PRI: Science, Tech & Environment

by Public Radio International · · · · 10 subscribers

A daily public radio broadcast program and podcast from PRX and WGBH, hosted by Marco Werman

The firefighters in the once verdant district of Pulang Pisau often have only makeshift equipment, with little more than face masks to protect against choking smoke from the blazes. "We can't afford to provide fireproof suits for the volunteers, so they wear what they own, but the important thing is …
Children all over the world are stepping up to tackle climate change. Millions of young people flooded the streets of cities around the world on Friday with protests continuing into this week's UN General Assembly to demand political leaders take urgent steps to stop climate change, uniting in a worldwide …
Activists seeking to pressure US politicians to fight climate change blocked major traffic hubs in the US capital on Monday, drawing attention to a United Nations Climate Summit that is attended by leaders — and youth activists — from about 60 countries. Those attending the New York summit also include …
In 2015, when an earthquake hit Nepal, killing 9,000 people, women started to disappear. The survivors, who thought themselves lucky, soon found themselves without much choice, but to trust the promises of overseas work and education, turning many into victims of trafficking. This is when a bunch of nuns from …
From the Solomon Islands to New York's Wall Street, millions of students and workers abandoned schools and offices on Friday to demand urgent action to stop global warming, joining a worldwide strike inspired by 16-year-old Swedish activist Greta Thunberg. Demonstrations that started in the Pacific islands followed the rising sun …
In humanity’s battle against the mosquito, [Philip Stoddard](https://faculty.fiu.edu/~stoddard/) sees a clear victor. “The mosquitoes are winning, and everything else is losing,” said Stoddard, whose roles as a biologist at Florida International University and as mayor of South Miami collided in July 2016 when the state became ground zero for America’s …
World leaders will meet in New York on Monday for a United Nations climate summit organized by UN Secretary-General António Guterres in attempt to “sound the alarm” on what he calls a defining moment in the climate crisis. “Climate change is moving faster than we are,” he said when announcing …
Gruff Rhys is known for Britain's indie rock band, [Super Furry Animals](http://www.superfurry.com/). But the Welsh musician just dropped a groovy new solo album this month titled, "Pang!" The album is a collaboration with [Muzi](https://www.forbes.com/sites/lisakocay/2018/07/26/muzi-south-african- artist-afrobeat-electronic-music/#ddae62740f79), a South African electronic artist and producer who worked with Rhys to put a new …
Many nature writers turn our eyes skyward, towards majestic mountains, or toward open valleys and wild rivers. But there’s another other world beneath our feet, in the dark and hidden places below the Earth’s surface — places that the British author Robert Macfarlane chronicles in his newest book, "Underland: A …
The world is at the brink of eradicating polio. [Only three countries](http://polioeradication.org/where-we-work/polio-endemic-countries/) now have ongoing transmission: Nigeria, Afghanistan and Pakistan. And in 2017, there were [only a couple dozen cases](http://polioeradication.org/news- post/working-toward-a-polio-free-future-2017-in-review/) of paralytic wild polio reported worldwide – a massive decrease from the estimated [350,000 cases reported across 125 countries …
Hurricane Michael aimed squarely at Tyndall Air Force Base when it hit the Florida panhandle last week. The storm left destruction in its wake, and evidence of just how vulnerable US military assets are to the impacts of climate change. The Air Force says [every home on the 29,000-acre base …
During his 2016 campaign, President Donald Trump talked about dismantling the Environmental Protection Agency. Now we’re seeing how that promise is playing out with his chosen appointees, their interpretation of laws and rollbacks of regulations. Under Trump, we’re seeing a different vision of what role science itself should play in …
This week, Google finally confirmed that the company is exploring expanding its products into China and that Google has been working on a version of its search engine that would comply with Beijing’s strict censorship rules. For months, Google dodged questions about the existence of the controversial project, which was …
Take a stroll around Boston right now and there are plenty of trees to gawk at and admire. “The branches are turning kind of a brilliant yellow, orange and red, and that's what makes this tree so amazing,” says [Richard Primack](https://www.bu.edu/biology/people/profiles/richard-b-primack/), a professor of plant ecology at Boston University, looking …
A recent [World Bank report](http://www.somaliampf.net/files/Mobile_Money_in_Somalia.pdf) showed that Somalia has one of the most active mobile money markets in the world, outpacing most other countries in Africa. It’s even superseded the use of cash in the country of [14 million](https://data.worldbank.org/country/somalia) people. Victor Owuor asked Tim Kelly, an information and communications technology …
_This story comes to us through a partnership with the podcast and radio program[Threshold](https://www.thresholdpodcast.org/), with funding support from the [Pulitzer Center](https://pulitzercenter.org/)._ On the island of Grímsey, off the northern coast of Iceland, stands an enormous concrete sphere nine feet in diameter, grey and pockmarked, with a big hole in the …
The young man standing atop a mound of grey mud and debris on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, waiting for an excavator he hoped would dig out the bodies of his parents, voiced the exasperation many feel in his earthquake-plagued country. "This is something that happens all the time in …
US astronaut Nick Hague and Russian cosmonaut Alexei Ovchinin landed safely on Thursday after making an emergency landing in Kazakhstan when a rocket on their Soyuz spacecraft failed in mid-air. Rescue crews raced to locate them on the Kazakh steppe quickly linking up with them, NASA, the US space agency. …
When storms like [Hurricane Michael](https://www.nhc.noaa.gov/refresh/graphics_at4+shtml/233118.shtml?gm_track) make landfall, the first things they hit often are [barrier islands](https://web.archive.org/web/20100808200102/http:/www.csc.noaa.gov:80/beachnourishment/html/geo/barrier.htm) – thin ribbons of sand that line the US Atlantic and Gulf coasts. It’s hard to imagine how these narrow strips can withstand such forces, but in fact, many of them have buffered our …
Dianne Powell is living a recurring nightmare. In October 2016, Hurricane Matthew filled her brick house with rainwater — up to her waist. The storm inundated her town, engulfing homes and [highways](https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/local/article107780222.html) and causing [$4.8 billion worth of damage](https://files.nc.gov/rebuildnc/documents/matthew/rebuildnc_robeson_plan_combined.pdf) statewide. _**Editor's note:** This story is part of the Center for …