The Science of Sustainability

Environment

Sierra Club Director: Time to Take Climate Action to the Streets

Sierra Club Director: Time to Take Climate Action to the Streets

For the first time in the Sierra Club's 120-year history, its national head was arrested for an act of civil disobedience. It signals a new, more aggressive stance for the organization spawned by John Muir.

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Welcoming Pinnacles to the Elite Club of National Parks

Welcoming Pinnacles to the Elite Club of National Parks

If you visit the slice of Central California serenity known as Pinnacles, you might notice the sign out front now says, “National Park.”

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On the Elephant Seal Dating Scene, It’s All About Bravado

On the Elephant Seal Dating Scene, It’s All About Bravado

They may sound like faulty plumbing, but male northern elephant seals have a unique communication system that's all about reputation.

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Coyote Killings: A Complex Debate of Conservation and Cruelty

Coyote Killings: A Complex Debate of Conservation and Cruelty

Coyotes, reviled for preying on sheep and goats, are the most targeted predator in the U.S. This week, hunters in the tiny Modoc County town of Adin will compete in a contest to kill the most coyotes to protect their livestock–even though research shows that killing coyotes results in higher reproductive rates.

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Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea

Science on the SPOT: Preserving the Forest of the Sea

UC Berkeley's University Herbarium boasts one of the largest and oldest collections of seaweed in the United States. Herbarium curator Kathy Ann Miller is leading a massive project to preserve digitally nearly 80,000 specimens of west coast seaweed.

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Winter Waterfall Hiking in Marin

Winter Waterfall Hiking in Marin

Winter may not bring snow to the San Francisco Bay Area, but it definitely brings waterfalls. If you find time before spring, head to Cataract Creek Trail in Marin County.

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San Francisco a Test Case for Coping with Rising Seas

San Francisco a Test Case for Coping with Rising Seas

Under a strategy known as "managed retreat," San Francisco gets ready to let the ocean reclaim a cherished stretch of Pacific coastline.

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Comments Do Matter (So Get Talking!)

Comments Do Matter (So Get Talking!)

Back in December I wrote a blog post asking scientists to comment online more often.

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Who Gets the Cash for Energy Upgrades from Prop 39?

Who Gets the Cash for Energy Upgrades from Prop 39?

In November, California voters overwhelmingly passed Proposition 39, closing a corporate tax loophole and using the savings to create the largest state energy efficiency initiative in the country. Now the debate over how to use the money begins.

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Fear and Loathing in Wolf Country

Fear and Loathing in Wolf Country

After federal wildlife officials removed endangered species protections on wolves in the Rocky Mountains, hunters quickly killed them by the hundreds. If California's lone wolf leaves the state, he could meet a similar fate.

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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.

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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.

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Hiking in the New Year at Sibley Volcanic Preserve

Hiking in the New Year at Sibley Volcanic Preserve

Greet the New Year with a hike at the Sibley Volcanic Preserve in the East Bay Regional Park District.

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Conquering Fungophobia

Conquering Fungophobia

Late fall rains signal the start of mushroom season, which can last until spring in the Bay Area. Though only experts should forage and eat wild mushrooms (following park rules about harvesting), anyone can appreciate the rich diversity of these ephemeral fruits of the forest.

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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.

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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.

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How Do California's Fracking Regulations Compare to Other States'?

How Do California's Fracking Regulations Compare to Other States'?

California regulators are expected to release new fracking regulations by the end of the year. Most fracking rules come under state jurisdiction, and different states have different approaches.

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Can Earth Survive Without Scientist-Citizens?

Can Earth Survive Without Scientist-Citizens?

Last summer, a group of top scientists warned that our penchant for growth and consumption may be pushing earth toward an irreversible tipping point. The days when scientists could share their results with just their colleagues are over, says NOAA Administrator Jane Lubchenco. It's time for scientists to help solve our "wicked problems."

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Top KQED Science & QUEST Stories from 2012

Top KQED Science & QUEST Stories from 2012

From the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta to killer whales, bicycles to cheese — it's been another year of diverse storytelling from the KQED Science and Environment team. Here's a round-up of the top 10 stories shared on our website (based on page views) that you've enjoyed in 2012.

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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.

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