The Science of Sustainability

Environment

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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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.

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Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Flame Retardants, Redux: From Toxic Couches to Buildings

Last June, Gov. Jerry Brown directed state agencies to change California's flammability standard to ensure fire safety without dousing furniture and other foam products with toxic chemicals. Now activists are focusing on an even bigger market for flame retardants: foam insulation in buildings.

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Science on the SPOT: Shadows and Spiders– A Secret Cave in California

Science on the SPOT: Shadows and Spiders– A Secret Cave in California

The rural foothills along the Santa Cruz County Coast hold an ancient secret. Deep below the redwoods, White Moon Cave extends for nearly a mile — making it one of the longest caves in California. But few people have ever been in it. Join the KQED Science team as we squeeze through the narrow clandestine entrance, and meet the uncanny cave inhabitants to bring new light to this hidden realm.

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So How Much Does Carbon Cost?

So How Much Does Carbon Cost?

Now we have a first glimpse of how California's experiment in carbon trading is working out. The state's first auction of industrial permits for greenhouse gases actually happened last week–but results were released on Monday.

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Solar Powers China's March Toward Sustainability

Solar Powers China's March Toward Sustainability

China has vaulted out front in the solar power game. That's been good for consumers but perplexing to its California competitors.

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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?

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Trophy Hunting: For the Love of Blood and Money

Trophy Hunting: For the Love of Blood and Money

Trophy hunters routinely pay thousands of dollars for the chance to kill big game like caribou, moose, black bear and especially grizzly bear. Trophy hunting narratives boast a love of nature. But some sociologists find a different story.

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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.

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Cap-and-Trade: The Glossary

Cap-and-Trade: The Glossary

You can’t navigate the new world of carbon trading unless you know the lingo. Here are some key terms.

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Q & A – How Will the Solar Industry Shake Out?

Q & A – How Will the Solar Industry Shake Out?

Plummeting prices, trade war, record growth – it’s been a busy year for the solar industry. Reporter Lauren Sommer talks to a solar analyst about how California is doing in the rapidly changing global market.

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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.

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Crowdsourcing San Francisco Bay

Crowdsourcing San Francisco Bay

The 1891-built Alma schooner once hauled goods around San Francisco Bay. Now it's part of a new crowdsourcing history project.

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Playing Whack-a-Mole with Flame Retardants

Playing Whack-a-Mole with Flame Retardants

Countless consumer products sold in California contain a flame retardant flagged as a possible carcinogen nearly 35 years ago. As of this week, finally, they must carry a warning that the chemical causes cancer. But is it enough when manufacturers simply replace one toxic chemical with another?

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