari about how the origins of this modern debate lies in the 17th Century writings of Francis Bacon.
Kansas City, MO – This spring and summer, an alarming number of sewage spills are threatening local waterways. Millions of gallons of human waste have poured into rivers and lakes. And it's unclear if this is business as usual, and the public just didn't know about it before.
What's changed is that the city and the state are now reporting these spills more consistently. To understand the situation better, KCUR's Sylvia Maria Gross caught up with journalist Karen Dillon, who covers the environmental beat for The Kansas City Star.
Salina, KS – Atrazine is one of the most widely used weed-killers in the country. But farm fields aren't the only place the chemical is commonly found. It's also the most widely-detected pesticide in drinking water, especially in the Midwest. With some environmental groups calling for a ban on Atrazine, the Environmental Protection Agency is currently re-evaluating its safety. Kansas Public Radio's Bryan Thomspon reports.
Kansas City, Mo. – For thousands of years, human societies were shaped by their environment, and through that relationship, we developed survival methods that were both healthy and sustainable. Today, as people try to shape the environment to fit our needs, we not only damage the planet, but we lose our hard-won indigenous knowledge just when we need it most.
Kansas City, Mo. – "Long overdue!" is the response from an environmental monitoring group to an EPA decision to re-investigate toxic waste at Kansas City's Bannister Road Federal Complex.
The first EPA assessment since 1987 will decide if the complex should be included in a national priorities cleanup list. For years former workers have complained about the plant where nuclear weapons components were made, complained about toxins and health hazards.
Kansas City, Mo. – People worried about health safety at the Bannister Road Federal Complex in Kansas City brought their concerns to a hearing last night sponsored by the Jackson County Executive. Many are convinced chemicals and metals caused cancers and respiratory illness. And they blame toxins used at the plant where non nuclear components for nuclear weapons were built for decades.
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.
Kansas City, Mo. – Kansas City has a long and storied auto manufacturing footprint. Now, a start-up company is hoping to make its mark with battery-powered electric vehicles. KCUR's Bill Anderson recently spoke with Bryan Hansel, CEO of Smith Electric Vehicles, and asked, "Why short-haul delivery trucks? Why not cars?"
Kansas Citians who replace major appliances with certain energy saving models later this month stand to get a double savings benefit. Once again, federal economic stimulus dollars come into play.
The Kansas City Council gets its facts from the city's Chief Environmental Officer, Dennis Murphy. First, between April 19th through 25th, there will be no Missouri sales tax on certain energy star rated appliances. Kansas City had to choose to opt in to the program.
Kansas City, Mo. – A company called QM Power has moved its headquarters from Boston, Massachusetts to Kansas City, Missouri.
QM holds patents on technology the company claims can make electric motors and generators many times more efficient than they are today. It's moved into a University of Missouri-Kansas City building on Troost Avenue.
Company CEO P.J. Piper says QM will be hiring about 20 people over the next year.
Rich Hill, Mo. – March is typically when the outdoor planting season starts for Amish and Mennonite farmers in Missouri. But this year, many of these farmers may be exploring ways to farm using more environmentally-conscious methods. KCUR's Alex Smith reports.
Kansas City, Kan. – An environmental watchdog organization has gone to federal district court to ask a Kansas judge to freeze a permit to build a giant rail yard and truck depot in Johnson County .
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers did an assessment of the project last summer. The Natural Resources Defense Council doesn't think the job was thorough enough, considering possible health impact of diesel fumes from thousands of trucks expected at the cargo transfer site.
Kansas City, Mo. – To a neighborhood's relief, the federal government is backing off from the idea of making the Bannister Road federal complex a toxic waste storage site after the defense plant there closes.
The idea of storing tons of toxic mercury at the site drew the unanimous objection of the city council over the summer because the facility is in a residential area and also in a flood-plain, raising the possibility of contaminating the water supply.
Councilman John Sharp called making it a waste dump a stupid idea as early as July.
Jefferson City, MO – The former state Department of Natural Resources official who took the blame for delaying the release last year of E. coli test results from the Lake of the Ozarks defended his actions before a Missouri Senate committee.