The Science of Sustainability

Archives

In Historic Gold Country, Old Mines Get New Life

In Historic Gold Country, Old Mines Get New Life

It's not the frenzy of 1849, but gold mining is quietly making a comeback in California. While some communities are concerned about the environmental costs, others see the chance for a "greener" gold rush.

Continue Reading

Climate Threat to Dams Overlooked by Regulators

Climate Threat to Dams Overlooked by Regulators

Hydropower provides a good chunk of California's electricity. It relies on a balance of heavy snow in the winter and heavy runoff in the spring. Climate change threatens to throw that balance out of whack, a problem the government isn't examining.

Continue Reading

Stanford Investigates the Hits that Cause Concussions

Stanford Investigates the Hits that Cause Concussions

It's no secret that concussions are endemic in American football at every level, from peewees to the pros, but little is known about the hits that cause them. Stanford University is searching for answers.

Continue Reading

Think Tiny: The Science of New Year's Resolutions

Think Tiny: The Science of New Year's Resolutions

Want to keep a New Year's resolution? One Stanford researcher says to give up on lofty goals. Instead, focus on tiny habits.

Continue Reading

Scientists More Outspoken on Exteme Weather-Climate Links

Scientists More Outspoken on Exteme Weather-Climate Links

One of the giants of climate science talks about extreme weather…and trashes California's plan to cut emissions.

Continue Reading

California Prepares First Fracking Regulations, Joining Nationwide Debate

California Prepares First Fracking Regulations, Joining Nationwide Debate

The controversial drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing has created an oil and gas boom around the country – and that’s left state governments grappling with how to regulate it. Now, California is wading into that fight.

Continue Reading

With Large Oil Reserve, California Faces Fracking Debate

With Large Oil Reserve, California Faces Fracking Debate

The new oil-and-gas boom that’s sweeping the country may be coming to California. With it comes the controversy over the drilling technique known as hydraulic fracturing – or fracking.

Continue Reading

Growing Pains for California's Electric Car Charging Network

Growing Pains for California's Electric Car Charging Network

KQED Science explores the growing pains of building an electric car charging network and the fledgling new industry rising up to meet the challenge.

Continue Reading

The Great Cancer Cell Mix Up

The Great Cancer Cell Mix Up

Under a microscope many cancer cells look the same. And since cell lines used in cancer research are anonymous, often shared informally between labs, the only way to definitively know where they came from is with DNA. But many scientists don't do this.

Continue Reading

What Are Richmond Residents Breathing?

What Are Richmond Residents Breathing?

Chevron's Aug. 6 fire re-ignited questions many Richmond residents have asked for years. What does it mean to live next to the largest refinery on the West Coast? What are people living in the city breathing?

Continue Reading

Cap-and-Trade 101: How California's Carbon Market Works

Cap-and-Trade 101: How California's Carbon Market Works

This week, California rolls out the heavy artillery in its attack on climate change with a program called “cap-and-trade.” It’s like a stock exchange for carbon emissions, where the state’s biggest polluters have to buy the right to emit greenhouse gases. It’s the most ambitious climate change policy in the country, but not everyone is happy with it.

Continue Reading

Looming Trade War Shakes Up U.S. Solar Industry

Looming Trade War Shakes Up U.S. Solar Industry

Federal officials have put trade tariffs on Chinese solar panels. American solar companies are split on whether it will be good or bad for the industry.

Continue Reading

In Livermore, Still Waiting on Nuclear Fusion

In Livermore, Still Waiting on Nuclear Fusion

The National Ignition Facility in Livermore, California, has been called a modern-day moon-shot, a project of "revolutionary science," and "the mother of all boondoggles." NIF, as it's known, is a five-billion dollar, taxpayer-funded super laser project whose goal is to create nuclear fusion – a tiny star – inside a laboratory. But so far, that hasn't happened.

Continue Reading

China Tries Greening from the Ground Up

China Tries Greening from the Ground Up

Green building and sustainable design are a trend in California, but nowhere is the urgency greater than in China, where hundreds of millions of people are moving to cities in pursuit of a better life.

Continue Reading

Can Meditation Ease PTSD in Combat Vets?

Can Meditation Ease PTSD in Combat Vets?

The crisis of mental disorders such as PTSD has forced the military to rediscover therapies that would have considered from-the-fringes a generation ago.

Continue Reading

Century-Old Battle Over Yosemite's 'Second Valley' Heats Up

Century-Old Battle Over Yosemite's 'Second Valley' Heats Up

One of California's oldest environmental battles is on the San Francisco ballot. Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park holds most of San Francisco's water supply. But some environmental groups want to turn back the clock.

Continue Reading

Counting Climate-Challenged Pikas

Counting Climate-Challenged Pikas

A group of West Oakland students treks up to the Sierra to try to help a small mammal that may be threatened by climate change.

Continue Reading

Water Banks: A Hedge Against Shrinking Supplies in a Changing Climate

Water Banks: A Hedge Against Shrinking Supplies in a Changing Climate

For years, farms and cities have pumped water out to meet their needs. But now, as water supplies dwindle, there’s a major movement afoot to put some water back.

Continue Reading

West Coast a Test Bed for Ocean Acidification

West Coast a Test Bed for Ocean Acidification

Scientists say the waters off the West Coast could be hit hard by ocean acidification, but thanks to the natural conditions, it's a good place to study how ocean species might adapt.

Continue Reading

Heat, Salt and Pests Threaten California Fields

Heat, Salt and Pests Threaten California Fields

California's warming climate is having a big impact on farmers. Find out more from our multimedia series, "Heat and Harvest."

Continue Reading