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Air Pollution: Bad For Health, But Good For Planet?

In addition to carbon dioxide, power plants also spew chemicals like nitrogen and sulfur into the air. This complicated soup actually offsets some global warming by reflecting sunlight into space and pulling carbon dioxide from the air. But the long-term effects of reducing these emissions aren't fully understood.

Hunt For A Vanishing Woodpecker

In 1956, dentist and amateur ornithologist William Rhein captured the rare Imperial woodpecker on 16 mm color film. Although this 85 second clip is the only known photographic record of the bird, Rhein kept the film to himself until after he died. Writer and bird fanatic Tim Gallagher tells the story of Rhein's expedition to look for the bird, and his own trip to the same mountains over 50 years later.

How To Put A Value On Oil Damaged Life In The Gulf

A law passed after the Exxon Valdez oil spill requires the government to assess the biological damage from big spills so fines can be fixed and damage paid for. The National Academy of Sciences has a report describing the methods and metrics of determining the "ecosystem services" that have been lost due to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

U.S. Puts Oil Pipeline Plan In Limbo Until After 2012 Vote

A final decision on building a new oil pipeline to connect Alberta, Canada, to U.S. refineries near the Gulf of Mexico will not be made until after the 2012 presidential election, the State Department said Thursday.
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Conservancy Gives Potomac 'D' For Pollution

The Potomac Conservancy has downgraded the river to a D, based on worsening pollution conditions in the D.C. area.


Feds Delay Decision On Pipeline Project

The State Department is delaying a decision for at least a year on whether to approve the Keystone pipeline. The $7 billion pipeline would carry oil from the tar sands of Alberta, Canada, through the U.S. to Gulf of Mexico refineries. Nebraska's state government and environmental groups have put intense pressure on the State Department and White House to reject the pipeline's proposed route. NPR's Richard Harris talks with Robert Siegel about the project.

Receding Sea Ice Helps Storm Hammer Alaska's Coast

The villages on Norton Sound are right at the water's edge, and with the ice developing progressively later each season, Carven Scott says meteorologists worry storms like this one will become a more regular occurrence.