For the first time, new nationwide science standards recommend teaching K-12 students about climate change. iStockphoto.com By the time today's K-12 students grow up, the challenges posed by climate change are expected to be severe and sweeping. Now, for the first time, new nationwide science standards due out soon will recommend that U.S. public school students learn about the climatic shift taking place. Mark McCaffrey of the National Center for Science Education says the lessons will fill a big gap. "Only 1 in 5 [students] feel like they've got a good handle on climate change from what they've learned in school," he says, adding that surveys show two-thirds of students say they're not learning much at all about it.
The seed library is a partnership between the Basalt Public Library and the Central Rocky Mountain Permaculture Institute. Seed packets encourage gardeners to write their names and take credit for their harvested seeds. Courtesy of Dylan Johns Despite the cold and snow, some signs of spring are starting to break through in Colorado. The public library in the small town of Basalt is trying an experiment: In addition to borrowing books, residents can now check out seeds.
The sun shines above a farm near White City, Kan., in November. Orlin Wagner / AP The U.S. had its hottest year on record last year. That heat, combined with the relatively dry winter that came before, has brought a historic drought. From forest fires and low crop yields, to infrastructure and recreation, the drought has been costly, with early estimates putting the cost at between $50 billion and $80 billion. The U.S.
First of a five-part series The history of fire in the American Southwest is buried in a catacomb of rooms under the bleachers of the football stadium at the University of Arizona. Here rules professor Thomas Swetnam, tree ring expert. You want to read a tree ring? You go to Tom.
Cracks form in the bed of a dried lake in Waterloo, Neb. The drought withered crops and dried out lakes across the nation's midsection in 2012. Nati Harnik / AP This year's extreme weather was one for the record books; 2012 is slated to be the hottest summer on record.
In 1902, a self-taught urban planner named Ebenezer Howard published his utopian vision for "Garden Cities" -- self-contained circular towns radiating from a central city, connected only by train . Neither town nor country, they were a dense, compact fusion of the two: suburbia without sprawl. Although Garden Cities never really caught on in the West, the Chicago-based Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture has resurrected the idea with Chinese characteristics: a “prototype city” twice as populous and 20 times as dense, with a tower taller than the Empire State Building at its core. Working with one of China’s largest real estate developers, the firm aims to build them by the score.
Description ★ Winner of the 2011 Apple Design Award ★ Al Gore's Our Choice will change the way we read books. And quite possibly change the world.
The Big Sandy Power Plant, 4 miles north of Louisa, is the biggest industry in Lawrence County. Local residents blame President Obama's environmental policies for the company's plans to close the plant in 2015. Noah Adams / NPR If the voters in Louisa, Ky., had their wish, Mitt Romney would have taken the oath of office Monday.
Buck Butler for The New York Times David Haskell in in Sewanee, Tenn., on the Domain of the University of the South. David Haskell , an ecologist and evolutionary biologist at the University of the South, is taking me through part of the 13,000 acres owned by the university, to a small circle of forest floor a bit over a yard in diameter. He visited this randomly chosen forest “mandala,” as he calls it, many times over the course of a year and recorded his observations in “ The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature .” He is pointing out flowers, salamanders, insects, trees, as we follow a well-worn hiking path, and stops for a moment to listen.
Stand aside Beyonce, there's a new sound in town. More than 9,000 sounds, to be more precise. The Macaulay Library at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology has just finished digitizing its huge archive of wildlife sounds and made it available online. "It represents the voice of the world — all the voices of the world," Greg Budney, audio curator for the archive, tells NPR's Scott Simon. Among the vast collection are birds, mammals, insects and amphibians, Budney says, all made available "to anyone who has an interest in nature, in conservation and in the world around them."
Americans walk less than the citizens of any other industrialized nation, says Tom Vanderbilt. In this file photo from last summer, pedestrians and a cyclist cross the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City. Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images "Americans now walk the least of any industrialized nation in the world," says writer Tom Vanderbilt .