The Science of Sustainability

KQED serves the people of Northern California with a public-supported alternative to commercial media. Home to the most listened-to public radio station in the nation, one of the highest-rated public television services and an award-winning education program, and as a leader and innovator in interactive technology, KQED takes people of all ages on journeys of exploration — exposing them to new people, places and ideas.

Transforming San Francisco Into a Model of Disaster Preparedness

Transforming San Francisco Into a Model of Disaster Preparedness

The next “big one” is never out of mind for San Francisco residents who may have a new place to gather if one landscape architecture firm has its way.

Continue Reading

Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

Largest Solar Plant in the World Goes Through Last Test Before Opening

The largest solar plant in the world – in California’s Mojave Desert – goes through its last test before opening, after a debate that pitted renewable energy against a threatened tortoise.

Continue Reading

Using Social Media to Rescue Food

Using Social Media to Rescue Food

In the U.S., more than 30 million tons of food end up in landfills each year. The food waste occurs throughout the food chain, from farm to table. But now social media is being mobilized to rescue surplus food and keep it from going to waste.

Continue Reading

Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

Road Kill or Road Crossing: California Slow to Protect Wildlife

Drivers hit thousands of animals every year on California freeways, often killing the wildlife, and sometimes killing or injuring the human, too. Several western states have built fencing and other infrastructure to help wildlife cross freeways safely, and critics say California could be doing a lot more of the same.

Continue Reading

Lake Tahoe: Can We Save It?

Lake Tahoe: Can We Save It?

Go behind the scenes with the scientists working to keep Lake Tahoe pristine and protect it for generations to come.

Continue Reading

Stanford Solar Car Races Across Australian Desert

Stanford Solar Car Races Across Australian Desert

Stanford University students design and race a single passenger solar car 1,800 miles across the Australian continent in an international competition that pushes the boundaries of solar-powered technology.

Continue Reading

Fighting Food Waste

Fighting Food Waste

Forty percent of the food produced in the U.S. goes uneaten. From "farm to fork", there are many reasons for food waste, including consumer demand for perfect produce and confusion over expiration dates printed on packaged foods. This massive waste occurs as one in six Americans struggles with hunger every day, even in affluent regions such as Silicon Valley.

Continue Reading

Stanford Students Debut Solar-Powered Prefab Home

Stanford Students Debut Solar-Powered Prefab Home

Stanford University students set out to revolutionize home design by entering a solar powered prefab house into the Department of Energy's biennial Solar Decathlon competition.

Continue Reading

The World with Us: Can the Earth Support Eleven Billion?

The World with Us: Can the Earth Support Eleven Billion?

Journalist Alan Weisman's latest book, Countdown, explores how we can sustainably manage a population of seven billion people.

Continue Reading

The Great Escape: How Soil Protects Us from Carbon Emissions

The Great Escape: How Soil Protects Us from Carbon Emissions

Recent measurements show that the billions of tons of old carbon hidden deep in the earth may release into the atmosphere, greatly accelerating climate change.

Continue Reading

Captive Breeding Program May Ensure Survival for African Frogs

Captive Breeding Program May Ensure Survival for African Frogs

As “canaries in the coal mine” for a changing environment, a select group of African frogs may help scientists protect endangered frog species far and wide.

Continue Reading

Urban Farms in San Francisco Struggle to Put Down Roots

Urban Farms in San Francisco Struggle to Put Down Roots

Although urban agriculture is on the rise nationwide, in locavore-loving San Francisco, some difficult challenges are emerging

Continue Reading

Water Recycling Comes Of Age In Silicon Valley

Water Recycling Comes Of Age In Silicon Valley

Though engineers can purify sewage water to make it cleaner than what’s coming out of your tap, there's a bigger challenge: convincing people to drink it.

Continue Reading

Are Wetlands Nature's Best Defense Against Sea Level Rise?

Are Wetlands Nature's Best Defense Against Sea Level Rise?

Restoring marshlands along the shore of San Francisco Bay may be the key to protecting communities from rising sea level and it may lend a helping hand to some endangered species, too.

Continue Reading

Tesla Unveils 90-Second Battery Swap Technology

Tesla Unveils 90-Second Battery Swap Technology

Palo Alto based electric car maker Tesla has announced a service that will swap out a battery in less than two minutes.

Continue Reading

Work Begins on Largest Dam Removal Project in California History

Work Begins on Largest Dam Removal Project in California History

Construction crews are starting work on the largest dam removal project in California history.

Continue Reading

With Condors on the Brink, California Considers a Lead-Bullet Ban for Hunters

With Condors on the Brink, California Considers a Lead-Bullet Ban for Hunters

Lead poisoning is a major obstacle to recovery for the endangered California condor, but a bill to address the problem has gun owners up in arms.

Continue Reading

The Green Side of Drones: Science and Environmental Apps Abound

The Green Side of Drones: Science and Environmental Apps Abound

Drone enthusiasts in Silicon Valley are going beyond military and spy applications, exploring new uses for science and the environment.

Continue Reading

Debate Over on Climate Change, Says Chief UN Climate Negotiator

Debate Over on Climate Change, Says Chief UN Climate Negotiator

A United Nations expert recalls the exact moment she first witnessed the impact of climate change–and sees a concerted global effort as the only way to turn down the heat.

Continue Reading

Next Meal: Engineering Food

Next Meal: Engineering Food

Are the benefits of genetically engineered foods worth the risks? This half-hour QUEST Northern California special explores the pros and cons of genetically engineered crops, and what the future holds for research and regulations.

Continue Reading