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Science/Environment

Latest Features

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.

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.

In Search of the Bacterial Garden of Eden

Now that scientists are starting to get a handle on what kinds of microbes live in the human body and, roughly, how those populations differ from one individual to another, a key question will be whether there is such a thing as an “ideal” microbiome.



More From KQED News

New Privacy Agreement Marks Historic Moment in Bioethics

A new agreement between the family of Henrietta Lacks and the National Institutes of Health marks a historic moment, but leaves questions unresolved.

A Year After Richmond Refinery Fire, Community Air Monitors Still Not Working

Inadequate air monitoring systems near the Bay Area's five refineries remain a big concern for local communities.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Turns Back on Baby Peregrines?

A group instrumental in the recovery of peregrine falcons in California is now battling the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.





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The California Report

State Senate Leader Drops Carbon Tax Proposal, Unveils New Cap-and-Trade Plan

One of Governor Jerry Brown's more controversial budget proposals has gained new support. The state Senate's top Democrat Darrell Steinberg said on Monday he now favors the idea of using climate pollution fees to help fund high-speed rail.

Use of Graywater Catching On as Drought Continues

In light of the ongoing drought, state officials have asked Californians to cut their water use by 20 percent. One technique getting more attention these days is recycling so-called graywater. California passed one of the first laws to allow home graywater use -- but obstacles have slowed widespread adoption.

How Neuroscience is Helping UC Riverside Baseball

The baseball season is underway and these days teams often use statistics to find players with unrecognized potential. That strategy was made famous by the book and movie "Moneyball." At UC Riverside, some players are turning to a different discipline for an edge at the plate: neuroscience. From KPCC in Los Angeles, Sanden Totten reports that it seems to be working.



Forum With Michael Krasny

Chevron Tries Again to Revamp Richmond Refinery

Chevron wants to begin a billion-dollar construction project at its Richmond refinery after environmentalists sued to stop a similar plan a few years ago. The company points to the environmental impact report and says the new facility will be cleaner and safer, but community advocates worry the plan could increase pollution.

Could Geo-Engineering Cool Our Warming Planet?

In a report released this week, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said it will take very ambitious efforts -- a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by up to 70 percent by 2050 -- to keep climate change at acceptable levels. The dire predictions have some asking whether it's time to think about geo-engineering: an attempt to use large-scale, high-tech methods to cool the planet. These ideas have included launching giant mirrors into space or fertilizing the oceans with iron to stimulate phytoplankton growth.

Report Warns of Food Scarcity and Civil Conflict Due to Climate Change

Climate change is threatening life and livelihood across the planet according to a new report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The latest in a series of reports from the U.N. panel, this is the first time the panel calls for adaptation to climate change and points to ways to prepare for the massive changes coming, including protecting against sea level rise, increasing crop yields, and beefing up disaster response. We'll discuss the report with a few of its authors.