Environment

Susan Bence

Northeast Wisconsin's Kewaunee County is home to 16 large dairy operations. On those CAFOs, or concentrated animal feeding operations, are tens of thousands of cows, who produce lots of manure. Neighbors have become increasingly worried that, that manure is contaminating nearby wells.

Though the county hugs Lake Michigan, it’s what is underground that makes the area particularly vulnerable to manure ending up where you don't want it – in the water people drink.

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Water stagnating at a construction site. A dwindling number of mangroves along the shore. Lakes choked with algae and hyacinth. Sewage pipes leaking into the sea.

These are common sights in India.

Until recently, the best people could do to try to draw attention to such problems was to tweet pictures to the government or write letters to the newspaper — hoping someone with the power to make changes would take note.

Neil Shook was relaxing at home in Woodworth, N.D., on a Saturday afternoon just over a week ago.

"My wife was outside and she yelled at me to come outside and take a look at this," he recalls.

A massive brown cloud covered the horizon to the west. It was a dust storm — although Shook, who's a scientist with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, doesn't like to call it dust. "I like to refer to it as soil, because that's basically what it is," he says. "We saw this huge soil cloud moving from west to east across the landscape."

Some of Nevada's largest solar installation companies plan to resume doing business in the state. For the past year-and-a-half Tesla (formerly SolarCity) and Sunrun stopped seeking new customers in this sunny part of the country because the state's Public Utilities Commission chose to phase out incentives for homeowners who install rooftop solar panels.

Hawaii's governor has signed a bill that adopts goals of the Paris climate agreement, despite President Trump's announcement last week that the U.S. is pulling out of the global accord.

"Reducing greenhouse emissions in Hawaii is now the law — the state law," reports Hawaii Public Radio's Bill Dorman. "While the specifics are a bit vague, the political message is clear: to keep pace with environmental commitments made as part of the Paris accord."

If you've ever bought coffee labeled "Uganda" and wondered what life is like in that faraway place where the beans were grown, now's your chance to see how climate change has affected the lives of Ugandan coffee farmers — through their own eyes.

Last week, President Donald Trump announced that the United States will be pulling out of the Paris climate accord. The move comes as a blow to alternative energy advocates who see green power as the most sustainable and environmentally responsible way forward.

The overwhelming majority of bats are friends of humanity. They gobble up the insects that bite us and ruin our crops. They pollinate flowers and they replant forests by spreading seeds around. But as agriculture overtakes rain forests and jungles, humans have come into conflict with one bat species: the common vampire bat.

The Trump administration is taking steps to allow five energy companies to use seismic air guns for oil and gas exploration off the U.S. Atlantic coast even though they would incidentally harass marine mammals. Environmental groups and some coastal communities object.

"The testing would take place over a huge area ranging from the Delaware Bay, south to Cape Canaveral in Florida," NPR's Jeff Brady reports. "Ships would crisscross the ocean shooting loud bursts of sound underwater to map the geology."

Days after President Trump announced that he would be pulling the U.S. out of a global agreement to fight climate change, more than 1,200 business leaders, mayors, governors and college presidents have signaled their personal commitment to the goal of reducing emissions.

In an open letter, the signatories vow to "continue to support climate action to meet the Paris Agreement," even "in the absence of leadership from Washington."

Marge Pitrof

Last week, while President Trump was pulling the U.S. out of the Paris climate accord, researchers at UWM were busy working on GRAPES, or Grid-connected Advanced Power Electronic Systems. Faculty and students in electrical engineering won a national grant to find ways to improve the power grid, including, by adding renewable resources, and they don't believe the president's decision will impact their work in the long run.

Marti Mikkelson

Milwaukeeans are still buzzing about President Trump’s decision last week to withdraw from the Paris Climate Accord. The United Nations forged the agreement a few years ago; it’s dedicated to curbing global warming. WUWM asked people at Bradford Beach on Lake Michigan in Milwaukee what they think the potential impacts could be on the environment.

Scott Beringer is relaxing in a lawn chair, eating a sandwich. He says he’s not happy with President Trump’s decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris accord.

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Let's turn now to Indiana. James Brainard is the Republican mayor of Carmel just outside of Indianapolis. And he joins us from member station WFYI. Thanks for being with us.

JAMES BRAINARD: Oh, it's great to be with you.

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