environment

Flickr photo/Haris Bahrudin

Weekday green thumbs Marty Wingate, Willi Galloway and Greg Rabourn join us to answer your flower, vegetable and native plant questions. Need guidance for your garden? Call us at 206.543.5869 or email weekday@kuow.org.

KUOW Photo/Ashley Ahearn

The University of Washington got its launch Wednesday as the country's biggest testing ground for smart grid technology.

Smart grid is a catch-all term for something power providers are still trying to figure out — namely, how do you use modern technology, like the Internet, to manage how much power is flowing through the grid at any given time?

Read the full story on KUOW's EarthFix

Northwest Wild Mushrooms In Short Supply

Oct 24, 2012

Northwest wild mushrooms are in short supply this year. That’s had a big impact on the region’s lucrative mushroom hunting industry. It’s also changed what’s on fall restaurant menus in the Northwest and across the nation.

At Pagliacci Pizza in Seattle this autumn customers are often coming home to their families without the coveted mushroom Primo Pizza. The Northwest’s bleak mushroom crop means sometimes the stores cut back on the number of pies, or don’t have them at all.

Writer Craig Childs
JT Thomas Photo

Earth is an always-changing planet. Earthquakes thrust new mountains upward, sea ice melts, oceans rise, deserts spread, species die, civilizations collapse. Award-winning writer and commentator Craig Childs traveled to the desolate places on Earth where forces of nature are forever remaking the planet. He joins us to discuss his newest book, “Apocalyptic Planet: Field Guide to the Everending Earth.”

In the next four years, the United States will have one fundamental energy policy challenge: How to make the country more self-sufficient. Listen to stories about the next frontiers of energy development and the fields of exploration that may help the US produce more energy at home and import less from abroad.

RICHLAND, Wash. – Managers at the Hanford Nuclear Reservation have confirmed that a radioactive waste tank has a slow leak. That waste isn’t getting into the environment.

This house-sized vessel is known as AY-102. It’s made of steel and concrete and buried underground to shield workers from high levels of radiation. It’s full of hazardous radioactive sludge left over from plutonium production here.

It was designed to last for about 40 years, and it’s already had its 44th birthday. The tank is leaking into the space between its two hulls in two spots.

President Barack Obama and his opponent, Mitt Romney, share one broad policy goal: greater energy independence for the United States. They differ on how to achieve it.

In this hour of BURN, host Alex Chadwick goes to the sometime swing state of Pennsylvania to examine fracking, the politically volatile exploration technology that has made natural gas the single most important element remaking our energy economy.

Office of the President of Kiribati

The South Pacific island nation of Kiribati (pronounced Kir-uh-bahs) is comprised of 32 atolls and a raised coral island. It is the only nation in all four hemispheres of the Earth. But the future of the 100,000 residents is uncertain because of fears that global climate change will raise the ocean levels, making Kiribati, which is only 6 feet above sea level, uninhabitable by the 2050s.

Brenda Peterson: Finding Common Ground

Oct 9, 2012
KUOW's Dave Beck and author Brenda Peterson
(Photo: Robin Lindsey)

It's sometimes difficult to engage in conversation with people whose beliefs are very different from your own. But Brenda Peterson, a West Seattle author and environmentalist, has found a place on a local beach where she can have those conversations. It's a sanctuary for Brenda where she finds connection with creatures of all kinds. And it's the place where she founded the nonprofit Seal Sitters a few years ago.

Seal Sitters is a volunteer organization that watches after seal pups that show up on Puget Sound beaches. Brenda Peterson speaks with KUOW's Dave Beck. Her new children's book, based on her experiences with Seal Sitters, is called "Leopard and Silkie."

Other stories from KUOW Presents:

(Flickr photo/Washington Department of Natural Resources))

Dryer than normal conditions prompted Washington Governor Chris Gregoire to declare a state of emergency and extend a ban on outdoor fires. Outdoor burning is banned in all counties until October 15. The state is experiencing a rare stretch of dry weather.

Pink Dolphins In The Trees

Oct 5, 2012
Pink dolphins swim among flooded trees.
(Photo: Kevin Schafer)

The Amazon River is home to a creature that looks like it was conjured out of a dream: pink river dolphins. They have long, toothy snouts, and adult males can turn bubblegum pink. But what really makes these creatures unique is their habitat. When the Amazon River floods each year, the surrounding forest fills with water. The dolphins are free to swim where no other dolphins do: among the tops of trees.

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